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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
  • A 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.

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!

If you

A) Don’t have a StarCraft 2 Beta key
B) Want a StarCraft 2 Beta key

… and you’re witty and/or creative enough to think of a cool T-shirt concept, getting a StarCraft 2 Beta key is just one comment away!

Noob Shirt - Close But No Cigar

Over the next 72 hours, we’ll be giving out 20 StarCraft 2 Beta keys to readers with the sickest, wittiest, most creative StarCraft-related T-shirt ideas. Yes, it’s that simple.

Instructions:

1) Write or sketch out a T-shirt idea.
2) Post the text or link to the picture in the comments or post on our Facebook page, along with your email address.

On Friday, April 30th, we’ll exchange a key for your idea if you’re in the top 20!

P.S W8VY64-8XVH-HNXD6Z-HFY6-T2NZRW

If you

A) Don’t have a StarCraft 2 Beta key
B) Want a StarCraft 2 Beta key

Well then, things just got a lot simpler for you. We will be handing out 24 StarCraft 2 beta keys to anyone posting a real picture of themselves with “SC2Blog.com got me into the StarCraft 2 Beta” boldly hand-written on either shirt, skin or anything large enough to not fit into an oven!

StarCraft 2 Beta Logo

All you have to do is publish that picture on one of the following:

1) An active public forum
2) Our Facebook wall
3) A YouTube video

And then post a link to it, along with an email, in the comments!

Yes, this time it’s that simple. And even simpler, here’s a freebie for ye of high APM!

HY6TY9-RKNY-Z2F2ZY-Y6FW-TH9ERK

Update: This giveaway has come to an end. GL HF in the next ones!

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