In addition to revealing its new team-based first person shooter, Overwatch, Activision Blizzard also unveiled the third installment in the StarCraft II series, Legacy of the Void, on Friday during BlizzCon 2014. Unfortunately, the company did not reveal when this expansion is expected to ship.
According to Blizzard, the new expansion's story picks up where Heart of the Swarm ended, bringing the overall StarCraft II story to its conclusion. The story began back in July 2010 with the launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, and fans no doubt are eager to find out what happens in this final chapter.
"Protoss legends Artanis and Zeratul attempt to unite their race in an intergalactic fight for survival against an ancient evil from the Void that threatens the universe," Blizzard explains. "The fates of Terran hero Jim Raynor and Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, also hang in the balance."
In addition to the overall storyline, Blizzard is introducing a new multiplayer game mode called Archon. This mode pits two players against another two players, with each pair taking control of a base and its units.
The company is also introducing an Allied Commanders game mode. This is an objective-based, co-op mode where players assume the role of a commander and battle through a number of scenarios. Each commander has a set of traits that will boost their armies.
Blizzard revealed on Friday that the Lurker will be added to the Zerg roster, a beast that was last seen in the original StarCraft. The Protoss will get their hands on a new weapon called the Disruptor, and the Terrans will have new technology such as Tactical Jump, which will teleport Battlecruisers to any destination on the map.
StarCraft II fans interested in getting into the beta program can head here to sign up. Legacy of the Void is currently in development for both Windows PC and Macintosh. Never played StarCraft II? Check out the Starter Edition (demo) right here.
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Since Legacy of the Void isn't bringing anything new to multiplayer (which is also noticeably inferior to SC1), there isn't much incentive to buy this expansion.
Kerrigan in Brood War was one of the most interesting characters ever. Easily more interesting in terms of character story arc and pathos than Darth Vader. But in SC2 they retconned her into this generic, bland, politically correct "strong female character" that's actually good at heart. God forbid a female character be actually evil.
What SC2's story is and what I was most looking forward to was Raynor vengeance against Kerrigan for killing Fenix along with killing, infesting (e.g. Razhagal), or tormenting and forcing into exile (e.g. Zeratul) half the characters in Brood War. But then SC2 HotS is released and then Raynor and Kerrigan are b***buddies? Really?
Not to mention that before that, in SC2 WoL, they retconned Raynor, probably the only honest-to-God in the whole of fiction into this cliche overly muscled guy with the cliche backstory "haunted by his past and has an alcohol problem" BS.
I could go on indefinitely but I will stop here.
You know what? I'll share a bit more.
Before SC1 was released, when Blizzard previewed the game, one of the major criticism at that time was that StarCraft was essentially "WarCraft/Orcs in Space". At that time, Blizzard listened to the criticism and changed course and as a result one of the most creative, refined, popular, revolutionary (in terms of eSports, and of RTS balance of asymmetric factions), iconic and cult titles of all time was made.
But then SC2 comes along, I changed it back to being "Orcs in Space":
Zeratul = Medivh in space. Prophet character that tries to warn others of the coming return of the Xel'Naga / Demon army.
Xel'Naga = Titans in space.
Amon = Sargeras in space = fallen Xel'Naga/Titan
Hybrid = Demons in space, except Demons are fiery and red, while Hybrid are lightningy and blue. Amazing!
Zerg Roaches = Crypt Fiends in space
The Overmind = the Lich King in space.
Kerrigan = Arthas in space.
The Overmind is created by the Xel'Naga Fallen One / Demon Lord to create and lead an army. The Overmind / Lich King with his massive psychic powers, hatches an elaborate plan, where he plans events many years in advance. The plan consists of finding and converting a champion, Arthas / Kerrigan, to the side of the Undead Scourge / Zerg Swarm so that champion can then free the Overmind/Lich King and the Swarm/Scourge from Amon/Sargeras (and Kil'Jaeden).
It's like Blizzard are plagiarizing themselves.
More gameplay time with this new game!
Put simply, this is a game that banks on it's multiplayer scene to make money. That's the same reason why every CoD and Battlefield game has new maps, new weapons, new perks, new scopes etc. Because if you don't make the experience feel new then old players will feel hacked off that it cost them 60 bucks to keep on playing, and it'll make new players feel hacked off that they get outclassed from the outset simply because they didn't buy the old game and learn the ins and outs of everything for a thousand hours. It's a huge deal to at least refresh the multiplayer.
They won't reinvent the wheel or anything, but it's almost certain that they'll mix things up a little bit - Slightly tweaked costs and build times, a new unit that's useful only against specific existing army compostions etc. That last seems very likely to me. One protross unit or upgrade that's really good against marines, marauders and medivacs; maybe it reduces healing in a certain radius or makes using stim less good or something. Just little things like that which don't make current strategies irrelevant but do give players new builds to explore and counter tactics to employ.