Monday, February 4, 2008

Starcraft Online

I know it has been almost a year since my last post but I couldn't help but drop this on my blog just for the sake of expressing my opinions and views on a possible Starcraft Online'.

Projections for 'Starcraft Online'
A total of three races or 'factions' MAY be available at launch. Terran, Protoss, and Zerg. Each race will be a generic humanoid with a set amount of base starting stats and racial abilities. Humans and protoss obviously have a good starting point but the Zerg do not. Zerg issues would arise because besides the queen of blades there is no other cannon humanoid zerg that would work. However, a hybrid between terran and zerg would create a perfect subject (think about the walking bombs that come out of infested command centers).

As a side note for the Zerg, I can also see the world being set with Terran and Protoss being the only playable races with zerg being the third party antagonist. Though being a zerg fan myself I would much rather see a humanoid zerg introduced as a playable race.

Classes: Part 1
The inherent term for a job in an MMO is usually a 'class', however the most likely progression would be in 'talent trees' or 'skill trees'.
Each tree would dictate the character's path such as Close Combat, Marksman, and Psionic.

Terran Examples: (Close Combat) Firebat, Medic
Terran Examples: (Marksman) Marine, Ghost Operative
Terran Examples: (Psionic) Ghost Psion
Terran Hero or Secials: Goliath Pilot

Protoss Examples: (Close Combat) Zealot, Dark Templar
Protoss Examples: (Marksman) Dragoon (Humanoid Equivalent)
Protoss Examples: (Psionic) Templar
Protoss Hero or Specials: Archon, Dark Archon

Classes: Part 2
The other option would be to go with the usual class-based system. Terran Marine, Terran Ghost, Terran Psi-Ops, Etc. Though honestly that would be the less favorable of the two options. All of the normals would be there Terran Marine, Medic, Firebat, Ghost, Zealot, Dragoon (Basically a humanoid protoss marksman), Templar, Dark Templar.

So here we go with the crafting. While simple, the crafting system in World of Warcraft is boring. I would rather see something similar to (but not as annoying as) the everquest 2 crafting system. Gather materials, make base items, then those base items can be put together to become your final item. Specializing in a certain field of crafting would give you a bonus to creating better quality items, more items, or items available only to someone specialized in that type of crafting. I would like to see a class that is centered around crafting as well. If not a class available to all races then maybe a neutral third (or fourth) faction that deals mainly with trading and crafting.

New profession: Tattoo artist! (I have a word document that I wrote my ideas out on but it's not on me).

Setting and Story:
Here's the tough part, will the story be set during the time line of Starcraft, Starcraft 2, or even between or after the two games. Seeing as World of Warcraft was set afterward and Starcraft 2 will come out before any Starcraft Online ever 'sets foot' on your PC I would project it comes after Starcraft 2. This would also give them the freedom to create and modify as they wish just like they did with World of warcraft. I can see some deviations from the cannon lore also.

The inevitable 'mount' question:
Will there be other forms of travel in Starcraft Online? The short and long of it is Yes and No. I can see non-combat mounts being an option such as a motorcycle (terran), non-combat dragoon (protoss), or a lurker-like creation (zerg) being available to get you from point a to point b but I don't see any hope for 'vehicle combat' on the ground. (Update:) Let me correct that, siege tanks in PVP is not out of the question.

So lets touch on space combat. How would you like to pilot your own Wraith? Okay, getting from planet to planet would be easier but what about space combat? I can see that in Starcraft Online but don't hold your breath. As much as I would love to have intense dog fights in zero-g I doubt it will be introduced (at least initially). Take some time to play Tie Fighter blizzard!

Okay here comes another question. How will PvP be handled? I'd say faction vs. faction would not be out of the question nor would be realm vs. realm. The same PvE/PvP realm mechanics could be used from world of warcraft, this much is true. I don't see there being language restrictions nor intense faction hostilities in Starcraft Online though so my guess is that PvP will definitely be similiar to WoW and heavy on the arena matches. The main point here is the contesting of worlds, not cities. (Take a hint from planetside) Maybe your hostile but mineral-rich planetoid can be taken by any faction, making it harder for other factions to get certain minerals.

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