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StarCraft 2 patch 1.2 released

Battle.net chat, visual tweaks added

Blizzard has officially released patch 1.2 for its wildly popular RTS StarCraft 2.

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The patch - which was previously available to players logged onto a public test server - includes a number of highly-requested features such as Battle.net chat channels, custom hotkeys and a number of visual tweaks.

Here's a list of some of the changes:

General

  • Battle.net Chat Channels have been added.
  • Players can now join others in both public and private channels.
  • Added in-game chat bar command to whisper to other players. Using the /w command will pop up an auto-complete list which includes: friends, party members, chat channels, and other players within your current game.
  • Added a Battle.net option to auto-join previous private channels.
  • Added a Battle.net option to prevent chat channel text from appearing in the in-game chat display.
  • Map makers can now use custom UI layout files to create new UI or override existing game UI.
  • Stalemate Detection has been added.
  • The game will end in a tie for all remaining players if no players have income, production, or destroyed any structures for three consecutive minutes.
  • A countdown timer will now appear when the game detects this scenario.
  • Several help dialogue and tech tree improvements have been made.
  • In-game help is now available in Battle.net.
  • The help dialog's tech tree has been improved.
  • Unit information in the help dialog now displays abilities and upgrades.
  • Selecting different units in quick succession will now fade out existing replies to play the most recent reply.
  • When selecting a Vespene Geyser, the number of current harvesters will be displayed in the info panel.
  • An Extreme graphics option has been added.
  • Players can now configure screen space ambient occlusion.
  • Unit information in the help dialog now displays abilities and upgrades.
  • Customizable Hotkey Support has been added.
  • Mouse buttons can now be bound to the Push-To-Talk hotkey.
  • System Alert panel has been moved to the top of the screen - duration of most system alerts has been reduced.
  • Added a hotkey to Pause/Resume game for both single-player and multiplayer (Pause/Break key).
  • Added a toggle button to the in-game replay panel to show or hide duration information.
  • Added a hotkey indicator option to show the primary hotkey on top of command buttons.
  • Added an option to disable any error sounds. The Response Sounds checkbox now controls whether unit-specific audio is used for error sounds instead of a generic buzz.
  • A new Master League has been added. This league now represents the highest tier of ladder players.
  • Several Save/Replay File dialogue improvements have been made.
  • Prints current directory name above file list.
  • Added sort order icons to Name and Date columns.
  • Added the ability to rename.
  • Added filters for Autosave and Unsaved.
  • Added an option to permanently save all replays. Checking this option will mark all unsaved replays as being saved.
  • Camera following behavior for observers and replays has been improved.

For overall balance changes and a breakdown of changes made to Protoss, Terran and Zerg as well as Editor changes check out Blizzard's official patch notes.

Nearly five months after release, Blizzard finally released a StarCraft 2 demo in December.

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