HotS-Patch: Träger zurück, Warhound raus und vieles mehr
Nachdem Dustin Browder aka „Rock” breits hatte durchblicken lassen, daß man ein größeres Balanceupdate für die Beta von Heart of the Swarm plante, ist es nun soweit. Im Rahmen eines umfangreichen Updates, das auch von einer Menge technischer Kleinigkeiten ändert und Probleme behebt, wird sogar der Einheitenpark noch einmal gehörig durcheinander gewirbelt. Alle Änderungen sowie die Erklärungen von David Kim gibt es in unserer Übersicht.
Patchlog - Balanceänderungen
Die Balanceänderungen sind wohl die spektakulärsten und obwohl manches angekündigt wurde hätten viele doch Blizzard diese drastischen Experimente nicht zugetraut: Die Protoss haben nun dem Träger und dem Tempest erst einmal zwei Großkampf-Lufteinheiten und die Terraner müssen auf ihren Warhound möglicherweise dauerhaft verzichten. Bei den Zerg wird nur an einer kleinen Stellschraube gedreht, nämlich der Angriffsreichweite der vom Swarmwirt ausgesendeten Schrecken (Locusts). Hier die vollständige Liste:
- Swarm Host
- The locust’s attack range has decreased from 3 to 2.
- We have removed the oracle’s Preordain ability.
- We have added a new area of effect ability for the oracle called Phase Shield.
- Targeted friendly units are shielded from harmful effects for 5 seconds.
- Fungal Growth, Corruption, Contaminate, Graviton Beam, Concussive Shells, Abduct, Revelation, Vortex, and 250mm Strike Cannons – Phase Shield removes the effect and prevents units from being affected.
- EMP – Phase Shield removes the anti-cloaking effect but not the damage dealt.
- Neural Parasite – Phase Shield will not remove this effect but it will prevent units from being affected.
- The energy upgrade has been removed.
- Entomb’s duration has been reduced to 25 sec, but the health per Entomb has increased to 100.
- The cost per unit has changed from 150/200 to 150/150.
- The attack range has been reduced from 22 to 15.
- The basic damage has changed from 30 to 30 + massive.
- The ranged upgrade has been removed.
- Mothership Core / Mothership
- Recall will now cost 100 energy.
- The mothership core will now start with 50 energy and when upgraded, energy will be set back to 50.
- The range of Purifier Beam has been increased from 7 to 10.
- This unit has returned to the game.
- This unit has been removed from the game.
- We have added a new passive ability called Combat Awareness.
- This allows reapers to see up cliffs.
- Battle hellions can now be built from the Factory. It has an Armory requirement.
- There is a new upgrade at the Armory that will allow transformation between Battle Mode and Normal Mode.
- Widow Mine
- We have removed the Armory requirement.
Patchlog - Technische Updates
Bei den technischen Änderungen werden zunächst viele Optionen standardmäßig so eingestellt, wie man es aus Wings of Liberty gewohnt ist. So hatte Blizzard im Rahmen der Beta beispeilsweise eine vereinfachte Darstellung statt der üblichen Buttons für Bewegung und Angriff zur Standardeinstellung gemacht. Während dies Einsteigern sicher ins Spiel hilft, ist es für die eher Starcraft-erprobte Nutzerschar der Beta eher irritierend, da z.B. die Buttons zum Patroullieren oder stoppen nun erst wieder erscheinen, wenn man die entsprechende Option abschaltet. Die Änderung der Einstellungen, die nun noch vor der ersten großen Keywelle erfolgt ist, dürfte damit auch für weniger Probleme sorgen, wenn die Spielerzahl der Beta größer wird.
In den technischen Änderungen des 184.108.40.20671 verbergen sich auch kleine Balanceänderungen, wie z.B. die Rückänderung der Energie für die Seeker Missle des Raven:
- The following options now default to off:
- Simple Command Card
- Show Current Order Waypoint
- Select Larva Clusters
- Team Colored Life Status Bars.
