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StarCraft

IPL photo
IPL

IGN Pro League tech and assets sold to Blizzard


So long, IPL
Apr 08
// Jordan Devore
Following the cancellation of the IGN Pro League 6 due to an inability "to commit the resources required to run another major independent event," a statement was released that read "You should also know th...
StarCraft II photo
StarCraft II

StarCraft II Kerrigan cosplay is out of this world


For the swarm!
Apr 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Pro cosplayer Tasha is at it again with another mind-blowing cosplay depicting the Queen of Blades from StarCraft II. I can't imagine how much work it took to make the whole costume, let alone the process even involved in trying to put it on. Tasha has a few more pictures of the outfit over on her Facebook. Check out our cosplay page for more amazing cosplay photos.
StarCraft April Fools photo
StarCraft April Fools

[April Fool's] The Warhound is back in StarCraft II!


All your workers are now Warhounds
Apr 01
// Patrick Hancock
Remember the Warhound unit from the beta of Heart of the Swarm? Originally planned as a replacement for the Thor, the Warhound was removed because they became a very strong focus of the competitive scene and were simply...
StarCraft turns 15 photo
StarCraft turns 15

StarCraft celebrates its 15th birthday today


Happy Quinceañera!
Mar 31
// Patrick Hancock
Fifteen years ago today, on March 31, 1998, the original StarCraft launched on PC, setting in place a series of events that would lead up to the powerhouse it is now: gigantic competitive tournaments, gorgeous singleplay...
Heart of the Swarm photo
Heart of the Swarm

Heart of the Swarm sells more than 1.1M in two days


Another successful Blizzard expansion
Mar 21
// Brett Makedonski
Heart of the Swarm, the newest StarCraft II expansion, is capitalizing on the buzz surrounding its release. Blizzard announced that it sold more than 1.1 million copies in its first two days at retail. "We want to thank ...

Review: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Mar 19 // Aerox
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC)Developer: Blizzard EntertainmentPublisher: Blizzard EntertainmentRelease: March 12, 2013MSRP: $39.99 Heart of the Swarm picks up right where Wings of Liberty left off -- Kerrigan has been saved and returned to a mostly-human form (shame about the hair), the Zerg threat has been diminished, and she and Raynor are free to run about curbstomping the Dominion. Or, that's the initial plan. Since Heart of the Swarm is, of course, about the Zerg, within an hour of starting the game Raynor promptly finds himself in trouble and Kerrigan once again takes control of the Swarm. This time around, the story focuses much more on Kerrigan herself -- while Raynor was the hero of Wings of Liberty, that game's story tended to focus more on the Terran army as a whole and the various mercenaries you dealt with. Heart of the Swarm shines the spotlight directly on Kerrigan. While Kerrigan can still control the Zerg, Raynor's artifact essentially restored her soul. The antagonism between Kerrigan and Arcturus Mengsk may seem like the central plot line, but in my opinion Heart of the Swarm is really about how Kerrigan comes to terms with what she did as the Queen of Blades, and the internal struggle she faces to cling to her newfound humanity as she slips deeper and deeper into the power of the Zerg. I found the story this time around to be far more engaging than the fairly standard war story of Wings of Liberty, and a huge part of that is because Heart of the Swarm feels more personal and intimate than the previous installment. When it comes to gameplay, the new missions in Heart of the Swarm don't deviate too much from the style seen in Wings of Liberty, but are unique enough that they don't come across as a simple rehash of Wings, just with the Zerg. The only real notable difference is the introduction of Kerrigan as a persistent hero unit, reminiscent of Warcraft III. In most missions Kerrigan is present on the battlefield and directly controllable, and she gets stronger and develops more powers as you level her up by completing mission objectives. Base building is still the focus of the game, but Kerrigan usually plays a major role in fights as her abilities tend to be profoundly useful. Much like Wings of Liberty, a majority of the missions generally focus on one or two types of units, and the mission is designed to teach you how to use that unit and its abilities. Sprinkled throughout the game, however, are missions that tend to focus on Kerrigan and her abilities, much like the first Zeratul mission back in Wings. I actually found these to be the most interesting, simply because of the variety they provided. My favorite mission involves Kerrigan essentially fighting three "boss monsters" as she moves through the map, with the fights feeling like a combination between playing a MOBA and battling a World of Warcraft raid boss. I like base building as much as the next StarCraft fan, but it's always nice to mix things up. As you progress through the single-player campaign, you have the opportunity to select minor and major evolutions for your units. Minor evolutions unlock as soon as you acquire the unit, and tend to be small stat boosts or a passive ability. Major evolutions see you decide between one of two new forms, and require you to complete a short "Evolution Mission" that shows you the abilities of each new form before making your selection. These missions naturally unlock as you progress through the story -- you no longer have to find out-of-the-way collectables scattered around the maps like you did in Wings. Instead,  optional mission objectives provide additional levels to Kerrigan. Multiplayer has remained essentially unchanged outside of balance tweaks and the introduction of a few new units, and it's still great if you're into competitive real time strategy games. Players who haven't hopped online since Wings of Liberty may be surprised to see how much the general skill level has risen, and can expect quite a few frustrating games if they jump into ranked, especially since this season just began and the matchmaking system is still sorting people where they belong. Don't be surprised if you run into highly skilled players in the lower tiers of play during these first few weeks. The multiplayer replay system has a couple new fun additions. You can now watch replays with your friends and, even better, pause a replay at any time and have you and your friends take control of the game at the point you paused. It's a solid tool for practicing matchups if you have friends willing to work with you, but I think the most interesting aspect will be the ability to download and mess around with pro-level tournament games, assuming they put replays up. Heart of the Swarm is a fantastic addition to the StarCraft series, and quite frankly feels on par with a $60 game. It brings almost nothing new to the table, but there's nothing wrong with sticking to a formula you know works well. If you enjoyed Wings of Liberty, or just like RTS games in general, there's no reason not to pick this one up.
StarCraft II: HOTS review photo
A solid middle entry for the series
It appears Blizzard's learned quite a bit from Diablo III's launch, as Heart of the Swarm was instantly playable on release with virtually no server problems -- a bit of a rarity, it seems, with recent PC releases. It's a goo...

