By Quintin Smith on August 28th, 2010 at 5:10 pm.
As the only member of RPS who’s actually playing StarCraft 2 multiplayer, it falls to me to snatch my withered, claw-like hands from their actions-per-minute training freeware to write that details on the 1.1 patch have been released, with the patch itself arriving in September. There’s some stuff in their about additional mod support, map editor improvements and 3D support, but if you’re anything like me then you’ll only care about the balance changes. Well, it shakes down like this:
Basically, it’s good news for Zerg players. Like me! Ah.
The already-lengthy build time of the Protoss Zealot’s being bumped from 33 to 38 seconds, and the Warpgate that builds them is having its cooldown changed from 23 to 28 seconds. This is because Blizzard felt Zealot rushes were too powerful, and gave you too little time to respond to them. On the Terran side of things, the Siege Mode of Siege Tanks is being nerfed from 50 damage to 35 damage +15 vs. armoured, the Battlecruiser’s damage against ground units is getting dropped from 10 to 8, and the build time of Bunkers and Reapers is being increased by 5 seconds each.
As for us Zerg, we just have to deal with the Ultralisk receiving a slight nerf to damage vs. armoured, and even that’s balanced by a change to how the Ultralisk attacks buildings- they’ll now use their regular scythe attack, meaning they can damage more than one building at once.
Here’s Blizzard’s full patch announcement:
Greetings, citizens of the Koprulu sector! StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is celebrating its one-month anniversary and we’re extremely excited to witness the amazing community that’s come together around the game. To that end, we want you to know we are hard at work on the first feature and balance patch, and expect to have it completed and available by the middle of September. Patch 1.1 will contain a number of improvements including additional mod features, Editor improvements and bug fixes, some custom game improvements, support for NVIDIA’s 3D Vision, and more. We’d also like to share some specific plans for this patch with you.
To begin, we’ve heard a lot of feedback from our global community about standardized hotkey options. We’re happy to announce that in patch 1.1 we are going to make the Standard (US) and Standard for Lefties (US) hotkey options available in all regions.
We have several balance changes in store. One general change we’re making is that friendly units will no longer provide vision after being killed. Enemy units previously revealed will no longer be targetable. Now let’s break down the additional balance changes we’re implementing.
We’re going to be adding destructible rocks to the Desert Oasis map to make natural expansions easier to protect. In addition, the center map watchtower area is being narrowed.
We have two key changes in mind for the zealot: the build time is being increased from 33 to 38 seconds, and the warpgate cooldown is being increased from 23 to 28 seconds. Zealot rushes are currently too powerful at various skill levels, particularly those that rely on rapidly assaulting an enemy base from nearby “proxy” gateways. We feel the window players have to scout for and fend off this rush is too small. We also want to address the problem of protoss being able to dump minerals a bit too quickly with the combination of warpgates and Chrono Boost.
There are several changes in the works for terrans. Reapers against zerg are stronger than expected. Due to the zealot build time increase, reapers would be a bit problematic in combination with proxy barracks, bunkers, and/or marauders against protoss. Therefore, we have decided to increase the build time of reapers as well from 40 to 45 seconds. Fast reaper + bunker, or fast marine + bunker rushes are problematic against zerg. Although this rush would never outright destroy the zerg player, we feel zerg suffers too much of a disadvantage from either having to cancel the fast expansion, or getting trapped inside the main base for too long, so we are also increasing the bunker build time from 30 to 35 seconds.
Siege tanks in large numbers are performing too well in all matchups. In the mid- to late-game, siege tanks are too dominant against all ground units. We want a small set of light and unarmored ground units to perform better against siege tanks. With this in mind, we’re changing the Siege Mode damage of the siege tank from 50 to 35, +15 vs. armored; to correspond with this, damage upgrades will be changed from +5 to +3, +2 vs. armored. This change reduces the base damage of the siege tank against light and unarmored units, as well as the splash damage.
Battlecruisers currently lack good counters from the ground and still perform very well against a wide array of unit types. We’re aware that it is not easy to get battlecruisers out for the cost, but at the same time, it is possible in both 1v1s and team games to create stalemate situations to bring them out. Overall, we feel that battlecruisers are too strong for their cost, and the terran-forced stalemate situations are causing less interesting gameplay. We will be lowering their damage against ground units from 10 to 8.
Ultralisk damage is being decreased from 15, +25 vs. armored to 15, +20 vs. armored. This reduction is comparable to the changes being made to the battlecruiser and siege tank. Like the battlecruiser, ultralisks are simply too powerful for the cost, even though they are difficult to muster. Also, in combination with other units, ultralisks are difficult to counter from the ground. The ultralisk building attack (Ram) is being removed because the damage rate is too similar to its normal attack, which will be used against buildings instead. When ultralisks target tightly packed smaller buildings such as supply depots, the Ram attack is actually outputting considerably less overall damage than its normal attack, as Ram only hits a single target.
We are reading your posts on the forums and creating lists of features and bugs to address in future patches. We have mid- to long-term plans to further evolve the Custom Game experience, and soon, enhance our social features with the addition of chat channels. We will be sharing more specific information in the coming weeks. As with all of our previous games, we will support StarCraft II for many years to come. Your feedback and participation is critical in making this not only the best game it can be, but also the most engaged gaming community in the world. We look forward to the implementation of patch 1.1, as well as sharing our plans for our future gameplay and Battle.net features.
We’ll see you online!