|StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void|
November 10, 2015
Science fiction real-time strategy game
It is the third and final StarCraft II product, 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 was released as an independent installment, not requiring any previous version of StarCraft II to run. It has received a simultaneous PC/Mac release.
The game was released on November 10, 2015.
- Story summary.(src)
The story of Legacy of the Void concludes the StarCraft II trilogy, picking up where Heart of the Swarm ended. It contains three mission prologue campaign Whispers of Oblivion, featuring Zeratul as he attempts to make sense of the scattered prophecy that spoke of the return of Amon. The central campaign begins with the reclamation of Aiur, which goes awry due to the return of Amon and the corruption of the Khala. As Hierarch Artanis, the player must unite the scattered protoss factions, and find a way to force Amon back into the Void. The campaign features planets from previous games such as Korhal and Shakuras, as well as new locations such as Ulnar and Glacius.  The main campaign features 19 missions, with an additional two extra mini-campaigns featuring three missions each.
Reclamation shows a conversation between Artanis and Kaldalis on an asteroid or planetoid orbiting Aiur. The protoss reclamation of Aiur from the zerg begins the next day. Artanis doubts whether it is right for many protoss to die to reclaim the symbol of the old protoss civilization, one that lost Aiur due to its own critical flaw of disunity. Kaldalis counters that the reclamation is for the new unified protoss civilization, and that its future is worth fighting for. Artanis is placated, and the two return to the Golden Armada.
The opening cinematic, as narrated by Artanis, shows a protoss force battling against the zerg in an effort to retake Aiur. Kaldalis stated that with the Khala they couldn't lose. During the battle, the group's high templar merged into an archon. The protoss appeared to lose, when more were warped into combat to confront the zerg.
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 later changed to Artanis by 2014. The game features a prologue named Whispers of Oblivion, which was released early for those who preordered the game.
Much like the Hyperion and Kerrigan's leviathan in previous expansions, Artanis travels on the arkship Spear of Adun during the campaign, where he can with characters such as Phasesmith Karax and Grand Preserver Rohana. The ship can be upgraded by obtaining solarite.
The campaign features the ability to choose between units and technologies from four different protoss factions, each with varying abilities and roles. These units can be changed at any time between missions, and more options are unlocked as the campaign progresses. Units from StarCraft: Brood War, including the corsair, dragoon, reaver, dark archon, and arbiter reappear as unlockable unit options.
Legacy of the Void's campaign was to designed to 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, while Legacy of the Void was designed so single protoss warrior would be comparable to her in that regard via gameplay. The game contains several missions where the player controls powerful heroes, such as Artanis.
The player is able to choose the order of visiting planets in a manner similar to previous games. Bonus objectives can be completed within missions for solarite, which upgrades the support abilities of the Spear of Adun.
The game features a three mission epilogue Into the Void, in which the player uses factions and abilities from all three previous campaigns. It is designed to conclude the story started in StarCraft.
- Samir Duran
- Matt Horner
- Sarah Kerrigan
- Valerian Mengsk
- Jim Raynor
- Alexei Stukov
New units were confirmed at BlizzCon 2014, along with Archon Mode and Allied Commanders, later renamed Co-op Missions. The game features 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 has been implemented. Blizzard evaluate to add or remove units prior to and during the game's beta. Many of the new maps in the game are protoss-themed. Blizzard hopes that the maps are of greater diversity than previous installments, especially in regards to rush maps vs. macro maps.
Blizzard intended to focus on micromanagement (to avoid simply using large unit clumps), harassment, and constant attacks with 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 has been increased from 6 to 12, and the starting buildings (command center, nexus and hatchery) creates 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 affects speed values, movement speed values, cooldown times, research times, upgrade times, and unit build times, which brings the need to re-memorize them. Players were encouraged to offer feedback as to whether this change is preferable.
Mech and air upgrades are split in this game.
At the start of multiplayer matches, all (possible) enemy positions on the map are highlighted by a red circle. This circle disappears after 25 seconds.
In an upcoming update, MMR will be separated by race in both ranked and unranked play.
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:
- Nydus worm
- Swarm host
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 game will continue to be supported post-release.
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, who had a more hands off role when compared to previous installments. Valerie Watrous served as a co-writer.
One of the original writing inspirations was Seven Samurai. It iwas intended to be a protoss story first and foremost, that it service the protoss primarily, while also wrapping up lingering threads from the previous games. As of August 2013, the game's story had been written, many of the cinematics had been completed, and voice actors had begun work. The story was 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 was 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.
- Fulfill 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.
Similar to previous installments, Legacy of the Void has received tie-in media. Reclamation is a prequel short that takes place just prior to the game's opening cinematic. A quintet of short stories will be released in the leadup to the game.
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.
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 has a collector's edition. It includes the following:
- Full game
- Special edition of the StarCraft Field Manual
- Behind the Scenes DVD.
- Soundtrack CD.
- Heroes of the Storm hero (Artanis).
- Heroes of the Storm Void Speeder mount.
- Hearthstone Legacy of the Void cardback.
- World of Warcraft archon pet.
- Diablo III probe pet.
- Diablo III protoss-themed transmog set.
- StarCraft II portraits (Emil Narud, purifier zealot, void thrasher).
- Purifier skin for the adept and colossus.
The game sold 1 million copies within its first 24 hours of going on sale after release.