Starcraft 2: Single Player Missions [Hands-on Demo]

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Starcraft 2: Single Player Missions [Hands-on Demo]

If you’re a huge Starcraft fan, then you probably have already heard the rumors that something was going down last Monday at Blizzard Headquarters in Irvine regarding your beloved game. Thanks to Aaron from Starcraft.org, we were given access to see, hear and play the new things that were ready for media personnel in Starcraft 2’s first of three single player games.

The first single player game that will be shipping is called Wings of Liberty. The campaign focuses mainly on the story around the Terrans and James “Jim” Raynor. At the presentation portion of the press event, we were shown two new Terran missions and one new Protoss mission.

The presented 3 new missions

The first of the two Terran missions was a basic mission of killing enemies, in this case Protoss units, and gathering special gases they are trying to defend. The second mission was another basic defend for “X” amount of time mission. The third presented mission was focused on Zeratul. In this mission, you do not control any Terran units. Just Zeratul and some reinforcements that show up along the way through a dark cave filled with Zerg swarm.

For more things we learned about Starcraft 2 during our stay at Blizzard, screenshots, and videos, go past the break.

Notes about Single player mode
A lot has been asked through out the day, and here are the notes I have taken.

Single player mode and multiplayer modes are completely different.

  • Many upgrades in single player mode are not available in multiplayer due to the very different gameplay styles between both modes. Single player mode upgrades are just too powerful for multiplayer.
  • Some upgrades you can get in Single Player mode are:
    • Neo-Steel bunker – Increases number of bunker slot by 2.
    • Dual Fusion Welders – SCVs repair twice as fast.
    • Advanced Construction – Multiple SCVs can work on one building to increase build speed.
  • The Hyperion has 4 areas to explore.
    • Bridge – Area to choose which mission you want to go to or see missions you have already completed.
    • Armory – Area to purchase upgrades to your vehicles, bases, and units.
    • Laboratory – Area to purchase better buildings and tech using research points.
    • Cantina – Area to purchase Mercenaries, watch the UNN News, and play The Lost Viking
  • The UNN News changes every time you complete a mission.  It will show what you have done from a new journalist perspective.
  • In the back corner of the Cantina area, there is an Arcade cabinet with the game The Lost Viking.  You can walk up to it and play it, but sadly, it wasn’t accessible at the time of our hands-on demo.
  • Mercenaries are just like regular units but with a bit more stat bonuses.  You purchase mercenaries in the Cantina area of the Hyperion.  Once purchased, a mercenary building will appear next to your command center.  Summoning your mercenaries is the same as building any other type of unit.  But instead of waiting, they come out instantly.

Galaxy Editor

  • After you are done with your custom map, you will be given the option to publish it privately so your friends can test it out before pushing it out publicly for sale in the Battle.net marketplace.
  • In the Galaxy Editor, you will be able to create Challenge mode mini games. A question was asked during the Q&A if you would be able to create your own achievements for your maps, and the answer was “no.”

Challenge Mode

  • Another unique thing the press learned while playing the game was a Challenge mode. In challenge mode, you have four levels of difficulty with each level having a set of 4 challenges. You can think of these challenges of more like mini-games.
  • The only challenge we were able to play was a wave-after-wave type challenge. You control five Protoss Sentries and five High-Templars. During each wave, you have a timer that shows how much time is left before the next wave comes. The more waves of enemies you defeat the hard it becomes.  It is really a good practice for your micro.
A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.

Other Notes:

  • The developers expect the Single Player mode to have at least 20 hours minimum of gameplay. They also hope that this will get the casual/noob players interested in some multiplayer mode games of 3v3 or 2v2, then eventually that player will go into 1v1s. They also stressed that Single player mode does NOT train you for multiplayer mode games.
  • The developers have mentioned that they work 12 to 13 hour workdays just on balancing issues alone. There are tons of data they must go through day to day to make the right decisions on what to nerf and what to buff. The process of a nerf or buff decisions goes as follows:
  • Developers check forum posts, suggestions by an office-mate, and stats on Battle.net. Then they cross reference that with a replay and study the replay thoroughly. They usually would like to see a replay for live gameplay to study since it does help with their decision.
  • They have also mentioned that closed beta is not meant for the casual or noob player. The Closed beta is just a tool that is used for balancing, server load, and battle.net data.
  • Making groups, like groups in Steam, within the Battle.net environment is being looked at but not yet developed.
  • Battle.net for Starcraft will work just like Battle.net does now for World of Warcraft. If the servers go down, then no one will be able to play any multiplayer games.
  • A question was asked about campaign co-op and this is something they have though of about 6 months ago but not high in their priority list. The doubt they will have something like this ready for shipping. But, they do want to try to develop this sometime in the future.
A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.