Season 4 Ends

Season 4 Locked, Season 5 Starting

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

With all Season enders it means that you're locked into your current league until the new season starts. Your bonus pool will not grow though you can still compete within your division for ranking. That doesn't mean that BattleNet stopped paying attention though. Your wins and losses during this time still absolutely count towards your overall advancement in the ladder. So when Season 5 starts if you kicked ass during the loss you may find that your first placement match, win or lose, lands you a promotion into the next league. This also means that if you in turn got your ass kick during the lock you could face a demotion on your Season 5 placement match.

The new season "Placement Matches" should almost be retitled in my opinion because the outcome of the match really doesn't place you in any given league like the original 5 placement matches you had to play when you first started the game. It is merely one more game to add or subtract from your overall MMR, just as matches during the lock did, and is no more significant than any other match you play.

Season 4 ends today, Tuesday, December 13 at 4:30 AM PST. Season 5 starts during the week of December 20th; no exact date or time has been given. Your bonus pool gets erased and will not carry over so take advantage of as many wins during the lock as you can. Each Season (starting with Season 4) is now only 2 months with a roughly 2 week lock in between seasons. The idea is to weed out players who are no longer active on the ladder and Blizzard also noticed increased activity on BNET at the end and especially the beginning of each new season so it's also their way to encourage more game time.

Heart of the Swarm

Heart of the Swarm Expansion Preview

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Fans continue to wait patiently for the StarCraft 2 expansion, Heart of the Swarm, to get within their grasp in beta form. Be sure you have your Beta Profile Settings set on Battle.Net to be considered for a beta key direct from Blizzard when the time comes. Blizzard has published quite a few things about the upcoming expansion so here's what we know for sure.

Heart of the Swarm evolve Kerrigan
Heart of the Swarm will of course be an entire new playable campaign centering around Kerrigan and the Zerg race. You'll play primarily as Kerrigan with the option to evolve different abilities and skillsets as you earn points in the campaign giving the player diverging paths to take through Heart of the Swarm. These abilities align with either Kerrigan's former Terran side as a Ghost with Spec Ops upgrades or with her Zerg Queen of Blades form and Corruption upgrades. Much emphasis will be put on evolving your units throughout the game. A few sneak peeks we know about are the ability to choose a strain of Zerglings that can hatch more Zerglings from a single egg or a strain that allows them to leap when they're close enough to an opponent effectively increasing their speed and giving them a type of range similar to Charge for a Zealot.

Heart of the Swarm evolve units
We know there's a return to Char for part of the campaign along with a new snow and ice environment on the planet Kaldir where some interesting looking snow beast can be seen in the screenshot. We see several new Zerg characters introduced in the campaign as well including one apparition who is a part of Kerrigan herself named Izsha whom knows all of Kerrigan's memories as her former self the Queen of Blades. Za'gara, a Brood Mother, seeks to take over the Swarm now that Kerrigan is transformed and Abathur who will likely be the genetics guide for evolving your Zerg units throughout the game.

Heart of the Swarm Kaldir level with snow beasts
For StarCraft 2 online multiplayer play after Heart of the Swarm is out you'll see these new units become available and there will also likely be additional abilities and upgrades added to other units. No concrete news on new unit types for other races though there has been some imagery of an Infected Bunker online.

A couple videos have been released both in a cinematic teaser form and a gameplay form. We've snagged both of them for your viewing pleasure below.

Patch 1.4.0

Patch 1.4.0 Is Released

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Patch 1.4.0 was released the other day and here's what you need to know.

Ravens got a boost with their Seeker Missle speeds increasing from 2.5 to 2.953 while Hellions took a hit on their Infernal Pre-Ignitor upgrade damage increase, going from 10 down to 5.

Infestors got nerfed with Fungal Growth damage going from 36 (+30% armored) to 30 (40 vs Armored); significantly reducing the damage they do to armored units. Ultralisks on the other hand now train significantly faster at 55 game-time seconds down from 70.

Immortals got a +1 boost to their range and the almighty Mothership accelerates a touch faster. Blink takes a bit longer to research now as well.

