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Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Blizzard Entertainment announces the Heart of the Swarm expansion is now available for StarCraft II, their sci-fi RTS sequel. "Heart of the Swarm enhances every aspect of StarCraft II," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "In addition to Kerrigan’s campaign and the new multiplayer units and maps, we think players will really enjoy the new online elements and new features that make StarCraft II more fun and easier to learn than ever before." The announcement outlines the perks for buying the various editions of the add-on, and here's an overview:

Heart of the Swarm picks up the story where StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty® left off, focusing on Kerrigan’s quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. Over the course of 20 campaign missions, players will follow Kerrigan as she sweeps across the galaxy, incorporating a variety of distinctive zerg species into her brood. Kerrigan will grow in strength from mission to mission, and players will be able to customize her with powerful new abilities, as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies to suit their play style.

New weapons of war also debut in Heart of the Swarm’s multiplayer, including new units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, while certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new capabilities. In addition, several new features will enhance the game experience, including group and clan systems; training and versus-A.I. modes, to help new players transition from the campaign into multiplayer; unranked matchmaking; Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions around the world; additional stat tracking; user interface improvements; an enhanced physics system, for more visceral-looking battles; “Watch With Others” and “Take Command,” to watch replays with friends as well as jump in and assume control at any point; a leveling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customization options for their online profiles; and much more.

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77. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 13, 2013, 11:14 AngelicPenguin
 
nin wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 21:53:
KTR wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 20:52:
nin wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 20:22:
Also, keep an eye on the new official TA sequel.

When you say "official" are their actual devs from the TA working on it? I didn't follow the KS closely...


Yes. A lot of key members of TA and Supcom are working on PA.


Huh, thank you both! I'll have to grab it when it's out...I see preorders are up, but they're a little steep.


Agreed, I loved TA and the first supreme commander. Nice find! (They need some better PR)
 
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76. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 21:53 nin
 
KTR wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 20:52:
nin wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 20:22:
Also, keep an eye on the new official TA sequel.

When you say "official" are their actual devs from the TA working on it? I didn't follow the KS closely...


Yes. A lot of key members of TA and Supcom are working on PA.


Huh, thank you both! I'll have to grab it when it's out...I see preorders are up, but they're a little steep.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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75. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 21:51 Xero
 
So many people complain of a rush but have exactly zero interest to learn how to defend it. Yet then love to complain about the game. Is it worth even arguing with them? Clearly, RTS is not for them. Or maybe ones where turtling in your base is encouraged *yawn*  
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Currently playing: FarCry 4, Max Payne 3, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, Heroes of the Storm Alpha, Battlefield 3, Outlast, Red Faction Guerrilla
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74. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 21:07 Saboth
 
Meh. Bought the first one, played through it once then uninstalled it. Felt like Starcraft 1 with a tiny graphic upgrade and a few shifted units.  
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73. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 21:00 edaciousx
 
Krizzen wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 20:03:
edaciousx wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:22:
prefer macro? Sounds like total annihilation/supreme commander is up your alley.

This is exactly what I was going to say! Starcraft is great to satisfy that fast, well-balanced gameplay. It just leaves the fun stuff, like Battlecruisers, to the last minute or two of combat.

TA has been one of my favorite games ever since I got 64MB of RAM to run maps larger than 16x16

For a modern game of classic TA (but slightly modded to perfection), check out Spring RTS. Download the free engine, and get Balanced TA for it. It's epicly fun. You can turtle in this game like no other!

Also, keep an eye on the new official TA sequel. I'm sure these guys will deliver.


I used to play a ton of TA back in the day, thanks for the update on those projects. Back then, TA was the thing to play... not SC. TA's economy imo is more difficult than Starcraft's economy but SC has better micro aspects, each unit has "spells" and there are a lot les units. TA you would just throw in 300 Hawks I believe they are called from the arm and watch them do their magic.
 
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72. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 21:00 HoSpanky
 
Yes, nin, some of the devs from the original TA (altho not Chris Taylor) are on the team. Also, considering the high quality of the two (or one, and a half-sequel) games they've already released as a company, I'm pretty sure this one will not only ACTUALLY GET FINISHED, but will be pretty awesome.  
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71. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 20:52 KTR
 
nin wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 20:22:
Also, keep an eye on the new official TA sequel.

When you say "official" are their actual devs from the TA working on it? I didn't follow the KS closely...


Yes. A lot of key members of TA and Supcom are working on PA.
 
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70. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 20:22 nin
 
Also, keep an eye on the new official TA sequel.

When you say "official" are their actual devs from the TA working on it? I didn't follow the KS closely...

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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69. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 20:03 Krizzen
 
edaciousx wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:22:
prefer macro? Sounds like total annihilation/supreme commander is up your alley.

This is exactly what I was going to say! Starcraft is great to satisfy that fast, well-balanced gameplay. It just leaves the fun stuff, like Battlecruisers, to the last minute or two of combat.

TA has been one of my favorite games ever since I got 64MB of RAM to run maps larger than 16x16

For a modern game of classic TA (but slightly modded to perfection), check out Spring RTS. Download the free engine, and get Balanced TA for it. It's epicly fun. You can turtle in this game like no other!

