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|The official logo for the series|
July 27, 2010
StarCraft II is a sequel to the real-time strategy game StarCraft, announced on May 19, 2007, at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, South Korea. It was set to be released as a trilogy.
Since November 14, 2017, StarCraft II became free to play with multiplayer and the Wings of Liberty campaign being free, and all Co-op Commanders free until level 5 (except the default ones). Internet access is not required to play the game but it is required for installation.StarCraft II is available through digital distribution.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty sold 1.5 million copies in its first two days and 3 million copies in its first month. It was the best-selling game of July 2010 and sold more than 1 million in under 24 hours of availability.
Blizzard intends to continue support StarCraft II years after release, in a similar manner to the StarCraft patches, which have been updated more than ten years after the release of the original StarCraft, including the recent release of StarCraft: Remastered.
As of 2011, there are no plans to port StarCraft II to any console platform.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Storyline
- 3 Gameplay
- 3.1 Featured in all game modes
- 3.2 Campaign
- 3.3 Co-op
- 3.4 Versus
- 3.5 Customs
- 3.6 Collections
- 3.7 Battle.net and Metagame Functionality
- 4 Media
- 5 Technologies
- 6 Development
- 7 Regional Differences
- 8 Trailers, Demonstrations & Other Videos
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
Overview[edit | edit source]
The game is split into three separate products:
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the terran campaign
- StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the zerg campaign
- StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, the protoss campaign
Blizzard chose this route due to the challenges they faced when creating the campaigns. Through a trilogy, they can create more content per campaign: such as movies, sets, props, characters, missions (including Easter egg missions) and so forth. Each character has their own arcs, missions and dialog. The story has been designed so that no previous knowledge of StarCraft is required to enjoy it.
In-universe the campaigns occur in sequence, each campaign beginning immediately after its predecessor. Each campaign has 26-30 missions in total (including branching missions) and a set ending, rather than a cliff-hanger.
All three races were completely developed for the multiplayer skirmish mode.
Expansions[edit | edit source]
Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void are considered to be expansion sets and are priced as such. Rob Pardo later described them as expansions from a multiplayer standpoint (much like Brood War) but sequels from a campaign standpoint. As of the announcement of the release date of Heart of the Swarm, the cost of the first expansion was $40 USD for the standard edition, and $55 USD for the deluxe edition.
Each upgrade and expand multiplayer content in addition to containing a campaign, such as the possibility of new units, abilities and structures. New units available in the expansions can only be accessed if a player buys the expansion. Each product has upgraded the multiplayer, "that's the whole point of the expansion or the second part". Each race has been enhanced in some way.
Mission Packs[edit | edit source]
It was stated that StarCraft II would continue to receive downloadable campaign content post-Legacy of the Void in the form of "mission packs". The first of these, Nova Covert Ops, is a series of 9 missions released over a trio of installments. The first three missions were released on March 29, 2016, and the second three on August 2nd, 2016.
After the release of the final part of the mission pack, fan reaction will be gauged to determine whether more mission packs will be released, or whether Blizzard should work on a new RTS game.
At gamescom 2016, Blizzard stated that they have no plans for additional mission packs moving into 2017. At BlizzCon 2016, they announced that they are not working on any more mission packs. The reason for the shift was that there were observable spikes in Co-op Missions and Versus in terms of player engagement, hence the shift to cultivating these modes. Blizzard is not currently working on any new campaigns as of BlizzCon 2017.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
Story and Lore[edit | edit source]
- "Make no mistake. War is coming. With all its glory, and all its horror."
The trilogy takes place four years after StarCraft: Brood War. The storyline was written by Chris Metzen and Andy Chambers, concurrently with The Dark Templar Saga which was written by Christie Golden.
Each of the three campaigns – terran (Wings of Liberty, zerg (Heart of the Swarm) and protoss (Legacy of the Void) – has been released as separate products. The trilogy has an overall arc of escalation, beginning small with Wings of Liberty (rebellion against the Dominion), escalating to Heart of the Swarm (where Kerrigan commands the fate of an entire race) and culminating in Legacy of the Void, in the final battle of the Protoss against Amon.
StarCraft II takes place both on new worlds and on worlds that appeared in the original game. Char is back as is Mar Sara. One of the new worlds is Bel'Shir, a jungle-covered protoss-colonized moon that was a religious retreat until it was attacked by the zerg; it now houses many ruined temples. Other new worlds include Redstone III and Monlyth.
Precursor Events[edit | edit source]
- Main article: StarCraft II introduction
- The biggest terran faction in StarCraft II is the "evil empire" of the Terran Dominion. The Kel-Morian Combine and Umojan Protectorate are currently independent from the Dominion, which is trying to consolidate its power. However, Raynor's Raiders are the main playable faction, and Jim Raynor is referenced as the central character of the terran campaign.
- The zerg, under the command of the QUeen of Blades, have pulled back to Char and been quiet for four years. No one knew what Kerrigan is planning as her forces kill all enemy scouting parties. Kerrigan herself says the zerg have evolved and thrived during this period, and are becoming "much, much more, for the final metamorphosis has only just begun."
- Raynor's Raiders have been outlawed by the Terran Dominion. Arcturus Mengsk has continually hounded them, but refused to assassinate Raynor as that could make him a martyr.
- The United Earth Directorate forces were destroyed by Kerrigan's zerg (though a few surviving companies are still around somewhere in the Sector).
Mythology[edit | edit source]
There are many connections between the StarCraft: Ghost franchise and StarCraft II. For instance, Gabriel Tosh, a character from StarCraft: Ghost Academy, appears on the Hyperion in Wings of Liberty and serves as a connection between the two storylines. The StarCraft: Ghost storyline, especially parts revolving around the Terran Dominion, acted as a building block for StarCraft II.
