subota, 28. srpnja 2007.

StarCraft: the Board Game at BlizzCon

Flying Fight Games, the company behind World of WarCraft: the Board Game, will be attending BlizzCon, but this time they will not only be showing WoW:BG.

Except for the new expansion for World of WarCraft: the Board Game, they will be showing us a demo of something totally new. A lot of people have been waiting for this but this time they have really done it, they have finally made StarCraft: the Board Game.

In their exhibit on the BlizzCon floor there will be a lot of personal attending, such as the designers of the games and you will be able to try playing. And of course you will be able to see the demonstration of StarCraft: the Board Game.

četvrtak, 26. srpnja 2007.

Exclusive StarCraft 2 screenshots

Blizzard sent us four exclusive screenshots. These were given to the Blizzard RTS Community summit - and GosuGamers are lucky to be one of those.

Click for full-size
Click for full-size

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Click for full-size

Auto-Casting Out the Door

Many expressed concerns that the WarCraft3-like interface such as auto-casting would ruin the skill factor in the upcoming StarCraft II. Blizzard had something to say.

In WarCraft III, players could right-click on a spell that had yellow cornered outlines, and the spell would cast by itself without any trouble.

'Cavez', or rather known as Dustin Browder; the lead developer for the new, up and coming game StarCraft II, had made an announcement on the Blizzard forums concerning the "autocast" interface for the latest game. As mentioned above, many StarCraft fans had expressed concerns about autocasting and how it would take away the skill-differential factor in the game.
Blizzard, knowing that their fans know best, had listened to the people.

Dustin states, "I have seen a lot of concerns on this board and on other boards about autocast and how this will remove a lot of skill from the game. This would be a really exciting debate, if only we were using it as much as some folks imagine we are. I'm afraid that most of our abilities aren't really appropriate for auto-cast. Here are some examples from the latest build."
Following that, Dustin laid out some examples of the spells and reasons from their latest alpha build of StarCraft II.

Psi Storm:

The player MUST choose when to do this. We cannot possibly do it for him. Any decision we would make would certainly be wrong most of the time. Plus if we could figure out a rule set for autocasting Psi-Storm (and I don't see how we could) we would remove way too much skill by putting it in the game.

Force Field:

Same deal. Position is so important we couldn't possibly choose for you and be smart about it. Plus it would ruin all the fun of using the spell.

Time Bomb:

Again, the same. We can't make it auto-cast. There is no simple rule that would work. Plus, it would remove a lot of skill of using it at exactly the right moment.

Since StarCraft unit abilities are unique compared to abilities in other games, each spell/ability
can be used accurately and effectively - meaning a "miss" would be considered a huge loss, which could turn the game around in the heat of battle. Currently, the only auto-cast function they have working is the SCV's repair ability and the Medic's heal ablility.
This also means that Medics from Brood War, will once again support the Terran infantry in StarCraft II.

utorak, 24. srpnja 2007.

SC2: The Siege tank has been redesigned

The seventh Q&A batch is out. This time Karune told us they have redesigned the Siege tank, and that we will see it at BlizzCon. This, plus a lot of other stuff.

In the seventh batch of answers on the user questions, we find out that the siege tank has been redesigned, in response to all the fan feedback. It now has a much more powerful look to it, which will be shown at BlizzCon 2007. Previously the community has said that the siege tank looks too 'toyish' and plastic.

We also get to know that the hot keys for StarCraft II are not finalized yet, hence there was no answer on the question whether there will be a ctrl-a key stroke to select all your units on screen.

To all the StarCraft music lovers out there, Blizzard says that there will mostly be new theme songs similar to the original faction music. Further they say that the music is still in the works, and that a reprise of the original songs is something they do not rule out. Something that's not ruled out, however, is the Hallucination. However now as a High Templar ability. In the current version of StarCraft II, Hallucination is a Star Relic ability.

Finally, Karune says that the StarCraft II Fan Site kit will be released somewhere around BlizzCon.

subota, 21. srpnja 2007.

Korean press review SC2 Terran units and buildings

More Terran news hit Korean sites today. Info on several units and upgrades, plus some good images of the new units recently seen in the Swedish Super Play magazine.

Although not fully translated, Misuzu over at Blizzforums gives us a working guide through the three articles.

