Overview StarCraft 2 News & Game Analysis

Blizzard Entertainment have a habit of developing unique and enthralling games, so it’ll come as no surprise that the sequel to the massively popular Starcraft doesn’t break the ranks.

Rarely does a video game really enthral fans like StarCraft does, and over the recent years it has become a staple of esports competitions around the world, attracting Earth’s top gaming talent and their loyal fans. First timers will probably find StarCraft II harder to pick up than any other game they’ve ever played – mainly due to its intense strategy element – so here’s all of the general basics you’ll need to get started up on StarCraft and a little bit about what makes the game special.

StarCraft 2 Gameplay From Wings of Liberty to Legacy of the Void

StarCraft is a real-time strategy game (RTS), and puts the player at the head of humanity’s futuristic army, the Terrans. In the campaign mode, players guide the Terrans through an intergalactic rumble, meeting interesting characters along the way that aid (and/or sabotage) their efforts. It plays out like any other campaign: on a mission based format. Players take a birds-eye view of the map, and at the beginning of each mission, are tasked with setting up a formidable base of operations.

From their base, the player can assign SCVs (Space Construction Vehicle) to build more buildings around the base. As the player starts to build it their presence on the map, they can start to erect a military and dominate the map with force.

SC2 Game Overview – Expand or Die

Starcraft II’s gameplay offers some choice to players stating to build up their base. SCVs, probes and drones can build any number of the general buildings available to the player. Although each playable race has a different set of structures at their command, they all have a similar function.
In detail these are the structures that can be built for each of the three Races:

Terran:


Ghost Academy

This structure is needed to produce ghosts and nukes, while also providing players with a path to three upgrades. The Cloaking ability and the Enhanced Shockwaves for ghosts, as well as the Neosteel Armor for buildings are unlocked here.


Zerg:


Hatchery

The main base that can be upgraded to the Lair and Hive, is responsible for spawning larva from which all the units are morphed. The Hatchery is where the Queens are built it can generate creep around it.


Spawning Pool

This building is needed to build Zerglings and later on, as the hatchery is upgraded and additional buildings are erected, it is the place to research Zergling upgrades.


Extractor

A building placed on a Vespene Gas source that allows drones to mine gas.


Evolution Chamber

The main building for upgrades such as burrow, slime and generate creep, as well as armor upgrades for the fighting units. The Evolution Chamber is also needed to build Spore Crawler, the anti-air structures.


Roach Den

The building needed to spawn roaches and also the place where these units can be upgraded to increase their attack prowess and improve their armor.


Nest

A building required to turn Zerglings into Banelings and the structure where Baneling upgrades, such as increased weapons and armor can be researched.


Hydralisk Den

Enables the training of Hydralisks, and it is the building where Hydralisk upgrades can be researched. It can be upgraded into a deep warren, which in turn, grants players access to lurkers and their upgrades.


Spire

The building required to train Mutalisks and Corruptors and the place to upgrade these flying units. It can be upgraded to a Greater Spire, which unlocks the Swarm Guardian and its weapons and armor upgrades.


Nydus Warren

The structure is necessary to spawn Infestors and Nydus Worms. It can also be used to instantly travel to any other buildings of this type or a Nydus Canal.


Ultralisk Cavern

The building needed to train Ultralisks and to upgrade their weapons and armor


Protoss:


Nexus

The main building from where the probes are trained and the gathering point for resources. It has no prerequisites and it is the only building that can be placed outside the area covered by a pylon.


Assimilator

A building placed on a Vespene Gas source that allows drones to mine gas.


Pylon

The Pylon is the power source for Protoss structures, which can only operate when built in its close proximity. It can be placed anywhere on the map and it provides 8 unit Psi.


Gateway

The equivalent of the Terran barracks is needed to train Zealots, Dragoons, High Templars and Dark Templars.


Forge

The Forge is the structure needed to build Photon Cannons and also the place to upgrade ground units.


Photon Cannon

A defensive structure that has a ranged attack and it can hit both ground and air units. It also has the ability to detect cloaked units.


Cybernetics Core

The Cybernetics Core is a building used exclusively to upgrade the attack damage and armor of air units. It is also needed to build Stalkers and to research the Singularity Charge.


Robotics Facility

The construction needed to build shuttles, observers and reavers, with the last two requiring additional structures.


Robotics Support Bay

The building is required to unlock the reavers and it is also the place where the Scarab Damage, Reaver Capacity, Gravitic Drive upgrades can be researched.


