BlizzCon 2016 StarCraft II: Foundation for the Future Panel Transcript

Panel Q&A

Tim: David, I know you’ve helped from time to time on the multiplayer side as well, what can you tell us about what’s coming up for Starcraft II multiplayer?

David: Well, StarCraft multiplayer has a full panel on its own. Its at 4:45pm right here on this stage. So make sure to come back. We’re going to be doing a Deep Dive into the upcoming packs and all the changes.



Tim: Very good. You guys are probably tired of hearing me ask these guys questions, so if you have questions for them, or for me for that matter, you can start lining up with the microphone that’s going to be in the aisle. Just to recap a little bit, we have a tremendous amount coming up in the year ahead for StarCraft II. You’ve heard about War Chest which is a very exciting new feature that will help support StarCraft II eSports, the conclusion to the Nova mission packs that should really be pretty epic, and then just a ton of stuff that’s coming on the co-op side, and more to talk about in the multiplayer panel later on today.



Before we get to questions, I want to highlight that we have a number of other StarCraft panels that are happening here at BlizzCon — there is one that I think overlaps a little bit with the end of this one, StarCraft II art and design. We’ve got the Co-op Mission panel that we talked about earlier, the Multiplayer panel we alluded too. We have a co-op show match happening — that should be super exciting to watch. Of course, WCS finals, and then finally tomorrow morning, the Google Deep Mind AI collaboration with the StarCraft II Dev Team. So be sure to check out all of those if you can, and for now we will start taking some questions.



Chris: While they’re doing that, I also forgot to mention that we have a very special BlizzCon Mutation Challenge. It’s one that we made just for BlizzCon. So that’s also playable on the showfloor. So make sure you check out Stukov, the new map, and the Special Mutation Challenge.

Tim: Yeah, right over there.


I was a little unclear if there was this co-op commanders that are off map and just have like global abilities, and there are the ones like a unit you control. Is Stukov like an actual hero unit? Is Stukov one of those?


David: Stukov is not a hero on the field. He’s the one that has powers that you call down from the top bar.



Are you leading the war towards those kind of heroes, because I personally prefer the off-the-map heroes.

David: OK, we like to keep a variety of them, it really depends on the theme and the playing style that we’re going for. For example, Kerrigan and Nova… they make very obvious good heroes on the field. It really depends on hero to hero.



Hello, I’d like to ask if you are planning to add an option to disable the skins for competitive multiplayer.


Tim: We don’t have that plan right now, but I think that’s feedback we’re open to, so definitely if people have opinions on that, let us know and we will take that to heart.



With the death of Pro League, is StarCraft Multiplayer dying?


Tim: I actually think that StarCraft multiplayer is in an amazing place right now. If we look at what’s going on here at BlizzCon with three foreigners in the Round of 8 (RO8), this is going to be one of the most exciting WCS Finals that we have ever seen. We’ve got some big plans for WCS Circuit, and for WCS Korea coming out next year. Obviously, Pro League has been wonderful to experience all of these years, and we’ve enjoyed it very much, but we do believe that the ecosystem in Korea will stay vibrant and stay healthy, and we see StarCraft II multiplayer gaining in popularity. We expect that we will have another great year next year.



I was wondering if (lets say), what you are doing with Alexi Stukov, will we be able to see it with more heroes like that? For example, a match between Protoss and Terran, or Protoss and Zerg heroes, as well?


David: I guess there are hybrids out there. There are some Xel’Naga maybe. I don’t know, what kind of hero will you like to see?



I’d like to see something between protoss and terran. Mostly, something like an attack combination like a Carrier that shoots off a bunch of ships, and on the bottom of it it’s got like the weapon of a siege tank that can shoot the ground as well.

Response: People have been posting lots of crazy ideas that are really awesome on the forums, so maybe you can write up a comment or pitch that I can read later. I feel your ideas.



I was actually wondering if you’re pursuing any ideas for different game modes.


Tim: Well, I think there is always brainstorming going on. We don’t have anything specific to talk about right now, but we love to hear ideas from the community as well. We’ve seen a few come in. So if you guys have ideas please share those too.