Terran Campaign: Wings of Liberty[edit | edit source]
- Main article: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
- Zeratul: "I bring tidings of doom. The xel'naga return, the cycle nears its end, the artifacts are the key."
- Jim Raynor: "The key... the key to what?"
- Zeratul: "To the end of all things."
- - Zeratul delivers a warning to Jim Raynorsrc
Zerg Campaign: Heart of the Swarm[edit | edit source]
- Main article: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Protoss Campaign: Legacy of the Void[edit | edit source]
- Main article: StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
Mission Packs: Nova Covert Ops[edit | edit source]
- Main article: StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops
The StarCraft campaign continues in Nova Covert Ops, released in three parts. It features Nova Terra as the protagonist, in her fight against the separatist group of the Defenders of Man. It takes place years after Legacy of the Void.
Other Races[edit | edit source]
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
StarCraft II multiplayer gameplay features the original three gameplaying races and no new races.
StarCraft II retains some units from the original game, although some of these units have been given new abilities. Due to story events from the previous game, some units have been phased out or replaced. For example, the conquest of the protoss homeworld of Aiur has prevented the creation of more dragoons – the transplanted forms of protoss warriors in exoskeletons – resulting in the remaining dragoons to be redesigned with different weaponry and a shield that absorbs heavy damage and renamed to "immortals".
There are six levels of AI script difficulty: very easy, easy, medium, hard, very hard and insane.
The insane AI mode is the only one which "cheats".
Featured in all game modes[edit | edit source]
- Main article: List of StarCraft II units
Blizzard discussed the possibility of a fourth race early on in the game's development. However, the development team felt that had a finite amount of ideas and wanted to make sure that they focused on the best ideas for the existing three playable races rather than diluting those ideas across four races. In August 2008, Frank Pearce stated that adding a fourth fully playable race would likely be discussed if Blizzard decided to make an expansion for the game, three months before the expansions were announced.
Some units have animations such as air banking, starting and stopping.
Achievements[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Achievements
Campaign[edit | edit source]
StarCraft II features fewer, more epic movies compared to the original. In addition, there are several in-game cutscenes of higher quality than the original games' pre-rendered movies. The number of in-game cinematics exceeds that of pre-rendered cinematics. This is due to the need for fine-tuning cinematics and that pre-rendered cinematics must be planned early on in the development process.
Structure and Development[edit | edit source]
Blizzard considers the old technique of using the campaign to teach new gamers how to play multiplayer games online to be something that doesn't work. Instead, Blizzard uses tutorials, challenges, and improved score and replay screens to teach new gamers how to do so, giving them the freedom to add many new units and upgrades to the campaigns.
The campaign teaches the players some gameplay skills, often without them realizing it as they're being immersed in the story.
The campaigns is a tree-shaped arrangement, enabling players to choose different passages, level-ups and bonuses. Each campaign has a distinct beginning and end, but the center portion vary considerably when played by different people. Each person might try a different set of subquests, and finish them in different ways. Usually the player can go back and play "missed" missions; only in rare instances a choice prevents a player from playing another mission. Decisions made in one campaign doesn't have effect on the campaign in the next expansion.
Players can get closer to the main characters in interactive sets.
StarCraft II didn't feature a co-operative campaign mode before the release of Legacy of The Void. However, Blizzard hasn't excluded the possibility and may install such a function in a future patch or expansion pack.
Heroes and NPC units[edit | edit source]
In Wings of Liberty heroes does not often appears in campaigns, and has a little impact on gameplay. Their role was mostly restricted to "story space". However, in Heart of the Swarm, Kerrigan was prominently featured in the whole campaign and played a crucial role in the gameplay. This was intended further differentiate the zerg part of the campaign. Heroes have unique appearances, including weapons and animations. Heroes have special hotkeys to select them.
More generic mercenaries are available in some campaigns.
Some units that were "cut" during StarCraft II's development appeared in the single-player campaign as well. Units that have been completely cut, however, did not appear in the campaign or map editor.
Co-op[edit | edit source]
Commanders[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Co-op Missions
Missions[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Co-op Missions
Mutations[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Mutators
Versus[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Versus
StarCraft II is also designed to focus more heavily on the p multiplayer aspect, when compared to the original StarCraft. The changes include overall improvement in Battle.net, a new competitive "ladder" system for ranked games, and new automated matchmaking mechanics – designed to "match-up" players of equal skill levels.
Resource sharing between allies is also allowed after 2 minutes.
The game is currently set to have eight players. The number of players in custom games is expected to be at least 8, and Blizzard is "shooting" for 12 or more. There are sixteen slots, up to eight of which can be filled by players, the rest by observers. Up to 12 players can play in custom games. 1v1 is considered to be the most competitive multiplayer dynamic.
The supply cap is 200.
As each installment of the trilogy is released, multiplayer, for all intents and purposes, has been updated in a manner similar to the relationship between StarCraft and its expansion – both can be played, but the latter features more content.
Players can communicate with a minimap ping/telestrator.
Players in the same team can talk with voice chat.
Players can each pause the game three times in a skirmish.
Gameplay Differences from StarCraft[edit | edit source]
- The script-driven AI, programmed by Bob Fitch, has been improved; it scoutsmore and make decisions accordingly. It isn't able to see everything its opponent player has, except in insane mode. The AI can even surrender, saying GG when it does so.
- The damage system has been significantly altered. Units now do base damage with bonuses against certain unit classes.
- Certain zerg units can not only burrow but also move underground allowing these units to move right past enemies and possibly into their bases more easily.
- When a player's main buildings are destroyed, they are eventually revealed.
- Given time, Blizzard would like to make various upgrades be seen visually on the upgraded units, similar to marines' shields.
- Units are be able to pass through shallow water.
