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StarCraft II Q&A Batch 45

Chat with Devs: After BlizzCon, it has been very exciting to see all the feedback from the fans and pro players about the latest build of StarCraft II. There was lots of noted feedback about both the Colossus and the Nydus Worms (which we are currently polling on right now in the gameplay forum: <link>). At my most recent meeting with Dustin, we decided to chat about some of the lesser focused on topics, that have undergone quite a few changes since the original StarCraft.

The first topic was about hallucination, a classic Protoss ability, that honestly did not get that much use in the original StarCraft. To make it more interesting, Dustin explained how the ability has been brought down in tech to the Nullifier. Additionally, hallucination could be used to create units in which the player doesn’t even have prerequisite buildings for. That in itself should be an interesting scare for opposing players, watching 3 Colossi trampling in, only to counter with Corruptors and realize that they were not real. Furthermore, even probes could be hallucinated! Since the amount of hallucinations you get are based on ‘actual’ costs of what they would cost if they were real, you could get 8 probes per hallucination to trick those incoming Reapers. Dark Templars, Observers, and Carriers though were not on the list of units that could be hallucinated since the first two would be quite overpowering to use as an invisible fake scout (soo OP). Carriers too, would just have much too many hit points, as well as become quite a bit over complicated when you deal with how many interceptors they might have.

Queen Spawns 3 Mutant Larva The mutant larva count has increased with the latest version of the Queen to encourage more use of a pretty powerful ability if used correctly. Mutant larva crawl around independently of a Hatchery and can create units at a discounted production rate. This is like a free Hatchery with each additional Queen! Along with the Queen’s ability to defend against air units early game, it shall make her quite a crucial unit in any Zerg army.

Everyone who made it out to BlizzCon or watched on TV, we definitely hope you guys enjoyed it! It is always a blast having fans and devs alike come together to celebrate the games we’ve all come to enjoy and love. As always, shoot the devs and I a w00t! if you are enjoying this Q&A batch!

---StarCraft II Q&A Batch 45---

1. Do enemy Zerg units also get a boost on your Creep? (StarCraft 2 Forums)

Yes, enemy Zerg units will still get the speed boost when on creep. Currently, the creep shares no affiliation.

2. Are there abilities that remove creep? (TheWarCenter)

The 2 ways to push that expanding creep is to kill the burrowed creep tumors, or kill those Queens building them. On another note, the creep no longer damages enemy buildings. Through testing, the ability actually affected players adversely in team games where players allied with Zerg players would end up having their units damaged by their friend’s creep. In 1vs1 matches, the usefulness of this mechanic was hardly ever used, amongst all the new cooler Zerg strategies that have spawned.

3. Does the creep speed boost apply to zerg air? (TheWarCenter)

No, they do not apply to air units or drones.

4. Won't Reapers, Marauders, Hellions, Siege Tank's splash damage, and Stimpacks be too powerful against a Zerg player? All of that seems pretty well suited to counter masses of low-hp units, like most Zerg ground units. (StarCraft Legacy)

As you know, there is still much balance to be done since we have not even entered into a beta phase yet. With that said, there are several counters still to these Terran units, but Zerg players will be forced to adapt with new units and strategies veering away from some of the original StarCraft strategies. For instance, Roaches and Lurkers are excellent counters to Hellions and Reapers. At a later tech, Infestors simply rock massed units such as Marauders with Fungal Infection, causing them to explode when they die. All the new mechanics and abilities will add many new strategies to your bag of tricks.

5. Can Allies ‘merge’ their Nydus networks? In other words, can you enter through the Nydus Warren of player A, and exit through the Nydus Worm of player B? (

No, allies can’t share Nydus networks between networks, but allied units can enter into another ally’s Nydus network.

6. Is the Thor still an anti-air unit? Does it fulfill this role effectively? – Thelorme (

Yes, it is still an anti-air unit with the longest range against air units of any unit in StarCraft II. Visually, we are moving to give the Thor anti-air missiles that will fire from his shoulders, unleashing a devastating barrage from a remarkable range.

Weekly Blue Roundup

1. Warpgate’s warp-in (Theoblivion, USWest)
Even though the Warpgate is good enough, I was wondering if the Robotics Facility and Nexus warp-in aswell.

Q u o t e:
Only Gateways can be upgraded to Warp Gates. Gosh...warped in Carriers/Void Rays over an enemy base would be OP! -Karune

2. Reapers and Marauders (Battlenuts, USEast)

Whats units are the reapers good against? Ones they totally own. Also the marauders. Is it more anti toss or anti zerg? Better as a mixed in unit or stand alone? ect
Seems like lings take out reapers well
what are the large walking units in this video are the marauders?

Q u o t e:
Reapers are actually one of the best units against any light units in the game. They kill Zerglings, workers, and even Zealots pretty well with a little maneuvering. Their mines also decimate stationary defenses, as well as tech buildings. They are no doubt one of the best raiders in the game right now.
Marauders on the other hand are probably better mixed, unless you are going up against an all armored ground force. Marauders work well against both Protoss and Zerg. Early game, as mentioned above, they are great for slowing Zealots while Marines do the damage. Against Zerg, they are better suited against those pesky armored Roaches with the fast regen. -Karune

3. Colossus (Communitysc, USEast) There have been some questions about the Colossus' utility on my website's forums. stebo88 and I have been speculating about possible uses for this 6 food monster. stebo88 used it at Blizzcon to fight some Zerglings and he had to retreat due to the Colossus' low damage (he did get to use its cliff climbing abilities though, the one positive aspect of the situation). In addition to its seeming uselessness, the Colossus costs a large amount of resources...