In the main article there are a series of pictures. The most interesting being a close up of the new Viking in its "walker mode". Also mentioned is a reworking of the look of the siege tank, which will be unveiled at BlizzCon later this year.

Oldies but goldies - the Ghost and the Battlecruiser

The ghost makes a comeback as known before. It still has cloak, and is still your best friend for launching nukes. The article reveals two new abilities, Snipe and a slightly more untranslatable ability that sounds like a marine drop. Snipe is a high-power shot that can target non-mechanical units. Along with the Ghost from StarCraft 1 the Battlecruisers are still in. It gets a new upgrade called Plasma Injection (or to that effect) which deals huge damage to ground targets over a wide area.

And now for the new units. The Viking, pictured in walker (pic) and fighter mode respectively. It can target ground units when on the ground, air units when in the air. The ability to switch between modes is an upgrade however. Then we have the Banshee, seen in the gameplay video - a bomber rather than a fighter, and can only hit ground units. Large damage capacity and the ability to use stealth makes this a pretty frightening unit.

We also see an update on the Reapers, which give them the ability to place mines, although not in the same way as the Vulture. Mines seem to target stationary objects, better for their base hit and run tactics.

Cobra - a hovertank

The article also shows pictures of the Cobra (pic), a sleek hovertank with twin railguns. Apparently it can shoot while its moving.

Thor - Heavy mech walker

A totally bad ass unit that is actually built by the humble SCV. Equipped with siege weapons and clearly heavily armed & armored. Power of this unit is offset by weapon cooldown times and relative speed.

And as a final note for the units, the marines have their old upgrades, plus two new upgrades: a shield and a 15 hp upgrade.

Building news

It has been confirmed that the Command Center can upgrade to a Planetary Fortress which has a strong attack. Another upgrade that was seen and questioned in the very first gameplay video was the fact that Command Centers in SCII can carry five SCV's while flying. This will make expanding to islands much more efficient.

Only two add-ons?!

It seems that all of the add-ons from StarCraft have been removed and replaced with two add-ons. These add-ons feature a new system of production. A Tech Lab (pic) allows Barracks, Factories or Starports to create higher-tech units like Medics, Tanks, or BattleCruisers, respectively. A Reactor add-on allows the building to create two units at once. There is a catch - only one add-on can be connected at once, so a Barracks cannot create two medics at once. To off-set this, the main production facilities all share the same add-ons, so lifting off and switching to new ones will be much more efficient.

Sensor vs. Radar

A Sensor Dome seems to be a Detector only - a Turret without an attack which is probably dirt cheap and quickly built. A Radar Dome on the other hand is a bit more complicated. It seems that they are a replacement for the StarCraft Comsat Station but that they work a bit differently. The translation says that "opponents can avoid its sense area while rushing to the base." Exactly what that means is a bit ambiguous, but Blizzard should be releasing official information soon.

Special thanks to Misuzu and Blizzforums for the good word and quick translation.

petak, 20. srpnja 2007.

New StarCraft II Unit Added – Twilight Archon

We have added a new unit, the twilight archon, to the protoss section

These swirling, burning effigies of the protoss spirit radiate incalculable power. Their devastating psionic storms can be unleashed against cowering enemy forces both in the air and on the ground. With the halves of the protoss race reunited, an archon can now be brought into being by the merge of two high templar, or two dark templar, or even the unification of a dark templar and a high templar.

Read more about the twilight archon here.

BlizzCon Online Contests
Submissions for the BlizzCon Online Contests will end this Sunday, July 22, 2007. Enter the Fan Art, Original Song, and Movie Contests today before it's too late!

srijeda, 18. srpnja 2007.

SC2: Super Play reveals new Terran units

Swedish magazine Super Play had an exclusive look at the new StarCraft 2 game. In it, they show a bunch of new Terran units. How about a Viking Fighter, Thor and the Sensor Dome?

It was in Super Play where there was an article about StarCraft 2. Apparently the writers of the Swedish gaming magazine god an exclusive look on the game. In the article they say that the Protoss race was the only race they got to play, but they were also shown a couple of Terran units, shown below.

"Twilight Archon: Sacrifice two Dark Templars and booyah! You have the bad ass Twilight Archon - but you probably knew that already."

"High Templar: Recognize this one, mayhap?"

