StarCraft 2 Beta Patched; Phase 2 Soon? [Updated]

BOOM widget 88761 [Update 4:06PM] Full patch notes have been released by Blizzard and can be found at the end of this news story. Along with the achievements, AI, and Battle.net features suspected before, a few Zerg balance changes have been added.

[Original Story] European gamers noticed (via TeamLiquid) that a new StarCraft II Beta patch was available, which could herald the beginning of the second phase of the beta. It has been one month since the beta went offline, but is scheduled to kick-off again in "early July" ahead of the game's July 27 release date.

No patch notes are available, but the community is already hard at work data-mining and cataloging perceived changes. What is clear, however, is that this is a big patch and not some housekeeping.

The current speculation is that Blizzard is patching its servers to the retail version of the game (which may be out in the wild already), which is actually an outdated version of the game since it would have been pressed to a disc already. After this point, Blizzard would patch the beta to the current version, similar to a 0-day patch after a retail release. Of the suspected changes, a few suggest some interesting things:

    Suspected StarCraft II Patch Changes (Possible Retail Version)
  • 223 Achievements added, including "Feats of Strength"
  • Map totals: seven 2 player maps, ten 4 player maps, one 6 player map, and one 8 player map - total of 19 maps
  • Two new 4 player maps: Monylyth Ridge and Tarsonis Assault
  • Six total AI difficulties with the higher difficulties declaring the "strategies" it will use
If everything is running on schedule over at Blizzard, we could be seeing phase 2 very soon and it is supposed to run for a "couple of weeks" before going offline for a short period of time prior to release.

StarCraft II Beta - Patch 16 (version
  • Rally points now behave as a move command, instead of an attack move command.
  • Enabled the ability to manually add a StarCraft II character friend using the player's character code. Character code is a server-assigned numerical code that is displayed within the Add Friend panel.
  • Battle.net Achievements & Rewards have been updated.
  • All Quick Match modes are now available: 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, and Free For All.
  • All A.I. difficulties are now available for play.
  • Cooperative matchmaking versus A.I. players is now available as a play mode.
  • Enabled cross-game social features between World of Warcraft and StarCraft II.
    Balance Changes
  • ZERG
    • Infestor
      • Frenzy spell removed.
      • Infested Terran spell added.
    • Overseer
      • Infested Terran spell removed.
    • Ultralisk
      • Now immune to stuns and mind control.