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StarCraft 2 Q&A 38: Offensive Creeping, Surviving Psi-Storms

Today’s Q&A, posted by Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, contains a whopping nine questions. No other special sections are included, however – not even the usual Chat with Devs. The wealth of answers, which Karune continues to supply throughout the thread, makes up for it.

1. If the Roach is hit by any spell like “plague” or “psi storm,” something that reduces hit points per second, will this be negated by its HP regeneration, or result in fewer hit points gained per second for the duration of the spell?


To clarify, a Roach regenerates at a set rate and Psi Storm does a set amount of damage at intervals in the area of effect. Put that Roach under a Psi Storm in the current build for the full duration and the Roach will have approximately 50% of its original health after the Psi Storm is over. With a new upgrade ability at the Hive which allows the Roach to have an even more increased regeneration rate, the Roach will emerge from a full duration of Psi Storm at approximately 80% of its original health.

Psi Storms tearing it up

Karune adds this later in the thread:

Psi Storm hits both ground and air. Also, I wanted to add to question 1 that Roaches seem very strong with their regeneration, but with even a little bit of micro management, they are pretty easy to kill. In theory crafting, they seem much stronger than they actually are, though you must counter them with either very specific units of spend additional micromanagement time on them. Siege Tanks, Stim Packed Marines, Stalkers, Immortals, Dark Templars, Hydras, and any air to ground unit, are all effective at killing Roaches with a little micromanagement.

Here’s what we know about Roach so far:

  • Has 90 hitpoints
  • Regenerate 15 hitpoints per second, allowing it to return to full health in 6 seconds
  • Is useful against units with slow attacks that don’t deal a lot of damage with a single hit
  • Can survive the full brunt of a Psi-Storm and quickly shrugs off the effect of Plague
  • Has an upgrade that dramatically increases regenerated hitpoints per second
  • Started as a melee attacker, but currently has an anti-ground ranged attack

The Roach, in accordance with its name, is a pest that’s hard to kill. While it will likely not pose a huge threat – its ranged attack will not be very powerful – it will require special effort to be rid of.

Roaches on the loose

2. Will Starcraft 2’s heroes showcase new models for each hero, or will SCII follow in SC:BW’s footsteps, leaving heros as normal units with improved stats?


StarCraft II Heroes will have unique models in game, which will be different than standard units.

Since Blizzard knows how hated multiplayer heroes are by some StarCraft fans, Karune quickly adds this bit:

As additional clarification to question 2, StarCraft II Heroes will only be available in the Single Player Campaign and in user created maps. They will not be available in the default multiplayer version of the game.

3. Will the ranking/experience system that Terran units used to have be available in the Map Editor as on option in Starcraft 2?


We will try to have this feature in.

4. Will it be possible to change (cancel, tie up, etc.) alliance during multiplayer game?


Yes, players will be able to have all the original diplomacy features as the original StarCraft and possibly a few extras in regards to controlling units and spending ally resources.

In reply to a concern about back stabbing in ladder games, Karune clarifies:

Teams will be locked in ladder games.

5. Will StarCraft 2 feature new map tile sets and will any from StarCraft be removed?


Many of the original map tile sets such as Mar Sara, Char, Shakuras, and Space Platform will be back in StarCraft II, as well as a few additional ones including a new Shattered City tile set.

6. What creature did the Zergling gain the inspiration to evolve into a Baneling from?


The idea of the Baneling didnt actually come from a certain creature. In actuality, it started from the need of something to fill the role of a ground-based, area-of-effect, suicide unit. To give added versatility to the Zergling, they had the Baneling evolve from the Zergling at tier 1 in current builds. For a suicide unit, the art team then took that idea and created a creature with huge sacs of volatile liquids, which you can see on the Banelings in StarCraft II screenshots.


7. Can you provide more details on the Reaper’s mine ability? How much damage does it do? Is it effective vs. both units and buildings? Is it detectable without stealth detection? What’s the cooldown on it?


The Reapers mines currently do 30 damage plus 30 additional damage to armored units (including buildings). These mines are not stealthed, have a 30 second cooldown period between uses, and are definitely small enough to make focus firing on them very difficult. In the current build, an upgrade is needed to allow the use of mines by Reapers.

Reaper Mine questions have been abundant recently. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Unlimited in use
  • Do not require mana, instead relying on a 30 second cooldown
  • Deal splash damage
  • Can harm friendly units and buildings
  • Inflict 30 base damage + 30 to armored units and buildings
  • Are visible, but small and hard to target quickly
  • Have little hitpoints and can quickly be destroyed
  • Can be hidden by troops that move over them, allowing for stealth mine assaults
  • Require an upgrade to be used

The Reapers and their mines have the potential to become StarCraft 2’s most destructive economy raiders, able to destroy an entire peon line in seconds – while taking very few losses themselves, running away quickly and gathering up for a new attack.

Reapers: Destroying economies since 2008

8. Are the Zerg Sunken and Spore Colonies capable of moving out of the bounds of creep?


Yes, they are able to move and plant themselves outside of the creeps boundary. Keep in mind that all Zerg buildings not in the boundaries of creep will slowly degenerate and eventually die. Creep which moves into an enemy base will also damage enemy buildings at a slow rate as well, allowing for new types ofcreep pushing strategies in StarCraft II.

Like the now immobile Phase Cannon used to work, the Zerg Defenses can uproot and move – and not only on Creep, but outside of it as well. Unlike the old Cannons, they can even plant themselves outside of the Creep and still function, although only for a finite amount of time, as they’ll slowly degenerate and die.

Another major change involves the new offensive capabilities of Creep, which will now slowly damage enemy buildings it engulfs.

Fortunately for the enemies of the Zerg, the re-planted Colonies will not spread creep themselves, although the Zerg of StarCraft 2 have plenty of other ways to spread their gooey, organic influence:

Sunkens and Spore Colonies will not expand the creep. Zerg players will be able to use both Overseers with their new special ability and Creep Tumors, which will expand Zerg creep significantly.

Terran and Protoss buildings will not be able to be built on Zerg Creep. Existing buildings will be able to be surrounded by Creep though.

A courageous Zerg player will also be able to keep his colonies alive by using the Queen’s ability to regenerate building health, allowing for interesting off-Creep offensive towering tactics.

9. Will the Map Editor support letters from non-English alphabets (ó, ű, Å‘, ú, á, é, etc.)?

Yes, these characters will be supported.

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