Blizzard adds and subtracts multiplayer ladder maps in new StarCraft 2 update

Blizzard has sent word that a slew of map changes have just hit its critical and commercial smash StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty. Though the update...

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Blizzard has sent word that a slew of map changes have just hit its critical and commercial smash StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty. Though the update removes a number of maps from rotation in the game's multiplayer ladder mode--which can still be played in custom games--nine maps were added to the RTS title. Maps will be distributed automatically via Battle.net when players log into the game. Blizzard says the company plans to add "a couple more new maps to the official ladder rotation in the coming weeks, including a user-made 1v1 map that is currently being featured in the Global StarCraft League (GSL)." Rather than leave us asking why certain maps were removed, Blizzard has sent a detailed listing of the changes with included commentary on each decision, which can be found below. Notes on the changes from Blizzard Changes to 1v1: 1v1 Maps Carrying Over:
  • (1) Scrap Station
  • (2)Xel'Naga Caverns
  • (4)Delta Quadrant
  • (4)Metalopolis 1v1 Maps Removed: (2)Blistering Sands
    We wanted to reduce the number of rush maps in general, and Blistering Sands was one of them. On top of that, Blistering Sands matches resulted in too many all-in games due to the rocks into the main base. The frequency of all-in roach/speedling, 4 warpgate push, or even mass marine/marauder stimpack push by breaking the rocks was a bit too high, so we decided to pull this map from the ladder. (2)Jungle Basin
    Jungle Basin has a few traits that make it extremely favorable for Terran, so we decided to remove it from the ladder. These include:
  • It's possible to set up siege tanks right below the main base of your opponent and harass his natural expansion while preventing his forces from leaving his base.
  • Too many choke points everywhere on the map made it difficult for Zerg to deal with marines, marauders, or siege tank-based skirmishes.
  • Difficult access to second expansion High ground right in from of the ramp leading down to main. Setting up units at both this high ground as well as part of the low ground was too powerful, especially for Terrans that use siege tanks. (2)Steppes of War
    Again, we wanted to reduce the number of rush maps, and Steppes was the most rush-friendly rush map we decided to cut. It's not that we don't like rush maps, but we have learned over the course of season 1 that two-player rush maps are generally more one-sided than four-player rush maps. For the ladder map changes, the rush possible maps we'll have will be four-player maps only. (4)Lost Temple Problems of Lost Temple:
  • If one side controls one of the center watch towers, there's no alternate ground-based route to half of the map, meaning it's too easy for the game to become a stalemate with each side taking half of the map.
  • Small islands in the corners were problematic in that they were difficult to assault as each of the three races. We noticed it's possible to hold out at one or both of these islands and drag on a game for longer than needed. It was also problematic in that in some matchups, these islands were just free expansions that almost never get attacked, which is not what we wanted in an expansion.
  • The choke point by the natural expansions were too small; it was possible to block them off easily using only a few buildings. (4)Shakuras Plateau
    This map we decided to remove for a different reason. There isn't a huge problem with this map, but we felt there aren't enough interesting features of this map. The natural expansion is easy to take and defend; there are only two possible attack paths only one of which is generally used, and main bases aren't easy to harass. For a change, we wanted to replace this relatively plain map with something new. 1v1 Maps Added: (4)Backwater Gulch

    Backwater Gulch


    Backwater Gulch has a familiar main to first expansion layout. Early game play on this map should feel familiar and there probably aren't too many early game threats or difficulties in terms of gimmicky strategies you need to worry about. The second expansion, however, features a high ground area that is accessible by two ramps, meaning it can be easily harassed. The center area has two watch towers as well as two high yield expansions that will be difficult to maintain, and the key to victory in some games could come down to how long you hold one or both of these center expansions. (4)Slag Pits

    Slag Pits


    Metalopolis was one of two favorite maps across the different skill levels of players. We decided to introduce a very similar map, but slightly more macro heavy. We took out Shakuras Plateau, which was a very plain macro map, and added this map instead. Some of the key features of this map are the low ground high yield expansions, the 2 lines of shrub area that can be used to position units, as well as the low ground watch tower that watches over all of the low ground center. (4)The Shattered Temple

    The Shattered Temple


    The Shattered Temple is a newer version of Lost Temple that's more balanced. Improvements to Lost Temple found in this map include:
  • Wider center area
  • Watch tower changed to only cover a part of the center of the map. It's possible to sneak units around the corners of the central area without getting detected by the watch tower.
  • Rocked off islands. This creates an alternate attack route, and reduces stalemate situations that islands cause.
  • Larger choke point by the expansion makes it more difficult to block off. (4)Typhon Peaks