Observatory

The building is required to unlock Observers and to research the Sensor Array, Gravitic Booster abilities.


Citadel of Adun

The structures is needed to build the Templar Archives and its corresponding units and also to research the Leg Enhancement ability.


Templar Archives

The building allows the training of High Templars and Dark Templars and to research the Psionic Storm, Hallucination, Khaydarin Amulet, Mind Control, Maelstrom and the Argus Talisman.


Stargate

The Stargate is needed to build air units such as the scouts, carriers and arbiters.


Fleet Beacon

The Fleet Beacon is the construction required to unlock carriers and to upgrade air units with the Apial Sensors, Gravitic Thrusters, Carrier Capacity, Disruption Web and Argus Jewel abilities.


Arbiter Tribunal

This building unlocks a single new unit, called the Arbiter and three new upgrades: Recall, Stasis Field, Khaydarin Core



It is important for the player to tactically decide which order they will build these structures, as more often than not, an overarching strategy hinges on quick construction.

Playable Races Know more about Terran, Zerg and Protoss

While the Terrans serve as the protagonist race in StarCraft II, multiplayer games offer a wider choice.

There are three total playable races in the game, each with its own unique style, structures and units. The individual units controlled by each race are designed to counter popular tactics of other races, resulting in a fairly balanced game regardless of races played.


Terran

Descendants of an Earth expedition gone wrong, the Terran’s are StarCraft’s version of humans. Their units are set up to overwhelm their foes with massive amounts of firepower. This kind of all-guns-blazing approach works perfectly when they’re facing down a horde of Zerg.

The Terrans are described as “the masters of survival”, mainly because of ancient lore telling how the Terran’s managed to continue reproducing despite being native to a barren planet with hardly any resources. Their Widow Mines are constantly utilised in high-stakes gameplay, as they have the ability to hide from opposing players on the map, and the Terran’s also have access to some seriously scary mechanical warriors.


Zerg

The Zerg were one of the antagonist races of the original StarCraft game, and focus more on their numbers than their firepower. Hardly intelligent, these monsters dogmatically follow the orders of a single “Overmind”, and fuse to halt their endless march until they have conquered – or assimilated – the entire universe.

The Zerg Swarm does not use weapons or armour in their fight – rather, they mutate their own bodies to fit the need of the swarm. This unlocks abilities and functions as the player progresses with his Zerg army, which goes some way to replacing the heavy machine guns they could be holding. Sure, it may sound like the Zerg stand very little chance up against a heavily armoured Terran tank, but their later mutations – the Brood Lord springs to mind – are gigantic beasts of war and are well capable to making more than a dint in the armour of any opponent.


Protoss

The big bad guys, the world eaters, the mastermind antagonists of the whole Starcraft series so far is the Protoss.

They are a race of exceptionally advanced beings who combine unimaginable technology with psionic powers on the battlefield.

The Protoss (a.k.a. Firstborn) were considered to be the most powerful beings in the Galaxy, until the Zerg invaded their home world. The desperation of the Protoss though has made them probably the most powerful race of all in StarCraft II universe – each individual Protoss soldier could definitely kill any other equal singular combat unit. Their fleet is insanely well developed, and once a Protoss player manages to fully upgrade their technology, it’s their game to lose. Some of their ship units – Phoenix, Void Ray, Mothership – are basically unmatched in the StarCraft II gameplay, and have the ability to completely decimate entire legions of standard troops.


StarCraft II Expansions There's tons of content for everyone

In addition to the standard campaign and races, there are two big expansion packs for StarCraft II that add plenty to the gameplay and available arsenal. This is great news for anyone looking to expand their Starcraft experience, and without insisting, we really do recommend you to have a look at these packs to give yourself the most authentic experience.


Heart of the Swarm

This expansion pack focuses mainly on the Zerg race, and adds a completely new campaign in that vein. It directly continues the story from the base game, adding a whopping 20 missions to the total campaign.

This time, you’ll be playing as the Zerg, desperately attempting to conquer enemy space with massive hordes and determination. We probably don’t need to explain you that this adds a great change of pace to the game.

Several units were added in this expansion, and they are only usable in the core game if the expansion pass has been purchased. The Terran’s received their famous Widow Mines, which are used incessantly in competitive gameplay.