StarCraft II launch times photo
StarCraft II launch times

Here are the international launch times for StarCraft II


Heart of the Swarm is nearly here
Mar 11
// Chris Carter
Blizzard is ready to launch the newest addition to the StarCraft II family, Heart of the Swarm, and of course millions of people will be itching to get on at the earliest possible moment. Look no further than Blizzard's offic...
New releases photo
New releases

New releases: God of War: Ascension keeps the faith


Plus Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Darkstalkers Resurrection, and more
Mar 11
// Fraser Brown
Another Monday rolls up, acting like it's the boss of the week, so that can only mean one thing: a week of new releases. I'll be saving my cash this week, not really seeing anything to interest me, but I may grab God of War:...
Starcraft II for $17.99 photo
Starcraft II for $17.99

Get Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty for $17.99 on Newegg


One last chance before Heart of the Swarm launches
Mar 11
// Chris Carter
Was Blizzard's recent sale not enough? Well, now Newegg has joined the fun, as they've started offering Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty for $17.99. All you have to do is go to the product page and enter the following code: STW311. Pretty soon, you'll be able to buy the new kinda sorta expansion Heart of the Swarm to augment your shiny new copy of Wings of Liberty. Starcraft II [Gamer Deals]
MLG Winter Championship photo
MLG Winter Championship

First MLG competition of the year begins next week


StarCraft II, League of Legends, and....Black Ops II?
Mar 06
// Patrick Hancock
MLG's Winter Championship will begin on March 15 and run until the 17, with $170,000 worth of prize money up for grabs. The featured games are StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, League of Legends, and Black Ops II. MLG sure is...
Starcraft II 50% off sale photo
Starcraft II 50% off sale

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is 50% off until March 12


Grab it now before Heart of the Swarm
Mar 04
// Chris Carter
While Blizzard gears up to launch StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in about a week, you can gear up for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty now for 50% off on Blizzard's Store. Originally the game was dropped down to $39.99, and now, you can grab it for $19.99. As of this moment, this is only at the Blizzard Store. Save 50% [Battle.net]
StarCraft II photo
StarCraft II

Vengeance will be had in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm


With a side of betrayal, and a glass of blood
Feb 26
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Yeah, okay Blizzard. We get it. You rule at making cinematic trailers, and this launch trailer for Heart of the Swarm reinforces that fact. This trailer also reminds me that StarCraft has an actual story, and continues ...
StarCraft II photo
StarCraft II

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm's eSports tools detailed


Replays, recover matches, and more
Feb 21
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Blizzard's Community Manager Kevin Johnson detailed some of the new eSports and multiplayer features fans can expect in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. New tools include the ability to watch match replays in groups, and a ...
StarCraft Universe photo
This StarCraft II mod is a whole new game
The ambitious mod project formally known as World of StarCraft is now being released on Battle.net as StarCraft Universe. This giant mod is really a whole new game built with StarCraft II's tool set. It's a masivel...

StarCraft II update photo
StarCraft II update

StarCraft II gets a new patch to support in-game Clans


Plus, an all new UI
Feb 18
// Chris Carter
Blizzard is pushing a new patch through for StarCraft II with a decent amount of updates -- most notably, a UI overhaul and the launch of in-game Clans and Groups.  But there's a heap of other upgrades, like new replay t...

