StarCraft II

Balance Mod Update October 23, 2018

Balance Mod Update October 23, 2018

Hey everyone,

Thanks for testing out the most recent balance changes, and for your continued helpful feedback. After reading over the discussions, we’d like to make a few more changes to the testing matchmaking queue.


  • Cyclone
    • Attack-moving Cyclones will stop at 7 range instead of 5 range when Locked on to an enemy target.

Previously, when an attack-moving Cyclone would Lock On to an enemy target, the Cyclone would continue to move toward its target until it was 5 range away. This was due to its weapon having 5 range but the Lock On ability having 7 range. As a result, Cyclones would put themselves in danger against 6-range opponents such as Immortals and Ravagers. After this change, the Cyclone will now behave like other units—stopping at maximum effective range when given an attack-move order.

  • Medivac
    • "High Capacity Fuel Tanks" upgrade name changed to "Rapid Reignition System".

Since the effects of this upgrade are changing, we’re going to update its name to better capture its new functionality. We also want to take the time to clarify its new functionality:

  • A Medivac without any upgrades can boost for 5.71, seconds with 8.57 seconds of downtime (40% uptime).
  • A Medivac with the old “High Capacity Fuel Tanks” upgrade could boost for 8.57 seconds with 5.71 seconds of downtime (60% uptime).
  • A Medivac with the new “Rapid Reignition System” upgrade will be able to boost for 5.71 seconds with 3.57 seconds of downtime (62% uptime).

We believe this new upgrade will be more attractive and promote multi-tasking-based drop play more than the previous one did.


  • Warp Prism
    • Pick-up range reverted from 5 to 6.

After reviewing feedback, we have decided to revert the pick-up range from 5 to 6 as we’d like for all races to feel like they have strong options out of the gate with the new patch.

Countdown Timer

We like the addition of the new countdown timer because it can provide players with a smoother transition from the loading screen to the start of a match. However, we’ve discovered some issues with the feature and would like to resolve them before pushing this countdown timer live. We’ll be removing the countdown timer from the testing matchmaking queue for now, but we plan to reintroduce it at a later date.

Upcoming changes

We’re also planning to introduce two additional changes in the new season, but they require code modifications, so they cannot be directly added to the balance testing mod. We plan to introduce the following changes in an upcoming post-Blizzcon patch:

  • SCV
    • SCV single-click selection priority will now be higher than the buildings they are constructing

During intense Bunker rushes, the ability for the Bunkers to be completed can often mean the difference between success and failure. The defender is highly incentivized to destroy the SCVs building the Bunkers, but it’s currently difficult to do so, partially because buildings under construction can block the ability to click on the SCV building it. We don’t believe this interaction should be a core skill-testing component of StarCraft, so we’ll be making a change that allows SCVs to be more easily clicked while constructing structures.

At the same time, we’re slightly concerned about the effect of this change on early-game SCV harass (such as when a Terran player is building a Command Center at their natural expansion), so we’ll be keeping a close eye on this change.

  • Barracks, Factory, Starport - Tech Lab
    • If a player tries to lift a structure when there is an upgrade being researched in an attached Tech Lab, the player will not be able to do so and will receive a red text error message.

This change prevents players from accidently cancelling an upgrade while attempting to lift buildings.

Lastly, in order to prepare for the upcoming changes that will go live with the next ladder season, we will be turning off the balance testing matchmaking queue on October 30th. During this downtime, we will start implementing art changes and resolving any issues or bugs that may come up.  Even though the balance testing matchmaking queue will be off, the balance test mod extension mod will still be available for custom games.

Below is the complete list of the current proposed balance changes:


