//: Starcraft II |OT| The Free-Era

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demosthenes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,282
Just announced at the end of GSL: BlizzCon Ro16 groups are going to be in the GSL studio in Seoul this year. Nice to have it audience-accessible again after the quiet studio broadcasts from previous years, and not booked directly against the other pre-BlizzCon e-sports programming. Also great to see the foreign players get a chance to play there, too, now that these days they only ever get to experience the Korean audience in GSL vs. The World (apart from the regulars like Scarlett and SpeCial).
Super happy about the changes.
 

Protoman200X

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,613
N. Vancouver, BC, Canada
As a newcomer to the series, how was the Nova Covert Ops campaign received, in comparison to that of Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void campaigns?

I know Wings of Liberty was responded positively, but players were not happy with how ludicrous the narrative got with the later expansions.
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,756
As a newcomer to the series, how was the Nova Covert Ops campaign received, in comparison to that of Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void campaigns?

I know Wings of Liberty was responded positively, but players were not happy with how ludicrous the narrative got with the later expansions.
I enjoyed the Nova campaign quite a bit, certainly much more than Wings of Liberty from a story and play perspective. She gets all the toys that Swarm and Legacy gave the Terrans, plus more imaginative special powers (like being able to equip your siege tanks with jumpjets to summit cliffs).
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,339
As a newcomer to the series, how was the Nova Covert Ops campaign received, in comparison to that of Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void campaigns?

I know Wings of Liberty was responded positively, but players were not happy with how ludicrous the narrative got with the later expansions.
I enjoyed it considerably. I was actually thinking of doing another full playthrough of both LotV and Nova Covert Ops (all at once this time, not spread out over several months of episodic releases) for the first time since their original release, since I have a more powerful computer now and can run them at higher settings. Then Blizzard just had to blow themselves up, so it might be a while before I can return to this game with a clear head.

Nova Covert Ops feels like a throwback to the scale of the old campaigns in SC1 and WC3—9 solid missions where you still get to fight everybody, with a good mix of hero-driven and base-building play, but (like an expansion campaign) without dragging out a tutorial for too long and holding back all its toys for the end. Actually, it specifically feels like a campaign out of The Frozen Throne: lots of original objectives, enough of a mechanical spin on Terran that Nova's faction feels like it's halfway between Terran and a fourth race, and a very unique and challenging final mission that doesn't play out like the typical Blizzard RTS epic climax.

As you can expect of a campaign built around Nova, mechanically it's most similar to Heart of the Swarm in that you build Nova's hero loadout as you go, and use her extensively. From a story perspective—I don't remember the specifics that well, but I recall my general impression, shared with many others, that it was a welcome return to the more grounded, inter-factional scenarios from SC1 where the plot is driven by small-scale actors shoring up their alliances and stabbing each other in the back. (I didn't mind the main campaigns in SC2 going a little nuts on the cosmic scale, mind you; compared to many other series veterans who have been with StarCraft since the start, I think more highly of SC2's direction and slightly less of SC1's than most.)

I wish Blizzard had stuck with turning out more of these mini-campaigns. Yes, single-player content isn't great for engagement numbers because you just play it once or twice and put it away, but their RTS mission design had become so refined that nothing in the industry is positioned to fill the vacuum it has left behind.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,339
I'm reluctant to shower Blizzard with good press these days for obvious reasons, but this is a very warm gesture from the SC2 team: they are honouring iNcontroL in-game by granting the announcer pack he recorded for them (along with other bundled goodies like his portrait and some newly created assets) to all players for free.

Blizzard said:
When Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson passed away earlier this year, the StarCraft community lost someone incredibly special. Geoff was a competitor with unparalleled work ethic. He was ambitious and motivated, always looking for opportunities to learn and improve himself. But he was also the kind of one-in-a-million human being who genuinely cared about every single person he met—no matter who they were, or how unlikely it was that he would see them again.

Few people have had more of an impact on StarCraft than Geoff. As a player, he found success as early as 2007, when he won the national WCG Championship, catapulting him into a long and storied competitive career. He hosted podcasts like State of the Game and, more recently, The Pylon Show, which he co-founded. He shoutcasted major tournaments, demonstrating deep game knowledge, passion, and a preternatural ability to find the hilarity in any situation. In StarCraft, no matter where you looked, you found Geoff, and the community was better for it.

Here at Blizzard, there are a lot of Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson fans. (Understatement.) The StarCraft team wanted to do something permanent to commemorate him in-game. Beginning on October 22, 2019, Geoff’s Announcer Pack, Portrait, and some additional items we’re creating in his honor—will be granted to every player on log-in, for free, forever.

