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Welcome back, to another exciting issue of Legacy Weekly! In this issue, we explore the tantalizing rumors that Jake Gylenhall is dating an Infestor, analyze the possibility that the Xel'Naga are responsible for the death of Blanche from "The Golden Girls", and whether or not Protoss men need to exfoliate. So grab a nice mug of crude oil, cozy up and have a good read with us!

SC:L Summary

The Terraining Contest is still open for entries! We are anticipating even more exciting entries for the chance to win a nice Hardcover copy of "Heaven's Devils", the new StarCraft II novel.  Did you know that the book contains full color artwork by Mr. Jack? Well, it's true. All you have to do is make a cool setting in the map editor and show it to us. It's so simple!

StarCraft: Legacy recently held an insightful interview with American Brood War and StarCraft II pro gamer iNcontroL.  iNcontroL is also one of the members of gosucoaching.com, the site which will be holding SC2 training camps for players who want to make absolutely sure they will score with every chick on the continent of their choice at will.

Blizzard News

Blizzard has announced a Twitter contest where you can win a copy of the new StarCraft novel Heaven's Devils.

So you've heard of James "Jim" Raynor, have you? Think you know all about him right? The man who learned that the Ghost he loved was betrayed by the very cause they had committed their lives to? Perhaps you know him, or perhaps you don't him know nearly enough. It's Okay, though. We're going to help you get to know him just a little bit better in our Heaven's Devils Twitter Contest.

It's as simple as 140 characters, and you could win a Collector's Edition of the newest StarCraft novel "Heaven's Devils," currently available for sale by Premier Collectibles. Simply dig into your creative side, tweet your best StarCraft-universe-related prose, and you could be one of ten winners.

Example: @StarCraft Raynor's soul spiraled into the abyss when it dawned on him that she was gone. #HeavensDevils

Visit our contest rules page for more information: http://us.starcraft2.com/features/contests/heavens-rules.xml

Related to this contest is also Blizzard release of excerpt number 8 from the Heaven's Devils book.

Now for some blue posts. Nethaera gives us some insight on balance in games. (Original post)

Sometimes balance is as much about what you put into something as much as what you take away from something. The inherent problem with only buffing and not making those tougher decisions to nerf is that you end up with way too much of everything. Balance changes aren't made lightly but there is a certain realm of the unknown and experimentation that occurs when making a path to balance.

While others imply that balancing is guesswork, Nethaera confidently replies: (Original post)

A lot of great inventions have occurred because someone made some very good guesses and then put a lot of additional work and research behind it to find out if those guesses turned out to be the right ones. We're not just whistling into the winds of Tarsonis here. ;)

And lastly, some bad news for those who are waiting for the Galaxy Editor for the Mac. (Original post)

No, the galaxy editor is released for PC only in beta and won't be out during beta testing.

Fan Art

 

 
This week's Fan Art comes to us courtesy of ~Ben-Ben-Ben, via his DeviantArt page

 

Community News

In the finals of the Kaspersky Cup recently, TheLittleOne, the German Juggernaut and dream-lover of all SC2 fan boys and girls everywhere, strayed away from his typical race selection of Random, instead opting for the correct option.  Could this indicate a permenant race change? Time will tell.

iNcontroL announced that WhiteRa and Machine will be having a rematch of their showmatch, thus further boiling the feud between these two RTS monstrosities.  Will WhiteRa bring a rifle and a rocking chair? Will Machine continue to be grabby with WhiteRa's proverbial daughter? (His SC2 pride?) Be sure to check out these matches on Saturday.

                             Plays Of The Week

 

 

 


 

Custom Map Review

Weekly Custom Map Review

Map: Marine Arena

Creator: Crayon

Players: 2-8 Players (Team FFA 2v2v2v2)

Map Type: Madness

Length: 20+ Minutes per round.

URL: http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/marine-arena/

Latest Version: 0.9.82 (http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/marin...update-0-9-82/)

Review by: asfastasican

Description:
Marine Arena is the first answer to a question that has been asked by StarCraft Custom Map fans for many years: “Will StarCraft’s Sequel bring back the classic ‘Madness’ map genre?” Thankfully we have gotten our hands on this map as early as we have in beta, because the question has certainly been answered and this map is a hell of a lot of fun! Teams use their Marine armies, along with a variety of secondary units, heroes and upgrades to outplay and defeat their opponents that have the same options at their disposal.

The Marines go to war!



Review:
Marine Arena is basically a marine Madness map that has a very simple concept at its foundation, but then is improved upon with all kinds of new additions and features. For those not familiar with what Madness maps are all about, its a genre of custom maps first created when StarCraft 1 was released. You play on a square map with walls and assorted terrain that typically cut the playing area into equal sections. In this case, Marine Arena is divided into four cornered sections with a central area that has a pit at its core. 

Killing the rocks next to your base early on is usually a good idea to get an early game advantage


Madness maps are maps where players, either alone or paired with another player, constantly receive a steady stream of units from inside of their base. Units are generated nearly every second and you are able to rally them and use them to fight the enemy teams as they continue to generate units as well. By using a variety of strategies and tactics, you must outsmart and out manage your enemies in order to overpower them and eventually kill their main buildings in order to knock them out of the game. When all of the enemy teams and their command centers are defeated, you win.

Getting onto the high ground will give you an edge over your opponents


 As you kill enemies units, you will slowly earn minerals, which can be used in a variety of ways. Minerals can be used to upgrade your marines damage, armor, hit points, etc. As you continue to invest in these upgrades, your basic marines that continue to pump out of your base will be able to kill the enemies more effectively. You can also build defenses, special additions for yourself or use a scanner sweep type ability to gain sight on higher terrain or reveal invisible units. Every 10 minutes, players are awarded with a surge of minerals to spend on.

