starcraft II

October 21, 2013

Countdown to Blizzcon 2013

tattooed kittyWe are now on the final leg in the run up to Blizzcon 2013, 8-9 November at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. It’s a great time to be Blizzard fan with so much being offered up this year whether you are into WoW, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm. Whether you’re joining Blizzard at the Anaheim Convention Center or taking advantage of the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, you can find the schedule of events here: http://eu.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/schedule/friday-schedule and ensure that you don’t miss a thing.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
“Malthael, the Angel of Death, grows restless. Having sieged the historic city of Westmarch, he now sets his sights on a new metropolis: Anaheim, California — the great gamer haven of the West” Blizzard.com. There will be 300 stations set-up to demo Reaper of Souls where all five original Diablo III classes will be playable, as well as the new Crusader class, a fierce mid-range melee warrior. It has also been confirmed that there will be a playable version of Reaper of Souls on the PS4 at Blizzcon this year, players will also be some of the first in the world to get their hands on a DUALSHOCK®4 controller to enhance their monster slaying rampage through the Nephalem Rifts.

reaper of souls crusader class

Heroes of the Storm
Blizzard All-Stars, formerly Blizzard DOTA is notably absent from Blizzcon 2013, the reason being because it’s changed it’s name to Heroes of the Storm. If you remember, about a year ago Blizzard and Valve engaged in a legal battle over the DotA name after Valve revealed that it was going to title its sequel to DotA, DotA II. That battle was eventually won by Valve and led to Blizzard naming its DotA sequel Blizzard All-Stars. And in true Blizzard style they have produced a trailer for Heroes of the Storm which can mean only one thing – we are bound to be seeing more about this one at BlizzCon.

Hearthstone Innkeeper’s Invitational
“The idea behind the Invitational is simple: Take some of Hearthstone’s most passionate players and pit them against each other in a no-holds-barred deathmatch” Blizzard.com. Blizzard have lined up Day[9] Vs. Reckful and Hafu Vs. Kripparrian in the top bracket and Trump Vs. Husky and Noxious Vs. Artosis in the bottom bracket, each player brings three decks with three different classes and play each other in a set of best-of-five matches – but if one of their decks loses then they will be eliminated, only one player will survive to be named ‘Grandmaster of the Hearth’, all live on stage at Blizzcon.

If you don’t have the option of going to Blizzcon in person, pick up your Virtual Ticket now and be part of the action http://www.battle.net/blizzcon/en/. Tickets are £24.99/€29.99/$39.99 and include: panels, interviews, and exclusive content; contests; the closing ceremony; in-game goodies and on-demand replays. Learn more about the ticket at http://www.battle.net/blizzcon/en/virtual-ticket/faq.

Don’t miss out, get your virtual ticket now! See you in November.

November 13, 2012

Launch Date Announced for Heart of the Swarm

StarCraft 2 Banner

The next chapter of Blizzard’s StarCraft II saga, Heart of the Swarm, will launch on March 12, 2013.

Heart of the Swarm, Blizzard’s first expansion to StarCraft II, picks up where Wings of Liberty left off, focusing on Kerrigan’s quest to reunite the Swarm and take revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. You will follow Kerrigan as she travels the galaxy, growing in strength from mission to mission (20 in total), and players will be able to customize her with powerful new abilities, as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies. Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment says that “With Heart of the Swarm, our goal has been to expand on the multiplayer action and cinematic storytelling of Wings of Liberty. Combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new leveling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels.”

Pre-sales for the standard digital and Digital Deluxe versions of Heart of the Swarm are now available. Players who would like to purchase either version and be ready to play the moment the expansion launches can do so now by visiting www.StarCraft2.com.

The Digital Deluxe version of Heart of the Swarm includes a full digital copy of the expansion along with the following in-game bonus items:

  • StarCraft II Torrasque
  • StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits and Decals
  • World of Warcraft In-Game Pet
  • Diablo III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil

While the collectors version includes all of the above plus:

  • Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray
  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD
  • Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book
  • Zerg Rush Mousepad

To learn more about StarCraft II and Heart of the Swarm, visit the official website at www.StarCraft2.com.

August 5, 2010

Starcraft II Review

The time is finally upon us, after ten long years Starcraft II is now in stores and in our hands.  Starcraft II may well be one of the most anticipated games ever in the fact that it had almost 1 million preorders and it’s the fastest selling RTS in history.   There has been a lot of criticism about Starcraft II and the removal of several key features that were in the original such LAN support, and the separating of the title into three separate games and to ice the cake charging $60 which is $10 more than your average PC admission price.  Do these things really hold back the game? 

