07-15-2010 08:20 PM - edited 07-15-2010 08:24 PM
Transcript for "StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Developer Chat", Thurs July 15 2010 (Part I)
Aaron-GS: Good evening and welcome to our StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty developer chat!
Aaron-GS: Chris Sigaty from Blizzard Entertainment is currently online with us and he's here to answer your questions about the game! Dustin Browder will be joining us shortly.
ChrisSi: Hello everyone!
Aaron-GS: This chat is queued and moderated, so please allow the developers some time to review and respond to your questions.
Aaron-GS: Please also refrain from asking complex, multi-part questions to be fair to other participants.
Aaron-GS: The queue is now open, so ask away!
sillyup20: Regarding future balance changes, will you guys continue to patch SC2 after release to ensure balance of all 3 races?
ChrisSi: Yes, it's definitely important to us to ensure that the game remains balanced after launch. We will make patches as needed to address balance issues after launch
Guest-16: For the Campaign experience, will there be variation for future play throughs?
ChrisSi: Yes, one of the things we're really excited about with the campaign of Wings of Liberty is that players can make choices as to which missions to do next, what technologies they want to upgrade their army with, and so on. We think there's a lot of replayability in this huge campaign (29 missions) and players will get a ton of play time just with the campaign and some replayability
Guest-46: What is the devs' relationship with the Battle.net 2.0 team?
ChrisSi: We work very closely and we're in constant contact with the Battle.net team. The launch of StarCraft II and Battle.net is very much a team effort at Blizzard.
Guest-81: Will Kerrigan have a large role in Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty?
Lamonte: How many 1v1 multiplayer maps will be available for launch? And how will user created maps get put into the 1v1 map pool?
ChrisSi: yes she definitely plays a large role in the story. but how exactly that plays out, you'll have to play to see
DustinB: I think it's about 10 maps in the 1v1 queue. As we see great community maps we will take them internally, fix them up to match our map making standards (if necessary) and add them to the pool.
Guest-19: Will you be doing an overhaul of some of the SC2 sounds, in particular, the siege tank and the hydra death and the marine death sound? Many of the fans are concerned that the audio side of Starcraft 2 will not be up-to-date and on-par with the graphics, animations and multiplayer experience
Aaron-GS: The queue has been temporarily closed to allow Chris and Dustin some time to answer questions that have already been submitted.
Aaron-GS: Thank you for your patience.
DustinB: The sounds you hear in the beta are largely final. We will continue to update sounds in patches and of course in our two expansion products, Heart of the Swarm and Wings of Liberty.
Guest-73: Will you please stop nerfing Protoss? Much love from Aiur.
DustinB: The Protoss are now only slightly ahead of the other two races according to our numbers. But I think the nerfs for the Protoss are done for now. However the community continues to learn and we will buff and nerf as needed.=)
pureWasted: Do you have any plans to make units such as Reapers and Zerglings more viable in the late game?
DustinB: We continue to watch the balance in the game. Zerglings and Reapers do have some uses in the late game in some match ups, and we are waiting to see if they have more use once the community learns more about the game or if they fall off user build orders all together. We will not be doing any more patches in beta and we will be waiting at least several weeks after launch before we do any additional balance patch work (unless we see something really broken). In many ways the balance is in the hands of the community now for a while. We will see what kinds of strategies people come up with, what they learn to do with what they have and we will make decisions only after we learn a lot more about how the game plays with ALL of our fans playing.=)
Guest-64: Could you go into more detail on the Zerg campaign for Heart of the Swarm? What new features can we expect?
Guest-82: Hello, do you plan any new changes with the mothership? Alot of people feel that it's price is not worth it. Also, how about the ultralisk? I think the ultralisk should be able to at least walk over the zerglings. Thoughts?
DustinB: We are not going to any changes on the Mothership in the near future. Internal debate rages about this unit, I have been told by several people both inside and outside of blizzard that the unit is far too powerful. The Ultralisk needs a lot more testing before we know how good he is or is not in his current state. I have heard complaints both ways on this unit, that he is way too powerful (mostly against Protoss) and way too weak (mostly against Terrans). But we shall have to wait and see.
Guest-93: Will there be any significant changes between phase 2 beta and the launched version?
DustinB: We are not going to make major changes to game balance bewteen beta and launch. We will be fixing bugs and improving game perfomance and stability.
Guest-29: With certain maps being biased to certain races, are you planning on remaking the maps or just releasing other maps to play ladder matches that are balanced?
DustinB: There are always going to be maps that favor one race over another. We try to strike a good balance between these maps. If there is a map that is VERY unbalanced we will pull it from the match making pool (like Incineration Zone in Beta 1). If a map needs small fixes to make it better we will make those, though in most cases I think we would just put new maps into the mix.
Guest-89: QXC wants to know if you have plans to tweak Reapers and Battlecruisers so that we see them more in competitive play
DustinB: We do not have plans on Reapers or Battlecruisers at the moment. That may change after the game goes live and as the community gets more time with the game. I think Battlecruisers are fundamentally vulnerable in PvT and TvT (Void Rays and Vikings) though they could be tweaked to have use in TvZ.
Guest-104: Dustin, is this really you?! http://beta-us.battle.net/sc2/en/media/artwork#/po
Guest-80: With respect to Battle.Net, will there be automated tournaments a la Warcraft 3 and if so will they have rewards such as portraits or decals?
ChrisSi: that is a mysterious resemblance, Guest 104!
DustinB: We do have plans for automated tournaments, but they are a little ways off. Look for these in the future. We are pretty geeked up about getting to put them in (and play them ourselves). =)
Guest-85: What classic/new units will we play with in the campaign that didnt make the cut in the Multiplayer game? Eg; firebat, medic, what others?
DustinB: I don't know that I remember the full list. Here is what comes to mind.=) Medic, Firebat, Vulture, Wraith, Science Vessel, Goliath.
Guest-70: regarding balance changes, how are you basing your balance changes? do you look at the diamond league statistics in a certain region, base them off tournament play, or what? do you guys at blizzard follow the competative tournament scene and base some balance changes of tham?
Guest-88: Do you plan to add any new units in future expansions that would be available to use online/multilayer?
DustinB: We look at stats on all regions and all leagues. We emphasize the importance of balance in the Diamond League as well as pulling stats from our top 1% of players. These are the numbers that need to be as close to 50/50 as we can get them. We do try to make sure that Bronze players don't get much worse than 55/45 in any matchup. In addition we look at tournament play and study those games to see what we can learn about how people are playing the game now as well as how they may play it in the future. David Kim and Matt Cooper (our balance designers) spend pretty much their entire day playing games and watching others play games.=)
Guest-122: Cross realm play.. Why did you not include it? There has virtually been no lag.
DustinB: That's something we want to get to in the future. There are some technical and business challenges for us. We do offer our players different ways to buy and play StarCraft 2 in different areas of the world and we need to work out cross realm play so it is fair to all of our fans around the world.
sillyup20: Will future expansions of SC2 lead to new units in the Mutliplayer?
DustinB: Yes.=) We will add more units. How we will deal with the games growing complexity is the really interesting challenge that we don't yet have the great answer for. We don't want to have 15+ units per race in the game, so we need to think of something clever that will allow us to add new strategies to the game without making the game too complicated.
Denthar: are the stats on the units in the campaign going to have the same stats as those in muliplayer?
DustinB: Mostly yes, but there are some exceptions. We do have some of the units that start weaker in the campaign and get stronger as you buy upgrades for them or gain additional abilities through researching alien organisms and artefacts. In general though there are so many new and crazy units in the campaign that you will find it a very different experience from multiplayer combat.
Guest-151: Are there any features where you won't need a persistent internet connection such as editors or campaign?
Guest-41: Do you feel there is room for new units to come (or come back) in the future ?
