Blizzard bungles StarCraft II patch 1.5.0

StarCraft II's latest patch arrived with a swarm of game-breaking bugs. Here's how wrong the 1.5.0 Arcade patch went.

At the end of July, Blizzard revealed the details of its 1.5.0 Arcade patch for StarCraft II, hailing "sweeping changes to the Battle.net experience". The patch, it said, would contain no balance tweaks and very few bug fixes; instead, it represented a huge overhaul of the graphical user interface and changes to the system for delivering further patches.

The new streaming-based patch system, as used in World of Warcraft and Diablo III, was to reduce wait times in StarCraft II. The shiny new interface included in the patch was meant to make navigating much more intuitive, with a new Arcade feature used to separate out and showcase the unique custom maps created in the game's map editor. This would shine a much-deserved spotlight on those creators who put months of work into making the best mods in StarCraft II.

Such was the plan, but the reality of patch 1.5.0 has been rather different. Since landing on August 1, 1.5.0 has been plagued with technical issues that left many unable to play StarCraft II at all.

Patch 1.5.0 wreaked havoc on some players' games.

The patch's troubles ranged from inconveniences, such as needing 10GB of free space on your hard drive to complete the install, to total game failure, including the game launcher becoming stuck in an infinite loop of crash-launch.

Those players who avoided problems with installing the patch itself may well have faced worse problems inside their game. In-game issues included having your interface language changed, a bug that could only be repaired by locating a text file in your install folder and manually changing back the language (if you have this problem, see the official support pages for a fix).

Players who went straight into their normal stream of ladder games may have escaped all those problems only to find that after playing a few games they were often not gaining or losing small amounts of points but in some cases losing hundreds of ladder points for winning matches. Those who skipped the ladder and instead played custom games were saved from the agony of seeing their hard earned ladder points disappear, but may have encountered other issues with their custom games.

Approximately half of all custom games currently seem to be using up-to-date game balance, while the other half uses balance from around the time the game was released. This change makes it a completely different game - and one that is fundamentally imbalanced. Units cost different amounts, some tech trees differ slightly, abilities that have been removed are back and new ones are gone.

This patch has numerous game breaking-issues that affect almost the entire player base, with more bugs being reported all the time. Some of the hardest hit are the Mac users, as it seems the current update has removed support for older versions of OSX. Though Blizzard has acknowledged many of these faults and have said it is working on fixes, many fans feel patch failure on this magnitude is totally unacceptable.

Although Patch 1.5.0 may make everything look a little prettier, and might even be great in the long run, it has been an abject failure so far. With recent Diablo III balance and patching issues and now this, Blizzard is developing a reputation for poor quality control on its updates. How long will the die-hard fans associated with Blizzard games put up with this?

Have you been experiencing any of these issues? What are your thoughts on Blizzards latest patching failures? Comments below, please.

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Discussion

0 comments
MRDanKee
MRDanKee

I just bought this game 2 days ago and i am still on the install process.................... 1st and last blizzard game i will be purchasing. i should of knew better

thedemon44
thedemon44

Goodbye Blizzard,

 

Our journey together was wonderful while it lasted, however, it is time to move on and allow another budding company fill the gap you once so indomitably dominated as a trusted, secure source for the gaming community.

 

-Disappointed Gamer

gatorfan95
gatorfan95

Typical Blizzard update/patch.  This has been going on with WoW for years.  Every time there is a major patch or update the game is unplayable for 24 to 72 hours, some times longer.  I put up with this for almost 4 years with WoW, then finally gave up a year ago an canceled my subscription.  I dont know what they pay whoever puts these patches out, but if it's more than minimum wage, it's way too much

Hurvl
Hurvl

Does the patch install itself automatically, so that there is no way to avoid the potential fubar that a buggy patch creates? If so, I'm glad that I don't have any games that require internet connections and forces patches into my games.

Matt_Hunter
Matt_Hunter

All i have to say about this is...  Look wat happened to guitar hero's and tony hawk pro skater's series another good exemple of activision destroying the world...

they might actually get there world domination they so badly wanted LawL...

 

Lets be serious a second here.

 

There will always be someone wanting to play a bad game with a good name on top...  Take it as u want folks.

Syko696
Syko696

I'll admit i got sucked in with all the hype of D3, payed top dollar for a game that turned out to be all about an auction house. But i have learned my lesson Blizz won't be seeing anymore of my money.

