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Surprise, it’s a patch! The newest update to StarCraft 2 is here and it brings with it some of the changes previously announced and a few more surprising ones. While it was scheduled to hit later this year as a part of an “eSports patch”, Blizzard apparently felt it was urgent enough for the game right now, releasing it as a pure balance patch. Here’s the complete list of changes:

General

  • Players will no longer receive achievement toasts while their status is set to “Busy.”
  • The messaging when attempting to load a saved game or replay from a previous version has been clarified
  • Adjusted the amount of points earned and lost by random team participants to properly reflect the strength of a player’s teammates.

PROTOSS

Buildings


Nexus life and shields increased from 750/750 to 1000/1000.

Void Ray

  • Damage level 1 increased from 5 to 6 (+4 armored).
  • Damage level 2 decreased from 10 (+15 armored) to 8 (+8 armored).
  • Flux Vanes speed upgrade bonus decreased from 1.125 to 0.703.

The Protoss Nexus’ hitpoint increase is quite likely a means to nerf the dreaded Marauder drop indirectly. Marauders, with their incredible anti-armor bonus damage and Stim ability, make for awesome commando teams: load up a Medivac or two with Marauders, drop them behind the mineral line, Stim up and watch the Nexus go down in blue flames in a few seconds. This mission will now take Terran players 33% more seconds to accomplish.

The Void Ray change is an interesting one. It continues the trend of Void Ray nerfs throughout the beta, further making the charged-up Void less and less of a flying doomsday weapon of laser death – and almost completely nullifying its use in fast “cheese” strategies. On the other hand, it makes the non-charged Void Ray less ineffective, perhaps transforming this unique unit into a more casual weapon. Interestingly enough, against armored targets and without being charged-up, the Void Ray will only begin being less effective than its pre-patch state after 12.6 seconds. Of course, up to this point, Void Rays were rarely sent into battle in their non-charged state, as players would first charge them up on remote buildings, destructible debris, or even their own units.

It will be interesting to see whether the Void Ray finds its niche on the Battlefield, now that its high price doesn’t mean terrible damage but the unit remains so fragile.

TERRAN

Buildings


Barracks requirement changed from Command Center to Supply Depot.
Supply Depot life increased from 350 to 400.

Medivac


Acceleration reduced from 2.315 to 2.25.
Speed reduced from 2.75 to 2.5.

Reaper


Nitro Packs speed upgrade now has a Factory Requirement.

Thor


Energy bar removed.
250mm Strike Cannons is now cooldown-based on a 50-second cooldown. Ability starts with cooldown available (useable immediately after upgrade is researched)

The Medivac, a staple of Terran play and a part of the dreaded M&M&M ball, is getting a small reduction in speed. This change is likely meant to keep the Terran slightly less mobile, as other races often have to utilize their mobility to hit the Terran when their forces aren’t around; it’s hard to go toe-to-toe with the Bioball.

The following video includes a great example of a dying, desperate and broken Terran fighting back with his last immortal Bioball against an almost maxed-out Zerg enemy. And winning.

As previously revealed, the Reaper is getting two nerfs in the form of a delayed Barracks and an even more delayed speed upgrade. Here’s what we wrote about the issue when it was first discussed:

Despite being completely ignored by players in the mid and late game, the Reaper is slated to be hit with more early-game nerfs. While on paper, Reapers have the potential to be great economy harassers and tech-deniers, their extreme fragility makes even the puniest defensive measure a prohibitive obstacle – and these can be found anywhere beyond the first few minutes of a game. It’s unclear what Blizzard has in store for the Reaper, but for now, it will definitely see a lot less play.

ZERG

Buildings

  • Hatchery life increased from 1250 to 1500.
  • Lair life increased from 1800 to 2000.
  • Spawning Pool life increased from 750 to 1000.
  • Spire life increased from 600 to 850.
  • Ultralisk Cavern life increased from 600 to 850.

Corruptor

Energy bar removed.
Corruption is now cooldown-based on a 45-second cooldown. Ability starts with cooldown expired (must wait for full 45-second cycle before usable).

Infestor

Fungal Growth now prevents Blink.

Roach

Range increased from 3 to 4.

As promised, the Zerg are getting the better end of the deal with this new patch. Their buildings will now be more resilient, the fragile tech buildings less deniable by other races.

Fungal Growth will now prevent Stalkers from Blinking, as well as Siege Tanks from Sieging, Vikings from transforming, and units from Burrowing. The added Roach range adds a new dimension of play to these units, which can now compete with other ranged units much more efficiently, be used in masses without loss of firepower in the back lines, and break down chokes with added ease. After all the Roach nerfs throughout development, these hardened Zerg bugs are finally catching a break.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where players could not cast the Feedback spell on Point Defense Drones.
  • Fixed an issue where the Phoenix would continue to channel Graviton Beam after the target died.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause Larvae to spawn and be hidden behind Zerg eggs.
  • Fixed an issue where players were unable to navigate to the Single Player page or watch replays after canceling map downloads from the queue.
  • Fixed a desync that could occur on user-created maps with custom mod dependencies.

Another interesting change today is to the Corruptor and Thor, both having their mana pool stripped and their abilities put on cooldown instead. Since both units have only one ability, which – especially for the Thor – are not easily cast, it makes sense to remove their mana pool altogether. This change mainly affects the Protoss High Templar, since its Feedback ability can no longer one-shot Corruptors or halve the lives of Thors who don’t even have their ability researched.

Overall, it appears that this patch furthers Blizzard’s agenda to make the game more “carebear-friendly”, removing more early game “cheese” strategies and making sure low-level players aren’t abused by them – even if they were never much of a problem in high-level and professional play.

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