Goodbye, Tempest; You’ve been officially replaced with the Carrier.
The massive carriers serve as operations centers for leaders of the protoss fleets. Heavily armored and shielded, carriers can punch their way through enemy blockades by unleashing flights of robotic interceptors at vital enemy targets. These maneuverable, computer-guided craft tear through enemy flight formations and relentlessly strafe slower ground targets with potent plasma charges.
Returning unchanged from StarCraft 1, this is one of the strongest units available in the game – despite having no attack of its own. The mighty Carrier relies on a swarm of robotic interceptors to destroy the Protoss’ foes, staying away from the fight itself.
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The Carrier can even repair the interceptors inside the safety of its hull, making attacks on them almost useless – unless they are heavy and concentrated enough to destroy them quickly. Since each interceptor costs resources to produce, this can actually put a drain on the Protoss economy. For the most part, though, a group of Carriers can face many threats without taking any losses, and completely negate any form of static defense.
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Most carriers have no weapon batteries of any kind, but their deployment of interceptor flights makes them devastating in a ship-to-ship battle. However, a handful of heavily armed “super carriers” exist, most famously the Gantrithor. This was the flagship of Executor Tassadar when he led a protoss expeditionary force in its attempts to eradicate the zerg in terran space. The Gantrithor was powerful enough that it single-handedly defeated an entire terran battlecruiser squadron under the command of General Edmund Duke. Tassadar later sacrificed himself and his ship to destroy the zerg Overmind when it manifested on Aiur.
Update: The action shot of the 3 Carriers fighting a single Battlecruiser, posted on the Carrier’s page, brought concerns about its performance. The Carriers took a long while to take down the Battlecruiser, which managed to destroy the shields and damage one carrier heavily in the process. Karune, Blizzard’s official RTS community manger, has posted some calming words for Protoss fans:
The Carrier is not at all balanced in that video. The video is more showing off the animations involved in the Carrier’s attack, so no need to worry about it being completely ‘nerfed.’
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