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Thread: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

  1. #1

    Default Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/483...4_11_2012#blog

    We are currently working nonstop on StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (and Blizzard DOTA) and hope to be able to get Heart of the Swarm out to the public to see sometime in the near future. While we believe we have some great things lined up for the single-player campaign, I wanted to take some time to give you an update on the recent changes and what cool things we have in store for multiplayer.

    Terrans
    Terrans have undergone significant changes since we talked about them at BlizzCon. We have not kept the shredder, and even the warhound is in contention. The shredder was very confusing for players as well as being something that was easily used to kill a large number of workers with little to no warning. It was rarely used for its intended role of map control. The warhound still feels a little too much like a small thor, which is just not new enough to give terran players new strategies. We are still experimenting with a wide range of units, particularly from the factory, which we think is a little light on options. We have had a great deal of trouble with the terrans largely because they are such a flexible and effective race in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. We want to provide terran players with new strategies, however, so we will continue to work on them.
    If we keep the Thor, we are currently experimenting with an anti-air spider mine that would give the terrans a way to get some factory-built anti-air into small places that a Thor has trouble reaching (like near your minerals). Whether this is meaningful, considering terrans have marines, is still in question. We are also experimenting with an extremely long-ranged terran missile launcher that can be used to break siege tank lines to make terran-vs.-terran factory-based games more dynamic.

    Protoss
    Protoss have gone through some changes since BlizzCon as well. The oracle is still in and functioning as a protoss raider (as intended) that can give the protoss some reach in the mid-game to disrupt enemy plans. The replicant has been cut. He was causing enemy players to not build certain unit types and was actually removing diversity from the game instead of adding diversity.
    The tempest was a powerful splash anti-air capital ship at BlizzCon. With the addition of the range upgrade on phoenix in Wings of Liberty we no longer feel like a splash anti-air weapon is necessary on the protoss, but we would still like to give the protoss some additional firepower in the air. The tempest is currently a very long-ranged aerial siege weapon that can strike both air and ground targets. This gives the protoss army some real reach to force an engagement on their terms in the end-game.
    We’re also experimenting with some nexus abilities. One example is a mass recall that allows the protoss to be more aggressive. They can move out onto the map with their slower sentry/zealot force and, if things don’t work out, recall the force back to their base if and when things go wrong.

    Zerg
    Zerg are the most stable and largely unchanged since BlizzCon. The swarm host is still serving well as a zerg siege unit that can burrow and pressure the enemy from a distance (in a very zergy way), but the viper has some slightly different new abilities. In addition to Abduct, the viper also has the ability to blind biological units in an area of effect. Blinded units have their range reduced to 1. This is obviously effective against terran infantry as well as zerg roach and hydra armies. The viper can also regain energy by feeding off of minerals. This locks up the mineral patch and prevents it from being harvested, so you want to use this ability away from your base.
    We have decided to keep the overseer and make the viper a pure caster. We will be taking a look at the overseer to see what we can do to make his abilities more interesting.

    We are also trying some additional abilities on the nydus network to allow you to spawn different types of nydus worms. The most interesting worms have been a worm that can spew creep across several screens to create a zerg assault highway, as well as a worm that attacks only enemy buildings, meant to be used as a ground-based zerg base raider.
    We have some more work to do before we’re ready to begin beta testing Heart of the Swarm. We know that everybody wants a date for when they can play, and we know how important it is to get this out in front of the community as soon as possible. We’re working on it.

    They dropped the replicator and the shredder, they're talking about air-spidermines and different types of nyduses.

    the tempest is also dropped or revamped into very long ranged air to air and air to ground - presumably no splash, with no other specifications. If this unit doesnt have some very interesting details toit, it seems extremely bland.

    other than the idea of new types of nydus worms im not too excited by this. Its great to get some info on whats been up, but it seems they havnt made much progress other than realizing some of their early ideas were kind of silly.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    We will see how this will turn out in the end. I like that they have kept the Overseer and that they didn't change much about the Zerg from Blizzcon. Nydus worm change is also good and original change imo, and as Zerg player, I am looking forward to that.

