Blizzard Hints at StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm New Multiplayer Units

Without a doubt, the singleplayer campaign in StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will allow us to build familiar Zerg units from the original StarCraft, but what new units, if any, will be included in the multiplayer is a mystery. In a recent interview, lead designer Dustin Browder hinted at what we could expect.

The Terrans have enough stuff already, thus it becomes a guessing game to know what to do for them. We have to be careful about what new units we can add to the game. At the end of the day, we still have to add in cool s***. [Players] are giving us their money; we have to give them something cool.

There are some easy things we can do and there are some hard things. If we study the game, for example, you would say that the corruptor is lame. Don’t get us wrong; they’re useful. If there’s a lot of colossi, you need corruptors. If there are dark templars, you need overseers. They have a battle function for a situation, but what new battle strategies and tactics do they add in the game? Compare the two to the mutalisks; a player can raid, harass, they can get board control, they can decimate opponents without anti-air. Party, right? Having those guys around changes the match. Corruptors? Meh. You build Colossi, I build Corruptors; end of story.

Did he just hint at a possible Corruptor/Overseer hybrid? Corruptors with detection?

There may be other places we can legitimately add. For instance, the Protoss don’t really have a great way to raid. To a point; they can kinda raid with Phoenixes with anti-gravs and they can cheese with Void Rays, but that’s not really fun. But we can add in a legitimate Protoss raider that gives a player new strategies.

Zerg has Mutalisks, Terran has Medivac drops, and Protoss has the “paper plane” Warp Prism that just doesn’t compete. What would a “legitimate Protoss raider” look like?

There are a few places (not very many) where we can do new roles for races that are missing roles. There’s definitely units that can die in the fire so that we can replace them with something cool. We’re looking to upgrade some units and add a few, but we need to keep the unit list down because we don’t know how big it’s going to be [at this point in time].

In [StarCraft: Brood War], we added two or three [new units] per race. I don’t know what we’ll do ultimately. We may add one per race plus tweaks, or we may do two on some, maybe three. Not all races will be given equal treatment; the Terrans are really, really good and it’s really hard to do more with them. While the other races currently have an equal opportunity to beat them (except for Korean Grandmasters), Terrans are still more flexible and we don’t want to add that.

Upgrades instead of new units — our insider suggested this could be the case.

We’re not ashamed of putting [the Lurkers] back in. I’m sure they’re pretty high on the community request list. They are pretty mighty, since they offer two things to the overall Zerg strategy: the ability to attack while cloaked, and the ability to push into tier two building. We may have different solutions other than the Lurker, but we’re still working on it.

Protoss have Dark Templars that can attack while cloaked. Terran have Banshees and Ghosts. There is currently no Zerg unit that can attack while burrowed, and it seems like Blizzard wants to fill this niche, Lurker or not.

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1 Comment on Blizzard Hints at StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm New Multiplayer Units

Valki

On August 4, 2011 at 6:06 am

Nice to finally hear some news, what they say about the overseer and corrupter is spot on.

However, the ‘lacking roles’, kind of frightens/disappoints me.

Yes, protoss have no raiders and yes zerg has no invisible attackers. But does every race need to have them? – I think not. When fighting zerg, you know you will see them (you will see them harass you to death, in fact). When fighting protoss, you know they won’t attack your base with tiny raids (just one big one that destroys you, if you allow him to macro up).

Playing random, I also enjoy these differences and an RTS should not cater to ‘races’ as an MMO should cater to ‘races’. If you are bored as a protoss because you want to raid, pick zerg or terran!