Blizzard has confirmed, in a recent press release, that the long anticipated standalone expansion pack for Starcraft II, subtitled Heart of the Swarm, will hit stores and digital distribution platforms on March 12th, 2013. The suggested retail price for the standard edition is $39.99, with a Digital Deluxe and Collector’s editions available, for $59.99 and $79.99 respectively. The game’s official website was also updated with a more thorough preview of the expansion’s content.
Heart of the Swarm will focus on Sarah Kerrigan, remade into a human at the end of Wings of Liberty, who seeks to reestablish her control over the Swarm and exact vengeance on Arcturus Mengsk. The expansion pack will feature twenty single player missions focusing on the zerg, with the ability to tailor Kerrigan’s swarm to the player’s own play style through mutations (similar to the upgrade system from the previous game) and modify the anti-heroine’s skills and stats for the same purpose. New units will be introduced, such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts and Protoss Tempests, alongside a slew of changes to existing ones. Fans of online warfare will also receive a treat, in the form of a revamped leveling system, optimized user interface for easier access to online features and unranked matchmaking.
The Digital Deluxe edition, on top of the basic game, also includes a special Torrasque unit, returning from Brood War to replace the Ultralisk (visual change only), special portraits and decals for the Starcraft II online profile, a Baneling companion pet for World of Warcraft and Kerrigan Blade Wings and banner sigil for Diablo III. The Collector’s edition adds physical, tangible loot: a Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray, soundtrack CD, 144 page hardcover art boog and a Zerg Rush mousepad.
No new trailer has been released (yet), so for the time being, we have to subsist on those we already saw (and part five of the Blizzard lore Q&A series):