So I want to ask...what makes the Colossus worth its price? Are the Thermal Lances stronger than stebo thought them to be (against another class of units perhaps)?

Q u o t e:
In my opinion, the Colossus is the most effective when you have more than one. Three seems to be my optimal number, especially against Terran. Medivacs heal at a very fast rate, but only one target at a time. Against a group of Marines with a Medivac, one single Colossus would do virtually nothing, because the damage would be healed through easily. With three Colossi, the Marines would die in one sweep, negating any healing that could be done. A single Colossus is good at softening targets, but with more rapid healing from Medivacs and new units like Roaches, it may not be enough. At that point, you need enough to kill them in one sweep, and when you do have that, it will do significant damage to any army, especially with the additional range upgrade for the Colossus. -Karune

Karune, what are your thoughts on the Colossus attack mechanic? While the numbers can be adjusted in accordance to balance, there's concern that the current attack mechanic is itself a flaw in that it's too situational. Has your team considered enhancing it in any ways, or adding more control to the attack pattern is etches into the ground?

Q u o t e:
Even though the beam is currently shown visually in various ways, the damage is done to all units in that straight line at the same time instantly. That line will always be based on the position you are attacking from, so in that way there is a lot of control as how to use the Colossus.
I definitely wouldn't say the Colossus is too situational either cause this unit is quite useful in both Zerg and Terran matchups. As long as in these matchups, both players continue to adapt to counter each other's strategies, Colossi will surely be brought to the battlefield. -Karune

But what benefits do Colossi have over using units like High Templar or Archons for Zerglings and such? The only differentiating mechanic is the ability to walk up and down cliffs, which is situational in most cases because not every map will be entrenched with cliffs. It seems like Archons will generally be an all-around better unit for fighting the units that the Colossi is also good at.

Q u o t e:
It is true, they all do some form of AoE, but they are very much different from each other. Archons have a range of 2. Colossi have a range of 6, and with the upgrade that becomes 9, as well as increasing the area in which takes damage. The range of the Colossus is what makes it such a great support unit, as well as an awesome raider from cliffs. Additionally, all competitive maps will have cliffs to some degree. -Karune

4. Molecular Displ. & Seismic (Gearvosh, USWest)

So even though I went to Blizzcon, theres still 2 abilities im not sure of.
Firstly what does the Nullifiers Molecular Displacement do? I heard that it shoots a beam of energy and deals extra damage to units of the same type? Can we get more detail on this.
Secondly I keep hearing of a Seismic Thumper ability for the Nighthawk (im positive I never saw this). Supposedly the Thumper stops Zerg from burrowing. Any input?

Q u o t e:
The Molecular Disrupter is a new ability we are testing out on the Nullifier, in which the unit fires a psionic projectile which bounces between units of the same type, doing 10 damage with each hit, up to a maximum of 10 bounces. Thus, if you were to use this ability on 2 Marines (with 40 hit points each, not upgraded), both Marines would die easily. If there were 3 Marines, it would kill 1 Marine and leave the last two at 10 hp each. Currently, the ability costs 125 energy.
Stats are of course all subject to balance.
The Seismic Thumper is no longer in the multiplayer game, but was originally dropped on the battlefield, which slows all units within it's radius by 50% (including friendlies). The only way to stop it was to destroy the Seismic Thumper itself. -Karune

5. Medivac (From the Poll: What do you think about the Medivac?)

Q u o t e:
The Medivac Dropship is a unit that has already gone through quite a bit of discussion since it was introduced. Some were reluctant, many saw its huge potential on site at events and through videos.
The Medivac Dropship is a dropship that heals biological units at an incredible rate and from a range, keep it out of harm's way. This new addition has made the Terran race much more mobile than previously in the original StarCraft. These flying healers have become quite a staple in any Terran army, but we want to hear from you on what you think of it. -Karune

6. Targeting Drone (Shaolin_bboy, USEast)
And the enemy notices it without detectors? (Asides from calculating the damage taken by the units)

Q u o t e:
Even though the drone is stealthed, visually, there will be a red laser coming from the drone aimed at the target, so you will know when there is one around. -Karune

7. Stalkers (Crazyjimlizard, USWest)
When I heard they have a blink, I thought it was 30-60 sec cooldown. Even 15 sec cooldown could be abused.

My teammate and I were talking about it. Blink basically fixes a lot of the problems the old dragoons could have, and gives them some advantages. In SC1, siege tanks could beat Dragoons from a distance, but with blink, the Stalkers can close the distance and avoid more siege tank fire. In SC1, zerglings countered Stalkers, but in SC2, I think Stalkers do a better class of damage vs Zerglings. That stuff is just kids play to the sort of micro you can get out of Stalkers en mass because they're ranged. I've done my share of micro, and people hate it when you use 2 marines to gun down a zealot. Stalkers are even easier to abuse and they scale up.

Lets say you see a bunch of lings on the offensive. The most immediate thing you can do is hail an initial line of fire down. Then when the front guy loses most of his shield, blink him behind the lines. Repeat for the other front line guys. Then you're looking at a situation where you really flee the stalkers, or if you continue the attack. The Zerglings are always looking at losing a few zerglings just to begin the battle with no loss of the Stalkers because they have a community shield in effect.

Q u o t e:
Stalkers 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

---End of Transmission---[1]


  1. Karune. 2008-10-28. StarCraft II Q&A Batch 45. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-10-28.

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