This batch we have more exciting changes to update you on, as well as sneaky strategies to use on unsuspecting opponents.
Gameplay Blog: This week I had to learn the hard way a change in our latest build of StarCraft II, which the Devs conveniently forgot to tell me about. As Protoss, I did my standard dual Gateway build, scouting to find that a lone SCV building a bunker outside of my base. In my mind, I thought, OK- a standard bunker rush, no problem! Build 2 Zealots and then hit the Bunker.
As it was a small 2 player map, my opponent was able to bring in a single Marine and Medic very soon, especially with the SCV repairing the Bunker at a very fast rate. As he repaired, I chased the SCV around the Bunker and attacked the Bunker with my other Zealots. To my disbelief, the Medic inside the Bunker was healing the SCV outside of the Bunker. Soon enough, another SCV showed up to repair the Bunker, as well as a Marauder, slowing my Zealots before they could reach the Bunker. At this point I had lost my initial two Zealots, but I had built four more. At the same time, my opponent now had a Marauder, Medic, and Marine, with 2 SCVs guarding the Bunker. These SCVs were impossible to kill since they were both running around the Bunker, being healed at the same time, while my Zealots were slowed and shot at by the Bunker. When my Zealots attacked the Bunker, the SCVs repaired the Bunker. Needless to say, the standard Bunker rush is not so standard anymore. With Terrans Salvage ability, being able to deconstruct Terran buildings for 100% of the cost back, adds to the devastating effect of a StarCraft II Bunker push. On top of that, adding a Ghost in the Bunker, allows for Sniping within the Bunker, as well as huge range, making it an effect pushing structure before you tech to Siege Tanks. Thanks for letting me know guys :P GG.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if your enjoying these Q&As!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 29-
1. Do the Terrans currently have a purely dedicated anti-air unit filling the role of the Wraith and Goliath? (sc2pod.com)
No, the Terran Viking is currently their primary anti-air unit, which is built from the Factory. The Viking can currently shoot both ground and air when in ground mode, and is able to transform into an air to air fighter, for better mobility and economy raids.
2. Do the Auto Turrets built by the Nomad attack randomly like the bunkers in the original StarCraft or will the player be able to choose the target similar to the Missile Tower? (broodwar.de)
Auto Turrets can be controlled by the player as if it were a stationary unit. You can both group them and focus fire with them. When they are not given an order, they will fire at the nearest enemy within range.
The Nomads second construction option, which is the Mine Drone, will not be able to be controlled by the player as easily. The Mine Drone is a stationary defense structure, which places four mines around it, and then immediately cloaks both the mines and the structure. Similar to the Spider Mines from the original StarCraft, these mines will wreck havoc on an incoming army without the ability to see cloaked units. The mines does a base damage of 50 plus an additional 50 damage to armored units. On top of that, the Mine Drone replaces the mines after they detonate, temporarily revealing the Mine Drone structure. Similar to the Auto Turret, both of these structures will cost energy to build from the Nomad, and will have a very minimum setup time.
3. With the Reaver removed, and his siege role moved to the Warp Ray, what will take his splash role? (TheWarCenter.net)
The Protoss Colossus now has a linear splash damage beam attack, which blazes enemies in a horizontal area of effect, from where the Colossus is facing. Like all area of effect attacks, the Colossuss beam is excellent at annihilating close groups of M&Ms (Marines and Medics) and mass Zealots.
4. With water featured on some of your maps, will this allow modders to try new game ideas that may make use of water? (StarCraftZone.com)
This should be possible, though much of this experimentation will have to be left up to the modders. I am sure there will be amazing mod creations the community will come up with.
5.What is the status of StarCraft IIs AI?(sclegacy.com)
StarCraft IIs AI (artificial intelligence) is definitely superior to Brood War in many ways, though most notably, the AI does a great deal more of scouting, and makes decisions according to what it has found during those scouting missions. Unsuccessful scouting missions, similar to what a player might experience would tend to lead towards a more standard type of army build or continued scouting.
-End of Transmission-
StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 30: Map Maker Series
Going along with out monthly discussion topic about map making requests, we've sought to get more answers to help direct these upcoming discussions.
Chat with Devs: Brett Woods is back with us to answer our community map making questions. We cant stress enough that StarCraft II is going to have immense potential in the UMS (User Map Settings) area, where we hope to seriously empower the community with the tools you need, to create some awesome gaming additions to StarCraft II.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you are enjoying these batches!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 30: Map Maker Series 3-
1) Will it be possible to code the game so map makers can make maps where people can stop incoming spell/missile?
This should be possible through customized ability data and/or triggers.
2) Will we have selectable male/female of every unit?
No, we don't have plans to include male and female versions of each unit.
3) Will we have the option to give players the option to change weapons in-game?
While we don't have any plans for a specialized interface for this, it would be possible using the highly flexible ability system.
4) Will you guys link multiplayer maps, so mapmakers can make multiplayer campaigns?
Yes, we do plan to support multiplayer campaigns and linked maps.
5) Will all buildings stand alone and also can we have the ability to disable tech trees?
The tech tree will be fully configurable through customized data and/or triggers.
6) Will research or firing a skill in a certain location be part of the tech tree enabling, for example Stim Packs could be researched to enable a Factory?
Yes, the tech tree and upgrade system will be fully configurable from the editor.
7) Will it be possible for AI to be commanded to research a skill, perform an upgrade, build a building at a location, build a unit at a location, retreat from a location?
Yes, there will be extensive AI scripting support.
8) Will mapmakers have the ability to set weather that can change the terrain and interrupt gameplay for players? Is this for anywhere or in a specific location?
Weather effect technology has not yet been finalized. However, even if weather effects do not affect gameplay normally, it would be possible to drive both the desired weather effects and associated gameplay effects through triggers.
Gameplay Blog: This past week while playing a Terran versus Terran mirror game, I discovered a new unit option from the Factory. This new unit is known as the Jackal, which is a fast vehicle like the Vulture, but instead wields a rail gun, which does an area of effect damage in a straight line at ground units.
My opponent built the standard Marines & Medics (M&Ms) composition while I bunkered my choke point and teched straight to a Factory with a Reactor add on, which allows me to build two Jackals at one time from a single Factory.
After I built a group of 6 Jackals, I rolled onto the field with my Jackals broken up in two groups with 3 Jackals each. I engaged his M&Ms with my first group, having the Marines line up around my Jackals as they naturally do while firing. Quickly, I brought in my second group of Jackals along the side to flank the M&Ms and the line attack did the rest, killing up to 2-3 units with a single focus fire command. With a little micromanagement, I was able to decimate his whole group of 15 or so units, while only losing two Jackals. That battle gave me a significant military advantage, which eventual led to a relatively quick win.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you are enjoying the batches, especially the new sections like the gameplay blog we've added.
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 31-
1. How will Marines mount into a pod? Is this done via the barracks, or an entirely unannounced building, or Dropship-like airship yet to be revealed? (sc2armory.com)
Terran infantry currently load into the Shadow Ops building (prerequisite for the Ghost). A Ghost can then launch drop pods, which originate from that building.
2. Can a player order a Ghost in a Bunker to call Nukes and Drop Pods? baboonsy (Battle.net)
Yes, Terran infantry currently have all abilities except the SCV repair ability available for use while inside a bunker, including the use of Nukes and Drop Pods.
3. What spells are specifically affected by the Nullifiers ability? Will physical spells like the Marines Stim Pack, the Ghosts Nuke, or Reaper Mines be disabled? Also, will spells cast before entering the area (I.E. Ghosts cloak) be disabled upon entering the area? (www.starcraft2forum.org)
Only abilities which require energy usage will need be unable to be cast while in the Null Voids area of effect. Additionally, the Null Void ability will disengage cloak by units such as the Ghost. It also currently reveals burrowed Zerg units, but this is still being debated in terms of balance.
4. Last we heard, Veterancy was active for the Terran but we havent heard anything about it since and are quite curious is it still in the game? (starcraft-source.com)
Veterancy will likely be seen in the single player campaign, but will not be in the multiplayer game.
5. In StarCraft, some units had instant attack animations (Corsair, Mutalisk, Vulture). This allowed people with good micro to make these units move and shoot. In contrast there were units that had an attack animation which required the unit to stop and shoot. This allowed people with good micro to dance (move, shoot, move shoot, maximizing the distance travelled without the unit losing any shooting time). In Warcraft III, units tended to have attack animations which took as long as the cooldown for the attack, making micro actions such as these non-existent.
Will units in StarCraft II have attack animations that last as long as the cooldown for their attack, similar to Warcraft III? or will players be able to dance (moving in between shooting) like in StarCraft? Also, will there be any units with instant attack animations that can be micromanaged to move and shoot like in StarCraft? -Fen / GenericTerranPlayer (teamliquid.net)
Balance will be the first priority when determining the animation duration for units. With that said, there will be certain units that players will be able to dance with, and there will be other units which will force the unit to stop and fire. Some units in StarCraft II will not only need to stop and fire, but will do additional damage to a target while it focuses. All of these characteristics which determine how a unit will be used in competitive play will be chosen based on balance.
6. When a unit is cloaked or burrowed, can the sensor tower still see the unit in the fog of war? DarkAlaskan (Battle.net)
Yes, the Sensor Tower will reveal all units in the fog of war, including cloaked and burrowed units. Sensor Towers are currently a staple to any Terran defense or offensive.
There is lots to talk about in Batch 32 and I'll be answering questions through the day about these screeenshots so fire away :) I hope everyone enjoys them!
Community ScreenCraft: In addition to our Q&A Map Maker Series, Gameplay Series, Lore Series, we are going to include our Community ScreenCraft Series, featuring screenshots crafted specifically to progress the dialogues and discussions we have currently going on in the community. To start us off, I have taken four screenshots which capture our latest discussions over the past month. Feel free to comment, give feedback, or ask questions in regards to these screenshots. When doing so, it will help to identify the screenshot you are referring to as Screenshot A or Screenshot B and etc. If you have you have additional screenshots you would like to see, that would also benefit our community discussions, please request them here: http://www.battle.net/forums/thread.aspx?fn=sc2-general&t=628588&s=new&#new
In Blink Assault you can clearly see and feel the new sense of Terran grittiness. Team colors are a bit worn from battle and the metal texture in Terran units and building have been desaturated a bit. In this screenshot you can see Immortals take on the pounding of fortified Siege Tanks with their hardened shields, while the Stalkers blink up on the cliffs for the assault.
The Terran Army struggles to defend their lone outpost in the scrap yards, fending off a Protoss onslaught just long enough until the Battlecruisers arrive. Though even with their reinforcements, the battle is far from won, as the Protoss also arrive with their fleet of Carriers to counter.
This screenshot depicts a large counter attack upon a Protoss base responsible for warping in several waves of attacks on Terran outposts. Dropped Siege Tanks bombard the area, while the Jackals torch up the surroundings with their area of effect line attack. Furthermore, the Marauders slow incoming Zealots as the Battlecruisers plasma weapons make short work of them.
As requested by the community, I have taken a screenshot showing a Dark Templar squad secretly infiltrating the Terrans front lines with the help of the Nullifier and its Anti-Gravity ability (previous moved from the High Templar). The Terrans wont know what hit them until it is too late.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you are enjoying the batches, especially the new sections like the ScreenCraft section we've added.
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 32: ScreenCraft Series -
1. Will allies be able to use each others transport/teleportation methods? Marines in Overlords, Zealots in Nydus Worms, etc.. ? (sc2blog.com)
Many of these questions are still being debated within the development team and the final decisions will ultimately be determined through balance. Nonetheless, classic abilities, such as heal by the Terrans, will be usable on allies regardless of faction.
2. Does the Anti Gravity spell work for your own units? In other words, can you use it to lift up buildings to protect them from an early wave of Zergling? (TheWarCenter.com)
Yes, the Anti Gravity ability can be casted on friendly units and buildings. Also, the Anti Gravity ability has been added to the Nullifier, as the ability has proven much more effective in the earlier parts of the game. Nonetheless, this is still being tested and is subject to change.
3. What happens to units who are under a flying building when it falls down? Can you build a building under the building that are flying? and if that is the case, what happens to that building that it is landing on? Get.Yourgun (gosugamers.net)
This is actually a notable design challenge the development team is currently facing with the Anti Gravity ability. Currently, players are not allowed to build buildings under the floating object. When the object does land, it will land on top of whatever unit is under it. For example, if a Supply Depot is lifted up by Anti Gravity and it lands on a Marine when the ability duration is over, it will indeed land on the Marine (but will not cause damage). The Marine can then move out from under that building in the direction of that players choosing. The details around Anti Gravity are still very much in testing. As this is a new ability, many of the details are not finalized.
