Blizzard might not be known for its open nature. Certainly, it likes to deal to those less critical. And anyone on the WoW boards knows that “blue” posts are hard to come by. But Blizz recently held a Q&A session via Twitter about the Starcraft 2 beta – all of it blue, and all of it refreshingly frank. Here are some highlights.
A. Yes. We're still working on the Map Editor and currently working on the publishing system. We intend to release an early version of the editor during the beta so the map-making community can get a head start creating their own maps. This is going to be a stretch for us to pull off, but our hope is to get it out before the end of April.
A. Yes. If you add art or sound to a map, it's stored in the map and is therefore downloaded with the map once it's published. Long-term we will be adding support for custom mods where other maps can depend on a single mod pack. For example, if the community wanted to build a "Classic StarCraft" mod, they could do that and share it online and then many maps could be built that depend on that mod.
A. We are currently looking at the protoss vs. protoss matchup as well as terrans. Terrans are losing a little too frequently in almost every match up and the protoss vs protoss game is currently a little stale with a few strategies dominating both the early and the end game.
A. Yes. StarCraft II does require an online connection and you must login the first time you play. We are in the middle of adding an "Offline" feature which allows you to play the Campaign offline if you, for example, are traveling and want to play on a laptop. Playing while connected allows your progress in the campaign to be saved online to your account. This means if you switch to a different computer to play you can pick up from where you were.
A. We want to make sure the playing field is balanced for all participants as far as "best connection latency." At the same time, internet connectivity and latency has definitely improved over the years and our current 250ms expected latency may be too high.
A. We are currently working on a Mac version of the beta and hope to release it sometime in April. Hang in there!! :)
A. We are in the process of adding a few hotkey templates for ship which include left and right-handed "name-based" options. Grid based left and right-hand templates. Finally, we also intend to add a "Classic" hot key template which will, as best as possible, attempt to mimic the hotkey settings from the original game. We'll default to "name-based" right-handed for ship, but the end user can then choose from any of the other four templates.
Long term we're exploring allowing fully customizable hot keys. Assuming we can solve the many user interface challenges to make this work we will either release it in a patch or in the upcoming expansion.
You can find the full forum thread here.