I rank the patience of Blizzard fans right up there with the Duke Nukem Forever crowd. Perfection takes time, we get that, but those who believed that the episodic design of Starcraft II would enable quick releases might be disappointed to learn that the next installment is likely still at least another 18 months off.
Speaking at GDC 2010 in Austin Texas, Battle.net project director Greg Canessa mapped out the timeline for new online features, but accidentally hinted at the release date for Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm during question period. Based on the timelines Canessa discussed, it appears as though we could be looking at an April 2012 ship date for the second chapter in the Starcraft trilogy.
This is bad news for single player fans, but Canessa tried to raise spirits by detailing several improvements planned for Battle.net between now and the release of the sequel. Blizzard plans to patch in support for replay trading, broadcasting, and even a full overhaul to the profile configurator. If we use 18 months as our benchmark for each episode, then gamers should expect to see the Starcraft II story wrapping up sometime in the 2014/2015 timeframe. By then I fully expect to have a CPU core for each and every Zergling. The race is on Blizzard!
StarCraft II’s only been out for a day, and while everyone else in the tech world is still buried in the long campaign or the cut-throat multiplayer, our thoughts are already turning to the game’s ramifications on the hardware world. Blizzard is famous for their commitment to making games that work on a wide range of systems, and we wanted to see to what extent that’s true with StarCraft II.
Toward that end, we’ve installed the game on 4 different systems. A top-of-the-line gaming machine, a more-realistic aging gaming PC, a non-gaming laptop, and a netbook. Hit the break to find out how the game ran on each system. The results are surprising!
July 27, 2010. Hordes upon throngs upon crowds upon oodles upon gobs of people have been waiting for this day, and we’re not just talking about Trainz Simulator’s incredibly devoted contingent of hardcore coal-shovelers. “Hell, it’s about time,” you probably said aloud to yourself as you slipped out of bed this morning. And yeah, it was cheesy and lame, but you don't care, because you're mere seconds, minutes, or hours away from finally playing StarCraft II.
Are you ready, though? Like, really actually ready? It’s been 12 long years since StarCraft first came out, after all. You’re probably so rusty that you’ve officially been declared the world’s first walking tetanus hazard. If only you had some sort of guide – some kind of Internet roadmap that’d put you back on the right track to StarCraft mastery.
Hey, look over there! Just beyond that break. Is that…? It is! Lucky day, huh?
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was originally thought to be a Terran-only shindig, but according to a recent Blizzard forum post, the Protoss are crashing the party. Just don’t expect the Terran campaign to be overtaken by a Zerg rush… of Protoss. Wait. We’re confusing ourselves. Please, take a bucket to this sinking ship, Blizzard Europe poster “Xordiah”:
“I won't go into details, since we don't give out information on the campaign of StarCraft 2, but I can confirm that there will be a Protoss mini-campaign that lets you control Protoss units,” Xordiah said. “This part of the campaign mode is of course way shorter than the Terran part, but it is very fun to have a very different playstyle to add even more variety to the game. I am sure every Protoss fan will love this part of the Campaign!”
“That being said, the Protoss mini-campaign will not prepare you for the multiplayer as Protoss, you won't be using all units or getting to know buildings and upgrades,” the Blizzard employee added.
The Protoss’ main course, meanwhile, won’t be along until StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void drops. And seeing as it’s the third piece of StarCraft II’s campaign, “several years” may pass before the stars align in the ‘toss’ favor again. But hey, there are worse things than waiting to play as some crummy old alien race with all kinds of neato warp technology that we barely even care about anymore.