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The new Battle.net that had launched with StarCraft 2 might have taken many users by surprise – if they did not keep up with SC news during development – with its permanent character names and the lack of chatrooms.

Blizzard has promised to bring chat rooms back within a few patches, and now, gamers not happy with their handles will be offered a name change for free soon as well. Why bother writing “free“? Well, because Blizzard will be charging for Battle.net name changes in the future.

The recent 1.0.3 patch continued the tradition of providing a minor bug fix while leaving gameplay balance intact.

Bug Fixes:

Fixed an issue preventing some players from accessing offline play from the login screen

Our Nvidia-sponsored GeForce GTX 460 StarCraft 2 flipbook contest came to an end this weekend, bringing multiple interesting submissions. As promised, the winner of the contest will be awarded with a EVGA GeForce GTX 460 768MB and the runner up will receive a SteelSeries limited edition professional grade StarCraft 2 mousepad.

The second place, along with the mousepad, goes to Stephen Barnes for submitting this animated battle, called “Death From Above”.

The winner of the contest is Nadya Emmyl from Stary Oskol, Russia, who submitted this excellent animated reenactment of Kerrigan’s last stand on New Gettysburg.

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Do you want a brand new Nvidia GeForce GTX 460? A video card so fit for playing StarCraft 2 that it actually comes with a free SC2 trial coupon? The very one we just reviewed here and raved about as being perfect for StarCraft 2, capable of taking on the game even at the highest quality graphics settings?

If you do, it’s time to sharpen your pencil. We will ship a new, sealed in box, EVGA GeForce GTX 460 768MB to the creator of the best StarCraft themed flipbook animation. If you are not familiar with the concept, here’s a good sample video to get your started:

How to enter the contest:

  1. Draw an original StarCraft-inspired flipbook animation.
  2. Make a video like the one shown above.
  3. Submit your entry by either sending it directly to Anderson@SC2Blog.com or by posting on our Facebook page for others to see and comment on!

On August 21st, we will post the qualifiers here for our readers to vote on. Voting will last for 4 days, and the entry receiving the most votes will win the card! Runner ups will not go unnoticed, and will get some awesome StarCraft-related prizes as well.

GTX460 Box Back

What are you waiting for? Get arting!

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Phase one of the StarCraft 2 beta test is coming to an end for all regions at the end of this month, Monday the 31st. Here’s the official word from Xordiah, Blizzard’s RTS community manager:

We’d like to let all of our StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty beta test participants know that the first phase of the beta test will be coming to an end in all regions on Monday, May 31. The beta test will be unavailable for several weeks while we make some hardware and software configuration changes in preparation for the final phase of the beta test and the release of the game. We plan to bring the beta test back online for a couple of weeks prior to the game’s launch to complete our testing. We’ll have more details to share about when this final beta-testing phase will begin at a later date.

With the game launching on the 27th of July and phase two of the beta only commencing a couple of weeks prior to that, StarCraft 2 addicts are going to face a harsh withdrawal for more than a month. Fortunately, replays will still be available and the map editor will be fully functional, though no game of any sort will be playable since Battle.net servers will be down.

Final StarCraft 2 Beta Key Contest

If you’re aching to play some StarCraft 2 for the little time left in the beta, we invite you to participate in our third and last beta key contest! This time, we ask you to create StarCraft-related demotivational posters.

Over the next three days, we’ll be giving out 15 StarCraft 2 Beta keys to readers who create the best, most creative and most entertaining demotivational posters.

Instructions:

1) Create a demotivational poster. Poster generators are allowed.
2) Post the picture or link to it in the comments or post on our Facebook page, along with your email address.

By Saturday, May 22nd, we’ll select the top submissions and send out the keys!

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We’ve received a great amount of submission for our recent StarCraft 2 Beta key contest and have been blow away by the amount of creativity and design skill some of our community members have displayed! We’re going to present most of the winning submissions; skipping quite a few, but only because there were so many – we actually ended up giving more than 30 keys to our readers.

Here are the top submissions for your viewing pleasure. We’ve refrained from mentioning the names of people, as many of them are real names – coming from Facebook rather than being aliases. All entries are exactly as submitted, in either text or picture form.

* SPAWN MORE OVERLORDS

BECAUSE I’M OUT OF CONTROL!

Kentucky Fried Zerg

GLHF Greeting TShirt

* <picture of a Baneling> I’m fat and volatile, don’t f@%# with me.

Save a baneling

* Picture is of an Infestor next to a Colossus that has a Neural Parasite. Colossus is seen firing at and chasing several nearby fleeing probes with its laser. Text: “COLOSSAL FAIL

mothership independance tshirt

* Front: +3/3,  Back: Good Luck.

Mommaship jokes Tshirt

* “I make dead people” (Reaper picture)

I Love SC

And in the darkness bind them

Testing Immortals tshirt

Well, do you?

* Starcraft 2 Logo: Text: “What a Rush

600 years of Flight

* Picture is the Feedback icon. Text: “Never ask a High Templar to critique your writing. You won’t like his Feedback.”

1A 2A 3A - Not 1A!

* In my mind I am in your mind and in your mind I am the Overmind

Go Zergling!

Cation, Zerg Rush in Progress!Carrier Express!

* The most trademark and intellectual property infringing design award goes to…

StarCraft 2, about time!

* Best execution of the nuked shirt design:

a nuked shirt

Cant touch sentry!

Who doesn't?

Don’t we all.

That’s it for this contest. GG, and thank you all for participating. If you haven’t gotten a StarCraft 2 beta key yet, don’t despair – we have more keys to give and more contests coming up.

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