- Destructible rocks has viewable hit points and can be destroyed by any attacking unit.
- Xel'naga towers are neutral structures or doodads which can be temporarily captured by units. This expands that player's viewing area.
- Customizable decals can be added to terran structures and units, showing various faction logos.
- Multiple animations exist for units that are idle.
- Players are be able to choose their color before a custom match starts.
- In some allied games, the allies share a choke point.
Line of Sight Rules[edit | edit source]
- Maps start out explored (but hidden due to the fog of war) rather than completely blacked out as in StarCraft I.
- Terrain combat bonuses have been removed. However, terrain is still important in a battle. For instance, units that attack from a ledge cannot be targeted by the units being attacked.
- Units at the base of a ramp cannot be able to target opponents beyond the top of the ramp, but can see brief flashes of attacking units. Units that reach halfway up the ramp has unrestricted vision above the ramp.
- "Line of sight blockers" enable units to ambush each other, resembling bushes, smoke (emitted from vents on space platforms) and tall grass. Air units can easily see through the blockers.
Control Scheme[edit | edit source]
- F-key functionality for screen-switching is in StarCraft II, accessed by pressing F4 through F8.
- When a ghost paints a target area for a nuclear missile, a large visible nuclear symbol appears to the player and his allies. The small red dot is still all that is seen by other players.
- A player can select 255 units.
- Up to 200 units can be held within a numbered control group but they form into "subgroups" of 24 or 36, each with a little number beside their icons.
- The selection UI displays how many units are in the group.
- Control group tabs displays what units are bound to each group number.
- Subgroups allow the player to scroll through different type of units in their current selection with the Tab key. If a group of multiple unit types are selected, the player still has access to their abilities by tabbing through the subgroups.
- Some spellcasting units uses "smartcasting"; when multiple units are given the same spell order, only one of them complies, preventing a serious waste of spellcaster energy.
- A player can select multiple buildings.
- Multiple selected combat buildings can "focus fire" on enemy units.
- They can be put into selection groups. The player pushes a button to create each individual unit from the group of structures. This applies even to larvae.
- Each structure shows how many units they are creating or (in the case of zerg hatcheries), how many larvae are available. Units are produced at the structure with the shortest queue.
- A player can set a rally point for a "town hall" to a mineral or vespene source and workers then mines the resource automatically when built and splits up over multiple mineral patches. Units moves to the rally point. Units exit a building closest to the rally point (rather than at one specific point).
- Units can be rallied to bunkers and transports and enters them if there is available room for them.
- Units can be rallied to follow other units.
- Idle worker units can be quickly selected with F1, the idle worker button.
- Player units "won't line up like ants" when given a move command. Units do not bunch up unless given a manual attack command against a specific enemy unit. If so, they spreads apart when the enemy unit dies or they become idle. Units won't pass through each other. However, idle units moves out of the way of moving units. (Active, directly controlled forces would rarely display this behavior.)
- Holding the Alt button shows unit and building hit points overhead. The player can change the option on the menu for this: normal (only show when holding Alt), selected (selected units only) or always (show all unit bars).
- SCVs can autocast their Repair ability. Carriers can auto-build their interceptors. The new medivac dropships can autocast Heal just as medics could in StarCraft: Brood War. Changelings autocast their shapeshifting ability.
- Spellcasting and burrowing can be set into waypoints.
- Allies are able to see each others' resources. When an allied player leaves, the remaining ally gets the rest of their resources and units.
- Workers can queue up building orders with the shift key, but they needs to have the resources for all the buildings to be constructed. If they don't have enough, they won't pause until there's enough resources and then start building again.
- Control groups are shown as "panels" above the minimap (for units) and portrait (for buildings) in the UI.
Macromanagement and Resource Mechanics[edit | edit source]
Resource clusters generally has two vespene gas geysers.
High Yield Resources[edit | edit source]
Gold-colored "high yield mineral fields" have been added to the game. These minerals are worth more per "chunk" transported by a worker unit. Expansion sites containing gold minerals can be worth fighting over, creating a new strategy around which expansion sites to claim. They provide 7 minerals per trip.
Customs[edit | edit source]
Lobby[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Lobby
Melee[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Melee
Arcade[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Arcade
Collections[edit | edit source]
Skins[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Skins
Announcers[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Announcers
Emoticons[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Emoticons
Augments[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Augments
Replays[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Replay
Battle.net and Metagame Functionality[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Battle.net 2.0
Blizzard Entertainment released a new version of battle.net with StarCraft II.
Frank Pearce said they wouldn't be able to implement all plans by the time StarCraft II launches, but they can add more features to battle.net "as we go".
Internet access is not be required to play the game but is required for installation. Blizzard expects requiring internet access for some features to not be a problem, since computers come standard with internet connections now (unlike when StarCraft came out).
Players of StarCraft II and Diablo III share "gamer achievements", adding up to a Blizzard Level, in a similar manner to the system in World of Warcraft. While achievements can be accessed in the single-player game, this is only possible if the gamer is connected to battle.net. Players does not require internet access to play single-player games, but they are encouraged to do so.
The game did not launch with the ability to display replays to multiple users.
Custom games allow "handicaps" for different players. This is set before the match.
Replay[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Replay
Replays are available in StarCraft II as well, for both singleplayer and multiplayer games.
Multiplayer games include menus, leaderboards and overlays displaying statistics. StarCraft II features seven observer modes:
- None (no menus)
- Resources (gathered resources and supply count)
- Spending (on economy, tech and units)
- Unit (number of units)
- Production (units and buildings being created)
- Army (resources spent on the army)
These are available in "real time".
In Observer Mode, a viewer can watch in the "old style" or in a newer "first person view" in which they see the camera view, selections and commands issued from the player's viewpoint. An observer won't be able to see the actual mouse clicks, however.
