Patch 2.1 is finally here and it introduces a bevy of features for everyone who owns StarCraft II. But what about your friends who’ve been interested and haven’t yet taken the plunge? We’re happy to announce new features available in the free StarCraft II Starter Edition.
Let’s talk about the biggest change: The StarCraft II Arcade is now completely free. In the past, if you didn’t own StarCraft II, you were only able to play the Blizzard-made games (Starjeweled, Auir Chef, and Left 2 Die) as well as the current Arcade Highlights. Now, tens of thousands of games, even those requiring Heart of the Swarm, are available to absolutely anyone.
We already launched a completely new website dedicated to the free Arcade. We have also launched a new twitter account: @BlizzardArcade will focus on keeping you up to date on the latest Arcade news.
Don’t leave me hanging
Since we’ll have more players in the Arcade, we think this is a good time to resolve an issue that comes up from time to time: AFK lobby hosts. When a player creates a game and then goes to heat up a snack, completely forgetting about their game, what can you do? Well, in Patch 2.1, if a lobby host has been inactive for a period of time, a prompt will appear to confirm that they’re still at their keyboard. If the player does not respond, they will be removed from the lobby and a new host will be chosen. As with all changes we make, we’ll make sure to monitor this system and make tweaks to it if necessary.
Play how you want, where you want
In the past, if you didn’t own StarCraft II and you wanted to play, you were limited to a small number of maps and could only play as Terran. However, in patch 2.1 we’re unlocking every single melee map and all three StarCraft II Races. Now your friends that don’t own StarCraft II can try out the voracious Zerg, the rough and rugged Terran, or the enigmatic Protoss on any map they choose. This also means that you can try out our new Extension Mod feature as well.
Welcome to StarCraft II
Now is the best time to get your friends to give StarCraft II a try. Whether they’re interested in playing the wide variety of genres in the Arcade or wanted to give Protoss a shot, patch 2.1 has something for everyone. Point your friends to download the StarCraft II Starter Edition to get them started.