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StarCraft 2 Arcade launches in latest patch

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StarCraft 2's 1.5 patch has officially gone live, and it is introducing the biggest new change that the game has seen since it launch over two years ago: the Arcade.

The new Arcade section is basically an in-client mod database that allows seamless access to hundreds of official and unofficial StarCraft 2 mods and maps. Users can play and write reviews for mods with a few button clicks inside the SC2 main game rather than having to personally install mods into the program files.

The big stars of the Arcade so far are long-time favorites Starjeweled and Left 2 Die. The former is a bizarre (yet exceedingly awesome) mashup of StarCraft 2 and Bejeweled, where making jewel matches earns you points to spend on SC2 units that march forward toward the enemy like a simplified MOBA. Left 2 Die is a more traditional mod where players face off against hordes of undead that attack during the night. You need to build a sufficient defense to keep the hordes at bay while also building an army to destroy their dens during the day time.

The patch also introduced a big overhaul of the general user interface. Functionally it doesn't change much (aside from some new information on profile pages), but it makes the whole experience a little bit more sleek.

Despite being over two years old, StarCraft 2 has maintained a healthy fan base of hundreds of thousands thanks largely to the attention it has received from the eSports scene where it has become one of the top events alongside League of Legends and Street Fighter IV.

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3 comments

  • ncurry2 - August 2, 2012 11:44 a.m.

    I'm probably in the minority when I say this but I feel like UMS (used map settings) in SC1 were better than SC2. Maybe it's because it's so hard to make maps in SC2 where you basically need to understand some coding language versus SC1 where I was making maps at the age of 12. SC2 definitely has more potential but I really loved some of the old UMS. Hopefully this arcade will bring more to my attention though, as well as making BattleCraft popular again.
  • azureguy - August 2, 2012 2:45 p.m.

    If you mean with UMS the overall user-friendlyness of the editor, then yes the Galaxy Editor is quite "advanced", perhaps too much for its own good. In WarCraft III I felt like there are no limits and I can do everything, but with StarCraft II they went crazy with the separate data categoires: Instead of having just one entry for the unit which includes model and spells, you now have to link to a dozen several entities, and copy&paste different units doesn't work without some work either. More options = more time, but that is kinda beside the point for just a map. If I want to go that advanced, I would work on a standalone game instead. But it gets best when you plan to make a campaign, because just like WarCraft III, true campaign tools are missing and are coming with the expansion. Right now, if you want to save any progress between map changes, you have to bother with creating bank files and manually save and load them.
  • ncurry2 - August 2, 2012 3:19 p.m.

    I never got into the WC3 editor either. I liked being able to open SC1, work for like an hour maybe, and have a fully functional turret defense game or a bound (obstacle course sort of thing) made. I think it helped the community at large because if lowbies like me were able to come up with some interesting ideas and present them in a fairly unpolished way but still be playable enough to get some fans, it made the pool of ideas that much larger. Then when people who really knew their stuff came around, they could pick up some of these ideas and make really cool stuff. I probably spent more time playing Random Unit Defense, Stacked Photon Cannon Defense, and Sand Castle Wars then I did playing normal SC1 games (there were a lot more that I played but I don't remember their names; those are the more generic ones.)

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