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StarCraft 2 Beta Patch 12: Roaches Take Another Hit

The StarCraft 2 beta patch #12 has been released and applied, followed by a detailed Situation Report from Blizzard’s developers. This one touches upon only three units and one building, and we can’t help but notice the spirit of the carebare pervading throughout the patch notes and their explanations.



Build time increased from 35 to 45.

Life and shield values decreased from 550/550 to 400/400.

Situation Report:

We are seeing a Photon Cannon rush against protoss and zerg. Against protoss, players usually use a cliff edge or the enemy minerals in combination with their forge to protect their pylon. Against zerg, you can use the Forge and Pylon to block the zerg player’s ramp. We have a few numbers we can tweak to fix this, build time on the Forge being the most obvious. However if we make the build time too high it will be difficult to panic build a Forge and Cannons to block a badly played cloak attack. So we are going to try a mixture of health nerfs to the Forge and a small timing change.

Indeed, offensive Protoss Cannons, Terran Bunkers, and Orc Towers are all viable strategic choices. These have always existed in the tactical inventory of players in many games. As virtually any other strategy, be it a Zergling rush or a fast Nuke build, once executed correctly versus an unprepared opponent, it will yield a victory.


Vortex now removes Force Fields within its area of effect.

Starcraft Scientist strikes again… for the first time!

Situation Report

Vortex continues to be an exciting ability with some known issues. Limiting how Force Fields are used around Vortexes will help fix a few exploitable situations. Our thanks go to the community for continuing to find and report issues with it. =)

This change is a nerf aimed at a tactic that requires the following:

  • A Mothership and a well placed Vortex.
  • Multiple Protoss Sentries casting Force Fields around the Vortex.
  • Several Colossi and/or High Templars focusing on the resulting trap.

If someone pulls this off, does he not deserve to inflict the terrible, terrible damage?



Radius decreased from 1.375 to 0.8125.

Model size reduced to match new radius.

Situation Report:

We have reduced the physical and pathing size of the Thor just to make him more useable. This will end up being a minor buff to the Thor (which he didn’t really need). We made the change just to make him less frustrating to use. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this change plays out and if Thors become too dominant we will deal with them in other ways in future patches.

As discussed in the recent massive Q&A session with the devs, the Thor had some issues with its humongousity. This change helps a lot in controlling the Thor, which now has a much more standard size. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as awe-inspiring and fear-inducing as before.





Supply count increased from 1 to 2.

Many have been surprised by the recent, arguably hardest to date, nerf to the Zerg Roach. The Situation Report delivers an interesting rationale to the Roach’s food cost doubling, blaming 200 supply clashes.

Roaches are just too mighty to be a 1 supply unit. In 200 supply battles Roaches can be very difficult to deal with even with the correct counters in play by protoss or terran players.

Of course, the nerf also applies to the early game, where players will have to dedicate more Larva to Overlord production, also making each Roach cost an additional 12.5 minerals.

The Roach change caused quite a stir on Battle.net’s forums, prompting Nethaera to post the following:

As we mentioned in the original post, all changes we have planned are not in yet and we have been trying to be careful about layering them in and watching the results closely. This patch is no different and we have more coming down the pipe before much longer. StarCraft II is like an onion with many layers, but instead of peeling the layers, we’re adding them in like paper mâché only without the messy flour paste and with a slightly less predictable outcome.

More changes are promised, with everyone’s attention focused on the Ultralisk. What will happen to the Zerg race next?

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