Starcraft Patch 1.16.1 Released

Blizzard released surprisingly a new Starcraft: Brood War patch. It doesn’t really fix any gameplay bugs or exploits, but it may certainly help some players with old computers or low RAM memory overall.

Blizzard Quote:
We have just released a new patch for StarCraft! Just connect to Battle.net and the patch should automatically download.

Starcraft and Brood War Patch Information

————————————————————————————————————————
– patch 1.16.1
————————————————————————————————————————

Feature Changes

– In-game Speed Options menu now has a “Enable CPU Throttling” checkbox.
Enabling this option will allow StarCraft to consume fewer CPU cycles. By
default this option is off.

Bug Fixes

– Fixed an issue with the reply feature where any character followed by a “r “
was being treated as a reply.
– Removed an unnecessary delay when processing palette cycling updates.
– Lessened the imposed delay in the CPU Throttling feature.

Starcraft 2 Beta Date Set in Stone?

Our sister network site, StarcraftWire.net, reports (german-to-english translation) that Blizzard slipped at the ESL in Vienna, Austria the Starcraft II Beta has an internal release date.  The date was not revealed, and it is not certain if the date is set in stone. However, to hear Blizzard confirm they have an internal date means CLOSED BETA is imminent. Starcraft anniversary (April 1) is coincidentially very close, barely 2 months away. It could happen any time between February and April range. Crosses fingers. By the way … GIMME BETA !!!!

Sorry, I had to.

Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 2 Manga Preview Scans

Tokyopop has released a preview scan of inner-pages from the Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 2 Manga. You can view the scans at the bottom of this page. Press the square icon for full-screen view mode. Once you are done, hit the Escape button in your keyboard to exit Full-Screen mode. Then pick any of the next three story preview scans. Each story displays 9 pages.

Make sure to visit Blizzplanet and StarcraftWire for our New York Comic Con coverage through February 6-8. I will be meeting the Tokyopop editors there, and thanks to Pocket Star Books (Simon & Schuster) I have secured an exclusive interview with Chris Metzen at the event.

If you got Starcraft II, Starcraft books or manga questions for our Chris Metzen interview feel free to post them here.

Blizzard Quote:
The brutal… The menacing… The twisted… Confront the vast, renowned world of StarCraft inside this collection of mind-blowing adventures.

Heavy Armor

Vote for Your Favorite StarCraft II Dark Templar

The Starcraft II Team wants your feedback to choose which of the three types of Dark Templar will be used in Starcraft II. Your participation and collaboration will decide the design process and appearance of the Dark Templar. If you are among the fans who do not like the Dark Templar’s appearance this is your chance to let your voice be heard. Cast your vote at the official poll and add your comments too.

You can watch the different types of Dark Templar animations at the Starcraft2.com Website.

Blizzard Quote:
The protoss dark templar has always been one of the StarCraft community’s favorite units—now, the community has a chance to participate directly in the dark templar design process for StarCraft II! Over the course of the next month, players will vote to decide which dark templar model will appear in StarCraft II multiplayer matches.

The first option represents the Lenassa tribe of dark templar, which made its debut in the original StarCraft. This unit carries a single warp blade, and a cloth shroud covers its face.

The second option represents the Zer’atai tribe of dark templar, who wield dual scythes and wear an ensemble of heavy armor and the bones of slain zerg.

The third and final option is to have both tribes represented: When you build a dark templar, either the Lenassa or Zer’atai dark templar would spawn randomly.

You can learn more about the dark templar here . Voting will close on Febuary 5th at 11:22 AM CET. The choice is in your hands!

Thanks, Handclaw

Starcraft II – Burrowed Unit Selection and Zealot Upgrade

Blizzard Quote:
Zealot Upgrades
There are two upgrades possible at Twilight Council, one is researching ‘Charge’ for Zealots and the other is researching ‘Blink’ for Stalkers. Charge upgrade for Zealots includes movement speed increase of Zealots as well.  So to speak, Charge increases the movement speed of Zealots AND allows them to intercept nearby enemies.

Unit Selection of Burrowed Zerg
Let’s say you have Zerglings in one group and some of Zerglings in a group are burrowed and the others are not. You can switch your selection of Zerglings burrowed or unburrowed in a group by hitting Tab key and also UI color is different for the units of which the ability is on with some more darked green color.
And you can use Tab key as well for Siege Tank’s Siege Mode, Spine Crawler’s Root.

However, for unit’s cloaking ability like Ghost and Banshee, I couldn’t swith off the selection of Cloaked/Decloaked units in one group by Tab key.

And one more thing, when you double click on a unit, you can select all of the same units even though some of the same units’ ability is on and other’s off like Siege Mode or Cloak. But you can select only burrowed or rooted units by double clicking on burrowed or rooted units.

I will check this more with Development team and if I have additional information on this, I will share it with you.

2009 New York Comic Con: Share Your Questions

I am gearing up with a press badge to attend the 2009 New York Comic Con to bring you as many details as possible of all Blizzard Entertainment products to be showcased at the event.  The event will take place through February 6-8. Among the companies coming to the New York Comic Con are: Pocket Star Books, Tokyopop, and DC Comics. Sideshow Collectibles, sadly, isn’t coming to the event this year (bottom). I will be in contact with some writers and with Upper Deck to find out if they are attending.

