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Blizzard: StarCraft II Will Re-Energize RTS Genre

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?

  • sliem
    No LAN support still? boo.

    How about zoom out?
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  • dman3k
    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.
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  • insider3
    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.
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  • ipp
    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.
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  • atdhe
    No LAN? lol!
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  • igot1forya
    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.
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  • beayn
    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.
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  • Ciuy
    lan old, who has no internet = stone age ...
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  • pharge
    "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.
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  • drakenviator
    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...
    Reply