The unit seen is a building add-on, and well be revealing more on the Terran building upgrades in the future.
What type of scripting language is being used? Aspiring map/mod makers would like to know.
StarCraft IIs editor features a proprietary scripting language that is based largely on C with some special parameters specific to the game. Of course, for most users, they will have access to the more user friendly Trigger Editor which will allow beginner and intermediate map designers to make advanced maps without having to learn the particular details of the scripting language. Well release further information about the world editor as we move forward.
Players have pointed out that the nuke laser dot graphic showing their destination is quite a bit larger and more noticeable than the original games. Is this a finished graphic and are we intending to make incoming nukes easier to spot now?
In the announcement gameplay video the incoming nuke marker was shown as if launched by the player. To other players it will still be shown as a smaller dot very similar to the classic StarCraft nuke.
The mothership time distortion doesn't seem to stop all incoming projectiles or fire, what exactly does it protect against?
The Mothership time-slowing ability is intended to deal with all types of incoming attacks, although only incoming missiles were shown prominently in the announcement gameplay video.
The announcement gameplay video used more than a few tricks to show off each unit. The Mothership for instance was set to be indestructible for a good portion of the time it was on screen, as well as having additional energy so that we could display all of its special abilities in a shorter amount of time than would normally be possible. In addition to the multiple changes made just for the video, the gameplay in the video is not indicative at this time of what the final balance will be. The announcement gameplay video was showing off the game and units in the coolest way possible, and not necessarily in a way that would resemble an actual match.
As some of you may have seen in the developer panel held at the Worldwide Invitational after the announcement of StarCraft II, it was revealed that the gameplay in the announcement video was shown at Normal speed so that we could really showcase it and let everyone see the detail and work put into the game. There will still be the faster game speed settings many players are used to from the original game.
Will players be able to select multiple buildings simultaneously?
We are directing much attention to polishing and improving the user interface. On that note, players will definitely be able to select and build from multiple buildings at the same time. You cannot drag-select buildings, but you can shift-click on them and add them to a control-group for ease of unit production.
Will workers auto-gather resources if the rally point is set to a mineral node or a geyser?
Will we be able to select more than 12 units at the same time?
Currently, unit selection is unlimited, but this may change with further development and testing.
On a given map, will there be one Mothership per map or one Mothership unit per Protoss player allowed?
We are still testing out many possible circumstances in order to make skirmishes more fun and challenging. At this time, each Protoss player will be able to have only one Mothership at a given time, but as mentioned, everything is still subject to change.
What is the role of heroes in StarCraft II? Will they be the same as in StarCraft?
StarCraft II campaign heroes will fulfill roles similar to what appeared in the original StarCraft single player experience, but they will have even more unique abilities from standard units, and will be more innovatively integrated into the story campaign. Heroes will not be buildable in multiplayer.
What is the max unit count population for each faction?
Unit population count for each faction will be very similar to the original StarCraft.
Will there be an in-game option to change hotkeys around?
Currently it is planned to have this feature, though much testing has yet to be done on it. We are looking into several innovative ways to make the UI customizable to players, to allow flexibility in their style of game play.
Is Karunes Battle.net Forum Avatar a Protoss High Templar?
Yes it is.
Will the Robotics Facility have a similar upgrade to the Warp Gate allowing it to warp units in?
There are no plans for this at the moment. Currently Warping technology is limited to the Warp Gate. Of course, we are still testing and balancing this, and nothing is set in stone.
Are the yellow minerals shown in the trailers harvestable?
Yes, they will be a harvestable high yield resource, meaning each harvest rotation will result in greater mineral quantities than the standard blue minerals. This gives players more strategic choices when trying to evaluate where they wish to expand. Expand to the high yield but risk easier discovery? Or expand to a safer area but earn fewer resources?
Will resource sharing be allowed between allies?
Yes, it is our plan to have this in the game, though there is still much testing and balancing revolving around this ability.
Will allied chat be enabled by default for pre-set teams?
Is the Zealot charge ability an upgrade as well?
Yes, this ability is upgraded through the Protoss War Shrine.
What types of future community updates will there be?
Starcraft2.com will be updated with regular unit and building profiles. Furthermore, there are several projects in the works planned for the Blizzards RTS Community as a whole, which we will share at a later time.
Will you be increasing the max players beyond 8?
We are exploring this possibility, though currently it is defaulted to 8 max players.
If you have multiple casters selected when you cast a spell, will they all cast it or only one? (ex. will 8 ghosts all use lockdown on a unit or only one?)
Currently, unit abilities are set as smart casting, meaning when you have a group of casters selected, each time you wish to cast a spell, you will either have to click the icon or press the hot key and follow it with a click on the designated place on the map for it to cast. This will obviously prevent locking down a single unit with more than one ghost, though we are also still exploring possibilities to have different methods of casting for casters in which players would want to have multiple casts executed in a single command.
Will building placement still be grid based?
Building placement will be grid based.
What races will be playable at BlizzCon?
This will be revealed at BlizzCon! See ya there!
Why do marines have shields now?
The shields seen on marines in screenshots and videos are an upgrade that can be purchased through research, increasing the marines' overall hit points.
Are Photon and Phase Cannons 2 different buildings?
The Phase Cannon is the new version of the StarCraft Photon Cannon. There will not be a Photon Cannon in StarCraft II.
Will carriers (Tempest) produce more than one drone type?
Not at this time.
Fans noticed in your art video that thye Colossus ground unit was under fire from missile turrets. Is this due to the Colossus's exceptionally high attack profile (tall stature) or a ground-to-ground attack feature/option for the turrets?
Because of the Colossus's height, it will be susceptible to Anti Air defenses like the Terran Missile Turrets, as well as both ground and air attacks. It is possible for the Colossus to be hit by ground and air attacks at the same time.
Will there be critters units and can they attack?
There will be critters, but they wont attack. If they did they would be creeps.
Will holding the Alt button show unit/building hit points overhead as they did in Warcraft 3?
Will the look of the siege tank be changed for the final version?
In response to much fan feedback, the siege tank has indeed been redesigned, with a much more powerful look to it. This visually redesigned siege tank will be shown at BlizzCon 2007.
Will there be a ctrl-a key stroke to select all your units on screen?
Not at this moment, but the hot keys have not been finalized yet for StarCraft II.
Will we get to hear the return of some of the original melodic themes from SC1 (like the Terran themes), or will the music for StarCraft II be completely new?
There will mostly be new epic theme songs with similarities to the original faction music. Music is still definitely in the works, thus we will not rule out a reprise of one of the original songs.
Will the High Templar still be able to create hallucinations?
In the current version of StarCraft II, the Hallucination ability will be back, but not as a High Templar ability, but rather a Star Relic ability.
When will you release a StarCraft II Fan Site kit?
The Fan Site Kit will be released around BlizzCon.
