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StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

Genre: Strategy
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Official Site:
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date:
Friday, 11 July 2014
Post by Eorl @ 04:19pm 11/07/14 | 4 Comments
Those who have been holding out on picking up Blizzard's latest two titles in the new StarCraft 2 series won't have to worry about steep pricing now, with the developer today announcing price drops on both the original StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty and its expansion, Heart of the Swarm.

Heading over to the shop greets players with the lovely price tag of $24.95 for both Wings of Liberty and its Zerg-infused expansion Heart of the Swarm. If that doesn't do it for you, Heart of the Swarm's Digital Deluxe Edition has also been slashed down to the low price of $34.95 (owners of the Standard Edition get a reduced price).

Potential zerg rushers need not worry about the prices going back up however, with Blizzard's StarCraft II Community Manager Zoevia confirming on Reddit that the price drop on the StarCraft series is a more long-lasting effect. "This is a permanent drop in the price for both Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm."
Friday, 22 March 2013
Post by Eorl @ 03:41pm 22/03/13 | 4 Comments
When Blizzard announced that development for StarCraft 2 would be cut into three separate titles, fans of the series had mixed feelings. Few felt that the prolonged development cycle would cause disruption in the flow of the singleplayer story, while others were happy for Blizzard to take their time on each of the three races. With the release of the first part, Wings of Liberty, gamers soon realised that in separating each story Blizzard was able to deliver a far more polished experience.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm marks the second chapter in the StarCraft 2 saga, and with it brings focus on Queen of the Blades and her disastrous Swarm faction. With mouse in one hand and keyboard in the other, Kosta Andreadis takes on Kerrigan herself to see what Blizzard has to offer.
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.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 01:06pm 20/03/13 | 1 Comments
AusGamers took to Melbourne early last week to join in on the launch festivities of one of this year's biggest PC releases, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm.

Among the thousands of fans who turned up to ring in the midnight launch for the game, Blizzard also hosted a number of guests including Aussie SC2 eSports legend mOOnGLaDe, Aussie ex-pat and incredible Blizzard artist, Luke Mancini, and shoutcaster Leigh "Maynarde" Mandalov, among others.

The top guest for the night though was friend of the site -- Blizzard's own Dustin Browder who took to the stage for lengthy Q&As and stayed back long into the hours signing copies of the game for patient fans. It was a real treat having such top Blizz talent rocking Melbourne's Federation Square and the crowd reaction to almost anything on the night sold passersby on the strength of both gaming and eSports here in Australia.

Despite the heat, the crowd and host interaction remained top-notch throughout and gave a real show to confused Future Music leavers (and other randoms), a few of whom we caught getting wrapped up in the exhibition matches Blizzard hosted thanks to the crowd's reactions to exciting moments which, all in all, spells a bright future in our books for the growth of eSports in Australia.

The following day, however, came our own prize as we were handed an audience with Dustin (once again), who spilled the beans closing out development of Heart of the Swarm and gave us a tantalising glimpse at what we can expect with the final expansion in the SC2 storyline: Legacy of the Void.

Click here for our full interview feature, and click the thumbnails below for a closer look at SC2's Melbourne launch festivities.

Monday, 11 March 2013
Post by Dan @ 10:47am 11/03/13 | 53 Comments
Blizzard is hosting launch events around the world for StarCraft 2, and once again Australia is at the front of the queue, possibly owed to our timezone proximity to South Korea. With StarCraft II's game servers divided into three global regions, the game's unlock times for each have been positioned around a midnight launch in the three areas.

For South East Asia (which includes copies purchased in Australia and New Zealand), the game unlocks at the stroke of Midnight in Melbourne (AEDT, so 11pm in Brisbane, and 9pm in Perth). Europeans will follow at Midnight in Paris (CET) at the culmination of a Versailles event, and our North American friends come in lucky last at midnight in Blizzard's native Irvine, California (PDT).

A full guide to Blizzard's launch festivities has been laid out over on this official webpage. AusGamers will be in attendance at the Melbourne event in Federation Square, so if you see Steve about, don't be afraid to say hi.
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Post by Dan @ 10:08am 27/02/13 | 10 Comments
Kicking off launch festivities for the upcoming StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Blizzard has released a new cinematic trailer. Titled "Vengeance", the two minute clip is as worth watching as every other CG video that rolls out of the beloved developer, so don't delay, and hit play below.
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

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm launches on March 12, 2013.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:41pm 05/02/13 | 1 Comments
Your one-stop destination for all things StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in the build up to the game's official release next month (March 12) has just been launched by Blizzard.

