HotS closed beta released.

#1 Posted by Bouz (99 posts) -

Blizzard announced that it has begun giving out beta keys for HotS http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/7157306/Heart_of_the_Swarm_Beta_Now_Live_-9_4_2012

The Heart of the Swarm beta test has begun! This multiplayer-only test will initially be limited to a select group of pro-gamers, members of the press, Arcade contest winners, and shoutcasters. Beta test participants are not under NDA, so you’re likely going to see live streams of matches, screenshots, and casts of impromptu Heart of the Swarm throwdowns starting . . . mmm, NOW!

We will soon be inviting other players to participate in the beta, so be sure you’ve opted in by clicking on the "Beta Profile Settings" under the Account Management section of your Battle.net account (or just click here). Signing up from a Battle.net account that’s actively playing StarCraft II will help your chances of being selected. Note that opting in doesn't guarantee beta access.

We'll also be working with several fansites and community personalities to provide more opportunities to join the beta test, so keep an eye out here and throughout the StarCraft II community for details as they emerge.

For those who are in the beta already, we appreciate your assistance in helping us test the game. If you’re interested in joining the beta, we wish you luck with the opt-in and (future) giveaways, and hope to see you in a match soon!

Please note: Customer service representatives are unable to provide players with beta access. Please refrain from contacting them directly regarding beta access. Thank you!

How are beta test participants selected from the opt-in pool?
Beta testers are chosen according to their system specifications and other factors, including recent StarCraft II activity (and an element of luck), when selecting individuals during each round of invitations. Our goal is to have a wide variety of players and system types.

Will there be any other ways to get into the beta besides the opt-in?
We’ll be providing beta entry giveaways through various promotions on our sites, as well as through fansites and community VIPs. We’ll have more information available on these promotions as they approach.

How many players do you plan to invite to the beta test?
The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If during the course of testing we determine we need more players to participate, we’ll invite more.

Which game content will be available in the beta?
To start off, we will be focusing on the multiplayer experience only. We’ve added an exciting array of new units and abilities to the terrans, protoss, and zerg, and we’d like to have as many eyes on them as possible.

Will [AWESOME SWARM FEATURES X, Y, AND Z] be available in the beta?
Additional Heart of the Swarm features will also become available in future phases of the beta test. More details will be announced at a later date.

How long will the beta test last?
We have not determined an exact end date for the end of the beta test. We will notify participants when the beta test is nearing completion.

Will Mac users be able to participate in the beta?
Yes, Mac users will be able to participate in the beta at the same time as Windows users.

Which languages are supported in the beta?
While the Heart of the Swarm beta will be accessible in all regions, the languages supported for the beta will only include the following: English, German, French, and Korean. Support for additional languages may be added later.

Do I need StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty to participate in the beta?
No, you do not need to have purchased StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty to participate in the beta. With that said, your level of Wings of Liberty activity may play a role in your chances of being selected as a beta tester.

Brad probably got one so hopefully there will be some coverage on the site. You guys pumped?

#2 Posted by Mijati (877 posts) -

Another Blizzard beta I'm not going to get into. Never been invited to a single one yet I play (and own) every single Blizzard game available through Battle.Net :(  (Not saying owning everything should be enough to get invited but playing them I'm sure helps).

#3 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19306 posts) -

I hope the UI is Zerg themed in the final version instead of that Terran, blue LED stuff.

Also, it'd be awesome if I could get in. I won't though. That's fine I guess; I'm still interested in seeing the media surrounding its release.

#4 Posted by Brad (2870 posts) -

I have not yet gotten in. :\

According to Rob Simpson they're done inviting people on this first wave. Bunch of pros didn't get in either, so I dunno what's going on. Hopefully soon.

Staff
#5 Posted by Bouz (99 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

I hope the UI is Zerg themed in the final version instead of that Terran, blue LED stuff.

Also, it'd be awesome if I could get in. I won't though. That's fine I guess; I'm still interested in seeing the media surrounding its release.

There is a zerg interface http://i.imgur.com/LYQjK.jpg

#6 Posted by ajamafalous (11823 posts) -
@Brad: Seems strange to not invite interested press nor all the pros they can.
#7 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

@ajamafalous said:

@Brad: Seems strange to not invite interested press nor all the pros they can.

