As mentioned in previous posts, one of the most enduring aspects of StarCraft has been the myriad of community-created maps it has spawned. While SCII will offer “premium”, for-pay maps designed by Blizzard as well as community created ones, the original StarCraft has, and always will be, a free for all.
After combing through many of the maps and maps packs out there, we’ve come to one inescapable conclusion – there’s a lot of crap on the Internet.
Anyone with a copy of StarCraft and the dexterity of digits to use a mouse can start firing off maps, but that’s not always a good thing.
Scratch that. For the community as a whole, it a good thing. But for individuals to actually play these maps? Not so much.
However, we’ve done the work of separating the wheat from the chaff, and today we bring you a little gem called Hero Sanctuary found at Staredit.net.
This site is a collection of maps that have been created over the years, listing both their type (single player, multi) and status (finished, beta, abandoned). There’s also a nice thread about each map which can be used to do a little research on it.
Hero Sanctuary was created by a fellow by the name of Norm and, while his introductory prose for the map is not exactly the King’s English, the concept of the map is interesting. Norm has designed a map in which up to six hero units can compete against each other. These include a Samurai, a Necromancer, and an Illusionist, to name a few. He’s given them spells, stats, and abilities, and has both expanded on and changed the traditional StarCraft playing experience, and it’s worth a look just for that.
Also found in the electron-coated bowels of the web were these two gems – Waiting in Line Xpert v3.141 and Fastest Map Evar. Strange use of Pi and poor spelling of “ever” aside, these two are interesting in their sheer ridiculousness.
Waiting in Line is actually, well, waiting in line. You get a Terran civilian, some funny dialogue and a big long line of other NPCs. You don’t get any weapons or even to know what it is you’re waiting in line for. You just…get to wait in line. Enjoy.
Fastest Map Evar does actually live up to its name. Other maps claim to be the fastest, but they wouldn‘t know fast if it jumped up and infected their buildings. This map gives you victory, instantly, as soon as it is begun. Satisfying? Hardly. Victory? Take what you can get, it seems.
User-created maps are sometimes weird, sometimes wonderful and often just downright awful, but they’ve managed to keep an 11 year old game fresh and interesting. Ok, they’re almost always weird. But that’s part of the appeal.