    Replicant and Shredder have been cut. I think it is ok, though I actually liked the Shredder but it was obviously overpowered and didn't work as they expected. Seems like that they really don't know what to do with Terran race, and I am a bit disappointed with that. And really can't see the point of the new Tempest. Protoss didn't need new Air Siege Unit, if they wanted that, they would just use the Carrier, and Protoss needed something that would protect them from mass Mutas because Phoenixes aren't that good with that even with the upgrade cause it comes into fight way too late. I thought they want to make units that doesn't go along with Ball of Death, instead they gave the Protoss just that, a unit which should be used only with Ball of Death.

    Extremely long Missile Launcher? This is not C&C...

    I think that Blizzard will make a good game, but I am not happy with this as I was happy with the new units at Blizzcon.
    Last edited by RamiZ; 04-11-2012 at 01:17 PM.
    "Living for the Swarm!"

  3. #3
    The_Blade's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    Quote Originally Posted by RamiZ View Post
    Extremely long Missile Launcher? This is not C&C...
    My thoughts exactly ^^. I believe Dustin Browder has a mental block, because he has worked with human factions before. I enjoy Siege Tank games because they feel "Terran". When you are in this position, either you get air superiority or start harassing your opponent's economy. Nukes work great at the role of killing or forcing your opponent to move his tanks. If they add this super artillery mechanic into the game we will se games where a terran just fortifies close to the enemy base and starts shooting the buildings down lol.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    Well well, what have we here?

    Shredder Gone: Amen. Blizzard, please, for the love of Satan, realize how much potential the Bunker already has for area denial though upgrades. How the hell are Siege Bunkers and Flame Turret Bunkers not in the game yet? Even Warcraft 3 had Orc bunkers with spikes poking out of them to punish melee attackers.

    Warhound: Blizzard is looking for a Factory AA unit. Why aren't they using the Cobra/Diamondback? Essentially just remodel the Warhound. Cobra hovers, and you can sleek out the model for its rail guns so it'll have great pathing. Give it the GtA AoE attack, and the GtG bonus versus armored, and literally every single problem they have goes caput. Anti-light AA and Siege Tank line breaking power in a micro-able form though the wonders of rail guns. Holy shit.

    Air Mines: Now this I actually approve of, its something simple and new, but its an ability that clearly belongs on the Raven.

    Fire Zee Missiles: No goddammit, no! Terran already have long range missiles, they're called NUKULAR FUCKING BOMBS. Work on ways to make Nukes more viable instead of wasting time stealing from C&C. I understand if you're afraid of giving Ghosts their Ocular Implants upgrade back because of the Ghost Snipe/High Templar Feedback dance, but there's got to be a better way than making something spammable with even longer range than the bloody Tank.

    Oracle: If its not built from the Robotics Facility then I'll be disappointed, but I can understand why its Starport. Protoss NEED to learn to use their Warp Prisms better for harrassment. I support the Oracle, good job. Still not sold on the Mineral blocking Force Fields cause its unneeded though. If you want to disrupt enemy economy, just kill his workers or worker production. Stop making it so goddamn complicated.

    Replicant: Good riddance. I was intially excited about this thing, but after much though I realized the last thing Protoss needed was to go back to saying "we suck so bad, we have to use the other races units to win." The Dark Archons let the Infestors do that shit now.

    Tempest: The key to this units success is in the name, not by making it the goddamn Carrier you were trying to replace! Let it unleash a fury. Seriously, make it shoot Psionic Storms as its normal attack. Give it some other abilities, and give Protoss the capital ship caster they deserve. Merge the Carrier's power and Mothership's energy to create something badass.

    Nexus Recall: Cutting out the Mothership Middleman for Recall is something that should have happened long long ago. Getting the army where it's going should be the Warp Prism's job. Bravo.

    Swarm Host: Perfect. Keep it. Its simple, its Zergy, its glorious.

