StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm gets multiplayer dev update

It's been a while since Blizzard has talked about StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. The expansion pack for the 2010 sci-fi RTS sequel is still in development and this week the game's official web site has posted up a development update written by the game's Dustin Browder who says he hopes "to be able to get Heart of the Swarm out to the public to see sometime in the near future."

The update concentrates on the multiplayer features that will be put into the expansion pack. On the Terran side, Browder said they have decided to ditch the shredder unit that was first revealed at Blizzcon 2011. He states, "The shredder was very confusing for players as well as being something that was easily used to kill a large number of workers with little to no warning. It was rarely used for its intended role of map control." The new warhound unit may also be taken out as well.

On the Protoss side, Blizzard has also decided to get rid of the new replicant unit with Browder saying, "He was causing enemy players to not build certain unit types and was actually removing diversity from the game instead of adding diversity."

The article goes over a number of other changes that either will be put in Heart of the Swarm or ones that Blizzard is considering. As far as when the expansion pack will begin beta testing, Browder says the development teams still has "more work to do" before they are ready for that to happen.

Image via Blizzard

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bryonhowley said,
They should work on getting the game out and forget this multiplayer **** it is of absolutely no use.

Starcraft II is a very multiplayer focused game...

Good. I'm pretty happy with SC2 balance at the moment, and I was a little worried about some of the units they showed at Blizzcon messing with the balance a bit much. If previous Blizzard expansions are any indication a lot will change, some things we won't like at first but we'll get used to, and in the end we'll have a more polished and balanced game.

Since Blizzard has said that they won't mind if tournament organizers stick with Wings of Liberty for the major tournaments after HotS is released (Which isn't likely) I'm kind of wondering how long it's going to take before GSL/MLG/etc switch over to HotS. I wonder if they'll switch immediately or if they'll finish up whatever season they're in when the game launches.