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Karunology: New Concept Art, Warp Rays Firing While Moving

Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, has been active on the forums lately, posting bits and pieces of new information about StarCraft 2.

First, Karune posted concept art pictures from two, now-cut units from StarCraft 2, and one picture of the evolution of one of those.

FirebatMarauder

* Click for big

This is the original art concept for the Firebat, which is operating a small mechanized armor. The Marauder has slipped into the Firebat’s old shell, keeping most of its armor, but replacing the flame weapons with grenade launchers.

Next up: can you guess which cut unit this concept art picture belongs to?

Purifier

This is the Purifier, the old name for the now-defunct Soul Hunter. Perhaps if the Soul Hunter had been this magnificent in-game it would not have been cut.

Next, another old concept art picture:

Ultralisk

The Ultralisk originally had spiny tentacles, as Karune mentions, and as this picture illustrates so well. The spines, which apparently flailed around randomly, skewering marines in their path, were eventually cut due to the random nature of their damage output, which doesn’t fit StarCraft’s professional, competitive nature.

Karune further promises that during Blizzard’s upcoming mega-event, BlizzCon 2008, new artwork changes will be shown. Specifically, he mentions a “planned community event around the Dark Templar in which we hope to get much feedback about the models in-game of these units“.

Finally, an interesting change to the Warp Ray has been described by Karune:

Yes, the Warp Ray can fire while moving. Once it begins firing at a target, the Warp Ray will follow the target if it begins to move, keeping at a close proximity since the Warp Ray’s range is currently quite short.

The Warp Ray, whose beam increases in intensity and damage output the longer it is being focused on a target, currently has a relatively short range for its devastating attack. To compensate for the cut in weapons range, which used to be quite long, and to make it harder for units to break away and eliminate the Warp Ray’s deadly lock, the Warp Ray will be able to keep firing at its target while it’s moving – even if it means it has to follow it itself.

Warp Rays

This means that the only way to avoid the Warp Ray’s damage barrage is to destroy the Warp Ray itself. This eliminates an aspect of micromanagement, in which the player would constantly move his units out of the Warp Ray’s range to avoid its attack, just as it’s gaining focus. Fast units would probably still be able to outrun the Warp Ray, but these are not the units that should fear the Warp Ray’s attack – its juicer targets, units and buildings which possess many hit points, generally move very slowly.

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13 Comments to “Karunology: New Concept Art, Warp Rays Firing While Moving”


  1. Battlarmd — August 8, 2008 @ 10:55 pm

    the protosss air force appears to lack range… doesn’t it seems? Phoenix’s special ability is close range, not the warp ray lost its range too…

    hmmm…

  2. Anonymuzz — August 9, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

    I’ve thought ever since they revealed it that the Warp Ray was almost too wicked. Even with the range removal, it still a isn’t very slow and should be able to keep up with any of the big targets that it was made to kill.

    I’m curious to know how fragile the Warp Ray is though. It’d be really frustrating to have it locked on to a vital building and find that your entire mobile force or defense force isn’t enough to take it down quickly.

    The other thing that I’d like to know is the build time and cost of the Warp Ray, how easy it will be to resume the attack on a key building.

  3. Kent — August 9, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    Protoss lacks long range bombardment.

    terrans has seige tanks / thor / yamato to clear defense lines of cannons and stuff.

    Zerg has guardians. (unless they change their range.)

    Protoss has none. Use to have reaver, but now the longest range is colossus, which doesn’t even hits hard. (splash on multiple target with their new laser.)

    Protoss will likely face HEAVY causalties when fighting a terran push. I believe protoss needs an upgraded reaver brought back to their arsenal. (or any form of long range, slow firing, heavy damage attack)

  4. Yokelassence — August 9, 2008 @ 7:12 pm

    I wouldnt say the Protoss are totally helpless

    Carriers can hit from distance, mothership can cast time bomb spells over a distance, immortals can ford their way through bombardments, stalkers can blink their way closer…

  5. Lipton — August 10, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

    Yeah Carriers always had long range, and also note that you can use that very mechanism as a tactic. Lure a Warp-ray with a small unit into a group of smaller units to kill it. The Protoss player will have to micromanage that Wary-Ray away from getting killed.

  6. Lipton — August 10, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

    If anything I think it adds a bit more micromanagement on the side of the Protoss player, while changing the micro of the other player from moving the his units away from getting killed into moving the Toss players Warp-ray into his own troops

  7. Actually... — August 11, 2008 @ 5:44 am

    Carrier range was very limited when I played the demo. The carrier ability also seems… well, maybe I just don’t know how to use it well.

    and yes, don’t bet on the warp-ray helping you blow up any defense system at a distance, but I think they are playing with the hp of warp-ray and their range still… blizz will get it right… somehow…

    but yeah.. I will stick with terrans. Protoss plays VERY differently now, in SC1, protoss troops usually suffer the least causality of the 3 races in any given situation. Now.. that goes to Terrans, protoss is all about warping-in DTs with phase prisms.

    Don’t count on your templar against Terrans, you will be SO F-ing frustrated at being sniped every turn, not to mention siege tanks out range you. Immortals are cool, but any good terrans comes with Marines, oh-hell, even Vikings kick their asses, immortals are only good for absorbing some seige-tank hits while your zealots rush in with the speed-rush thing.

  8. Actually... — August 11, 2008 @ 5:49 am

    But on the note, I don’t want the reaver back.

    However, seeing a new toss unit that can hit a longer range of heavy damage will be cool. The reaver sacrab thing had always pissed me off somehow.

    Or maybe give that Long range bombardment thing to the Mothership, and viola, you have a mothership that players will actually use.

  9. Joe — August 13, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

    I’m not sure I like the warp ray’s short range + attack while moving + damage ramp over time combination.

    In my head it feels like it would be better to have a longer range + stationary so that you can use them in siege or defense. If they increase the speed of the unit to make the attack while moving more effective, I’m anticipating the same experience as chasing my mouse cursor after rouge corsairs that run off trying to kill retreating units.

    Also the beam graphic looks kind of busy! Hehe, Peck, peck, peck!

    Ultralisk + tenticles concept is funny :P

  10. JMM — August 14, 2008 @ 3:01 am

    No, I don’t like this version of the warp ray. I prefer the long range warp ray that can’t chase it’s prey.

  11. Battlarmd — August 14, 2008 @ 5:18 am

    ditto.

    a short range attack while moving warp ray feels… kinda silly.

    I would MUCH rather have the warp ray with a respectable range, so the unit can double up as a bit of a seige device… right now… the unit has one use, chase big cars.

  12. Joe — August 14, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

    Actually, the short range + attack while moving function might be better suited to a new protoss scout, using its machine gun attack.

    The Scout previously had the machine guns for ground attacks, and heavy missles for air attacks. The missles were good for hunting down carriers, but overall the scout was a rarely used unit because it was more expensive than it was effective. Maybe the new scout could have it’s machine gun attack for air and ground, as well as being cheap and useful for scouting?

    The machine guns might be more appropriate for the terrans, so perhaps the new scout could be similar in both appearance and attack to the small alien fighter crafts in Independance day? (minus Will Smith of course!)

  13. ninja — April 4, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    Star Craft ROCKS

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