    Viper: Give it Abduct, Detection, and "Dark Swarm." Mineral Siphon is dumb. I have no idea where Blizzard's obsession with mineral abuse came from. Its completely unnecessary.

    Overseer: Get rid of it, it has NO purpose now.

    Nydus Breeds: I'm fine with this as long as its not arbitrary, but seriously, they're making different types of Nydus Worms instead of different types of Creep Tumors? Blizzard is so focused on creating new things, they're forgetting to improve the things they already have. Creep Tumors have as much upgrade potential as Bunkers.
    Last edited by DemolitionSquid; 04-11-2012 at 03:17 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    Nydus Breeds: I'm fine with this as long as its not arbitrary, but seriously, they're making different types of Nydus Worms instead of different types of Creep Tumors? Blizzard is so focused on creating new things, they're forgetting to improve the things they already have. Creep Tumors have as much upgrade potential as Bunkers.
    I think that is because Creep tumors are already used in every game, that is the main way of creating creep, good macro mechanic, but Nydus is seeing little to no use, and that is why they are changing the Nydus, at least in my eyes it looks like that.

    They want to give new abilities to the Overseer, isn't that a good thing? And I am pretty sure that they are keeping the Overseer for balance reasons. High level players were already discussing how you won't be able to rush 3 bases with Zerg ever, because fast DTs or Banshees would deny it because you don't have anything cheap for detection. Viper costs 100/200 and unit that they gave detection to could be easily sniped.
    "Living for the Swarm!"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    Put this in the HotS discussion, but didn't realize this was here. Gonna paste my 2 cents...

    -----

    Terran -

    Warhound: Hmmm - actually thought this would have no trouble making it in

    Anti air, 'spider mine': HA! - submitted this as a unit/ability idea back on the old forums. Pretty much just stationary, robot 'Scourge' (Was it a contest??) Still think it's an interesting idea. However, now that I've seen the game beyond the limited theorycrafting that originally spawned this idea, I'm wondering if it may be a bit tough on Zerg base raiding options. (?) We'll see, I guess.


    Protoss -


    Replicant: Originally held off on an opinion; if used as intended (which will never happen with any unit from here to eternity.) it could have been an interesting mechanic.

    Tempest: Hmmm...."The tempest is currently a very long-ranged aerial siege weapon that can strike both air and ground targets." - Sounds eerily familiar somehow...


    Zerg -

    Swarm Host: Single best unit they have come up with for HotS. Very excited to see it's working out.

    Viper: - While I do like the 'siphon minerals' notion, it seems like every time they try to work out these types of, 'replenish energy' mechanics, it always ends up back on the shelf. Minor point, but hope they do something with the, "abduct' animation - really silly looking right now.

    Nydus options: Love this idea. Interested to see if its 'all of the above' or an 'A, B or C' choice type add-on.

    Overseer: Im assuming the, 'grant detection' ability on the Viper is gone? While I thought it was a little too good, (detection on banelings that can move while burrowed?) I feel a backtrack to the Overseer is really not the way to go.

    ..
    Last edited by Caliban113; 04-11-2012 at 06:49 PM.
    "Wait.....no Gzhee-Gzhee.....?.....whu......Why no Ghzhee-Gzhee?!?!?!?!"


    RIP - Leslie Nielsen

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    just wondering what happened to the battle hellion. Is it still in? I like the unit.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    Gonna assume that anything not mentioned is, 'safe'

    Also want to mention that I've been calling the fate of the Shredder nearly since the git-go.

    .
    Last edited by Caliban113; 04-11-2012 at 10:34 PM.
    "Wait.....no Gzhee-Gzhee.....?.....whu......Why no Ghzhee-Gzhee?!?!?!?!"


    RIP - Leslie Nielsen

  9. #9

    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    Quote Originally Posted by RamiZ View Post
    I think that is because Creep tumors are already used in every game, that is the main way of creating creep, good macro mechanic, but Nydus is seeing little to no use, and that is why they are changing the Nydus, at least in my eyes it looks like that.