ChrisSi: There is an offline mode where you can play the campaign, skirmish against AI or challenge mode w/o needing to be connected to Battle.net (Guest 151)
DustinB: Yes, we will be dealing with the issue of new units in the expansions. I doubt we will add new units or bring back old units in patches, but anything is possible.
Guest-166: Can we expect significant changes for each "episode" gameplay wise? (I.E. radical new unit functions, gametypes or innovative maps?)
DustinB: We are going to do more in the expansions to add new strategies for the fans. I don't know what those will be yet.=)
Lamonte: You said your map making standards, what are blizzards map making standards?
DustinB: It is a long and complicated list. In many cases it comes down to simple bugs. In user made maps there are often many small mistakes like areas of the map where units can get easily stuck or trapped, or mistakes in mineral and gas placement, that sort of thing. Generally when we put a map into the matchmaking pool we clean up a few of these bugs before publishing it to Battle.Net
Guest-124: Can we expect new Blizzard maps as well as user-submitted (turned official) maps? If you could ballpark it, how long should we expect new features & additions from Blizzard for SC2?
DustinB: yes, we will add user made maps. I expect we will be adding features and custom maps in many of our patches between expansions and obviously we will be adding lots of stuff in the expansions themselves.
Guest-70: as you may know, there are no 1 supply units in the zerg race at the moment and the zerg is lacking their "swarm" aspect. what are you guys looking into to bring the "swarm" back to the zerg?
DustinB: Well the Zerglings are .5 supply.=) I know many of our Zerg players were annoyed that we made Roaches 2 supply. We just couldn't justify a 1 supply Roach when we took a look at his stats and we watched and played a ton of Beta games. It was not balanced. We really think the "swarm" aspect of the Zerg comes not from the supply cost of some of their units but from the vast amount of resources they often have at their disposal because they find it so easy to expand. In addition with Spawn Larva the Zerg can easily save up a large amount of production, allowing Zerg forces to attack with a large army, lose that army and then rebuild it very quickly and attack again with a similar force. It feels very "swarmy."
Guest-172: Can you give us any info about Blizzards plan for E-Sports in the west?
Guest-190: Will there be a snow tileset in the campaign?
DustinB: No. We will be doing snow in the future. Sorry. =(
Scytone: What is your take on EMP? Do you feel it is to strong? are there any plans to change it?
ChrisSi: esports is very important to us at Blizzard and especially for SC2.We do plan on releasing a patch in the months after launch to address the needs of pro tournaments and eSports, so as we get closer to that we'll have more news to share about our plans for eSports overall (Guest 172)
DustinB: EMP is necessary for Terrans right to defend against Protoss. I also think it might have more use that we are currently seeing against Zerg (but I could be wrong about that). We have nerfed its radius in the past and we can do so again if necessary. We don't believe (currently) that it is a problem.
Guest-48: Concerning the ladder promotions system, what further clarity can you provide to us on exactly how this works? I've heard that it works based on some sort of interval system, if so, what sort of intervals? I think many people feel left in the dark on how this works and might like a 'progress bar' for promotions or something similar.
DustinB: The Battle.Net team has been hard at work on this system throughout Beta-1 and Beta-2. It does currently check every so often to see that you are in the right league. I don't know what the current times are that it checks. I know they are talking about doing some updates to those checks so that they happen more often.
Guest-215: WIth the new expansions, will current units change in any way?
DustinB: Current units will change if we think of ways to make them more fun and they will change if we need to alter the balance to deal with anything new we add to those expansions.
Guest-93: Send: Some phase 2 patches took away some of the social features on battle net. Such as being able to join a friends game simply by right clicking and 'joining game'. Or being ablbe to see other peoples friends through your current friends. Making it easier to connect with friends is really important. Do you plan on brining back these features along with others (chat channels?)
Guest-81: Are you happy with the Ultralisk? Do you see it as a end game unit that the zerg can use effectively? Compared to the other races end-game units, does the big bug need another buff? Or do they neeed a super bug that's bigger?
DustinB: I have only had a few great Ultralisk experiences myself. I have seen some truly amazing Ultralisk games and I have seen some total disasters. We are going to "wait and see" on him and see how he does in the coming weeks before we do anything else to him. Remember that in many cases the players find lots of clever ways to use units that don't seem at all obvious to us inside the studio.
ChrisSi: We're goign to be watching closely how players use the social functionality in Battle.net and continue to refine the system and make it easier and more intuitive to do things like invite players to games and so on. As for chat channels, there'll be a post-launch patch that will include the ability to have private chat channels. Battle.net is very much a living service so you can expect that we'll constantly be making feature additions and improvements to meet the needs of players (Guest 93)
Guest-149: Do you anticipate further tweaking terran mech or the build time of barracks and gateways?
DustinB: If necessary. We don't have any plans today.
Guest-177: Do you plan to rotate the map pool for the ladder, if so will user made maps have a chance to be put in the ladder map pool?
DustinB: Yes.=) This is a popular question. We will add user maps as we become aware of them.
Guest-200: There are rumors that there is a LAN enabled professional edition available for professional tournaments to reduce latency... Is this true and will it be available for pro-teams to practice?
Guest-197: Will there be anymore Zerg soundscape changes before retail? – Wankey
DustinB: I don't believe there are any changes planned before we go live. Sorry. =(
Guest-102: Are there still plans to implement an invite only "pro" leauge above the diamond league after launch?
DustinB: Yes. I don't have all the details, but we do plan on having a "Pro League" that works a little differently from our regular leagues.
ChrisSi: any rumors you've heard about a "pro edition" are just rumors. We've made no official announcements about that. We will address the needs of pro tournaments and eSports in a patch in the months after the release of SC2. (Guest 200)
AVBenedetto: Zerg player here. I will gladly trade Roaches for Lurkers in multiplayer, any chance of seeing Lurkers before the expansions?
DustinB: Not likely, though anything is possible. It's not a Roach trade though. It's a Roach+Baneling trade. When we were testing the game with Lurkers we found that their splash and Baneling splash overlapped quite a bit. For sometime the Lurker was Tier 3 as a result (and siege range) but in that position he was easily spotted by detection (since it is so common in Tier 3) and he wasn't really a "Lurker." Also remember that without Dark Swarm, Lurkers don't have quite the same level of use that they did in SC1.
Guest-136: Do you believe that StarCraft 2 will be able to reach a similar eSports scene success in the US and/or Europe as Brood War has had in South Korea, including multiple multimillion dollar teams and games broadcasted live on tv daily?
DustinB: No idea. I hope so.=) It certainly is a fun game to watch (as I'm sure most of you know). What nations and communities will embrace it is largely up to our players and fans. We didn't create esports, our fans did that. =)
spychi: how many new units have been done for campaign only?
DustinB: I'm not sure on the exact number. I believe it's about a dozen?
Guest-275: Will there ever be a toggle function for Unit life bars?? Or a way to make Unit life bars smaller??
DustinB: There is a toggle for unit life bars. We don't have a way to make them smaller. That sounds like a good suggestion.
ChrisSi: If you're interested in setting up a tournament and getting appropriate licensing for SC2, contact email@example.com
07-15-2010 08:22 PM - edited 07-15-2010 08:24 PM
Transcript for "StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Developer Chat", Thurs July 15 2010 (Part II)
Guest-19: What manner of decision and choice went into the planning of the position and enactment of cinematics(CGI) sequences correlating with the in-game sequences seen in Wings of Liberty? And how long are the CGI cinematics totally?
DustinB: I don't have an exact minute count. I think it's over 40 minutes, but don't quote me on that. The pre-rendered cinematics and the in-game cinematics were handled by our cinematics deparment with many of the same artists, directors and sound people working on both, so they worked really well together since it was the same team building them.
