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- Index -
Dread_Reaper
Zerg Air Force
Q&A
Supersonic
Protoss Air Force
Q&A
SaharaDrac
Terran Air Force - On Steel Wings
Q&A

starcraft 2

Dread_Reaper

Zerg Air Force:

First off, the Zerg air force is comprised of the Mutalisk, which is a relatively inexpensive, agile raider that does well against smaller targets, the Corruptor, which is death to capital ships if you have enough of them and focus fire, and then the Broodlord (which evolves from the Corruptor), which is basically the Guardian from StarCraft except its projectiles spawn tiny Mantalings that ravage the ground.

Against the Terran, the Mutalisk is evenly matched. The Viking, which can be mass produced with relative ease thanks to the Starport reactor, is more powerful and sturdier than the Mutalisk, but less agile. Since the Terran Banshee can do nothing to support the Vikings, I found my Mutalisks and Corruptors often handled any Viking forces with relative ease, especially with focus-fired Corruptors. Battlecruisers also will be easy prey for Corruptors, unless they have the Missile Barrage upgrade. Overall, Terran's lack of an air-based, anti-swarm attack (unless the Tier 3 Battlecruiser has Missile Barrage) makes the Zerg airforce powerful indeed, especially considering that the Broodlord (its predecessor once held in check by the Goliath with Charon Boosters) can basically attack with impunity against ground forces. The Raven's Hunter Seeker Missile is less effective against well microed Mutalisks, which can respond quickly to it to minimize the damage.

The Protoss are a different manner. Also lacking an air-based, anti-swarm unit, the Phoenix (although stronger and having a higher attack than the Mutalisk) is often overrun by the Mutalisks high numbers because of its lack of AoE attack. Void Rays, which are deadliest against large, tough units like Carriers or Battlecruisers, can be easily swarmed and destroyed because of its progressive damage and slow movement speed. The Mothership, however, has an ability called Vortex, which is basically a more effective version of the Arbiter's Stasis Field. This, combined with its cloaking and immense health, can rapidly turn the tide in any air battle against the Zerg.

Q&A:

Q: Are the units that the Brood Lord makes and the units that come out of destroyed zerg buildings the same?

A: Yes, there are only some minor differences in the models, but when the Broodlord uses them they are called Mantalings instead of Broodlings.

Q: Have they changed the Infestor in any way?

A: Nope, it is still totally pointless except for Neural Parasite. It now has an upgrade that allows it to move faster underground.

Q: How effective are Mutalisks in StarCraft II?

A: Fast and maneuverable, and they can still dance like in SC1, but they don't bunch up as much as they did before, making them less vulnerable to AoE attacks like Psionic Storm. However, because they no longer mutate into anything, I found myself building less of them and more Corruptors and Broodlords.

Q: What's the status of the early (ZvP) Zergling vs Zealot conflict? What is the ratio for a balanced battle between these two adversaries.

A: Assuming all stats are starting basic, the Zerg player is going to need 3 Zerglings to every 1 Zealot. If it's 2 to 1, the Protoss win.

Q: What does it look like when you have a Spine Crawler on the other side of an extremely tall wall? In SC1 sunk spines came from underground but, the Spine Crawler is a different case now.

A: Because the Spine Crawler attack tends to naturally arc its barbed tentacle (instead of going straight), there weren't any clipping issues that I noticed when attacking either uphill or downhill.

Q: Try dodging Lurker spines, is it anywhere near as possible as it is in SC1? Since they have 9 range and wider spines after all.

A: Lurker spines are less straight-line-fire now but have a slightly broader area of effect, and are slightly harder to see, making them more difficult to dodge. This combined with their new Seismic Spines upgrade, which gives them a range of 12, makes them very dangerous.

Q: Do Zerglings still get their wings after the speed upgrade or are wings gone for good now?


A: The wings are still in, but you get it after the Adrenal Glands attack speed upgrade. However, they have lost that silly fluttering animation they had before, so it is slightly improved.