Thorgilt
Thorgilt

This type of releasing untested patches reminds me strongly of Dark Age of Camelot and the problems it almost always had when it patched. My guess is to many people got laid off and a lot of work with a time schedule was done with not enough developer/programer hands to do it. You rush to get a patch out and the head office gives you a date of release - no matter how much time is really necessary. What often happened in DAOC was patches weren't always based on the latest build - which seems to be some of the problems with Starcraft.

PseudoElite
PseudoElite

Diablo 3 was a failure, and now this. I miss the old Blizzard.

Szeiden
Szeiden

I've had no bugs in game but the new interface is terrible...

DoomPeanut
DoomPeanut

Another Blizztard fail :/ Really looks like the best way to play games is go old school only and only play non online games

TheLingo56
TheLingo56

Personaly I have 0 problem at the moment. Liking the new UI playing some custom games and just having a good time. All I'm wating for is the D3 public starter edition so I can actualy try it out and see if I enjoy it or not. I hope they add some patch to D3 enventualy that fixes most problems people are complaining about. Cause I played some Diablo 2 and the only thing I don't like about it is how I realy don't know where to go and the dated graphics which is what Diablo 3 fixed. Still I just think I need to get used to the old graphics.

BryTheGuy
BryTheGuy

I wish that they just did something 'NEW" and chanced their luck with a new game, instead of playing safe and only releasing 'safe' versions of games in their genre. Now even playing safe they cannot release 'safe patches'. Stuff them for screwing us 1920 by 1200 players in Diablo 3 by zooming in the view, etc.  And playing Starcraft 2 campaign and then not being able to play new units in multiplayer..(who cares about fairness.. I want new units on all sides! not a drawn out 3 series before can play new units..== $$ ) And WOW..PANDAS  lol  LOL LOL!!! Blizzard are idiots.. bring back innovation.

GripMdOn
GripMdOn

Diablo 3, now starcraft... The world will really end in 2012, The world of warcraft that is, IF this are patches... Imagine the pandora expansions, pandas? Who wrote the story, surely the writters of Diablo 3.. lets just PRAY not the designers

mr_england
mr_england

I work in software design (not games, but the same principles apply) and I understand how bugs can get through to the system. No matter how much planning goes into something you simply cannot predict how every possible scenario can play out. That said, the sheer number of massive fails in this patch makes it look like there was basically no QA testing done at all. Blizzard need to be veeeeeery careful with the next anything they release because QA fails on this scale are enough to topple a company.

rmwright1979
rmwright1979

It sure did.  What is going on at Blizzard nowadays?  Diablo 3 came out with lots of bugs and now they're releasing patches for StarCraft 2 that actually make gameplay worse.  A few times I was playing when the game all of a sudden just quit working.  And now since the latest patch, it takes longer to log into the game to start playing and to load up levels.  I'm not seeing any kind of performance enhancement from the latest patch.  They need to correct this and then just leave it alone.

jasonzilla11
jasonzilla11

I don't really like the new look, anyway. The old looked much better, and they could've just added Arcade with Versus AI and Custom Games in Multiplayer. Plus, logging in takes forever now. It used to be type in your password, press enter, and you're playing. Now, it takes a minute to load up.

finalkain
finalkain

GG Blizzard. Cutting Corners Kills Companies

Snotweasel530
Snotweasel530

WARNING: Reading the following comments will make you want to pound your head into the wall.

Edmor_t
Edmor_t

They make us users (customers) Beta-Testers without our permission or knowledge. This fiasco lead us to the edge of no concern with the quality but with the quantity.  They must test their patches before they launch, not through on ours throats.

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

Sad to see the once mighty "when it's done" no longer put any effort into quality, and certainly not into customer service.  Blizzard used to claim their games and patches take so much longer to develop because they are of the highest caliber.  That claim today is just false advertising.

Agelu
Agelu

Did StarCraft II just got its "Cataclysm" expansion? =P

Rox-pox
Rox-pox

Francis: "ACTIVISION RUINED YOU"

100proofsoco
100proofsoco

I never had to patch any game for my Super Nintendo.

Peter_Eater
Peter_Eater

Enjoy "always-connected" and "internet required" future of gaming.

