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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway

The StarCraft II Website announces the beginning of beta testing of the Heart of the Swarm expansion for the real-time strategy sequel (thanks BlizzPlanet). They offer a FAQ detailing on how participants are being selected, and the following explanation of what the testing entails:

The Heart of the Swarm beta test has begun! This multiplayer-only test will initially be limited to a select group of pro-gamers, members of the press, Arcade contest winners, and shoutcasters. Beta test participants are not under NDA, so youíre likely going to see live streams of matches, screenshots, and casts of impromptu Heart of the Swarm throwdowns starting . . . mmm, NOW!

We will soon be inviting other players to participate in the beta, so be sure youíve opted in by clicking on the "Beta Profile Settings" under the Account Management section of your Battle.net account (or just click here). Signing up from a Battle.net account thatís actively playing StarCraft II will help your chances of being selected. Note that opting in doesn't guarantee beta access.

We'll also be working with several fansites and community personalities to provide more opportunities to join the beta test, so keep an eye out here and throughout the StarCraft II community for details as they emerge.

For those who are in the beta already, we appreciate your assistance in helping us test the game. If youíre 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!

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42 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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42. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 6, 2012, 01:34 Bhruic
 
MisterBenn wrote on Sep 6, 2012, 00:06:
PPM as a statistic is little more than a curiosty, so in the (admittedly few) videos of tournament games that I've watched, why is there so much artificial boosting of the number of actions? Players regularly click twenty times on the destination for a unit while it is en route, or use hotkeys to alternate between two units and reissue the same orders to each continuously. By all means be lightning fast at issuing orders but don't let one statistic become an obsession...

It's not an obsession, it's a training system. Some people believe that in order for them to be on top of their APM when it matters most (in the middle of a large battle, say), they need to have kept up the same APM throughout the game. They believe that if they haven't been using their max APM, their reflexes will have slowed down, and they won't respond quickly enough. I don't know if that's actually true, not sure if there's been any studies on it, but that's why they do it. It's not simply to stat pad.
 
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41. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 6, 2012, 00:06 MisterBenn
 
PPM as a statistic is little more than a curiosty, so in the (admittedly few) videos of tournament games that I've watched, why is there so much artificial boosting of the number of actions? Players regularly click twenty times on the destination for a unit while it is en route, or use hotkeys to alternate between two units and reissue the same orders to each continuously. By all means be lightning fast at issuing orders but don't let one statistic become an obsession...  
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Playing: Path of Exile, Age of Wonders III
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40. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 22:31 Cyanotetyphas
 
Ah SC2. I remember reading somewhere that they were going to hit the $40 price point on this one, but I don't remember where so that might have been speculation.
SC2 is the Counterstrike of the RTS genre. No frills, not terribly friendly, honestly doesn't even run that well for what it is, but incomparable competitive play. It's all about precision, split second decisions, and execution. There's a story but I think Blizzard is just going to jerk you around for awhile before finishing their retread of Supreme Commander's arc. Those FMVs are nice though. Also there is a casual bullshit mode, its the custom games, or Arcade now. Play some footie wars, run some TDs, there's probably a wierd mod based on a sci fi property you like. I recommend having the TV on in the background.

But yeah, single player was more like a scenario generator. Try to keep it interesting since so many people were coming in with high skill levels. As much fun as build up and roll out is they only gave a few of those.

I don't have an opinion on ESPORTS gET IN THE GAME but the ladder works pretty well actually. If its not your thing its not your thing though.
 
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39. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 20:00 Mashiki Amiketo
 
MattyC wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 17:46:

No hard price though.
Last rumor had it at $29-39 or so on internal SKU pricing.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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38. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 18:14 John
 
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 17:55:
What is bigger now this or LOL?

I'd say Laugh Out Loud is.
 
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37. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 17:55 HorrorScope
 
What is bigger now this or LOL?  
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36. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 17:46 MattyC
 
FloorPie wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 17:03:
Have they announced how much "part 2" will cost?

Just:

"We do view Heart of the Swarm as an expansion set, so for the regions that have a standard box business model such as North America and Europe, we will price accordingly."


