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Monday, March 1, 2010
 
BlizzCast Thirteen Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released the thirteenth BlizzCast, a series of podcasts created by Blizzard's Community Team and focusing on the company's current and future game offerings. Number thirteeen covers the StarCraft II beta as well as information about developments in the Warcraft and Diablo universes.

Rob Simpson: Now that we're here at beta, what are some of the biggest changes that beta testers can expect relative to the BlizzCon build and how have these changes been received so far internally?
Dustin Browder: That's a difficult question to answer, it's been so long for us since that BlizzCon build. We've seen so many versions of the game come through since we did the last BlizzCon. We've been doing a lot of work on the base building and macro mechanics for the protoss. Trying to make sure that the protoss have an interesting way to sort of focus on their economy and base building. Previously, protoss players could buff all of their probes to get a resource bonus every time their probes collected resources. We've changed that, removed it completely. Put in an ability called “Time Warp” which allows you to speed up production on any protoss building that has been targeted by this ability. This allows players to choose which things they want to go faster for the protoss. Do they want to make their upgrades go faster, do they want to build workers faster, do they want to build stalkers or immortals faster, maybe void rays faster? All kinds of choices. It is like the previous mechanic, something you do have to go back to your base and use repeatedly. The difference is, previously there was no choice about what to do with it, you just had to use it on your probes. Now you will choose which building to use it on. So there's actually a lot of strategy and a lot of choice for the player about how to manage your own economy. This is something we've been focused on for StarCraft, we want to make sure that StarCraft isn't just a tactical game, but also an economic game as well. You as a player have to choose, do you want to build up your economy, get a stronger base from which to attack, or do you need military forces right now, right?

Rob Simpson: The new Galaxy Map Editor won't be available initially in beta, but what can people expect when they finally get their hands on it and when would you guys like that to be?
Chris Sigaty: So the editor is something that we're talking a lot about. We would like to potentially release it in what we're calling our major content patch update that's planned for pretty late in the beta to be honest with you. The question really is, will it be far enough along and in a spot where we can allow people to look at it and publish and will we have enough time to react to that? So it's something we're looking at closely. We've discussed it, but I can't say that it will or will not happen at this point, I don't know. It's a goal, but on the periphery of whether it will happen or not, that's probably my best answer to that. What we hope to get from having the editor out there early is get some people started on some cool ideas for maps so that when the game launches they can have some cool stuff up very quickly on the service basically, so that other players can download it and have some other options out there. We feel like we're going to hit a lot of the cases that players would have not only with just their multiplayer maps but we will have some cool mod maps that we're going to do on our own, but they're largely just glimpses at things rather than entire answers. The earlier we can get the community started, the better, it's just the time window is shorter than we have talked about.

You haven't asked this question yet, but I'll answer it ahead of time. We were targeting three to five months for the beta, we're really at a three month period of time for the beta at this point. We are still targeting the first half of this year, so with that in mind, it really shortens the window of time with our major content patch coming out pretty close to the end whether it's even worth it putting out the map editor at that point.
Check out the latest BlizzCast at the page below.

BlizzCast Episode 13
Blizzard Entertainment


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Archives  News  BlizzCast Thirteen Now Available