[Update: We can now confirm that the StarCraft 2 Beta servers have been put back up, and Beta Phase 2 has begun. Start up your client now to update the three patches that have been applied since Beta Phase 1 ended, and start playing ASAP!

Who knows how long Beta Phase 2 will last, likely only a number of weeks… because we know for sure that StarCraft 2’s retail release hits at the end of July.]

Rumors from antsy fans have been spreading like wildfire across the internet that the StarCraft 2 beta will become active once more after a month of silence from the Blizzard HQ. Nothing has come to fruition yet, other than a 485MB update patch for European players that leaves many speculating that the beta will resume either tonight or tomorrow morning.

The patch notes became available earlier today:

StarCraft II Beta — Patch 16 (version 0.19.0.15976)

General

  • 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.

I’m looking forward to play my beloved game again, and also I’m looking forward to trying out the higher difficulty levels on the A.I., which were painfully easy the first time around. What interests me the most, however, is the cross-game social features with World of WarCraft – Blizzard’s been on a roll with the social integration, announcing Facebook interaction to the disdain of many. This also appears to be step 2 in a marketing push to get WoW players into StarCraft, as they announced recently that StarCraft 2 will be free for all Korean WoW subscribers.

Unless we see the servers go up soon, this patch could turn out to be 485MB of disappointment. Until then, I’m off to pray to the Blizzard Gods to unleash StarCraft 2 on us once more. Also, check out my impressions of the StarCraft 2 Beta.

(For all you American gamers looking to download the patch, some players on the forums noticed that if you edit ‘realmlist.stf’ in the game’s support folder, you can change your region from ‘us’ to ‘eu’. Go nuts.)

Source: Kotaku

[Update: We’ve confirmed that US StarCraft players are now receiving the update as well. We’ll hopefully have more information soon.]

Interested in gaining a competitive advantage in StarCraft II? Check out the official StarCraft II mouse, keyboard, and headset being developed by Razer here.

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