General Gameplay Changes
We’re feeling more confident about the proposed resource changes from our last update. This change lowers half of the minerals to 50% of their Heart of the Swarm value while leaving the other half at their current HotS value of 1500. Internally, we’re seeing that this change not only encourages expansion across the map, but each base location remains a high point of contention. Assuming internal testing continues this way, it’s looking like we’ll go to beta with this change where we can see testing on a much larger scale with a wider variety of skill levels.
Experimenting with slowing down the pacing of combat in SC2
This is a topic we got a lot of community feedback on, so we did some heavy exploration in this area. The biggest thing we tried here was reducing the attack speed of each unit in the game by 40% and altering some damage values to compensate. Even though a change like this would seemingly have a huge implication on balance, we realized the gain wasn’t as big as we expected. Games feel different from before, but the main question has to be “Is this a positive change that makes games better?” We’re just not sure of this yet. For example, we’re seeing that slower engagements seem to reduce the skill component in combat. Additionally, games feel more dragged out than before. But we’ve only had limited testing at this point, so we’ll continue to explore this area in more detail before making a final call.
Scan range experimentation
We've also seen some community feedback about changes that can be made to the scan range to increase the responsiveness of units in combat. We’ve made some adjustments internally and we’re initially liking how it plays out. This is something we’re planning on testing further in the beta.
The HERC has been removed.
The HERC redesign isn’t going as smoothly as we had hoped, and in our most recent build the HERC has been removed from the game. We’ve instead switched our focus from trying to make the HERC work to just going back to the drawing board to see what other new unit idea Terran can benefit from.
The latest design we’ve tested for this unit slot is a combat construction type of unit that travels with your army and constructs useful things mid-field to support your bio army. This among many other changes we’ve tried with the HERC hasn’t turn out well for us, but this is not surprising as it really takes a lot of time and effort when it comes to new unit design iteration. We’ll continue to pursue potential new units that fit into the Terran army and we’d love to hear your feedback on this topic.
The Thor self-repair ability has been removed.
The Thor self-repair ability isn’t really working. As we’ve pointed out before, we don’t like that fact that there’s no strategic decision outside of combat. If a Thor is damaged, players will always use the self-repair ability if they’re not in combat. Our current plans are to remove this ability for the start of beta and see how the Thor works without the added complexity of a different mode or an active ability.
New Protoss Unit
As you may know, one of our main focus points since the last update has been working on the design of a new Protoss unit. Although not final yet, we have a unit and are very happy with how it is currently playing out. While we don’t yet have a name, we wanted to provide you with some details on this new unit:
It is a core gateway unit with a ground-only ranged attack and normal movement speed.
The unit has an ability that sends out a Shade of itself, and after a fixed duration, the unit teleports to the location of the Shade.
The Shade can independently move around, but cannot attack or be attacked, and does not impede upon the actions of the main unit.
We intend to offer a more in-depth look at this new unit in the near future.
Barrier is no longer an upgrade
Damage absorbed has been reduced to 100 down from 200.
Immortal Barrier ability being an upgrade isn’t working out well for us, so we went back to no upgrade and reduced the damage absorbed. It was too buried in tech, and in order to use Immortals with max efficiency, you had to have the additional building. So we’re trying to just balance the unit without the ability being an upgrade.
We’re considering changes that make the role more similar to the Heart of the Swarm Tempest.
We’re thinking the current changes may be too big of a redesign in terms of unit role. We’re leaning towards going back to the Heart of the Swarm Tempest with a couple of changes. Since we still don’t want Tempests to hard counter units like Brood Lords, Carriers, or Battlecruisers we’re looking to remove the +massive damage component and then add Disintegration.
The Infestor ability vs. mass air units has been moved to the Viper.
We want to explore something else with the Infestor that is cool to have instead of Neural Parasite, while also giving a bit more of a core role to the Viper. We also thought that having this ability alongside Fungal Growth wasn’t right because of how well the two abilities synergize, so we wanted to explore moving this ability to a different unit. This way, depending on unit composition, we can see different scenarios where the abilities might be used separately or in combination.
Roach burrow move now works when Burrow is researched and no longer requires an upgrade.
This ability allows for some cool micro that we’d like to see more of in Void, so we made it a bit more accessible for now. We’re also considering increasing the movement speed of Roaches while burrowed.