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One week after the introduction of its sworn enemy – the Terran Sensor Tower, this week’s update features the Protoss Observer.

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

Builds From: Robotics Facility
Armament: None
Role: Scout

These small drones are employed to survey vast wasteland areas or observe and record battles for study within the protoss archives. Their complex sensor array leaves little energy for defenses, but they can detect cloaked or concealed enemies with ease. This ability makes observers invaluable auxiliary units on the battlefield.

observer-thumb2.jpg
* Click for big

The Observer is a very specialized support unit. It has no means of actively affecting the battlefield – it completely lacks any form of attack, and has no special abilities. Observers only have two, very important features:

* Detection.

* Large sight radius.

These features make the Observer a great unit to have in abundance. A smart commander will have Observers positioned in strategic locations, both as intelligence gatherers and as defensive detectors for Protoss bases and army concentrations. In StarCraft 1, upgrades from the Observatory also provided the Observers with increased speed and an increased sight radius, allowing them to cover huge areas of the battlefield.

observer-thumb1.jpg

* Click for big

Of course, these abilities would be a lot less effective if the Observer didn’t have another passive ability: Cloaking. Since the Observer is a small unit that lacks an attack, it can remain permanently hidden from sight. This allows players to keep many of them around the battlefield, acting as eyes in the sky for Protoss commanders, while staying relatively safe from harm. The Observers are very fragile units, and since they function as the Protoss’ only mobile detectors, their microcloaking fields are essential for offensive operations.

The only drawback to this unique unit is that it required the Robotic Facility, coupled with an Observatory, to be built. Many Protoss builds left these buildings out completely, preventing players from taking advantage of the best detector/intelligence gathering unit in the game. Will the StarCraft 2 Observer become more available? According to the most recent tech-tree we have, the situation won’t be very different – it requires both the Robotic Facility and Null Circuit to be built.

protosstechtree.jpg
* Click to see Tech Tree

    

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