Blizzard's hotly anticipated upcoming release, StarCraft II, doesn't look to break the string of deep, addicting games the publisher's become well-known for. In an interview with Game Informer, StarCraft II's Design Director, Dustin Browder, mentioned they expect players to invest a considerable amount of time in team-based multiplayer before attempting the 1v1.
StarCraft being StarCraft, players should expect a highly competitive atmosphere in the multiplayer, but Browder suggests going toe-to-toe against the AI with a friend even before going against another human opponent, and then another thirty to sixty hours before venturing into the 1v1 "endgame".
"We're going to offer 4v4 and 3v3 to encourage them to get into a team play environment [and] get with a team. It's a much more casual environment than the 1v1. You've got somebody to help you to play with, you've got allies who can come to your rescue if you get into a little bit of trouble. We really consider the 1v1 the final endgame arena-style gameplay that we hope players will only get to after 30, 40, 50, 60 hours played depending on their enthusiasm for it," said Browder.
Although 30 to 60 hours is a long time, your average StarCraft player probably won't bat an eye at that number, much less expect to put any less time than that into the game. Browder also stated that new players in the beta can expect a much easier time facing online opponents once the game itself is released, when the balance of skilled players to newcomers is more even.
StarCraft II does not yet have an expected released date.
Source: Game Informer