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(Update) StarCraft II Multiplayer Beta This Month!

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 43 comments

My life for Aiur...er I mean Ner'zhul!

Blizzard has finally thrown up a "preview" of Battle.Net 2.0 over on the official StarCraft II website, a possible sign that the multiplayer beta of Blizzard's upcoming sci-fi themed RTS may be soon on the way. As we reported months ago, the PC game was pushed back in part because of the Battle.Net overhaul, and how it functions within the game. Based on the new preview, that hurdle seems to be overcome.

Unfortunately, the preview doesn't offer anything significantly new--there's nothing we can download and taste for ourselves. Battle.Net will provide an "always on" experience whether you're playing a single-player campaign or battling opponents online. The upgraded service promises better matchmaking with an integrated friends list, reminiscent of Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network where other players can send messages, chat in real time, view your achievements, and more.

Along with the matchamking and social features, Blizzard will introduce Real ID with the revamped service. "Real ID friends are mutual, which means that both sides need to agree to the friend request," the preview states. "Forming Real ID friends comes with its benefits. You will see your Real ID friends by their real name, along with any character they are logged in as. You will also be able to get rich presence information about what they are doing, send broadcast messages, and communicate cross-game between StarCraft II, Battle.net, and World of Warcraft."

Blizzard also covers the mods and community-created content feature, explaining that the new Battle.Net will see major improvements in that area. Blizzard reminded gamers that a content-creation toolkit --the same one used by the game developers--will be available in StarCraft II when released. The new Map Publishing feature in Battle.Net will allow users to upload and share their RTS masterpieces.

UPDATE: Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said on Wednesday during Activision Blizzard's financial call that the closed multiplayer beta test for StarCraft II will launch later this month. The beta will be available to download from the upgraded Battle.Net service on an as-yet unspecified date. The actual full version is planned to hit store shelves sometime mid-2010. Stay tuned for more.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Adhmuz , February 10, 2010 4:24 PM
    All this could have been prevented had blizzard built additional pylons.
  • 22 Hide
    lotri , February 10, 2010 4:17 PM
    Well, we could always wait for someone to "patch" LAN into the game... >.>
  • 15 Hide
    frozenlead , February 10, 2010 4:11 PM
    In other news, Blizzard continues to ignore the public's requests for LAN support, while teasing them with features they didn't ask for in the first place.
Other Comments
    Display all 43 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    flyinfinni , February 10, 2010 3:52 PM
    Sweet. Now if they would just hurry up and get us the game!
  • 7 Hide
    chris13th , February 10, 2010 3:54 PM
    flyinfinniSweet. Now if they would just hurry up and get us the game!

    IN YOUR DREAMS
  • 3 Hide
    El_Capitan , February 10, 2010 3:57 PM
    What, no more smurfing?
  • 2 Hide
    JonathanDeane , February 10, 2010 4:01 PM
    This is one game I have been watching with much interest.... I am still praying they do not release the game in 3 parts at $50 a pop.

    If they do that then I will only buy one at a time over an extended period of time.

    On the positive side I really want this game :) 
  • 15 Hide
    frozenlead , February 10, 2010 4:11 PM
    In other news, Blizzard continues to ignore the public's requests for LAN support, while teasing them with features they didn't ask for in the first place.
  • 22 Hide
    lotri , February 10, 2010 4:17 PM
    Well, we could always wait for someone to "patch" LAN into the game... >.>
  • 7 Hide
    Kelavarus , February 10, 2010 4:22 PM
    Gee, 'cause, I always wanted to talk to someone playing World of Warcraft while I was playing Starcraft 2...
  • 24 Hide
    Adhmuz , February 10, 2010 4:24 PM
    All this could have been prevented had blizzard built additional pylons.
  • 3 Hide
    secolliyn , February 10, 2010 4:25 PM
    JonathanDeaneThis is one game I have been watching with much interest.... I am still praying they do not release the game in 3 parts at $50 a pop. If they do that then I will only buy one at a time over an extended period of time.On the positive side I really want this game


    They Are not going to release the 3 games all at once prolly a year aprt for each of them
  • 3 Hide
    Lunarion , February 10, 2010 4:27 PM
    why doesn't ever just see the 3 separate games as expansions? I'm sure you all will be willing to buy each game.
  • -2 Hide
    dark_lord69 , February 10, 2010 4:32 PM
    Wake me up if they release a Beta for the public. OR if not then just wake me up when it is actually on store shelves.
  • -1 Hide
    zak_mckraken , February 10, 2010 4:33 PM
    The forced Battle.net merge for WoW users was a pain in the ass. Furthermore, I suspect it may facilitate hackers in their work because our login ID is now our e-mail adress. The WoW community has seen an increase in hacked accounts recently (sadly, I'm an example).

    However, there also seems to have pretty nice features in the new Battle.net. Chatting with friends on other realms or other games is very interesting. I know Steam does it so it's not new, but it's welcomed nonetheless.
  • -2 Hide
    Regulas , February 10, 2010 4:35 PM
    OK now in a year or two is Blizzard going to drop support for the original Starcraft like MS dropped Xbox one support? I can see it happening.
  • 0 Hide
    sot010174 , February 10, 2010 4:45 PM
    Soon... 3 months: wait, no, 6! 6? no 1y...
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , February 10, 2010 5:12 PM
    Can they please stop announcing the greatest games years before they are released? For myself and other fans, the wait is excruciating. I find myself checking every week (at least) for any little morsel of news. Instead, I should be focusing on things which actually relevant in the 'here and now'. It really can be quite distracting.

    When I already know that a certain development company produces great content, I would much rather just be surprised. Doom was a surprise, Starcraft was a surprise, Diablo was a surprise, Halflife was a surprise, Rogue Warrior was a surprise... just kidding on that last one.
  • -1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 10, 2010 5:29 PM
    No point in making pr announcements when the final product will not be available for a year or more.
  • 5 Hide
    mcpcna01 , February 10, 2010 5:36 PM
    Why do I need a connection to the internet to use single player mode? I don't want all my sucky stats posted so everyone can see(or even myself. If I am in single player mode it shouldn't matter). If I want a quick game i don't want to waste time by talking to a friend. I don't care to see what they are doing every second of my pathetic life.
  • 5 Hide
    XD_dued , February 10, 2010 5:42 PM
    Wasn't beta supposed to be released this summer? lol
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , February 10, 2010 5:53 PM
    Well, at least they will support the modding community (which makes WC3 a great game still today).
    I remember when I saw my first SC2 video, I though 'damn, my computer can't play that', now I'll be running it at 60+ FPS on max settings and resolution. I guess waiting has done something. =D
  • 0 Hide
    botabota , February 10, 2010 5:56 PM
    time for those boyfriends who quit gaming to go back to gaming... and time for their now girlfriend to break up with them .. :p 
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