Q: What's working in ZvT early game?

A: Zerg can use the Queen's Spawn Larvae ability to rapidly raise a force of Zerglings. The Zergling rush is more deadly than ever, even against the notoriously quick Terran. To counter that, the Terran Reactor means you can pump out a lot of Marines very quickly, which makes for crippling early game Overlord hunting if the Zerg is careless.

Q: What's the Roach, Hydralisk, and Lurker's current status?

A: The Roach feels somewhat useless in its currently status as a Tier 2 unit. It has less range and versatility than a Tier 1.5 Hydralisk, and some of the more powerful weaponry, like the Colossus and the Siege Tank, negate its healing ability. Its healing boost upgrade makes it basically unkillable against infantry, and can only be brought down by heavy weapons like Siege Tanks. 

The Hydralisk is a deadly predator, every bit as dangerous as the original, and comes with its range upgrade already. Was a mainstay in every battle I fought.


The Lurker's late game effectiveness is the same as it was in SC1, until you get the Seismic Spines, which give it the range to get an extra attack off on even the longest ranged units like Marines or Siege Tank. However, the variety of splash damage attacks in high level units like the Colossus make it a less than necessary edition to the Zerg army.

Q: The Zerg macro mechanic doesn't return increased minerals. Will that be a disadvantage with respect to the Terran and Protoss? Won't the extra Larvae make Zerg macro too powerful late game?


A: Its actually much more versatile than the other races' abilities. You can use the spawned larvae to jump start mining expansions or recover from a tough raid, or you can rapidly raise defenders or rapidly grow an army. In terms of late game imbalance, it has basically the same effect of building a few extra Hatcheries, and in the end, the amount of units you can produce will always be controlled by the amount of resources you have.

Q: Have there been any changes to the macro mechanics?

A: None.

Q: Of the three main harassment units (Reapers, Mutalisks, Stalkers), Mutalisks are the most expensive per unit. Are they equivalently cost-effective compared to Reapers and Stalkers at base raiding?


A: The fact that they can fly and have splash damage make them devastating raiders; however, because they are Tier 2 units that require more time and money than the other races' raiders to produce, I often found my Mutalisks encountering dug in defenses that shut them out when I tried to raid. if they are allowed to enter, though, Mutalisks are the deadliest raiders.

Q: Which units got model changed or updates?


A: The Zerg overall look like they received the biggest face lift. All of them, especially the Queen, look immensely improved. After talking with Dustin Browder, he told me that all units for all races had recently received another pass on their graphics, and that several more were planned before release. Overall, the game looks fantastic.

Q: What is the status of resource trading in team games?

A: All BlizzCon matches were 1v1.

Q: What is the criteria for a victory in a multiplayer game? Shall we assume the destruction of all buildings still? Furthermore, will all building be revealed once a player's last main is destroyed?

A: You must destroy all opponent buildings to win the multiplayer match, yes. Once you destroy their last mineral gathering structure, the player is revealed.

Q: Are the macro mechanics working like expected, or do they get too repetitive after a while? What about their mineral-only aspect? Does that work late game, or the mineral-only units are getting smashed by superior tech, anyways? Won't the mineral/gas ratio skew gameplay to basic units and static defenses?

A: The macro mechanics are something you have to train yourself to do. This is just something you have to remind yourself to do, and while it doesn't really seem to make a huge difference over the course of the game unless you're constantly recasting it, it can make a crucial difference in same race games. The most obvious one is the Obelisk's Proton Charge, which you just cast on your busy little miners to make them bring back more loot per trip. The MULEs I used less actually until late game, because they have to compete with the all important Comsat Scan for energy, which is the only thing that compensates for the fact that the Terrans have no mobile detectors until Tier 3. The Zerg Spawn Larvae is less obvious, and admittedly I rarely used to it generate miners because I was too tempted to beef up my army. However, I saw its greatest use in creating expansions.

