"With such specialized units being available, there is certainly a hole to be filled when it comes to diversity, and the Raven does that exceedingly well. As one of the Terran’s most capable units, the Raven is an ideal drone, capable of providing unmatched protection and extremely valuable reconnaissance."
The raven is controlled remotely by a terran pilot while the craft's computer houses the main AI core that regulates all critical ship systems and sub-systems. The AI closely monitors variables like overall condition, temperature, energy levels, and external hazards. It processes billions of instructions per second, affording the Raven an ample degree of independent thought and decision making. A few military consultants, speaking on condition of anonymity, have expressed concerns that such a powerful AI could gain sentience, leading to abject disaster. It has been claimed in response that "there's no evidence to back up those claims, and subsequently, no reason to worry."
"Yeah, let's give robots the ability to sweat. Battlefields don't smell bad enough already."
- A Dominion marine in regards to the Raven's weeping holes(src)
Functionally, the raven is a a robust all-around air-mobile vehicle and workhorse that combines the functions of a surveillance drone and a combat engineer. Layers of neosteel and synthetic weave make up the bulk of the raven’s fuselage, with sturdy, space-grade fabric between each layer to provide insulation for internal components. The raven is built to operate independently in harsh climates—the stabilizer fins and key points of the structure are equipped with microscopic weeping holes, which allow for the release of a multipurpose solution to break down ice buildups or cool the fuselage, depending on the environment the vessel is operating in.
Ravens excel in protection and reconnaissance due to their defensive auto-turrets and their advanced sensors, which can detect cloaked and burrowed enemies, and unmask protosshallucinations. The craft is equipped with an advanced manufacturing plant, where hundreds of thousands of AI-operated nanomachines diligently assemble a diversity of mission critical equipment, such as the auto-turret, point defense drone, and the seeker missile. These onboard production capabilities give the Raven greater operative flexibility than its science vessel predecessor. Its sensors consist of state-of-the-art surveillance and reconnaissance hardware. Two radars, operating at high/low frequencies respectively, and four high-resolution, multi-spectral cameras allow for target acquisition and tracking at long ranges. When the vessel’s low frequency radar detects anomalies, heuristic detection algorithms supported by thermal and electrical imaging sweep the area to find any cloaked threats.
The Terran Dominion initially designed the raven to give low-level protection to its most isolated outposts, but recently the raven has been used in escalating levels of conflict to replace the older and costlier science vessel. Stunning successes in the afforementioned role brought it into more frontline use as a battlefield support unit. Further upgrades and adjustments were implemented, as the ship transitions into a more active role while conflict levels escalated. Ravens are a common sight among the Fringe Worlds, and have become more common throughout the Koprulu sector. Many wonder if the "protection" they offer is just an excuse the Dominion uses to spy on its citizens.
The Raven is analogous to the science vessel of the original StarCraft, and are "primarily support craft" for the terran factions. They have no standard attack of their own. They are strong against siege tanks.
Missile comes out and stays immobile in front of the Raven for 4 seconds while charging up, then rapidly moves (it’s not dodgeable at this point) and explodes at the target, causing 100 damage to target plus splash damage. Targeted unit lights up red when targeted. If the unit moves 13 range out of where the Seeker Missile is, the missile fizzles.
The missile cannot target buildings.
14 (increased to 20 with Durable Materials upgrade) (WoL)
The raven is an unmanned surveillance drone that can detect cloaked and burrowed enemy units. The raven can also serve as a combat engineer by placing auto-turrets and point defense drones and firing seeker missiles in strategically vital locations.
Armor upgrades increase health of affected units by 5% per level.
We have created a new lightweight alloy called vanadium. Vanadium diffuses weapon impacts much more efficiently than traditional armor plating, and it better preserves the life of our units. Now each of the armor upgrades in the armory and engineering bay increases unit life by 5% in addition to increasing armor.
Increase starting energy of all units by 100. Increase maximum energy of all units by 100.
This reactor has a larger energy reserve on startup and can hold a much larger charge. Now our specialist units can use their abilities the moment they hit the battlefield, and they can store more energy when idle for long periods of time. All "Specialists units" use energy: such as the medic, ghost, spectre, thor, wraith, banshee, raven, science vessel and battlecruiser.
Damaged mechanical units recover hit points when out of combat, at a rate of 0.6015 each second.
Our ship and vehicle hulls are now made from a material called Regenerative Bio-Steel. This material uses internal nanobots to slowly repair any damage the hull sustains. While this regeneration process is much slower than conventional SCV repairs, it can be the difference between life and death if no SCVs are available.
The Raven received changes during the Call to Action playtest. In August 2012, acceleration increased from 2 to 2.25 and speed increased from 2.25 to 2.5. This was done to improve the micro. In November 2012, the Seeker Missile no longer required an upgrade.
If one looks at the unit portrait in the map editor, one can find that on the back side of some of the monitors there are unit ability icons such as cloaking, lockdown, lift off, load, Hercules dropship's rapid deployment, and Maelstrom. There is even the "unload" command icon behind the machine in front of the user.
There is an animation where all the monitors explode and the pilot facepalms.
The pilot has his face angled away from the camera as shown in the photo below, but if seen from the front in the game files he has a generic face with wrinkles and a microphone. He sits with his mouth open. In some regards he can be viewed as a "gamer" because of some of his actions.
In the unit portrait, a close look at the screens shows what looks like a message from Arcturus Mengsk (there is a picture of his face and some text).
The name of the Corvid Reactor upgrade is a possible reference to the biological family of corvids, which includes ravens and several other birds.
↑It is true, if you can get close enough with the Raven (previously known as the Nighthawk), the Hunter-Seeker Missile(HSM) is likely to do some major damage. Nonetheless, a zerg opponent should have an ample amount of time to react to it, and the HSM has a slight delay launch when it comes out from the Raven. Additionally, there will be a visual that will show exactly which unit is being targeted by the HSM, allowing the possibility of more micro by the zerg player to limit the damage taken. Nighthawk+HSM vs Mutalisk. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-05-26.
↑As another update that you guys will get at BlizzCon, the Vulkans are now updated as the 'Nighthawks' in the BlizzCon build. They have updated art to reflect this as well. Those going to BlizzCon, make note of the cool new movement animations added to several Terran air units. Karune. 2008-10-08. New Lurker and Vulcan Art. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-10-08.
↑Speaking of the Nomad, it has actually gotten it's new art update, and a name update as well. It is now known as the Vulkan, and will be resigning down chaos at your expansions with its Auto Turrets. Karune. 2008-09-08. Ideas for NOMAD. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-09-08.
↑Nomads, also now known as the Vulkan, is still a detector. Actually, it is probably the most powerful mobile detector in the game, considering it can also rapidly deploy a medley of Terran defenses used to both support an attack or raid the enemy. Karune 2008-09-17. Karune: do comsats still require much energy?Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-09-17.
↑Browder, Dustin. (Cavez) 2007-12-19. Nomad question. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2007-12-19.