They only have a limited number of slots, so missing some people is going to be a given. I just hope Blizz unlock my NA accout soon-ish or open it up to EU soon!

Though I dislike the worker counter... really should be removed

#8 Posted by zels (204 posts) -

@baldgye said:

Though I dislike the worker counter... really should be removed

Personally, I love it.

#9 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19306 posts) -
#10 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

@zels said:

@baldgye said:

Though I dislike the worker counter... really should be removed

Personally, I love it.

because you can't count? Being able to box your workers and work out if you have built enough is a pretty fundamental skill you should have if you're to play the game at anything above gold level....

#11 Posted by zels (204 posts) -

@baldgye said:

@zels said:

@baldgye said:

Though I dislike the worker counter... really should be removed

Personally, I love it.

because you can't count? Being able to box your workers and work out if you have built enough is a pretty fundamental skill you should have if you're to play the game at anything above gold level....

Oh you, can count, gg. It always seemed like such a vital skill to have in sc2 and not just a simple inconvenience. Build orders, macro, micro... no it's all about whether a couple of gas mining workers/marines get in the way or not.

#12 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

@zels said:

@baldgye said:

@zels said:

@baldgye said:

Though I dislike the worker counter... really should be removed

Personally, I love it.

because you can't count? Being able to box your workers and work out if you have built enough is a pretty fundamental skill you should have if you're to play the game at anything above gold level....

Oh you, can count, gg. It always seemed like such a vital skill to have in sc2 and not just a simple inconvenience. Build orders, macro, micro... no it's all about whether a couple of gas mining workers/marines get in the way or not.

Really you should just be able to notice. It's really easy to spot, even at a glance whether your gas is over/under saturated. Same with minerals. The new counter seems unnecessary to me.

#13 Posted by Rayeth (1021 posts) -

There was some explanation that they take current Starcraft 2 activity + some luck into account when they decide who to invite. For the Pros and Brad that seems weird they wouldn't get invites when they clearly play so much, but for people like me who played a TON when it first came out and then have fallen away to stuff like Dota 2 (god damn, that International was good - MLG can eat their heart out), I'm not surprised when I'm not invited.

Also as with every Blizzard beta it will get bigger as time goes on. I was able to get into the Wings of Liberty beta at like Patch 8 or something (1 supply roaches, omg so fair), and I hadn't played Brood War since like 2000, and even quit playing WoW a few years before. I'd love to be in the HotS beta, but at this point I care more about the single player campaign stuff than the multiplayer. I think Dota 2 has ruined me on Starcraft. I feel so much more able to jump into a game of Dota and have fun, whereas playing SC2 I feel like I need to go research the new metagame and practice my build order and a bunch of other stuff. I dunno, I still think watching SC2 is fun, but lately I've been watching more and more Dota.

#14 Posted by YI_Orange (1124 posts) -

@haffy: If good players can tell how many workers are on their minerals anyway then how is the counter hurting anything? It's essentially a null change for them and a slight helper for lesser players.

#15 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

I just hate the way it looks to be honest, it's kind of distracting from what I've seen of other people playing. I've got no problem with it staying in, I just hope there's a option to turn it off, similar to the in game timer.

#16 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

@haffy: If good players can tell how many workers are on their minerals anyway then how is the counter hurting anything? It's essentially a null change for them and a slight helper for lesser players.

but being able to glance at worker satuation is a VITAL skill you need to be able to develop. It's not making the game easier to learn its squewing how people learn the game.

The only diffrence from bronze-gold league is there ability to build workers and saturate bases, and the ladder seems like a pretty good skill curve.. why fuck with that??

seems like a better idea would be to have better MP tutorials for beginners so they knew where to start, and not to just automate it so people who can't muti-task get a free pass...

I think alot of the things they have added to lower the barrier to entry has instead just made learning the game harder... being able to build probes/pylons is what mechanics are, why start making that something begginers dont have to worry about, when that should be the only thing they worry about...

#17 Posted by Ben_H (3296 posts) -

I doubt I'll get in even though I have 3 accounts. I never have any luck with that sort of thing. 
 