No hard price though.
 
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35. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 17:34 Dades
 
dj LiTh wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 16:52:
Everyone bashing esports just come off to me sounding like frackin n00bs

Describing what esports are and not being into it yourself is not bashing anything.
 
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34. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 17:05 SimplyMonk
 
Creston wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 16:27:
They actually had PLENTY of this type of bitching themselves in the first Guild Wars. It used to be that trying to get an Elite skill was a real challenge. You'd have to find the boss that had it, hit him with some sort of capture skill, then you had to create conditions in which he would actually USE that Elite skill so you could capture it.

Awww. Sad. That sounded interesting and maybe a lot of fun in some cases. Never played GW1. I have it and I think the first three expansions, but my wife didn't care for it much and I've been too distracted with other things (GW2 now for one, which we both love) too put in the time now.

Oh well. Good on them.
 
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33. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 17:03 FloorPie
 
Have they announced how much "part 2" will cost?  
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32. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 16:52 dj LiTh
 
Everyone bashing esports just come off to me sounding like frackin n00bs  
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31. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 16:33 MattyC
 
Stanly Manly wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 16:16:
MattyC wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 15:43:

If you ever watched a high level tournament you might realize it isn't just 'clicking a mouse and hitting a few keys *really* fast'...

Yeah, its clicking a mouse and hitting a few keys *really, really, really* fast. I recall seeing something about American "pro gamers" having to train themselves to press keys faster, because one of the distinct advantages of Koreans was they had a much faster PPM (presses per minute). Apparently its a huge deal, since shaving fractions of a second off your commands and such adds up to a lot over the course of a game.

Having a high APM / fast hands is only relevant if you also have solid well rehearsed strategies, good decision making, excellent multitasking, prepare well etc. Not only that but you need to do all of those things consistently. If the clicks are wrong no one cares how fast they are.

I know plenty of people with really high APM, but they won't be winning (or even attending) any tournaments.
 
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30. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 16:27 Creston
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 15:00:
I will say I am sad that Blizzard hasn't done what Guild Wars 2 is doing for their tournament and eSport aspects of the game. Make two modes to the game. One that is eSport-centric and focused on balanced and another that is focused on fun, creativity and just being damn awesome. GW2 does this by having their Tournament modes use separate player templates/abilities than their WvW and PvE modes. I'm sure they looked at WoW and the amount of bitching that people did when a PvP change effected PvE and figured for their Arena's, they didn't want this problem.

They actually had PLENTY of this type of bitching themselves in the first Guild Wars. It used to be that trying to get an Elite skill was a real challenge. You'd have to find the boss that had it, hit him with some sort of capture skill, then you had to create conditions in which he would actually USE that Elite skill so you could capture it. So if he had an Elite that would "Cure two conditions and heal 50% hp", you had to hit him with two conditions and get him below 50% health, then wait for him to use it. (it was a lot more dynamic than this, actually, it's hard to do justice to it just in words. It was a LOT of fun. Very strategic, though some bosses were absolute bitches about using their skill, admittedly.)

The PvP crowd thought this was WAAAAAAAAY too much work, so it got nerfed to the point where it was just "find boss, kill him, pick skill you want from list."

They had quite a few more of this type of horseshit going on, where the PvE got fucking screwed over sideways because of the all the whining from the PvP crowd. It was a miracle they didn't destroy the whole game while they were at it. The stupid "IT MUST BE BALANCED FOR TEH PVP PVP PVPVPVPVPVPVPVVPVPVPVPVPVPVPVPVVPVPVPVPVPVPVPVP!111!1" crap is what made me stop playing Guild Wars.

I'm glad they finally woke up and realized, hey, let's just make every PvP player level 80 immediately, AND GIVE THEM ALL SKILLS. You know, it's only what every single fucking PvE player was suggesting during the first fucking week of Guild Wars 1.

At least they listened. GW2 is fucking awesome.

Creston
 
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29. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 16:16 Stanly Manly
 
MattyC wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 15:43:

If you ever watched a high level tournament you might realize it isn't just 'clicking a mouse and hitting a few keys *really* fast'...