The newly crafted launch site comes with a countdown to the game's release as well as information on launch activities, including the midnight launch at Federation Square in Melbourne and what that event will entail for fans keen to attend.
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.
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 11:49am 24/01/13 | 1 Comments
Out at a recent trip to Blizzard's HQ in Irvine, California, AusGamers not only had a chance to get hands-on with a new build of StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm's campaign, but also managed to corner the game's lead, Dustin Browder, for a chat about their forthcoming expansion.

Among many topics broached, we asked him about the importance of the Arcade community in feedback and growth for the larger StarCraft 2 development.

"We know that there’s almost as many games of Arcade games played, as regular core StarCraft games," Browder told us.

"So people are spending at least half their time, or some people are spending all of their time, just playing Arcade games. So these guys are creating a lot of great value, and they’re creating a great, fun sandbox full of lots of really cool games, that a lot people are having a lot of fun playing."

We also chat about the lengthy time between expansion releases, updates to the engine, including bolstered physics, what it's like essentially shipping two games in one with multiplayer and single-player and much, much more.

Click here for the full interview feature.
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Post by trog @ 07:32pm 22/01/13 | 9 Comments
The hugely anticipated StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is getting closer and one of the best parts about any new Blizzard game is you get to see the opening cinematic before the game lands.

The cinematic video trailer for HotS has just landed, and it's the average, run-of-the-mill jaw dropping digital masterpiece that we've come to expect from the wizards at Blizz.

Check it out now below - or here in HD - to set the scene for the upcoming expansion - and start your drooling. Don't forget to check out our brand new preview as well!

Post by Steve Farrelly @ 07:21pm 22/01/13 | 0 Comments
We were recently invited out to Blizzard's (very large) campus in Irvine, California to get some hands-on time with the latest build of the single-player campaign portion of StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm.

With multiplayer dominating thanks to the beta, the continued success of the game in eSports and its general awesomness, it was great to get some time with the story part of the game, which takes things in a much darker direction than what we saw with Wings of Liberty. Thankfully while some of what we played was familiar, we also dabbled in a handful of new missions and had a chance to test out the various new mutations and evolutions only available in single-player. We also spoke with project lead, Duston Browder, but that interview is still incoming.

In the meantime, click here for our full hands-on preview of the latest offering from Blizzard.
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Post by Dan @ 10:43am 05/12/12 | 4 Comments
Blizzard has posted another official blog update for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, detailing the groups feature of the forthcoming next chapter in the sci-fi RTS series.

Similar in function to the previously detailed clans system, groups will be aimed at more informal gatherings of player communities, rather than competitively-geared. Like clans, groups will have their own community portal with news and info tabs and a member roster, however group member numbers won't have the 50 member restriction that clans do.
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.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is due on PC on March 12 2013.
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Post by Eorl @ 05:11am 14/11/12 | 18 Comments
Blizzard has announced a release date for the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft 2, putting it at a March 2013 release (thanks Creepy). The expansion will see players taking on a new singleplayer campaign centred around Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of the Blades, as she gathers the Zerg forces for revenge.
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.

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.”
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.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will be available on March 12th, 2013 for PC and Mac.
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Post by Dan @ 10:48am 08/11/12 | 10 Comments
Activision Blizzard's Q3 2012 financial report has revealed Blizzard's plans to launch the next chapter of StarCraft II, the Zerg-centric Heart of the Swarm, next year. Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime muted any lingering expectations of a 2012 launch, saying "We're working hard towards a first half 2013 launch for Heart of the Swarm.", later elaborating that it was too early to narrow that window any further.
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.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Post by Eorl @ 12:29pm 31/10/12 | 1 Comments
Blizzard has announced plans to implement the new clan system that was announced recently by Production Director Chris Sigaty, in an upcoming beta patch for the StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm expansion. The system will be put into place come Beta Patch 2.0.1 this week, with testers being able to create and join Clans.
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.

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).
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.

