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StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Begins Closed Beta

Blizzard reports that the StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm beta is now live. This multiplayer-only test will initially be limited to a select group of pro-gamers, members of the press (cough), Arcade contest winners, and shoutcasters. But there's no NDA, so expect to see tons of hands-on coverage from here on out.

"We will soon be inviting other players to participate in the beta, so be sure you’ve opted in by clicking on the 'Beta Profile Settings' under the Account Management section of your Battle.net account, the company states. "Signing up from a Battle.net account that’s actively playing StarCraft 2 will help your chances of being selected. Note that opting in doesn't guarantee beta access."

Blizzard also reports that it's currently working with fansites and "community personalities" to provide additional beta access opportunities, so fans need to keep checking back with Battle.net to see where additional keys are being handed out. On that note, we're looking into handing out beta keys here, so stay tuned to this Tom's Hardware news channel for more information.

"For those who are in the beta already, we appreciate your assistance in helping us test the game," Blizzard writes. "If you’re interested in joining the beta, we wish you luck with the opt-in and (future) giveaways, and hope to see you in a match soon! Please note: Customer service representatives are unable to provide players with beta access. Please refrain from contacting them directly regarding beta access."

According to a FAQ, beta testers are chosen according to their system specifications and other factors (including an element of luck) when selecting individuals during each round of invitations – Blizzard is looking for a wide variety of players and system types. Beta participants also don't need the retail version of StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty although chances of gaining access are greater if players have logged some game time with the sci-fi RTS.

"To start off, we will be focusing on the multiplayer experience only. We’ve added an exciting array of new units and abilities to the terrans, protoss, and zerg, and we’d like to have as many eyes on them as possible," Blizzard states.

For now, the number of beta participants will be based on the team's testing needs. Additional opportunities will open up if Blizzard determines that additional players are needed for testing.

To read the full beta FAQ, head here.

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  • plznote
    I loved StarCraft II.
    Hope this isn't what Diablo 3 suffered.
    Reply
  • john_4
    Not interested Activision/Blizzard, maybe one day I will pick up a SC2 Battle-chest edition.
    Reply
  • samuelspark
    SC2 best E-Sports.

    SC2>LoL
    Reply
  • azraa
    There is a lot of e-Sports commentary going on now, mainly on YouTube
    People are testing balance and searching for bugs, and Blizz has it right when developing an RTS from the multiplayer point of view.

    Up to this moment I like the changes a lot (maybe except for Protoss, IMO)
    The guys playing are learning and the matches being casted are quite educational about the whole new units/balance matter.
    Reply
  • mrkay
    Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 were far from mind blowing. Not that I don't have fun playing them, but studios need to start stepping more out of their safety zone if they are going to keep getting my money.
    Reply
  • SuckRaven
    With the huge disappointment that Diablo III seems to have garnered, I'll be watching this one from a distance before doing something silly like pre-ordering it. Loved the original Starcraft, and I still even give it a whirl once or twice a year. However, I can't help but fear that SCII HOTS will be the next in a list of Blizzard titles that have been Activisioned-up.
    Reply
  • kinggremlin
    john_4Not interested Activision/Blizzard, maybe one day I will pick up a SC2 Battle-chest edition.
    Then why did you waste your time clicking on this article and commenting on it? You must lead a very sad and boring life.
    Reply
  • therabiddeer
    kinggremlinThen why did you waste your time clicking on this article and commenting on it? You must lead a very sad and boring life.Because there is a massive anti-acti/blizzard bandwagon and hes hoping to garner attention from them in the form of a thumbs-up.
    Reply
  • Pennanen
    therabiddeerBecause there is a massive anti-acti/blizzard bandwagon and hes hoping to garner attention from them in the form of a thumbs-up.At least he has a better taste in vidya games :D
    Reply
  • hotroderx
    isnt this how D3 started... but seriously I think I am finished with blizzard games. I am not going to sit here and bash them either. I think personally I had a good run with blizzard. I enjoyed D1, D2, D2 LOD, World of Warcraft Vanilla - Wraith, and SC2. I personally really enjoyed my time with each of these games. My eyes Cata was not a very good expansion, MOP does not interest me, and D3 was taken in a direction I don't like. Maybe it's simply my taste in video games have changed as I have grown up.
    Reply