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Blizzard To Start Beta Testing New StarCraft II Patches

Preview new changes starting with patch 1.2, which adds chat channels and a host of tweaks and fixes.

Starting with patch 1.2, you'll be able to preview and test most, if not all, StarCraft II patches before they go public. Blizzard has announced plans to set up a test server for this latest patch and future updates from this point forward, which is something the studio has already been doing with big updates for World of Warcraft. The primary purpose of this test, as explained on the SCII blog, is to help Blizzard identify SCII patch bugs and "ensure that when a patch is released, it's of the highest quality possible."
 


Blizzard has a FAQ in place that describes what you need to do in order to get into this "PTR." Essentially, all you need is an SCII account that was created before November 11 and a working knowledge of how to fiddle with the RTS' install directory.

From the FAQ:

When the PTR is available, a retail patch will add a new executable file named "StarCraft II Public Test.exe" to the StarCraft II game directory. To access the PTR, go to the StarCraft II game directory and run the "StarCraft II Public Text.exe" executable. 

A small patch will be downloaded to install the PTR client the first time you run it.  Eligible accounts will already be enabled for the PTR so there's no sign-up needed for this phase.

 
== TEASER ==Patch 1.2 is a startlingly huge update, which might explain why Blizzard has chosen it to be first patch to be tested by fans before full release. It adds Battle.net chat, a massive amount of map editor tweaks and fixes, a few race balances, and tons of general bug fixes. Shack has the full patch list, which'll take you about 10 minutes to read from beginning to end if you're the kinda guy who really gets into this sort of thing.

As Blizzard notes, PTRs are tests, so do expect some shutdowns or instances of poor performance. If you find yourself hitting one too many hitches, just switch over the actual game. You'll be able to do that at any point, even if you install the PTR client.
50 Comments
Posted by BradNicholson

Starting with patch 1.2, you'll be able to preview and test most, if not all, StarCraft II patches before they go public. Blizzard has announced plans to set up a test server for this latest patch and future updates from this point forward, which is something the studio has already been doing with big updates for World of Warcraft. The primary purpose of this test, as explained on the SCII blog, is to help Blizzard identify SCII patch bugs and "ensure that when a patch is released, it's of the highest quality possible."
 


Blizzard has a FAQ in place that describes what you need to do in order to get into this "PTR." Essentially, all you need is an SCII account that was created before November 11 and a working knowledge of how to fiddle with the RTS' install directory.

From the FAQ:

When the PTR is available, a retail patch will add a new executable file named "StarCraft II Public Test.exe" to the StarCraft II game directory. To access the PTR, go to the StarCraft II game directory and run the "StarCraft II Public Text.exe" executable. 

A small patch will be downloaded to install the PTR client the first time you run it.  Eligible accounts will already be enabled for the PTR so there's no sign-up needed for this phase.

 
== TEASER ==Patch 1.2 is a startlingly huge update, which might explain why Blizzard has chosen it to be first patch to be tested by fans before full release. It adds Battle.net chat, a massive amount of map editor tweaks and fixes, a few race balances, and tons of general bug fixes. Shack has the full patch list, which'll take you about 10 minutes to read from beginning to end if you're the kinda guy who really gets into this sort of thing.

As Blizzard notes, PTRs are tests, so do expect some shutdowns or instances of poor performance. If you find yourself hitting one too many hitches, just switch over the actual game. You'll be able to do that at any point, even if you install the PTR client.
Posted by meaninoflife42

sweet.

Posted by cartoons4andy

Looks like somebody saw Valve doing their Team Fortress 2 weapon testing beta, did a collective palm to the head, and wondered aloud why it was not they themselves who had dreamed up this idea.

Edited by NathHaw
@cartoons4andy said:

" Looks like somebody saw Valve doing their Team Fortress 2 weapon testing beta, did a collective palm to the head, and wondered aloud why it was not they themselves who had dreamed up this idea. "

Blizz has been doing this for years for WoW.  Probably just needed to wait for the right time to start implementing it into SCII.
Edited by phrosnite

STOP USING THAT PICTURE! It reminds me of 40k's terminator armor. Another shameless 40k rip off. Well done Blizzard...
Also it seems SC2 isn't as polished as we were let to believe...

Posted by raiz265
@cartoons4andy said:
" Looks like somebody saw Valve doing their Team Fortress 2 weapon testing beta, did a collective palm to the head, and wondered aloud why it was not they themselves who had dreamed up this idea. "
World of Warcraft.
Posted by ProjektGill

Wow some of those balances are kind of crazy. Taking away Fungal Growth's ability to hit air units is really gonna mess up part of my Zerg game. Oh well, I'll get used to it eventually.

Posted by mrv321
@ProjektGill: It makes sense, but it does make the game kinda imba, I'd rather is air units receive a 50% speed reduction, this would help things out.
 
It'd prevent chain fungal growth, but slow Mutas down enough for hydras to catch up. Also medevac will be weak and not allow the air fleet to retreat while the ground is destroyed.
Posted by Mijati

Yeah, Public Test Realms (which is what PTR stands for) have been around for a long time. They're nothing new and to be honest I don't think this is news worthy. It's not anything ground breaking or that exciting but maybe that's just me.