    Typhon Peaks


    This map has a lot of the fun traits of previous maps. Rocks by on the sides of the map are positioned similarly to Scrap Station to reduce rush distance in vertical start locations. The center has two watch towers and provides the main attack path like in Shakuras Plateau, and the second expansion is similar to the setup of Xel'Naga Caverns. Even though this map is brand new, players will be able to utilize some of their existing strategies that have been used on other maps, and potentially combine them to fit the unique play style of this new map. Changes to 2v2: 2v2 Maps Carrying Over:
  • (4)High Orbit
  • (4)Monlyth Ridge
  • (4)Red Stone Gulch
  • (4)Scorched Haven
  • (8)Tempest 2v2 Maps Removed: (4)Arid Wastes
    Team play maps where your base is too far from your ally tend to favor race compositions that can use mobile armies. This is the reason why we will avoid having maps like Arid Wastes in the team play ladder in the future. (4)Tarsonis Assault
    This map has a similar feel to Scorched Haven or Monlyth Ridge. The main difference is that distance to future expansions are very far. We wanted to remove 1 of these 3 maps since they're similar in style, and Tarsonis Assault was the worst one out of the three. (4)Twilight Fortress
    This map is an extremely macro heavy map we wanted to try. The game play on this map is very different, and the average length of games on this map was too long so it is being taken out of ladder play. (4)War Zone
    War Zone suffers from similar problems as Arid Wastes. It's near impossible for certain team setups to help each other, and in team games, we want to have maps that are more team play based. 2v2 Maps Added: (4)Gutterhulk

    Gutterhulk


    Like Scorched Haven or Monlyth Ridge, this map has a center area between the two allies where each player can safely expand. However, the main difference is that there are rocks blocking off the back of the main bases, meaning harassing either players' main base is possible. In terms of main attack routes, there are 5 different attack paths to your opponents, meaning that control of the two watch towers is key to success on this map. (4)Khaydarin Depths

    Khaydarin Depths


    This map was first showcased during Blizzcon 2009 even before the retail game launched. This map features an easily defendable high yield expansion in between you and your ally. However, this expansion is blocked off by destructible rocks, meaning you have to choose when to break this rock vs. when to attack or defend vs. the opposing team. Controlling the center of the map gains you access to most of the center of the map, but there are still back door routes around to the opponents' bases by breaking one set of destructible rocks. (4)Omega Sector

    Omega Sector


    Omega Sector is a two-player version of the popular 3v3 map Arakan Citadel. The start locations are very similar on both maps, and side expansion areas are a bit more easily accessible by the opposing players. This map has a possible three paths to attack, and although the center is the fastest route, the other two routes will be used very frequently because there are no watch towers overlooking them. As with Arakan Citadel, your ally is slightly far away from your base, so consider this when placing your first production structures. (4)Ruins of Tarsonis

    Ruins of Tarsonis


    Ruins of Tarsonis is a more-balanced version of War Zone, which is being removed from the map pool. The biggest downside of War Zone was that it was near impossible to assist your ally if you didn't have a mobile army. However, with the shared choke points on this map, it's now possible to play as any race combination without obvious disadvantages. In the mid/late game however, there are back door attack paths leading to your second expansion areas, so be sure to defend those locations as well. Changes to 4v4: 4v4 Maps Carrying Over:
  • (8)Extinction
  • (8)High Ground
  • (8)Lava Flow
  • (8)Megaton
  • (8)Outpost
  • (8)Sand Canyon
  • (8)Toxic Slums 4v4 Map Added: (8)District 10

    District 10


    This map is divided in half for each team to control each side. Make sure to take control of the two watch towers in order to control your team's side, and pay close attention to the destructible rocks leading into the main base shared by you and your teammates. Changes to FFA: FFA Maps Carrying Over:
  • (4)Metalopolis
  • (6)Quicksand
  • (6)Tectonic Rift
  • (8)Abyss FFA Maps Removed:
  • (4)Lost Temple -- Being replaced by the newer (4)The Shattered Temple.
  • (4)Kulas Ravine -- This map is being removed and will be replaced by (4)Slag Pits, as Kulas is no longer part of any ladder pool. FFA Maps Added (descriptions above):
  • (4)Slag Pits
  • (4)The Shattered Temple
  • From The Chatty
      • reply
        February 25, 2011 8:16 PM

        Summary: Blizzard removes a few maps and adds nine for multiplayer ladder matches. Removed maps are still available in custom games. This is the complete breakdown with images.

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 8:17 PM

          I love watching them balance this game. Hopefully they'll work on some of those anti-zerg maps.

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 8:53 PM

            PTR for 1.3 is up: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/1213111662

            There are some... interesting balance tweaks in there. I wonder which of these will make the final patch. I'm not sure if the Khaydarian Amulet removal is a nerf or a buff (do HT's already spawn with the extra 25 energy, or is that permanently gone?). Looks like the Archon Toilet might also be gone.


