Cavez elaborates on the new gas mechanic:
Here is how it works. All numbers are subject to change. We have changed the balance since the WWI build and will be fiddling with the balance this coming week for sure.
You start with two Vespene Geysers in your base and at every expansion (some maps will not do this of course, but all the WWI maps do). Optimal number of workers per gas collection building is 3 (so you need 6 total).
All gas collection buildings start with a certain amount of gas (like SC1). I believe it's 1000 in your WWI build.
When a gas collector runs out it becomes "depleted" (like SC1). A depleted gas collector still allows you to harvest some gas (like SC1). In the WWI build you collect 6 gas per trip from a working gas collector and 2 gas per trip when depleted.
All gas collectors have a "Restore Gas" (name temp) button that you can use to return your gas collector to a non-depleted state. In the WWI build this gets you 400 gas back into your collector. Restoring Gas costs 100 minerals and takes the gas collector down for 45 seconds (all numbers temp).
Like all things this is work-in-progress, but here is what we have seen in the games we have played:
1) You can choose how much gas you want. The more gas you want, the less minerals you will have. If you build your 2nd gas collector too soon, you may have the wrong resource mix. If you go gas too late, you may have the wrong resource mix. If you use "Restore Gas" too few times you may not have enough gas to do some of the crazy end-game stuff. If you use it to often early on you may have too much gas and not enough minerals.
2) Some of the more mass-able units are very, very gas heavy. You can scout a player and gain some sense which way he is headed based on how quickly he goes for double gas.
3) Sometimes you don't want to "Restore Gas" if you need just a little more gas in the short term because you are trying to tech or build something critical. Since it takes down your gas collector for 45 seconds you may need to hold if you are close to being able to afford something that requires gas. This of course damages your gas collection for the long haul which makes the choice difficult.
Why we are trying it:
1) We think gas could be more interesting than it was in the original StarCraft.
2) We think StarCraft 2 can benefit from additional economy choices.
I think that's all of it. Now that you have complete information, please discuss. =)
Cavez talking about the mineral collection rate:
Minerals are down to 5 per trip, but they harvest a little more quickly. We have been doing some timed comparisons of minerals in the original SC to SC2 and we have been really putting a lot of effort into getting the collection rate to be the same. The pathing is SO much better in SC2 that we were collecting minerals at a ferocious rate.
So now mineral collection is pretty close to SC1.
Cavez answers a rumor that gas collection buildings have an ability to let peons harvest gas two at a time with cooldown:
We aren't doing that currently though we did discuss it. We certainly wouldn't add it to what we have at WWI. It would be one or the other. Generally the "cooldown" type abilities we tried were a bit dull because you just mashed the button whenever the cooldown came up. Putting a minerals cost to the ability has so far been much more interesting.
Cavez answers the following questions posed by Blazur:
1) Will there be any way to regenerate minerals?
2) Can you Restore Gas an unlimited number of times?
1) No. At least not right now.=)
I'm a little worried about some weird end-game scenarios where you have way too much gas but so far it hasn't been as much of a problem as I thought it would be.
Each mineral field still has 1500 minerals:
Still 1500. We are only trying to lower the rate of minerals collection. We still want an expansion to have the same minerals value that it did in the original game.
Cavez talks about the new Changeling unit:
He's not making it up.=) Here's how it works.
Overseers can create a Changeling by spending energy. The Changeling is a small unstable Zerg creature with timed life. When he gets near an enemy structure or unit he will change shape into the correct basic unit type and color to match that player. So if you get near a Blue Barracks you become a Blue Marine. If you get near a Red Stalker you become a Red Zealot, etc.
Enemy players cannot control the Changeling. It's still owned and controled by the Zerg player who created it. It is very vulnerable and can be killed by a single hit from just about anything. The Changeling cannot fight. He is just a shapeshifter, when he looks like a Marine that gun in his hand isn't "real."
You can see that something is a Changeling by mousing over the unit, by trying (and failing) to drag select or by selecting the unit and seeing the name and portrait.
What it does for the game:
1) Gives the Zerg a fun way to scout (though really they already have plenty of scouting options).
2) Makes enemy players constantly fearful of all of their own units. Is THAT a Changeling?! What about THAT GUY!?
In live games it is pretty difficult to keep on top of the "Changeling Problem" if an enemy Zerg player is trying to sneak into your base. However when you do catch them it feels pretty good.
It's something we have been trying for a few weeks and we thought we would include it in the WWI build to see what people thought.
Karune confirms that the large I <3 SC poster will be shown at Blizzcon:
As a FYI, we will be revealing another version of the "I <3 SC" Mosaic later on, possibly at an event, featuring the full list of entries. It is currently not online as it is 52MB and 19200x9480. The version that is online for download now is currently much smaller at 12MB and with the dimensions of 9600x4800.
This will be shown at BlizzCon :)
Karune reaffirms the prospect of using Overlords to give Hydralisks sight when attempting to counter cliff attacks by Terran Siege Tanks, and tells that the Hydralisk has been moved back down to tier 1.5:
This would be the best way to counter right now, as Zerg has plenty of Overlords to give sight on those cliffs. Good Zerg players will always have those cliffs near their bases scouted as well.
As an extra bonus, unrelated to this, but also would help is that Hydralisks have been moved back down to tier 1.5. More details about this move will be included in the next Q&A batch.
Blizzard will still keep battle.net for StarCraft and Brood War after StarCraft II goes gold:
No, this is not true. The original Battle.net will still be supporting the original StarCraft.
Karune elaborates more on fan questions:
Keep in mind, the topics you have mentioned may not have clear answers to at the moment (such as MBS- which we are still experimenting with many mechanics), or may be kept for a later announcement date (such as new art).
Nonetheless, the more discussions and questions on the forums, and less spam, makes it much easier to get more specific answers out there to your questions.
Blizzard plans to develop all aspects of StarCraft II:
Blizzard RTS titles have always had three major portions that have all been significantly popular: Single Player, Multiplayer (Battle.net), and Custom Maps (UMS). Every voice is a group we try our best to hear out, as well as answer questions in.
For instance, since the announcement we've had our community Q&As also reflect lore from single player, gameplay from multiplayer, as well as our map editor editions to give a glimpse on the types of capabilities players will have with the map maker.
Karune answers a fan question about the map editor:
Can you edit what units a building can produce, even on tech buildings? For example, could you make a Command Center produce probes and drones? Or a forge produce marines as well as upgrade terran units?
Yup, this will be possible - the map editor will seriously be quite powerful, empowering you guys to make some pretty awesome maps.