StarCraft II’s Next Chapter Has Already Lost A Couple Of Units

StarCraft II’s Next Chapter Has Already Lost A Couple Of Units

In an update on the game’s official site, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm developers Blizzard have outlined some changes that have been made to the sequel/expansion during the process of testing.

Most important are that a couple of units intended to be present in the final product have been cut loose. The Terran’s Shredder is gone, because it “was very confusing for players as well as being something that was easily used to kill a large number of workers with little to no warning”. Gone too it the Protoss’ Replicant, which “was causing enemy players to not build certain unit types and was actually removing diversity from the game instead of adding diversity”.

The Terran’s Warhound might also get the axe, as Blizzard fears it “still feels a little too much like a small thor, which is just not new enough to give terran players new strategies”.

You can read more about some of the finer tweaks at the link below.

Developer Update: Heart of the Swarm Multiplayer [Blizzard]


    • I doubt it. The shredder and replicant didn’t go over well when announced. The warhound is basically a goliath from SC:BW.

      The big complaint is the Tempest, simply because they’re cutting the Carrier for despite having never attempted to fix the Carrier.

      • I guess with todays gamers the whining complaints would most likely come from seeing something new to a franchise 😛

        • To be perfectly fair the Shredder did scream of imbalanced when it was first shown..

          As for replicant.. i’m at two minds about it it pretty much just seems like a one shot Mind Control from the ye olde DA’s except instead of capturing a unit you turn into one.

  • nah there wont be any complains because its 2 terran units and 1 protoss unit thats getting the axe, though you bet that they will turn up in the campaign

  • They’ll be in single player, and that’s cool. Multiplayer needs to be balanced, and if it involves nerfing or removing a unit entirely, then I’m totally fine with that. SC2 had some of the best multiplayer I’d ever played, everything had a counter strategy, and I think adding in a bunch of new overpowered units would ruin the entire thing.

    This is just balancing, and I think it’s good news.

  • First they came for the Blizzard fans, I did not speak up because I am terrible at Starcraft.

    Then they came for the Capcom fans, I did not speak up because I never cared for DLC.

    Then they came for the Bioware fans, I did not speak up because I was satisfied with Mass Effect 3.


  • Hallelujah, shredder was looking to be overpowered especially against zerg. And replicant had potential to spawn units immediately depending on what the other race had.

    Great move, those units will not be missed by me!

    And the warhound is very very similar to a goliath. But uglier..much uglier..

  • I dislike games that have scissors paper rock approach to balancing.

    Probably why Starcraft never interested me as much as Total Annihilation or Supreme Commander.

    • Interesting. I love TA very much, but I also really like the RPS balancing of Command & Conquer Generals.

      In TA, I just turtled. But in Generals I was forced to strategise.

      For whatever reason, I never got into Starcraft though.

      • Thing is; in TA, you *could* turtle. Once you got a little further into the game, you learnt some advanced tactics like jerrybombing or using radar jammers to hide armies and entire sub-bases while you pretended to run your turtle base. Hell, you could start an underwater base if you wanted.

        TA and SupCom are as much an intelligence gathering game as they are RTS. Chris Taylor said that there is no RPS in war, why should there be in his games?

    • I played SC on 360. I loved it, and was probably the best player in the world since I could beat teams of cheating users.
      That lack of patches is why I traded it in full of anger.

      • Did you even read the article?
        Starcraft is a perfect example of RPS. Name one unit in Starcraft that can single handedly destroy an army as well as an entire base 30 minutes into a game. They just axed two units because they were too powerful and/or game breaking.

        I’m not bagging RPS balancing. I’m just saying that I don’t enjoy it as much.

        • Just one? If we’re talking about the original, how about Carriers? Battlecruisers? Guardians? Hell, just about ANY attack unit when massed in the late game can wipe out an entire base. SC2 is much the same story. You can destroy your enemy with just roaches, or stalkers, or marines, even if your opponent has their “hard counters”, you can overcome them with either sheer weight of numbers or superior micro.

          Again, I’ll say that if you honestly believe Starcraft and Starcraft 2 are a simple matter of RPS, then you obviously haven’t played much of either of them. Just because they don’t have a billion units like TA doesn’t mean they are RPS.