            PROTOSS

            Mothership
            Units leaving the Mothership's Vortex are now un-targetable and immune to damage for 1.5 seconds.

            High Templar
            Khaydarin Amulet upgrade (+25 starting energy) has been removed.

            Zealot
            Charging Zealots will now hit fleeing targets at least once.


            TERRAN

            Battlecruiser
            Movement speed increased from 1.406 to 1.875.

            Bunker
            Build time increased from 35 to 40 seconds.

            Tech Lab
            Stimpack upgrade research time increased from 140 to 170 seconds.


            ZERG

            Infestor
            Health increased from 90 to 110.

            Fungal Growth
            Stun duration decreased from 8 to 4 seconds.
            Damage increased by +30% vs. armored units.
            Now fires a missile instead of being instant cast.

            • reply
              February 25, 2011 9:55 PM

              They got rid of the archon toilet?!

              • reply
                February 25, 2011 9:56 PM

                PTR 1.3 loses it. We'll see if it makes it into an official patch

            • reply
              February 25, 2011 10:38 PM

              I believe the HT energy is gone. I don't think they want you to be able to warp in a templar in to the middle of battle and immediately cast a storm. Against Zerg and Terran Bioballs it was just insanely good. Although this change also makes the EMP more powerful and meaningful.

              • reply
                February 25, 2011 10:39 PM

                Boo. Khydarian Amulet is both expensive and slow to get, HTs should kick ass after getting that. :(

                • reply
                  February 25, 2011 10:45 PM

                  Instant warp-in storms are just too strong. It's especially evident when you hit 200/200 as protoss and end up banking a ton of resources. You get in the big battle and you basically instantly replace your lost supply with constant storms.

                  • reply
                    February 25, 2011 11:35 PM

                    True in that situation, absolutely. It'll seriously tweak my HT builds, going to end up warping them in much sooner than normal to build their energy up.

                    • reply
                      February 26, 2011 2:53 PM

                      Honestly, my biggest problem is that it makes the colossus, already a big topic of debate in that it is almost always essential in a Protoss army, even more likely to be teched up to. Some games it is a debate if I'm going to tech to HTs or to colossus. Now the decision is tipped much more in the favor of colossus, and I'm not sure how much I like that.

              • reply
                February 25, 2011 10:41 PM

                I also think feedback is a very under appreciated ability; a medivac+bio ball that suddenly loses most of the healing ability from the medivacs is significantly weaker

                • reply
                  February 25, 2011 10:42 PM

                  One shotting medivacs with feedback is the best.

                • reply
                  February 26, 2011 1:55 AM

                  it was pretty hilarious when thors had energy too

      • reply
        February 25, 2011 8:22 PM

        haha I completely missed the update until I hit the ladder and was pleasantly surprised with the new lost temple

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 8:27 PM

          btw playing in game right now! msg if you want to play :D

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 8:43 PM

          Yeah that looks a lot nicer than the old Lost Temple. All of them look pretty great, actually. I'm kind of sad about Shakuras being removed though, I never really felt like it was plain

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 8:44 PM

            yeah, surprising they left delta in over shakuras.

            • reply
              February 25, 2011 8:50 PM

              Yeah that surprised me. They wanted to remove some of the more imbalanced maps and rush friendly maps, and DQ is a bit of both

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 8:53 PM

            I agree, I really liked that map. Its the one removal I'm kind of bummed about.

      • reply
        February 25, 2011 8:44 PM

        I don't get the Shakuras removal. It's fairly new in the pool compared to the rest of the maps and it was generally though of as pretty balanced.

        Oh well, new maps are fun!

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 9:59 PM

          :( I liked the Shakuras games on GSL the best :(

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 10:00 PM

            Me too. :(

            • reply
              February 25, 2011 10:07 PM

              I mean, it was even good to watch when Terran was playing, despite their predictable strategy to drive along the top or bottom gutter into the opponent's main.

              Also, I started watching the "March" tourney and am weirded out by lack of Artosis and the new maps (for me because I didn't watch the team tourney). I hope this season has more varied TvT than the predominant siege-tank jousting or early M&M rushing. :(

              • reply
                February 25, 2011 10:16 PM

                I'm going to start watching the team league this week. Apparently it had some of the best games of the GSL, and you can kind of see it based on the fact that all of them have at least 100K views.

                I love that the coaches pick their players based on who they were being put up against.

          • reply
            February 26, 2011 8:02 AM

            Amen!

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 10:06 PM

          While I liked the map, I support any removal of a map with the stupid destructible rock backdoor design.

          Blizzard seems obsessed with destructible rocks/debris in weird places, though.

