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StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void closed beta kicks off March 31

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The closed beta for StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void, the third installment of Blizzard's real-time strategy sequel, will kick off March 31 for participating players, Blizzard Entertainment confirmed today. It will include a host of changes to StarCraft 2's resource economy, Archon Mode and more than a dozen new and retooled units.

Blizzard details many of the changes players will notice in Legacy of the Void's closed beta in a blog post and in a preview video, explaining that it's toying with how resources are handled. The developer wants to give an advantage to players willing to aggressively expand and defend their bases, it says. It's also increasing the starting number of resource workers to 12 in an attempt to "reduce the downtime at the start of games."

Players will also get access to the two-player cooperative Archon Mode. The new mode lets a pair of players control a single army at the same time. Blizzard says it's "a great way to ease a friend into StarCraft who may have never played previously."

Legacy of the Void will introduce a bunch of new units for the Protoss, Terran and Zerg.

The Protoss are getting two new units: Adept and Disruptor. The Adept is a ranged unit that deals damage to ground units and can send out a mirror-image "shade" of itself, then transport to that unit's location after a short duration. The Disruptor is a "micro-intensive splash damage option" for the Protoss. There are additional changes coming to the race's Warp Prism, Immortal, Oracle and Tempest.

The Zerg will get the new Ravager, a ranged unit that can deal high area damage with its corrosive bile, and see the return of the Lurker. The Corruptor, Viper and Swarm Host are also getting new abilities and roles.

Finally, Terrans will get a new unit called the Cyclone, which can lock onto targets and deal high damage as long as it's tethered to the enemy unit. Battlecruisers can now teleport anywhere on the map and Siege Tanks can now be picked up and dropped while they're still in Siege mode.

Blizzard says it's working to design an additional unit for the Terrans, and "are interested in collaborating with players testing Void to identify a suitable option that will round out the army."

StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void's closed beta test will kick off March 31, when beta invites will start rolling out to players.

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