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StarCraft 2 has just received its first major patch. While several mini-fixes had been released over the course of the last two months, Blizzard has saved all the balance changes for this one. Staying surprisingly true to the Situation Report, the patch contained virtually no deviations from the plans revealed back in August – a clear indication of the amount of testing that went into the patch.

You can find the full original patch documentation (which includes many minor tweaks) here. In this post, we’ll go over the more meaningful parts of this update.

General Changes

•    A new game clock has been added. Players can now instantly see how long they’ve been in their current mission or match. This feature can be turned on or off in the Gameplay Options menu.

Notice the Game Timer on the very left - next to the Map

This small addition has a great potential. Many players learning and perfecting certain builds already use timers to know exactly when they should push out or what to expect from the enemy at any moment given intelligence gathered before. Integrating a timer into the game allows everyone to incorporate this extra piece of information into their game instead of relying on intuition.

The following balance changes are identical to those mentioned in the situation report released last month. Our analysis of the changes can be found here.

Protoss Balance Changes

Zealot • Build time increased from 33 to 38. • Warp Gate cooldown increased from 23 to 28.

As Blizzard mention in their report:

Zealot rushes are currently too powerful at various skill levels, particularly those that rely on rapidly assaulting an enemy base from nearby “proxy” gateways. We feel the window players have to scout for and fend off this rush is too small. We also want to address the problem of protoss being able to dump minerals a bit too quickly with the combination of warpgates and Chrono Boost.

Terran Balance Changes

Battlecruiser Ground damage decreased from 10 to 8. • Bunker Build time increased from 30 to 35. • Reaper Build time increased from 40 to 45.

….we have decided to increase the build time of reapers as well from 40 to 45 seconds. Fast reaper + bunker, or fast marine + bunker rushes are problematic against zerg.

Siege Tank • Siege mode damage changed from 50 to 35 (+15 armored). • Upgrade damage changed from +5 to +3 (+2 armored).

Zerg Balance Changes

Ultralisk •Ram ability removed. Ultralisk will now use normal attack against buildings. • Damage decreased from 15 (+25 armored) to 15 (+20 armored).

The adjustment to Ultralisk’s attack is a bigger boost than it may seem at first glance. Check out the following video to fully appreciate the implications of applying an AoE effect to a building attack.

This newly introduced “mechanic”  has already been acknowledged as a bug, however, and will be fixed soon.

Bug Fixes

Battle.net

• Chat windows no longer vanish when exiting a multiplayer map or campaign mission. • Fixed an issue where players would still receive toasts when their status was set to busy.

Custom Games

• Default race in a game lobby is now properly set to Random. • Lobby hosts will now receive a toast when an invited player declines an invitation.

Gameplay

• If a unit loads into a transport, missiles targeting it will no longer target similar units in the area.

• Fixed an issue where builders waiting for an area to clear could block units trying to leave the area.

Interface

• Queue tooltips now display information about what is in progress.

Marines trained at multiple Barracks will now prefer a Barracks with a Reactor over one with a Tech Lab or no attachment.


• SCVs will now load into the closest Command Center if multiple are within range.

Check out the rest of the changes, dealing with the editor and detailing many small fixes, here. Along the detailed changes, we’ve noticed some other modifications to the game, in the form of many updates to existing icons for abilities and upgrades:

New Icon Examples - Recognize the Units?

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