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Q&A 21: The Sound of 150 Nomads Casting Auto-Turret

Keep it coming, Karune! Only a day after publishing three new, explosive pictures, batch #21 of the Q&A sessions has been posted on Battle.net. As usual, we get a glimpse into the world of StarCraft 2 development and see a few of our questions answered.

The Chat with Devs section deals with the new Terran Nomad ability that’s been revealed yesterday, the stationary “Auto-Turret“:

Chat with Devs: Since the Terran Ghost has an upgradable EMP ability, the Terran Nomad’s has been given the ability to create stationary defenses in addition to its Defense Matrix ability. One of the new stationary defenses is the Auto-Turret, which can attack ground units, and this unit be seen on this screenshot:

Protoss Vs Terran

We are hoping the Nomad’s new abilities will innovate its role, in addition to being a detector.

Here’s what Karune had to say about these turrets:

Karune: The turrets are dropped by the Nomad (using energy), acting as decent defenses, and even better harassment, if used by a skilled player.

It looks like the Nomad has a nicely defined role on the battlefield as the ultimate support unit. A company of stimmed Marines will greatly benefit from an increased survival time under the Defensive Matrix, while the Auto-Turret ability supplies additional firepower where needed – perhaps when the Nomad detects a pack of approaching Dark Templars.

The only question left right now is – will it also get Irradiate?

A Dark Templar taking his last, poisonous breath...


On to the questions:

1. Do you have any plan to put the auto-casting ability into StarCraft II units, just like in Warcraft III?


At the moment, Medics are the only units that we have deemed fit to have an auto-cast ability. StarCraft II, compared to Warcraft III, has fewer abilities but are much more potent when executed properly, thus making them manual cast will give players a huge opportunity to demonstrate much skill in the game.

This question and its variants have been appearing in Q&As since the dawn of time (ok, maybe not that far back). StarCraft fans are understandably worried about auto-casting and its effect on the skill required to play the game. So far, the Terran Medic is the only smart unit on the battlefield when it comes to automatically casting spells and intelligently interpreting orders. What about Auto-Repair for SCVs?

2. Would you make it possible for players on observing mode to check various information including a mini map, upgrading status, and resource status on a personal window? If not, would you consider developing this function?


These are all great ideas and we will work to get these in for observing mode. We will be working hard to have the observing mode innovative and comprehensive, building upon all the features that were in our previous RTS titles, as well as other titles in the market.


3. Will the story of StarCraft II be continued right from where the original StarCraft story ended? Or, will it begin at the moment after some amount of time passed since the last time of the original StarCraft?


The StarCraft II storyline will continue 4 years after the events of Brood War.

Isn’t this common knowledge by now? Maybe Blizzard can try putting up a sticky FAQ post with some basic information. Remember our take on the events that caused the 4 years hiatus between wars?


Four Years of Peace - The Real Reason

4. It is not possible to watch how a mouse was moved in a saved replay game. Could you make this possible to see the movement of mouse?


We would also like the mouse to be viewable in saved replays, however, it may be more likely that well have the options to show both the view of the players playing as well as selection icons of the units being currently selected in the replay.


5. When grouping units to a control group, how many units could be added to one group?


Currently, players are able to select more than 150 units in a single control group. The final actual number will be determined by hardware performance tests on the game, but should still be close to that number.

Gone are the days of limited selection. A lot has already been said about this issue, which is still the cause of heated debates. This is a huge increase from StarCraft 1, which only allowed up to 12 units to be selected at the same time.



6. Players often tend to stack up workers and air units looking as one group in original StarCraft. Will this still be possible in StarCraft II?


In StarCraft II, this is harder to do than in the original StarCraft, but still possible. Units tend to group together more and more with each manual attack order. As long as you keep giving that manual attack order upon a target certain attacking units of the same type will group closer together. When the unit attacked upon is destroyed or the units become idle, they will naturally spread out again.

In StarCraft 1, selecting and giving order to air units along with ground units (even immovable ones, like the Larva) would clump up the air units, allowing them to function as one. This “feature” was sometimes abused to make pinpoint attacks that deal a lot of damage, instantly killing units, without spreading the attacking forces. It appears that Blizzard has implemented measures to lessen this effect in StarCraft 2, but the final result remains to be seen.


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