It’s Blitz: StarCraft 2 1.1 Patch Notes Released

By Quintin Smith on August 28th, 2010 at 5:10 pm.

Tune in tomorrow, when I'll be posting my favourite build orders and answering the difficult question of whether Kerrigan gained weight between SC1 and 2.
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.

Balance Changes

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.

Maps

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.

Protoss

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.

Terran

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.

Zerg

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.

And Beyond…

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!

, , .

59 Comments »

  1. Isometric says:

    Kudo’s for the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s reference.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Rinox says:

    Well at least my zergling rushes will be a little more effective. Other than that Zerg still seem hopelessly broken with that patch, with perhaps slightly less effective protoss and terrans.

    So how about an actual scouting unit for Zerg? And don’t tell me to use an overlord. :-/

    • tekDragon says:

      Nerfing reapers and zealots should actually help zerg a fair amount. Rushing over to the TL forums to see what IdrA has to say about the proposed changes.

    • StormTec says:

      It looks like most people use their drones…

    • dethgar says:

      Doesn’t one of the Zerg units produce a decoy of the opponents most basic unit that you can use to scout?

    • Premium User Badge

      Rinox says:

      Yes, but it’s a pain to use them. You need an overlord, upgrade it to an overseer, then drop pods around the map. If an enemy unit gets close they mimic the basic unit (marine, zergling, zealot). Then you need to walk them into their base without anyone noticing.

      Terrans = cloaked choppers, radar sweep
      Protoss = observers (perma cloaked, fly)

      It’s a pretty big difference in user-friendliness or effectiveness.

      @ Stormtec: I’m talking about scouting after the first 5 minutes, clearly. The part where you need to know what your opponent is building in order to counter it. As Zerg, early game typically isn’t that worrying.

    • Generico says:

      Creep colonies are your friend. They cost nothing, they spread creep that makes your units faster, and they provide huge areas of map vision. Also, putting ovies at the expos and spewing creep from them when you get lair not only tells you when the enemy expands, but makes him wait for the creep to disappear before he builds. Burrowed zerglings offer cheap highly mobile map vision as well.

      If you need to scout a particular area, overseers are pretty fast and can take a good beating. Also, changelings are the only scout in the game that incurs no loss. Even terran’s orbital scan costs him a mule that could have mined a lot of minerals.

    • KikassAssassin says:

      Suiciding an Overlord into your opponent’s base is actually cheaper than a Terran player using the scanner sweep. If a Terran player uses a scan, that means they’re not spending that energy on a MULE. Each MULE brings in around 300 minerals over its lifespan, which means you can send three Overlords into your opponent’s base for the cost of one scan.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rinox says:

      Good points I suppose. Maybe I just suck at SC2 (and scouting in particular). :-(

      On a sidenote, been having a ton of fun in 2 vs 2 with a friend who plays Terran. He scans a base backyard, and 30 seconds later the fully upgraded zerglings come pouring out into the opponent’s critical base structures. :-D I like to think they cry as it happens.

    • StormTec says:

      @rinox:

      I disagree. It appears that the first 5 minutes are probably the most crucial for scouting. Detecting your opponent’s opening play seems to be pretty important. For example, within the first 5 minutes, you can tell whether your opponent is going for an all-in rush or is, say, going for gas. I’m no expert in SC tactics by any means but, from what I’ve seen and heard, scouting during the early game is particularly important too, for all races.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rinox says:

      Oh, yeah, you’re right. I didn’t mean to say that I don’t do it or that it isn’t important, but the big buildups of armies only start in the mid-game of course.

    • Raum says:

      That’s false, Kikass.

      First of all, a MULE accelerates your income considerably less than by 300 minerals (it’s something like 250), secondly, you’re not getting more minerals, you get minerals faster. At the end of the day, you have the exact same amount of minerals.

      It’s not even close to being the same, cost-wise. If your supply depots could lift off and could slowly drift around in the opponents base, it would be comparable. Imagine having that as your only scout option.

      The lack of scouting options for Zerg is still a nuisance, but it’s not a huge balance issue by this point. At least not for most of the top players. It’s still a strange decition by Blizzard, to have Zerg actually function as a completely reactive race (there are no viable options for early aggression for Zerg), and with the worst scouting options. Playing Zerg effectively is very hard, and I can’t really see this patch fixing the problem, even though it’s a small step in the right direction.

  3. EvilMonk3y says:

    ‘expect to have it completed and available by the middle of September’

    Hope you know that it has not actually be released yet, this is just a pre-patch note preview..

  4. Jesterrr says:

    Surely points have to be taken away because the patch HASN’T been released yet, though…

    “…. expect to have it completed and available by the middle of September.”

  5. jobias says:

    I don’t think it’s actually live yet. It’s just a statement of what they intend to push with the next patch.

  6. Nick says:

    We sure care about reading the comments under the patch announcement on their page. Quite distracting.

  7. Jiki says:

    Coming up next – pyro nerfed a bit on Team Fortress 2 and a new common zombie face was added to Left 4 Dead 2!

