Details are still thin regarding the official launch date for the Starcraft II, Heart of the Swarm; however there has been speculations that the beta testing would take place around May – June 2012 with an estimated launch date pegged for Q4 2012.
Back in May 2011, Blizzard revealed the details of the Heart of the Swarm, that the expansion will continue the sci-fi story, introduce a new campaign and add bonus multiplayer content. Initially Activition-Blizzard announced that the strategy sequel be split into three different games, based on the three different races in Starcraft. The first of the sequel, Wings of Liberty that launched in 2010 focused its attention on the “Terran” race.
Heart of the Swarm, the second sequel, will focus on the “Zerg” race, following the story of “Queen of the Blades” Sarah Kerrigan. The third and the last sequel is expected to focus on “Protoss” with the name of the expansion as the Legacy of the Void.
Heart of the Swarm is expected to have around 20 missions and Blizzard announced that the expansion will feature 8 new multiplayer units, although knowing Blizzard ton of changes do occur during the development stages.
Several changes to the original plan for the expansion were revealed during BlizzCon 2011:
- The Terran race will feature three new units: the Shredder, the Battle Hellion, and the Warhound. The Thor has been changed to an “ultimate” unit, akin to the Protoss Mothership, limiting the player to having only one at any time. Its functionality will be changed, and it will not be able to shoot air units. The Hellion has had a new “battle mode” added, which allows it to transform into a heavier and more powerful unit, like the viking’s transformation.
- The Protoss will also feature three new units: the Replicant, the Oracle, and the Tempest. The Mothership and Carrier will be removed.
The Zerg will receive two new units: the Viper and the Swarm Host. The Zerg Overseer will be removed, and mobile detection provided by the Viper. Ultralisks and Banelings have received new abilities; the Ultralisk has a researchable ability that will allow it to burrow underground then shoot forward and unburrow, similar to the Protoss Zealot Charge ability. The Baneling will also get a burrow related upgrade: it will be able to move underground, like the roach, after researching a move-while-burrowed ability and the burrow ability.
As always, Blizzard tends to keep a tight lid on the development progress so the details since Blizzcon 2011 has been thin. As far as the launch date is concerned, being that the beta-testing hasn’t even commenced, it’s probable that we won’t be seeing the game for another few months. That said, if you’re excited about the expansion and want to get the ordering part out of the way, head on over to Amazon to grab a copy for yourself!
- Diablo III coming in Q2, WoW and StarCraft II expansions discussed (techspot.com)
- Preview – StarCraft II: Heart Of The Swarm (thehaphazard.wordpress.com)
- Blizzard Cancels BlizzCon 2012 (geektyrant.com)