Starcraft 2’s latest patch causes all sorts of problems. Released to the South East Asia region earlier today, Blizzard fast found that the patch introduced an issue they didn’t want to spread to all players globally. So they’ve delayed the patch’s release outside of the region until the issue is fixed.
That’s not the only problem, though. All recorded replays of Starcraft 2 games from before patch 2.0.10 will no longer be compatible with the game.
Don’t worry, your recordings are not lost.
While your recordings won’t be compatible with the latest version of the game, Starcraft 2 discreetly loads archive versions of its client when you watch old replays. Meaning that you can watch old games on your computer but, as Blizzard explain, “when StarCraft II loads a replay in an older version of the game, it has to disconnect from Battle.net. This means that some of the new, advanced replay features that were added in Heart of the Swarm aren’t available when watching replays that were created in 2.0.9 and earlier. [...] After patch 2.0.10, you won’t be able to watch old replays with your friends, and you won’t be able to recover multiplayer games from replays created in 2.0.9 and earlier.”
The new feature for replay that comes in 2.0.10 is the ability to fast forward through your recordings. Previously you could only skip backwards.
If you feel that your name isn’t up to scratch anymore in Blizzard’s sci-fi RTS StarCraft 2, the developer is now offering one free name change for all those who own the game.
Sadly this new name change doesn’t stack with any previous unused name changes, so don’t count on being able to change your name more than once. To do so, simply head to the Battle.net account management and you’ll find a dropdown list in the “Character Name Change” section at the bottom of your game license screen to select a region in which you’d like to use an available name change.
Interestingly Blizzard has also noted that an internal change is being looked at with the name change process to “offer free name changes much more frequently going forward.” More information on that has been promised for a later date.
StarCraft 2’s World Championship Series is in full pelt at the moment, and Blizzard have noticed that Protoss players aren’t faring quite so well as their Zerg and Terran competitors – especially in Korea and Europe. After pro feedback proved inconclusive, the developers have decided to go ahead and test a buff to Warp Prisms, just in case.
The buff, which will go live on the balance test map this week at the earliest, will see Warp Prism movement speed switched to its upgraded level as standard. The developers hope the move will encourage Protoss players to be more aggressive in the early game – though anticipate it might also overpower all-in rushes. If so, Blizzard plan to increase the Prism’s base movement speed by a smaller degree.
“As we’ve been saying many times before, our goal is still to make the game more dynamic and allow for more diverse action throughout the game,” said Blizzard’s David Kim. “We feel the advantage of this is that watching the same matchup over and over is a lot more exciting because you never know what you’re going to get”.
If there’s constant action throughout the game there are varying degrees of successes and failures each time which really shape up every game differently.
He added: “This is why we’d much rather buff something on the Protoss that allows them to be more aggressive throughout the game rather than nerfing strong harass units like Medivacs.”
The buff, small though it is, is a fairly bold move for a team known to ponder nondescript tweaks for weeks. Do you think it’s the right one?
When Blizzard announced that development for StarCraft 2 would be cut into three separate titles, fans of the series had mixed feelings. Few felt that the prolonged development cycle would cause disruption in the flow of the singleplayer story, while others were happy for Blizzard to take their time on each of the three races. With the release of the first part, Wings of Liberty, gamers soon realised that in separating each story Blizzard was able to deliver a far more polished experience.
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm marks the second chapter in the StarCraft 2 saga, and with it brings focus on Queen of the Blades and her disastrous Swarm faction. With mouse in one hand and keyboard in the other, Kosta Andreadis takes on Kerrigan herself to see what Blizzard has to offer.
Heart of the Swarm is another exceptional expansion from Blizzard, one that no doubt fans would need no persuading at all to buy. But its accessibility over previous entries may be its biggest strength for those who’ve always been curious about StarCraft multiplayer but may have felt too intimidated to give it a try…
Throughout the entirety of the Heart of the Swarm campaign, Blizzard almost never has you playing the standard, fifteen-year-old StarCraft game. Yes, all of the mechanics are there when they’re needed, so there are times when you do have to grow your overlords and make sure you’ve got enough vespene gas. But more often than not, the zerg campaign plays with the idea of what StarCraft, and a real-time strategy game in general, can be.
In one early mission, for example, you start out simply controlling a little bug, sneaking past powerful Protoss units and hiding in steam vents. That bug infects larger creatures and starts collecting biomass, and you can evolve up into a brood queen, with a few zerglings and roaches for escort. Evolve that queen further by collecting more biomass, and you can spawn more units on yourself, taking over an entire Protoss ship without ever mining a single crystal.
Other missions have further innovative takes on the RTS genre. In one, you’re tasked with fighting a series of what are essentially World of Warcraft-style raid bosses while controlling one hero unit, and the whole thing feels strangely (in an exciting way) like a single-player League of Legends game. The clock is often used, and used well, as a motivator: Build enough troops to assault that building before time runs out, or race quickly to take out this unit before this point in the battle.