The mineral-only aspect of the macro mechanics is there to directly balance the dual vespene geysers, which makes teching much faster. As it stands, the amount of vespene you bring is in basically the same ratio to the minerals, but you just have a lot more of it. This simply makes the game faster and more fun.

Overall I actually enjoyed the macro mechanics, but I feel that as the skill of the everyday player increases, the pressure to constantly be managing them will become excessively tedious.

 

starcraft 2

Supersonic

 

Protoss Air Force:

The Observer is more or less the same as in StarCraft with the exception that it is no longer needs the Observatory to make, no longer needs the sight upgrade, and the new model makes it look very much like a scouting unit. Having the Observer so readily available from the Robotics facility makes getting mobile detection a lot easier, and the fact that you only need to upgrade speed is great.

The Warp Prism is the carrying unit for the Protoss, although I rarely used it for that because it's much more effective to use it for its other ability which is setting up pylon power and allowing you to warp-in units. This combination is so strong that, if you can manage to get this into a base and warp-in units, you can bypass all defenses and take out main tech buildings. The only upgrades are for the movement speed, and, of course, air armor. The change from "Phase Mode" to normal mode is about three seconds. Warping in units with the Warp Prism is still an effective way to get more units to aid you on the battle field, without having to walk them all the way across the map.

The Phoenix is produced from the Stargate. What many people may or may not know is the Phoenix is an AtA only unit. I had originally bought a fleet of 12 to crush my opponents expansion, only to find out the hard way that it couldn't attack the Hydralisks and Missile Turrets. As far as AtA goes, however, they are very effective because of their high movement speed and that they have a fairly strong attack, which allows a lot of space for intense micro. The speed of the Phoenix allows it to hunt down just about every air unit with ease, and because of their cost 125m 75g, building a fleet is no problem at all. The ability that they have is the "Gravitation Beam" and, even though they cannot attack ground, this adds a layer of depth to the unit so that you can pick up ground units (except massive units like the Thor and Colossus) and easily kill them in the air. The ability costs 50 energy to use and 4 more for every second it has the unit in the air. This is more effective against expensive units like the Siege Tank than it is against smaller, less expensive units such as the Marine.

Next up is my personal favorite: the Void Ray (the building eater). This unit is extremely deadly against buildings and units with high hitpoint pools because once it gets up to the third rank of its beam, the damage it deals is huge. This even shows with a single unit. It has an upgrade that allows the beam to scale up faster and also increases the acceleration of the unit itself, as to keep on the tail of moving units. The Void Ray will auto follow things that try and move away, so this upgrade is key. To get an idea of the power of this unit, 3 Void Rays with +1 air attack upgrade and beam speed, will kill a Command Center in under ten seconds. The thing will just drop! I usually build this unit to go around and harass the opponents buildings, and would run away when they came to defend. This distracted them from focusing on microing around their units when fighting. Even dedicated anti-air units like the Thor fall quickly to this unit because of the intense speed and power of the beam when fully charged. Although they are strong to larger units, smaller units like the marines are a perfect counter (even more than I had expected). 6-8 marines will take down 3 Void Rays with ease because they are very weak without that scale in weapon attack damage. Overall, the Void Ray's speed and flexibility is very good. Although not as fast as the Phoenix, it is still a great unit added to the Protoss air fleet.

 

Q&A:

Q: What is the role of the Carrier? How well does it integrate into the current version of the Protoss fleet?

A: I didn't use the Carrier much without the "faster interceptors" but what I can say about how it played with this upgrade is that it's VERY strong. It dishes out some major fire power. I was able to take down many Battlecruisers and other anti-air units with only a small amount of Carriers.

Q: What abilities does the Mothership have have right now. What's the status of uniqueness, and  its speed/usefulness?