You'll notice some nice improvements in the ladder screens and score screens with all player's league placement being shown for the type of match just played.

When buildings are cancelled or salvaged the returned minerals and gas now display right on the screen where the building once stood, which is pretty damn cool.

All and all some nice enhancements were made in the patch and we're not even going to enter the debate on whether the balances made were indeed fair... though from all accounts we think Blizzard nailed a few items *cough* Infestors *cough* that needed some attention.

Here's the Patch details in their entirety:

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty - Patch 1.4.0


A new Career page displaying placement in past seasons has been added to the League & Ladders section of the Profile.
A new "View Ladder" button has been added to the league display at the bottom of the Quick Match screen.
Clicking this button will take you directly to your ladder page.
The post-game score screen for ranked ladder games will now show icons next to each player's name indicating his or her league.
The upload timeout period for publishing custom maps has been increased significantly.
SLI performance has been improved.
When file corruption is detected in un-repairable files (replays, saved games, or downloaded maps), a prompt to run the Repair Tool will no longer occur.

Game Options

Added three privacy settings to the Options menu under the Battle.
net section.
Only allow friends to send me invites.
Only allow friends to send me chat messages.
Set status to Busy when playing a game.
Added the FPS Toggle hotkey to the hotkey dialog.
Added Display Game Tooltips setting to the Options under Gameplay that can be turned off to prevent tooltips from appearing when playing a game.
Added a new setting to the Options under Controls which allows a player to enable or disable the ability to adjust in-game mouse sensitivity.

UI and Display

A Launch PTR button will now appear on the login screen when the PTR is available. Clicking this button will close the retail client and launch the PTR client.
Improved error messages when a unit is required but none is targeted to provide required target information.
UI Frame used in .SC2Layout files has more anchoring flexibility.
Loading an old saved game will now give an option to restart the mission in the new version of StarCraft II instead of loading it in the old version without access to achievements.
Player names in the Name Panel in observer or replay mode will now be based off the player's locations on the minimap. For example the player closer to the left side of the minimap will appear on the left side of the name panel.
When a building is canceled or salvaged the minerals returned will be displayed at the building location for the owner, for enemy players a floating text will be displayed.
Toggle Team Colors in 1v1 and Free-for-All when observing and during a replay will not change player colors.


An error notification sound is now played if a placement location cannot be found when unit training completes.
Most existing alert sounds are now reduced in volume when a new alert sound plays.
Transmissions without a valid sound file will now display a subtitle during cinematics even if the player has turned off subtitles.
Added a new Alert Fade option to control how much existing alert sounds fade when new alert sounds are played.



Unit vision up ramps has been reduced by 1.


Immortal Attack range increased from 5 to 6.
Mothership Acceleration increased from 0.3 to 1.375.
The Mothership's Cloaking Field no longer cloaks all units instantaneously, but rather adds units to the cloak field over time (maximum of 25 per second). This should alleviate "Mothership Lag" issue when a Mothership comes online.
Stalker Blink research time increased from 110 to 140.
Warp Prism Shields increased from 40 to 100.


Barracks Build time increased from 60 to 65.
Hellion Infernal Pre-Igniter damage upgrade decreased from 10 to 5.
Raven Seeker missile movement speed increased from 2.5 to 2.953.


Infestor Fungal Growth damage changed from 36 (+30% armored) to 30 (40 vs Armored).
Neural Parasite range decreased from 9 to 7.
Overseer Morph cost decreased from 50/100 to 50/50.
Contaminate energy cost increased from 75 to 125.
Ultralisk Build time decreased from 70 to 55.