          • They are balanced using an RPS strategy. I’m not the biggest Starcraft player, but the Hellions were made for massed units? Massed units sounds pretty much like a Zerg or Protoss thing to do with Zerglings or Zealots. The Hellion has a strong line AoE attack and is fairly quick, but suffers from low HP. This makes it venerable to ranged hard hitters like Roaches or Marauders.

            Hang on a sec, that’s starting to sound a bit like Rock Scissors Paper.

            You’ve misinterpreted my question about the unit however. I was asking about a single unit. Not massed single units. One(1) single, lone, solitary unit. In a good game of SupCom, you can march an Experimental into an enemy base, after romping through their thousand strong army and STILL wreck them. The only counter is the use something equally as big. It doesn’t have a hard counter (Oh hey look, another RPS term) it’s just a giant game ender. No sense of RPS balance whatsoever. You make something bigger, or you get the shit kicked out of you.

          • Actually Hellions are just as vulnerable to a well controlled marine blob on stims heck even non stimmed a marine mob can still eat Hellions. A well timed Baneling Ambush can eat Hellions. Heck massed Hellion will get eaten alive by a mass zealot due to the HP + Armor differences. Just because a unit has a perceived “weakness” on SC2 does not make it any less useful if used properly or in a proper mixed force.

            Marauders would actually get mauled faster by Hellions unless kited properly due to the fact that Hellions have a much faster DPS. Also SC2 is not about using the *one* super unit its about control and mixing it up. If anything your defence of SupCom practically shows how virtually imbalanced that game becomes late game because Big End Tier = Game Over unless you tech just as fast. SC2 on the other hand even a well used Tier 1 unit can turn the tide against even Tier 3’s. Of course it really just depends on your definition of “balance”.

          • And this serves exactly to prove my point. RPS balancing means that a game end’s on a high note because you’ve won a hard battle using a combination of tactics, micro and army-build strategy.

            On games that are non-RPS balanced, you end on a high note because you’ve either out manuvered, out thunk or just plain blasted your opponent into dust. The unit balance is according to scale, instead of comparison to other units. UEF T2 tanks will outshoot the other factions T2 tanks. Cybran T2 tanks have stealth abilities, and can see slightly further. Aeon T2 tanks can hover over water. None of these abilities counter the other.

            RPS balancing makes for tight, fast, fun games like SC.
            Scale balancing makes for huge, long, fun games like SupCom.

          • “No sense of RPS balance whatsoever. You make something bigger, or you get the shit kicked out of you.”

            Actually that sounds like the definition of RPS to me. Oh, my opponent has made unit x, better make unit y or I’m gonna die. IE, my opponent has rock, better make paper or I’m gonna die. Also sounds like the definition of imbalance, but then again balance was never TA or SupCom’s strong point.

            In your example of the hellion, just because the hellion is vulnerable to units like roaches and marauders doesn’t mean it’s weak to them. Hellions can be produced faster from reactored barracks, do not cost gas (so the combination with MULEs makes them super effective) and have an attack damage upgrade. These factors mean that even when confronted with roaches or marauders, the hellions can overcome them.

            As another example, banelings are supposed to be the answer to marines. But with suprior mciro on the part of the terran, using stim, splitting, stutter stepping and focus firing, marines can beat banelings taking minimal (or even zero) losses. If SC2 was really rock/paper/scissors, marines wouldn’t beat banelings at all, period. It wouldn’t matter what the terran did, the banelings will always beat the marines because you’d consider the banelings the scissors to the terran’s marine paper.

          • Marine beat baneling in your example because all these micros, and why can’t baneling user do the same? RPS is a unit design paradigm where units has its natural counter. However SC2 is a RTS game not RPS , and the player still need to be more skilled to use the unit instead of relying on luck.

          • Because banelings are melee, and require marines to be clustered to be cost-effective. Zerg gets vision on it, and their units move faster when on it, and need to be clustered for the banelings to be effective. Which means that the power there is in the terran’s hand. Zerg can prevent this, but needs to use other units (like zerglings to tear up the split marines, or infestors to stop them being able to split up in the first place). At this point it’s more decided by who has better micro, or who has more stuff than one composition hard countering the other.

