StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm (HotS) was released today, but is still a synonym for .

This was already discussed a year ago, but now all information are available and I think this need immediate action with more and more HotS questions popping up.

SC2:HotS is NOT an add-on, but an individual game with differences in units and mechanics. I'd strongly suggest to make an extra tag and not a synonym.

This, of course, would raise the issue again if there should also be a for SC2: Wings of Liberty, but I think this can and should be discussed separately, as the HotS question is more urgent.


Seems I was wrong in a critical point: HotS is an expansion and you need to own WoL. (See the official Blizzard HotS FAQ)

I'll never believe my so-called StarCraft 2 expert friend again ;)

  • 1
    +1 I don't know enough about the games to have an opinion either way, but it definitely warrants discussion. Mar 12, 2013 at 14:50
  • I agree with not synonymizing the specific tags (so we can use them for questions that only apply to one game) but they seem to share enough that the general tag can be used in many cases. Mar 12, 2013 at 15:35
  • Too much overlap to warrant separate tags :P Also it is the same game from blizzards standpoint :P
    – Brian
    Mar 12, 2013 at 22:04
  • Curious how we can agree on this so clearly and yet think the exact opposite for a game like SF4 which is far more affected by limited tag use. Link: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/5554/…
    – Decency
    Mar 14, 2013 at 0:01
  • 1
    we also have a new tag [starcraft-series]
    – McKay
    Mar 15, 2013 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


First off, as a note, the AnswerSwarm contest that we're running includes this in its rules:

These Leagues and Achievements take place within the tag. Only questions tagged and answers to those questions that were posted during the contest count.

This was created based on the current logic that we are not creating a secondary tag to differentiate the two. Which we derived from both the current decision of the site to have such a synonym, and also the trend that the majority of other things with major expansions do not have a separate tag. For example, the first Starcraft, and also Diablo II, neither of them have a distinct separate tag for their expansions.

Rather relatable is the case of Lord of Destruction, which was not just an addition of content but also rebalancing of mechanics, not only on the initial release (for example, Mercenaries sticking around and levelling up), but also in later patches (most notably the introduction of skill synergy to vastly change skill strategy). Lord of Destruction is rather much a different game as a whole, yet it resides within the same tag. In the majority of questions, it is probably expected that people are all playing the latest version with all the expansions, so needing to qualify the expansion is often seen as excessive. So, the fact that Heart of the Swarm introduces not just new units and features but also includes rebalances and new upgrades for the old units, that doesn't feel like enough to split it. At least, from my personal understanding of the changes that were implemented.

I will bring up that, at the moment, Frozen Throne is a separate tag from Warcraft 3, which makes it anomalous and inconsistent. I'm of the mind that we should merge those two together, but it exists as a counterpoint to the current trend.

My expectation is that Heart of the Swarm will follow the same path that all these other expansions have - the latest is the greatest and consequently the norm that everyone expects. I think that seeing how the populace runs with the game would be the best metric - if we end up with an evenly divided population betwixt those who move on to Heart of the Swarm versus those who fervently stay alongside Wings of Liberty, then separate tags would make distinguishing them easier. But if going forward, we only really expect to see questions on Heart of the Swarm, and only occasionally (and identifiably within the question body) meet up with Wings of Liberty exclusive questions, then I think we can be serviced fine by a single tag. We'll just call it Starcraft 2.

  • 6
    Most telling, I think, is that once you have HotS, there is no going back. They are not separate games - they use the same launcher and installation. There is no pick and choose, either you have the HotS content, or you don't. Mar 12, 2013 at 18:10
  • @RavenDreamer Is HotS standalone or does it require a purchase of WoL also? Mar 12, 2013 at 18:24
  • 2
    @Strix It requires the original.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 12, 2013 at 18:24
  • 1
    Pretty sure the WoL launcher downloads the new HotS content as well, whether you like it or not - It's once you launch the game when it determines whether you've bought HotS, and whether you can access the new content
    – Robotnik Mod
    Mar 12, 2013 at 22:19
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    Isn't there also a third, Protoss-centric game coming down the pipe? Worth keeping that in mind for whatever decision is made. (I have never played SC2 so I may be wrong here.)
    – Shinrai
    Mar 13, 2013 at 4:08
  • @RavenDreamer You can go back. In the options you can select what "multiplayer mode" you are in. You can switch to Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm.
    – Halfwarr
    Mar 13, 2013 at 15:39
  • @Robotnik - The data you download is only the new user interface data.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 13, 2013 at 15:45
  • @Halfwarr Indeed, but even doing that does not restrict your access to HotS content, it just changes which maps/ladders are displayed. Mar 13, 2013 at 17:10
  • 2
    @Shinrai Yep, a third part, Legacy of the Void, is expected. HotS is not a new game, it is an evolution of the same. We don't have a separate tag for each and every version of Minecraft, do we? ;)
    – Orc JMR
    Mar 22, 2013 at 6:52

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