You will NEVER again get a game out-of-the box that is bug free.

Troubling is the fact that more and more patches fail to fix bugs, or bring even more to the table.

The future of gaming looks bleak (especially for PC market).

Exia2004
Exia2004

iv only had the language problem

Jedi_Dad
Jedi_Dad

This would not really be as horrible as it is IF Blizzard didn't spend forever putting out games. That they are notorious for delaying releases "until it's ready" is why this is such a disturbing trend for them. It would seem the taint of Activision has finally started to effect Blizzard. They held off longer than most, I will give them that...

keech
keech

What's that noise I hear?  It sounds like someone swinging a hammer.  Nails in a coffin maybe?

 

But in all seriousness, Blizzard has been living off their reputation for years now without really delivering anything that lives up to said reputation.  It's finally coming back around to bite them.

 

On a semi related note.  Developers really need to wake up and see that this is what happens when you team up with Activision in any way.  All the talent ends up being driven off and the studio slowly starts to capsize.

thedemon44
thedemon44

Seems I have domination on the mind. 0.o

srocciso
srocciso

 @TheLingo56 If you're a fan of D2 don't waste your time on D3 or wait until there's a sale or something. The game is not as enjoyable because imo the RMAH is a game breaker. If you have the cash you can just get the items there instead of spending tons of hours farming for no reason. I just sold every single piece of loot I got without even looking at it and with that gold went to the AH to get an item tailored to my char atm so that kinda takes the fun out of the game because you are only killing to get some money and not because you're hoping to get the best item. The campaign is the same no matter the difficulty so if you beat it on normal, every other difficulty would have the same cinematics and conversations, again why bother ? Maybe if you like to say you beat Diablo in hell to your friends ? But I just chose to play a real skill game like Dota 2 instead.

sircyrus
sircyrus

 @BryTheGuy

It's been over a decade since Blizzard tried to be innovative. I doubt they'll do anything new any time soon. They're making too much money doing rehashes.

GamespotAudio
GamespotAudio

 @100proofsoco You also never got a bug or a glitch fixed in a super nintendo game, you just accepted it and moved on.

GamespotAudio
GamespotAudio

 @Peter_Eater You are about 5 years too late....... (show me a single game in the last 5 years, console or PC, that has NOT received a patch)

1wikkid1
1wikkid1

 @Jedi_Dad "until it's ready" is NOT the same thing as delaying a game.  Announcing a date and then not sticking to said date would be delaying.  Blizz has learned from other's mistakes, they don't announce dates until they know that they'll be ready.  Personally, I MUCH prefer Blizzard's way of releasing "when its ready" then feeding fans with false promises like "soon" or "in the forseeable future" at least Blizz is honest about being in development.

GamespotAudio
GamespotAudio

 @keech Really?

 

The #1 RTS game in the world, also the #1 E Sports game in the world is "not living up to their reputation"?

 

The fastest selling, highest populated ARPG game ever made is "not living up to their reputation"?

 

The single one most potent game in HISTORY (WoW) is "not living up to their reputation"?

 

Roflol get over your deluded opinions there kiddo.

 

Yes, Blizzard has dropped the ball a bunch as of late, no question, but your completely dissconnected from reality doomsaying is so hilariously misinformed its reeking of ignorance.

CptIndustry
CptIndustry

 @1wikkid1 Blizzard has actually had a monopoly on Soon™. They used it quite often with Diablo 3. If they were releasing games and patches when they are ready still, they wouldn't be releasing Diablo 3 without all of the features they listed the game had and then telling players it would come after release.. not to mention barely testing the Inferno difficulty by having the players test it and nerfing it in half a month after release.

eriktkire
eriktkire

 @GamespotAudio 

WoW only had an impact on MMO marketing (and market based mechanics, not GAMEplay).

 

D3 sold based on name and reputation and nothing else, every die hard Diablo fan I know is disappointed and is finally waiting to covert to Torchlight 2 when it finally comes out.

 

Starcraft?.... Blizzard once was known for releasing solid games.  Warcraft 1/2/3, Diablo 1, Starcraft 1... back in the day they were considered bug free compared to the rest of the market on day one release.  Now?  Broken on release for the majority of users.  SC2, D3... proven failures in quality control.