Guest-41: Have you consider increasing max supplies to 300 given that you get maxed pretty fast in SC2 and that a maxed army feels less "big" than in BW ?
DustinB: We will have to wait and see how current hardware handles 200 supply first.=) I don't know that most PCs these days would do well in a 4v4 with 300 supplies per player. Performance is the primary constraint on our supply cap.
Guest-232: Will patches be coming at the rate of the beta or more of the rate during BW. If there are different metagames, you don't want to keep ruining strategies by constantly patching, but you do also want to serve the people, what are your thoughts?
DustinB: I hope it's somewhere in between. I don't think we can keep up with the beta patch schedule (we did make some mistakes in those patches because we were pushing them out so fast). But we want to do more than we did in Broodwar.
Guest-156: Is the game balance purely based on 1v1 play? For those of us who enjoy team play and FFA, it is frustrating to deal with broken units/strategies such as mass void ray and 6pool zergling rush that seem to be OK in 1v1 matchups.
DustinB: Game balance is largely based on 1v1 play but we test the other matches extensively. I have played a ton of 4v4 games in the last week (just to test) and I have found it pretty balanced (sorry you are having a hard time). Mass Stalkers, Mass Marines and Mass Mutas are all viable choices against mass Void Ray. I haven't lost to Void Ray in a while. 6 or 7 pool can be rough, you really have to work with your allies to block, but if you do you can really turn the tables on them.
sillyup20: About how many minutes of awesome Blizzard cinematics can we expect in the campaign?
Guest-216: Looking back to SC:BW, spells such as Plague and Storm were unarguably very powerful/overpowered, this - not being a bad thing put more emphasis on the skill of the players with the micro of their units in battle, do you feel this is type of play will, or can return in SC2 with new units in later expansions?
ChrisSi: Counting both in-game as well as pre-rendered cinematics there will be almost 1 hour's worth of awesome movies to watch as you play through the campaign in Wings of Liberty. (sillyup20)
DustinB: I disagree that it has been lost. Seeker Missile, Psi Storm, EMP, Fungal Growth, Neural Parasite all require in-combat targeting to be effective. In addition we have a lot more micro required by some of our units. You can get more out of a Hellion than you could a Firebat, you can get more out of Stalker Blink than you could a Dragoon. We have (we think) MORE micro than SC1, not less.
Absolution: First I want to say to Dustin I still play BFME1 (BFME2 was only ok) and it's hands down one of the greatest RTS games I've ever played since Starcraft 1. It has what I think most games have been missing besides having an awesome multiplayer experience, but a really mind engrossing single player campaign story plot. Iï¿½m wondering in SC2 will we have an RTS multiplayer campaign mode? Like for instance, on some single campaign maps we have a computer ally but instead it would be cool to have an...
DustinB: You are much kinder to BFME than I would be.=) We do not have a multiplayer campaign mode in Wings of Liberty but it is something we are very passionate about and would love to explore in Heart of the Swarm or Legacy of the Void (our two future expansions).
Guest-284: Are you guys planning co-op missions as well? I'd very much like to play some missions with my friends and not just 2v2, 3v3 etc vs standard AI? (even though it IS insane, I'll give you that!)
DustinB: We do have the ability to play cooperatively vs. the AI. In addition we are planning on some cooperative custom games that we will release shortly after the launch of the game (hopefully).
Guest-82: Any info regarding LAN play? Is it really gone? I thoroughly enjoyed playing Starcraft brood war with all my roommates and friends in one sitting, it was a nightly activity. But now I feel it's gone as no way we'll all be able to play on the same internet through battle.net without major lag. I understand a concern for piracy, but I think the real fans enjoyment comes first.
Guest-166: What can we expect from the soundtrack of StarCraft 2? Examples include the quality of the music, whether it's a major focus, the use of samples or live instrumentation, significant composers/musicians who influenced the tracks, appearances from any third party artists, racial genres, a focus on melodic or rthymic, downbeat or upbeat, evocative or superficial. Etc.
DustinB: Our sound department has put a ton of work into the sound track. A good bit was recorded by a full orchestra. I think they have done an awesome job, but of course the final call we be up to you guys whether it was good or not. It was certainly a major focus of their work and they put a ton of effort into it over the years. I'm sorry I don't have more details for you. =(
Guest-29: In starcraft1 carrieres seemed to be the way to go for late game play, in staracraft2 they seem highly inefficient and underused for that reason. Is that how the unit is going to stay or are their plans to make it more beneficial to armies?.
ChrisSi: It's still very possible to play together with your friends over a LAN while you share the same internet connection. Lots of friends/families play WoW together over one internet connection, and that's an MMO game. We think when people get together and actually try this that you'll have an enjoyable experience playing SC2 together. (Guest82)
DustinB: Carriers still seem pretty strong to me.=) But I imagine they may have lost some authority with Vikings and Void Rays so viable. We don't have any plans for a buff on the unit, but we can do so if we see a month or two after launch that they never get used.
Guest-85: When will the artists and developers begin working on the expansions?
DustinB: We have started some work already, but serious work will being in mid to late August.
pureWasted: What happened to the Overseer's old "Spore Cloud" spell? Is there any chance of seeing units interact with LoS mechanics in interesting ways in the future?
DustinB: Yes.=) Probably something we will explore in the Zerg expansion.
Guest-161: Roaches are too strong for 1 supply, but also a little weak given their stats for 2, and a maxed army with many roaches looks pitifully small. The concensus is that roaches should cost 1.5 supply, (spawning 2 at a time, total of 3 supply). Also feels more zerg-like. Have you considered this?
DustinB: The balance team does not share your concensus.=) We have considered and and we think it is too weird to have a 1.5 supply unit build 2 at once for 150/50. We are not entirely happy with Zerglings being a hidden 0.5 supply cost.
Guest-132: How much will the expansions cost? If you don't know yet, will they be cheaper than the original?
DustinB: We don't know. We will price them according to the value that we offer. So if they are smaller in the amount of content they deliver, they will cost less.
AVBenedetto: Zerg just doesn't seem to have the unit diversity it used to. Any plans to change this by bringing back cancelled units (Scourge, Bone Wasp, Dracolisk, Symbiote, etc)?
Guest-300: Are we going to see some kind of in-game tournament functionality similar to what was in war3 in sc2? if so, do you have any idea when?
DustinB: No, no plans on bring back those old units. We will watch Zerg in the coming months and see what happens. There are some units that are not seeing a lot of use right now (Nydus Worms for example) that I think may suprise us in the future once we get more time with the game. But we shall see. If we need to add more units we can do it.
Guest-282: Will you be implementing a way to diable the achievement popup in game? Possibly showing them at the end of the game rather than when you're in the middle of a battle.
ChrisSi: Tournament and eSports functionality will be addressed in a post launch patch in the months after release. It's a little early for us to go into details about what exactly that will include, but yes we do want to address the needs of players who want an easy way to create pick-up tournaments (Guest 300)
DustinB: I'm pretty sure I have disabled my achievement popup. Are you sure there isn't an option?
Guest-41: Are you happy with the Seeker missile, it does not seem to be used often...
Guest-359: I've seen a lot of people complain that the graphics are "outdated." What are your thoughts on this?
DustinB: Seeker missile will not get used much because it is a Tier 3 ability. It is pretty crazy when it does get used and often turns the course of an entire battle. So yes, we think it is pretty deadly.
Guest-86: if a terran ghost rushes a protoss player they have no chance, any thoughts on balancing how fast you can build a ghost academy ?
DustinB: I disagree. I have seen Protoss players defend against Terrans and beat them frequently. Our numbers indicate that the win ratio between Protoss and Terran is almost 50/50. But if what you are saying turns out to be true we can delay the Ghost, increase his cost or nerf his abilities.