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 10:13 PM

            i think it will make for a really cool dynamic when the game is more figured out, but yeah, i agree they are going overboard with the rocks at this point

      • reply
        February 25, 2011 8:55 PM

        Patch 1.3 Hits the PTR - http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/2356436#blog

        StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty - Patch 1.3.0 PTR Notes

        General

        * Leagues & Ladders

        -A new Grandmaster League has been added for 1v1 ladders. This league represents the Top 200 players in each region.
        +Players are automatically drafted into Grandmaster League shortly after a new season starts, and will remain in the Grandmaster league until the end of the season. If a Grandmaster player’s available bonus points get too high due to inactivity, they will be automatically removed from the league and a replacement player will be drafted in.
        +The Grandmaster League can be viewed by all players through the new Leagues & Ladders > Grandmaster tab
        -The bonus pool has been reduced for arranged teams.
        -Leagues will now be locked during the final weeks of the season. As a result players will not accumulate additional bonus points and will not be promoted or demoted out of their current division during this period.
        +This will allow players to focus on moving up in their current league without being promoted during the final weeks of a season, and having to fight their way up from the bottom ranks of their new higher league.
        +Players can still utilize any points they previously accumulated.
        -Ladder data from the prior season can be viewed through the new Leagues & Ladders > Last Season tab.
        -New league icons have been introduced to indicate division rank. These will indicate the Top 8, 25 and 50 players in each division.
        -Loss counts are no longer displayed in Profile and Ladder pages for players below Master League.

        * Observer and Replay UI

        -New panels are now available when observing or viewing a replay of 1v1 games. These panels can be toggled via hotkeys which are shown under the Leader Panel drop-down.
        +Player Name Panel: Displays the players' name, team color, race, and supply count.
        +Stat Comparison Panels: Shows a head-to-head comparison of players' Resources, Army Supply, Units Killed, or APM.
        -In 1v1 observed games, both players’ resource rows are shown in the upper right at the same time.
        -You can now toggle between player unit colors and team unit colors when watching a replay or observing.


        Balance

        * GENERAL

        -Players can no longer hide units by setting them in a close proximity patrol (Viking flower).

        * PROTOSS

        -Mothership
        +Units leaving the Mothership's Vortex are now un-targetable and immune to damage for 1.5 seconds.

        -High Templar
        +Khaydarin Amulet upgrade (+25 starting energy) has been removed.

        -Zealot

        +Charging Zealots will now hit fleeing targets at least once.

        * TERRAN

        -Battlecruiser
        +Movement speed increased from 1.406 to 1.875.

        -Bunker
        +Build time increased from 35 to 40 seconds.

        -Tech Lab
        +Stimpack upgrade research time increased from 140 to 170 seconds.

        * ZERG

        -Infestor
        +Health increased from 90 to 110.
        +Fungal Growth
        #Stun duration decreased from 8 to 4 seconds.
        #Damage increased by +30% vs. armored units.
        #Now fires a missile instead of being instant cast.

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 8:57 PM

          what the fuck protoss changes

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 9:08 PM

            Yeah.... don't get them either.

            • reply
              February 25, 2011 9:10 PM

              They're pretty radical, let's see what makes it through. None of the crazy stuff from the 1.2 PTR made it into the final patch.

              • reply
                February 26, 2011 12:14 AM

                weird how they're playing with bunker timings like that.

                • reply
                  February 26, 2011 8:09 AM

                  Yeah, they're dancing around the issue of the effectiveness of the bunker by adjusting its timing and not looking at the root problem: Early bunker rushes and pushes carry very little risk associated with them because of the salvage ability.

                • reply
                  February 26, 2011 8:20 AM

                  Blizzard doesn't want anymore bunker rushing and containing. It is far too easy to do and the risk is practically non-existent.

                  • reply
                    February 26, 2011 8:22 AM

                    don't be silly. Last time round on the PTR they lowered the timings back to beta values. And any decent enough player can deal with a bunker rush

                    • reply
                      February 26, 2011 8:26 AM

                      Of course, but again, the risk doesn't beat the reward you get for properly executing. I never once said it can't be defended easily if scouted.

                    • reply
                      February 26, 2011 8:28 AM

                      Right, but it tilts the game in huge favor of the Terran if pulled off, and if it doesn't work then its no big deal and no loss. That's really the issue with salvage & bunker rushes. I mean, its better to let an offensive bunker finish, and then salvage it, rather than canceling its production.

          • reply
            February 26, 2011 8:01 AM

            I think they are awesome. Its just the infester changes that is really weird...

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 9:12 PM

          -High Templar
          +Khaydarin Amulet upgrade (+25 starting energy) has been removed.

          the flying fuck?????

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 9:15 PM

            No more Archon Toilet either. We'll see what sticks.

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 9:36 PM

            lol. artosis *just* said khaydarin amulate, most powerful upgrade in the game. hopefully it'll be removed from the game soon according to the latest patch notes.

