Do you want the latest STARCRAFT 2 news updates delivered right to your Email?
Then all you have to do is to

 Subscribe to our STARCRAFT feed by Email

Saturday, December 27, 2008

SC2 Q&A Batch 47

StarCraft II Q&A Batch 47

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? -

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 (

Warp-in of Protoss buildings should be one effect for all with the final frames unique showing the specific buildings structure phasing in.

--End of Transmission--

SC2 Q&A Batch 46

---StarCraft II Q&A Batch 46---

1. In StarCraft II, will there be friendly fire? – Xigon(

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(

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 :/ (Pondpond, USWest)

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? (Shaytan, USEast)

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.

---End of Transmission---

SC2 Q&A Batch 45

---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? (

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 (

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

---End of Transmission---