Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm '99% done'

Lead designer Dustin Browder says Blizzard now focused on tuning and polish, says Zerg-centered real-time strategy game will be done when it's done.

Blizzard Entertainment is close to finishing development on the Zerg-focused Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, lead designer Dustin Browder told Kotaku. Gamers may not want to get too excited too quickly, as the company remains on "Blizzard time," saying the project will be done when it is done.

Heart of the Swarm is nearly finished, says Browder.

"We are 99 percent done," he said. "But that last 1 percent's a bitch."

According to Browder, the game's missions are fully playable and the units are finalized. Now, he said, the team is working on putting the finishing touches on it.

"There's something in for everything--it's whether we like it or not that's an open question," he said. "It's the tuning and polish that really takes us a long time, and that's where we get into the unknowns."

Browder did not give any indication as to when the game will be released, saying that's entirely dependent on how satisfied Blizzard is with new builds.

"Like we could do a play-through next week that we're like, 'Wow this is really great.' Or we could do a play-through and we still have 250 items we wanna fix," he said. "You know, historically speaking we're doing pretty well. We're getting there. But I don't know for sure yet when we'll be done."

As part of Activision's latest financial call in February, the publisher revealed it was not expecting to ship both Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria in 2012. Heart of the Swarm is the second installment in the Starcraft II three-part series. It will follow 2010's Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and precede the final entry, Legacy of the Void.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

0 comments
SiriusSteve
SiriusSteve

Figgin huge percent i guess. Yeah ok I get being lazy because they can about not releasing a whopping 3 titles in the same year (considering they're arguably the most popular gaming company in the world, don't really get it). But can we at least get a release date?

Blizzard can do better, but they know they can get away with it.

cccp3000
cccp3000

So the remaining 1% equals the last 99%.

Bastylander
Bastylander

When they announced that Starcraft II campaign would have been splitted, the've also said that after the WoL release they would have released an expansion pack each year, this is like what they've never done: Telling a false release date. Blizzard plans changed somehow, because it was set to be: WoL (2010); HotS (2011) and LotV (2012). Blizzard just went back on its word.

Aus_AR
Aus_AR

D3, mists of pandaria, and HotS in the same year? Don't think that will happen. They'd want to distribute their profits better than to release 3 games this year and leave 2013 empty. My money is on 'mists' by the end of the year and HotS mid 2013

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

blizzard fans are such a good case of a gaming community spoiled rotten. Ive heard so many people say 'yeah diablo 3 was disappointing.' or something along those lines and yet their account has 100+ hours of gameplay just after 1 or 2 weeks of release. Too much false entitlement in the blizzard fan base.

CitizenZany
CitizenZany

Haha :) Played WoW for 4 months then I stopped.  Next I played SC2 for over 200 1v1 games and felt kinda empty at the end of it.  Like with so many players online, how could I feel so empty?!  B.Net 2.0?  Anyhow I haven't missed SC2 for a year or more now.  Though I play SC1 now and then.

 

Used to buy every game from Blizzard since 1995, no exception.  Didn't buy D3, and somehow I feel lucky.  Like FINALLY I learnt how to dodge a train!  I can see it coming!!

 

So yes, to sorta finish what you r saying... I won't buy HoTS.   A little sad but true!  Rather use the money for kickstarter.  Get off my shopping trolley, BlizActiv!!

 

Ps.  Housemate says that HoTS release in 2013 is a good thing to build up expectations as that's half the fun.  Forget the SC2 & D3 disappointments.

DeadrisingX1
DeadrisingX1

How's about you tell us when it's ready instead of how close it is to being ready, Blizzard?

Granpire
Granpire

Does Gamespot no longer censor foul language?

varunvikram1
varunvikram1

No offense but i kinda want this game to come somewhere after 2013, i still enjoy current units in wings of liberty multiplayer

Vambran
Vambran

I want to buy this game right now.

banana23man
banana23man

This means they've perfected the online DRM system, same as D3, and are now working on the last 1%, the actual gameplay.

