"With Beta Patch 2.0.3 will come the addition of some exciting new features including the ability to watch replays with others, take command of those games at any point in the replay, and also allow the ability to recover games dropped to technical or network issues. We will provide a bit more information on this tomorrow as well via the StarCraft II blog and a full run down of 2.0.3 patch notes. "
This are HUGE news for casters and players, being able to retake control on a replay can get you to learn how to react to so stuff in game. -- Judge a man by the trials of his shield, not the empty reaping of his sword.
From Blizzard: "Were pleased to announce that, in preparation for the launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the public beta test will close on March 1. Were incredibly thankful for the feedback and data our testers have produced throughout the beta, and we hope that all testers continue to practice, prepare, and pursue XP levels in the beta through the end of February."
The User Interface layout, art, and graphic style have been completely revamped. Players are now one click away from any major screen in the User Interface. Many redundant screens and game modes have been eliminated. More detailed information can be found in our Heart of the Swarm UI Update blog post.
Clans and Groups
Anyone can now create or join a Clan and participate in private clan chat, post news on Clan affairs, and more. Clan tags are pre-pended to character names of all players who join a Clan. Groups are for players who want to associate casually and in larger numbers. Joining a Group is a way for players to interact with others who share common interests. Players are allowed to join many different groups. Players who have used their free character name change will receive an additional one. Check out our StarCraft blog for more detailed information on Clans and Groups, as well as our Social Features video.
Exciting New Replay Features
Watch with Others: Players can now watch replays with others in the same game. Take Command: Players watching a replay together can also opt to Take Command of the replay and assume control of selected player armies. Recover Game: Players can now choose trecover from a game that may have ended prematurely due to disconnection, input loss, or other abnormal causes. For more details, see our New Replay and Resume Features Coming in Heart of the Swarm overview blog post.
Improved Score Screen and Statistics
Performance tab now tracks gameplay stats such as Average Unspent Resources, Time Supply Capped, Workers Created, and APM. New buttons allow players to Play Again or Watch Replay Solo directly from the post-game Score Screen. Additional Race and Map Report statistics pages in the Ladders section of the Player Profile: Race Report: Tracks number of games played and win/loss ratios for every race matchup. Map Report: Tracks number of games played and win/loss ratios on every ladder map. Player Profile now shows all wins and losses for all leagues. Global Play and Language Selection Players will soon have the freedom to select any game region to connect to and play. Global Play will be enabled in the coming weeks. Please see our Global Play FAQ. Players can now select among different languages in StarCraft II. Speech and Movie Language options added to the Options > Language menu. Text Language added to the Options > Language menu.
New Matchmaking Options
Three options have been added to the Matchmaking Screen to help newer players make a more gradual transition from single-player to multiplayer. Training Mode allows players to work their way up from basic StarCraft gameplay skills to great challenges. Versus AI Mode is a reworking of the previous Coop Versus AI Mode in Wings of Liberty. Players can now utilize the matchmaking system to challenge an AI opponent that scales in difficulty. The new matchmaking AI can accommodate a wide variety of skill levels and play styles. Unranked Play allows players to engage in matchmaking and find games vs. other players without the pressures of the ranking system. For more details on these new features, please see our Ways to Play video overview.
All-New AI Enhancements
The overall AI play experienced has been greatly enhanced. In a custom game, players can now elect for an AI player to follow a specific build order, such as Full Rush, Timing Attack, Straight to Air, and more. AI players will now report key information back to their player allies, such as when they are scouting, attacking, expanding, and retreating. Additional AI improvements, including the ability to issue specific commands to AI partners, will be coming in Heart of the Swarm. Players Near You Players Near You identifies and displays other players on your local network, making it easier to locate, chat with, friend, and play together. This feature can be disabled in the Options > Social menu.
Game Privacy options
No Build Order: Selecting this option in the Custom Game lobby hides the build order from being displayed in the Score Screen. No Match History: Selecting this option hides the game from the players Match History. New Enable Group Sounds option in the Options > Sound menu produces additional sounds for groups of units performing the same activity, such as Marine marches, mech ground-shaking, and more. The Help Section has been revised and updated.
