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It's time for another anniversary, and this time it's StarCraft 2 that's celebrating with in-game goodies! We're getting a cake profile portrait, double the co-op XP and, most importantly, fireworks and banners upon command center/nexus/hatchery completion! So happy birthday to SC2 and let's get in there and get those great rewards and harvest that XP bonus until July 30th!
8th Anniversary (source)
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been eight years since the release of Wings of Liberty. Eight years of the most amazing esports moments. Eight years of the most passionate and hardest working gamers in the world.
To celebrate our anniversary, we’re giving away a yummy cake portrait to every player who plays one game during the promotion. StarCraft II demands a lot of brainpower so enjoy some sugar while earning ladder points.
In-game, the workers are joining in on the celebration, but instead of wearing hats or stuffing their bodies with glitter, they will proudly fly banners and launch fireworks every time they complete a base structure. Party supply rental fees are costly in the future, however, so the signs will come down after some time.
And finally, as a thank you for everyone who has continued to support StarCraft II, we’re activating a 100% bonus to the base experience gained in Co-op commanders and for leveling up individual races in Versus. Now is a great time to max out Commanders or earn levels for your off races.
The celebration begins today and lasts until July 30 so don’t wait to jump in and celebrate StarCraft II’s birthday. As always, thank you for your continued passion and love for the game.
Not much to say here, as this minor patch changes Kerrigan's Mutalisk upgrade and adds a bunch of bug fixes for co-op missions and versus mode.
Kerrigan’s Mutalisk upgrade Severing Glave has been reworked. Will now remove the damage penalty from each bounce but will no longer increase its damage. No longer provides 100% bonus damage to armored units. Bug Fixes
Nova: Fixed the Nuke and Holo Decoy Cooldown Mastery tooltip to correctly read it decreases cooldowns by 3 seconds per point. Raynor: Fixed an issue that caused the Research Resource Cost Mastery to not function correctly. Zagara Fixed an issue that caused Banelings from the Baneling nest and Banelings morphed from Zerglings to not benefit from the Baneling Attack Damage Mastery. Fixed an issue that caused the Scourge’s Virulent Spores upgrade to not function. Dead of Night: Chokers will once again use their choking ability. Cradle of Death Fixed an exploit that allowed Alarak to be unkillable on Cradle of Death. Fixed an issue where units could get transported under Stone’s Transport Compound and become trapped. Stone’s Transport Compound can no longer be cloaked. Fixed several incorrect icons for Co-op units. Versus
The Renegade Missile Turret now has a burning animation. Fixed an issue that sometimes caused Widow Mines using the Special Forces skin to display a slower than normal burrow animation. Removed the ‘Attack’ and ‘Stop’ commands from Pylons in the hotkeys menu. The Anion Pulse Crystals upgrade no longer shows an internal string when using the Wings of Liberty expansion level. A Widow Mine using the Mira’s Marauders skin now shows the burrow particle effect. Previous patch notes.
We've already had a more in-depth preview of the new co-op map and commander changes coming with next week's patch, and today we're getting the full patch notes! In addition to the previously announced changes and additions we're getting a new Russian announcer, a few more commander tweaks, editor improvements and a new neutral structure, as well a whole lot of bug fixes.