ChrisSi: to guest 359 -- The SC2 engine is very scalable, which means that someone with an older system will not have all the bells and whistles that someone with a powerful computer will get. We think the game is gorgeous when viewed at max settings, but remember that our priority in building this game is to ensure that the speed and responsiveness of the gameplay matched or exceeded SC1. We think that our team has done agreat job balancing speed vs. cutting edge graphics
Guest-275: There is only Always, Selected, and Normal for Unit life bars. Will there ever be an option where Alt acts as an on/off switch for unit life bars instead of having to hold it constantly to see life bars outside of the units you've selected?
DustinB: We can certainly look into that.
Guest-347: As I hope your development team is aware, certain "tricks" have been found recently by the community. These include Void Ray "Fazing" wherin a player can manually attack different targets in rapid succession to artificially increase damage output, and a series of commands that enables (limited) infestor underground casting of Fungal Growth and Nueral Parasite. Is the dev team aware of these issues and how are they going to be addressed before launch?
DustinB: We are aware of the Void Ray fazing and we will be addressing that. I was not personally aware of underground casting of Infestor abilities. I'll go take a look.=)
Guest-77: Do you feel that going early stargate tech for protoss is a viable option? The viability of carriers/mothership mid-game seems weaker in comparison to the other tech paths.
DustinB: Protoss rushing air is often dangerous against Zerg. Until we nerfed the range on the Void Ray it was deadly against Terrans. I find that Void Rays and Phoenix can be useful against other Protoss players who build too many Immortals and of course the Void Ray can be used well against Colossus. I wouldn't go Stargate for Carrier or Mothership, I would go Stargate for Void or Pheonix.
Guest-281: What are your current thoughts on the Carrier and Mothership, neither seem to be used often and the Mothership is really just a glorified unique arbiter, is there a reason you haven't just brought back the arbiter?
DustinB: I think Vortex is more fun than Stasis. I also think the single ness of the unit is a fun addition for the Protoss. But it certainly wasn't our most creative unit to date. =( Carrier does see use, but I have certainly gotten enough feedback about him today to make me want to go watch some replays.=)
Guest-126: It's really fast & easy, especially for zerg, to max out a 200/200 army off of 3 bases, or even 2 bases. Many of the top players feel that the supply cap should be raised. What are your thoughts on this?
DustinB: We can't really raise the supply cap because of computer performance. I THINK the way to play is to max your army, spawn a ton of larva, save some cash and hit the enemy into two waves. Feels pretty Zergy and it's something only they can do.
Guest-283: What is the most important area that you feel you still need to develop moving forward, e-esports, the social aspect, refining the gameplay, etc?
Guest-130: In Beta, I am puny a little Bronze player, but it seems as I am only getting paired with "Favored" players, will this change in release, where I am more likely to play with somebody in my league?
DustinB: We have some more work we want to do on Battle.Net and of course we are always going to be working with the community on game balance. Our esports team is going to be hard at work for many years to come supporting StarCraft 2. I guess they are all a pretty big focus for different people around the studio right now.=)
Guest-89: Many top players feel that TvZ is difficult for Zerg, mostly because of Siege Tanks. The concensus is that the problem lies in their "smart-targeting" A.I. Do you have any plans for this matchup?
ChrisSi: to Guest 130: when the game gets released we're going to have a much much larger pool of players to match you up against. Beta is still a very hardcore environment, so we're confident that when the game gets out to the greater public, the matchmaker will have an easier time matching you up with players of equal skill. Keep your chin up and watch those replays! It's helpful for learning how to get better.
DustinB: Yeah, I have the same feeling. But the numbers don't support that. ZvT is almost 50/50 win/loss right now. We are studying the issue and trying to figure out if we should make a move and what that move should be. Also the Siege Tanks do not smart target. It's just the way the code works. To help with perfomance, units do not fire all at once. There is a tiny offset between different units firing their weapons. From the users perspective it is almost simultaenous, but the shots are actually 1/8-1/16th of a second apart. Since units cannot target units that are already dead and since Siege Tanks hit their targets instantly, this creates the situation you are describing, where Siege Tanks waste fewer shots.
Guest-73: In SC, you can press ALT + # or double tap a # to go to a screen. However in SC2 only double tap is possible. I am a fast player and prefer to use ALT + #. I understand ALT is being used for health bar toggle, but can we have an option for this?
DustinB: Maybe. Certainly something we can look into.
FragRaptor: Do you guys have any plans for making the Ultralisks more valid for play? Maybe like stepping over units like zerglings and hydras?
DustinB: If Ulttralisks could "Step Over" Zerglings they will be able to stand on top of the and obscure the Zerglings entirely. That's not going to happen. Colossus can do this only because of his art (so tall and spindly). We aren't convinced that the Ultralisk is terrible right now. Let's wait and see a few weeks and see what people figure out. We have seen a few games where the Ultralisk is the terror of the battlefield.
Guest-303: Will there be any changes made to the current custom map publication system? The whole popularity aspect makes it tough for good new maps to get played.
sillyup20: Since the campaign did not go through a pubic beta process, can we expect a bug-free campaign, or is it likely we may find some glitches along the way?
DustinB: We have a lot of plans for this system going forward. I still think what we currently have is way better than WarCraft 3 where EVERY game was Defense of the Ancients and other maps had almost no chance of being played. Now you will see the most popular map at the top spot but even the fiftth most popular map will be on the main screen.
Lamonte: Why isn't there a way to save games in custom matches? Like SC1
DustinB: We just didn't get it done in time. Sorry. =( It's on our todo list.
Guest-336: Will you be changing the name of your third campaign, Legacy of the Void to Legacy of the Void Ray to better capture the feeling of fighting the Protoss?
ChrisSi: We have an experienced and dedicated QA team here at Blizzard that has been hammering away at the campaign for a while now. We are committed to providing a polished experience with the single-player game. (sillyup)
Guest-298: Are old tactics such as magic boxing and unit stacking ever going to be reintroduced? Perhaps not in the same way do to improved pathing but similar tactics that incorporate the same level of skills and unit handling. I find it easy to micro units and such but doing these kinds of things always took micro one step further. –Jdaws
DustinB: We are always looking for ways to add more skill and choice to our games. I doubt however that we will be able to easily duplicate those exact tactics into StarCraft 2. It took us quite a long time to get Mutalisk stacking to where it is today (which is not exactly SC1 at all). I think we are going to have to find new tactics and not rely on the old ones.
Guest-291: Are you planning on revamping how popularity for custom games is calculated? Simply basing popularity on number of games played will prevent new maps from ever being played. Also that 30 second wait to start a game is ridiculously long. You know how impatient players are these days. Are you going to reduce that time to something like 10 seconds again?
Guest-130: What is the age restriction you are implementing to play SC2? (as in, do you have to be 13+ to make a battle.net account, or 18+)
DustinB: This area does need some work. I'm not sure right now what we are going to be doing. I still think what we have is better than WarCraft 3 where you can actually see a list of games that are popular instead of a list of maps (that are all DOTA).
Guest-300: are we going to see more 4 player maps that are 1v1 friendly, or bigger 1v1 maps in the final game? I feel that most of the maps that are in beta right now are pretty small, especially comparing them to maps that are played in the professional BW scene right now
ChrisSi: Guest 130: StarCraft II is rated T for Teen by the ESRB
DustinB: Professional BroodWar maps are for professional broodwar players.=) We are not planning on introducing those types of maps to the ladder in the near future. Ladder maps are smaller and less complicated on purpose because they have to serve a much wider community than the top 1% of players. We expect that professional players will be making their own maps and we will see more and more of those in tournament play going forward.
Guest-29: With regards to balancing, is their any race that still feels lacking or overpowered for the new macro abilities such as Mules, Chrono boost, larva inject etc.?
DustinB: I think we are pretty good on the macro. If we learn something is broken we will be happy to fix it.