At the end of the game, build orders, an army graph showing the size of the army over time and a resource graph showing income over time can be displayed.
Teaching the Game[edit | edit source]
Blizzard intends to train new players for the multiplayer game, eventually transforming casual gamers into hardcore gamers.
The campaign does not act as a tutorial for teaching game mechanics. Instead, the game includes pre-recorded tutorials which players can watch, as well as "challenges", small missions which train players in specific tasks suited for multi-players games such as efficient resource gathering. A challenge would last 5-10 minutes and the player would get a score. Challenges cover topics important to multiplayer, such as resourcing, hotkeys and counters. In addition, players receives help on why they won or lost a game.
There are tutorials for protoss and zerg which players can view before playing them on battle.net.
Blizzard expected players who start on Battle.net to play cooperatively vs the AI, then move into team play before finally graduating to 1 vs 1. Blizzard considers team play less hectic, as the teammates can support each other. Achievements are used to direct players along this path. Blizzard expects players to play 30-60 hours of the game before they begin playing 1 vs 1.
By 2012 Blizzard changed its training techniques. As of patch 2.0.4 StarCraft II comes with a training mode. The training mode shows four windows going left to right—Training, Versus A.I., Unranked, and Ranked.
Each race has three training missions. For each there are three stages. The player is given simple goals against an AI opponent. Stage 1 goes at normal speed and gives ground units. Stage 2 gives more advanced ground units and increases the game speed to fast. At stage 3, all units are available and the speed is set to faster.
The player can then play against the AI either singly or in groups. A matchmaking vs AI system has been introduced, where players matches against an AI level that matches their skills. This is called the AI Challenge Mode. This is determined by three placement matches.
Next is Unranked Play, which do not affect a player's ladder ranking. Matchmaking is still be used to pair off players. The game uses the ranked ladder rating if the player already has one, but it begins to diverge at this point.
Finally there is the traditional Ranked Play. This gives access to the ladder and leagues.
Leagues[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Leagues
Leagues are part of the tool system making multiplayer StarCraft II available for all skill levels, along with the automated matchmaking system. There are copper, bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond leagues.
There is also a "safer" Practice League, which would involve players of lower skill levels playing on maps designed to prevent rushing at "normal" rather than a faster game speed. Blizzard intends to take steps to prevent "smurfing", when higher-skilled players participate in battle.net games they shouldn't be and disrupt other players.
Media[edit | edit source]
- Main article: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack
The trilogy's lore lore is supported by several novels authorized by Blizzard Entertainment. The Dark Templar Saga serves as a prologue to StarCraft II, I, Mengsk is a tie-in to StarCraft II and the StarCraft: Ghost novel Spectres also served as a tie-in.
StarCraft: Ghost in StarCraft II[edit | edit source]
Template:Covert Missions Nova and Gabriel Tosh, the latter introduced in the Ghost Academy graphic novel series, feature in a subset of missions centered around spectres. Tosh hires Jim Raynor to collect jorium and terrazine to assist in the production of spectres, and the player may ultimately either side with Tosh and break Tosh's fellow spectres out of New Folsom Prison, or side with Nova to kill Tosh and destroy his spectre production facilities. The player receives the ability to use either spectres or ghosts depending on who they side with.
Technologies[edit | edit source]
StarCraft II supports the DirectX 9 (Pixel Shader 2.0) software. It is fully compatible with DirectX 10 as well, which provides access to enhanced graphical effects. The game is also compatible with DirectX 11, but it don't support features specific to it. The Mac client utilizes OpenGL, instead. The game also features the Havok physics engine, allowing realistic interaction with the environment, such as "debris roll(ing) down a ramp".
The game supports a variety of video cards; old cards like ATI Radeon 9800/NVIDIA GeForce FX to ATI Radeon HD 4800s and NVIDIA GeForce G200s are also supported.
StarCraft II supports screen resolutions from 5:4 to 16:9. Wider screens has a slightly larger viewable range. The game supports wide screens but not multiple monitors. The minimum resolution is 1024 x 768 x 32 bits. StarCraft II supports a windowed mode.
Game unit models feature about 2000 polygons.
Gore can be disabled, but doing so requires restarting the game.
StarCraft II is written in 32-bit code but supports 64-bit systems. It has multi-core capability.
The game supports lighting effects, including a light/dark cycle used in some missions.
Galaxy Map Editor[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Galaxy Map Editor
The game comes with a map editor. The StarCraft II Map Editor improves upon the World Editor from Warcraft III in every way.
Startools[edit | edit source]
Development[edit | edit source]
|“||Sequels are always difficult because you gotta figure out what do you want to add to the game versus you taking anything away.||„|
|~ Rob Pardo|
Conception[edit | edit source]
|“||I can't remember how many years ago it was that we started StarCraft 2. Ten years? Good god.||„|
|~ Chris Metzen (comment made in 2015)|
Development on the game began shortly after Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne in July 2003. The game entered full production c. 2004. The development was ramped up shortly after the production of World of Warcraft which was when Blizzard Entertainment hired Dustin Browder: March 14th, 2005 to the position of senior designer. He later became the lead designer. The conception was for a re-imagining of the original game, having more units but staying true to its spirit.
Blizzard designed the races around "cool units," rather than having specific plans for the races. The developers knew they had to create new units and buildings, as well as provide new gameplay approaches for each race, but also stay true to the setting's core mechanics. The game was designed specifically around competitive, skill-based e-sports.
Subsequent Development[edit | edit source]
When development on the game began, artwork from the original StarCraft was looked at. However, very little source art from the original was preserved. The artists were given free reign to iterate on the original designs.
