Starcraft II Updates Next Month

Having been out in the wild for almost a month now, Blizzard has decided that changes are in order for Starcraft II, and will soon be making a number of balance tweaks for the game's first major update.

Patch 1.1, due sometime next month, will make a number of alterations to the game's balance, including:

- Reducing the effectiveness of a "Zealot rush" when playing as/against the Protoss

- Reducing the effectiveness of Terran Reapers against the Zerg

- The power of the Terran Siege Tank will be reduced when in siege mode

- Terran Battlecruisers will be less powerful against ground units

- The Zerg Ultralisks have lost their "ram" attack, as it was proving in many instances to be less powerful than its regular attack.

There are also some minor adjustments being made to some build and cooldown times as well, along with a golbal rollout of the US hotkey layouts, including that for left-handers; for the complete list of changes due in 1.1, check out the official site.



    As I bought this today I'm slightly glad I won't notice the changes.

    *sadface* siege tanks and battle cruisers are 90% of my very minimal strategy. I do, however, agree that siege tanks are too powerful. A single siege tank can make a group of 20 marines null and void in a matter of seconds. Battle cruisers... I don't think they deserved the nerf, but then again I'm only a Gold player, so i'm not sure how it is at higher tiers.

    Good riddance to the Zealot nerf, those guys were a nightmare. If you couldn't get your wall up (as terran) before they started to come in, it was pretty much GG

      interestingly, I never even tried zealots against terrans because I felt obliged to rush to a sentry + stalkers to counter MM spam, since without being able to force field the bottom of a ramp and thin the enemy forces while they struggle to fight back MM can just stomp you as protoss, Marauders pwn all gateway units.

      Yeah i don't get this because quite simply reapers >>>>>> zealots. A tiny bit of micro and you can outrun zealots with your suv's and get a couple of reapers and kill any zealots they send in.

    'If you couldn’t get your wall up (as terran) before they started to come in, it was pretty much GG'

    Think about it from a zerg players perspective!!! all of these nerfs are very welcomed in my opinion... The swarm shall rise again!

      Totally agree, I'm a pretty low level player but even so I feel like there's little I can do vs a zealot rush as a zerg. Siege tanks do feel a little OP too. I actually feel that Terran got a lot of love and the zerg feel a little weak at the moment. It seems very difficult to put up effective base defense not to mention the lack of any unit that can walk up and down cliffs.

    Thankgod they're finally tweaking balance, was to be expected things would need working at the start so i imagine blizzard will have some good data and feedback by this point.

    Siege tanks killing 4-5 marines in one shot is a bit too much. I approve of this nerf. (Y)
    I hardly use Battlecruisers - mostly it's to counter my opponent's own Battlecruisers, so I won't miss them too much. I'll appreciate the nerf more, really, since then my ground force will be happier.

    I hardly ever use Reaper rushes so I'm okay about the Reaper nerf. But yeah I see how they can be a nightmare for Zerg. Terran and Protoss have tier one counters to the Reaper, but Zerg do not. Queens and Roaches have 3 range so with half-decent micro the Reaper will just cause endless havoc until speed upgrade kicks in for the zerglings (but then nitro pack upgrade might be finished for the Reapers).

    I've never had problems against a zealot rush. But then again I've never actually really faced one (apart from the one in the challenge mission but that is so laughably easy it doesn't wasn't much of a challenge)

    I'm not sure how the Ram attack is a hindrance for the Ultralisks? It does like 70 damage, instead of the usual 15 (+25). Ah well.
    Oh, I just read the notes on the site. I see. Fair enough.

      Tanks at most kill one marine in a shot. And with Combat shields and armour upgrades, even this is questionable. The Radius for Splash goes 100% single > 50% secondary > 25% tertiary. The post-nerf attack is now 50dmg.

      Why would you get BCs to counter BCs? This is incredibly inefficient and takes a VERY long time to get up. Vikings reactored out do the job much more effectively and can dance around BCs with 9 range. BCs are never, ever brought out vs Air. They're siege-breaker units used to break an entrenched enemy (hence why most popular in TvT match-up) and will never be brought out until you have the Viking air superiority anyway.

      The Zealot nerf: These tweaks are for multiplayer. Challenges don't mean squat. If you've played very aggressive P Diamond players, they will 4-gate/3-gate-robo you if they even get a whiff of a tech-up/FE build. You won't have significant sieged tanks before they're knocking on your door and the only real defence is 5x pumping marines/ghost with bunkers everywhere.

        Well that one time I sent out BCs to counter BCs was when my opponent and I went for BCs at pretty much the exact same time. I'm not exactly going to cancel my BC, build a reactor then build two Vikings at that point. Yes we both went for BC rush. This was an isolated case and was probably not very good for discussion.

        I realise the challenge doesn't mean squat, that's why I said "it doesn't count" =P

        Well, yes, the splash does 50% to the secondary target, but keep in mind that the secondary target is every marine around the initial marine, so if there are two siege tanks, they WILL take out 4-5 marines in one go if the splash overlaps. As you said, drawing first blood is all-important. Even when the marines survive, my own marines (of course I wouldn't just have those two siege tanks) will take them down or even just draw fire away while the second round of tank shots destroys the enemy forces.

    -Siege Tank: nerf was unneeded imo. The siege mode attack has been nerfed repeatedly and is much, much worse than its BW counterpart. People say that it's balanced by higher attack speed to balance out DPS, but in all match-ups, constant DPS is less important than drawing first blood to destroy their ability to strike back. A slower, more powerful attack is preferable.