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 9:48 PM

            mid to late game HT + amulet on large maps is insanely powerful. like too powerful. with a proxy pylon or a warp prism you can have nearly instant storms anywhere on the map. like 10 storms ASAP depending on how your warpgates are cycling.

            I don't think that aspect of things was as obvious with the initial map pool because the maps were so small; so your armies were always very close anyways.

            it sucks for drop defense, since you used to be able to just storm everything to death with HT warpins.

            However, it's important to remember that HTs didnt' have such an upgrade in broodwar, and they were still pretty damn scary. It just means you have to make sure to keep them alive while they get energy.

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 8:24 AM

              This is funny, because in PvT, EMP is a beast of a spell. If Khaydarin Amulet is removed, then EMP should be made an upgrade and not a starter ability.

              • reply
                February 26, 2011 3:05 PM

                I really don't understand how emp has avoided a nerf like that, its a long time coming

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 3:08 PM

              Psi Storm was also more powerful in Brood War.

              Either way, removing the khaydarian amulet will just mean colossus in every game, every matchup.

              Yay. :(

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 7:29 PM

              I agree with the removal of amulet, and I'm making this statement as a Protoss player. Way too powerful late game because of warp in -> instant storm.

              However, I think they need to up the starting energy of HTs to compensate the removal of this. Time of warp in to 75 energy needs to be halved otherwise the unit has been driven into unlessness in favor of the colossus.

              • reply
                February 26, 2011 7:33 PM

                That's my big worry, that removing the amulet will make the colossus even more vital than it already is.

                • reply
                  February 26, 2011 7:53 PM

                  All this means is you have to get templar earlier, and most importantly, you have to make your storms matter; spamming them is a huuuuuge waste now (which I am guilty of)

                  I'm not sure I'm really feeling "it will make colossus more vital than it already is" line of reasoning.

                  Colossus are what they are today because of how necessary a robo facility is, especially in PvT. Most protoss feel absolutely unsafe without mobile detection in this matchup; the threat of cloaked banshees or ghosts is too immediate to skip it. There's really no choice between 'colossus or HT'; it's colossus because you're just one building away from getting them anyways. People rarely go templar tech first; you throw down a council to get charge and additional upgrades sometime after your colossus are starting to come out.

                  You only go HT now when the terran overcommits to vikings; then you switch to HT and abuse the amulet upgrade with stormstormstormstorm. So it's a weird situation; the only reason HT are really 'viable' now is due to what is an outright broken mechanic. I guess you could argue they should be really strong since you have to build two buildings and get two upgrades for them. They're still a bit too strong though, so I dunno how far back it needs to be cut.

                  As blasphemous as it is, I actually think what's broken is warp-in. I don't think it needs to be removed, but I think tweaking it somehow might be an interesting approach.

                  • reply
                    February 26, 2011 8:24 PM

                    I sort of agree with the first part, really disagree with the second. Robo is almost always guaranteed for me because I lean heavily on observers. Immortals are also great depending on what you're up against. Colossus are another building and another upgrade away, because without range you might as well not get them away. The thing is that HTs are a similar situation for me as well, given that I always get Twilight Councils for blink or zealot speed. Well, HTs actually involve a building and two upgrades instead of just one like I do for the colossus. Getting fully upgraded HT is an expensive and time consuming process compared to getting to upgraded colossus.

                    So there's the choice I usually have to make at the midgame, do I get a robo bay and one upgrade for colossus, or a templar archives and two upgrades for high templar? Most of the time, especially in PvP, I'll choose colossus. In other situations (ie - mass muta, lots of enemy spellcasters I need to cast feedback on) I'll choose HT instead. Other situations are a tossup between the two and completely situational (ie - terran bio). The thing is that the times when I would decide upon HT, which was already fewer than colossi to begin with, would now be even less if there was no amulet upgrade. Why spend all that gas on something I need to babysit so much when I can just A-move with some colossi? Sure, things like heavy muta or viking builds are much better handled with HT, but otherwise I'll just go with the build that is simpler to manage.

                    Overuse of colossi is already an issue. I personally dislike it, it's why I hate playing PvP so much. I know that for my own play and others out there, removing the amulet probably will make matters worse than they are. If they lose the amulet, at least reduce the time for HTs to get to enough energy to cast storm. Have them spawn with 10 or 15 more energy, I dunno.

                    We'll see if this makes it through PTR. :)

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 9:50 PM

            additionally I'd like to say:

            as a spectator I'd prefer seeing HT _drops_ as opposed to prism HT _warpins_. The drop aspect has additional danger of losing the prism full of HTs as opposed to the warpin where you just lose the prism and shrug it off.

            That said I think if things are going to go in that direction the warp prism is too fragile.

