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 (opens in new tab).
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.