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StarCraft II Patch Plans

The StarCraft II Website has details on a new version 2.0.4 patch that's on the way for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, saying this is due within a few days. This will include a bunch of enhancements Blizzard says will also be part of the imminent release of the Heart of the Swarm expansion on March 12th. Here's the outline of what this is about:

  • An all-new user interface with new menu screens.
  • The launch of in-game Clans and Groups.
  • New Replay features, such as Watch with Others and Take Command.
  • A multitude of Editor improvements.
  • New matchmaking options: Training Mode, Vs. AI Mode, and Unranked Play.
  • All-new AI Options, including AI Communication.
  • Players Near You, so you can find other StarCraft II players on your local network.
  • New customizable Observer UI.

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26. Re: StarCraft II Patch Plans Feb 15, 2013, 20:39 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Dades wrote on Feb 15, 2013, 18:09:
Hey look, the Blizzard defense force is back just in time for another expansion release, what a surprise. Time to fight the good fight for his favorite company!

I explicitly stated that there are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to hate on modern ActiBlizzard. Releasing two expansion packs for the full-length Starcraft 2 isn't one of them however.

Would it have meant more value to me had Blizzard released Starcraft 2 with 80+ campaign missions spread across three chapters, one for each race? Absolutely. I also recognize that that amount of single player content isn't feasible, and had it actually come to fruition, then Starcraft 2 would have been the longest RTS ever made by a wide margin. Since that isn't a realistic expectation, there were essentially two routes Blizzard could have gone: a initial campaign offering of 25-30 missions focusing on one race, or an initial campaign offering of 3 campaigns, one for each race, each between 8 and 10 missions long.

That Starcraft 2 would get expansions, and that those expansions would continue the story, is a given. In fact, had Starcraft 2 not received any expansions, people would be bitching that Blizzard wasn't supporting the game with new content, so the fact that you have to buy three SKUs to see the whole story isn't a valid complaint. Again, see the Wing Commander example from my previous post, which shows that using expansions to complete the storyline isn't anything new or dickish.

Blizzard certainly could have chosen to launch with three 8-10 mission campaigns for each race, and then released expansion packs with similar amounts of content that continued the story. They elected to launch with a single campaign for one race that had 25+ missions, and then to add campaigns of similar length in subsequent expansions, one for each of the other two races. Just as releasing expansions to finish the story isn't new, launching an RTS with multiple races but only a single campaign for one of those races isn't new either: see nearly every Relic RTS ever made, a list which includes some of the best RTSs around. One can certainly argue that you would prefer a campaign for each race -- albeit each campaign being only one third as long -- at launch. What one cannot reasonably argue is that Blizzard shorted everyone on launch content in order to sell expansion packs: WoL shipped with a campaign that was of the same length as SC1's three campaigns put together, and a far longer campaign than what was in, say, Homeworld or Dawn of War.

The fact that you all are interpreting such arguments as "sucking Blizzard's dick" and being a member of the "Blizzard defense force", says a lot more about you than it does about me. Honestly, Blizzard is engaging in pretty shitty business practices as of late, and I am no longer the fan I once was, but let's focus on the REAL shitty business practices (always-on DRM, pay-real-money-to-win Auction House), rather than imagining fake ones (shorting us on content to sell expansion packs by shipping a... long, full-length single-player game) in order to gratify and justify our own senses of outrage and disappointment at what Blizzard has become.
 
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