|Developer:||Blizzard Entertainment||Official Site:||http://www.starcraft2.com|
Heart of the Swarm is another exceptional expansion from Blizzard, one that no doubt fans would need no persuading at all to buy. But its accessibility over previous entries may be its biggest strength for those who’ve always been curious about StarCraft multiplayer but may have felt too intimidated to give it a try...Check out his full review over here.
Sarah Kerrigan embarks on a path of great vengeance and furious anger. While pursuing her revenge, the Queen of Blades also seeks to reclaim her living empire.A countdown to the global launch, zeroing in under two weeks, and details on the many live regional events (including Melbourne, Australia), can be found at StarCraft2.com/SwarmLaunch.
All around the world, we’re hosting launch events that will include unique eSports showmatches, box signings, special guests, and surprises that we don’t want to spoil just yet.Just hit the link above to check out the new launch page, and in case you missed it, we have a recent hands-on preview of the game as well as a video interview feature with Blizzard's Dustin Browder.
The Groups feature is a way for you to meet and interact with other StarCraft II players who share common interests. Accordingly, when you create a Group, you'll select a category that best describes the type of Group you are creating. These categories include topics such as BarCraft for Groups that are interested in finding and keeping in touch with friends they’ve made at BarCraft events, Strategy and Coaching for Groups that are looking to share their favorite strategies and helping others improve their play, and many more. Once the Group is created, others will then be able to search for the Group by name or browse through the Groups by category.Look out for an AusGamers StarCraft II group once the functionality is made publicly available.
Heart of the Swarm features a new campaign continuing the epic story of Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of Blades, as she gathers the remnants of the zerg Swarm and plots her revenge against the treacherous dictator of the Koprulu sector, Arcturus Mengsk. It also introduces several new multiplayer units and features that enhance the acclaimed StarCraft II online experience.Blizzard has also revealed that a new collector's edition will be available for Heart of the Swarm, which includes a digital and physical bonus item. There will also be the opportunity to purchase a Digital Deluxe edition directly from Blizzard, priced at $64.95 AUD. Players who purchase a standard digital edition or a retail copy will also have the chance to upgrade to the Digital Deluxe edition for an extra $20 AUD.
With Heart of the Swarm, our goal has been to expand on the multiplayer action and cinematic storytelling of Wings of Liberty,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new leveling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels.”
As with all Blizzard games, our ultimate goal is to provide the best possible experience for our players, and we will take as much time as is needed to ensure that Heart of the Swarm meets the expectations of our players, as well as our own high standards.For our most recent coverage of Heart of the Swarm, check out our in-depth interview with Blizzard Lead Software Engineer Alan Dabiri.
Anyone can create or join a Clan, and doing so gives you access to the Clan window. In the Clan window, you’ll find a completely private chat channel, a News tab where Clan affairs can be posted for all members to read, an Info tab where officers can post Clan information, and a Members roster.Currently there are a few restrictions to making a clan, being that the name must be 3-24 character long, tags may only be 2-4 characters long and adhere to their standard name policy. The new system will hopefully "bring people together in ways that make sense for allowing players to organize into groups, communicate with each other, and recognize others in-game" says the Blizzard blog.
When you create a Clan, both a Clan name and a Clan Tag designation are required. All of the members of your Clan will have their character name pre-pended with the Clan’s Tag. The Clan Leader is able to promote members to the rank of Officer in the Clan (and demote, when necessary).
Our next major patch of the Heart of the Swarm beta is coming very soon, and with this update, beta players are going to be able to join us in testing a new feature for StarCraft II. Leveling introduces a progression system to the game that offers rewards to players of all skill levels.The new levelling system will have a maximum level of 20 for each race, and upon gaining a new level a portrait or decal is rewarded. Currently the only way to win these rewards is through the achievement system with each new level rewarding a "more epic" item all the way up to level 20.
If you are interested in participating in the beta test, please make sure you are opted in for beta testing. You can do this by clicking "Beta Profile Settings" under the Account Management section of your Battle.net account. Note that the opt-in doesn't guarantee entry, but gives you a chance at joining the beta test.Also mentioned is the fact that they will be giving away more keys via community sites.
Protoss - Upon analyzing data from their most recent battles, the protoss have identified a few areas of improvement that would help them maximize effectiveness against their enemies. Based on their findings, the protoss have augmented their arsenal with an extremely long-range attacker, additional psionic units, and a new form of enemy harassment.You can check out a sneak peak of the upcoming additions in the trailer below (HD here), but also check out the full details to each new unit and abilities for each race over here.
Terran - The resourceful terrans have also been improving their technology to better survive their battles in the Koprulu sector.
Zerg - The zerg continue to evolve and adapt to changing environments, particularly the dangers they face on the battlefield. New creatures will help the zerg stage more effective sieges and add unique enemy-manipulating abilities to their arsenal.
New silhouettes for the Zerg and Protoss will be unveiled on the official StarCraft Facebook page on October 10 and October 17, respectively. What are they, and how do they fight? The answers will come at BlizzCon. These three units, as well as the rest of the new Heart of the Swarm multiplayer units and abilities, will be unveiled and playable at the show on October 21 and 22.AusGamers will be at BlizzCon again this year to bring the news as it comes out; no doubt as always it will be big event so stay tuned!
Our ultimate hope is that the StarCraft Marketplace will function and thrive in a similar manner as mobile "app-stores" -- tons of free and premium content for players, and a limitless source of entertainment through StarCraft II and Battle.net.Wings of Liberty will be required for Australians (although interestingly the FAQ notes that if you live in a region where you don't have boxed copies, that might not be the case - presumably something to do with the different retail model pursued in different territories, but not really relevant to us).