Starcraft Novels On 2010

The future of the Starcraft Novels market for 2010 look very bright and promising. First off, the remaining of 2009 have various books and manga release dates starting with:

  • Starcraft, The Dark Templar, Twilight (Christie Golden, June 30, 2009)
  • Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 3 (Elder Joshua and Ren Zatopek, Jul 14, 2009)
  • Starcraft Ghost: Spectres (Keith R.A. DeCandido, December 2009 Update: Got email from Simon & Schuster sending me some corrections. Spectres accurate schedule is June 2010)

From my inside contacts I know the Starcraft Ghost: Academy trilogy (TOKYOPOP) by Keith R.A. Decandido is scheduled on 2010, and Aaron Rosenberg will write a sequel to Starcraft: Queen of Blades—as revealed in our interview with Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson at the 2009 New York Comic Con. It might likely be on sale by 2010. (Update: Simon & Schuster informed me today there is no Rosenberg book scheduled.

I think Chris Metzen told me outside the interview that he had written a story in Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 4 featuring Jim Raynor (Update: Tokyopop confirmed it is volume 4 – street date October 13, 2009). So keep an eye on that one for sure.

Now fresh from the oven, you can count with another StarCraft novel by Graham McNeil.

Blizzard Quote:
Graham: “… there

Starcraft 2 Round Up March 17

What’s the point of marines?
Karune: Marines are much more useful than the original StarCraft, mostly because they have more hit points now. Even in mid game, they can be armed with Combat Shields, giving them a whopping 55 hit points. That combined with Stim Pack and Medivac Dropships healing, is quite a formidable force.

Nonetheless, in early game, it is a must to combine them with Marauders, to slow Zealots and force fire Roaches.

Having a diverse group when pushing out early is important. This strategy of course is not the only way to play Terran. There are plenty of other units to play with – including Reaper harassment, standard Tank pushes, offensive bunker pushes, Marine/Hellion pushes, etc.

Are Hellions better to be used against Zerglings and Zealots?
Karune: Hellions are tier 2 and you won’t have them. If you want to push out, using both Marines and Marauders is definitely the way to go, especially since 1:1 at cost in the open, Zealots will tear through a group of Marines if not slowed.

Why not just mass marauders
Karune: Mass Marauders unfortunately would lack the dps that a combo Marauder + Marines group would have. Also Marauders don’t have Stim Pack, which also makes up a great deal of extra dps. The Marauder early game could kite a few Zealots well, but their fire rate is much slower than a Marine.

Are creep tumors burrowed/invisible? How easy are they to remove?
Karune: Creep Tumors are ‘burrowed’ and will need a detector to be able to see them. No need for additional speed bonuses, since Zerg ground units (minus the Drone) will already have speed bonuses on creep. The Creep Tumors now only cost 25 energy from the Queen to create. Using the energy for Creep Tumors though means you aren’t using that energy towards spawning additional larva. Players will have to make a choice in their strategy.

StarCraft II Beta Key Opportunities

Many people have been asking where they can get beta keys for StarCraft II. Here are a few of the opportunities out there right now, and more will come as we approach closer to beta.

“Vespene Laughs” StarCraft II Comic Contest (reoccurring monthly)

Blizzard Theme Park Contest (Ends for North America March 30th, end dates differ for each region, check with the regional site)

Warcraft III The Frozen Throne Tournament Season Winners 2009

Video Games Live 2009 March Schedule

Video Games Live played various music pieces from Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft games at the end of Blizzcon 2008, last year. It is very probable they might do so again this upcoming August at Blizzcon 2009.

Video Games Live will have a few concerts throughout the month of March. So if you love video games music played by a live symphony orchestra, and live in Kitchener, Ontario; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Austin, Texas—then check out the schedule and where to get the tickets.

