StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Beta – State of the Union Report

A bit of a joke in the title (name given to the annual message from the president of the United States).

In this aptly named Community Feedback Update, David Kim (senior game designer) addressed players to inform the latest tasks the StarCraft II team is working on as beta testing continues.

As we mentioned before, we’d like to provide our thoughts on areas that we’ve looked into this week based on community suggestions. Before we get into the details, we’d like to point out while we try our best to hit majority of the big topics, it’ll be impossible to cover every single topic every time. The goal here is to discuss big issues with you guys, and continue doing so over time. With this first post, we’re covering a few more topics than we might typically cover in a normal update. However, we think this is a good way to kick off these updates.

We’d like to also make it as clear as possible that game design is not about implementing every idea that the majority thinks is correct, it’s about finding the key ideas that will be best for the game. So we’ll do our best to keep an open mind on topics and even if we’re currently thinking that we won’t try something out, we’ll keep it as part of our regular discussions if those issues keep being brought up by the community. Please also try your best to do this as well, and remember it’s not about how many people say something, and it’s not about bandwagoning onto the loudest idea. It’s about trying to look at issues from every angle possible to make sure it is in fact what’s best for our game. Just as an example, internally in design meetings we try our best to detach ourselves from every idea. Even if I’ve suggested something, I try my best to analyze how it might be bad. This way, I can focus on the specific idea and if it’s the correct move for the game, rather than pushing for the idea just because I thought of something I think is awesome.

Here are our thoughts on many of the bigger community discussions this past week:

    Flying unit separation radius

  • We agree that when you are controlling larger numbers of air units, it’s difficult to do the moving shot micro.
  • This requires a code fix, and we’re currently exploring and testing something that we can add to the beta soon.

    Making all damage points to zero for air units

  • One of the reasons we don’t have a default damage point of zero is so that the timing of micro has to be mastered by players. Just making it zero will mean microing is just much easier, which is probably not the direction we want to go.
  • We generally don’t make extreme changes that alter so many things at once, due to the side effects these changes can cause. Changing every single air unit’s damage point is not something we’d like to explore, but we’d be open to specific air unit damage point changes if the change makes sense.
  • With a damage point of zero, a unit that is facing its target can immediately move away after being issued the attack order. With the default damage point, the player must instead time their movement to happen after the attack is performed. An example of where this is pushed even further is the Hellion, which has a higher than normal damage point. The unique timing required for this unit requires additional mastery, which makes it more impressive when pros are able to be so effective with them. Since the suggested goal of the change is to have more interesting micro, in this specific case, we wonder if what we currently have is more interesting micro than the proposed changes.

    Siege Tank /Immortal turret tracking

  • This sounds like a very minor change that probably won’t have a huge impact. However, because many players believe this will be of great help, so we’ll test it fairly quickly internally, then put the change in also in the beta. So you can expect this change to go into the beta soon.

    Community resourcing model suggestion

  • We also watched show matches, tried games ourselves, and we agree with the majority of you guys that it’s too similar to Heart of the Swarm. But we wanted to comment again on this because it’s still a topic discussed by some.
  • Just to reiterate once more, we’re not looking to make minor tweaks in this area. We’re looking for a big change that will make sure that players will spread out their expansions at a much faster rate than they do in Heart of the Swarm.
  • Currently, the resourcing model that we’re testing in the beta is doing a very good job of this.

    Ranked play in the beta

  • We hear your feedback and agree that it’ll be good to enable ranked play.
  • We may not be able to do this right away as we’ll need to introduce this with a client patch and can’t use the same method we use for the balance update which is done through publishing.
  • Due to the feedback we’ve seen on this topic, we’ve currently scheduled to enable ranked play in the beta with the next client patch.

    Disruptor being too all-or-nothing

  • We agree with you guys here. The optimal case looks too strong, and when you miss with a hit it seems like the Disruptor is killed too easily at such a high cost investment.
    • We’ve been trying various things in this area for a while now, but this is where we’re at right now:
    • Much lower radius (this is the biggest change + Disruptors look too underpowered right now in our testing)
    • Lower cost
    • Faster speed when activated
    • Less delay before firing

  • Overall, it looks like we have a decent solve for the case of a single hit ending games often.
  • We believe the next step in this area is to test out changes that would allow players to more easily save and reuse the Disruptors. This way, we can solve the issue where a miss creates a high chance of the game being over.

