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Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, has posted another Q&A session on battle.net. Keeping up with the recent trend of providing great information, this batch does not disappoint.

First up, a chat with the devs:

Chat with Devs: Since BlizzCon, the Terran Bunkers have been increased in size (to 3×3) and given added hit points, making it a more viable defensive structure for the Terrans. The Dev Team really wants to further define the uniqueness of how each faction plays, giving Terrans a strong character of defensive type tools. Watching the Firebats flame from these Bunkers sure do bring back memories!

 

As clarification- the Bunkers being increased to 3×3 is the visual size of the Bunker, rather than the capacity. The Bunker will still be holding 4 units in it.

A few more changes to the Terran faction have taken place, as you’ll see in the Q&A:

1. Does the Time Bomb ability of the Mothership stop a Nuclear Missile (just like other missiles) when used on the area where the Nuclear Missile is about to explode?

 

The Time Bomb ability of the Mothership is designed to stop a Nuclear Missile if used at the right time, making a powerful counter in the hands of a skilled Protoss Player. This ability has still yet to go through the needed balance to make sure this is not over powering, but it is our intention to try and get that ability in the final version as designed.

Awesome. This sounds like a great way to counter the dreaded nuke, which will hopefully have a greater presence in StarCraft 2. Will the Zerg get a nuke counter too?

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The StarCraft 1 nuke was hard to properly use. However, when a player skillfully managed to set one off, the insane amount of damage coupled with the large blast radius usually made a huge impact on the game. Now that we know Blizzard is considering implementing a defense against the nuke, we can safely speculate that we will see it more often in StarCraft 2 matches.

2. In the UI there are little boxes just to the right of the minimap that have numbers on them. How exactly do these function? Different gameplay screenshots suggest different functionality.

 

I believe the small boxes you are referring to are the Control Groups used to select multiple units at a time, making it faster to give attack and move orders.

 

3. Does Drop Pads make new units or use this recruited before?

 

There are plans to have the drop pods be manually loaded with units created by the player, to better allow the player to adapt to their current tactical needs.

Will this prove to be more tedious than useful? Time will tell.

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4. What was the design team’s rationale in adding a second siege style unit (Thor) to the Terran race?

 

The Thor’s role compared to the Siege Tank, is more of an assault unit rather than a siege unit. The Thor is much more exposed when attacking an enemy location, while the Siege Tank has a much larger range and is able to hit the enemy at a larger distance. The range of the Siege Tank has also been increased since the BlizzCon Demo.

Another interesting change to the Terran. The Siege Tank, already the unit with the greatest weapon range in the game, has now had its range increased further. Blizzard is obviously trying to differentiate the Thor from the Siege Tank, making sure they have different-enough roles.

The last line, regarding the range increase, has mysteriously been deleted from the original post, without explanation from Karune. We are left to wonder what prompted this stealthy deletion.

5. How do the Yamato and Plasma Torpedo upgrade work? Do you have to research these things only once or will you have to pay for each battle cruiser?

 

Battlecruisers can be upgraded individually with either a Yamato Gun or Plasma Torpedoes, but not both. After the Battlecruiser is upgraded, it can then use that particular special ability as long as it has enough energy to do so.

Can an upgraded Battlecruiser replace its weapon with the other?

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6. “With MBS (Multiple Building Selection) and automine in the game, what macro-specific features are going to be added to make sure that the player always has as much to do on the macro side as he does micro? Will a player still be able to favor macro or micro according to his own style?”

 

It is our goal to allow players to micro more vs. macro more. This is something that was great about the original StarCraft and it is something we want to maintain while we add new mechanics as well as interface features. We are still evaluating such features as automine as well as MBS. We don’t have an answer for this at the moment, but we are working on it.

Please don’t backtrack on this, Blizzard. A game should be fun first, and having to manually direct each worker to the mineral line is anything but fun.

    

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