In-Game UI Improvements
New waypoint and targeting confirmation icons have been added. The Menu and Help buttons are now located above the command card alongside the Social button. The Achievements and Message Log menus are now accessible via the Main Menu. New Select Army Units button is located next to the Idle Worker and Select all Warp Gates buttons. These buttons are now all consolidated together in the UI above the minimap. Decal art has been refreshed and now appears brighter and more visible in-game. New Victory Fanfare sequences now play when a players is victorious at the end of a game. New Unit Life Bar settings have been added to the Gameplay section of the Options menu: Targeting: Shows friendly units when targeting a beneficial ability and enemy units when targeting a harmful ability. Damaged: Only show for units with less than their maximum life, energy, or shields. New UI options have been added to aid newer players in various gameplay functions. These can be toggled in the Options > Controls menu: Display Team Colored Life Bar: Displays unit life bars using team color. Always Show Worker Status: Displays the current and ideal number of workers above harvestable vespene geysers and town halls. Enable Simple Command Card: Displays a more simplified view of the command card. Show Current Order Indicator: Displays an indicator on the terrain when units are issued a movement or attack command. Select All Larvae: Selecting a single larva will select all larvas attached to the same Hatchery. Enable Enemy Unit Selection: Allows the player to select units that cant be controlled such as neutral and enemy units. The maximum numbers of players that can be in a party has been raised to 16. All maps that appear in the Custom Games section can now utilize the same Game Info pages (Overview, How to Play, Patch Notes, Reviews) that Arcade games received with Patch 1.5.0. New Copy Link buttons have been added, which automatically copy certain links to the clipboard, allowing players to share them with others via clickable links in chat or on the web. When clicked, these links will navigate to the in-game page.
Observer Mode Improvements
Added two new tabs: Structures Tab (hotkey T): This panel shows the structures owned by each player. Upgrades Tab (hotkey G): This panel shows the upgrades researched by each player. Clicking on an icon in the Units/Structures/Production tabs will now center the camera on that unit. Continued clicks will cycle through all units of that type.
Attacked units now flash white for observers. Nuclear Launch and Nydus Canals now create pings on the minimap for Observers viewing Everyone. Versus Mode Side Toggle (Hotkey CTRL-X) Added a hotkey to flip sides that player names appear in the Observer UI when watching a Versus Mode 1v1 game. Customizable Observer UI Brand new SC2Interface mod support has been added, which enables casters and observers to watch games of StarCraft II using a completely custom user interface. This gives production crews a new set of powerful tools to create even more epic broadcast experiences. For more information on how to use this feature, please see this thread in our User Interface forums. Players who have blocked communication with others are now also prohibited from initiating chat with those they have blocked. -- Judge a man by the trials of his shield, not the empty reaping of his sword.
- defending against an early rush is hard, all three races can put units in your base extremely early.
- it seems like you accumulate resources faster, like the collection rate has been moved up, so openings seem faster.
- The new Zerg unit (swarm hosts) put out unit's every 15/20 seconds and they are stupid strong right now. if they get alot of them out in from of you, it's tough to keep them out. they do alot of damage for a "free" unit.
- the new Toss unit, the one with the super long range, slow attack hits like a truck and is very effective.
- the new Toss unit that works on Nexus' and builds into a mother ship later i'm not too excited about. The only thing I like about it is the ability to weaponize a nexus to defend your mineral line. It also has a "slow time" ability the decreases movement speed, firing speed/ etc of units caught in that bubble which is handy although the unit itself is very fragile and seems to get shot down pretty quick.
I can let you know how it is and then you will have basis to decide, I have the feeling that the single player will be top notch. The MP is pretty much the same in terms of meta, couple aditional units and stuff on the maps but that's it. -- Judge a man by the trials of his shield, not the empty reaping of his sword.
Game is getting released tomorrow guys! I thought it was this summer for some reason. I was so excited for Simcity I forgot about HotS.
Haven't played any games since the last tournament, I must suck again.
Arch, shut your whining piehole and pay out like the rest of us. Pussy. And upgrade your wife's PC for Christ's sake. She deserves better. When she whines at me over Skype her voice isn't as clear as it should. That is unacceptable.
Jobbie, you and I need to play it seriously again.
Yeah man lets do it!!, before MWO came to the scene Block and I were having a lot of fun in 2v2, we lost all our placement matches and we started from the bottom of the ladder in bronze playing couple games here and there, before we stopped we were playing gold/platinum players. Arch is no fun he only wants to play Nexus Wars or Desert Strike.
Let's give it a couple weeks for people to get their cheesiest builds ready and we can start the first HotS tourny. -- When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.
It's very good. Best SC campaign of all SC games so far. It even beats the protoss campaign in Brood War, which was phenomenal (the dark templar storyline fascinated me).
The narrative is so good you'd think this is a RPG. Storytelling is amazing.
Graphics engine was upgraded, at extreme graphics settings and ultra texture quality, I had to enable SLI to get playable FPS at my resolution :-/ Yeah, I need GTX680 4GB SLI to play Starcraft 2 at Extreme on a 2560x1600 monitor. Not complaining, I just wasn't expecting this level of graphics fidelity.
SP is a whole different beast than in Wings of Liberty. Same underlying principle (you have a ship that serves as a base and you travel to planet to take on missions) but the whole upgrading aspect is a lot more fun.