Trends of this Generation: The Rise of eSports

Feb 14 // Daniel Starkey
Competitive, head-to-head gaming has been around for quite some time. Since the invention of arcade culture and games like Wolfenstein in the early '90s, it has seen a steady increase in popularity among core gamers. In the past couple of years though, especially since the introduction of massive online battle arena, or MOBA games, the sheer number of players taking part has increased dramatically. According to some statistics that are only a few months old, League of Legends, a free-to-play MOBA, is now the most popular online game. Each day there are over 12 million people logging in to play LoL, and with nearly 30 million monthly active players, the game eclipses other industry juggernauts like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Each month, there are over one billion hours of play put into LoL -- that's roughly equivalent to half the hours logged in the entire history of the Halo franchise. It is entirely possible that at any given point, LoL is the most played game in the world. These numbers alone are certainly impressive, but when viewed within the trend among the rest of the gaming industry, it becomes pretty clear that competitive gaming in general, and eSports specifically, is definitely on the rise.  The real power of sports is in the dynamic narrative, the creation of new stories, conflicts between countries or cities that inspire audiences and give them a stake in the outcome. eSports has traditionally had a hard time garnering the same following, and the same sense of intrinsic drama. Twitch.TV and the proliferation of easy-to-use streaming software and platforms have been a boon for accessibility, however. Personalities like Day9 have given eSports that sense of dramatic tension, and helped bring an understanding and a fluency to the games these people play that we simply haven't seen before. By making the games easier to understand, more and more players and audiences have been able to learn about the history of different teams, their rivalries, their conflicts, and what they've had to do to succeed; though that doesn't even tap the sheer ease of learning the rules of these games, or the intricacies of higher-level play. Competitive games still have a long way to go before they see the kind of mainstream adoption as something like American football, tennis, or soccer, but their rapid expansion has led to something of a revolution in gaming. These days, unless your game's on a console, there's an excellent chance that it's free-to-play and built from the ground up to fit into the growing niche of eSports players. At the very least, this new system directly challenges the current understanding of what makes a top-selling game. When grizzled heavyweights like Call of Duty and Halo don't see the same audience that a comparatively cheaply produced and freely accessible game does, then we can safely assume that something has changed, and chances are good that many of the things we've taken as given in the past can and should be re-examined. I can't say I've ever been too big of a fan of eSports. Competitive gaming generally fills me with an unholy rage and the absolute necessity to begin questioning the matrilineality of those around me. I like playing games, I even like playing games competitively, but as my roommates will tell you, when we get into it in Halo 4, it gets BAD. I learned long ago that spewing hate-filled diatribes at my best friends wasn't too conducive to actually keeping those people as friends. All that said, there is something special about eSports which I've neglected until relatively recently. It's the pageantry, the narrative that really draws people in. I, for example, have been a pretty dedicated Super Smash Bros. Melee player for the past few years. One of my friends is the best in my state, and we used to play quite often, especially when we were still in the dorms at university.  My favorite character for the 12-year-old fighting game/Nintendo circlejerk is Young Link, protagonist of my favorite game, Majora's Mask. But he's a low-tier. Generally considered to pretty damned awful. Then, I saw a match between two of the players in the world -- Armada and Hungrybox -- at a tournament.  Armada is generally a Peach player and Hungrybox exclusively plays Jigglypuff. Both of those characters are in the top tiers for Melee. In quarter-finals, the two squared off and Armada switched from his tried-and-true character to... Young Link. That little kid sitting 11 spots down on the tier list from Peach. It was huge. Stunning. And it gave me an odd sense of connection to the player.  That kind of connection, that narrative is vital for sports to carry any kind of weight with its audience. The struggle of people in some tenuous way connected to you through, typically, geography, is what helps pull audiences in. When two teams square off at the Super Bowl or the World Series, there is so much more there than a few dozen people running around and passing a ball. It's the collective effort of a city and its fans to produce the best team they can and show them off for all the country to see.  Last year, shortly after E3, I was invited by Blizzard to go check out StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm at the MLG Spring Championship. Besides getting to check out HotS, I was expecting a day of annoying eSports fans getting way too excited about things that don't matter. I'm glad to admit that I was wrong. Geography doesn't really lend itself as the primary driver of the all-important narrative of eSports. Instead, who you play matters. Like I mentioned before, seeing Armada win tournaments with Young Link was really inspiring to me. It felt like a validation of my choice, of my character. Similarly with games like StarCraft and LoL, race or champion selection is something that connects players. In time, you'll learn the intricacies and idiosyncratic of your character or faction. It's not something that can be explained to someone who doesn't play, and it's something that outsiders will never really understand. I think, ultimately, that's what separates the modern era of eSports from those that came before. If you play Halo, who can you really get behind? If you watch a competitive match, how are you connecting to the players at the tournament?  With StarCraft, I will always have the back of any Terran player out there. I may not be that great a player, but I can at least understand those who are competing, in a sense, on my behalf because of it. 
Rise of eSports photo
These games are serious business
Leading up the possible PlayStation 4 announcement on February 20, I've been looking into some paradigm shifts we've seen over the past generation. This is stuff that will likely be with us for a while; these are things that ...

