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Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, has posted a request for feedback for one of the Zerg’s most evolutionary unstable and important “tools” – the Nydus Worm. As witnessed during BlizzCon 2008, the Nydus Worm is no longer a unit, but a transportation gateway which can be planted by an Overseer.
This “summoning” ability only requires energy – aside from the Nydus Canal, this operation does not require any resources – and the worm will pop up after a short delay.
This represents a mild deviation from the StarCraft 1 implementation that was observed during WWI in July 2008.

Here’s what Karune had to say:

Zerg Nydus Worm
The Nydus Worm is a unit that has undergone several changes since its unveiling and we are curious to the feedback on the latest round of changes shown at BlizzCon.

For those who do not know, the Nydus Worm is a tunnel opening to a network in which you can store your army. When the Nydus Worm springs from the ground, it can allow that whole army to start pouring out from that position as seen here: http://starcraft2.com/screenshot.xml?s=84


Nydus Worm prior to BlizzCon

Prior to BlizzCon, the Nydus Worm had to be summoned from the Nydus Canal, and only on creep. Thus, in order to do a drop, an Overlord was usually needed to drop creep, and then the Nydus Canal could spawn a Nydus Worm at that position. Also, because of the cooldown, typically for a mass drop, a Zerg player would need multiple Nydus Canals, to spawn multiple Nydus Worms at the drop position, to make sure the enemy couldn’t easily destroy the Nydus Worms before the Zerg army could come out.

Nydus Worm at BlizzCon

In the BlizzCon build, the Nydus Worm no longer is spawned from the Nydus Canal. Additionally, it no longer needs to be spawned in on creep as well. Instead, the Nydus Worm is spawned in from the Overseer, and is based on energy cost. Thus, if you have multiple Overseers, you could easily spawn multiple Nydus Canals (which will have a ‘build time’ before the worm erupts from the ground) and ensure a higher success rate of getting your units out.
Let us know your thoughts on the new changes. Also keep in mind, most of the discussion here is about gameplay mechanics, rather than the “numbers and stats” as those will always be changed to balance mechanics (i.e. changing build times for the Nydus, energy costs, hitpoints, etc).


Karune has also posted the following clarification:

When units enter the Nydus Worm opening or the Nydus Canal, they are in the Nydus network. They can exit at any opening, including the Nydus Canal building. There is no actual “tunneling,” and is actually more similar to loading units in a dropship. When all entrances/exits are destroyed, all units in the network will die, so if you are a Zerg player, make sure you don’t let that happen 🙂

The above note describes a very safe mode of transportation for the Zerg; as long as the player ensures that at least one Nydus Network Node is alive, the transported units are not in any danger of being lost without a fight.

Despite the fact that Karune’s request for feedback is a simplistic Like/Dislike poll, which you are welcome to vote on, the SC2Blog would like to guide the discussion to a slightly more technical side:

1) Do you consider a certain Nydus Worm implementation the best one, and if so, which one?

2) If you could implement any plausible Zerg transportation method, what would it be?

3) What additional “buffs” or “debuffs” would you see fit for units after Nydus Worm transportation?


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