Guest-359: I know everyone's all excited for launch and Blizzard is working hard to get all this cranked out the right way... But because this is a chat I'd just like to ask how are you guys holding up, and how does some sleep sound?
DustinB: Sleep would be good.=) Though honestly we are so excited to get it out I don't think we could rest much now even if we werne't working on it. In addition to being game makers we are also huge fans of this game. I stayed until 11 last night playing beta and many of the guys on the team do the same thing. So if I cost you a 4v4 win last night because I didn't block my choke fast enough, sorry about that.=)
AVBenedetto: Do you plan on revamping the SC1 and BW missions on the StarCraft 2 engine so we can enjoy them in full 3D? Or are you just going to let a dedicated mapmaker do it for you?
DustinB: That would be awesome! And a TON of work. Sorry, I don't think that's in the cards for the near future. One of you guys will have to do it.
Guest-302: Are there any plans to deal with feeding players in team games? The time limit at the start was a good starting point. There have already been a few broadcasted 2v2s were one person literally made 0 attacking units and just fed their partner the whole game (they ended up winning every time I saw them do it). I've also experienced this quite a bit with my diamond 2v2 team. Maybe a tax on resources traded? I believe as the game gets more figured out this will start to dominate the 2v2 and most lik...
Guest-334: Are there any plans to patch Brood War to make it compatible with Windows 7? Right now there is an unfixable crash you may have heard of.
DustinB: Well we do have a time limit on giving resources. You shouldn't be able to give another player resources for the first several minutes of a game.
07-15-2010 08:24 PM
Transcript for "StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Developer Chat", Thurs July 15 2010 (Part III)
Guest-393: Do you have plans to change the custom game list? I ask this because sometimes I search for a game I like, but its not that popular. Therefore its on the bottom of the list and no one joins the game.
ChrisSi: I can't speak to that issue specifically but if there is a major problem there we will address it in due time. As you know we are committed to patching even older games like SC and Diablo when necessary. At the moment a lot of attention is focused on this launch, so pelase be patient =) (Guest 334)
DustinB: Again, this is an area that we will be working on in the coming months.=)
Guest-340: Would it be plausible to see a "StarCraft HD" in the next five years? We'd all love to see the original game "digitally remastered" along the same lines as timeless movies like "Gone with the Wind", "Cassablanca" or the "Wizard of Oz". We don't enjoy them' films on ol' projector reels these days, no sir! -- We've got VCR's now! *spits*.
DustinB: That would be pretty cool. Currently we have no plans for such a project. =(
Guest-281: Recently, StarCraft Legacy wrote a really great article regarding the community's concerns with the new Battle.net and we know that Battle.net is going to evolve - but what is the reason for some of the stuff the community thinks was so basic not being included in release? What's the best way to give you guys feedback? We the hardcore, are a highly underused resource!
DustinB: Oh, we are hearing you guys, don't worry about that.=) We are going to keep working on it as fast as we can. Stuff that isn't in there is stuff we just didn't get to. Keep sending your feedback though, and we'll try to address it as fast as we can.
Guest-294: Will there be seasonal SC2 ladder resets, similar to WC3 and WoW arena?
DustinB: That's the plan. Though I don't know yet when the first season is going to end.
Guest-400: Do you plan on including good and balanced fan made maps (if made) in some of the future ladder map pools?
DustinB: Yes. =) Also, I answered this one like ten times already.=)
DustinB: To Guest-156 That's the plan. I don't know exaxtly what new sorting methods will be used in the future, but it's an area we can work on.
Guest-337: Is Terrible Terrible Damage going to be a cheat code?
DustinB: Wait and see.=)
Guest-73: What is your favourite unit and race, and who would win in a 1v1 match between you two (directed to both)?
DustinB: As the Game Director I don't have the luxury of having a favorite. I play Random unless I am testing something specific. Chris Sigaty doesn't get quite the play time I do. I would totally pwn that noob.
ChrisSi: oh I think Dustin would have an advantage over me.
Guest-156: Do you have any information for us on the custom game selection menu? Will new ways to sort through games be made available Soon^TM? The popularity system has its drawbacks.
DustinB: That's the plan. I don't know exactly what new sorting methods will be used in the future, but it's an area we can work on.
Guest-389: How exactly does the current Galaxy Editor differ from the version at launch?
DustinB: We have made some UI improvements as well as stability improvements. More importantly you will have access to all the art in the campaign.=)
Guest-298: In multiplayer games, are there any plan to implement a counter that would show the supply and resources of your allies? This is something that the community has been asking for a while. It would be extremely useful when one of your ally leave. I remember reading an interview with Dustin that said that the team thought that such a counter would be used to flame your allies but have you considered the possibility of letting players chose if they want to show the counter or not (kinda like you can...
DustinB: It's certainly something we can talk about for a future patch. I do think there is going to be flaming no matter what we do, so maybe we can find a nice spot to put this info in the UI.
Guest-70: The Force Field spell seems to be an extremely strong spell and in the recent patch, they have been buffed by decreasing the amount of Force Fields needed to trap or block a unit. It is even possible to trap Roaches in between 2 Force Fields. What is the reasoning for this change?
Disease: Will the game ship with multiple languages on one DVD or at least with an option to switch the language?
DustinB: Yeah, that buff happened because we fixed a bug where Zerglings on creep could actually "run past" a line of Zealots that were blocking a choke point. We have a new fix that will come out in our first patch that will make Force Fields work like they did before AND zerglings will still not be able to run past Zealots. In other words, we didn't do it on purpose, it just happened when we fixed something else. Sorry. =(
Guest-284: Can we set difficulty of campaign? Or is there normal mode and then after we finish it we unlock other difficulties like Hard in WC3 if I remember correctly?
DustinB: You can change your difficulty on a per mission basis. So if you start on Casual and it seems to easy you can start the next mission on Normal or Hard. You can play any difficulty at any time without having to beat the campaign.
Guest-282: Will there be a way at release to customize your key binds, or at least move the F keys to a more convenient position?
DustinB: Yes, you can do some key rebinding.
Guest-346: I want to say a BIG "thank you" to you guys and everyone at Blizzard for making these games that millions and I want to play! And for a light-hearted question; What are we more likely to see first, the third expansion to Starcraft 2, or Diablo 3? =)
ChrisSi: Disease -- you should buy the language version and region that you want to play in. The ability to switch language and which language you want to switch to is going to vary from region to region.
Guest-419: Resend: Will you be conducting more chats like this one anytime soon, as it seems that direct, public communications between the devs and the community is sparse (reading our posts on the forums/fansites doesn't count, I'm referring to a two-way dialogue)
DustinB: Thanks dude.=) As far as the race between us and D3 goes who knows? If you are a fan of our games you know how we opperate. It will be done when it's done. Not the best answer for our fans, but the right answer for the games.
ChrisSi: Guest 419 - we do conduct Twitter chats with fans from time to time. Recommend you add yourself to the official StarCraft facebook and/or twitter accounts so you can be informed when the next one happens. Thanks!
Guest-29: What is the most popular race being played in the beta?
Guest-366: With regard to the Oceanic / Asia region, coming from the Philippines I am still contemplating which version to buy (right now I have better ping to LA servers). Has there been any update regarding the traceroutes on the forums, which version would Australian / Philippine players buy to experience better multiplayer experience (read: less lag). Thanks.
DustinB: Terran. That may be because they are the default race, or because they are the most "understandable" race (they look human) or it may be because people think they are the most powerful. Not sure why.=)
Guest-82: I really miss "20 minute No Rush" titles on custom games, with this new battle.net you can't do that, is there anyway we can impliment that? Also, any news on clan chat and general chat?
DustinB: yeah, I hear you on the "no rush" games. I don't have a solve for you in the current UI. No news on Clan or General chat, but it is on the list of big important things we have to do, that is for sure.