"Dark Templar: Damn Dark Templar! The second game was over after exactly 15 minutes when a German ran in to my base with tre invisible Dark Templars and killed most of it. I didn't have time to build an Overseer that can detect invisible units."

"Marine: StarCraft wouldn't be anything without its Marines, which are the backbone in the Terran armada."

"Planetary Fortress: Terran head quarters can be upgraded to Planetary Fortress. It is a head quarter with one hell of a defense weapon on top."

"Thor: The phattest new guy's name is Thor and has his name from the god of thunder. One of these babies can take down a base on his own."

"Sensor Dome: With one of these sensors you can see enemy units on the map even if they move over undiscovered areas."

"Ghost: Yep. The Ghost is there, again."

"Say hello to the Terran's own transformer. The viking can change shape from an airplane to a walking robot. Really nice if you fly to an enemy base and gets attack by an air force."

"Supply Depot: New in the earthlings base is a building that can pack itself up and be lowered down below the surface so your units may pass over it. It works nice as a first obstacle at your base in an early stage."

Keep in mind that this is from a magazine, but Super Play has a good reputation in Sweden, and are often invited to exclusive previews like these ones. And if you take a look at previous screenshots, you find some of these new units in them, such as the Sensor Drone, and Thor.

petak, 13. srpnja 2007.

Five StarCraft II Announcement Videos Added

We have added five videos to the StarCraft II movies section। Watch the official unveiling of StarCraft II as it was presented at the 2007 Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, Korea! The new movies include:

We have added five videos to the StarCraft II movies section. Watch the official unveiling of StarCraft II as it was presented at the 2007 Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, Korea! The new movies include:

New StarCraft II Sounds Added

We have added a plethora of new sounds for some previously revealed units, including the Zealot, Immortal, Stalker, Phoenix, and Colossus.

srijeda, 11. srpnja 2007.

StarCraft 2's Gameplay Balance

May 19, 2007 - There sure are a lot of panel discussions at Blizzard's Worldwide Invitational 2007 in Seoul, South Korea, and they're all focused on StarCraft 2. In fact there's so much buzz about StarCraft 2 you may forget the traditional focus of this event, mainly the high-intensity professional StarCraft and WarCraft 3 tournaments. This time the panel's focus was specifically on gameplay elements, and featured Vice President of Game Design Rob Pardo, Senior Game Designer Dustin Browder, and Creative Director Andy Chambers.

Pardo kicked things off by tracing Blizzard's RTS history. WarCraft II was the root of Blizzard's competitive RTS game experience, as it was one of the earliest to go online. When StarCraft came out, it was the first that Blizzard did to feature three truly asymmetrical factions. Then it was WarCraft III's turn, which Pardo explained as a drastic departure from the gameplay underlying StarCraft. It slowed the pace of gameplay, focused battles on smaller numbers of units, introduced more RPG elements, powerful heroes, and more micro-management of unit abilities.

With StarCraft 2, "we're really going back to our roots," says Pardo. By this he means the sequel will be more StarCraft, more focused on fast-paced gameplay and lesser amounts of micromanagement, rather than an evolution of the WarCraft 3 formula. There won't, for instance, be anything approximating WarCraft 3's "creeping," whereby players hacked away at NPCs on the map to increase hero experience levels and acquire items. Unit abilities in StarCraft 2 are largely automated, and there will still be a focus on proper resource management, at least to a greater extent than in WarCraft 3.

One of Blizzard's primary design goals with StarCraft 2 was to cater to professional gamers' demands. "A lot of the concepts we put into the unit design [in StarCraft 2] is so there's skill differentiation," says Pardo. By this he means that truly skilled players will be able to absolutely crush those of lesser ability. This differs from WarCraft 3, says Pardo, in that skill level had a lesser impact on the game's outcome, or at the very least prolonged games featuring players of widely varying skill levels.

Though few details are available at this point, Pardo says Blizzard is aiming to, "provide a great solo experience." He continued with, "We're really going to focus in on the story; we have a lot of new ideas for how the campaign unfolds." Andy Chambers filled us in a little more during the question and answer session by saying Mengst's Terran Dominion would act as the main Terran force, "Raynor's been having some adventures," and the Xel'naga will have, "a rather epic tale for StarCraft 2." He went on to say, "A lot of those plot elements [in Brood Wars] get played out to their fullest extend in SC2" says Andy Chambers. The interesting point is the implications of the final secret mission in Brood Wars and the mention of a Protoss-Zerg hybrid race. Note that there will only be three playable races in StarCraft 2, the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg, and the storyline takes place four years after the original.