4. In StarCraft many glitches and near-bugs were discovered with the years passing. Many of them are used regularly and changed the game (Mutalisk stack, patrol-attacking, mineral hopping, Lurker hold, etc). This is and was even more true for other games (bunny hopping in quake or through-floors dmg, etc) and it became part of the identity of the game that people knew about those glitches, learned and mastered them. They became important aspects of the game.
Will any of these bugs make an appearance in StarCraft II, but as intentional features?
- Chosi (Teamliquid.net)
Yes, certain unit characteristics like the firing on the move dynamic of the Mutalisk, as well as stackable flyers will be in StarCraft II. Some of these characteristics may not feel completely the same, as it is a bit tougher to get flying units to stack, it will still be possible. Although it is important to note that not all of these characteristics will be making it back to StarCraft II, there will be plenty of opportunities for players to find new ways to use the units of StarCraft II in creative ways similar to the original.
5. What are the duties of the Blizzard eSports team, and how much will they be responsible for promoting Starcraft II as and eSport?(starfeeder.com)
The eSports team is responsible for developing Blizzards presence in the increasingly popular eSports scene. Their duties include the planning and operation of Blizzard tournaments around the world in places such as Asia, Europe and the United States. They also provide third-party support for the eSports leagues that host both online and live events using Blizzard titles. Additionally, they help provide balance feedback to our development teams based on interaction with professional gamers and response from the eSports community. They will have an integral role in promoting StarCraft II as an eSports as they have done for the previous Blizzard titles.
Chat with Devs: After the Zerg release, I have been asking Dustin what types of changes are being made to the other factions during this process, and one of the most interesting ones that have been added has to do with the Terran Ghost. In order for the Terrans to counter the various new casters that have been introduced to all sides in StarCraft II, the Ghost can now detect units with energy in a 30 yard radius. This passive ability works similarly to the Sensor Tower, revealing their location even within the fog of war. This ability could also no doubt open up some interesting assassination type single player missions as well with the Ghost.
As requested by the community, the Protoss have brought their heavy hitters in this psi onslaught upon a developing Zerg base. In retaliation, the Zerg counter with a ravaging pack of Ultralisks and Zerglings upon the advancing Templar army. While the epic battle begins, the Protoss player cleverly sneaks a group of Stalkers to raid the Zergs economy as well.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you are enjoying the batches, especially the new sections like the ScreenCraft section we've added.
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 33: ScreenCraft-
1. What upgrade type (assuming these are returning) is the Viking using? Vehicle or ship? (Or perhaps infantry?) (TheWarCenter.com)
The Viking is built from the Starport again and will use ship armor rather than vehicle armor.
Attacking Jackals efficiently with Zerglings will take a bit of micromanagement, making sure that Zerglings are spread out or attacking from different directions. The Jackals hit points have also been reduced from 125 to 75 with a slight increase to their speed. This will make them more vulnerable to Zerglings if you can get them close to surround the Jackals.
3. If a unit is being produced at a Protoss building while it becomes unpowered, does it continue production or pause until re-powered? (Battle.net) Blazur
If a Protoss building becomes unpowered, all production including research at that building will pause until re-powered.
4. In lieu of the Nydus Worm, will the Zerg Overlord maintain its "Ventral Sacs" upgrade? Will the Ultralisk have any sort of unit carrying capacity? (starcraft.org)
Currently, the Overlord's original Ventral Sacs ability has been taken out. With the introduction of the Nydus Worm, the Zerg will have more than enough mobility to keep their enemies on their toes. On that note, the Ultralisk will not be able to carry units.
5. To what degree will StarCraft II allow for remapping - limited remapping a la Warcraft III, or complete remapping of key bindings?
- Excalibur_Z (teamliquid.net)
We are planning to support key-mapping for StarCraft II. The extent of the ability for remapping keys is still to be determined. Even in current experimentations, we have found that there are often many issues with conflicting key bindings as there are very few open unmapped keys to be swapped in and out.
So now that all three races are out of the bag, you may have thought you've seen it all- nope! The Dev Team is still working very hard to add even more innovation and clever balance affecting design changes that will indeed polish out the gameplay of StarCraft II that much more.
Chat with Devs: As of recent, the Dev Team has added a new ability to the Protoss Carrier that will give it a little more Umph! versus Zerg Corruptor attacks or Viking raids. In the past, the Carrier simply had a large swarm of Interceptor fighters which you had to build from scratch. Carriers now come built with 4 Interceptors already loaded (which is also the max number of Interceptors currently). They also have the new ability to have Escorts built for a temporary power boost to focus fire. Strike Fighter Escorts cost resources to build and last only 45 seconds, but add a decent amount of firepower to a Carriers attack. A Carrier can have a maximum of 4 Escorts. Escorts are given attack orders to focus-fire on whatever the Carrier is attacking and they can be destroyed independently of the Carrier or each other. The cost for these Escorts will be significant enough to where players will not want to just have the max number all of the time, as that would bleed your economy needlessly. Thus, players will have to pick and choose their battles in where they want the full force of the Protoss fleet present.
 An important aspect of any RTS game is for all races to have a way to siege fortified island positions, do the Protoss and Terrans [and Zerg] have a unit that is capable of doing so?
All factions will have units capable of attacking from a longer range. Zerg have the Swarm Guardian, Terrans have the Battlecruisers Yamato Cannon, and the Protoss have the Carrier (which has gotten some additional abilities since we last talked about it). However we are not at all sure that these are enough to deal with fortified islands. More testing will tell us if this is sufficient or if we need more.
 The Infestor is a very impressive unit that enchanted the community, because we all wanted to see a unit that is able to move while it is burrowed. Nevertheless there are still pending questions. Can the Infestor even infest Zerg buildings? Are infested marines produced as fast as it is shown on the gameplay trailer? Do you have to train them manually or will they pop out automatically? Do they cost minerals?
Like many Zerg units the Infestor is still under development. It cannot infest Zerg buildings though that is something we are still discussing. The speed at which Marines are generated changes frequently as we work on the ability. Sometimes its fast, sometimes not so fast. They will (probably) pop automatically. They do not have any cost associated with them.
 The Medivac is a very interesting Unit, but there are not many information given to us so far. Can you tell us any more details about it? At which tier can it be found? How does the healing work? Can it even heal multiple units at once and how fast does it heal compared to the medic?
The Medivac is currently available from the Starport (no add-ons required). The healing works just like the medic. We will (if we keep the mechanic) be adding a graphic of the Medivac deploying medical drones to heal friendly biological units. It will only be able to heal a single unit at one time. The speed at which it heals changes frequently as we try different balance options.
 There are many ambiguities concerning the Roach due to the much different information that has been given to us. Many users are quite unsure about its kind of attack. Is it a melee unit or is it ranged? Or is it kind of a crazy mix of both? And most important: can it hit air as well?
The Roach is ranged. He has been melee in the recent past (hence the art with the big claws) but he is currently ranged. This gives him added utility at chokes where he really shines. We have tried it as ground only and we have tried it as being able to hit ground or air. Currently it is ground only.
 Can a Zerg Corruptor infest lifted-off Terran buildings, Colossuses, and other Zerg units such as Mutalisks or other Corruptors? Can Corruptor infest Thors, Siege Tanks or Marines if they are lifted-off by Anti-Gravity?
Yes, Corruptors can infest anything that flies or is forced into the air by abilities such as Anti-Gravity. In the situation of a unit being lifted by Anti-Gravity, the unit will return to the ground when the anti-gravity effect ends and sit on the ground. The corrupted unit is only allowed to attack air units and will do so if an enemy air unit flies by.
 What is the reasoning behind changing Colossus' 'sliding' thermal lances (from 1st gameplay movie) to an array of beams (zerg trailer)? Balance? Visuals? Will it be possible to choose such sliding or array (or is it just 'horizontal' line?) fire mode from the Map Editor (available also for any other unit)?
The array of beams give a more interesting AOE template for players to attempt to micro. The sliding beam looks cool, but ultimately doesnt produce any new gameplay. The current visuals on the beam are temp to see if we like the mechanic.
-StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 35-
Despite seeing all three factions, there are still many changes being made to all factions which continue to finesse the gameplay of StarCraft II.
Furthermore, if you are reading this batch, and love StarCraft, show everyone! For the "I <3 SC" event, we've been getting tons of fun entries of StarCraft lovers in their classrooms, playing the game, posing at famous landmarks, and many unique digitally edited entries!
Chat with the Devs: The Dev team has been working hard to find the best defense mechanic that works for the Zerg. The latest builds have brought back Sunken and Spore Colonies, with a new twist. Sunken and Spore Colonies can now uproot and crawl to a more advantageous position. Incidentally, Protoss Phase Cannons no longer have the ability to change positions.
Giving the Zerg mobile defensive structures feels a lot more right as this ability opens up many more aggressive strategies in both Zerg mirrors as well as combined with Overlords generating creep to push these defenses up towards the front lines. Furthermore, there definitely is something about watching defenses crawling around that just seems very Zerg-like. Its worth noting that Zerg defenses while in mobile form have fewer hit points and are more vulnerable to attack.
Gameplay Blog: Over the past few weeks Ive really been practicing up with the Terran faction, as it is probably the one that I am weakest at playing with. After getting beat about three or four times and finally getting my build order up to speed, I realized Terrans actually have a huge advantage in StarCraft II with being able to block off choke points to your base with ease.
Currently, on most maps a Terran player is able to block off their base entry point before the enemy is able to scout, making it nearly impossible for the enemy to find out what the Terran player is doing behind that wall. With only a few Marines and a couple SCVs, the Terran player can fend off most early attacks, especially since they usually also have a higher elevation sight advantage.
Three popular options amongst the staff playing at Blizzard include:
1) Tech straight to Banshees, which have a very powerful single target attack, and can be researched to cloak. This unit devastates if the opponent is not prepared with both anti- air units as well as detectors.
2) Tech straight to Reapers, which can jump up and down hills without a spotter, and get an added bonus damage versus light units. What this means is that the Reapers are able to quickly get in an enemys resource line to annihilate workers at an astounding rate, as well as get out before the enemy can react. This works great if you can scout/scan to see if their main base is defended well with static defenses. On top of that, did I forget to mention that they can drop mines that do significant damage towards buildings? Yes, that means with a handful of these guys, you can drop enough mines to take out whole Hatcheries/ Nexuses, or strategically use them to take out Pylons or tech buildings. After you drop the mines, jump back out of combat and let the mine cooldown reset for another round of raids.
3) If a Terran player bunkers up as mentioned above and no attacks are made by this player, one way an opponent may respond is to expand and build a stronger economy, as they do not feel threatened. In this case, a Terran player can simply build up a huge force of Marines and Marauders behind the wall without the opponent knowing, and then strike when their opponent drops their guard.
Luckily, the Dev Team is well on top of balance, as they have introduced new abilities such as the Nullifiers Anti Gravity ability to lift up buildings blocking choke points and Nydus Worms to bypass such defenses to keep those Terran players honest. Maps will likely have larger choke points in the future to offer a little more chance for opponents to get a Probe or Drone in early to scout early teching Terran players.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you are enjoying the batches.
-StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 35-
1. Do Banelings damage nearby friendly units when they explode onto an enemy target? (www.starcraft2.com.au)
No, in the current build the Banelings do not damage friendly units caught in the splash. The splash damage does cover its area of effect range evenly, doing the same damage to enemy units throughout the whole area.
2. When a Nydus Worm is detected, is it possible to shoot it down while it is traveling? (www.starcraftcz.com)
Yes, having detectors in strategic places will keep you from being surprised by an unexpected Nydus Worm showing up in your base.
3. Does the Nydus Worm, a ground unit, move through open space? (battle.net) pop.helo
Yes. We dont know how we are going to make this look yet. When we come up with a visual solution we are happy with we will show it to the community.
4. Can Zerg buildings be infested, and if so, what units are produced? (starcraft2forum.org)
Zerg buildings cannot be infested. It is planned that infested Protoss buildings will produce an infested Protoss unit that will play differently than the infested Marine.
