Nihilistically-Named ‘Free’ Starcraft LOTV Prologue Is Out

‘Legacy Of the Void’, ‘Whispers Of Oblivion’. Man, whoever’s in charge of names at Blizzard needs to go and lie on the grass in the sunshine for a while, otherwise we’re going to end up with ‘Warcraft IV: I Just Feel So… Empty, Y’know?’ The aforementioned Mutterings Of Unconsciousness is the name given to a ‘prologue’ for upcoming Starcraft II [official site] expansion Inheritance Of Nothingness, which is now available for ‘free’ to anyone who pre-orders the add-on.

Whispers of Oblivion comprises three singleplayer missions starring Protoss hero Zeratul, with Legacy of the Void as a whole focussing on the mystic aliens as the many and various shouting matches of Starcraft 1 & 2 are in theory all brought to end.

If you pre-order direct from Battle.net or from ‘select retailers’ you’ll also get into Legacy of the Void’s multiplayer beta (which we thunked thoughts about here). You’ll also get an as-yet-undisclosed Starcraft character to use in Blizzard’s moba Heroes of the Storm. So they’re really pushing those downpayments, eh?

From what I hear, the prologue is short but a giggle, but as always, pre-ordering means paying for something that may or may not be what you were hoping for, so due caution is advised. Heed the lessons of the Bat. You can always just wait, as the prologue will be released free later.

Oh, and also first Starcraft II expansion Heart of the Swarm has now been made standalone, so if you want a Zerg-focused experience but couldn’t be bothered with base game Wings of Liberty, you can go straight to that now.

27 Comments

  1. eggy toast says:

    Never pre-order anything, ever.

    • kael13 says:

      You’re very right. I didn’t even pre-order the Witcher 3. But in this instance.. Blizzard. And I’m a big Starcraft fan. Plus beta access…

    • Cinek says:

      I’m quite sure that preordering in this case is very safe for people who liked previous two games. It’s basically more of the same goodness.

      • trn says:

        But this is the thing these companies are banking on, isn’t it? – that there will always be those who justify pre-orders because ‘reasons’.

        Gamers need to stop pre-ordering not because they ‘might get burnt’, but because it encourages and permits a range of publisher tactics (which I don’t need to rehearse here) that are driving this industry into the ground.

        Its the bigger picture thing, innit?

        • DarkFenix says:

          Well if the ‘reasons’ are that the developer is good, the series is good, the franchise is good and the game is obviously shaping up to be good, then I’d say that’s plenty of reason to preorder. Gamers need to preorder sensibly, not forego the act altogether because the bogeyman might get them.

          • nearly says:

            But the bogeyman can only get them if they pre-order. Also the pre-orders empower the bogeyman and let him do far worse things. Look at how people got burned on Destiny: that was a pretty well-known and respected developers with a game that they had been working on for quite some time: there was really no reason to expect it to be the, frankly, con it ended up being. Someone on RPS just this past week mentioned getting burned on ArcheAge by buying one of the expensive founder’s packs (or whatever) expecting the game to be like the one running on Korean servers. Lo and behold, the English release is a good couple patches back, if they ever even bring that content over.

            Also, obligatory “Star Citizen is never going to achieve what the people that have invested hundreds of dollars into it expect” but that’s a slightly different beast.

          • Bluestormzion says:

            The only reason to pre-order was to secure yourself a copy from what would be a limited supply.

            But we’re dealing with what can be bought as a digital product here. I’m sure that some of us would rather get the physical Collector’s Edition or something, but to pre-order data, that can be copied endlessly without even a human being to push a single key? No, that’s bullshit. That’s absolute bullshit.

        • Shadow says:

          The same reasons could’ve applied to Total War Rome II, yet that still blew up.

          That said, I’m probably going to pre-order Legacy of the Void, like I did Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm and Diablo III. Never really got burned and my trust in Blizzard is high. I acknowledge the possibility that everything may go tits up on release, but I deem that low enough to be an acceptable risk.

          Why not simply wait till release to judge the quality of the product? That’s the question, but in my case, in my country the dollar’s value keeps rising in relation to the national currency, and sometimes it’s better to buy in advance since later on the product will be more expensive. As long as it’s not too risky, that is (i.e. Early Access and/or unproven/unreliable developer).