Posted by Fuga

 Lmao is that idiot really saying a company had to copy the idea of testing patches from another company. *shoots himself*

Posted by Kinarion
@phrosnite said:
" Also it seems SC2 isn't as polished as we were made to believe... "
Que? This is one of the most polished games to come out in the last decade. Are you suggesting that patching their game means it wasn't complete at launch? This is responsible development, not cleaning.
Edited by phrosnite
@Kinarion: 
 Yeah this game was so focus tested that they forgot to lock the FPS on the menu screen which led to burning video cards. Well done Blizzard, well done.
Posted by Vinchenzo
@phrosnite said:
" STOP USING THAT PICTURE! It reminds me of 40k's terminator armor. Another shameless 40k rip off. Well done Blizzard... Also it seems SC2 isn't as polished as we were made to believe... "
What the fuck are you talking about? Games are always being updated, and Blizzard takes great care in making sure their games are amazing before shipping, but balance changes and minor fixes will be constantly present in any competitive game.
Posted by Turambar
@phrosnite said:
" STOP USING THAT PICTURE! It reminds me of 40k's terminator armor. Another shameless 40k rip off. Well done Blizzard... Also it seems SC2 isn't as polished as we were made to believe... "
You're mixing up polish and balance.  Blizzard games never are perfectly balanced right out of launch.  What makes them so is the years of tweaks made in reaction to changes in the competitive scene.
Posted by Rayeth
@DarkDude: 
 
It's important in that Starcraft has never had player interaction in the development or testing processes before.  So unlike WoW players who are used to having the devs ears, SC and SC2 players have largely been left out of the loop.
Posted by Raikoh

Good news :)

Posted by Keverosh

Blizz actually started doing test reallms with patches of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

Posted by BenderUnit22

Terran and Protoss get buffs, Zerg gets nerfed. Bring back hydra speed, they're useless off creep.

Posted by Levio

Whoah chat channels, no friggin way!  Blizzard, you are the innovation masters.

Posted by TheAdmin

I'm torn on whether I want to participate or not... I kinda do... and at the same time, don't want to get used to patch updates that might not come true.

Posted by Skillface

Fungal Growth no longer effects air units. 
 
Welp, there goes my roach-infestor build. Thanks Blizzard.

Posted by Kinarion
@phrosnite: Yeah, probably a plot by Blizzard to sell more video cards. Seriously, no other company outside of Consumer Reports does more product testing than Blizzard.
Posted by MadeinFinland

Wow. Significant changes for the balance. Void Rays don't have speed upgrades and fungal growth doesn't affect air units.

Posted by Jeffsekai

But when will they Fix Bnet 2.0?

Posted by Deathpooky

Man, they seem to not be able to get a handle on Void Rays - removal of the speed upgrade.  I think the main problem is just they are really hard to beat if microed well and speed makes them a lot easier to micro, but I'm surprised they went that far. 
 
The fungal growth thing is huge though.  Infestors are great at trapping Marine/Medivac balls, now any Terran on his game can load them up when he spots an infestor and render it useless - and that's assuming you can't load up fungal-growthed units (don't think you can?).

Edited by Hangnail

Already downloaded and fired up the beta but have yet to try out the balance changes in multiplayer. The extra visual options are nice but I would've liked to see some adjustments made to better optimize the game; for some reason too much Zerg heavy action (meaning: a LOT of Nydus worms at once) on screen (in both multiplayer and singleplayer) absolutely kills the framerate for me even in the relatively modest settings that I run the game on.

Posted by Advertisement

infestor nerf was uncalled for, and unneeded. and im not even Zerg

Posted by buft

i believe they do this with wow and the patches usually benefit from the feedback.

Posted by Hennet_sim

 Battle.net Chat Channels have been added :D
 Flux Vanes speed upgrade removed.   D: 
 
Chat channels are going to make it easer to get games with people.

Posted by Xeiphyer

Fungal growth not hitting air units makes sense... it is sad though.
 
Voids losing speed is going to piss off some noobs im sure, though most people stopped doing void rushing and mineral line harassing with them a long time ago. They are much more powerful when mixed in with your army, once those things get powered up they rip through the enemy.

Posted by MaddProdigy
@phrosnite:  Just keep trollin, just keep trollin, just keep trollin trollin trollin
Posted by SJSchmidt93

"Beta testing" is certainly not the best way to put it.

Posted by StarvingGamer

Phoenix buff + Infestor nerf, does Protoss have map control vs Zerg now? lolol

Posted by DG991

Almost started replying to the some absurd comments... 
phew... close one. 
 
I can't wait till they implement the chat stuff... that should of came with launch. 

Posted by Slib

Similar to the WoW PTR. Not sure if as many people will be eager to get in and see the new content in SC though. Still, pretty neat.

Posted by HydraHam
@BenderUnit22 said:
" Terran and Protoss get buffs, Zerg gets nerfed. Bring back hydra speed, they're useless off creep. "
hydras have been useless since SC2 beta i don't understand how they could buff the roach and not the hydra.
 
hydra used to be a great and highly used unit in SC but not anymore.
Posted by ultron100

Jesus, I still need to finish the campaign!

