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Today is July 28th, 2010.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is available for purchase around the globe. Battle.net 2.0 is live, and hundreds of thousands are enjoying war, in all its glory… and all its horror.

SC2Blog staff attended launch parties around the world, celebrating 3 years of following StarCraft 2’s development in the public eye, and picking up their own, pre-ordered copies. Those who have chosen to get Collector’s Editions have received one of the most beautiful gaming artifacts to have ever hit mass production.

StarCraft 2 Collector's Edition Box

The Collector’s Edition comes in a big, beautiful double “sliding door” package, giving it a unique and rugged look that is unlike any other. Due to its size and the distinct pseudo-metallic texture, the box immediately stands out in any store or gamer room.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector’s Edition is packed with features, both tangible and digital.

  • The Art of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, a 176-page book featuring artwork from the game
  • An exclusive 2GB USB flash drive replica of Jim Raynor’s dog tag, which comes preloaded with the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War expansion set
  • A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, cinematics with director’s commentary, and more
  • The official StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack CD, containing 14 epic tracks from the game along with exclusive bonus tracks
  • StarCraft comic book issue #0, a prequel to the comic series
  • World of Warcraft mini Thor in-game pet that can be applied to all World of Warcraft characters on a single Battle.net account
  • Exclusive Battle.net downloadable content, including special portraits for your Battle.net profile, decals to customize your units in-game, and a visually unique version of the terran Thor unit

StarCraft 2 CE Box Comes With this Cover

Everything inside the box is of the highest quality, including a functional dog tag 2 GB USB drive. Its rough feel is just what you’d expect from its looks, with a push-and-slide USB connector and a fitting neck chain to hang it on.

Starcraft 2 Collector's Editing 2GB USB Drive

The most important “show and tell” item is certainly the 176 page StarCraft 2 art book. For those who have followed SC2’s development, the pages will contain many familiar sketches and 3D renders of units and environments that have been introduced, scrapped or changed along the way.

Kerrigan In All Her Glory

The behind-the-scenes DVD and the full soundtrack CD has great value for true StarCraft fans, shedding light on StarCraft 2’s development – from its very inception to the delicate gameplay decisions made close to the release to the public. Considering the correlation between StarCraft and the professional Poker world, it wouldn’t be surprising to find the StarCraft 2 soundtrack playing on iPods during long tournament grinding sessions.

StarCraft 2 Soundtrack and Commentary

For those who won’t have many opportunities to brag about their recent purchase in the real world, one of the nicer perks is without a doubt a special set of Battle.net portraits that are available only to owners of the Collector’s Edition.

StarCraft 2 Collector's Edition Battle.net Portraits

With so much awesome in one package, the StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty Collector’s Edition has great sentimental value for those who have been following the StarCraft Universe since it was introduced, over 12 years ago. Even if this is the first StarCraft game you purchase, you will quite likely get to appreciate it as much as we do soon enough.

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Join the Dominion was a Blizzard media campaign that included fan participation – submitting propaganda posters as well as taking a Terran military entrance exam. The campaign’s focus was the gradually unlocked StarCraft-related media content in the form of inspirational posters, StarCraft 2 story trailer videos, music from the game, and various propaganda items. We’re going to go over all the unlockables in this post, summarizing the entire campaign for your viewing pleasure!

To start, go ahead and get a good feel of the campaign by taking the entrance exam, which will assign you to your duty in the service of the Terran Dominion. Are you a skilled Viking pilot or more of a suicidal Firebat? Better find out before StarCraft 2 is released!

After finding out about your future role in the Terran military, check out this awesome gallery of StarCraft 2 posters:

Download some StarCraft 2 ringtones and SMS alerts:

Check out the fan-submitted propaganda poster gallery here, and vote for the one you like by “liking” them with your facebook account.

Lastly, brace yourself for three amazing StarCraft 2 videos. The first two detail the story so far: the Terrans’ arrival at the Koprulu sector, the Protoss’ attempt to eradicate the Zerg, Kerrigan’s transformation into the Queen of Blades, and the events leading up to the beginning of StarCraft 2.

