A: StarCraft II is the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game, and the sequel to the hit original, StarCraft. The game will include three completely distinct
and balanced races, the protoss, terran, and zerg, which have been overhauled and re-imagined with a number of new units for each, as well as new tricks for some
of the classic units that are returning.
Q: When is the game coming out ?
A: Development on the game is progressing nicely, but as with all Blizzard games, we won’t release it until we feel it will meet our high standards and the
expectations of our players.
Q: When will you begin the beta test for StarCraft II ?
A: We’re not ready to give an exact date, but we’re working hard to release the beta as soon as possible.
Q: How will StarCraft II be different from StarCraft ?
A: StarCraft II will run on a vibrant new 3D-graphics engine capable of rendering beautiful landscapes as well as massive army sizes. The speed, responsiveness,
and epic-scale battles that made the original StarCraft such a memorable game are all realized in 3D with this brand-new engine.
We’re also introducing a number of distinct new units to the protoss, terran, and zerg, and some of the familiar units that return in StarCraft II will have new
tricks up their sleeves, which will give the game its own unique flavor. The maps themselves will also offer new interactive elements that enhance the strategic
nature of the game and create more tactical points of interest for players to contest. One example of this is the Xel’Naga watchtower structure—when captured, it
reveals line of sight over a large area of the map, creating an advantage for the player in control of the tower.
In addition, Battle.net will be overhauled with some new and exciting features to enhance online play and competition, while the single-player campaign will also
offer some unique aspects for players to enjoy.
Q: Can you give me an overview of StarCraft II’s single player campaign ?
A: The single-player campaign of StarCraft II will focus the adventures of Jim Raynor, the terran hero from the original StarCraft. Fresh off the events of Brood
War and the fall of the Confederacy, Arcturus Mengsk has established a tyrannical government called the New Dominion to rule over the terran colonies. Raynor has
spent the past few years as an outlaw resisting the rule of the Dominion, and plotting revenge against Mengsk for his treachery. In the meantime, Kerrigan has
resurfaced along with her Zerg brood, sweeping across the galaxy and destroying life on planets in her path.
Players will begin the game on the planet of Mar Sara, taking the role of Raynor as he begins a series of mercenary missions. As players complete missions, they’ll
earn new units to expand Raynor’s Raiders, as well as currency which they can use to customize their armies. Some of the units that players will use in the campaign
are unique to single-player. Classic units like the firebat and wraith, and unique units like the diamondback tank, will become unlocked as the campaign
Q: Can you offer more details about customization of your army in-game ?
A: The credits earned from completing each mission can be used to buy the services of mercenary units that players can use in battle. Mercenaries are more powerful
versions of standard units in the game; as a basic example, Kel’Morian mercenary marines have higher armor and damage output than a regular marine. Any skilled
mercenaries that players opt to unlock can be built from the merc haven structure within each mission.
Additionally, players can opt to buy technology upgrades for their units. Examples of the campaign-specific technology upgrades that might be available for purchase
include improved bunkers with a gun turret, and upgraded flamethrowers for firebats to attack a wider radius.
Between the ability to purchase mercenaries and special technologies, the campaign offers players the ability to customize their armies to suit their playing style
and better tackle the challenges within the missions.
Q: What can you tell me about the missions in-game ?
A: As players make their way through the campaign, they’ll interact with a number of different non-player characters (NPCs) who will offer a variety of different
missions. In many cases, you’ll have choices from a few different NPCs at the same time. Some of these missions will advance the main storyline, while others lead
players down pathways that present interesting, peripheral storylines. At some points, player choice can even affect the resolution of a side-plot. Players will
be able to view detailed briefings that detail the objectives of the mission, show how many credits are rewarded for completion, and determine which new unit, if
any, is unlocked by taking on the mission.
More than 25 missions will be available in the campaign, and each of these missions is being designed to offer unique gameplay experiences and objectives to keep
the gameplay fresh. To detail just a couple of examples, one mission will have players roving around a map to intercept and rob Dominion cargo trains moving along
different railroad tracks. Another mission will take place in a volcanically unstable area – lava will periodically flood the lower elevations of the map, requiring
players to be extra careful in their mining operations and troop movement.