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 9:19 PM

          im not sure whether to be sad or happy that you cant do the archon toilet thing anymore

          • reply
            February 26, 2011 6:48 AM

            I thought it was an awesome one-in-a-million technique that rarely happened but was so hard to execute that it might as well be game-winning anyway.

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 11:18 PM

          Why did they nerf Fungal Growth? I thought Zerg needs a boost vs. Terran at the moment, and Fungal is one of the best anti-Marine abilities that Zerg has.

          The HT nerf is also a bit puzzling but I guess it's more understandable than the FG nerf.

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 11:20 PM

            PTR is a good way to try experimental or goofy balance tweaks. Most of the crazy things from the 1.2 PTR didn't make it through to the final 1.2 patch.

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 12:15 AM

              Ah right, I forgot about that.

          • reply
            February 26, 2011 1:34 AM

            teamliquid saying its a buff. higher dps, and the projectile means your infestor doesnt have to get in range to hit a moving terran blob.

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 5:08 AM

              The projectile instead of instant if far from a buff..

              • reply
                February 26, 2011 8:15 AM

                At the maximal range, stimmed infantry can dodge it if spotted and stalkers can blink out, also phoenix & most zerg units can avoid it, but if it isn't casted from the maximum range it is still very difficult to dodge.

                I think the snare reduction is a much needed change, 8 seconds was ridiculous. I could do without the projectile but in a few weeks people will become accustomed to it. Also, adds another level of skill in being able to time fungals isntead of instant casting.

      • reply
        February 25, 2011 8:56 PM

        Also for any GSL fans, Code-S is on in 15 minutes (9:10 PST). It's early today because it's Saturday in Korea.

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 9:43 PM

          haha archon toilet just happened in code-s

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 9:55 PM

            kind of, he was supposed to put his archons in it so he could hit everything when it came out and was still one big lump. instead he left his archons out and didn't hit anything until it was spread out

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 10:32 PM

          Haha, SanZenith beats both Nestea and Boxer, wtf.

          Protoss hero!

          • reply
            February 25, 2011 10:35 PM

            That first TvT was very :/

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 11:10 PM

          Boxer vs Nestea, both knocked down from their brackets. WTF is going on?

      • reply
        February 25, 2011 9:23 PM

        Cheers to Blizzard for listening to the community. I wish they hadn't removed my favorite map (Steppes), but I understand why they did it.

      • reply
        February 25, 2011 9:24 PM

        this is huge for zerg players. also i really hope that stim change goes through

      • reply
        February 25, 2011 10:41 PM

        Oh man, good Riddance to Twilight Fortress.

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 10:43 PM

          I used to hate that map. I finally accepted it, whatever, and now it's finally gone? Took long enough

      • reply
        February 25, 2011 11:12 PM

        This GSL season is turning out really weird: MVP, Nestea, Boxer out in the group stages?!?

        • reply
          February 25, 2011 11:34 PM

          SanZenith is amazing

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          February 25, 2011 11:52 PM

          Are matches still going on?

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            February 25, 2011 11:55 PM

            There are 2 code S groups tonight, the first one has finished and the second is getting started

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            February 26, 2011 12:07 AM

            Yes, although it may have peaked for the evening. You should definitely check out the replays, upset city.

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              February 26, 2011 12:24 AM

              I just read the spoilers. That's some crazy stuff, I have got to watch these games.

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 12:38 AM

          have spoilers always been visible in the preview or am i retarded?

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 12:39 AM

          pvp is so silly in the gsl

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        February 25, 2011 11:57 PM

        The Secret girls are hilarious. FIGHTING!

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        February 26, 2011 12:05 AM

        Shame about Shakuras, I really like that map. Prolly because I am such a noob

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        February 26, 2011 12:47 AM

        The best thing new interface options for observers: http://i.imgur.com/UtoTt.jpg

        everything on the screen can be toggled now it seems

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 12:49 AM

          wow so you can toggle off the regular game interface?

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 12:56 AM

          Whoa, hot.

          The APM meter is too big, though.

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            February 26, 2011 1:10 AM

            I think you can show all values in that space to directly compare them. I would guess they won't turn that on all the time while casting, but on a low res stream this way you can recognize it at least

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          February 26, 2011 12:57 AM

          :D :D :D

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          February 26, 2011 12:58 AM

          lmao that's awesome, YOU ARE IN YOUR OWN LIL GSL :D

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 1:02 AM

          I came

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 1:06 AM

          All it needs now is the ability for casters to draw on the screen John Madden style, that would be so useful

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            February 26, 2011 1:09 AM

            that would be fucking sweet actually

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 1:20 AM

              happyturtle had the great idea of expanding the minimap and being able to draw on that as well. That would be so good for casters and audiences.

              • reply
                February 26, 2011 1:53 AM

                I was just about to post and say that, that's what CoH has (expanded minimap) and it oowwwnnnzzzz.