A: Once again, the Mothership is a "Special" unit that you can only have one at a time. It's attack has been changed from the "blue missiles" to 2 lasers that can fire at 2 different things at once. Its attack is decently strong. As for abilities, it has the "Time Space Transit" (I think that's what it's called?), warping to your own buildings, it's only really effective if you have already build some "proxy pylons" around the map. Next is the time bomb, which is only really effective on about 1-2 missile turrets depending on how close they are to each other, because of how small the radius is. Last is the "Black Hole" which works just like stasis from arbiters except it can pull more units in if they get to close. Speed itself is terribly slow, slower than Terran buildings moving in SC1.

Q: Status of the early (ZvP) Zergling vs Zealot conflict? What is the ratio for a balanced battle between these two adversaries.

A: Zealots I feel eat up Zerglings more than they used to in SC1, but thanks to the improved pathing larger numbers of Zerglings do stand a better chance than usual vs Zealots. You do still need to play reasonably safe not to attack in too small of numbers with Zerglings because they can get wasted.

Q: Have they decided to keep that "only Colossus traversable water?" The water type that's very deep and only traversable by the Colossus.

A: Not really sure, I don't recall there being water in any levels although I wasn't looking.

Q: How long does Forcefield last?


A: Give or take 10-15 seconds. It's a very effective tool and only costs 50 energy.

Q: How much damage does Psionic Storm do now? And how long does it last?

A: I didn't use High Templar very often just because gas has become a pain to get and I never seemed to have enough. Although Storm has a shorter duration but does a little more damage, as for radius it's about the same, maybe a little bigger.

Q: Hallucination, how many of each unit does it produce?

A: Hallucination was something I wasn't really interested in using until I figured out exactly what it did. The way the new Hallucination works gets me very excited on the types of ways you can use it. How it works is you click the Hallucination icon, and it will then give you a list of (I think) all the units Protoss can produce, with the exception of the Mothership, and I think Carrier? It will then create the unit on the spot, making 2 of the lower tier units (Zealots, Stalkers etc) and 1 of the higher (Phoenix, Colossus etc). Now what gets me so excited about this is, if you are not letting your opponent scout (or they just don't scout at all), if you micro correctly, you can make them think you are teching something that your really not. Which can be very effective to predict what they will counter with so you can have the 1 up on them.

Q: Is it possible to dodge something like a Yamato shot by Blinking with the Stalker? Or will the Yamato shot trail the stalker until it hits it?

A: Yes the Yamato will follow.

Q: Any news about the Archon? We haven't seen it since a really long time.

A: Didn't get to try out the Archon because it really didn't come up, the Colossus deals with basically all Zerg ground unit problems, and Stalkers are very effective at hunting down Mutas with Blink.

Q: Have there been any changes to the macro mechanics?


A: For macro play, MBS helps a lot, and the fact you can rally a Probe to set up everything you could ever need built in your base and then go back to mining after takes a lot of base macroing away. For building units however you still need to click once for every unit you want made, even if you have 4 Gateways selected, you still need to hit "Z" for Zealots 4 times. So although it doesn't even out, it does help add a little macro to where a good bit has been lost.

Q: Can you rotate the camera? If not how do you see a unit that is behind a cliff or structure?


A: No camera rotation, only zooming in and out. As for units getting behind something where I couldn't see them, it didn't really happen, the only time it did was for Probes behind my Stargates, and I had the "Idle Worker" icon to show me where they were.

Q: Of the three main harassment units (Reapers, Mutalisks, Stalkers), Mutalisks are the most expensive per unit. Are they equivalently cost-effective compared to Reapers and Stalkers at base raiding?

A: YES! The fact that you can hold more than 12+ Mutalisk means if you let your opponent get too many they can start one shotting stuff, as in taking out Missile Turrets in half a second, and completely pwning Probes that are mining + they can fly so it makes them that much more effective for running raids.

Q: Which units got model changed or updates?


A: Zealot got changed according to Karune, but I didn't notice too much. I think the Lurker got updated, as well as the Hydra.

