Home > Starcraft II > Starcraft II: Surviving patches 14 and 15

Starcraft II: Surviving patches 14 and 15

The first phase of Starcraft II Beta ends June 17. While it would seem that Blizzard could take it easy and review the latest beta data at their leisure, they actually put out two patches this week. Patches 14 and 15 toned down Terran Mech play a bit, streamlined Zerg upgrades and reduced the strength of several popular upgrades.

While the game will no longer be playable, the client should still be able to show replays, which will enable great shows like Day9 Daily and Shoutcraft to continue casting.

Terran

At the start of Beta Terran play was dominated by Barracks units, mostly thanks to the strength of Marauders. However, Mech has slowly begone more and more powerful. When Siege Tank splash damage (all splash damage actually) was moved from the edge of the target unit to its center, splash suddenly hit many more units. Siege Tanks supported by Vikings and Marines or Hellions became a powerful play style. Perhaps a bit too powerful, since all Factory units received nerfs. The upgrades of Hellions and Thors (to air) lost their bonus damage to Light, while Siege splash damage was reduced from 60 to 50 per shot.

Vikings were hit as well with a reduction of their ground damage. People who realised that Viking ground damage was not bad at all were using large groups of them to gain both air control and do serious harassment on the ground.

The Reaper speed upgrade was reduced to 50/50. The strength of Reapers is in the very early game and there is no time to get upgrades then, so while it may seem a buff, it will rarely be used.

Protoss

Almost nothing happened to the Protoss. Archons now build in 12 instead of in 17 seconds, but they remain an expensive, mediocre unit compared to the High Templar.

Zerg

Zerg had so many upgrades to deal with and these were streamlined a bit. And perhaps the Ultralisk gained the upgrades to make it a viable end-game unit!

The Infestor and the Ultralisk no longer need a speed upgrade for their, respectively, burrowed and normal movement.  The Ultralisk also gained 50 hitpoints increasing its survivability (basically, another Sieged Tank shot is needed to bring it down). Meanwhile, the Brood Lord’s upgrade damage was reduced by 1, which is makes the Ultralisk more viable indirectly. The Roach upgrades for burrowed movement and burrowed regeneration were combined, which is fair since Roaches are no longer overpowerd at all anymore.

Energy costs were reduced for both the Corruption ability of the Corruptor and for the Infested Terran of the Overseer.

The change that I personally really hate is the increase of Overlord speed from 50/50 to 100/100. Scouting with Overlords was already pretty risky, so I felt the speed upgrade was absolutely needed to give them a chance. This also means that gaining the ability to do effective drops nows costs 300/300, which seems a bit expensive to me.

Conclusion

There were no enormous changes this patch, which is to be expected this close to launch. Balance is perhaps not yet perfect, but it is fair enough for release. I hope more effort will be put into effective matchmaking and Battlenet functionality.

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