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StarCraft 2's first expansion, Heart of the Swarm, will introduced Clans to the real-time strategy game. Today Blizzard provided in-depth details on how this new social feature will work.

Clans are organizations for up to 50 players. Each member will have access to a private chat channel and a news feed. Furthermore, they'll have a 2-4 letter prefix in front of their name in each battle. Officers will also be able to post information for all Clan members to see.

"Our goal with Clans in StarCraft II is simple -- we want to bring people together in ways that make sense for allowing players to organize into groups, communicate with each other, and recognize others in-game," says Blizzard. "Like other new features being tested in the beta, Clans is a work in progress, and we’re looking forward to testing it with you."

Clans aren't the only player-run organizations featured in Heart of the Swarm. Blizzard will also introduce support for Groups, larger associations with a more casual function. They might be organized around a geographic location, a custom game mod, or some other interest. You might see, for example, a Reddit Group or two. Presumably there's no limit to the number of players in a Group.

Clans and Groups will be accessible regardless of whether or not you buy Heart of the Swarm. You will likely have to wait until the expansion's release to see these features released, though.
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