    • Evil otto says:

      I think pyros are perfectly balanced. Often, they don’t kill you, but do give you a run to the nearest medkit or medic, which can cause a breach in the defensive line or break off an attack. If they were really unbalanced Valve would have noticed and patched them, as we are already somewhere around 120 patches for TF2.

  8. Nova says:

    Yeah it was announced not released.

  9. Thesper says:

    ” 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.”

    It ain’t out yet.

  10. mctoobules says:

    The 1.1 patch has not yet been released.

  11. GFX says:

    It’s not released yet.

  12. Nick says:

    Typical Quinns not doing research.

    *glee emoticon*

  13. Enguerrand says:

    I repeat:

    the-patch-has-not-been-released-yet.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      ’1.1 patch notes have been released, with the patch itself arriving in September.’ Well read troll-face.

  14. Torqual says:

    Nice copy-paste-journalism. So this is a patch announcement on rps. Pretty heavy hyperspacetravel here.

    Have a nice patch

  15. Alexander Norris says:

    Quinns, your name still isn’t at the bottom of the page. I demand that you demand that you be formally inducted into RPS and that your name be appended in smaller letters than the other four blokes’ at the bottom of every page, especially if it involves you accomplishing some superhuman feat of strength to get in (like finding some iron).

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      He still wants his individuality, so he has not accepted hivemind status.

      But I doubt he would mesh well with the other nodes anyways.

  16. Cowmonaut says:

    They’re called Zerglings. Learn to use them properly!

  17. Garg says:

    Hmm this sounds like it may be too difficult for a protoss player to beat a 6-pool zerg rush. As it is it’s a close run thing to get a zealot out in time, although I suppose you can always use probes, as there aren’t many zerglings attacking if they go for that strat.

    • Binni says:

      You just Ctrl-A with all your probes and the Zerglings are dead.

      Against Zerg it is often better to rush a canon out as helper

    • Generico says:

      Some ramps can be completely walled by 1 gate and a pylon. You can then get a core and a stalker before his pathetic zergling force breaks the wall (make sure to set rally behind the wall so the stalker doesn’t spawn into a mass of zerglings). Shoot over the wall with the stalker while getting warpgates. If you can’t block with 1 gate and pylon, plug the whole with a probe until the zealot pops.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      keep seeing ’6 pool’ everywhere, what does it mean?

    • Premium User Badge

      Rinox says:

      @ Hexagonal:

      6-pool is a zergling rush strategy that is done with 6 workers (ie just the ones you start with) and a spawning pool. It’s basically the fastest possible way to get 6 zerglings out but also very crippling to you if the rush fails. 7-pool, 8-pool, 10-pool are all variations.

    • jsdn says:

      The 6 stands for the supply count at the time of making the structure. 10 pool would mean that you’d make 4 extra drones, bringing your supply to 10, before making the spawning pool.

    • Raum says:

      Zealots dominate Zerglings, and Probes are very hardy. The 6-pool will still be a scrub all-in cheese that nobody worth a damn will lose against.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      I personally prefer going for an 8-pool, as it doesn’t seem to do too much damage to your economy. Get 6 zerglings as soon as your pool is built and send them straight into your enemy base. In reality, this is more of a scout than an attack and I would usually be focusing on the economy whilst the zerglings are heading over, but if they seem to be struggling to cope with it you can just start churning out more. If they deal with it fine you can then move onto something else, be it roaches, banelings or up to liar tech. It also seems like a good way to get yourself into an aggressive style of play and get your opponent on the defensive, something all Zerg players should be trying to do.

  18. pkt-zer0 says:

    Eh, no details on what the new custom map/editor features will be.

    Also, Starcraft 2… in THREEEEEE DEEEEE. Wonder how that’ll work, what with clicking on 3D objects with a 2D cursor being the game’s interface.

  19. Binni says:

    I don’t get this. I know Zealot rush strategies are too powerful (I know since I do them myself). However Terrans really need to be toned down across the board, even more than those changes. I always have fun and balanced matchups against other Protoss and Zerg but Terrans are always trouble in all matchups. Now I will have no choice but to start on the defensive in all games as Protoss (Unless I can sneak a cannon rush) and that gives the Terrans to much time to build forces.

    • sana says:

      You could, y’know, do the initial push with Stalkers instead of Zealots…

    • Binni says:

      Stalkers aren’t as quick as zealots. The few extra minutes that takes to churn them out are vital for rushing

    • jsdn says:

      Terran is pretty much too powerful from bronze league to diamond, and it also requires little skill. That’s not to say that Terran can’t be beat, or that Terran has a low skill ceiling, it’s just that you don’t need to be particularly skilled to win. I’ve lost to several Terran players that are multitudes less skilled than me simply because of the imbalance. That isn’t whining or avoiding blame, that’s fact. I can prove it.

