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General

  • The first iteration of Automated Tournaments has been added.
    • This feature can be accessed by clicking on ‘Tournaments’ on the home screen.
    • Read our blog to learn more.
  • Showing possible enemy placements on a map has been increased to 25 seconds.

Protoss

  • Removed Chrono Boost.
  • Warp Gate research time reduced to 140 from 160.
  • Nexus provides 11 supply up from 10.
  • Zealot
    • Charge now deals 30 damage on hit.
    • Charge speed buff reduced to 2.75, down from 2.95.
  • Warp Gate
    • Warping in units at a Pylon increased to 16 seconds, up from 5.
    • Warping in units at a Pylon that is near a Warp Gate or a Nexus will take 2 seconds.
    • Warp Prism
      • Warping in units takes 2 seconds, down from 5.
  • Disruptor
    • Purification Nova removed.
    • New ability: The disruptor becomes immobile and shoots out a ball of energy that can be controlled and detonates after a few seconds, dealing 145 damage and 55 damage to shields.
    • If the Disruptor is destroyed before the energy ball detonates, it will fail to explode.
    • Build time reduced to 50 seconds from 60.

Terran

  • Calldown: MULE has been removed.
  • Cyclone
    • Lock On damage reduced to 300 over 20 sec.
    • Can use Lock ON against air units; deals 120 damage over 20 sec.
    • New Upgrade: Increases Lock On damage to 600 over 20 sec against ground units and 360 over 20 sec for air units.
  • Medivac
    • Removed faster unload upgrade.
    • New upgrade increases Ignite Afterburners by 50%.

Zerg

  • Spawn Larva
    • Spawns 2 larva, down from 4.
    • Set to autocast by default.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that caused clicking sounds when launching StarCraft II for Windows 10 users.

 

Another balance update preview is out, going over changes to macro mechanics, the Cyclone, the Zealot, and more.

Macro mechanics changes:

  • Spawn Larva is reduced to 2 per injection, and set to autocast by default
  • M.U.L.E. is removed
  • Chrono Boost is removed
  • Warpgate research time reduced to 140, from 160
  • Disruptor build reduced to 50, from 60
  • Added one additional supply to Nexus

Cyclone

  • Anti-air attack reinstated, but damage is reduced
  • Damage against ground units is reduced
  • Removed current upgrades and replaced with one which greatly increases Lock On damage against both air and ground units

Zealot Charge upgrade

  • Speed bonus is reset to Heart of the Swarm levels
  • Charge deals 30 damage on hit

Warpgate

  • Warping in at Pylons takes 16 seconds
  • Pylon power is buffed when touching a Nexus or a Warpgate
    • Warping in takes 2 seconds in this case
    • Warping in takes 2 seconds from Warp Prisms

Rapid Deployment Medivac upgrade removed

  • New upgrade added: High Capacity Fuel Tanks - Increases the speed boost duration of Ignite Afterburners by 50%

Disruptor Redesign:

  • Disruptors now shoot out a ball of energy that can be manually controlled.
  • This energy ball blows up after a few seconds, dealing high damage.
  • Disruptor invulnerability removed. Energy balls are invulnerable.
  • If the Disruptor is killed, the energy ball fizzles dealing no damage.

Enemy Spawn location display increased from 10 seconds to 25 seconds

 

The explanations for these changes can be found on the official post.

Source:
Battle.net - Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview - August 20

In a lengthy post, Blizzard has announced that "Automated Tournaments" will be coming to the Legacy of the Void beta. These automated tournaments will be a way for people to compete without the managing, organizing, and communication normally required to hold a tournament.

Once the tournament begins , you will receive a notifcation (even while in-game) that will take you to prepare for your first match. You will get a chance to veto up to three maps of your choice each round, allowing you to cater your map choices to the opponent you’re playing next. Your opponent will do the same, not knowing your veto choices. You’ll be able to see your opponent’s win record on each map to help with your veto decisions.

 

Signing up to an automated tournament is done in the game client. 3-round tournaments are held Mondays to Thursdays, and 6-round tournaments are held Fridays to Sundays. The rules for each of these are different, as seen below:

There are two tournament formats:
  • 3-Round Tournaments
    • Schedule: Monday–Thursday
    • Duration: Approximately 60–90 minutes
    • Format: Single-elimination bracket
  • 6-Round Tournaments
    • Schedule: Friday–Sunday
    • Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours
    • Format: Group Stage -> Single-elimination bracket

 

More information on how to sign up to tournaments can be found on this page. Also on that page are Blizzard's plans to add onto the automated tournament system, and what's to come in the future.

