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A new feature for StarCraft II has been revealed by Blizzard today, called Spawning, which allows people with the Starter Edition or Wings of Liberty to play Heart of the Swarm with their friends. People may join their friends' Heart of the Swarm parties to experience Heart of the Swarm multiplayer in all its glory, even without owning Heart of the Swarm.

Nowadays, anyone who hasn’t yet purchased StarCraft II can still play, thanks to the Starter Edition. While Starter Edition players have access to much of the game, there are many features that they previously couldn’t try before upgrading to the full game. Spawning closes that gap. Any player at a lower expansion level who joins a party that includes a player at a higher expansion level is Spawned up, and gets to play using the features and options of the highest expansion level for as long as they’re in a party together.

For example, when a Starter Edition player joins a party with a Wings of Liberty-level player, both are instantly playing Wings of Liberty. When those two players then join a party with a Heart of the Swarm-level player, they all immediately gain access to Heart of the Swarm content, and they keep that access until their party no longer includes any higher-expansion level players.


There's even a new Spawning page, which you can check out here. Blizzard's video explaining Spawning can be seen below.


Carbot also made an animation to celebrate the Spawning feature, which you can also watch below.


Blizzard also gave an interview to Penny Arcade explaining their reasoning for making Heart of the Swarm multiplayer "free".

“It came about in brainstorming on our side, and thinking back to some of the things we used to do back in the old days,” said Sigaty. “Remembering how that was received…even going back to Warcraft 2 when I wasn't with Blizzard, I remember thinking 'this is so cool that they did that.' So we wanted to give back that feeling to it.”

But there are other advantages that Sigaty says he's hoping the new initiative will bring to the StarCraft world.

StarCraft tends to skew 1v1 in perception, because obviously eSports focuses that way. But we hear about players talking nostalgically about Big Game Hunters and building up massive armies with friends and wiping out AI armies. Or even just playing teams against each other. And for me personally, I'd love to see us break down some of the perception that the game is all about this ranked 1v1 play. And I think this is a great opportunity to share that.”


You can read the full Penny Arcade interview here.

Battle.net - Spawning Has Come to StarCraft II
The PA Report - Blizzard tells us why they’re about to make MP StarCraft 2 free-to-play (for friends)

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