Guest-314: There appears to be a significant input delay when using keyboard commands in custom maps that is (probably) unrelated to latency that has remained since Warcraft 3. Trying to play games on battle.net using arrow keys to move for example, is impossible. Is your team aware of this issue and are there plans to fix it?
ChrisSi: Guest 366 -- we are always trying to work with local ISPs to improve routing to Battle.net servers. I'd strongly encourage you to play in the SEA region as our goal is to build up strong regional communities of players. By putting down servers in the region, we are committing to providing the best play experience for you there.
DustinB: We are very aware. Last I heard they were working on it but it was a hard problem. I don't know if a fix is incoming or possible. We shall have to wait and see what the engineers come up with.
Guest-211: Have you watched any SC2 beta tournaments? If so, who is your favorite player?
DustinB: I have watched many. I don't know if it would be right for me to say my favorite.=) I like players who have good manners, play creatively and try new stuff a lot.
Guest-470: Dustin, when i first read about the new AI, which Sc2 would introduce, I thought you would be more inventive. I would love to recommend your AI-team some readings on planning AI... I see that you already read up on steering behavior for the zerglings (which results in poor movements by ultralists, but that's another story). (Master in AI @ university of Copenhagen, Denmark)
DustinB: Sorry if you don't like our AI. I think it's pretty challenging and does a really good job of being aggresive and keeping you on your toes. Try Insane if you have mastered Very Hard.=)
Guest-397: Is there going to be a single-player demo like there was for the original shortly before or after release?
DustinB: We are working on something, but it is still a little bit in the future to know exactly when we will have it ready.
Guest-258: Will there be a way to view replays with my friends within battle.net? Currently the only way (that I know) to view them concurrently is to send him the file, and we both click start at the same time =\. Its sort of a hassle.
DustinB: One day yes, not for launch.=( It is a good feature and we are going to try to get it as soon as we can.
Guest-364: It seems to be that in terran vs anything. terran is called the favored match up in polls and in major tournaments. even pro players changing to terran because of the imbalance. does blizzard feel there is an imbalance?
DustinB: I haven't seen numbers that prove this to me yet. I have also had players tell me that Protoss are the most imbalanced. Polls we don't really respond to, we don't know who is in them or if they are accurate. If we start to see a large number of terran players dominating the high end tournaments we will certainly do something. Currently I don't feel there is an imbalance, but as always we are open to new data.
Guest-173: Considering the limitation of 1 account per purchase of SCII, it makes it very difficult for players to play their 'off' races competitively without losing their rank for their 'best' race. If having multiple accounts is not possible because of spam, and repeatedly playing against bronze-level to feel 'pro', etc, etc, Could it be possible to implement 4 different placement match sets of 5 for each individual race? (P T Z and Random?) So we can play all of them and improve our entire SC play, sti...
Guest-194: how come the US didnt get an open beta? I cant wait 11 more days =(
DustinB: Yeah. I know exactly how you feel. I don't know what the fix is yet for this issue. We'll try to think of a good fix that makes everyone happy.
Guest-347: You mentioned, in relation to the balance of TvZ, that although you feel Siege tanks might be too powerful vs. Zerg generally, the "stats" don't back that up because the win rate is close to 50/50. Taken to the extreme, isn't it possible that, say, Baneling busts are OP vs Terran early and Siege tanks are OP vz Zerg in the mid-to-late game? Therefore Zerg would win 50% of the time on Baneling busts, and Terran would win the other 50% of games that make it to the mid-game. Obviously this is an ex...
ChrisSi: Guest 194 -- Hang in there! Sorry you didn't make it into beta but it won't be long before you can play. Hope to see you soon on Battle.net!
Guest-53: You said the campaign will be available offline and that campaign progress is kept serverside. Will users be able to earn Achievements while playing offline? Are game saves going to be saved locally or on the server?
DustinB: Yes, that is possible. But we don't just use the stats. When we are playing, we find that experienced Zerg players are doing well in both tournaments and in high end play. And our testers and balance guys are crushing with zerg. As far as ZvT is concerned we are waiting for more data. I feel like there is a problem but we haven't seen the proof yet. We need to know what to do before we make a fix. So we are going to keep watching it.
Guest-86: 1 ghost emp could possibly whipe out VERY MANY archons , and of all of their life but a puny 10 hitpoints, also with giving up psistorm do you even see archons as a useful unit , PvT anyways ? *P.S. how longs the Q+A gonna last ?*
DustinB: EMP does not do 100% damage to shields. Archons have some shields remaining when they get hit.
ChrisSi: Guest 53: If you're not connected to Battle.net you can't earn achievements. And obviously if you want to access cloud file storage to save your campaign progress you'll need to be connected online to do that as well.
Guest-363: Are there any plans to standardize the in game time with the actual game speed we play on? IE give us correct APM for the fastest setting and in game time regaurding unit build times, and other references to time that arent on the speed that is played on.
DustinB: Yeah, this is an issue we have to address. I'm not sure what fix we decided for this off the top of my head. Sorry.=(
Guest-454: What do you guys plan on doing about the exceeding number of smurf accounts currently occupying the Bronze league, I messed up my placement matches and now it seems like theres no way out. :[
DustinB: We will promote you out of Bronze if you win games. It takes 30+ games in the current version of the system. Also, I highly suggest to players in Beta-2 to NOT intentionally throw their first 5 games. I now some players who have done this and then been frustrated that they can't just win their way out quickly. The system is conservative right now (though we are talking about some changes) and it will only promote you after it is pretty sure it knows where you belong.
Guest-73: It seems that the new and improved AI heavily favours ranged units and in mid to late game, melee units become weak against them. Do you feel that this is the case and tweaking needs to be done?
DustinB: that is not feedback that I have heard. But we can certainly look at it.
Guest-283: Any plans to get group replay watching out in the near future? The community would love this and it would be great for team players. What about things like drawing across the replay screen, etc?
Guest-473: Is StarCraft 2 going to be pay to play on Latin America?. Game voices are on Latin Spanish like WoW?
DustinB: Not in the near future, but as soon as we can. That would be a ton of fun.
Guest-340: Relic's RTS 'Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor' allows you to swap out specific units in a melee game, allowing for some greater variety in a matchup. Could we see this feature in future expansions? If not the complexity of mix & match armies, perhaps simply custom unit artwork (earned through tournaments or other promotional elements)?
DustinB: It's a cool idea. If it makes sense we could do something like that. The most important thing for StarCraft is always going to be the game balance. That will help determine what we are and are not willing to do in the expansions.
Guest-303: Do you feel the ladder placement system is successful? I went 4-1 in my placement matches and was placed in silver. Also, will the magic number of placement matches still be 5 after release?
ChrisSi: Our players in Latin America still ahve the option of purchasing an unlimited play client directly from us. We do have the ADDITIONAL option (for players who want it) to buy a lower-cost box that has limited play time. You can then buy additional play time if you like. So it's up to you which way you want to go. And yes the game will be fully voiced and localized in Latin American Spanish (not Castellano).
DustinB: We have found that 5 matches is enough to place most players somewhat close to their correct league. If we want to be more precise we have to wait until almost 35 matches to know for sure where you belong (and that's too long). So we are going to keep it at 5 and then promote as necessary. The current system is a little bit conservative with promotions. We are looking at possibly making it a little bit more aggresive with promotions for launch. But that may or may not happen depending on the work involved.
Guest-199: Do we have to expect to servers to be laggy on the first day of release or are you guys REALLY ready for launch?
DustinB: I hope we are ready. We have certainly put in the work to BE ready. I THINK we are ready. OK, now you are making me nervous with this question.
Guest-397: A year or two back, I believe it was mentioned that we could mix and match tilesets (say, you could use the dirt or grass from Agria or Bel'Shir, but could also include terrain from a tileset such as Korhal or Shakuras). From what I've heard, this was not possible in the Beta. Is this one of the UI improvements you mentioned? If not, why was it removed?
