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StarCraft 2 Prepares for Swarm With Fat New Patch

By - Source: Blizzard Email | B 31 comments

This is StarCraft 2's biggest update yet, Blizzard says.

Just hours before Blizzard announced that Diablo 3 is coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, the company launched what it calls the biggest update to StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty yet, paving the way for the Heart of the Swarm "expansion" launching next month. This update adds a "multitude" of new features that enhance multiplayer, introduce new ways to play, and improve the game's social features.

As seen here, the v2.0.4 patch notes are quite extensive, revealing a revamped user interface, the addition of clans and groups, new replay features, an improved score screen and statistics, new matchmaking options, new AI enhancements, game privacy options and more. It's almost like a whole new game, but not.

Some of the new game modes added to Wings of Liberty include Training which teaches players the basics of how to survive online matches. Versus A.I. automatically detects your skill level and sets the computer A.I. to an appropriate difficulty. Unranked matchmaking gives players the ability to play online matches without affecting their official ladder rating.

According to the patch notes, the user interface layout, art, and graphic style have been completely revamped. Players are also now just one click away from any major screen. Many redundant screens and game modes have been ripped out, the company reports.

"We simplified basic menu navigation," Blizzard said in a recent blog. "For example, the Custom Game button is right on the main menu, so you no longer have to first select Multiplayer to get to it. We streamlined the look of the UI. This gives us more space to work with and makes it easier for us to make improvements in the future."

The patch notes reveal that Global Play will be enabled in the coming weeks which will lift the localized boundaries and allow players to select any game region (like Diablo 3). That means gamers located in the Americas region can play on game servers located in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. StarCraft 2 Global Play is not available to players in mainland China, the company states.

To see what the latest patch has to offer, head here. Blizzard has also provided three Heart of the Swarm videos which demonstrates many of the new features and changes offered in the patch, as seen below.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    stickmansam , February 22, 2013 6:38 AM
    I play it sometimes when I'm in the mood but the story is the best part!
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    ChiefScooter , February 22, 2013 6:26 AM
    Oh man, I can't wait. I love the story of StarCraft. Gameplay to me is so-so, I am just not very good at RTS games (I get smoked like a cheap cigar in multiplayer with my turtle strategy that works so well against the AI). I really want to see what happens next in the StarCraft universe!

    That being said... I need to find my authenticator and remember my account name/password. It's been about 2 years ago now that I have last played SC2.
  • 11 Hide
    stickmansam , February 22, 2013 6:38 AM
    I play it sometimes when I'm in the mood but the story is the best part!
  • 6 Hide
    cats_Paw , February 22, 2013 6:44 AM
    I went back to broodwar after 2 season in sc2 ladder (Back then max rank was Diamond, and i was diamond in 1v1 and team games).
    Game online is simply boring for me, and i dont think ill buy HoTS.
    Id like to see the story but thats about it.
  • 0 Hide
    master_chen , February 22, 2013 6:54 AM
    Prepare the Hive....kekekekekekekekekekekekekekekekekekekekeke...
  • -7 Hide
    abbadon_34 , February 22, 2013 7:36 AM
    Did everyone forever the BS about paying for the same game 3 times? Or splitting a game into 3 parts over 3 years so people forget and spent more money on the game? Or way they nerfed the Terrans and Protoss for "balance"? I love Starcraft, and I reallly enjoyed SC2 (until Tychus, my fav died) but lets not let them off the hook.

    edit: Tuchus, not Raynor
  • 1 Hide
    teodoreh , February 22, 2013 7:59 AM
    abbadon_34Did everyone forever the BS about paying for the same game 3 times? Or splitting a game into 3 parts over 3 years so people forget and spent more money on the game? Or way they nerfed the Terrans and Protoss for "balance"? I love Starcraft, and I reallly enjoyed SC2 (until Raynor, my fav died) but lets not let them off the hook.


    I haven't got a problem at all paying once every 3 years for a whole new mission campaign and new features on multiplayer. After all, if I played any kind of MMORPG game I would had payed this amount x100.
  • 5 Hide
    teodoreh , February 22, 2013 8:01 AM
    And Raynor didn't died. I guess you mean Tychus..
  • 5 Hide
    Soda-88 , February 22, 2013 8:21 AM
    MisterZPeople still play this game? The last time I played SC2 was in 2010.

    MC has won over half a million dollars so far in that game and is in quarter finals of $50k tournament at this very minute.
    Point being, yes SC2 is going strong, stronger than ever with BW pros switching over.
  • -6 Hide
    cats_Paw , February 22, 2013 10:00 AM
    Soda-88MC has won over half a million dollars so far in that game and is in quarter finals of $50k tournament at this very minute.Point being, yes SC2 is going strong, stronger than ever with BW pros switching over.


    Its Stronger, but there is a massive amount of money dumped into that game by blizzard to push the game into selling the next "expansions".

    You probably don know this, but statisticly, sc2 went from over 7.5 million players at launch, to under 500k at the current stage.

    That means that less than 10% of the players think its a game good enought to play for more than 1 year.
    Broodwar is not as famous and never was (but then again when broodwar came out, there bearly were any gamers).

    I cant speak for other people, but i simply enjoy broodwar since 2000, and i never got tired of it.
  • -2 Hide
    nhat11 , February 22, 2013 11:42 AM
    abbadon_34Did everyone forever the BS about paying for the same game 3 times? Or splitting a game into 3 parts over 3 years so people forget and spent more money on the game? Or way they nerfed the Terrans and Protoss for "balance"? I love Starcraft, and I reallly enjoyed SC2 (until Raynor, my fav died) but lets not let them off the hook.


