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The StarCraft 2 fanssite StarcraftCZ  had won the I <3 SC contest and has received the privilege of having a special Q&A session with Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager. They get in a few interesting questions, to which Karune answers thouroughly.

1) How many units can Nydus Worm and Phase Prism transport (does it depend to number of units or population)? Is it possible to load Zerg defensive buildings to Nydus Worm? That means loading Sunken Colony to Nydus Worm, burrowing and getting into enemy Zerg base, unloading and taking roots in enemy creep.


The Nydus will be able to transport as many as can be selectable (which is currently 255). Phase Prisms will be able to transport the same amount of units as the transport from the original StarCraft. Zerg defensive buildings will not be able to be transported in a Nydus Worm.

The Nydus Worm can still hold an “infinite” amount of units, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. To offset this amazing advantage over other races’ transports, the Nydus Worm will now no longer be stealthed when traveling underground, allowing the enemies of the Zerg to intercept and destroy it before it pops up and wreaks havoc in the middle of their base.

4) How complicated will it be to destroy Nydus Worm while moving?


In the current build, Nydus Worms are able to be seen while traversing the terrain. You do not need a detector to be able to see it traveling.

It’s also worth noting that the previous 150 unit selection limit has been increased even further, and now stands at a full byte – 255 units.

Karune further clarifies how the Nydus Worms work in a different post:

Something worth clarifying in these answers is that if a Nydus Worm is destroyed, the units that are loaded inside will not be destroyed. Think of each Nydus Worm as an opening in a system of tunnels created by the Nydus Worm. If you lose all openings to this tunnel system, you will then lose all units in that tunnel system. With multiple Nydus Worms, this opens up a lot of deadly strategies for Zerg, to virtually be in many different places very quickly.


 Some players may open up multiple Nydus Worm holes in an enemy base in order to ensure they can get as many units out as fast as possible (since the Nydus Worms themselves have very little hitpoints). Other players may opt to open up a Nydus Worm on opposite sides of an opponent’s base or between his main base and his expansion, to jump his army back and forth between the two openings with little transition time.

It seems that it’s going to be hard to cause a proficient Zerg player to lose his Nydus-bound units. All it takes is a few other Worms to keep the tunnel and its travelers safe.

Nydus Worms

2) Does the terrain in the game affect damage which deal shooting units? E.g. shooting down of cliff, hiding behind the trees…


Terrain will not affect damage, but will affect line of sight. Without LOS (line of sight), you will not be able to fire back at enemy units with LOS on your units.

Unlike StarCraft 1, units which have a terrain-level advantage or ground cover (e.g. a tree) will not receive a defensive bonus. However, a new LOS mechanism has been implemented that is completely different from StarCraft 1. Before, an enemy unit that attacked a friendly unit would reveal itself to the player. Now, Siege Tanks, Swarm Guardians and other long range attackers will be able to attack without ever revealing themselves.

Hidden Siege Tank

3) Can Baneling explode at command? (for the best using damage radius, for killing cloaked units) Does a killed Baneling explode? Can it be actived like a mine? (it’ll automatically explode when enemy unit gets closer) How can (immobile) Baneling hurt air units while they’re lifted up by Nullifier’s Anti-Gravity ability?


Banelings will not be able to explode on command. They will only explode on contact with an enemy unit or by a unit killing it. If Banelings are lifted up by Anti-Gravity and an air unit kills the Baneling, it will do damage to air units- which will be highly effectively against light units such as Mutalisks.

The only way to make a Baneling explode on command will require actually targeting it with other friendly units and making sure it dies in the precise time to inflict the maximum amount of damage.


5)Is there some method in SC2, how Protoss can replenish their HP or shields or will they have to wait? Will Shield Battery replenish shields for buildings?

The Protoss will not be able to replenish their hit points unless they have allied Medivac Dropships healing them.

Like in StarCraft 1, the Terran healing ability can also affect their allies. Karune does not mention any other healing option for the Protoss, implicitly stating that Shield Batteries are currently not a part of StarCraft 2.

6) Does the Drop-pod’s falling hurt units/buildings in place of falling?


The Drop Pods ability has been removed from the Ghost in multiplayer.

7) Are Reapers, while flying, considered ground or air unit?

Reapers are still considered ground units when they are jumping up and down from cliffs.

8 ) How does the final mosaic of I <3 SC contest look like? When will we able to see it, how many pictures is it in sum? What are its proportions?

This will be out very soon. Keep checking the I <3 SC page for updates.

The I <3 SC contest mosaic and winning submissions have been posted on Blizzard’s website. Check out the selected pictures here and download the complete  I <3 SC mosaic picture here.

I <3 SC


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