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There a gigantic balance patch coming to StarCraft 2 multiplayer later this year, affecting all races and focusing on late game power, unit composition variety, interesting upgrades and discouraging turtle play. The patch will arrive "soon" after BlizzCon, so somewhere in November, ad the design notes we got today are massive and contain detailed explanations on the tuning decisions.
Upcoming Balance Update (source)
Last year, we released an update containing design changes aimed at improving StarCraft II multiplayer. This year, we plan to release another design patch soon after the WCS Global Finals at BlizzCon. Our main goals for this patch include balancing the late-game power of each race while discouraging turtle play, ensuring upgrades present non-trivial decisions, and broadening the unit composition options in a number of matchups. This includes looking at each race’s massive units and making improvements to give them a clearer role or to make them more interesting to play with.
Removed random delay between shots for both ATS Laser Batter and ATA Laser Battery ATA Laser Battery damage reduced from 6 to 5 Yamato Cannon damage reduced from 300 to 240 Can move while shooting
The mighty Battlecruiser has always occupied a strange place in StarCraft II. With very high damage per second, but slow speed and a medium attack range, it can deal a ton of damage—but only if its target allows it to. It also has some odd unit relationships. At maximum upgrades, few units can stand up to a Battlecruiser, but when first produced without upgrades, basic ground units like Marines and Hydralisks can effectively counter it. Air units like Void Rays and Corruptors can also counter Battlecruisers, but they’re in turn vulnerable to being one-shot by the Yamato Cannon.
Removing the random delay on Battlecruiser auto attacks is perhaps the most unusual change we’ve implemented here. While virtually all units in StarCraft II have a random delay, the Battlecruiser’s high random delay ratio to the auto-attack cooldown could cause moments where the Battlecruiser would do less damage than expected. By removing it, we’re increasing Battlecruiser damage per second by roughly 20% and making its damage consistent. However, while we want the Battlecruiser to be stronger against ground targets, we don’t want to make it the best all-around unit, so we’re reducing its anti-air attack by 1, which maintains its current vulnerability to airborne threats.
Lowering Yamato Cannon damage to 240 is actually a throwback to its Brood War damage value. This mainly affects Void Rays, as it will now heavily damage them rather than outright destroy them in a single shot, while still keeping it at a similar power level versus Corruptors and Carriers.
Moving while shooting is an experimental and often requested change. While Battlecruisers are slow, being able to pursue targets that have to stop to fire back makes the Battlecruiser much more maneuverable in combat and dangerous to kite unless you use units that greatly outrange it, such as Tempests or Vikings. Thus, this change mitigates the medium range weakness of the Battlecruiser without changing its relation to static defenses and long-range units.
Drilling Claws upgrade now also permanently cloaks the Widow Mine while burrowed. A new visual effect will be applied to the Widow Mine to indicate this. This change restores the Widow Mine, post-upgrade, to its state prior to patch 4.0. This aligns with our previous goal of making early game Widow Mines feel fairer to both attacker and defender, while also improving the value of the Widow Mine upgrade. This should allow Terrans to utilize Widow Mines late-game more effectively in TvZ against Zergling/Baneling packs and achieve better passive scouting and zone control through well-placed mines.
Base armor reduced from 1 to 0 Currently in TvT, Cyclones can trade very efficiently against most other early-game options. Removing 1 armor makes Reapers and Marines much stronger against Cyclones while not affecting Cyclone strength against units like Marauders and Siege Tanks. This should make them less effective to mass early on, but they’ll still have value if mixed with other units. Cyclone effectiveness versus Zerglings and Queens will also move in the Zerg player’s favor, so we’ll be watching closely.
250mm Punisher Cannons weapon speed changed from 3 to 2.5 250mm Punisher Cannons damage changed from 35 (+15 Armored) to 40 (+10 Massive) Javelin Missile Launchers area-of-effect radius reduced from 0.6 to 0.5 Base armor reduced from 2 to 1
Our goal with the Thor is to push its role away from being strong all-around and into being a giant that slays other giants. In turn, it should be weak when swarmed by smaller units. Changing its armor allows units with fast attack speed but low damage like Marines and Zerglings to have an easier time against Thors. The reduction in anti-air radius is to address feedback that it heavily contributed towards making Mutalisks weak in the mid-to-late game against Terran. Since we want to promote more Mutalisk play, we’re reducing the power of this counter.