StarCraft II was featured at E3 2007, July 11th 2007. Only a demo was viewable, not a playable version. StarCraft II was featured at BlizzCon 2007, August 3rd to 4th, 2007. Terrans and Protoss were playable. The same two races were playable at GenCon Indy. The game was available at the 2007 Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, August 22nd to 26th 2007.
The game was still in internal alpha/pre-alpha in August, 2008. Two weeks before BlizzCon 2008, the entire company played StarCraft II, an important milestone. The exposition match played at BlizzCon 2008 was referred to as an "alpha" version but also a "pre-alpha" version and in Battle Report II it was referred to as an alpha version.
Approaching Beta[edit | edit source]
- Main article: StarCraft II beta
In February 2009 Blizzard COO Chris Sams said the beta was "months away". That same month Dustin Browder addressed criticisms that the beta was taking too long to announce, saying they Blizzard still needed to do work on the campaign and on battle.net, and that the beta would be announced when they had an idea what the release date would be. He also believed the beta would be announced in 2009. In August 2009 Blizzard announced that StarCraft II would not be released in 2009, and would instead be released in the first half of 2010.
As of August 2011 the "Starter Edition" became available. This gives access to the first three missions of Wings of Liberty plus either The Evacuation or Smash and Grab (player's choice), the first two challenges: Tactical Command and Template:Link, access to terrans in Single-Player vs AI and Custom Games in the following maps: Discord IV, High Orbit, The Shattered Temple, Xel'Naga Caverns and the custom map StarJeweled, subject to change over time. Achievements and campaign progress are saved in case the player upgrades to the full version of Wings of Liberty or any other chapter.
Free to Play Model[edit | edit source]
StarCraft II adopted a free to play model in November, 2017. It was anticipated that players new to the game would start with the campaign, then transition to Co-op Missions, then transition to Versus (under the premise that each transition would give the player a rise in difficulty). Analysis by Blizzard showed that this wasn't the case though, and there was no overall pattern of player preference as far as transitions went.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
|“||StarCraft 2 was a much more robust narrative than anything we had tried before. And so when you ask what had changed — everything. Everything. We wanted to just build the biggest, craziest space opera we could. That’s what we tried to do.||„|
|~ Chris Metzen|
The generalities of the overall story were present before the decision was made to extend it over a trilogy. The trilogy's arc was designed by Chris Metzen, James Waugh, and Jason Huck. The larger points were agreed on and were given to the design team.
One of the aspirations was the game was to do something different from StarCraft I, namely the briefing screen format. Metzen pushed for the game to be a "living" one. That the storyline was split over three games was a result of the sprawling narrative that was envisioned.
Developers[edit | edit source]
The team devoted to StarCraft II consisted of only about 40 developers in 2008, including twelve people who worked on the original StarCraft. As of 2008, the team consisted of four or five managers, 12-14 programmers, 8-10 artists and the rest consist of designers. It has its own internal leadership structure. A "couple" of ex-progamers are part of the team, working on balance issues such as mutalisk micromanagement and creating strategies against each other. By June 2009 the team had expanded to about 50 members and by August it had expanded to 60 members.
As of September 2009 StarCraft II has 58 unique voice actors. Some play more than one role.
Patches[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Patches
Regional Differences[edit | edit source]
As of July 18, 2011, six regions were merged into three: North and Latin America, Taiwan and Korea, and Russia and Europe.
StarCraft II has both download and subscription models in Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Players can either download the entire version of the game, or pay a reduced price (about half), which offers gameplay for 60 days. Players could then pay another fee for more gameplay.
South Korean gamers are be able to play three versions of the game. The full game can be purchased for 69,000 won, but a monthly and daily pass version of the game are available (the game would be unlocked with purchased passes). South Korean players who own a World of Warcraft account can play StarCraft II for free without purchasing passes. Players can play at PC baangs for a low price.
Trailers, Demonstrations & Other Videos[edit | edit source]
Official Videos[edit | edit source]
The official videos featured Blizzard Entertainment employees making official announcements. Most are stored on the official website for StarCraft II, established and maintained by Blizzard Entertainment.
WWI 2007 Videos[edit | edit source]
- First artwork trailer, showing a large number of scanned concept art drawings/paintings for StarCraft II and another protoss/terran battle on a different map than the first official gameplay demo video.
- First cinematic trailer, introducing Tychus Findlay and showing in detail the involved, robotic process of installing Tychus Findlay's marine armor.
- First official gameplay demo, giving a tour by means of a video recorded from an apparently mission-like game from the protoss view point that demonstrates and describes the protoss warp gate ability, updated zealot, the new immortal, the new terran reaper, the (now renamed) phase prism, the stalker, the new zerg nydus worm and classic zerglings, the ability to combine phase prisms and warp gate ability to create a significant force anywhere on the map, massive new colossus units, the ability for classic zerglings to mutate into new banelings, the classic mutalisks, new Phoenix, classic terran battlecruiser, new (now renamed) warp ray, and the "ultimate" unit of StarCraft II: the mothership. It finished with a terran/protoss brawl which ended with three ghosts each launching a nuke that wiped out the entirety of the protoss and terran forces involved in the brawl (with the exception of the ghosts) and then zerglings killed the ghosts and forming up the letters 'GG' as they mutated into banelings.
BlizzCon 2007 Videos[edit | edit source]
- Terran Gameplay Trailer: Shown at BlizzCon 2007, this video demonstrated terran units such as the Banshee, ghost and Thor.
- Terran Campaign Trailer: Also shown at BlizzCon, this video demonstrated some of the mechanics behind the new terran campaign, as well as discussions between Jim Raynor and other characters.
- Art Video: A discussion featuring the artwork of StarCraft II.
- Lore Video: Chris Metzen and Andy Chambers discussed the lore of the StarCraft universe.