Guest-167: How is the sp campaign replayability wise? Are there incentives for doing the missions/campaign again aside from collecting achievements? Maybe branching mission paths or choices in the campaign that affect how the rest of the campaign will play out?
DustinB: I don't think this feature was removed. But I haven't used the editor in some time. If it's out it may be a mistake.
Guest-446: Forgive me if this has already been addressed, but will there be a SINGLE top league? I love having multiple Bronze->Platinum, but we NEED to know who is the best. Either Diamond or a new bracket above diamond should exist as single top 100 league. Please?
DustinB: Eventually we are planning on a "Pro League" that will include the best players only.
Guest-419: Why are the patch notes always incomplete? Why not disclose all the changes up front? Also, will you host any tournaments at BlizzCon with well known commentators in the community DJing?
DustinB: Because we are making patches too quickly and we screwed up and forgot to put some stuff in. Sorry. =(
AVBenedetto: Can Void Rays lose their charge when they change targets like they did ages ago? Pretty please with spidermines on top?
ChrisSi: Guest 167: There will be some different mission branches throughout the campaign that tell the sidestories of certain characters like Tosh or Dr. Hanson. There will also be a couple opportunities there for your choices to affect the fate of certain sidestories. Between the branching mission paths and the ability to customize your army through single-player only units and tech and mercenaries, we think there's a good amount of replayability built-in to the game.
DustinB: I think Void Rays are doing pretty well in the balance of the game right now. No plans for such a change (which is a pretty big nerf).
Guest-132: You mentioned that larger/"pro" maps are for pro players and tournaments. Does that mean we won't be seeing any more maps the size of Lost Temple in the 1v1 ladder map pool?
Guest-449: Are you planning on having the servers live for midnight launches in the US?
DustinB: No, Lost Temple will be in that pool. Desert Oasis is in there too (and is pretty big). Some of the pro maps from Broodwar could almost be 3v3 maps. And they are often very technical maps with all kinds of height differences and complex layouts. They are AWESOME for pro play, but can be a little intimidating for many.
Guest-280: What are your plans for the 1st expansion in terms of campaign and how will it be different to the hyperion stuff and how missions work in SC2 WOL
ChrisSi: Guest 449: Yes, if you go and buy your box at midnight in the US, we're planning on the servers being ready for you to install and play when you bring that box home
07-15-2010 08:25 PM
Transcript for "StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Developer Chat", Thurs July 15 2010 (Part IV)
DustinB: We are going to focus Kerrigan on evolving the swarm as well as focus on Kerrigan as a "hero" unit on the map. There will be no research or mercenaries and no cash. I don't know what the mechanics will be exactly but expect a lot of infestation and evolution.
Guest-29: What is on your list of "important things to do"?
Guest-156: Is the dominion site scheduled to reach 100% on release day, or earlier?
DustinB: Look at bugs. Play beta.
Guest-547: Will there be an achievement for beating the campaign on the hardest difficulty?
ChrisSi: Guest 156: That's up to you guys =] Keep up the great work and I think the ultimate reward of that community site is going to be something that all of you will really enjoy.
Guest-217: Any plans to be able to watch tournament games live (or with a delay, or shortly after they're played) from within battle.net?
DustinB: We would love to do this, but it is probably someting for one of the expansions.
Guest-216: In late game Zerg play, it has been noted that it is incredibly easy to re-build a max supply army after a battle due to the nature of larvae and the capability to stockpile them, do you feel this advantage is fair? Given that in a max army battle, if you do not do enough damage to the Zerg's infrastructure aka destroying Hatcheries then it is an almost guaranteed loss for the Terran or Protoss opponent, who do not have the capability to restore their unit count as easily.
Guest-286: Has Starcraft 2 been influenced from the TV show Firefly at all? They are both Space Westerns and every great work pulls influence from elsewhere. If not what other works do you draw influence from besides your own? –hamshank
DustinB: Currently we feel that this advantage is not only fair but necessary for the Zerg to survive. Remember that in many cases a 200 food Zerg army cannot **bleep** an equal sized enemy army. In many cases they have to do two waves to win.
Guest-346: For the story of Starcraft 2, what happened with the UED (The terran army in Brood war) are they all gone/destroyed or will you hear about them in SC2? And what was Kerrigan/Zerg doing for all this time?
ChrisSi: Guest 286: I can tell you that there are a good number of Firefly fans here at Blizzard. But remember, SC1 came before Firefly =)
DustinB: You will have to wait and see on Kerrigan.=) The UED do not play a big part of the story Wings of Liberty but may (or may not) become more important in later games. Hmm, that wasn't much of answer. Sorry about that. Most of the story questions are going to be "wait and see." I don't want to give anything away.
Guest-521: Players have profile backgrounds that represent the race they play most. Random has a moon. This seems poor because Random requires the most skill and should be rewarded with the coolest background just like the Portraits and rewards, mastering all the races that Blizzard worked so hard on should yield better rewards. Is this subject to change?
Guest-407: Have you plan to release battlereports at launch ? I found them terrible, terrible entertaining.
DustinB: Yes. I mostly play random so I know what you mean. Down the road we can look into gettting a cooler image. It is not the highest thing on our list though at the moment.
Guest-492: A ton of players have said that Psi storm is weaker and less useful than in BW i don't personally agree but it still raises the question: Is there a possibilty Psi Storm will be made so it doesn't have to be researched?
ChrisSi: Guest 407: We think that right now the community is doing a tremendous job at posting battle reports. If we think we have something great to share by doing one ourselves we can revisit that, but no promises at this time.
DustinB: If we find Psi Storm too weak we could buff it, possibly removing the research requirement. Currently there are no plans for this. It's a pretty useful spell.
Guest-306: Are you planning any changes around Terran Air and Mech units to make their roles more defined or specialized?
DustinB: I'm not sure I understand the question. Terran mech and air are insanely specialized. In fact most players claim they are TOO specialized. Thors trash Mutas, Vikings wreck Battlecruisers, etc. I think if anything we may need to consider making terran mech a little bit more muddy and less dangerous on a counter-by-counter basis. Hellions for example are truly terrifying in many circumstances.
Guest-455: Do you guys plan to have seperate leagues for each race? I would like to try out protoss but I don't want to lose my rank.
sillyup20: Firstly, since this is a music related question, I want to say I love Level 80 ETC to Chris (release an album soon, please), and my question is, why did you choose to change Terran music during the second phase of beta?
DustinB: We have talked about it but there are no plans. If you want to try a new race, you are going to have to man up and take that hit on your rating. Think of it this way, you will be a better player over-all if you branch out.
Guest-364: is there going to be a pro league for ladder above diamond?
DustinB: Yes. We are working on it. No ETA on a release yet.
ChrisSi: Sillyup: Thanks so much for the support -- the rest of the guys on the band appreciate it as well. As for the music, we hope that you'll enjoy the full SC2 soundtrack when the full game is released.
Guest-149: Do you feel zerg unit diversity is a bit lacking or they could stand to get another unit? With 9 different units making from larva, was it a conscious decision geared towards keeping the ui consistent or do you feel zerg do not need more units until the expansion?
Guest-539: I think it's great and all that you allowed players access into beta with a pre-order, but, this is a Blizzard first! What was the reasoning in the pre-order special when you had a huge amount of opt-ins as well?
ChrisSi: Guest 539: We did eventually let in most if not all of the opt-ins eventually. As we have in the past, we typically try to provide multiple ways for players to take part in our betas (contests, etc.)
