StarCraft II Lead Producer Chris Sigaty has both an epic mane of hair and quite strong opinions on the future of eSports. In an interview with Eurogamer, he insists eSports "absolutely can" emerge as a powerful component of American mainstream media, and he suggests a possible winning format for that accomplishment lies in reality-show style TV programs.
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Heart of the Swarm is right around the corner. Take a few minutes to stop watching the cinematic trailer on loop and check out our meaty, Ultralisk-sized interview with game director Dustin Browder. We talk eSports, the new single player campaign, and the future of attackable rocks.
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.
Why settle for just one hugely impressive CGI trailer with little to no relation to the game its purportedly promoting? Here, have a second, courtesy of Blizzard, who have released the opening cinematic for Starcraft 2's first expansion, Heart of the Swarm. I have unofficially titled it: "Stompy, Stompy, Boom, Squish." There's a Wilhelm scream and everything. Enjoy.
Along with the new campaign, new multiplayer units, and a Swarm Host of other additions, StarCraft II's Heart of the Swarm expansion will include some tools to create custom interfaces for use in observer mode. Elements of the UI that are designed to help you play the game, but don't necessarily add the experience of watching it, can be shrunk, moved, or axed completely. Fonts can be swapped, and custom assets can be inserted.
Heart of the Swarm is the second expansion for Starcraft II, and it’s due for release on 12 March. Now, you could just say ‘Hey, ok, I can wait until then. I’ve eaten my fill of delicious Starcraft for now’. Or you could man up and grab one of the 1000 Beta keys that your old friends at PC Gamer have secured on your behalf.
Blizzard's creative development team has published a series of StarCraft story Q&As leading up to the release of Heart of the Swarm. The 11th installment brings us answers to such pressing matters as why Zerg can't play nice, and how Tychus Findlay is able to smoke in his space armor without passing out. Like we did last month, we've collected some of the best answers below, and condensed them into nice, Zergling-jerky-sized bites.
This week we had a chance to chat with Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO of MLG, on the past, present, and future of eSports. Read on to learn who he likes to watch, what he sees as being the biggest games for eSports in 2013, and where eSports could go in the next five years.
Blizzard has been posting an ongoing series of StarCraft lore Q&As with Heart of the Swarm lead writer Brian Kindregan. They're up to seven entries now, and you can read the latest one here, which links to all previous editions. We've extracted some of the more interesting and less-known facts for those who may not have the same voracious appetite for setting fluff as a certain, unnamed contributor to this site.
Team Liquid recently caught up with StarCraft 2 lead designer Dustin Browder at the Blizzard World Championships in Shanghai. Over the course of the 30 minute interview, Browder revealed his team's plans to address the current balance and metagame issues in Wings of Liberty and the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion. You can check out the video inside, or if you're in a hurry, we've tl;dr'd the main points into a paraphrased list, organized by race, after the jump.
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.
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'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.
The largest balance update to the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta so far has hit. And it hit hard. The anti-mech Terran Warhound walker? Gone. And the Protoss Carrier, originally meant to be replaced by the new Tempest unit, is back in! Read on for more details, as I break down where everything stands.
Unleash the swarm! The closed beta for StarCraft II's upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion is alive and squirming. If you opted in to StarCraft-related beta tests on your Battle.net profile, you may be sitting on an invite already. I'm not as of yet, but Blizzard is getting a one week grace period until I start getting the shakes. Regardless, we've got some details on how testers are being selected.
It's been a long time coming, but Blizzard is finally gearing up to invite players to see the changes to Starcraft 2 in Heart of the Swarm. If you want to be one of them, now's the time to log into your Battle.net account and make sure your Beta Profile Settings are set to "Hell Yeah!"
In the most recent Developer Update, Blizzard's Chris Sigaty announced several features coming in and around the release of the Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm expansion. These include multiple items that the community has been clamoring for as far back as beta, such as clan support and cross-region play. Still no LAN play, but cool nonetheless. Read on for specifics.
It's a bit of a quiet weekend for eSports, but DOTA 2 fans will at least be able to watch several games in the ProDOTA 2 Worldwide League. It's a new league, but a number of major eSports teams from the Americas, Europe, and Asia are already participating. It's divided into pro and amateur leagues, with the pros battling for a $20,000 season prize purse.
The action starts at 12 p.m. Eastern tomorrow, and you find the whole schedule here, and more information about this weekend's play over here. Casters TobiWan and Luminous will be calling the games for English-speaking audiences.
However, not to be outdone, the MLG had some big StarCraft and League of Legends-related announcements today.
[SPAWN MORE SPOILER-LORDS!] With the taste Blizzard's given us for the upcoming StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm expansion, we've been left with many more questions than answers. What happened to Kerrigan since the ending of Wings of Liberty? Why is she back to reclaim her matriarchal role at the head of the Zerg forces? How did Kerrigan get so smokin' hot? We threw these questions (and more) at StarCraft II's lead writer, Brian Kindregan. Come see what he had to say about the Queen of Blades, the Great War, and what exactly the Zerg are fighting for.