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Old January 23 2013, 05:51 AM   #1
NCC1701
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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Haven't really played SCII much lately, but the release of the Heart of the Swarm opening cinematic today caught my eye (I recommend watching in HD on youtube itself, just click the title on the video below):




All I can say is wow , that sure whetted my appetite, less than two months to go now until HotS is released, after nearly three years. At this rate I'm expecting Legacy of the Void to be released in time for Christmas 2015, at least we have what looks like another epic game to look forward to, as you would expect from Blizzard.

Anybody else have any thoughts on the subject?
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Old January 23 2013, 06:27 AM   #2
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Wow is right.
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Old January 24 2013, 12:41 AM   #3
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Impressive.
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Old January 24 2013, 02:29 AM   #4
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Nice trailer. It'll be interesting to see how Kerrigan develops in this one.

Last time I checked out some HotS beta videos towards the end of last year, there were a metric fuckton of ongoing major patch balance changes, including significant unit additions/deletions. Has that settled down a bit down now that the release date is closing in fast or is it still all up in the air?

I must admit, all those major and rapid changes gave off the impression Blizzard didn't really know what they wanted from units and/or races and were flailing around trying to find a mechanical balance even if it didn't really work lore-wise. Healing the transforming mech battle hellions via medivacs and fudging the explanation by renaming them hellbats to suggest a lineage with firebats was kind of where I zoned out on following the beta's development. Yeah, I get that it's still just a beta, but I suppose I decided I'll just wait until release before taking a good look at it. I hope Terran gets enough of a buff to be truly competitive again at the highest level (compared to WoL), and that Protoss gets some fresh strategies to play around with rather than being forced down relatively predictable (if effective) strats. I like that Blizz dealt with the infestor problem in WoL in a relatively robust - and even moderately imaginative - way (eventually) so I'm vaguely hopeful.

Anyway, while I don't really play Starcraft (I don't have the necessary RTS multitasking ability and lack sufficient motivation to work at it), I do enjoy watching competitive Starcraft. I hear that all the major tournaments (maybe not IPL?) will switch to HotS almost immediately post-release, which will be exciting. Some pros have been practising it almost exclusively for ages (eg WhiteRa) while others have barely touched it, so I'm guessing the first six months results will be really all over the place. Until the Koreans get their build orders down perfectly, and then normal order of business will be resumed.
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Old January 24 2013, 03:16 AM   #5
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Strangely enough, I have the original and SC II on my computer yet I lost interest in the sequel rather quickly. That was probably in part because of RL stuff going on at the time, but I think also I'm just not a huge fan of MMO/exclusive online play. Not all gamers are into that. I could just be old fashioned, but sometimes it's nice to have a single player perspective.
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Old January 24 2013, 06:39 AM   #6
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

I'm probably one of only a few SC players that exclusively plays single player - and it's not just limited to SC, but every game I own - and like I said I haven't followed the news much on HotS development, so I'm pretty much out of the loop on that front. All I ask is that Kerrigan doesn't go down the pure evil path again like in SCI and BW, thereby undoing pretty much all of WoL. It'd be nice if the Zerg weren't the bad guys this time, and yes I realise that a bigger bad is coming, but still...
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Old January 24 2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

NCC1701 wrote: View Post
I'm probably one of only a few SC players that exclusively plays single player.
Same. The campaign and versus AI was fine with me. Listening to trash talk from people who probably weren't born yet when the original Starcraft was released isn't my idea of fun.
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Old January 24 2013, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Speaking of hearts, SCII broke mine when they recast Kerrigan with a Tricia Helfer over the original actress Glynnis Talken Campbell. I remember her voice for both Kerrigan and infested Kerrigan as one of the great works in video game voice acting. After all, when the major character of your franchise is about the size of a cursor onscreen and the profile shot is the size of a folder icon, the voice is what really brings the character to life. I even remember going to Blizzcon and actually watching the SCII cutscenes that actually showcased Campbell voicing SCII's Kerrigan in the scene where she says "I knew you'd find your way here eventually".