- The following option now defaults to on:
- Allow Selecting Uncontrollable Units.
- An error is no longer generated when attempting to burrow previously un-burrowed units with other units that are already burrowed.
- The Select Army button now defaults to the F2 hotkey.
- Queens and mothership cores are no longer selected when the Select Army button is used.
- Tempest and Oracle now have proper selection sounds.
- Fixed an issue where executing certain queued orders would be delayed if an ability was on cooldown.
- Fixed an issue where certain units were missing flail animations.
- Fixed some missing text in the zerg tab on non-grid hotkey profiles.
- Simple Command Card has been removed from the Planetary Fortress.
- The Build SCV command card button on the Command Center has been moved back to the top left slot.
- Raven’s Seeker Missile once again costs 125 energy.
- Fixed an issue where the unit icons for grouped hellions would sometimes change.
- Dead marines will no longer display Stimpack’s expiration effect animation where they fell.
- Units destroyed by the widow mine no longer display two death animations when the Reduced Violence option is toggled on.
- Units launched into the air by the siege tank’s sieged attacks now display properly under Low settings.
- A bug was fixed that caused battlecruiser anti-ground damage to be more than 8.
- Unpowered Warp Gates will no longer show as Gateways under the fog of war.
- Protoss structures are no longer invisible through the fog of war if vision was lost just as construction was completing.
- Mothership and mothership core now play appropriate ready sounds.
- Revealed debuff tooltip for Revelation has been clarified.
- Mineral Shield no longer uses a placeholder icon.
- Missile Attack upgrade has been corrected to increase locust damage in increments of 1 instead of 2.
- Banelings will no longer play an incorrect death animation if they are killed while suspended in the air.
- Ultralisks no longer emerge from Burrow Charge slightly ahead of their target destination.
- Burrow Charge now deals the correct amount of damage when the ultralisk has received melee attack upgrades.
- Burrow Charge ability icon now matches the new upgrade icon on the Ultralisk Den.
- It is now possible to set custom hotkeys for the swarm host and viper.
- Viper’s Consume ability no longer uses the Corruption icon.
- Viper no longer uses a high quality death model on Low graphics settings.
- Hydralisk speed on creep is now consistent before and after researching the Muscular Augments upgrade.
- Fixed an issue where drones would not be automatically re-selected after canceling construction of a building.
Statement von David Kim
David Kim hat ein umfangreiches Statement zu den aktuellen Änderungen veröffentlicht, in der er sich sowohl zu den Gründen äußert als auch dazu, was in Zukunft noch folgen könnte:
Because Preordain overlaps with Revelation in that both spells grant vision, we’ve decided to remove Preordain. All in all, we feel that Revelation is a cooler spell because it also acts as a soft detection mechanism.
New oracle ability: Phase Shield -- Target friendly units are shielded from harmful effects for 5 seconds
Phase Shield is a new oracle ability that can be used to prevent harmful effects like the marauder’s Concussive Shells, the infestor’s Fungal Growth, or the viper’s Abduct. We feel that with the addition of swarm hosts and vipers, protoss is in need of a spell that can help against some of the new unit compositions.
- Oracle Entomb changes
- Duration reduced from 45 to 25
- Mineral Shield health increased from 75 to 100
We were facing two issues with this ability: First – lower skilled players who didn’t react quickly would take too large an economic hit. Second – higher level players who reacted almost instantly would take too little damage from the ability. This is just a first pass at attempting to solve these two issues.
Oracle cost down from 150/200 to 150/150
The cost change is to make it easier to allow protoss players to actually build these units and justify using them. As with most tuning changes in the beta, this is probably not the final cost number. As we evaluate this unit throughout the course of the beta, we will have a much better idea of what the cost of the unit should be.
Warhound has been removed from the game
We received a lot of feedback from both the general community along with many pro gamers that this unit was not working in its current state. We definitely agree. The current plan is to remove it from the beta so that we can focus testing other units.
