Blizzard is releasing their first big patch for ‘StarCraft II’ today. It will change a few general issues and a whole lot of balance issues with each race in the game.
We have several balance changes in store. One general change we’re making is that friendly units will no longer provide vision after being killed. Enemy units previously revealed will no longer be targetable. Now let’s break down the additional balance changes we’re implementing.
We’re going to be adding destructible rocks to the Desert Oasis map to make natural expansions easier to protect. In addition, the center map watchtower area is being narrowed.
We have two key changes in mind for the zealot: the build time is being increased from 33 to 38 seconds, and the warpgate cooldown is being increased from 23 to 28 seconds. Zealot rushes are currently too powerful at various skill levels, particularly those that rely on rapidly assaulting an enemy base from nearby “proxy” gateways. We feel the window players have to scout for and fend off this rush is too small. We also want to address the problem of protoss being able to dump minerals a bit too quickly with the combination of warpgates and Chrono Boost.
There are several changes in the works for terrans. Reapers against zerg are stronger than expected. Due to the zealot build time increase, reapers would be a bit problematic in combination with proxy barracks, bunkers, and/or marauders against protoss. Therefore, we have decided to increase the build time of reapers as well from 40 to 45 seconds. Fast reaper + bunker, or fast marine + bunker rushes are problematic against zerg. Although this rush would never outright destroy the zerg player, we feel zerg suffers too much of a disadvantage from either having to cancel the fast expansion, or getting trapped inside the main base for too long, so we are also increasing the bunker build time from 30 to 35 seconds.
Siege tanks in large numbers are performing too well in all matchups. In the mid- to late-game, siege tanks are too dominant against all ground units. We want a small set of light and unarmored ground units to perform better against siege tanks. With this in mind, we’re changing the Siege Mode damage of the siege tank from 50 to 35, +15 vs. armored; to correspond with this, damage upgrades will be changed from +5 to +3, +2 vs. armored. This change reduces the base damage of the siege tank against light and unarmored units, as well as the splash damage.
Battlecruisers currently lack good counters from the ground and still perform very well against a wide array of unit types. We’re aware that it is not easy to get battlecruisers out for the cost, but at the same time, it is possible in both 1v1s and team games to create stalemate situations to bring them out. Overall, we feel that battlecruisers are too strong for their cost, and the terran-forced stalemate situations are causing less interesting gameplay. We will be lowering their damage against ground units from 10 to 8.
Ultralisk damage is being decreased from 15, +25 vs. armored to 15, +20 vs. armored. This reduction is comparable to the changes being made to the battlecruiser and siege tank. Like the battlecruiser, ultralisks are simply too powerful for the cost, even though they are difficult to muster. Also, in combination with other units, ultralisks are difficult to counter from the ground. The ultralisk building attack (Ram) is being removed because the damage rate is too similar to its normal attack, which will be used against buildings instead. When ultralisks target tightly packed smaller buildings such as supply depots, the Ram attack is actually outputting considerably less overall damage than its normal attack, as Ram only hits a single target.
Also, in the workshop is the Custom Map Marketplace which is said to be a big feature add-on later on. Lead Designer Dustin Browder had this to say to GI:
“We’ve got some mods we’ve developed internally that we’re going to put out to get some more art into the hands of the mod makers but also provide what we hope are some polished gameplay experiences for our fans to get more value out of Battle.net,”
As for mods, Browder said:
“There’s a lot of challenges to bring that in front of consumers: making sure the consumers’ digital rights are protected, making sure that people can’t steal each other’s maps, making sure that we’ve got the right UI and tools to rate maps and find maps,” he continued, “I don’t know what’s going to be in patches versus what’s going to be in Heart of the Swarm at this point, but we’re definitely going to take steps going forward to try to roll it out piece by piece so we get more user feedback.“We can get stuff in front of the consumers faster so that they can see what our plans are. I’m so sorry I don’t have a better answer, but we are going to keep working on it going forward.”
Great stuff coming soon from Blizzard and finally I don’t need to be worried about a Reaper rush no more. Joy!