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            I have the other two and I’m definitely getting this one but I’m also definitely not preordering it. It’s like the other poster said, it’s not about what you preorder but that you preorder at all sends the industry a message that it’s a good way to do business – preordering to get hold of a demo is also not something I’d like to see more of.

          • Shadow says:

            I’m not really preordering for the demo. On the one hand, I can’t afford to make a moral stand. On the other, enacting preorders will always be profitable because there will always be people who preorder. Even if preorders decrease, there will always be enough to justify the option, since it’s essentially cost-free for the developer and is better than simply getting no money for a product until release. It’s a no-brainer choice even if it’s only slightly effective.

            I can’t see a boycott having any impact on it unless it includes not buying the game in question at all. But if it comes to that, how can it be ascertained that the lost sales are due to the preorder policy as opposed to myriad other factors?

          • skorpeyon says:

            My mentality on this is extremely simple. I will pre-order to get certain things early. The latest WoW expansion, for example, gave you a mount and level boost as soon as you pre-ordered (basically you got any Digital Deluxe Edition rewards immediately, or just the level boost for the Basic Edition if I’m remembering correctly). That’s worthwhile to me, even if the expansion is a few months out. This, however, being something I’ll get for free in a little while? On a game I’ll probably pick up anyway? I can wait.

            That being said, I want the Collector’s Edition, and will pre-order that since it MAY be harder to find later on. I’d rather just lock in a pre-order and not have to worry about the possibility of it becoming scarce. That’s for physical rewards, though, and is on an actually limited quantity item. Digital Downloads I refuse to preorder since it’s the same data day one as it is 6 months later. Why did I need to hurry up and get it early?

    • tetracycloide says:

      Paid early access isn’t really a pre order, if you’re buying access to content today that you want today there’s nothing pre about it really.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    I’m pretty sure committing to pay for something in order to get it falls outside of the definition of even a inverted-commas deployment of ”free”.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I assumed this would be like the original Starcraft where the demo was a free three-mission campaign prequel to the main game, which was pretty nice (as well as a single multiplayer map). But yeah, capitalism ho.

      • Gap Gen says:

        (That’s, um, the “westward ho” sense, not the derogatory sense which I just thought of right as I pressed the submit button, sorry)

        • BooleanBob says:

          It’s okay. I am a bit of a ho.

        • bleeters says:

          It’s impossible for me to read or hear ‘capitalism, ho!’ without thinking of Recettear, so I at least got your meaning.

          Unless of course I totally misunderstood that game, which would be a shame. It’s pretty cool.

    • SirBryghtside says:

      They’re going to release it for free for everyone closer to release, the inverted commas save them this time :P

    • nearly says:

      That’s what I keep telling people about The Witcher 3’s “16 free pieces of DLC.” Sure, anyone can download it but no one can play it if they don’t have the game in the first place.

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        Wisq says:

        Yeah, but if a shop offers you a “free oil change” or “free windshield wipers”, they don’t feel the need to specify “you must have already purchased a car”.

  3. Kollega says:

    Well, what did you expect they would name it? After all, the expansion’s message is entirely Pro-toss.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Kollega there, terran Blizzard a new one.

    • Vandelay says:

      I’m not sure if they could ever make me Kerrigan after the first two games.

      • Kollega says:

        I don’t know about you, but I Findlay the plot of the first game to be so dang awful that I can’t even get myself to give a Tosh about anything that came out afterwards.

  4. Sacarathe says:

    This is an activision game, I wouldn’t be surprised if it cost more in a years time – though that said it’s baffling that they are doing pre-order bonuses at all.

  5. Bluestormzion says:

    When I originally heard that there would be a free prequel campaign, I thought “hey, like the Warcraft 3 “demo” that gave us that mini Orc campaign that detailed their journey to Kalimdor!”

    Instead I get Blizzard starting down the long, dark path that ends with DLC salesmen in my party camp, a Multiplayer Season Pass that I have to buy and have to even play if I want to get the good ending to the solo campaign, bosses whose difficulty have been ratcheted up to “encourage” you to use the pay-to-win weapon vendor located conveniently right outside the boss’ room…

    Nope. Fuck this kind of bullshit. You want to sell Preorders? Sell them to a limited edition collector’s version of the game with PHYSICAL rewards that can be kept on a shelf for hundreds of years. Fuck preordering digital data, and fuck Activision for starting a transformation that will make Blizzard just like all the shill companies raped and ruined by EA, Microsoft, and Activision itself.