Will there be upkeep in StarCraft II?
No, there will not be.
What will be the highest number of upgrades for the shields, armor or weapons?
Currently, the highest number of upgrades per weapon/armor/shield type will be 3, which is the same as the original StarCraft. The values of each upgrade will be determined through much balance testing.
Will the StarCraft II Editor be easy or hard to use?
Blizzard game editors have always been aimed at empowering the community to create a huge variety of fun game modes and maps. This editor will be no different.
The editor for StarCraft II will be very easy to use for new players to create their own custom maps and games. Furthermore, this editor will have many more scripting options available to players, to allow for even more player creativity in their maps beyond that seen in prior RTS titles such as Warcraft III.
Will the Zealot charge ability cause more damage on the initial attack than on all other attacks?
No, the Zealot charge will close the distance between the Zealot and its target, which will be a significant advantage in many situations, compared to a Zealot without the upgrade, but will not actually give it more attack power or an initial stronger attack.
When selecting the Phase Prisms I noticed they have a 3rd, yellow meter below their shields and health. Is this meant to represent mana or storage capacity (warp-in capacity)?
This bar represents the Phase Prisms storage capacity, as it also serves as an aerial transport unit.
In the gameplay video the UI is toggled on/off several times. Will that be an option in-game?
Currently, the UI will only toggle off during game cinematics. There are currently no plans to implement this for single-player or multiplayer as it would give some players an advantage over others.
Will the Twilight Archon have abilities?
Yes. In the BlizzCon build, the Twilight Archon had the feedback ability. We are still doing much work on this unit, so none of this is final.
Can Protoss Units be attacked during the Warp-In process?
Yes. When units are warping in, the unit will increase in hit points until they are at max hit points and at that point youll be able to control the unit.
Will there be some old units from StarCraft be included in the Map Editor for StarCraft II?
There will be units included in the Map Editor which will not be in the standard multiplayer skirmish mode. These will include various units from the original StarCraft, such as the Protoss Dragoon.
Will different races have different max-squad caps?
Currently all 3 races will have the same maximum population cap at 200.
Can the Planetary Fortress lift off?
Once the Command Center has been upgraded to be a Planetary Fortress, it can no longer lift off.
Will map sizes in StarCraft II be similar or larger than the maps in the original StarCraft?
Map sizes can fluctuate on a per-map basis, but generally the playable area on maps are about the same. The terrain cells were converted over into the new editor to proportionally match the original StarCraft (i.e. 128x128 SC1 is about the same as 128x128 in SC2 ).
Will StarCraft II Heroes have unique abilities?
Heroes will have unique abilities different from regular unit abilities. Heroes will be playable only for single player and will not be a part of the multiplayer skirmish experience.
Will the Terrans be weak to melee without the Firebat?
Dont worry, the Terrans will have plenty of other counters to melee units. Nonetheless, because we know there are so many people who do love the Firebat unit, it will be in the map editor.
Will Mutalisks attack still hit multiple targets?
Yes, the Zerg Mutalisk unit is currently designed to hit multiple units with a single attack.
Will a submerged supply depot still be able to be attacked? Will it have more hit points while submerged?
Yes, the submerged supply depot will still be able to be attacked, and no it will not have more hit points. The ability to submerge a supply depot is designed to allow units to move over them strategically. Players will not only be able to keep enemies out, allow friendly units to pass through, but they are also powerful roadblocks in separating incoming armies in
StarCraft II Q&A Batch 12
Our next two batches will be answering questions submitted by the StarCraft II Community. Be sure to also check out sites involved, to participate in our Monthly Discussion Topics, starting with the Protoss Mothership for September.
Every so often, I hope to also update you guys on chats I've had with the Devs, to let you know what they're currently working on in StarCraft II.
Chat with the Devs: The StarCraft II Team is working hard on making Terran Medics 'smarter' so they do not run up to the enemy when you give a move order to a group of Marines and Medics. Medics, if given an attack move order, will scan the area on its path for injured infantry, then break off its limited path to heal those soldiers.
Again, give devs and me a w00t! if you are enjoying these Q&As!
How useful will tier 1 units be in the late game? (broodwar.de)
As a staple of the original StarCraft, which we intend to carry over to StarCraft II, is that every unit has a specific role in that factions army. Every unit will fulfill a unique role, which complements the other units, some better than others of course. In subscribing to that idea, tier 1 units will be quite useful in late game as well as early. Many of the tier 1 units will be able to be upgraded to keep up with the later game units as well.
For example, the Terran Marine currently has 3 upgrades available to it, as well as its standard attack and armor upgrades. New upgrades such as the combat shields, increasing the Marines health will be important in having the Marine deal with later game units.
Can we expect units to replace the Reaver and the Soul Hunter? (starcraftzone.com)
Yes, we are always testing the addition of new units as well as the removal of older units. For instance, in our current build, the Terran Firebat is back in the game, as we test how he interacts with the new additions into StarCraft II. Of course, nothing is final though.
What was the reasoning behind axing spell X (lockdown, mind control etc)? (sclegacy.com)
As mentioned above in question 2, much like with units, we are also testing several new abilities for StarCraft II. If these abilities do not work as we would intend, it is always possible for a reintroduction of original abilities from the original StarCraft. We are constantly striving to improve and complement what has already been very successful with StarCraft for StarCraft II.
Will there be a black player color? (starcraft-source.com)
We have tried using black, but it was too difficult to differentiate units on the mini-map from the fog of war.
Will you be able to use custom army colors in the game? (teamliquid.net)
In custom maps created through the Map Editor, players will be able to select any color for their factions. In multiplayer games, players will be able to choose between approximately 12-18 colors.
In todays Q&A we'd like to answer some more questions we got from fan sites. We also had another chat with the developers to see what they are currently working on. Enjoy this weeks infos straight from headquarters.
Chat with Devs: In the BlizzCon build of StarCraft II, small units were able to pass through certain player created barriers, such as a wall of supply depots at a choke point. After experimenting a bit, the Devs are now testing gameplay with true' barriers, which prevent all units from passing through, but will require a line of supply depots side by side rather than supply depots blocking a choke point diagonally. This new design will prevent smaller units such as Zealots and Marines from passing through player created barriers, but will be more costly for the player to build these barriers.
Are the Ultralisk making a return in SC2? (starcraft2forum.org)
The Ultralisk figures heavily in our current plans, but as with everything else relating to units and balance, this is subject to change.
Will there be in game voice chat supported in SC2? (teamliquid.net)
Yes, there are plans to implement voice chat into Battle.net, but details beyond that are yet to be announced.
What are the system requirements ? (Starcraft-Source.com)
We are still optimizing the game and do not have minimum system requirements yet. Nonetheless, StarCraft II will require pixel shader 0 and at least 128mb of dedicated video RAM.
