Thursday, May 6, 2010

What Blizzard does right

So, for purposes of tiding me over until the Starcraft 2 release, I bought myself the Starcraft Battle chest. Luckily, before I opened it, I took a second look at the Collector's edition of Starcraft 2.  Which comes with the original Starcraft, plus BroodWar expansion.  On a custom 2 GB Flash Drive.  Needless to say, I promptly returned my Battle chest and pre-ordered the Collector's edition. 

Now, this may confuse those of you who've read what I've had to say already about Starcraft 2,  since I already pre-ordered it.  Well, the thing is,  The Game Crazy near where I live (both of them, actually) are gone.  My pre-orders? Gone.  I'm just glad I used all my trade-in credit while I had it.

Now, a Collector's edition like this, I would expect to have the artbook, and probably the custom Flash Drive.  The fact that the flash drive comes pre-loaded with the original Starcraft and BroodWar is easily worth $30 on its own, but Blizzard, of course, goes the extra mile with a comic book (which basically amounts to more artwork), a behind-the-scenes DVD (seriously, have you ever heard a game coming with one of these?) a soundtrack (which is like pre-ordering Halo and getting a free soundtrack, except Starcraft is actually pretty good on its own right,)  a World of Warcraft pet, and...wait, That's the mysterious day-one DLC?  That's...actually pretty cool.

So, what Blizzard does right? Stuff like this.  Giving actual stuff (that is well worth more than the extra $40) with their games.  Actual stuff, y'know, the things that can't be transferred digitally, can't be pirated.

Another thing that I've noticed about Blizzard is their attention to detail.  The little things.  I've been playing through Warcraft III again, and wondering how 8 year old graphics can still impress me.  Especially the cut-scenes.  I think this is why, the little things.  The people and creatures move...unnaturally for the most part, but then again, you look away from them and focus on, say, their clothing, and you notice how naturally it moves.  How realistic it looks.

Or maybe it just has to do with it being good-quality 3D animation that isn't composed solely of dark earth-tones and/or shiny stuff. (good examples of both? Twilight Princess.)  There's even, on 'the prophet's earth-tone robe, a bright red ruby, and it glints realistically (or at least it looks like that to me).  The armor that people wear isn't blindingly shiny, and some has the audacity to be dull.

Even on the not-so good in-game quality, there's still the attention to detail.  It makes you want to scroll in and take a good look at the units, the buildings, and the landscape, and see the detail on them.

Or maybe I'm just being nostalgic.

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