Yesterday IncGamers posted a recent interview conducted with three Blizzard masterminds working on the upcoming PC game, StarCraft II. Although the first installment of the game is slated for a Q4 2009 release, the interview took place during Blizzard's multiplayer sneak peek event during the third week of June. Talking with VP of game design Rob Pardo, lead producer Chris Sigaty, and lead designer Dustin Browder, the interview covered topics such as the overhauled Battle.net service, the map-making community, the single player story, LAN support and more.
According to both Browder and Sigaty, support for local area networking (LAN) was still a topic of discussion, nether confirming nor denying LAN capabilities. However, Pardo immediately provided a profound "no," saying that Blizzard does not have any plans for LAN, nor will it offer support. Apparently, the only multiplayer option provided by the game will be through Blizzard's free Battle.net service.
Unfortunately, this probably means that StarCraft II will not offer the "Spawn" feature as seen in the original StarCraft game, allowing owners to install the game on up to eight machines using one product key. "Spawn" copies featured local multiplayer support as well as access to Battle.net, however these "lite" versions locked players out of single-player games, the campaign editor, and block the ability to create multiplayer games.
In addition to the LAN support, IncGamers asked the team whether StarCraft II would appear on the current consoles. Pardo replied by saying that there's a zero percent chance of console versions in the future. "In our opinion we just don't feel like we will deliver the type of RTS game that we've been creating [on consoles]," he said. "We have tried in the past, we actually tried the original StarCraft on Nintendo 64. It works, it's playable, it's just such a different playability gameplay experience than on PC and we really don't want to have it be that different."
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, will be the first installment expected to go retail in Q4. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void serves as installment two and three, respectively. All three installments will provide 26 to 30 missions each, and will not offer cliffhanger endings.
It most DEFINITELY has me worried about D3 though... I've never like BNet, even with an ultra low ping, it always skips a beat and lags compared to LAN. I think I only played a few days total on BNet with D2/D2X before going nuts over the lag (60ms ping to server, yet stuff dies quite a bit after getting hit and monsters jumping in your face?? screw that).
They'll feel the backlash of this one for sure once it gets around.