Will we be seeing any hybrid units in StarCraft II? (starcraft.org)
We are planning to explore the mysteries surrounding the Xel'naga for the single player campaign. In the campaign you will encounter several unique units that would not otherwise be seen in multiplayer. At this time, you'll just have to wait and see.
Does the Thor burn out like Terran buildings if it is damaged? (starcraft4players.de)
No, the Thor does not burn down like the Terran buildings. It will be like the other Terran vehicles, which are able to be repaired by the scv.
StarCraft II Q&A Batch 14
Hope you enjoy Batch 14 of our StarCraft II Question & Answer sessions. I'm also pleased to announce that we've opened up StarCraft II Forums on the World of Warcraft Forums, to get even more discussion with fellow Blizzard fans!
In the upcoming weeks, I'm putting together a special Q&A specifically for our map editors, to help get you guys excited in creating UMS maps for our community!
Chat with Devs: The StarCraft II team is trying out what it would be like to have the Ghost as a Tier 5 unit without stealth, keeping the stealth ability as an upgrade at a later Tier.
This will be quite interesting since their snipe ability could provide much support to a group of Marines, picking off key units such as Medics, Templars, etc.
Again, give devs and me a w00t! if you are enjoying these Q&As!
Will there be Vespean Gas deposits that yield better rates, the same as yellow crystals? (starcrafttwo.com)
It is very likely that there will be higher yield Vespean Gas deposits, though we are being very careful in balancing this, since gas collection is based on a more linear rate of collection (3 collectors) versus mineral collection.
What happens if you initiate the warp-in of a Protoss Stalker but the pylon providing power is destroyed before warp-in completes?
If you lose the pylon providing power for the unit warping in, you will lose that unit, and the purchasing credits will likely be refunded.
Could the Colossus be transported by the Phase Prism, since the Prism's crystal can turn any matter into energy? (mymym.com)
Yes, the new Phase Prism now transports by changing the unit they wish to transport into energy, which is stored in the Phase Prism for transport. This allows the Phase Prism to be able to transport even gigantic units such as the Colossus.
What happens if a Terran Battlecruiser targets a Protoss Stalker with the Yamato Cannon but the Stalker blinks away before the shot is completed?
Currently, the shot from the Yamato Cannon will still track and hit the Protoss Stalker.
Will Dark Templars be invisible when warping in, or susceptible to attack for a few seconds before it fades out?
No, currently the Dark Templar will be invisible the instant it begins to warp-in, though of course we are still testing this for balance as it makes the Dark Templar quite strong in back door drops.
Do the bunkers have any visual indication as to whether or not they're occupied?
Currently the bunkers do not have any visual indications to whether it is occupied or not, but this is something we would like to change.
This month is almost over and I would like to invite everyone who hasn't already done so take the last chance to add their thoughts on the Mothership in the thread on the discussion of the month (http://www.battle.net/forums/thread.aspx?fn=sc2-general-eu&t=28). We will be closing that thread shortly and compiling all information we gathered over the last month for the developers. It was great to see you all send in your feedback and we hope you had lots of fun discussing this unit. Stay tuned for next months discussion which promises to be very interesting both for you the community and for our developers.
We now present you with the next batch of your weekly Q&A. A lot of new Terran info coming your way here! So now give me your favorite Terran quote to honor the effort our devs put into giving you new bits of information every week!
Chat with Devs: Starports no longer change into Starbases.
Can an upgraded command center be salvaged? Does it lose its mobility when upgraded to a surveillance station?
No, the command center cannot be salvaged, nor can it lift off after it is upgraded to a Surveillance Station (allows the use of the Comsat ability).
In StarCraft 1, when you cancel a nuclear launch that is in progress, you lose the warhead. Will StarCraft II make any changes to this setback? (http://www.starcrafttwo.com)
Currently, if you cancel the nuke while it is firing, you will still lose the nuke. This outcome has not yet been finalized and may be changed in the final version.
Can a Ghost be equipped with both a Nuke and Drop Pod simultaneously?
Yes, any Ghost can launch either a Nuke or a Drop Pod, making the Ghost highly effective at responding to multiple battle circumstances.
Will "caster" units, such as the Protoss High Templar, have a regular attack, like Tassadar had in SC1, or will they only be able to attack through their spells? (http://www.blizzplanet.com)
Currently, there are no plans to give the High Templar a physical attack, though High Templar Heroes will have additional abilities beyond that of the standard unit. At the moment, the High Templar is one of best support units in the game, with the ability to cast a devastating Psi Storm or choke off crucial areas of the map with the force field ability. Once you've used up its energy, no worries, convert it into an Archon with another Templar.
Can Marines use the Stim Pack while in a bunker? What about a Ghost's snipe ability?
In the current build, abilities cannot be activated while inside a bunker, but you can activate abilities before entering a bunker. For example, if you activate Stim Pack on a few Marines, then enter a bunker; they will attack at the higher rate of fire from inside the bunker. The Stim Pack effects will still wear off as normal though.
For this batch, we continue to make headway into the latest development changes. Over the coming weeks, we can expect to see even more Terran related updates, as the Dev Team are working hard to have them play distinctly as the Terran Faction. In this latest chat with Lead Designer Dustin Browder, he was able to spill some of the beans on the latest Terran changes.
Chat with Devs: Since BlizzCon, the Terran Bunkers have been increased in size (to 3x and given added hit points, making it a more viable defensive structure for the Terrans. The Dev Team really wants to further define the uniqueness of how each faction plays, giving Terrans a strong character of defensive type tools. Watching the Firebats flame from these Bunkers sure do bring back memories!
Does the Time Bomb ability of the Mothership stop a Nuclear Missile (just like other missiles) when used on the area where the Nuclear Missile is about to explode? (starcraft4players.de)
The Time Bomb ability of the Mothership is designed to stop a Nuclear Missile if used at the right time, making a powerful counter in the hands of a skilled Protoss Player. This ability has still yet to go through the needed balance to make sure this is not over powering, but it is our intention to try and get that ability in the final version as designed.
In the UI there are little boxes just to the right of the minimap that have numbers on them. How exactly do these function? Different gameplay screenshots suggest different functionality. (www.starcraft-source.com)
I believe the small boxes you are referring to are the Control Groups used to select multiple units at a time, making it faster to give attack and move orders.
There are plans to have the drop pods be manually loaded with units created by the player, to better allow the player to adapt to their current tactical needs.
What was the design team's rationale in adding a second siege style unit (Thor) to the Terran race? (www.starcraftcom.au)
The Thor's role compared to the Siege Tank, is more of an assault unit rather than a siege unit. The Thor is much more exposed when attacking an enemy location, while the Siege Tank has a much larger range and is able to hit the enemy at a larger distance. The range of the Siege Tank has also been increased since the BlizzCon Demo.