The new clan system isn't the only people-orientated system being looked at, with with work being done on a Groups system to allow players who want to associate casually the ability to do so. Obviously when the groups become more committed they can transfer into the Clans system, but the idea is to allow everyone the chance to interact with each other through social means. The group system will be available later in the beta.
Friday, 26 October 2012
Post by Eorl @ 12:38pm 26/10/12 | 6 Comments
Blizzard has announced a new levelling mechanic via their blog that will be featured in the upcoming beta update for StarCraft 2's next expansion, Heart of the Swarm. The update will allow players to progress through a new level system, rewarding those who do so with various items.
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.

Players will be rewarded XP by defeating opponents, destroying and creating units and also for your efforts. Each race will have separate levelling meters, meaning players can dedicated to only one race or all three if desired. Rewards will also be unique to each race, and your overall level will be displayed on your portrait.

For those interested in leaving feedback you can do so in this dedicated thread on the official forums. The patch has not been given a date yet, however "very soon" has been indicated.

Let us know your thoughts on this new levelling system by leaving a comment below.
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Post by dais @ 06:48pm 16/08/12 | 9 Comments
Blizzard have announced that they will soon begin accepting beta testers for the first expansion to their enormously successful StarCraft sequel.
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 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.

Bear in mind the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta is for the multiplayer component of the game only. promoted/edited forum item
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 06:33pm 12/07/12 | 3 Comments
We had a chance to catch up with Blizzard's Alan Dabiri, lead software engineer for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm out at a recent MLG event in Anaheim, California to talk about the team's forthcoming expansion.

Among many topics covered, Alan explained how the new replay system works for not only watching replays, but how you'll be able to jump into the replayed game at any point.

"It also opens up some really cool stuff with pro-games. You can be watching a replay of, like, MarineKing and Nes Tea -- some really awesome game. Well, now you can jump in at a certain point, and actually play for them at a certain point," Alan explained to us.

"Then it has a really cool aspect to it as well for e-sports, if for some reason a tournament game didn’t succeed, or it failed for some reason -- the computer crashed, or the monitor shut off, or whatever it might have been -- now they can actually resume that game from the point, so it’s a really cool feature."

Click here for the full video interview transcript.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 05:52pm 26/06/12 | 6 Comments
Just after E3 closed its doors, AusGamers was invited out to a MLG (Major League Gaming) event in Anaheim, California, to sit in on a press conference revealing new multiplayer units for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, play the game and also interview lead software engineer, Alan Dabiri.

Our interview is still in production (so stay tuned), but in the meantime we've put together a hands-on with the new units (that is sadly void of in-depth analysis due to my not being amazing at the game), but also comes with a nifty link to official Blizzard details on all of the new additions to the forthcoming expansion as of June, 2012. We've also added a host of new screens you can check out via the thumbnails below.

Click here for our hands-on feature though.

Saturday, 9 June 2012
Post by Eorl @ 10:57am 09/06/12 | 4 Comments
Blizzard has today released a new trailer featuring all the updated multiplayer units that will be available in the upcoming expansion for StarCraft 2. Each race will be receiving a range of buffs and additions, including new units only available to Heart of the Swarm owners.
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.

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.
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.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Post by trog @ 03:54pm 05/10/11 | 12 Comments
As part of a pre-BlizzCon promotion designed (apparently) to torture us, Blizzard have unveiled a teaser image of a new Terran unit that will be making its way into the upcoming expansion for StarCraft 2, Heart of the Swarm.

No other information is available about the new units, but we'll see two more silhouettes released in the weeks building up to BlizzCon:
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!
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Post by trog @ 05:02pm 31/05/11 | 16 Comments
Oh yeh, so by the way, Steve has been hanging out at Blizzard for the last few days at a super-exclusive media event, checking out a little game that they've been working on called StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. Now at long last we can finally reveal some information about this hugely anticipated title!

As noted in in the FAQ, StarCrafters can expect around 20 new missions in the Zerg-focused single player campaign, featuring Kerrigan as a playable hero.

Another change is the introduction of the Marketplace for custom maps, allowing map developers to charge for their creations:
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
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).

Our preview goes into a lot more detail about what you can expect - though beware, there are spoilers if you haven't yet finished the single player campaign of Wings of Liberty! We also have a stack of screenshots and concept art. You can watch the gameplay trailer here in HD or embedded below, and the Q&A contains a bunch of other information that is worth a read.

As you might expect, no release date has been announced just yet, so we'll all just have to wait until it is finished until we find out when we can get our hands on it!