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Zerg Attack Follow Up: Karune Responds

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Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, has clarified some issues and answered questions regarding yesterday’s new screenshots featuring the Zerg swarm.

First, Karune discusses the Baneling in response to a few questions:

An expected question was asked: Will the Banelings’ splash damage affect friendly units, like the Goblin Sappers of WarCraft III?

Currently, the Banelings’ attack does not harm friendly units, adding to their deadliness. This of course may be subject to change in the future to maintain balance.

Luckily for the Swarm and their allies, their units are immune to the Baneling’s corrosive acids. This sounds like a good idea from a gameplay standpoint, since many Zerg units are small and more vulnerable to splash damage attacks. Including Banelings in a Zergling swarm would otherwise do more harm than good.

Luckily for these Zerglings, they are immune to the Baneling's explosion

In case you weren’t sure that this green explosion is a Baneling’s doing, Karune confirms:

If you are referring to the blobs of green in the first screenshot, those are the exploded corpses of the Banelings. Those creatures are currently quite the melee killers in StarCraft II.

Lastly, an interesting comment prompted another reply from Karune:

Fill a few overlords with banelings and drop them into a peon line to instantly destroy all their peons and cripple their economy. Not even a few cannons/turrets will halt this strategy.

 

Unless I don’t fully understand how the banelings function (do they operate on a timer?), I predict most zerg players will opt for this strategy.

 

You are absolutely correct, this is one of the best economy raiding strategies at the moment for Zerg. If you can get some Banelings into the enemy’s peon line, you can significantly stifle their economy, as well as force them into a defensive minded mentality. Nonetheless, there are counters to this, such as if you are playing Terrans, you can upgrade your Command Center to a Planetary Fortress, thus defending your economy from light raids. Luckily, those Banelings have very little hit points, and are easy to kill with ranged weapons.

To summarize: The Banelings’ explosion does not affect their allies, but it is extremely deadly to melee attackers who can’t kill the Banelings (which have little health) before they get to exploding range.

Karune has also answered a question on a completely different subject. This is the type of question that gets asked repeatedly on Battle.net. We’re not sure why he decided to answer this one, but we’re glad he did.

can we expect a new graphical change to SC2 ?

 

i mean, will we have a kind of grapics change like there was with the SC1 pre alpha alpha/ beta ? because that was huGE !

 

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I think you can expect changes. How much and how huge those changes are will be a matter of opinion.

 

 

The team has heard some feedback from the community that is concerned that the look of SC2 is too “colorful” and that more “realistic” color choices would be more in keeping with the original StarCraft. We saw a lot of these types of posts early on after we made the announcement.

 

 

I just spoke to Sam Didier (our Art Director) about this issue and he tells me that in order to make the units read well we have added A LOT of team color which really blows the units out and makes them look super-colored especially with the brighter colors (red, blue). The art team plans to take one or more passes over all the units in the game to try to balance out team color so it still works for game play but looks less bright and more in keeping with the original StarCraft. Changes to the over-all look to the game are always an option and the team is always tuning and trying to balance out the look of the game.

This is one thing that Blizzard is not going to screw up. To remain a competitive game, StarCraft 2 will have playability as its first priority – it will certainly not be hindered by graphics. As well, we’ve already seen the developers changing unit designs after receiving community feedback.

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