And by "you", they probably mean "me," as I was wondering the same thing. Talking to Executive Vice President of Product Development Frank Pearce and PR Manager Bob Colayco at Games Convention, my prying into the current status of StarCraft II didn't put us any closer to a hard date.
"No, there's no hard date," Pearce told us. So that's that. More pylons needed, maybe. Clearly, we should just leave Blizzard alone and let them do their thing, which currently is continually iterating the internal StarCraft II alpha, exposing it to larger and larger circles of players.
Those who have gotten their hands on the playable version of Blizzard's spacey real-time strategy game may think that the thing is ready for beta, but to the folks on the development side, despite near complete appearances, there's still plenty of work to be done. So what's Blizzard working on now for StarCraft II?
The current focus is on the game's single-player campaign, which is also in internal alpha, as balancing tweaks and design decision reach near final stages.
StarCraft II's story driven single player mode — of which we've seen only brief portions on the Terran side — will use a tried and true point and click adventure style interface. Blizzard showed this publicly at BlizzCon last year, giving us a look at a Battlecruiser set explorable by Terran hero Jim Raynor. While Colayco and Pearce wouldn't discuss how the Zerg and Protoss' single player modes might be presented, they did note that the Battlecruiser scenes they've demoed publicly aren't the only sets we'll see in the final product.
It doesn't sound like we've seen the final unit line up either, as Colayco said that the StarCraft II team is still swapping units in and out, still tweaking their attributes. The Thor, for example, has lost its cannon siege attack, with the giant Terran mech getting an anti-aircraft flak attack.
Yes, StarCraft II is still in internal testing, refining, reiterating — so don't ask about a quantitative release date just yet.
"What I don't understand is that people think [game development] is an exact science," Pearce said "It's an art form." While Blizzard's still plugging away, hoping to put extra polish on the title and maximize the elusive "fun factor" more people are playing. Hopefully, the rest of us will get to play it soon too.