 

Sarcasm aside, I've honestly lost faith in Blizzard. I used to think of them as being a AAA company that has amazing repertoire of games. Now, they're nothing but a greed-driven corporation.  The mere fact that SC2 was divided into 3 separate games speaks for itself.

Agelu
Agelu

Classic Blizzard.

 

Their "this is it, only 1 to go!"s generally take 99% of the whole developing time.

sonjoza
sonjoza

Where's the remaining 1%?

jyml8582
jyml8582

Blizzard introduces a new feature in Heart of Swarm, "Swarm Fever": A 5-hour recess will be followed by every 2 hours of gameplay. It is a necessary step to combat fraud and players taking advantage on the numerous exploits in game. Yeah you know it's on a happen. ;)

Orvell
Orvell

I used to like blizzard so much.  Then I became bored of wow and didn't want to wait years to play starcraft 2, and lost interest in d3 when I heard all the news.  Blizzard is the reason I haven't built a new pc.

Yojimbo25
Yojimbo25

So if its 99% done then the next 1% should take eight years so expect this game to be out in 2020.

gsmull
gsmull

Talk about getting jerked around. "Oh, it could be done tomorrow, or 5 months from now depending on how great we decide to make it." The translation is, "please don't lose interest in our products after the Diablo III disappointment, but we plan on sitting on this release we know you want  for longer then you would expect in order to devote more resources on other projects you don;t care about."

grove12345
grove12345

Dont care. SC 2 just as Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 show complete lack of innovation and are taking wayyyyy longer than it should to make. Actually pathetically longer. Surprises me how blizzard despite awesome sales doesnt go bankrupt. 10 years to make a game that is lik 15% different than the last.

 

Just make WC4 already.

 

WC3 was different than all the WC series at least. But i have a feeling Blizzard has gone to the dumps.

wexorian
wexorian

we will see pandaria 100% till october But i don't see Sc windows this year seems

ZIM1111
ZIM1111

I HATE WARCRAFT!!!!!!!

pdfanboy
pdfanboy

I just love when they say the game will be done "when it's done" and then, at release, there's always a bunch of crappy patches. Just saying...

Anigmar
Anigmar

Are we seriously gonna have to wait for Hots until next year cause of some pandas? Someone tell me is a joke please.

GreySeven
GreySeven

I think the world understands that 99% can mean a year, ten years, or on the verge of being canceled. 

quaker04
quaker04

I don't think that this kind of marketing, almost a hidden marketing, will work for more years. Blizzard could even sell million copies of D3, but making the player wait for the game without sign of release, is really annoying. I know, maybe they prevent it to don't need to postpone dates, but they have projects and stuff, I can't believe that someone enter in the dev. room and say: "Ok, it's done today, no more dev., lets release.". However, I'm a lover of Warcraft series as well Starcraft, so I'm kind of excited to this release! I'll be amazing!

jhonMalcovich
jhonMalcovich

SC2's competetive MP is not frustrating, is just maddeningly tough. And it´s tough not because the game is throwing at you only pros, but it´s tough because of the sheer amount of grind for wins. To advance in the scale you need to gain, at least, 5 wins in a row otherwise it will take you an eternity to advance to another league.

 

But for gaining 5 wins in row every time, you need to resign to your personal life  and become a crazy Starcraft fanatic.

 

So I just choosed to just enjoy Starcraft MP without putting on me any pressure. And I like to enjoy other games too. So I am still at bronze and I am quite happy about it. I don ´t need a game to become a personal chalenge. If someone says that the Bronze is for noobs they are just stupid. The game matched me many times with Silver and Gold players, especially when you are at the top 10 of the your group and I took them over many  times. I am always occupying the 2nd and 3rd places in my group, but I never had a time and nerves to push for the 1st place. It´s just damned tiresome. But being in the bronze I had awesome epic games.

 

I am playing Zerg. Once I won the turtled Protos with only 6 roaches and one hidra. He took the 2d expansion at the very begining and cannoned his entrance. Instead of trying to break his wall with roaches, I went for quick expansions and researched the air drop. When I landed with my roaches on his main expansion I discovered that he went for a very heavy macro game. He built dozens of production facilities. I new that in question of a half a minute he will build a massive army of stalkers. So instead of loosing time destroying his portals I sniped all the pilons, especially the pilon in the middle of the portals that only my hidra could reach. Just in time I disabled all his production facilites. I lol´ed so much when those dozens of portals got powerless,  even my opponent lauged out loud and thumbed up with well played.