It’s a small gesture, and it can’t come close to capturing how much he meant to us, but we hope it will show some fraction of how we feel.

We’d like to believe that StarCraft was important to Geoff. But what we know, beyond any doubt, is that Geoff was important to StarCraft.
A different approach than what they did for TotalBiscuit, which was to direct all proceeds from sales of his announcer pack and cosmetics to his family (including retroactively), but I'm sure this decision was made in consultation with Geoff's next of kin.
 

SmartWaffles

Member
Nov 15, 2017
3,408
John's family was in need of financial support so that might factored in their decision to keep TB's announcer pack on sale.
 

HellBlazer

Member
Oct 26, 2017
550
Am I the only one watching this?

Really well fought by Showtime, but it was not to be. Great series, though.
 

HellBlazer

Member
Oct 26, 2017
550
This is gonna take all night with how much they talk between matches. Great games, though! I'm off to bed after game 2 of match 2... Use spoiler tags for results please. ;)

Check out sc2links if you want VODs without spoilers, by the way. It doesn't have Global Finals matches yet, but they should be up to date tomorrow.
 

phaze

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,718
Somehow me wanting to finally finish the story and checking of the price of LoV campaign, turned into realizing the multiplayer is free, checking out some youtubers, pro games and actually getting into the game. After a lot of playing vs AI and an early case of ladder anxiety I actually managed to move up a few ranks but now everybody, literally everybody is rushing and destroying me lul. Was kind of flabbergasted, when at 4 minute mark I got medivac tank drops in both of my mineral lines and I barely have my first stalkers out. Nerf all those other non-toss races I say !

Also bummed that both Neeb and Elazer are out.
 
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demosthenes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,282
Somehow me wanting to finally finish the story and checking of the price of LoV campaign, turned into realizing the multiplayer is free, checking out some youtubers, pro games and actually getting into the game. After a lot of playing vs AI and an early case of ladder anxiety I actually managed to move up a few ranks but now everybody, literally everybody is rushing and destroying me lul. Was kind of flabbergasted, when at 4 minute mark I got medivac tank drops in both of my mineral lines and I barely have my first stalkers out. Nerf all those other non-toss races I say !

Also bummed that both Neeb and Elazer are out.
Ditto and hero marine. He came pretty close.

Excited for Friday!! Have a few more games of group d to finish tonight.
 
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demosthenes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,282
Didn't get home early enough / watched opening ceremony.

Fuck, I just teared up during that tribute to Geoff.
 

Vimes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,688
Interesting global finals this year... didn't expect to get the big arena. According to the schedule, the whole tournament wraps up today so they can hand it to overwatch tomorrow. Between that and having a group stage it's certainly something new and different.
 

phaze

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,718
Half hour game and no brood lords/infestors ? Are we sure they were playing zerg ?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,339
That cannon rush from Classic was such a breath of fresh air.

Pretty interesting narrative shaping up so far, apart from the well-trodden concerns about Zerg balance. We're guaranteed a EU-Korea final, we get the conclusion to the year-long story of the EU ZvZ duels, and Reynor may actually pose the biggest threat to Serral out of everybody in the pool. Serral is still undefeated in maps and has got to be the clear favourite otherwise. And the Serral/Maru story is almost too perfect—placed in the same group to guarantee winding up on opposite sides of the bracket, yet dodging each other anyway in the Ro16. You have to wonder how that will be derailed, but I've witnessed Maru crash out of this format often enough that I think he has a hard path ahead of him.
 

Vimes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,688
That mass DT play from classic was the kind of fuckery i miss from competitive SC
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,339
Oh my god, Classic with the blink DTs. Play of the tournament. This was why the BlizzCon runs from sOs were also so much fun to watch—and against the Zerg-fest of this bracket, with Classic about to head to the military, everything about it is even sweeter.
 

Adventureracing

The Fallen
Nov 7, 2017
3,107
I actually love ZvZ and think it’s one of the most exciting matchups but I always find myself tuning out a bit when it feels like one race is too dominant. Feel like Maru losing hasn’t killed the hype of this tournament. Still rooting for Serral to take it all.

Not sure how I feel about the balance changes or the future of SC2 either. I would love to see the matchups and the way the games played out fundamentally changed. I still enjoy watching it but it feels like it needs a big shakeup.
 

AmFreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,254
I like how say don't loose a single word about balance as if it is a coincidence that the 2 foreigners are Zerg.
The only one able to beat a Zerg was the Cheesemeister.
 

Vimes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,688
I'd really like to see Reynor in the finals.

<3 Serral tho

Edit: in general I'm a huge fan of this top 4 so I'm happy no matter what at this point.