StarCraft II Editor Improvements


Custom maps with dependencies containing trigger libraries will now load significantly faster in the editor.
Map Status and Publish dialogs indicate if the lighting map is out of date or not.
Syntax highlighting for galaxy script and XML data can now be disabled.
Actor cheats are now available to map creators when testing their map from the editor.
Actor dump messages are now available to map creators.
Includes AliasDump, AnimDumpDB, AttachDump, HostedPropDump, HostedPropDumpAll, RefDump, RefTableDump, TextureDumpDB, TextureDump.
Portrait Frames now have their own desc to use in .
SC2Layout files.
Currently supported fields are: BackgroundImage, BorderImage, MovieFrame, ModelLink, UseTransition.
Creating Cycles in UI frame anchoring will no longer crash the game, instead it will output an error message.
Added alignment option when using the IMG tag in text.
Values are top, bottom, middle, absolute middle.
Added Disable Observers map option, which prevents players from becoming observers in the game lobby.
Added two fields to MovieFrame Descs : Loop, LockAspectRatio.

Data Editor

Data Editor UI has been reorganized for a better workflow.
Complex fields in the Data Editor can now be expanded by double clicking on the plus sign.
Increased maximum number of unit command card buttons per card from 32 to 64.
If a teleport effect's range is greater than 500, it will now ignore placement.
Revive orders can now automatically choose the hero to revive based on the command selected and the order they were created.
Map creators can now set time scale on bracket anims.
An attack can now be specified to cause no shield flash at all via the 'None' Shield Flash Type value on CActorAction.
Actor now makes a distinction between actors that are created via the ActorCopy message and through all the other creation mechanisms.
Actors that are copied now get an ActorCopy message upon construction rather than an ActorCreation message, so that client data can distinguish between the two scenarios.
Added raw XML editing mode to Data Editor.
Added default parents for new objects in the Data Editor.
Added a "Transient" flag to the Arm Magazine, Learn, Research, Revive, Specialize, and Train abilities to indicate that the orders should not be added to either the unit's main order queue or to a queue ability. These orders will complete immediately.
Added a "Use Unit Order Queue" flag to the Arm Magazine, Learn, Research, Revive, Specialize, and Train abilities to indicate that the unit's main order queue rather than a queue ability should be used for those orders.
Added support for Unit Weapon Validators to check any weapon on the unit if no weapon is specified.
Added a flag to units called "Built On Optional" to indicate units can now be built on the terrain if they are not placed on another unit.
Added a "Turn Button Highlight On/Off" trigger to highlight buttons by button link. This will support highlighting buttons regardless of how the button is used (i.e. Select Larva, Select Worker, and Submenus).
Added support for items with abilities to display AoE cursors, show progress, and use the minimap for targeting.
Added support for the Revive ability to issue targeted commands.
Added support for persistent effects to attach revealers to units.
Added AnimSetTimeScaleAbsolute message for forcing animation time scale to a particular value, regardless of prior scales.
Added boosted cliff level support for units and doodads.
Placed objects can specify the boosted cliff level amount.
Units and doodads will then boost the cliff level of any cells in their footprints that are marked to 'Boost Cliff'.

Terrain Editor

Added view setting for displaying terrain object names.

Trigger Editor

Timer Expires events can now match Any Timer.
Trigger Dialogs can now be attached to a unit.
Attempting to create or hookup a trigger dialog of the wrong type will now result in an error message.
Dialog Items of type Image can now have their image property set as an entry into the Assets.
txt file in addition to a raw file name.
Added De-saturated and Desaturation Color properties to Dialog Items.
Added Mouse Enter and Mouse Exit Event Types for the Dialog Item is Used event.
Added Handle of Player trigger to query a player's Battle.
net handle.
Added "Unit Learn Progress" and "Unit Revive Progress" triggers to get the progress of Learn and Revive abilities.
Added a "Lock Unit Status Bar Display" and 'Unlock Unit Status Bar Display' triggers.
These are intended to replace the "Set Unit Status Bar State" trigger.
Added a "Show/Hide Alert Type" trigger to turn on/off specific alerts for a player group.
Added a "Enable/Disable Command Type" trigger to allow/disallow submenus, select larva, and select worker commands.
Added a "Pause Sound" trigger to pause/unpause a sound.
Added an "XP Gain Disabled" option usable with the "Player Melee Option" and "Enable/Disable Melee Option For Player" triggers.
This option defaults to on.