Using shift+click waypoints can help order your units to travel through walled areas


You can also purchase mercenary buildings, which are basically like spending money on a secondary generator of special units. You can only have one mercenary building and their one-time cost varies on how powerful or advanced the units are. On top of having a secondary generator, you can buy upgrades for your mercenary units as well, such as damage, armor, hit points and also specialized abilities and upgrades (Marauder Conc. Nades, Roach movement speed, etc.) You can also spend large amounts of money to create single hero units which are very powerful. You can choose from beefed up version of a Colossus, Dark Templar, High Templar, Ghosts, etc. Every hero has its purpose and strengths, which add some risk vs. reward and more strategy to the game as well.

Stalkers are a solid mercenary unit choice. They are solid ranged fighters that will counter other armored mercenaries, armored buildings, some heroes and fliers while being able to blink. Scanner Sweep can reveal the high ground and invisible units at the cost of energy.


As the game goes on, money becomes easier to get and the game awards players that remain aggressive and use the best tactics, even though defensive play can also net you large amounts of minerals that can win you the game. Having good timing, striking when the moment is right and also knowing when to defend yourself at key moments, can all contribute to your chances of survival. Since it’s a four team FFA type game, the momentum of the game can change at any given moment. The map plays very well, keeps the player involved and applies the right amount of tension as well.

Hunter Killers are decent heroes that can do ranged damage alongside your marines. They can move while borrowed and regenerate hit points.


 New players should know a few things as they place their first round of Marine Arena. There are destructible rocks along the barriers and rampways that divide each of the teams bases. You usually want to group up a decent amount of marines with your teammate and get to killing others as early as possible, and you can do this by taking out the rocks as soon as possible and work your way to the high ground so you can assault a base from on top of one of these walls. By keeping your units on high ground and using the Xel’Naga Watch Towers for sight, you can fire down on your enemies without them being able to fire back up at you. 

Xel'Naga Watch Towers can give you sight of surrounding terrain without you having to scan.


 Your Marine upgrades should not be taken lightly. There are many strategies you can use in this game, but your Marines are relatively strong and remain your bread and butter units throughout the entire game. Investing in a few levels of armor early on can give you an edge over opponents that have fewer upgrades. Being able to kill the enemies faster, while protecting your own units is key. Getting Stim packs, some levels in damage and buying more hit points will help as well. If you wipe out an enemy’s base, you might consider pulling out and attacking someone else or else they might spawn a “Savior” unit. Saviors are units that will destroy large groups of marines extremely fast, but only live for a few seconds. They can defend a player's base and wipe out most of an enemy's marine force, they can only be created 3 times a game for each player. Use them wisely and pull out if you think they might create one.

Void Rays are the most expensive mercenary, but they fly and can focus fire low armored targets very well.


Criticisms:
 As with most Madness games, knowledge is power. Even players without very high micro can steamroll their opponents; because they’ve played the map so often that they have very fleshed out strategies and know all the maps nooks and crannies. In Marine Arena, new players might need to play it a few times before they can compete against others and win a round. Even with the advice Crayon has put on the loading screen, he might want to add a command that new players can type in to get some additional advice through pop up text as they play the game. The map will probably be updated several more times, but it’s worth mentioning that going with heavily upgraded marines tend to be too strong compared to using more exotic strategies. 

Some players will also argue that getting mercenaries units can harm you, because you are allowing your enemy to kill more of your own units and generate more income for themselves as the game goes on. I will be the first one to tell you that Zealots and Ultras are pretty damn worthless, as they get mowed down by masses of marines and a great deal of other mercenary units as well. Still, I’m sure Crayon will edit the mineral costs and effectiveness of some units.

Void Ray stacking!


 Also, even if a skilled team wipes out the whole map, a single player can still hole himself in his base by maxing his defensive upgrades. A defensive player can max his buildings armor (up to 35 armor on his command center,) allow them to regenerate as if they were units and also heal those buildings with a healing support tower. Defensive machine gun turrets are only worth 10 minerals per and are monsters when upgraded. Turrets simply last too long and other forms of defenses can be very powerful as well. 

Turrets are dirt cheap and actually last for a while and are monsters when improved with numerous defensive upgrades.


With players having these high building armor capabilities, I’m really confused as to why there isn’t a Siege Tank hero in this game yet. Adding an expensive Siege tank hero with an extra far range and a slow, hard hitting siege attack would help solve this problem effectively. The Thor and Colossus fail to become effective means of ending the game if the enemy turtles in. Turrets probably should not last as long as they do or perhaps marines should be given a late game upgrade that could allow them to do some more damage against buildings specifically. Also, Crayon could consider adding a Sudden Death mode that could punish turtlers and rewards teams that have a majority of map control. Perhaps we could add incentives to having your forces hold the center of the map or hold already destroyed enemy bases.

Oh and by the way, we didn’t kill this Command Center that time! This Pink guy had maxed his defensive upgrades and was able to survive, even though we had clearly won and beaten every other opponent and his teammate. His Planetary Fortress was only taking 1 damage a hit as it regenerated and slowly killed all of those marines. Clearly balanced! The best part is that this game lasted 3 hours…



Conclusion:
I’m sure that there will be a handful of copy cat attempts and other more unique Madness maps that will come out long after StarCraft II’s release, but Marine Arena is a solid start and a tribute to the genre. It’s very fun to play as it is now and we’re still only in beta. Expect to see this map updated regularly and also expect great things from Crayon in the near future as the map making community continues to grow.

 

End

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