            For another example that’s already been brought up. Hellions counter numerous light units like zerglings. But if a zerg player can manage to flank hellions with zerglings and surround them, the zerglings will win cost-efficiently. Or even indirectly – stalkers hard counter hellions, but do very little DPS so can’t really prevent a hellion from getting at your workers and hurting your economy. By contrast a sentry is hellion fodder in an open fight, but can trap them with forcefields for other units to kill.

    • The “Battle Hellion” thing was one of the more sensible additions to the new expansion. Hellions are useless frontline units, which is why nearly all TvAnything match-ups always rely on infantry to stiffen a tank line. Making the Hellions tougher but slower would encourage Terran players to actual go for true mech builds like Brood War.

      • I dont know about the hellions being useless (in mid- to late game I assume). There are a lot of meching players out there that use hellions as a buffer for their stronger mech units.

  • Replicant was stupid.
    Shredder was stupid.

    They also removed the AOE from the tempest and made it into a flying, zappy version of a BL that can shoot ground and air. Sounds kind of like, a carrier that zaps instead of uses interceptors.

    • Hmm.. big capital ship that zaps air and ground w/ lazers… that sounds familiar..


  • Remind me again what we’re getting by having the game split up into three parts slowly doled out Half-Life Episodes style? As well as what we should be getting from gameplay design based off of an e-sport where the players would probably be just as happy with a game of Strategic Cubes vs. Spheres?

    • Your ignorance is staggering

      The whole game isn’t being ‘split’ into 3 parts. Each expansion is a different part of the saga from a different timeline and perspective. Indeed, Wings of Liberty was about was long as all the 3x campaigns in Starcraft Vanilla or Broowdwar combined, so it’s not an issue of content.

      “Strategic Cubes vs. Spheres”
      You’re a loon if you think SC2 is in any way comparable to this. Or do you just enjoy making this flimsy comparison because it’s your first RTS? Play any full-blooded RTS to a standard like progamers that you’re all too happy to mock, and then you might be justified in dismissing it. Are you seriously suggesting that the entire sports culture built around Starcraft is full of misguided idiots? What an incredibly conceited attitude.

      • Wow didn’t take much to set you off huh?

        I never made any reference to the actual content in this ‘trilogy,’ (apart from the fact that as this article reports, the subsequent parts contain less) I know it is quite big, I was simply referring to its division and timeliness. You also say they didn’t split it up which makes me laugh because there’s no way they started development on it as a pre-planned trilogy. We may get our moneys worth but that doesn’t change the fact they found a great way to multiply our money by three.

        “You’re a loon if you think SC2 is in any way comparable to this. Or do you just enjoy making this flimsy comparison because it’s your first RTS?”

        Actually Dune 2 was my first RTS, and I made that comparison because that’s what happens when a ‘game’ becomes a ‘sport.’ Does a Grandmaster of Chess play using a “The Simpsons” themed Chess board? Probably not because he doesn’t give a shit, he only cares about the strategy.

        “Play any full-blooded RTS to a standard like progamers that you’re all too happy to mock, and then you might be justified in dismissing it.”

        Now you see this is exactly the attitude that turns me away from “professional gamers.” I suppose I’m just the kind of fellow who thinks games should be “fun” and that nobody should be held to any “standard” of play. It’s like telling a kid that he plays with his toys wrong, or a coach that yells at his team for losing.

        “Are you seriously suggesting that the entire sports culture built around Starcraft is full of misguided idiots?”

        Hell no, I’m just no very interested in their priorities being at the front of the games development. In the same way I don’t want the Chess Grandmaster blocking the manufacture of all the fancy Chess boards. The point I made earlier about “Cubes vs. Spheres” is that if you’re playing Starcraft as a sport it starts to stop mattering that it is Starcraft – You could get the same gameplay and rules-set, apply it to a bunch of random shapes and it would play the same, just like many pro Quake players turn off the textures.

        You could go on about how ‘buzzword’ I am if you want, and I’m not complaining about Blizzard quality or the length of the content, but I’m disappointed with the breadth of the content. After 10 years of waiting we get a third of Starcraft 2 with no new races or significantly changed gameplay and a new lick of paint. To me we got Starcraft 1.5, I suppose in that 10 years I got pretty spoiled with stuff like Dawn of War.

    • You should see what happens when he opens his helmet after it being closed for a while. All the smoke pours out.

    • Fun fact: if he were to drop that inside his suit, there’s preeeeetty much no way for him to get it out.

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