BlizzCon 2016 StarCraft II: Foundation for the Future Panel Transcript

New Co-op Commander: Alexei Stukov

Tim: So at the end of the row, we’ve got Matt Morrison and David Tsung who led up the co-op vision and implementation. So Matt, co-op turned out to be a really popular game mode, can you tell me a little bit about what your expectations were, ahead of the launch of Legacy of the Void.

Matt: Yeah, our expectations was a little hard for us to get. We’ve never done something like this before, never done co-op and in our RTS for our games before, so it was a little hard to gauge, but we have hopes that everyone who enjoyed the campaign would come over here to the space, and they would play after they finished the campaign, and we were hoping that players will stick around for like ten hours, which is roughly the equivalent of a full length campaign.

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However, when we launched Legacy of the Void, we found a couple months later, that there was a large group of people maxing out a Commander — which is roughly twenty hours. And when we launched the mastery levels in the weekly mutations earlier this year, we never would have expected that the number of games being played per day at times, would exceed what you’d see in the competitive multiplayer scene, and that was just something we never expected.

Tim: Excellent. Mr. David. Over the course of this year we’ve seen a pretty steady stream of new commanders and new max, can we expect that to continue into 2017?

David: Yeah, definitely. We’re really excited about next year. We’re planning on making new commanders, new maps as well as some new features.

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Tim: is there a pre-determined schedule for how that stuff’s going to release, is it going to be as it is finished? What’s the plan?

David: We started looking at the next year and we have some goals that we’ve laid out. But as usual, we focus on quality, so the times and the realease schedules may vary a little bit.

Tim: Fair enough. So you led the design of the commanders. Who is the next commander?

David: The next commander will be Alexis Stukov. He is the infested Terran. You guys may remember him from StarCraft: Brood War, and more recently, you may remember him as one of Kerrigan’s allies.

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Tim: So Stukov is here to play right? Can you tell us more about his abilities?

David: Stukov is both Terran and Zerg, so we’ve incorporated both races into this playstyle. We also want to represent the infested zombie-like team that he has. So he’s got things like a building that spawns endless waves of infested civilians, he’s got production structures that are infested carrying buildings, but they use cocoons, and he’s also got like this theme about having grotesque monsters, which are just mashups of terrans and zerg. For example, his siege tank has tentacles that can poke the enemy. It’ll eat your own civilians and then shoot them out as ammo. So he has got some really crazy stuff.

And speaking of some grotesque monsters, some of you guys may remember the infested bunker that we showed at BlizzCon many many years ago. There’s a preview, you can remember this guy. So that guy is definitely not your typical bunker. He can uproot. He can walk around. He generates its own infested Marines inside of himself. He can unload them. So he’s got some pretty crazy stuff going on.

Tim: Seriously. Alright. Is he going to be a playable hero on the battlefield like Kerrigan?

Matt: He’s not. He has some pretty fun abilities on his top bar. For example, an ability that lets you control your infested. He’s got the ability to infest structures, you can target your own structures, your ally structures and even the enemy structures. He’s also got a couple abilities that will call down some of these big monsters, which I won’t spoil here. You guys going to check him out on the showfloor. He is playable. He’s just down in the hall. He is still work in progress. So you guys are seeing a very early version of him.

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Tim: Let’s see, do we have anything to show?

David: We do. We have a very special sneak peak video to show you guys. So let’s check that out.

 

Tim: Alright. Well, now I know we don’t just have a new commander coming, we’ve also got a new map.. Is that right?

Matt: That is correct. We have a new map here at BlizzCon called “Minor Evacuation.” We are also introducing a new character with this mission named Deborah Green. She’s a Kel-Morian guildmaster, and she really needs the help of the commanders to help evacuate some civilian shuttles from an infested planet.

Tim: Alright, so how does the player help do that?

Matt: So the way this mission works is there are 9 shuttles on the map, but there’s only ever 7 of them that will ever be active. This will be different every time you play the mission. This is some we’re trying to get into a lot of our missions is more replayability. So when one of these shuttles starts activating, the infested units will come out and they will try to destroy the shuttle. So the player needs to do two things: they need to get over to the shuttle, they need to clear it out; and then they need to stay and defend the shuttle while prepping to take off. Once enough shuttles have left the planet, you will then win, but if you lose too many shuttles, you will lose the mission.

If you guys haven’t had a chance to go over to the Demo station, I have a little video as to what the mission looks like. It probably speaks more about Alan and his art team, and so much stuff we’re doing for the co-op.

Alan: In this map is also the mining planet I told you about with the Terrazine gas in the giant space whales, and I here come miners and try to colonize it, but we’ve taken these zone maps from the campaign and turned them into co-op maps. So it’s really fun. Lots of creep.

 

Next: Arcade

BlizzCon 2016 StarCraft II: Foundation of the Future Panel Transcript
War ChestNova Covert OpsNew Co-op CommanderArcadePanel Q&A

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers. I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.