I had thought Blizzard were about done with big StarCraft II balance changes, or at least had decided which units should be in the game, but nope! This week they announced a load of changes for all factions in multiplayer, redesigning some units and outright removing one. Blizzard explain, “This time around our general focus is to address underused units and abilities while also trying to reduce sudden game ending moments.” The changes are now live for public testing but won’t launch properly until after the current season ends in November. They’ve got a lot to test and think about.
For starters, they’re increasing the quantity of minerals and gas available at each base location. Not by a huge amount, but enough to make comebacks slightly easier when players are denied a third or fourth base.
Onto factions! Blizzard summarise the Terran situation thusly:
“Last year Terran had a major update to its Mech arsenal. This year we are looking into adjusting MULEs to better synergize with Terran Mech, and giving them a bit more flexibly in general. We wanted to also take a look at Terran caster units and see where we could make changes to have them become more useful earlier in the game, or in smaller numbers. In general, we also wanted to improve some under used options and reduce sudden game ending tactics.”
This includes removing and replacing all the Raven’s abilities, reimagining it yet again.
As for those mopey space elves:
“With Protoss we are looking into smoothing out control of certain units within the Protoss arsenal. Especially in regards to their core splash damage options with the High Templar, Colossus and Disruptor. We also wanted to take another look at the early game defenses of Protoss, especially the ubiquitous Mothership Core, and seeing if we could make these defenses revolve more around the basic Protoss early game units. Since these changes are quite large we will be keeping a close eye on how they all work out.”
They’re removing the Mothership Core entirely as a unit. The Nexus picks up its Mass Recall ability, at least, but bye bye Core.
And as for the squishy lot:
“Since last year’s update, we have seen a number of new strategies and tactics come from the Zerg. This time around we are looking into encouraging more direct interaction with Creep spread from Zerg specialist units and wanted to increase the utility of the Lurker. Additionally we want to look into experimenting with Zerg ground based anti-air options outside of the Queen and Hydralisk. Looking forward as the testing progresses, we want to make sure that Zerg has enough aggressive options before late game so that Zerg players don’t feel heavily pressured into only defensive play.”
Hit Blizzard’s blog post for full details on everything. They do stress that this is “a first pass”, and that “Things may look very different as testing goes on with numbers changing, new changes being added or other areas being rolled back.”