We’d also like to comment on some topics that we found interesting this week. Again, please keep in mind just because we don’t mention something here, it doesn’t mean we haven’t read it. While it’s impossible to read every single post that comes up every day, we do try our best and can tell you that we read a big majority of the things you guys bring up.

    Adept micro tips video was very cool.

  • It was a very good example of relaying more info on something new, so that players in the beta can better test new units.
  • It would definitely be more cool to see more tips on new units videos, because we believe faster we have the majority of beta testers ramped up with new units, the more high quality beta testing we will have going forward.

There was a post asking if players want battles to last much longer. Our thoughts are that the current pace feels really good, and we were happy to see that most players didn’t want battles to last longer in StarCraft II.


BlizzCon 2014 – StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Multiplayer Panel Transcript

This is a full transcript of the Blizzcon 2014 StarCraft II Legacy of the Void Multiplayer panel with panelists David Kim (senior game designer II), David Sum (game designer) and Aron Kirkpatrick (Technical Designer).

BlizzCon 2014 – StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Multiplayer Panel Transcript

Presenter: Welcome to the StarCraft II Legacy of the Void Multiplayer Panel.

BlizzCon 2014 - StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Multiplayer Panel Transcript

Browder: BlizzCon, this is one of my favorite panels of the day. These guys are going to talk about StarCraft II multiplayer.

This is your StarCraft II multiplayer design team: we’ve got David Kim, we’ve got David Sum and we’ve got Aron Kirkpatrick. These guys do so much work working on multiplayer for you guys and they are going to try to give you all the information they possibly can about StarCraft II multiplayer and answer as many of your questions as they possibly can. Take it away guys.


BlizzCon 2014 – StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Overview Panel Transcript

This is a transcript of the StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Overview panel held at BlizzCon 2014. Among the panelists were: James Waugh (Director of Story development), Allen Dilling (Lead 3D artist), Jason Huck (Lead level designer), Justin Thavirat (Lead 3D artist) and Matt Morris (Lead campaign designer).


Waugh: Welcome everybody to the Legacy of the Void Campaign Panel. We hope to answer all your burning questions about the end development final chapter of the StarCraft II trilogy. My name is James Waugh, I’m the lead writer; I’m joined on stage by Jason Huck (lead level designer), Allen Dilling (lead artist), Justin Thavirat (lead artist) and Matthew Morris (lead campaign designer); each of whom will talk about how their discipline helped craft the game.


Multiple Community Manager Positions Available at Blizzard Careers

Blizzard Entertainment is energetically seeking for talented and charismatic fans to join the ranks of the Community Manager Team across most game teams. Check them out and good luck! More important, while chances are you might not get the job, keep trying. Don’t give up.

Community Development

StarCraft II Patch 2.1.10 Released

Blizzard Entertainment rolled out a small patch to address two crash bugs and a profile issue in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where players would receive an “input Limit Reached” error when viewing their profile while having a friend that belongs to a clan.

  • Fixed a crash that would sometimes occur when viewing the Score Screen after a game.

  • Fixed a rare crash affecting Arcade games.


StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Closed Beta Has Begun

Blizzard Entertainment officially launched closed beta to test StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. However, this is a invite-only first wave and more invitations will be emailed over a period of time. We recommend you to check out your beta opt-in preferences to make sure it is selected. For now read the closed beta FAQ.

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Closed Beta Has Begun

How is access to the Legacy of the Void beta test being granted?
At the start of the beta test, we will be directly flagging accounts for access and will not be sending beta keys until later on in the beta cycle. If you’ve been selected to participate, you’ll see a Beta: Legacy of the Void option under StarCraft II’s region selection drop-down menu in the desktop app. It will be listed under the “In Development” header where you normally find the PTR. A welcome email should also have been sent to your registered email address.

If you received what appears to be a beta key for Legacy of the Void, it’s fake! For more information on scams of this type, see our Phishing support article. If you have already responded or signed up on a website for a key, we recommend you take steps to ensure the security of your account. We’ll update this FAQ and let everyone know when we anticipate keys becoming available.

How do I opt-in?
If you’d like to opt in for a chance to participate in the Legacy of the Void beta test, go to your Beta Profile Settings in account management and check the box for the StarCraft universe. Then click Update Preferences.

How are beta test participants selected from the opt-in pool?
Beta testers are chosen according to a variety of factors, including their system specs, 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?
Further down the line 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 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 we determine that we need more players to participate during testing, we’ll invite more.