    They want to give new abilities to the Overseer, isn't that a good thing? And I am pretty sure that they are keeping the Overseer for balance reasons. High level players were already discussing how you won't be able to rush 3 bases with Zerg ever, because fast DTs or Banshees would deny it because you don't have anything cheap for detection. Viper costs 100/200 and unit that they gave detection to could be easily sniped.
    The detection thing is a non-issue, and I just explained how. Creep Tumor upgrades. In WoL Beta, they had a creep tumor called a Shrieker, that emitted a noise when enemies got too close. It was removed because it was annoying. But I feel the idea was sound. Give Creep Tumors the option to become a Spotter - basically a short-ranged, cloaked eye in the creep that detects. The trade off is that Tumor can no longer spawn new ones. It gives the Zerg more options for Queen energy use and solves the early detection issue without bloating the unit pool, and because they can't attack they can come into play cheaper and earlier than Spore Crawlers. I understand your issue is getting detection to your third as its morphing and there's no creep there yet, but these Spotters might encourage increased used of creep-highways to the third and Overlord creep drop at the third to get the Spotters and Crawlers there faster. As long as the Viper has detection too, there should be no excuse for a Zerg not to have some form of detection, either mobile or static.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caliban113 View Post
    Tempest: Hmmm...."The tempest is currently a very long-ranged aerial siege weapon that can strike both air and ground targets." - Sounds eerily familiar somehow...
    Exactly. This is ridiculous. Here's my solution.

    Make the Tempest shoot Psionic Storms. Give it a "weather machine" vibe. Lots of lightning crackling over its crystalline hull. With a long cooldown and smaller AoE than the Templar's storm, it can give players the ability to micro its storm targets, and the storm will last several seconds so enemies can micro to avoid it and reduce their damage taken. It will give the unit a real sense of power and really make it unique from the Carrier, Battle Cruiser, and Brood Lord. Obviously the storm would have to effect buildings, so as long as the DoT of the storm matched around the DoT of a BC firing at a building it should be balanced just fine. Then what you can do, is give it energy and abilities that compliment its lightning-based play. Give it the Science Vessel's Defensive Matrix in the form of a Static Barrier. Let it charge up and unleash a giant storm. There's so much possibility.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Dev update: HotS Multiplayer

    Shredder: Fine, sounded kinda ridiculous.

    New ideas: Ugh. We're going through this again. The period of them using ideas that pretty much just flat out don't work.

    I like the aerial spider-mine, though. Very terran-y, very cool. I don't really see what purpose the Thor serves at this point... never really liked it.

    Pretty sad to see the Replicant go, that sounded like a cool unit. And I actually think having players be hesitant to use certain powerful units sounds like a good strategic element, but I can understand why Blizzard wouldn't want that.

    Oracle sounds neat, I guess. Hard to say. It sounds pretty limited.

    Tempest... eh? I didn't really love the sound of it at Blizzcon and I still don't, really. I agree that a combined Mothership/Capital Ship kinda thing would be great. Seriously, the Mothership's really cool and good. Recall is useless, and it's too fat and bloated for it's own good, but there's a good unit in there if they tried to find it.

    Swarm Host is fantastically cool.

    Overseer being back is fine with me, as long as they can maybe come up with one more spell it can use (preferably one that helps provide vision somehow). But even then, I don't really mind. I sort of like how it's a more specialized Overlord in a way.

    Viper is sounding cool, but mineral siphoning sounds... dumb. I don't really mind it, but I think consume is a more elegant solution to the same problem. Of course then it really is just a flying Defiler, but oh well. As for the detection spell, it sounded kinda sloppy and hard to use, so I'm not sorry to see that go.

    Nydus Worm thing sounds like one of those cool but totally unworkable ideas they're going to wind up cutting. I sort of agree with Squid in that upgradable Creep Tumours probably make more sense, and Nydus worms could just be balanced better. (Though I've never really seen the problem, building Nydus is a large investment, but it almost always pays off in a really big way.)


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