The pre-patch for StarCraft II's final expansion, Legacy of the Void, has arrived. It allows everyone - even those who don't own the game - a chance to play the Whispers of Oblivion prologue missions for free. It's also introduced some big changes to the UI of the game and the level editor. There's even some small functionality alterations for normal gameplay and a laundry list of fixed bugs. Balance hasn't been touched, as the main thrust of that will occur when the expansion itself is released on November 10th.
If you want to jump into the missions, which were previously only available to those who pre-ordered the game, they're under the LotV campaign heading, then select prologue. If you don't own the game at all, you'll need to add the SC2 starter edition to your Bnet account, then grab it through the Battle.net app. That will give you access to custom games, some simple AI skirmishes, the first few missions of the original SC2 campaign and the prologue missions.
Gameplay adjustments in the patch are as follows:
- The worker count text will now turn red if your vespene gas worker saturation is higher than recommended.
- Slight adjustments have been made to flier separation when moving in groups so that flier units do not rapidly lose their velocity when attacking while moving.
- If you issue a new attack command when Carrier Interceptors are already deployed, they will now engage the new target instead of returning back to the Carrier first.
- Possible enemy locations will now pulse on the minimap for 10 seconds at the beginning of every game.
- Pressing Alt +
creates a new control group and removes units from other control groups. This works in all team games, including Archon games.
These are some great, small changes. The Carrier change makes them more powerful when switching targets, but the unit is rarely seen outside of low-level or non-1v1 games. The rest are excellent for usability and should stop any embarassing brainfarts towards the starts of matches.
On the downside, this patch will not allow for the viewing of replays that were created prior to it. This is promised as the last time this will happen, and all 3.0 replays will be watchable on every version of the game released from now on, but sucks for those who have classics they like to look over. It's very possible Blizzard or the dedicated community will find a way around this at some stage, so don't bin the lot unless you have to.
It is possible the game will be receiving some minor balance changes before Blizzcon, as detailed in this post. Otherwise, this will be the final patch for Heart of the Swarm before the game moves on.