Blizzard: ‘StarCraft 2 – Heart of the Swarm’ 99 Percent Complete

Published 2 years ago by

StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm Almost Finished

Though we still don’t have a firm release date for StarCraft 2‘s first expansion, Heart of the Swarm, developer Blizzard wanted to give a brief update in order to give players a sense of how things are going. While Blizzard tends to deal in a lot of secrecy involving when their games might release — typically their motto has been “when it’s done we’ll release it” — this update from Lead Designer Dustin Browder makes it seem like we are the cusp of a release date being given.

Essentially Heart of the Swarm is 99% complete — all the new units are finished, the new storyline has been mapped out, and the missions are playable — but it still needs a ton of fine tuning and polish. It might sound a bit strange that a game like this is so close yet so far, but that’s part of the Blizzard experience.

Rather than let the players work out the kinks, Blizzard tends to play test and play test until literally every part of the game, even those units that are completely insubstantial, is balanced. And then, when competitive players find those loopholes, they jump back in and institute a new patch.

As Browder puts it, working on Heart of the Swarm can be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde experience, where one day everything looks perfect and the next there are dozens of items to be corrected. Many gamers out there might rather Blizzard just release the expansion, but, at this point, we wouldn’t expect anything less than a fine-tuned product.

“There’s something in for everything–it’s whether we like it or not that’s an open question,” he said. “It’s the tuning and polish that really takes us a long time, and that’s where we get into the unknowns…Like we could do a play-through next week that we’re like, ‘Wow this is really great.’ Or we could do a play-through and we still have 250 items we wanna fix. You know, historically speaking we’re doing pretty well. We’re getting there. But I don’t know for sure yet when we’ll be done.”

Hopefully, along with raking in a handsome chunk of change, Blizzard learned from their mistakes with the launch of Diablo 3, and will roll those lessons learned into the launch of this expansion. Obviously StarCraft 2 isn’t meant to be a wholly single player experience, but at the very least hopefully Blizzard will be prepared this time around.

Would you rather Blizzard just release StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm and fine-tune that 1% percent later? Or is it part of a Blizzard product’s appeal that it was painstakingly polished several times over?

Source: Kotaku

TAGS: Blizzard, PC, Starcraft, StarCraft 2

  • Tim

    I vote for polish and frustration.

  • Jake

    I know that I am in the vast minority saying this, but if we can’t be honest on the internet, the world is broken.

    I still think that it is embarrassing how much Blizzard neglect the singleplayer portion of the Starcraft universe. The key to the majesty of Starcraft was, is and will always its multilayered story that takes place from different points of view.

    The original plan was to release the expansions no more than a year after each previous release – that I could have gotten into. This however is a joke.

    After we finally play this games we’re expected to wait another couple years just to see one story?

    Sorry for ranting but Starcrat is the last traditional RTS left standing – I want her treated right.

    Release the damn thing already.

  • Androol

    Haha, just like when you’re installing a program or something on your computer and the first 10% takes a while, then the next 80% just zips right on by, then the last 10% takes forever. That’s always seemed wrong to me.

  • kailen

    I gotta say I was put out by the fact that there was no Protos or Zerg campaigns in the initial release, so I did not buy it. Unless each race expansion is really huge I still feel like I would be cheated by buying them via expansion. I’ll watch the reviews when it comes out, and see if people say it is worth it.

    • 2ft7 Ninja

      Each expansion includes a new campaign equal in size with the old campaign including a new race.

  • 2ft7 Ninja

    There’s something that a lot of people dont notice here. Blizzard if releasing 3 games this year and has already released one. There’s no reason Blizzard would try to compete one of its games against the other. Thats just bad business. The games have to be spread out 3 months from eachother