[Starcraft 2 Logo]
Apparently, I am behind the curve on this one, but having been a fervent fan of Starcraft since the first day it came out, I find it necessary to write my thoughts on this. First, I will start with a little background; As previously stated, I began playing Starcraft the first day it was released, I was a freshman in high school at the time and having played too much Warcraft II in middle school, I was well acquainted with the general game mechanics and had an easy time learning the strategies for success in multi player competition. By the end of sophomore year, I had an official (non ladder) record of over 1300 wins and about 180 losses. I was a Big Game Hunters (BGH) junkie at the time and loved playing 2v2’s or 3v3’s.

This may seem like useless information, but it should give some insight into why my expectations for Starcraft 2 are so high; I love the game, and like most fans, I hate to see a sequel ruin the Series. Warcraft is a great example. Warcraft I was a pioneer of Real Time Strategies (RTS’s), and Warcraft II was the perfect sequel. Warcraft III, on the other hand, felt like a filler to hold Warcraft fans over until World of Warcraft (WoW) debuted late in 2004. Sure it added a 3D aspect to the game, making micromanagement more effective, but it didn’t add any real substance to the game other than the nice eye candy. Now, I am not trying to bash Warcraft 3, as I still enjoy the game, but the “fun factor” was nowhere near Starcraft. Maybe I am too involved with WoW to have noticed, but it really doesn’t seem like Warcraft III has as large a fan base, nor does it seem to be the “cult classic”, if you will, that Starcraft was.

So, what am I hoping for with Starcraft 2? Well, lets see… First, I hope that blizzard gets the whole 3D portion of the game right this time. I don’t just want to be able to zoom in and pan around. I want to be able to move my flying units around as freely as possibly in the Zth, plane. Second, I hope the unit limit is significantly higher than it was in Warcraft III because where’s the fun in picking Zerg if you cant even “Zerg” (I believe it is an accepted verb in the gaming community now, thanks to Starcraft). Finally, at the very least, I hope the game play is as fast paced as Starcraft originally was. I don’t like how Warcraft III used the notion of Heroes as an excuse to slow down the game-play.

[Starcraft 2 Preview]
While all the rumors are still fairly new, I have found at least one preview, from capricasix.com, of what the new Starcraft may look like, and here it is. Unfortunately, as we can see, it looks like the 3D panning, introduced in Warcraft III, has been added here as well. On the bright side, this doesn’t tell us anything about the actual game-play, so I will keep my hopes up as Blizzard is generally very good about listening to the community and producing quality games