During Blizzcon 2013, Blizzard’s focus was less directed towards its competitive esports RTS, Starcraft 2. Understandable since, the RTS had just recently (recently being relative to Blizzard time) released its second expansion and was now on cooldown as Blizzard’s other franchises strutted their stuff. Still, Blizzard had a bit of news to bring with it, outlining some Free-to-Play changes set to go live in the upcoming patch 2.1.
Starcraft 2’s latest patch set to go live soon will continue lifting restrictions from the Starcraft 2 Starter Edition which was initially used primarily as a trial. Where previously, Starter Edition players only had access to the Terrran race, they will now be able to play all three races in custom games without restriction. The removal of custom game restrictions brings about another development. Blizzard’s Arcade for Starcraft 2 represents a central hub where players more interested in playing with Starcraft 2 rather than playing the RTS itself can share their custom game modes and maps with the community. Without any custom game restrictions, free players are now free to play all arcade content with other regular players seamlessly.
Of course, the Starter Edition still has a few strings left attached. Free players cannot play more than the first 4 missions of the Wings of Liberty single player campaign and normal multiplayer matches (both ranked and normal) are only accessible if you happen to be playing in a party with someone who already purchased SC2.
Some of the notable custom game modes include a Starcraft MMO and a complete mod which turns SC2 into a fan made Warcraft 4 campaign. Check out the announcement video for the mod below: