After quite a bit of teasing and lots of pre-downloading, Blizzard has officially rolled out patch 2.0.4 for Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, which adds quite a few new features and background support for the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion.Starcraft II came out back in 2010 when its first chapter, Wings of Liberty, was released on the PC and Mac platforms. Since then, developer Blizzard has supported the game with lots of updates and patches designed to add new features and keep things interesting until the arrival of the next episode – Heart of the Swarm.
Now, seeing as how the expansion will hit Starcraft 2 in March, Blizzard has released a big update for the standard version of the game, in the form of patch 2.0.4.
As always, plenty of things are included, ranging from bug fixes to changes for a variety of mechanics.
Check out the general improvements made by Blizzard with update 2.0.4 for Starcraft 2 below, via Battle.net.
All-New Menu Screens- The User Interface layout, art, and graphic style have been completely revamped.
- Players are now one click away from any major screen in the User Interface.
- Many redundant screens and game modes have been eliminated.
Clans and Groups- Anyone can now create or join a Clan and participate in private clan chat, post news on Clan affairs, and more. Clan tags are pre-pended to character names of all players who join a Clan.
- Groups are for players who want to associate casually and in larger numbers. Joining a Group is a way for players to interact with others who share common interests. Players are allowed to join many different groups.
- Players who have used their free character name change will receive an additional one.
Exciting New Replay Features- Watch with Others: Players can now watch replays with others in the same game.
- Take Command: Players watching a replay together can also opt to “Take Command” of the replay and assume control of selected player armies.
- Recover Game: Players can now choose trecover from a game that may have ended prematurely due to disconnection, input loss, or other abnormal causes.
Improved Score Screen and Statistics- Performance tab now tracks gameplay stats such as Average Unspent Resources, Time Supply Capped, Workers Created, and APM.
- New buttons allow players to “Play Again” or “Watch Replay Solo” directly from the post-game Score Screen.
- Additional Race and Map Report statistics pages in the Ladders section of the Player Profile:
- Race Report: Tracks number of games played and win/loss ratios for every race matchup.
- Map Report: Tracks number of games played and win/loss ratios on every ladder map.
- Player Profile now shows all wins and losses for all leagues.
Global Play and Language Selection- Players will soon have the freedom to select any game region to connect to and play.
- Global Play will be enabled in the coming weeks. Please see our Global Play FAQ.
- Players can now select among different languages in StarCraft II.
- Speech and Movie Language options added to the Options > Language menu.
- Text Language added to the Options > Language menu.
New Matchmaking Options- Three options have been added to the Matchmaking Screen to help newer players make a more gradual transition from single-player to multiplayer.
- Training Mode allows players to work their way up from basic StarCraft gameplay skills to great challenges.
- Versus AI Mode is a reworking of the previous Coop Versus AI Mode in Wings of Liberty.
- Players can now utilize the matchmaking system to challenge an AI opponent that scales in difficulty.
The new matchmaking AI can accommodate a wide variety of skill levels and play styles.
- Unranked Play allows players to engage in matchmaking and find games vs. other players without the pressures of the ranking system.
All-New AI Enhancements- The overall AI play experienced has been greatly enhanced.
- In a custom game, players can now elect for an AI player to follow a specific build order, such as Full Rush, Timing Attack, Straight to Air, and more.
- AI players will now report key information back to their player allies, such as when they are scouting, attacking, expanding, and retreating.
- Additional AI improvements, including the ability to issue specific commands to AI partners, will be coming in Heart of the Swarm.
Players Near You- Players Near You identifies and displays other players on your local network, making it easier to locate, chat with, friend, and play together.
- This feature can be disabled in the Options > Social menu.
Game Privacy options- No Build Order: Selecting this option in the Custom Game lobby hides the build order from being displayed in the Score Screen.
- No Match History: Selecting this option hides the game from the player’s Match History.
- New Enable Group Sounds option in the Options > Sound menu produces additional sounds for groups of units performing the same activity, such as Marine marches, mech ground-shaking, and more.
Lots of other changes are also included in the patch, so check out the full changelog here. The new update will be automatically downloaded by Starcraft 2 the next time you start it up and are connected to the internet.