 

 

Arguing that 10 million fools have active subsciptions to WoW...that's like saying that CoD is still the leader in FPS competitive play and innovation just because they sucker in millions of idiots into buying the latest iteration for the massively bloated release day price.

 

 

picho86
picho86

 @GamespotAudio  @keech Number of sales isn't a measure of quality. SC2 was a very good game, but what about WOW and Diablo 3? While it is a matter of opinion, they are both very controversial. Diablo 3 with it's DRM, bugs, and criticizm about the gameplay. WOW criticized a lot about being repetitive, and requiring a large investment of both time and money.

Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft were considered almost unanimously to be great games with a long lasting impact. 

Nobody can argue that lately they started angering fans. This has never happened before with Blizzard, and now it's happening a lot.  

srocciso
srocciso

 @GamespotAudio The problem now is that this little nuisances they have created in their games are drawing AWAY new players. Kids nowadays don't know or care how great SC1, D2, WC3 or the original WoW were back in their respective days. Sales and player base pretty much come from us long time fans that loved the previous games and got the new ones. As a matter of preference for instance I hated WoW from the first minute I touched it, I found it an abomination of my beloved WC3, D3 was a massive dissapointment due to the numerous bugs it had and (imho) the RMA just takes away the fun of discovering new loot (any kid with mommy's visa can buy great items on the RMAH) so that one is also dead. The one that was great was SC2 (still is gameplay wise) but this bugs and trying to fix things that aren't broken is just killing Blizzard. Yes millions upon millions of us bought D3 in the hopes of greatness but after playing a lot we just left it aside, there's no real challenge. Same thing is happening on WoW. Only SC2 has and will always have a real competitive scene thanks mainly to Korea.

Maybe, just maybe, the PvP patch for D3 will draw people in again (not me I rather play Dota 2) and I don't really think Pandas can save WoW from the slew of MMOs coming like GW2 and Elder Scrolls.

This Blizzard is not the same Blizz that brought us those great games years and years ago and that makes me sad really.

GamespotAudio
GamespotAudio

 @harteman The usual argument of someone who has exactly no backing, good show bud.

 

Heres a prediction, in 2 years, when a D3 expo comes out, it sells ANOTHER 10 million copies, and your butthurt tears will fall.

eriktkire
eriktkire

 @deanbigbee balancING is different from balanced.  Every game ends up having exploitable things in it.

 

stat/mechanic exploiting isn't a game breaking bug though.... not in terms of making the software actually run.  Might make multiplay unpleasant for some, but hey.... look above at what kind of brand name loyalty that degree of exploitation has generated.

GamespotAudio
GamespotAudio

 @deanbigbee Exactly, also, Diablo 1 and 2 still have massive glitches to this very day. (but they would have actually had to have played those games to know this, amirite?)

deanbigbee
deanbigbee

 @eriktkire Bug free and balanced?  Ummmmm... Starcraft 1 was never bug free or balanced... in fact, it was so messed up that it relied on exploitation of its bugs to make it balanced.  Muta stacking was a bug... they never fixed it because it was the only bug that balanced out zerg.

 

You're talking out your bottoms on this one. Sorriez

GamespotAudio
GamespotAudio

 @emauslol Bitch please,

 

I have played more Diablo 2 then you and your girlfriend heres combined.

 

I have never and will never own COD.

 

Maybe your just upset at the BASIC REALITY;

 

Blizzard games are ALL best in genre, they have the sales, the player base, and the competitive base to back it up.

 

All you have is your butthurt ranting.

 

Get out of mommas basement and come to terms with reality kiddo.

emauslol
emauslol

 @eriktkire You, sir, are entirely correct in what you've said. The two limp-wristed cretins hating on you for speaking the truth about Blizzard's massive fail are just that - limp-wristed cretins, and their opinions and poorly thought out replies should give you no pause whatsoever.

 

It's plebs like these who are ruining everything for everyone. Wish they'd just fuck off, TBH, and go back to their CoD on PS3.

 

eriktkire
eriktkire

 @1wikkid1 quite the keen fanboy aren't you

 

WoW is barely a game.  Keep in mind I've played it... a game by definition, at least amongst us old timers, requires a mechanic of challenge and skill based progression.  WoW's key attraction is its social medium.  The lore and everything that was establishing in Warcraft 3 is what makes the addiction mechanics of grinding appealing.  WoW in the purest sense is absolutely NOT a game.  No challenge, no game.

