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Blizzard: StarCraft II Will Re-Energize RTS Genre

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 99 comments

Blizzard's Chris Sigarty believes that StarCraft II will spark a resurgence in RTS gaming.

In an interview last week, Blizzard's StarCraft II lead designer Chris Sigarty seemed hopeful that the upcoming PC game will breathe new life into the real-time strategy genre. Sigarty's view of the genre is that its popularity has fallen quite a bit since the days of Starcraft: Brood War. Still, he gave a few thumbs up to many titles he's seen over the past decade that have taken "cool and innovative" directions.

"But one of the things for me that has been interesting about it is that people have changed what's crucial to an RTS--now it's all about blowing everything [traditional] out of the water," he said. "People do crazy different things--sometimes to the level of getting away from the essence of what was established previously."

Blizzard's overall feeling of the direction it took with StarCraft II is that it has a solid play style, a great gaming method, and is very innovative while making sure fans don't feel alienated. "I feel pretty positive that with StarCraft II, we'll spark a resurgence in RTS gaming. As far as PC gaming goes, it's definitely still alive with World of Warcraft so we don't think it's dead yet."

StarCraft II may also be a key component in the overall health of the RTS genre--and PC gaming for that matter--for years to come in the way that Blizzard has broken the game into three chunks. As it stands now, the next installment won't see the light of day for another 18 months.

"The original [journey] was conceived with a total complete story arc so we know those big points," he said when asked about the release of part 2, Heart of the Swarm. "But the details are still being talked about and discussed now. I've said this before, but our estimate is 18 months approximately from when we launch Wings of Liberty that we would be looking at getting Heart Of The Swarm out."

But what about LAN support? Has Blizzard caved in just a little? "No," he said. "We've made the choice at this point that we're not including LAN." His reasoning is that StarCraft II stays connected, tracking everything players accomplish. Because of that, LAN is not "a necessary" feature. What do you think? Does that make sense?

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  • 22 Hide
    dman3k , May 24, 2010 5:29 PM
    Re-energize it by not support local lan parties that made Blizzard their fortune. Turn your backs against those who made you rich. Good job, Blizzard.
  • 22 Hide
    insider3 , May 24, 2010 5:31 PM
    Looks like it's becoming a trend for developers to turn their backs on the source that started them off. I would have never discovered the first one if it wasn't for a LAN party.
  • 11 Hide
    sliem , May 24, 2010 5:28 PM
    No LAN support still? boo.

    How about zoom out?
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    sliem , May 24, 2010 5:28 PM
    No LAN support still? boo.

    How about zoom out?
  • 22 Hide
    dman3k , May 24, 2010 5:29 PM
    Re-energize it by not support local lan parties that made Blizzard their fortune. Turn your backs against those who made you rich. Good job, Blizzard.
  • 22 Hide
    insider3 , May 24, 2010 5:31 PM
    Looks like it's becoming a trend for developers to turn their backs on the source that started them off. I would have never discovered the first one if it wasn't for a LAN party.
  • 4 Hide
    ipp , May 24, 2010 5:32 PM
    Blizzard wants you to pay for a copy. There are multiple massive networks in China/Korea which do not even touch battle.net, thus avoiding piracy.

    With that said, would it be so bad for Blizz to allow Lan and STILL check the copy at their servers? Yes you would need a internet connection, but not a high speed one. However this would be cracked. With no LAN code - you would need to do major modifications to the code to run over LAN.

    In the end I still think we will see a BNET2.0 server which will allow 'pirated' copies. The game is that popular.
  • -5 Hide
    atdhe , May 24, 2010 5:32 PM
    No LAN? lol!
  • 1 Hide
    igot1forya , May 24, 2010 5:34 PM
    Been playing the Beta and still waiting to feel that warm tingly feeling like I did when I fired up the first one... I must admit though, the level editor is really quite good. It still needs local LAN support, this is a no-brainer.
  • 1 Hide
    beayn , May 24, 2010 5:35 PM
    dman3kRe-energize it by not support local lan parties that made Blizzard their fortune. Turn your backs against those who made you rich. Good job, Blizzard.


