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Posts with tag starcraft-II

Activision-Blizzard sues over StarCraft II cheats

Activision Blizzard logo
On May 19th Blizzard filed a suit with the Central District of California over the practice of players who create cheats for multiplayer mode in StarCraft II. In particular, the suit names the "ValiantChaos MapHack" as one of, but not the only, hack being targeted by the litigation. The suit claims that the cheats undermine the nature of multiplayer gameplay and "disrupt or impair the online experience for purchasers of the computer game."

The suit targets the programmers behind the hacks, demanding compensation for the copyright infringement inherent in the cheats' modifications of the game. As noted in the BBC report, this lawsuit recalls a similar one from 1990s, wherein Nintendo unsuccessfully sued the creators of the Games Genie, also on the grounds of copyright violation. That lawsuit, however, took place in the days before widespread online multiplayer gaming environments, and it will be interesting to see how much, or how little, this case echoes that one.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, StarCraft 2

StarCraft II Arcade now free to play

Good news for Blizzard fans looking for more games to play -- the StarCraft II Arcade is now completely free. StarCraft II is not only well known for the game and tournament play, but also for its creative community. The game comes with a map editor that allows you to customize and craft your own creations, using Blizzard art assets and maps to put together whatever game your creative mind happens to dream up. These creations are all available as part of the StarCraft II Arcade, a massive index of player-created games.

So what's in the Arcade? Everything from custom maps and missions to StarCraft-themed versions of popular games like Bejeweled and Pictionary. Full access to all games in the Arcade was previously limited only to those who purchased StarCraft II. With the launch of patch 2.1, all games in the Arcade have now been made available to anyone with a Battle.net account -- even games that previously required the Heart of the Swarm. To access the Arcade, simply download and install the free trial version of StarCraft II, no purchase necessary.

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Filed under: News items, StarCraft 2

First pro-gamer recognized as an athlete by U.S. Government

A huge step forward has been taken for eSports as StarCraft II pro Kim "viOLet" Dong Hwan has been recognized as an athlete by the U.S. Government. As his sponsors, CSA, and TheDailyDot report, viOLet was one of the first to apply for the P-1A visa when it was opened to pro gamers five months ago. The visa doesn't allow him to permanently reside in the U.S., but does permit him to enter temporarily to participate in tournaments and the like, and is the same as is awarded to other athletes.

While this is undoubtedly a fantastic turn of events for a StarCraft II player whose career has been fraught with mishaps, it is the bigger picture that's really important here. This sets a precedent for eSports' recognition as something on a level footing with traditional sports. It allows pro-gamers to be categorized with traditional athletes, and will only serve to further the reach of eSports and gaming. The normalization of a historically stigmatized industry is nothing but good for gaming and gamers alike. Congratulations, viOLet!

Filed under: News items, StarCraft 2

BlizzCon 2013 schedule app now available for Android, iPhone

Blizzcon 2013 schedule app now available for Android, iPhone
Wondering how to keep all of the events and panels at Blizzcon 2013 straight? Or just how to get around that incredibly large convention center? There's an app for that -- the BlizzCon schedule app, first released for BlizzCon 2011, has been updated for this year's festivities. Both the iPhone and Android versions have received snazzy new updates with an all new map of the convention center as well as this year's schedule of events and panels.

But that's not all! This year's update has also added new features and social media integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so you can share your experience as you experience it. In addition, the mobile app will also have access to all the free BlizzCon video streams, so you can watch all the action, even if you're not present for it in person. And the best part? The app is completely free. The app for BlizzCon 2011 was tremendously handy to have while wandering the convention center -- if you're attending BlizzCon 2013, I highly recommend picking up the updated version for easy access to maps and schedules while you're on the go.

Filed under: BlizzCon

StarCraft Universe hits funding goal

In the midst of all the excitement over patch 5.4's release, you could be forgiven if you've forgotten about StarCraft Universe, the Upheaval Arts fan project to create an MMO-type game for StarCraft II. The plot of the game revolves around an alternate ending to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, where Kerrigan couldn't stop the hybrid's assault and the Protoss were defeated. StarCraft Universe tells the story of the aftermath.

If that sounds intriguing to you, know that the project has hit its Kickstarter funding goal, so StarCraft Universe is on its way to fruition. For those of you who still want to contribute and earn some extra perks, there are a few hours remaining on the campaign, but don't delay, time is quickly running out. If you've been clamoring for a StarCraft-themed MMO, this is a project you'll definitely want to check out!