Yeah, its clicking a mouse and hitting a few keys *really, really, really* fast. I recall seeing something about American "pro gamers" having to train themselves to press keys faster, because one of the distinct advantages of Koreans was they had a much faster PPM (presses per minute). Apparently its a huge deal, since shaving fractions of a second off your commands and such adds up to a lot over the course of a game.
 
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28. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 15:43 MattyC
 
Flatline wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 14:52:
I still find the concept of "E-Sports" to be highly amusing and suspect.

Yeah yeah, south korea & starcraft, street fighter tourneys, etc etc...

I just find clicking a mouse and hitting a few keys *really* fast to not be a sport.

I'm waiting for the Spreadsheet Division to start up. Then you'll see some SERIOUS skills!

If you ever watched a high level tournament you might realize it isn't just 'clicking a mouse and hitting a few keys *really* fast'...
 
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27. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 15:00 SimplyMonk
 
I will say I am sad that Blizzard hasn't done what Guild Wars 2 is doing for their tournament and eSport aspects of the game. Make two modes to the game. One that is eSport-centric and focused on balanced and another that is focused on fun, creativity and just being damn awesome. GW2 does this by having their Tournament modes use separate player templates/abilities than their WvW and PvE modes. I'm sure they looked at WoW and the amount of bitching that people did when a PvP change effected PvE and figured for their Arena's, they didn't want this problem. The fact that I had some pretty awesome abilities in PvE and WvW, but those abilities are gone or altered in PvP Tournaments shows a lot of foresight.

I guess, in all honesty, you don't really need that for SC2 because if you don't like the competitive eSport side of the game, you can always just play unranked, single player or Custom Map games... but a stronger disconnect wouldn't be bad. Even going so far as having "unranked-only" units or features would do a lot to appealing to a greater majority of gamers.
 
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26. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 14:52 Flatline
 
I still find the concept of "E-Sports" to be highly amusing and suspect.

Yeah yeah, south korea & starcraft, street fighter tourneys, etc etc...

I just find clicking a mouse and hitting a few keys *really* fast to not be a sport.

I'm waiting for the Spreadsheet Division to start up. Then you'll see some SERIOUS skills!
 
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25. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 14:34 Creston
 
CrashTestDummy wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 13:14:
I hardly ever post on blues, and I limit myself to just skimming the articles and comments, but I have to say the level of narrow mindedness on this forum is through the roof.

Because not liking something that has a great following is narrow-minded, in your opinion? How do you like your Justin Bieber music and McDonalds' hamburgers there, buddy?

Creston
 
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24. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 14:33 Verno
 
Stanly Manly wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 14:19:
Times have changed. I am well aware now that I am not a mainstream gamer.

I don't know man, there is a big difference between your average MP gamer and people at an MLG event. I think we've seen a bit of a resurgence in SP games in the mainstream over the past year if anything.

Valkyria Chronicles was awesome btw, putting the sequel on the PSP was a travesty
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
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23. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway Sep 5, 2012, 14:30 SimplyMonk
 
Stanly Manly wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 14:19:
I just have to say that I completely disagree with you here, sadly. E-sports oriented games seem to be far more popular than single player games that focus on story and fun gameplay. Some of the best single player games don't do well financially, yet millions upon millions of copies of football games sell every year, as do the same rehashed online FPS games...

I'm in no way a mainstream gamer at all due to my JRPG fetish and the fact that I actually played through Operation Darkness simply because it had Werewolves and Vampires in WWII, despite being an overall horrible game... I loved it.

That being said, I wouldn't consider someone even an eSport fan just because they play MW3 online or they always pick up the most recent copy of Madden. And just because a game is based on a sport, doesn't mean it is an eSport game, but that may just be because if I heard there was a Madden NFL '12 tournament going on I'd most likely just laugh and watch real football instead.

Who knows though. I don't have an current figures on the popularity of eSports among gamers and personally am only familiar with the DotA teams and culture. I do know however that in the US, Starcraft II has no where near the following it does in Korea where it is arguably their national sport. Is it growing here though? Maybe. Could it be considered the majority? I doubt it.
 
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