Blizzard details StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm changes
While it is still unclear as to when the next expansion of StarCraft 2 will be released, Blizzard has shared a multitude of information about Heart of the Swarm.
As with the Diablo III Collector’s Edition unveil, here’s a new teaser clip:
New Units for StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm:
Shredder – When deployed will deal 20 damage per second to anything with it’s range. If any of your units (other than shredders) are near this unit, the field will not be deployed. In mobile form, the Shredder has no attack, but when set to stationary mode, it channels area-effect damage to both the air and ground. If a friendly unit enters the range of the Shredder, the weapon shuts off.
Hellion Battle Mode -When transformed, the Hellion will gain in hit points and get a stronger flame attack that covers a short arc in front of it. This makes the Hellion more effective in late-game fights against large clusters of light units such as Zealots
Warhound – A small, walking ground mech that wields an effective anti-air weapon with splash damage, much like the Thor from Wings of Liberty. The Warhound is smaller and much more nimble, though it gives up some range on its anti-air missiles in exchange for this mobility. The Warhound also wields a small ground attack weapon that does additional damage to mechanical units, making it particularly well suited to taking out enemy Siege Tanks. It’s not particularly effective against non-mechanical units.
Viper – An armored, biological flying unit with three unique abilities. Blinding Cloud temporarily reduces the attack range of all ground units inside the cloud to melee range, and prevents energy-based abilities from being used. Abduct allows the Viper to physically pull a unit to the Viper’s location. Finally, the Viper has a one-time ability called Ocular Parasite, which allows it to detach its eye stalk and meld it onto any friendly, non-massive unit, turning that unit into a detector.
Swarm Host – Slow moving, armored biological ground unit without a standard attack. When burrowed, the Swarm Host spawns a continuous stream of slow-moving melee units called Locusts (limited lifespan) that can be used to lay siege and pressure entrenched enemy positions.
Locust – This light biological unit is tougher than Boodlings or Zerglings, and can help tank damage from siege tanks to prepare for a Zerg attack.
Replicant – The Replicate ability allows it to permanently transform into any non-massive unit in range. They’re expensive, so cloning a Zergling would not be very cost effective, but transforming into a specialized unit like a Raven, Infestor, or Siege Tank make for strategic options for the Protoss.
Oracle – A Psionic warship, built from a Stargate, that uses several unique abilities to raid and harass the enemy. The first is Entomb, which can temporarily block mineral fields from being harvested. Another ability, Preordain, grants vision of a targeted enemy building, allowing the protoss to see which units or technologies are being researched. Rounding out its kit is Phase Shift, which phases a target building, preventing it from being attacked, using its abilities, or granting technology. Not only can structures like missile turrets be prevented from attacking, but using this ability on a zerg Spire would block the production of Mutalisks, Corruptors, and air upgrades.
Tempest – A new capital ship that deals massive area-of-effect damage to air units. It also has a standard ground attack, but its chief role is to help gain air superiority.
Multiplayer unit changes
- Reapers swaps anti-building will be able to regen health
- Battlecruisers get a new skill called Redline Reactor, giving speed boosts for short periods of time
- Modified Thor which is now limited to one per game per player. Thor now costs 600 minerals, require fusion core. The new Thor drops anti-air guns for a much more powerful land arsenal.
- The cloak ability for Ghosts now work differently. It will no longer be a toggled effect and only consume a one-time energy cost to activate Cloak for a specific time duration. Energy regeneration will continue while cloaked, and Ghosts can re-cloak while nuking without interrupting the call-down.
- Banelings can now move when burrowed.
- Corruptor’s Corruption skill swapped with Siphon (cast on buildings, slow, recurring damage which is automatically converted to resources).
- Ultralisks have a new Burrow Charge skill that lets them dive underground and instantly surface at a target.
- A new upgrade for Hydralisks allowing them to move faster while not on creep
- The protoss Nexus gets several new abilities:
- Arc Shield – temporarily boost shield energy of units/structures
- Mass Recall – teleport armies from out in the field back to the nexus
- A weapon upgrade very similar to a photon cannon to a target structure.
- The iconic carrier and the newly introduced mothership will no longer be available to protoss players in multiplayer games.
- Low ground pylons no longer power high-ground areas, even if they are within the power radius
- Overseer removed