StarCraft II Patch Enables Custom Maps in Starter Edition

The StarCraft II website was updated on Tuesday with news that Patch 2.1 is now rolling out to players. This should be welcome news to fans of the Starter Edition, as the update unlocks custom games, the Arcade mode and all three StarCraft II races… for free!

Before this latest patch, the Arcade was limited to players who purchased the full-blown retail version of StarCraft II. Now it’s open for everyone, allowing new customers to check out Blizzard-created games such as Starjeweled, Auir Chef, and Left 2 Die. "Tens of thousands" of games are now at any player’s fingertips.

“We’re unlocking every single melee map and all three StarCraft II Races,” reads Blizzard’s blog. “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.”

Extension mods consist of parameter sets that can be published to for use with any StarCraft II melee map. According to Blizzard, the new patch allows players to apply any Extension Mod to any melee map from the Custom Games list. The “Top Played Games” section of the Custom Games list also now displays the most popular melee map and Extension Mod combinations. Additional detailed instructions regarding Extension Mods can be accessed on Blizzard’s blog here.

With patch 2.1, Blizzard has found a way to address AFK lobby hosts in Arcade. For example, when a player creates a game and then goes off to make a snack, other players entering the lobby are forced to wait on the lobby host. If the lobby host is inactive for a certain amount of time, a prompt will appear to confirm that the host is still at the keyboard. If the host does not respond, then the host will be removed from the lobby and another assigned as host.

Blizzard also reports that the level cap of each race is now 35 (was 30), and three new race-specific “StarCrafts”-themed decals that can be unlocked at level 32 have also been added. The First Win of the Day XP bonus was increased to 100,000 experience points, and the original, remastered StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War soundtracks are now available to play within StarCraft II.

"Keep your eyes out in the next few days as we’ll be launching a 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," reads Blizzard’s blog.

To download the Starter Edition, head here.

  • chumly
    Some of the Arcade games are just as good as the original, for free. This is nice.
  • cats_Paw
    If i remmber this correctly, after they said that SC2 will be broken into 3 games, they recived a lot of negative feedback from players.

    Mostly, people were angry they would have to buy expansions becouse if not, they would be left in a ghost game where there are no more players.
    Then BLizzard said something like: If you buy the first game, you get access to the multiplayer in all 3 games, and HOTS and VOID will be priced as expansions. So after patch 2.1 they kept 1 of the promises, and we only had to wait about a year for it, and
    On another side, HOTS and Void were supposed to have "expansion prices".

    I bought SC2 WoL on that premise, and after i saw them retract from it i Totally ignored D3.

    I used to like blizard and buy their products withouth hesitation, even have around 6 copies of starcraft+broodwar, 3 copies of diablo2+expansion.

    I hate it not because I actually spent money on SC2 (a game i play from time to time anyway), but becouse they used to make such great games that I was hoping to be able to play great games thanks to Blizzard.
  • cypeq
    Quite late... but it's better than never, custom maps were 2/3 of my play time in sc and wc3
  • bloodroses75
    F* Blizzard. I stopped supporting them due to all the hassles I had even trying to get my Starcraft II account working. Let alone the fact they banned my WoW account 6 months after I quit the game. Now I have a collector's edition box that is only good for collecting dust. Glad I never bought Diablo 3 due to all the issues they've had there as well. Blizzard is now just a bunch of money grabbing whores, no better than EA.
  • bennaye
    A bit too late on the uptake Blizzard. Custom maps were a large part of why SC was so popular with the casual audience. For Blizzard to overlook this fact and instead focus on 1v1 ladder in its sequel was not the best of moves.
  • cypeq
    I have played a bit it seems that player population dropped significantly that's why they allowed freebees