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A substantial Wings of Liberty patch for Starcraft 2, which will bring the game up to version 2.0.4, is “on the horizon” according to a post on the game’s official forum. The patch will revamp the menu screens, as well as Clans and Groups, and add new replay features.

Blizzard have warned their community that it’s not a small patch, either, and took the opportunity to remind players that it’s worth leaving the the StarCraft 2 launcher running in the background to pre-load the patch, since the launcher has background downloading enabled.

A post on the Team Liquid forums suggested the patch is around 6Gb in size but, beyond their brief announcement, Blizzard have not detailed what it will contain. No official date has been given for when the patch will be live, but Blizzard will post a more comprehensive update on what it includes sometime “later this week.” They outlined many of their planned changes to StarCraft 2’s interface last week, highlighting how it will simply navigation and provide a more consistent design.

The new Clans and Groups functionality is a big part of Blizzard’s strategy with Heart of the Swarm. The developer wants players to socialise and play together in a way that suits them, taking the game as seriously as they want to.

The more committed players are able to form clans and and enjoy more competitive features, while those who use the groups features will find things a little more casual: For example, the  BarCraft group is simply for players who want to keep in touch with friends they’ve made at BarCraft events, while Strategy and Coaching for players who want to share tips and tactics. Though players can only join one clan, they’re free to join multiple groups. It’s Blizzard’s intention that all these features be available to both players of Heart of the Swarm and Wings of Liberty.

Although the developer hasn’t elaborated on exactly what the new replay feature is, in our interview with Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime, the company CEO explained a forthcoming “resume from replay” function. This will allow players to continue with any games that have been interrupted, whether through a technical fault or a disconnection, and effectively pick up where they left off. It also “has some really cool other side benefits, Morhaime explained, “which is as a training tool it's very interesting. You can set up scenarios for yourself - if you want to go back and replay a particular match and try to see if from this particular situation, how are you able to play against the computer from this particular point.”

We’ll have more information on the patch as soon as it’s released.

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