In anticipation of Legacy of the Void's release next month, Blizzard has announced a significant refresh to the StarCraft II user interface. The updates will be released with the forthcoming Patch 3.0 for all instances of StarCraft II, including Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and even the Starter Edition. The overall goal of the revisions was to create a more social experience in the client and the specific areas of focus were a direct result of community feedback. The update provides extensive improvements to the Arcade, the chat system, and the menus throughout the client, including the introduction of additional hotkeys.

One of the most impactful changes is that the menu navigation is has been localized entirely within the top-left corner of the screen. The Arcade menu has been completely overhauled, placing map info directly in the menu screen and moving 'Open Games' to be the default module. Accordingly, the 'Open Games' list is now quicker and easier to browse. Chat now has a permanent space along the right side of the player's screen and the interface has been designed so that it will never interfere with the new menu navigation. Blizzard has eliminated the multi-window regime from the previous design and instead has streamlined the chat experience into one chat window with multiple conversation tabs. To learn more about all of the changes, you can read Blizzard's announcement post and watch a summary video below:




Overhauling the UI
To ensure this new chat system would work well with the rest of the UI, it became clear we would have to redesign the rest of the game’s screens so we meticulously overhauled the spacing, format, and content of every section. In order to give our content more space, we moved the navigation, sub-navigation, and the party panel to the top of the screen. With this extra room, we saw an opportunity to inlay new 3D scenes into every screen to further bring the StarCraft universe to life in the UI. 


As an homage to the nostalgia that has persisted for more than seventeen years, Blizzard redesigned the StarCraft II campaign menu in the style of the original StarCraft and Brood War menus. While we are delighted by the throwback, technically, Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void represent episodes 7, 8, and 9, in the StarCraft saga. Blizzard likely wishes to avoid the resulting confusion from new players to the franchise and view the StarCraft II campaigns as a standalone trilogy. However, we would love to see an alternative naming convention the respects the continuity of the story line. Better yet, having placeholder menus for the older campaigns that open short summaries and have links to the StarCraft and Brood War game clients would be an excellent gateway mechanic to entice a new generation to experience the original source material.


The Redesigned StarCraft II Campaign Menu


The Original StarCraft Campaign Menu


The StarCraft: Brood War Campaign Menu


The new interface design appears to inspired by minimalist design principles and due to the resulting simplicity, it possesses a clean modern aesthetic. By streamlining the menu and chat systems, Blizzard has addressed many of the longstanding original user interface issues that have caused vocal and widespread concern throughout the community since the introduction of 2.0. The community has responded positively to the portions of the refresh previewed and, perhaps more importantly, to this example of Blizzard's willingness to invest in fundamental revisions to existing systems. Many in the community have noted and celebrated the similarities between the changes inherent in this revamp and the original features found in Brood War, perhaps proving that great gameplay wasn't Brood War's only legacy. A perfect mix of new and old, Blizzard has always been forthright about their iterative process and this redesign is a perfect example of the goodwill and success that results that come from that strong commitment to game's ecosystem. These adjustments to the UI have the potential to drastically improve both current and future fans' StarCraft experiences.

While no specific date has been announced for Patch 3.0, luckily fans do not have long to wait, the update will be coming before Legacy of the Void's launch on November 10, 2015.

Sources: - New User Interface Coming to StarCraft II - StarCraft II - Patch 3.0 UI Revamp
StarCraft SubReddit - New User Interface Coming to StarCraft II

Xordiah recently posted instructions for submitting your computer specifications in order to be able to opt-in to the StarCraft II beta:

The StarCraft II beta-test period is coming in the months ahead! If you’d like a chance to participate, now’s the time to let us know. Simply log in to your account ( ), and click “Beta Profile Settings” to go through the new beta opt-in process and upload a snapshot of your system specs. During this process, you’ll also have the opportunity to opt in to future betas for other Blizzard Entertainment games. Please note that even if you’ve opted in to our betas previously, you’ll need to complete this new process and upload your current system specs to have a chance to be invited.For more information, see the FAQ below -- or create a account ( ) to opt in now. If you have an unused beta code from BlizzCon 2008 or WWI 2008, visit this site ( ) to enter your code.

In addition, each fansite received a Q&A from Chris Sigaty:

Questions answered by Chris Sigaty, StarCraft II lead producer

Q. StarCraft II opt-ins are now available through Does the opt-in process mean that the start of the StarCraft II beta is imminent?

A. We're getting closer and closer to the start of our closed beta with each week that passes. Several months ago, we expanded our internal testing of the game to the entire company, and we've made significant progress since then. We're looking forward to inviting external testers into the process soon, which is why we're starting sign-ups now.

