Starcraft II News | PCGamesN

Starcraft II News | PCGamesN

Why Starcraft 2 doesn't get balanced like a MOBA

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Why Starcraft 2 doesn't get balanced like a MOBA

In recent years, the term ‘rebalancing’ has become synonymous with the act of changing the stats of various elements in MOBAs to completely shake up the game. These big metagame changes excite players, and is often considered a big event. It’s an approach Blizzard has never taken with Starcraft II, instead making the same changes over and over in an attempt to strive for true balance perfection.  

But why doesn’t Blizzard just screw around with stats to bring an entirely new angle to Starcraft? It’s because Starcraft’s plan is all about the long-run, and not short little seasons. 

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Why is Blizzard releasing a beta of Starcraft II's new free campaign?

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Why is Blizzard releasing a beta of Starcraft II's new free campaign?

For both of Starcraft II’s main releases - Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm - Blizzard has released beta versions of the multiplayer content to test the delicate balance of their units and any new powers. With the upcoming Protoss expansion Legacy of the Void, not only will players see a multiplayer beta, but for the first time Blizzard will be entering solo campaign missions into beta test environments. 

A three-mission mini-campaign starring Protoss legend Zerathul will be released early for Legacy of the Void pre-orderers. But why has Blizzard chosen to release solo content in beta? 

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Red Bull Battle Grounds will debut Starcraft II Archon Mode tournament

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Red Bull Battle Grounds will debut Starcraft II Archon Mode tournament

Redbull are hosting the first professional Starcraft II tournament to use the brand new Archon Mode - which will be available with the Legacy of the Void expansion - at the Red Bull Battle Grounds. The unique mode pits two teams of two players against each other, both being able to share control of their single base.

The first qualifier for the grand final is happening tonight, and we've got the stream and schedule below so you don't miss a thing.

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StarCraft II's new Liberator unit to diversify Terran strategy for Legacy of the Void

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StarCraft II's new Liberator unit to diversify Terran strategy for Legacy of the Void

There's a new Terran ship coming to StarCraft II named the Liberator, which sounds like it might be for breaking prisoners out of tall towers, but really is for shooting people. It deals airborne splash damage, which sounds fun in a super-soaker sort of way - but again, really about murdering.

If you're into killing enemy units, however, you could do worse than climb the Terran tech tree to this high-cost, high-damage, hovering menace in the Legacy of the Void beta.

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void will probably bring an end to Blizzard Time

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void will probably bring an end to Blizzard Time

While Valve Time is an extremely well-known phenomenon, Blizzard Time is familiar to fewer - and yet affects just as many. The StarCraft II in-game clock records how long games go on, and was designed to move in real-time. But since most games are played at ‘Faster’ speed, StarCraft players tend to live at a quicker rate than the rest of us, like dogs or insects.

Blizzard are tentatively planning to bring the faithful of one of the best strategy games on PC back to real-time with their impending release, Legacy of the Void.

“We’d like to start thinking about committing to making this change," wrote the developers.

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Legacy of the Void balance patch impending, notes include musings about un-announced new Terran unit

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Legacy of the Void balance patch impending, notes include musings about un-announced new Terran unit

Legacy of the Void is getting a major balance patch and some of its signature new units are getting some sizeable nerfs, while Blizzard desperately try to make the new-school Swarm Host more popular.

But one of the more interesting parts of the patch notes doesn’t concern their balance changes at all, but the new Terran unit that has yet to be revealed.

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It's the Starcraft II WCS finals today; watch the quarterfinals underway right now

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It's the Starcraft II WCS finals today; watch the quarterfinals underway right now

It’s finals day for the Starcraft II World Championship today. What does that mean exactly, you ask? Well, the best eight Starcraft II players from all over the world are currently duking it out as they vy over a hefty chunk of prize money, fame and points - lovely points.

With the finals being held in France, it means that the ultimate event is already underway, and we’ve got the stream embedded below.

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void beta is now live, start your Protoss crusade now

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void beta is now live, start your Protoss crusade now

Blizzard have announced that the beta for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is now live, and some lucky players already have access. 

The beta opens up the multiplayer of Legacy of the Void, along with all the new units and abilities that the full game will provide, as well as new gameplay changes. If you’re signed up to beta test Blizzard games, now may be your chance to see where the future of StarCraft II is. 

