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Q&A 32: ScreenCraft, Transporting Allies, Anti-Grav Moved

The 32nd batch of questions and answers is here. This is one of the most important Q&As to date, featuring four new action packed screenshots alongside the usual five answers. The screenshots expose the new artistic direction Blizzard had decided to take with StarCraft 2, and also reveal three new units that have recently been discussed but have yet to be shown.

First up, the new screenshots, followed by important highlights and comparisons to earlier designs:

Screenshot A: Blink Assault


In Blink Assault you can clearly see and feel the new sense of Terran grittiness. Team colors are a bit worn from battle and the metal texture in Terran units and building have been desaturated a bit. In this screenshot you can see Immortals take on the pounding of fortified Siege Tanks with their hardened shields, while the Stalkers blink up on the cliffs for the assault.

* The Terran’s new darker, grittier feel. [Old | New]

Old FactoryNew Barracks

* A new, very impressive Yamato Cannon effect.

New Battlecruiser Yamato Cannon attack


* The Immortal and the Marine receive new, less bulky weapons. [Old | New]


Old ImmortalNew Immortal

Old MarinesNew Marines


Screenshot B: A Lone Outpost


The Terran Army struggles to defend their lone outpost in the scrap yards, fending off a Protoss onslaught just long enough until the Battlecruisers arrive. Though even with their reinforcements, the battle is far from won, as the Protoss also arrive with their fleet of Carriers to counter.

* A new, more brightly colored Twilight Archon engages a Battlecruiser.

Archon versus Battlecruiser

Screenshot C: The Final Push


This screenshot depicts a large counter attack upon a Protoss base responsible for warping in several waves of attacks on Terran outposts. Dropped Siege Tanks bombard the area, while the Jackals torch up the surroundings with their area of effect line attack. Furthermore, the Marauders slow incoming Zealots as the Battlecruisers plasma weapons make short work of them.

* New unit: Marauder, firing off its Concussion Grenades, which have a slowing effect on biological units and a bonus against armored units.


* New unit: Jackal, which is firing a long-range, area of effect flame instead of the purported Rail Gun.


* Levitating High Templars, now overlooking the battle from a very high position.

Levitating High Templars

Screenshot D: Anti-Gravity Back Door


As requested by the community, I have taken a screenshot showing a Dark Templar squad secretly infiltrating the Terrans front lines with the help of the Nullifier and its Anti-Gravity ability (previous moved from the High Templar). The Terrans wont know what hit them until it is too late.

* New unit: Nullifier. Aside from the Force Field, Null Void and Anti-Grav abilities, this unit also has a relatively weak ranged attack. The attack’s effect is an early design, which Karune promises will change and improve.


* The Nullifier, which has received the High Templar’s new Anti-Grav ability, lifts up rocks at the bottom of the ramp, allowing Dark Templars to infiltrate the Terran base. Anti-Grav, which was supposed to compete with Psi-Storm for the High Templar’s energy, has been transferred to the Nullifier in exchange for its old ability, Hallucination.

Anti-Grav in action

* The Zealot receives a much slimmer look, making it appear less like a cartoon character and more like a deadly warrior. [Old | New]

Fat Zealots Ninja Zealots

* The Zealot’s Psi Blades, when not in battle, are turned off.

Resting Zealot


StarCraft 2 has changed a lot since Blizzard first showcased it, almost a year ago, in the WWI event in Korea. Many units have been refined and have had their weapon effects enhanced; the look and feel of both the Terran and the Protoss races have been updated, making their in-game representations closer to the ideal we’ve had in mind since the original StarCraft was first launched.

Blizzard is determined to implement the feedback it gathers during development, and it clearly shows in these new screenshots. Many of the changes we now see are direct consequences of comments fans have made throughout the last months.


Moving on, the standard Q&A batch. First up, a question submitted by the SC2 Blog:

1. Will allies be able to use each others transport/teleportation methods? Marines in Overlords, Zealots in Nydus Worms, etc.. ? (sc2blog.com)


Many of these questions are still being debated within the development team and the final decisions will ultimately be determined through balance. Nonetheless, classic abilities, such as heal by the Terrans, will be usable on allies regardless of faction.

I do not envy the Marine which will have to be transported inside an Overlord…

2. Does the Anti Gravity spell work for your own units? In other words, can you use it to lift up buildings to protect them from an early wave of Zergling? (TheWarCenter.com)


Yes, the Anti Gravity ability can be casted on friendly units and buildings. Also, the Anti Gravity ability has been added to the Nullifier, as the ability has proven much more effective in the earlier parts of the game. Nonetheless, this is still being tested and is subject to change.

As mentioned above, the Anti-Grav ability failed to compete with the deadly and effective Psi-Storm, and has been given to the Nullifier, which now features 3 abilities and a standard ranged attack. Anyhow, casting Anti-Grav on important buildings or on probes to save them from an early rush is an interesting possibility.

Nullifers attack

3. What happens to units who are under a flying building when it falls down? Can you build a building under the building that are flying? and if that is the case, what happens to that building that it is landing on? Get.Yourgun (gosugamers.net)


This is actually a notable design challenge the development team is currently facing with the Anti Gravity ability. Currently, players are not allowed to build buildings under the floating object. When the object does land, it will land on top of whatever unit is under it. For example, if a Supply Depot is lifted up by Anti Gravity and it lands on a Marine when the ability duration is over, it will indeed land on the Marine (but will not cause damage). The Marine can then move out from under that building in the direction of that players choosing. The details around Anti Gravity are still very much in testing. As this is a new ability, many of the details are not finalized.

4. In StarCraft many glitches and near-bugs were discovered with the years passing. Many of them are used regularly and changed the game (Mutalisk stack, patrol-attacking, mineral hopping, Lurker hold, etc). This is and was even more true for other games (bunny hopping in quake or through-floors dmg, etc) and it became part of the identity of the game that people knew about those glitches, learned and mastered them. They became important aspects of the game.
Will any of these bugs make an appearance in StarCraft II, but as intentional features?

– Chosi (Teamliquid.net)


Yes, certain unit characteristics like the firing on the move dynamic of the Mutalisk, as well as stackable flyers will be in StarCraft II. Some of these characteristics may not feel completely the same, as it is a bit tougher to get flying units to stack, it will still be possible. Although it is important to note that not all of these characteristics will be making it back to StarCraft II, there will be plenty of opportunities for players to find new ways to use the units of StarCraft II in creative ways similar to the original.

A question regarding stackable fliers had been asked before. It’s obvious that StarCraft 2 will “feature” its own set of unique glitches – those that are interesting and contribute to the gameplay will remain, while others that can be abused will be patched out. However, since some glitches in StarCraft have become identified with the core of the game, Blizzard will certainly integrate them into StarCraft 2 on purpose.

5. What are the duties of the Blizzard eSports team, and how much will they be responsible for promoting Starcraft II as and eSport?(starfeeder.com)


The eSports team is responsible for developing Blizzards presence in the increasingly popular eSports scene. Their duties include the planning and operation of Blizzard tournaments around the world in places such as Asia, Europe and the United States. They also provide third-party support for the eSports leagues that host both online and live events using Blizzard titles. Additionally, they help provide balance feedback to our development teams based on interaction with professional gamers and response from the eSports community. They will have an integral role in promoting StarCraft II as an eSports as they have done for the previous Blizzard titles.

A lot of information to absorb in this update. With rumors of things to come, the next few days might be even more exciting. The Terran and Protoss races already look amazing; will the Zerg race live up to the standards set by the Terran and Protoss and to the natural hype caused by its late arrival?

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