StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm ain't coming for a while. Let it sink in but don't despair. As part of a late press conference during BlizzCon 2010, Battle.net project's director, Greg Canessa and StarCraft 2's lead producer, Chris Sigaty, wouldn't share a timeline or any expectation as to when we could see the SC2 expansion. Considering this is Diablo 3's third BlizzCon and we still don't have a release date, it's unlikely we'll be seeing Heart of the Swarm any earlier than the 2011 holidays, if even.
But again, it's not all doom and gloom!
Instead, the duo focused on upcoming improvements to Battle.net and StarCraft 2 as a platform. With Battle.net gaining new features such as additional ladders and featured replays as we outlined earlier, the focus currently is on incremental upgrades leading up to the release of Heart of the Swarm, starting with an overhaul of chat. In regards to HotS, Sigaty pointed out that Blizzard has learned a lot from SC2, from mission design to unit management, and will be incorporating that into HotS, but characteristically, avoided specifics.
What Canessa and Sigaty did expand upon was the current custom and community mods/maps that will be available in the next few months. You can read more in-depth about the StarCraft 2 custom and community maps in our other coverage, but in regards to timing, it seems we may see Left 2 Die, Aiur Chef and StarJeweled in the next few months, but Blizzard DOTA will be further out. Also way out will be the introduction of the Marketplace, where mod authors can sell their creations to other fans. When asked which we'll see first, Marketplace or Heart of the Swarm, there seemed a unified "no idea" in Blizzard's head.
However, this isn't all "no news is bad news." The new philosophy at Blizzard is to roll out updates more frequently, instead of storing them all for a big release. The expectation is that both Battle.net and StarCraft 2 will receive new features throughout the year, versus waiting for the expansion. What exactly those are beyond what's already been mentioned remains to be seen, but if we've learned anything from this mysterious bunch, it's typical worth the wait.