21 May 2010
| | Heartbourne
There is quite a doozy of a patch coming to Starcraft 2 in the coming weeks. It adds a lot of social features (including map publishing and Facebook integration), interface changes, and some pretty big gameplay changes. Check out the full text from our good friend Zarhym:
- Map Publishing is now enabled: Using the map editor, you can upload your custom maps to share with the Battle.net community.
- Facebook feature is integrated: Here’s a quick way to expand your social network by seeing who among your existing Facebook friends also has a Battle.net account.
- 3v3 and 4v4 formats are now enabled.
- Numerous updates have been made to the Leagues & Ladders system:
- Removed Copper League and added Diamond League above Platinum League.
- Player ratings start at 0, rather than 1000.
- No longer displays loading screen odds in placement or practice league matches.
- Matchmaking system logic updated.
- UDP is enabled to help improve game performance.
- Numerous performance and stability improvements.
- Force Fields can now be destroyed by Massive ground units walking over them.
- Void Ray
- Range decreased from 7 to 6.
- Warp Gate
- Subgroup selection priority changed from 2 to 3 so that it takes priority over Gateways when selected.
18 May 2010
| | Heartbourne
Do you have your Starcraft 2 beta key yet? If you are itching for a chance to try out the redesigned races, you might want to jump on it: the current phase of the beta ends on May 31st, and the beta won’t be back for several weeks.
The downtime is likely to have time to polish up the game and install more hardware for an open beta and launch environment. Nethaera broke the news on the forums:
We’d like to let all of our StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty beta test participants know that the first phase of the beta test will be coming to an end in all regions on Monday, May 31. The beta test will be unavailable for several weeks while we make some hardware and software configuration changes in preparation for the final phase of the beta test and the release of the game. We plan to bring the beta test back online for a couple of weeks prior to the game’s launch to complete our testing. We’ll have more details to share about when this final beta-testing phase will begin at a later date.
We’d like to thank all of our beta-test participants for your enthusiasm, dedication, and valuable feedback during the beta test, and we look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the StarCraft II beta test as the game’s July 27 launch approaches.
You can do some fancy footwork to hack the game to play offline AI, but we at Lore Hound of course do not endorse this kind of behavior. However, if its between breaking the ToS and suffering physical withdrawal effects, I can’t say I blame you.
14 May 2010
| | Heartbourne
Blizzard released a new patch for Starcraft 2, along with patch notes and a “situation report” that explains the motivation of the changes. There are lots of bug and performance fixes, including the super-annoying crash-on-exit that would lock up lots of system.
Our first Situation Report took a look at the changes with Patch 11 and while not a large patch, we wanted to continue sharing our insight on balance changes with Patch 12. Please keep in mind that we are continuing to keep a close eye on many of these changes to better gauge their effects and may not apply all of our planned changes into any one patch. This allows us to track the effects a bit better and layer in our planned changes to better set the pace of how they affect balance overall.
We have a few minor changes implemented as a part of the balance for this patch and are also planning some more ability changes for the zerg in the next.
- Thor – Radius decreased from 1.375 to 0.8125. Model size reduced to match new radius.
We have reduced the physical and pathing size of the Thor just to make him more useable. This will end up being a minor buff to the Thor (which he didn’t really need). We made the change just to make him less frustrating to use. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this change plays out and if Thors become too dominant we will deal with them in other ways in future patches.
- Forge – Build time increased from 35 to 45. Life and shield values decreased from 550/550 to 400/400.
We are seeing a Photon Cannon rush against protoss and zerg. Against protoss, players usually use a cliff edge or the enemy minerals in combination with their forge to protect their pylon. Against zerg, you can use the Forge and Pylon to block the zerg player’s ramp. We have a few numbers we can tweak to fix this, build time on the Forge being the most obvious. However if we make the build time too high it will be difficult to panic build a Forge and Cannons to block a badly played cloak attack. So we are going to try a mixture of health nerfs to the Forge and a small timing change.
- Mothership – Vortex now removes Force Fields within its area of effect.
Vortex continues to be an exciting ability with some known issues. Limiting how Force Fields are used around Vortexes will help fix a few exploitable situations. Our thanks go to the community for continuing to find and report issues with it. =)
- Roach – Supply count increased from 1 to 2.
Roaches are just too mighty to be a 1 supply unit. In 200 supply battles Roaches can be very difficult to deal with even with the correct counters in play by protoss or terran players.
As always, we appreciate the ongoing constructive feedback and will continue to closely monitor the effects of these changes within the game.
11 May 2010
| | Juggynaut
A few weeks ago, Blizzard released the Starcraft II map editor, allowing beta testers to create custom maps for the company’s upcoming RTS. The map editor is extremely versatile considering the platform, and already there are hundreds, if not thousands, of custom maps available online. These include not only standard RTS multiplayer maps, but also a range of games from overhead shooters and platformers to tower defense and puzzle games.
If you’re lucky enough to have installed the Starcraft II beta, you can play these maps with just a couple of easy steps.
First, you need to get your hands on a map, which will be a .sc2map file. There are a few good resources where you can download maps from the internet, such as SC2Mapster.com and Curse.com.
Once you’ve got the map you want to play, the easiest way to start it up is to drag the .sc2map file onto your Starcraft II Beta shortcut. You also can double click the .sc2map file and choose to specify a program to open it with. Click browse, find your Starcraft II Beta install location, and choose Starcraft II.exe. Whichever method you choose, the game should launch and you’ll be on your way.
Now you can get out there and check out some of the great maps the SC2 community has already come up with. If you aren’t lucky enough to be in the beta, we have videos and map recommendations coming soon on Lore Hound!
3 May 2010
| | Heartbourne
Today Blizzard announced that Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty would be released on July 27th, 2010. This includes the boxed copies of Wings of Liberty, as well as the collector’s edition.
Wings of Liberty is the first game of three in the Starcraft II trilogy. It includes the full multiplayer experience and roughly 30 single player missions featuring the Terran. Two more games will follow in the future featuring the Zerg and Protoss races, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void. Wings of Liberty‘s single player campaign will follow Jim Raynor and be a non-linear, mercenary style experience, with players receiving rewards for completing missions and buying the ability to use units and more in future missions. Heart of the Swarm will feature a more traditional role-playing experience with players leveling up Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades. Finally, Legacy of the Void will be more “diplomacy-based” to unite the Protoss tribes.
Players who pre-order either version of Wings of Liberty will receive the opportunity to beta-test the multiplayer aspects of the game well before its release.
This has implications for World of Warcraft. The new Battle.net system will likely go live for WoW and the Starcraft 2 beta well before Starcraft 2 to help ensure a smooth launch. As such, expect a major patch for World of Warcraft in the coming weeks implementing these new features.