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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

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"An ancient cycle will complete its course. There will be much blood and darkness. But there will be impossible acts of valor and heroism. And you will see the protoss unleashed."

- Chris Metzen describing the game(src)

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
LegacyoftheVoid SC2 Cover1
Developer

Blizzard Entertainment

Team 1
Released

TBA

Genre

Science fiction real-time strategy game

Platforms

PC, Mac

Input

Mouse, keyboard

Legacy of the Void is the name of the StarCraft II protoss campaign and episode.

It will be the third StarCraft II product and will be released separately from the other two games, Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm,[1][2] occurring after them chronologically,[3] beginning immediately after the ending of Heart of the Swarm.[4] It was expected to be priced as an expansion in 2009.[5] However, it will now be released as an independent installment, not requiring StarCraft II vanilla to run.[6] It will receive a simultaneous PC/Mac release.[7]

The game's beta began on March 31, 2015.[8]

Storyline

"You are Hierarch Artanis, leader of the mighty protoss race. Years ago, your homeworld of Aiur fell to the merciless zerg Swarm. Now, at long last, you have raised a powerful fleet of warships known as the Golden Armada, and are poised to reclaim your world. But an ancient evil—Amon—threatens this destiny and the fate of the entire galaxy. Only you can reunite the protoss factions and defeat the coming darkness before it consumes all life in the sector."

- Story summary.(src)

The protoss were being systematically exterminated and were dying out from sheer age even before the Great War.[9] The protoss have been picked off one-by-one, and their shattered civilization will fracture as something even worse happens, forcing a leader to save them from annihilation.[10] Various protoss factions will be united for a last stand against Amon.[11]

The protoss will be at the forefront of the story. Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan will feature in the story, but Amon is the primary issue. Chris Metzen has likened the story to that of the film 300, with a small force engaging a much more powerful one in a desperate last stand. The storyline will conclude the StarCraft II trilogy,[12] and will bring an overall end to the StarCraft saga that began in the original game.[13] However, the game has been written in such a way that those who haven't played the previous installments (a possibility as per the game's stand-alone status in terms of installation) will not be lost.[14]

Locations visited in the campaign include Korhal and Shakuras.[15]

Oblivion

StarCraft II Legacy of the Void - Oblivion02:06

StarCraft II Legacy of the Void - Oblivion

Artanis intended to retake Aiur, but found himself leading forces against Amon instead.[16]

Gameplay

The attack speed of units in the game has, as of February 2015, been reduced by 40% when compared to Heart of the Swarm, while adding damage to compensate. Scan range has also been increased in order to increase unit effectiveness in combat.[17]

Singleplayer

"We want to get that feeling of 'We're the Protoss and we have technology that you haven't even dreamed of. We will literally turn you into a parking lot if you mess with us.' We want to get that sense of power without the focus on a single character."

Legacy of the Void is primarily a singleplayer expansion.[18] The campaign was intended to focus on Zeratul as its main character[19] but the focus changed to Artanis by 2014.[20] Zeratul will still feature prominently however.[11] The game will feature a prologue in a manner similar to the previous games.[21]

Artanis will travel on the arkship Spear of Adun and interact with characters such as Phasesmith Karax and a preserver, Rohana. The ship will have been derelict for hundred of years and will require upgrades.[20]

The protoss campaign will be based on diplomacy as the protoss factions splinter.[22] The player will work with different protoss tribes[23] and sects, helping leaders of some sects which will anger others.[24] Using units from one side may preclude using units from the other side[22] and alienating one or another sect may cut the player off from part of the campaign.[24] New allies will bring with them new technologies and techniques. This forms the basis of the game's army customization.[20] The ultimate goal of the campaign is to unite the various tribes into a viable, unified force that can ensure the protoss' survival.[25]

The game will feature upgrade choices in a similar vein as the armory and evolution pit from the previous games[26] through the solar core and war council.[20]

