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StarCraft II Closed Beta Begins 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the rush-starts-now dept.
Blizzard announced today that the multiplayer beta test for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is now underway. The client downloader is available through Battle.net for people who have received invites, and the system requirements have been posted as well. A list of known issues is up on the official forums. StarCraft II and the revamped Battle.net are planned for release "in the first half of 2010."
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StarCraft II Closed Beta Begins

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  • But wasn't Diablo 3 announced first? Where is that beta?
    • It was at Blizzcon. I believe they gathered enough info there to do more work, and will release that beta when all the classes are finished.

    • Re:Been so long (Score:5, Informative)

      by Conchobair (1648793) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:01PM (#31176854)
      Nope. Announced Dates:
      StarCraft II - May 19, 2007
      Diablo 3 - June 28, 2008

      Although, it would not be inconceivable for Blizzard to have done that. They are all about taking as much time as it takes to get things done and have never shied away from pushing a title or patch back in order to ensure it was as polished as possible. This is why all of their games kick ass and kill Koreans imo. They go for quality over cutting content for a early release (KOTR2) or a pretty release date (Hellgate).
      • Unless you mean when they told people they were going to make a sequel.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vaphell (1489021)

        hellgate was rushed by the publisher because they wanted to see the monies, unfortunately unpolished mmo-like product usually doesn't get a second chance and the game failed. Blizzard is unique because they are immune to the hard gamedev reality thanks to endless stream of money from WoW. If there was no WoW they would be in trouble, after all SC2 is in development for 7 or 8 years already.

  • Mac (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chris Lawrence (1733598) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @05:51PM (#31176688) Homepage

    No Mac version yet, unfortunately. Both Mac and PC versions are going to be released together on the same media, but no word yet if Mac users will get to play with the beta.

    • Re:Mac (Score:5, Informative)

      by verbalcontract (909922) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:06PM (#31176922)

      According to the beta FAQ, the Mac version is coming:

      Will there be a Mac version of the beta client?
      We plan to release a Mac version of the beta client at some point during the beta test period. We’ll have further details to share as the beta test progresses.

      via the beta FAQ [battle.net].

      • Excellent news! I've been registered for the beta for a long time (along with my system info), so I hope they send me an invite when the Mac version is ready.

        • by mrxak (727974)

          It makes perfect sense. They're going to *have* to do a beta test for the Mac at some point, as they are going to release the final game on that platform. My guess is, Mac system profiles on people's battle.net accounts actually make for greater odds in getting in, as there will be less of them. It'll just take longer to get in if you're so lucky.

  • Lost my interest (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kitkoan (1719118) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @05:53PM (#31176728)
    When they declared it would be sold as three different packs, one per race. While they do have a history of expansion packs, it's never been 1 with 2 more like this, nor planned this far in advanced to break it up and sell the parts.
    • by megamerican (1073936) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:01PM (#31176846)

      It seems a little odd to be upset that they are more upfront about their plans for expansion packs and the content that will be in them. Each race will still be playable in multiplayer. There is no indication that the SCII won't have as much single player content as the original SC, albeit you'll only be able to play one races campaign.

      I'd much rather wait and see more details on what it entails before passing judgement.

      • Re:Lost my interest (Score:5, Informative)

        by HeronBlademaster (1079477) <heron@xnapid.com> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:45PM (#31177488) Homepage

        I'm not upset that they're being up front about it, I'm upset that they're doing it at all.

        See, instead of selling me "Starcraft II", they're selling me "Starcraft II, Terran Campaign" and pretending it's a full sequel to the original.

        The reality is, to get the full sequel to the original, I'm going to have to buy three games.

        Between that and the lack of real LAN play, they can count me as a lost customer.

        • So if they announced SC2, SC3, and SC4, would you be equally as upset? Yes?

          What if SC2 has as much content as the original Starcraft? And what if SC3 had as much content as the Expansion?

          Guess what?

          SC2 "Episode 1" has as much content as the original.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            SC2 "Episode 1" has as much content as the original.

            What does "as much content" mean?

            The original let me install spawn copies of the game on multiple computers, so I could play multiplayer with my friends even if they didn't own the game. That's a lot of "content" that SC2 won't have, in my view.

