Colayco noted that the original Starcraft was built on a 2D engine, in spite of the competition having largely switched over to 3D engines. The savings in processing were applied to larger, more epic battles with dozens of units being rendered on the screen at the same time. The crowded battlefield "captured the gamer's imagination more" than the barren fields of competing 3D games at the time, and helped cement Starcraft's place in videogaming culture.
In spite of their success, the team at Blizzard wasn't going to rush into a 3D Starcraft unless it could capture the same feeling of the original. "The truth is that only recently have we had this kind of 3D power where we're able to create a real Starcraft experience in 3D. What we want to see are hundreds of vehicles and creatures clashing on the battlefield, with dynamic lighting and shadows and all of these dazzling special effects -- that's the kind of gaming experience that our players expect from us."