If we locate a better design for the warhound, it will return to the beta; until then, please play the game and give your feedback without the warhound in mind.
Carrier is back!
We continue to receive a lot of feedback from both our community and professional players suggesting that the tempest is difficult to use. We agree that it’s not an easy-to-use capital ship like the carrier, and feel it could be cool to have two big air units in the protoss fleet. The carrier will be the easy-to-use, multifunctional capital ship, whereas the tempest will be a more strategic and positional unit that can’t just be blindly massed. We know how much the carrier means to everyone and think that this is a great opportunity to give the carrier another chance before making a final decision on the unit’s future.
Mothership Core rebalance
The planned changes are:
- Mothership core build cost decreased from 100/100 to 50/50
- Mothership core’s Recall energy reduced from 150 to 100
- Mothership core Purify attack range increased from 7 to 10
These are simple number changes in an attempt to reach our goals for this unit: early game defense against all-in attacks, the ability to use Recall to be more offensive without having to commit completely, and giving protoss players more choices to work with in the early game.
Tempest attack range changed to 15, Tempest damage changed from 30 to 30 +20 massive
Now that the carrier is back as the general capital ship option, we are adjusting the role of the tempest to be more specific.
The tempest is now a specific counter-unit against massive units. The plan for the tempest is to be a viable option in the PvZ late-game against broodlords as well as in the PvP late-game against mass colossi.
Mothership starts with 50 energy when upgraded from the mothership core
Having a mothership start with max energy was an unintended side-effect that accompanied the change in how the unit was being built. Vortex is an especially deadly ability, and we feel it’s important to give players fighting against the mothership some time to react. Having a mothership capable of casting two Vortexes right when they finish building is simply too much.
Reaper has a new passive ability: Battlefield Awareness – Allows Reapers to see up cliffs
We like where the Reaper is right now with the over-all changes being made to the game. The new Combat Drugs ability allows for more reaper usage early on and this early action feels both fun to play with and fun to watch.
We’d like to try to push the usage of the reaper a bit further to see if there are even cooler options for the unit. The Battlefield Awareness ability will potentially allow reapers to be used not only for early game harassment, but throughout the game as a great scouting unit.
This is one of the experimental abilities we’d like to try as we’re still in the early stages of the beta. Any feedback on the new Reaper as a whole will be greatly appreciated.
New hellion upgrade: Transformation Servos -- allows hellions to change to Battle mode
In TvZ, battle hellions with good split micro are performing a bit too well against zergling/baneling openers. Therefore, we are adding an upgrade requirement to change modes, giving zerg players more time to make the necessary adjustments to their unit composition.
Battle mode hellions can be built from the Factory
After testing this unit in the beta, we are starting to see scenarios where building only hellions, only battle hellions, or having a choice of both are all reasonable decisions. Therefore, we would like to try allowing players to build these units separately while keeping the ability to transform between modes a viable option.
Widow mine no longer has an Amory requirement
We’re barely seeing any play using widow mines in the beta right now. While we are slightly afraid of bringing in a cloaked unit so early in the tech, we decided it would be cool to see how this works out at with no Armory requirement.
Swarm host’s locust attack range decreased from 3 to 2
We are decreasing the range of the swarm host’s locusts from 3 to 2 in order to slightly reduce the unit’s effectiveness while still maintaining its usefulness in a number of different situations. After this change, locusts should be pretty deadly when able to freely attack enemy units and structures. Additionally, small to medium-sized armies will have to do some kiting in order to reduce locust counts as head-on battles will not be cost-effective. On the other hand, larger armies (especially those with lots of splash damage) will be able to take down a large amount of locusts fairly efficiently if their swarm hosts are not backed up by other units. Swarm hosts in the earlier stages of a game can be used by themselves, but in the later parts of the game they will need to be used in combination with units like the corruptor or infestor.