I know a lot of people like to have like siege or defense type game modes where they can try to get a high score. That kind of game mode is great for single player and multiplayer where you can you know try to get the high score.

Matt: we now see the leaderboard coming. So as we talk about the leaderboard we do talk about what more we can actually add to co-op. Obviously, we have few mutation challenges. We’ve had conversations of what can we do differently than just mutators, something we could slide in for that week. Something that would feed the system like what you’re talking about, but nothing solid at this point.

David: I think also the mutation challenges may give us a space to kind of explore some of those wackier ideas like defense maps and stuff.



I’m a huge fan of StarCraft and I think like your game is amazing, and everytimee I present it to somebody, even if they don’t play the game, they love the game. So I feel like there has been a lack of marketing coming to find new players, like new trailers, or things that would pass on TV, or like putting boards like when Overwatch came to be… there was so much stuff out like everybody could see it everywhere; and I feel like StarCraft deserves it. Some of that love with all this new Co-op and everything. It’s less overwhelming now to start StarCraft than it ever was, because it was so overwhelming before to play this game, and now it’s like easy, you can go in, and you can play Co-op. You don’t have to fight a bunch of people that are going to destroy you. It is really satisfying. Is there really a new plan on giving a new bunch of marketing or something?



Tim: We will be doing some things towards the middle of the year to really encourage players to come in and check out StarCraft, or check back in on StarCraft if they haven’t. I think already here is with co-op with the new tutorial that we did with Legacy of the Void, so much content for players who are coming into the game new. The other thing I would mention is we do have Starter Edition, which is free to download, the first 5 missions of Wings of Liberty, the three prologue missions from Legacy the Void, custom multiplayer, Arcade. There are a lot of tools for players who are new to StarCraft to come in and check it out. The biggest thing that you guys can do to help is spread that word, and get your friends in to check out Starcraft, but we will definitely try to encourage them this year as well. Thank you.



In regards to Stukov, a brand-new commander, but are you guys looking to add Talandar with the Purifiers, or Dehaka with the primal zerg any time soon, because those would really be amazing commanders.


David: First, you sound like a really cool commander.

Matt: We have nothing to say at this point, but we have a list of commanders that we’d like to do. Those are commanders that are definitely on the list. So I mean if you guys are going out there posting on Reddit, or on the forums like which commander you’d like, because this is really good opportunity the way we drop content out to actually interact with the community and really see what you guys want, because ultimately our goal is to make content for you guys.


Thank you very much. I’d be excited for when Dehaka comes out.


I’m a big fan of StarCraft, and I love all the stuff that you do with the co-op missions and the story. I have been a big fan since the first one. It’s an awesome build. One thing that I really like is the competitive play. With the topics discussed today, there isn’t too much talk on things added to the meta, the new units for each of the different races. Do we have plans for that (maybe not this year, but maybe 2018 or 2019)?


Tim: That’s a good one to hit David Kim with in the multiplayer panel, but what I will say, and Dave– he’s kinda gone on the record with this before, we are constantly evaluating the game, and I think balance test map that’s out there now, represents some thinking about how the game should evolve, but David in the past has expressed openness to consider other changes moving forward. So that’s a great one to hit him with at that panel.



I was wondering with the implementation of the mastery levels for the commanders, for future plans, how you would keep the balance in check with them expanding their power.


David: Yeah, we’re definitely keeping a close eye on those. There are a bunch of mastery categories that are not super desirable. So we’re always looking at those. We’re trying to look at the data, read the forums; but the nice thing about the way that we’re releasing content now is that we can easily patch, and we can make not only balance changes, but we can make some design changes as well. So we’re definitely open to feedback, and I want to plug our talk at 3:00pm o’clock. It’s at the third floor at 3:00pm o’clock in the Darkroom Fair. So if you want to drop by, we can kind of talk about some more details.



Tim: Alright. Well, I think that is it for questions. Thank you, guys so much for playing StarCraft. We really appreciate you coming out to BlizzCon, and we will see you on the showfloor and in the arena.



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

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