UI Nostalgia Mode

  (Edited: )

I was perusing the videos from Blizzcon showing off some of the new campaign UI being implemented for the Protoss. It’s all pretty sweet stuff, of course, but that got me thinking about how the UI used to look in the past. Frankly, there have been some pretty crazy changes from beta wings to present day HotS, even in just the basic menus. Take a gander through the screenshots below and see for yourself. The UI has gone a pretty long way over the years.

Beta Wings:

http://www.co-optimus.com/images/upload/image/2010/sc2_beta_coop.jpg  
http://blog.pucp.edu.pe/media/2957/20100411-starcraft%202%20beta%20menu.jpg
http://venturebeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/qssya.jpg 

Honestly nothing here is too far off of what ended up in Wings. But look at that last one! Man that Bronze medal looks totally different now. Or was that the Copper league medal back then…not sure honestly, predates my playing the game pretty hard. 

Wings:

http://siroberto.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Screenshot2013-02-04-16_04_54.jpg 
http://www.sc2blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/battlenet_interface_006-full.jpg 

First picture is pretty reminiscent of what we saw above in the beta, same single and multiplayer buttons with the array of symbols beneath. It’s all much sleeker and crisp compared to the beta. Second pic shows the profile got cleaned up really nicely and the pretty league icons were put in. 

http://eu.media2.battle.net/cms/gallery/CSJ0JI1M9RDZ1319194875278.jpg 
http://siroberto.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Screenshot2013-02-04-16_05_06.jpg

Third and Fourth pics show off the Arcade mode shift. This was a bit weird. Much of the stuff that was split out from where it used to be and campaign mode was put under the same tab as the matchmaking stuff. Note that arcade maps as we understand them now did exist back then, but the arcade mode tab really did a lot of work for putting the spot light on them. It’s since become a pretty fundamental part of the UI.

Beta HotS:

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/4Y-bHT7v7I8/maxresdefault.jpg 
http://failcraft.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/StarCraft-2-Heart-of-The-Swarm-Beta-Screenshot-Matchmaking-Menu.jpg 

Looks a ton more like what we know in the game now. Arcade, Single Player, and Multiplayer have their own buttons. Kerrigan stares at us from the background. There is a button for general chat, a sign of things to come. Though still a bit off of what we’d eventually have. And of course the sneak peak at unranked, versus AI, and training parts of the matchmaking UI. (Had a hard time finding a profile screenshot from the beta. If you’ve got one, link it and I’ll toss it in.)

HotS:

http://bnetcmsus-a.akamaihd.net/cms/content_folder_media/0EV1Y155RP691351555297656.jpg?v=0

*Technically* this screenshot is from the beta. It’s from Blizzard’s side discussing a release feature, but given that reality I figured it was better put down here. Which feature? The clans feature! Once upon a time, we didn’t have those little boxed names in front of our IDs for clans. Teams were thus often required to put the team name in their IDs! This is fine, unless your team dies out a couple times and you run out of name changes. Then it was not so fine, so it was a pretty welcome feature as you might imagine. 

Naturally this feature changed all that. And the clans introduced some interesting things like random one man clans with funny names that make finding clan tags difficult to this day. But whoever said improvements are perfect?

http://cdn.pcgamesn.com/sites/default/files/starcraft%202%20heart%20of%20the%20swarm%20UI.jpg 
Here is the screen we’ve come to know. Notice the chat channels on the right side with a conspicuous lack of the general chat button on the left. Not to mention the featured groups tab, showing off another community add in for the game. And of course, everyone’s favorite Zerg lady in human form as a 3D animated model that continues to assemble and disassemble that ball for all time in the center rather than a screenshot. (I can’t remember if that happened in the beta or not.) Looking through all this was quite fun. And honestly it makes me wonder if any cool changes to the UI are in store for us with Legacy. Not thinking we necessarily *need* it mind you. But one does wonder.