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Thursday, April 15, 2010

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StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty Discussed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Game Informer has posted a new Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Q&A with Blizzard Entertainment's Dustin Browder. The questions covered a range of topics related to the game's units, interface, and balance challenges. StarCraft 2 will pick up a few years after the end of Broodwar and will follow the story of the Terrans.

Are you happy with the balance between micro and macro play in the beta?
We see ourselves as doing a lot of everything. Some games favor a macro gameplay, and some games favor a micro gameplay. Our goals are to have both be possible. As a Zerg player, you can choose to be more of a macro Zerg player or more of a micro Zerg player, or anything in between. The reason this is so interesting for us is if we have that kind of choice for players, it means that even in a Zerg versus Zerg game, I could fundamentally be playing a very different race than you're playing because I'm playing a much more economy-based game, and you're playing a much more tactical-based game. Both strategies are viable and possible -- that's our goal. Whether we succeed or not is still up in the air and ultimately up to the fans.

In terms of how happy I am right now, we're in beta. It's certainly the biggest game I've ever had the honor of getting a chance to work on. I'm not happy at all. We're all just scared s**tless. At this point, I just want to make sure we get the best possible product to the fans and we're really waiting on the fans to tell us whether or not we should be happy. I'm hopeful; I'm not seeing huge problems. But that doesn't mean we won't see huge problems any minute now. I could walk back to my desk right after this interview and watch a replay and go, "Oh my god, what are we going to do about that?" [laughs] So we're all on pins and needles over here waiting and seeing how the beta shakes out. Every day brings new sources of terror as we wait to see what the fans think up to do with the game that simply has not occurred to us from playing internally.

Will the Battle.net revamp support co-op or other online gameplay in any meaningful way?
We're going to offer a bunch of Achievements associated with [co-op play] to encourage you to keep playing and getting rewards. We'll have avatars tied to those Achievements so you can show off your ability against the AI specifically, both solo and in a team environment. We've also got the Battle.net party system, which will allow you to get together with your friends very easily and take on AIs in a variety of different formats. That was one of the ways that I always enjoyed -- besides competitive play -- with my friends, playing the original StarCraft that way. We really hope that that is a big part of the experience here for a lot of players.

Ultimately, I imagine that players will start off by playing cooperative against the AI and earning achievements through the matchmaker, but that they'll graduate at some point, having made friends online or having gotten their friends into the game, into playing custom games and trying on 3v4 versus the AI, or 3v5 versus the AI. "What happens if we do it on this kind of map? What happens if we do it on that kind of map? What happens if we're all Zerg?" Those are the kinds of ways that I think are really fun to play StarCraft, where you are continually challenging yourself, not only with new difficulties but with new numbers of opponents on map types that are maybe less friendly to your strategies. Challenging yourself to try races you're less familiar with. It can be a really fun way to play.
Visit the site below for the full interview.

Game Informer: StarCraft 2 Q&A Dustin Browder
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
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