The StarCraft 2 mod project formerly known as World of StarCraft has resumed after a short pause while team leader Ryan Winzen visited Blizzard to meet the StarCraft 2 development team. The mod is now renamed as Starcraft Universe (SCU) and will not be a full-fledged MMORPG as originally planned.
The mod first caught the media's attention when a pre-alpha trailer was removed from YouTube based on a cease and desist notice sent in by Activision. Overall Blizzard didn't have any desires to nuke the project; instead, it was merely protecting its trademarks (Blizzard already owns World of StarCraft). Surprisingly Blizzard wants to see the mod's full completion, but as with all other non-Blizzard mods, there will be limitations.
"SCU's focus is recreating multiplayer raid battle experiences similar to World of Warcraft," reads the mod's FAQ. "Starcraft Universe will be released in a series of StarCraft 2 custom maps and published officially in Battle.net. The objective of this game is to experience dungeon raiding in StarCraft 2. These levels will be fun, exciting and very challenging."
The mod will offer the following list of features:
- A wide variety of monsters, bosses and character classes. SCU classes include: Infantry, Special-Ops, Demolition and many others.
- A game save system. These maps will allows players to create, save and load existing characters (a unique function uncommon to custom Starcraft maps).
- Hundreds of customizable weapons, runes and equipment to choose from. They can be acquired as loot or bought in shops.
- Multiplayer experience. These maps allow (and encourages) up to twelve players in one match.
Note the last feature which reveals a twelve-player limitation. Also missing from the game will be the character "leveling" aspect using in typical MMORPGs. Instead, character progression will be accomplished by gaining loot dropped by fallen enemies, acquiring minerals that can be used to purchase weapons and armor, assigning allocation-points obtained by killing bosses, and ranking up by killing raid bosses. These will help players in customizing and boosting their character stats.
Additionally, SCU will not have a customized storyline, nor are there plans to implement a storyline in the future. Instead, the mod will be designed to reincarnate past battles from StarCraft, StarCraft 2 and StarCraft fictional books. "Right now, we are focused with creating one working solid map," the team said. "Once we have that published and polished, we will then begin working on more SCU maps."
Currently there is no set release date for Starcraft Universe, so stay tuned.