I bought tickets to last year’s BlizzCon/WCS Global Finals—when can I expect my beta invite?
Beta invites are coming out in waves to ensure the stability of servers, gameplay, and matchmaking. Those who bought tickets to BlizzCon 2014 or the StarCraft II WCS 2014 Global Finals, as well as BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket holders, will be granted priority access to the closed beta before those who opted in for beta access. Note that due to the nature of account flagging, only the registered email used to purchased the tickets online will be able to access the beta test, regardless of how many tickets were purchased.

I got a BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket—do I get beta access?
Yes, we’ll be granting beta access to those who purchased a BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket or redeemed one on their account. See above.

I got a beta invite! Am I permitted to stream or create content about the beta?
Yes! The only expectation is that your stream or other content must clearly be labeled as Legacy of the Void: Closed Beta. If you are streaming on Twitch, please make sure your channel is correctly set to broadcast under the new “Legacy of the Void” game option.

I have feedback about something I experienced in Legacy of the Void beta. How can share my thoughts or suggestions?
We’ll be opening up beta-specific forums the week following beta launch. Once your account is flagged with beta access, you’ll be able to view and post on these boards. Developers, designers, and the community team will be reviewing threads daily, though keep in mind we may not be able to respond to each suggestion directly.

I have a support problem for something I would like to see in Legacy of the Void. Where do I send it?
Use the “Bugs” section of the beta forums, where members from our Quality Assurance team will be able to help provide solutions to technical issues. Please do not contact Customer Service with any technical issues related to beta, as they will not be able to provide support.

I encountered a bug during the beta! How do I report it?
You can report all bugs under the “Bugs” section of our beta-specific forums. This will allow us to see the amount of players that are being impacted and work to get specific system details if necessary.

Can I run a tournament or host show matches using the beta?
We welcome anyone to run online events with less than $10,000 USD or equivalent in prizing. Keep in mind that the purpose of the beta is to test and gather feedback, so we cannot ensure that units, maps, spells, and other features will be fully balanced. We also cannot promise that beta servers will be up and available during the time of your event. Due to the nature of the beta, any organizer that wishes to run an onsite event, or an event with $10,000 USD or more in prizing, will require explicit approval from Blizzard Entertainment. Please contact us at [email protected]om.

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. This testing will also include the upcoming Archon Mode. We will share information about future plans for the beta as we get closer to new content being released.

How long will the beta test last?
We have not determined an exact end date for 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 regions and languages are supported in the beta?
The Legacy of the Void beta will be accessible in all regions except China, and the languages supported for the beta will reflect this.

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


Activision Blizzard Q1 2015 Financial Conference Call on May 6

Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Morhaime is scheduled to report progress on all current and upcoming Blizzard video games and expansions on May 6 during the Activision Blizzard conference call.


Activision Blizzard Q1 2015 Financial Conference Call on May 6

SANTA MONICA, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) intends to release its first quarter 2015 results after the close of the market on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 . In conjunction with this release, Activision Blizzard will host a conference call that will be broadcast over the Internet.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
1:30 p.m. Pacific Time ( 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time )


At the moment of this posting, Blizzard Entertainment hasn’t announced a date for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void closed beta, but they announced it is drawing near. Unless it is announced earlier, this upcoming conference call might be a good platform to announce an approximate or fully disclosed launch date. Thus, keep a close eye to May 6’s event. We will certainly have a transcript of the conference that evening. Check out our transcripts for past Activision Blizzard conference calls.

Activision Blizzard Q1 2015 Financial Conference Call on May 6

Sideshow Collectibles StarCraft II Tychus Sixth Scale Figure

The Sideshow Collectibles StarCraft II Tychus Sixth Scale Figure is now available for pre-order, so make absolute all preparations to reserve a limited copy. It is the most complex piece of work ever done for a Blizzard Licensed Product with a whooping 525 individually engineered components.

The Sideshow Collectibles StarCraft II Tychus Sixth Scale Figure is slated to ship around Q4 2015.

Product Summary

”Hell… it’s about time!”

From Blizzard Entertainment’s best-selling strategy game, StarCraft II, Sideshow Collectibles is proud to introduce the Tychus Sixth Scale Figure.

