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Karunology: Bunker Info, Colossus Mechanics, Medic Abilities

After a couple of posts dealing with map making, Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, is back with some more gameplay-related information, straight from the latest build of StarCraft 2.

A topic that has brought up some concern, revealed in the last gameplay Q&A, is the new abilities-inside-Bunkers mechanic. Here’s a short recap about the new Bunker:

  • Holds and protects 4 infantry units
  • Units inside can use special abilities
  • Can be salvaged like other Terran buildings, enabling an inexpensive “Bunker-Push” strategy

Karune posted some new bits of information about the abilities available inside a Bunker:

The Null Void ability currently prevent units inside bunkers from casting.

 

Repairs can only happen from outside of the bunker.

 

Medics inside bunkers will be able to heal units inside a bunker, but Medics outside of a bunker will not be able to heal units inside a bunker.

While Medics will be able to heal units from the safety of the Bunker, SCVs will not be be allowed do the same for the Bunker itself. Of course, with medics being protected in the Bunker and able to heal SCVs outside of it, the SCVs themselves will receive part of the protection the Bunker offers by extension. Will Medics become the main inhabitants of Bunkers from now on?

A few more important questions remain about the Bunker and the abilities units have inside it, as we have mentioned in the last post. Mainly, whether or not powerful abilities, such as the Ghost‘s Nuclear Launch, will be allowed.

Karune then discusses the Nullifier‘s Null Void ability further. We have voiced our gripe about its unintuitive effect on burrowed units in the past, and this answer doesn’t serve to elucidate the matter.

Null Void only stops abilities that costs energy, which does not include abilities mentioned above, such as Blink, Overload, Repair, and Build Interceptor. On the other hand, Null Void will act as a detector, allowing cloaked units to be seen in its area of effect.

The Null Void ability will not affect “innate” abilities that facilitate the core function of a unit. The Burrow ability is an exception: it does not require energy, meaning Null Void should not have an effect on it. On the other hand, it does count as a contingent cloaking mechanism, although an obviously non-psi/technological one. Allowing Null Void to reveal burrowed units would make this ability more magical than technological – making its name, and its use in StarCraft 2, somewhat unfitting.

 

Moving on, Karune explains the changes the Colossus has recently gone through in greater detail:

The current attack is a modification of the original beam attack. Visually, it fires a wide beam on the battlefield, able to kill 5 Zerglings standing in a row horizontal to the Colossus.

 

In terms of micro, you will be more focused on not ‘clumping’ your units together, rather than any actual dodging. The beam fires at one time and will not be a moving beam from one side to another.

Some more info about the Colossus’ ability to walk over buildings:

The Colossus can currently walk over smaller buildings such as Supply Depots, but not over large buildings such as Command Centers. At the end of the day, what the Colossus will or will not be able to walk over will be determined through balance.

 

Lastly, Karune reveals another Medic ability and its effect and gameplay use:

Medics in StarCraft II currently have an area of effect Flare ability (50 Energy), which allows the player to see an area near the Medic. This Flare will not act as a detector, but is great for attaining vision of high ground to spot for the Siege Tank, allowing it to hit targets otherwise not targetable.

Hidden Siege Tank

The StarCraft 1 Medic‘s Flare ability had a different function: blinding enemy units. This ability did not see much use, aside from in virtuoso plays, and has been replaced with something more relevant. Aside from gaining higher-ground vision to allow friendly units to fight back against hidden attackers (remember, StarCraft 2 Siege Tanks no longer reveal their location when attacking), the new Flare also has importance for other abilities:

Q: Is vision needed for Reapers to jump up cliff? If so, does Optic Flare come in handy?

 

Yup, this will be great for Reapers to back door, or in team games for Stalkers to Blink to strategic positions.

Units that can travel through different heights will require vision of higher destinations. This means that for early game Reaper raids, Flare will be absolutely essential – at least until Starports are available and the Terran air force comes into play.

An exception to this rule is the Colossus, which is tall enough to view the higher ground himself:

The Colossus will be able to see on top of cliffs, allowing it to climb up without a ‘spotter.’

Colossi on top

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