Q: What is the status of resource trading in team games?

A: The games were 1v1.

Q: What happens in team games when a teammate leaves?

A: I believe you get their units and buildings.

Q: What is the criteria for a victory in a multiplayer game? Shall we assume the destruction of all buildings still? Furthermore, will all building be revealed once a player's last main is destroyed?

A: To win a match you need to destroy all the opponents buildings. Once all the Command Centers, Nexuses, etc all the players buildings get revealed in about 30~ seconds.

Q: Are the macro mechanics working like expected, or do they get too repetitive after a while? What about their mineral-only aspect? Does that work late game, or the mineral-only units are getting smashed by superior tech, anyways? Won't the mineral/gas ratio skew gameplay to basic units and static defenses?


A: One thing I did not like about the game how it is, is the fact that while playing Protoss and using PC I got a TON of minerals, like a LOT!! And I could make a bajillion Zealots, Terrans "Mule Calldown" is almost counter productive, you have to pay 150 minerals to have your Command Center stop doing anything for about 60 seconds at least just to upgrade to Orbital Command.

As for is the new econ stuff just a APM sink or is it effective, Mule felt like an APM sink because you didn't feel the minerals coming in, I'm sure you got a more then usual amount but you don't feel it, and hitting 1, E, and clicking on a mineral field is hardly APM sink. For PC you REALLY feel it, it adds 1 mineral for each trip for your Probes, and it shows a LOT. Protoss gets so much more minerals than the other races (at least early-mid to early late game) that if you got the Obelisk rather quickly for PC than you would basically win every time because you can now make 1 Zealot for every 2 Zerglings or 2 Marines.

That being said it felt like since the Mule Calldown was so poor for mineral gain, the Terran was VERY behind on the economy race. Zerg has the Larva Spawn which gets expansions up in about 3 seconds, and Protoss can kill people with numbers alone. I did actually test this theory and my body was able to make as ALMOST as many Zealots as I has marines in the space of about 10 minutes, Terran Econ just feels realllly slow, and it hurts them a lot because their units are not all that strong, and the new pathing helps melee units a lot.

As for gas, once you got an expansion or 2 it wasn't to too bad, it did feel just about balanced. What they need to do though it either take out PC, Mule, and possibly Larva Spawn out completely, or take a hard look at balancing the fact that Protoss can produce as much as Terran, but all their units are at least double the strength.

 

starcraft 2

SaharaDrac

 

Terran Air Force - On Steel Wings

I have had the good fortune to have the opportunity to play StarCraft II on three separate occasions, at three separate BlizzCons. The first couple of times, I spent my time playing and experimenting with all three races equally. I would dream up something ridiculous to try to beat my opponent with in line, try it out, then hop right back in line and reflect on the game I just played. This year, I played only one race, the Terrans. I wanted to go in depth with them, specifically with their air units, and really take them apart. I played games with mixed air forces, masses of one air unit, spamming the Ravens spells, and combinations of all of these with one-base builds, fast expands, and rushes. (The Community tournament area had a glorious 2 hour time limit, as opposed to the main SCII demo area, which was constricted to 20 minutes of play time, so I was even able to do things like turtle in and mass Battlecruisers.) This article is my hindsight thoughts and feelings on the Terran Air Force.

A good way to begin our analysis would be to go unit by unit. The first unit available to you when you create your Starport (which requires a Barracks and a Factory, just like SC1), is the Viking. As many of you already know, the Viking's main role is as an air superiority fighter, with the mechanic of being able to "transform" into a Goliath-like mech ground unit, with a ground to ground attack.

