Blizzcon 2011: Heart of the Swarm Will Be Making Some Drastic Changes to Existing Units in the Multiplayer

So we already know that there are some amazing (and not so amazing) new units joining the multiplayer roster in the upcoming Starcraft 2 expansion: Heart of the Swarm. But there’s also some existing units getting a major overhaul. During the Starcraft 2: HoTS Multiplayer panel, Mike Metzen went into detail on what we can expect when the new game comes out. These changes are going to make players seriously rethink their existing strategies. Let’s start with the big one.

Banelings Can Now Move While Burrowed!

This is huge. It’s an ability that has to be researched and it requires Lair, but this one is still a game changer. Terran armies are going to need to include at least one Raven now if they hope to move out across the map. The Raven just isn’t a unit that’s included in many player’s builds. Protoss should be fine since players usually build observers anyway.

Reapers Will be Able to Regenerate Health

You remember your friendly neighborhood reapers. They’re the guys that are so fond of jumping up ledges and heading straight for your mineral line. Reapers can be annoying, but if you can whittle them down to low health most players won’t risk losing them. Instead, they’ll relegate near-death reapers to controlling Xel Naga Watchtowers. Well not in HoTS they won’t! Reapers will be able to regenerate, allowing them to get back to doing what they do best: Killing your drones and probes!

Battlecruiser Speed Boost:

This one could prove interesting for Terran players. Battlecruisers in HoTS will be able to turn their warp drives to maximum power and sprint for short periods of time. This will come in handy when getting Battlecruisers into a fight and more importantly, getting them out of a jam. The Battlecruiser’s high cost and slow movement means they usually don’t make it into a player’s arsenal. Blizzard is hoping this new ability will make them more palatable in multiplayer games.

Hydra Speed Upgrade:

A deafening cheer went up from Zerg players when this upgrade was announced. No longer will the Hydralisks trail miles behind their Zergling comrades. Finally, they will arrive at the front lines in a timely manner. Maybe now players will be able to adequately defend their ground units from vicious aerial assaults.

Corrupter Siphon Ability:

Honestly I’m not sure how to feel about this one. It’s a Corrupter spell that can be cast on buildings to acquire resources from them. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure how often it will get used. When a player needs minerals, they usually build more hatcheries… not corruptors.

New Nexus Abilities:

Nexuses… er Nexi… um, damn it! What’s the plural of Nexus? Anyway these Protoss buildings are getting two new abilities. They can cast recall to warp back a group of units that have run into trouble. The idea behind this is to allow Protoss players to be more daring with their attacks and have a safety net if they get into trouble. They also have a new defensive ability that turns any structure into a photon cannon. Man, cannon rushes are about to get Fucking Crazy. Good luck killing those pylons while they’re shooting at you.

Ghost Cloak Ability will Be Fixed Cost:

What this means is that cloaked ghosts will no longer lose energy while cloaked. Instead they’ll pay a one-time cost to stay cloaked for a set duration. While they’re cloaked, they’ll actually regain energy. The cost of cloaking and the duration of each cloak has not been announced.

Thors Can No Longer Attack Air:

That’s right. Deal with it. The days of Thors being used to annihilate hordes of Mutalisks is over. Warhounds will be the new anti-air unit for Terran players. But what will become of the mighty Thor? Well it’s pretty much becoming the Terran version of the Mothership. It’s ground weapons are being buffed as well as it’s bombardment ability. Also, you can only have one at a time.

Alright, how’s everyone feeling about these changes? As a Terran player I’m not really looking forward to tunneling Banelings, but I suppose I’ll adapt. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments section.

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11 Comments on Blizzcon 2011: Heart of the Swarm Will Be Making Some Drastic Changes to Existing Units in the Multiplayer


On October 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm

This is retarded. I was really impressed with how Blizzard made WOL. But as I had first feared in an attempt to make their games so epic they’re actually making them worse. They’re taking out classic units. They’re putting in retarded looking ones. And they’re screwing with things that were fine before. WHY FIX SOMETHING THAT ISN”T BROKEN?!?!?! What the will be the point of only having one Thor??? I will NEVER use them if all they do are slow to attack ground units. Anybody who learned to play with them realized how valuable they were. And now their is no frickin point. I better get on and enjoy the units before they’re tampered with or worse removed so you have the new retarded multiplayer units.