 

Damned, I even beated the Mathership and Death Ray combo : )  Epic air fight. That was a gold player by the way.

BlackWaltz_No_3
BlackWaltz_No_3

After Diablo 3, my faith on Blizzard went downhill really fast. Don't get me wrong, the game was really polished, but they made themselves look like the money hungry bastards other companies have become with RMAH. I wish HotS will restore my faith, WoL gave me over 1000 hours of gameplay so I have my fingers crossed.

blackothh
blackothh

 @Epicurus-Reborn i dont own sc2 or d3 but there is enough exposure to them via the internet that i decided its not worth my money, and yes to me diablo 3 is very dissapointing, i played wow long enough to see d3 as basicly wow, which was a really dumb idea

agallardo13
agallardo13

 @varunvikram1 i personally dont like the new terran units, they look stupid as fuck but hey hopefully the custom games will better this time around

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

 @banana23man idk, its expected any game blizzard makes will have an expansion. And if they put all 3 campaigns into one, we would still be waiting for the 1st game to release, or instead each race would have only 10 missions each, and all the awesome customization and options we got in the wings of liberty campaign would have been cut by 3rd.

agallardo13
agallardo13

 @sonjoza it might be balancing units, even though they'll just do that with the updates anyways

 

agallardo13
agallardo13

 @Anigmar i wish it were, but with d3 being a failure they are going to the only thing they know that does create income...WoW

gilligan156
gilligan156

 @HAMODA This is like being mad at Pizza Hut because you want Taco Bell to release the Cooler Ranch Dorito Taco.

HyperWarlock
HyperWarlock

 @HAMODA SC2 is made by a different division of Blizzard. They have nothing to do with D3.

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

 @Alcatrazm Yes. HoS is an expansion and requires the original standalone WoL. 

blackothh
blackothh

 @agallardo13 yea that was a huge letdown, i wouldnt  be supprised if it comes out years from now tho

blackothh
blackothh

 @agallardo13 i dont see why they had to come up with new units to put in, they already have firebats and that hover laser tank, sounds pretty much like the same thing to me.....

CTBradums
CTBradums

 @Volgin  @banana23man I agree to the notion that Blizz is losing sight of what it means to be a straight-forward and player-driven developer; but I agree with Volgin in that I don't see SC2 as being a rip-off. I did at first, until I realized that the campaigns in each are equal or more than the entire SC entries before it.

grove12345
grove12345

 @shooters125 WC 3 isso much better than this horrible game.

Took 10+ years to make 1/3 of a sequel that does its very best to copy the original.

Basically you are going to pay like $100 and wait 12 years for SC in 3d.

 

WC3 was worlds different than WC 2 at least.

 

 

colt_a
colt_a

 @doublea93 They answer to the same management.  The ones that say "we don't care if the game is good, we care if you can hype it enough to sell"....you know, the Blizzard moto since WotLK

blackothh
blackothh

 @Epicurus-Reborn i just wish they made something new, like a mech unit that puts out an interuption field that stops abulity use in that area for a short time, forcing units with abilities to move or wait to use their abilities.  its too easy to use units over again to be allowed from blizzard. i will admit the firebat transformer is cool, but its like a hellion crashed into a firebat and it shit out a spider mine finally and absorbed the firebat

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

 @blackothh i think they didnt want to let any one down by not making new terran units for the multiplayer. (And to be nit picky, firebats are pretty different than the hellion transform since one is a tier 1.5 biological unit, and the other a tier 2 (or 3?) mech upgrade)

agallardo13
agallardo13

 @grove12345 wc3 is awesome ill agree, but the truth is for me and for many gamers, we get sc not relly for the plot but for the custom games

agallardo13
agallardo13

 @HAMODA actually activision if the publisher so they are calling the shots :/