How do the Yamato and Plasma Torpedo upgrade work? Do you have to research these things only once or will you have to pay for each battle cruiser? (www.broodwar.de)
Battlecruisers can be upgraded individually with either a Yamato Gun or Plasma Torpedoes, but not both. After the Battlecruiser is upgraded, it can then use that particular special ability as long as it has enough energy to do so.
"With MBS (Multiple Building Selection) and automine in the game, what macro-specific features are going to be added to make sure that the player always has as much to do on the macro side as he does micro? Will a player still be able to favor macro or micro according to his own style?" - FrozenArbiter (www.teamliquid.net)
It is our goal to allow players to micro more vs. macro more. This is something that was great about the original StarCraft and it is something we want to maintain while we add new mechanics as well as interface features. We are still evaluating such features as automine as well as MBS. We don't have an answer for this at the moment, but we are working on it.
First off, I want to thank everyone for sending in your feedback from our first ever Monthly Discussion Topic about the Protoss Mothership!
Chat with Devs: After bringing up much community feedback from the last Monthly Discussion, Dustin Browder filled me in on the latest role discussions about the current units in game. This is the thought that has lead to the introduction of the Firebat back into StarCraft II.
Furthermore, they have also changed the Terran Cobras abilities to take on what was previous known as the Protoss Stasis Orb (which is now removed from the game). The Terran Cobra now acts as a slowing unit, with an electrical attack. In addition, many of the units already seen in game are having their roles re-evaluated, to again make sure that every unit has a distinct role in StarCraft II.
Will the defensive matrix of the Terran Nomad apply to enemy units within its AoE (Area of Effect)? (www.starcraft2forum.org)
Yes, the Terran Nomads Defense Matrix ability will affect both friendly and enemy units, thus using this ability on a position that the player can hold will be wise.
What helps to delineate the Thor and Battlecruiser as both being high-tier support units? Lots of concern over this duality? (www.starcraft.org)
Currently, the Thor has splash damage, whereas the Battlecruiser has direct damage in its attack. We definitely agree with most of the community that the Thors role overlaps with various other roles on the Terran Faction, thus we may modify that role or possibly cut the unit.
Unfortunately, this has not been decided yet, as many aspects of Battle.net has still yet to be implemented.
Will the Protoss Colossus be able to walk over Supply Depots like over cliffs? (www.broodwar.de)
This is an issue that is still being discussed quite a bit. We like how when enemy units enter your base, they are forced to deal with the layout of your base, but at the same time we are also dealing with the realism factor, where cliff climbing Colossuses ought to be able to step over Supply Depots. Many issues we face are similar to those debated amongst the community, and for this particular topic we dont yet have a final answer.
An obvious goal (among many) for Starcraft2 is to maintain the profile of being an E-Sport. What facet do you consider more integral to the growth of that ideal: An extremely high skill ceiling that demands years upon years to achieve mastery, or an extraordinarily large base of interested players to provide the attention that such a sport needs in order to succeed and grow? Obviously both are important, but when it comes to design ideals, what has more pull? Accessibility or Longevity? Mora (www.teamliquid.net)
I think for e-sport we need the high skill ceiling. Though really as you say, both are very important. As designers we have spent years focusing on accessibility. Ideas must be accessible to even be put into the game. So we are just not as worried about making the game accessible. That will happen. What we are focused on, what is the more challenging problem is making the game last for years and years and years. So in our development cycle at the moment, longevity definitely has the larger pull. Longevity is the harder problem to solve, so we put way more effort into making the game as challenging as possible to master. Dustin Browder, Lead Designer of StarCraft II
How will unit collision and stacking be handled ? Can flying units pass on top the Colossus or is it blocking ? (www.sc2blog.com)
No, the Colossus will not block a flying unit.
In terms of collision and stacking, units first always follow your order, and when it completes your order, they will stop and spread out. The area in which those units spread out will be slightly less than in the original StarCraft.
Hope everyone had a great weekend! For this batch, I'm pleased to announce the introduction of the Map Maker Series of Q&As, which will be mixed in periodically with our traditional batches of Q&As, to give map makers the 'heads up' on our powerful Map Editor for StarCraft II. I know many of you have great plans for mods and maps for StarCraft II, so I can't wait to tell you more about the program you'll be using.
Answering questions, we have Brett Wood, our StarCraft II Senior Software Engineer, but better known as our 'Superfly Father of ScumEdit Programmer by Day Ninja by Night.'
Will doodad placement values increase? (ie, more than 25)
[Brett Wood] We expect the doodad placement value will be on the same order as Warcraft III, which I believe was something like 10,000, so definitely way more than 25
Will the number of available locations/triggers increase? The current limit on locations really cramps some ideas.
[Brett Wood] Any limits on both regions and triggers will be at least in the thousands.
Will the new map editor include ALL the triggers in the program unlike Staredit?
[Brett Wood] Yes, even moreso than Warcraft IIIs WorldEdit. Weve been making a point of ensuring that ALL script functionality is also exposed in the Trigger Editor UI.
Will max unit limits increase? The current unit limit on maps is quite a crimper, and nobody likes CCMU (cannot create more units).
[Brett Wood] I dont recall the exact unit limit in the original StarCraft, but the StarCraft II limit will likely be a healthy boost over the limit in Warcraft III. The exact value hasnt been nailed down yet and will depend on optimizations near the end of the project (i.e. shortly before release).
Will the new map editor include unused units such as the crashed scouts, turrets, eggs, nukes, scarabs, crash command center, etc? Third party programs were needed to use these.
[Brett Wood] All units defined in the data files will be usable in the editor. I believe this was true in Warcraft III as well.
I hope everyone enjoyed our last batch of Q&As about Map Making, which is just the beginning of a series. This batch, we have a new set of exciting community questions about StarCraft II as well as reasonings to why Devs make the decisions they do. In addition, we also have a mini chat with devs about all the new changes that they are continuing to experiment with.
I also want to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!
Chat with Devs: Since the Terran Cobra took over the Protoss Stasis Orbs slowing attack, the Protoss Orb got a few new abilities including the Force Field ability. This will be very interesting for early team games, as you can use a force field on a choke point to keep an opponent's teammate from arriving to help their allies. The Devs are testing out various abilities on different units as you can see, and even the Templar has received its classic Hallucination ability back.
Will the Protoss be getting any mechanism for healing their units or repairing their buildings?
There are no plans to give the Protoss any healing abilities, especially since their shield regeneration rate when out of combat, is more than twice the rate of the original StarCraft.
With the new physics engine, can explosions affect surroundings? (like hurt or push units, destroy doodads, etc ) (sc2blog.com)
Explosions will not be able to push units, but they can destroy doodads. In fact, destroying certain doodads will be vital on certain maps, to get access to expansions or other strategic locations. Furthermore, explosions will not be able to push units because it would affect gameplay and balance negatively, in having units be knocked off cliffs, be stuck in unplanned locations, or ultimately have units disoriented where the player cannot control them.
