StarCraft

StarCraft 2 goes free-to-play today

First announced during BlizzCon 2017’s Opening Ceremony, StarCraft 2 is officially free-to-play starting today. Everyone will receive the first installment of the trilogy, Wings of Liberty, absolutely free. Anyone who already owns Wings of Liberty will instead received the second part of the trilogy, Heart of the Swarm. However, you must claim Heart of the Swarm before December 8 or lose your chance — the offer will not remain indefinitely.

In addition to the Wings of Liberty campaign, you can now participate in ranked ladder play and the Co-op Commanders game mode for free. Co-op Commanders Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis are all completely free without restrictions, while all other Co-op Commanders can be played up to level 5.

Ranked ladder play has one key restriction: You must complete 10 First Win of the Day challenges in either unranked play or against the AI before jumping into ranked play. That means a minimum of 10 days of participation before jumping onto the ladder. This restriction is likely one part a teaching tool for genuinely new players and one part hurdle for those seeking to abuse the system.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Hello and welcome to the Koprulu Sector!

We recognize that you might have found your way here after hearing the news that StarCraft II is going free-to-play very soon—on November 14, to be exact. Curious what that actually means? We know “free-to-play” can mean a lot of things for different games, but we’re here to assure you that when we say that we’re making StarCraft II free-to-play, we really mean it.

Starting November 14, you’ll have free access to the original Wings of Liberty single-player campaign and every Co-op Commander, and will be able to unlock access to StarCraft II’s competitive multiplayer content for free. Here is a specific rundown of everything that will be available to you for free:

  • The original Wings of Liberty campaign. Experience the original epic campaign that kicked off the StarCraft II saga! If you picked up Wings of Liberty previously but haven’t come back to StarCraft II in a while, we’ve got good news for you too—if you purchased Wings of Liberty prior to October 31, 2017, you’ll receive the second installment in StarCraft II’s campaign, the zerg-focused Heart of the Swarm, as a limited time offer from November 8 to December 8. Make sure to log in during that window to claim it!
  • You will be able to access the ranked multiplayer ladder to compete with other players to become the best of the best, complete with all of the multiplayer units from Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void. All you have to do to unlock it permanently is earn 10 First Wins of the Day in Unranked or Versus A.I. play—our way to preserve the quality and integrity of the ranked experience.
  • Current and upcoming Co-op Commanders are available to play for free up to level five, and the level restriction for weekly mutations has been removed. You’ll be able to tackle these extra challenging missions with your friends right away. The Co-op Commanders Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis will remain completely free, meaning that you can keep leveling them to your heart’s content.

In other words, you can now play all of StarCraft II’s multiplayer, every Co-op Commander, and the entire first campaign in the single-player story, for free.

If you play through Wings of Liberty and want to see how the rest of the epic single-player saga unfolds, all the other single-player campaigns—Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, and Nova Covert Ops will be available to purchase individually for $14.99 or as a bundle for $39.99. We will also continue to offer premium upgrades like announcer packs, special skins, and new Co-op Commanders to enhance your StarCraft II experience in a number of different ways. As with the existing line-up of Co-op Commanders, however, you will be able to play upcoming new Co-op Commanders who are released for free until they reach level 5. You can also purchase any of the campaigns or a seasonal War Chest to gain immediate access to ranked play if you desire.

For those of you who have already purchased any of the three campaigns as of October 31, we’ll soon be sending you a small thank-you in the form of an exclusive Ghost skin as well as three new portraits.Welcome to the StarCraft community, and we hope you enjoy diving into the game anew—or for the first time—with all these exciting new changes!

All of this is in addition to the StarCraft 2 Arcade, which has been free-to-play for quite some time already. The Arcade includes user-created maps, mods, and game modes, as well as Blizzard-created minigames: Starjeweled, Left 2 Die, and Aiur Chef.

Considering StarCraft 2 will be part of an esports exhibition prior to next year’s Olympics, it might not be a bad time to at least acquaint yourself with StarCraft if you haven’t already.

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