StarCraft II Arcade Patch Goes Live
Blizzard, you are too good to us.
Blizzard has released the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty patch 1.5.0, and although the update offers a multitude of interface, editor and graphics changes, the real star of the show is the new Arcade mode. This addition will allow players to easily find, rate, and play custom games. And isn't that what StarCraft is really all about - mercilessly beating some random person who is actually on your level?
The Arcade Mode will also include a Spotlight page where players can sort through featured, new and top-rated games, a search functionality to find games based on detailed criteria, and a complete game info page detailing every last inch of any SCII match.
Here are the detailed specs as released by Blizzard's official StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty blog:
A new Arcade button has been added to the main Battle.net navigation panel at the top-left of the user interface. Custom games once found in the Custom Games interface will now be found here with an improved interface and tools. Players now have more flexibility to find, play, and review custom games, more quickly and easily than ever before.
- The Spotlight page displays new or up-and-coming games. Players can visit the Spotlight to browse featured games, new games on the rise, and top-rated games as reviewed by the community.
- Players can search for games based on genre, popularity, star ratings, newness, and recent spikes in popularity.
Each custom game in the Arcade is represented by a game icon. The game icon contains a large game image (provided by the creator), and includes the game’s name and star rating. Hovering over the icon displays the game description.
- Clicking on a game icon brings players into the Game Info page, the main portal for each game in the Arcade. This page contains summarized information about a custom game, including a description, screenshots, play instructions, reviews, and other information. The Game Info page consists of several sections:
-- Overview: This contains the game description and a set of screenshots that show off the action.
-- How to Play: This is where players will find instructions (basic and advanced) and how to win. There is also space for additional images to supplement the game instructions.
-- Patch Notes: This is where the game creator can list updates that have been made to the game, so that players can see how the game is growing and improving.
-- Review: After playing, players can give a game a star rating and enter a text review. Once enough ratings have been submitted, the game receives an Average Star Rating that displays on the game icon. Players can also mark other players' reviews as "Helpful" which will ensure that the best reviews rise to the top.
-- Tutorial: Game creators can now publish tutorials for their creations. If a tutorial exists for a game, a "Play Tutorial" button will appear on the Game Info Page, which can be clicked to immediately launch the tutorial.
- There is now a "Join Chat" button on the Game Info Page that allows players to join a channel named after that Arcade game.
- The new Open Games List displays games that have players, but aren't full and ready to start yet. This should help players identify active games and find partners or opponents more easily.
The StarCraft II multiplayer ladder, melee games and other classic gameplay options have been moved to a separate StarCraft II button.
- The StarCraft button has been reorganized to consolidate all single player and multiplayer StarCraft II play types in one easy-to-navigate screen. Players can now access the following from a single unified StarCraft screen:
-- Multiplayer: Quick Match, Coop vs. A.I., Team Games, and Melee Custom Games
-- Single Player: Campaign, Challenges, and Versus A.I.
Visit the official blog post for more information about the other updates contained within the 1.5.0 patch.