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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 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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57. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 17:51 Agent.X7
 
The original came out so long ago that I forgot what happened. Just like Valve with their fast to market episodes. One a year, right guys?  
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56. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 17:17 vrok
 
descender wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 17:03:
When the game devolves into who can click their build order the fastest... then it loses a lot of appeal.

Blizzards gameplay focus on SC completely changed when the pro scene blew up, and it has not been for the better.
That's like saying that Quake is only about who can click their shoot button the fastest. It's stupid and it's wrong.

Also, SC2 actually deemphasizes speed and APM compared to the RTSes it's based upon.
 
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55. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 17:13 rist3903
 

I have 39 dollars and change in money on my Blizzard account from Diablo III real money auction house sales, but I don't want to install it again to trade for one more dollar. I think I will just wait ten years for this to go on sale instead.

 
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54. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 17:03 descender
 
When the game devolves into who can click their build order the fastest... then it loses a lot of appeal.

Blizzards gameplay focus on SC completely changed when the pro scene blew up, and it has not been for the better.
 
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53. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 16:47 MattyC
 
Darks wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 16:33:
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

Wait you view these as negatives? One base, unlimited resource, turtle play sounds really unappealing to me, though others may disagree. I just see zero excitement there with nothing to force you to do anything but sit in your base until you are maxed out. Deciding when to take an expansion and where to keep your units for defense is a core element of the game.

As for the defenses they always seemed to do what they were designed to do for me. People use bunkers, spines, cannons all the time. They aren't designed to replace your units though.
 
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52. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 16:37 Wallshadows
 
I wouldn't have even known if I didn't read about it here.  
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It says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded.
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51. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 16:33 Darks
 
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
 
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50. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 16:31 Kosh401
 
Skipping this one. Wings of Liberty was alright and I'd like to see how the campaign continues, but I'm just not feeling it for Blizz products after Diablo 3.

Also, Company of Heroes 2 is is coming in June (or July? forget which one is the new announced release date) so that will be my next major RTS fix anyway, and probably with the beta sooner (assuming SEGA is still doing that for preorders).
 
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49. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 16:28 FloorPie
 
ELITE wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 14:06:
Someone post the cut scenes on YouTube so I can catch up with the story and call it a completed game.
Thanks

Ditto. I'm not even sure where my login/pw is for the sc2 account or the email account I created for is (was worried WoW account security problems). I enjoyed the single player but barely touched multiplayer.
 
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48. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 16:11 Xero
 
While I get my a$$ handed to me plenty of times during a rush, generally I'm pretty good at stopping it, countering, and it's over. While I'm by no means a pro at SC2, I would say I was at the "elite" level in Warcraft 3. This meant I could handle myself perfectly in just about any situation and it came down to micro control on winning the match.

When you are at the high level of an RTS, generally we consider rushes a "newb" thing. Easy to fight off and counter and generally the player who rushes isn't all that diverse at the later portion of a match and that's why they want to end it early. Once I hit "elite" in Wc3, I don't think I ever fell victim to rushes unless I was blatantly careless.

I believe that holds true for SC2 as well. If you watch a lot of "pro" matches, they generally don't consist much of a full fledged rush because the high end players know how to deal with it a lot easily than inexperienced. Don't be confused with harassment with rushing. If you think harassment is meant to end the game immediately, then RTS is clearly not for you, lol.

This comment was edited on Mar 12, 2013, 16:32.
 
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47. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 15:25 AngelicPenguin
 
edaciousx wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 15:22:
prefer macro? Sounds like total annihilation/supreme commander is up your alley.

In both those games you could very easily rush, though. I distinctly remember the little fast tank rush in Supreme Commander as being a real balance issue when the game launched.
 
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46. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 15:22 edaciousx
 
prefer macro? Sounds like total annihilation/supreme commander is up your alley.  
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45. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 15:15 AngelicPenguin
 
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 comment was edited on Mar 12, 2013, 15:24.
 
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44. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 15:15 MattyC
 
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 dunno, maybe it is just a luck thing, but I prefer macro games and I generally play macro games. I just don't see a lot of rushes. Were you playing 1v1 or team games? I do remember playing a lot vs people who would all in rush in low level 2v2s with a friend of mine who never really got past the lower tiers. That can be particularly frustrating on maps where you are in 2 separate bases. Mid range 1v1 I generally play longer games.

If you are playing on the ladder you have to deal with all styles of play, it is a competitive thing and people want to win. I am interested to see if the non-ranked ladder ends up being much more casual.

That said, if you want to make sure there is no rushing, try to find people in some of the lobbies and do a 'No rush <time limit> game. Stuff like that has been going around since BW, I am sure there would be some takers. I prefer long games, but don't mind the rushes all that much. If every game was a fully upgraded 200/200 army bash it would be just as boring as every game being a rush.
 
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43. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 15:09 RollinThundr
 
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.
 
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42. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 15:05 AngelicPenguin
 
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.
 
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41. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 15:01 Undocumented Alien
 
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 haven't played an RTS for a while, but, back in the day you could "turtle" and keep tech'ing while the other person kept trying to attack. If you turtled well, protected your resources, you "could" eventually out tech the opponent and then counter attack.

I'm not sure if thats doable with SC2, but I have seen it done.
 
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40. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 14:59 Verno
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 14:41:
You'll have to play with friends and agree not to rush.

That's the case with a lot of RTS though.

You didn't list the "Play more and learn" option though, I'm missing some context here due to my ignore list but I get the gist of it. People probe you early to determine what your build is, as part of their own strategy or to determine how good of a player you are. If the player never learns anything from those lessons is that the players fault or the games?

I'm far from a quality SC2 player but I can beat back a rudimentary base rush with no problem unless the other player has godlike micro and if he does, oh well, I move onto the next game. You won't win every SC2 match but some people can't accept that. Instead many want to create these elaborate turtling setups and get upset when the other player gets bored with them and wants to end the game and move on.
 
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39. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 14:58 RollinThundr
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 14:41:
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.

You'll have to play with friends and agree not to rush.

That's the case with a lot of RTS though.

You can go to Youtube and memorize a few build lists that help vs. most people, but at that point you might as well be an AI since you're just following a script anyhow. That's how a lot of people play though.

To me that gets boring, so I probably won't bother with the expansion.


Which is why I always preferred hard comp stomps with friends over vs. in Blizzard RTS titles. The whole rush rush rush mentality is so completely opposite how I enjoy strategy games.
 
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38. Re: Ships Ahoy - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Mar 12, 2013, 14:52 RollinThundr
 
Flatline wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 14:40:
So how many days do you think it'll be before Blizzard patches the game for balance reasons to the point that they entirely undo the "balancing" that they've been doing for the last 2 years?

I never understood that with Starcraft. Yeah we'll sit on the f*cking game for 2+ years "polishing" it and "balancing" it, and in the first month we'll get more real-world feedback on balance than in our entire development cycle, rendering that 2 year wait pointless.

I wonder if it's just meant to build up hype, or if the devs really don't give a shit about shipping product in a timely manner.

It's a little of both. Though it does a better job of showing the severe lack of project management that permeates throughout Blizzard on the whole.
 
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