The next Starcraft II chapter arrives in the form of Legacy Of The Void, a sort-of-but-really expansion and standalone game that shines the spotlight on the Protoss and brings the current saga to an end. It’s been under development for years now, and over the weekend at BlizzCon, we got our first look at the game. And sweet Aiur, does it look like a classic trilogy-ender.
Naturally, the game is going to find some legs in the multiplayer department. A new Starcraft means a bunch of new units. And a whole new game to master for pros. Here’s a look at the new units which you’ll be taking into battle:
According to Blizzard, Terrans forces will be more mobile and diverse. Siege tanks can lifted and dropped by while maintaining siege mode within a Medivac transport, while Thor units will have their second attack mode High Impact Payload replaced with an Emergency Repair option. Banshee units are now also faster once upgraded and will receive a +1 upgrade to attack range. The Battlecruiser now also has a tactical jump ability, that will alllow it to teleport anywhere on the map, fog of war be damned.
As for units, players will get the Herc and the Cyclone:
A light-biological unit that can grapple onto a unit to quickly zip into battle. Its attack deals short-range small-radius splash damage making it ideal versus Ling/Bane compositions, as well as versus Protoss “death-balls”.
The Cyclone is a factory unit which can lock onto a target, then deal massive damage over time while on the move. Using the cyclone to its full potential and reacting to it well are both heavily dependent on micro.
In Legacy Of The Void, Zerg units now feature some new harassment buffs. Corruptors can no longer use the corruption ability, but can instead use Caustic Spray to channel increasing amounts of damage over time. The ability does however, lock the Corruptor into place. Swarm Hosts have now also been modified into a mobile harassment tool, with Spawn Locusts now being able to be used while in an unburrowed state, at the cost of a higher cooldown. Locusts have also been buffed, and can fly over terrain once upgraded to Tier 3.
Lastly, the Nydus Worm will now no longer take damage until it finishes unburrowing.
The Lurker has returned. The Lurker is a Tier 2 unit which morphs from the Hydralisk. It deals line-based splash damage, but can only attack while burrowed. The Lurker has an available Tier 3 upgrade which substantially increases its attack range.
The Ravager is a new unit which morphs off of the Roach. While stronger than the roach, its effectiveness heavily relies on player micro due to its activated ability: Corrosive Bile. A mortar-style area of effect skill-shot which, once fired, impacts after a short delay. The ability can hit both air and ground units, and also will destroy any forcefields it comes in contact with.
And rounding out the changes, are the Protoss. The Warp Prism now features stronger harassment options and can be used to pick up units from a distance, while the Immortal can create more Terran mech opportunities while its Hardened Shield ability is now replaced with a Barrier skill that gives it 2000 hitpoints of shield. The Oracle now no longer has the Revelation ability, with that skill merged into Envision instead in order to tag targets for a full 60 seconds. The Oracle does however have a new Stasis Ward ability, which is a cloaked mine that can trap and reveal enemy units for 30 seconds.
Tempest units now take the form of an aerial skirmish fighter, with increased movement speed and a new activated ability called Disintegration. This allows the Tempest to deal 500 damage over 50 seconds. Meanwhile, Carriers can now use Release Interceptors to permanently launch all of their interceptors at once, with the micro-units destroyed after 60 seconds.
The Disruptor is a light-mechanical unit from the Robotics Facility whose ability, ‘Purification Nova’, can deal a massive burst of AoE splash damage if an opponent does not counter-micro. The Disruptor is extremely potent versus any force that clumps it’s units together, as well as against worker lines.
Purification Nova: Once activated, the Disruptor becomes invulnerable and gains increased movement speed. After 4 seconds, the Disruptor emits a massive blast dealing AoE damage in a circle and immediately becomes vulnerable again, also losing its speed boost.
Multiplayer also gets two new modes. Here’s what you can expect to jump into, when Legacy Of The Void eventually releases:
Archon Mode is the standard one-versus-one StarCraft II experience… with a friend! In Archon Mode, you and your ally share control over a single base while facing off against an enemy from the Matchmaking Ladder. That enemy can be another pair in Archon Mode, or a lone player who has opted to face off versus Archons who match-make evenly against his or her skill.
In Archon Mode, you’ll have to decide how you and your partner want to split up what you do. A team that’s working together will play much better than one that’s not, so you’ll want to come up with the best way to split your tasks. Perhaps one player macros and the other micros? Or maybe one player only does drops and uses workers while the other constantly attacks and harasses with your army. We’ll leave it up to you guys to find what works best! We’ll be eagerly listening to your feedback on this new game mode.
We know that StarCraft II players are perhaps the most passionate and competitive players in the world, so for StarCraft II Legacy of the Void we wanted to add a whole new way to compete. With that in mind, an Automated Tournament feature will be released with Legacy of the Void featuring daily and weekly tournaments. To mimic the existing tournament experience as closely as possible, Automated Tournaments will feature group stages that feed into a bracket stage playoff. You will also have opportunities to study your opponents, and maps can be vetoed.
Daily tournaments will be expected to last between three and four hours, while weekly ones… well, they last the week of course! Overall, we expect Automated Tournaments to be an excellent place for players to compete in at all skill levels. Casual players can have a good time, while others can compete at the highest level to earn tournament experience for live events like the World Championship Series.
Remember, nothing has been finalised yet, so expect some of these units to change in the gap between now and release day. So, what did you think of the Starcraft 2 announcements?
Last Updated: November 10, 2014