BlizzCon 2014 – StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Multiplayer Panel Transcript

::Ravager::

Sum: This is the Zerg Ravager. The Ravager is a morph off the roach. It has an ability called Corrosive Bile.

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Corrosive Bile targets a location, and after a brief delay, the ravager will launch an attack that will deal damage to both: air and ground. One of the unique features of this ability is that it can be used to break forcefields.

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Internally, we’ve tried ways for a Zerg to break forcefields using banelings, or massive units on tier one; but because they countered forcefields so heavily, it ended up just moving forcefields from that matchup entirely — and this wasn’t what we wanted.

The ravager’s ability adds an interesting way to do that, because it can involve micro from both players. So let’s see how that works.

As you can probably guess, this ability is great against things that don’t move: defensive structures, for example; but also units like lurkers and siege tanks.

What about units that can’t move? Well, they just move. What you didn’t see in that video, the ravager can actually try to lead its shot against moving targets and if you can anticipate where the enemies’ armies are going to be, you can deal damage to them that way. We’ve actually been having a lot of fun with this ability in our internal play tests.

As I mentioned earlier, this ability does also hit air units; so things we like about the ravager: it adds micro on both sides, but it also adds some positioning gameplay as well. Using the ability, you can deny areas or get the enemy to move. The ravager also gives us interactional forcefields that we’ve asked for; however, there is one concern.

As we mentioned earlier, we like that the lurker was breaking up the mass roach battles in ZvZ (Note: Zerg vs Zerg). If the ravager counters the lurker a little too hard, then it might become an issue again. So we’ll keep an eye on this going forward.

::Corruptor::

Kirkpatrick: For corruptor changes, we’ve removed the corruption ability and added caustic spray. Caustic spray channels on the ground unit dealing slowly increasing damage over time. While the corruptor is channeling, it can’t move; and if the target moves out of range, the ability is cancelled.

This means that it’s not that great against the enemy army. However, it’s quite effective at picking off undefended buildings, or slower moving units — giving it a lot more harassment utility when there are no enemies in the air to fight. So let’s take a look at this against Protoss specs.

One concern we do have for this is that with corruption removed, the corruptor’s anti-air damage might be a little bit too low; and we’ll be ready to make balance to it if that turns out to be the case.

::Swarm Host::

We’ve made big changes to the swarm host. Its role has been changed to a mobile harassment unit. The first change is that spawn locust can now be used while the swarm host is unburrowed. This allows the swarm host to stay mobile while it’s attacking.

The second change is the cooldown of spawn locust has been increased, but the strength of locust has been increased with it. This gives significant windows for the opponent to counter attacking when there are no locusts up on the map.

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What this means is that you are not going to want to sit back passively relying on your swarm host to defend your front line. You are going to want to be active with this unit.

With the increased cooldown, it’s now an important decision when and where each wave of locust is spawned. As such, spawned locusts can no longer be auto-cast. You will have to manually send each wave of locust to attack.

And last, there’s a new upgrade for swarm host that allows locusts to fly. They can’t attack while flying, but they can swoop down to the ground to engage the enemies’ forces. Let’s just take a look at these new flying locusts.

::Nydus Worm::

Kirkpatrick: While we were looking into Zerg’s harassment options, we realized we wanted to add more opportunities to use Zerg’s unique drop mechanics: the Nydus Worm. To do this Nydus Worms can no longer be damaged until they’ve finished unburrowing, and are about ready to deploy units. This means that it is going to take an appropriate amount of army to respond to this threat.

Another part of this, that we are really excited about is: the late game potential for strategies. Zerg players traditionally have had a tough time of cracking the defenses of turtling players in the late game — even with a big economic advantage. Now they can use that economic advantage to spawn multiple Nydus Worms — peeling apart the defenses of a passive player.

 

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers. I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.

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