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World of Starcraft? Not So Much 278

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-believe-everything-you-read dept.
The rumours have been swirling since last night, when MMOG discussion site F13 posted the surprising news that Blizzard plans to make MMOGs of Starcraft and Diablo. Turns out that while the possibility still exists, that's not exactly accurate. The CessPit has some of the slides from Vivendi's presentation, (courtesy of SirBruce). The last of these would seem to show the mere possibility (not confirmation) of expansion into the Massive and console markets for the company's intellectual properties. However, this is coupled with a flat denial by lead designer Rob Pardo: "Nothing in that rumor is true in regards to Blizzard. If I had to guess, there was some confusion between what Vivendi has planned for its game division versus what Blizzard has planned. While Blizzard is owned by Vivendi, their game division operates separately from Blizzard." So, while not out of the question, I find it unlikely we'll be hearing about World of Starcraft any time soon.
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World of Starcraft? Not So Much

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  • by ArsSineArtificio (150115) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:45PM (#15533187) Homepage
    "Don't keep me vaiting..."
    • These kind fo rumours have been flying around since WoW sales went throguh the roof. The reality of it is that Blizzard are still struggling maintaining is enormous WoW user base. The first expansion hasn't been released yet. Blizzard have stated that at the game development heart they remaina small company focussing on high quality products.

      We probably will see WoS or WoD in the future but not while WoW continues as it currently is.
    • by andersa (687550) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:00PM (#15533326)
      Hell, a mere followup to StarCraft would be nice. I mean, how much longer are people supposed to put up with 640x480 pixels???
      • by flooey (695860) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:27PM (#15533519)
        Hell, a mere followup to StarCraft would be nice. I mean, how much longer are people supposed to put up with 640x480 pixels???

        Pfft, 640 pixels across should be enough for anybody.
      • I've seen a lot of posts like yours. What you're ALL missing here is this:

        If they make WoS, as awful as it would be, it would give them an engine and story to perhaps Start a Starcraft 2. As things stand, Starcraft 2 is nowhere in sight and this may bring it closer. I'd marry the devil's ugly brother if Starcraft 2 were to enter production.

        HEAR THAT BLIZZARD? I NEED IT, and I have about 1,000,000 friends that agree with me.
      • But you can play four games at once on your 1080P HDTV panel and still have some screen space leftover for iTunes.

      • by XMilkProject (935232) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @02:58PM (#15534273) Homepage
        Exactly, it is still probably the best game ever created. If they could raise the resolution a bit for more modern monitors, and clean up the online functionality it would be spectacular. They could probably even beef up the graphics a bit without too much work, although that isn't particularly important... Starcraft is great because there are not too many silly graphical effects going on, and it relies instead on the perfection of the gameplay.
        • Hell, they have the Warcraft III engine right there. They could just port StarCraft and its expansion pack over to the WarCraft III engine and it'd sell just fine. That'd give them all the artwork and a base income from which to launch production of StarCraft 2!

          I've never understood why they've let this game lie fallow the way it has.
      • by vix86 (592763) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:42PM (#15535025)
        Assuming they ever do get around to making a follow up, I don't expect it to be very good. Why?

        Take a look at the original Starcraft team, here [mobygames.com]. You can follow the names and see where many of them are now. For the most part though, many of the top designers and programmers from the original Starcraft are gone. Where did they go? Guild Wars, or more specifically, they founded ArenaNet.

        And if there is something I have learned about games. If the original team behind a game is gone and a new team tries to pick up the game, the results arn't typically very pretty. So don't expect much. I'm not.
  • Ghost (Score:2, Insightful)

    by freakboy9 (553277)
    Getting Starcraft Ghost out the door first would seem a priorty. Besides, WOW seems to work so well; whould going into MMO competition with yourself (Blizzard) work?
    • 1) there is a whole demographic of people who AREN'T intrested in fantasy MMO
      2) Get the people who are groing tired of WoW but wnat a quality MMO
      3) Don't think of competing. I would presume they would go under the same Umbrella.
    • Uhm yeah. They would be getting money no matter what if someone left WoW for WoS.
    • Re:Ghost (Score:4, Informative)

      by danielk1982 (868580) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:33PM (#15533560)
      Ghost was cancelled.
    • there's a rabbid Starcraft & Diablo fanbase out there.

