Starcraft II warps into Seoul

Blizzard Entertainment unveils long-awaited sequel to PC real-time strategy game at worldwide invitational event.

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SEOUL, South Korea--Crowds of fans and press file continuously into the Olympic Gymnastic Stadium in the Gangnam province of Seoul, South Korea, to await the announcement of Blizzard's new game title. The big-screen monitors onstage, which previously showed looped footage of tournaments held at last year's Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, now show only the logo for this year's event, which takes place today and tomorrow. The anticipation and excitement in the air from the crowds of fans and international press are palpable.

The announcement session is underway, and the lights are up. The Korean emcees are making announcements about the tournaments and music concerts that will also be held at the event. Blizzard Korea managing director Jungwan Han has taken the stage to deliver the opening remarks, greeting and thanking Blizzard fans worldwide for their support. He takes his seat, and the emcees briefly introduce Blizzard's top brass, including Mike Morhaime, Rob Pardo, and Chris Metzen.

Next up are the introductions for the professional gamers, who are greeted with great fanfare by the audience as they're announced individually and step onstage. First are the Starcraft players, introduced by their name, faction played (protoss, zerg, or terran), and country of origin. These are followed by the Warcraft III professional players, also introduced by their name, played faction (humans, orcs, undead, or night elves), and country of origin. After the players are all onstage, they are brought forward individually to take an "oath" of fair play.

Press from around the world arrives at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event.
Press from around the world arrives at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event.

Once the players are ushered away, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime takes the stage to make the big announcement, noting first that this year's event will host more tournaments than any previous event (including competitions for Starcraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft), then introducing a video montage with footage from Blizzard's previous games (such as the original Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft) and previous tournament events. Morhaime is finally getting closer to the announcement...the crowd cheers in anticipation. Says Morhaime, "When it came time to make this announcement, it was easy to decide where it should take place." The president praises the enthusiasm and support of Korean game players, then introduces a video trailer for the new game.

The pro gamers took the stage to tremendous fanfare.
The pro gamers took the stage to tremendous fanfare.

The trailer begins with a spaceship lowering a coffinlike object. The camera cuts to a chamber, then to a gigantic metal gate that cranks open, and finally to a man with a cigar in his mouth, wearing shackles on his ankles. The man steps into mechanical restraints that lock around his ankles and the platform around him rises. The cofflinlike object sprouts metal pincers that brace his wrists while the champers reveal whirring turbines that sprout metallic drills and rivets that fit metallic armor on his body. The figure is a Terran soldier, and the camera pans up his body, cutting to scenes of Protoss and Zerg warriors rushing to battle. The new game, as rumored, is Starcraft II.

Morhaime then introduces the lead designer of the project to discuss it--none other than former EALA designer Dustin Browder (who worked previously on The Battle for Middle-earth and Command & Conquer series). The video screen cuts to a demonstration that shows a fleet of Protoss ships that disembark several zealot infantry units, then cuts to a scene showing Terran transports touching down and becoming base structures, spouting infantry and vehicle units. Browder points out that this demonstration is in a very early stage of code. As we see in the demonstration, the new game will add abilities to existing units--the Protoss zealot, for instance, will now be able to charge into battle to quickly close the distance against Terran gunners. The Terrans retaliate by bringing in siege tanks to shell the Protoss from a distance. The Protoss respond by commissioning Immortals--heavy-duty tanks with powerful energy shields.

Blizzard's Mike Morhaime can't help but grin as Starcraft II is revealed.
Blizzard's Mike Morhaime can't help but grin as Starcraft II is revealed.

The Terrans then commission reapers, which are medium infantry with jetpacks that can jump barriers to raid enemy bases more effectively. The reapers leap into action against the Protoss base to attack the pylons, but the Protoss have a new series of structures that help them be much more resilient when attacked at their base, such as phase prisms, which let you quickly move units from place to place. The Protoss stalker unit has a "blink" ability that lets them jump anywhere they can see and makes them excellent pursuers.

