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It's been quite some time since the reveal of Legacy of the Void, the upcoming addition to the StarCraft franchise. At BlizzCon 2014, attendees were told that they would be given priority when Legacy of the Void beta access is handed out. Now it seems that preparation for beta is well underway.

The Daily Dot wrote an article a few days ago stating that their sources say, “Blizzard will be aiming for an end of March or early April release." While their article isn't very long, it gives a very tight estimate of when we may see the game.

Another person added: “Blizzard will be aiming for an end of March or early April release. It’s great timing for them. WCS Season 1 will be all but over and this will give players plenty of time to stream the beta and generate some excitement. As things stand the beta is pretty much ready to launch with the balance team just tweaking a few units.”

The source added that the beta will most likely be rolled out in a manner akin to Heart of The Swarm. “It will be initially closed with access to the pros, the press and people’s machines that fit a certain type of spec,” the person explained. “Then increasing waves of requested keys and giveaways before becoming an open beta.”

 

Other sites have found interesting information that supports a late March beta release. JudgeHype has discovered new images in the Battle.net application, ones that appear to be background images for Legacy of the Void's launcher.

 

Furthermore, Blizzard announced that the StarCraft II PTR will be taken down on March 5th before being reactivated the following week. This could be in preparation for starting up the Legacy of the Void beta servers.

We'll be taking down the PTR on the morning of Thursday, March 5 and potentially bringing it back online the following week. However, due to our current development timeline, there is a chance that we will not bring the PTR back online and will simply release the build to our live servers a few weeks later.

For those Arcade developers who have been hard at work with the new Warcraft III assets, make sure to save your projects before Thursday.

Thank you!

 

Any more news about the beta will be covered on our site, so keep an eye out.

Sources:
The Daily Dot - Legacy of the Void beta 'to arrive end of March, early April'
JudgeHype - Premières traces de Legacy of the Void dans l'application Battle.net
Battle.net - PTR Coming Down March 5

A lengthy explanation of the StarCraft II ladder, where it currently stands, and where it's expected to go has been posted.

Adjust league distribution
As mentioned, we’ve identified that the current league distribution percentages aren’t in line with our target percentages. The upcoming distribution changes should allow many more players to be in the correct league, and for each league to have the correct percentage of players based on the figures we announced for Heart of the Swarm. Once this adjustment is made, some players will see a change in their current league placement.

 

For the full post, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - StarCraft II Ladder Update: March 2, 2015

Blizzard has revealed plans to reward outstanding members of the community with a unique portrait. While details on who will receive this portrait is currently being contemplated, the prospect of having recognition for community contributions is reassuring to those that have helped make great strides in StarCraft II.

The portrait, called the StarCraft II “Community Commander” portrait, looks like this:

 

For the full post explaining the StarCraft II “Community Commander” portrait, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - Community Commander Portrait

A new multiplayer development update for Legacy of the Void has been released, asking for feedback on currently proposed changes to units new and old

Scan range experimentation

We've also seen some community feedback about changes that can be made to the scan range to increase the responsiveness of units in combat. We’ve made some adjustments internally and we’re initially liking how it plays out. This is something we’re planning on testing further in the beta.

 

Thor

  • The Thor self-repair ability has been removed.

The Thor self-repair ability isn’t really working. As we’ve pointed out before, we don’t like that fact that there’s no strategic decision outside of combat. If a Thor is damaged, players will always use the self-repair ability if they’re not in combat. Our current plans are to remove this ability for the start of beta and see how the Thor works without the added complexity of a different mode or an active ability.

 

Immortal

  • Barrier is no longer an upgrade
  • Damage absorbed has been reduced to 100 down from 200.

Immortal Barrier ability being an upgrade isn’t working out well for us, so we went back to no upgrade and reduced the damage absorbed. It was too buried in tech, and in order to use Immortals with max efficiency, you had to have the additional building. So we’re trying to just balance the unit without the ability being an upgrade.

 

Roach

  • Roach burrow move now works when Burrow is researched and no longer requires an upgrade.

This ability allows for some cool micro that we’d like to see more of in Void, so we made it a bit more accessible for now. We’re also considering increasing the movement speed of Roaches while burrowed.

 

To read the full post, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update: February 12, 2015

The StarCraft II Game Guide has been updated, adding in lore entries for the Phoenix, the Oracle, the Void Ray, and the Colossus.

Source:
Battle.net - Death from Above: Protoss

Thousands of new assets have been made available on the StarCraft II PTR. These new assets are from Warcraft III, but seem to have been updated to match the quality of StarCraft II assets.