ONTARIO
The music of video games will be performed by the world-class Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony led by industry veterans and world famous video game composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall on March 13 and March 14 at 8:00pm.  The Video Games Live concert will take place at:

The Centre In The Square
101 Queen Street N.
Kitchener, Ontario
Canada

The concert tickets for March 13 are sold out, but if you would love to be there—Saturday, March 14 tickets are still open while they last. Adult seating ticket prices range between $30-80. And can be ordered here.

There will be a pre-show festival starting at 6:30pm.  You can watch some Video Game Live video clips here.

MICHIGAN
On March 20, 2009, Video Games Live will perform at the Miller Auditorium at 8:00pm on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Tickets are available here—ranging from $25-52 for adult seating.

TEXAS
On March 28, 2009—Video Games Live will perform at the Long Center in Austin, TX at 8:00 PM.

Maps here. Ticket info here. Ticket prices range from $32-49.

Michael & Susan Dell Hall
701 W Riverside Dr
Austin, TX
(512) 474-5664

Warcraft Legends 33% Off Special Offer Until March 16

We have been covering the Warcraft Legends Marathon in the past days, and hope you have loved the free stories TOKYOPOP has allowed fans to read.  For that matter, I wish to share with you a special offer announced today by TOKYOPOP at one of their affiliate bookstores that knocks 33% off the retail price on all graphic novel mangas including Warcraft and Starcraft.  And that includes Pre-orders.  If you would love to start collecting the Warcraft mangas, this is the right time to do so. Let me tell you how to. Note: I created and account, and tested the coupon code and without. It does work.

1. Register an account at RightStuf.com—and login.
2. Click on the Purchase links at each manga page (below) to keep adding books to your shopping cart.
3. When you are done with your purchases, click the shopping cart button at the bottom of the page. (You have the option to pay through a secure server or via Fax/Mailed Order.)
4. Press the Ready to Check Out button on the top right and enter the following coupon code:

Coupon Code: infusion
Expires: Monday, March 16, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. CST

You will find the Coupon Code option textbox at Step 3: Shipping and Tax page.

The links below will take you straight into each Manga page for convenience.

WARCRAFT

STARCRAFT

These are the shipping options:
Canada – $7.00
Economy – $3.00
International – $10.00
Priority Mail – $5.00
UPS 2nd Day Air – $11.00
UPS Ground – $7.00

DeCandido And Rosenberg At Lunacon 2009

Keith R.A. DeCandido and Aaron Rosenberg are attending the 2009 Lunacon to take place at Rye Brook, New York.  The event will be held through March 20-22. Keith R.A. DeCandido is author of World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred.  Aaron Rosenberg is author of World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness and co-writer of World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal.

Their scheduled programming doesn’t involve any Blizzard product discussion, but if you are planning to attend Lunacon, they would be glad to meeting you and signing your Warcraft and Starcraft books.  One of Aaron’s scheduled panels is Tribute to Gygax.
Description: The biggest name in the development of roleplaying games, and one of the few recognizable names in a low-profile field, Gygax was always a lightning rod for many people’s views about gaming, both from inside and outside the field. A look back at Gygax’s life and influence on the field..

Keith has an interesting panel titled From Book to Film:
Description: Why do some books make great movie adaptations, while others fail utterly? What are the problems inherent on moving between the two media? How do you make a book into a great film?

Send us your photos with Keith and Aaron taken at this event if you are attending. Below is my photo with Keith at the 2009 New York Comic Con.

 

CrossOver Games Support For DirectX 10 Linux and Mac Soon

I rarely post news outside the Blizzard games scope, but I thought this one was very interesting to share with Mac and Linux Blizzard gamers. Codeweaver—developer of the CrossOver Games—announced their roadmap for 2009 highlighted by their support of DirectX 10 right out of the box.—Full Article.

We’ve just shipped a lot of those ‘under the hood’ improvements for games out in CrossOver Games 7.2. We’re really pushing Direct X 9 support pretty far along, and getting ready to move on Direct X 10.

