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StarCraft 2 August Discussion Topic: Gas Mechanics

Four months have passed since the last discussion topic, which focused on the Baneling. This month’s topic moves the spotlight from the single unit to a core gameplay mechanic which will affect every aspect of StarCraft 2.

At the Worldwide Invitational in Paris, we had the opportunity to show you a new StarCraft II client. With this client we introduced a new idea on how our Gas Mechanics work. This would give the player more options and more economy choices. In the following days, Dustin Browder went more into detail on how these new mechanics can affect the game-play and we were able to get even more questions answered in the following Batch of the StarCraft II Q&A. Now we would like you to give us your feedback on the way Gas collection works now.

For more information about the new Vespene Gas mechanics, make sure to read our earlier posts on the subject. First, the original post with Dustin Browder’s introduction of the changes, and second, the Chat with Devs part of Q&A 41, which contained a detailed explanation with updated numbers.

To recap (current numbers, subject to balance changes, in parenthesis):

Each resource location now has two Vespene Geysers. These start with a relatively low amount of gas (600), which allow workers to carry a full load in each trip (6). When the geyser is depleted, this number is reduced (2), and the player is offered a choice to replenish the geyser for a mineral cost (100).

The repleneshing process requires the player to select the geyser and hit a button (or shortcut key), which takes the geyser offline for a short period (45 seconds), during which workers can not extract gas at all. This pumps gas back into the geyser (600), allowing workers to resume Vespene Gas extraction at full efficiency.

Vespene Gas Refinery

Our thoughts on this matter remain unchanged from previous discussions:

All these major changes have been implemented to StarCraft 2 for one purpose: complicate the “macro” portion of the game, which has been downsized severely with the introduction of new and improved user interface aspects, and mainly, Multiple Building Selection (MBS).


These changes will steal some of the added focus to the micromanagement portion of StarCraft 2, which pro-gamers, who’ve had a chance to play the game extensively, have reported about, and divert it back to base and economy management.

The monthly discussion topic is an excellent opportunity for StarCraft 2’s fans, be they pro gamers or causal RTS players, to voice their opinion about this change to the resource system – a central part of StarCraft 2.

As always, Blizzard has three specific questions they wish to receive answers for:

* What new strategies and choices do you think the player would have and have to make with the new Gas Mechanics?


* How do you think this change will effect Zerg, Protoss and Terran?

* Do you like or dislike the change? Why?


* Additional feedback you might have

Additionally, the SC2 Blog’s questions are:

1) Do you think the need to “babysit” the Vespene Geysers adds to the depth of the game, allowing players to put more thought into the resource management process, or is it going to become a dull, mindless chore?


2) Resource collection in StarCraft 1 has always been very straightforward. With the introduction of Yellow Minerals and the complication of the Vespene Gas collection process, this aspect of StarCraft 2 has been expanded. Would you like to see StarCraft 2’s economy simplified, or perhaps complicated further?


3) Unlike in StarCraft 1, Workers can now be automatically ordered to start harvesting resources as soon as they are produced, using a rally point, without requiring further action from the player.

Should it be possible for “Replenish Gas” to be set on Auto-Cast, making this process automatic as well?

The new Vespene Gas mechanics are likely to become an important and significant part of every StarCraft 2 game, regardless of race or skill level. Blizzard has proven time and time again that they listen closely to fan feedback – this is your chance to leave your lasting impression on StarCraft 2.

Yellow Minerals(?)

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