Increasing its attack rate against massive targets makes the Thor very dangerous to units like as the new Tempest and Carrier in straight-up fights. Additionally, Brood Lords can be killed much more quickly, so Terrans opting to use multiple Thors pose a greater threat in head-on fights by denying Broodlings from being created. This should make the Thor a strong option when fighting massive air units, and reduce overlap with Vikings when it comes to fighting armored air in general.
High-Capacity Fuel Tanks no longer increase the duration of Ignite Afterburners. Now it reduces the cooldown of Ignite Afterburners from 14 to 9. Medivac Heal will now work on units under the effect of the Phoenix Graviton Beam This keeps the uptime of Ignite Afterburners the same as before, but now players will have greater control over when they want to trigger it. Additionally, reducing cooldown makes it easier to move between multiple attack locations rather than having a longer duration, which encourages one-way attacks into a base. Overall, this should make the upgrade more attractive to players who value micro control for their Medivacs.
The change to Medivac Heal makes it consistent with our change to Shield Batteries.
Hyperflight Rotors upgrade cost reduced from 200/200 to 150/150 While speedy Banshees are very threatening, this upgrade is quite rare at high-level play. We wanted to give this Banshee upgrade a slight boost by reducing the price to make it more attractive to get in the mid or late game.
Anti-Armor missile damage reduced from 15 to 0 Anti-Armor missile will now reduce Protoss shields as well as armor While we have reduced the Raven’s damage on the Anti-Armor Missile a few times now, it still sees use as a strong area-of-effect damage ability in the late-game during TvT matchups. Since the intent is for Anti-Armor missile to be used as a debuff and not for its damage, we want to emphasize this purity of purpose. Thus, we’re removing the damage and making it affect all types of armor upgrades in the game. Other changes might be required to make this spell sharper in its purpose, so we’ll be monitoring how things go during testing.
Neosteel Frame and Structure Armor are being combined into Neosteel Armor, which combines their upgrades. It will cost 150/150 and take 100 seconds to research—the same as Structure Armor. Neosteel Frame improvements are often requested by various Neosteel enthusiasts in the community. This change aims to make it more attractive by combining it with an existing structure upgrade.
Zergling & Hydralisk
Unburrow speed changed from 0.71 to 0.36 Unburrow random delay reduced from 0.36 to 0.08 Increasing Unburrow speed should allow for more tactical and sneaky Zerg plays—for example, using Hydralisks to catch Warp Prisms or Medivacs unaware as they fly towards a mineral line, or using Zerglings to ambush reinforcements as they walk across the map.
Health decreased from 90 to 85 In the past, we set out to make the Hydralisk more of a core unit. This has perhaps been too successful, to the point where it crowds out other strategies. Altering the Hydralisks’ health reduces their ability to be massed by making them more vulnerable to area-of-effect damage. Since altering the health of core units is always a big change, we will be watching to make sure Zerg still has the Hydralisk as an option, although perhaps not the best option for every matchup.
Infested Terran cast range increased from 7 to 8 At 8 range, Infestors will be better able to cast Infested Terrans outside the range of static defenses and further away from enemy armies, allowing them to more effectively break siege lines or threaten massed enemy forces.
New upgrade added: Anabolic Synthesis Cost: 150 minerals/150 gas Research time: 79 seconds Ultralisk off-creep speed increased by 10% (4.13 to 4.55). On-creep speed is unaffected.
This makes the Ultralisk a much stronger and more responsive option off-creep without support. Due to their previous speed off-creep, they were sometimes a questionable choice against Terran Bio, with high-level players being able to defeat them with Marauders. Post-upgrade, they can better pressure Terran Bio forces, as their new speed is very close to Stim Marine/Marauder speed. Against Protoss, they can also be used to better pressure Carrier/High Templar compositions by quickly engaging the High Templars while shrugging off Carrier Interceptor damage.
Nydus Network/Nydus Worm
Nydus Network cost increased from 150/200 to 200/250 Nydus Worm cost decreased from 100/100 to 50/50 While Nydus Worm is emerging, it will no longer be invincible. Instead, it has 6 armor.