Filed under: News items, StarCraft 2

The Queue: BlizzCon, daily quests, gnome heads, and more

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Let's go right to the questions!

mikkelsdk asked:

Considering Blizzard has a lot of things on the table currently (Heartstone, Blizzard All-Stars, Titan, Next WoW Expansion, Diablo 3 xpac and probably SC2 xpac) which of these aren't we going to hear about at Blizzcon? Titan is a given but have Blizzard talking about Heartstone, All-stars, WoW xpac, Diablo 3 xpac and SC2 xpac is kinda of a long shot.

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Filed under: The Queue

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm launch schedule

Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm launch schedule
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm officially launches, as the image suggests, on March 12, but, with the game launching at midnight tonight, launch events have kicked off all over the world. The evening of March 11 is when celebrations began in Sydney, Australia, where, at the time of writing, the game has been available for purchase for a full eight hours.

Events are currently taking place in Europe, with activities underway and being broadcast live on Blizzard's official twitch channel right now. The European events include a tournament featuring well-known players such as Stephano, LucifroN, Grubby and White-Ra, who are competing live on stage, mixed in with developer interviews, exclusive content and more!

If you're too late to check out the European streams, which finish at 8pm EST, fear not, because the US events kick off at 9pm PST, with Day9 and Husky kicking off proceedings. There will be live show matches, displaying the new "take command" feature, and new custom games, and two attendees will have the opportunity to play with Suppy and ViBE in a 2v2 pro/am match.

Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen, Chris Sigaty and Sam Didier will be in attendance at the US event, taking part in developer presentations, custom games and much more. Again, if you weren't able to make it to Irvine to attend the event, this will all be broadcast live via the official Twitch channel. Do check out Blizzard's launch pages for further information on any of the events.


Filed under: Blizzard, StarCraft 2

Project Blackstone site goes live, password discovered

Project Blackstone goes live
Back in November, Blizzard registered a few domain names, including the mysterious projectblackstone.com. As it remain untouched, we were left wondering if it could signal a new game on the horizon -- perhaps something to do with Titan. Well, today Project Blackstone is live and has been redirected to a battle.net site.

It looks to be a viral advertising campaign for Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and it's an impressive follow-up to the game's recently revealed opening cinematic.

You'll need to log in to the Project Blackstone page, and lucky for you we have the access code!

Y7_$0>0k_3<$m

Seems like a few clever folks on Reddit discovered the password in the source code of the Project Blackstone page, within an encrypted chunk of text. Head over to the site to read your messages from Dr. Helek Branamoor and the rest of the Blackstone Research staff. We're guessing that new ones will be posted every week, so keep a close eye on the site!

It also appears that Dr. Branamoor is on Twitter, and he doesn't look like someone I'd want to work for. What do you think about Project Blackstone so far?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, StarCraft 2

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm cinematic revealed

StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm cinematic revealed
Blizzard revealed the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm opening cinematic late last night. Sure, it isn't Warcraft material, but it's fair to say we all enjoy the work that comes from the team that made the Mists of Pandaria cinematic. And don't lie -- you pet collectors are going to be picking up the Collector's Edition of Heart of the Swarm for its Baneling pet anyway.

The cinematic, which you can view behind the cut below along with its accompanying blue post, depicts a Zerg siege of the Terran Dominion as Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, seeks vengeance against Arcturus Mengsk. We really could have done without the Wilhelm Scream at 1:43 in the cinematic, but to be entirely fair, StarCraft has a long history of using it and other cliché stock sound effects.

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Filed under: StarCraft 2

Mike Morhaime talks about eSports, pro-gaming

If for some reason you didn't recognize this year's Battle.net World Championship as a move towards cementing Blizzard's role in the pro-gaming world, Mike Morhaime is making the subtext into text. Clearly, with the release of Starcraft II's Heart of the Swarm expansion coming on in March 2013, Mister Morhaime's been thinking about how eSports are going to evolve, and whether or not there's a role for them in the US market.

There's a lot of room for improvement in that area. It's really going to take mainstream news publications to start treating eSports like sports, and when events like this happen, report on them. Give them the recognition that they deserve. These guys are very good, and I think that the people that follow eSports recognize them as at the same level as pro athletes, but I think the mainstream press really needs to start covering it that way as well.

So to take a look at Mike's thoughts about how piracy affected Warcraft, how Starcraft II functions as an eSport, about what he calls 'so-called free to play games', about the lack of respect for pro gamers and a lot more, head on over to Forbes and read what the man has to say.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Dreamhack, now with more Blizzard Entertainment

Dreamhack, now with more Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard has announced that they'll be present at this year's Dreamhack Winter 2012 in Jonkoping, Sweden, from Novermber 22nd to the 25th. In addition to Starcraft Academy, where lucky people will learn how to play SCII from professional SCII players, there will be a Jade Serpent Challenge Mode contest (you can use your own computer), as well as round table discussions about World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Diablo III.