New Russian Announcer: Alex007 Caster Oleksii “Alex007” Trushliakov rose through the ranks of his local Ukrainian esports scene to achieve renown in the global StarCraft II community. Now you can have Alex007 narrate your own battles in the Koprulu sector, drawing on all the insight he’s gathered from his years as a StarCraft journalist, commentator, manager, and tournament organizer. The Zergling, Overlord, and Roach will now alternate between their normal and upgraded forms when viewing their skins. CO-OP MISSIONS
New Co-op Mission: Cradle of Death Inspired by one of the top placing entries in Rock the Cabinet, created by 'TheSkunk' Learn more about the new mission in our blog. Alarak
War Prisms now drop their cargo if they are destroyed. Abathur, Kerrigan, Zagara
Pneumatized Carapace research cost decreased from 100/100 to 50/50. Overlords with the Ventral Sacs upgrade now drop their cargo if they are destroyed. Abathur, Kerrigan, Stukov, Zagara
After Pneumatized Carapace is researched, Overlord movement speed increased to 3.38, up from 1.88. After Pneumatized Carapace is researched, Overlord acceleration increased from 1.0625 to 2.125. Kerrigan
Omega Worms are now detectors. Resource Drops from Assimilation Aura can now be picked up by air units. Mutalisk range increased from 3 to 5. The Mutalisk's Vicious Glaive will now increase each Glaive's search radius from 3 to 5. It previously increased it to 4. The Mutalisk's Sundering Glaive upgrade renamed to the Severing Glaive upgrade. Each subsequent bounce of the Mutalisk's attack now deals 10% additional damage. Brood Lords will now always attack with two Broodlings, up from two with the first attack and one with each subsequent attack. The Porous Cartilage upgrade now increases the acceleration of Brood Lords from 1.0625 to 1.875 in addition to the current functionality. Prolonged Mutating Carapace Mastery replaced with Primary Ability Damage and Attack Speed Mastery. Increases the damage of Kerrigan's Leaping Strike and Psionic Shift and Kerrigan's attack speed by 1% per point, up to a maximum of 30%. Zagara
Zagara's Respawn time decreased from 120 seconds to 60 seconds. Medusa Blades damage increased from 10 damage to 50% of Zagara's weapon damage. Mass Frenzy Cooldown decreased from 120 seconds to 90 seconds. Sustained Frenzy Mastery replaced with Intensified Frenzy Mastery. Increases the attack and movement speed bonuses given by 1.5% per point up to a maximum of 45%. Roaches from Infested Drop movement speed increased from 2.25 to 3. Zerg Melee Attacks upgrades renamed to Zerg Ground Attacks. This upgrade now benefits Zagara's Queens, Hunter Killers, and Roaches in addition to its current functionality. Banelings now receive +4 (+8 vs Structures) damage with each Zerg Ground Attack, up from +4 (+5 vs Structures). Scourge now receive +11 damage for each Flyer Attack upgrade, up from +5. Zagara's Level 1 talent, Relentless Swarmer, now reduces the supply of Queens from 2 to 1 in addition to its current functionality. Zagara's Zergling Evasion percent chance increased from 0.5% to 1.5%. Maximum bonuses increased from 15% to 45%. The Abberation's Protective Cover now reduces all damage dealt to units under its cover by 50%. Abberation now receive +2(+4 vs armored) damage with each Zerg Ground attack, up from +2(+3 vs armored). Zagara's level 8 upgrade, Incubate Banelings renamed to Incubate Banelings and Scourge. Now has the following additional functionality: Corruptors spawn 2 Scourge when killed. The damage bonus provided by Corruption is increased from 20% to 35%. Corruption cooldown decreased from 45 to 15. Corruptor damage changed from 14 (20 vs Massive) to 14 (28 vs Armored). Corruptors now receive +1 (+3 vs Armored) damage for each Flyer Attack upgrade, changed from +1 (+2 vs Massive). Corruptor movement speed increased from 2.9531 to 3.375. Corruptor acceleration speed increased from 2.625 to 3. Corruptor Parasite Spore weapon damage point changed from .1670 to .0625. The Bile Launchers' Bombardment ability has been reworked. Now constantly bombards a target area repeatedly instead of only attacking it once per command. Bile Launchers can now target areas in the fog of war. The Bile Launcher's Artillery Ducts upgrade now provides 9 additional range (22 total), up from 7 (20 total.) Baneling Spawn cargo space reduced from 2 to 1. Nova
Hellbat Ranger HP increased from 345 to 550. Hellion Ranger HP increased from 230 to 300. Research Jump Jet Assault cost increased from 50/50 to 75/75. Jump Jet Assault research time increased from 30 to 45. Jump Jet Assault stun duration increased from 0.5 seconds to 2 seconds. Jump Jet Assault now provides Hellbat Rangers +4 armor for 5 seconds in addition to its current functionality. Jump Jet Assault is now an autocast ability with a cooldown of 5 seconds, up from 0 seconds. Jump Jet Assault range decreased from 6 to 3. The Marauder Commando's Magrail Munitions ability damage increased from 45 to 90. Covert Banshee cost decreased from 750/500 to 700/375. The Covert Banshee's Rocket Barrage is reworked to be an autocast ability. Rocket Barrage range increased from 6 to 7. Rocket Barrage damage decreased from 150 to 75. Rocket Barrage cooldown decreased from 60 to 15. Nuke and Holo Decoy Cooldown Mastery bonuses increased from 1 second (30 total) per point to 3 seconds per point (90 seconds total). Nova's Attack Speed Mastery replaced with Nova Primary Ability Improvement Mastery. Now increases the ability damage and absorption of Nova's primary abilities by 1.67% per point, up to a maximum of 50%. Abilities affected include Snipe, Sabotage Drone, Penetrating Blast, and Blink. EDITOR
New neutral structure added: Renegade Missile Turret The RMT is hostile to all players on the map. Its location will be visible on the mini-map at all times, until destroyed Has the same stats as the Terran Missile Turret. Can be destroyed like any other building. Must be set to Player 15 in the Editor to function properly. Dev Comment: We’re adding the Renegade Missile Turret as a new tool for melee map-makers. Like Xel’naga towers, gold minerals, and destructible rocks, we’re looking forward to the creative ways this structure can be used and will be used in future map-making contests.
