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Blizzard is looking for nominations for the StarCraft II Community Choice Awards, and is asking everyone to head over to Reddit to upvote nominees for categories such as 2013 Game of the Year, 2013 Global StarCraft II Player of the Year, and WCS Korea Player of the Year. To find the Reddit posts for each of the categories, head over here, and promote your favorite nominees!

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Battle.net - Nominations for the 2013 StarCraft II Community Choice Awards

The upcoming StarCraft II patch, patch 2.1, is active on the Public Test Realm. The features included in this patch are: extension mods, clan and group additions, the classic StarCraft soundtrack, and the afk lobby host kicker. To see the full explanation of each feature, click here.

You can access the Public Test Realm via the Battle.net Desktop App. In the app, you can select StarCraft II and change the region to "PTR: Heart of the Swarm", after which there will be small installation. After the install is complete, you can start up StarCraft II and log in to the Public Test Realm. To change back to the current version of StarCraft II, simply change the region back to what you had originally in the Desktop App.

To give feedback, visit the PTR Discussion forum.

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Battle.net - Public Test Realm: Operational

With BlizzCon having concluded, and the WCS in its off-season, Blizzard has made a balance update to Heart of the Swarm. Below are the changes to Heart of the Swarm multiplayer:

Protoss
Oracle
    Movement speed increased from 3.375 to 4.
    Acceleration increased from 2 to 3.
    Units that burrow or cloak while under the effects of Revelation will once again be revealed after unburrowing or uncloaking.

Terran
Armory
    Vehicle and Ship Weapon upgrades have been combined.
Siege Tank
    Siege Mode attack period decreased from 3.0 to 2.8.
Widow Mine
    Sentinel Missiles now deal reduced damage to units caught within its splash radius based on their distance from the target:
        40 damage within 1.25 radius.
        20 damage from 1.25 to 1.5.
        10 damage from 1.5 to 1.75.

Zerg
Roach Warren
    The Tunneling Claws upgrade now increases burrowed Roach movement speed from 1.41 to 2.

 

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Battle.net - Heart of the Swarm Balance Update: November 11, 2013

Season 6 is just around the corner, and Blizzard has shown us a peek at which maps will be added to the map pool, and which ones will be removed.

For 1v1, the maps removed are Akilon Wastes and Whirlwind LE. The new maps are called Star Station TE and Alterzim Stronghold TE. Images of Star Station TW and Alterzim Stronghold can be seen below (click to magnify):

 

 

And so, the complete season 6 1v1 map pool is this:

Complete Season 6 1v1 Map Pool
Alterzim Stronghold TE
Bel’Shir Vestige LE
Derelict Watcher TE
Frost LE
Polar Night LE
Star Station TE
Yeonsu LE

 

For the full post including map pools for 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4, click here.

Source:
Battle.net - New Maps for 2013 Ladder Season 6

In preparation for the upcoming patch 2.1, Blizzard is planning to open up the Public Test Realm to allow players to test all the changes and improvements.

Soon after BlizzCon ends, anyone with the Battle.net Desktop App and StarCraft II will receive access into the Public Test Realm. Once on the PTR, players will be able to see all the changes that will come with patch 2.1 and be able to send feedback through the Open Beta forum. More information on how to access and use the PTR will come after BlizzCon, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Battle.net - Public Test Realm Access is Coming Soon

The balance test map for the recently discussed changes has been released on Battle.net. The name of the map is "Bel’Shir Vestige LE (2.0.11 Balance v1.0)" and can be found on the Custom Games list of StarCraft II. The balance changes in this map are as follows:

Protoss
    Oracle
        Movement speed increased from 3.375 to 4.0
        Acceleration increased from 2 to 3
        Revelation casting radius increased from 9 to 10

Terran
    Armory
        Vehicle and Ship Weapon upgrades have been combined
    Siege Tank
        Siege Mode attack period decreased from 3.0 to 2.7
    Widow Mine
        Sentinel Missiles splash radius decreased from 1.75 to 1.25

Zerg
    Roach Warren
        The Tunneling Claws upgrade now increases burrowed Roach movement speed from 1.41 to 2.25.