VIKING -- 125 Minerals, 100 Vespene Gas, 2 Supply.

starcraft 2 viking

I'm a big fan of this unit. Not much has changed with it since previous BlizzCons, but I think that may be because it works well and is a lot of fun as it is. This unit is the epitome of the Terran's new "metal mobility" philosophy of play style. Against the Zerg's air-to-air unit, the Corrupter, it just barely loses out in a straight dogfight. Of course, the Corrupter doesn't turn into a ground unit, and I'm not completely certain on this, but I also don't think it carries the +10 damage bonus against the "massive" unit type. The Viking fires missiles in a very similar fashion to a Wraith, which are especially effective against end game air units like Battlecruisers and Carriers. I can't count how many times my Terran opponent would try to float their last building away after I attacked them (Really dude? It's not going on your record. Let's get to the next game.), and the Viking's air to air attack came in very handy in this situation. It's also really nice to be able to fly around the map looking for expansions, and having the convenience of being able to land and destroy undefended enemy workers once discovered by landing in their mineral line. All in all, I would say that the Viking is an awesome unit. I miss their old voice though. They used to sound like meathead football high school bullies, and it was really funny. Now they're much more generic. I like to know my Terran units could stuff me in a locker or give me a wedgie on a whim.

MEDIVAC -- 100 Minerals, 100 Vespene Gas, 2 supply.

starcraft 2 medivac


This has been a hotly debated and controversial new unit for the Terrans. The Medivac is a Dropship unit that holds a similar number of units to it's counterpart in SC1 (8 marines, 4 Marauders, 2 tanks, etc.).   What makes the Medivac stand out is it's secondary ability: healing. The medivac automatically heals friendly biological units beneath it, in the fashion of a Medic from Brood War. As a game mechanic, I love this abilty. It lends itself so naturally to infantry drops, and gives you another reason to micro your dropships. Aesthetically, I still find it awkward. I just think a ship beaming down healing green light borders too closely on the magical rather than science fiction. Perhaps the graphics could look more like a "stim mist", a cloud of healing drugs, or little doctors on ropes jabbing with needles and cackling manically. I'm not sure, but I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for such a fun game mechanic combination. One thing to note is that Ravens, with the new Laser turret spell, countered Medivacs quite quickly. I also noticed that it was still very important to keep these ships safe during transport, as they were quite fragile if caught by a roaming group of hydralisks or other anti-air units.

RAVEN -- 100 Minerals, 200 Vespene Gas, 2 Supply. The Raven requires a Tech Lab to be attached to your Starport.

starcraft 2 raven

 

The Raven is the Terran's new caster air unit. It has a design that I really like, with sleek wings flowing back from a central ebon cockpit. I had heard from other users before this BlizzCon that spamming the Raven's auto-turret ability was highly effective against unprepared opponents. The Auto-Turret is a 50 energy spell that drops a small machine gun turret at a target location, with a ground to ground attack. The damage of these turrets was nothing to write home about, but the length of their lives and their durability were quite impressive. If left untended, 2 turrets had enough lifespan to destroy a Protoss Nexus, slowly but surely. Another fun use I found for the Turrets was when someone came up my choke with a Terran infantry squad and ran into my Siege Tank fire. I used my two Ravens to block the ramp they came in from, and they found themselves trapped, trying to take down the sturdy turrets while they took fire from my tanks behind them.

The second spell on the Raven was one that I hadn't heard of before, and I'm sorry but I don't remember it's exact name, I believe it was something like "Laser Turret". This spell cost 100 energy and dropped another small turret, which fired a ground to air only laser at enemy air units. This saved my base more than once, when I would see approaching drops and not be prepared with regular missile turrets, I would drop these behind my mineral line and focus fire on the Medivac Dropship or Warp Prism as it tried to sneak in. It was effective against the Warp Prism, but couldn't stop the Medivac in time. I could also see this ability being very useful for a hard push style attack. Instead of building actual missile turrets next to their tank pushes (which seems more than viable again, as a side note), Ravens could build these Laser turrets to quickly prevent enemy air units from destroying their tanks. Also, since a tank push without turrets is a "soft" push, and one with Turrets is a "hard" push, this could be called a "semi" push, or perhaps a "chub" push, and what's not funny about that, honestly?


