Blizzard has dished up a huge Q&A that aims to answer all your initial questions on the recently announced RTS sequel.
Continuing to keep all bases covered, we've now found a massive Q&A on the official StarCraft II website. Give it a read and post any further questions in the comments field below. We'll try and get Blizzard to answer them as soon as we can.
What will StarCraft II's story line be? Will any of the characters from the original StarCraft make an appearance in StarCraft II?
It's a little too early to get into details on the story. Once we're able to discuss the single-player campaign in detail, we'll also share some exciting information about the story line for the game.
How many cinematic cut-scenes will be included?
We know that StarCraft II players will expect to see some Blizzard-quality cinematic content in the game, and we have definite plans to include multiple cinematics, starting with a cinematic intro. We'll provide further confirmation once final determinations have been made. How many races are in StarCraft II? In StarCraft II, players will see the return of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg races. Our goal is to ensure that all the factions in the game play even more distinctly from one another than in the original StarCraft, while still maintaining the fine balance that helped make StarCraft such a classic.
We're also introducing a number of new units to each race, as well as modifying some of the familiar units returning in StarCraft II. With these design refinements and the new features we have planned for the single-player and multiplayer elements of the game, StarCraft II will offer a next-generation StarCraft experience.
StarCraft II has some big shoes to fill - is there added pressure in developing a follow-up to one of the most beloved games of all time?
We recognize that the bar is set pretty high, but this type of pressure is not new to us. Warcraft III had to follow in the footsteps of Warcraft II, and Diablo II had to follow the original Diablo. Creating a StarCraft game that's bigger and better than the original is definitely a big challenge, but it's one that we fully intend to meet and exceed.
Will the game be released in multiple countries? Will the release be simultaneous? Which countries and what languages will the game be localized in?
Our goal is to release the game simultaneously across the world in multiple languages. As we get closer to release, we'll have more details to share.
Will there also be an expansion, and if so, what features will it contain?
Our focus has been and will continue to be on developing and refining the core StarCraft II experience, so we haven't really had much time to consider what types of things we would include with an expansion for the game if we were to do one.
Will there be a console version of StarCraft II?
StarCraft II is being developed for the PC. We have no current plans to bring the game to any console platform.
Will Battle.net be overhauled? Will there be new features?
There will be some exciting new changes and features to Battle.net that will help us ensure that StarCraft II will be the ultimate competitive online real-time strategy game. We're not quite ready to discuss those features at this time, but we look forward to getting into more detail in the future.
Will we still be able to play the original StarCraft on Battle.net after StarCraft II is released?
Yes, you will.
Will there be clan management?
We're not quite ready to discuss specifics related to Battle.net at this time, but we look forward to doing so in the future.
What steps are being taken to prevent cheating in multiplayer games?
We don't want to tip our hand to the people who may try to cheat on Battle.net, so we can't go into too much detail, but rest assured that security is one of our top priorities as we redesign and overhaul Battle.net, and we will take every precaution to ensure fairness in our online games. We've taken an aggressive stance against cheating in all of our games, and our players have overwhelmingly supported us in that, so we don't have any intention to make any changes in that regard.
How much will StarCraft II cost? Where can I buy this game?
Pricing and availability will be determined and announced much closer to the release date.
What will StarCraft II's rating be?
We are aiming for a T-rating in the US, and similar ratings elsewhere in the world, but those details won't be finalized until we get closer to release.
Will there be a closed or open beta? How about a trial or demo version?
Decisions related to beta testing and trial or demo versions are usually made further along in the development process. We don't have any details available on these topics at the moment, but we will be happy to share the news once final decisions have been made.
Will there be a collector's edition?
Decisions related to the types of retail packages available will be made much closer to the game's release date.
What are the system requirements for StarCraft II?
We'll have more details on specific system requirements closer to the release date.
Will the game run natively on Windows Vista?
StarCraft II will be fully compatible with Windows Vista, as well as XP. We'll have more details on system requirements closer to release.
Will StarCraft II be available on Mac simultaneously with PC?
As with all of Blizzard's recent releases, StarCraft II will ship on both PC and Mac simultaneously.
Will StarCraft II take advantage of DirectX 10? What other graphical goodies are included?
The game will be compatible with DirectX 10, and we're still considering whether there will be exclusive DirectX 10 graphic effects, but the graphics engine will also be very scalable to ensure that a wide range of different systems will be capable of running StarCraft II. The new engine is also capable of rendering very large units, as well as large numbers of units on screen together. Havok physics have been integrated into the engine for added realism as well.