March 2008 Videos[edit | edit source]
Blizzard Entertainment held a press event in March 2008 to showcase the zerg.
- Zerg Reveal Trailer: At the event, Blizzard Entertainment showed a video featuring the zerg including a voice over.
WWI 2008[edit | edit source]
BlizzCon 2008[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
According to a poll conducted by Blizzard, StarCraft II players' primary interest in the game can be broken down as follows (as of January 2017):
References[edit | edit source]
- Onyett, Charles. 2007-05-18. IGN: Blizzard's Worldwide Invitational Begins IGN.com, Retrieved 2007-05-19.
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- 2015-12-01, Pre-Purchase Nova Covert Ops™ Today!. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-12-08
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- Deep.Thought. 2009-08-18. StarCraft II Single Player Fact Sheet. StarCraft Wire. Accessed 2009-09-07.
- 2008-11-09. StarCraft II Art Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed on 2008-12-09
- Yup, there will be several new tilesets in StarCraft II, including the Shattered City one mentioned in the post above. These aren't quite ready to be revealed yet, but are definitely worth the wait. Karune. 2008-09-26. Karune: new tilesets? Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-09-26.
- 2008-29-08. Pearce: Fourth StarCraft II race may be added by expansion. Videogaming 247. Accessed on 2008-30-08
- CoTweet. 2010-02-02. The #StarCraft2 programming team has been busy working on some new unit movement (air banking/start/stop) animations. #SCUpdate. Twitter (StarCraft). Accessed 2010-02-02.
- Dustin Browder, Dave Remo. 2009-10-26. The Design of StarCraft II (page 1). Gamasutra. Accessed 2009-10-26.
- Frank Pearce, Bob Colayco, Billy Berghammer. 2008-09-08. Crafting a Sequel for Everyone: The Frank Pearce Interview (page 2). Crispy Gamer. Accessed 2008-09-10.
- Pardo, Rob and Zetaras Xal'Kurat. 2008-06-29. WorldWide Invitational 2008: Pictures, Presentations, Videos (StarCraft II Panel: Evolving Design) SC2 Blog. Accessed 2008-06-30.
- Karune. 2009-03-19. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 50. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-03-19.
- Jon Wilcox, Frank Pearce, Bob Colayco. 2008-08-29. StarCraft II Q&A Feature. TVG Accessed 2008-08-30.
- Karune. 2008-05-15. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 38. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed on 2008-05-15.
- Karune. 2007-07-23. StarCraft II Q&A - Karune Briefings. StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2007-09-06.
- Karune. 2007-08-31. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 11. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2007-08-31.
- Avez. 2009-02-09. Max amount of players on custom maps? Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-02-09.
- Acrofan. 2009-11-27. GStar 2009 - StarCraft II Event Match : Part 2/2. Youtube. Accessed 2009-11-30.
- Actually, no. As mentioned those are only observer spots. The player limit is still 8 players. :) Xordiah. 2009-11-30. Player Limit Raised !!! Proof!. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-11-30.
- Dustin Browder. 2009-06-29. StarCraft II Multiplayer Interview Part 1. Gametrailers. Accessed 2009-08-01.
- 2015-03-24, Coming Soon: Team League. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-03-24
- Karune. 2008-07-16. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 41. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-07-16.
- 2008-10-13. BlizzCon Chris Sigaty StarCraft 2 Interview. IncGamers. Accessed on 2008-10-14
- Chris Sigaty, ScuttleMonkey et al. 2008-10-15. Blizzard Answers Your Questions, From Blizzcon. Slash Dot. Accessed 2008-10-25.
- Karune. 2008-02-08. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 29. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-06-06.
- Nick Breckon. 2009-08-17. StarCraft 2 Interview: Lead Producer Talks LAN, Expansions, Editor Features and More. Shacknews. Accessed 2009-08-28.
- Template:ColorText Cydra. 2009-09-01. Starcraft 2 A. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-09-01.
- I <3 SC Contest : Blizzard Interview. Judge Hype StarCraft II. Accessed on 2008-03-10
- 2008-10-10. Screenshots. SC2pod. Accessed 2008-10-11.
- We are exploring various 'customizable' traits with those decals, though nothing has been nailed down for sure yet. When we do, I'll make sure to keep everyone updated. Karune. 2008-05-23. StarCraft II Unit Update: Baneling. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-05-25.
- [Clarification to comment on page 2 in regards to LOS on ramps]If the attacking units move halfway up the ramp, they get their full vision radius above the ramp. If the ramp is blocked at the bottom, the attacking units will not be able to target what is beyond the top of the ramp, though they will be able to see snapshots of units that attack them so they will be able to understand the scale of the threat that exists at the top of the ramp. Karune. 2008-06-11. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 40. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-06-11.
- 255 last i heard
Correct. And you have 200 pop limit. Cydra, Bob1. 2009-05-07. Question for Blues. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-05-07.
- Exclusive Karune's answers for StarCraftCZ.com. StarCraftCZ.com Accessed 2008-06-03.
- Phil Elliott, Frank Pearce. 2008-09-02. Blizzard's Frank Pearce. GamesIndustry.biz. Accessed 2008-09-02.
- Frank Pearce, Tamer Asfahani. 2010-05-28. Blizzard's Frank Pearce Interview Page 4. Inc.Gamers. Accessed 2010-06-07.
- Dustin Browder, Dave Remo. 2009-10-26. The Design of StarCraft II (page 3). Gamasutra. Accessed 2009-10-26.
- Tracey John. 2008-08-01. Blizzard Plans To Track Gamer Achievements Across ‘WoW,’ ‘Starcraft’ And ‘Diablo’. MTV Multiplayer. Accessed 2008-08-01.