D-dogg (for some reason*)

On October 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm

This is ing annoying, blizzard is being stupid and adding in some ty ass abilities and units and getting rid of all the good units that have great abilities (ie. Mothership and carriers) IF THESE UNITS WERE SUCH A DAMN PROBLEM THAN WHY DID NO PLAYERS COMPLAIN ABOUT THEM. I’m a Terran player but I do random sometimes and personally I liked either having to think of how I’m going to destroy my opponents mothership or being able to work towards a mothership of my own when I’m playing as Protoss. To me the game was equal when there was Starcraft: anthology and then around 10 years later Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty comes and some units were REPLACED and not just scrapped, this kept the game equal and still interesting, fun and not much different to play compared to sc1. Honestly I feel as if sc2 heart of the storm is going to make a lot of Terran players to switch to Protoss or Zerg and all because of no massive units that can fend for themselves(Thor against air) and a new unit that does the same thing that one of the ALREADY EXISTING UNITS DOES BUT IT’S WEAKER. (warhound, *I think that’s what it’s called*) if blizzard wanted to add units to sc2HoTS than why didn’t they just add the classic units like the science vessel or the valkery or the dark archon or the lurker or the corsair or the scout or the reaver or the shuttle or the defiler or the firebat or the medic or the devourer or the broodlord or the Wraith or the Goliath or the vulture or the Scourge or the queen(the sc1 version) or the arbiter or the infested Terran and finally the dragoon(sorry for long list but that’s all of the SC1 units that got replaced) why didnt blizzard bring back any of the units I just listed even though they all made one of the best games played for ten years after its release date, SC1. SC2 HoTs could be made better…WAY BETTER.


On November 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm


The answer to your question why, is simple, really… It is stupid to make Starcraft II if its just stracraft 1 with better graphics. Change is inevitable if you wanna make something new. Although i do feel you. the new units being added to the mix are just plain random and useless. 1.the new hellion is suppose to aid fend off ground forces,.. DUH, terran is a beast on the ground, the marine and marauder ball is so awesome that i can be used against both zerg and protoss, in fact if your good in micro you can win games without thinking of any other strategy. 2.THOR being a hero unit?,, really, it so slow, and oh, cant shoot air, that i bet not gonna be worth constructing. 3. Replicant ,,. its around 200 minerals and cant change into massive units, why not just train a unit that counter your opponents for a much lesser resource than copy him/her. 4. oracle, two of its abilities has the same effect, the phase and the other is the one that locks the mineral lines, why lock the mineral lines if you can phase the command center/nexus/hatchery and mining would stop (makes me wonder if they have really thought about that).. and the list goes on… The changes IMO messed up the one thing that makes starcraft unique, and that is the uniqueness of each race.. Protoss should be the Advanced race, so its normal that they should have the stronger techs, such as a mothership, this race should be focused strong units but less numbers so why remove the mothership? Terran, should be the middle ground, and is defined by firepower, Nukes, missile barrages, splash damage, range weapons, strength in numbers and plentiful fire power.,, where is all that with the new Thor?, a transformer hellion? (it looks cool however) a electrifying ball,. the shredder makes more sense if it was a protoss unit. the zerg is the only race that sticked to its original concept,, swarm, i think it is overpowered but i still ok.


On November 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm

9words Replicant into scv into 2 races for protoss players


On November 26, 2011 at 3:14 am

Lol, you ppl are retarded. All these changes are for balance, and I can see how each of these units can be used effectively. Also, any1 that goes carriers is probably in gold, slicknick. Just because you think they’re good units doesn’t mean that’s the consensus. Chill out, Hots is gonna be awesome.


On November 26, 2011 at 3:16 am

Err, I mean @ddog


On December 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I dunno swarm host is gunna be pretty OP zerg did nothing but wine orginally and that combined with the fact this is HotS, they’re really leaning towards zerg dominance with these units. The swarm host for instance is going to give the zerg even more power for map control, given in some pretty cool interesting ways that combined with burrowed friggen banes moving around the map and hydras speed being increased .. terran are dead they’ll just take the raven, put a ton of banes under you and then have five or six hosts guarding retreats and even defending the counter with near no consequence :S.


On December 17, 2011 at 4:55 am

I may get hate from this comment but I am personally a zerg player and the thor nerf puts a large grin on my face. Although I enjoy so much that blizzard games have that level feel. Dealing with strong minds and multiple possibilities that a player may create, there must be a extreme development process of everything being level. After taking some in game statistics and noticing that thors pretty much wreck everything on the map. The change was made, I personally would ling bling and roach them. Regardless though if you are upset about the changes, just dont buy the expansion


On March 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I think the reaper regeneration upgrade is just stupid and bad.I think it’s nice that they restored the hydralisk speed upgrade from SC1.I think the cloak cost for ghosts should remain the same.I think the thor change is realy bad(I don’t say that weaponry change is fundamentaly bad but if the ground weapons have been upgraded so much that to retain game balance it is necessary that there will be only one thor at a time than it makes it a bad change also one of the reasons they want to remove the mothership is because you can have only one at a time so you can see how stupid this change is).If the ground weapons have been upgraded so much that to retain game balance it is necessary that there will be only one thor at a time than they should weaken the ground weaponry change.I didn’t comment about the other changes because I don’t know what to think about them.


On March 9, 2012 at 8:21 am

Another comment: I think the Nexus recall ability will be somewhat of a waste if blizzard will decide to keep the mothership because the mothership already has the mass recall ability.


On March 19, 2012 at 8:04 am

I think that the general idea of the current units in the multiplayer is fine.I think there is no need for new units and crazy changes(not all the changes that were shown here are crazy).