This article or section contains information from StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.
The content may change substantially over time.
|StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void|
Q4 2015/Q1 2016
Science fiction real-time strategy game
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, occurring after them chronologically, beginning immediately after the ending of Heart of the Swarm. It was expected to be priced as an expansion in 2009. However, it will now be released as an independent installment, not requiring StarCraft II vanilla to run. It will receive a simultaneous PC/Mac release.
- Story summary.(src)
The protoss were being systematically exterminated and were dying out from sheer age even before the Great War. 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. Various protoss factions will be united for a last stand against Amon.
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, and will bring an overall end to the StarCraft saga that began in the original game. 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.
The game will have more than thirty real-time cinematics.
Whispers of Oblivion
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.
Legacy of the Void is primarily a singleplayer expansion. The campaign was intended to focus on Zeratul as its main character but the focus changed to Artanis by 2014. Zeratul will still feature prominently however. The game will feature a prologue in a manner similar to the previous games.
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. It has been stated that Artanis will likely be able to be controlled in unit form.
The protoss campaign will be based on diplomacy as the protoss factions splinter. The player will work with different protoss tribes and sects, helping leaders of some sects which will anger others. Using units from one side may preclude using units from the other side and alienating one or another sect may cut the player off from part of the campaign. New allies will bring with them new technologies and techniques. This forms the basis of the game's army customization. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to unite the various tribes into a viable, unified force that can ensure the protoss' survival.
The game will feature a similar number of missions to Heart of the Swarm. These include squad-based installation missions will feature. Brutal mode will still feature.
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.
The player will be able to choose the order of visiting planets in a manner similar to previous games. Bonus objectives can be completed within missions.
- Matt Horner
- Sarah Kerrigan
- Jim Raynor
- Valerian Mengsk
New units were confirmed at BlizzCon 2014, along with Archon Mode and Allied Commanders. The game will also feature automated tournaments; Blizzard is considering a 30 minute maximum to prevent drawn out tornument matches, at which point, the side that has gained the most XP in the match will be declared the match winner.
New tilesets. will be implemented. Units may be added/removed prior to and during the game's beta. Many of the new maps in the game will be protoss-themed. Blizzard hopes that the maps will have greater diversity than previous installments, especially in regards to rush maps vs. macro maps.
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). The game's multiplayer is intended to give a sense of constant combat.
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.
Mech and air upgrades may be split for the game.
The following protoss units are added/altered in the game:
The following terran units are added/altered in the game:
- Medivac dropship
- Siege tank
The following zerg units are added/altered in the game:
By 2013 Blizzard Entertainment had begun working on Legacy of the Void's story, scripts and missions. The development team (at least for the singleplayer) is mostly the same as the one that worked on Wings of Liberty, though new artists were brought onto the game's art team that had not worked on Heart of the Swarm. Additionally, prior to the summer of 2013, members of Team 4 who had worked on Titan were transferred to work on Legacy.
By February 2014, Blizzard was "hard at work" on the game, and work on the game's cinematics was well underway. By August 2014, the development team was in discussion concerning community suggestions pertaining to the expansion. The game was formally revealed at BlizzCon 2014.
The developers are open to including Easter eggs in the game. However, Easter eggs are usually inserted towards the end of production, and as of the above date, had not been considered.
A focus of development was that gameplay drive story in the game, and that the two mesh well together.
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. Waugh served as the lead writer, while the overall story arc was created by Metzen. One of the original writing inspirations was Seven Samurai. 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. As of August 2013, the game's story has been written, many of the cinematics have been completed, and voice actors have begun work. 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. 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. 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.
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.
Through the nature of the Khala, it is intended that the game explore themes of collectivism vs. individuality. Per the above "fantasy" tenant, the overall fantasy of Legacy of the Void corresponds to the protoss returning to the fore, for one last battle.
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.
Zeratul was originally the protagonist of the game—he had featured prominently in the previous installments of the StarCraft II trilogy. However, the protagonist role was changed to Artanis, as the developers felt that as Legacy of the Void was a protoss story, Artanis was in a better position to represent the protoss race as a whole. It was decided that Zeratul's role was best served as a mentor figure in the game's story, said role likened to that of Obi-Wan Kenobi from the Star Wars universe in this regard.
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. 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." New units were revealed at BlizzCon 2014.
The game's beta was announced in March, 2015.
The game will have a collector's edition. It will include a pet for use in Diablo III, an archon pet for World of Warcraft, a void seeker mount in Heroes of the Storm, protoss cards for Hearthstone, protoss-themed portraits and skins in StarCraft II, a special edition of the StarCraft Field Manual, a cinematics and special features DVD, plus a CD soundtrack.