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Starcraft 2 will not only push the boundaries of the RTS genre, but also completely overhaul how we look at and deal with mods. Blizzard has big plans for their modding community and enterstarcraft.co.uk has you covered!

Posted by Setis on Mar 28th, 2010

With the release of Starcraft 2 heading our way later this year, it seems gamers get to rejoice once again. A new real time strategy game worth hours and hours of gameplay and a multiplayer that puts most other games to shame – what more can we possibly ask for? Well, we can tell you for certain that modders will not be coming up short with this game either.

The big question, that has been nagging at a lot of dedicated mappers and modders for months already, is the concern over what exactly will be possible with the new world editor? The original Warcraft 3 editor was great and all. It did have some amazing products to show off (DotA, Footman Frenzy, Tower Defense, etc)...but it still wasn’t all that. We’re happy to reveal that the new editor coming with Starcraft 2 will be highly improved and the first signs and previews we’ve seen, suggest that it is practically without limits.

Galaxy To The Rescue

Modding and Mapping Article MediaThe team at EnterStarCraft.co.uk has been wondering what precisely is possible with this new editor. Well, the exact specifics are still uncertain, as you might imagine. We won’t know for sure until the game, in its final release format, is installed on our hard-drives. But not to worry, we have some insights for you already. Without the need of coding or additional programming, entire units can be changed and modified. New models can be integrated into the game without breaking a sweat and Blizzard has also promised features within the editor that they did not even use for Starcraft 2. So in other words, you can be sure that there will be a lot to do and more importantly, it will be so engaging that everyone will get a chance to do it. Here we list just a fraction of what our research has revealed.

Linked Multiplayer Maps

Mappers and modders will be able to create linked multiplayer maps. This means that entire campaigns can be put together for the online content. So, if you, like many other gamers were hoping for a Starcraft 2 coop, it will now be possible through custom content.

Modify Existing Units, Or Create Brand-Spanking New Ones

Is there a unit in SC2 which you think could do with a case of pimpin’? Do it in the editor and create a Zerg that can shoot lasers from its spikes and reflect damage from all sides, while dancing the night away to a catchy salsa beat - Although we’d ask you not to, if that kind of stuff really rattles your chains, rest assured, because, yup, you can do it – and no coding required!

RPG, Anyone?

Fancy turning your Starcraft 2 experience into a third-person action shooter? Consider it done. Although scripting will be required, you will be able to utilise the Starcraft 2 engine to develop your own RPG, both in top-down perspective and over-the-shoulder style third-person. As you can imagine, the possibilities here are endless.

Going Old School

Why not go old school and recreate Space Invaders as a Starcraft 2 mod. Actually, that’s going a step too far...nah, just kidding. You can do that, too – although coding will be required.

The Tools To Play God

Here’s a short breakdown of what we know will be available with the new Starcraft 2 Galaxy Editor.

  1. New water tools
  2. New Cliff types
  3. New lighting tools
  4. Make Campaigns
  5. Alpha Texture bleeding
  6. Hard tiles including road etc
  7. Terrain foliage
  8. Make your Own Cinematic
  9. Multi-user Environment
  10. FPS 3rd Person Shooter and RPG mods
  11. Loading and Saving Data for Multiplayer
  12. Join & Exit Custom Games on the go, in real time

Going To The Market

Blizzard’s Rob Pardo announced that the new Battle.net will come with a market place, which will allow, and in fact encourage, modders to design and, more importantly sell premium content maps and mods. While free maps and mods will of course be available also, this surely creates an entirely new platform for modders and mappers. Although the new battle.net will be launched with the release of Starcraft 2, it seems we will have to wait a little longer for the marketplace to come our way, as Rob Pardo stated he did not intend on delaying the game any further.Modding and Mapping Article Media

The marketplace will make it incredibly easy for modders to share their creations with the rest of the community. Gamers will be able to download a custom map without having to join a game first. Stuck for choice in maps? Not to worry, the marketplace not only gives you the option to download custom maps currently played, you will have every single piece of custom content ever uploaded to battle.net right at your fingertips. What about the different map versions for the same mod? Also not a problem, you will be able to easily browse through every release corresponding to a mod or mod type.

Two Cups of Your Premium Content, Please

Blizzard hopes that this move of improving accessibility to custom content will encourage modders to create more of their own assets, as was the case in Modding and Mapping Article MediaWarcraft 3 with mods such as Defence of the Ancients (DotA). An obvious benefit of the premium content would be the chance to overcome the gaps between official Blizzard content in the form of new games or Starcraft 2 expansions.

