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Blizzard tackles Multiplayer in latest Heart the Swarm video

by William Schwartz

StarCraft II fans have a little under a month to go before the release of the first expansion for the real-time-strategy title.  Heart of the Swarm will see a number of new features added to the game.  New units, new social features, and of course the continuation of the StarCraft II storyline.  Blizzard has been relaying the details in a number of developer diaries explaining the new features, and this latest one tackles the new multiplayer and esports features of the game.

Group Replays – StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will allow players to watch replays with a group.  A new “Watch with Others” button has been added to the interface in the replays section of the SC2 UI, which opens a lobby that other players can be invited to and watch the replay.   The host of the lobby can direct the video’s speed and timeline.

Alongside the group replay features, players will also be able to jump into a game and control the action during a reply with a new feature called “Take Command”

Take Command – Will allow you to take over a game from any point in a replay.  This can be used to test different strategies, see what could have worked in a given scenario, and coutless other possible uses.

Heart of the Swarm will also feature a game recovery feature that will basically allow matches to be recovered from any spot, in the event that a technical difficulty causes the match to drop.  This functionality is also used out of the replay lobby.

Finally, a new observer mode will allow those spectating StarCraft II matches to use a number of different tools to deliver all of the in-game statistics to a tidy user interface.  You can see the full map, unit locations, and stats like economy, technology, and army to see all of the action unfolding.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will be available on March 12th.

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