How long does a unit typically take to make from concept to playable unit?
With a finished concept piece, it could take from a few days to a few months, to create it for the game. Much of this time depends on the priority of the unit amongst other development goals, as well as the iterations necessary to perfect the unit. The Zerg Baneling is an example of a unit that took only a few days to complete after the concept, whereas the Protoss Stalker has gone through several iterations, and has taken 4-5 months.
Are the units on the official site finalized, or is everything still up for grabs at this point? (gamereplays.org)
We are still heavily in the development phase of StarCraft II, thus none of the units on the website are 100% final. We are also still testing out several new units, abilities, and mechanics, to create the most fluid StarCraft II experience.
What do the Protoss eat? (where do they get energy and mass?) (starcraftcz.com)
Protoss gain nutrition from sunlight, or at a pinch, moonlight (which is just reflected sunlight anyway) by absorbing through their skins. They can go for extended periods without absorbing sunlight. What little moisture they need is also absorbed through their skin.
Wow, we're already at our 20th Batch of Community Q&As! I've got to say, the questions from the community are becoming better and better as we move along. Nonetheless, I want to remind everyone to ask your StarCraft II questions on this thread: http://www.battle.net/forums/thread....&p=1&#post9620
The Devs and I are all reading and we love answering community questions. Every week there are always exciting new changes we want to share with everyone. Granted, many of the changes may not stay in the game very long, but the process of game development is a constant cycle of brainstorm, revision, and much testing, to ultimately make all the gaming components flow together for one awesome overall experience.
Chat with Devs: Terran Ghosts are currently being tested as an effective Tier 5 unit, capable of sniping down high profile enemy targets, have an increased attack damage towards light armored units, as well as an upgradable EMP against Protoss and energy using threats. If that isnt enough, these highly advanced Terran soldiers at higher techs can also be equipped with a personal cloak ability, and launch drop pod reinforcements, as well as call down a massive nuclear strike. The StarCraft II Ghost will surely be bringing a whole new meaning to "You call down the thunder and I'll reap the whirlwind." Of course, I should mention, all of this is subject to change.
Will it be possible to give more fluid and realistic movements to small aircraft with proper banking and turning rather than just abrupt sprite-style direction changes?
We are currently in the process of implementing banking animations for flying units, but playability always comes first. If the animations affect playability negatively, it could get cut.
With the Reavers no longer in the game, will the Protoss have any units capable of performing brutal worker raids? (Starcraftlive.net)
The Colossus is an excellent choice for worker raids, since it is able to attack from higher elevations, and can be transported by the Phase Prism. In addition, we are exploring some ideas for the Twilight Archon that would allow him to make devastating attacks on enemy workers.
Will there be a escort ship for Battlecrusier because Protoss have like many kinds of capital ships?
With the Predator unit cut, the Viking is now the primary Terran air to air fighter. In addition, the Viking no longer requires an upgrade to transform between a ground and air unit and is also built directly from the Starport rather than the Factory.
Will there be units who can trample opponents (such as an Ultralisk)? (gamereplays.org)
Currently, there are no units that trample, but have discussed this idea as a possibility. Nonetheless, we also hit the dilemma of having a trample unit that is able to destroy enemy unit assets far beyond its own cost of the trample unit, with relatively little micro.
Will siege tanks be able to shoot at targets in the fog of war picked up by sensor towers, but not yet confirmed by visual sighting?
No. Siege Tanks will only be able to hit targets within visual range. In addition, Siege Tanks firing from the fog of war, such as on an unseen cliff, will not reveal its location from the fog of war to its enemy, thus will not be able to be return fired upon.
This latest Q&A Batch features questions from our fans in South Korea. We've made sure to include an additional question to cover any questions that may be repetitive from previous Q&As.
Chat with Devs: Since the Terran Ghost has an upgradable EMP ability, the Terran Nomad's has been given the ability to create stationary defenses in addition to its Defense Matrix ability. One of the new stationary defenses is the Auto-Turret, which can attack ground units, and this unit be seen on this screenshot: http://starcraft.incgamers.com/galle...to=501&cat=513
We are hoping the Nomad's new abilities will innovate its role, in addition to being a detector.
Do you have any plan to put the auto-casting ability into StarCraft II units, just like in Warcraft III?
At the moment, Medics are the only units that we have deemed fit to have an auto-cast ability. StarCraft II, compared to Warcraft III, has fewer abilities but are much more potent when executed properly, thus making them manual cast will give players a huge opportunity to demonstrate much skill in the game.
Would you make it possible for players on observing mode to check various information including a mini map, upgrading status, and resource status on a personal window? If not, would you consider developing this function?
These are all great ideas and we will work to get these in for observing mode. We will be working hard to have the observing mode innovative and comprehensive, building upon all the features that were in our previous RTS titles, as well as other titles in the market.
Will the story of StarCraft II be continued right from where the original StarCraft story ended? Or, will it begin at the moment after some amount of time passed since the last time of the original StarCraft?
The StarCraft II storyline will continue 4 years after the events of Brood War.
It is not possible to watch how a mouse was moved in a saved replay game. Could you make this possible to see the movement of mouse?
We would also like the mouse to be viewable in saved replays, however, it may be more likely that well have the options to show both the view of the players playing as well as selection icons of the units being currently selected in the replay.
When grouping units to a control group, how many units could be added to one group?
Currently, players are able to select more than 150 units in a single control group. The final actual number will be determined by hardware performance tests on the game, but should still be close to that number.
Players often tend to stack up workers and air units looking as one group in original StarCraft. Will this still be possible in StarCraft II?
In StarCraft II, this is harder to do than in the original StarCraft, but still possible. Units tend to group together more and more with each manual attack order. As long as you keep giving that manual attack order upon a target certain attacking units of the same type will group closer together. When the unit attacked upon is destroyed or the units become idle, they will naturally spread out again.
Today we will continue the series we had started a couple of weeks ago. Dustin Browder and Brett Wood, Senior Software Engineer will answer questions from the Map Making Community. If you have questions concerning custom made maps and mods, wed like to invite you to ask them in this thread so they can be included in part 3 of the series.
Chat with Devs: One of the most popular questions we get when it comes to creating UMS (User Map Settings) games or mods is: Will there be a DotA for StarCraft II? For those who are not familiar, DotA (Defense of the Ancients), is a popular UMS game created for Warcraft III. StarCraft compared to Warcraft III, does not focus on heroes as much, and heroes or units do not have the same experience gaining mechanic as Warcraft III, making it difficult to imagine how a game like DotA could be reproduced for StarCraft. Nonetheless, after chatting it up with our devs, we found out the ability to allow heroes and units to gain experience is built into the Map Editor, though it will not likely be in single player or standard multiplayer. In addition, those units can also be toggled to have the ability to carry an inventory, which is also a characteristic needed in UMS maps such as DotA. With those two additions, we can rest assured that our clever community modders can handle the rest in creating some awesome custom games.