Also, keep an eye on the new official TA sequel. I'm sure these guys will deliver.
 
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68. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 19:53 MindStalker3
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 13:18:
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 12:43:
So I was trying to see what this expansion pack costs, I have to log into my Blizzard account for that. Since I have not played SC2 for a long time I forgot my password. Resetting password, got the e-mail with the confirmation link. Click on the link everything is fine, try to log in again with the new pw, Blizzard locked my account for suspicious activity.
I never though checking a price on something is going to be this fucking difficult.

The game is $39.99USD in the US. Not sure about the rest of the world though.

I played through the first mission before going into work this morning, and definitely liked what I saw. Nothing much is going on at work today -- mostly today I'm just a warm body so that management can say that someone is on duty if anything happens -- so I'm trying to get SC2 up and running in WINE on my Linux laptop.

They make you login because if you don't own the Wings of Liberty it forces you to buy the bundle of both games, if you do you can buy just the expansion. They don't want people buying just the expansion and bitching that they can't play it.
 
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67. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 19:30 AngelicPenguin
 
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 17:55:
Darks wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 16:33:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:15:
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:09:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:05:
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 14:31:
Fati wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 14:24:
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 13:20:
There's a difference between sending a scout or 2, and sending 15 starter troops all aimed directly at your resource gatherers. Sure sometimes I micro quick enough to counter it, but every game is just about the same unless playing with friends. It's the mentality of SC players apparently that every game needs to hurry up and end. At least that's been my experience with SC2.
I don't think RTS is for you. You need to learn how to defend early pressure. Once you realize that the players who pressure early put themselves at a significant economic disadvantage, you'll see that all you need to do is successfully defend, counter-attack and it's gg.

Right, but what if I want to enjoy the game I paid for? What if I'd like to go up the tech tree and not have the game end in 10 minutes? I can do this just fine in every other RTS that is MP. Blizzard titles? Hell you're lucky if you don't have shit in your base 2 and a half minutes in.

I always thought the same thing about the NBA. I want my team to play methodical defense and push the shot clock to the limit, so I think they should ban fast breaks and teams that like to run.

Who said anything about banning playstyles? holy strawman batman.

How can I strawman talking about myself? Nothing fast should happen in the NBA darn it!

edit: I'm just messing with you, but it does sound like competitive RTS isn't really your thing. Most RTS games have some sort of early game rush - in fact I can't think of a single one that didn't.

This is the main problem I have with this game. Blizzard purposely designed this game so matches only last 20 mins. They purposely give you limited resources and force you to expand. They also made defense practically useless. Most of the time when being rushed, your defense fall faster than units. Most defenses felt like they were made of paper. They get ripped through so fast.

This is what turned me off about SC and why I will never go back to it.

Blizzards track record recently is 0 - 2

Thanks Dark, that's pretty much my point. Even if you're half way decent at micro managing, half the time it doesn't matter because 2 mins in you have 60 zerglings tearing you a new asshole. Some people may call that fun. Me I just find it fucking tedious.

I know you do not like or care to play this game, but to be a decent SC2 player and get to gold all you really have to do is keep building and spending your money, and don't get resource blocked. You'll very quickly move up the ranks that way. At that point, ya someone will be doing the same thing and then you will have to out strategize them (or just do it faster.)
 
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66. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 18:53 Cyanotetyphas
 
Gold level zerg here, hope there's still some room to white knight blizzard!

SC2 MP is like any competitive scene. Its not really for casual people. Take Street Fighter. Its fun to bum around with your friends, but if you go online at the low levels Zangief will lariat you 10,000 times and at the high levels you'll trade 1 hit for eating a 1/3 life combo. Not a lot of fun if you're not interested in defining your weaknesses and working on improving. Any competitive 1v1 game is like this. People want to win.

In SC2, on the lower levels, cheese is how you win. 6 pool, or bunker rush, or gateway rush and just pump units into their base. However, this rarely works once you get a little better. Once I started scouting 6 pools and got good enough to react to them, I stopped losing to them. And you know what happens when you defend yourself from that first rush? 9/10 times the opponent immediately quits because they've screwed themselves economically and they know it. Its like Zangief's lariat. It only works on you because you don't know enough about the game, its not that the lariat is the best move in the game.

However I completely understand if you don't want to commit 100 hours to get good at it. Thats what keeps me away from MOBAs.
 
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65. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 18:46 Redmask
 
Jivaro wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 18:44:
As some have alluded to already my problem with the game is what it has evolved into...a 15-20 minutes click fest. That click fest might very well demand a certain amount of strategy and skill but that kind of chaotic and hectic pacing is just not my idea of fun and why I skipped the sequel initially and the gameplay videos of this expansion do nothing to make me change my mind.

Exactly. It's totally fine to admit you don't have the micro for the game, I certainly don't and that's why I stopped playing. I hit my skill ceiling and recognized that I couldn't really get any better and wasn't enjoying it. I just don't get the people blaming the game for not being something that its never advertised itself as.
 