Added various trigger and galaxy natives to get and compare the date and time a game is being played. Convert DateTime To Integer Convert Integer To DateTime Convert DateTime To String Convert String To DateTime Current DateTime Initial DateTime Get DateTime Year Get DateTime Month Get DateTime Day Get DateTime Hour Get DateTime Minute Get DateTime Second Get DateTime Weekday Index Synchronous Game Start Time Current Synchronous Game Time Get Current Day of Week DateTime is Before DateTime is After DateTime is Between Get Weekday From DateTime Get Month From DateTime DateTime is Weekend DateTime is Morning DateTime is Afternoon DateTime is Evening Format DateTime as String Data Editor Added a “Rate Multiplier” field to Weapons, Behaviors and Create Persist Effects. Weapons – Allows you to adjust weapon attack speed by percentage. Behaviors and Create Persist Effects – adjusting the executing rate of periodic effects. BUG FIXES
The Adept portrait now displays the correct colored textures in the Legacy of the Void campaign. Co-op
Reworked the way in which attack speed is applied in Co-op so that attack speed bonuses should now correctly interact with each other. Fixed a bug where Artanis and Karax's Mirages were not benefiting from the Anion Pulse Crystal Upgrade. Fixed a bug where Swann's Laser Drill Mastery was reducing build times by too much. Shield Overcharge will now display on Han and Horner's Reapers when they switch modes. Volatile Infested now show their timed life duration bar under normal "Show Unit Life Bar" settings. Fixed an issue where Abathur’s biomass and Dehaka’s essence were appearing larger than intended.Mist Opportunities Removed a large number of air pathing blockers to allow air units an easier time to navigate the map. Terrain under Bonus Objective buildings no longer clips into the Terrazine Extractors
Alarak The Mothership no longer receives attack bonuses from his Combat Unit Attack Speed Mastery. Alarak can no longer restore Health by absorbing Kerrigan's resources drops from Assimilation Aura. Artanis The Shield Overcharge effect will now display on Han and Horner's Reaper when it uses Jet Pack Overdrive. Fixed a bug where canceling Orbital Strike sometimes refunded too much energy. Dehaka Player Decals will now properly follow Primal Hives when they uproot and move. Fixed a bug where some buildings had too high box selection priority. Allies will no longer hear Tyrannozors being made. Nova Allies no longer hear Ghost and Goliath unit creation voice over. Nova's level 15 talent now correctly allows her to become invulnerable when switching from Assault Mode to Stealth Mode. Build Missile Turret no longer displays an internal string on the Requirements field. Raynor Calldowns now properly receive attack bonuses from Mercenary Munitions. Battlecruisers can no longer target Yamato Cannon on friendly units. Fixed a bug where Battlecruisers were able to attack both air and ground targets at the same time. Putting any points into Raynor's "Mech Attack Speed" mastery no longer causes the units from Raynor's Calldowns to lose the attack speed bonus from Raynor's Level 15 talent. Zagara Scourge no longer bypass armor when damaging units. Fixed an issue that caused the heath value and time duration for Zagara's respawn to not be in sync. Editor
Setting an actor’s Visibility Shape no longer causes it to disappear.
Darkness Sanctuary Fixed an issue where selection circles would not appear when a unit or building was on creep on a certain doodad. Fixed an issue where enemy units could be seen across Line of Sight Blockers at certain locations. Thors using the Collector’s Edition skin will no longer momentarily crouch when switching to High Impact Payload. The Lurker Den will now display the correct build animation. Enemy Broodlord’s attack impact effects are no longer visible through the fog of war. Units that are recalled while being detected by the Sensor Tower will no longer display their recalled location for the enemy player. Spine Crawlers and Spore Crawlers can now immediately receive move commands after they uproot instead of having to wait a brief moment. Overseers and Observers can now immediately receive move commands after they change modes instead of having to wait a brief moment. UI
Fixed an issue where items that were on sale would not show the discounted price. French – The ‘New Premium Maps’ sub-tab button is no longer cut off. Previous patch notes.
