With the upcoming launch of the Heart of the Swarm expansion for Starcraft 2, the development team at Blizzard wants to make sure that it eliminates ladder anxiety and encourages as many gamers as possible to try out multiplayer.
Chris Sigaty, a production director, tells Eurogamer that, “One of the biggest challenges with StarCraft 2 for us has been, we designed it to be viable as an eSport, but you can interpret that, if you see a lot of eSports headlines, as 'it is only an eSports game.”
Blizzard wants to encourage the community to change its view of the multiplayer modes, especially ranked ones.
Sigaty adds, “The real fun in StarCraft 2 is realizing it's a game about personal self-improvement. If you look back to where you were, when you didn't even know how to block off the ramp to your base or get enough workers to get you enough income to build, to you progressing past that, that doesn't have to happen on a ladder with everyone seeing your ranking.”
The biggest problem with increasing multiplayer participation is that new players will often feel that there’s no way for them to reach the level of professional gamers and fail miserably during their first few matches.
The launch of Heart of the Swarm for Starcraft 2 is a good moment to jump in because Blizzard will introduce both new units and gameplay changes that will force even the best players to adapt their game and might decrease their short-term performance.
The expansion also delivers a new single-player campaign focused on the adventures of Sarah Kerrigan, the former Zerg Queen of Blades.
Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will be launched on March 5 on the PC all over the world and the team has recently released a pretty impressive cinematic introduction video.