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The Blizzard Arcade will arrive alongside the release of the StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Blizzard have just announced at a Blizzcon panel. The Arcade will act as a hub for user-made mods and games created using StarCraft 2's extensive mod tools. The Arcade will be available to everyone who owns StarCraft 2, not just Heart of the Swarm players. Games available in the Blizzard Arcade will be free to begin with, but Blizzard plan to let mod makers charge for their games in future. The Arcade will be available from the front page, and take players to a central screen showing the most popular mods of the moment. A five star rating system and user reviews will help the best games rise to the top, and "what's hot" sections will give players quick access to the most popular games on the service. The mods will use StarCraft 2's matchmaking system to put players together. The editor will also be improved, with debugging improvements, a cutscene editor, and custom UI editing tools.
As promised, Blizzard have released another silhouette for a new StarCraft 2 unit to be added with Heart of the Swarm. The last one was some sort of OP Terran shape. This time it's a Zerg unit, but WHAT IS IT? Facebook commenters are torn. "infested stalker," says one. "It's obviously a flyer," says another. "Its kind a like extra-armored evolved roach. Whatever that is," says another. We turned to resident StarCraft 2 nerd, Rich for DEFINITIVE ANSWERS. "A weird Ultralisk or a Lurker," he said. See the full image below and decide for yourself.
StarCraft 2 lead designer Dustin Browder has been hinting at a free to play future for StarCraft 2 multiplayer. Speaking on a panel at the Valencia eSports Congress, spotted by PCGamesn, Browder admitted that Blizzard are "looking at free to play as an option for the multiplayer," but don't know exactly how to make money from it.
[bcvideo id="968114278001"]Blizzard have released the first teaser trailer for Heart of the Swarm, showing Terran forces hunting down Sarah Kerrigan. Kerrigan will feature as a playable hero in almost all of Heart of the Swarm's single player missions, and will be able to switch between four different forms to gain access to different ability sets. Find out more in our StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm preview.
Recently a programmer called Lomilar created EvolutionChamber, a computer program designed to come up with optimal build orders for the Zerg race in StarCraft 2. One of the first strategies the program produced was a deadly seven Roach rush that had players on the Starcraft 2 forums scrambling to invent a counter. Now a different AI coder has taken Lomilar's program, and rewritten it to work for the Protoss race.
Well I hope you've had your fill of Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm's public beta, because Blizzard's free sampling of their upcoming expansion is coming to an end on March 1st. That's a scant three weeks (minus two days) away, so there's still time to jump onboard if you've been holding off. The good news, of course, is the game's release only 11 days later (with the private beta continuing in the intervening time).
Eurogamer has reported that Heart of the Swarm well be released on March 12th, 2013. The information comes from Eurogamer's Spanish site, who spotted a listing on Battle.net. An official announcement is expected later today.
Chris Sigurty, lead producer on StarCraft II, has told PC Gamer that the game will eventually include the ability to upload and download replays of matches to Blizzard’s Battle.net service.
If you're logging on for some early morning Starcraft 2 tomorrow morning, and find that you can't get on to Battlenet, don't panic! Starcraft 2 will be receiving its first big balance update. Read on for what we know so far about the expected changes.
Is crafting silly hats for Team Fortress 2 just not artistically challenging enough? It's time to move on, my friend, and reach for the stars—of StarCraft 2, that is, thanks to Blizzard's newly released Art Tools.
A StarCraft 2 fan called Lomilar has written a program called Evolution Chamber that uses genetic algorithms to find the most efficient and devastating builds for StarCraft 2. So far the program has focused on finding the best build orders for the Zerg, and has already come up with some impressive results.
Blizzard still hasn't figured out how to link all of our minds with the protoss Khala yet, but it is giving us more tools to link up with our friends across the StarCraft 2 community. The Heart of the Swarm expansion will be introducing clan support, with a test build going live in the next major beta patch.
Blizzard have released a new custom 3v3 map for StarCraft 2 called Burning Tide. It's got a new, resource-hoarding objective, collectible resource caches, and rising lava tides. The best part is that it's already in your map list.
Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will be the focus of two invite-only competitions at Major League Gaming's upcoming Winter Season event. It should give us a nice opportunity to see what the pros can do with those jerk Widow Mines. First up will be the Winter Season Showdown, a 56 player showcase that will take place on weeknights and select Sundays between February 4th and March 8th. That will be followed up, after the game's release, by a 32 player Exhibition Tournament at Dallas, Texas, between the 15th and 17th of March.
Thanks to its esports scene, much of the attention surrounding Starcraft 2 and its upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion centres around the multiplayer. But it sounds as if Blizzard are aware that a large contingent of gamers never surface from the singleplayer ghetto, and plan to ease the transition to online play. That sound you hear is committed ladderers across the world salivating over fresh meat.
SlayerS, one of the most storied teams in professional Starcraft 2, will disband after their Global Starcraft II Team League match against MVP on November 3. Founded by Lim "BoxeR" Yo Hwan, a Brood War veteran and one of eSports' most acknowledged figures, SlayerS began in late 2010. At least three former members will be switching to League of Legends, while the future of most is still uncertain.
Blizzard's Starcraft 2 world championship series is one of the biggest eSports tournaments around, offering up prize money of $250,000 in a grand final due to take place in Shanghai in November 2012. The man behind it is Ilja Rotelli, Blizzard's Director of Global Community & eSports. We sat down with Rotelli at the European finals of the World Championship Series in Stockholm to find out his plans for making eSports more accessible, balancing pro and amateur play, what the community might not be expecting once Heart of the Swarm hits, and why he wants to put Starcraft in every school.
Eight nervous young men peer through the windows of HMV Gamerbase in London, waiting for the shutters to open. They are the best StarCraft 2 players in the country, and they're about to compete in a tournament that could change their lives. By the end of the day, one of them will become a pro gamer. The first prize is a top of the range Alienware laptop and the top three contestents will take away a share of a £1950 prize pot. When asked why they entered the competition, none of the players mention the prizes. They're here for the opportunity to gain a contract with Team Dignitas, the biggest e-sports team in Britain. Joining them will mean a chance to compete with with the best StarCraft 2 players in the world.
We're fast approaching the launch of Blizzard's unified Starcraft 2 eSports league, the 2013 World Championship Series. The WCS Korea is already underway, and within the next few weeks, both WCS Europe and WCS America will be providing free streamed Heart of the Swarm matches for viewers worldwide. Today they've announced the kick-off dates for each part of the upcoming season, and revealed the adjusted selection process being used to pick the inaugural competitors.