StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void - Nova Covert Ops Announced

"No, I am not Kerrigan. And if I had my own game, you'd know that."

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Blizzard has announced plans for post-launch content that will a part of its upcoming StarCraft 2 expansion, Legacy of the Void. Following launch, the expansion will be supported by series of single-player mission packs titled Nova Covert Ops.

GameSpot interviewed StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void senior designer Kristopher Howl about what to expect from Nova Covert Ops, when it will be released, and why the studio decided to develop single-player post-launch content for the game.

GameSpot: Tell us more about Nova Covert Ops. What type of game is it? What audience are you targeting with it?

Howl: So for Nova Covert Ops, this is content for players that have really enjoyed the campaign experience, which is a vast amount of players. The vocal majority comes from multiplayer but we have a huge player base that really enjoys campaign and that's really all they play. So now we're offering more content for those players and similar to the prologue where we have the three missions. Except with Nova Covert Ops we will have that little story interaction that you're used to with the campaign where you can upgrade your units. So with Nova's background, being a ghost, she unlocks some unique abilities for units that have this more techy approach to them. She'll be able to upgrade her own weapons, gear slots as well, like helmets that adjust visors so she gets special abilities to take into missions with her. She'll be present on the ground for you to run around and control. By equipping these items you will have new abilities in that mission to engage with.

It sounds like you're specifically focusing on Nova, and less of the army management side of things?

No, there will definitely be the army management side of StarCraft as well. That will be present. But she will have your Terran units that you're used to playing throughout Wings of Liberty, but she'll have her own unique upgrades that apply to those units that change them up a little bit, and how they play.

There will be moments where it's just you and Nova running through some spaces, but you'll definitely have you army-building missions as well.

Story-wise, will this all be a part of the StarCraft canon?

It will tie into some of Nova's lore. This is really a chance to explore her history a bit more, explain what the Terran dominion's been up to since the events of Legacy of the Void. It is taking place some time after the events of Legacy of the Void, the dust has settled, the Terran Dominion is trying to repair their homeworlds and the lives of their people. This will kick off on a tangent that explores Nova's world a little more.

Will this purely be a single-player experience?

Nova Covert Ops will be yes, but separate to the Covert Ops offering we'll also be pushing content for our co-op experience.

Is this going to be released as an expansion or more as an add-on DLC?

It's not going to be a full-blown campaign like Void etc. It's a shorter experience. There will be nine missions broken into three mission packs.

And you'll be rolling them out episodically?

That's what we're aiming for, yes.

Any release timeframe you could give us?

We are aiming to get the first one out by the start of next year. No exact date yet. We're just really trying hard to get it out for early next year.

In terms of overarching plans for the Starcraft 2 series, is that where it all ends, or is that something you're experimenting with?

So we haven't announced plans beyond Nova Covert Ops. We're certainly taking lessons that we've learned with Heroes and Hearthstone, and their approach to content, and we're looking to see how this goes.

The fact that she's established and that she's a ghost, we get a lot of awesome avenues to come up with some unique mission mechanics that we haven't had the opportunity to do before.

StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void will be released for PC on November 10. Blizzard will also be kicking off its annual BlizzCon convention over the weekend. GameSpot is in attendance and covering the show, so be sure to check back on site for more announcements as they roll out.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

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shadowhunter112

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BLIZZARD, IF YOU'RE LISTENING... Thank you so much for creating this! I absolutely LOVE the campaign experience in all the SC games, that's really what got me hooked before I started playing multiplayer with friends. And I'm so glad someone is still paying attention to single player RTS experiences. Call me old fashioned but I still love a great single player RTS campaign. RTS is still my favorite genre of video games and I'm sad that all the MOBA craze these past few years has taken the focus away it. Guys, Keep RTS going and I'll keep buying! :D

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enorl76

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@shadowhunter112: I agree. I love the SC2 campaign missions, and wish for more!

Obviously the multiplayer faction likes what they like, but I'm not as twitchy anymore and like to roll at my own pace.

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repalioaderfes

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@shadowhunter112: starcraft 2 is not an rts.

it's an rtm (real time micro)

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Keaze_

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Any new SC2 content is an auto-buy for me.

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gamingnerd121

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More than likely something they'll charge for as well.

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TheDarkNut

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Paid DLC or not?

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RadPro

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@TheDarkNut: Why would it be free? You think their employees decided not to get paid while making this DLC?

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TheDarkNut

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@RadPro: Oh f*ck off. Both StarCraft 2 and Diablo III never had paid DLC. That's why I am asking.

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Kalgert

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Edited By Kalgert

@TheDarkNut: Well, those are really just content updates, not really "Downloadable Content", but people use the term "DLC" for about anything these days, so whatev's.

I do have to say, it is always an annoying thing to see someone sitting there and charge in with "HOW DARE YOU EXPECT THIS TO BE FREE!? The developers worked so hard on this piece of content!" or some other random soapbox "Poor ol' developer" comment that is usually complete bull.

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Bowser05

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So...are we going to get charged for this?

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filthy_casual_

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"Take your shot, blondie."

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Cloud_imperium

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Excellent.

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nurnberg

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Edited By nurnberg

More DLC milking. This is sad.

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JamesGoblin

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@nurnberg: Ah, good old DLC milkage...

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gokartmozart89

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Couldn't we just get Starcraft: Ghost?

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game_gt3

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hmm, lets see how this turns out to be.

btw, its a story after legacy of the void. this just destroyed any fear/tension that the universe may be destroyed by amon. not that i expected anything less but still...

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blutiger_engel

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Edited By blutiger_engel

@game_gt3: Yeah, I get you, I felt the same way after reading this elsewhere.

Though many characters can still die (besides Nova and apparently - Valerian).

Kerrigan, Raynor, various Protoss heroes, mainly Artanis and Zeratul, Matt Horner etc. The destruction of the Koprulu Sector was out of the question anyway, it was the fate of those heroes that is still in question. Maybe they'll all die trying to stop Amon.

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Daian

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DLC for Starcraft? Blizzard have fully converted to Kraptivision's dark side.

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Kalgert

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@Daian: Could just be an update that is split in to parts.

But if it is actually "Downloadable Content", then it will be lame

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bobjones1980

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Will this be what Starcraft Ghost was suppose to be?

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RiceLong

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@bobjones1980: Starcraft ghost was going to be a FPS based in the StarCraft universe so no.

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gokartmozart89

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@RiceLong: Third person, actually.

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BabeNewelll

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@bobjones1980: Yes

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