And yeah the worker thing is stupid. They're making the game way too easy. Learning to count workers is important but once you have it down it becomes second nature. That and the stupid "Select whole army" button thingy. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT. 
 
At least mech seems viable with Terran on the streams I've seen so far. That looks like a lot of fun.

#18 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

I NEED IT!

#19 Posted by YI_Orange (1124 posts) -

@Ben_H said:

And yeah the worker thing is stupid. They're making the game way too easy. Learning to count workers is important but once you have it down it becomes second nature. That and the stupid "Select whole army" button thingy. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT.

I'll be sure to root for you when you make it to the GSL.

@baldgye: So by your logic, everyone is either going to get better because they don't have to worry about counting workers and can instead focus on other stuff. Downside? Or, the alternative, everyone is going to get worse because they don't have to learn to count...which doesn't make any sense. Also, I seem to recall someone at blizzard who's job it is to basically pay attention to this stuff implying that the top of the ladder is great, the bottom is great, everywhere in between is varying degrees of fucked up.

I'll admit I was not great at saturation for a while, but once I actually started making an effort to look at it, it became easy. Dumbing down an already dumb skill and lessening the least interesting part of the game is only good to me.

#20 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

@Ben_H said:

And yeah the worker thing is stupid. They're making the game way too easy. Learning to count workers is important but once you have it down it becomes second nature. That and the stupid "Select whole army" button thingy. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT.

I'll be sure to root for you when you make it to the GSL.

@baldgye: So by your logic, everyone is either going to get better because they don't have to worry about counting workers and can instead focus on other stuff. Downside? Or, the alternative, everyone is going to get worse because they don't have to learn to count...which doesn't make any sense. Also, I seem to recall someone at blizzard who's job it is to basically pay attention to this stuff implying that the top of the ladder is great, the bottom is great, everywhere in between is varying degrees of fucked up.

I'll admit I was not great at saturation for a while, but once I actually started making an effort to look at it, it became easy. Dumbing down an already dumb skill and lessening the least interesting part of the game is only good to me.

Do you really want to make something that comes with time and experience automated and easy? I mean injects aren't exactly the most complicated mechanic in the world. But having them automated would be a joke, and taking skill out of the game. I know worker counter and injecting are two pretty different things and effect the game differently. But if every change is progressively making the game easier, is that streamlined, or aimed at pleasing people, who really have no business in a game which is meant to be hard. Which in turn could make viewing the game pretty boring. I mean the only reason I'm pretty worried about this is because looking at the two big MOBA games at the minute. I could easily watch DOTA 2 for a while, even though I'm not really into that genre, because it seems like a pretty hard game. But LoL is just fucking boring to watch, and I really doubt many people will argue that LoL has a lower skill ceiling, in my eyes, it's just a streamlined DOTA.

Also, think of all the things that have changed from BW to SC2. And now SC2 to HOTS. There hasn't been a single game mechanic that made the game more interesting to watch, or more difficult, but pretty much the opposite. Watching a pro player in BW have no idle workers is actually pretty fucking amazing. Watching a decent player have idle workers in SC2 is just sloppy.

#21 Posted by Ben_H (3296 posts) -
@YI_Orange said:

@Ben_H said:

And yeah the worker thing is stupid. They're making the game way too easy. Learning to count workers is important but once you have it down it becomes second nature. That and the stupid "Select whole army" button thingy. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT.

I'll be sure to root for you when you make it to the GSL.

You don't seem to get it. They're making things easy for no reason and taking away the skill in the game. The main appeal of Starcraft to me and many others is that it is not easy and is something I can work to improve and this applies to the people I play against, I expect that they practice too. When they add all this stuff it just makes it harder to differentiate an actual good player from rest of the pack. You might consider that stuff dumb, but to me, macro is the most interesting part of the game. A player with truly good macro can get to the top of the ladder easily, no matter what people say.
 
@haffy said:

Also, think of all the things that have changed from BW to SC2. And now SC2 to HOTS. There hasn't been a single game mechanic that made the game more interesting to watch, or more difficult, but pretty much the opposite. Watching a pro player in BW have no idle workers is actually pretty fucking amazing. Watching a decent player have idle workers in SC2 is just sloppy.