            If they had announced it as three full games, I'd still be irritated: it's the same effect.

            SC2 doesn't have "as much content" (in the sense of missions) because it's only showing 1/3 of the storyline. We only get the Terran viewpoint.

            That was the great thing about

            • Who says that's only 1/3 of the story? When/if they announce SC3 proper, that number changes to 1/4. If you count the original and the expansion, 1/6. The N64 version had extra content that was only on the N64, so 1/7. Then they'll announce the next expansion to SC3, and that will be 1/8.

              Saying "I'm getting a fixed portion of the story, where that portion is less than one -- and I don't like paying to get the rest" is meaningless when we don't know what the denominator on that fraction is, when it stops,
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by mrxak (727974)

              A few of other points to back you up here...

              The "equal number of missions" thing will probably just mean lots and lots of filler, or a far slower progression in terms of techs/units involved.

              Starcraft 2 also has a lot of RPG elements that RTS players don't care about or want. The reason Blizzard gives for splitting the game into three parts essentially boils down to the extra time involved to create the "content" that makes you do between-mission "quests" instead of a nice straight-forward mission briefing

        • Re:Lost my interest (Score:4, Interesting)

          by khellendros1984 (792761) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:04PM (#31177806) Journal
          You have the game and two expansions, and each one has about the number of levels that the original game had. It's a different direction for the game,, but I don't think it's bad (as long as the expansions don't cost as much as the full game...and maybe if they publish a whopping 90 mission version at some point)
        • I actually think the splitting of the campaigns is a good thing as it enables them to develop the story further and provide more content. I do however agree with the LAN issue - it seems most games I am interested in these days doesn't have a reasonable way of playing offline LAN games.
        • Re:Lost my interest (Score:4, Informative)

          by HeronBlademaster (1079477) <heron@xnapid.com> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:33PM (#31178152) Homepage

          I was about to ask why I got modded Troll, and then I realized that it was probably just someone modding me "-1 Disagree".

          Note to moderators: You may like Starcraft 2. Heck, I'm sure I would like Starcraft 2. But I'm willing to forgo its potential awesomeness, because Blizzard has made some choices with which I strongly disagree. This is called "voting with your wallet", and I am in no way saying you're wrong for buying the game; I'm simply saying I'm upset about it. This isn't trolling, it's simply an explanation of why I won't be buying the game.

        • by Starayo (989319)
          Modded troll? They ARE doing that! It's disgusting!

          I'm not buying it until I can get each at 1/3 the cost of a new game.
    • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:02PM (#31176866) Journal

      Do we really have to go thru this in every StarCraft II story?

      Why would you lose interest in the game because of that? Please tell me. They're separate stories and most likely priced as expansions too. And it's not like they made the 100% ready and are just keeping the two later expansion packs with them self now.

      • by Kitkoan (1719118) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:11PM (#31176984)

        Why would you lose interest in the game because of that? Please tell me.

        Because it's a bad for the industry as a whole. When a big player can suddenly decide to stop selling a full product and instead just sell it in parts with each part at full price, or near enough, is shows others that they can get away with this too. Its been shown with the downloadable content thats running rampant and wild to the point that it's being planned upon and worked on before the basic product is available, and being available on the games release date. Now instead of having a full game being sold we can buy something like RE5 and spend more money to open up the multi-player modes, or games like Sonic where you can pay to open up the harder difficulty mode. Refusing to buy and not just refusing but mentioning way is what helps. Or we can all look forward to buy every game a small sub-sets at full prices.

        • by Nos. (179609) <andrew@@@thekerrs...ca> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:16PM (#31177062) Homepage

          I remember seeing numbers posted here. The initial game will be a campaign for one race, approximately 40 missions. This was comparable (maybe even slightly more) than the original Starcraft. The expansions to SCII will each have another campaign for one of the races, with around 40 missions. This is more than BroodWar had. So, if instead, they released SCII with ~13 missions for each race, which is basically how the original was released, you'd be okay with that?

          Seems like nitpicking to me.

          • According to 1up [1up.com], Blizzard is promising between 26-30 missions per game. If so, that puts each game at 2/3 the size of SC1 (at least in terms of missions). But do you think they'll be charging 2/3 the price? Of course not. Do you have a reliable source where blizzard promises 40 missions per game?

