One of my favourite additions to StarCraft II via the Legacy of the Void expansion (which I loved by the way) are the co-op missions. It’s the perfect mode for those who want to enjoy some RTS action with a mate, minus the stress that’s usually associated with the franchise’s competitive multiplayer.
Though the co-op missions can be just as stressful – especially on the higher difficulty levels. It’s still a lot fun though, but the experience can wear a little thin over time, regardless of difficulty. That’s something Blizzard are looking to fix in future:
One of our goals is to increase the replayability of co-op missions and make each game feel very different. As such, we’ve made changes designed to make enemy AI feel more diverse.
While the AI previously had subtle variations in unit compositions, it didn’t have as much of an impact on gameplay as we had hoped. With the new update, the AI will employ a greater variety of units with a focus on building lots of big units, fast units, or air units. Each is designed to warrant a different response from players.
That’s a change I can happily get behind. More often than not, my co-op mission strategy has followed a formula only noobs like Alessandro adopt – MASS ALL THE THINGS AND A-MOVE AROUND THE MAP. It usually works, but maybe now I’ll have to think twice before following a specific tech-tree or unit route.
Along with these AI improvements, Blizzard are also looking to make changes to some Commanders too. Here’s an overview:
- Raynor’s overall theme is about training up a bunch of infantry units “real quick like” and supporting them with some powerful mechanical units. To better support this idea and help him perform similar to other commanders, we’re increasing the speed of Rapid Recruitment (formerly Infantry Specialist) and allowing it to affect mechanical units. At the same time, we’re also decreasing the cost of Factory and Starport mech units, making changes to Improved Stim, and improving the survivability of Medics, all of which should help your infantry last longer against the enemy.
- While Kerrigan is doing pretty well, she’s also underperforming a bit. To help her out, we’re buffing her survivability and skills so she can get started with macro sooner and survive longer while you build up your army. To do this, we’re buffing her life steal ability Mutating Carapace and changing her Level 3 talent to double the damage on both Leaping Strike and and Psionic Shift. We’re also greatly improving her skills Immobilization Wave and Assimilation Aura. Finally, we’ve reduced Kerrigan’s initial birth time, and allowed the Hydralisk’s Frenzy to be autocast.
- Last but not least, Vorazun has seen a few adjustments. Dark Archon units which have been Mind Controlled now take supply, and there’s an increased energy cost to do so. With this change, Mind Control will still be fun and powerful to use, but you’ll need to be more strategic about when you use it. You can cast this ability regardless of your supply status, and you can still go over 200 supply.
I’m quite fond of Kerrigan, so I welcome those buffs with open arms. What about you? Do you still play Co-op missions? Are you happy with the above changes?
Last Updated: February 23, 2016