 

For the reasoning behind these changes, check out this thread.

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Battle.net - Call to Action: October 2 Balance Testing

Blizzard has shared some information regarding a possible patch following the WCS Finals. There are six changes in total, affecting all three races, and these changes are going to be included in a test map for player feedback before pushing out a real patch. The initial proposed changes were as follows:

o Mech ground and air attack upgrades combined

o Widow mine splash radius decreased from 1.75 to 1.1

o Siege tank attack period decreased from 3 to 2.7

o Oracle cost decreased from 150/150 to 150/100

o Dark Templar movement speed increased from 2.813 to 3.375

o Roach speed upgrade also increases the burrowed roach movement speed from 1.41 to 2.25

 

But after some player feedback, the changes were altered slightly:

o Terran Mech ground and air attack upgrades combined

o Widow Mine splash radius decreased from 1.75 to 1.25

o Siege Tank attack period decreased from 3 to 2.7

o Roach speed upgrade also increases the burrowed roach movement speed from 1.41 to 2.25

o Oracle
- Speed increased from 3.375 to 4
- Acceleration increased from 2 to 3
- Revelation range increased from 9 to 10

 

The test map which includes these changes will be out shortly. Meanwhile, check out the reasoning behind these changes here and here.

Source:
Battle.net - Considering Balance Changes for a Test Map
Battle.net - Balance Test Map Soon

September has rolled in again, which means the beginning of school, the fall season, and a StarCraft II back-to-school event!

To celebrate the return of school, Blizzard is giving a 50% discount on purchases of Wings of Liberty, and 25% discounts on purchases of Heart of the Swarm. Not only that, but from September 23 to 30, players can obtain a new Feat of Strength, "You Got Schooled", which unlocks three new portraits for StarCraft II.

 

The Feat of Strength can be achieved by winning five games of Arcade, Custom, Ranked, Training, Unranked, or Versus A.I. online game modes in any combination or order. This, coupled with the fact that XP gain has been doubled until September 30, is a great reason to hop on StarCraft II this week and play your heart out.

If you want to play with friends that don't have full versions of StarCraft II, good news: up to September 30, all three races are unlocked and playable by StarCraft II: Starter Edition players. It's a great time to introduce friends to the game and get them into the StarCraft community.

Remember, all of these events are only active until September 30, so don't delay in getting your back to school portraits!

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Battle.net - Hit the Books with StarCraft II Savings and Rewards

StarCraft: Subjection, a fully-voiced, eight-part singleplayer campaign for StarCraft II which was released a few months ago, is on the most recent Arcade Highlight!

 

 The Arcade Highlight includes an interview with the creator of the campaign, Gradius, and the process it took to create the entire series:

Traysent: How long did it take to complete Subjection? How many people worked on the campaign and what roles did they have?

Gradius: Subjection took roughly three years to complete, working on and off.
Subjection was largely a one-man operation, but the contributions of talented voice actors and artists were invaluable. The credits are available on the campaign's main page: http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/starcraft-subjection/

 

The campaign has four difficulty levels, is fully voice-acted, and is daunting in scale and quality. You can find it on StarCraft II by searching "Subjection" on North American Battle.net.

Around the community:

 

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SC:Legacy - StarCraft: Subjection
Battle.net - Arcade Highlight: Subjection

The previously-announced James Raynor Sixth Scale Figure is now available for preorder! Standing fifteen inches tall, the figure comes with Raynor's gauss rifle, sniper rifle, and revolver.

Click to magnify.

 

To see the figure in more detail, check out this page, where you can "Test Drive" the figure and see all of the moveable parts and lights.

This extremely-detailed figure can be preordered from this page for $499.99 USD, but there's also a giveaway happening. Head over to this page to enter in the giveaway to win your very own Raynor Sixth Scale Figure.

Source:
Sideshow - Raynor's Back in Business!
Sideshow - Raynor Sixth Scale Figure Contest
Sideshow - Test Drive the Terran Space Marine Sixth Scale Figure!

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