Wings of Liberty thankfully had the original actors for Raynor and Mengsk back and that was a relief since the story focused on Raynor. Now my HotS features my biggest disappointment in Blizzard as the starring role, and I am this close to turning on the subtitles and killing the voice audio upfront. It's not that I don't like Tricia Helfer. I think she's a fine watchable actress, but when you consider all the big name science fiction games that features her talent (Halo, Command & Conquer, Warhammer (publicity, I know), Mass Effect), I just can't help but feel disappointed in Blizzard for not sticking to the talent that helped make their games truly epic.
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Old January 24 2013, 10:32 PM   #9
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

I'd agree about having Campbell. Not that I have anything against Tricia Helfer, but part of making a great saga is finding the right actors for the roles, and I think that was a blessing for Blizzard when the original SC was made. Both versions of Kerrigan were distinctive and memorable, fitting the big role she wound up playing in Brood War. And that's difficult to replace.
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Old March 13 2013, 08:32 PM   #10
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

I'm going to miss offline games...
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Old March 13 2013, 11:15 PM   #11
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Holdfast wrote: View Post
Anyway, while I don't really play Starcraft (I don't have the necessary RTS multitasking ability and lack sufficient motivation to work at it), I do enjoy watching competitive Starcraft.
Talking of the above, did anyone watch any of the mini-tournaments Blizzard held across the three regions to celebrate launch day? I caught a bit of the European event; was pretty cool to see Grubby finally win a tournament.
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Old March 14 2013, 05:21 AM   #12
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

I picked the game up yesterday during my lunch break, but I'm in the middle of a fairly busy week so I've only had time to play the first mission and a half. I'll devote some time to it this weekend. I do love playing the campaign, but I can't wait until I finish it and start back up with the multiplayer.

I main Protoss, but I ended up quitting SC2 a few months ago due to just how boring the race is to play. I was pretty good at the game (Masters level), but it was just so tedious. I did enjoy PvT, but PvZ was broken and PvP was the most god awful tedious crap I've ever had the misfortune of sitting through. The Mothership Core and the Tempest should do wonders for me and my Protoss brethren.
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Old March 14 2013, 06:05 AM   #13
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

I really don't get why people play a single race. Random gives you a lot more game to play. Unless you are trying for tournament level play... I just don't see it.

As for Kerrigan voices? I only played the first part of the original Starcraft fairly recently, will get back to it at some point... but really the story and voice acting wasn't doing much for me.

Wings of Liberty I thought was pretty decent. I was worried that the transition to the Zerg would add a level of hokeyness to the proceedings that would kill it, and sadly after the first 5 missions or so I think I was right. It's just so cheesy and lame. They can't write good dialogue for an insect race. The writing was on the wall with the silly Protoss levels in WoL so I'm thinking it'll be pretty bad in the final chapter as well.

Some of the levels have been decently fun, so I think the gameplay will still be there... but the story went from decently engaging to disaster.

Oh, and I like Tricia Helfer's voice. It makes me think of BSG. Brings a smile to my face it does.
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Old March 14 2013, 06:14 AM   #14
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Yoda wrote: View Post
I really don't get why people play a single race. Random gives you a lot more game to play. Unless you are trying for tournament level play... I just don't see it.
You need to focus on a single race if you want to get good at the game. I can't imagine making it to Master or even Diamond league if you play random. A few people do it, but I have no idea how they manage. I think there was even a Random player in the GSL one time. Sure, he lost in the first round, but that's still damned impressive.
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Old March 14 2013, 07:36 AM   #15
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Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Ehh, I was right on the edge of Diamond going random in 1v1. 2v2 made Masters with a partner who also went random and 100% cheese strategies, that was fun .

Yes if you absolutely want to max out your potential you should probably stick with one race... but it's a video game. Random is way more fun.
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