Starcraft 2, Blizzard's eight year old title is getting a makeover with two new paid mods that turn the game into a tactical turn-based RPG in the vein of X-COM or Jagged Alliance. As is already customary, nothing is free in Blizzardland.
Both mods are actually premium Arcade maps, dubbed the ARK Star and Direct Strike. Both are priced at $4.99 and Blizzard proudly announced that some of the cash will even go to the people that made them.
The man behind ARK Star is Daniel 'Pirate' Altman, whom you may remember as the winner of Blizzard's mod-making contest Rock the Cabinet 2015. He is a prominent modder of all things Blizzard and ARK Star does indeed look sweet.
The ARK Star "follows the Sol Seekers, and elite team of templar on a mission to find and destroy a mysterious weapon known as the ARK Star". Players will be finding and crafting new gea, level up to unlock new talents and abilities, etc.
Direct Strike's creator is another prominent Blizzard modder Tya, who practically made a sequel to his earlier mod, the Desert Strike HotS.The mod has players spawning units in a staging area, sending them out to attack enemy bases in waves. You can see how it all ties up in the world of Starcraft in the video below.
If you look back, the mod was conceived way back during Brood War but it was so fun that it has spawned a million offshoots along the way. In fact, Blizzard claim this is one of the "most popular Arcade maps ever" and they've obviously been hard at work trying to monetise it.
Note however that the Direct Strike itself is not leaving f2p waters, so if you're a fan, you need not worry. Naturally, Blizzard suggest players can upgrade to the premium version, so as to indulge in cosmetics, mods of a mod, etc.
Blizzard says they've worked with Dan and Tya for the past year, ensuring both the Starcraft 2 mods are up to scratch. Note however that both the ARK Star and Direct Strike are available only on English.
You can find the official announcement here.