Home > Starcraft II > Starcraft II: Surviving patch 11

Starcraft II: Surviving patch 11

Many hours this week have gone to Starcraft II, but I not played that much myself. I really want to play, but I am so afraid of burning myself out before retail begins (the date has been set: July 27 2010 according to the shop where I preordered). Anyway, watching Shoutcraft and Day[9] video’s is great entertainment and even better instruction. Actually, I have been playing a bit too irregularly which has hurt my Random race selection, so instead I have decided to stick to Protoss for now.

This patch seems to be intended to increase the use of high tech units like Battlecruisers and Ultralisks, though I have some doubts as if that will work out. As a general change, all splash damage now originates from the center of the target instead of from the impact location to make it easier to predict where it will occur. What I do not like about this patch is that several specialist units were nerfed. More specialised units will make, in my opinion, the game more fun.

Terran

Battlecruisers, in a mixed force, are already potent units and now it is easier to get them out quicker, because both the build time of Battlecruiser itself and the Fusion Core has been decreased. However, the Fusion Core itself is now only useful for Battlecruiser, because the Raven’s Seeker Missile has been moved to the Starport’s Tech lab. Unfortunately, the range and area of the Seeker Missile have been reduced.

Previous patches have increased the effectiveness of the Terran mechanical units and this patch continues that with a small (10) health increase for Siege Tanks and a range increase for Hellions (already a great harassing tool against mineral lines). The Thor was rebalanced a bit: ground damage was reduced, but the rate of fire was increased. DPS remains the same. The Thor could already one-shot units with low hitpoints, so I do not expect this will matter much. Air damage was changed from 8(+4light) to 6(+6light), which increases its usefulness against armored units. There’s a real nerf here as well: the 250mm Strike Cannons were turned into an upgrade that has to be researched. I guess this is to discourage Thor drops against expansions (drop two Thors with Medivacs, strike cannons on the main building will all but destroy it).

Protoss

Archons are units that are basically only created when High Templars are out of energy and if they have no time to recharge. I doubt that increasing their splash damage area from 0.8 to 1 is going to change that. The Colossus, like the Thor, increased a rebalancing of damage/attack rate: it attacks faster but with the same dps. The Sentry’s damage was reduced a bit, but its main purpose is and remains placing Force Fields and Guardian Shield.

The big change, however, is that Phoenixes can now attack while moving. This is huge. It allows the Phoenix to chase down basically any air unit. Anyone doubting the power of Phoenixes should watch Day[9]’s show about Nony’s Phoenixes.

Zerg

The Brood Lord is a very powerful highly specialized unit. It flies, but only attacks ground and it does this in the highly unique fashion of throwing Broodlings (sort of Zerglings with limited lifespan) down. The attack does damage and then the Brood Lords go to work. The Brood Lord counters just about any ground force. It is quite sturdy as well. On the downside, it requires a Greater Spire, which means a Spire, a Hive and it is morphed from Corruptors (which only attack air and is most effective against massive units) and it is expensive as well. Still, it is apparently too strong so life and armor were reduced. However, the Corruptor was buffed, especially against massive units. The Corruption ability used to shut down production at buildings for a time, but it now increases the damage done to a single non-building target. This gives the Corruptor a use even if the opponent is not building air units.

The Ultralisk is the ground equivalent of the Brood Lord. While it is powerful if upgraded, it suffers from being a massive ground unit that gets stuck on everything. The Colossus can walk over units, the Thor has ranged attacks, the Ultralisk gets stuck on Zerglings. Even a damage increase from 18 to 25 is not going to make the Ultralisk a better choice than Brood Lords.

The Infestor used to be able to control any unit with Neural Parasite, but this was deemed too powerful. It is back now, but the cost is high: the ability has to be researched and the cost was doubled from 50 to 100 energy. I would call this a pretty serious nerf. Infestors used to be good support units against both swarms and large units. Now the attack against large units will be a choice.

Zerg players were able to gain map control by spreading creep and offensively sending Spine Crawlers forward. This was apparently not intended, because the root time was increased from 6 to 12 seconds. While it is still possible to take control, moving them during an attack is less viable.

Conclusion

Mech units for Terran have become more viable, but the M&M(&M) ball is still as powerful as ever, as are Banshees. Terran players should not have to do much adjusting in their builds.

Protoss can deal pretty well with Mutalisk harass now. Still, their main power remains on the ground.

Zerg early game has not changed. It is more viable to add Corruptors to a force now mid-game and this will make a late game transition to Brood Lords easier, which are still a potent unit. Zerg swarms still have to worry about Seeker Missiles, but less so. The Ultralisk is still of less use than a wet paper towel.

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