      I'm sure some are only playing WOW because there is no WOS or WOD but I am will to bet that there are even more NOT playing WOW because Warcraft does not intrest them, yet if they were to release WOS then they would see more people playing (I know I would jump at it) same with WOD, not everyone likes warcraft (I don't cause it's set in the past like EVERYTHING) so they don't bother with WOW.

      so if I could play WOS as a Zerg, Terran or Protoss (o
    • I mean a zergling is weaker than an ultralisk no matter how you slice it, and does essentially the same thing. And while Terrans and maybe Protoss would make sense for choosing their specialization, it doesn't work for Zerg either. And you aren't going to dump one of the alignments.

      Instead I think it would make sense to be a commander/cerebrate/executor in command of a squad/platoon/group. Improvement is by upgrading and extending your band of troops, gaining abilities, training, experience, promotion in
  • No ring (Score:5, Funny)

    by Belgarion89 (969077) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:47PM (#15533198)
    I'm sorry, but "World of Starcraft" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "World of Warcraft." "Sector of Starcraft?" "Suburb of Starcraft?" See, that's why this game will never happen, no good name for it.
  • by From A Far Away Land (930780) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:47PM (#15533203) Homepage Journal
    Is the software industry in general prone to rumours, or are games primarily afflicted? It must be hard for a news site, having no confirmations to work from, and instead either being left behind, sticking their neck out, or getting a lucky tip from an insider.

    Pssst, I heard that the Star Control sequel will feature Duke Nukem caught in a world of Orcs, blasting his way out in a massive Counterstrike against the enemy. Better still, it will run on Windows Vista when it's released too.
    • Pssst, I heard that the Star Control sequel will feature Duke Nukem caught in a world of Orcs, blasting his way out in a massive Counterstrike against the enemy. Better still, it will run on Windows Vista when it's released too.

      OMFG!!!!!1!ONE!!1!!!11!!!!ELEVEN!!!!!!1!! IWANTITNOWTHATISGOINGTOBETHECOOLESTGAMEEVERWILLITR UNONXBOX360ORPLAYSTATION3WHATABOUTMYINTELMACAWESOM EXORZ!!!!

    • There seems to be a trend lately...articles from blog postings based on an IRC chat that was....
      All of these "articles" have a common theme, they are in the form of a question. The answer is almost always no but they keep coming and mostly are just stupid to begin with. The google and Apple ones are generally the most stupid and seemingly prevalent.

  • BUT (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrSquirrel (976630) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:47PM (#15533204)
    I want it NOWWWWW. Oh man... would I be a Zerg Hydralisk?... or Maybe a Terran Medic?... ohhhh a Protoss Zealot! Yes, stabby psionic blades for me, please!
    • Re:BUT (Score:2, Funny)

      by Nos. (179609)
      Can't you just imagine the clan of zerglings? All running around in a tight group, nobody really sure what they're doing or where they're going but they're going to get there first at all costs!
      • Re:BUT (Score:5, Funny)

        by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy&tpno-co,org> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:03PM (#15533345) Homepage
        Can't you just imagine the clan of zerglings? All running around in a tight group, nobody really sure what they're doing or where they're going but they're going to get there first at all costs!