The Raven's third abilty is a beastly one: The Seeker Missile. This 150 energy ability fires a slow moving but highly devastating missile at a target ground area. This ability must be researched at the Tech Lab attached to the Starport. It's similar to the shot of a Reaver in StarCraft, where it is slow moving and dodgeable, but very powerful in an AOE area if not avoided. The missile is obviously much slower than a Reaver shot, of course, and appropriately does much more damage. I would estimate the damage to be around half the power of a nuke, though it doesn't hurt your own ground units. Because everyone playing at BlizzCon was still unfamiliar with the game, very few players I used this ability against moved their troops out of the way in time. It was pretty bloody, overall.


Banshee -- 150 Minerals, 150 Vespene Gas, 3 Supply. Requires Tech Lab attached to Starport.

starcraft 2 banshee


The Banshee was the MVP of BlizzCon '09 for me. I had previously made this unit and been a little underwhelmed by it. I suppose someone agreed with me because Banshees pack a serious punch these days. They come equipped solely with an air-to ground attack and can be given a cloaking ability. The ground attack they have is similar to the air attack the Wraith had in the original StarCraft that is to say it's fast strong and deadly. These things are a nightmare for mineral lines even in small numbers. Their cost is steep but worth it. I also think they did bonus damage to buildings though I'm not 100 % certain on that. Also I'm a bit of a sound effect nerd and I kind of get all warm and fuzzy inside when the Banshee fires. It's missiles have a smoky hiss as they stream through the air then a satisfying impact explosion. The way the Zerg blood flies upon impact is also quite nice.

Battlecruiser -- 400 Minerals 300 Vespene Gas 6 Supply.

starcraft 2 battlecruiser


Near and dear to every Starcraft fan's heart the Terran's Capital Ship returns in SCII in all it's glory plus all kinds of new glory to go with it. The BC is mighty massive lumbering and intimidating as it should be. It especially looks great when you pick Dark Grey or Black. It has a normal attack very similar to it's traditional one but what makes it really exciting now are the "tech paths" you can choose for it now. Every BC that builds can now be outfitted with one of three permanent rigs: The Yamato Cannon Missile Pods and Defensive Matrix. None of these abilities needed to be researched but when you slsected one it had a build time and could not be reversed. Yamato was exactly like it's predecessor which is not to say it's boring or anything to be underestimated. It still one shots base defenses supply buildings and heavy ground units with ease. The Missile pods were a great upgrade; instead of one heavy big shot against a single target the Missile pod upgrade rains down fiery orange laser missiles into an area on the ground beneath them decimating small ground units like Marines Zerglings and Zealots. Overall my favorite of the three was the Defensive Matrix. Similar in function to the old Science Vessel spell but different in that it can only be cast on the BC that has the upgrade not on any other friendly units. It was a lot of fun to set a couple of BCs with Defensive Matrix as the "flag ships" absorbing damage from base defnses and armies while the ships behind it fired down from the back.

All in all my overall statement about the Terran Air Force is that I'm very impressed. Terran Air is incredibly strong rivaled only by Zerg Air at the moment. (Don't let them tell you Zerg is that weak! They are definitely the weakest of the three as it stands but their air force is amazing!) A combination of Banshees for ground destruction with Vikings for anti-air defense was very rarely thwarted. The Raven is not only a killer during pushes and raids but a great stay at home defensive unit. Medivacs will haunt people's dreams for years reliving the horror as stimmed marines and marauders happily stay in the green while firing on their workers . The Battlecruiser is the self indulgent mega unit it needs to be. I think the most important thing this play through of the Terran air force has done for me is reinforce my happiness to be a StarCraft fan. I'm confident as always that the game is in good hands and that I will have a platform to be passionate and competitive about for years to come.

 

Q&A:

Q: What changed with the Raven?

A: The Raven and it's changes are covered extensively by my Terran Air article.

