StarCraft 2, the videogame that's become a sport in parts of the world, is getting a decent overhaul in the coming months, but don't ask about a third expansion because that clearly isn't on Blizzard's radar at the moment.
A StarCraft 2 panel here at Blizzcon in Anaheim was entirely devoted to an upcoming 2.1 patch to the game, which will clearly carry a lot more than you'd expect to find in a point release. Tony Hsu, senior producer of the game, kicked off the panel with talk about the patch, due in a beta form next week and for release by the end of the year.
For Clans and Groups, there will be an event calendar that lets people plan gaming events, similar to the shared calendar in Outlook or other planning apps. It will even send people a message a few days in advance to remind them of the event.
There will be increased support for customization. Clans can use their own banner, and more significantly, player-made extensions will be added to every map automatically. Right now, if a player makes a customization to one map and wants to use it on another map, that whole map has to be customized. Now, the map will automatically import the customization.
For multiplayers who have been left hanging because someone was away from the keyboard (AFK) too long, there will be a prompt to warn them if they are idle too long, and then eventually kick them. This will be for players and match hosts alike.
One of the loudest receptions came for the news that the game soundtrack would be enhanced by taking the original soundtrack from StarCraft 1 and Brood Wars and giving them a modern touch, since the original game dates back to 1997.
StarCraft has a Starter Edition for people who don't want to splurge the $59.99 for the whole game. They could play multiplayer games as one race, usually Terran. Blizzard announced that the Starter Edition will now support all three races and Arcade, the videogame simulator built into the main game, would be free to play for Starter Edition players.
Finally, Blizzard said it has noticed that in certain player and map scenarios, the same type of match always took place because people had memorized ideal strategies for that configuration. So it would try to mix things up more and force players to get out of well-rehearsed routines.
Although it wasn't discussed, the third StarCraft 2 expansion, Legacy of the Void, is continuing along its development cycle. The company has written the storyline, done cinematics and started working with the voice actors to record dialogue. The expansion has no set release date.