Bug Fixes


Hitting Escape when using the Options menu while playing a game will now properly revert any changes made.
Loading a saved game with a game speed different than the minimum game speed now works correctly.
Failing to load a saved game from a previous build will now show the proper error message.
Reduced Violence no longer prevents custom death models from working.
Repeated control group and selection commands will no longer count as unique actions for APM calculation purposes.
In the Load Game Panel it is no longer possible to delete a saved game while playing it.
In the Load Game Panel, choosing to keep\save an unsaved file in the Recent Tab now properly saves the file.
Switching between a control group hotkey and selecting a unit no longer registers as a double-click.
The Base Camera and Jump to Location hotkeys can no longer be used while the game is paused.
Escape and F12 can no longer be used for custom grid hotkey profiles.
Default key display will not show up when Custom Observer hotkey has been set.
The range for structures hitting other structures is now consistent with non-structure units.
Units with movement suppressed can now issue an order to board a transport instead of just follow it.
A full refund will now be issued for any training requests that cannot complete because unit placement fails.
Commands that have no charges left will display a 0 instead of just hiding the number.
Resources spent repairing are now reported as resources lost when the repaired unit dies.
Fixed an issue with the Camera Follow mode not turning off when scrolling away from a unit being followed.
Fixed an issue with cycling chat recipients while in a party and watching a replay.
Fixed an issue in the Load Game Panel that sometimes caused the wrong map preview image to display.
Fixed an issue where the Hotkey dialog sometimes displayed inaccurate unit commands.
Fixed an issue where units would seem to pop when travelling along cliffs.
Fixed an issue where flyers may not decelerate in some cases.
Fixed issues displaying some hotkeys for non-US keyboard layouts.
Fixed issues with cursors when using NVidia 3DVision.
Fixed issues where an ally unit's command card was visible without shared control enabled.
Fixed some issues with DVORAK keyboards not working correctly with Grid hotkey profiles.
Fixed several issues with the Units Lost tab not tracking resources correctly.
Fixed erroneous hotkey conflict detections with some observer commands.
Fixed an issue where voice chat audio may have repeatedly played if voice chat was disabled while someone was chatting with you.


Sentry Guardian Shield now correctly reduces damage from Hellion, Void ray, and Colossus attacks as well as the Siege Tank's sieged attack.
Fixed an issue where Colossus thermal lance beams would track a unit much further than the range of the weapon.
Fixed an issue where workers would not path around Force Field while harvesting.


The Command Center Load SCV command will now only ask to load as many SCVs as it can contain.
SCVs will now always face the building when resuming construction.
SCVs can no longer repair themselves while inside a Bunker or Medivac.
Fixed an issue where the Reaper could get stuck in some cases.


Overseer & Brood Lord cocoons can now display waypoint lines when issuing queued patrol orders.
Baneling's Attack Structure ability is now a toggle to Enable/Disable Attack Structure.
The toggle will determine whether structures are valid targets for auto-attack.
This change fixes an issue which caused Banelings to prioritize buildings over hostile units.
Burrowed units are no longer cloaked by the Mothership, as this is redundant.
Attack upgrades are now retained by units controlled by Neural Parasite.
If a unit provides power, that power is temporarily transferred to a player using Neural Parasite.
Canceling more than one of the same structure at the same time as Zerg will add all Drones to the selection.
Improved Larva placement when the bottom edge of a hatchery is on a cliff edge to prevent Larva from getting killed.
Spore Crawlers and Spine Crawlers now disable their Stop button when rooting.
Fixed an issue where Drone attacks could be more easily dodged than SCV or Probes.
Fixed an issue where Broodlords on the high ground were not revealed when attacking enemy units on the low ground.