Q: What is the effectiveness of the medivac infantry combo? As the medivac is quite higher in the tech tree than the old school medics.


A: It's highly effective in the mid-game because of the mobility and ease of dropping with heals. You're going to be dropping anyways right? Now you get heals free of charge with it. I wouldn't say that the lack of medics early hinders the power of a fast infantry rush however. Marine shield upgrades Repaers and Maruaders more than make up for the loss of the Medic.

Q: What's the detonation time on the D8 Charges?

A: The detonation was FAST. I'd say maybe too fast. You throw your charges they beep three times and BOOM. It's actually pretty difficult for your own forces not to take some collateral damage in the process. I would say sacrificing a Reaper to throw down a mine and allow the rest of your forces to escape chasing units would be a great tactic.

Q: What's the throwing range of the D8 Charges?

A: Quite short. This goes with the previous question in that its tricky not to blow up your own Reapers. I'd say 2 or 3 steps is the throwing distance.

Q: Is it possible to dodge something like a Yamato shot but blinking with the stalker? Or will the Yamato shot trail the stalker until it hits it?

A: Blink will render a Yamato shot ineffective.

Q: Have they changed the lift off and landing animation of Terran buildings? It's really lame right now with it rocketing up and slamming into the ground.

A: The building lift off animations have not changed. I like them a lot however so c'est la vive.

Q: Using supply drop the supply depot has a permanent visual change when it's lowered into the ground is it still visually differentiable from normal supply depots?

A: No it is not.

Q: What's working in ZvT early game?

A: I played only Terrans and I can tell from from my experience not much. Zerg ground seems incredibly weak. Banelings were alright but those are more mid game.

The Hellion's attack bonus vs Light does look really impressive specially with the upgrade. Isn't that completely negating the use of melee light units like the Zergling and the Zealot? Or the Hellion's low health prevents that from happening?

Hellions make Zerglings and Zealots pretty much useless a lot like it's predecessor the Firebat. Only now they have an AOE and some quick quick speeds!

Q: Have there been any changes to the macro mechanics?

A: Not that I could see no.

Q: Can you rotate the camera? If not how do you see a unit that is behind a cliff or structure?

A: Yes using insert and delete.

Q: Of the three main harassment units (Reapers Mutalisks Stalkers) Mutalisks are the most expensive per unit. Are they equivalently cost-effective compared to Reapers and Stalkers at base raiding?

A: Mutalisks are just as much of a nuisance as they've always been. I wouldn't classify Stalkers as a "harassment" unit however. They are the Protoss bread and butter in most armies at the moment.

Q: Which units got model changed or updates?

A: Hmmm....None of the Terran units as far as I could tell.

Q: What is the criteria for a victory in a multiplayer game...shall we assume the destruction of all buildings still? Furthermore will all building be revealed once a player's last main is destroyed?


A: All buildings must be destroyed to win and yes when your last resource gathering main building is destroyed you are revealed. Which is good. Unless you love prolonging lost games by hiding a pylon in which case don't add me to your friends list when Battle.net 2.0 comes out.

Q: Are the macro mechanics working like expected or do they get too repetitive after a while? What about their mineral-only aspect? Does that work late game or the mineral-only units are getting smashed by superior tech anyways? Won't the mineral/gas ratio skew gameplay to basic units and static defenses?

A: I enjoyed MULE calldown immensely. It gave me something to remember and something to do. I would definitely feel the effects if I kept forgetting it. That said it's a decision to use MULE because it does sap valuable comsat energy. As far as late game even if the units get gas heavy having more money is never a bad thing. It lets you expand. As in you don't tend to "use" your extra minerals to make only mineral heavy units you use it to build your economy further so you can better afford gas heavy units. At least that's what I did.

 

starcraft 2

This is a StarCraft: Legacy (http://sclegacy.com/) BlizzCon 2009 event article.

starcraft legacy

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