Having played through the single player campaign I can honestly say Starcraft II is one of the best single player RTS to date.  In addition to everything you’d expect from a classic RTS like Starcraft it adds several pleasing additions to the single player game such as being able to roam aboard the Hyperion (your command ship), the ability to interact with characters within the ship and to purchase upgrades for your units.  These additions help to create a much more in depth and personal universe and also allow you to add another layer of customization into how you approach the battlefield.  The original Starcraft was about 30 missions in length and this spread across 3 races so approximately 10 missions a piece.  In Starcraft II you play across about 30 missions almost all Terran and a couple of Protoss missions for good measure.  The campaign is good for about 12 – 15 hours and there are achievements even after you’ve beaten it.  Those worried about getting skimped on the single player campaign can put their fears at rest.

Starcraft II is a beauty to behold and while the game doesn’t take advantage of DX10/11 it still looks gorgeous and a lot of attention has gone into details.  The battles are pretty and if you have ADD you will be staring at them while your base falls apart around you.  There are simple details from the armor suits to the effects of lasers bouncing off the shields of Protoss carriers that really help enhance the universe of Starcraft.  Unlike its predecessor Starcraft II does a much better job in immersing you.  While the Starcraft did have cutscenes it didn’t really do much in progressing the story.  Starcraft II’s cutscenes really do help make a story for you to follow and enjoy.

Multiplayer is just what you’d expect from Starcraft and in all honesty it’s very similar to the original in many respects.  There are some units missing from multiplayer that are in the single player campaign and while this is disappointing in some respects it definitely isn’t a deal breaker.  The addition of difficulty settings in Starcraft II is a welcome surprise as in the original you had a once size fits all approach which was ok but didn’t really help once you got down the computer tactics.  Starcraft II will have you playing with and screaming at your friends until late hours of the morning. 

To summarize I’ve had a blast playing the newest edition of the Starcraft franchise.  There are some would tell you to hold out on the game until LAN play is returned, Real ID is removed and Starcraft II is made into one title.  I’m here to say if you’re holding on because of those small problems then you an idiot.  Starcraft II is a excellent game that improves on almost every aspect of the original and then throws in a crisp, exciting and well done campaign to boot.   Having said all this, my only grip will come with the expansions.  If the expansions bear a $60 admission price I will be quite disappointed.  I suspect that they will only be about $30, add another 15 hour campaign and some new multiplayer units.

July 16, 2010

Do You Need More Vespene Gas?

Starcraft 2 releases on July 27 and kotaku.com posted the final specs on Starcraft 2. Like you I was also wondering how my machine would hold up. Well wait no longer, here they are :

Minimum System Requirements*:

PC: Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 (Latest Service Packs) with DirectX 9.0c
2.6 GHz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
128 MB PCIe NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT or ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card or better

Mac: Mac OS X 10.5.8, 10.6.2 or newer
Intel Processor
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT or ATI Radeon X1600 or better

PC/Mac: 12 GB available HD space
1 GB RAM (1.5 GB required for Windows Vista/Windows 7 users, 2 GB for Mac users)
DVD-ROM drive
Broadband Internet connection
1024X720 minimum display resolution

*Note: Due to potential programming changes, the Minimum System Requirements for this game may change over time.

Recommended Specifications:

PC: Windows Vista/Windows 7
Dual Core 2.4Ghz Processor
2 GB RAM
512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX or ATI Radeon HD 3870 or better

Mac: Intel Core 2 Duo processor
4 GB system RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 4670 or better

June 1, 2010

StarCraft II Beta Extended Until June 7th

While July 27th may feel like an enternity away there is some good news for die hard StarCraft fans that have been dreading the end of the StarCraft II beta.  Blizzard announced yesterday that it would be extending the beta for StarCraft II until June 7th. 

The game will be taken down and be made unavailable for some  time as they go into the final phase of testing.  During this downtime blizzard will be making final hardware and software tweaks.  The beta will be put back up two weeks prior to the release.  The offical statement follows below:

“We previously announced that the first phase of the StarCraft II beta test would be coming to a close in all regions on Monday, May 31. In order to prepare for the final phase of beta testing, we plan to extend the current phase in all regions until Monday, June 7. After this date, the beta test will be unavailable for several weeks while we make some hardware and software configuration changes for the final phase of the beta test and the release of the game. We plan to bring the beta test back online for a couple of weeks prior to the game’s launch to complete our testing. We’ll have more details to share about when this final phase will begin at a later date.

We’d like to thank all of our beta-test participants for your enthusiasm, dedication, and valuable feedback during the beta test, and we look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the StarCraft II beta test as the game’s July 27 launch approaches”

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