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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm Screenshots

Starcraft 2 HotS Screenshots

These are some official screenshots released for the Starcraft 2 expansion: Heart of the Swarm.

Click on the images / Heart of the Swarm pictures to zoom in.

Protoss base in the snow terrain world of Kaldir

Liberate the Zerg Homeworld, Char

Upgrade Kerrigan with her Battle Focus (Corruption or Spec Ops)

Evolve Zerglings to Swarmling using the Mutagen.

So many Banelings!

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Read the Heart of the Swarm Question and Answer Press Release

Starcraft 2 Q & A on Heart of the Swarm

Starcraft 2 HotS Q & A

This is the official Blizzard Heart of the Swarm Q&A released on May 31, 2011.

Blizzard Entertainment answers 8 questions related to the Zerg based sequel, Heart of the Swarm.

1. What is StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm?

A: Heart of the Swarm is the first expansion set to Blizzard Entertainment's sci-fi real time strategy game, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Heart of the Swarm continues the epic story from Wings of Liberty with an all-new campaign that focuses on Kerrigan, the erstwhile Queen of Blades. New multiplayer content will also be included in the expansion, as well as new features and upgrades to the online platform.

2. What features can we expect from the single-player campaign of Heart of the Swarm?

A: Heart of the Swarm's campaign will include approximately 20 new missions. Players will be able to evolve their swarms with unique, campaign-only units and abilities, and this evolution will happen in an organic manner befitting of the expansion's Zerg theme. As an example, zerglings can be induced to evolve the ability to split into broodlings upon death. Further evolution can yield specialized sub-species of zerglings such as the swarmling, a variant that spawns three swarmlings per larvae instead of the standard two zerglings. The fearsome raptor is another evolutionary offshoot of the zergling that has more health, and the ability to leap short distances to quickly close the gap on an enemy.

Another aspect of Heart of the Swarm that makes it unique from Wings of Liberty is that Kerrigan will play a major role in each of the battles as a powerful hero. Over the course of the campaign she gains in strength as well as new capabilities. Players will choose what abilities to enhance and powers to use from mission to mission.

Heart of the Swarm will also include a wider variety of sets for players to explore between missions -- these sets change dynamically as players complete missions, giving a sense of a changing world as Kerrigan makes her presence felt throughout the galaxy. Fully-voiced cut-scenes will round out the cinematic gaming experience in Heart of the Swarm's campaign, while a new array of achievements will unlock in-game rewards such as portraits and decals.

3. Will there be any technical upgrades to the graphics engine?

A: We'll be making some improvements to the graphics, including upgrades to the look and behavior of zerg creep, as well as some changes that allow our artists to better showcase the new types of planets that Kerrigan will explore in Heart of the Swarm. We still plan to keep the minimum hardware requirements the same for this expansion set as they were in Wings of Liberty.

What are some of the changes made to multiplayer Heart of the Swarm?

A: While we're not quite ready to go into detail about the new multiplayer content in Heart of the Swarm, we can say that this expansion set will include new units and new maps. We'll have more details about multiplayer Heart of the Swarm content at BlizzCon.

4. What changes will come to with Heart of the Swarm?

A: As far as improvements, one primary focus will be on getting the StarCraft Marketplace up and running at some point around the launch of Heart of the Swarm. The maps and mods community in StarCraft II has published tens of thousands of custom maps using the StarCraft II editor. Our goal with the new Marketplace design will be in upgrading the custom map UI to better showcase the wide variety of great new maps and mods to players who are looking for fun new gaming experiences. We want players to be able to more easily find, rate, and sort through all the great custom maps that have been created.

The Marketplace will also eventually include a commerce element that will allow mapmakers to charge a fee for their work. While there will always be a wealth of free content, we believe that allowing content creators to profit from their work will foster an environment for more complex and higher-quality custom maps. 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

We do have other feature upgrades and improvements planned as well, and we'll have more details on those at a later date.

5. Will Heart of the Swarm require ownership of Wings of Liberty?

A: For the regions that have a standard box business model such as North America and Europe, yes, Wings of Liberty will be required in order to play Heart of the Swarm. For other regions that have alternative access models, we’ll provide details at a later date.

6. How much will Heart of the Swarm cost?

A: We typically don't provide details about pricing until the game is closer to release. We do view Heart of the Swarm as an expansion set, so for the regions that have a standard box business model such as North America and Europe, we will price accordingly. For other regions that have alternative business models, we’ll provide details at a later date.

7. Will there be a console version of Heart of the Swarm?

A: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is being developed for Windows and Mac. We have no current plans to bring StarCraft II to any console platform.

8. When is Heart of the Swarm coming out?

A: It's too early to talk about a specific release date at this point in time. 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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Starcraft 2 1.3.4 Patch Notes

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – Patch 1.3.4

Starcraft 2 1.3.4 Patch Notes
Bug Fixes

Fixed a bug that would cause some Leagues & Ladder pages not to show correctly.

Starcraft 2 1.3.3 Patch Notes

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – Patch 1.3.3


The default hotkey to toggle in-game music on/off has been reverted to its hotkey prior to Patch 1.3.0. The hotkey to display APM in the observer stat panel has been changed as a result.


Now a Massive unit.
Range increased from 2 to 3.
Cybernetics Core
Research Warp Gate research time increased from 140 to 160.
Sentry train time decreased from 42 to 37.
Warp Gate unit train times remain unchanged.
Pylon power radius has been decreased from 7.5 to 6.5.


Salvage resource return reduced from 100% to 75%.
Cost changed from 150/150 to 200/100.
Thor now has 200 max energy, and starts with 50 energy.
250mm Strike Cannons now cost 150 energy to use (cooldown removed).


Speed decreased from 2.5 to 2.25.
Spore Crawler
Root time decreased from 12 to 6.

Bug Fixes

Fixed an issue where Ghosts could not quickly EMP the same location.
Fixed an issue that allowed players to stack air units when issuing a queued stop command before the units reached the end of their patrol point.
Fixed an issue where unplugging your USB headset while another player was talking to you could cause a crash.
Fixed an issue where the APM statistic could be artificially increased.
Fixed an issue where 3D unit portraits were not animating smoothly at slow game speeds.
Fixed an issue where, when viewing a replay, no text message was displayed when a player left a game.
The Taiwanese hotkey to display/hide the game UI while in Observer mode now works correctly.

Starcraft 2 Patch Notes 1.3.2

Starcraft 2 Patch Notes 1.3.2

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty - Patch 1.3.2

Bug Fixes

Fixed an issue where maps would not appear in the Single Player vs. AI screen (China only).
Fixed an issue where the Leagues & Ladders Friends page would stop displaying information if a player had more than 100 ranked friends.
Fixed a crash that would sometimes occur when players received an alert in-game while 3D portraits were turned on.

StarCraft II Editor
Fixed a crash that could occur on Editor startup if players had improperly configured variables.
Fixed an issue where the Editor would display incorrect cliff height on ramps facing directly N, S, E or W; this issue prevented proper unit vision in game.
Fixed an issue where the pathing visualizer in the Terrain Editor would sometimes display incorrect pathing.

Starcraft 2 1.3.1 Patch Notes

StarCraft 2 Wings of Liberty – Patch Notes 1.3.1

Bug Fixes

-Fixed an issue where, in some situations, players would not be notified they received an achievement.

-Fixed an issue where the Leagues & Ladders showcase boxes were not updated correctly.

-Fixed an issue where, under certain circumstances, the "Return to Game" button in the main menu would not function properly.

-Fixed an issue where the new observer UI features would not function correctly on custom maps.