Starcraft 2 game director Dustin Browser posted a game update about the Starcraft II 1.5 Patch yesterday on the US battle.net blog for the game. He said that, “This patch represents the first steps towards the release of our first expansion for StarCraft II, Heart of the Swarm, and will include numerous upgrades and fixes throughout the game.” He goes on to say that this patch will be their most content filled ever, including some things like a more streamlined game UI, a whole new way to interact with custom games, additional editor tools and more.
The big focus of the update will be the new custom game interface. Citing problems with players having issues finding good maps and new mapmakers not being able to get their maps out there and noticed enough, Blizzard is now implementing the new arcade system as an answer to most of these problems. The problem of finding people for custom gameplay was addressed directly by Dustin, “To help players find games more easily in patch 1.5, we intend to include an “open games list.” To be clear, this will not be every open game that is on the service. Instead, the open games list will deliver to you a selection of games from the many hundreds or thousands that are currently open. We are currently working on different ways to determine how the list you’ll see is generated.” This step should make it easier for players to find the games they are looking for.
Another big feature coming with this update is the introduction of the original art tools that the studio used to make Starcraft II’s art to the modding community. Blizzard hopes that this will make it easier for modders and mapmakers to put in their own custom art into their creations. This is certainly big news for the Starcraft II community, and as Heart of the Swarm grows closer the anticipation for it will only continue to build. Stay tuned for more major updates.