StarCraft II – Heart of the Swarm Releases Midnight Pacific

Starcraft_2_Heart_of_the_Swarm_PC_wallpaper

Blizzard’s expansion for the StarCraft series, Heart of the Swarm, is hitting stores tonight. While I expect most of the people buying HotS are going to be buying digitally, I’d like to see how packed the download servers are going to be.

I like StarCraft, and I love playing with friends, but believe me when I say that I am dreadful at this game. Absolutely terrible. I do love playing this with friends though, whether it be versus or a comp-stomp. As much as I’d like to get this, I think I’ll skip on this expansion for a while, as it’s a bit too pricey for my liking.

Heart of the Swarm is releasing at Midnight Pacific time for the US and introduces gameplay updates and fixes along with continuing the story campaign that picks up after Wings of Liberty: the base game for StarCraft II. The campaign features new missions and follows the Queen of Blades, Sarah Kerrigan, in her quest for revenge against the ones who wronged her in the past.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an expansion without a few new toys to play with. Each playable race receives new units that add new dimensions to StarCraft II’s very competitive online play.

Zerg

Zerg get an awesome new unit in the form of the Swarm host, which is a unit i could see myself massing and surrounding an enemy base with. Might be effective, but it’d still be hella fun.

Viper – Aerial caster, abuses positioning

Swarm host – Cumbersome unit that streams Locusts to lay siege to positions while burowed

Protoss

The Protoss get more aerial units to add to the supposedly legendary Protoss fleet. While their aerial potency was weak in Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm comes in to fix the Protoss air game with three new ships:

Oracle – Aerial Ground Harassment

Tempest – Aerial Artillery Unit

Mothership Core – Aerial Support Caster, replaces the Mothership

Terran

Terran were widely considered to be overpowered in Wings of Liberty, so they don’t get a lot of new toys to play with in the expansion:

Hellbat – Transforms from Hellions, Stronger, slower front line flamethrower units

Widow Mine – Burrowing splash damage kamikaze

Blizzard is streaming multiple Heart of the Swarm community events in preparation for the launch of HotS. Actually, while I was typing this, I saw finale of the European event, which ended with a Happy Birthday and birthday cake for one of the gusts attending. Kinda charming. Anyways, you can watch it here, complete with a schedule underneath showing the streaming times and a countdown up top.

You can pre-purchase your digital copy in this link if you’re eager to get your hands on it. $40 dollars for the standard edition, and $60 dollars for the deluxe edition, which comes with:

  • Indomitable Torrasque, a skin for your Ultralisk units
  • Baneling Pet for World of Warcraft players
  • Baneling Wings/Baneling Sigil in Diablo III

A collector’s edition is only available in stores and come with everything the deluxe edition comes with, along with:

  • Heart of the Swarm Art Book
  • Zerg Rush Mouse Pad
  • Behind The Scenes Blu-Ray/DVD Set
  • Looks like Blizzard is peddling useless things for its other games again. I don’t see any value for the deluxe edition, so I’d stick with standard.
  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack

Jesus. This is an expansion pack, guys. Calm down with the stuff. Blizzard be Blizzardin’.

Anyways, I’m skipping heart of the Swarm until I feel invested enough to get it, as playing StarCraft isn’t too high on my priorities. I still enjoy it, but I just don’t play. Anyone plan on downloading it tonight?

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