 

And no... Diablo fans are different from D3 fans.  Kinda like FPS'ers are different from CoD fanboys and girls (mostly boys).

 

As for WC3 and SC, the bug fixing involved in those patches was utterly miniscule compared to what's going on at the moment with Blizz.  Keep in mind the climate of technology back then too... many of the glitches were conflict issues based on combinations of hardware and the occasional DirectX update faux pa from Microsoft.... SC1 in particular was 90% balancing. WC3 also, alot of balancing.

 

No they weren't perfect, but they made the effort to do their testing properly before both clients and patches were released.  And no, they were not less complex than games being released today.  You are WAY off the mark there.

 

The absolute dominance of DirectX 9/11 in today's PC market, the only 2 options for tech... AMD-Intel, nVidia-AMD...  both sharing more technology these days than ever before as well.  Greater gains in HD and Disc space means less effort on the part of certain developers to push the envelope regarding file compression.... certainly no need to squeeze the most out of VRAM or system RAM.

 

And no, game development is easier than ever before... EVER.  The only complex thing is the skill in art design and 3D production that goes into disguising the poly limitations of any given engine.

 

And yeah, my last paragraph is apt... nor did I insult any "player" base... if anything I'm insulting the blind consumerism of fanboys, like yourself, that think that numbers = support.  Gaming is a mass media nowadays and we are no longer considered a playerbase... we are an amalgamation of genre based demographics in which there is a majority that blindly consume because advertising and other social dynamics tell them too (like all the other kids are playing it, so why aren't you?)

 

Here are the things you need to learn before you start spouting more fanboy ignorance.

 

Learn about marketing, the reality of game design (past & present), how DRM infects stable code and systems, how the quality of programmers in the gaming industry has largely gone down hill in the last 5-10 years, and how official playerbase (sales) numbers compare to the REAL number of people playing (especially with Blizzard and their gold farming users in both WoW and D3).

1wikkid1
1wikkid1

 @eriktkire your post is a joke, ill comment each paragraph.  WoW had an impact on gaming as a whole, its recognized, any game that attracts that much players will have an impact.

 

you MAY be right about the D3 fans that only you are familiar with, im willing to bet that youre familiar with only a tiny, insignificant number of the total D3 fans.

 

Yes, earlier blizz games were less troublesome, but they were NOT bug free.  I know for a fact that both WC3 and the first SC had patches to fix them, SC has had patches released YEARS after the game came out.  So just because there isnt so much noise, doesnt mean they were perfect.  they were also a lot less complex then games being released today.

 

and your last paragraph, this is my fav one... comparing millions of people who pay money every single month to people who make a one time purchase is comparing apples and oranges.  and why do you go into insulting the player base to try to prove your point?  does having stupid players somehow make the game company worse?  i dont think so.

 

so yeah, back to the drawing board for you.

gatorfan95
gatorfan95

 @GamespotAudio I dont believe that many people, other that those who paid Blizzard for a 1 year subscription to WoW to get it free, are actually playing D3 anymore.  If you look at Gamestop's list of most popular games, it's dropped off the chart.   Your statistics on WoW are not accurate either, it was 10 million 2 years ago, it's below 9 million now and steadily dropping.  As you said, perspective dude

motorxd
motorxd

 @GamespotAudio Does your caps-lock button randomly choose words?

 

Also metric tonne is so 98-02...  the cool people now say Megagram.

GamespotAudio
GamespotAudio

 @picho86 "Never happened before"?

 

You sure have a selective memory dont you? Or, you just were not around back in 98-02'.

 

Diablo 2 faced a metric TON of hate when it dropped, for changing the leveling system, the classes, and how broken Bnet was for the first month of release.

 

SC1? roflol, for the first 6 months, 4 ling rush won every single game online, because there was literally NO COUNTER.

 

If WoW is so bad, why do 10 million players STILL PLAY IT?

 

If D3 is so very bad, why is it the single one most popular game on the PC market today? (there are more Diablo 3 players playing at any time then people logged into Steam as a whole FFS.)

 

SC1 never had the player base SC2 does, EVER.

 

Perspective man, there are MORE people playing current Blizzard games then the games of the past, that means, MORE complaints.

 

Even 1% of the D3 player base is a METRIC ton of people.