The latest StarCraft 2 patch is coming next week and it brings a ton of co-op goodness! Cradle of Death is the biggest addition, a new co-op map inspired by a fan creation and focusing on controllable escort targets, new units and a big explosion at the end. We're also getting some reworks on three co-op commanders, namely Nova, Zagara and Kerrigan and you can check all the details below.
Cradle of Death (source)
Dominion forces sent their ghost operative, Stone, to investigate a Moebius Corps installation near several colony worlds. What he found was a massive battle station secured by mysterious technology. With further scouting, he realized that the xel'naga artifacts hidden within the station can cause its systems to malfunction—resulting in spectacular explosions. However, Stone will need assistance from commanders and their armies to help transport all of the artifacts. If he fails, the battle station will fire on the colony worlds—ensuring their total destruction.
Cradle of Death is an all new Co-op Mission coming with the release of Patch 4.4.0. We wanted to give you a preview of the mission, which is an adaptation of one of the top-placing entries of our Co-op edition of Rock the Cabinet. Inspired by the original work of Justin “TheSkunk” Purdy, Cradle of Death challenges you to disable a battle station by overloading its systems with xel’naga artifacts. Unique to this mission is your ability to control the vehicles that you have to escort into heavily fortified bases. Once both commanders deploy the artifact trucks, a chain reaction will occur, resulting in a massive explosion, wiping out anything in the area. Make sure to clear your army out in time!
Of course, Amon won’t make things easy for you. Not only will he launch attacks against your base, he’ll directly target your vehicles while doing so. Periodically, units will rain down near your trucks and attempt to destroy them, and giant, indestructible constructs will block your path and deal massive damage to units who come too close. Fortunately, your artifact truck has the power to disable the constructs’ weapons and make them vulnerable to attack.
Cradle of Death will be released in Patch 4.4.0, coming out next week. You’ll also be able to enjoy the balance changes coming to Nova, Kerrigan, and Zagara. Good luck, Commanders!
Co-op commander reworks:
Nova, Kerrigan and Zagara (source 1, 2, 3)
Hey all! It’s time to talk about a fan favorite Commander, Nova. As we mentioned in the last Community feedback post, we feel that Nova is in a good place right now, so the changes to her kit won’t be as drastic as some of the other revamps we’ve done. That said, we’re optimistic about how these changes will play out.
Hellbat Ranger HP increased from 345 to 550 Hellion Ranger HP increased from 230 to 300 Jump Jet Assault stun duration increased from 0.5 seconds to 2 seconds
Hellbat variants have historically been some of our most underperforming units, and Nova’s Hellbat Rangers are no exception. We’re making changes that increase their survivability in both modes as a result. With these changes, Hellbat Rangers will hopefully perform more adequately in their role as an anti-light melee tank.
The Marauder Commando's Magrail Munitions ability damage increased from 45 to 90.
We think the Marauder Commando is robust unit overall, but his Magrail Munitions ability is a bit underwhelming as far as burst damage goes.
The Covert Banshee's Rocket Barrage ability cooldown decreased from 60 seconds to 30 seconds.
We’d like to adjust the Covert Banshee so as to help it become more competitive with other similar anti-ground units, such as the Heavy Tank and Raid Liberator. We hope that Covert Banshees will be a more powerful mobile anti-ground option once these changes go into effect.
Nuke and Holo Decoy Cooldown Mastery bonuses increased from 1 second per point to 3 seconds per point. Maximum bonus increased from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. Nova's Attack Speed Mastery replaced with Nova Attack Damage Mastery. This new Mastery increases Nova's damage by 1 per point, up to a maximum of 30.
As with many other Mastery changes we’ve made in the past, we’re adjusting some numbers and functionality so that these options are more viable relative to their alternatives.
Again, this wasn’t as significant an update as the few that preceded it, but we think that speaks to how varied Nova’s options already are. Give us your feedback—we’ll be back next week to talk aboutKerrigan!
NOVA + KERRIGAN
Hi all. Last week, we revealed our planned changes for Nova and heard a lot of solid feedback. We value your carefully thought-out feedback and thus will be making the following adjustments to Nova’s kit.
Jump Jet Assault now provides Hellbat Rangers +4 armor for 5 seconds in addition to its current functionality. Jump Jet Assault is now an autocast ability with a cooldown of 5 seconds, up from 0 seconds. Jump Jet Assault maximum range decreased from 6 to 3.
We heard some feedback that Hellbat Rangers would still be likely to die after they use their Jump Jet Assault ability and we’d like to address this in a variety of ways. First, we’ll be adding armor to Hellbat Rangers when they use their Jump Jet Assault ability so that they’ll be more durable and even more able to utilize their newly increased HP.