Nydus Worms have been used historically for all-in strategies. We want to encourage more late game usage as a transport/harass tool. We’ve heard consistent high-level feedback to the effect that their lack of use late-game was due to the cost of the Worms themselves. Additionally, we wanted to increase the counterplay of Nydus Worms being placed directly in front of an opponent’s units, so we’re removing their invincibility during their emerging phase. However, its armor will be increased while emerging, so stopping a Nydus Worm will require more commitment than just swarming it with worker units or attacking with a few basic units.
Burrow and Unburrow have been separated into two separate keys Burrowed and Unburrowed Zerg unit types will now be on the same tab-select, and both will be selected when double clicking on units This is a more experimental change. We have gotten requests over the years to separate the Burrow and Unburrow buttons for Zerg to give greater control over units, similar to how Terran controls the transforming of their Siege Tanks or Liberators. We are looking for feedback on how this feature feels in players’ hands, as it requires a bit of getting used to.
Nexus Mass Recall renamed to Strategic Recall Mothership’s Strategic Recall renamed to Mass Recall Nexus Strategic Recall cooldown reduced from 130 second to 85 seconds Nexus Strategic Recall radius reduced from 6.5 to 2.5 We want to make Mass Recall a more useful tool for Protoss players to be able to attack early on with small groups of units without necessarily committing to an all-in attack. The greatly lowered radius makes it much less attractive for bringing back large armies, thus making positioning more important when moving with lots of units.
Hallucination energy cost reduced from 100 to 75 Guardian Shield radius increased from 4 to 4.5 Currently, Protoss players often rely on Stargate units or Adepts to scout their opponents. Hallucination was more heavily used in the past, before Adepts existed, due to the opening phases of the game being faster and the window to build up energy on a Sentry being much lower. Therefore, decreasing the energy cost for Hallucination should help make it a more attractive scouting option.
Increasing the radius of Guardian Shield is aimed at supporting more modern playstyles. Zealots are a more popular choice now as a core unit, but their Charge often places them outside of a Sentry’s Guardian Shield. This aims to slightly reduce that gap so they more effectively cover larger Gateway-centric armies.
Feedback damage reduced from 1 per point of energy drained to 0.5 per point of energy drained When the Ghost’s Snipe ability was changed to Steady Shot, the Ghost lost the ability to instantly kill a High Templar, but Templars remained very lethal to Ghosts. This change should move this relationship to focus more on energy denial/casting rather than outright lethality. Reducing Feedback’s damage also means that Medivacs will also no longer be instantly destroyed, which promotes more multipronged play in late-game scenarios. Against Zerg, this makes Vipers slightly less fragile, which should allow Zerg a few more chances to try and pull apart a Protoss player’s late-game armies.
Cost reduced from 200/100 to 150/100 Ideally, this change will reduce the strain on Robotics Facility unit build time. Currently, their cost and position in the Protoss tech tree makes it tricky to afford two of them early on, which is an issue since the four units it can produce are all very important to Protoss mid-game strategies. Since Robotics Facilities are sometimes used in proxy strategies, we will be monitoring this change to see if it makes holding proxies improbable.
Added turret tracking
Units with turret tracking functionality continue to face their targets even when not firing. The Siege Tank and Immortal are two examples of units that demonstrate this behavior. With turret tracking, microing a Colossus in battle should feel more rewarding for players and increase the unit’s skill ceiling.
Purification Nova changed back to pre-4.0 state. Purification Nova deploys a ball of energy that will detonate after 2 seconds, dealing 155 damage and an additional 55 shield damage to all ground units in its radius. Purification Nova no longer detonates on contact with enemy units Purification Nova now sends a threat signal to the opponent on detonation instead of during the launch phase Last year, we made a change to the Disruptor to see if it could work better at chipping away at armies over time. The change created a new way to use Purification Nova, but the new Disruptor was less effective at dealing damage to backline units such as Lurkers, as the ability would detonate on melee units screening for them. In some ways, the Disruptor became harder to use, since the possibility of friendly fire was very high once combat with either Zealots or Zerglings was underway. For these reasons, we are reverting to the older version of the Disruptor.
We are also adding one change—the “your units are under attack” signal will happen after Purification Nova detonates on units instead of when it’s deployed. Before, this signal would cause units to immediately attack the Disruptor, which made it appear that your units were walking towards the undetonated Purification Nova, and their own death. This change also brings Purification Nova more in line with other splash effects like Siege Tank attacks and Psionic Storm.