            The other potential issue I see is that once the second game comes out, anyone who plays multiplayer is going to have to buy the second game too if they want to keep playing multiplayer (as happened with SC1 an

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by RoFLKOPTr (1294290)

            The only problem I have with the inclusion of only one race's campaign in each game is that I don't have an opportunity to practice anything but that race offline. The three races (at least in SC1, and I'm assuming this is still the case) are so completely different. You can't learn to play Terran and win every match and then switch to Protoss and expect to be any good. They don't just have the same set of buildings with different names. The three races have completely different technologies, build orders,

        • Where have they said they aren't releasing a complete game at launch and where have the released their pricing scheme?

          You are simply making assumptions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        They're separate stories and most likely priced as expansions too.

        They have given no indication the second and third games will be priced as expansions. In fact, given their claims about campaign lengths, they're indicating that they will be priced as full games, not as expansions.

        • If they're priced as full games, I'll be a little miffed. I've got plenty of choice in games, so something like that *may* lose them my sale....but probably not. And I think that's the gamble they're going for. Blizzard puts out top-notch stuff. It's possible they're pushing for recognition of premium content with higher prices. Some people will be swept up in a wave of "OMG Starcraft!!" and that'll probably be enough to make the games massively successful, regardless of what price they come out as.
    • Re:Lost my interest (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:06PM (#31176914)

      When they declared it would be sold as three different packs, one per race. While they do have a history of expansion packs, it's never been 1 with 2 more like this, nor planned this far in advanced to break it up and sell the parts.

      Wouldn't be so bad of an idea if done intelligently. For games we really like, expansion packs are loved. Figuring full retail, that's $40 for the game (back in the day), $20 each for the expansions. You could end up spending $80 if you bought it all new, or you could get the bundle months later for $40. You paid for two games and the developer probably didn't have to expend as much effort on two expansions as with the full original game. Win win for all.

      What gets to be bullshit is when the $60 game is chopped up and you're left paying the full freight for the original game plus the expansions.

      What I always thought would be fair is something like this: the developer plans out the game with maybe six races total. Starcraft has a lot of Warhammer 40k similarities and just think of how many races you have in that setting, it's more than orks and humans and eldar. But we'll stick with Starcraft. You sell the game with three races. The development of additional races is proceeding alongside. Sell the game for full price and then release additional races with full campaigns as add-ons. Don't skimp on the details but charge a fair price. The customer knows he's getting another 20 hours of gameplay with the expansion, plus he can use the new race in multiplayer. Then after the game's been out for a while, all the add-ons can be bundled in a battlechest and the people who skipped it when it launched can catch up with the fun. The publisher makes more money which is an upside, the fan gets more game which is another upside.

      Of course, this can be more complicated than I think. I thought the idea of episodic content for shooters was a good idea, sell the game in affordable, bite-sized serial format but the reality was less enjoyable. And the dick move usually is the one that gets made. So you buy a full game like Dragon Age and are getting propositioned for add-ons that were developed at the same time as the original game and should have been included in the first place. That's not like Lord of the Rings where they're releasing three movies at once, always planned on doing so and you feel you're getting your money's worth, this is more like Kill Bill where it was supposed to be one movie and they just released it as two to make more money and planned on soaking the fans by releasing multiple versions on DVD.

      • this is more like Kill Bill where it was supposed to be one movie and they just released it as two to make more money and planned on soaking the fans by releasing multiple versions on DVD.

        I only paid about $24 combined for KB 1&2, so I don't know how they were 'soaking' the fans by releasing them separately. That is about the same price as you would pay for a two disk, 4+ hour feature anyway.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>So you buy a full game like Dragon Age and are getting propositioned for add-ons that were developed at the same time as the original game and should have been included in the first place.

        Warden's Keep came with my copy of the game, but I agree the whole DLC thing has become kind of despicable. Sure, they're free to do whatever they want to make more money and kill the resale market or whatever, but when something becomes blatantly mercentary, there's blowback from annoyed customers.