The last video is also the newest trailer for StarCraft 2 we’ve posted recently, combining stunning pre-rendered animation with in-game scenes seamlessly to create one of the best hype trailers ever, just in time for StarCraft 2’s imminent release!

In just a few hours, the wait will be over. Some may have needed the hype machine, but they had most of us at “StarCraft 2”.

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StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty is going live this Tuesday! If you’re serious about being among the first to hit the virtual battlefield, Blizzard will be holding midnight launch events as well as allowing pre-downloaded copies to be insta-activated.

If you intend to buy a digital copy of StarCraft 2, you might end up with a small edge on everyone else, as the full StarCraft 2 client, weighing in at a healthy 7GB, is available for download through your Battle.net account.

  • Who should download StarCraft II in advance?
    If you intend to purchase StarCraft II digitally, downloading the client now will allow you to simply pay and play when digital copies of StarCraft II go on sale.
  • Will digital copies of StarCraft II be available as soon as the game is released in stores?
    No. They’ll go on sale slightly later, on 07/27/2010 10:00 AM PDT in North America and Latin America.

While the game is already available for download, we can safely assume it is fully encrypted. On 07/27/2010 10:00 AM PDT, gamers will be able to run the installer and activate their digital copy via their Battle.net account management console.

Blizzard will be celebrating the launch of StarCraft 2 in multiple select retail stores around the world, hosting midnight parties with StarCraft 2 developers in attendance – signing copies, hosting competitions, having awesome giveaways and just mingling with their most devoted fans.
Midnight parties are expected to take place in:

  • London
  • Berlin
  • Paris
  • Stockholm
  • Moscow
  • Singapore
  • Mexico City
  • São Paulo, Brazil
  • Brisbane, Australia

Throughout its development, StarCraft 2’s regional segregation has been quite an issue for gamers around the world, especially in the eSports community. With just a few days left till launch, Blizzard decided to grant full North American server access to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand!

North American Server Access for Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™ Players FAQ highlights:

Q: Who is eligible to play on the North American servers?


A: All players, including those in the regions of Hong Kong and Macau, who purchase the English Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand Standard or Collector’s Edition of StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™ will have the option of playing on the North American Battle.net® servers in addition to the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand servers if they prefer.


Q: How much will this cost?


A: The option of playing on North American Battle.net servers will come at no additional cost to all players who have purchased the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II.


Q: How will access to the North American servers be granted?


A: Our intention is to ensure that within 60 days after the launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, all players with a copy of the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version will automatically gain the ability to also access the North American servers — this will be handled through Battle.net account management.

Downloading StarCraft 2

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Blizzard has released what will probably end up being the last StarCraft 2 Beta Patch ever  – patch 18. With no drastic adjustments, containing only minor bug fixes, it seems the development team is content with StarCraft 2’s current gameplay state and race balance.

Last StarCraft 2 Beta Patch Ever

General


-The Mac StarCraft II Editor is now available!


Bug Fixes


– Burrowed Ultralisks now have the correct 500 hit points while burrowed.
– Fixed an issue where custom maps utilizing custom loading screens could cause players to lag or be dropped from Battle.net.
– Fixed an issue during replays when rewinding could cause the replay to desync.
– Fixed an issue with in-game menus causing performance issues.

An official announcement regarding the beta ending time has been released: it’s due to shut down today, July 19.

We would like to thank everyone who has participated in the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty beta test. You’ve done an admirable job of testing, and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback you provided during this critical phase of development. It’s been a lot of fun; however, all good things must come to an end.


In preparation for the launch of the game on Tuesday, July 27, the beta servers will be brought offline by Monday, July 19. At that time, all beta accounts and character information will be reset and the ability to create forum posts and comments on the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty website will be unavailable until launch. In the meantime, we still encourage everyone to stay tuned to the website for exciting news and updates regarding the upcoming release.


Thank you again for your participation, and we’ll see you soon on Battle.net!

Enjoy the last hours of beta play, and brace for the full release on July 27!

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