Starcraft 2 is a game which still has tons of unrealized potential locked away in its bowels, and through the recent launch of Starcraft Universe - Beyond Koprulu, an ambitious SC2 modding project, we're seeing some of that potential bubble to the surface, although frankly, despite its epic size and nature, it is still a far cry from the modding craze the creators of the game had envisioned upon its launch a few years ago. Back then, it did indeed seem like Starcraft 2 had everything going for it from a modding perspective, as well as otherwise too of course. Just as in the case of the game's eSports run though, crucial mistakes slipped into a system that had all the makings of greatness. Compared to the WC3 modding scene, it frankly never really took off at all, despite the fact that the Galaxy Editor was and is much more powerful than the WC3 editor, but its added complexity means it's a lot more difficult to put to proper use. Many of the modding projects started during the initial hype of the launch simply fizzled out over time, as their would-be creators ran into problems they had failed to foresee...
Starcraft Universe itself is an excellent illustration of just how complex and difficult a task it is to create something enduring and indeed interesting through the Galaxy Editor, as the term "epic" isn't thrown around lightly at all with it.
Its development started way back in 2011 and in 2013, a Kickstarter was launched with Blizzard's blessings. The campaign was successful, still, only now, three whole years after the Kickstarter, has the team managed to put out an open beta, accompanied by a cinematic trailer. Upheaval Arts is the name of the group behind the project, so they are the ones to be thankful to, not only for their perseverance, but also for the simple fact that they have created something that builds on the existing Starcraft canon, obviously aiming to become an integral part of it.
Starcraft Universe is defined as a semi-MMORPG and it picks up the protoss storyline dropped by Wings of Liberty, with Zeratul as its main protagonist. New original characters will apparently be introduced by the game too.
The storyline follows the few remaining protoss survivors, who - allied with the terrans - are looking to cope with the hellish universe of Amon's vision.
The full launch of Starcraft Universe comes in August.
Peter Wassenberg is currently tasked with the maintenance/moderation of the eSports news section at Gosugamers.net.