Blizzard Details Upcoming StarCraft 2 Balance Changes

By Brian Leahy, Aug 27, 2010 12:40pm PDT While the first feature and balance patch for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will not be ready until "mid-September", Blizzard has outlined some of the broad strokes in the patch. The following shouldn't be taken as the full set of balance changes, but should offer some clarity as to what Blizzard has planned for the first post-release balance patch.

The Protoss--my preferred race--will be getting two nerfs. Zealots will take 5 seconds longer to train and the cooldown of Warp Gates will also be increased by 5 seconds. "Zealot rushes are currently too powerful at various skill levels, particularly those that rely on rapidly assaulting an enemy base from nearby "proxy" gateways," explains Blizzard. "We feel the window players have to scout for and fend off this rush is too small. We also want to address the problem of protoss being able to dump minerals a bit too quickly with the combination of warpgates and Chrono Boost."

Terran players will be getting longer training and building times for Reapers and Bunkers, reducing the strength various rushes against Zerg and Protoss players (given the new zealot timing). Siege Tanks and Battlecruisers will both get damage nerfs as they both were both a bit too effective for the cost.

As for Zerg, the Ultralisk will get a damage nerf and its attack versus buildings will be removed. The unit will now have a single attack. Though the damage nerf will now affect it's single-target damage output versus buildings, the standard attack does area-of-effect damage and will now target multiple buildings and surround units at once. This should be a considerable buff versus tightly packed buildings and repairing SCVs.

Non-race specific changes including making it so that "friendly units will no longer provide vision after being killed. Enemy units previously revealed will no longer be targetable." Destructable rocks will be added to the map Desert Oasis to make defending the natural expansion easier and the area revealed by the map's Xel'Naga Watchtower will be reduced.

"Patch 1.1 will contain a number of improvements including additional mod features, Editor improvements and bug fixes, some custom game improvements, support for NVIDIA's 3D Vision, and more." Additionally, Blizzard has "mid- to long-term plans to further evolve the Custom Game experience, and soon, enhance our social features with the addition of chat channels."

What do you think about these proposed balance changes? The increased Zealot timing might make a quick Zergling rush too powerful versus Protoss. I'm also pulling for a Marauder nerf in the full patch notes, myself!.

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