By Nathan Grayson on August 16th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.
I like to imagine that creating an expansion for StarCraft is like disarming a multi-megaton bomb using live lobsters instead of wirecutters. One wrong move, and the whole thing will go sky-high. Also, you are constantly being attacked. By lobsters. Who, I guess, are the fans in this metaphor. I’m not really sure anymore. At any rate, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is just about to start making its final zerg rush toward the finish line, and it needs your help.
Blizzard, in traditionally vague fashion, outlined both when the beta’s dropping and what it will entail in a blog post.
“We are preparing to invite testers for the Heart of the Swarm beta very soon! To be clear, this test will be for the multiplayer experience only. We will begin with a select group, including many players who assisted us in testing Patch 1.5, as well as some pro-gamers and press. Over time, we will add more and more testers into the mix.”
“If you are interested in participating in the beta test, please make sure you are opted in for beta testing. You can do this by clicking ‘Beta Profile Settings’ under the Account Management section of your Battle.net account. Note that the opt-in doesn’t guarantee entry, but gives you a chance at joining the beta test.”
Traditionally, Blizzard’s beta tests have erred on the side of “slow and steady wins the race,” and – especially with a balance this delicate – I imagine Heart of the Swarm’s will take a similar tact. So then, odds are, you’ll have plenty of chances to burrow in and vomit acid all over everyone you meet.
And in the game. So prepare yourself. Go look in a mirror and ask “Is my APM high enough? Is it really?” (Example: for me, the answer is “No [falls to knees, looks up at the sky, and begins sobbing in the rain].”)