The War Chest Skin Bundles are now available! https://t.co/Hcwkn9koqx
Historically with our updates, we’ve split up our commanders into small groups, in order to allow ourselves to focus precisely on certain ones with reach revamp. Now that we’ve completed our initial pass on all the commanders, we’re ready to take the next step with a second round of revamps—one that will cover most commanders. Because this is one of the largest revamp updates yet, we’d like to summarize the changes.
Lowering Commander Ramp-Up Time
A common theme for commanders that are currently viewed to be “weaker” is their relatively long ramp-up times. While these commanders can hang with the best of them at maximum supply, they take more time to get a starting army out of the gate and can often fall behind. While differences in ramp-up times are intentional design decisions, we do think there is some room to shore up some of the commanders that are on the extreme end of the spectrum. In the next patch, we’ll be addressing ramp-up for Swann, Karax, Stukov, and Han & Horner, which will generally manifest in one of two forms:
Reinforcing Karax’s Identity
The lack of power and identity in Karax’s army has been a recurring topic in the Co-op community. In addition, that he has a mastery that negates his expensive unit trait instead of enhancing it feels self-defeating. For these reasons, we’d like to try the following changes:
The primary goal of this change is to reinforce Karax’s identity as a master Phasesmith. As a commander that typifies strong defense, we wanted to reinforce the fantasy of his masterwork creations being a bit more durable, which synergizes with Reconstruction Beam. While we considered other bonuses such as attack speed and damage, we wanted to avoid pushing Karax’s maxed army to be wholly more powerful than that of other Protoss commanders.
Tweaking “Weaker” Units
Finally, we’ll be doing a power pass on units that often feel weak, including (but not limited to) Kerrigan’s Brood Lords, Abathur’s Ravagers, and Zagara’s Bile Launchers, and various units for Swann and Alarak.
This is just a small taste of what we have in store for everyone, and we’re excited to share with you what’s to come. Stay tuned!
Lead Co-op Designer
Greetings Cerebrates, Commanders, and Executors,
Patch 1.23.3 has arrived!
Welcome to Season 6!
Map Pool update:
For the first two weeks, ranks will be MMR bucketed based on last season’s data. After which we will switch to the percentage-based breakdown above.
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We are confident we have found a good option for returning the StarCraft II Community APIs to service and have begun that work. We are not able to commit to a specific timeline for this work to be completed, but we will provide another update on our status in February.
RT @esportstarcraft: We’re excited to announce the future of StarCraft II esports. Our 3-year deal with ESL will help create a longstanding…
In early January we’ll be taking down the StarCraft II Community APIs to ensure compliance with the new data-protection regulations going into effect at that time. We understand how valuable these APIs are to our community and know this will impact many of the websites and tools the community uses. We’re investigating our options for restoring these APIs and will provide an update on our status by the end of January.
It’s been a few weeks since the 2019 post-BlizzCon changes went live, and before the year comes to a close, we’d like to take some time to review the changes we’ve made and the resulting games we’ve seen so far. Some notable tournaments we’ve been paying attention to include Nation Wars, WESG qualifiers, and of course, HomeStory Cup XX.
One of the hot topics of 2019 was the Nydus Worm, and based on the games we’ve seen so far, we feel pretty good about its level of use and its effectiveness when used. Nydus and Nydus/Swarm Host usage has generally decreased in ZvP, which we believe is caused by both changes to the Nydus Worm and the map pool. And when Nydus Worms are used in the matchup, we feel a lot better about the new level of difficulty by which Protoss has to fight them. Meanwhile, while we’re seeing less direct Nydus aggression in ZvT, we do see increased Nydus/Swarm Host usage, which we attribute to a spike in the popularity of mech play.
Another popular topic of discussion in 2019 was the strength of Infestor/Brood Lord and the resulting passive endgames it caused. With the changes made to both these units in the post-BlizCon patch, we believe the late-games that we see are a lot more dynamic, and small decisions in the late-game feel more impactful to the end result of the game.
In general, when it comes to balance, especially late-game balance, we believe it’ll take quite a bit more time before we can come to any definitive conclusions. Not only are sample sizes small, the styles players are using are more divergent from each other than usual, reflective of a meta after a big patch. For now, our focus is on the end-game dynamics of each matchup with special focus on units that we changed recently including the Liberator, Thor, Lurker, and Infestor. With that said, we’d like to make two design-motivated adjustments.
We tried a new version of the Resonated Glaives upgrade with the goals of moving it away from the front-line pusher and emphasizing the coolness of the Shade Projection ability. However, it ran into some oddities in practice. For example, in the heat of battle, it took away from the interesting mind-game of whether the Shade would be canceled, because the Adept user is so highly incentivized to finish their Shade. It also created awkward scenarios where Adept users are encouraged to Shade onto themselves in the middle of a fight. For these reasons, we’d like to revert this change to the Adept.
As a general rule, we try to tune new skills and abilities to be on the strong side when we initially introduce them to promote experimentation. With Microbial Shroud, we probably didn’t go far enough, leading to its low use in tournament games. The changes introduced here are geared towards increasing accessibility and moderating the effectiveness of enemy area-of-effect abilities against Shrouds.
Both changes should go live with an upcoming update on Tuesday, December 17, PST. Let us know what you think on any community site, thanks for your feedback, and happy holidays!
-StarCraft II Team
Co-op Mission Update – December 16th, 2019
Hello all! We hope you’ve been enjoying Mengsk, his endless Troopers, powerful Royal Guard, and overall questionable war tactics. Whether Mengsk is your commander or choice or not, we have another surprise for you: the final Co-op commander revamp consisting of changes to Tychus, Zeratul, Stetmann, and even Mengsk. Because we wanted to get this update out before the holidays and very soon after Mengsk, we’ll be forgoing our traditional multi-week update format in favor of a more concise summary of planned changes. Here’s what you can expect soon in an upcoming patch:
Tychus’ changes will focus on improving some of his lesser used outlaws: Blaze, Lt. Nikara, and Vega. We’ll also be taking a look at Medivac Pickup as we believe it provides too much instantaneous free healing, allow Tychus to be a bit more responsive than we liked and crowding out options like Lt. Nikara.
For Zertaul, we believe his Legendary Legions and Tesseract Cannons are too powerful for their respective costs. At the same time, we’d like to take stock of all the Artifact powers to ensure that they’re more competitive with each other across each tier.
One piece of feedback we’ve received about Stetmann is how overly transformative Super Gary is as an upgrade. As such, we’d like to improve Gary relative to Super Gary such that players will be incentivized to spend more of their time as Gary. We’ll also be taking further steps to lower the potency of Mecha Roaches while increasing the power and usability of Mecha Battlecarrier Lords.
For Mengsk, we’re going to be looking to tweak both his starting economy and the Imperial Support he gains when his Troopers are Indoctrinated as both trend higher than intended. We’ll also continue to implement bug fixes and tweaks to his more underused units and abilities.
After reviewing feedback, we’ll be lowering the difficulty of Brutal+ across the board with the exception of Brutal+6. In addition, Brutal+1 through +4 will now be capped at 3 mutators each, and you’ll generally be more likely to get fewer mutators overall.
And with that, we want to wish everyone happy holidays and especially happy Co-Oping!
Lead Co-op Designer