        Build up enough

    • by verbalcontract (909922) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:15PM (#31177042)

      I don't understand knocking Blizzard for splitting this into three releases. There's going to be 26 to 30 missions in the first Terran-only single-player campaign (source [starcraft2.com]), which would put it on par with the first Starcraft. Presumably, there will be 26-30 missions in each of the following stories, plus additional units (as Blizzard has done whenever they've released an expansion to the game). Blizzard has never developed and released a half-baked expansion in its entire history; the closest thing might be Diablo: Hellfire, which was developed by an outside company, and I don't know if it was priced appropriately on release.

      So what's the hate for, beyond the usual fishing for things to hate? If you really don't think it's going to be good value to you, wait until it goes on sale, or just don't buy the game. Chess is freely available to all.

      • Hellfire was developed by Sierra, and priced at 29.00, iirc. (What a crappy expansion that was. No surprise they never farmed out to a 3rd party again).

      • by mrxak (727974)

        Thing is, 30 missions straight of Terran-only is going to mean a lot of filler, a really slow progression in tech trees, and probably a fair bit of boredom doing the same things with the same units over and over. I'd gladly take three different races at 10 missions apiece, without any silly RPG stuff between-missions, and a stable multiplayer platform Blizzard can spend time balancing.

  • by Supurcell (834022) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @05:55PM (#31176754)
    I can't wait to fire it up.
  • Oh wait, wrong game...

    Entaro Tassadar! Ahh yeah that's the right game. Does anyone know if the closed beta is under a restrictive NDA?

    Also, knowing Blizzard's excessive tinkering, and the fact that we are already almost halfway through the first half (50% of 50%) of 2010, I find it highly unlikely that the game will be released "in the first half of 2010."
  • by RichMan (8097) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:04PM (#31176890)

    Nice the disclaimer at the end is bigger than the article.

    Article == 338 words
    Identifier == 88 words
    Disclaimer == 393 words

    So if nothing happens in the end they are coverd.

  • ....that I have yet to get a firm answer on:

    Will SC2 support true LAN play, or just that pseudo-LAN thing where one have to 'authenticate' first?

    Will SC2 support multi-core systems? I got this fancy quad-core system and core 1 thru 3 get pissed when core 0 is being pegged.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by TikiTDO (759782)

      1. No, this has been answered plenty of times. Blizzard obviously has no interest in catering to the small percentage of the population that wants to play multiplayer with no internet connection.

      2. I would imagine that the answer is yes, though that is just my speculation. This game has been in development for a while, with what is sure to be quite an impressive team. Further, even the relatively resource light WoW supports multi-core execution. Blizzard would have to try quite hard to fail this criteria.

      • small percentage of the population that wants to play multiplayer with no internet connection?

        how about tournament play????

        the last thing that you need is some kind of a internet hiccup to mess up a tournament.

      • An April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project shows 63% of American homes have broadband Internet access. So those remaining 37% (tens of millions of people) are politely asked to not buy this game I guess. Digital divide FTW!
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Galestar (1473827)
          And a Feb 2010 survey made up by yours truly says that those 37% are exactly the same people who would never {head of/buy/give two shits about} Starcraft 2 even if they did have internet.
          • by Itninja (937614)
            Yeah I am sure that there are no teenage boys in there at all :/
            • by TikiTDO (759782)

              If a teenage boy lives in a house without internet in this day and age he probably has bigger issue than playing StarCraft II

      • Small percentage of the population? I've never met someone who played Starcraft and didn't play it LAN.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        Blizzard obviously has no interest in catering to the small percentage of the population that wants to play multiplayer with no internet connection.

        They've obviously also not done any market research on how big that percentage of the population might be, and I doubt you have either.

        Out of me and the dozen friends that play Starcraft, exactly zero of us play on Battle.net if we don't have to. During high school, all of us regularly played without access to an internet connection - one still regularly gets a group together in a local church gymnasium to play Starcraft LAN games, and there's definitely no internet access there. I guess they'll stick wit

        • by TikiTDO (759782)

          I certainly have not done the research about the size of this segment; it is a question that does not really affect me in the slightest. However, to say that Blizzard has not is bordering on insulting. They have put in a ridiculous amount of resources into this game, and any sort of business wants to make sure such an investment will net at least some return. Of course they would spend at least a bit of time looking into this matter, especially since it keeps cropping up on popular tech sites such as this o

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Of course they would spend at least a bit of time looking into this matter, especially since it keeps cropping up on popular tech sites such as this one.