We’ll also be adding a cooldown to the ability and reducing the ability’s range. With these changes, we hope that they’ll stay closer together with your army and won’t jump outside the range of Defensive Drones. Hopefully both these changes will allow Jump Jet Assault to feel more like an ability you’ll always want to research.
Covert Banshee cost decreased from 750/500 to 700/375. The Covert Banshee's Rocket Barrage is reworked to be an autocast ability. Rocket Barrage damage decreased from 150 to 75. Rocket Barrage cooldown decreased from 60 to 15. Rocket Barrage range increased from 6 to 7. Covert Banshee selection priority decreased.
We’ll be looking to take a completely different direction with Covert Banshees than what we initially proposed. First, gas cost was cited as a primary reason for why players chose alternatives such as Heavy Tanks or Raid Liberators. Thus, we’d like to slightly tweak the gas cost such that they won’t be so much of a drain on gas anymore.
Next, players indicated that they’d like a more a-move friendly alternative to the micro-heavy Heavy Tanks or Raid Liberators. As such, we’ve reworked Rocket Barrage to be an autocast ability and will be attempting to balance its numbers around this new functionality.
Nova's Attack Speed Mastery replaced with Nova Primary Ability Improvement Mastery. This new Mastery has the following functionality: Increases the ability damage of Nova's primary abilities by 1.67% per point, up to a maximum of 50%. This new Mastery will affect the following abilities:
Snipe damage from to 200 to 300. Sabotage Drone damage from 200(400 vs Structures) to 300(600 vs Structures). Penetrating Blast damage from 50(100 vs Light) to 75(150 vs Light). Blink shield damage absorption from 200 to 300.
This was a cool suggestion we found for an alternative to a Nova attack speed or attack damage Mastery. Nova is more of an ability-focused heroic unit rather than an auto-attacking heroic unit, so we’d like to try to lean into this a bit more. For players who prefer to focus more attention on Nova herself rather than her army, this Mastery is perfect for you.
We’d also like to point out that this Mastery also happens to synergize well with other aspects of Nova’s kit, such as Operational Efficiency, and Nova’s Energy Regeneration Mastery.
This week, we’ll also delve into changes we’d like to make for another Psionic specialist, Kerrigan. Kerrigan is fairly well-rounded and powerful commander, but as some have noted, her Spire units may leave a bit to be desired. Our changes will focus on these Spires units, but first…
Omega Worms are now detectors.
This was a commonly requested feature that will allow the Omega Worm to be an alternative for Overseers as a form of detection. Ground-based armies will now be able to rely on Omega Worms for detection while air-based armies can continue relying on Overseers.
Resource Drops from Assimilation Aura can now be picked up by air units.
This is a small quality of life changes to help out mass-air armies. Like Abathur’s Biomass and Part & Parcel’s Parts, Kerrigan will now be able to pick up resource drops with any of her units.
Mutalisk range increased from 3 to 5. The Mutalisk's Vicious Glave will now increase each Glave's search radius from 3 to 5. It previously increased it to 4. The Mutalisk's Sundering Glave upgrade renamed to the Severing Glave upgrade. It now has the following additional functionality: Each subsequent bounce of the Mutalisk's attack now increases the damage dealt by 10% instead of reducing it.
Mutalisks are challenging to balance for a co-op audience, because like Wraiths, there were initially designed as harassment units to be used in a Versus mode. In addition, both Swann and Kerrigan share the problem of owning another unit on the ground that fulfills a similar role, the Goliath and Hydralisk respectively.
Our solution is as follows: as with the changes we’ve made to Swann’s Wraiths, we’ll be looking to lean into the Mutalisk’s harassment fantasy as much as possible. The changes we’re thinking of for the Mutalisk are designed to allow players to hit-and-run enemies near the outskirts of their maximum range. Hopefully, when players use Mutalisks in this fashion, they’ll be able to deal massive amounts of damage without taking much in return. That being said, they’ll still be as fragile as ever, so a-moving into combat is not advised!
Brood Lords respawn 2 Broodlings with each attack, up from 1.
Brood Lords are one of the most powerful units in the Versus mode, but since they don’t have too many bonuses in Co-op, they haven’t translated so well to the mode. Currently, Brood Lords fire 2 Broodlings with their initial attack and then only 1 Broodling with each subsequent attack. After the proposed change, Brood Lords will consistently fire 2 Broodlings at a time, keeping up their Broodling output, instilling constant maximum chaos throughout the enemy ranks.