The Zerg have arrived, sending Zerglings to overwhelm the Protoss stalkers--a huge swarm of them charges the Protoss. Browder points out that Starcraft II will still be a game about large armies against large armies. The Zerg then run into a few Protoss colossi--gigantic walkers with cutting lasers that specialize in liquifying Zerglings. The Zerg have mutated into a new kind of suicide unit that explodes in a burst of acid. The colossi also use inverse kinematic animation to walk up and down cliffs. The colossus unit is vulnerable to air attacks, such as mutalisks, which slaughter it. In response, the Protoss have a new unit, the phoenix, which can "overload" to eliminate squads of nearby airborne enemies but leave them helpless and immobile briefly afterward. The new game will also have new texture work and deep space background environments. The phoenix can't hold its own against Terran battlecruisers, which crush them--in response, the Protoss commission the Warprey, a laser-firing ship that deals more damage the longer it focuses its fire on an enemy.

Browder caps the demonstration with one last new unit, the Protoss mothership, the ultimate weapon in the Protoss army. It's an incredibly expensive unit with a "time bomb" ability that distorts time within an energy field, making enemy fire too slow to actually reach and hit the mothership. Once the time field collapses, enemy shells clatter uselessly to the ground. The mothership also possesses the "planet cracker," a stream of multiple lasers that devastate anything beneath it. Finally, the mothership can create a black hole--an extremely damaging ability that wrecks flying enemies. The glowing black hole simply sucks in the Terran warships, which distort in appearance before disappearing utterly into oblivion.

Blizzard's presentation literally turned heads.
Blizzard's presentation literally turned heads.

The demonstration ends with a battle between the Protoss and the Terrans, who wail on each other mercilessly. As you might expect from the successor to Starcraft, it seems clear that the key to success in the sequel will be combined force of arms, as both armies pummel each other to a standstill, racking up casualties on each side as they grind away at each other. The battle ends with an orbital strike that wipes out both sides, save for one infantry unit on each side. Both get mobbed by Zerg units, which crawl out of the ground and butcher them and then mutate into their new form and crawl into formation to spell out the letters "GG" (an abbreviation many online players use to say "good game").

After the Starcraft II demonstration, another video montage is shown, this time featuring a series of concept art drawings that gives way to another gameplay demo that highlights various units new and old, such as the Protoss colossus, the Zergling, and others, ending with two portraits that appear to be Jim Raynor and Kerrigan.

That's it for the presentation. Be sure to check back soon for more coverage of Starcraft II.

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Fable_Lord

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i just can't wait an instant buy!!

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ollie_sr

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"wtf is star craft?" ARE YOU INSANE!!!!

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Noobberry

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wow!

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UnderpaidSoldie

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Holy crap!

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smoothn00dle

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After 9 yrs and they still say "is ready when is done". I think Blizzard is just ego. I just don't care about the new starcraft unless they release on PS3 with mouse and keyboard support because PC gaming just too troublesome and expensive.

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Devoo55

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wtf is star craft?

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cyborg100000

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I've never played starcraft but i've played warcraft III and WoW and enjoyed them tremendously, best games i ever played so i'm sure this will be another enjoyable game.

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Alucard7321

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Prepare for more S. Koreans dying of dehydration! ZERG RUSH!!!! ZERG RUSH!!!!

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soldier1993

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This game is not coming to next generation systems???? why? how? I can't understand!!! bllizard is so big! why nor bring this one to PS3 and 360?

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jimjim350

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this will **** suck cuz its not for 360

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Kalroth

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you rekwire moar mineralz! epic, and game play looks amazing.

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lctpp2

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the xel naga has been assimilated by the zerg if i remember correctly, it was in the manual.

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crossdx

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Damn. When I first heard the news, it was almost hard to believe. It's been so freakin long..... Our collective patience has finally been rewarded. :D

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silvertenchu

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when can i play the demo!

