Major StarCraft 2 Multiplayer Balance Changes Outlined

First balance test map arrives this week.


Big changes are on the way to StarCraft II's multiplayer mode for all three factions, Blizzard has revealed.

"StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void brought with it the most significant overhaul to multiplayer we've seen in StarCraft II's history," reads a post on the game's website. "With this overhaul came many improvements; additional depth for those looking to master the game, and games now play out in incredibly unique ways regardless of what may happen in the first few minutes. Nevertheless, we believe we can make StarCraft II an even more enjoyable and competitive game experience and would like to explore a series of major changes to bring about these improvements."

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The proposed changes affect many of the units for each faction. Terran's Siege Tanks would deal more damage, but Medivacs would no longer be able to pick them up, while the Battlecruiser's abilities would work off cooldowns, rather than energy. Protoss' Tempest would get a new zoning ability and Dark Templars would get a teleport. Zerg's Banelings would gain health while Swarm Hosts would lose some.

Here's the overview for each of the three factions Blizzard provided:

  • Terran: "For Terran, our primary focus is on improving the viability of Factory unit armies--popularly known as 'Mech' compositions. While the resource changes in Legacy of the Void have been working great overall, they did have a unique effect on the effectiveness of Mech play. Outside of very specific maps (such as Dusk Towers) it has been challenging for players to go Mech due to the difficulty in securing additional expansions. Because the resource changes have had such positive effects outside of Mech play, we wanted to make some changes to Mech to improve it across the different types of StarCraft II maps."
  • Protoss: "Protoss has seen significant changes and improvements in Legacy of the Void, and with this update we have a few things we want to improve even further. For one, we're aiming to make the race's interactions with Terran Mech more interesting. We'd also like to increase the power of the Zealot in certain areas compared to Adepts or Stalkers, and also make some generally cool unit improvements."
  • Zerg: "Zerg has had numerous new strategies since the launch of Legacy of the Void, yet there are definitely areas of potential improvement available. We want to take this opportunity to experiment with a heavy rebalance of the Swarm Host, a redesign on the Infestor and its abilities, and a rebalancing of the strength of different Zerg tech paths. This means there are changes to units in different tech options, as well as an adjustment to the Ravager that feels necessary, especially given the changes that we intend to make to the Siege Tank."

It's possible none of these changes will ultimately make it into the game as they're currently described. Blizzard says the outlined balance adjustments are just an "early preview" and could be tweaked as they're tested over the next few months. You can see all of the proposed changes here along with animated gifs showing comparisons with how the units currently function.

A balance test map is due out this week that will offer the first hands-on look at all of this. The goal is to have the changes out once the current tournament season wraps up in November.

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