5. Will be there such doodads like customizable light or shader? (battle.net) Dagguh
6. The first screenshot listed in Karune's 33rd Q&A shows what looks like the Mothership's Black Hole ability. However, it was said that the Black Hole was removed. Does this mean the ability has returned in the current build? (Starcraft.org)
As mentioned before, the state of many of these units are always changing. In the current build, the Mothership has become more of a support unit with increased hit points and decreased speed. The Mothership now allows Protoss Gateways that have converted to Warp Gates to be able to warp units straight to the Mothership. The warp-in mechanic (which cannot be queued) has also been tweaked to allow Protoss players who use it to get a slight time decrease in unit production as opposed to queuing units traditionally at the Gateways. In other words, the cooldown timer on warp-in doesnt take as long as the build time for units at a Gateway.
Furthermore, the Mothership will also have the ability to transfer energy down to casters below it, such as Templars. Both the Time Bomb and Black Hole abilities have been removed
7. Will Phase Cannons be able to rematerialize on an allys Pylon Power, or an enemys Pylon Power for that matter? (sclegacy.com)
Phase Cannons are no longer able to move in the current build.
8. Is the Tauren Marine going to be included in the StarCraft II map editor? (battle.net) scorpionbrood
ScreenCraft: This batch's screenshot is to show the significant size increase of the Baneling since the original Protoss announcement gameplay trailer. The size increase is to allow the possibility of focus firing on incoming Banelings with additional micromanagement.
An army of Banelings invade a developing rival Zerg base.
1. Do Protoss Immortals get killed when a Nuke explodes next to them(seeing as the Hardened Shield blocks all high profile attacks and that a Nuke is definitely a high profile attack)? (Battle.net) Eragon320
In term of units, the only units that will be able to survive a Nuke will be the Protoss Mothership and Immortals upgraded with Hardened Shields. An upgraded Immortal will take 10 damage from a Nuke. To all other units, the Nuke will do 800 damage, thus making it much more powerful than the Nuke in the original StarCraft.
2. How powerful is the Roach's regeneration ability? How much time is needed to regenerate from 1 to full hp? (sc2pod.com)
The Roach currently regenerates 15 hit points per second, allowing it to regenerate to full health in 6 seconds. In countering Roaches, a player must either micromanage the battle to make sure they are focus firing on each Roach one at a time, or they have to bring in high damage units such as Siege Tanks or Archons.
3. Are Overseers any tougher than Overlords? (Battle.net) Mestroyer
When an Overlord evolves into an Overseer, it will gain a speed bonus, passive detection, the ability to generate creep below it, and the ability to corrupt' resources to make it more difficult for opponents to gain access to them. Furthermore, when Overseers sit in the same spot, over time its visual range will increase (but not its detection range).
4. Is it worth it to build a Terran Reactor Add-on since the benefit of doubling your queue list is not that useful, as it is often a bad idea to have your queue full? (gamereplays.org)
Yes! The Terran Reactor doesn't just double the size of your queue list. For a mere 50 minerals and 50 gas cost for the Reactor, that Barracks, Factory, or Starport will have the ability to create two units simultaneously (assuming that unit doesn't require a tech lab add-on). Most of the time, building the Reactor will be worth it, rather than building a second Barracks, Factory, or Starport. Not only will you be able to build from a single building the production of two normal buildings, you will be able to salvage that Reactor if needed to get 100% of the cost back. Being able to salvage allows for quick tech shifts or evacuations.
5. Will there be different building textures resembling the actual terrain? (in Warcraft 2 the buildings were snowy on the winter maps) (starcraft2.hu)
This is something the art team would like to do, though it will ultimately come down to time. There's a lot of art work still left to do, such as their current task, which is putting the finishing touches on the Terran Marauder amongst several other units. On the Marauder, players will be able to see many intricate animations for both the weapons and their power suits.
6. Did the High Templar's Hallucination ability undergo any changes due to the introduction of new tough units, such as Thor or Colossus? (battle.net) Elsoron
The Hallucination ability did not undergo changes because of those new units, but it did get significant buffs since the original StarCraft. First off, hallucinated units still have the same hit points as the original unit, but take double damage. Furthermore, the duration the unit lasts for will be around 2-3 minutes, which will be significantly longer than the original StarCraft. On top of that, to hallucinate a unit only costs 40 energy, which is much cheaper than the original StarCraft's cost of 100 energy.
-End of Transmission-
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 37-
Chat with Devs: One of the latest changes the Devs are trying for the Nomad is replacing their previous stationary Mine Drone with Spider Mines. The Spider Mines behave the same as Spider Mines from the original StarCraft. It now also does 50 damage plus 50 additional damage towards armored units. Instead of only having 3 Spider Mines, the Nomad will be able to plant Spider Mines with the cost of 15 energy. These Mines will definitely prove quite formidable against mass Tier 1 units such as Zerglings and charging Zealots.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you are enjoying the batches.
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 37-
1. Can the Ghost snipe casting (energy based) units in the fog of war using its passive sensing ability? (Battle.net) crazy_dave
While the Ghost will not be able to snipe casters in the fog of war, their current range to detect casters(units with energy) is 30, giving you plenty of time to prepare for incoming threats.
2. Could you tell us more details about the Reapers' mines mechanics? Are they visible for the enemy? Can they be defused, or should simply be destroyed? Do they deal damage to friendly units and to each other? If so, does the explosion of one mine cause the detonation of its neighbors, or they just die, without dealing damage? (Battle.net) Elsoron
Yes, the Reapers mines will be visible, though depending on the placement, they can be covered by enemy units moving over them. The mines have very few hit points and can be killed easily. Nonetheless, it is important to note that they are very small, making it more difficult to micromanage those attacks when there are several mines.
Mines damage both enemy and friendly units/buildings, so making sure you dont blow up your own Reapers is quite important ;) Mines will not detonate other mines, have a 30 second cooldown, and they currently do 30 damage plus 30 additional damage to armored units (including buildings). Furthermore, the mine is now an upgradeable ability of the Reaper.
3. In StarCraft II there are destructible obstacles like rocks. Apart from simply killing them the Protoss Nullifier can lift them with his Anti-Gravity spell. Do the other races have any similar options to remove or pass the rocks with spells? (broodwar.de)
Actually, the ability to lift destructible doodads has been classified as a bug and has been fixed in the latest builds. Nullifiers have already proved to be quite strong when used in groups, being able to lift up Siege Tanks and Ultralisks, effectively taking them out of combat until the rest of their reinforcements are dead.
4. Do Anti-Gravitated Banelings keep their suicidal abilities and act as Scourge? (sc2blog.com)
Yes, when Banelings die while being lifted by Anti-Gravity, their explosion will hit air units in its area of effect. This could undoubtedly open up some unique and unexpected strategies in team games.
5. Blizzard made 2 e-sport oriented games after StarCraft: Warcraft 3 and WoW. What are the biggest lessons that you've learned from those 2 games and how will you apply them to StarCraft II? - VIB (teamliquid.net)
One of the main goals for StarCraft II is to keep the game very visually intuitive and readable. As Dustin has mentioned in our recent chat, visually When a unit teleports, it teleports. When it shoots, it looks like it is shooting. It should be easy to follow on a screen and players should be able to quickly understand what is happening in the battles. Futhermore, Blizzards games has followed the premise of easy to learn and hard to master. StarCraft II will follow this philosophy.
6. How does the Marauders slow ability work against the Zealots charge ability. According to present knowledge the concussion grenade shot of a Marauder forces its target to stop moving for a short time; afterwards the targeted unit can go straight forward. So does it stop a charging Zealot and does the speed bonus remain?(starcraft2.4players.de)
When the Marauders concussion grenade hits an enemy target, it will reduce that units speed immediately by a set percentage. The cooldown of the concussion grenade shot is subject to balance. Nonetheless, a charging Zealot slowed by a concussion grenade is still pretty fast. Before the Protoss player upgrades their Zealots with charge, a Marauder can kite a Zealot with relatively little micromanagement.
We have a traditional Q&A Batch this time around, in which we were able to add in additional questions from the community! There are still several art changes which prevent new screenshots from being shown, but once we get them out, they will be worth the wait! The development team has also been experimenting with many upgrades for all sides, which we'll also be updating the community on as testing progresses.
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 38-
1. If the Roach is hit by any spell like "plague" or "psi storm," something that reduces hit points per second, will this be negated by its HP regeneration, or result in fewer hit points gained per second for the duration of the spell? (sclegacy.com)
To clarify, a Roach regenerates at a set rate and Psi Storm does a set amount of damage at intervals in the area of effect. Put that Roach under a Psi Storm in the current build for the full duration and the Roach will have approximately 50% of its original health after the Psi Storm is over. With a new upgrade ability at the Hive which allows the Roach to have an even more increased regeneration rate, the Roach will emerge from a full duration of Psi Storm at approximately 80% of its original health.
2. Will Starcraft 2's heroes showcase new models for each hero, or will SCII follow in SC:BW's footsteps, leaving heros as normal units with improved stats? (starcraft.org)
StarCraft II Heroes will have unique models in game, which will be different than standard units.
3. Will the ranking/experience system that Terran units used to have be available in the Map Editor as on option in Starcraft 2? (starcraft.org)
We will try to have this feature in.
4. Will it be possible to change (cancel, tie up, etc.) alliance during multiplayer game? (starcraftcz.com)
Yes, players will be able to have all the original diplomacy features as the original StarCraft and possibly a few extras in regards to controlling units and spending ally resources.
5. Will StarCraft 2 feature new map tile sets and will any from StarCraft be removed? Reiko.Cry (wgtour.com)
Many of the original map tile sets such as Mar Sara, Char, Shakuras, and Space Platform will be back in StarCraft II, as well as a few additional ones including a new Shattered City tile set.
6. What creature did the Zergling gain the inspiration to evolve into a Baneling from? (starcraft2.com.au)
The idea of the Baneling didnt actually come from a certain creature. In actuality, it started from the need of something to fill the role of a ground-based, area-of-effect, suicide unit. To give added versatility to the Zergling, they had the Baneling evolve from the Zergling at tier 1 in current builds. For a suicide unit, the art team then took that idea and created a creature with huge sacs of volatile liquids, which you can see on the Banelings in StarCraft II screenshots.
7. Can you provide more details on the Reaper's mine ability? How much damage does it do? Is it effective vs. both units and buildings? Is it detectable without stealth detection? What's the cooldown on it? - Solesteeler (teamliquid.net)
The Reapers mines currently do 30 damage plus 30 additional damage to armored units (including buildings). These mines are not stealthed, have a 30 second cooldown period between uses, and are definitely small enough to make focus firing on them very difficult. In the current build, an upgrade is needed to allow the use of mines by Reapers.
8. Are the Zerg Sunken and Spore Colonies capable of moving out of the bounds of creep? Elsoron (battle.net)
Yes, they are able to move and plant themselves outside of the creeps boundary. Keep in mind that all Zerg buildings not in the boundaries of creep will slowly degenerate and eventually die. Creep which moves into an enemy base will also damage enemy buildings at a slow rate as well, allowing for new types of creep pushing strategies in StarCraft II.
9. Will the Map Editor support letters from non-English alphabets (ó, ű, ő, ú, á, é, etc.)? (starcraft2.hu)
As development for StarCraft II moves forward, so is the Map Editor for StarCraft II. We have no doubt that there will be countless awesome mods created for StarCraft II, so we want to make sure your Map Editor questions are definitely not left out of the Q&As. Keep the questions pouring in!
Also, in Batch 38, it was mentioned that Sunken and Spore colonies could move and plant off of Creep while also taking damage when not on Creep. To update, Zerg defenses will not be able to plant off of Creep.
Chat with Devs: Batch 39 focuses on the development of StarCraft IIs Map Editor and I got a chance to chat with our Map Editor Designer, Brett Wood. Brett was able to answer quite a few of our community map editors below. Furthermore, he wanted to also add that the StarCraft II Map Editor will improve upon the World Editor from Warcraft III in every way, with several new features such as having all abilities in the game being data driven. Brett Wood elaborates here on what it means for all data in the game to be data driven:
[Brett Wood] Lets say you have a cool idea for an implosion type of ability that will rapidly shrink down a targeting unit, then cause an energy shockwave that damages all nearby units within a certain area. Since there is no standard ability with a shrink-down effect, in Warcraft III youd have to resort to some fancy trigger work to achieve this effect. In StarCraft II, this kind of effect can be set up completely in the data files, and you could make the entire ability without having to use any triggers or scripting at all. Generally speaking, setting up abilities and effects will be easier through data customization than using triggers, although there will definitely be a learning curve there as well.