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Izura

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Its been 9 years, i think we can wait a lil more, damn i wanted to see those Xel´Naga basterds, and i hope it doesnt come to that damn Xbox 360...long live to StarCraft! and the PC games!!

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wklzip

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poweroverwheelming

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pimplax913

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look closely.. marines have shields?!?! is it just me or is that new

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Exiler65

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"Hell, it's about time" DAMN strait it is ^^. boy I cant wait any longer....why the hell they didn't put in an new race only the all knowing will know.....plus it came at a bad timing....my pc doesnt support shader 2 so I decided to move to xbox 360....now there talk that SC2 "MIGHT" go onto xbox 360....I hope that might is a definite :P

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rasmasyean

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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smbius

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...And so they thought PC gaming was dead.

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dejafua

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dang! can't wait for this games, did anyone see the protoss mothership in action? check it out at gametrailers.com!! WHOA!!!

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mpeg3s

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Dam and it took HOW LONG?

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Pedro7_2000

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I can't believe it's finally here (well announced anyhow)!! What I can tell from the video's I've watched so far: The land units can move up/down terrain better and don’t always need a ramp. Toss cannons will still pwn Mostly it’s improved graphics with the same great gameplay. There are new units, but you still get the old familiars.

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nobeaner

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I just might have to get a new PC to play this game.

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LitBolt

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Stop poking me! What do I look like, an Orc? This is much more than Warcraft in space! It's much more complicated. I know it's not 3D!

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Lambri

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At last! Great news! But I hope the second SC will not be just a "better looking" first. I hope they'll put something realy new. Not only 3D... I need really new ideas about gameplay! We'll have to wait...

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ryaz_weaponx

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WOW

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rasmasyean

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Element_Seraph, you want Diablo 3? Try Dungeons and Dragons Online (10-day trial). That's pretty close to a Diablo 3...but without Blizzard's mark of excelence *sigh*.

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chazzx21

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So is this how things will be done post E3 era, private parties for game announcements? I hope this is this the start of something bigger and more interactive than E3.

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rasmasyean

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Well, at 1 billion dollars per year revenue, you'd expect them to take some more risks than just a RAM-eating RTS sequel. Hey, maybe vivendi took all the money. Damn them! I still want an MMORTS!

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Element_Seraph

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Bleh... I wanted Diablo III. I guess they do have one more game to reveal left... If it isn't Diablo III, I'm going to have to eat somebody's baby.

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BlkONBlkCrime

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Please somebody send me a note of why this game is cool. Becasue I'd sure like to know. (no pun intended)

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Varkas

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Blizzard doesn't do revolutionary. They do what's already been done, only better. Love em or hate em they know where their bread is buttered.

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rasmasyean

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What??? No MMORTS??? bah! old school! I actually thought with all the money they made, they would do something revolutionary!

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vandrius

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zomgzicles.

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Varkas

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website starcraft2.com is up

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Toribor

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The second coming is near! (Starcraft II)

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Covert8700

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RPG'S are not good games!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Kravyn81

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Nerds the world over rejoice. Their messiah is nigh.

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maximo1

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This is great considering Blizzard is one of the greatest developers ever and probably my favorite!! Oh Starcraft is awesome anyway. lol

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jgon_9

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Finally! :D :D :D

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Vihlo

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I haven't been this excited for a game since Blizz announced Burning Crusade... I want it now! :'(

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Goze

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SC = LOVE

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gme7

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Oh I cant wait bet my poor laptop cant cope with graphic requirements !pooey!

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acarrillo

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Al fin!!!! se estaba quedando atras!!! con Warcraft!!

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FrankieLA

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Leave it to Blizzard to make fans wait 12 years for a sequel and still have them salivate like dogs near a plate of chicken.

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Chirico_Cuvie

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Korea just imploded..

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westsidejedi360

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Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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BubbaHotep1

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OH... Yes

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rottenjoe

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wow.. does this mean that it is out in Korea... or just that it is causing a lot of talk in Korea... and i hope it will come out soon cuz it has been in the making for 4 years now!!!