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StarCraft II Q&A batches/40

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This week we have launched the 3rd episode of BlizzCast, featuring an interview with the Lead Designer of StarCraft II about the Evolution of the Zerg from the original StarCraft to StarCraft II. Be sure to check that out here:

Also, I've been curious - would you guys prefer having these Q&A Batches (multiple answered and added into a consolidated release) or would you rather these 4-7 questions be spread out across the forums in pertinent threads on I have been doing a bit of both, but would love to get your feedback on it, to make it easiest for you to follow up on the latest updates in regards to the development of StarCraft II.

---StarCraft II Q&A Batch 40---

1. By the current look of the game with spectacular death animations you could worry that you can get slightly distracted by dead units while playing. You could for example waste precious APMs (Actions per minute) trying to click on a spliced Space Marine that you thought was still alive. The wrecks of some larger units or deaths for some others could block your sight in-game too. Could this fear be a real issue and will there be the option to toggle down these model details in the settings? (

Yes, this is an issue we are looking into. For multiplayer, we want to make absolutely sure that players can clearly see visually what is happening on the battlefield. Currently, we are looking to have different types of death animations available for multiplayer than will be present for the single player campaign. A lot of people do still love watching intricate death animations when not in a competitive scene.

2. Battlecruisers do employ more than one gunner right? So will they be able to attack both air and ground at the same time? (

Battlecruisers will only be able to attack one unit at a time.

3. What happens with the units inside a Nydus Worm if it gets killed? Considering it can carry 255 units, would they all die? (

Units inside the Nydus network will only die when all entrance/exits are killed. This includes the Nydus Warren building, the prerequisite to build Nydus Worms, as it also acts as an entrance and exit to the Nydus network. Nydus Worms that are not deployed as an entrance/exit will not count as an entrance/exit to the network.

4. So far the map editor seems to be a very powerful tool which doesnt constrain the map makers creativity at all. Will it even be possible to edit critical abilities like path finding? If so, there would be really no limits, or at least none we can imagine at this point. (

Pathfinding, the method in which a unit will determine how to move, is handled by code, and will not be able to be edited within the map editor. Nonetheless, map makers will be able to edit things such as footprints, speed, and the size of units, which will affect the movement rates of units.

5. Why were Plasma Torpedoes added to the Battlecruiser when the Banshee has virtually the same attack? (

The Battlecruiser no longer has Plasma Torpedoes that hit ground. Instead, they can be equipped with a Missile Barrage which will be an air-to-air area of effect attack ability. This ability will make the Battlecruiser even more effective against lightly armored air units, as the attack also gets additional damage points versus light armored units.

6. In SC: BW we have terrain bonuses for units, for example standing behind a tree or being on higher ground while shot from lower. Are you keeping or maybe even improving such this feature and what happens with large units that are more massive (Thor) or simply larger (Colossus) than a tree or even a cliff? (

Terrain bonuses are no longer present in StarCraft II. Instead, line of sight will be vastly more important. For instance, units firing from a higher ground will not be able to be seen by ground units without line of sight vision, and thus the ground units will not be able to fire back.

7. If a Zerg player corrupts a Dropship/Medivac, will they get control of the units inside? - Luddite (

No, the unit's contents will be destroyed when it becomes corrupted.

---End of Transmission---

Additional CommentaryEdit

Wait, so now we're removing features from the game?

Is that not a step backwards?

also in regards to the whole "feature" of not being able to see up cliffs and therefore not attack, that isn't really new or unique. RTS games have had this since 1998 for !&$%s sake.

I'm not completely sure to which features you are referring to, but in general, features are a tool to shape the gameplay of a game. Features may be good or bad, depending on its effects on the game. Not all features fit your design goals. For instance, multiplayer is about competition. Random factors like a random % of missing based on terrain is not optimal for a balanced competitive game (similarly chess does not have random factors involved when a player wins or losses). On the other hand, in single player, our goal is to immerse the player into the StarCraft world. Here is where the details that add to the story and immersion really count! Thus, there will be LOTS of content not seen in the multiplayer, as well as animations, heroes, additional units, and more...

The more I think about this the more it has me worried. Take the map Lost Temple as an example. It was common for players to wall their choke ramp with first tier units to prevent their bases from being breached. In SC2, does this mean the players wouldn't even be able to climb that ramp unless they have detection or air units to see at the top of the ramp?

Know what I mean?

This is true, though in StarCraft II, there are more units that are able to give you sight in those situations (Reapers, Medivac Dropships, Colossi, Banshees, Sensor Towers (to let you know units are on cliffs), Overseers, as well as older units including Observers, Terran's Scan, and others).

Furthermore, new abilities like Anti-Gravity help break the choke points, as well as more incentives to build dropships for Terran, Phase Prisms for Warp-In, and Nydus Worms to unload your whole army in a place that bypasses well defended positions.

On top of that, the better pathing in StarCraft II allow units to get to where you want them to go much faster, such as up ramps and around units.

One Question:
Thor got Anti Air Area Attack and Battlecruiser now too. Are there any big differences in their anti air attack?

The Battlecruiser's ability takes energy, whereas the Thor's ground to air attack is standard.

The Battlecruiser's ability is to make it more effective against what it is already effective against. Also, users have the choice to go with the air to air missiles or with the Yamato Cannon. If you are in a game where they have massed a lot of light air units, then you know what to get. This ability simply gives the Terran player more flexibility of options against air in late game.

Smurfz: " Karune, if your reading this...

Do units that move out of the Jackal's flame take less damage then units that stay in the flame for the entire duration of the flames existance?

EX: A marine moves out of the flame and takes 10 damage total, but a marine that was in the flame for the entire duration of the flame, would it take more damage?"

Yes, units that move out of the flame will take less damage.

[Clarification to comment on page 2 in regards to LOS on ramps]If the attacking units move halfway up the ramp, they get their full vision radius above the ramp. If the ramp is blocked at the bottom, the attacking units will not be able to target what is beyond the top of the ramp, though they will be able to see snapshots of units that attack them so they will be able to understand the scale of the threat that exists at the top of the ramp.[1]


  1. Karune. 2008-06-11. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 40. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-06-11.