        And this would be different from other onliners...how exactly?
    • I know there are coming out more FPS/MMORPG merges now with e.g Tabula Rasa, and maybe a World of Starcraft would be best suited as something like that. I always felt WoW was more appropriate with a mix of pacifist work like tanning and brewing potions and fighting for a more traditional MMORPG, while in Starcraft it's more about the guns and epic battles between the species. Even a medic is usually found in battle, not operating in a Terran Hospital Building. Would many really like to build Vulture Bikes a
  • If there's going to be a Spaceborne MMORPG (or MMOFPS) we'd appreciate it being Warhammer 40k. Thanks.
  • Thank heavens (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Umbral Blot (737704) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:50PM (#15533222) Homepage
    I am really glad there will be no "world of Diablo". Trying to fit all games into an online model forces them to be basically all versions of the same game (all the same run around-kill-collect-level model of game play). Much of the variety in the single player experience for example can't be carried over into multi-player because it would be too unbalanced (just to name one example).
    • But... diablo was multiplayer... 8 people to be exact... which is a larger party size than most online games. Think of Diablo as an instanced MMO (a very, very weak one at that ... ). They'd just be consolidating the world into a few servers instead of a few thousand instances, giving you a more expansive one with more things to do and more people to interact with simultaneously. It could work ...
      • In my opinion the more focused Diablo became on online play the less fun it became. For example originally you could play through the entire game with just the rares you found. However Blizzard quickly realized that due to trading in online games everyone would have the best items, and thus they made the last mode exceedingly difficult, ruining it for the single player people, and in my opinion taking away some of the fun (go do 1000 runs so you can find the one item you need to beat the game, bah!).
        • It boiled down to skill. Even after the latest patches there are a good number of builds that can solo well into hell (I only played HC ladder... the only unfair challenge was the hackers). But that's not the point... WoW is nothing like warcraft,they took the themes and boiled them down into a MMO. Same would happen to Diablo. Diablo's theme is a lot different from Warcraft, if you paid attention to the story.
          • I really think they would boil them down to essentially the exact same game play, which would be exceedingly boring. (I don't plat WoW, it's simply not the kind of game that can hold my interest for long periods of time.)
    • Well one idea would be to fork Warcraft into the (at least) 3 different games it encompases. There's the raid game, the pvp game, the quest to 60/storyline game. That'd let them all play differently. WoW sometimes suffers from trying to be too many things to too many people anyhow.

      But still, any one of those currently is a life sucking event requiring almost all your free time to achieve any of the more challenging goals.
    • World of Warcraft basically is diablo.

      Diablo -> Wow:
      --------------
      archers -> hunters
      sorcerers -> mages
      warriors -> warriors
      necromancers -> warlocks
      paladins -> paladins

      necromancer wolves -> hunter pet
      necromancer skeletons -> warlock demon

      health bar -> health bar
      mana bar -> mana/rage/focus bar

      talent points -> talent points

      run around and click -> run around and click in 3d
      control 1 character -> control 1 character

      The original warcraft had city building and unit management
    • Not really (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @02:25PM (#15533989) Journal
      " Trying to fit all games into an online model forces them to be basically all versions of the same game (all the same run around-kill-collect-level model of game play)."

      Not really. MMO games also include stuff that's pretty different from WoW. Mind you, not _completely_ different, but still. E.g.:

      1. Planetside.

      It's really a MMO-FPS. Think UT2004 with 200 players in each team. Think battles where a SF fortress is attacked by waves of a hundred infantry (ranging from unarmored infiltrators to the massive mechanized exo-skeletons) and tens of tanks, artillery vehicles, AA vehicles, bombers, gunships, giant transport ships paradropping whole squads on top of it, and even about a lance of mechs in most fights.

      It also has absolutely _zero_ grinding, farming, etc, as the game has no money (you're a soldier, so your equipment is provided to you based on your certifications) and levels don't give anyone an unfair advantage in combat (being higher level gives you more flexibility, as it allows you to be certified in several different things, but you still have the same health, do the same damage and can use the same weapons as someone half your level.)

      _And_ it doesn't really need 3 hours of gathering a 40 man group a la WoW or of waiting in a queue for some battleground. Anyone can just jump into any battle and get xp for whatever they can do. E.g., if you're certified as a medic, you don't have to wait until some raid invites you: you can just jump into any battle and get xp for healing the combatants. E.g., if you're an engineer, you can just jump into any fight and start repairing the damaged vehicles, and get xp for it. E.g., if you're certified to pilot a transport, just load up a squad and paradrop them wherever they want to go, and not only you'll be a very popular guy or gal, but you'll get xp for their kills there too. Or, of course, if you can use a gun, you can just get your gun and go join whatever assault or defense is in progress.