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64. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 18:44 Jivaro
 
As some have alluded to already my problem with the game is what it has evolved into...a 15-20 minutes click fest. That click fest might very well demand a certain amount of strategy and skill but that kind of chaotic and hectic pacing is just not my idea of fun and why I skipped the sequel initially and the gameplay videos of this expansion do nothing to make me change my mind.

Blizzard has a lot of fans of this franchise because of what it is, so I can't hold it against them just because it isn't my thing. I just remember how much I enjoyed Red Alert 2 in multiplayer, or even Warcraft 3, and I can't find that type of fun in this franchise. The single player gameplay of the first game was OK, but I wouldn't have bought it at full price had I known that was all I was going to get out of it. Same with the sequel..it might take 15 years for Blizzard to sell it at a price I will pay, but I think I can wait. Hell...my backlog is crazy full right now as it is.
 
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63. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 18:37 Redmask
 
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 17:55:
Thanks Dark, that's pretty much my point. Even if you're half way decent at micro managing, half the time it doesn't matter because 2 mins in you have 60 zerglings tearing you a new asshole. Some people may call that fun. Me I just find it fucking tedious.

You want Real Time without the Strategy, that's your fault, not Blizzards. Your chances of getting a rush are actually pretty low, you're exaggerating to cover your inability to deal with it. Did you ever stop to think that if you defend yourself against a rush that you might be able to go on the offensive and extend the length of the game? Why is the problem the rush itself and not your failure to do anything about it time and time again? It seems like your problems are your own and have nothing to do with Starcraft 2.

The game isn't for everyone, no one said its perfect but that doesn't mean the game should change just because its not for you.
 
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62. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 18:29 jacobvandy
 
I might buy this, and never touch the multiplayer except with a lobby full of friends who also disdain the mechanical-ADHD "pro" RTS scene.  
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61. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 18:20 RollinThundr
 
edaciousx wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 18:08:
You guys are pretty amazing. QQing that you get owned within 10 minutes of the game... I was ranked high in SC2 and if the game is not good at high level of play then it's even worse at lower level of play. Look at company of heroes 1, the allied forces get creamed all the time when going up against the germans. If you want to play an unbalanced game play COH. Awesome awesome game but insanely unbalanced. At high levels of play the balancing becomes an even greater issue, that's why blizzard focuses so much on the high level players.

Then explain why it takes them so long to ship a product along the lines of "balance time" then generally completely change the balance of units every patch there after.
 
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60. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 18:08 edaciousx
 
You guys are pretty amazing. QQing that you get owned within 10 minutes of the game... I was ranked high in SC2 and if the game is not good at high level of play then it's even worse at lower level of play. Look at company of heroes 1, the allied forces get creamed all the time when going up against the germans. If you want to play an unbalanced game play COH. Awesome awesome game but insanely unbalanced. At high levels of play the balancing becomes an even greater issue, that's why blizzard focuses so much on the high level players.  
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59. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 18:01 deqer
 
Back to StarCraft 1!, where the real Starcraft is. Real starcraft environment, and community.  
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58. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 17:55 RollinThundr
 
Darks wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 16:33:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:15:
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:09:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:05:
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 14:31:
Fati wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 14:24:
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 13:20:
There's a difference between sending a scout or 2, and sending 15 starter troops all aimed directly at your resource gatherers. Sure sometimes I micro quick enough to counter it, but every game is just about the same unless playing with friends. It's the mentality of SC players apparently that every game needs to hurry up and end. At least that's been my experience with SC2.
I don't think RTS is for you. You need to learn how to defend early pressure. Once you realize that the players who pressure early put themselves at a significant economic disadvantage, you'll see that all you need to do is successfully defend, counter-attack and it's gg.

Right, but what if I want to enjoy the game I paid for? What if I'd like to go up the tech tree and not have the game end in 10 minutes? I can do this just fine in every other RTS that is MP. Blizzard titles? Hell you're lucky if you don't have shit in your base 2 and a half minutes in.

I always thought the same thing about the NBA. I want my team to play methodical defense and push the shot clock to the limit, so I think they should ban fast breaks and teams that like to run.

Who said anything about banning playstyles? holy strawman batman.

How can I strawman talking about myself? Nothing fast should happen in the NBA darn it!

edit: I'm just messing with you, but it does sound like competitive RTS isn't really your thing. Most RTS games have some sort of early game rush - in fact I can't think of a single one that didn't.

This is the main problem I have with this game. Blizzard purposely designed this game so matches only last 20 mins. They purposely give you limited resources and force you to expand. They also made defense practically useless. Most of the time when being rushed, your defense fall faster than units. Most defenses felt like they were made of paper. They get ripped through so fast.

This is what turned me off about SC and why I will never go back to it.

Blizzards track record recently is 0 - 2

Thanks Dark, that's pretty much my point. Even if you're half way decent at micro managing, half the time it doesn't matter because 2 mins in you have 60 zerglings tearing you a new asshole. Some people may call that fun. Me I just find it fucking tedious.
 
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