It is intended that the game's campaign have its own feel distinct from Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm. In the latter, Kerrigan composed a great portion of her forces' strength by herself. For Legacy of the Void, it is intended that no single protoss warrior be comparable to her in that regard via gameplay. Zeratul may be an exception, but any such missions would be based on stealth (e.g. assassination). The power of the protoss in the game is to come from the protoss as a whole, not a single individual.[27]

It has been indicated that Nova will make an appearance in the game,[28] and hinted that the hybrids will play a "critical role."[29]

Characters

Multiplayer

New units were confirmed at BlizzCon 2014, along with Archon Mode[30] and Allied Commanders. The game will also feature automated tornuments[7] and new tilesets.[31] Units may be added/removed prior to and during the game's beta.[32] Many of the new maps in the game will be protoss-themed.[21] Blizzard hopes that the maps will have greater diversity than previous installments, especially in regards to rush maps vs. macro maps.[33]

Blizzard intends to focus on micromanagement (to avoid simply using large unit clumps), harassment, and constant attacks in the new expansion. "Passive time", such as the low-activity early-game, will be avoided. Changes include reducing the amount of minerals and vespene gas in order to encourage the creation of new expansions. The starting worker count will increase from 6 to 12, and the starting buildings (command center, nexus and hatchery) will create more supply, psi and control to make creating new workers possible).[34]

Game speed has been reduced to be syncronous with real-time. This will affect speed values, movement speed values, cooldown times, research times, upgrade times, and unit build times will all need to be re-memorized. Players are encouraged to offer feedback as to whether this change is preferable. Whatever the case, Legacy of the Void will either feature this time system, or the old one, not both.[35]

Mech and air upgrades may be split for the game.[36]

Blizzard is considering making adjustments to the game's ladder system.[37]

Protoss

Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update Protoss04:29

Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update Protoss

The following protoss units are added/altered in the game:

Terran

Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update Terran04:31

Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update Terran

The following terran units are added/altered in the game:

Zerg

Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update Zerg04:52

Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update Zerg

The following zerg units are added/altered in the game:

Development

LegacyOfTheVoid SC2 Logo1

The game's original logo

By 2013 Blizzard Entertainment had begun working on Legacy's story, scripts and missions.[43] As of February 2014, Blizzard was "hard at work" on the game,[44] and work on the game's cinematics was well underway.[45] By August 2014, the development team was in discussion concerning community suggestions pertaining to the expansion.[46] The game was formally revealed at BlizzCon 2014.[47]

New artists were brought onto the game's art team that had not worked on Heart of the Swarm.[11]

Singleplayer

The story of Legacy of the Void was the first point of development for the game, as the gameplay of StarCraft II had been solidified with the previous titles. The story was worked on collaboratively between James Waugh, Chris Metzen, Samwise Didier, Jason Huck, Allen Dilling, Justin Thavirat, Matt Morris, and Dustin Browder over the period of several months[11] (Waugh was the lead writer).[48] It is intended to be a protoss story first and foremost, that it services the protoss primarily, while also wrapping up lingering threads from the previous games.[21] As of August 2013, the game's story has been written, many of the cinematics have been completed, and voice actors have begun work.[49] As of November 2013, Dustin Browder was satisfied with the game's story, but felt the missions and campaign mechanics needed more work, to make them "feel" like protoss missions.[27] The story is intended to capture the tragic nature of war, and to have a dark tone, as per it being the final installment in the StarCraft II trilogy.[50] It is thematically based around the idea of a race that needs to change, how the protoss have been bound to a method of thinking that has served its time.[21]

It was intended for the story to have the following tenants:

  • Create a distinctly protoss story while wrapping up the story threads of the StarCraft II trilogy—keep the story focused on the protoss and their lore.
  • Create an epic end times scenario for the player to stand against—deliver on the threat of Amon.
  • Fullfill the fantasy of playing as protoss.[11]

Through the nature of the Khala, it is intended that the game explore themes of collectivism vs. individuality.[11]