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StarCraft II mod 'Night of the Dead' designer speaks


Also, zombie-infested mining colonies are in!
Feb 11
// Jason Cabral
I haven't picked up StarCraft II in a long time, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. But with StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm coming soon, I caught the real-time-strategy bug again and need some sweet resource manageme...
HotS video photo
HotS video

Heart of the Swarm introduces global play, groups & clans


Destructoid StarCraft II group imminent
Jan 31
// Patrick Hancock
In a new video on the social features of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, community manager Kevin Johnson goes over many of the anticipated features included in the new expansion. Perhaps the most anticipated addition is th...
HotS tournament photo
HotS tournament

Heart of the Swarm to be featured in MLG winter season


New StarCraft II expansion in action
Jan 31
// Patrick Hancock
Though the Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft II is still over a month away, MLG will be featuring the game in its Online Winter Season Showdown beginning on February 4, 2013. Broadcasts will take place eac...
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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm opening


Look upon this
Jan 22
// Dale North
You can watch the shiny new opening cinematic for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm above, but it would be best watched in HD on YouTube. It's more than meets the eye (you'll see). The expansion arrives on March 12. You ready? This will be like Christmas 2.0 in South Korea.
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A Warcraft mod for StarCraft II is in progress


He needs more farms
Jan 18
// Chris Carter
Warcraft III is one of my favorite RTS games of all time -- and I've been playing the genre since before the original Command and Conquer in 1995. There's just something about how it perfectly blends all of the best elements...
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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta adds pre-purchasers


Download the beta client if you ordered before Dec. 18
Dec 21
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of the full release this March, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has expanded its beta to include people who pre-purchased a digital copy of the expansion on Battle.net on or before December 18. If that describes you, b...
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The DTOID Show: Blops II, GTA V & SC2: Heart of the Swarm


More like, Grand Theft DOGS, am I right?
Nov 14
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! Here's today's Destructoid Show!Jim reviewed Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and we run down the pros and cons, including the slight possibility that if you buy the PC version, you might get a copy of Mass Effect 2 by a...
StarCraft II update photo
Blizzard has finally set a date
Kerrigan is back, baby! Come this March 12th, you'll be able to rip apart your enemies and spread the swarm: StarCraft II: Heart of Swarm finally has a release date. This kinda-sorta expansion comes with an all new Zerg singl...

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Impressions: StarCraft Collector's Edition Risk


It's Risk, but with StarCraft pieces
Nov 06
// Aerox
[Destructoid is considering adding board games (videogame-themed or not) to what we cover. Think it's a good idea? Want us to stick to videogames only? Let us know in the comments.] Themed variants of popular games like Monop...
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Blizzard reveals new race leveling in Heart of the Swarm


Get 'dem levels in ya!
Oct 25
// Alasdair Duncan
With an upcoming patch for the Heart of the Swarm beta, Blizzard is going to introduce a new race leveling mechanic in StarCraft II. Mastering a race will give reward players with new decals and portraits to show off just how...
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MLG vs. Proleague playoffs begin tonight


The fight for the top eight spots begins!
Oct 19
// Patrick Hancock
For the past month, StarCraft II players have been competing in the MvP, or MLG versus Proleague, a coordinated effort between MLG, KeSPA, and the IEG. Today marks the first day of playoffs, where the top 16 players will...
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MLG announces fall schedule with SCII and LoL aplenty


Sep 25
// Patrick Hancock
The fall season of MLG is about to get underway! Tomorrow will start a non-stop schedule all the way through November, featuring both StarCraft II and League of Legends. Here's a quick breakdown: Tuesdays and Thursdays ...
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Blizzard looking at free-to-play StarCraft II multiplayer


Sep 22
// Jordan Devore
Asked whether or not Blizzard has plans for a free-to-play StarCraft II at the Valencia eSports Congress, lead designer Dustin Browder stated that the company is "looking at free to play as an option for the multiplayer," rep...
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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm closed beta begins


Go make sure you're opted in
Sep 05
// Jordan Devore
Consider this a friendly reminder to go double check your Battle.net account to be sure you're opted in for the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm multiplayer beta. While currently limited to pro gamers, shoutcasters, press, an...

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