Well said, I watched Brood War a fair amount, primarily Proleague, and yeah, it was amazing to watch how perfect they would play (and having started playing it recently I can appreciate this even more. The sheer amount of speed you need just to keep up with macro is crazy). Seeing some of the stuff they've done with SC2 just makes a lot of things unimpressive. Landing a perfect plague or setting up a perfect attack into a marine/tank line with dark swarm is infinitely more interesting than landing a fungal (fungal is to me the dumbest design of the whole game, there is no reaction you can do once the first fungal lands. so stupid) or forcefielding (same as fungal, not good design. Prevents a person from reacting).
#22 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

@Ben_H said:

And yeah the worker thing is stupid. They're making the game way too easy. Learning to count workers is important but once you have it down it becomes second nature. That and the stupid "Select whole army" button thingy. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT.

I'll be sure to root for you when you make it to the GSL.

@baldgye: So by your logic, everyone is either going to get better because they don't have to worry about counting workers and can instead focus on other stuff. Downside? Or, the alternative, everyone is going to get worse because they don't have to learn to count...which doesn't make any sense. Also, I seem to recall someone at blizzard who's job it is to basically pay attention to this stuff implying that the top of the ladder is great, the bottom is great, everywhere in between is varying degrees of fucked up.

I'll admit I was not great at saturation for a while, but once I actually started making an effort to look at it, it became easy. Dumbing down an already dumb skill and lessening the least interesting part of the game is only good to me.

Really don't understand what kind of point your trying to make, if you couldn't saturate your mineral line untill you learned how you needed to saturate it, then you improved your mechanics, and mechanics are the most important thing in sc2.

People with better mechanics should do better than people without mechanics, and people with bad mechanics SHOULD have to learn and improve there mechanics with practice and not just get a free pass on THE fundamental part of sc2.

Making the game easier on the mechanical level is bad game design on a fundamental level, why punish people in gold league who are learning those things still and have worked up from bonze to gold? Instead they should be focusing on tutorials in game, and maybe in practice league for people so that they can show what is important and what people need to be doing when they play, and that if you want to be good at this game, you're going to have to bloody well work at it.

#23 Posted by zels (204 posts) -

@baldgye: the mchanics wont change. You still have to decide when to build workers and to actually build them every x seconds or so. Knowing how many workers you have isn't a skill, it's busy work that brings nothing to the table. If base saturation can be solved this way and if that's the only thing differentiating people in the lower leagues then getting rid of the artificial problem can only be a good thing.

#24 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

I totally disagree that base saturation brings nothing to the table, how many workers to build is fundamental to certain openings/builds and it's a skill you work up... Building probes and pylons is something beginners should just do without thinking oh an I saturated, because now people will think well ok I've got enough workers here so I'll stop making them at this base, and build from this other base... I don't have a problem with it, I have a problem with how it will affect how people lean how to play. Blizzard should just employ day9 to do tutorial videos that pop up in-game and teach you what you need to do

#25 Posted by StarvingGamer (7924 posts) -

People in this thread need to chill out.

People that don't need the counter will just ignore it.

People that need the counter as a crutch will always be bad at SC so who cares.

People with the potential to improve will have the counter as an extra reminder to get their brain working the right way until they reach the point where they don't need it any more.

There is no downside.

#26 Posted by Shibbxyz (285 posts) -

I got into the beta woop! :D

Brad if you want to borrow my account you more than welcome to :D

#27 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

Well i guess if anyone on here deserved to get into the beta I guess it's shibb lol

#28 Posted by TruthTellah (8436 posts) -

@Shibbxyz said:

I got into the beta woop! :D

Brad if you want to borrow my account you more than welcome to :D

Woah! Nice. Are you high on the ladders or do you think they're just reaching out to more average folks? That'd be cool if they're expanding it each day for a few days.

#29 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

Oh shibb did ur eu account get in? Or was it an NA acc?? Just wondering if they have opened it up to euro's yet

#30 Posted by Shibbxyz (285 posts) -

It was my EU account that got beta access, most WCS players I believe received access

sucks there's only an NA server to play it is a bit laggy

#31 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

Ahh ok least you don't have to dl a different client, I'm guessing eu servers will open once the client is able to connect to the different servers as HotS is gona support all regions on launch apparentally...