A challenge for writing for the game is that the protoss do not possess the same kind or amount of body language as humans. The writers watched episodes of ER, for as it per its nature as a medical drama, the characters' faces are often covered bar their eyes. Eye movement was studied in regards to how it could apply to protoss characters, as their eyes are their main conveyers of emotion. While the protoss are intended to be "unkowable" (in regards to humans/terrans), it was also intended that elements of humanity still shine through.[21]

Multiplayer

In 2011, Chris Sigaty expressed doubt that new units would be added to the game, and that if they are added, it is likely that other units will be removed from multiplayer.[51][52] This was refuted by Blizzard employee Kevin Johnson in 2013 stating that "no new units isn’t a direction we’re considering or have ever considered."[53] New units were revealed at BlizzCon 2014.[54]

The game's beta was announced in March, 2015.[35]

Collector's Edition

The game will have a collector's edition. It will include a pet for use in Diablo III.[55]

References

  1. Mike Farley. 2008-10-10. StarCraft II Single Player Is A Trilogy! Kotaku.com Accessed 2008-10-10.
  2. Eduardo Vasconcellos. 2008-10-10. Blizzcon 08: StarCraft II Split Into Three Games. IGN. Accessed 2008-10-10.
  3. StarCraft Legacy staff. 2008-04-04. StarCraft II Lore Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed on 2009-05-12
  4. 2007-17-11, StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 46. Karune. Accessed on 2008-18-11
  5. Webnet. 2009-08-17. Rob Pardo Q&A - Battle.net, Wings of Liberty, and more. StarCraft Source. Accessed 2009-08-29.
  6. 2014-11-07, BlizzCon 2014 Opening Ceremony. StarCraft Legacy, accessed on 2014-11-11
  7. 7.0 7.1 2014-11-07, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Warps into BlizzCon 2014. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-11-11
  8. 2015-03-18, Legacy of the Void Beta Preview. Blizzpro, accessed on 2015-03-20
  9. "The Protoss are sort of a troubled species. They're being systematically exterminated, and were being exterminated long before the Zerg arrived. They were starting to die out from their sheer age, but now that the Zerg came and their home world is gone, these guys are really having a lot of trouble." Dustin Browder, Jonathan Ross. 2009-06-29. Destructoid interview: StarCraft II's Dustin Browder. Destructoid. Accessed on 2009-07-23
  10. "What we're talking about for the Protoss campaign is -- y'know, the Protoss are a shattered civilization, right. They've been beaten and pummeled by the brutality of the StarCraft universe for years and years and years now, and we might bring into the campaign something even worse happens to them, and they ultimately just fracture into all these different factions. And so you are working as one of the Protoss Heroes trying to re-unite the Protoss before annihilation." Dustin Browder et al. 2009-09-04. BlizzCon 2009 StarCraft 2 Fansite Q&A - Part 4/5. Youtube. Accessed 2009-10-07.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 2014-11-07, StarCraft II Legacy of the Void Campaign Overview. YouTube, accessed on 2014-11-13
  12. 2013-03-18, Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void Is Similar to 300, Says Game Director. Softpedia, accessed on 2013-03-19
  13. 2015-03-19, StarCraft's Story Concludes With Legacy of the Void. GameSpot, accessed on 2015-03-26
  14. 2014-11-25, AusGamers StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void Developer Interview with Blizzard's Allen Dilling. AusGamers, accessed on 2014-11-26
  15. 2014-11-07, BlizzCon 2014 – StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Screenshots. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-11-12
  16. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void - Oblivion. Youtube. Accessed 2014-11-08.
  17. 2015-02-12, Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update – February 12, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-02-14
  18. 2014-09-24, StarCraft 2: Legacy Of The Void Release Date: Are Heroes Of The Storm & Hearthstone Going To Delay The StarCraft 2 Expansion?. iDigital Times, accessed on 2014-10-11
  19. Rob Pardo. 2008-10-10. Starcraft 2 Trilogy Announcement. Wegame.com Accessed 2008-10-12.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. Legacy of the Void: Campaign Preview. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-11-08.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 2014-12-01, BlizzCon 2014 LotV Lore Community Corner Discussion with James Waugh. YouTube, accessed on 2015-04-03