      Sure, joining a squad or outfit lets you fight more coordinated as part of a team, but that's about it. If you don't want to, you can just go solo in any battle just as well. You'll figure out something useful to do pretty easily. Be it healing, repairing, shooting a gun, being gunner on a tank, laying mines, or jumping into a chaingun turret and laying down the suppression fire.

      And, again, any of those you can do from level 1 (though you can gain a few levels first by just doing the tutorials anyway) and have max level people thanking you for it. There is no grinding to level 60 or collecting epic equipment before you can go play with the big boys. You can take part in any battle right after installing the game, and feel like you've made a difference.

      So, basically, you know, you can just play the game and let levels and stuff happen on their own. There is no need to focus on collecting anything either.

      2. City Of Heroes / City Of Villains.

      Well, this is a sorta more standard type of MMO, but it cuts down on pretty much anything that could be seen as a time sink. E.g., travel time is short (SuperSpeed caps at about 90mph, Teleport caps at about 200mph), combat is fast and furious, there is no collecting "loot" in the traditional sense of the word (if you want your character to wear big red pauldrons, you can just paint him that way in the character editor), there is no crafting in the traditional sense (though you can craft devices for your super-hero base or super-villain lair), and there is no farming for gold or resources.

      Also, although it does depend on grouping (unlike the loose action of Planetside), missions are automatically instanced for whatever number of people you have. I.e., the same mission can either be soloed or you can find an 8-player group for it. Since groups yield better xp per minute, you rarely have a problem finding random people to group with at any level. (Though whether they can also play well in a group, is a bit of a hit-and-miss issue. Some groups rule, some can make a good point for misanthropy.) But again, any instanced mission can also be soloed if you're not in a social mood.
    • Actually, I'd say that in many ways, Guildwars [guildwars.com] is World of Diablo, not least because arenanet (the company who produces it) was founded by three ex-blizzard developpers.
  • Good. (Score:5, Funny)

    by halivar (535827) <bfelger.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:51PM (#15533244) Homepage
    Last thing we need is another horde of thirteen-year-old boys running around a virtual playground dressed up as hot female zerg hydralisks.
    • We have zerg hordes anyway, in City of Villains. More than one mastermind (such as my own Dr. Zerg, on Victory) has his robots named "Zergling 1", "Zergling 2", etc.
  • by chrismcdirty (677039) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:52PM (#15533252) Homepage
    I was hoping for a Rock 'n' Roll Racing MMOG. And don't you dare tell me to try Auto Assault. I was in beta for it, and I got a few free weeks after it was released. And now I see they're giving the box away for free with a purchase of Guild Wars Factions. I was not impressed at all, and it seems nobody else is, either.

    Oh well. Here's hoping for a Lost Vikings MMOG.
    • I think a racing MMOG could be a big hit. Set in the future, like RnRR, on a planet dedicated to racing. Players could get sponsors and race to build up winnings, which could be spent not only on cars and upgrades, but on a home, garage, and eventually a race track of their own where they could hold their own events. It wouldn't just be cars, either. As the racing capitol of the galaxy, the planet would hold everything from chariot races to hoverpod races. It's set in the future, so you could have alien fac
      • Strangely enough, that sounds fun. What if they threw in the ability to drive wherever (and even crash races!) and go find additional parts for your machine (need Calthian Ion Boosters to power your machine? Yeah you can pay for it at $BIGNUM, or you can go search for one in some of the junk yards, steal one from a shop, or go scrounging next to a race course.), or even do deep space/hyperspace races where you are going so fast that dodging the stars and planets is REALLY hard. Perhaps doing quests/messe
        • I wanted to keep my pst short and sweet, but yeah, good ideas (some of which I also thought of, but not crashing races. hehe, that would be so fun!) Here's some more: You can have NPCs with different racing or technical skills, and to really make money you need to develop a team of drivers and mechanics. While your racing is based mostly on your skill, your NPC drivers skill is based on training and attitude. For instance, your best NPC driver's girl friend is kidnapped before the big race, and he can't con
      • You know that sort of already existed. It wasn't on a different planet or anything but there was a MMOG dedicated to car racing. You used your winnings to buy new cars and parts and such. It had a lot of potential, however it wasn't really an interactive world beyond just the racing. Also it seemed to have a very steep learning curve. At any rate it was cancelled. It was called Motor City Online.
    • kinda offtopic, but the Lost Viking characters are in WoW, stuck inside a cave over at Uldaman. Just some neat trivia
    • Wow... Auto Assault dropped off the chart that fast?