    -Reaper: Agree with this one. Reapers were way too effective in TvZ. they pretty much destroyed any FE build and run rings around lings. I've even seen games where a Terran just commits hardcore to reaper builds where they reach critical mass and can go toe-to-toe with roaches.

    -Zealot: Agreed. 4-Gate was too damn effective. Zealots are ridiculously tough at that point in the game and in most TvZs, it forces a Terran to adopt the Marine/Ghost (Gretorp) build to counter. Equally (if not more so) difficult for a Zerg to fend off.

    -Battlecruisers: Meh. Can't really say either way, usually only use these in the TvT match-up myself and at which point, you really should have the higher Viking count anyway. The problem with THIS nerf is below

    -Ultralisk: Definitely don't agree with this. Ultralisks are ridiculously powerful already and are a soft-to-hard counter to every Terran ground unit. Its Aoe chops up infantry and its +Armoured bonus will destroy mech. The previous Ultralisk buff made them un-CC-able so now you can't stun or snare them with Thors/Marauders.

    TvZ late game may turn into a BC vs Ultra fight and if BCs are getting a ground nerf, this essentially renders a T player incapable of blunting Ultralisks. Protoss have Immortals which hard-counter, so they're better off.

    What I hoped to see this patch

    -Infestor nerf: Overall good unit, but imo imbalanced for one spell: Infested Terran. This spell is ridiculously cheap (25 energy), no cooldown (can be spammed), can be used while cloaked, and the summoned unit itself inherits all your ground upgrades. If Blizz took away just 1 of these perks, it'll be all good.

      Sure, The Siege Tank deals 50 damage as it stands, whereas in Brood War they do 70. However, keep in mind that in Brood War, Zealots and Dragoons are tougher than Zealots and Stalkers in SC2. Moreover, the way the armour system works in BW, that 70 damage gets reduced to 35 for small units and 53 against medium units, reducing the overall damage that Siege Tanks actually do. So with stim and good control in approaching the siege tank, a marine army can still take out siege tanks.

      However in SC2, right now without the HP upgrade, siege tanks will one-hit KO marines, as well as killing zerglings and banelings outright. With the HP upgrade, Siege tanks just need to get +1 Weapons to deal 55 damage, again, killing marines in one hit. Not to mention they attack faster and have better AI as to not deal overkill to units, the Siege Tank in SC2 is much more effective than their counterparts in Brood War.

      If there is something I have overlooked, please point it out to me. I'm still in the process of learning how to play StarCraft, so your insight might be beneficial to me.

        Professional BW TvT boiled down to Mech armies and drop tech with slow pushes of depots/turrets across the map. The BW infantry 'edge' over a tank was negated by Vultures (the bread and butter 'filler' unit) which destroyed infantry. Hellions in SC2 are poor against infantry (or any ranged unit) because their AI will naturally attack as soon as they come within range, Plus due to ranged units naturally 'concaving' it makes a marine row 1-2 units deep = very poor overlap.

        The BW Tank is still preferable. As I said, attack speed is less important than the initial volley which minimises an opponent's ability to strike back effectively. Drawing first blood is possibly the most important concept in TvT besides Air Control (moreso in SC2 than BW).

        I 'get' why Blizz is nerfing the tanks, I think it's because they want to eliminate the 'critical mass' phenomenon in BW where once you reach a threshold, you can annihilate any number of enemies with almost 0 losses, and their traditional counters (Immortals/Ultralisks) will be ineffective.

        What will happen, I think, is that players will simply move into Marauder-heavy builds since now the only advantage of Tanks is their range (might not even outweigh set-up time). Most higher-tech units are going to be 'armoured', meaning stimmed Marauders will eclipse the piss-poor DPS of tanks.

          Yeah, I know the situation in TvT in Brood War. It seems what Blizzard is trying to do here is simply to move away from that Mech vs Mech stand-off that was seen in BW, bcause it made for rather unexciting and derivative matches - which when considering the nature of the game as a spectator sport in Korea, would have a detrimental effect on audience interest when it comes to TvT.

          Making bio more viable in TvT while making the Siege Tank a high-maintenance (in terms of making it even more crucial to set up tank lines correctly), high-rewards unit seems at this point to be the goal Blizzard is aiming at.

          Also I just realised we've only been talking about the siege tank mode of the tank, keep in mind that when unsieged, the tank deals more dps than marauders (25 damage/0.86 seconds vs armoured, I believe still faster than marauders with stim - which would do 20 damage/1 second), and are also more bulky, making them still viable.

          I've always thought that siege tanks in non-siege mode and marauders kind of overlap in terms of their usefulness and situational viability, so I tend to go for more siege tank heavy builds since I have the additional option of siege mode if I need it.

            The siege tank vs Marauder argument is still a pretty contentious issue in most circles. For the most part it boils down to what your resources are. Marauders are 'mineral expensive' while Tanks are 'gas intensive'. You adjust as you need.

            Thor/Marauder TvT builds are becoming increasingly popular now. Painuser's been moving towards that from what I've seen recently.

    Diehard overzealous fans screaming 'They've ruined the game already!!!' in 3....2.....1....

    does this count for campaign as well?

    if so i'm glad i finished it when i did. i used reapers a few times.

    Aw I was just getting the hang of the zealot rush.

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