The Porous Cartilage upgrade now increases the acceleration of Brood Lords from 1.0625 to 1.875 in addition to the current functionality.
Brood Lords also currently feel a bit unresponsive after their speed upgrade because their base acceleration stays the same. After this change, Brood Lords will reach their top speed faster and slow to a complete stop to fire more responsively.
Prolonged Mutating Carapace Mastery replaced with Primary Ability Damage and Attack Speed Mastery. The Primary Ability Damage Mastery increases the damage of Kerrigan's Leaping Strike and Psionic Shift and Kerrigan's attack speed by 1% per point, up to a maximum of 30%.
The Prolonged Mutating Carapace Mastery was designed to allow players who wanted to focus on Kerrigan’s heroic unit to have more power and fun. However, it ran into a few issues. First, it was difficult to communicate to players exactly what it did as Mutating Carapace is relatively complex to explain. In addition, it’s up against one of the most powerful masteries in the game, Expeditious Evolutions.
Thus, we gave ourselves a challenge to redesign the Mastery so that it improved Kerrigan’s heroic unit in a visible and powerful way, which could compete against Expeditious Evolutions given the right situations and playstyle. The Mastery we came up with increases Kerrigan’s damage output in a variety of ways and will synergize with both of Kerrigan’s Set 1 Masteries (Kerrigan Energy Regeneration and Kerrigan Attack Damage). It’s one of the most powerful Hero-based Masteries we’ve ever designed and hopefully will stand some chance against Expeditious Evolutions.
There is debate among Co-op communities regarding whether Kerrigan or Dehaka is the most powerful heroic unit in the game and from what we’ve seen, Dehaka seems to be winning out lately. Maybe this Mastery is exactly what Kerrigan needs to allow her to compete once again?
Though the changes for Kerrigan are few, we think they’ll be especially impactful, especially for Spire players. And though we’re very excited for Nova and Kerrigan changes, we’re even more excited for upcoming Zagara changes that we’ll be ready to share next week. The number of changes for Zagara will rival what we’ve done in the past for Han & Horner and Fenix and will encompass almost her entire kit. See you next week!
ZAGARA + ALL ZERG COMMANDERS
Hey everyone! Much like the changes we’ve made to other commanders, our goals with Zagara include providing buffs to some of her more underwhelming units. We’d also like to encourage a greater variety of playstyles beyond the “mass suicidal units” approach that is currently very popular among Zagara players. Before we get started on Zagara, though, we’d like to go over some changes will be making to Zerg Overlords.
Overlords: All Zerg commanders
Pneumatized Carapace research cost decreased from 100/100 to 50/50. Overlords with the Ventral Sacs upgrade now drop their cargo if they are destroyed. After Pneumatized Carapace is researched, Overlord movement speed increased to 3.38, up from 1.88. After Pneumatized Carapace is researched, Overlord acceleration increased from 1.0625 to 2.125. Baneling Spawn cargo space reduced from 2 to 1.
These overall buffs to Overlords are primarily designed to encourage more drop play, especially in combination with Banelings. We imagine that this style can be especially useful when facing specific enemy compositions that are powerful against ground units, but lack significant anti-air capabilities. While we don’t imagine Drop Overlords will be as useful with other Commanders, we’d still like to extend the change to encourage drops overall.
Zagara's Respawn time decreased from 120 seconds to 60 seconds.
We’d like to adjust Zagara’s respawn time to be consistent with other Commanders’ heroes.
Medusa Blades damage increased from a flat 10 to 50% of Zagara's weapon damage.
Medusa Blades was a bit underwhelming, previously dealing 10 damage to two targets. With this change, Medusa Blades will deal a minimum of 15 damage and will also scale with Zagara’s attack damage Mastery.
Sustained Frenzy Mastery replaced with Intensified Frenzy Mastery. Its new functionality increases the attack and movement speed bonuses granted by 1.5% per point, up to a maximum of 45%. Mass Frenzy Cooldown decreased from 120 seconds to 90 seconds.
We received feedback that the Sustained Frenzy Mastery wasn’t particularly useful in some cases because battles involving Zagara often did not go on past Mass Frenzy’s original 15 second duration. To remedy this, we’ll be adjusting this Mastery to increase the effectiveness of Mass Frenzy instead of increasing the effect’s duration. If players opt for this Mastery, they’ll feel extremely powerful when using it, as it will now have a much more noticeable effect. Not only will it help non-suicidal units shred their foes, it’ll also help your Banelings and Scourge close in on enemies.
Movement speed of Roaches from Infested Drop increased from 2.25 to 3.
