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Starcraft II: Chris Sigaty Interview

Interviews By Joe Iuliani on November 05, 2010

RTSGuru.com:

One item that has been pushed during Blizzcon are the Starcraft II mods DOTA, Star Jewel etc, can you expound on those for us?

Chris Sigaty:

So, we're really excited about those, that's kind of what our showcase is this year, We just launched Wings of Liberty, so we're really not in a position to describe Heart of the Swarm yet. So it's too early for that.

The story of Blizzcon. We're really excited about what the mod community, what the mapmakers are already creating. We're showcasing three custom maps that the community created. One of them that I would recommend checking out if you get the chance is called Photon Command. It's a really cool Missile Command-like gimmick, but it's got an upgrade path, it’s really deep. It's player created, it's a single player game effectively.

We're showcasing some of ours, we've got Blizzard DOTA, we've got Iron Chef, we've got Left to Die which is actually based on the Outbreak mission, but a cooperative it's based on the Outbreak mission from Wings of Liberty, it's a take on that it's also an homage to Left 4 Dead by Valve. It's a very cool level, where you hold out with a friend while different creatures come in, it's a fun level. Blizzard DOTA is a take on the DOTA genre if you will. It gives you the opportunity to see some of the heroes we've made, we've made some heroes that are cross genre. Not just SC2 heroes, we've got some Diablo characters in the works, we've some Warcraft characters and Starcraft characters and they're fighting together. The thing I'm most excited about is Star Jewel really demonstrates the the diverse set of things you can do in Starcraft II. It's basically a Bejeweled inspired game, you play basically a puzzle game and as you build up a bar, fill you bar you can send out units toward your enemy. You play two versus two and both you and your partner are trying to do this against the enemy. It's very frantic, it's got a lot of that feel and it's being all done on the Star2 engine. We really want the community beyond just the hardcore, the mod makers they know this already, the community by and large to understand that Starcraft II is a great game platform not just a great RTS in general.

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RTSGuru.com:

I know you mentioned this before, that you really can't get into Heart of the Swarm, but I'm going to ask anyway, what can players generally expect from it?

Chris Sigaty:

What I can say is known, it's going to focus largely on the Zerg, it's going to continue the story of Kerrigan, and we will makes changes to all the races on the multiplayer side. The campaign will be mostly Zerg centric. Beyond that I really don't have anything to share. We don't even know right now what sorts of levels there will be, in Wings of Liberty there were some that focused on the Protoss, we don't know if that will be there.

RTSGuru.com:

How accurate to do you feel the match making system is, from the hard core to casual player. Is there room for the casual player or should they just stick to the campaign mode?

Chris Sagaty:

No, I don't want campaign to be the only option to casual. I think to play competitively there's something about that in of itself that makes it less approachable right of the bat. And so, from my perspective, the matchmaker is the best by far. Once you get in there, you find where you need to be. You generally play games better taen any one of our previous efforts, that you could've won or you could've lost. And when you lose, the problem when you say that at the lower tier anything could be a win. As an example: Choking off the entrance to your base is something all players intrinsically do as soon as you to some level and then you move up. If you are playing at the tier where you haven't picked that up yet, then people are rushing you and rushes just feel unbeatable. So you feel like you're getting stomped all the time, so discovery and understanding of some of these basics make it very hard to make matchmaking truly work. A single bit of knowledge can jump you up. When I hear a player not doing well, I guess they haven't played tons of games and only played a few games and got fed up.

Generally it takes about ten games to get where you should be, and then you'll walk your way up, and learn those things, like choking off your base. But I think a player plays two or three times and it's such a schooling that they immediately say “this isn’t for me”. They need to understand that there is a time it takes the system to put you where you should be. I think once you are there the games are generally good.

RTSGuru.com:

I know it was mentioned that there would improvements to the achievements, is there anything you can add to that?

Chris Sagaty:

Improvements are more like additional achievements. We're planning to include achievements like Blizzcon, for the players that are here. Things like adding maps that we've put together. Adding content, that players can get by participating in various events.

RTSGuru.com:

Do you feel currently there are any aspects of the game that players bypass or overlooking that maybe they should be focusing on?

Chris Sagaty:

I mean on the big system side, both parties are avoiding the really cool aspects that are in Starcraft II. The more casual player is avoiding the competitive side because they have a preconceived notion that it is too difficult, and it is hard. Then maybe they give it a shot and they play one or two games and they lose, they decide “this isn't for me, I'm not that guy.” If they stick it out a little longer they would really have a good time.

On the other side you have competitive players that are playing AMM (advanced match making) and there's a whole big open world that's mapmaking and that's waiting to be discovered. They're not necessarily seeing that, since they are so focused that way. That's the best answer I can give, overall people are exploring and having a good time

RTSGuru.com:

Finally, what in general would you like the RTSGuru and MMORPG audience to know, what resounds with you?

Chris Sagaty:

I went through WoW like a majority of folks probably did, and I still find the magic of RTS, and love watching the players at the high skill level. I think there's a ton of fun and discovery in Starcraft.

From my perspective we tried very hard to make this have this ability to explain what this is all about. To get over the hurdle of the preconceived notion that it's too hard and I can't do it, it's in Star2, through our tutorial system , through the challenges, through playing the campaign. I think even if they don't run on and play competitively they'll find it to be a really cool experience. The same way completing quests or what have you like in World of Warcraft.

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