There are a few posts on the Battle.net forums related to upcoming balance updates, most notable of which is a modified release schedule. Due to current ongoing tournaments, Blizzard has decided to push back the balance update's release for Europe only:
As David Kim mentioned in his recent forum post, we’ll be moving forward with a new balance update this week. However, we realized that our original release schedule for Friday, February 28 would offer WCS Europe Premier League Group F competitors just a few short hours to practice with the new changes. Instead, we’re going to slightly alter our release schedule by holding off on the balance update for the European Battle.net region until after the Group F broadcast concludes on Saturday, March 1.
With tournaments on-going across the globe, there’s never a perfect time to roll out a balance update, but we want to make sure our target dates will have the least amount of impact possible on upcoming events. Once again, this schedule change will only affect Europe and we are still planning to release the update for all other Battle.net regions on Friday, February 28.
David Kim also posted about the upcoming balance update, explaining some of the changes that will be coming :
Widow Mine splash damage increased from 40 to 40 +40 shields We’ve seen a little confusion surrounding this change and we’d like to clarify that it does not change the Widow Mine’s single target damage. As for the splash damage, this is how it’ll work:
• Up to 1.25 radius, splash damage will increase from 40 to 40 +40 vs. shields. • From 1.25 to 1.5 radius, splash damage will increase from 20 to 20 +20 vs. shields. • From 1.5 to 1.75 radius, splash damage will increase from 10 to 10 +10 vs. shields.
Hydralisk attack delay decreased from .83 to .75 We believe this change is good for all three match ups after testing. In ZvP, it seems to make a significant difference even though it’s turning out to be not as big as we initially thought before we started testing.
Mothership Core vision decreased from 14 to 9 After testing, this change is turning out to be quite a bit of a nerf for Protoss in terms of early scouting. It also makes the army vs. army case a bit weaker for Protoss in terms of the vision the Mothership Core provides, especially when vision is critically needed, such as during Feedback vs. EMP battles.
The winners for the 2013 Blizzard Stream Awards have been announced! With a ton of award categories and thus a ton of winners, the list is simply too large to put here. So, to see all of the winners and runners-up of the 2013 Blizzard Stream Awards, click here.
A new balance test map is out, titled "Frost LE (2.1.0 Balance v1.0)". The changes it has are:
Photon Overcharge duration decreased from 60 to 50 seconds.
Time Warp energy cost increased from 75 to 100.
Resonance Coil ground weapon damage increased from 30 to 30 + 30 vs. Structures.
Starting energy increased from 50 to 75.
The Moebius Reactor upgrade has been removed from the Ghost Academy.
Cost decreased from 100/50 to 100/25.
New to this call of action is the balance test extension mod. You can access this mod by selecting a map in the Custom Games menu, clicking the Create with Mod button, and selecting the Blizzard mod "Balance Test Mod". This way, you can test the changes on any map you desire.
You can also see the reasoning behind these changes here.
To celebrate the free release of the Arcade, Blizzard is holding a contest for creating games using the Map Editor and Art Tools. This aptly named "Rock the Cabinet" contest will award over fifteen thousand dollars to the winning entries, which will be chosen by the community, as well as "other amazing perks". The contest will end on May 31, 2014, and the rules are as follows:
The game must be in English.
Barring any legal restrictions from your home country and state, anyone is able to participate in this contest, but there must be an English version of the game.
The game should support at least one, but no more than six players.
You can make a single player RPG or a battle-arena game, but we don’t want the lobby size to be too big. Six is a good maximum for us.
Your game files will need to be uploaded as part of the submission.
The game must be published to the North American Region of StarCraft II using the map editor.
The game’s info page in the StarCraft II Arcade must have a description, at least one screenshot, and the ‘How to Play’ section must be filled out.
A forum thread must be created on our Arcade Game Showcase Forum with the following requirements:
The title of the thread should read “Rock the Cabinet: [GAMENAME]”
Example: Rock the Cabinet: StarJeweled
A link to your game should be provided.
Example (StarJeweled): starcraft://map/1/85968
A description of your game should be included in the first post in the thread.
For more details about the Rock the Cabinet contest, click here.
A post is up on the StarCraft II forums, detailing the upcoming balance test map and the suggested balance changes. Here are the changes that are being finalized for the test map:
- Photon Overcharge duration decreased from 60 to 50 - Time Warp energy cost increased from 75 to 100 - Ghosts build with the energy upgrade built in - Hydralisk cost decreased from 100/50 to 100/25 - Late game PvZ - A Passive Tempest ability that allows them to deal 2-3 times more damage vs. Structures (We’re not 100% set on the actual value yet.)
You can check out the full reasoning for these changes in this post.
The previously-announced www.blizzardarcade.com is up and running! There's currently an introductory article on the site, explaining some of the things that will be posted weekly:
Every other Friday we put out Arcade Highlights where we showcase some of the best of Arcade games and Arcade Workshops where we take a look at up-and-coming games. We also organize Arcade nights where we encourage you, the Arcade community, to hop online and play awesome games together.
The site is basically a "front page" to the now-completely-free Blizzard Arcade. You can see featured custom games, news about the arcade, and popular arcade forum topics all on the home page. Be sure to check it out if mapmaking or custom games interest you.
Blizzard has posted a new video that's, well, an announcement video. It's hard to explain, so here it is:
The video introduces the idea that Blizzard is enthusiastic about game development, and will help out aspiring game designers and creators by giving out Blizzard's own in-house development tools for free. Not much information is in the video, but it seems the site www.blizzardarcade.com will be up and running with more info in the near future. On top of that, Patch 2.1 for StarCraft II has made several art tools available for creating content for the StarCraft II engine. You can see the Art Tools video down below:
Other related news is that anyone who downloads the Starter Edition of StarCraft II will have access to the entirety of the Arcade, allowing new users to play custom games absolutely free.
It's an exciting time to get into game design. With whatever news coming with www.blizzardarcade.com and having access to the StarCraft II art tools, Blizzard is willing to help.