In the next few months, we’ll be shipping CrossOver Linux 8.0, and CrossOver Mac 8.0. That revision of our flagship product will bring support for IE7, modern QuickBooks versions, Quicken 2009 (at a nice speed), Photoshop CS3, and many many other improvements, particularly around Microsoft Office and specifically Outlook. —via Slashdot

CrossOver Games Support For DirectX 10 Linux and Mac Soon

I rarely post news outside the Blizzard games scope, but I thought this one was very interesting to share with Mac and Linux Blizzard gamers. Codeweaver—developer of the CrossOver Games—announced their roadmap for 2009 highlighted by their support of DirectX 10 right out of the box.—Full Article.

We’ve just shipped a lot of those ‘under the hood’ improvements for games out in CrossOver Games 7.2. We’re really pushing Direct X 9 support pretty far along, and getting ready to move on Direct X 10.

In the next few months, we’ll be shipping CrossOver Linux 8.0, and CrossOver Mac 8.0. That revision of our flagship product will bring support for IE7, modern QuickBooks versions, Quicken 2009 (at a nice speed), Photoshop CS3, and many many other improvements, particularly around Microsoft Office and specifically Outlook. —via Slashdot

Starcraft 2 Drop Pods Removal Reasoning

This is a question some fans may wish to find out ever since the drop pod was removed from the alpha. Its former purpose was to deploy a certain amount of marines on a spot chosen by a ghost unit. Karune responded basically that the drop pod was redundant, once the medivac dropships were introduced. I recall some fans had compared the drop pod with Command & Conquer, but it was very nice to use the ghost to call them down. Hopefully this can still be done in the World Editor, but that’s unlikely.

Blizzard Quote:
Why was the drop pod removed from Starcraft 2?

Karune: The role of the drop pod fit very closely with what Medivac Dropships already do even better. Overall, through testing, it was far better to build Medivac Dropships to drop off reinforcements or raid, especially since drop pods still needed to be loaded with infantry as well.

AT&T Renews Hosting Agreement With Blizzard Entertainment

AT&T renewed their hosting agreement with Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. for online games over Battle.net and World of Warcraft servers. A press release is available.

Blizzard Quote:
AT&T Renews Hosting Agreement With Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. for Online Games

LOS ANGELES, March 3—Online gamers will continue to enjoy a rich and reliable gaming experience thanks to an agreement struck between AT&T* and Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Today, AT&T and Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software, agreed to a two-year renewal for hosted services in North America.

Blizzard Entertainment(R) is best known for its Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R), and Diablo(R) PC games as well as its massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game World of Warcraft(R), which is available in eight languages and played by more than 11.5 million subscribers worldwide.** AT&T has been working closely with Blizzard Entertainment for 9 years, providing hosting for World of Warcraft and the Battle.net(R) online-gaming service.

“We’ve been pleased with AT&T’s service over the years, and we’re confident in their ability to continue to provide the quality support we need,” said Paul Sams, Chief Operating Officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “This renewed agreement allows us to stay completely focused on our games while AT&T applies its hosting expertise to help us offer the speed, reliability and security our players expect.”

Through multiple Internet Data Centers (IDC), AT&T will provide strategic hosting and proactive, 24/7 network monitoring and management for the online infrastructure of Blizzard Entertainment’s games and services. The AT&T Gaming Core Team will provide comprehensive networking support to Blizzard Entertainment.

The AT&T Gaming Core Team was formed in 2004 to meet the infrastructure needs of customers’ gaming operations across AT&T’s Internet Protocol (IP) network. The team consists of engineers and hosting specialists who provide round-the-clock support to companies offering MMO games. The team provides global, end-to-end support of customers’ gaming operations across AT&T’s hosting infrastructure, applications and IP network and supports trouble resolution, incident command and control, post incident review and root cause analysis.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, which represents computer and video game publishers, U.S. computer and video game software sales grew almost 23 percent in 2008 to $11.7 billion.

For more information on AT&T Hosting and Application Services, go to https://www.business.att.com/hosting.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

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