      There’s no singular problem that makes Terran so powerful, it’s just their overall unit and building versatility being stronger than anything from the other two races. Balancing that is quite difficult and requires an exuberant amount of knowledge of the game. Since Blizzard’s devs seem to rely mostly on statistics for their balancing, the probability of seeing a total fix for Terran imbalance before the expansions is very slim indeed. We just have to grit our teeth, or switch to Terran like several professional gamers are doing.

    • Garg says:

      My personal problem with Terrans are that as Protoss you pretty much have to go for gate + core, just in case they go reapers (unless it’s a rare game where Terran’s haven’t capped gas near the start, then you’re safe). It’s not a disaster, just cuts down on choice somewhat at the start. Stalkers are pimp anyway I suppose.

  20. Max says:

    I agree with garg, although I’m not good enough to rule out shoddy playing on my part. Whenever I see a zerg player I assume they’re going to rush, and even then most of the time I’ve barely squirted out my first zealot to block my ramp. I’m a little more confident now, and I refuse to make judgments before the patch actually hits, but it’s going to be interesting.

    • Generico says:

      1. Wall off your choke with the first 2 gates and pylons, leaving maybe one or 2 spaces open in the wall. 2. Plug the hole with zealots.
      3. Watch as zerglings turn to goo.
      4. March to victory.

    • Garg says:

      If you actually read what he’s written that’s pretty much what he does. Problem is for 6-pool rushes you can’t quite get the first zealot out in time, even when boosted. As discussed above though, you can get around it by either going for a forge + cannon, or completely walling off and going for stalkers.

  21. Kurt Lennon says:

    “Patch notes have been released”.

    False statement. ^

  22. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    Looking forward to the first real patches. Balance already feels pretty good, particularly for the Protoss and Terran. I think the Zerg could do with a little more variety in their builds and perhaps making some units slightly more viable (Ultralisks in particular,) but for the most part they seem to be alright. I also feel that a lot of the changes that will need to be made to them may not come until the first expansion, as they probably need a couple more units.

    After a game today where me and mate got destroyed by a whole lot of siege tanks, I can understand making them a little less effective. Mass Void Rays is also very powerful once there are 10+ out, but you really only have yourself to blame in that situation. A change might be in order, but not so necessary.

    As an aside, Starcraft 2 was brought up in the forums a few days ago and a couple of us thought it would be great if we could get a few RPSers together for some games. At least make a 4v4 team or, if enough people pitched in, a bit of a mini non-serious tournament. There didn’t really seem much interest though. If anyone that doesn’t look at the forums much or missed the topic likes the sound of this then pop along to the thread (think it was called “The Club of Starcrafting”,) and put your name down (or here, but probably shouldn’t hijack these comments.)

  23. bit_crusherrr says:

    Don’t get why zealots need a nerf. Proxy gates aren’t hard to stop :/

  24. DJ Phantoon says:

    Well it’s obvious you’re all experts on this here game. Is there any way to group up outside of adding everyone and their mother as a friend? If anyone would allow me to I would very much like to pick your brain because I am absolutely inept at this game.

  25. surprise says:

    Biggest news is not the balance changes.

    Biggest news is the addition of chat channels, a feature the community and players has been asking since well before the end of the beta.
    This is the really huge announcement imho :-D

  26. Longrat says:

    Still no solution for bioballs or the massive zerg underpowerment, I see.

    Oh well, here’s to the next patch, maybe that’ll fix the delicious MMM cheese?

    • Raum says:

      Err, HT’s, Collossi, Infestors, Banelings (to name a few), or just plain old same level of macro will shut down pure bio.

  27. DK says:

    It doesn’t matter what’s in the patch because they STILL HAVEN’T FIXED THE FUCKING REGION LOCKING.

    It’s shameful for the entire profession of reviewer or game journalist that you’re all just kissing Blizzards behind over meaningless tidbit patches when the standard feature since the invention of the internet is still absent.

    The Internet is GLOBAL. Do your fricking jobs and call Blizzard out on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Blizzard before all is how to make more money. So in all fairness they don’t give a fuck about their users. To be even more honest, what they have to, i mean they made millions just from Day 1 launch of SC2.

  28. EtsSpets says:

    im struggling to see why people even play Starcraft 2 s multiplayer, its the same as it was int the first. Its not even strategy its a micro management nightmare for all the sir click-a-lots out there :)

  29. Scout Patches says:

    Thanks for the information:-)

  30. Nacatak says:

    The problem with your solution to the MMM ball is that its all far higher tier then marine/marauder/medivac (or just marine/marauder with stim).

    Honestly though, the only thing grossly imbalanced with terran is marauders.

    TvP. marauders beat zealots, and they just absolutely roast stalkers so the terran easily has map control and can do whatever they want, giving them the advantage.

    TvZ, MMM ball will basically kill anything the zerg can do. But also, the terran can wall so easily once again letting the terran play his own game and everyone else has to react.

  31. Ian from Starcraft says:

    I don’t really like the idea that Siege tank is nerfed all of a sudden. I really think they should make Starcraft 2 Siege tanks more viable. The crucio shock cannon should be a force to be reckon with imo.