Cost reduced from 300/200 to 250/175 Supply reduced from 6 to 5 Hit Points and Shields reduced from 300/150 to 150/125 Speed increased from 2.632 to 3.5 Acceleration increased from 1.4875 to 2.8
We want to keep the Tempest’s identity as a mobile long range weapons platform but give it a number of changes to make it both more interesting to fight against as well as more desirable in maxed-out army situations. At 450 total health, the previous Tempest had one of the highest health-to-cost ratios of all air units. By reducing its overall health, we can emphasize the weakness of the Tempest—overrunning it with numerous smaller units—as well as freeing up design space to make its strengths more interesting.
Increasing speed without reducing damage or range will allow Tempest players to better position their units. This is designed around the idea that the Tempest is a large warship that trades durability for range and speed. Reduction of cost and supply is aimed at feedback we have gotten over time that in late-game scenarios against Zerg, Tempests are not desirable due to their supply and low effectiveness for cost versus targets other than Brood Lords. Against Terrans, Tempests already have a place fighting Battlecruisers, or more commonly, Liberators. After these changes, Tempests will match up well against these targets but will have to be extra careful around Vikings and Thors due to their decreased health pool.
Graviton Catapult upgrade removed Hit Points and Shields increased from 250/150 to 300/150 Build time decreased from 86 to 64 seconds Interceptor build time increased from 6 to 11 seconds Interceptor damage decreased from 5x2 to 8x1 Interceptors will get +1x1 per Air Attack upgrade instead of +1x2 For the Carrier, we want to make changes that allow players to show their skill in controlling this powerful capital ship. One of the main pain points with Carrier power is that it is very front-loaded in terms of burst damage. Currently, the Graviton Catapult upgrade allows the Carrier to deploy Interceptors to easily overwhelm the sorts of rapid-firing units that could soft counter it, like Hydralisks and Marines. This makes the interaction between Carrier groups and opponents highly lethal—either kill the Carriers quickly, or be quickly destroyed. By removing the Graviton Catapult upgrade, reducing Interceptor damage, and increasing Carrier hit points, we hope to reduce how immediately lethal Carrier encounters are for both sides.
Increasing Interceptor build time is aimed at making one of the soft counters to Carriers, killing their Interceptors, more reliable. We’re also reducing the Carrier’s build time, partly to offset the increased time it takes for them to come up to full power, since Carriers will still start with four out of eight Interceptors available. Also, since the burst damage of the Carrier is reduced, we have more room to allow them to be produced faster as opponents should be under less pressure to quickly amass their counters.
Time Warp now also reduces the attack speed of enemy units and structures by 50% in addition to slowing by 50% Time Warp has remained unchanged since the removal of the Mothership Core. Since the old Time Warp was balanced around being on an early game unit, we wanted to increase the power of this ability to make it better fitting for a high-tech unit. By reducing attack speed this reinforces the ability’s zoning potential. It can also be especially effective against entrenched enemy positions by weakening static defenses without outright killing them.
Shield Battery Restore will now work on units under the effect of the Phoenix Graviton Beam This will allow Shield Batteries to be more effective against low numbers of Phoenix harass. As a result, Phoenix play will need to be more of a commitment if the opponent builds Shield Batteries.
Health and Shields reduced from 450/450 to 300/300 Lowering the overall life of the Assimilator brings it more in line with Refineries and Extractors.
Once Warp Gate research is complete, newly built Gateways will automatically transform into Warp Gates on completion Ideally, once Warp Gate research is done, newly built Gateways are always transformed into Warp Gates. This isn’t the most strategic or mechanics-intensive decision, so we are testing out making it automated.
New countdown timer added to the start of matches played in the Testing Matchmaking queue We’ve received feedback that players would like to test the addition of a countdown timer at the beginning of matches. This could help players have a smoother transition from the loading screen to the start of a match by reducing uncertainty about when the game starts. Thus, we’ll be feeling out this change in the Testing Tab.
This is our first pass of changes for our post-BlizzCon update coming in November. As with previous design updates, these changes are balanced towards being more noticeable, with new changes being added or some being removed over the testing period—but that’s where you come in! Starting on Tuesday, you’ll be able to hop into the Testing Matchmaking queue, try out the changes, and let us know what you think. Good luck and have fun!
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