1) Will the new map editor support placing of traps, doors, and other things commonly referred to as doodads in unorthodox situations? (ie doors, auto guns, wall traps in a jungle map)
Yes, any object defined in the data files can be placed on the map, regardless of which tileset it is normally associated with.
2) Will the new map editor support extended upgrade values? (ie, 30 upgrades)
Yes, upgrades are arbitrarily extendable, as they were in Warcraft III. In addition, upgrades will now be downgradeable via triggers as well (by using a negative value), which was a very common request in Warcraft III.
3) Will the new editor still support all the other ideas currently implemented in StarEdit?
This question is a bit vague. As far as I know, everything the original StarCraft could do, StarCraft II can do.
4) What additional features will the new editor have?
How much time have you got? Very broadly speaking, the biggest improvements over Warcraft III will be found in the data editor, where literally every game database file is exposed for modification, and in the trigger dditor, which now features the ability to define custom functions and libraries. That said, virtually every aspect of the editor has at least some improvements over Warcraft III/StarCraft.
5) Do you plan to take ideas from third party programs and update the editor frequently to meet the demands of the map making community?
Absolutely. We are very much committed to supporting the map/mod community as much as possible, and well be keeping an eye on the forums and updating the editor as often as we can to incorporate new suggestions.
6) Will be a tool to transfer WC3 models to SC2?
No, there will not be, as StarCraft II is built with a totally new engine.
7) Given that we know the Roach regenerates faster than normal, will players be able to change the regeneration rates for Zerg units?
Yes, all regeneration rates can be easily changed.
8) Will players be able to give units Protoss shields or Zerg regeneration that don't normally have them? ie, a regenerating Zealot, a Ghost with shields, etc.
Yes, you could create a Roach-Zealot hybrid if you would like. Many passive abilities can be interchanged similarly.
[added from thread] 9) Is the new StarCraftII map editor able to make our own 4th race by combining 3 races different looking and ability etc. together? even more combining with some new units from the editor?
Yes, custom races are fully supported, including the ability to choose them from the game lobby while playing melee maps, as long as the mod defining the race is loaded.
I'm sure you guys will love that I know I'm excited!
StarCraft II Q&A Batch 40
This week we have launched the 3rd episode of BlizzCast, featuring an interview with the Lead Designer of StarCraft II about the Evolution of the Zerg from the original StarCraft to StarCraft II. Be sure to check that out here: http://www.blizzard.com/blizzcast/
Also, I've been curious - would you guys prefer having these Q&A Batches (multiple answered and added into a consolidated release) or would you rather these 4-7 questions be spread out across the forums in pertinent threads on battle.net? I have been doing a bit of both, but would love to get your feedback on it, to make it easiest for you to follow up on the latest updates in regards to the development of StarCraft II.
By the current look of the game with spectacular death animations you could worry that you can get slightly distracted by dead units while playing. You could for example waste precious APMs (Actions per minute) trying to click on a spliced Space Marine that you thought was still alive. The wrecks of some larger units or deaths for some others could block your sight in-game too. Could this fear be a real issue and will there be the option to toggle down these model details in the settings?
Yes, this is an issue we are looking into. For multiplayer, we want to make absolutely sure that players can clearly see visually what is happening on the battlefield. Currently, we are looking to have different types of death animations available for multiplayer than will be present for the single player campaign. A lot of people do still love watching intricate death animations when not in a competitive scene.
Battlecruisers do employ more than one gunner right? So will they be able to attack both air and ground at the same time?
Battlecruisers will only be able to attack one unit at a time.
What happens with the units inside a Nydus Worm if it gets killed? Considering it can carry 255 units, would they all die?
Units inside the Nydus network will only die when all entrance/exits are killed. This includes the Nydus Warren building, the prerequisite to build Nydus Worms, as it also acts as an entrance and exit to the Nydus network. Nydus Worms that are not deployed as an entrance/exit will not count as an entrance/exit to the network.
So far the map editor seems to be a very powerful tool which doesnt constrain the map makers creativity at all. Will it even be possible to edit critical abilities like path finding? If so, there would be really no limits, or at least none we can imagine at this point.
Pathfinding, the method in which a unit will determine how to move, is handled by code, and will not be able to be edited within the map editor. Nonetheless, map makers will be able to edit things such as footprints, speed, and the size of units, which will affect the movement rates of units.
Why were Plasma Torpedoes added to the Battlecruiser when the Banshee has virtually the same attack?
The Battlecruiser no longer has Plasma Torpedoes that hit ground. Instead, they can be equipped with a Missile Barrage which will be an air-to-air area of effect attack ability. This ability will make the Battlecruiser even more effective against lightly armored air units, as the attack also gets additional damage points versus light armored units.
In SC: BW we have terrain bonuses for units, for example standing behind a tree or being on higher ground while shot from lower. Are you keeping or maybe even improving such this feature and what happens with large units that are more massive (Thor) or simply larger (Colossus) than a tree or even a cliff?
Terrain bonuses are no longer present in StarCraft II. Instead, line of sight will be vastly more important. For instance, units firing from a higher ground will not be able to be seen by ground units without line of sight vision, and thus the ground units will not be able to fire back.
If a Zerg player corrupts a Dropship/Medivac, will they get control of the units inside?
No, the unit's contents will be destroyed when it becomes corrupted.
Wait, so now we're removing features from the game? Is that not a step backwards? also in regards to the whole "feature" of not being able to see up cliffs and therefore not attack, that isn't really new or unique. RTS games have had this since 1998 for !&$%s sake.
I'm not completely sure to which features you are referring to, but in general, features are a tool to shape the gameplay of a game. Features may be good or bad, depending on its effects on the game. Not all features fit your design goals. For instance, multiplayer is about competition. Random factors like a random % of missing based on terrain is not optimal for a balanced competitive game (similarly chess does not have random factors involved when a player wins or losses). On the other hand, in single player, our goal is to immerse the player into the StarCraft world. Here is where the details that add to the story and immersion really count! Thus, there will be LOTS of content not seen in the multiplayer, as well as animations, heroes, additional units, and more...
The more I think about this the more it has me worried. Take the map Lost Temple as an example. It was common for players to wall their choke ramp with first tier units to prevent their bases from being breached. In SC2, does this mean the players wouldn't even be able to climb that ramp unless they have detection or air units to see at the top of the ramp? Know what I mean?
This is true, though in StarCraft II, there are more units that are able to give you sight in those situations (Reapers, Medivac Dropships, Colossi, Banshees, Sensor Towers (to let you know units are on cliffs), Overseers, as well as older units including Observers, Terran's Scan, and others).
Furthermore, new abilities like Anti-Gravity help break the choke points, as well as more incentives to build dropships for Terran, Phase Prisms for Warp-In, and Nydus Worms to unload your whole army in a place that bypasses well defended positions.
On top of that, the better pathing in StarCraft II allow units to get to where you want them to go much faster, such as up ramps and around units.
Thor got Anti Air Area Attack and Battlecruiser now too. Are there any big differences in their anti air attack?
The Battlecruiser's ability takes energy, whereas the Thor's ground to air attack is standard.
The Battlecruiser's ability is to make it more effective against what it is already effective against. Also, users have the choice to go with the air to air missiles or with the Yamato Cannon. If you are in a game where they have massed a lot of light air units, then you know what to get. This ability simply gives the Terran player more flexibility of options against air in late game.
Do units that move out of the Jackal's flame take less damage then units that stay in the flame for the entire duration of the flames existance?
EX: A marine moves out of the flame and takes 10 damage total, but a marine that was in the flame for the entire duration of the flame, would it take more damage?
Yes, units that move out of the flame will take less damage.
Chat with Devs: Since the Worldwide Invitational in Paris, the topic of the new Vespene Gas mechanic has come up a lot across many different fansites and message boards. Thus far, this is one of the biggest changes which will affect the macro management of bases in StarCraft II. To shed some more light on this new mechanic, I have gotten a chance to talk to Dustin Browder, our Lead Designer for StarCraft II, about the progress thus far of the new mechanic, as well as the objectives this new mechanic is designed to achieve.
To start, the new Vespene Gas mechanic is to further distinguish the play style in which players gather minerals versus gathering gas. In the original StarCraft, the gathering of gas was very linear in the rate in which gas is gathered. Often, players would put 3-4 workers on the gas, and the players would forget about it until the geyser was depleted. Minerals on the other hand, were much more exponential in the rate of growth and were also often played differently amongst different races. Zerg would likely expand rapidly with less drones in each expansion and Protoss/Terran could sustain a sizeable force with higher numbers of workers on a smaller number of expansions.
How the New Vespene Gas Mechanic Works For StarCraft II, with the new Vespene Gas mechanic, players will have 2 gas geysers at their starting position. These geysers will start with X amount of gas (currently 600 and subject to balance) and at any time players can purchase additional gas in their geysers for X minerals (currently 100 and subject to balance). With each purchase of additional gas for your geyser, the geyser increases with X gas (currently 600 and subject to balance) and the geyser shuts down for 45 seconds. When a geyser is depleted, workers will still be able to gather gas at a low rate of 2 per round (subject to balance).
How the New Vespene Gas Mechanic Plays With this new gas mechanic, players have a wider variety of strategies in developing and maintaining their refineries, as well as additional attention needed to make sure they are collecting gas at the most efficient rate. On the production side, players now also have to decide between sticking to Tier 1 units longer, or to play it balanced with one geyser, or even max out on gas to invest heavily on teching and higher tech units. Additional, the relationship between minerals and gas have an added layer of depth since investing in additional gas will actually cost the player minerals as well. How often a player invests in gas will also not necessarily be consistent through the game too and will depend upon what units that player is currently choosing to mass. Scouting too has an added layer of depth as well, as a players gas collecting play style may determine if the player is teching to a higher tier mineral heavy unit (like a Dark Templar) or a higher tech gas heavy unit (like a High Templar).
Overall, players will have to build the appropriate buildings as well as gather resources in a particular method in order to execute a certain strategy at a professional level. It is the hope of the development team that this new mechanic will not only make gas collecting more interesting, but also increase the amount of macro management skill needed to compete in StarCraft II at the top levels while at the same time making the game playable for mid level players without using some of these more advanced techniques.
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 41-
How exactly does the Corruptors attack work? Is it a stacking debuff that takes effect after a certain number of stacks? And if so can the debuff time out? Would you be able to hit and run kill for example Battlecruisers with a few Corruptors over a couple of minutes?
The attack is technically a debuff, but does not do damage over time. Every time the Corruptor attacks a unit, it'll leave a debuff on it for a couple seconds. If the unit dies within those couple seconds, the unit will be corrupted.
What are the current stats and build times for the Queen defensive buildings?
To catch us up, Zerg defensive buildings arent built by the queen anymore. Instead, they are built from the drone once again.
Spine Crawler: - Only hits ground - Health is 300 (uprooted health 100) - Movement speed is 2.25 (1 off of creep) - Damage is 20 +20 armored - Range is 7 - Attack speed is 1.5 sec
Spore Crawler: - Only hits air - Health is 300 (uprooted health 100) - Movement speed is 2.25 (1 off of creep) - Damage is 15 - Range is 7 - Attack speed is .8608
The Queen seems to be a very potent unit, although its tasks are more defensive ones, it can be used in crazy rush strategies, according to Karune's experiences. Well, if the Nydus Worm was able to transport even queens, she would get even more potent. You could easily think of crazy rushes using your opponents creep to just overwhelm him with your units AND your defensive structures. So here is the simple question: Can the Nydusworm transport queens among all the other units?
Defensive structures will not be able to enter the Nydus tunnel network, but the Queen will be able to. Furthermore, the Queen will no longer be able to build defensive structures. Drones will morph into defensive structures, similar to the original StarCraft.
When the Zerg Sunken Colony is uprooted and on the move is it more vulnerable to enemy attack?
Yes, the Spine and Spore Crawlers will have less hit points while they are uprooted. The actual number of hit points will be determined through balance testing.
In many cases, the micromanagement of units in StarCraft revolved around gameplay mechanics (Dragoon dance, Mutalisk stacking, Reaver/Shuttle micro, etc.), rather than special abilities with cooldown/charges (Stalker's Blink, Phoenix's Overload, etc.). Is the amount of this kind of special abilities in SC2 a concern of Blizzard, and how would this affect the overall gameplay?
Players will still have dependence on both gameplay mechanics as well as special abilities. For instance, Stalkers will have the basic dancing mechanic as Dragoons had in the original StarCraft. Marauders are another unit highly dependent on micromanagement to get the most effectiveness out of the unit, making sure you use their attacks slowing effect at opportune times.