Source:
Battle.net - Automated Tournaments Coming to Beta

Legacy of the Void, the next expansion for StarCraft II, is now available for prepurchase. The expansion, which includes new units for all the races, new multiplayer features, and a new singleplayer campaign, costs $39.99 USD for the standard edition. The digital deluxe edition, which costs $59.99 USD, includes in addition: new portraits and Protoss unit skin for StarCraft II, a pet for World of Warcraft, a card back for Hearthstone, transmogs for Diablo III, and a Voidseeker mount for Heroes of the Storm.

The shop page for the game does not state a specific release date for the game, though it does say "Expected Game Release Winter 2015/2016*" and "*Game is due for release before March 20, 2016.", which means that we can expect the game by late March 2016 at the latest. There is also confirmation of an epilogue past the end of the singleplayer campaign which shows the various races and what happens to them.

After you play through the Prologue and the Protoss single-player campaign, wrap up the StarCraft II trilogy storyline by finding out what happens to each race in the Epilogue.


For the Blizzard store page for Legacy of the Void, click here. Also, for the news post of the start of prepurchases, which has an FAQ and some announcements, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - Legacy of the Void™ Now Available for Pre-Purchase
Battle.net - Legacy of the Void™ Shop Page

Archon Mode

  • You can now use the Alt plus control group number or Alt, Shift, and control group number to ‘steal’ units from your allies’ control.
  • When the party leader joins the queue for Archon mode, all members of the party will be shown the selected race.

Chat

  • Made several changes to improve the in-game chat system.
  • Added a Chat Manager to help manage multiple channels.
  • Added channel members list.
  • You can now increase the chat window size.

General

  • Ranked ladder play is now available.
  • The following gameplay options are being removed from the menu and will permanently be active.
    • Display World Object Tooltips
    • Display Game Tooltips.
    • Display Hotkeys on Command Card.
    • Enable Starting Worker Rally.
    • Game Timer.
  • New Tab: Observer and Replay Options.
  • ‘Show Build Grid’ is now on by default.
  • ‘Voice’ tab renamed to ‘Voice Chat.’

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where a Cyclone’s Lock On ability would be stuck in the ‘On’ state.
  • Researching Targeting Optics should no longer prevent the Cyclone from using the Lock On ability on flying units.
  • The number of current Heroes of the Storm games will no longer appear in chat.
  • Fixed an issue where Reaper’s KD8 charge would reverse Adept’s Psionic Transfer ability.
  • The Reaper’s KD8 charge will no longer break the automatic harvest cycle of workers.
  • The Reaper’s KD8 charge should no longer interfere with a unit’s ability to use shift-queued commands.
  • Graviton Beam will no longer instantly cause a Ravager or Lurker to finish morphing.
  • Terran A.I. should once again research Vehicle Weapon upgrades.
  • (2) Dash and Terminal – All gold bases should now have the correct number of full mineral patches.
  • (2) Bridgehead LE – All bases should have 5 full mineral patches.
  • Build Bypass Armor Drone and Research Rapid Deployment now have hotkeys.
  • Bypass Armor Drone will now reacquire a target that has left and reentered its range.
  • Cyclone now receives the correct amount of armor from armor upgrades.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Bypass Armor Drone to not display it’s visual on a Stalker that used blink.
  • The Immortal’s Barrier should now properly block the Disruptor’s Purification Nova.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented a party leader from inviting a player who recently left their party.
  • Motherships should no longer be able to cast Photon Overcharge on Pylons.
  • [MAC] Fixed a crash when attempting to download the latest patch.

Source:
Battle.net - Legacy of the Void Beta Patch 2.5.3

 

Reminiscent of the original StarCraft Precursor Campaign and the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Protoss mini-campaign, Blizzard has announced a three-mission prologue campaign, titled Whispers of Oblivion, that will bridge the gap between Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void. The announcement was made by Dustin Browder, StarCraft II's Game Director, and Chris Sigaty, StarCraft II's Executive Producer, during the inaugural E3 PC Gaming Show. The three-mission series will follow, the Dark Templar Prelate turned mystic, Zeratul's quest to unravel the final piece of the Xel'Naga prophecy. Since the Legacy of the Void campaign will focus on Artanis, the Protoss Hierarch, this addition to the canon will provide players with another opportunity to experience more of the StarCraft mythos from another perspective.