 

Blizzard is also hosting a small contest involving memories of Warcraft III:

What are some of your favorite moments in Warcraft’s history? Whether it’s from the first opening of the dark portal in Warcraft: Orcs and Humans to Grommash leading the Iron Horde in Warlords of Draenor, we want to see it recreated in the StarCraft II editor. We’d love to see anything from screenshots of epic battles, single-player missions recreated from your favorite game, mini-games using the new assets or anything in-between. However you want to celebrate, we want to see it. Send us a link to your creations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tweet to us @BlizzardArcade.

 

Remember, these assets are only available on the PTR (for now). Be sure to log into the map editor on the StarCraft II PTR if you want to check out these updated Warcraft character models.

Source:
Battle.net -  Warcraft III Assets Now Available on the PTR

Another new Call to Action is here, testing some changes to Zerg.

Balance Test Map Changes

Balance Test Map:Deadwing LE (2.1.8 Balance v1.0)”

 

Zerg

  • Swarm Host
    • Cost modified from 200 Minerals and 100 Vespene to 100 Minerals and 200 Vespene
    • Supply cost increased from 3 to 4
    • Movement speed increased from 2.25 to 2.95
    • Swarm Hosts now require the Burrow research in order to burrow
    • Swarm Hosts no longer collide with Locusts
  • Spawn Locusts – This ability has been reworked
    • Auto-cast removed, Spawn Locusts must now be manually cast.
    • Spawn Locusts cooldown increased from 25 seconds to 60 seconds
    • Casting Spawn Locusts no longer requires a Swarm Host to be burrowed
  • Locust
    • Weapon speed increased from .8 to .6
    • Locust duration increased from 15 seconds (+10 seconds with Enduring Locusts) to 30 seconds
  • Infestation Pit
    • Enduring Locusts – This upgrade has been removed
    • New upgrade: Flying Locusts - Allows Locusts spawned by Swarm Hosts to fly. Flying Locusts can use Swoopto land and attack
      • Requires Lair
      • Cost is 200 Minerals, 200 Vespene, 160 seconds
      • Allows Locusts spawned by Swarm Hosts to fly. Flying Locusts can use Swoop to land and attack
      • Swoop: Orders the Locust to land at the targeted location, allowing it to attack

 

Terran

  • Raven
    • Point Defense Drone duration decreased from 180 seconds to 20 seconds

 

There is also a small tutorial on how to load extensions in the full post. To see the reasoning behind the changes, see this post.

Source:
Battle.net - Call to Action: January 29 Balance Testing

The StarCraft II Game Guide has been updated, adding in lore entries for the Ultralisk, the Viper, and the Brood Lord.

Source:
Battle.net - The Crème de la Zerg

There has been an update to the StarCraft II game guide which includes additional information about the Hellbat, the Hellion, the Ghost, the Thor, and the Battlecruiser.

Source:
Battle.net - You're Going in with the Big Guns

A new multiplayer development update for Legacy of the Void is out. This one is quite lengthy and covers a lot of proposed changes in detail:

Resource changes
First, we’d like to give an update on the resource changes we showed at Blizzcon. In that build, resources were reduced to 70% of what they currently are in Heart of the Swarm. From our playtesting, we really liked that this set-up encouraged players to move out more and take expansions more aggressively which led to action packed games. One element we were still concerned about was the potential diminished importance of harassment since workers were being transferred much earlier. Since Blizzcon, we’ve looked at changes that keep the positive aspect of encouraging players to take more bases, while still providing incentives to harass bases in various locations. The change we are currently testing is as follows:
  • Half of the mineral patches have 1500 (same as HotS), and the other half has 750.
  • Gas is at 75% of total.

 

Worker count change
We’ve heard a lot of thoughts and suggestions on different starting worker counts for Legacy of the Void, so we’ve tested alternate starting counts internally. Currently, we feel 12 is the correct number because that number feels like the point right before decisions start diverging. However, we feel that since this is a simple change from a development standpoint, we could explore alternate worker counts in the beta without any issue. Looking at our data, we believe this is the correct starting worker count, but it’s still something we are willing to test further in beta.

 

Lurker siege range upgrade no longer has a Hive requirement
The Lurker is still working out well for us, but we felt the siege range upgrade comes in a bit too late. Seige range will still be at a very late Teir 2 tech level because it’s still gated by not only the Lurker Den, but also an upgrade on top of that. This isn’t set in stone, but we currently believe this is a better place for it.

 

Additional new Protoss unit
We haven’t finalized design on a new Protoss unit, but it’s something we’re heavily focused on these days. We have general concepts and ideas we’re trying, but haven’t nailed down something solid yet. Generally speaking, we’re experimenting with allowing Protoss to play a more aggressive containment game in the early game by utilizing a new unit. We feel this will give some more variety to Protoss openings, since Protoss generally tends to play defensively. If you have good ideas or feedback in this area, it would be appreciated.

 

To see the full post, click here. There are explanations for each race and key development issues for those races.

Source:
Battle.net - Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update: December 17, 2014

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