            I still disagree; Blizzard has repeatedly made statements which effectively convey their feeling that the only people who want LAN play are pirates.

            Neither I nor any of my friends (the aforementioned group of LAN players) have pirated Starcraft; many of us, including myself, have purchased multiple copies of Starcraft.

            For Blizzard to claim that the only people who want LAN play are pirates betrays a complete lack of market research on the subject, and their disdain for the very group of gamers which made th

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Blizzard obviously has no interest in catering to the small percentage of the population that wants to play multiplayer with no internet connection

        The percentage of the population that wants to be able play multiplayer with no internet connection is roughly equivalent to the percentage of the population who has had an internet outage. That is, just about everyone.

        • by TikiTDO (759782)

          We must know different people. Few of my friends would suggest dealing with an Internet outage by playing a LAN deathmatch in StarCraft II. Generally the first point of action would be to call the ISP, and figure out what the hell happened to the internets. Afterwards, if my friends happened to be present when the outage occurred we would be more likely go somewhere, or spend some time talking, or any number of alternate activities that do not necessarily require a network connection. Worst case, one (or al

  • by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:21PM (#31177120)
    I for one welcome our zerg..."You need more Overlords".
  • Can anyone post system requirements for those of us unable to reach particular sites?
    • According to Shacknews [shacknews.com] the minimum system requirements are as follows:

      PC Minimum Requirements:

      * Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7
      * 2.2 Ghz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
      * 1 GB system RAM/1.5 GB for Vista and Windows 7
      * 128 MB NVidia GeForce 6600 GT/ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card
      * 1024x768 minimum display resolution
      * 4 GB free hard space (Beta)
      * Broadband connection

      Nice to know my trusty old 3.0Ghz P4 with 1GB RAM and an NVidia GeForce 6800GT is still available for friends wh

    • by daveywest (937112)

      The minimum system requirements for the Starcraft II Beta are as follows:

      PC Minimum Requirements:
      Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7
      2.2 Ghz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
      1 GB system RAM/1.5 GB for Vista and Windows 7
      128 MB NVidia GeForce 6600 GT/ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card
      1024x768 minimum display resolution
      4 GB free hard space (Beta)
      Broadband connection

      *Note* the final requirements for Starcraft II have not yet been determined. Due to ongoing development the minimum requirements listed above are subject to change at any time. During this phase a Mac version will NOT be available, please check back.

  • In order to sign up for possible beta access, you have to download a program that sends your system specs to your battle.net account. The system test application for Windows worked without issue in Wine, allowing me to upload my specs and be considered for beta access.
  • by Shohat (959481) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:42PM (#31177420) Homepage
    Howdy. Bit self-promotional... but.. Read my blog. It is the best StarCraft Blog on the web.
    I am in the beta, all the info that was published this month (including the massive SC2 Beta FAQ) is there, system requirements, screenshots, and will soon be posting replays/videos. Currently 500 users online, so I can handle bit of slashdotting :)
    Cheers.
  • But... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ... does it run on Linux? D:

  • by ubergeek65536 (862868) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:00PM (#31177752)

    Why do I need to join battle.net for a game I only want to play against the computer. Playing against people online gets very tiring. It's hard to find anyone online that doesn't act like a spoiled six year old. Just shut up and play.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Archon-X (264195)

      ..curious, seems you exhibit the very attitude you bemoan..

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DavidD_CA (750156)

      Maybe I missed it, but where does Blizzard say that you must play on Battle.Net?

      StarCraft 2 ships with single-player campaigns, just like the first one did. And I haven't heard anything that says you cannot play games againt the computer.

      What I *have* heard is that, during the beta, they are only focusing on player vs player games. And these, of course, require Battle.net. But I don't believe this applies to what will actually be shipping.

      • by MrNemesis (587188)

        From what I hear, you're required to have a battle.net account to play the game even in single player; this doesn't sit well with some people, including me - I also dislike playing online. Mandatory online-something also suggests that there'll be no provision for LAN play, and since this is generally the only way I like to play RTS games against real people it looks like I'm a bit stuffed. Additionally it means you're at the whim of corporate overlords if you want to play your game in a few years time, or i

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