StarCraft II 10th Anniversary Game Updates
Ten years of base races, marine splits, cannon rushes, and baneling busts. Ten years of galaxy-stretching adventures with Kerrigan, Zeratul, Jim Raynor, and Artanis. Ten years of player-created tower defense maps, MOBAs, campaigns, and competitive ladder maps. For the past 10 years, we’ve seen StarCraft II evolve, both as a game and a community, and now it’s time to celebrate.
To commemorate this decade of comradery in the Koprulu Sector, we’re introducing some player-requested features to the game, along with a few extras we hope you’ll enjoy:
A Decade of Player Creations
Since StarCraft II entered beta in 2010, you’ve pushed the boundaries of what could be done in the Galaxy Engine, published unbelievably creative and complex maps and mods, and shared them with the world. Now, let’s keep it going. With the anniversary update, we’re adding a suite of editor improvements and tools to put more power in your hands. But before we dig into what’s new, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the incredible endeavors our community has undertaken over the past 10 years of modding:
- Direct Strike: Since its inaugural appearance as the “Desert Strike HotS” mod, Direct Strike has remained as one of the most popular maps in the StarCraft II Arcade. Community developer Tya’s mod tests your strategic unit choices, careful positioning, and economy management in a competitive tug-of-war battle.
- Squadron Tower Defense: This hugely popular tower defense mod is a perfect example of what makes this chaotic and strategic genre compelling. Create structures, manage resources, and have fun with friends while protecting your security system.
- StarCrafts: The YouTube animation channel Carbot created a graphics update mod where you can step into the high-contrast world seen in their videos. Battle with tongue-lolling zerglings, over-excited ultralisks, and enemy-zapping packs of plucky probes.
- Odyssey: A custom campaign from creator Luis Rocha, StarCraft Odyssey takes you to the distant Kardyan Quadrant where you’ll learn what it takes to lead a band of Terran Marines known as the Hell’s Rejects on a multi-act journey of survival and story-driven discovery.
- Player-Created Ladder Maps: Some of the most iconic StarCraft II maps weren’t created at the desks of our designers, but rather by you, the community. Cloud Kingdom LE, Daybreak, and Overgrowth (just to name a few) will go down in history alongside countless others as the arenas where esports history and our own ladder triumphs were made.
Editor Improvements and New Features
Your feedback has been loud and clear: the editor should be easier to use. As part of our anniversary update, we’re absorbing a host of ease-of-use and customization elements from the Warcraft III editor into the StarCraft II editor. Our largest editor patch to date, these changes will not only relieve some of the frustrations common when creating maps and mods, but will also unlock a ton of new functionality and features. Check out the details over on the PTR patch notes blog, but be sure to warm up your scrolling finger beforehand—there’s a LOT of new stuff.
We’ve seen your unmatched creativity in the custom campaigns made with the StarCraft II editor, not just from a storytelling and gameplay perspective, but also in how you’ve manipulated the editor to build your worlds. To make your lives easier, and to open up the editor for more stories and creative campaigns, we’ve added a new Arcade map genre: Campaign.
With this addition, custom campaigns will now support map-to-map loading. This means that many previously offline-only campaigns will be accessible through the StarCraft II Arcade. This also means that players will be able to introduce co-op custom campaigns in addition to their single-player experiences.
New Campaign Achievements
While only four years had passed in the Koprulu Sector, the StarCraft II story campaign was our return to the ever-familiar war between three space-faring races after a nearly 11-year hiatus. Stepping out of Mar Sara and back into the Hyperion, we united under the banner of Raynor’s Raiders in the first of three campaigns, Wings of Liberty. Next, in Heart of the Swarm, we led Kerrigan’s newly recovered Zerg Swarm to battle against the brutal Dominion forces and the encroaching evil of the Void. Finally, with Artanis at the helm of the Golden Armada, Legacy of the Void wrapped up the StarCraft II trilogy with a battle to oppose the oncoming darkness before it consumed the galaxy.
Now. . . it’s time to go back. The 10th anniversary update will add brand-new achievements for every mission in the StarCraft II campaigns, including the Nova Covert Ops mission pack. Relive the story, discover new ways to play, and earn the Stone Announcer for completing every new achievement.
Prestige Talents for Co-op Commanders
Adding mastery talents to Co-op commanders was our effort to reward those of you who really dug into this game mode and wanted ways to customize and experiment while playing. There’s room for more, though. Now, you can replay the level 1–15 progression for each maxed-out commander up to three times, and earn a new Prestige Talent each time you complete it. These Prestige Talents can completely change the way your commanders play, opening tons of new gameplay options and strategic decisions. Here are a few examples:
We’ve shown you the big stuff, but let’s talk micro. In the sparse (but impactful) words of Abathur “Make faster, stronger… Evolution never over.” Ten years in, we still believe that StarCraft II is an ever-evolving game, with features and improvements we can add to upgrade the quality of life for players in every mode. Here are just a couple additions coming with this patch, but you can expect to see more in the future:
- Countdown to Start Timer
- This feature adds a short countdown to the start of a StarCraft II matchmade game. Now, players aren’t immediately dropped into gameplay after the loading screen.
- Choose Game Server in Custom Lobbies
- When creating a new custom lobby, you can now select the game server where the lobby is hosted. This is particularly valuable for online tournaments and for players connecting from across the world.
Thank you for being a part of our community during the incredible decade we’ve spent together on the ladder, in the editor, and throughout the Koprulu Sector. Now, on to 10 more—GLHF!