Posted by Crono
@Advertisement said:
" infestor nerf was uncalled for, and unneeded. and im not even Zerg "
This.
Edited by cartoons4andy
@raiz265 said:

" @cartoons4andy said:

" Looks like somebody saw Valve doing their Team Fortress 2 weapon testing beta, did a collective palm to the head, and wondered aloud why it was not they themselves who had dreamed up this idea. "
World of Warcraft. "
Looks like somebody made an uneducated guess, did a palm to the head, and wondered aloud why he makes assumptions about genres he doesn't follow. 
 
But yeah, that totally makes sense now.  Maybe I had only heard about it now since my TF2 friends made a big deal of it and then this one pops up.  You'd think companies would do this more often so it wouldn't seem so unique.
Posted by sixghost

Great news. Blizzard decided not to implement the 3 worst ideas they had.
 
 http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/1306100875

We would like to thank everyone for their participation thus far in the first StarCraft 2 public test. We’re in the process of temporarily taking down the PTR in order to apply changes based on your feedback and testing.

Some of the changes we’re working on implementing:

# Bunker build time reduction removed as previously noted
# Fungal Growth’s terrestrial limitation has been removed and the ability once again affects air units
# It will once again be possible to hold down a key to repeat a hotkey command

 
That shit almost got scary. Phew

Posted by ThatFrood
@sixghost said:
" Great news. Blizzard decided not to implement the 3 worst ideas they had.
 
 http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/1306100875

We would like to thank everyone for their participation thus far in the first StarCraft 2 public test. We’re in the process of temporarily taking down the PTR in order to apply changes based on your feedback and testing.

Some of the changes we’re working on implementing:

# Bunker build time reduction removed as previously noted
# Fungal Growth’s terrestrial limitation has been removed and the ability once again affects air units
# It will once again be possible to hold down a key to repeat a hotkey command
 That shit almost got scary. Phew "
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
HAHA
YES
Posted by audiosnag
@sixghost said:
" Great news. Blizzard decided not to implement the 3 worst ideas they had.
 
 http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/1306100875

We would like to thank everyone for their participation thus far in the first StarCraft 2 public test. We’re in the process of temporarily taking down the PTR in order to apply changes based on your feedback and testing.

Some of the changes we’re working on implementing:

# Bunker build time reduction removed as previously noted
# Fungal Growth’s terrestrial limitation has been removed and the ability once again affects air units
# It will once again be possible to hold down a key to repeat a hotkey command
 That shit almost got scary. Phew "
Sweet baby Jesus that was close.
I almost started to cry.
Posted by Forkstik

Wait, why isn't  Brad shoemaker writing this? 

Posted by raiz265
@cartoons4andy said:
" @raiz265 said:

" @cartoons4andy said:

" Looks like somebody saw Valve doing their Team Fortress 2 weapon testing beta, did a collective palm to the head, and wondered aloud why it was not they themselves who had dreamed up this idea. "
World of Warcraft. "
Looks like somebody made an uneducated guess, did a palm to the head, and wondered aloud why he makes assumptions about genres he doesn't follow. "
:D :D
Posted by Thule

Ugh, thank god.

Posted by generic_eric

Now that I upgrade my PC a bit, I'll have to consider checking this game out.

Posted by sins_of_mosin

Screw the starbarf, get on with Diablo 3!

Posted by BobC
@phrosnite said:
" @Kinarion:  Yeah this game was so focus tested that they forgot to lock the FPS on the menu screen which led to burning video cards. Well done Blizzard, well done. "
Locked FPS on menu screens is not commonly needed. That workaround was done to make up for poor drivers, inadequate cooling or both. The people who had problems with this all tended to have the exact same video card. What does that tell you?
Posted by BobC
@Rayeth said:
" @DarkDude:   It's important in that Starcraft has never had player interaction in the development or testing processes before.  So unlike WoW players who are used to having the devs ears, SC and SC2 players have largely been left out of the loop. "
4 months of beta testing = "leaving players out of the loop" ?
Posted by Rayeth
@BobC: 
I guess that in comparison to WoW, where my background is, that yes it felt like they were left out.  Patch notes for the beta came down, and what was being evaluated or changed and why was usually a mystery to me (I was in beta near the end, starting about patch 10 or 11, I think).    And you can't argue that there was no feedback in SC:BW.  
 
Maybe there was a difference in communication or messaging or something, but in WoW I felt like I had a good handle on the reasons for the changes and in Starcraft 2, I don't.   I see Phoenix build time being decreased and void ray damage changes and I wonder why?  In the current GSL I see Phoenixes and Void Rays being used fairly frequently with seemingly great effect.
 
You are obviously closer to the company than I am (and possibly a better SC2 player since I am pretty terrible), so maybe the reasoning makes more sense to you than me.  And maybe it isn't fair for me to be expecting the same type of community interaction in an RTS game as was present in a MMO.  They are totally different games after all.   I guess I just felt like in WoW, my opinions were more validated where in SC2, my input is totally ignored in favor of better players and professionals.
 
Maybe it is just a function of messaging, but that's how I feel.