Pardo highlighted a number of bullet points for design goals in the new game, mainly speed, saying the longest a StarCraft 2 match should take is around 20 minutes. Blizzard is emphasizing each races significantly different play styles, though they won't yet reveal how the Terran and Zerg can hope to counter the impressively powerful abilities of the Protoss' Mothership. Specific attention was paid to low-level tech tree abilities, as Pardo explained Blizzard has taken steps to expand the available options and make early-game mechanics more varied.

One small gameplay difference revealed during the panel was how unit positioning is affected by the fog of war. Now when one unit attacks another from higher ground, the fog of war surrounding the higher unit is no longer automatically revealed, meaning the unit at the lower position can't return fire. Obviously this makes having high ground positioning much more valuable. It affects mechanics for new units like the Protoss Stalker, who can blink forward and traverse differences in terrain height. They can't, however, hop up to a higher ledge if the fog of war at their destination has yet to be revealed. This can be rectified by flying in an air unit to push back the fog a bit, letting the units to blink up to the ledge and assault whatever lies beyond - an excellent tactic for surprise attacks. The Stalker blink ability is also useful for kiting enemies, which was demonstrated with a group of them blinking around zealots and blowing them to bits.

Dustin Browder explained a few more unit specifics. He again explained the Protoss Immortal's ability to put up near-impenetrable shields when under heavy fire, such as that from siege tanks, yet being vulnerable to weak attacks that won't activate their shields. The Immortal is designed to be a slow moving unit, so they're not skilled at escaping an attack. Though they possess heavy armor, their maneuverability is a severely limiting factor when fighting Zealots, Marines, or Zerglings.

Explained again were the mechanics of the Protoss Pheonix, which can perform an overload attack to shoot out multiple energy blasts. After the attack the unit is rendered inert for a short while, meaning careful implementation of the overload is required. Finally he demonstrated an advanced use of the Protoss' warping ability, which can be done within phase fields surrounding Pylons or the new Phase Prisms. He warped a few Zealots to cut off an enemy's advance into his base, trapping the invaders between the units and a structure. He followed up by warping in Stalkers to pepper the enemy with laser fire from behind a barrier row of Pylons.

There was no date announced for the eventual StarCraft 2 beta, but Pardo said they'll eventually take applications for play and accept a certain percentage. A number of professional StarCraft gamers will also be specifically invited. In response to a question from the audience, Browder noted, "we have no plans at this time for naval combat." Yes, naval combat in space…

utorak, 10. srpnja 2007.

Online Strategy Games By Elizabeth Morgan

Introduction of the Internet has revolutionized the gaming scenario worldwide. Their popularity has grown tremendously over the years. Unlike other normal games, strategy games require a lot of planning and thinking on behalf of the player. Online strategy games enable people across the world to interact and play each other. They help in enlarging the scope and dimension of the gaming community worldwide. Such games help people from one country match their skills and powers with opponents from other countries.

Most online strategy games require reliable high-speed Internet connections to support game play. The bandwidth required to support different strategy games may vary from game to game. Online strategy games may be classified on the basis of game play and type. Most strategy games are based on themes such as war scenarios, role-playing, character development, city building and simulation. Popular strategy games such as Starcraft, A3, Ragnarok, Diablo and World of Warcraft incorporate the elements of strategic thinking and intensive game play. These games have dedicated host servers online that allow people from all over the world to connect and play with their friends. Some online strategy game servers may also hold regular tournaments from time to time to keep the attention of casual and hardcore gamers captured. Apart form such genre of games there also exist a number of other online strategy games such as poker, blackjack and chess. These games usually require less bandwidth, as they possess lesser graphics and 3 D animations. Some online strategy games allow gamers to interact using voice communication features. Others can be complimented by voice communication software such as Ventrillo and Skype. A number of games also offer user-friendly interface for efficient navigation and gameplay.

Online strategy games prove to be extremely important as they provide players a chance to showcase their skills and talents at on a global scale. These games can either be downloaded from the Internet or purchased from dealers or agencies selling the same.