- Rob Pardo et al. 2009-07-02. IGTV: StarCraft 2 Developer Interview. Inc.Gamers TV. Accessed 2009-07-04.
- Dustin Browder, Adam Biessener. 2010-04-08. An Extensive Interview With StarCraft II's Design Director (page 2). Game Informer. Accessed 2010-04-09.
- Blizzard Entertainment. 2013-02-07. Heart of the Swarm Video: Ways to Play. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2013-02-08.
- Michael McWhertor. 2013-01-23. Blizzard's plan to make StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm easier on newcomers. Polygon. Accessed 2013-02-01.
- Shindigs and GHOSTCLAW. 2013-01-22. Heart of the Swarm Preview - (22.01.13). Teamliquid. Accessed 2013-01-23.
- James Cullinane. 2013-01-22. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm: singleplayer hands-on (page 2). Gameplanet. Accessed 2013-02-01.
- Dustin Browder, Destructoid. 2009-06-29. Destructoid Interview. Destructoid. Accessed 2009-06-29.
- Browder, Dustin and Shadowie. 2009-05-01. Fan Site Q&A #3 - SC2Pod. SC2pod. Accessed 2009-05-01.
- McNeill, Graham. 2007-07-05. Monkey Gland Sauce. Graham Mcneill's Weblog. Accessed 2008-07-26.
- DeCandido, Keith R. A. 2008-05-10. more StarCraft. KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life: ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer Accessed 2008-05-10.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, The Devil's Playground (in English). 2010-07-27.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Welcome to the Jungle (in English). 2010-07-27.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Breakout (in English). 2010-07-27.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Ghost of a Chance (in English). 2010-07-27.
- Blizzcon 2008 StarCraft 2 Gameplay Panel Demo Part 2/2. Blizzard Entertainment\YouTube. Accessed on 2008-12-11
- Samwise Didier. 2009-08-25. StarCraft: Ghost Lives On In StarCraft II. Kotaku. Accessed 2009-09-03.
- Schleicher, Keith. Interview with Blizzard's Kevin Yu on StarCraft II Gaming Trend. Accessed 2007-10-01.
- Cydra. 2009-11-17. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 55. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-11-17. Source
- "This meant supporting a wide range of hardware, from ATI RadeonTM 9800/NVIDIA GeForceTM FX’s to the ATI RadeonTM HD 4800s and NVIDIA GeForceTM G200s, targeting maximum utilization on each different GPU platform." StarCraft II: Effects and Techniques. Dominic Filion and Rob McNaughton. Ed. N. Tatarchuk. StarCraft II: Effects and Techniques. In Advances in Real‐Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games Course – SIGGRAPH 2008. Accessed 2008-08-20.
- Karune. 2008-01-11. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 25. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-01-11.
- Karune. 2009-01-22. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 48. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-01-22.
- Dustin Browder, Lipton, Karune. 2009-04-22. The Official STARFEEDER Starcraft 2 Q&A. Starfeeder. Accessed 2009-04-22.
- Samwise Didier, Dave Berggren. WWI SC2 Art Panel. Brightcove. Accessed 2008-08-01.
- Park, Andrew. 2007-05-19. Blizzard talks Starcraft II art design. Gamespot.
- Browder, Dustin. (Cavez). 2007-10-29. Question for Karune/Someone who knows. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2007-11-10.
- Karune. 2007-10-29. Re: Gore Disabling. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2007-10-30.
- Karune. 2009-05-27. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 51. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-05-27.
- Karune. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 39: Map Maker Series. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2008-05-28.
- Blizzard Entertainment staff, Greg Canessa. 2010-02-009. Battle.net Preview. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2010-02-09.
- Stapleton, Dan. "StarCraft II." PC Gamer Magazine 164 (August 2007): 20-30.
- "We did break ground on “StarCraft II” in 2003, but wasn’t in full production for another year or so." Rob Pardo, Kristin Kalning. 2007-05-31. Can Blizzard top itself with 'StarCraft II?' MSNBC. Accessed 2010-02-08.
- 2007-07-20. StarCraft 2: Interview mit Dustin Browder (in German) GameStar. Accessed 2007-07-22.
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- 2007-05-19. Gameplay Trailer. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-08-12.
- 2010-02-17, Medievaldragon, interviews Starcraft II Team celebrating closed beta launch (Rob Pardo & Chris Sigaty). Blizzplanet, accessed on 2010-02-18
- Dustin Browder, Adam Biessener. 2010-04-08. An Extensive Interview With StarCraft II's Design Director. Game Informer. Accessed 2010-04-09.
- 2018-04-03, EVOLUTION COMPLETE: REIMAGINING CLASSIC STARCRAFT UNITS FOR STARCRAFT II. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2018-03-07
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- Also remember that the game changes in balance or design about once a week. This means it's VERY easy to forget to do something in the middle of a heated game. So our games are just not going to be as fierce as current Broodwar games until sometime during (or even after) Beta when everything settles down a bit. Cavez (Dustin Browder). 2009-01-08. Introducing StarCraft II Battle Reports (page 5). Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-01-09.
- Template:ColorText Karune. 2009-09-10. StarCraft II will be available before Diablo 3. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-09-10.
- Main page of the official Blizzard website. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed June 21, 2007.
- Karune. 2007-07-09. Starcraft 2 @ E3 2007!. Battle.net StarCraft General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2007-07-09.
- Medievaldragon. 2007-08-21. Starcraft II Gencon Indy 2007 Video. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2007-08-22.
- 2007-08-20. Blizzard Entertainment® Showcases Playable Titles at Leipzig Games Convention Blizzard Entertainment Accessed 2007-08-20.
- Onyett, Charles, Frank Pearce. 2008-08-20. GC 2008: StarCraft II Progress Report: The process of fine-tuning continues. IGN. Accessed 2008-08-20.