DustinB: I don't know that they need another unit. In terms of units actually used we are doing way better than Broodwar. Devourer (for example) saw very little use in most games of Broodwar. In terms of the unit count we are always trying to keep it low so the game doesn't get too complicated. It is possible that Zerg are too weak in Tier 2. We are looking at this problem, but there will not be a patch on it soon. I would encourage all of our Zerg players out there to really explore and try to figure out some strategies with the units they have.
Guest-519: I'm a huge fan of the Raven and often get 10-15 for the hunter seekers, but I've noticed that the missles only 1 shot a hand full of units... are there any plans to add an ignore armor feature or extra damage to expand the spectrum of 1 shot 1 **bleep**s with the hunter seekers? Oh and Hi Dustin
DustinB: Hunter Seekers are doing pretty well right now. We don't have any plans for a buff. Sorry dude.=(
Guest-434: Do you plan to put the lurker into the game in one of the expansions? I terribly miss lurkers, and I think a hive upgrade that allowed them to move underground would make late gameplay more versatile for zerg.
DustinB: Yeah, we all miss the luker. It is a new game and he just didn't make the cut. He could come back, but I think we will probably end up exploring new units with new strategies that work well with the current game.
Guest-454: Is there plans to implement the Team Melee game type (multiple players playing as one brood/tribe/squadron)? In the original StarCraft, Team Melee was my favorite type and i miss it. :[
DustinB: Bummer. Sorry about that. No we don't have any plans. I can take your question as feedback though and see what we can do.
Guest-337: To Dustin and Chris, what are your guys favorite Race? Sorry if this has been answered before
DustinB: As the Game Director I don't get to have a favorite race. I have to play them all and I always play Random unless I'm testing something specific.
Guest-132: Is it possible that the Dark Shrine will ever be scrapped and DTs allowed to be made from the Templar Archives like in BW? That thing takes forever to build!
DustinB: Dark Templars are a really awesome unit. We think it's important for other players to be able to scout and see that Dark Templars are a possibility. The Templar Archive just doesn't give enough information about what the other player may be thinking of doing. I doubt we will cut the Dark Shrine anytime soon. If we want to buff DTs we can make the shrine cheaper and/or faster to build.
Guest-397: Are all of the units from the original game (including special ones such as the Overmind, Cerebrates, Edmund Duke, Fenix) going to be present in the Galaxy editor, or just units that appear in WoL campaign?
Guest-172: How much playtime can we expect to get from the campaign and other single player challenges?
DustinB: Just unit that appear in the Wings of Liberty campaign.
Guest-492: I miss my protoss shield battery. Will I ever see it again? –Jdaws
DustinB: I doubt it. With Protoss shields regenerating more quickly in SC2 it just wasn't that necessary a unit. We tried it several times and never found much use for it.
Guest-541: Hey Blizzard, pleasure to talk you. Big fan. ;P Will it be possible to make multiple characters to play as online on a single Battle.net account? Also, will Wings of Liberty investigate the lore/backstory around Spectres, or will we have to wait for the novel "Starcraft: Ghost: Spectres"?
ChrisSi: Guest 172: That's going to depend on how much of the conversations/cutscenes you skip, whether you try to play through all the side missions, and of course, how good of a player you are! =) But we think it'll take most people at least 20 if not 30 or more hours to beat the game and try all the challenges.
Guest-463: I noticed goliaths, firebats, and medics are in the campaign. Any chance we'll see vultures too?
DustinB: As far as specters go, wait and see (sorry I don't want to give any spoilers away). There is no way right now to play with multiple characters from a single purchase. It's something we are looking at for the future.
sillyup20: How do you feel about Marauders balance-wise? Tons of people have been complaining that they do terrible, terrible damage, and some feel as though they are "overpowered."
ChrisSi: Guest 463: yes you will see vultures as well as some other old favorite units like Wraiths and science vessels. And some brand new units like the diamondback and the predator cat. There's a ton of single-player only units and technologies in the campaign.
DustinB: Marauders are a strong unit. Like many strong units, people complain (especially people who lose to them). We think they are pretty fun. They hit hard, are vulnerable to air and can be overcome by Zerglings or Zealots. The fact that they are so vulnerable to air is one of the core weaknesses that we like about the unit since it brings other units into the game to counter them.
Guest-483: At this point in time, how happy are you with the zerg race? There is apparently a very big difference in point of view from the Asian servers and the north American servers that zerg needs is too strong or weak. How do you guys feel about there being no tier 1 anti air units? As well how do you feel about infested terrans being a very unuseful spell in high level play? What about how ultralisks compare to usefulness to starcraft1? Many people feel the ultralisk is not very useful in most matchs...
Guest-200: How many battle.net users are there in the beta and how does this number compare to your estimates for release?
ChrisSi: Guest 200: Over the course of the beta we've had hundreds of thousands of players from around the world try the SC2 beta. We hope to see even more than that playing when the game releases.
Guest-499: In the single player campaign, are you only able to play as Terrain? Or will you be able to play as all three like the previous games?
DustinB: Queen is a Tier 1 AA unit. You may want more than 1. We are OK if Infested Terrans are not used in high level play. I expect high level players will get a lot of use out of Fungal Growth and Neural Parasite. Not EVERY ability needs to be used at every skill level. We are going to "wait and see" on the Ultralisk. We have seen a few games where they are insanely good.
Guest-559: Do you have any plans to possibly buff or modify the Archon? I know people are still sad to see there's no Dark or Twilight Archon in the game. It seems a waste for such an amazing unit to be rarely used and left as something made only when HT's are out of energy.
DustinB: The Archon is not the Archon of old. There are no plans to buff him. Ultimately he steps on both the Phoenix and the Colossus in terms of combat role and those units are more interesting because they have weaknesses. StarCraft 2 is a new game, with new balance needs. So some of the old favorites have been (by necessity) cut or modified.
Guest-521: Marines are overpowered, a marine went to my base in the early game for harass and teching to void rays took too long for me, have you considered nerfing the marine? Or at least let it come to my base later?
ChrisSi: Guest 499: There will be a protoss side campaign where you get to play a few missions as protoss. But the majority of the campaign's 29 missions will focus on the Terran. We'll be mixing up the gameplay by throwing some fun mission types at you. One of the more interesting mission types plays out like an Old West train robbery, while another one is similar to a zombie movie where infested Terrans attack your base at night, and in the day time (yes there's a day night cycle in this mission) you ahve to go out into the map and burn down their hideouts.
DustinB: I'll work on this. How late do you want the marine to show up?
Guest-300: I'm interested to know more about the challenge maps. what exactly will players be learning through these maps?
DustinB: Hotkeys, resourcing, counters, micro with spell casters are some of the thing you will get a taste of in challenges.=)
Aaron-GS: That’s all the time we have folks!
pureWasted: The Thor's Strike Cannons was a marginally useful ability before it required a research... and didn't work on Ultralisks. Are you guys just holding on to it for "Throw It In!"'s sake?
ChrisSi: Thanks so much everyone for coming and for your support.
DustinB: I don't expect it to see a lot of use at high levels of play. Newer users will probably get some use out of it. And it sure is pretty. We do allow ourselves a few (very few) of these types of abilities in the game. Stuff that is there just for fun. I think this is probably one of those abilities.
ChrisSi: Keep an eye on the StarCraft II site for news about midnight openings. We really appreciate all your support and look forward to playing with all of you on Battle.net! Thanks!
Aaron-GS: Thanks for joining us this evening, and a big thank you to Chris, Dustin and Blizzard Entertainment for being here tonight!
Aaron-GS: If you joined us late or didn’t see your question answered, make sure to check out the transcript of the chat. We’ll be posting it in the Gaming, Gadgets & eReaders board sometime within the next 24 hours.
Aaron-GS: Haven’t reserved your copy of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty yet? You can do so here: http://bbyurl.us/phv There’s even a list of Best Buy® stores that plan to be open at midnight on July 26 for the release of the game!