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NetEase and Blizzard launch new StarCraft 2 league, Gold Series Pro League, to replace WCS Challenger

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NetEase and Blizzard launch new StarCraft 2 league, Gold Series Pro League, to replace WCS Challenger

For a dead game, StarCraft 2 leagues sure are multiplying in Asia. Chinese internet conglomerate NetEase just announced that they will be operating their own WCS-style tournament, the Gold Series Pro League (GPL) later this year as a part of the WCS system. This will give Chinese players a high-profile domestic tournament of their own that will seed into WCS.

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Blizzard slow down Starcraft II combat pace as an experiment; more testing before "final call"

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Blizzard slow down Starcraft II combat pace as an experiment; more testing before "final call"

In a recent Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void dev update, Blizzard have revealed an astionishing experiment that could change Starcraft II forever. Blizzard are toying with the idea of slowing down the combat of Starcraft II, by decreasing the attack speed of all units by 40%.

"Is this a positive change that makes games better?" asked game balance designer David Kim. "We're just not sure of this yet."

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More allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting activity in pro StarCraft

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More allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting activity in pro StarCraft

A couple weeks ago, betting site Pinnacle Sports voided all bets on a Proleague match based on what they deemed suspicious betting patterns that made them think some bettors had some foreknowledge of the match’s results. Now, over this past weekend, Axiom eSports manager Olivia Wong vented on Twitter that match-fixing has become endemic in the Korean StarCraft 2 scene.

She implicated several tournaments in her comments, and suggested that some pro players were even working with bettors to fix match-results.

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Accusations of StarCraft match-fixing against progamer San from betting site Pinnacle

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Accusations of StarCraft match-fixing against progamer San from betting site Pinnacle

A sports betting site has thrown some serious match-fixing allegations at Korean progamer Kang "San" Cho Won in the wake of his defeat in Proleague early on Tuesday. Claiming that “the bet placement pattern clearly indicates that the match was not played on a fair basis," Pinnacle Sports voided all bets.

It’s an ugly accusation for a Korean StarCraft community that is finally on the rebound, and an unwanted reminder of the darkest chapter in the sport’s history.

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Legacy of the Void: how Blizzard are building a beta StarCraft II with "meaningful" upgrades

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Legacy of the Void: how Blizzard are building a beta StarCraft II with "meaningful" upgrades

Blizzard have already begun the impossible balancing act of Legacy of the Void, the third part of the StarCraft II trilogy first foretold seven years ago. And they’ll start tweaking in earnest once the new game lands in beta next year. They’re aiming for “more meaningful" upgrades in one of the best strategy games on PC, and planning far-reaching changes to resources and worker counts.

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The 2015 WCS StarCraft 2 season begins, but is it too much of a good thing?

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The 2015 WCS StarCraft 2 season begins, but is it too much of a good thing?

Following eSports sometimes feels like going to Hell’s Ironic Punishment Division, where you’re force-fed your favorite things until you go mad. “You like eSports, Homer? Have all the eSports in the world!" This weekend, with three major StarCraft tournaments concluding on the same day, is one of those times.

But eSports scheduling clashes are nothing new. What’s surprising this time around is that these tournaments all have championship implications for 2015. Less than a month after StarCraft crowned its world champion, the 2015 campaign has already begun.

I’m not sure I like it.

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Why pro StarCraft 2 has rejected the classic maps

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Why pro StarCraft 2 has rejected the classic maps

If you tune into any StarCraft tournament this month or next, you’ll note that everyone is playing on the same map pool we’ve had since midsummer. In fact, just last week, the DreamHack Open Twitter account reassured viewers that DreamHack winter would be decided using the Season 3 WCS map pool.

What’s striking about all this is that every single tournament organizer has rejected Blizzard’s Season 4 ladder map pool, which was compiled via fan vote from a list of StarCraft 2’s oldest and best-known competitive maps. While fans might wax nostalgic about the days of Daybreak and Ohana, the pro scene seems to be saying that the past is best left to memory.

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David Kim and the impossible balancing act of StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void

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David Kim and the impossible balancing act of StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void

Blizzard designer David Kim is “the balance guy" for StarCraft 2. His name is at once a curse and an incantation, the Godot of StarCraft. If something is broken — and something always is — it is Kim’s fault. But Kim will fix it. Kim will make it worse.

It’s easy to parody Kim. His role is one of inherent conservatism. He’s constantly dealing with the physics of avalanches. His goal is to try and ensure that each race can beat every other race roughly 50% of the time, all other things being equal. But then he must also look at how those games are being won and lost, and ask whether StarCraft remains an entertaining and rewarding game to play and watch.

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