SC2: Q&A at WWI 2008
It's just what it is right here. Whatever the designer had right now, is what they thought was best. There will definitely be changes.
Tell us about the gas mechanics.
It's a new feature we're trying out. But I don't know if it's perfect yet, we'll keep experimenting with it.
There are a couple of units (thor and mothership) that haven't found their identity. What have the problems been?
They are the superunits and their problem is that they had their own kit and we started playing with it and it kind of stepped on the toes on the other units, so we tried to changed it, but it turned out in a way we didn't envision it, so we had to redo the art to make it.
At one time we had the Thor sieging and he would bomb the hell out of everything with his huge cannons. Now they are used for shooting anti-air and those cannons don't look like shooting at air so it takes you into a problem with design. But we have a lot of balance to do and after that we can look deeper into changing the art of it.
Might you ever find a spot for those units?
No, we will find it.
How are the dialogue with the progamers going? How do they react on MBS?
It's always one of the biggest challenges for the development team. MBS comes up again and again and Dustin has been saying that its something he is taking very seriously, and considering some of the SC1 mechanics. Hopefully we can find a balance between those two, and that's the direction they're taking, so its starting to shape up so in a few months it might be better.
Are you planning to do anything on the infestor?
It's one of the earlier zerg units that we made. We had our original art that we have done and we have continously updated them and now we're working on the Terran and have been changing the texturing and the Terran are coming closer to what we'd call "final". Then we're looking closer to the Protoss and Zerg at last. But I read that the infestor wasn't liked by the community so we'll just put wings on him as well [referring to how the community didn't like the wings of the zergling].
How much does the forum mean?
[Will update answer soon.]
Did you experiment at all with a full 3D camera?
Not really. It didn't feel like StarCraft. We can do all kind of cool things and innovating things but it's not really StarCraft.
One example was that when at an art panel, when someone asked about a new race, we asked the audience: who wants a new race? Xel'Naga for example? And not so many people actually wanted it. Sounds cool in a game but not for StarCraft.
Is that a challenge that you have to listen more to Koreans than others, because its so big there?
We're listening to everyone. We take the feedback from all our fans but we make the game we feel we want to make and the ones we want to play.
Soul Hunter that was taken away. Which units have been taken away that we dont know?
A few. Mostly its because they would step on the toes on other units. There was a big debate that we lost the reaver, but I looked at it like we gained the Colossus, even if it doesn't do the same thing. It didn't replace the reaver but that's how I kind of look at it. We can't have everything in the game.
There are still some that don't make it the multiplayer, they will still be in the single player and the map editor.
What's going on with the Terran Nomad?
We have plans to redo the Nomad. We hadn't had any time to do it. In the current version at WWI we just put in the old one. You know, we're not even close to the beta yet.
Samwise, what about the penguin?
No, I don't know. [Laughing]
Did you ever plan on naval or space units?
We thought about doing that, like hydralisks could swim or something like that, but we never found any use for it. But we have done some cool things in the single player and certain things coming out of the water. But currently right now we don't have any naval combat at all.
Which game is coming first, WoW or SC2?
They're both coming out tomorrow. [Laughs]
Have you guys experimented with totally impassable terrain, like a mountain that even flying units can't pass or so?
We had ideas we wanted to do for single player but we haven't experimented that far. It's a cool terrain type that would do for some environments but at all times it's not realistic.
Will there be any new tilesets we'll see?
We have a few of them that we are specifically we're making for one mission ingame, we have some cool ideas that will be different from any RTS game ever done.
When you're designing a new race, how do you decide on where to stop?
For StarCraft, we try to come up classic types for the race but we also want to make them so that they don't step on the toes on the other races because they have to be unique. In the beta we'll really see where the holes are and then we'll start working ideas on more ideas. We try to stop when we don't have anymore new unique ideas for a particular race.