Protoss were treated to the Oracle, the Tempest and the Mothership Core. The Oracle is used for stifling the opponent’s production while providing surveillance, while the Tempest and Mothership Core are two ridiculously powerful aerial combatants.

The Zerg get the Viper, and the Swarm Host. The Viper functions very much like the Protoss’ Oracle, while the Swarm Host burrows underground and spawns ally locusts to attack for them.

If you’re the kind of gamer who really gets into their experiences, we’d say that Heart of the Swarm is a must-get. It adds so much to the game in terms of combat units, that aren’t just more powerful versions of the core game’s offerings, but utility options that provide a different tactical approach when you’re in a mess.

If you’re not that kind of gamer, we’d still highly recommend you buy this expansion back. It’s universally and critically acclaimed, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a Starcraft fan who disapproves of this add-on.

If you enjoy the main game, definitely pick this up.


Legacy of the Void

This expansion adds a similar number of missions to the campaign as Heart of the Swarm, and concludes the trilogy of stories the developers originally intended to tell.

In this pack, the Protoss received the Adept unit, which has proven to be near invaluable in tight games due to its hit-and-run style of attacking. They have excellent mobility and definitely strengthen the Protoss ground-game. They also received the Disruptor, which requires the Robotics Bay to build and can deliver massive damage in a single shot.

The Terran’s got the Cyclone missile mech and the Liberator, which has the ability to fight on the ground or in the air. Much of the Terran arsenal remained unaltered, although there were small tweaks to the Widow Mines and the Battlecruiser.

As for the Zerg, the only new unit added was the Ravager, which serves as a quasi-artillery unit used for taking on mechanical enemies on ground or in air. It can also melt force fields with its corrosive bile.

It’s pretty much the same deal as Heart of the Swarm – if you enjoy StarCraft II’s gameplay, you absolutely need to have Legacy of the Void. While the new units are fun, it’s the campaign closure you really need from here. The final part of Starcraft II’s story is contained in Legacy of the Void’s Protoss based story missions, and it’s basically a no brainer.

Once again, the expansions received immense critical acclaim and has continued to be utilised in esports competitions throughout the world since its successful release.


Competitive Scene Starcraft II Esports Tournaments

Starcraft was the dominant real-time strategy game for more than a decade and Blizzard’s decision to remaster the classic RTS brought it back into the spotlight. In South Korea it has restored much of its lost appeal, with Starcraft news announcing the return of major tournaments. The Afreeca Starleague and the KSL events are the biggest, even though the guaranteed prize pools pale in comparison to what Dota 2 and League of Legends tournaments pay.

In South Korea the battle between the original game and the expansion is still intense, but worldwide Starcraft news talk exclusively about Legacy of the Void events. This is the first chapter in the StarCraft 2 trilogy and throughout the year there are more than a dozen major tournaments scheduled. They start with the World Championship Series winter events and continue with the spring, summer and fall iterations.

South Koreans no longer dominate the Starcraft 2 Stage

For nearly 2 decades players from South Korea have crushed opponents in Starcraft tournaments, but this is no longer the case. In the final expansion, the name of one player frequently pops up in Starcraft 2 news and it is a professional gamer from Finland. Serral has emerged as the best in the world, winning major tournaments, including a few hosted in South Korea.

The GSL Versus the World hosted every year in the Asian country pits the best South Korean players against their international peers. Serral is constantly ranking high in the preferences of top bookmakers, who offer him the lowest odds for the outright win. Koreans compete in the strongest competitions, namely the AfreecaTV GSL Super Tournaments and the Global StarCraft League.

When it comes to the guaranteed prize pools, Starcraft 2 news leaves no doubt about which are the best paying events. The Intel Extreme Masters tournaments have prize pools of $400,000 and above, with the winners claiming six digit figures. Arguably the best paying competition of the year is the World Championship Series Global finals sponsored by Blizzard. The total prizes and at $700,000 and in 2018 Serral won the lion’s share worth $280,000.

Our Conclusion about StarCraft II Gameplay An Esport Title worthy of its name

StarCraft II is one of the greatest real time strategy games ever made. The diversity in its playable units and the lengths to which it forces players to make quick decisions in the heat of battle make playing this video game an absolute joy.

The expansions packs add more of the same greatness, and while it would have been nice to see a whole encyclopaedia of playable races, the three we have in StarCraft II are comprehensive and stylistic.

We have no doubt that this game will be continued to be played at a professional level until it is replaced by a sequel, and fully endorse it as a worthy purchase for any gamer.

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