During the reveal, Dustin Browder also announced that Whispers of the Void would be released for free to all players regardless of whether they have purchased any of the previous StarCraft games. However, to receive early access, players will need to pre-order Legacy of the Void.

 

 

What is Whispers of Oblivion?

Whispers of Oblivion is a special three-mission prologue series that has been created to bridge the storyline between Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void.

What can we expect from these missions?

In Whispers of Oblivion, players will join Zeratul for the first time since Wings of Liberty to unravel the final piece of the Xel’naga prophecy.

How can I play these new campaign missions?

We will be making Whispers of Oblivion available to all players before the game’s release, but prior to that, we will be providing early access to the Prologue missions with pre-purchase of the game. Look for more details sometime in July.

 

You can also watch the reveal here.

The announcement of Whispers of Oblivion is an unexpected and exciting development. As the original StarCraft arcs are wrapped up in Legacy of the Void, it is fantastic that more single-player content will be provided than players originally anticipated. If this series proves to be a success, perhaps it lays the foundation for Blizzard to consider producing mini-campaigns as paid DLCs. The creation of mini-campaigns would provide several benefits to the StarCraft community. They would provide high-quality first-party content regularly into the game's ecosystem, provide a mechanism to explore new lore on a continuous basis, and provide perpetual momentum for the StarCraft product as a whole.

As we get closer to the release of this mini-series and Legacy of the Void, we'll continue to provide coverage of the conclusion to the story that began almost seventeen years ago.

Sources:
Battle.net - Whispers of Oblivion - Prologue to Legacy of the Void
E3 2015 - PC Gaming Show - StarCraft II

David Kim has made a forum post to talk about some proposed changes to Zerg in Heart of the Swarm. The post talks mainly about Roaches and Swarm Hosts, and how to make both units viable in play.

Analyzing the effects of the last Swarm Host patch is one of our top priorities for Heart of the Swarm right now, so we wanted to share some more thoughts in this area to get more input from you.

Currently we’re not seeing much new Swarm Host usage. We see two potential reasons for this: The Swarm Host isn’t effective enough in its current state or players haven’t figured out the best use cases with them yet. The answer is probably a mix of both factors, and we’re hoping to see more Zerg games in all matchups in order to drill down on the correct course of action here.

 

For the full post, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - HotS Balance Thoughts - April 17

There's a preview out for the first Legacy of the Void balance update. It explains some of the changes that are coming in, and what parts of the game they will affect.

Lurker starts off with 9 range, and upgrade is removed. Lurker attack is also more responsive after burrowing.
The Lurker feels buried at the moment, especially in ZvZ vs. Roaches where we’d really love to see more Lurker play. Against other races the steps needed to start using Lurkers also feels like too much. Hydralisk Den has to be upgraded to the Lurker Den, which also competes with the Hydralisk upgrade, Lurkers then need to be morphed and also research the upgrade before Lurkers are useful. We’d like to try out this change in order to see what happens when Lurker timing is sped up.

 

For the full post, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview

A new patch is out for the Legacy of the Void beta, and the full patch notes are viewable below.

We've patched a number of issues for the Legacy of the Void beta. Find a full list of them in the patch notes below:

  • Swapping players after using the “Take Command” feature should no longer result in a Victory/Defeat screen.
  • Canceling a Custom Game search shortly after its initiation should no longer cause the game to become unresponsive.
  • The cooldown for Corrosive Bile now correctly counts down while a Ravager is burrowed.
  • Siege Tanks can now fit between the top of the ramp and a Barracks on Coda LE and Cactus Valley LE.
  • Fixed a base location on Cactus Valley LE that did not allow for optimal base placement.
  • Fixed an issue on Coda LE that caused a worker to sometimes not mine at the beginning of a match.
  • Cloaked units will properly display a shimmer effect on Low graphic settings.
  • Move speed tooltips for units that are at speeds other than ‘Normal’ are now displayed correctly.
  • The Corruptor’s Caustic Spray will now properly go on cooldown if spell is interrupted due to the building moving out of range.
  • You should no longer receive an error message when switching languages.
  • Fixed an issue where in-game character names were not being displayed properly.

 

Source:
Battle.net - Legacy of the Void Beta Patch 2.5.1

The StarCraft II Game Guide has been updated, adding in lore entries for the High Templar, the Dark Templar, and the Archon.

Source:
Battle.net - A Time for Templars: Protoss

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