Starcraft II F2P Available Now; Patch Notes Detailed by Blizzard
At Blizzcon 2017, Blizzard revealed that Starcraft II F2P would be available shortly. It's been less than two weeks and they've already made good on their promise, as the free-to-play update is now live.
We've posted the highlights below, but there are also a ton of balance changes mentioned in the full patch notes. Interestingly, Blizzard has celebrated the Starcraft II F2P launch on social media by taking jabs at the recent Pay-to-Win trend in games; you can read more about that here.
- StarCraft II is now free to play!
- The Wings of Liberty campaign is now free to all users.
- The Unranked ladder is now free for all users.
- The Ranked ladder can now be unlocked after achieving 10 “first wins of the day” or purchasing any campaign or War Chest (when available).
- All Co-op commanders are now available to play up to level 5.
- Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis are still free and can be played to max level.
- Players who owned Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, or Nova Covert Ops before October 31 2017 will receive an exclusive Ghost skin as well as three new portraits.
- New Co-op Commander and Announcer: Han and Horner
- The first duo commander, Mira Han and Matt Horner, combine the might of the Dominion military with the reckless and explosive power of Mira’s mercenaries.
- New Co-op Mission: Part and Parcel
- We’re proud to incorporate the winning map of the Rock the Cabinet 2017 contest into our official Co-op Mission rotation.
- Collect parts to assist General Davis in rebuilding her war machine to destroy hybrid monstrosities.
- The Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void ladders have now been consolidated into a single ladder using units, balance, and data from Legacy of the Void.
- The Expansion Level selection for Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm balance games has been moved to Custom > Melee.
- New players logging into StarCraft II for the first time will now be brought to a new Welcome experience.
- Players can choose their RTS experience level.
- Beginner level players will be guided through the in-game tutorial.
- Players can choose to watch introduction videos or jump straight into Campaign, Co-op, or Versus mode.
- The Profile has been refreshed and now includes information about Co-op Missions.
- The Co-op section has been refreshed for improved UI clarity.
- A new Random Commander option has been added.
- Weekly Mutations can now be played at Commander Level 1.
- The Multiplayer section has been renamed to “Versus.”
- The new Versus screen has been updated and reorganized with new visuals and improved UI clarity.
- 2017 Ladder Season 4 has begun!
- A new Siege Tank trophy top can now be earned from winning an Automated Tournament.
- A new “Auto Join” button has been added to the Arcade subsection of Custom, as well as the Arcade map info panels.
- Auto Join will search for an open lobby for the selected map, and if it cannot find one, it will open a new public lobby for that map with you as the host.
- Use the pulldown next to the button to set the mode to search for.
- The “Play Again” button has been brought back to the score screen for custom Melee and Arcade games. This button will search for an open lobby for the Map/Mode you just played. If it can’t find one, it will create a lobby for you.
- The second set of portraits featuring remaining eight players who finished at the top of the WCS 2017 are now available to players who purchased War Chest: BlizzCon 2017.
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