                • reply
                  February 26, 2011 2:24 AM

                  Just tried it out, super cool, looks all pro and shit

          • reply
            February 26, 2011 9:42 AM

            good idea!

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 1:30 AM

        These aren't full images or clickable-thumbnails, what gives ?

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 2:01 AM

        Oh lordy, my poor marine stim drops.

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 2:55 AM

        Nice article, good see all the data from Blizzard

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        February 26, 2011 3:40 AM

        LOL at PTR changes to infestor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lSeH0U8H4M

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          February 26, 2011 4:56 AM

          that's just sad

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 5:00 AM

          Haha, yea that won't last

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          February 26, 2011 5:04 AM

          what the fuck, fungal isn't psi storm that it needs to be dodgable. That's a very important spell for Zerg against Terran.

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            February 26, 2011 5:29 AM

            marines won't be able to dodge is so easily, but it's still stupid. It should be a spell

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          February 26, 2011 5:28 AM

          hahaha, that is going to be thrown out so quick

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            February 26, 2011 2:49 PM

            Yeah, I can't see it making it past PTR. Doubling DPS and halving stun time is also weird, given that locking down enemies while your army does the damage seems to be the point of fungal growth, not straight up fast damage dealing.

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          February 26, 2011 7:37 AM

          FUUUUUUUUU

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            February 26, 2011 8:21 AM

            that's not final, it's on the PTR people

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 8:40 AM

              I'm aware, they keep trying to toy with the infestor in PTR though and eventually something's going to stick.

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 8:01 AM

          why do they keep trying to change fungal growth?

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            February 26, 2011 8:03 AM

            Its the one good unit zerg has thats versetile, and they dont like zerg actually being able to win games without massive wall of units. :(

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          February 26, 2011 8:19 AM

          Put the infestors on creep and its a different story, since they can outun stalkers and get up in their face to cast. Basically you don't want to cast the spell from max range.

          Also those isolated situations are stupid and not really productive. There was a video when the phoenix was changed to moving shot of a group of 3 destroying 20 mutalisks. That's not really how it plays out in the real game, however.

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            February 26, 2011 8:59 AM

            Yes, running infestors face first into a group of stalkers is a great idea.

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              February 26, 2011 9:09 AM

              Apparently you like reading half posts, so let me break it down to you. You're never going to play a cat and mouse game with stalkers & infestors. That said, its plausible to NOT cast from the maximum cast range (lings/blings/roaches buffer is going to be there). Additionally, stalkers wouldn't be blinking into infestors, but rather away from (unless they're on a suicide mission). Also, after the initial blink, it becomes easier to land fungals.

              It becomes a complex system of baiting blinks & fungal, which is is more dynamic than it currently is IMO.

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                February 26, 2011 9:32 AM

                You are only looking at this from a stance of Zerg army versus Stalkers.
                All this change does is force Zerg to get his infestors closer to the Terran or Protoss army where the infestors end up getting feedbacked or EMP'd by instant cast spells. If by some miracle that's not the case then quick Terrans can stim and run away from the spell and quick protoss have a unit that can blink and dodge it completely. The change doesn't work and it won't make it past the PTR.

                • reply
                  February 26, 2011 10:05 AM

                  Yes, I believe that is the angle they are getting at: Make the spell into something more interesting and let all races be able to play through it and not be bottlenecked into making a unit choice to counter it (ghost and templar).

                  You don't think it's absolutely silly that there's an undodgeable spell that makes your units completely unmicroable? For 8 seconds?

                  Also if the zerg is forcing stims and running away with his infantry, then thats a huge bonus. You can cast another fungal and make them run more while the zerglings/banelings roll in.

                  • reply
                    February 26, 2011 6:19 PM

                    Fungal growth is no more silly than Dark Swarm is in Starcraft.
                    Even with fungal growth it's hard for Zerg to match up with a mid-game Terran. Making the spell easily dodge-able completely unbalances that match-up.
                    This would be similar to making Force Field have a two second cast time or making it so Terran units can't be healed while under the effects of stim.

                    • reply
                      February 26, 2011 8:07 PM

                      It doesn't completely unbalance the match-up. Stop being so dramatic.

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 6:01 AM

        Ooooh so shacknews can have an alt account, but I cant :<

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 6:44 AM

          It's good to be the king, Post-Bot

          • reply
            February 26, 2011 6:54 AM

            Dave-A, once I get API access, you will rue the day! You will rue it!!

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 7:27 AM

              I guess your automated bullshit of the day script doesn't work anymore, huh?

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 7:42 AM

        Ok so shacknews whoever thought of this 'front page articles appear in the chatty as a dedicated thread' idea? - whoever it is, well done. That is a really fucking great idea. I haven't looked at the site much lately and I wasn't sure what was going on but now that I can see what it is, this is really clever.

