StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm getting beta XP and leveling test

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is getting a major beta patch soon, which will allow testers to try out the new XP and leveling systems.


The next major beta patch for StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will let players start to experiment with a new leveling system. Blizzard promised that it's coming "very soon," and detailed how the leveling and experience systems will work.

According to the Battlenet Blog, you'll earn experience in Blizzard matchmaking modes, and any custom modes played on Blizzard maps. You'll have separate XP bars for each race, which you can level up by playing that race normally: building your own units, and destroying others. Blizzard is also toying with bonus XP perks, set up like mini-achievements. Each race has a maximum level of 20.

Your level will earn you portraits and decals, and your respective race levels will be displayed in your profile so other players can easily see how afraid of you they should be.

But, this is still a beta test, with emphasis on the "test" part. Blizzard says it will probably reset XP at certain points as it makes adjustments. It does note that you'll get advanced warning of the system resets, and may request specific ways of grinding XP to test them out.

From The Chatty
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    October 26, 2012 7:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm getting beta XP and leveling test.

    StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is getting a major beta patch soon, which will allow testers to try out the new XP and leveling systems.

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      October 26, 2012 7:40 AM

      I really wish they'd break the multiplayer game out of the story narrative. I'd be fine waiting for all this multiplayer stuff if I had the new narrative to play.

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      October 26, 2012 8:33 AM

      I really wish they'd get this game finished and released.

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      October 26, 2012 8:50 AM

      I like how DoW2 did it better.

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      October 26, 2012 11:38 AM

      Hopefully it's just an "achievements" thing rather than actually being part of the in-game like Warcraft 3... no need for that "hero" crap in SC.

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      October 26, 2012 11:43 AM

      First I've heard of this leveling. So, is Blizzard's Starcraft team feeling threatened by the MOBA scene namely League of Legends and DOTA2? Is this an attempt to pull gameplay features from MOBA into RTS? When I go to to watch some matches I see League at the top, always having the most viewers by a wide margin.

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        October 26, 2012 12:46 PM

        This MOBA comparison annoys me. They haven't pulled anything. StarCraft 2 already had achievements, decals and challenges to complete, they're only restructuring it to get that level-up feel, with XP and so on, that almost every second game (exaggerated) has been offering for years. At the core it's more of a layout/design change than anything else, except that they'll surely include some additional content (new achievements etc.).

        Also leveling up is generally nothing new in the RTS genre. Blizzard themselves already used the hero mechanic in WarCraft 3 and if they pulled that from anything, then from hack & slays such as their own Diablo series or RPG's.

        I wrote all this merely to clear things up and it shouldn't be seen as some Blizzard fanboy defense jump. However, I'll admit that I truly despise "MOBAS", especially League Of Legends and that I wholeheartedly hope that all this hype about them dies rather quickly. As long as the genre generates money it won't die completely but I at least hope to not read about it EVERYWHERE and that people come to their senses. Sorry, just some personal rage. I just don't get the appeal, after having tried it and having many friends play this is annoying as fuck.

        But whatever, I'll keep on ignoring it the best I can and stay away from it.

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          October 26, 2012 1:47 PM


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            October 26, 2012 3:28 PM

            Blizzard had a chance to streamline Starcraft 2. They removed features from the beta and added mechanics to complicate the game. They went out of their way to make it less accessable for players.

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              October 29, 2012 2:28 PM

              Bullshit. I won't be handing money to Blizzard if they start treating complete noobs like first class citizen like so many other companies do these days as games are mainstream now.

              Literally the only meaningful way to attract and retain noobs is to let them win games that they shouldn't win. God help us when people actually complain about some game being too hard in 2012...

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            October 26, 2012 10:56 PM

            I'd say Dota 2 has as rigid a learning curve as StarCraft 2, just in a different way. Dota 2 has nearly 100 heroes that you need knowledge of -- their abilities, move speed, and capabilities -- while StarCraft 2 requires intense micromanagement. Both games stress on precise timings and unit positioning.

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        October 26, 2012 1:44 PM

        its not really a gameplay feature. people said that simply playing the game wasnt enough and they needed some sort of progression aside from ladder rank. here it is.

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          October 26, 2012 1:58 PM

          SC2 is one of the few modern games where you lose games and only have lost ladder points to show for it. Not very motivating, on top of already being a very intimidating game.

          Other games like LoL and DOTA 2 or shooters like CoD or BF3 have systems where you get XP and loot even if you lose, which helps take a little of the sting out of a loss.

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            October 26, 2012 2:52 PM

            That is what is often said.

            However I find this idea of silly xp gain making losses bearable trivial at best.

            The original starcraft had it right: Let most people play UMS games, a small fraction of them will play 1v1. These trivial chest-drumming "look at my xp it's higher than yours" BS is unnecessary.

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              October 26, 2012 3:04 PM

              I agree, giving better UMS options like in WC3 is the way to go. That said, getting something for your effort helps just a bit, and all of these other competitive games prove that just a little bit. It is hard to get someone to stay on the ladder when "well at least I learned something" is the best you get out of most lost games. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I understand it.

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              October 26, 2012 3:07 PM

              One of the big differences between "casuals" and "hardcore" is it seems like the "hardcore" are able to set abstract goals for themselves, whereas the "casuals" need it given to them by the game.

              Some sort of XP system is the easiest way to give those sorts of goals to the masses.

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      October 26, 2012 2:53 PM

      is anyone excited for this? are the starcraft 2 leagues still going strong? all of the sponsored teams still playing? it seems like this should have come out six months ago.

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        October 26, 2012 3:46 PM

        Stale PvZ matchup aside, I'd say that it is as good as its ever been, especially in the GSL. Players keep getting better and better at the game. Kespa players will be taking part in MLG next week.

        Viewer numbers are nothing like they are for LoL, but I don't think anything can. It is amazing how popular that game is, even bigger than WoW.

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      October 26, 2012 10:08 PM

      I loaded up Starcraft 2 the other day, and for some reason it made me want to play DOTA.

      I've never played DOTA.

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      October 26, 2012 10:21 PM

      Why? Doesn't seem that leveling conveys any real benefits.

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