StarCraft II Is Transforming In Some Huge Ways Very Soon

Blizzard is launching a closed beta for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void on March 31, and it sounds like the upcoming expansion pack will change their real-time strategy game in some totally drastic ways.

For one, starting worker count is going to double, as outlined on Blizzard's blog.

You'll also notice that the starting worker count has been increased to 12. This change is meant to reduce the downtime at the start of games, since the first few minutes of any game often grant little in the way of choices. So far, 12 feels like a good starting point for us, but we wonder if we can increase this even further without affecting early game choices too much.

Anyone who has ever played StarCraft knows just how significant a change that is -- early gameplay typically involves sitting back and watching as you pump your worker count from six to 9-10 and then figure out when to start putting up buildings. Now, build orders are going to look totally different.

There's also this:

For the beta, we're altering the number of resources at each base. Half the mineral patches have 1500 minerals, and the other half have 750. The main goal here was to make a change that would keep the feel of resourcing rates similar to Heart of the Swarm, while simultaneously encouraging players to take additional expansions more aggressively. So far, this change feels like a very solid way to achieve this and we'd love to try it out further during the beta. It clearly gives additional incentives for players to expand more, and from our internal testing, we feel like this change hits the mark on what we're trying to do with the resource changes.

Craziness. Between this, scan ranges getting buffed, and a handful of new units including the teleporting Protoss Adept and the poison-spitting Zerg Ravager, it seems like Legacy of the Void is going to change the whole game in some exciting ways. And for those of us who haven't played SC2 since Heart of the Swarm came out in early 2013, this beta is going to be pleasantly disconcerting.

Of course, it's worth noting that Blizzard has no problem reversing or overhauling big gameplay changes during their betas if things just don't work out, so who knows what'll come of this stuff? Either way, I'm stoked to see what SC2 will be like with double the workers and three-quarters of the resources.


Comments

    Whenever I see stories about StarCraft I immediately think.... "Man, wish there was a new Command & Conquer"

    Used to spend all my free time not in school playing StarCraft, C&C and Dune 2000.

      Dune 2000 was great, but I miss the Harkonnen mentat from Dune 2. Weasely little gretchin. I loved him.

      I loved C&C so much, I can't believe how badly the franchise got screwed by EA. Red Alert 3 was "good" (i liked it but I'm in a minority) and post RA3 it just goes all down hill.

      F2P online mobile games, Etc etc, I can never forgive those bastards.

    The biggest change: they're making the game clock finally match reality!

    Because Starcraft and Starcraft 2 multiplayer matches are always played on the fastest game setting, the game clock is sped up to match. 40 seconds in real time is a minute in game time. It's a minor thing most of the time because the game is consistent with this but it's nice that they're finally getting around to fixing that.

    Edit: Also, the Zerg changes don't seem very Zergy. Very area denial and the corruptor is now what the void ray was. Where's the swarm?

    Last edited 19/03/15 9:28 am

      I wish they'd bring back the Guardian and the Defiler. I'm not a fan of their replacements Brood Lord/Swarm Queen, resp.

        Zerg has moved so far away from it's original design and much of it feels like it's in response to Protoss. Imagine if there were no force fields in SC2. Zerg would be so damned different.

          And that's kinda the point of Heat Of The Swarm, isn't it? Kerrigan's not the same leader, and the threats have changed markedly, so her swarm evolves accordingly. So I guess I get it. I'm just a bit bummed because the Guardians were a fantastic unit to use given the way I played. True, they were slow, but they had some serious punch behind them. Plus I was big into Babylon 5 when the original Starcraft was release, and the Guardians looked a lot like the Shadow vessels to me. :)

    I've been an avid Warcraft player since it was a dune 2 clone, yet I am afraid of playing WOW and sucking all my life away, so I've stayed very much far away. I think it will be pretty difficult for Blizzard to create a Warcraft 4 for people like me, who skipped a whole decade of warcraft.

      I still miss old school strategy games like Warcraft II without all the hero bullcrap from 3. Nobody seems to cater to this market anymore.

        Personally I didn't mind the heroes from War3, mainly because they weren't OP at all, you still needed a big army with them when you went on the attack or they would still die quite easily. This is opposed to what they did with kerrigan in HoTS where she was just ridiculously OP, especially of course after the dumb reverting to QoB, after which if you picked the right skills/perks you could just about solo every map using just her.

        I miss the music and the mission announcer, that dude had such energy

    The changes are certainly interesting, gonna change up the metagame a lot. I actually haven't touched SC2 in several months after playing it pretty religiously (I do however still like watch pro matches) so this will likely get me back into it again.

    I've just played through all of the Starcraft 1/Broodwar campaigns again. So much fun! Getting me pumped for LotV!!! These changes to multiplayer have me a bit concerned though. I like having some time at the start of the match to gather my thoughts and work out what my game plan is. Having to jump straight into things and being exposed to an even faster rush strategy is going to cause some issues in my mind.

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