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This month’s discussion will focus attention on a very specific, if not minor, aspect of the StarCraft 2 gameplay balance – the new and improved Terran Ghost unit.
After September and October’s focus on major and controversial issues, such as the monstrous Mothership and the next generation of the Battle.net system, switching to a discussion about a semi-popular tier 1.5 infantry unit surprised many.

In StarCraft 1, the Ghost’s attributes and abilities made it a non-standard unit on the battlefield. Few players can say that their strategy, against any race, actually included ghosts.

The Ghost’s StarCraft 1 stats are as follows:

Terran Ghost iconHit points : 45
Cost : 25 75

 

Except for cloaking, the Ghost only has two abilities: ghost-lock.gif Lockdown and NukeNuke.
Considering the fact that hitting “Print Screen” is more damaging than the Ghost’s average damage output (10 points of concussive damage coupled with a low rate of fire), deploying a ghost meant relying on its abilities – Lockdown and Nuke, both being usually misplaced tactical anomalies. Neither of the mentioned abilities serve as a standard offensive or defensive tactic for anything. The choice of using a Ghost is often caused by the Terran player’s desperation or utter domination of his opponent.
Conversely, the StarCraft 2 Ghost’s design clearly sets it as a key unit in the Terran infantry arsenal – comparable to the Protoss High-Templar in its versatility, importance and impact.

Karune has included the Ghost’s current stats and a description of its abilities in StarCraft 2:

Mineral Cost: 100 Ghost
Vespene Gas Cost: 100
Supply Cost: 2

Hit Points: 100
Max Energy: 200 (Starts with 50)
Armor: Light
Weapon Damage: 5 (+30 vs Light)
Range: 10
Weapon Speed: Normal

 

  • Cloak 25 Energy (initial) and 1 Energy/Second while Cloaked (Invisibility)
  • EMP 100 Energy (Depletes energy and shields of enemy units within the area of effect)
  • Snipe 25 Energy (Does 50 damage vs. Biological unit + 100 vs. Light Armor and can be used while cloaked)
  • Nuke – Utter destruction of everything but the most fortified structures in large area.
  • Drop pod – Calling down units from the sky.

The amount of abilities and the potential impact a well used Ghost can have on the battlefield reminds us of the Heroes of WarCraft III. A unit that serves as an invisible assassin with AoE spells and the ability to call down reinforcements puts the StarCraft 2 Terran Ghost on the opposite side of the tactical spectrum from its StarCraft 1 counterpart. The StarCraft 2 Ghost appears to be so versatile, that few Terran commanders will not find the unit useful.

Karune has published 4 standard questions :

Battle.net Questions for Fans:

 

* Do you like the new StarCraft II Ghost?
* Will the new Ghost change your strategy?
* How would you utilize the Ghost?

* Additional Feedback you would like to give?

And we would also like to ask a few questions of our own:

1) Do you find such an amount of abilities fit for a single infantry unit ?
2) How do you feel about the removal of Lockdown ?
3) EMP + Nuke effectively means total annihilation to Protoss bases – should one of these abilities be given to a different unit?
4) What do you think about splitting the Ghost abilities into two exclusive – EMP & Snipe OR Drop pods & NukesBattlecruiser style upgrades ?

    

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