Blizzard outlines Starcraft II gameplay

Posted on June 4, 2007. Filed under: Stacraft II Teaser | Tags: |

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SEOUL–Believe it or not, even though the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational 2007 event is home to music concerts and some of the biggest game tournaments in the world, one of the most intriguing activities is actually sitting quietly in a theater. Three of Blizzard’s top creative talents–creative director Andy Chambers, senior game designer Dustin Browder, and vice president of game design Rob Pardo–sat on a panel to discuss gameplay details for the company’s newly announced sequel, Starcraft II.

Pardo began the discussion by revisiting several of the studio’s previous games, going back as far as Warcraft II, which the vice president cited as the first Blizzard game to garner a significant following as a competitive multiplayer game. Pardo explained that the original Starcraft arose from the team’s desire to create a fast-paced real-time strategy game like Warcraft II, but in a different universe, then described how Blizzard’s subsequent RTS project, 2002’s Warcraft III, took a very different approach by offering slower-paced gameplay with smaller armies, hero units, and many units with activatable abilities to appeal to “the average gamer.” Pardo suggested that the units in both the original Starcraft and in the sequel will instead act as “movers and shooters”–mostly autonomous forces that generally lack special abilties but will be used in large control groups to “do their own thing” in battle, rather than requiring the micromanagement of high-level Warcraft III play.

Pardo continued to contrast Warcraft III against Starcraft II, explaining that Warcraft III had less of an emphasis on economic buildup to allow more focus on battles. The 2002 game, suggested the VP, also was much less about early-game victories. While that game did introduce “creeps”–neutral creatures that could be fought to gain experience points for your hero units–early armies in Warcraft III were generally capable of only harrassing your enemies, not defeating them outright. Pardo suggested that “with Starcraft II, [Blizzard is] really going back to its roots to make a true sequel to Starcraft”–a sequel where resource management will be much more central to gameplay, with less micromanagement of different units with special abilities, and in which full-on early-game “rushing” (making an all-out assault at or near the beginning of a new game session) will be much more viable.

In fact, the VP went on to state that the game will probably offer more early “tech tree” options–different development paths players can take by building different structures and researching different upgrades–which will make early-game scouting more important, and will make early-game rushing a more diverse, deeper strategy.

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