Optional research objectives are also designed into many of the missions. These could involve exploring maps to find lost Protoss artifacts, or hidden Zerg
chrysalis as a couple of examples. When players collect enough of these research objects over the course of a few missions, they can earn upgrades and improvements
for their units that carry over for the rest of the campaign.
Q: I’ve heard about a “story-mode” aspect to StarCraft II – can you tell me more about that ?
A: In between each mission, players will be able to explore various sets within the game. These include the bar on Mar Sara, and the Hyperion battlecruiser that
acts as Raynor’s flagship. Players can point and click on different characters in these environments to converse with them, and get additional story background.
These conversations are fully voice-acted, and the characters and sets are animated with intricate detail from within the game engine.
There will also be interactive objects in the sets – clicking on these can also provide extra background story. Television sets, for example, will show news reports
that detail happenings around the galaxy. There are also console units, such as the one in the armory on board the Hyperion that allows players to access the tech
purchase interface, or the star map on the bridge of the Hyperion where players can examine and choose from various mission briefings.
The purpose of the story-mode is to bring players even closer to the characters in the game and offer added story telling elements for those players who wish to
immerse themselves in the game’s epic plot.
Q: How many races are in StarCraft II ?
A: In StarCraft II, players will see the return of the protoss, terran, and zerg races. Our goal is to ensure that all the factions in the game play even more
distinctly from one another than in the original StarCraft, while still maintaining the fine balance that helped make StarCraft a classic. We’re also introducing
a number of new units to each race, as well as modifying some of the familiar units returning in StarCraft II. With these design refinements and the new features
we have planned for the single-player and multiplayer elements of the game, StarCraft II will offer a next-generation StarCraft experience.
Q: Can you give some examples of the newest changes in StarCraft II ?
A: The most significant changes we’ve made recently are some new game mechanics that impact the economic efficiency of each of the races. The Protoss can create
a structure called the obelisk that has a few useful abilities. One of these is called “proton charge,” which temporarily speeds up the rate at which probes can
harvest minerals. If used consistently, this ability can noticeably increase the Protoss’ income.
The Terrans have a new unit called the “mule,” which can be summoned from the orbital command building. Mules harvest minerals much like SCVs, but at a much
faster rate – however they only last for a specific amount of time. Since the ability costs energy, Terran players must decide how much of their energy to spend
calling down mules, and how much to save for the orbital command’s other ability – the comsat scan.
Finally, the Zerg can boost their production capability with the help of a new ability from the queen. By casting “spawn larvae” periodically on hatcheries, Zerg
players can significantly increase the rate of larvae production from their hatcheries, allowing them to quickly field large armies.
Q: Will Battle.net be overhauled ? Will there be new features ?
A: There will be some exciting new changes and features to Battle.net that will help us ensure that StarCraft II will be the ultimate competitive online real-time
strategy game. Some of the areas we’re looking into include features that support online tournaments, eSports, and enhanced communication between players. We’re
not quite ready to go into further detail about Battle.net at this time, but we look forward to doing so in the future.
Q: What steps are being taken to prevent cheating in multiplayer games ?
A: We don’t want to tip our hand to the people who may try to cheat on Battle.net, so we can’t go into too much detail, but rest assured that security is one of
our top priorities as we redesign and overhaul Battle.net, and we will take every precaution to ensure fairness in our online games. We’ve taken an aggressive stance
against cheating in all of our games, and our players have overwhelmingly supported us in that, so we don’t have any intention to make any changes in that
Q: What are the system requirements for StarCraft II ?
A: We’ll have more details on specific system requirements closer to the release date. For now, we can say that the game will require a graphics processor that
is Pixel Shader 2.0 compatible.
Q: Will StarCraft II include a map editor ?
A: Yes, it will. We’ll have more details on the features of the StarCraft II map editor at a later date.
Q: Will there be a console version of StarCraft II ?
A: StarCraft II is being developed for Windows and Mac. We have no current plans to bring the game to any console platform.