While not even Jim Raynor can be certain of the truth behind his past, or just where his loyalties lie, one thing is for sure: Tychus Findlay always goes big. Always. Assembled from over 525 individually engineered components, Findlay gears up in Sideshow’s Sixth Scale Terran Space Marine armor with an incredible range of articulation, multiple light-up features, and a colorful array of unique decals that suit him just fine – including snarky quips, tally marks and a pin-up of Kyla Velassi. Known for his big ego and even bigger guns, there’s no job in the whole universe too dangerous for this outlaw when he’s got a couple of flash grenades and a light-up C-14 Impaler Gauss rifle with bayonet attachment and removable clip. A born survivor, Tychus bears his ‘New Folsom Prison blues’ with true grit thanks to two interchangeable portraits: one with a scathing scowl, and one simply enjoying one of the best cigars in the Koprulu sector.


StarCraft Tech Manual by Insight Editions

StarCraft Tech Manual by Insight Editions is a new book slated to launch to bookstores on June 2015. This book, based on the StarCraft universe, may be compared with Diablo III: Book of Cain in terms of content and motiff.

It’s about time we see new books in development after the long hiatus since War Crimes. The StarCraft Tech Manual preview hints at new units never seen before, some even from StarCraft: Ghost. But what does that mean?

StarCraft Tech Manual by Insight Editions


Release Date: June 2015
Price: $45.00
ISBN: 9781608874507
Pages: 160

eBook: $32.99
ISBN: 9781608876341

About the Author: RICK BARBA is the author of several titles in the gaming genre, including StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Strategy Guide.

Selling Points

StarCraft Tech Manual joins Diablo III: Book of Cain and Diablo III: Book of Tyrael in our best-selling series of Blizzard lore books.

This unique book will take an in-world look at the StarCraft universe, with inserts lending the book an interactive element that fans will cherish.

StarCraft is a genre-defining science fiction military strategy game that boasts legions of fans worldwide. The latest installment, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, was the top-selling PC game of 2013.


Additionally, the StarCraft series itself has sold more than 15 million copies.

Will include units that have not been seen in the game and have only been introduced into the IP through the fiction or the StarCraft: Ghost game, which has been placed on indefinite hold.

In addition to game assets, the book will feature epic original art comparable to our Diablo III books.

Building on the success of Diablo III: Book of Cain and The Dark Knight Manual, this immersive book will be designed to function as an in-world artifact within the StarCraft universe. Fully illustrated, the book will be narrated from the perspective of Dominion and will reveal the secrets of all the tech and science in the StarCraft world, including information on Zerg and Protoss units. Complete with diagrams, classified field notes by Terran researchers, technical breakdowns, and more, the StarCraft Tech Manual will form the ultimate companion to the best-selling franchise.



StarCraft Raynor Sixth Scale Figure Pre-Orders Begin

Sideshow Collectibles opened pre-orders for the Raynor Starcraft Sixth Scale Figure. The figure is slated to ship on February 2015*. There is a limited production of this figure, so grab it while you can.

*Correction: Earlier I posted it was shipping now. The affiliate page said Q4 2014 (as shown in the image below), but the landing sale page says February 2015. Blizzard Global Licensing Jason Bischoff confirmed it ships February 2015.


From the hit Blizzard Entertainment title, Starcraft II, Sideshow Collectibles is proud to introduce Jim Raynor -Terran Space Marine. Confederate marshal turned outlaw rebel, Jim Raynor does not back down from a fight. Equipped with technologically advanced armor and weaponry, the Raynor – Terran Space Marine was assembled from over 525 individually engineered components, making it one of Sideshow’s most ambitious Sixth Scale projects to date. The detailed armor features light up elements in the chest and engine vents, an impressive cache of weapons includes a C-14 Impaler Gauss rifle, a massive sniper rifle, and Jim’s signature revolver.

Product Details

License: StarCraft
Scale: Sixth Scale Figure
Manufacturer: Sideshow Collectibles

Product Size: 15.5″ H (393.7mm) x 9.5″ W (241.3mm) x 6.75″ L (171.45mm)*
Dimensional Weight: TBD

Product Sku: 100181
UPC: 747720222380


Anthony Mestas (Paint), Michael Fictenmayer (Paint), Wan Lee (Paint), Big Shot Toyworks (Sculpt and Development), Trevor Grove (Sculpt), Kevin Ellis (Costume Fabrication), The Sideshow Collectibles Design and Development Team

© Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What’s in the Box?

  • Fully Articulated Figure Body with highly detailed, fully articulated armor
  • Removable Helmet with retractble visor
  • C-14 Impaler Gauss Rifle
  • Pistol with fabric holster
  • Sniper Rifle
  • Light up effects in chest, engine vents, and rifle


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