Will you finally be able to mix and match terrain types instead of being stuck on jungle, twilight, etc?
[Dustin Browder] Yes terrain texture is mixable now. Also tilesets are also mixable. [Brett Wood] Essentially, you can define your own tileset in the editor, something that wasnt really supported even in Warcraft III.
Will the new StarCraft II Map Editor support text coloring, unit coloring, player "12" (i.e. neutral player) units?
[Dustin Browder] Yes, all of these features will be supported.
Will maps be larger than 256x256?
[Brett Wood] The maximum map size will still be 256x256, and we have no plans to increase that.
Will the new map editor support locking maps? People hate losing credit for a map.
[Dustin Browder] Yes, we are planning to support this feature. We hope that this feature will give the modding community more incentive to create their own original maps.
Will the new map editor support "square" terrain building as well?
[Dustin Browder] Yes. In the editor, users can adjust the footprint of buildings to whatever shape and size they like.
It has been an exciting week of business related headlines about the new company 'Activision Blizzard.' Many have asked me about how this would affect products like StarCraft II, and the answer is that it won't. We still have our extremely talented development team on this task, working exactly like they have been over the past years. Furthermore, StarCraft II will still be branded as Blizzard Entertainment, meaning you will not see Activision Blizzard logos on the product or introduction. StarCraft II is still set to rock the PC gaming stage!
Chat with Devs: After my chat with Dustin this past week, he wanted me to remind everyone that there are still several new units being created and tested for all three factions. What you have seen of the Protoss and Terran factions are in no way finished and more new units will be introduced, as well as the likeliness of current units being replaced.
There will be several more in-game cutscenes, which are at a much higher quality than the original StarCraft pre-rendered movies. And while StarCraft II's single player will likely feature a few less pre-rendered movies, they will be much longer and more epic than anything seen in the original StarCraft.
Is the ghost unit going to be able to use the EMP Shockwave and -within short time interval- the Nuclear Strike as well? (starcraft2.4players.de)
Currently, there is no restriction to when you can follow up a special ability with another, as long as there are available energy points.
Yes, the Ghosts EMP ability currently affects both building and unit shields, as well as casters energy. It is important to note that there is a possibility the Ghost may lose its EMP ability due to balance.
Will there be some sort of wall structure in StarCraft, for any of the races? (www.vilegaming.com)
Aside from building current structures close to each other to form walls, such as a line of Terran Supply Depots, no, there will not be walls that can be built. On the other hand, there will be some new wall structures in the single player mode and these doodads can also be accessed in the map editor.
Will the game feature a mechanic similar to Warcraft 3 where if a selection of units contains more than one unit type then the whole selection will move at the speed of the slowest unit to maintain cohesion? (www.sclegacy.com)
No, units in the same selection will not move at the same speeds. The slower units will need to be micromanaged by the players to keep up with the larger group.
StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 24
Here we are with our latest batch, answering a little something different for each fan site. Furthermore, one of the most talked about subjects in the community is about the Thor and what will happen to this robust unit. Luckily we've tracked down Dustin for his latest thoughts about this unique Terran unit.
Chat with Devs: The Thor has been the unit that just hasnt quite fit in, in terms of role, but it might have found its own little place it can call home. After the Devs tried out several things with the Thor, including making it a super unit, they have now decided to have it replace the Cobra, as the heavy and air unit counter. Additionally, they may be adding a new mechanic, in which the Thor will need to be killed twice, once to make it immobilized, due to its large size, and then the second time to kill it for good. When immobilized, the Thor will still be able to fire at ground and air units. Additionally, while the Thor is immobilized, a SCV can repair it back to full health, having it regain mobility.
Will there be a way for fan sites to parse replays uploaded to their website so they can pull information such as race, player names, map, etc.?
Exact details have not been finalized, but we do plan to create a much more robust way of being able to search and share replays in game.
The Soul Hunter was considered a good counter unit against the Zerg; why did you remove the Soul Hunter from StarCraft II?
There were a couple of reasons, but one of the more important ones is that it was difficult to make it easily readable in big battles when the Soul Hunter had upgraded. Another reason is that this unit was way too targeted against the Zerg, since they have so many low hit point units, as opposed to other factions.
Has the Merc Haven been removed since the Reaper is built from the Barracks? If so, whats replacing it (if anything)?
The Merc Haven has been brought back in for the current build. It currently needs a Factory as a prerequisite, and is a prerequisite building to build Reapers from the Barracks.
Chat with Devs: This week I got a chance to talk to Sam Didier, our StarCraft II Art Director, about some of the feedback weve gotten from our most recent monthly discussion. Over the next few weeks we will be trying out a few things on the upcoming screenshots, including a reduced saturation which will increase the realism of the units and environment. This is just a test, so we will see how it goes afterwards, but we look forward to getting everyones feedback.
Gameplay Blog: With the new year, I thought everyone might enjoy a small new section to the Q&As that will happen periodically, featuring some hands-on feedback of the current builds of StarCraft II at the office. This past week Ive been able to play a few 1 versus 1 skirmish games with our new balance designer, David Kim. Even at this early stage, StarCraft II is shaping up to be an incredibly diverse game in terms of strategy. In addition to many of the original StarCraft strategies (which Ive been tending to stick with), there are several new strategies based on both the newly introduced units, as well as hybrid combinations of legacy and new units. One of the most interesting strategies in our current build is the Nomad rush. Nomads are both effective at supporting an ongoing battle with Auto Turrets (which have building armor) and defending against a raid with rapid deployment, but are surprisingly very effective at raiding as well. Im not talking about minor harassment, kill a probe or two, type of thing. Get four of these Nomads into a mineral line and you can deploy 8 Auto Turrets in no time, wreaking havoc to even a moderately defended position. Each Auto Turret is like having an instant Marine, with rapid fire, and building armor. Could this replace Siege Tank drops? Probably not, but these Auto Turrets dont cost minerals or supply.
Does the Nomad have all the abilities an SCV has? (Of course it has its own abilities, but it would be interesting to know if you can at least temporarily replace lost SCVs with Nomads in a game.)
No, Nomads will not have the abilities of a SCV. The buildings a Nomad will be able to build, will be unique to the Nomad unit. And you cant gather resources with a Nomad.
How will damage against Protoss Shields be calculated with the new damage bonus system?
Protoss shields will take up the characteristics of their normal armor type. For example, if a Protoss Zealot with light armor gets shot by a Terran Ghost with plus light armor damage, the Zealots shields will also take that light armor bonus damage. On the same note, if a Protoss Colossus were to be hit by a Protoss Stalker with bonus damage towards armored unit, the shields would also take that additional damage.
Artwork and rumors about SCII have shown Terran cities like Augustgrad. Will Starcraft 2 contain building doodads as seen in the original artwork (ie. skysc#@!&rs, homes, etc)?
