The fall ofAiur demonstrated to the Dark Templar that more than just stealth and guile were required to defeat the zerg. Hence, the Dark Templar developed the stalker, a war machine inspired by the Khalaidragoon. While dragoons were piloted by crippled protoss warriors, the stalker is controlled by the shadow-essence of a Dark Templar warrior fused into a metal body. Nerazim who control stalkers undergo this process voluntarily, said process involving a Void-powered ritual which fuses their shadow essence to the machine. This gives them a preternatural degree of control over their new bodies. The process cannot be reversed.
Stalkers were in use by the Daelaam as early as 2502. They were in use by the Tal'darim by 2504. Some voluntarily chose to become stalkers in order to better hunt and kill their foes because they only wished to sharpen their combat skills and serve their Highlord, as not all Tal'darim seek ascension.
Stalkers are often used to support zealots on the battlefield.
Stalkers stand roughly twice as tall as a terran wearing CMC armor. They draw their psionic power from their host Nerazim's connection to the Void, and are armed with carapace-mounted particle disruptors adept against both ground and aerial targets. These weapons draw upon the power of the Dark Templar’s training and technology to fire lethal blasts of entropic Void energy. Each shot destabilizes matter at a fundamental level, and ultimately tears it apart by disintegrating its atomic composition. The particle disruptors are especially effective against materials with high hardness indexes—like chitinous carapaces or heavy armor plating.
Stalkers have been credited with many fantastic powers since their battlefield début. However, only one is witnessed consistently: an ability to instantly teleport, or "blink", from one spot to another. This ability requires augmentation to a stalker, through the implementation of a device called a Void displacer. When enabled, the displacer grants stalkers the ability to fade and materialize instantly at a different location, affording them an unprecedented degree of mobility, perfect for quick strikes against the enemy. The improved mobility allows stalkers to conduct ambushes, catch fleeing foes, and generally engage on their own terms, making the stalker the perfect warrior for raiding enemy supply lines and teleporting away before reinforcements can arrive. However, each "blink" generates a flux that taxes the stalker's systems. It must go through a brief recharge period before initiating another displacement. When the Daelaam retrieved the Spear of Adun, stalkers were outfitted with reactors technology linked to the solar core, allowing rapid shield regeneration upon using its displacement abilities.
Years after its conception, Nerazim stalker technology benefited from Khalai engineering, and attempts were made to integrate dragoon chassis reinforcement into the battle strider's frame.
In-game, stalkers function like fragile, but more agile dragoons. They serve as excellent economy raiders.
Stalkers can dance like a dragoon. This may be enhanced by Blinking, especially in multilevel terrain.
Stalkers are effective against units with low damage per second, especially with Blink micro. The reverse is true for offensive units, especially those with attack bonuses against armored units.Zerglings are cost effective counters to stalkers; the Blink cooldown is too slow to ensure escape.
Stalker/sentry combinations are common in mid-game scenarios.
In the campaign of Legacy of the Void, stalkers have an additional passive ability once selected at the War Council, their Blinking causes them to rapidly regenerate shields for a brief period, in addition selecting the stalker also changes its voice lines to have a deeper pitch. The stalker is one of three ranged attacker role available to the player in the campaign, the other two being dragoon and adept.
Vorazun can build stalkers in Co-op Missions. Once she reaches level 4, stalker upgrades become available at the twilight council. Stalkers are used by Amon's forces in Co-op Missions. The slayer, a variant of the stalker, can be used by Alarak in this mode.
The concept behind the stalker was that of a "dark dragoon." It took awhile for the specifics to be nailed down.
The design was finessed several times as its asymmetrical shield and legs gave it a zerg-like appearance. This dictated that platinum be made the dominant color in order to distinguish it (which led to platinum being the dominant color for Dark Templar as a whole). However, the shield made the stalker look heavier and more imposing from some angles, while weak and frail from other views. It was eventually settled that the stalker should have a medium sized shield to interfere the least with visual communication.
Eventually, Samwise Didier called for an overhaul, wanting the stalker to be based more on his original concept art. The stalker was thus redesigned, and the new model was revealed at BlizzCon 2008.
↑ 14.014.1Stalkers 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. 2008-10-14. Re: Stalkers seem imba (page 3). Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-10-14.
↑Stalker. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2012-05-28