StarCraft II players yearning for more content will get their wish later this week, on July 19. Over the weekend, Blizzard announced a new program called War Chests that will give players a plethora of cosmetic items over the course of the year--but you’ll have to pay for it.
The War Chests consist of unit skins, portraits, sprays, emoticons, and a three-part comic book series. You can purchase a single War Chest for your favorite playable race for $10, or you can buy three chests--one for each race--for $25. Obtaining the items within the War Chests takes some time, as evidenced by the fact that the rewards are split across three phases, which start on July 19, August 16, and September 13, respectively. Within each phase are five levels, and you can obtain a new level by participating in multiplayer matches or co-op games in order to gain experience points.
When you first open a chest, you get a single unit skin as well as a black-and-white portrait. With each new level reached, you’ll get a new item. If you initially buy a War Chest for one race and then decide to purchase another war chest for another playable race, you’ll get retroactive rewards for the new chest based on your level. For example, you can choose to purchase a Terran War Chest when the program starts later this week, but if you decide to buy the Protoss War Chest after attaining level five with your Terran chest, the Protoss chest will automatically reach level five as well and give you the appropriate number of rewards.
When all three phases are revealed, you'll have until November 5 to unlock all rewards. From October 4 until November 4 (the last day of BlizzCon), there will be a bonus XP window that should provide you with an adequate boost to gain all of the War Chest rewards. If you still don’t have all the prizes from the War Chests after November 4, you can buy them “at full price.”
Blizzard mentioned that 25% of all War Chest purchases go towards supporting multiple facets of the StarCraft II esports circuit. Specifically, the first $200,000 raised from the sale will go to the StarCraft II World Championship prize pool, which already has $500,000. Any additional funds after the $200,000 mark will go to “operational support” for the 2017 and 2018 tournament seasons.
This idea of reward chests is familiar to Blizzard fans. Overwatch has had the feature since launch, and Heroes of the Storm added it as part of its 2.0 update. Both of those games let you earn chests by playing, but it seems that the only way to get your hands on the StarCraft II War Chests is by purchasing them outright. However, those who purchase it won’t have a leg up on other players. In the end, their units, profile, and sprays will just stand out from other players.