Similar to Steam’s achievement system, the most popular high quality custom content is likely to be hooked with achievements and matchmaking features, which will be added separately by none other than Blizzard themselves. Doesn’t it give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, knowing that the big guys will play your mods and maps, too?

So who gets to decide what is premium content and what isn’t, I here you ask? The answer is quite simple, really. You. See? I told you the answer was simple! You, the modder get to decide when and if you want to turn your custom made map or mod into premium content. Although Blizzard will take a percentage of the income from that content, rest assured that you will most definitely receive your fair share.

The whole idea with this new editor is that Blizzard wants to make it as easy, engaging and interesting as possible for everyone who will play the game. They openly state they want to compete with Steam and attract their talented modders. And if Blizzard’s track record for getting things right with games is anything to go by. Valve and Steam have reason to be worried.

Finally, we have a short video for you showcasing the early stages of a new Tower Defense mod designed for Starcraft 2 by SC2Mapster, using the beta of SC2 and the editor. Original version by Vjeux and new waves were added by veselu. Enjoy

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Post comment Comments
Hellsevil22 Mar 29 2010 says:

I R so happy :D, Not much for modding ( other than playin XD) but i don't mind making maps. I less than 3 blizzard!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 29 2010 says:

Glas you like it :) blizzard really seem to be pushing out the Boat for sc2. I'm really quite excited to see how this will impact the modding community in the longrun.

+1 vote   reply to comment
VasQuarde Mar 29 2010 says:

Wait a minute, wait a minute... a highly respected, well known gaming
giant supports modding? And here I thought modern game modding has died. I
was ready to give up on SC2 because it didn't catch on to me (I guess it
was the wait, plus the hype). But now I hear of complete modding support,
I have new found respect for blizzard.

Woot! Here's to the return of modding for modern games! Lets
hope this catches on, and other developers will begin to realize that
we love to mod because we love our games, and want to extend them.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 29 2010 says:

Once sc2 gets released we're actually looking to provide full modding support from www.enterstarcraft.co.uk and to keep People updated and informed with the latest tools, maps and mods

+1 vote   reply to comment
Bluedrake42 Mar 29 2010 says:

um... does that say fps? holy ****...

+2 votes     reply to comment
VasQuarde Mar 29 2010 replied:

If the engine is as open as Blizzard claims, with enough clever scripting,
you could manipulate the camera, lock it into place, and change the
controls to allow for WASD or arrow movement. Thats of course, if the
engine is as malleable as the claims are. IF, lol, thats the biggest word
right now.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 29 2010 replied:

indeed. although we know quite a bit already, everything might change by the time they launch the game and editor in its final release stage. Although I'm pretty sure that there won't be too many changes, you just can't be certain until its taking up space on my hard-drive :D

+1 vote   reply to comment
Daystranger Mar 29 2010 replied: +2 votes     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 29 2010 replied:

yeah, I watched that clip as well when preparing the article. Gave some good insight into what they are planning, what might be possible and how things are coming together.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Emperors_Fist Mar 29 2010 says:

Could that mean... that somebody (perhaps me) will be able to recreate Starcraft 1 + Brood War in SC2 graphics?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Craka_J Mar 29 2010 says:

Might make a Team Fortress type of mod for SC2. Shouldn't be TOO hard. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 29 2010 says:

Yes and yes, all of that will be possible :) and should be quite straight forward really. Some good ideas coming trough already! Looking forward to seeing the mod community grow :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
Nazker Creator
Nazker Mar 29 2010 says:

Great to see everyone is excited about this! Great ideas you guys have, am excited to see some mods soon!

+2 votes   reply to comment
UkrainaGuy1111 Mar 29 2010 says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 29 2010 says:

haha, i wonder if blizzard will give us some money for promoting their game like this :P

joke aside, it really is great to see so many people share our excitement over this! Can't wait until we launch our own competitions and tournaments at www.enterstarcraft.co.uk - I think the outcome will be fantastic!

Keep it up everyone :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
Cyahnidde Mar 29 2010 says:

You...got my excited. Now i can't wait for the full game!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Frednol Mar 29 2010 says:

Well that is interesting... I liked WC3 (I actually completed the campaign, something I never bother with in RTSes), and with this new, I'll probably buy SC2

+2 votes     reply to comment
l0d1z Mar 29 2010 says:

OMG! I am totally going to try my hand a moding SC2, FPS RPG here I come! =)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 29 2010 says:

haha loving the enthusiasm! Depending on how things unfold for us in the future, we'll definitely be looking at hosting SC2 mod projects with direct links to our rapidly growing community - and we'd of course make sure that any news you post will get extra coverage from us on other starcraft and modding websites.