Though for StarCraft II, we are introducing much more positional micromanagement, which will amplify units damage significantly. A Colossus will fire in a line and lining up that radius with the enemy units will be crucial in battles. Flanking Jackals from multiple angles will surely add to its potency as well.
Overall, we definitely want to balance the game with both plenty of gameplay mechanics as well as special abilities that create opportunities for the players to initiate clever strategies as well as innovative maneuvers on the battlefield.
Terrans currently appear to be at a disadvantage in terms of troop mobility, (as compared to 'Warp-in' and 'Nydus Worm') are there any plans to bring back the, 'drop-pod' or other new transport mechanic?
Actually, we consider the Terran side to be quite mobile. Let us first look at the Reapers. This unit is the fastest ground unit in the game which traverses terrain without even having a spotter. In addition, the Medivac Dropships, allow added mobility to all Terran ground units. With the addition of the Dropship being able to heal, it has become even more of a staple in Terran strategies, giving even more increased incentive for players to build Dropships than the original StarCraft. On top of this, Vikings providing both ground and air support at a click of a button, gives that added support of mobility and options when moving a Terran army around.
The method in which Terran will be mobile is indeed different than Warp-in and Nydus Worm, though they are not considered less mobile than the other races.
StarCraft II Q&A Batch 42
What was the main reasoning to shifting the Hydralisk backwards one technology level? How does this affect the Zerg early-game, especially since the Zerg will have absolutely no anti-air units before the Hydralisks?
Actually, the Hydralisk has been brought back down to Tier 1.5, giving Zerg early anti-air capabilities without upgrading their Hatchery to a Lair. The test originally was to put Hydralisks at a later tech and have Corruptors be buildable earlier without a prerequisite building other than upgrading to the Lair. To make this happen, the Corruptors had to be nerfed appropriately to fit that tech, which made it very weak and much less fun. Additionally, without a prerequisite building, opposing players could not scout the Zerg player to see when they were going air, which did not fit the gameplay style we were shooting for.
What kinds of cheats will be included in Starcraft 2, and how will they be accessed/unlocked?
There will be cheats, but you wont know what they are from us :) sorry.
Concerning resources there is one big issue for mapmakers: There are only two of them. For many UMS-maps you need more different resource-types than gas and minerals, thus mapmakers were forced to use even civilians as a sort of resource. So will mapmakers be able to place their one, gather-able resources on the map such as lumber or gold?
Yes, we have recently added support for one additional custom resource type. Additional custom resources types may be implemented in the future, but there are no plans at the moment.
With the Battlecruiser's new ability dealing splash damage to lightly armored air units, you could fear that the Thor has once more fallen into a role void. Is this the case or are the Battlecruiser ability and the Thor's anti-air capabilities tactically different enough?
The overlap is really no more different than a Siege Tank and the Yamato Gun ability or the Reaver and the Psi Storm from Brood War. The new ability helps the Battlecruiser against a specific group of units, which are units the Battlecruiser is already good against, rather than making it effective against all units. The last thing we wanted is for the Battlecruiser to kill groups of units that are supposedly effective at countering it, such as the Warp Ray.
Does the Battlecruisers new AoE affect friendly units in the area?
No, the Missile Barrage does not affect friendly units.
Will it be possible to use the full 3D cinematics mechanic from the single player campaign in the map editor?
Yes, we are looking forward to seeing some awesome custom cut scenes from the community.
Most users know that even invisible units can be seen by experienced players since they cause this nice little blur effect while in Warcraft 3 invisible units are indeed invisible aside from leaving footprints on the ground. So what about transferring the 'real' invisibility into the World of Starcraft by allowing mapmakers to choose from those two different invisible modes for each unit?
Map makers will be able to remove the blur effect that is currently on StarCraft IIs invisible units.
As mentioned in previous conversations, the development team is working extremely hard on the single player campaign, which we will be talking in more detail about at a later time. In the meantime, questions will be 'light' over the next couple of batches, to give the Dev Team ample time to work on their latest design challenges. There are also many preparations being made for both the Games Convention coming up in Leipzig, as well as BlizzCon, to make sure the StarCraft II community definitely gets their feed of info. Nonetheless, in this batch we were able to talk a bit more with Dustin and our balance designer to look into the current Zerg versus Zerg match up towards the end of our Q&A. Enjoy!
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if your enjoying these Q&As!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 43-
1) What happens if a Nullifier targets a Colossus with the Anti-Gravity ability? (garmgarf battle.net)
When Anti-Gravity is used upon a Colossus, the Colossus will still be immobilized and lifted up, which will still allow it to be hit by units that can attack air targets. Colossi will not be able to shoot while under the effect of Anti-Gravity.
2) How many critters will there be available and will they have attack animations? (SatanicLaser battle.net)
There will be critters, but there have not been any detailed discussions yet about their attack animations. On that note, there is a possibility that BlizzCon panels may fill the community in a bit more on what type of critters there will be.
3) Can the Infestor infest any building, or only specific ones, such as Barracks or Gateways, if the Protoss can be infested? (Son_Of_Korhal Battle.net)
This is actually a mechanic they are currently testing quite a bit. It is undecided if the Infestor will be able to infest Protoss or Zerg buildings, as there are gameplay and lore reasons which support many different options. Either way, at the end of the day, the development team will choose an option that will be balanced and fun in terms of gameplay for multiplayer.
4) What units are currently undergoing major art changes? (starcraft2forum.org)
There are several artistic revisions every week, though the two newest units to get some artistic updates are the Nomad and the Stalker. The Terran Nomad is getting a complete artistic redesign from any versions the community has seen thus far. Furthermore, the Protoss Stalker is also being updated to look more similar to the concept art piece as seen here: http://starcraft2.com/art.xml?s=6
5) How do Zerg vs Zerg games play out in SC2? Is it still mostly a battle of mutalisks and zerglings or have the new units changed things around? Ideas (teamliquid.net)
ZvZ (Zerg vesus Zerg)matchup usually opens up in 2 different ways, Zerglings or Roaches. Aggressive players can use Zerglings mobility to take control of the early game, whereas going Roaches is more of a defensive strategy. Zergling vs. Roach relationship is such that for cost, Zerglings wins out in the open, Roaches win at chokes, but in mid/late games when numbers are greater, Roaches can stand up to or even beat Zerglings for cost out in the open. Hydralisks dont have much use in ZvZ early game, as they are more of an anti air unit in StarCraft II.
The tier 2 battle continues with Banelings that can dominate Zerglings, but with micro, Zerglings can actually come out ahead in Zergling vs. Baneling battles. Similarly, Lurkers counter Roaches for cost, but Roaches have the mobility advantage. Mutaliks counter Zerglings/Roaches since these units cant hit air. Whats different in StarCraft II is that Hydralisks counter Mutalisks extremely well, meaning something like Roach/Hydralisk combo can stand up to the classic Zergling/Mutalisk combo. Also, another great way to fight vs. mass Mutalisks is to tech to infestation pit (same tech level as the Spire), and make Corruptors or Infestors. Infestors have the disease ability that is great for fighting vs. units that clump really well such as the Mutalisk, and Corruptors are Zergs anti air air unit.
Due to the fast pace of the ZvZ game, most games dont end up in tier 3, but ultralisks, with their cleave attack, or swarm guardians that use swarms to soak up a lot of ground vs. ground damage are great options if the game does happen to go into tier 3.
Overall, StarCraft II has a variety of options even in a mirror match such as Zerg vs. Zerg. Players can use different unit compositions to counter the classic Zergling/Mutalisk strategy that is a still powerful but not the only option.
Chat with Devs: Something I noticed during our recent shows at Games Convention in Leipzig and PAX in Seattle is that many new players trying out the game who played Zerg built several creep tumors, thinking they were either defenses or going to morph into defenses. This eventually lead into a conversation with Dustin about why Creep Tumors no longer morph into base defenses. For those who dont know, a Creep Tumor is a building which expands creep around it significantly. Building this building is an excellent way to cover additional ground with creep, allowing for many new strategies, including aggressive Spine Crawler pushes (the mobile Sunken Colony).
Dustin brought up two scenarios to why Creep Tumors no longer morph into other Zerg defenses:
1) You would be able to creep across the map by moving your creep-spawning base defenses.
2) It would be easier to accidentally end up with buildings off of creep because the creep-generator moved away.
Thus, since the development team definitely wanted to give Zerg mobile defenses, they decided to split the roles of the Creep Tumor and the other Zerg defenses. This also allows for the team to make these Creep Tumors burrowed and very cheap in the latest build.
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 44-
1) Is it possible for replays to contain more in depth player statistics such as average clicks per minute, number of hotkeys used, etc.. ? www.starcraft2.com.au
Replays will have much more info available in them that will include more detailed stat tracking, as well as other useful eSports related features.
2) Terrans currently appear to be at a disadvantage in terms of troop mobility, (as compared to 'Warp-in' and 'Nydus Worm') are there any plans to bring back the, 'drop-pod' or other new transport mechanic? www.sclegacy.com
Actually, the Terrans have many units and mechanics that empower them with more mobility than the original StarCraft. The Reaper and Viking is a good example of new units that extend the Terrans raiding capabilities. Furthermore, Medivac Dropships offer more incentive to build lots of Dropships, which translate to more mobility for their entire army. Salvage is also another mechanic that helps in terms of rebuilding and moving a Terran base to new locations. Lastly, the Terrans are still the only side that can pick up and move their whole entire base, as well as being able to load SCVs in their Command Center now, allowing for quicker fast expanding strategies.
3) With the new high ground mechanic in place, an army can't fight units that are on higher ground anymore until they get a spotter up the ledge. Both Zerg and Terran have the possibility to spot units on high ground with Overlords and floating buildings right from the start of the game, but the first Protoss unit to fly up there would be the Phase Prism. Could it be that Protoss players have a significant disadvantage on some maps because of this? www.GameReplays.org
In the latest builds of StarCraft II, the Protoss no longer need an Observatory to build Observers. Observers will be able to be built straight from the Robotics Facility, allowing earlier eyes on the battlefield.
We definitely saw that especially on certain maps, Terrans were able to block their choke point early, taking away much of the scouting portion of the game from Protoss, and are trying out this new solution for it. Additionally, we felt that Observers were too a crucial to the Protoss army to have them that far up the tech tree.
4) Will the Unit Portraits in SC2 be pre-rendered high quality video clips like in SC1 ? willygundersen (Battle.net)
The unit portraits will be shown in much higher quality than the actual units on the screen, similar to the original StarCraft and Warcraft III. They will not be video clips, but will be animations rendered in game. There will be several examples of their unit portraits in the next BlizzCast, where we have Dustin and Sammy discussing the process of creating a unit.
5) We all know how important it is that tier 1 units be effective at later tiers, which has prompted different unit abilities like the Zealots Charge. But it seems that the Protoss have a leg up in that they have Charge while the Zerglings have only their traditional speed boost without any AI enhancements. Is anything being planned for the Zergling? www.starcraft2forum.org
Due to the new game engine, Zerglings have much better pathing in StarCraft II, meaning they move much more efficiently. Zerglings are able to both surround enemy units easier and are more easily selectable as well, being able to control more than 12 at a time. Furthermore, Zerglings are also slightly smaller than their original StarCraft counterparts, and able to be morphed into Banelings, which are extremely effective against Zealots. Lastly, Zealots have also had their shield hit points reduced by 10, as compared to the original StarCraft Zealots.
Chat with Devs: After BlizzCon, it has been very exciting to see all the feedback from the fans and pro players about the latest build of StarCraft II. There was lots of noted feedback about both the Colossus and the Nydus Worms (which we are currently polling on right now in the gameplay forum: <link>). At my most recent meeting with Dustin, we decided to chat about some of the lesser focused on topics, that have undergone quite a few changes since the original StarCraft.
The first topic was about hallucination, a classic Protoss ability, that honestly did not get that much use in the original StarCraft. To make it more interesting, Dustin explained how the ability has been brought down in tech to the Nullifier. Additionally, hallucination could be used to create units in which the player doesn’t even have prerequisite buildings for. That in itself should be an interesting scare for opposing players, watching 3 Colossi trampling in, only to counter with Corruptors and realize that they were not real. Furthermore, even probes could be hallucinated! Since the amount of hallucinations you get are based on ‘actual’ costs of what they would cost if they were real, you could get 8 probes per hallucination to trick those incoming Reapers. Dark Templars, Observers, and Carriers though were not on the list of units that could be hallucinated since the first two would be quite overpowering to use as an invisible fake scout (soo OP). Carriers too, would just have much too many hit points, as well as become quite a bit over complicated when you deal with how many interceptors they might have.
