Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will drastically improve the Replay system, allowing players to watch them in sync, start playing as one of the factions in the game, or even recover matches that were interrupted due to technical problems and other such things.
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty brought the real-time strategy series back into the spotlight and now, after quite some time, Blizzard is getting ready to debut chapter two of the Starcraft 2 saga, in the form of Heart of the Swarm.
We already heard plenty of details and even admired the opening cinematic earlier this week.
Now, Blizzard has detailed one of the game's areas that's seen some major improvements: the Replay mechanic.
Three new features will be included in the overhauled system: the ability to watch them with others in a synchronized viewing, the option to jump right into the game you're admiring and take control of different factions, as well as the ability to recover games that were interrupted by different reasons.
Watching a replay with others will be available simply by pushing a button in the Replay menu, which then produces a Battle.net lobby in which the main player can invite others for a synchronized viewing.
"Starting the replay puts all of the players in the lobby in-sync, as though you’re watching a live game," Blizzard said on its blog.
"You can chat with the other viewers, and you can individually control the Observer UI. Each viewer can adjust his or her own UI, such as the leader panel, the tug-of-war panels, or the player vision controls."
Besides watching replays, you can also jump into the actual game and take control of the different sides.
"Now that you can watch a replay with friends, we’re taking it a step further and making replays even more powerful. We’ve added the ability to jump right into any spot in a replay and take over the gameplay from that point. You and your friends can pick a timestamp, choose which of the original players you’re each going to take over for, and play the game as you like."
Last but not least, the new and improved replay mechanic also allows players to recover lost games that were interrupted by hardware or internet failures.
"To recover the game from a spot before the issue, you’ll need the original players and a replay from the original game. In the Replay screen, right-click on the replay and select 'Recover Game' in the context menu to take you to a Battle.net lobby. From this lobby you can invite the original players of the game."
"Once all original players are in the lobby, click the 'Recover' button to be presented with a dialog window that allows the host to select the time in the replay from which to continue the game. To assist in finding an appropriate timestamp to resume from, the game now monitors for events that might represent an issue, such as one player ceasing to provide input, or one or both players being dropped from the game. From there, it’s simple: choose the point to restart from, and click the 'Start' button."
The new feature is now available in the Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm beta and is included in the final version of the game that's out on March 12.