      I was also in beta and played for a bit after release (since I had preordered and got the free month for that). It was pretty fun to start, but, before too long, the prospect of yet another "drive over there and blow stuff up" mission started losing its appeal. It seems that the primary catalyst for my loss of interest was when INC started charging for transport services. I no longer felt like it was viable to just airlift to the city nearest the targe
  • Milking the mmoo cow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jagdish (981925)
    Just because one game works so well does mean they should start mass producing/converting all their IP into mmorpgs (even if you are blizzard)
  • Not if but when (Score:3, Informative)

    by barbee82 (982470) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:56PM (#15533291) Homepage
    I for one will be surprised if no WoSC or WoD appears within a few years. After all, the hardest part of the development is over. To re-use the platform for other games and improve graphics a notch doesn't sound too hard. Both of the worlds (Diablo and StarCraft) have great potential. StarCraft includes many planets, ships and alike while Diablo is basically as endless as WoW is. In other words, costs of developing this project would be far from as significant as developing World of WarCraft, simply because the experience and the technology is already there.

    Additionally, I am not too optimistic on a StarCraft II strategy title, mostly because huge parts of the SC team left Blizzard after it was completed. I bet they will release a sequel, but perhaps not as a strategy game type.

    If I happen to be wrong, there's only one thing I could think of that would stop World of StarCraft: the fact that it may split Blizzard's market in two pieces instead of doubling it. As for Diablo, this world is actually far too similar to WoW. It's all ancient stuff, wizardry and monsters. So maybe Blizzard wants to stick to what it has done before.

    Anyway, selling a game for 50 bucks and then milking its customers on monthly fees is probably Blizzard's new thing. Imagine how much more money they make on WoW than on SC and Diablo.

    I would personally want a sequel to StarCraft out sooner than Diablo, while I still remember the superb story that it and Brood War offered.
  • by Necroman (61604) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:56PM (#15533297)
  • Damn MMO's (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phorm (591458) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @12:57PM (#15533299) Journal
    Personally, I think that MMO's are draining way too much focus from the other gaming genre's. Right now they're a big cash-cow, which unfortunately makes them more attractive Vs other games.

    I'd much rather see a proper Starcraft sequel... full 3d environments, and all the coolness of an in-space RTS that Starcraft introduced. Warcraft III has been fun, but I find that the races tend towards being a bit too linear, especially in terms of special abilities. In Starcraft, the mix was awesome... with zerg being your massive-rush force, protoss being brute-force, terran being in-between, and the technological aspects mixing all three together (protoss carrier rush=massiveness) and all the cool techs such as the arbitor abilities and the nastly little zerg devourer slime. Combined with the strategic elements such as invisibility, scanning, shields, etc... the strategic element of Starcraft far exceeded Warcraft III, and would make for a much more worthy sequel if done right...

    But for Aiur's sake, please don't wash all that out with an MMORPG. It works for some things, but it's a good way to absolutely murder good games from other genre's.
    • But for Aiur's sake, please don't wash all that out with an MMORPG. It works for some things, but it's a good way to absolutely murder good games from other genre's.

      I agree - but hear me out for a sec. When Blizzard made WoW, they didn't really "re-create" Warcraft as MMORPG, as much as just wrote a whole new game in the Warcraft setting. The genre changed completely, from RTS to RPG (-ish). I imagine if they were ever to do World of Starcraft (or whatever), it would get the same treatment.

      • Not a problem, except that there seems to be a good chance that programming talent would be relocated to the MMO department from those that could otherwise be making games of other great genres...
      • It didn't change as completely as you are saying as Warcraft III was an RTS/RPG.
  • My three favorite computer game series have been: StarCraft, Diablo, and Civilization.

