Blizzard has been making an effort to expand the community aspect of Battle.net 2.0 for the upcoming release of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm as evidenced by the recently-announced clan support and overall improved user interface.
Taking it a step further than that, Blizzard revealed in a post on the StarCraft II website that it plans to introduce an all-new “Groups” system in a future Heart of the Swarm beta patch.
Whereas the Clan system is intended for the more hardcore, competitive StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm player, the Groups functionality is designed for a more casual, community-oriented grouping.
The functionality is similar to that of a clan: A group can have a designated chat channel, and members can bring up the group’s roster for organizing games. While clans are limited to one per character, you can join as many as 20 groups on a single character, and a group can have as many members as you want. A clan, on the other hand, is limited to 50 players.
Here’s more on how it works:
“The Groups feature is a way for you to meet and interact with other StarCraft II players who share common interests. Accordingly, when you create a Group, you’ll select a category that best describes the type of Group you are creating.
“These categories include topics such as BarCraft for Groups that are interested in finding and keeping in touch with friends they’ve made at BarCraft events, Strategy and Coaching for Groups that are looking to share their favorite strategies and helping others improve their play, and many more. Once the Group is created, others will then be able to search for the Group by name or browse through the Groups by category.”
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is due out on PC and Mac on March 12, 2013. A closed beta is currently underway.