Custom Map

Alliance tests for the status bars and the info panel now use the passive and defeat alliance states to determine allies rather than vision and control.
Force effects now preserve existing unit velocity.
Units with an interact ability now clear the interacting state when killed.
Items that cannot be dropped can now be moved in the inventory.
Banks are now marked as verified when saved.
The Unit Attachment Point trigger now reports the correct height.
If more than one unit is selected with the Select Unit Group trigger after units have been deselected by means besides the Clear Unit Selection trigger, the newly selected units will now show up in the info panel.
Range indicators are now updated when an upgrade is applied.
Alerts will now use the Text field for a name if no Name is defined.
Newly created units that gain a weapon via an upgrade will now have that weapon enabled when created.
A unit's height will now be changed immediately via triggers if the duration requested is 0.
Quitting out of a map will now cause the player leave trigger event to be dispatched before the player actually exits which will give triggers a chance to change the victory/defeat state.
The Enable/Disable Command Type trigger now disables minimap clicks properly.
Actors shown or hidden via triggers should now show immediately instead of being delayed by a game loop.
The Unit Selection trigger no longer resets the selected submenu if the selection isn't actually changed.
Alerts with the "Self" flag cleared will no longer show the alert to the issuing player.
If a unit has a custom revive type configured, it will now use that when reviving via triggers.
The maximum value for the real version of the effect amount trigger now reports values correctly.
Persistent effects with a period of 0 can now execute at most once per game loop.
Revive abilities that only have a per-level cost will now work correctly.
The Gain Level trigger event will now dispatch multiple times if the amount of XP gained results in multiple levels being awarded.
Filters now work properly for range actors.
Issue order effects can now accept a point as a valid target.
The requirement validator now also checks shown requirements.
The Unit Has Behavior Flag trigger function now allows checking all flags properly.
Yaw can now be get/set properly via Camera trigger functions.
The Player Effect Used Unit Owner trigger function can now use all expected parameters properly.
Abstract data types cannot be used for non-default data.
The used number of charges is now clamped properly when modified via triggers.
Charges with a fractional used amount are now handled properly.
Changing the Kill XP unit property now results in a unit granting a custom amount of XP when killed.
Missiles now impact properly when the target filters of the ability or weapon that launched them are upgraded.
Behaviors granted by an ability are now replaced when that ability is leveled up.
Items with carry or equip behaviors now manage behavior stack counts properly.
Item abilities configured as transient will no longer interrupt existing orders.
Learn abilities can no longer learn themselves.
Behaviors which disable turning no longer disable movement.
Units with negative life armor no longer take damage if shields or behaviors absorb damage.
Objectives will no longer play sounds for players who cannot see them.
If a unit is killed while morphing, it will revert the morph before reviving.
Units may be created as "Under Construction" as long as an ability is configured to create it.
Previously a unit needed to be able to produce it.
Creating and destroying objectives should no longer cause a crash.
Added a flag to Warp Train abilities to disable warp-in on ramps.
Added checks to prevent circular effect, loot, tactical, and validator data.
Fixed an issue where a targeted ability configured to use a teleport effect would fail to enter targeting mode.
Fixed an issue using the Set Unit Progress action on Zerg units.
Fixed an issue with clicking on an inventory slot while in targeting mode while using an item.
Fixed an issue where a force effect location would use a parent effect location instead of its own.
Fixed an issue with reviving a unit multiple times.
Fixed some issues with life change trigger events being dispatched from behaviors that modify life.
Fixed damage display on the hero info panel when the Collapse Buffed option is set.
Fixed some lockups during loading due to complicated custom data relationships.

StarCraft II Editor Bug Fixes

Data Editor

Duplicating a unit with a missile attack now properly duplicates the related actor data.

Terrain Editor

Terrain paste operations will now fail with a warning if pasted textures do not exist in the map texture set.
Assimilators, Extractors and Refineries now properly handle resource amounts defined in the properties dialog.
Editor minimap now correctly updates after placing water.
Invalid preplaced objects no longer prevent object groups from being initialized and using their patrol data.
Terrain objects are now properly snapped to cliff cells during placement and movement.
Fixed an issue with copying cameras that have custom colors applied.
Fixed an issue with previewing world relative sounds in the editor while the Terrain Editor is open.
Fixed an issue where closing the editor while the previewer is recording would crash the Editor.