And for all those people (there are a lot more than I had expected to be honest) who have decided they have to buy Starcraft 2 now, we have now set up our community shop on www.enterstarcraft.co.uk - if you do decide to buy the game, we'd really appreciate it, if you came through us, using the affiliate program, as that helps us keep the community running and hosting our own events, competitions and tournaments. And if not for the sake of supporting the enterstarcraft community, the offers actually are quite a bit cheaper than the retail stores (around here anyway) :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
MT. Mar 29 2010 says:

Would there be any way to mod this to make it look less cartoony?

+2 votes     reply to comment
FlySpyGuy Mar 29 2010 says:

I want to make a FPS/RTS map where half the players play RTS style, and half play FPS style, and the FPS are like mercs, and the RTS are paying them. I really hope that is doable. I also heard that you can have 14 player maps!...I am SOOO looking forwards to the map editor, and the story. YAY!!! (even my wife plays SC)

+2 votes     reply to comment
FlySpyGuy Mar 29 2010 says:

Of course, if you can make your own graphics, you can put them in!

+2 votes     reply to comment
William_13 Mar 29 2010 says:

Dude, you have no idea how happy it makes me to see a game company that cares about the gamer, instead of bloated leaches like EA that kill every franchise they get their hands on... Can't wait till SC2 comes out!

+2 votes     reply to comment
smurfbizkit Mar 29 2010 says:

Glad to see a Starcraft 2 post here on moddb...this is something I've been obsessively following since the last Blizzcon. There are a couple key things that this article didn't mention (or only glossed over) that I feel have the most potential;

Network sync-able Data Banks - This means you could theoretically make an mmo, or include a sort of persistence in your mod. Something like Diablo 2, where you collect loot and it stays with you in the next game is possible. The downside here though is that it isn't server-side (so players could hack their stats).

Aura's - For those more used to C&C modding this is a big deal. This means that you can have upgrades, buffs, debuffs, etc that are granted if they are within a radius of another object.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 30 2010 replied:

yeah I looked at network sync-able databanks and the aura system, but I wasn't sure if the info I got was reliable. Might write a follow up article, focusing on additional features not yet covered in this article, or not covered in detail :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
romanius24 Mar 30 2010 says:

i hope someone is going to recreate the campaign of the first game and its units

+1 vote     reply to comment
MrMattWebb Mar 30 2010 replied:

Black Mesa: Source all over again.

Starcraft 2: Brood war


+1 vote     reply to comment
smurfbizkit Mar 30 2010 replied:

except...remaking sc1 in sc2 wouldn't require any new art made, just level's and scripting

+2 votes     reply to comment
Setis Author
Setis Mar 30 2010 says:

i think a sc1 classic and brood war remake on the sc2 platform will definitely see the light. And I think it will actually play better than the original - build queues for the win :D

+1 vote   reply to comment
Komatose Mar 30 2010 says:

did i just hear sc modders already getting ready for a marine fpsrpg??

+1 vote     reply to comment
theshodan Mar 31 2010 says:

I still don't see how this system is going to work. People have been cracking protected maps on Warcraft 3 for years. The same is going to happen to premium maps. And I feel like this news article is rather out of date as its pulling some old statements up. Also I thought that recently Activision decided that only Blizzard would consider whether your map was premium quality or not, too.

Theoretically the best way to insure that premium content doesn't get cracked is for blizzard to make premium maps generated under a different filetype than normal, and even then Blizzard would have to control distribution. It would be unsecure if you could just put in any map and have a premium version come out too, since people can work backwards from there and crack it. So the best way would be for blizzard to handcraft every premium map's protection, which should be not only viable but it's the best business decisions as well, since it forces modders to do good to get recognized (like they should be), and it makes sure that the premium content is worth buying and gives a reputation for SC2 modding scene, in turn bringing customers.

0 votes     reply to comment
lol1234 May 11 2010 says:

i think the "premium market" was a BAD IDEA because of all the ppl who hate paying for **** ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
TotalSnappy Jun 8 2010 says:

me thinks i might switch from C&C modding to SC in that case

+1 vote     reply to comment
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