The line-up of products to be most likely showcased are:

  • World of Warcraft: Arthas
  • Starcraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight
  • Warcraft Legends Vol. 3
  • World of Warcraft: Death Knight
  • DC Direct World of Warcraft Action Figures
  • World of Warcraft Comic Book

One Blizzard product in particular I am hoping to hear about—crosses fingers—is the StarCraft Comic Book. My DC Comics contact wouldn’t budge to offer details a few days after Blizzcon 2008.  It was revealed in the BlizzCon comic sampler. DC Comics will make an announcement of this comic on 2009. The matter is when. New York Comic Con could be a good candidate for the announcement, as well as San Diego Comic Con (July).  It was at the San Diego Comic Con where the World of Warcraft comic book was first announced.

Keith R.A. DeCandido confirmed to be attending the event. I will corner him to get some details of the Starcraft Ghost; Academy trilogy (manga) and the Starcraft Ghost: Spectre (Pocket Star Book).  Aaron Rosenberg will be book signing copies of World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal. Jim Lee (Wildstorm) and Bill Roper (ex-Blizzard North) will be at the event too.

Pocket Star Books will be at booth 1402.  Tokyopop at booth 1621 and DC Comics at booth 1641. Grab your tickets online early. They are more expensive on-site.

Open to the Public:
Friday, February 6—1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, February 7—10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, February 8—10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Got any questions for any of those companies about a particular product? Feel free to share your questions to ask them on your behalf.

Tokyopop Warcraft: Legends: Troy Lewter Interview

TOKYOPOP Editor Troy Lewter sat down with NEO Magazine writer Lesley Smith to discuss all things Warcraft and StarCraft, giving her all the details on TOKYOPOP’s 22-book publshing program with Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and many others. Read the full interview. You can find the NEO Magazine article here (PDF).

And when you’re done reading that, make sure to check out details of StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 2, and Warcraft: Legends Vol. 2 now in stores!

Blizzard has been involved with the production of the manga every step of the way. Every element that appears in the manga has gone through a rigorous approval process with them, whether it

1UP: StarCraft 2 Wings of Liberty Interview

1UP interviewed Dustin Browder to talk about Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. The Zerg and Protoss Campaigns are in concept stage, and the team is focusing mostly in the core game. They know the storyline already, know how it evolves and concludes, but for now their efforts are into building the Terran Campaign.  The Zerg and Protoss campaign are considered expansions.

Some fans have grown concern that the Zerg and Protoss won’t be playable in multiplayer. This is not true. Once you purchase the Terran Campaign: Wings of Liberty, it will have multiplayer capability through Battle.net 2.0, and all three races will be available. Once the next expansion is released, new units and content will be added.

This interview offers a few screenshots of interest. One of them shows the Terran Tech Purchase UI that allows you to buy units and upgrades once you have acquired enough resources doing mercenary jobs.

When pressing one of the units or upgrade buttons, a rendering of the unit is displayed to the bottom left. To the right you get to read stats info such as credits cost, a profile, HP, armor, special bonus attributes.

The second image contains a zoomed in view of a battlecruiser laying siege to Zerg forces. This image clearly shows an in-game cinematic as we know them in Warcraft III.  On the left we can appreciate Matt Horner (Jim Raynor’s Second in command). On the bottom, a black frame displays subtitles of what Matt Horner is saying: “Horner: Glad we made it in time, sir. Now let’s get you boys outta there.” If anything, it gives Modders an idea of how they can create their own campaigns and in-game cinematics. Hopefully we get to see more of this type of screenshots. Read the full interview.

Blizzard Quote:
1UP: Do you anticipate the production cycle for the StarCraft 2 trilogy to feel like making three separate games, or more like World of WarCraft and its expansions, where the bulk of the work is on the first installment, and subsequent ones are more about iterating and refining rather than inventing?

DB: Well that’s the hope; that a good amount of the hard work of designing gameplay mechanics and systems, as well as the internal tasks of creating tools and protocols to develop all this content, is mostly settled at this point as we get deeper into the creation of the core game. So once we ship the core game of StarCraft 2 and start delving into the expansions, we’ll have a great deal of that infrastructure under our belts and be able to concentrate primarily on content creation for the two expansion sets.

That said, we’re conscious of making sure we are providing new and compelling content for the expansions. The meta-aspects of the Zerg and Protoss campaigns, for example, will work a lot differently than how we’re doing things with the core StarCraft 2 game. It doesn’t make sense for Kerrigan to be flying around in a battlecruiser and picking out mercenary missions for cash, which is what you’ll be doing with Raynor in the core game’s campaign. So we’ll be doing something different with Kerrigan to get her to evolve and grow her Zerg army. Meanwhile, Zeratul’s Protoss campaign may require you to engage in diplomacy with the different Protoss tribes in order to gain access to different units and technologies.

G4TV: Starcraft II Beta Soon

G4TV interviewed Chris Sigaty and Dustin Browder. Both developers talk about Starcraft 2’s plans. And the exciting thing to highlight in this video is how many times they mention the word: BETA.  It’s like if they were teasing it to be very SOON. It’s strongly hinted we will have this game on our hands within 2009.

Blizzard Quote:
Chris Sigaty: We

Echoes of War Now Available On iTunes

Blizzard has announced the Echoes of War soundtracks are now available on iTunes store allowing you to purchase individual tracks or the whole album.

Blizzard Quote:
Head on over to the iTunes store to get your copy of one or all of the 15 unique arrangements from Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment. This new album was recently released on CD, and has now been added to iTunes as well. It features 90 minutes of music in all, based on tracks from our games, including the upcoming StarCraft II and Diablo III. Individual tracks are available on iTunes for 99 cents each. For more details, check out the Echoes of War site or head to the Eminence Online Store to order a physical copy.