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NEWS
Heart of the Swarm Update #8

By Tobias 'noxilicious' .
Dec 6, 2012 16:34


ImageThe latest patch for WoL kicked in a few days ago and the HotS beta got a lot of changes, not only balance changes but also some new Battle.net functionality. All the changes down below.

The 2.0.2 beta patch brought a lot of changes and will change a lot in game, but with some new Battle.net functions it will be easier to communicate within teams or communities.

The balance changes
Terran

Medivac
New ability: Emergency Thrusters
Speed boost that increases movement speed and acceleration to 4.25 for 8 seconds. 20 second cooldown.

The Medivac’s Caduceus Reactor upgrade at the Starport Tech Lab:
Health restored per second from 9 to 15.
Energy cost reduced from 3 health per 1 energy to 5 health per 1 energy.
Cost increased from 100/100 and 80 seconds to 150/150 and 110 seconds.

Reaper
Base speed increased from 2.95 to 3.375
Upgraded speed increased from 3.84 to 4.25.

Widow Mine
No longer hits cloaked units.
New upgrade: Drilling Claws
Decreases burrow time from 3 to 1 second.
Requires Tech Lab and Armory. Costs 150/150, 110 second research time.

Thor
250mm Strike Cannons has been removed.
The Thor can now switch between two modes: High-Impact Payload and Explosive Payload. The mode shift takes 4 seconds.
When in High-Impact Payload mode, the Thor switches to a different anti-air gun (250mm Punisher Cannons) that has 10 range and deals 24 flat damage.
Thor radius, inner radius, and separation radius increased from 0.8215 to 1.

Raven
Seeker Missile has been redesigned:
Can now fire from 10 range.
Missile comes out and stays immobile in front of the Raven for 3 seconds while charging up, then rapidly moves (it’s not dodgeable at this point) and explodes at the target for 300 single target damage.
Targeted unit lights up red when targeted. If the unit moves 13 range out of where the Seeker Missile is, the Missile fizzles.

Hellbat
Splash damage radius increased from 90 to 110.

Armory
The Armory now only has one weapon and one armor upgrade for both air and ground upgrades for both Factory and Starport units.

Protoss

Mothership
Recall now functions as it does with the Mothership Core.
Vortex now kills a single target.
Vortex does not affect massive units.

Mothership Core is no longer massive.

Oracle
Pulsar Beam
Now called “Activate Pulsar Beam” and “Deactivate Pulsar Beam”.
When activated, the Oracle’s Pulsar Beam is enabled.
Weapon deals 15+10 light.
Weapon period changed to 0.86, down from 1.
Weapon range reduced to 4.
Energy drain is now 4 per second.

Build time increased to 50, up from 35.

Phoenix
Range increased from 4 to 5. Upgrade still grants +2 range.

Dark Shrine cost is now 100/100, down from 100/250.

Tempest
Now requires Fleet Beacon.
Attacks with two weapons. The primary weapon, Kinetic Overload, hits air units and remains unchanged. The secondary weapon, Resonance Coil, hits ground units, and does not deal bonus damage to massive units.
Build time is now 60, down from 75.

Void Ray
Prismatic Beam:
No longer charges up.
Weapon period decreased from 0.6 to 0.5.
No longer does passive +massive damage.

Prismatic Alignment (new ability) increases damage to armored units by 6 for 20 seconds, with a 1 minute cooldown. This does not scale with upgrades.

Zerg

Hydralisk speed upgrade now requires Lair tech.

Mutalisk
Speed increased from 3.75 to 4. Acceleration stays at 3.5.

warm Host health increased from 120 to 160.

Infestor
Fungal Growth:
Is now a projectile.
Speed of the projectile is 10.
Range down to 8.

Infested Terrans no longer gain weapon and armor upgrades.
Infested Terran egg health down to 70.

Ultralisk
Burrow Charge has been removed.
Damage changed from 15+20 armored to 35 flat damage.

Viper health increased from 120 to 150.


Apparently the Terran race has been in the focus for some time as Blizzard introduces some massive changes, creating new options for Terrans. Medivac upgrades seem a crucial option for the late game now and the new Ravens might provide new options for every matchup as the Seeker missiles provide a lot of damage.
It is not a big surprise that the infestor has been slightly nerfed. Hopefully one will be able to see other zerg units than just the infestor within the next weeks and months.

Additionally Blizzard added some new functions:
GENERAL

Groups
Players who wish to associate casually and in larger numbers than Clans can now create and join Groups, with a designated chat channel, a News tab where stories can be posted, an Info tab where officers can post a brief description of the Group, and a Members roster. For more information on Groups, check out our first look at the feature.

Unranked Play*
On the Multiplayer screen, players can now select Unranked Play to engage in matchmaking with the ranking system suspended.

Players Near Me*
Recognizes other StarCraft II games running on the player’s network, making it easier to chat, play, and make friends with nearby players.

AI Communication
Players can now issue orders to AI partners.
This is a preliminary implementation of this feature, and we will be adding to it over the coming weeks. Please keep an eye on our Heart of the Swarm Beta Discussion forum for further updates.

The StarCraft II Arcade is now available in the Heart of the Swarm Beta.

USER INTERFACE

Maps that appear in the Custom Games section now include all of the same Game Info pages as the maps available in the Arcade (Overview, How to Play, Patch Notes, Reviews).

In-Game UI Polish
Decal art has been updated to appear brighter and more visible.*
New Victory/Loss sequences now play at the end of a game.

New options added to aid newer players in the Options > Controls menu*
Team Colored Life Bar
Always Show Worker Status
Simple Command Card
Show Current Order Indicator
Select All Larvae
Display Experience Points
Enable Enemy Unit Selection

The Help section has been revised and updated.

GRAPHICS

Physics updates
New ragdoll physics deaths have been added on many units.
Physics effects have been polished on many existing units.
Performance has been improved.
Physics-triggered sounds have been added.

EDITOR

Many new features, updates, and improvements to the StarCraft II Editor have been made throughout the beta test. Please see our Comprehensive Editor Updates List in the Beta Discussion forum.


Sources: Battle.net & Battle.net


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