Yes, many of the original iconic doodads will be recreated for StarCraft II.
Can the shadow ops contain "one nuke and one drop pod" or "any 2 of nukes and drop pods"?
Currently, the Shadow Ops can contain both a nuke and a drop pod at the same time, but will not be able to contain two of one type within a single Shadow Ops building. Drop pods can be loaded with 12 infantry units of the players choosing. On certain maps, a fast expanding SCV drop pod strategy may prove highly effective.
Will the native resolution of Starcraft 2 be widescreen or 4:3?
The plan is to have both of those resolutions supported, along with everything between 5:4 and 16:9. Larger screens will have slightly more viewable range than a smaller screen, but from our tests, the differences will be very minor.
This batch we're going to shed some light on the storyline and lore aspect of StarCraft II. Following StarCraft and even Brood War, there have always been many unanswered questions surrounding the powers of the Protoss, which we'll be tackling today.
Chat with Devs: For this batch, Ive been fortunate to snag some time with our Lead Writer for StarCraft II, Andy Chambers, and I had a chance to talk to him about what happens to Protoss warriors after they die. On the forums, there has been much speculation to what the true meaning of the blue flash of light that is seen when a Protoss Zealot dies. Furthermore, have you ever wondered how exactly an EMP burst would have an effect on Psi energy? Andy gives us insight into the Protoss ways in fan questions 1 and 3.
Gameplay Blog: Force Fields are my new favorite ability! During my latest skirmish with a Zerg opponent, I was rushed early with Zerglings. The Protoss Nullifiers (previous known as the Stasis Orb) and their 15 second Force Field ability saved the day. As the attacking Zerglings charged up my ramp on the classic Lost Temple map, I simply created a Force Field in between the group of Zerglings, separating his attacking force. With their numbers divided, my Zealots easily took care of the split force of Zerglings, allowing me to make a decisive counter-attack. In subsequent games, I have found that the Force Field is quite useful in many situations, as you are able to create your own choke points, separate incoming armies, and also erect barriers as needed for your Protoss Stalkers to take advantage of their Blink ability. Furthermore, the Force Field can provide another obstacle for melee units approaching your Colossus, whereas your Colossus is able to step over the Force Field at ease. These Protoss Nullifiers at tier 1 are now one of your most effective defenses to an early game rush. Currently, the Force Field ability costs 30 energy with the Nullifiers energy capacity at 100. Next batch, well see if we can find some interesting games with the Nullifiers other new ability, the Null Void.
Do Protoss warriors actually die? What is the blue flash when they die?
In the chaos of the battlefield, Protoss warriors fight with tremendous power and grace, but even so, they can be mortally wounded. Then the Protoss' foes often bear witness to a startling sight: the injured Protoss disappears in a bright flash of light. Such a vision has caused primitive races to quail in superstitious fear, and yet it has no supernatural cause. On the contrary, it is merely the result of teleportation, which is one of the chief strengths of Protoss technology. Protoss warriors typically have teleport mechanisms built into their armor. If the warrior is sufficiently injured, a properly functioning mechanism will automatically teleport the body to the nearest safe haven.
A Protoss warrior who is badly injured but still living may be placed in a dragoonor latterly an immortalshell to continue to fight. This is the choice of the individual warrior. Some warriors elect to shoulder the burden of remaining among the living instead of joining the sum of Protoss lives embodied in the Khala. It is worthy of note that the lives of individual Protoss that have passed into the Khala are no longer coherent entities, and the Protoss cannot speak with their dead per se. However, there are memories and strands of experience that can be accessed. Only the most skilled Protoss preservers can locate and follow specific desired strands of knowledge. The tremendous value of preservers comes from the fact that they carry within themselves and can access the sum total of Protoss experience at an individual level.
Will there be more ways to give energy(mana) to a caster?
Protoss casters will have an ability to transfer energy from one caster to another. This ability will allow for a lot of micromanagement opportunities to maximize the amount of energy to a single caster, for the maximum number of special abilities casted.
On what kind of energy are based Protoss shields? If they are based on PSI energy, how can be possible for a Terran EMP attack to drain their energy?
Protoss energy sources are highly esoteric because their starting point was the Protoss' use of their own psionic powers to protect themselves; to charge their tools and weapons; and to make, manipulate, or meld matter. Over time technological advances have enabled the Protoss to mimic these psionic processes to the extent that the Protoss can now construct inorganic devices to tap into the same universal processes to power shields, drives, weapons, and robots. Thus, for example, the energy field projected by a pylon that powers Protoss structures cannot truly be called psionic in nature, just as the shields protecting a zealot are not purely technological constructs. Rather, the two processes are so closely interlinked that they are almost the same.
We're back to tie up some loose ends about the Nullifier from our last batch, as well as some more focus on gameplay design, to fuel our discussion on the forums (especially to those who are already anxiously creating their build orders- don't lie, I know you are out there :) )
Chat with Devs: This week I talked with Dustin Browder, our Lead Designer for StarCraft II, to answer some more questions in regards to StarCraft II gameplay. I presented Dustin with some very specific gameplay questions from teamliquid.net, which he was very excited to be able to answer for the eSports community. Hopefully I will be able to get him back for a BlizzCast interview down the road.
Gameplay Blog: By the way, Im still looking for a good name for this section, that I hope everyone here could help me with Additionally, this week I want to elaborate on the second ability of the Protoss Nullifier mentioned in the last Q&A Batch. The Null Void, an ability currently at 50 energy cost, prevents abilities from being cast in an area of effect radius. In recent skirmishes with Terran opponents, when my Zealots engaged a group of M&Ms (Marines & Medics), my Nullifiers were able to cast Null Void over the enemy group, and the Medics were unable to heal for a good 15 seconds. When they retreated out of the Null Void area, I cast a second Null Void on them, and by that time, more than half of their Marines had fallen to my Zealots. Furthermore, my Nullifiers, having a base ranged attack, were able to focus fire on fleeing Marines.
However, I still did end up losing that game versus the Terran player, as Ghosts later on were able to devastate my army with EMP, followed with their Marauder units, replacing the old Firebat, making quick work of my ground army. GG. Next time.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if your enjoying these Q&As!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 27-
1) How will the map pool for the ladder be handled? Only maps made by Blizzard or will there be opportunities for mapmakers to contribute? If so, how will new maps be selected/balanced and how often are you planning on updating the map pool?
[Dustin Browder] The map pool for competitive play will only be Blizzard maps or Blizzard-approved maps. We are always excited to see new maps from the community and when we see new cool maps we will definitely include them in the pool. I have no idea how often this will happen. It really depends on the map makers and our schedule. We also have some really cool plans for mod support for Battle.net for StarCraft II, which we will be rolling out to the community soon. We have all watched with great enthusiasm the impact that mod makers have had upon our previous games, especially Warcraft III, and we really want to continue to support and encourage this community.