Q. What aspects of the game will be available for testing in this beta?

A. As with previous betas for our real-time strategy games, the StarCraft II beta test will be multiplayer only, and players will have access to all three races -- terrans, protoss, and zerg -- and all of their units. We'll include a selection of multiplayer maps, but they won't necessarily include all of the maps that will be in the final version of the game. We're making some great progress on the single-player campaign, but we don't plan to do a public beta since we want to keep the story under wraps until the game's out.

Q. Will we be able to try the new during this beta?

A. You'll be connecting to and playing on the new in the StarCraft II beta, and you'll definitely have a chance to play around with a few of the new features -- but what you'll see in the beta is really only a taste of what's to come.

Q. What updates and changes have you made to the game recently?

A. We're constantly tweaking the gameplay and balance, and we will be all throughout the beta process, but perhaps the most visible changes have been made to the zerg. Our art team has done a polishing and iteration pass on many of the zerg unit models and structures, so players can look forward to seeing a lot more detail there. Compared to the versions you've seen before, the zerg units and bases now look a lot slimier and more sinister.

We're also really looking forward to seeing testers try out the new gameplay mechanics we've introduced to each race, like the proton charge for the protoss and the MULE for the terrans that allow them to harvest minerals faster. The zerg also have a spawn larvae ability that gives them a new way to expand their production. We're hoping these abilities increase the strategic tension for players and force some tough tactical decisions when managing economies and micromanaging battles.

Q. Which regions can join the StarCraft II beta test?

A. Our plan is to include multiple regions and countries in the StarCraft II beta-testing process. We'll be starting with a North American beta, where testers from the United States and Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand will be able to join. We'll then phase in testers in other regions such as Korea, Taiwan, and Europe as soon as we're able to set up in those areas.

Q. Why aren't you running StarCraft II beta simultaneously in all regions?

A. It's more efficient from a development standpoint to phase in each region one at a time. A big part of the beta test involves setting up new hardware and networking infrastructure, which is not a trivial process. If we set up one region at a time, we can more quickly address any issues we run into at the start, and take the lessons we learn from that experience to establish a smoother setup experience for the next region.

We can also implement all sorts of gameplay and balance changes, view the results, and react to what we've observed much more quickly in a single test environment, as opposed to getting bogged down trying to push those changes out across several test environments. Once the major issues are ironed out, we can expand the testing to additional regions. Going region by region will also put us in a better position to test localized versions of the beta.

Q. Will testers be allowed to write about the beta? Take screenshots and videos?

A. Yes! Beta testers will be free to write about their experiences playing the beta as well as take screenshots or videos. We're really looking forward to getting the game into players' hands so we can hear their feedback, since that will help propel us into the final stages of development and balancing. We've been working hard on StarCraft II, and we can't wait to finally be able to hear what everyone has to say about it.

Source: - StarCraft II Beta Test Opt-in

StarCraft II Battle Report 2 has been released. This game is between Matt Cooper and David Kim on the map Blistering Sands:

Part 1

Part 2

The commentary is done again by Dustin Browder, lead designer of StarCraft II, and Robert Simpson, Blizzard E-Sports Coordinator.

Source: - Battle Report 2


Blizzard today announced BlizzCon '09, sporting all the usual features. However, this time the convention is to be held in August (as it was two years ago). The official press release includes:

PARIS, France -- February 17th, 2009‚Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for its fourth BlizzCon gaming convention, to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22. BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes. In response to the festival's increasing popularity, this year's event has been expanded from three convention halls to four.

"We've been amazed by the incredible response to each of our previous BlizzCon events," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We're pleased to be bringing the convention back to Anaheim this year, and we look forward to this new opportunity to meet Blizzard gamers from around the world."

BlizzCon will offer a wide variety of activities throughout the two-day event. In addition to serving as a gathering place for Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, attendees will be able to enjoy:

  • Hands-on play time with upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games
  • Discussion panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • Community contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard Entertainment's game universes
  • A silent auction
  • More exciting activities and attractions to be announced

Further details, including ticket availability and pricing, will be announced on the official BlizzCon website,, as the event draws closer.

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at

Blizzard EU Press Release

The forum software has been upgraded. Important changes include an updated layout and the addition of anti-spam tools.

Bashiok wrote:

We've just brought our brand-new forums online. The new forums bring a host of new features and stability, as well as helpful tools for us to better moderate and organize posts. Theyre available right now -- to access them, visit:

The forum login requirements remain the same. In order to post you will need an account created by a supported game and a CD-key.

These forums will no longer be open for posting, but if youd like to copy a thread or back up some information, theyll remain available until Monday, October 13.

The benefits of implementing these new forums are numerous, and we hope youre as excited as we are to see this step toward the continued growth and support of our community.

Source: - StarCraft II General Discussion"

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