Trigger Editor

The source column will correctly display Local for local elements within libraries.
Triggering Player/Unit Property Change event responses now returns the total amount of change if multiple changes occurred.
Fixed a potential crash issue that could occur when repeatedly clicking the Array checkbox for variables.
Fixed script editor slowdowns related to syntax highlighting.


Fixed an issue that could cause team settings to be reset in the Game Variants in some cases.
Fixed a crash when attempting to publish a map with no neutral players defined.
Fixed a crash when attempting to publish a map with over 500 custom units or upgrades.

Blizzcon 2011

Heart of the Swarm at Blizzcon 2011

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Blizzcon 2011 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on October 21st and 22nd. As the name implies it is Blizzard's annual convention with focus on their 3 premiere titles; WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo.

Tickets for the show sold out almost instantly but you can still find them via secondary means like eBay. Blizzard is also offering a $39.99 "Virtual Ticket" where you can watch BlizzCon 2011 at home. The virtual ticket works as a multi-channel Internet stream and is also available via Pay-per-View on DIRECTV in the US. As a bonus Blizzard is throwing in some World of WarCraft and StarCraft 2 in game items for those who purchase virtual tickets.

During the convention there will also be limited streaming coverage of the opening ceremony along with streams of some of the tournaments.

The upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion for the StarCraft 2 series is likely to be heavily featured at the event. Undoubtedly new cinematics will be released and there are rumors of a playable demo available to guests at the convention. Blizzard has a few items up on their site for the new expansion but it is hoped that with Blizzcon just around the corner many more details surrounding the storyline, gameplay, and enhancements will be released during the event.

In person guests are hopeful to receive a beta key for early testing of the Heart of the Swarm expansion at the convention. In past conventions beta keys have been given out for various titles and it would expected the same would true this year. Be sure and update you account (Account > Games & Codes > Beta Profile Settings) to be eligible for a beta key when Blizzard decides to divvy them out.

Only a few luck ticket holders will actually be able to attend this year. SC2Strat.Net plans on posting coverage of the event from the virtual ticket perspective and we'll pull in any other online sources we can get our hands on. Most importantly we'll bring you any Heart of the Swarm unveilings and news that is generated from the event.

SC2Strat.Net Launches

The Mission

Monday, 18 July 2011

SC2Strat.Net Text Banner

We're here to serve the greatest number of StarCraft 2 players possible which will predominately be Platinum and lower level league players. That doesn't mean a Diamond or Masters level player wouldn't find something useful on this site but it does mean that our content caters more to the medium and lower league players.

We don't restrict our videos to upper league players only as an example. In fact, many of our videos will showcase middle and lower league play quite a bit because we believe there's more to learn in watching your equivalent league of play. Sure, Masters and Grandmasters videos are fun to watch but most players aren't going to learn alot from watching professional play. We aim to show you real techniques and real strategies at all levels of play that can help you improve your game, because lets face it, most of us will never be able to orchestrate a battle the way the pros do.

Here you have access to 100% of our content for free! There is no secret members area or premium content locked behind doors you must pay to pass through. Every scrap of strategy advice and guidance is now, and will always remain, free. Our mission is to bring you the best and most current StarCraft 2 strategies in a form that's easy to understand and follow. We've put together a number of different guides that cover the basics of the game to advanced techniques so that any player looking to get a leg up, at whatever level, can jump in and find some useful information.

We've got an entire builds section wtih build orders for every race that go into detail about the build, how to execute it, how to transition after the build, and are always accompanied by a video put together by SC2Strat.Net staff so you have a visual representation of how to pull it off. If you've got a build of you own you'd like to submit we'd love to have know the details and if it's a solid build we'll make a video for it and post it on the site giving you proper credit.

Be sure to check out our Strat Casts section as well where you'll find real game strategy videos casted by SC2Strat.Net staff breaking down key elements and describing the strategy behind each. On occassion we'll simply cast epic battles for pure enjoyment as well. We're always looking for new replays to cast so get in touch if you have a worthy battle you'd like showcased.