This is StarCraft 2's biggest update yet, Blizzard says.
Just hours before Blizzard announced that Diablo 3 is coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, the company launched what it calls the biggest update to StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty yet, paving the way for the Heart of the Swarm "expansion" launching next month. This update adds a "multitude" of new features that enhance multiplayer, introduce new ways to play, and improve the game's social features.
As seen here, the v2.0.4 patch notes are quite extensive, revealing a revamped user interface, the addition of clans and groups, new replay features, an improved score screen and statistics, new matchmaking options, new AI enhancements, game privacy options and more. It's almost like a whole new game, but not.
Some of the new game modes added to Wings of Liberty include Training which teaches players the basics of how to survive online matches. Versus A.I. automatically detects your skill level and sets the computer A.I. to an appropriate difficulty. Unranked matchmaking gives players the ability to play online matches without affecting their official ladder rating.
According to the patch notes, the user interface layout, art, and graphic style have been completely revamped. Players are also now just one click away from any major screen. Many redundant screens and game modes have been ripped out, the company reports.
"We simplified basic menu navigation," Blizzard said in a recent blog. "For example, the Custom Game button is right on the main menu, so you no longer have to first select Multiplayer to get to it. We streamlined the look of the UI. This gives us more space to work with and makes it easier for us to make improvements in the future."
The patch notes reveal that Global Play will be enabled in the coming weeks which will lift the localized boundaries and allow players to select any game region (like Diablo 3). That means gamers located in the Americas region can play on game servers located in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. StarCraft 2 Global Play is not available to players in mainland China, the company states.
To see what the latest patch has to offer, head here. Blizzard has also provided three Heart of the Swarm videos which demonstrates many of the new features and changes offered in the patch, as seen below.