Greetings fellow StarCraft II players! The past couple weeks have been amazing for the StarCraft II community. At the Dreamhack Open we saw the Swedish "Spoon Terran," Thorzain, triumph over GSL champion Polt in front of a hometown crowd in an amazing series. That same weekend, the Major League Gaming Spring Arena finals went to best of 7 games to see DongRaeGu victorious against MarineKing, avenging a loss in the Winter Championship. Looking ahead, Team Liquid StarLeague 4 was just announced here and is already getting a lot of excitement from the community. And finally, we have exciting news coming out of Korea as KeSPA and OnGameNet commit to all-new StarCraft II leagues, joining GomTV's GSL and GSTL to create an all-new StarCraft II eSports landscape. Add all of that to the 2012 Blizzard World Championship Series, and the StarCraft II community is already off to an epic 2012 in what could be the most exciting eSports year yet.
In the midst of all this great community news, we want to announce some of the exciting things we’re working on this year for StarCraft II. Here's a list of some of the features we are planning to release at or around the launch of Heart of the Swarm:
- Multiplayer resume from replay
- Global Play
- Multilanguage support
- Clan/group system
- Unranked matchmaking
- Multiplayer replay viewing
Let's go into more detail on each of these, starting with multiplayer resume functionality. We know how important eSports is for the StarCraft II community, and it’s important to us too. For some time now we have been discussing ways to improve StarCraft II to ensure that tournaments both large and small run as smoothly as possible. While we are discussing many different improvements, we've heard your feedback and are creating a way that games can be continued if they are ended prematurely during an eSports event. We have been investigating solutions to this issue for some time, but we expect to offer the ability to resume play from a replay at or around the launch of Heart of the Swarm.
Some of you may have read details about Diablo III Global Play, which will allow Diablo III players to create characters in different regions from their home region so they can play with friends in other parts of the world. We know this is something StarCraft II players have been asking for, and we’re working hard to make it available along with multilanguage support, at or around the release of Heart of the Swarm. We’ll have information as we get closer to Heart of the Swarm’s release.
We continue to read your passionate requests for clan support. We can confirm that we are building a clan/group system that will be released with Heart of the Swarm. We also intend to have our first version of unranked play so you will have the ability to match-make against like-skilled players without having to affect your ladder ranking while you practice off-race or experiment with a new build order.
We'll also be offering a beta sneak peek of Heart of the Swarm to attendees of the MLG Spring Championship on June 8–10 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Additionally, we will be releasing news in the next few weeks about how your participation in the upcoming Arcade (1.5) beta can win you chances to get into the upcoming Heart of the Swarm multiplayer beta test.
It’s shaping up to be an amazing year for StarCraft II. Can you believe that Flash will soon be competing in StarCraft II? Before we sign off, we wanted to call attention to a newly created StarCraft II magazine, GLHF magazine, created by a passionate group of StarCraft players. The first issue features some high production quality in our opinion and is well worth checking out. See you online!