2) Terran in StarCraft 1 had a very interesting dynamic in that the optimal strategy combating a Zerg would require large amounts of infantry and science vessels, whereas Protoss would require a large amount of factory units, leading to more diverse gameplay between the two matchups. This dynamic existed in mirror matchups as well - Goliaths, Battlecruisers and Wraiths were very useful in Terran vs Terran, but are rarely seen versus Protoss and Zerg (with the exception of Goliath vs Carrier).
Protoss and Zerg also had this trait - Protoss would often need large amounts of Corsairs, Zealots, and Archons to combat Zerg and a large amount of Dragoons, Arbiters, and Carriers to combat Terran, skipping zealots entirely until the speed upgrade is done. Zergs would frequently use Hydralisks versus Protoss, but would always immediately morph them to Lurkers vs Terran until Plague was researched.
For some people this was viewed as a positive aspect of SC, others are frequently disappointed that Terran cannot realistically integrate marines into their strategy vs Protoss and so forth. What style of gameplay is StarCraft II looking to attain - will each of the 9 different matchups play in a unique fashion with less viable strategies overall, or is the game looking to ensure that every unit has a useful role against every race?
[Dustin Browder] So far StarCraft II plays similar to the original StarCraft in that different matchups require a different unit mix. On the design team we enjoy this type of gameplay and prefer to have players use different strategies and different units against different races. Our goal is that every unit will have some use against each race, but that players will tend to prefer certain units against certain races. We are going to strive to make sure that no unit is completely worthless against any one race but there will definitely be better and worse choices depending on the enemy race, strategy, the map, and your start position on the map.
3) In StarCraft 1 the basic tier 1 units were balanced against higher tech units almost equally by their unique role within each race as they were by unique unit upgrades and a greater benefit from the standard upgrades.
How much effort are you putting into making lower tech units viable higher up in the tech tree in ways other than upgrades that just makes them a "better unit" such as hit points and damage?
(This question is brought up because of the Terran Marine +HP upgrade which IMHO is really cheap)
[Dustin Browder] We are putting a huge amount of effort into making sure that the tier 1 units are useful throughout the game. We are also putting a large amount of effort into trying to get as much mileage as we can out of each of our upgrades so that upgrades really change how you can use a unit (but without fundamentally altering its role). The Marine is an example of a work-in-progress unit. We think the shield looks cool, but we are still working on how it will affect gameplay. Actually, in current builds Marines+Medics+Stim are so powerful that the shield is not that necessary in a lot of matchups.
4) Some new maps used in the pro scene for StarCraft have started to include permanent spells like "Dark Swarm" and "Disruption Web" as a part of terrain. Are there any plans to allow this as a kind of special terrain by default or allow map makers to add it as a special attribute to some sections of the terrain?
Examples would be areas with decreased movement for some or all units like shallow water, terrain making units immune to missile fire like dark swarm or terrain making the units unable to fire like web.
If you plan to include it will it be usable on melee maps or UMS only?
[Dustin Browder] Our data editor allows the creation of this type of terrain. You could easily put this type of terrain on melee maps. We have not finalized our feature set for terrain yet so I dont know what will make the final cut for the default Blizzard maps.
Chat with Devs: It has been a busy week, in which I had a chance to talk to multiple Devs this and I am happy to say that we have finished recording for our second episode of BlizzCast. We have also added a mini Q&A section to the show, to get direct answers straight from the developers!
Gameplay Blog: Following up on the last game I played in Batch 27, I had mentioned the Terran Marauder being a huge factor in my defeat. This new Terran unit visually looks similar to the Firebat, but instead packs the punch of dual Concussion Grenades (also able to be Stim Packed), which slows the movement rate of biological units, and also does additional bonus damage to armored units. These units are excellent at supporting any pack of Marines & Medics, with the ability to slow charging Zealots, as well as fast moving Zerg units. Playing as Terran, there is a sense of relief, when you watch an incoming army slowed down considerably, to be mowed down by your Stim Packed Marines. In addition, because the Marauders are able to be built at a Barracks with a Tech Lab, they are considered formidable early support units, able to pick off units of a weaker early game army.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if your enjoying these Q&As!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 28-
1. I noticed the Stalker "Blink" ability looked as though it was on a cooldown (similar to many abilities in World of Warcraft). This seems appropriate for some abilities, but is this restricted to the Stalker or will other units have abilities on cooldowns rather than energy? (Battle.net Malorn)
Currently, the Protoss Stalkers Blink ability is on a 15 second cooldown and is one of the only abilities that do not require energy. One of the reasons this was done for the Stalkers Blink, was to make sure that players wouldnt have the problem of having only part of their Stalker army blink up on a hill with some left behind. The Protoss Phoenix also carries an Overload ability, which is based on a cooldown timer rather than energy. Whether the Stalker or the Phoenix will use energy or not, will be mostly determined through much more balance testing.
2. The Thor now is anti-aircraft unit, but will it continue to have surface-to-surface attacks? (www.Sc2-esp.com)
In the current build, the Thors role has been changed to exclusively hit ground units, putting the transforming Viking back in the primary role as an air to air fighter. The Terran Viking is also now built from the Factory rather than the Starport.
3. In the original SC, powers like Irradiate and Psionic Storm affected cloaked units and killed them even if you couldn't see them. Will the Phoenix's Overload ability target cloaked units as well? (Battle.net DrakeClawFang)
Yes, the Phoenixs Overload ability does affect cloaked units, such as Terran Banshees. The Devs are all for these types of soft counters.
4. Does energy regenerate at about the same speed as in normal SC? Since the game goes faster, has that been speed up too? (Battle.net nerdpride)
Energy regenerates at the same speed as the original StarCraft. At the fastest game speed, both StarCraft II and the original should feel the same in terms of speed.
5. Now that the Force Field ability has been moved to the Nullifier, what other abilities does the Templar have? Does he still have Hallucination? (Battle.net Blazur)
The Hallucination ability has been cut from the High Templar. Instead, it will have an Anti-Gravity ability in addition to its classic Psi Storm ability. This ability will allow a High Templar to lift up buildings and units in the air, disabling their movement and attack, while also making them an air target. This ability can be cast on Supply Depots blocking choke points, as well as incoming Thors, or other threatening units. This has been the first ability the Devs have been comfortable with, in giving players a real choice to be made, to use Psi Storm or the Anti-Gravity ability. This ability is still being balanced, in terms of the duration units and buildings will stay in the air, energy cost, and if it will be a channeling spell (which means the High Templar will be unable to move or cast other abilities while casting the Anti-Gravity ability).
6. Will there be an icon on the left hand side of the screen to alert the player of idle workers? (Battle.net- Elminster)
Yes, we currently have the ability to select idle workers built into the UI.