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StarCraft 2 Q&A 19: Exploding Doodads and Protoss Nutrition

Another normal Q&A session this week. A few interesting topics, but no central theme.

Chat with Devs: Since the Terran Cobra took over the Protoss Stasis Orbs slowing attack, the Protoss Orb got a few new abilities including the Force Field ability. This will be very interesting for early team games, as you can use a force field on a choke point to keep an opponent’s teammate from arriving to help their allies. The Devs are testing out various abilities on different units as you can see, and even the Templar has received its classic Hallucination ability back.

Very interesting news for Protoss players. Hallucination wasn’t a widely used spell, but it sure was fun to use occasionally, and fans have repeatedly pleaded for its return. The Force Field ability, which used to belong to the Templar, has now been transferred to the Star Relic Statis Orb. However, since Blizzard told us that the Statis Orb was removed from the game just two weeks ago, we are left to wonder what role it has on the battlefield at this moment.

It is also important to note that Hallucination had already been a Star Relic ability at one point.

1. Will the Protoss be getting any mechanism for healing their units or repairing their buildings?


There are no plans to give the Protoss any healing abilities, especially since their shield regeneration rate when out of combat, is more than twice the rate of the original StarCraft.

It looks like StarCraft 2 is shaping up to become an even faster paced game than the original. With the Terran’s “smarter” medics, and the Protoss’s improved shield regeneration, we are looking forward to see where evolution has taken the Zerg.

2. With the new physics engine, can explosions affect surroundings? (like hurt or push units, destroy doodads, etc ) (sc2blog.com)


Explosions will not be able to push units, but they can destroy doodads. In fact, destroying certain doodads will be vital on certain maps, to get access to expansions or other strategic locations. Furthermore, explosions will not be able to push units because it would affect gameplay and balance negatively, in having units be knocked off cliffs, be stuck in unplanned locations, or ultimately have units disoriented where the player cannot control them.

Physical effects have been affecting the RTS gameplay for many years. The Havok engine is making appearances in many recent games, which have been using the advanced physics simulation to create very innovative gameplay mechanics. Blizzard’s games usually implement more precise mechanics, which leave little room for random occurances, and StarCraft 2 will not be an exception.

However, the revelation regarding the destroyable doodads is new and interesting. Along with island expansions which rely on air transporting, new kinds of expansions, which will require a specific technology level, may appear in maps. A Terran player might need access to Siege Tank weaponry before being able to shoot his way through to a yellow-mineral expansion.


Thank you for answering our question again, Blizzard!

3. How long does a unit typically take to make from concept to playable unit?


With a finished concept piece, it could take from a few days to a few months, to create it for the game. Much of this time depends on the priority of the unit amongst other development goals, as well as the iterations necessary to perfect the unit. The Zerg Baneling is an example of a unit that took only a few days to complete after the concept, whereas the Protoss Stalker has gone through several iterations, and has taken 4-5 months.


4. Are the units on the official site finalized, or is everything still up for grabs at this point? (gamereplays.org)


We are still heavily in the development phase of StarCraft II, thus none of the units on the website are 100% final. We are also still testing out several new units, abilities, and mechanics, to create the most fluid StarCraft II experience.

It seems like Blizzard is trying to get this idea across unsuccessfully, as it appears in Q&As and other official statements very often. We’ll try to help: Nothing is final until the game is released.

5. What do the Protoss eat? (where do they get energy and mass?) (starcraftcz.com)


Protoss gain nutrition from sunlight, or at a pinch, moonlight (which is just reflected sunlight anyway) by absorbing through their skins. They can go for extended periods without absorbing sunlight. What little moisture they need is also absorbed through their skin.

Don’t they need any actual substance besides water? Organisms that rely on the sun as a source of energy usually use this energy to fixate carbon – absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and chemically transform it into sugar, making them Autotrophs. Are they plant-like in that regard, or are they magical, fairy-tale beings? Do we dare investigate this pulp-fiction matter any further?


This topic has spawned a thread on the battle.net forums: Are the Protoss considered plants?

That’s it for this week’s Q&A batch. If any of our readers have questions they want answered by Blizzard, post them in the comments or in our forums and as always, we’ll try our best to get them answered.

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