        Does this mean that when a new chatty thread starts, this thread will also come along with it, persistently? or does it only stay in the chatty which was active when the news post was created?

        I can see it being abused if it's the former, the DNF gone gold thread will get autobumped a million times - but beyond that, really cool idea.
        Now if only someone could figure out that black comments on a white news post look really bad, like exceptionally bad - I'm talking abrasion_____classic.theme/html___!__lol__%date% bad - my god it looks dopey - but at least this idea was clever.

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 7:51 AM

          After 24 hours of it being created, all threads disappear from Chatty; however, they can still be hyperlinked to and commented in. They don't get deleted... they're just taken out of circulation. This works better as, previously, the entire Chatty would reset around every 12 hours.

          Now it's based on thread and it's 24 hours. This included comment threads made for stories on the frontpage.

          I like the way out comments look on the frontpage. Some people agree with me, others agree with you.

          That's what makes opinions so grand.

          • reply
            February 26, 2011 7:53 AM

            24 hours seems reasonable - probably a smart idea.
            My opinion doesn't really matter if it looks ugly as hell, I mean it's not like I come often anymore (or for my news) - furthermore it's not like something like that would stop me either.

            The important question is, will it stop others and what will new customers think of it, I'm already set in my ways.

            I always said a persistent chatty would be a nice thing - this is close to it, so that's good.

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 7:58 AM

              Well, maybe some people will hate a design element so much that they don't want to visit. That's unfortunate but we can't possibly appeal to everyone.

              The only way to do that would be to not change the site. Not because it's better but because people are used to it. If you see the comments from the last design, a lot of people hated elements of it too.

              It's the nature of changing something, especially something that people use on a regular basis.

              As far as I'm aware, the style of this is partially due to the link to chatty. Since it runs on the same thing and plugs into chatty... it looks like chatty.

              Also, you should come here for your news too, you know. Unless you really need to know the hottest scoops on Super Mario Birthday Cakes, that's found elsewhere.

              • reply
                February 26, 2011 2:53 PM

                The overall ideas are good. The only problem I have is the ... schizophrenic color scheme.

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 7:32 PM

          Definite kudos to this feature.

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 7:42 AM

        I've updated this to include clickable thumbnails to see the full versions of the map, rather than force anyone to scroll through a gallery.

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 5:18 PM

        Group E VODs are up: http://www.gomtv.net/2011gslsponsors2/vod/61742

        Group of death with Nestea, Boxer, Ensnare, and San. Very surprising games, everyone who was "supposed" to win was demolished and will be playing up & down matches next, most fun I've had watching GSL in a while.

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 5:23 PM

          Oh wow, I missed the beginning last night. Tastosis talking about San's chances are hilarious in hindsight

        • reply
          February 26, 2011 7:04 PM

          Seriously, the best PvZ ever...

          • reply
            February 26, 2011 7:29 PM

            No kidding. I watched it again and was still blown away. The funny thing is that Nestea drafted San as his opponent. When asked why he picked San to play against, he basically said "because it will be easy".

            Whoops!

            • reply
              February 26, 2011 7:53 PM

              Wow was nestea ever off his game in the second match too, there's no question he still couldn't wrap his head around losing that first match "I never lose to protoss" san made him eat those words. .

              • reply
                February 26, 2011 8:05 PM

                People getting crushed by their own hubris, always the best

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 6:05 PM

        I really need to start playing this again, who's up for humoring a very rusty player (who wasn't that great to begin with)?

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 7:11 PM

        Is it too much to ask to just limit any Blizzard news to stories about how and when I get to play Diablo 3 beta soon?

      • reply
        February 26, 2011 10:27 PM

        So no news item on the creation of the North American Star League? But we get front page news for NEW MAPS... uhhhh.... ok.....

        If you're just going to be a corporate press release clearinghouse, at least be a good one.

        • reply
          February 27, 2011 8:01 AM

          New maps bring people back into the game, pure and simple. Hate on it all you want, but other popular titles get front page news for DLC and game changes all of the time.

          • reply
            February 27, 2011 8:08 PM

            I'm not hating on the fact this got a news item. I'm hating on the fact that the creation of the NASL wasn't covered at all. I think you mistook my point, as both involve starcraft.

            All of gaming could be significantly changed because of this. In several years the NASL could realistically be on cable TV and receive mainstream corporate sponsorship. It seems like that's a newsworthy item for all of gaming. Missing that, yet catching "NEW MAPS", indicates a press release copy/paste mill with no one actually plugged into the community.

            • reply
              February 27, 2011 11:59 PM

              Everything about the announcement looked super unprofessional. I'm not surprised they didn't cover it. Tbh I'd be surprised if that league is around in a year.