We thought that Roaches coming from an “ultimate level” ability should have their speed upgrade built in.
Zerg Melee Attacks upgrades renamed to Zerg Ground Attacks. This upgrade now benefits Zagara's Queens, Hunter Killers, and Roaches, in addition to its current functionality. Banelings now receive +4 damage (+8 vs. Structures) with each Zerg Ground Attack, up from +4 (+5 vs. Structures). Scourge now receive +11 damage for each Flyer Attack upgrade, up from +5.
We’ll be adjusting upgrades so that Zagara’s ranged units also get benefits from her attack upgrades, allowing her to scale a bit better going into the late game. In addition, we’d like to uncap the bonuses Zagara’s suicidal units receive from attack upgrades, partially because some players felt that Flyer upgrades were not as effective as simply building additional Scourge.
Zagara's Level 1 talent, Relentless Swarmer, now reduces the supply of Queens from 2 to 1, in addition to its current functionality.
We felt that Queens were a bit too supply-intensive given Zagara’s 100 supply cap.
Zagara's Zergling Evasion percent chance increased from 0.5% to 1.5%. Maximum bonuses increased from 15% to 45%.
Zergling Evasion Mastery felt underwhelming, so we’re hoping this substantial improvement helps it compete with Baneling Damage Mastery. We want this change to very explicitly highlight a key decision point for players: whether to go for a more suicidal army or a more sustainable one.
The Abberation's Protective Cover has been reworked. Its new functionality reduces all damage dealt to units under its cover by 50%. Abberation now receive +2 damage (+4 vs. armored) with each Zerg Ground attack, up from +2 (+3 vs. armored).
The Protective Cover change will allow units underneath Abberations to not only better survive normal damage, but also splash and spell damage. It’s also a significant improvement from the previous iteration of the build, which merely granted +2 armor to units under its protection.
Corruptor movement speed increased from 2.9531 to 3.375. Corruptor acceleration speed increased from 2.625 to 3. Corruptor Parasite Spore weapon damage point changed from .1670 to .0625.
First, we wanted to bring the Corruptor’s stats up to those found in the Versus mode. These changes allow the Corruptor to feel more responsive, and although we don’t think these changes will have as much of an effect in Co-op, it seems like a positive change overall.
Corruptor damage changed from 14 (20 vs. Massive) to 14 (28 vs. Armored). Corruptors now receive +1(+3 vs Armored) damage for each Flyer Attack upgrade, changed from +1 (+2 vs. Massive).
In the versus mode, vs. Massive damage is significant because it allows Corruptors to be specialized and counter a very specific subset of units. In the Co-op mode, it’s more important to fulfill multiple roles, so we’ll be extending the Corruptor’s bonus damage so that it’ll be effective against armored units as well.
The damage bonus provided by Corruption is increased from 20% to 35%. Corruption cooldown decreased from 45 to 15.
Corruption doesn’t translate well from Versus to Co-op because fights in Co-op are much more frequent. As a result, we’ve adjusted some of the numbers so that it fits the mode better.
Zagara's level 8 upgrade, Incubate Banelings, has been renamed to Incubate Banelings and Scourge. It now has the following additional functionality: Corruptors spawn 2 Scourge when killed.
And here’s the big one. Corruptors will now behave like an aerial version of Abberations in that they’ll now drop suicidal units on death. We hope this will increase the power level of Corruptors in a big way, while still feeling true to the Commander’s theme.
The Bile Launchers' Bombardment ability has been reworked. It will now bombard a target area repeatedly instead of attacking it only once per command. Bile Launchers can now target areas in the fog of war. The Bile Launcher's Artillery Ducts upgrade now provides 9 additional range, up from 7. Maximum range after the upgrade increased from 20 to 22.
The biggest complaint we heard about Bile Launchers was that, despite their power, they demanded an exorbitant degree of micro and attention to use effectively. We decided to add some automated functionality to the building in response to this. With this change, Bile Launchers should now work especially well on maps that continuously spawn hordes of infested units, such as Dead of Night and Miner Evacuation.
Whew! And with that, we’re done with all the Co-op balance changes we’re aiming to make in the upcoming patch. As always, let us know what you think; we look forward to chatting again soon!
Co-op Commander Designer
A small patch has arrived featuring a few bug fixes for the UI and Versus, but we also got new maps for Season 2 that started recently and the new season also brought along a free name change!