#32 Posted by Bollard (5209 posts) -

@Shibbxyz said:

I got into the beta woop! :D

Brad if you want to borrow my account you more than welcome to :D

Sweet! Let us know how it is ;)

#33 Edited by YI_Orange (1124 posts) -

@Ben_H: @baldgye: @StarvingGamer said:

People that don't need the counter will just ignore it. People that need the counter as a crutch will always be bad at SC so who cares. People with the potential to improve will have the counter as an extra reminder to get their brain working the right way until they reach the point where they don't need it any more. There is no downside.

This was pretty much the point I was trying to get across.

Also, I didn't ladder in Brood War and I sure as hell didn't follow the pro scene. (I was like 10). I do remember seeing something from a blizzcon a couple years back, it was a zvz and basically boiled down to who would land the first muta/scourge hit. Was kinda dumb. Either way, I'm not in a position to argue BW vs. SC 2.

As for them streamlining the game, I only see it as a good thing. The worker thing I've already expressed(hopefully clearly at this point) my opinion on. Being able to select up to 255(now increased) units at once is an amazing change. Being able to only select 12 at a time in BW, and to a lesser extent WC 3, was just dumb and the number arbitrary. People should have their units separated into groups anyway, and even watching the GSL you can see how bad putting everything on one group can be.

Also, the argument of them changing this being an indicator of more changes to come is poor. With a game like Starcraft the specific changes matter. You can't argue that a worker counter is the same as automating injects(I know you said it was different, I'm just using it as an example), or anything for that matter.

@Shibbxyz: Lucky. I expect reports!

#34 Edited by RenMcKormack (1071 posts) -

@Brad: Aren't you a Press Guy? Were you wearing your hat with the Press Badge jutting out the side? Writing in your notebook? this is an outrage.

I have a feeling that folks will give you their keys in this very thread.

#35 Posted by Autumn_Thunder (79 posts) -

Are people here still arguing about the worker count thing? Because I'm pretty sure they confirmed it to be exclusive to replay/observer mode, not to those actualy playing the game (like the production tab, etc.)

#36 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

@Autumn_Thunder said:

Are people here still arguing about the worker count thing? Because I'm pretty sure they confirmed it to be exclusive to replay/observer mode, not to those actualy playing the game (like the production tab, etc.)

that's not even close to true. was watching throrzain stream HotS's last night and he had it showing while he was laddering

#37 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19306 posts) -

@Autumn_Thunder said:

Are people here still arguing about the worker count thing? Because I'm pretty sure they confirmed it to be exclusive to replay/observer mode, not to those actualy playing the game (like the production tab, etc.)

That's absolutely not true since I've actually seen people playing the beta and they see their own worker counter at their bases and on their gas.

#38 Posted by Inquisitor_Sif (58 posts) -

One thing I have been wondering ever since the announcement of the three-part Starcarft 2: what is going to happen to those that own WoL after HotS's release? And how is it when LotV comes out?

#39 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

Probablly pan out like sc/bw

#40 Edited by EthanML (451 posts) -

@Inquisitor_Sif said:

One thing I have been wondering ever since the announcement of the three-part Starcarft 2: what is going to happen to those that own WoL after HotS's release? And how is it when LotV comes out?

People who own only WoL will continue to be able to play against others who only have it, forever.

Also, wow, why are people so aggressive in the SC2 forums :p The thing that is annoying about the like of the worker count and many other design decisions like it, is not so much the things themselves, but the general direction they indicate that Blizzard want to take SC in i.e. appealing more to casuals.

It is understandable that those of us who have dedicated the past 2+ years of our gaming lives to this game, and picked up all these little nuances that you need to know the natural way, would be somewhat annoyed when changes like this come in unnecessarily. But no, it's not the end of the world or anything.

That's the warhound.

#41 Posted by PhilipDuck (530 posts) -

Damn i need a key for this.. :(

#42 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

I have 4 HotS accounts... its not difficult to get one

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