StarCraft 2 patch 2.1 makes custom maps and mod tools free

Blizzard is in a very giving mood today. StarCraft II has deployed its 2.1 patch, which offers a lot of major changes. The biggest addition is that the Arcade mode, custom games, and all three StarCraft II races are now free-to-play for all players.

Newcomers can download the StarCraft II Starter Edition from Battle.net free of charge and get access to the aforementioned content. Blizzard is also implementing Extension Mods (allowing players to apply SC2 mods to melee maps), clan-initiated Events, an increased level cap, and a remastered soundtrack.

Most interesting, perhaps, is that the 2.1 patch gives would-be modders access to StarCraft II Art Tools, the set of plug-ins and 3ds Max 2011 scripts used to create the full game.

Check out the full list of patch notes here and watch the two trailers below for more on SC2's gargantuan new patch.