Despite seeing all three factions, there are still many changes being made to all factions which continue to finesse the gameplay of StarCraft II.
Furthermore, if you are reading this batch, and love StarCraft, show everyone! For the "I <3 SC" event, we've been getting tons of fun entries of StarCraft lovers in their classrooms, playing the game, posing at famous landmarks, and many unique digitally edited entries!
What does StarCraft mean to you?
Make sure you are represented in this wall of fans that will be engraved in Blizzard history. It is very simple to participate- Take a picture and join us!
[ http://blizzard.com/us/inblizz/contests/ilovesc/ ]
For newcomers, if you want a quick rundown on the story leading into StarCraft II- we have it here in a nutshell:
[ http://www.starcraft2.com/features/storysofar.xml ]
[ http://www.starcraft2.com/features/storysofar2.xml ]
Chat with the Devs: The Dev team has been working hard to find the best defense mechanic that works for the Zerg. The latest builds have brought back Sunken and Spore Colonies, with a new twist. Sunken and Spore Colonies can now uproot and crawl to a more advantageous position. Incidentally, Protoss Phase Cannons no longer have the ability to change positions.
Giving the Zerg mobile defensive structures feels a lot more right as this ability opens up many more aggressive strategies in both Zerg mirrors as well as combined with Overlords generating creep to push these defenses up towards the front lines. Furthermore, there definitely is something about watching defenses crawling around that just seems very Zerg-like. Its worth noting that Zerg defenses while in mobile form have fewer hit points and are more vulnerable to attack.
Gameplay Blog: Over the past few weeks Ive really been practicing up with the Terran faction, as it is probably the one that I am weakest at playing with. After getting beat about three or four times and finally getting my build order up to speed, I realized Terrans actually have a huge advantage in StarCraft II with being able to block off choke points to your base with ease.
Currently, on most maps a Terran player is able to block off their base entry point before the enemy is able to scout, making it nearly impossible for the enemy to find out what the Terran player is doing behind that wall. With only a few Marines and a couple SCVs, the Terran player can fend off most early attacks, especially since they usually also have a higher elevation sight advantage.
Three popular options amongst the staff playing at Blizzard include:
1) Tech straight to Banshees, which have a very powerful single target attack, and can be researched to cloak. This unit devastates if the opponent is not prepared with both anti- air units as well as detectors.
2) Tech straight to Reapers, which can jump up and down hills without a spotter, and get an added bonus damage versus light units. What this means is that the Reapers are able to quickly get in an enemys resource line to annihilate workers at an astounding rate, as well as get out before the enemy can react. This works great if you can scout/scan to see if their main base is defended well with static defenses. On top of that, did I forget to mention that they can drop mines that do significant damage towards buildings? Yes, that means with a handful of these guys, you can drop enough mines to take out whole Hatcheries/ Nexuses, or strategically use them to take out Pylons or tech buildings. After you drop the mines, jump back out of combat and let the mine cooldown reset for another round of raids.
3) If a Terran player bunkers up as mentioned above and no attacks are made by this player, one way an opponent may respond is to expand and build a stronger economy, as they do not feel threatened. In this case, a Terran player can simply build up a huge force of Marines and Marauders behind the wall without the opponent knowing, and then strike when their opponent drops their guard.
Luckily, the Dev Team is well on top of balance, as they have introduced new abilities such as the Nullifiers Anti Gravity ability to lift up buildings blocking choke points and Nydus Worms to bypass such defenses to keep those Terran players honest. Maps will likely have larger choke points in the future to offer a little more chance for opponents to get a Probe or Drone in early to scout early teching Terran players.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you are enjoying the batches.
---StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 35---
1. Do Banelings damage nearby friendly units when they explode onto an enemy target? (www.starcraft2.com.au)
No, in the current build the Banelings do not damage friendly units caught in the splash. The splash damage does cover its area of effect range evenly, doing the same damage to enemy units throughout the whole area.
2. When a Nydus Worm is detected, is it possible to shoot it down while it is traveling? (www.starcraftcz.com)
Yes, having detectors in strategic places will keep you from being surprised by an unexpected Nydus Worm showing up in your base.
3. Does the Nydus Worm, a ground unit, move through open space? (battle.net) pop.helo
Yes. We dont know how we are going to make this look yet. When we come up with a visual solution we are happy with we will show it to the community.
4. Can Zerg buildings be infested, and if so, what units are produced? (starcraft2forum.org)
Zerg buildings cannot be infested. It is planned that infested Protoss buildings will produce an infested Protoss unit that will play differently than the infested Marine.