Queen Spawns 3 Mutant Larva
The mutant larva count has increased with the latest version of the Queen to encourage more use of a pretty powerful ability if used correctly. Mutant larva crawl around independently of a Hatchery and can create units at a discounted production rate. This is like a free Hatchery with each additional Queen! Along with the Queen’s ability to defend against air units early game, it shall make her quite a crucial unit in any Zerg army.
Everyone who made it out to BlizzCon or watched on TV, we definitely hope you guys enjoyed it! It is always a blast having fans and devs alike come together to celebrate the games we’ve all come to enjoy and love. As always, shoot the devs and I a w00t! if you are enjoying this Q&A batch!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 45-
1. Do enemy Zerg units also get a boost on your Creep? (StarCraft 2 Forums)
Yes, enemy Zerg units will still get the speed boost when on creep. Currently, the creep shares no affiliation.
2. Are there abilities that remove creep? (TheWarCenter)
The 2 ways to push that expanding creep is to kill the burrowed creep tumors, or kill those Queens building them. On another note, the creep no longer damages enemy buildings. Through testing, the ability actually affected players adversely in team games where players allied with Zerg players would end up having their units damaged by their friend’s creep. In 1vs1 matches, the usefulness of this mechanic was hardly ever used, amongst all the new cooler Zerg strategies that have spawned.
3. Does the creep speed boost apply to zerg air? (TheWarCenter)
No, they do not apply to air units or drones.
4. Won't Reapers, Marauders, Hellions, Siege Tank's splash damage, and Stimpacks be too powerful against a Zerg player? All of that seems pretty well suited to counter masses of low-hp units, like most Zerg ground units. (StarCraft Legacy)
As you know, there is still much balance to be done since we have not even entered into a beta phase yet. With that said, there are several counters still to these Terran units, but Zerg players will be forced to adapt with new units and strategies veering away from some of the original StarCraft strategies. For instance, Roaches and Lurkers are excellent counters to Hellions and Reapers. At a later tech, Infestors simply rock massed units such as Marauders with Fungal Infection, causing them to explode when they die. All the new mechanics and abilities will add many new strategies to your bag of tricks.
5. Can Allies ‘merge’ their Nydus networks? In other words, can you enter through the Nydus Warren of player A, and exit through the Nydus Worm of player B? (TheWarCenter.net)
No, allies can’t share Nydus networks between networks, but allied units can enter into another ally’s Nydus network.
6. Is the Thor still an anti-air unit? Does it fulfill this role effectively? – Thelorme (Battle.net)
Yes, it is still an anti-air unit with the longest range against air units of any unit in StarCraft II. Visually, we are moving to give the Thor anti-air missiles that will fire from his shoulders, unleashing a devastating barrage from a remarkable range.
Weekly Blue Roundup
1. Warpgate’s warp-in (Theoblivion, USWest)
Even though the Warpgate is good enough, I was wondering if the Robotics Facility and Nexus warp-in aswell.
Q u o t e:
Only Gateways can be upgraded to Warp Gates. Gosh...warped in Carriers/Void Rays over an enemy base would be OP! -Karune
2. Reapers and Marauders (Battlenuts, USEast)
Whats units are the reapers good against? Ones they totally own. Also the marauders. Is it more anti toss or anti zerg? Better as a mixed in unit or stand alone? ect
Seems like lings take out reapers well
what are the large walking units in this video are the marauders?
Q u o t e:
Reapers are actually one of the best units against any light units in the game. They kill Zerglings, workers, and even Zealots pretty well with a little maneuvering. Their mines also decimate stationary defenses, as well as tech buildings. They are no doubt one of the best raiders in the game right now.
Marauders on the other hand are probably better mixed, unless you are going up against an all armored ground force. Marauders work well against both Protoss and Zerg. Early game, as mentioned above, they are great for slowing Zealots while Marines do the damage. Against Zerg, they are better suited against those pesky armored Roaches with the fast regen. -Karune
3. Colossus (Communitysc, USEast)
There have been some questions about the Colossus' utility on my website's forums. stebo88 and I have been speculating about possible uses for this 6 food monster. stebo88 used it at Blizzcon to fight some Zerglings and he had to retreat due to the Colossus' low damage (he did get to use its cliff climbing abilities though, the one positive aspect of the situation). In addition to its seeming uselessness, the Colossus costs a large amount of resources...
So I want to ask...what makes the Colossus worth its price? Are the Thermal Lances stronger than stebo thought them to be (against another class of units perhaps)?
Q u o t e:
In my opinion, the Colossus is the most effective when you have more than one. Three seems to be my optimal number, especially against Terran. Medivacs heal at a very fast rate, but only one target at a time. Against a group of Marines with a Medivac, one single Colossus would do virtually nothing, because the damage would be healed through easily. With three Colossi, the Marines would die in one sweep, negating any healing that could be done. A single Colossus is good at softening targets, but with more rapid healing from Medivacs and new units like Roaches, it may not be enough. At that point, you need enough to kill them in one sweep, and when you do have that, it will do significant damage to any army, especially with the additional range upgrade for the Colossus. -Karune
Karune, what are your thoughts on the Colossus attack mechanic? While the numbers can be adjusted in accordance to balance, there's concern that the current attack mechanic is itself a flaw in that it's too situational. Has your team considered enhancing it in any ways, or adding more control to the attack pattern is etches into the ground?
Q u o t e:
Even though the beam is currently shown visually in various ways, the damage is done to all units in that straight line at the same time instantly. That line will always be based on the position you are attacking from, so in that way there is a lot of control as how to use the Colossus.
I definitely wouldn't say the Colossus is too situational either cause this unit is quite useful in both Zerg and Terran matchups. As long as in these matchups, both players continue to adapt to counter each other's strategies, Colossi will surely be brought to the battlefield. -Karune
But what benefits do Colossi have over using units like High Templar or Archons for Zerglings and such? The only differentiating mechanic is the ability to walk up and down cliffs, which is situational in most cases because not every map will be entrenched with cliffs. It seems like Archons will generally be an all-around better unit for fighting the units that the Colossi is also good at.
Q u o t e:
It is true, they all do some form of AoE, but they are very much different from each other. Archons have a range of 2. Colossi have a range of 6, and with the upgrade that becomes 9, as well as increasing the area in which takes damage. The range of the Colossus is what makes it such a great support unit, as well as an awesome raider from cliffs. Additionally, all competitive maps will have cliffs to some degree. -Karune
4. Molecular Displ. & Seismic (Gearvosh, USWest)
So even though I went to Blizzcon, theres still 2 abilities im not sure of.
Firstly what does the Nullifiers Molecular Displacement do? I heard that it shoots a beam of energy and deals extra damage to units of the same type? Can we get more detail on this.
Secondly I keep hearing of a Seismic Thumper ability for the Nighthawk (im positive I never saw this). Supposedly the Thumper stops Zerg from burrowing. Any input?
Q u o t e:
The Molecular Disrupter is a new ability we are testing out on the Nullifier, in which the unit fires a psionic projectile which bounces between units of the same type, doing 10 damage with each hit, up to a maximum of 10 bounces. Thus, if you were to use this ability on 2 Marines (with 40 hit points each, not upgraded), both Marines would die easily. If there were 3 Marines, it would kill 1 Marine and leave the last two at 10 hp each. Currently, the ability costs 125 energy.
Stats are of course all subject to balance.
The Seismic Thumper is no longer in the multiplayer game, but was originally dropped on the battlefield, which slows all units within it's radius by 50% (including friendlies). The only way to stop it was to destroy the Seismic Thumper itself. -Karune
5. Medivac (From the Poll: What do you think about the Medivac?)
Q u o t e:
The Medivac Dropship is a unit that has already gone through quite a bit of discussion since it was introduced. Some were reluctant, many saw its huge potential on site at events and through videos.
The Medivac Dropship is a dropship that heals biological units at an incredible rate and from a range, keep it out of harm's way. This new addition has made the Terran race much more mobile than previously in the original StarCraft. These flying healers have become quite a staple in any Terran army, but we want to hear from you on what you think of it. -Karune
6. Targeting Drone (Shaolin_bboy, USEast)
And the enemy notices it without detectors? (Asides from calculating the damage taken by the units)
Q u o t e:
Even though the drone is stealthed, visually, there will be a red laser coming from the drone aimed at the target, so you will know when there is one around. -Karune
7. Stalkers (Crazyjimlizard, USWest)
When I heard they have a blink, I thought it was 30-60 sec cooldown. Even 15 sec cooldown could be abused.
My teammate and I were talking about it. Blink basically fixes a lot of the problems the old dragoons could have, and gives them some advantages. In SC1, siege tanks could beat Dragoons from a distance, but with blink, the Stalkers can close the distance and avoid more siege tank fire. In SC1, zerglings countered Stalkers, but in SC2, I think Stalkers do a better class of damage vs Zerglings. That stuff is just kids play to the sort of micro you can get out of Stalkers en mass because they're ranged. I've done my share of micro, and people hate it when you use 2 marines to gun down a zealot. Stalkers are even easier to abuse and they scale up.
Lets say you see a bunch of lings on the offensive. The most immediate thing you can do is hail an initial line of fire down. Then when the front guy loses most of his shield, blink him behind the lines. Repeat for the other front line guys. Then you're looking at a situation where you really flee the stalkers, or if you continue the attack. The Zerglings are always looking at losing a few zerglings just to begin the battle with no loss of the Stalkers because they have a community shield in effect.
Q u o t e:
Stalkers still fall to large groups of Zerglings in terms of cost, even with Blink micro. Although, with the additional micro, especially while also using terrain to your advantage, a Protoss player will definitely be able to at least fight a group of Zerglings, rather than being forced to retreat.
In the Sonkie/Yellow game 1, the Blinking micro definitely kept his Stalkers alive longer, though force firing would have ended that battle in the Protoss favor as well, since the Stalker has bonus damage towards armored units like the Roach. Zerglings are still definitely the best counter against Stalkers from the Zerg side, especially since the improved pathing system allows them to get to their ordered locations faster and are able to surround more efficiently.
The cooldown for Blink is perfect in saving Stalkers from death against Roaches which have a much lower rate of dps than Zerglings. Against Zerglings, the cooldown is not fast enough, similar to the announcement video of the Protoss race when the Stalkers were first introduced. -Karune
Chat with Devs: StarCraft II is definitely evolving to be even more intense than the original StarCraft, with the increased mobility of units with cliff traversing abilities, as well as new transport abilities. In response, the development team has buffed up the Terran Planetary Fortress to have splash damage as well, which has proven to hold off decently against raids now, especially with your SCVs fixing the command center at a very high rate.
As always, shoot the devs and I a w00t! if you are enjoying this Q&A batch!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 46-
1. In StarCraft II, will there be friendly fire? – Xigon(Battle.net)
Yes, friendly fire is still available in StarCraft II. You can take out cloaked units attacking your base by using friendly fire on your own unit and giving splash damage to cloaked enemy units, which has been executed by many players in the original StarCraft. For example, if you play Zerg, you can kill Dark Templar attacking your Hatchery, by targeting your Banelings to attack your Hatchery near the invading Dark Templar.
2. Trilogy is Beginning, mid and end, or is it the same story told from three points of view? – Lolod(Battle.net)
The stories will be sequential. The Zerg story will begin from the end of the Terran story, and Protoss story will begin from the end of the Zerg story.
3. Are there any special animations for units which are standing around doing nothing for a long time? (StarCraft 2 Source)
There will be multiple animations for units which are idle.
4. What is the optimum procedure for the new gas mechanic? Should a player mine both gases at the same time and cycle the inactive workers (when the geyser goes down) to the minerals? Or should a player mine only one geyser and alternate the workers between the two? (StarCraft 2 Forums)
It totally depends on what your strategy is in the game. For example, you can mine two at the same time and double up your gas supply to build up certain armies or tech up very quickly. Or if you need more continuous and stable gas supply for your strategy, you can switch off your workers between the two gases with your micro-controls.
5. What Protoss unit is now the best option to counter mass enemy air units? The Phoenix lost its overload ability which was really the only Protoss splash damage option other than Psi Storm. (StarCraft 2 Forums)
Against Zerg’s mass air units like Mutalisks, Archons and Psi Storm are still the best counters. Against Terran’s mass air units like Vikings and Banshees, Protoss can still use Phoenixes and focus fire. Vikings currently do additional damage to large ships, rather than light armor.