The round tables will be on November 23rd and 24th, and if you're interested in participating, send an email to community-EN@blizzard.com with [DHW12] in the subject line. (If you use that link, it should be included for you.) The World of Warcraft round tables are scheduled for Friday at 12:30 CET – 14:00 CET and Saturday at 16:30 CET – 18:00 CET. Your email should include your name and what panels you're interested in participating in.

So if you're going to Dreamhack, definitely go chat with the fine folks at Blizzard.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

Play Diablo 1 with World of Warcraft models in StarCraft 2

The StarCraft II Arcade feature, a tool intended to help the community highlight quality custom maps and game modes created with the StarCraft modding tools, has recently gone into beta. Coinciding with that beta, Blizzard has launched a contest that requires you to play, rate, and review an Arcade game for a chance to win a Heart of the Swarm beta key.

One of the delightful custom game modes that has become an Arcade chart-topper is an incestuous mix of all of Blizzard's major franchises: It's the first Diablo game ported into StarCraft II using World of Warcraft art assets for the 3D models. The gameplay doesn't match the original Diablo click-for-click, but the core mechanics and all of the sound files have been carried from one game to the next, including Deckard Cain's signature stay awhile and listen.

StarCraft II shoutcaster Husky recently featured the game mode on his YouTube channel, and you can watch his 18+ minute preview/review embedded above.

Filed under: Contests, Diablo 3, StarCraft 2

Why you might like Blizzard DOTA

Fans of Defense of the Ancients, the immensely popular Warcraft III mod that spawned an entirely new genre of gaming, are already conditioned to love Blizzard DOTA. I got to play it this week at BlizzCon 2011 and had a great time getting into the very familiar world. However, many Blizzard fans are not DOTA enthusiasts or even privy to the genre itself. WoW players may not really understand what this Blizzard offering is about or even why they should be interested. Warcraft fan-favorite characters Thrall and Arthas are making appearance in Blizzard DOTA, which means gamers who have ever wanted to pit these monolithic figures against other Blizzard staple characters will get the chance. Here's what you need to know about Blizzard DOTA and why you just might like playing as one of your favorite WoW personalities.

Defense of the Ancients was originally a Warcraft III mod that became so incredibly popular that it spawned the genre know known as MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) or ARTS (action real-time strategy), depending on who you ask. The game consists of three paths that connect two bases with destructible buildings and towers along the path routes. Waves of minions or creeps, NPC characters that spawn endlessly from both bases, meet in the middle of these lanes to do battle. You control a powerful hero who levels up, gains skills and abilities, and can purchase items from a shop. Your goal is to fight these minions and enemy players, destroy the enemy towers and buildings, and win the game.

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Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2011 schedule app available for Android, iPhone

Blizzard Entertainment has released a new app for iPhone and Android users, a scheduling assistant for BlizzCon 2011. Included with the app is a map of the convention hall and the full schedule of events, as well as feature to personalize your own schedule while at BlizzCon, with an event alert so you don't miss any important panels.

Along with the usual run of tournament play for both World of Warcraft and StarCraft, this year's BlizzCon includes a host of panels for Diablo 3, StarCraft 2, and World of Warcraft. Everything from class talent systems to lore and publishing will be covered. Download the free app now on your iPhone or Android device!

Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup cohosted by Wowhead, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Recap of Blizzard Entertainment at Gamescom 2011

Blizzard has returned from Cologne, Germany, and the Gamescom convention with tales of triumph, competition, and tons of patch 4.3 goodness for us World of Warcraft players. The community site's blog was updated with a big recap of all of Blizzard's events from the show, in case you missed any of the fun from the live streams. World of Warcraft was represented by top guilds For the Horde and Ensidia trouncing through the Firelands in live raids for Gamescom attendees, as well as the new patch 4.3 features Void Storage, Raid Finder, and transmogrification.

StarCraft 2 showcased some cool show matches between top players, and Diablo 3 had a big hands-on gaming area that, obviously, filled up quicker than humanly possible. Seriously, can't that game just come out already? Blizzard wrapped up its recap with familiar dance and costume contests, with winners earning a trip to BlizzCon in October. Check out the full recap at the World of Warcraft community site for an awesome video of the Diablo 3 street art from the show.

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Filed under: Blizzard

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