5. Will be there such doodads like customizable light or shader? (battle.net) Dagguh
6. The first screenshot listed in Karune's 33rd Q&A shows what looks like the Mothership's Black Hole ability. However, it was said that the Black Hole was removed. Does this mean the ability has returned in the current build? (Starcraft.org)
As mentioned before, the state of many of these units are always changing. In the current build, the Mothership has become more of a support unit with increased hit points and decreased speed. The Mothership now allows Protoss Gateways that have converted to Warp Gates to be able to warp units straight to the Mothership. The warp-in mechanic (which cannot be queued) has also been tweaked to allow Protoss players who use it to get a slight time decrease in unit production as opposed to queuing units traditionally at the Gateways. In other words, the cooldown timer on warp-in doesnt take as long as the build time for units at a Gateway.
Furthermore, the Mothership will also have the ability to transfer energy down to casters below it, such as Templars. Both the Time Bomb and Black Hole abilities have been removed
7. Will Phase Cannons be able to rematerialize on an allys Pylon Power, or an enemys Pylon Power for that matter? (sclegacy.com)
Phase Cannons are no longer able to move in the current build.
8. Is the Tauren Marine going to be included in the StarCraft II map editor? (battle.net) scorpionbrood
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开辟团队还在测试虫族的防御模式。最近的版本让原版中的Sunken Colony沉陷菌落和Spore Colony孢子菌落回归了，但是有了那么点改动：现在这两位都可以起立，然后搬家到其他地方去；于是神族的相位炮就不再有这种功能了。
Q u o t e:
Please tell me warp-in is still made possible by the phase prism.
Yup, the Phase Prism will still provide power when converted into stationary form, thus allowing Warp-In.
Q u o t e:
Who creates the sunken/spore colonies?
The Queen still creates all the defenses for the Zerg.
Q u o t e:
so does that mean the reapers have infinite mines as of now? or do they also have a limit to the mines, on top of the cooldown you mention?
Reapers have unlimited mines, limited by the cooldown.
Builds From: Factory
Armament: Twin 90mm Cannons (assault mode)
120mm Shock Cannon (siege mode)
Role: Armored Support and Mobile Artillery
The Crucio is the Dominion update of the immensely popular but aging Arclite siege tank. The Arclite was renowned throughout the Confederacy for its devastating firepower and stalwart emplacement/advance tactics. Originally designed to serve as a "final defense" security cannon, the siege tank adopted a two-stage configuration in its final form: a mobile assault mode and a deployed siege mode that brought its massive shock cannon to bear. The immense flexibility of an armored battle tank that could advance and then deploy itself as heavy artillery was a huge success, and the design was widely copied.
Although the Arclite was supremely effective in the artillery role, it suffered some shortcomings as a battle tank. It was a superb defensive unit, but in offensive operations it required substantial support to get to a forward emplacement. Enemies would often make strenuous efforts to get close to an emplaced siege tank battery so they could exploit its "deadzone." If they were successful, this tactic usually meant destruction for the Arclites because even in assault mode the machines were too undergunned and poorly armored to fight off a determined close-range assault.
The Crucio has been designed for increased survivability with an enlarged, reinforced turret and hull. The new turret layout also features an upgraded assault-mode armament package so that the Crucio can fend for itself more successfully in an open battlefield. Force deployment costs for the Crucio have increased over the older Arclite, but the increased versatility of the powerful new siege tank more than compensates for the additional expense.
Q u o t e:
Its still power armor suit, not a vehicle... So its healed and not repaired. It also has double the hp of a marine and were not sure if it has stim pack.
Correct, the Firebat is healed by Medics still, though in the current build, the Firebat has been taking out, to test a new Terran unit that could possibly fill its role.
Glad to be back :) We will have a Q&A at the end of this week, since I'm still waiting for some of the Devs to get back to chat with...just in case anyone was wondering.
So now that all three races are out of the bag, you may have thought you've seen it all- nope! The Dev Team is still working very hard to add even more innovation and clever balance affecting design changes that will indeed polish out the gameplay of StarCraft II that much more.
Also, if you haven't already, be a part of StarCraft history by participating in our "I <3 SC" event! Your picture will be added to a wall of StarCraft fans! It is fast and easy to join up! Info here: [ http://blizzard.com/us/inblizz/contests/ilovesc/ ]
Chat with the Devs: As of recent, the Dev Team has added a new ability to the Protoss Carrier that will give it a little more Umph! versus Zerg Corruptor attacks or Viking raids. In the past, the Carrier simply had a large swarm of Interceptor fighters which you had to build from scratch. Carriers now come built with 4 Interceptors already loaded (which is also the max number of Interceptors currently). They also have the new ability to have Escorts built for a temporary power boost to focus fire. Strike Fighter Escorts cost resources to build and last only 45 seconds, but add a decent amount of firepower to a Carriers attack. A Carrier can have a maximum of 4 Escorts. Escorts are given attack orders to focus-fire on whatever the Carrier is attacking and they can be destroyed independently of the Carrier or each other. The cost for these Escorts will be significant enough to where players will not want to just have the max number all of the time, as that would bleed your economy needlessly. Thus, players will have to pick and choose their battles in where they want the full force of the Protoss fleet present.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you are enjoying the batches.
---StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 34---
1. An important aspect of any RTS game is for all races to have a way to siege fortified island positions, do the Protoss and Terrans [[and Zerg]] have a unit that is capable of doing so? (sclegacy.com)
All factions will have units capable of attacking from a longer range. Zerg have the Swarm Guardian, Terrans have the Battlecruisers Yamato Cannon, and the Protoss have the Carrier (which has gotten some additional abilities since we last talked about it). However we are not at all sure that these are enough to deal with fortified islands. More testing will tell us if this is sufficient or if we need more.
2. The Infestor is a very impressive unit that enchanted the community, because we all wanted to see a unit that is able to move while it is burrowed. Nevertheless there are still pending questions. Can the Infestor even infest Zerg buildings? Are infested marines produced as fast as it is shown on the gameplay trailer? Do you have to train them manually or will they pop out automatically? Do they cost minerals?(starcraft2.4players.de)
Like many Zerg units the Infestor is still under development. It cannot infest Zerg buildings though that is something we are still discussing. The speed at which Marines are generated changes frequently as we work on the ability. Sometimes its fast, sometimes not so fast. They will (probably) pop automatically. They do not have any cost associated with them.
3. The Medivac is a very interesting Unit, but there are not many information given to us so far. Can you tell us any more details about it? At which tier can it be found? How does the healing work? Can it even heal multiple units at once and how fast does it heal compared to the medic? (starcraft2.4players.de)
The Medivac is currently available from the Starport (no add-ons required). The healing works just like the medic. We will (if we keep the mechanic) be adding a graphic of the Medivac deploying medical drones to heal friendly biological units. It will only be able to heal a single unit at one time. The speed at which it heals changes frequently as we try different balance options.
4. There are many ambiguities concerning the Roach due to the much different information that has been given to us. Many users are quite unsure about its kind of attack. Is it a melee unit or is it ranged? Or is it kind of a crazy mix of both? And most important: can it hit air as well? (starcraft2.4players.de)
The Roach is ranged. He has been melee in the recent past (hence the art with the big claws) but he is currently ranged. This gives him added utility at chokes where he really shines. We have tried it as ground only and we have tried it as being able to hit ground or air. Currently it is ground only.
5. Can a Zerg Corruptor infest lifted-off Terran buildings, Colossuses, and other Zerg units such as Mutalisks or other Corruptors? Can Corruptor infest Thors, Siege Tanks or Marines if they are lifted-off by Anti-Gravity? (Battle.net) PCBANGFT
Yes, Corruptors can infest anything that flies or is forced into the air by abilities such as Anti-Gravity. In the situation of a unit being lifted by Anti-Gravity, the unit will return to the ground when the anti-gravity effect ends and sit on the ground. The corrupted unit is only allowed to attack air units and will do so if an enemy air unit flies by.
6. What is the reasoning behind changing Colossus' 'sliding' thermal lances (from 1st gameplay movie) to an array of beams (zerg trailer)? Balance? Visuals? Will it be possible to choose such sliding or array (or is it just 'horizontal' line?) fire mode from the Map Editor (available also for any other unit)? (battle.net) Dagguh
The array of beams give a more interesting AOE template for players to attempt to micro. The sliding beam looks cool, but ultimately doesnt produce any new gameplay. The current visuals on the beam are temp to see if we like the mechanic.
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三族都已经发布了，你们大约以为你们已经什么都知道了吧——口胡，都与我败呀！You are NOT prepared!开辟团队还在辛勤地干活，除了平衡，他们还有大量的创意正在具现化（以及被砍掉），而这些创意都市大大地强化和转变SC2的游戏亲身实践。
开辟团队如是说：现在神族航母加入了一些新元素，想要用虫族腐蚀者或者人族维京轻松搞定他们的人要有麻烦了。以前航母有一大堆Interceptor截击机（俗称小飞机）要造；但是现在他们出厂的时候机库里就有四架截击机（这也是航母现在的机库最大容量），而且有了新技能：可以建造Strike Fighter Escort打击机（译者注：其实僚机这个名字也可以担当就是了）。这些打击机需要消耗资源建造，最多四架，而且只有45秒的存活时间——但是他们可以造成大量伤害。打击机的自动集火目标与航母相同，但是也可以向他们分别下达不同的打击命令。
The escorts for the Protoss Carrier in its current state, hits both ground and air. Furthermore, they take about 1 second to warp in to battle alongside your Carrier after you make the order to summon them.
Building Interceptors can be toggled to 'auto-build' or be set to manual build. Like the original StarCraft, the Interceptors will cost resources to build (when you lose any from the original 4).