    Companies just don't understand LAN support is what really spreads their title around. Our LAN group will not buy a game that can't be played on LAN. That's 10 possible sales. In Starcraft's case though, they won't care because they'll probably be the #1 selling RTS game of all time even without LAN support.

    Games like SupCom2 suffered far more.
  • 9 Hide
    pharge , May 24, 2010 5:35 PM
    "this point that we're not including LAN." His reasoning is that StarCraft II stays connected, tracking everything players accomplish. Because of that, LAN is not "a necessary" feature. What do you think? Does that make sense?"

    I love starcraft and I believe I will love the starcraft 2... but do I really want Blizzard to track everything I accomplish in the game?... nope...

    Since I am not interested to be the world champon or something... I don't think it is necessary to have them tracking on me all the time.

    However, I actually think LAN function is even more important this days... since most of people have their intranet set up in their house... with good enough speed for gaming.

    I know most likely Blizzard decide to kick the LAN for some business reason... but from my (as a user) point of view... I will like LAN support more than tracking everything I have done in the game.
  • 8 Hide
    drakenviator , May 24, 2010 5:38 PM
    Sorry but no LAN does knock a few points off in my mind. One of the greatest things about Star Craft was packing up your rig to go to a friends house and lay the smack down. Or as some would call it a LAN party! No internet required, just a group of people a switch, and wave after wave of killing...
  • 2 Hide
    bh2o , May 24, 2010 5:43 PM
    Game is still fun and good regardless of LAN. Except maybe for the facebook update, that is just odd.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 24, 2010 5:43 PM
    Pirated to hell and high water with someone creating a LAN 'mod' on teh side.
  • 2 Hide
    blarger , May 24, 2010 5:45 PM
    Blizzard cutting out LAN play... Epic making UT3 a console game... Team17 continuing that 3d worms bs (yes i heard about the steam relaunch)...

    The companies I believed in are dying. Killing themselves.

    On a lighter note I had a thought: I didnt have a lot of money for games growing up (hell I still don't) and because of that Blizzard played a VERY big part in my gaming experience. Between SC/WC they managed to get RTS right. Between Diablo/WoW they managed to get RTS/MMO right.

    What if they had made an FPS? Gaming would be more of a religious affiliation than any console zealotry has shown us yet.
  • 11 Hide
    Dkz , May 24, 2010 5:48 PM
    no lan no buy.
  • 9 Hide
    bardia , May 24, 2010 5:49 PM
    No lan = no buy for me. I know I'm being a stickler here... but I will not waste my and my friends time trying to play on laggy severs.
  • 3 Hide
    s4fun , May 24, 2010 5:52 PM
    F#@!#@% Activision. They screw up IW with no dedicated servers in MW2, and now they do it again to SC2 by killing LAN. This is screwed up!
  • -5 Hide
    orionite , May 24, 2010 5:53 PM
    Do LAN parties even exist anymore? I haven't seen any of those in a long time. I tend to agree with blizzard that this is becoming obsolete and people who play online at all, have a reliable internet connection. Lag in an RTS is not much of an issue anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , May 24, 2010 5:55 PM
    While I do agree that not including LAN support is a horrid idea... I can't even remember the last time I went to a LAN party that didn't have internet access.
    But then again, maybe thats just my experience.
  • 0 Hide
    dzban , May 24, 2010 5:56 PM
    I don't see a big problem. Just connect LAN to internet and you can play.
    It may be problematic in some cases but you can play on lan pary anyway.
  • 3 Hide
    FATAL STR1K3 , May 24, 2010 6:00 PM
    I personally think that Blizzard will always be a solid company as long as it exists.

    They get pretty much EVERYTHING right. I was not into Bliz years ago being that I am relatively young but I dont think that no LAN will be an issue for me.

    However.. they don't count custom games as part of your statistics so why not just add it. People clearly want it.

    I am sure that there is just some reason that they have neglected to publically say..
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