A new Ultralisk trophy top has been added for the new season. Bug Fixes
Fixed an issue that caused several Melee maps to display in English instead of the language of the region. The APM indicator will no longer display for Observers using the WCS 3.0 Overlay aiming the player camera on players using custom console skins with the APM indicator. Versus
If a worker is rallied to a mineral patch that is mined out, the way point will no longer be removed. Mass Recall and Strategic Recall will no longer teleport units that are in the process of warping in.
New Season 2 maps (source)
The eight new maps that we’re adding to the second season of 2018 are now live on the Versus ladder. StarCraft 2 streamer Austin “Neuro” Filsinger—a true student of the game on a never-ending path of mindfulness and mastery—was cool enough to offer us his thoughts on each map. Check out Neuro on Twitter and on Twitch.
This map is a retro red vs. blue digital landscape with several unique components. There is an expansion right in your base as well as destructible rocks at your second expansion that allow for both aggressive and conservative play styles.
Neuro: Three bases can be defended by a single choke, similar to Backwater, but the opening on 16-Bit is much wider. More opportunities to attack become available as soon as a fifth base is being taken. With few destructible rocks and open spaces in the midfield, this map looks particularly appealing for Zerg. Fancy plays could involve stealing the opponent's high ground main location by using drops or Nydus when the enemy army is out of position on low ground. The aesthetic is interesting, and gameplay should feel fairly close to what we consider “standard.”
This diagonally-mirrored map utilizes all four corners, while being relatively small with a shorter rush distance. Collapsible rocks give players the option to divert the attack path. When one rock is taken down, both collapse.
Neuro: While not particularly long in rush distance, the combination of rocks, grass, and walls in the midfield makes Dreamcatcher LE a fairly good defensive map in the early/mid game. The main base has a wide-open cliff that’s vulnerable to air attacks, and the multitude of expansion options can create diverse late game developments. Watch out for proxy in the far corner of your main—there's a lot of real estate there. There may be some unique strategies to explore here that don't work quite as well on more typical maps.
This map has chokepoints and attack paths with varied sizes and widths. Using the appropriate ones at the right time can be critical. Players can break the central rocks to switch lanes faster in the game’s later stages.
Neuro: Reminiscent of Cloud Kingdom both in color and with the presence of winding plateaus, Lost and Found LE rewards keen awareness of high and low ground, which is key to taking favorable fights in the midfield. Both players get five bases within a fairly tight area, so defending in the late game shouldn't be too tricky. The third base locations can both be assaulted from even ground at a wide choke, however, so awareness of timings in the midgame is hugely important.
The backdoor-rich mineral base in Redshift LE is extremely vulnerable to harassment, but mining it opens a direct attack path straight into the back of your main base. A watchtower between the main bases allows for scouting on both expansions and enemy attacks.
Neuro: Both players get their own golden expansion that’s both accessible and vulnerable, which they may use to power potent early-game aggression. Once a patch is mined through, units can pass through the location by ground to create an extra-short rush distance scenario. While the map is not especially large, the eastern bases may seem difficult to scout given the intense interaction from the close opponent spawn. Experimenting with map-specific build orders could go a long way here in the pursuit of creating advantages early on.
This four-player map has no limit on the spawn positions. Depending on the second base location, you can play aggressively or defensively. Each base has a protective structure, which is advantageous for early defense, but there is a bridge between the bases.
Neuro: It's been a while since we've seen 4-player maps in the 1v1 pool, so this should bring some refreshing differences to the ladder pool, with substantial gameflow differences depending on spawn. Cross spawns should make for huge-scale macro games, while vertical and horizontal spawns should be more aggressive. With its massive size, getting a clear read on what the opponent is doing will be more difficult than usual.
In Redstorm, players start with their teammate in the same area. A winding main path makes the distances between teams greater than normal, but an extra narrow path down the middle provides a quick attack route. You can defend this chokepoint or take the longer path to surprise your opponent.
One player will start separated from the rest of the team, but they have access to more expansion locations. Coordinate with your teammates to plan an attack, or split your forces to secure additional expansions and gain an economic advantage over your opponents.
Players start with their teammates in the same area. You can defend the two small starting ramps that access the main base or expand early to maximize your economic advantage. Utilize the Xel’Naga Watch Towers to monitor central areas. Coordinate with your teammates to prepare for engagements or capture more expansion locations.
Along with the new maps, the new season also brings everyone a free name-change! Head over to your account management page and choose your StarCraft II game license. On your game license screen a "Character Name Change" button at the bottom will initiate the request. After confirming that you'd like to change your character name, simply log in to StarCraft II and you'll be prompted to select a new one.
Also note that a new trophy top is being introduced this season, but it had to be delayed until Thursday, May 17. See you on the ladder!