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After one long month of hiatus, the StarCraft 2 beta returns in full force. This phase will last for 11 days, until the 19th of July. Here’s the official word:

The second phase of the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty beta test is now underway. We’re delighted to invite you back to the battlefield and hope that you will join us through July 19 for more terran, protoss, and zerg action.


As stated previously, all data from beta phase one has been reset. This includes characters, match history, ladder rankings, and achievements. Beta participants will therefore need to recreate their characters and, if joining matchmaking games, complete a new series of placement matches.


We thank you for all the feedback you provided during phase one and are excited to hear about more of your experiences in phase two. Welcome back to beta, and we’ll see you on Battle.net!

Patch 16 was released along with the restarting of the beta, bringing with it a few relatively minor changes and some more undocumented ones.

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.

The rally point change is the big news of this section. Previously, units rallied out of production buildings would automatically attack all enemy units in their way, often nullifying themselves immediately because they would meet with larger forces. This would frequently make rallying useless, since each new unit had to be handled anyway. Instead, units will now move to where they’re told to go, ignoring enemy units.

ZERG


Infestor


Frenzy spell removed.
Infested Terran spell added.


Overseer


Infested Terran spell removed.


Ultralisk


Now immune to stuns and mind control.

Continuing the trend from the recent patches, the Ultralisk has received another buff. Along with the speed upgrade and the ability to ignore the Protoss Sentry’s Force Fields, Blizzard is certainly gearing the Ultralisk to be an unstoppable juggernaut – just like its design implies. It will be interesting to see if this latest buff will be enough for this purpose.

A few other undocumented changes have already been spotted in the new phase of the beta, both for the interface and the game itself. We’ve gathered a list of changes:

GENERAL

  • All menu sound effects changed
  • Many changes to all races sound effects
  • Changed graphics settings, removed highest level of shaders
  • Engine performenace optimized (not confirmed)
  • “Beta” removed from title screen
  • New music added
  • StarCraft installation directory drops from 10gb to 3.5gb as the patch deletes all previous versions
  • Only 2 placement matches are required (down from 5 before and 10 at the start of the beta) A display bug incorrectly shows that only 2 placement matches are required while 5 are needed in effect
  • Xel’naga towers now look like eyes on the minimap

GAMEPLAY

  • Tabbed browsing through production buildings has been removed. Instead, units are assigned to the most efficient building. Early reports inform about many issues with this.
  • Neural Parasite is no longer unlimited, lasts about 12 seconds
  • Infested Terrans last 30 seconds (from 20)
  • Infested Terran can be cast while the Infestor is burrowed
  • Roaches can no longer move under Force Fields while burrowed
  • Stalkers can no longer blink over “unpathable” terrain, meaning no more blinks across islands

Time to hit the servers!

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.
    

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