- Blizzcon Video Archive (Sonkie vs Yellow). Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-10-19.
- Dustin Browder, Robert Simpson, Matt Cooper, David Kim. 2008-12-19. Battle Report (2). Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2009-04-16.
- "There will be a Starcraft II beta test later this summer, and Morhaime offers to get anyone in attendance into the program. Morhaime expects to launch Starcraft II by the end of the year, though also notes that it will only ship once the game is done." Mike Morhaime, Brendan Sinclair. 2009-05-31. Starcraft II by end of 2009, Call of Duty expanding to new genres. Gamespot. Accessed 2009-06-01.
- Cydra. 2009-08-05. StarCraft II Update. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-08-05.
- BlizzCon 2008: Day One Wrap-Up. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-10-17.
- Michael McWhertor. 2009-02-11. StarCraft II, Next Gen Battle.net Betas "In The Next Few Months". Kotaku. Accessed 2009-02-11.
- I see lots of questions about timelines. Here is a little FAQ.
Question: "Why hasn't Blizzard released the Beta?" or "WTF have they been working on, I played it at Blizzcon last year and I thought it was done!"
Answer: Solo campaign is under heavy construction as is Battlenet. When these things have enough work done that we know when our release date is going to be with strong confidence we will announce the Beta. Unless something crazy happens, the Beta is going to happen this year.
Question: "Why don't you just give us your target dates if you don't know the final date? We promise, we won't get mad if Blizzard misses target dates."
Answer: Let's be realistic. Our target dates are not something we hit more than half the time. Putting those out there would be pretty close to lying to the fans. We are not going to do that. We want to be able to give good info, not info that we know is suspect. We'll give target dates when we think it is very likely that we will hit them.
Question: When can we have the next Battle Report?
Answer: We were waiting on getting some improved graphics in (some of the new stuff looked REALLY rough). That was finished last week and we are now playing and looking for a good game. Once we get that game the process is reasonably quick to get it out. Once we go Beta, you guys can do these and put them up. When that happens I'm sure there will be a ton of them and I'm sure the quality of the games played and the announcing will go way up.
Question: "I notice that you haven't actually given us any dates...."
Answer: Yeah. Sorry. We don't want to lie about the Beta, and we don't even want to lie about the next Battle Report. When we know a date (for anything) for certain, we'll let you know.
Hang in there. We're in the final stretch. Cavez. 2009-02-16. Some Updates. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-02-16.
- Cydra. 2009-08-05. StarCraft II Update. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2009-08-05.
- Avarius. 2010-02-17. StarCraft II Beta Is Now Live! Battle.net StarCraft II Beta Forum. Accessed 2010-02-17.
- Lylirra. 2010-07-16.StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Beta Test Draws to a Close. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2010-07-17.
- Zarhym. 2010-07-20. What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2010-07-20.
- John Callaham. 2010-03-09. StarCraft II to get Day 1 patch at launch. Big Download News. Accessed 2010-07-06.
- Blizzard Entertainment. 2011-08-03. StarCraft II: Starter Edition. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2011-08-03.
- 2015-06-26, Blizzard's Secrets of Storytelling in StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void. GameSpot, accessed on 2015-06-28
- 2015-11-06, STARCRAFT: THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. Polygon, accessed on 2015-11-18
- Zerg Announcement Interview (translated). StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2008-03-10.
- Frank Pearce, Bob Colayco, Adam Doree. 2008-09-11. Interview: Blizzard Co-founder Frank Pearce. Kikizo. Accessed 2008-09-19.
- June 25, 2009. David Kim Interview. StarCraft Zone. Accessed 2009-11-06.
- Dustin Browder et al. 2009-09-04. BlizzCon 2009 StarCraft 2 Fansite Q&A - Part 2/5. Youtube. Accessed 2009-10-07.
- Karune. 2009-09-30. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 53. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-09-30.
- Blizzard Entertainment. 2011-07-11. Coming Soon: StarCraft II Region Linking. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2011-07-13.
- David Hinkle. 2010-05-07. Starcraft 2 offering subscription plans in Latin America, Asia and Russia. Joystiq. Accessed 2010-06-28.
- Cam Shea. 2010-06-27. Koreans Get StarCraft II For Free! IGN. Accessed 2010-06-28.
- Bandreus. 2010-06-26. Korean Event Aftermaths, Beta Phase 2 and LAN play. INC.Gamers. Accessed 2010-06-28.
- Medievaldragon. 2011-03-29. StarCraft II Open Beta Testing Begins in Mainland China. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2011-03-29.
- Medievaldragon. 2011-03-18. NetEase Announces StarCraft II Open Beta in China Starts March.29.2011. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2011-03-19.
- 2007-05-19. Artwork Trailer. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-08-12.
- 2007-05-19. Cinematic Trailer. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-08-12.
- 2007-09-13. Gameplay Video - Terran. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-14.
- 2007-08-03. StarCraft II Single-Player Campaign BlizzCon Preview. Gamespot. Accessed 2007-08-07.
- 2007-08-03. BlizzCon StarCraft art/graphics panel discussion The Unofficial Starcraft 2 Forums @ IncGamers Accessed 2007-08-07.
- 2008-06-28. Live Video Streams. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-06-28.
- 2008-10-11. Starcraft II: BlizzCon 08: Opening Cinematic Teaser (CAM). Gametrailers. Accessed 2008-10-11.
- 2017-01-25, StarCraft on Twitter. Twitter, accessed on 2017-30-01
See also[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Official StarCraft II website
- StarCraft II at Wikipedia
- StarCraft Legacy
- Blizzard Artwork Trailer (YouTube)
- Gameplay screenshots of StarCraft II courtesy IGN
- StarCraft II GPU and CPU Performance Report