    Ever since Blizzard started in on this MMORPG, they've produced not a single game that interests me. Especially now that I'm a parent, I just can't justify the time required to competitively maintain on online character. And, I need the freedom to walk away from a game at a moment's notice to take care of kids, etc., without my player dying.

    With single-player and two-player games, this was never a problem. But ever sin
  • If you look at the "World of Warcraft: What is it?" page in the Vivendi presentation there is a graphic with the WOW customers - they seem to have had over 6 billion customers in Q1-2006 (6000 milions). Nice market share, WOW!
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:00PM (#15533324)
    I already have enough trouble yelling "We require more Vespene Gas!" when I am short of money in WoW, now I'll have to deal with it for real in WoS.

    Given the number of rogues on my server, I think everyone would roll a Protoss Dark Templar - battlefields would look awfully empty!
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:06PM (#15533385) Homepage Journal
    While it could be interesting to see World of Starcraft, there is still one version of Starcraft that is reaching Duke Nukem status: Starcraft: Ghost [starghost.com].
  • April Fool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by giafly (926567) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:07PM (#15533395)
  • by not-enough-info (526586) <forwardtodevnull@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:10PM (#15533414) Homepage Journal
    My favorite part from TFA is slide 12 where the graph shows over 6 Billion WoW Customers by Q1 of this year.
    *linky* [cesspit.net]

    I'm obviously in the wrong business.
  • ... for telling me that something I didn't know to be true, is in fact, untrue!

    In other news, Wal.Mart will not be constructing a Muppet Themed roller coaster.

    I suppose this may have put to rest a rumor circulating about a MMO StarCraft. But, I've never heard such a rumor.
  • I would as a consumer would be interested in another Diablo addition. It seems to naturally fit in the mmorg genre where you select a hero, build experience, search for weapons, and barter for items. Diablo II spand many different regions including jungles, deserts, plain, and hell. I am surprised that it is not on the table given the success of the original franchise and of WOS.
    • I would as a consumer would be interested in another Diablo addition.

      I agree, Diablo and Diablo II were my fave games up until I stopped playing online (other than Sims 2).

      In addition to Spore, I could definitely see playing a Diablo expansion on my wireless cable-modem-fed laptop or my soon-to-buy Wii.

      My son's getting a Mac mini this afternoon - it's tax free day (we have no income tax here) and I get the educational discount. I hope if they expand it that it will run on the Mac as well (intel-based Mac m
  • by KFury (19522) * on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @01:40PM (#15533616) Homepage
    'World of Starcraft' sounds a little limiting for a space-based adventure game. Like calling your mmorpg bass fishing simulator 'desert strike'.

    Ooh... mmorpg bass fishing...
  • If they had a decent sci-fi mmpog, I might actually get into playing mmpogs. The only big one that I know of is Anarchy Online and Star Wars Galaxies, where were both mostly sword and socery fantasy setting skinned into a space theme (use "the force", or "nano technology" istead of magic for spells, but essentially fantasy).

    Even if they had something like Grand Theft Auto Online, it would appeal to people like me who just aren't that into a fantasy setting.
  • by WeblionX (675030)
    Auto Assault is a bit like StarCraft crossed with WoW (I would imagine, never played WoW...). 3 Races, 4 types of characters. If they do make a StarCraft MMOG, I hope at the very least they don't do what AA did, and actually test it so it doesn't launch with missions that don't work, buggy AI, and missing features. But if they're not planning on a MMOG version of StarCraft, I'd settle for it on the NDS, or maybe PSP. :X
  • Would be a "Galaxy of Starcraft" to do to the remainer of SWG, AO, adn EvE what WoW did to EQ/DaoC/the rest of the fantasy mmog genre.

    I would also like to see a solid well produced starcraft sequel before any MMOG offering from it.
  • All evidence points to World of Diablo. The suggestions that World of SC should even be made, are mere pipedreams and wishful thinking. When your reason is so completely ursurpt, you should probably stop with the games and go outside.

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