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.