6. What kind of damage do spells deal? Is there a type “Spell” or don’t they have any specific attack type? (StarCraft 2 Source)
There isn’t a specific “spell” type of damage, but some do additional damage to current types already in the game. For example, Ghost’s Psi Round deals an additional 40 damage to Psionic units. There are ‘special’; cases though as well, seen when Psi Storms instantly kill Hallucinations and when a Yamato Cannon will not activate an Immortal’s hardened shields.
ADDON: "Spells" also ignore armor, as well as the Immortal shields.
[StarCraft II Blue Roundup]
How useful Archon have in SC2?
i've heard they lost their splash damage and they lost Feedback ability for longtime ago
even the Archon have thier splash damage but what improvement Archon have from SC1 ?
against Terran , Archon easily defeated by ghost
against Zerg , Does Archon still have splash damage ?
now the protoss have Immortal with High HP equip with Harden Shield and have longer attack range
i think Archon need buff :/
Archons still have their splash damage and are still quite the beasts they were in the original StarCraft. There is no better feeling than watching a group of Archons instantly pop a stacked group of Mutalisks.
Question on Zerg
I read this interview about mbs.
They said let's say you have 3 baracks in one group
you have to press m three times to get 3 marines.
Now, let's say I have 3 hatcheries in one group,
do i have to press z 3 times for lings,
or do i have to press z for each larva=9times?
If you have three Hatcheries in one group, press your group number and hit 's' key, you will select all your Larva of three Hatcheries.
And you can hit 'z' as many as you want them to morph to Zerglings.
If you have nine Larvas, you need to hit 'z' nine times to morph all of them to Zerglings.
1. In the original StarCraft, most air units can move and fire, vultures have fast rotating times and can shoot backwards and run forward instantaneously with enough micro. In StarCraft II, there have been some concerns from players who have played the game, that the unit movement animations are getting in the way of micro. Will such animation cancelling techniques still be possible in StarCraft II? - Team Liquid
Both macro and micro-control are very important in StarCraft II as well, and when it comes to micro-control like Vulture’s moving and shooting in the original StarCraft, it is still possible to focus on micro control with the units.
For example, Mutalisks can fire while moving, with micro. And certain ground units, like the Marauders with the slow attack or Roaches with fast regeneration, benefit greatly from moving and shooting, but they still need to stop to shoot. The Hellion is also interesting, because the Hellion is a unit that has high burst, long delay between attacks, splash damage type, as well as a fast movement speed, so it can be used for kiting purposes as well as closing in the distance after every shot to do max possible damage. Eg, shoot once, close the gap, shoot again, close the gap even more, so that you don’t waste a single shot, but with each movement, you are doing a lot more damage.
StarCraft II also has a firing on the move unit the Void Ray. The Void Ray can move closer to an enemy unit while continuing to fire at it, and because the damage type builds up over time, it would be more ideal to finish off that one unit that’s trying to run away or back up before engaging a brand new target.
2. Do you plan to introduce consume (cannibalism) as one of the zerg features? For example, in Starcraft I, defilers ate zerglings to gain 50 energy (it is possible to introduce consume for ultralisks which will gain 50 life after eating a zergling or another unit) - Unbreakab1e (USEast)
We don’t have the consume ability in the game now, but if consume is considered as necessary to the game, you will see this ability in StarCraft II. Currently Zerg has caster units like the Infestor, Queen, Overlord, and Overseer. Infestors can move while burrowed, which means it can regenerate energy again away from the battle. The Queen has already powerful skills and combat ability. Overlords can fly and mutate the creep without any energy. Overseers also can fly so that they can earn some time to regenerate their energy as well. If the current Zerg casters having the consume ability, it could make them too powerful and strong.
3. Will there be custom water units? For custom maps and Scumedit will players be able to make units that swim/float. Also will there be special units designed for water, but only available on the Scumedit, like a shark-like zerg or protoss water vessel. Obv. I know these won’t be in multiplayer ladder, I only mean for custom maps. - Imperial_wizard (Lordaeron)
We haven’t finalized the decision about the exact extent of support for custom maps and Scumedit yet.
4. Maps have always been important to keep SC balanced, fun and competitive. We have already seen you have some interesting new tools to help multiplayer map designers balance their maps such as tall grass that blocks vision of ground units. What other new terrain elements are we gonna see in SC2 to make interesting competitive maps? – VIB (Team Liquid)
Currently there are Xel’Naga Watch Tower, Grass, and Destructible Rocks in the map. We will be pleased to add more if we can design other features which will make the game more exciting and balanced as well.
5. The Thor was built by an SCV at first, but since quite time now it is built like a normal unit in the factory. Was this changed due to design or balance reasons? - InStarCraft.de
We changed this due to the balance reason. Before the change, you could build as many Thors as you want at the same time with your SCVs, as long as you have resources, with one Barrack and an Armory. We decided that this can be too much benefit to Terran, and we changed that Thor could be built from a Factory.
6. Zerg has cliff-scaling units? – Scumlord (USEast)
We want to keep three races different and they do not necessarily have the same ability units. Currently Zerg do not have a cliff-scaling unit, like the Reaper in Terran or Colossus in Protoss. However, Zerg still can expand very quickly and have other movement advantages like 30% additional speed on creep. They also have the combination of Overlord’s creep generating ability and Nydus Network as a very powerful tool to attack opponent’s main base or expansion. Also, Overlords are currently able to transport Zerg units like the original StarCraft.
7. I noticed that in the Protoss demo the Protoss buildings when warped in, had there surfaces visibly warped in, like in the original StarCraft. However, in recent builds and footage, Protoss buildings just appear after the building animation. Is this just a temporary thing, or is it really gone? - Ultimasx (Battle.net)
Warp-in of Protoss buildings should be one effect for all with the final frames unique showing the specific buildings structure phasing in.
Chat with Devs: The new year is well on its way and with it, the devs have been making much progress in both the artistic polish of the game, as well as continued development of multiplayer game mechanics. The art team has been adding several new death animations for units including the Drone’s disintegration into ashes when torched by Hellions, or the explosion of the Overlord sacs by Marine Gauss Rifle fire, and even Marauders being sliced into various pieces by Dark Templars. All of it is quite a sight to see and it is the hope of the art team that these additional animations will really give players a grand experience of immersion into an epic StarCraft battle. On the multiplayer side, the designers are testing out various macro-management encouraging mechanics that will be implemented to each race, but still be played out differently per race. These macro elements will be aimed to allow players with greater macro-management skills to compete with the advantage of gathering more resources than a player who does not emphasize as much on resourcing. More details about the mechanics that are being implemented will be covered in the next Q&A batch and is also planned to be showcased in the next StarCraft II Battle Report.
Night and rain effects will be possible in campaign mode but are not likely occur in multiplayer. Additionally, these effects will be available to map editors to use for custom maps.
2. Does blizzard plan any interface options for people with physical issues (such as color blindness, deafness)? - Kain175 (USEast)
This is a good suggestion and we would like to give all players opportunities to enjoy our games. While we may not be able to create accommodations for everyone, there have definitely been strides made to accommodate more players than the previous StarCraft. For example, you can find more alerts on the screen, such as attack, build complete, and more in StarCraft II and this system will be helpful for players who have difficulty hearing the game sound.
3. Will there be any multi monitor support? - SC2Pod
StarCraft II will support widescreen but not multi-monitor. Widescreen is definitely becoming more of an industry standard, but multi-monitor support for StarCraft II may be too great of a tactical advantage over other players without more than one monitor.
4. SC1 "caster" units did not have a regular attack; some of WC3 "caster" units did have a regular attack; will SC2 "caster" units remain attack-less? – TheWarCenter
Some of the caster units in StarCraft II like the High Templar and Infestor lack a default attack, but there still are some caster units which also have a normal attack ability such as the Mothership and the Ghost.
5. When two opposing forces come to a Xel'naga tower who gets control? Is it the person with the largest army or is it on a first-come/first-serve basis? – TheWarCenter
When two opposing forces are near a Xel’Naga Watch Tower, they both lose control of the Watch Tower, regardless of the size of the army or the order of who arrives first. For example, when you have a ground unit next to the Xel’Naga Watch Tower, you will get vision of the area surrounding the Xel’Naga Watch Tower. When the opponent’s unit approaches close enough to control the Watch Tower, the Xel’Naga Watch Tower will shut down and both you and your opponent will lose the increased visual range given by the tower.
6. Is the charge ability only limited to the distance between the zealot and its target or is it also limited to the time that is needed to reach the target? Presumed you have a zealot on a cliff and you want him to charge an enemy unit below the cliff, will it charge all the way over the ramp or will it stop charging after some time? - StarCraft 2 Source DE
Zealot’s Charge ability is based on the ground range, regardless of the height. So a Zealot on the cliff will not start charging a unit below the cliff, even if they look like they are visually right next to each other. The Zealot must be within a set pathing distance from the target for it to activate it’s charge ability, meaning the path in which the Zealot takes to get to the target is a set amount. Additionally, Zealots will not be able to charge through cliffs. They must go around.
7. Are you going to add some of the best custom maps to the regular ladder pool? - StarCraft 2 Source DE
In the future, there will be opportunities for map makers to get their maps added to ladder pools. These maps will of course, be selected based on quality, in terms of competitiveness for multiplayer games.
The StarCraft art team have been making massive updates to the Zerg faction, adding various new animations and improving even further on the textures of Zerg units and buildings. A picture is a thousand words so check out the updates for yourself!
Throughout the development process, the team is constantly reiterating and improving on the game in every way. As mentioned before, the Infestor too is getting a makeover, becoming much creepier and intimidating – you definitely don’t want to end up helpless at the will of this thing!
The StarCraft 2 team has made a number of changes in each of the races as the game gets closer to Beta. These are some of the new weapons and abilities that are currently being tested on the battlefield.
Protoss Dark Pylon
Long used only by the Dark Templar of Shakuras, the Dark Pylon is now used by all as the Protoss war for survival becomes more desperate. In addition to providing supply and giving power to nearby Protoss structures, the Dark Pylon has several unique abilities that require energy to use.
Proton Charge: an area-of-effect ability that gives all targeted Probes additional charge for their Proton-Cutters. Probes that have an additional charge gather additional minerals per trip when collecting resources. The Proton Charge lasts only a short time before dissipating.
Null Shield: a single-target ability that causes a Protoss Shield to shimmer and warp, cloaking the targeted Protoss unit. The Null Shield lasts only a short time.
Argus Link: a single-target ability that transfers energy from the Dark Pylon to any energy-using Protoss unit.
Terran Orbital Command
The Terrans rely not only on the troops they can train on the battlefield but also on troops called from deep space. The Orbital Command allows the Terrans to make use of their orbital assets to support their fight on the ground. As an upgrade to the Command Center the Orbital Command can create SCVs and serves as a drop location for collected resources. In addition it has several abilities that require energy.
Calldown Mule: sends a single automated mining robot by drop-pod that assists SCVs in collecting resources by working around current SCV mining operations. Unfortunately the Mule is still in the prototype phase and has a limited battery supply (timed life).
Calldown Extra Supplies: sends additional supplies to a targeted Supply Depot. Generally used by Terran commanders only in an emergency to allow them to support additional troops.
Scanner Sweep: using a satellite in high-orbit, the Terrans reveal a large area anywhere on the map and detect all cloaked units within the target area.
The Zerg Queen has continued to evolve over the last few months. She is a fierce defender of the Zerg Hatcheries and can often be found in small groups defending the larger Zerg infestations. In addition to defending her Hatchery from ground and air threats, the Queen has several special abilities that require energy to use.
Build Creep Tumor: with a mighty push from her bowels, the Queen creates a cluster of organic tumors that generate additional creep. In recent months the Zerg have mutated to move more quickly on creep, making this an important function for the Queen.
Spawn Larva: by injecting Queen ichor into a Hatchery, Lair or Hive the Queen can cause the Zerg structure to undergo a startling metamorphosis. The Hatchery starts to throb and green sacks swell up on the structure. Eventually four additional larva burst out of the Hatchery and land next to whatever larva are already wriggling around nearby. While a Hatchery hosts more than 3 larva, the Hatchery will not spawn additional larva, until that number drops below 3.
