StarCraft II: Abathur Goes Co-Op Commander In 3.3.0

As someone who writes a lot about esports it feels weird how strange and incomprehensible I still find StarCraft and StarCraft II [official site]. I can sort of follow them but the intricacies are lost on me so I am mainly covering this Legacy of the Void [official site] 3.3 patch about co-op missions and the like because the gif on the site makes it look like Abathur is taking to the stage to deliver a talk about sales figures or something.


So! The patch involves Abathur as a co-op commander:

In creating Abathur, we wanted to provide a Commander for players who wanted to play Zerg without having to rely on a Hero unit being on the battlefield. Additionally, we wanted to ensure that we fulfilled the unique fantasy elements for which Abathur is so well-known.

To do this, we’ve equipped Abathur with some very powerful abilities and upgrades that augment the strength of his units on the battlefield. In addition, we’ve added an entirely new Evolution mechanic that is available exclusively to Abathur. Through Evolution, Abathur can use the Biomass of fallen foes to spin new essences into his units to make them even more powerful. Thanks to this relentless pursuit of perfection, Abathur will give you access to the most powerful units you’ve ever used in Co-op Missions, and with them, you will wreak whatever havoc you deign necessary.

There are more details in a dedicated blog entry if you’re interested in trying him out. Skimming it as a novice it seems to be about corpse acquisition, so Abathur is basically an insecty Victor Frankenstein?

The patch notes then say wondrous things like “Each week, players can queue for the Weekly Mutation” and “Fixed an issue where Karax was inadvertently generating extra energy while Chrono Wave was active” and “Malignant Creep Tumor has had its sight radius slightly reduced”.

3.3.0 also brings emoticons to chat. They have the poop emoji and a flexing arm amongst the basic pack, but owning the SC2 expansions will widen your pictogram library to include things like a zerg heart and a photon cannon.

Other highlights from my reading of the various notes and subnotes include Raynor’s hair being repaired (“Fixed an issue where Raynor’s hair could sometimes display placeholder art on certain settings”), something they should have called Careless Whisper (“Fixed an issue where players could receive the “you missed a whisper” notification after a player interacts with the Whisper”) and an answer to the problem of levitating dead bodies (“Fixed an issue when using Vorazun’s Time Stop ability and killing an enemy could result in floating corpses”).

Full patch note log is here. It’ll launch today for North America but other regions may vary. The patch itself is free of charge but unlocking Abathur will cost you $4.99.

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Top comments

  1. Deano2099 says:

    I enjoyed the GIF

    "Imagine a world where the hive was so efficient we could harvest our enemy's biomass. What if told you that world was closer than you think?"
  1. DThor says:

    Starcraft is one of those things I feel I ought to like but don’t. Got the whole lot on sale a while back, sat down to play and rapidly came to the conclusion that’s it’s like ping pong. It’s starts off like I’d expect but quickly turns into how fast you can hammer keys. I’m sure once you devote a significant amount of your life to it the key hammer thing melds into the infinite and like the Karate Kid you are at one with Starcraft, but meh.

    • ikehaiku says:

      It’s a set of mind I guess. I don’t know, to me it’s so mechanically driven that I find it really easy to get into it (even without crazy APMs), when I just can’t get more than a lucky kill in anything FPS, or usually dislike any “twitchy” gameplay.

      Of course, this is mainly for MP – the campaign (and Co-Op missions) are manageable in hard difficulty using only the mouse – and are so in brutal even with my 40 old APMs (70 APMs with the “new-way-to-count-since-LOTV APMs)

      BTW – I urge anyone who might struggle to give the “grid” hotkeys layout a try, (and de-activing the “simple command-card setting”) that makes much sense, even as a beginner, since everything will be laid-out on your leftmost 12 keys (q to v) and will nicely correspond to the command card on screen.

    • Arkayjiya says:

      I don’t really think it requires mashing keys unless you’re going for diamond and higher (and even less so in every other game modes). Below that, you can get away with a ridiculously low APM and a very good understanding of the game’s mechanics plus an impeccable macro (which doesn’t require mashing up anything).

  2. Deano2099 says:

    Might be worth mentioning the patch is free but Abathur is a $5 DLC.

    • Philippa Warr says:

      Cheers, had managed to miss that. Have updated.

      • Deano2099 says:

        It’s kinda interesting how buried that info is actually. I only looked for it as I vaguely remembered them saying that future commanders would be paid DLC. Most other companies would lead with the paid product…

  3. Deano2099 says:

    I enjoyed the GIF

    “Imagine a world where the hive was so efficient we could harvest our enemy’s biomass. What if told you that world was closer than you think?”

  4. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    The co-op for SC2 was a really pleasant surprise. I particularly like how it seemed that the game would only ever pair you with someone using a different commander, ensuring variety in each match. I’ll probably wait a few days to pick up Abathur since everyone else will be using him, but it sounds like a good excuse to jump back in with a hero I haven’t used or, thanks to the expanded leveling, one of my favorites that I’ve already maxed out.