BlizzCon 2014 – StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Multiplayer Panel Transcript
Kim: Let us take a look at the changes on the protoss side. Before we talk about the specific unit changes, I want to talk a little bit about warping. We’ve been exploring different changes to try to make warping-in units from the Warpgates more strategic, more positional, and involves more micro…. and the two changes that we have today are: warping-in units take extra +200% damage, and they also take longer to finish warping-in.
What we are seeing from this is: on the offense, when a Protoss player goes to attack the other player using an offensive pylon with warp gates, the defending player… (even if he has a smaller army) he can actually try to go around and try to snipe the warping-in units.
What this means for the Protoss player is: now the Protoss player has to decide if he is going to retreat his whole army back to his pylon every time he warps-in units, or if he is going to continue attacking and have those new units be at a risk.
We like this type of strategic and positional decisions that really are required on both sides due to these two changes; and on the defense, we were initially a little worried because it is a nerf; but at the same time (on the strategy side) we think this is a cool change as well.
For example, in the current game of StarCraft II, if some zerglings run into your probe line, all the Protoss player really needs to do is warp-in some zealots right on top of the zerglings so there is not a lot of decision involved; whereas now when and where to warp-in your defensive units is really critical. So we like this change strategically; but because this is such a big change, this will have to be something that we really have to tune and play test during the beta.
Sum: Let’s talk about the Protoss Disruptor. The Disruptor warps-in from the Robotics Facility. It does not have an attack, but it has a very powerful ability called Purification Nova.
When you activate the Purification Nova, the Disruptor will become invulnerable, and moves faster; and it can pass through units. When the effect ends, it will deal massive burst damage. So let’s see what this looks like.
Once the Disruptor deals its damage, it’s going to be extremely invulnerable while the ability is on cooldown. So let’s see what happens when the Disruptor goes up against units that can survive the Purification Nova.
- (The video shows 3 disruptors vs 3 Ultralisks — which survive the Purification Nova. The disruptors died within 2 seconds.)
The unit is fairly expensive, so you don’t want to just lose them like that. Let’s see how they do against the Terran.
(Video is so short, all you see is blood everywhere. Possibly a bunch of Marines.)
That is a lot of damage, but one thing about this ability is that it doesn’t hit air units. So let’s see one of the ways the Terran can respond.
- (The next video showed a disruptor advancing toward marines. The Terran player hotkeys the marines to enter the medivac. The disruptor passes through and the purification nova is wasted and on cooldown. The medivac deploys the marines, and the disruptor is destroyed by the marines.)
You can see in this video another way that the Terran can respond is by splitting his units to mitigate a lot of that incoming damage. For the Disruptor, the theme of the day has been micro on both sides.
The Disruptor is probably one of the best examples of this, as it requires a lot of skill and anticipation for you to use it — as well as, given a defender an opportunity to micro to mitigate damage.
The Disruptor gives the protoss player an opportunity to gain some big advantages using micro and strategy. This is true on both the army case as well as the harassment case. Especially when paired with the War Prism.
If you can drop this guy in a worker line, or catch the enemy army off guard, you are going to deal that massive damage yourself. One of our concerns, however, is that there is some overlap with the Colossus being a robotics splash option.
The game is more fun when there are interesting choices to make in different situations. So we want to make sure that each of these units has its own role, and in going along these lines, we’ve been looking at some tuning options on the Colossus to make sure that it’s still a better option versus some units — like zerglings or zealots.
Kirkpatrick: There are quite a few modified units in Void for Protoss. So let’s jump right in with the War Prism. The War Prism can now pick up units from a distance.
This is a really powerful tool in extending the lifetime of drop harassment — as you can pick up units that are about to be copped by enemy defenders, and redeploy them elsewhere. It’s also a really nice addition to the core protoss army, as you can use this range pick up to rescue units that are in danger from enemy forces — like you can see here.
For the Immortal, we’ve removed the Hardened Shield passive ability, and added a new active ability called: Barrier. Barrier absorbs a lot of damage, but only for a short period of time. So if you use it at the wrong moment, it will be wasted.
Let’s take a step back. Why did we remove the Hardened Shield’s passive? It was a little effective in most situations; but it was a really hard counter to the Terran’s siege tank — which limited their options in this matchup.
Barrier is really effective in a variety of situations, and has a lot of micro on both sides of an engagement. Let’s take a look at the Immortal using Barrier to win a fight which previously it would have lost.
As I mentioned before, this adds a lot of micro on both sides of the engagement. In that video, the Zerg player could have focus-fired his hydralisks on the Immortals without Barrier active to get more of an even footing in the fight.
With that said, we are concerned that this ability might be a little bit too strong in certain timing attacks using the Immortals. So that’s something we are going to keep an eye on as we move into the beta.
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