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Post-Zerg Q&A and Interview with Blizzard Developers

Incgamers has conducted a very informative interview with Blizzard’s top developers: Dustin Browder (Lead Designer), Chris Sigaty (Lead Producer) and Samwise Didier (Art Director). They ask some important questions and receive detailed responses. Here are the major highlights:

The Mothership seems like an extremely powerful unit, are there any counters to it?

 

Sure! It has been changed significantly since BlizzCon. You can use Corruptors, Hydras, Vikings or Phoenixes, depending on your race. It is a unit that you only should build if you have air superiority, as it can relatively easily be defeated if you can’t defend it. It is not a unit you make unless you have air superiority as it will be run over. You wouldn’t choose to make a Mothership without backup.

The Mothership has clearly not been designed to be cost-effective in battle, unless it is able to survive long enough to make good use of its powerful abilities. The Mothership will probably not be used by smart players unless the player is confident of his air superiority or in his the ability to repel direct attacks against the Mothership. Such problematic design might condemn it to the role of a mere coup de grace unit, a common fault in RTS games.

Protoss Mothership

Are there any changes to Creep as such?

 

Creep has the same functionality as before, besides the new graphics, and how it spreads.

Creep, unlike in StarCraft 1, can now spread through ramps between different height levels.

The Queen seems very much like a Hero Unit, like in WarCraft III, is that the meaning of the Queen?

 

The Queen can die just like any other unit, and isn’t “resurrected” like Heroes of WarCraft III. If she dies you need to make a new Queen and upgrade her again, to the former unit’s strength. While she definitely isn’t invincible, she can easily take on an Ultralisk for example. She is mainly a really good base defence as she can heal a building for 100 HP very fast early on, and do it several times. What can happen is that your opponent start hammering your building, taking the HP all the way down, and then it’s up all of a sudden, so they might have to beat it down several times. During this time, they could possibly already be dead from the other base defences, or that the Queen’s player have time to do some other action.

 

Her Deep Tunnel ability makes it possible to escape most dangerous attacks, by just tunnelling to another building, or tunnel between bases. Still, you should be careful with that, as it will be 15 seconds before she can use that ability after it has been activated. In worst case you might find yourself loosing the Queen as you got attacked at a bad time. You’ll find that the Queen can be used in offensive action, but she is better designed for defence, as she walks slowly, and her abilities require creep or buildings, like making poisonous creep.

The Queen is tough enough to fight small forces and even powerful units, like the Ultralisk, but due to her cost and the fact that the Zerg rely on her for some of their most important abilities, it’s better to quickly tunnel away from battle rather than try to engage anything more than a minor enemy company.

The Queen and her babies

What is the Overlord’s new role in StarCraft as it doesn’t transport or detect?

 

The Overlord can also be mutated into an Overseer, to give you detection. They currently have the ability to slowly increase their sight radius as long as they remain stationary, so you can see more. If you move with the Overseer, you will loose the sight you got by staying stationary, and will have to regain it slowly when it stops again. The main reason the Overlord/Overseer was split is to make cloak more useful, as the Zerg are somewhat “detectorific” if they just send a bunch of Overlords with their units. This way it matters a bit more with cloaking and detection.

The Zerg of StarCraft 1 had what amounted to free detection. Since Overlords were abundant, cloaked attacks were rare (compared to the other races) unless a specific effort was made to get rid of the Overlords first. The Overseer, especially with the new sight radius increase mechanic, provides both a fairer and a more interesting approach to detection for the Zerg.

Can Corruptors corrupt any unit on the field? For instance, can they corrupt a Mothership?

 

Yes, they can corrupt any flying unit. It depends on the unit’s HP regarding on how long it takes to corrupt it, but all units can be corrupted.

Which race do you feel has changed the most since the original?

 

The Protoss maby? That is the race we feel has had the most success in development, and currently feel the most developed and most “crisp”. It is really hard to say. You guys are the ones that really should tell us about these things!

That’s how we at the SC2Blog feel as well. The Protoss have been by far the most “stable” race, and we can safely expect that Blizzard is doing all it can to bring the Terran and Zerg to the same level of “crispness” prior to releasing the beta…

Immortals

 

Next up, three GameTrailers interviews with Chris Sigaty [1|2|3]. Here are the highlights:

  • Blizzard is experimenting with even faster game speeds than the StarCraft 1 “Fastest” setting.
  • When the Blizzard strategy team started making StarCraft 2, they decided to remove the hero system of WarCraft III and other mechanics that were added to that game in order to keep franchises separate. They wanted to go back to the “micro heavy, huge army fighting of StarCraft, with more base management“.
  • The team did learn a lot from WarCraft III, and added a plenty of UI and battle.net features into StarCraft 2.
  • “The ability for players to easily get into matches is key”
  • We have a beta coming up and we look forward to seeing feedback

And we are looking forward to showing it to you, Chris.

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