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New StarCraft 2 Terran Building Page: The Sensor Tower

Another long pause between updates to StarCraft2.com is behind us. Today, the site has been updated with a page for the Terran’s Sensor Tower.

<a href="http://starcraft2.com/flash/global/unitsplayer_terran_sensortower.swf" target="_blank">http://starcraft2.com/flash/global/unitsplayer_terran_sensortower.swf</a>

Top terran military analysts all agree that “Knowing is half the battle” and that early warning is one of the keys to victory. The sensor tower is a vital tool for long-range surveillance of enemy movement and the detection of stealthed aggressors. Sensor towers are a lynchpin of terran base defenses, and as such, they need to be heavily guarded. A smart attacker will try to destroy sensor towers as the first priority.

The Sensor Tower is a new building for the Terran “race” in StarCraft 2. Currently, it serves as both a detector and a fog of war scanner, revealing enemy units that would otherwise not be visible to the Terran commander. Units in the Sensor’s scanning radius are presented as exclamation points. We first saw this ability in action in the BlizzCon Terran video – watch the video and read our analysis of it here.

Fog of war detection used to be a feature of the Radar Tower, which was the upgraded form of the Sensor Tower. With its role now taken by the Sensor Tower, the Radar Tower may no longer be a part of the game.

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The Sensor Tower fills a very important strategic role which fits the unique style of the Terran race perfectly. The Terrans, masters of unit deployment and positioning, greatly benefit from the ability to acquire real-time intelligence information from the battlefield. A smart Terran player will know how to quickly analyze the gathered information and utilize his units to counter any threat much more effectively.

The Tower’s sensing ability, coupled with its stealth detection capabilities, makes this building a good investment for every Terran player in almost every StarCraft 2 match. We are sure to see them proliferate quickly, starting minutes into every battle.

 

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The Sensor Tower will make the lives of Terran commanders easy early in the game, when tactics that can easily and efficiently cripple a player are usually attempted. The dreaded Reaver Drop may no longer be present in the game (at least, until Blizzard caves in to fan pressure), but other types of sneak attacks – be they from the ground (Reapers), air (Mutalisks) or cloaked (Dark Templars) – will be negated by diverting enough resources to construct Sensor Towers in strategic positions.

The downside to all this multi-spectrum output is that foes can easily detect the presence of a sensor tower and use it to identify the whereabouts of a terran base. Other strategies revolve around “spoofing” the tower with decoy units or simply staying outside its range. Terran commanders have been known to counter by erecting sensor towers in fake base locations just to keep enemies guessing.

Radar capabilities were already present in earlier RTS games, such as Total Annihilation, as we have discussed in our “StarCraft 2 Influences” article. It seems that StarCraft’s implementation is unique, however – the Sensor Tower’s radar seems very limited in range, and only the Terrans have access to it. We are not surprised to see another pre-existing RTS idea perfectly implemented into a Blizzard game, of course.

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