Upcoming SC2 Patch 1.5 brings New UI, Arcade, Mod Tools & more
Patch 1.5 will be the next major installment to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty bringing forth an all-new Arcade feature as well as a large number of improvements such as user interface, antialiasing, streaming support, new art tools, modding upgrades, and more.
Patch 1.5 Arcade & Custom Game Selection
The Arcade feature in Patch 1.5 will introduce players to a whole new system for searching custom games in StarCraft II. Blizzard stated that the most common complaint that they’ve seen is about the popularity system and how games are listed. Many players want to find popular maps that are also good, without having to dig through hundreds of listings. The current “Fun or Not” system isn’t exactly meeting the standards that Blizzard wants to create, either.
The spectrum of features from the Arcade in Patch 1.5 range from improved custom game visibility — to ratings, reviews, screenshot support, and game instructions. An “Open Games List” is in development which will allow players to choose from a selected amount of games from the hundreds listed, but exactly how this particular list will be generated is still under construction.
Mod Developer Improvements in Patch 1.5
If you’re a StarCraft II mod developer, then you’ll be pleased to know that Blizzard plans to give early access to those of you who would like to help test and work out the kinks of the new mod tools of Patch 1.5. Art tools that Blizzard uses internally to create art for StarCraft II will now be available to developers to help create a more easy experience while producing their work. In general Blizzard wants to become closer with the StarCraft II mod and game developers on Battle.net, receive more feedback, and assist in problem areas.
Communication Changes in Patch 1.5
While the social aspect of StarCraft II on Battle.net isn’t a hot issue with most players, it’s something that Blizzard still considers an area that could be improved upon. The first change that will be made is to the chat windows. Players will have the ability to resize each chat window to their desired size — even full screen. When you exit StarCraft II and re-enter Battle.net, the chat room you were previously in and sizes of the windows will be remembered.
This is a particularly nifty feature in Patch 1.5 that will really improve the social experience for those players that communicate with each other over multiple channels and wan to build their own custom interface.
Networking StarCraft II Tournaments
Another new feature that’s being developed is the abilty to connect with other players and games that are near a particular location or IP. Basically, this feature will be most useful for local tournaments being held in offices, arena’s, and dorms. If you want to find a player sitting across or next to you, you’ll easily be able to communicate and create a game. It’s almost like the old school LAN parties we used to have back in the day for the original StarCraft, except — smarter, easier, and not as archaic.
This feature may or may not be available for when Patch 1.5 launches according to Blizzard, but it will definitely be ready once Heart of the Swarm launches.
Feedback is Key, and Blizzard wants all of it!
As more changes are made towards Patch 1.5, more updates will be released to the StarCraft II community, naturally. If there’s one thing that Blizzard has been stressing, lately especially, it’s that they want to hear opinions from their players. The good, the bad, and how it can be improved in the eyes of the gamer.
We should consider ourselves lucky that Blizzard is so engaged with this community and takes the advice like they do. There’s always room for improvement, and I’m sure we’ll see many more changes to come to Patch 1.5.