  22. 22.0 22.1 Allen 'Delsyn' Rausch, Dustin Browder. 2008-10-10. StarCraft II: Making the Split (PC) (page 2). Gamespy. Accessed 2008-10-12.
  23. Dustin Browder and Thierry Nguyen . 2008-12-30. StarCraft 2 Wings of Liberty (PC). 1up.com Accessed 2008-12-31.
  24. 24.0 24.1 2008-10-13. BlizzCon Chris Sigaty StarCraft 2 Interview. IncGamers. Accessed on 2008-10-14
  25. 2009-06-29, Jonathan Ross, Destructoid interview: StarCraft II's Dustin Browder. Destructoid. Accessed on 2009-07-23
  26. 2014-07-20, StarCraft 2: Legacy Of The Void Release Date: Will The Protoss Expansion Even Come Out In 2015?. Digital Times, accessed on 2014-07-24
  27. 27.0 27.1 2013-11-09, StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void: Campaign Needs More Work, Blizzard Says. Warcry Network, accessed on 2013-11-09
  28. 2011-10-22, BlizzCon 2011 - Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm - Campaign and Lore Panel (Full). YouTube, accessed on 2011-11-07
  29. 2014-04-08, Which Blizzard Characters Should Appear in Heroes of the Storm?. Gamespot, accessed on 2014-04-09
  30. 2014-11-07, Blizzpro. Twitter, accessed on 2014-08-11
  31. 2014-11-07, BlizzCon 2014 – StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Overview. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-11-13
  32. 2014-11-19, Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update – November 19, 2014. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-11-24
  33. 2015-04-14, Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-04-17
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-08. Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Preview. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-11-09.
  35. 35.0 35.1 2015-03-18, Legacy of the Void Beta Preview. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-03-20
  36. 2014-12-17, Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update – December 17, 2014. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-12-21
  37. Blizzard Entertainment. 2015-03-02. StarCraft II Ladder Update -- March 2, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2015-03-07.
  38. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update: Protoss. Youtube. Accessed 2014-11-09.
  39. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update: Terran. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-11-09.
  40. 2015-04-27, Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview - April 27. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-04-28
  41. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update: Zerg. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-11-09.
  42. 2015-03-18, Legacy of the Void - Closed Beta. YouTube, accessed on 2015-03-22
  43. Kaivax. 2013-03-06. Reddit AMA Full Transcript. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2013-03-07.
  44. 2014-02-06, Activision Blizzard Q4 2013 Conference Call – Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-06-11
  45. 2010-2011, Starcraft 2 Hybrid Destroyer. Deviantart, accessed on 2015-03-29
  46. 2014-08-29, Legacy of the Void: What we know so far. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-08-29
  47. 2014-11-07, StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void Trailer (PC). Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-11-12
  48. 2013-02-14, Grand Old Podcast Episode 88 Transcript. Rival Cast Media, accessed on 2013-05-12
  49. 2013-08-12, Robert Clotworthy Announced Voice Recording for the StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Expansion Has Begun. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2013-08-12
  50. 2015-03-06, PAX East 2015 Blizzard Panel | Blizzplanet (1/2). YouTube, accessed on 2015-03-22
  51. 2011-06-03, StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void Possible Removal. Gamersbrook, accessed on 2011-06-07
  52. Tom Senior. 2011-05-31. StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void could have less units than Heart of the Swarm. PC Gamer. Accessed 2011-06-07.
  53. December, 2013, Mana vs Firecake Money war. Reddit StarCraft, accessed on 2014-05-13
  54. 2014-11-09, StarCraft II Legacy of the Void Multiplayer. YouTube, accessed on 2014-11-12
  55. 2015-03-13, 7 Things We Can Look Forward to BlizzCon 2015 on November 6 and 7. 2P News, accessed on 2015-04-19

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