Blizzard has begun sending out PC and Mac beta invites to test the upcoming multiplayer component of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.

The first phase of the closed beta will include previously announced multiplayer units and changes, and introduce a new Protoss unit, the Adept. Players will also be able to test the new Archon Mode, which allows two players to share control of the same base and army.

The beta has been released earlier than usual but will run longer, said Blizzard.

"As you are likely aware, we’ve been trying to be as open as possible with the status of our development, and strongly believe that the increased cooperation between developers and players is beneficial to StarCraft II," said Blizzard. "To be clear, our goal for this expansion is to work together with all of you to make Legacy of the Void as awesome as possible."

As a result, Blizzard warned that the start of the beta will feel "more rough" than usual.

Key features

A New Protoss Unit: The Adept
The Adept is a core gateway unit with a ground-only ranged attack and normal movement speed.
The Adept has an ability that sends out a mirror image of itself, and after a fixed duration, the unit teleports to the location of its duplicate.
The duplicate can independently move around, but cannot attack or be attacked, and does not impede upon the actions of the main unit.

New Maps:
Ruins of Seras – Seras is an ancient temple in a mountainous region of Aiur, the Protoss homeworld. It currently stands in ruins, surrounded by an encroaching jungle.
Lerilak Crest – Named after the Dark Templar who discovered it, this is an area on a Dark Templar world, embedded by xel’naga ruins.
Orbital Shipyard – Floating high above Korhal IV, this is a Terran starship repair platform.