Razor Plague: with a great breath the queen exhales a cloud of tiny Zerg creatures that create a vast swarm nearby. These creatures attack all enemy creatures within their swarm, doing additional damage to biological targets. What makes it worse is the Zerg player can control the swarm, moving it around to attack whatever enemies he wishes until the swarm becomes exhausted and dissipates.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if your enjoying these Q&As!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 49-
1) I am very curious... previously, SCVs, Drones, Probes, Vultures, Archons, and Dark Archons hovered above the ground so they were not hit by mines. My question is simple: Are there any hovering units in Starcraft 2? If there are, can they hover over shallow water? -Ancientdefender (Battle.net)
If Spider Mines stay in the game, then there will be hovering units. Shallow waters are currently just a visual effect and will not ‘play’ differently.
2) How does the Mutalisk attack work in StarCraft II, what defines its bouncing pattern? Is it random or not? If not, what is the criteria that defines how it bounces? -Kain175 (Battle.net)
Regardless of the position of the Mutalisk, when its attack hits a target, it will then acquire the next target based on proximity to the first target. The attack will always bounce to the next closest target.
3) Is it possible to toggle off Multiple Building Selection (MBS)?
4) Balancing of 2v2 team play: Roaches + Medivac are too over powered for 2v2 team play unit combinations?
The regeneration rate of the Roaches and the healing of the Medivac will not stack upon each other.
5) What is a good counter for Zerg against Marines, which are upgraded from the original StarCraft?
Zerg actually have a few options that are quite effective. Zerglings can catch Marines out in the open and surround them relatively easily. Secondly, Banelings with the burrow ability are also very effective. There is nothing more gratifying than watching a group of Marines walk over a burrowed Baneling. When it unburrows – BOOM! Another counter that can be used are Roaches with burrow. A player can burrow a Roach at low health for it to regenerate back to full health in seconds, at which point it can unburrow and begin attacking the Marines again.
In late game, Infestor’s with their fungal scourge ability, which causes a biological unit to take damage over time until the unit explodes and does an area of effect damage, decimating groups of Marines easily if the opponent is not fast to react. Additionally, Ultralisks with their new cleave attack as well as 200 more hit points from the original StarCraft also make them an excellent counter to massed Marines.
6) How do you keep the Baneling from exploding on targets that you don’t want them to hit?
The Baneling now has an ‘attack building’ ability now which allows players to have more control over what the Baneling attacks. Players no longer need to worry about Banelings accidentally exploding on a building when they actually wanted it to hit a unit.
Chat with Devs: StarCraft II from its conception has been designed to be an eSport and one of the backbone features to helping players learn more about their own gameplay as well as their opponents is through replays. In our chat with Dustin this week, he highlighted various features that will be available to players while viewing replays. These features are designed both to help players improve in StarCraft II as well as serve as a platform of statistics for eSports commentary.
• How much damage did that Reaper raid do on the enemy economy?
• Does it look like the enemy is going to be able to make a comeback?
• Is that player walking into a losing battle?
These are all questions that are raised in exciting competitive games and replays. With the new replay system, players and eSports casters will be able to follow these games in much more depth, as well as understand the repercussions of players’ major decisions on the battlefield. Players will be able to easily compare statistics of opposing players in real time as well as make their own predictions based on stats comparing army size, resource collection rate, resource allocations, and tech research in progress.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you're enjoying these Q&As!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 50-
1. Overlord can be upgraded to carry units, and spawn creep, and Overseer can detect, spawn changeling, and has a longer line of sight. Why not just have the Overlord upgraded with these abilities, rather than have him transform? – Mooiki (Lordaeron)
We want each race’s detection ability to be well balanced. We don’t want to see every Overlord with detection after upgrading the ability once at Lair. Separating detection capability into two units creates important choices for Zerg players, to ensure their army has enough support of each type available.
2. Any support for stereoscopic play? - Ylleks (Azeroth)
Stereoscopic vision can be an interesting feature, as we’ve seen with the recently added support in World of Warcraft and other games. For now however, the team is concentrating on the core aspects of StarCraft II and making sure the core features of the game that will be used by everyone are as good as can be. Later on down the road we can evaluate more features like this and see if they make sense to support in StarCraft II.
3. At previous events with playable StarCraft II stations we often saw players doing classic Brood War build orders and tactics. Taking all the new things into account, how far do you get with playing just like in Brood War? Is it a clear disadvantage or a good way to start? - instarcraft.de
It will depend on the player’s play type and creativity. The experience and skills from the original StarCraft will definitely help players get familiar with StarCraft II. However, there are a lot more units, abilities, and buildings in StarCraft II than the original StarCraft. Players can always start out playing in the way that they used to play in the original StarCraft. As they grow more comfortable with the game they can begin exploring the new units and abilities and discover lots of new strategies. It’s not a matter of advantage or disadvantage, it depends more on the players’ play styles and preferences.
4. Will it be possible to use characters to colour ingame text like in SC1? – StarCraftWire.net
No, currently there is no in-game colored text support. Colored text was a neat trick in the original game, but we wanted to ensure that all in-game communication is clear and easily-readable, so we’re only supporting default text style.
5. In the single player, you said we can choose from the missions and the way we want to go forward. Will it be like we definitely will play all the missions and we can choose the order, or does it mean that probably we will miss some missions? – StarCraft II Hungary
In most cases, you’ll be able to go back and explore a mission branch that you skipped earlier in the campaign, so you can experience almost all of the missions in a single play-through of the campaign. There may be a couple of rare cases where a choice you make closes off a mission, however.
6. Will campaign decisions in the Terran portion affect campaign outcomes/branches in the Zerg and Protoss portions? - TheWarCenter
We looked into this possibility, but after some debate, we decided it was most important that each campaign delivers a self-contained, yet epic storyline. Giving each campaign a single start and ending was the best way to ensure a coherent plot.
7. In the original StarCraft, you could make the Lurker (through bug use), while burrowed, hold fire until told to attack, something which led to many exciting situations. Are there any plans to include a “hold fire” command for the Lurker in SC2? In addition, worker units lacked Hold and Patrol commands in SC, will this be the case in SC2 as well? – Team Liquid (Zanric)
There is no hold fire command for Lurker in the current build. However we will look into every possibility that encourages more tactical, exciting gameplay and keeps the game balanced.
Chat with Devs: Between adding new unit models and sliming up the zerg buildings, the StarCraft II art team has also spent some time on some little details that make the game come alive, such as new unit death animations. Featured below, we have a protoss carrier being blown out of the sky by a squad of terran marines, as well as several zerg units falling to their fates.
As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if you're enjoying these Q&As!
-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 51-
1. Add an option in the menu to disable the windows key, and same thing goes for ALT-TAB?
And add an EASY way to squelch your opponent. When their name “IllIIlIIlIIlIIlllI” (L & i), it's a little difficult.
While we are not considering disabling the windows key and Alt+Tab, we are looking into the naming policy to prevent problems like the one you described.
2. StarCraft 2's terrain properties such as Xel'Naga towers, destroyable barriers and Brush have a significant effect on gameplay and appear to create specific points of interest/advantage on the map. Are there plans to introduce additional terrain buffs/effect to the battlefield?
The current terrain features are not finalized. We still have these three map features in the game and we plan to keep them during the beta, but it is always possible to add more features if we find something that’s balanced and encourages exciting game play.
3. Since there are/were plans to integrate voice communications into multiplayer, will StarCraft 2 replays be able to include Audio, as well as chat?
Replay files do not include audio. However you will be able to see all text chats while you are watching replay.
4. You have talked a bit about replay functions lately and since patches will come up definitely former replays won’t work if the system sticks with SC1 or W3. Do you plan on making changes here so that players can view older replays ever after patches occur?
Yes, even as the game gets patched, you will be able to watch replays of matches played on older versions.
5. The interface we see in Battle Reports – is this interface available for Observers during a live game (in real time), or only while viewing replays, or both?
The interface you’ve seen in Battle Reports will be available in observer mode as well as in replays during beta.
6. StarCraft II is a package consisting of single player/campaign, multiplayer (+replay viewer), map editor and Battle.net. All four are complex and without a doubt require testing and patching. Has it been decided which of the above components are planned to be included in public beta testing?
You can have multiplayer game access through Battle.net during the beta and you can watch the replays as well. There will also be access to the Map Editor during the beta process but not necessarily from the start. Single player campaign will not be included in the beta.
1. Does it still use the JASS language, or perhaps an upgraded version of JASS?
StarCraft II uses an entirely new scripting language, which we’ve called Galaxy. This language is very similar to C, and anyone familiar with programming in C will have no trouble picking it up.
2. Is the language event-driven or object-oriented?
The language itself is not object-oriented, although most of the native functionality is based around operating on game objects.
3. In comparison to the Warcraft III Editor, how much more, if any, can the GUI of the game be edited (it was extremely limited in Warcraft III)?
The in-game UI layout is externalized in data files to a large extent, however there is no editor support for working with these files. So it will be possible to customize the game UI, it just won't be a user-friendly process.
4. Are there new noteworthy functionalities in the Starcraft II Editor, or will the new editor just have general improvements?
I can’t think of a single editor feature from WarCraft III, large or small, which has not been improved in at least some way for StarCraft II.
5. Will the ability to communicate among triggers, for instance via actions or conditions, be improved in the new language?
One significant new feature of the Trigger Editor is support for custom function definitions, including actions and conditions. This means you can create your own actions that are built up from other actions (or custom script code), then use those in triggers just as you would any other action.
6. How does "Hero" support differ from the Warcraft III Editor? Or is it practically identical?
We’ve been working hard to create a hero system that is even more flexible than WarCraft III’s. For example, map makers will have the ability to define any number of custom attributes that modify a hero based on its level.
7. Will there be a public API for the programming language?
As with WarCraft III, there is a large set of “native” functions representing game functionality that can be accessed through scripts. If this is what you mean by “public API”, then yes.
8. Will there be improvements on the "Garbage Collector" for the new language? For example, in JASS all local variables need to be set to null at the end of their use, and certain data-types need to be removed from the game (such as Locations) at the end of their use to avoid memory leaks.
Galaxy features a robust garbage collection system for all native types, which is a huge improvement over WarCraft III (which technically did not have a garbage collection system at all). The script memory leak issues from WarCraft III will be a thing of the past.
Hope everyone has enjoyed all the BlizzCon news and got a chance at our Twitter beta key giveaway! Everything has settled here in the office after various shows and events we've been at, but we are back in the swing of things. If you haven't been following us on Twitter, don't forget to do so too, as we will consistently be adding more spotlights, development info, and fun contests on there as we approach beta and throughout the development of StarCraft II.
1. Computer AI – Does the computer’s online AI vary from its offline counterpart?
No. They are the same.
2. Have you considered allowing a post-game lobby for users to discuss the last game, collectively watch replays, or immediately enter into a rematch?
Yes, we have a plan for a post game lobby. However the details are not finalized yet.
3. Is there any update on additional map features other than the Xel’Naga watch towers, destructible rocks and tall grass?
No. Currently there is no update on additional map features.
4. How many different voice actors are needed for StarCraft II, including the unit sounds and campaign heroes?
There are 58 unique voice actors participating, with some voicing multiple roles, and the number may increase as the game gets closer to release.
5. The terrain types in StarCraft II we have seen so far had names like “Bel’Shir (Jungle)”. Does this mean that “Bel’Shir” is just an alias for jungle and every terrain is just named after a typical planet using it or are there – to stick with this example – other jungle maps with a different terrain set, something like “Aiur (Jungle)”?
We named our terrain sets based on the planets. There are a lot more terrain sets than in the original StarCraft and you will have huge flexibility in modifying the terrain sets (including adjusting textures, doodads, lighting) allowing you to create your own variations of the default maps. There may be other jungle-themed default maps named after other planets.
6. Will there be any chance to have more options on pausing the game? In StarCraft: Brood War every player can pause the game three times, but every other player can unpause it. How about a (user editable) time limit before other players can unpause the game?
We recommend that players communicate with each other in the game to agree on when to pause and unpause during the game. We feel that pausing the game interrupts the game flow and it would be inconvenient for players to be forced to wait for a certain amount of time before being able to unpause. The pausing feature is mainly meant to allow for pausing of the game when all players are in agreement and for which duration.
7. I already knew the map editor would be available to beta testers a while after Beta was released, but this is why I’m asking the bland question, will it also be available to non-participating people?
No, the map editor will only be available during the beta for beta testers.
8. When a unit comes out from a building will there be only 4 exits from the building like in Warcraft 3 or will there be “infinite”?
It is not infinite, but your units will come out from a building at the closest point on the building to where your rally point is set.