    They take freaking over 2 yrs to release this expansion (BW was released in a yr). The expansion is as big as WoL so hold your horses.
  • 3 Hide
    Herr_Koos , February 22, 2013 11:55 AM
    abbadon_34 (until Raynor, my fav died)


    Eh? Which game were you playing?
  • 2 Hide
    javaskull , February 22, 2013 12:22 PM
    I am very happy with the update so far.

    Though the menu transitions seem a bit slower, and the "statistics" are a bit thin (don't show how often you win vs Zerg, Terran, Protoss or whatever), but overall it is a cleaner interface, and makes more sense to me.

    It was a bear to install and get running on older OS's and you have to turn some security and firewall things off to do the update. The new Groups and Clan features are very cool.

    The game needs new maps though for multi-player and FFA, especially 3v3 and 4v4 maps.


    The new auto-mining feature on start-up (sometimes my buddy would be 13 seconds in before his screen loaded on his ancient computer) is nice, and there were a few other minor tweaks that refreshed things a bit.

    I have not played with the new AI yet. Overall I give this update an A+, and I won't have a problem paying for HOTS, and in fact would not mind paying every 2-3 years as long as Blizzard keeps making updates!
  • -1 Hide
    cats_Paw , February 22, 2013 12:26 PM
    They already implemented auto minin? Soon this game will play with no players :D .
  • 0 Hide
    javaskull , February 22, 2013 12:29 PM
    abbadon_34Did everyone forever the BS about paying for the same game 3 times? Or splitting a game into 3 parts over 3 years so people forget and spent more money on the game? Or way they nerfed the Terrans and Protoss for "balance"? I love Starcraft, and I reallly enjoyed SC2 (until Raynor, my fav died) but lets not let them off the hook.


    Come on man, they don't charge you monthly, and they update the game and maintain it. I would like them to do something about the map hackers, and any cheaters, but overall it's a pretty darn good game, and it's really cheep compared to any real world activity. Hell, it's 2-3 meals at a nice restaurant. Don't the developers deserve a nice meal at a nice restaurant a few times for all that hard work? Seriously you apparently have no conception on what goes into making a game, or maintaining software, or how capitalism works. I have worked (briefly) for EA, and I can assure you game development is no cake walk. Everyone is driven and hyper focused, because everyone wants to get into that industry, the hours are long, the pay sucks and the fans howl for blood anytime there is a tiny mistake or change they don't like.
  • -1 Hide
    g00fysmiley , February 22, 2013 12:32 PM
    I really enjoyed the origional starcraf tand the story, still have not jumped in for starcraft 2 though... i will when all 3 are out but i liked protos the mos tthe otehr two races were ... meh
  • 0 Hide
    javaskull , February 22, 2013 12:35 PM
    cats_PawThey already implemented auto minin? Soon this game will play with no players .


    Yea, it is a bit of hand holding, But that's not the worst hand holding!

    There is a button that selects all military units anywhere on the map! Now that is hand holding. No more leaving your loose Corruptors or stray Infestors laying around I guess.

    But I don't mind them catering to the casual players as long as there are ways for players with good skill to shine. I really like the mothership core in HOTS and viper and emergency afterburners seem cool. I do NOT like the stupid widow mines or the swarm host (can I PLEASE have scourge and lurkers, pretty please). But I guess you have to take the good with the bad.
  • -5 Hide
    Achoo22 , February 22, 2013 12:37 PM
    javaskullCome on man, they don't charge you monthly, and they update the game and maintain it. I would like them to do something about the map hackers, and any cheaters, but overall it's a pretty darn good game, and it's really cheep compared to any real world activity. Hell, it's 2-3 meals at a nice restaurant. Don't the developers deserve a nice meal at a nice restaurant a few times for all that hard work? Seriously you apparently have no conception on what goes into making a game, or maintaining software, or how capitalism works. I have worked (briefly) for EA, and I can assure you game development is no cake walk. Everyone is driven and hyper focused, because everyone wants to get into that industry, the hours are long, the pay sucks and the fans howl for blood anytime there is a tiny mistake or change they don't like.


    Give me a freaking break. Nobody should be shedding a single tear for Blizzard/Activision, and you're a pathetic slimebag with serious mental defects for trying to convince us otherwise. Why don't you try to spin for a worthwhile cause next time?
  • -3 Hide
    Achoo22 , February 22, 2013 12:41 PM
    abbadon_34Did everyone forever the BS about paying for the same game 3 times? Or splitting a game into 3 parts over 3 years so people forget and spent more money on the game? Or way they nerfed the Terrans and Protoss for "balance"? I love Starcraft, and I reallly enjoyed SC2 (until Raynor, my fav died) but lets not let them off the hook.


    I most certainly did not forgive them, and I never bought the game. Online-only, even for single-player, is retarded. I"m not sure why it got so much more attention in Diablo than it did here, but it's pure absurdity to require a gamer to login just to play the single-player campaign. I don't play WoW, and I've only ever really enjoyed Blizzards other games as single-player affairs, so I don't expect to ever buy another Blizzard game again.
  • 0 Hide
    azraa , February 22, 2013 12:43 PM
    The videos are pretty good at explaining the stuff.
    I know it may be tedious for some, but the changes introduced are amazing, not as ingame mechanics, but as community awareness and customization.
    Blizzard went in the right way with the patch.
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