  • Widow Mine
    • The Drilling Claws upgrade now permanently cloaks Widow Mines when they're burrowed.
    • If Drilling Claws is researched, the Widow Mine will have a visual indicator to show that the unit has the upgrade.
  • Cyclone
    • Now requires a Tech Lab to be built at the Factory.
    • Health decreased from 180 to 120.
    • Movement speed increased from 4.13 to 4.73.
    • Unit armor set to 1.
    • Supply cost increased from 3 to 4.
    • Tornado Blaster weapon changed to the Typhoon Missile Pod weapon:
      • Damage changed from 3 (+2 vs Armored) to 18.
      • Can target air and ground units.
      • Attack rate changed from 0.1 to 0.71.
      • Range decreased from 6 to 5.
      • Weapon upgrades changed from +1 to +2 to account for the new damage value.
    • Lock On ability changed:
      • Ability can auto-cast.
      • Can now target ground and flying units and structures.
      • Damage changed from 160 to 400 damage over 14 seconds.
    • Rapid Fire Launchers upgrade removed.
    • Added Mag-Field Accelerator upgrade:
      • After researching Mag-Field Accelerator upgrade, Lock On will deal 400 (+400 vs Armored) over 14 seconds to ground and flying targets.
  • Thor
    • Armor reduced from 2 to 1.
    • Explosive Payload AoE radius reduced from 0.6 to 0.5.
    • 250mm Punisher Cannons damage changed from 35 (+15 vs Armored) to 40 (+10 vs Massive).
    • 250mm Punisher Cannons weapon speed reduced from 2.14 to 1.79.
  • Medivac
    • "High Capacity Fuel Tanks" upgrade name changed to "Rapid Reignition System."
    • " Rapid Reignition System" upgrade will no longer increase duration by 50%. Instead, it will decrease cooldown duration from 14 seconds to 9 seconds. 
    • Medivacs can now heal units Graviton'd by Phoenix.
  • Banshee
    • Hyperflight Rotors upgrade cost decreased from 200/200 to 150/150.
  • Raven
    • Anti-Armor splash damage reduced from 15 to 0.
    • In addition to armor reduction, Anti-Armor Missile will also reduce Protoss shields by 3.
  • Battlecruiser
    • Removed random delay between shots.
    • AA damage reduced from 6 to 5.
    • Can now move while shooting.
    • Yamato Cannon damage reduced from 300 to 240.
  • Engineering Bay
    • Neosteel Frame and Structure Armor upgrades merged. The new upgrade is called Neosteel Armor and will retain the functionality of both upgrades combined. It will cost 150 Minerals/150 Gas and take 100 seconds to research.


  • Creep
    • Creep Tumor, Hatchery, Lair, Hive, Nydus Worm
      • Time in between creep growth increased from 0.3 to 0.45.
    • Overlord
      • Time between Generate Creep growth periods increased from 0.36 to 0.45.
  • Queen
    • Transfuse restores 75 health and an additional 50 health over 7.14 seconds, down from 125 health instantly.
  • Zergling
    • Unburrow speed reduced from 0.71 to 0.36.
    • Unburrow random delay reduced from 0.36 to 0.08.
  • Roach
    • Tunneling Claws no longer increases the health regeneration rate of Roaches from 7 hp/second to 14 hp/second.
    • Tunneling Claws cost decreased from 150/150 to 100/100.
  • Hydralisk
    • Unburrow speed reduced from 0.71 to 0.36.
    • Unburrow random delay reduced from 0.36 to 0.08.
    • Needle Spines attack speed slowed from 0.54 to 0.59.
  • Infestor
    • Infestor unit radius decreased from 0.75 to 0.625.
    • Model scale decreased from 0.85 to 0.75.
    • Burrowed unit radius now matches the new unborrowed unit radius.
    • Infestors can now move through units while burrowed.
    • Fungal Growth will no longer allow affected units to Blink, Tactical Jump, or load into transports/buildings.
    • Infested Terran cast range increased from 7 to 8.
  • Ultralisk
    • New upgrade added: “Evolve Anabolic Synthesis”
      • Cost: 150 Minerals/150 Gas/79 Seconds
      • Increases Ultralisk speed when off creep from 4.13 to 4.55.  The Ultralisk on creep will remain the same at 5.36.
      • If Anabolic Synthesis is researched, the Ultralisk will have a visual indicator to show that the unit has the upgrade.
  • Nydus Network and Nydus Worm
    • Nydus Network cost decreased from 150/200 to 150/150.
    • Nydus Worm costs decreased from 100/100 to 50/50.
    • Nydus Worm will no longer be invincible when emerging but will have 6 armor.
  • Burrow/Unburrow
    • Burrow and Unburrow have been separated into two distinct keys.
    • Burrowed and Unburrowed Zerg unit types will now be on the same tab-select, and both will be selected when double clicking on units.


  • Nexus
    • Chrono Boost will now display a visual status on the structure.
    • Mass Recall renamed to Strategic Recall.
    • Strategic Recall radius reduced from 6.5 to 2.5. 
    • Strategic Recall cooldown reduced from 130 to 85 seconds.
  • Sentry
    • Hallucination energy cost decreased from 100 to 75.
    • Guardian Shield radius increased from 4 to 4.5.
  • High Templar
    • Feedback now deals 0.5 damage per point of energy drained, down from 1 damage.
  • Dark Templar
    • Shadow Stride research time reduced from 121 to 100 seconds.
    • Shadow Stride cooldown reduced from 21 to 14 seconds.
  • Robotics Facility
    • Cost decreased from 200/100 to 150/100.
  • Colossus
    • Colossus weapon will now have turret tracking.
  • Disruptor
    • Purification Nova changed back to pre-4.0 state. Purification Nova deploys a ball of energy that will detonate after 2 seconds, dealing 155 damage and an additional 55 shield damage to all ground units in its radius.
    • Purification Nova no longer detonates on contact with enemy units.
    • Purification Nova now sends a threat signal to the opponent on detonation instead of during the launch phase.
  • Void Ray
    • Prismatic Speed reduction from 40% to 25%.
  • Tempest
    • Cost decrease from 300/200 to 250/175.
    • Supply cost decreased from 6 to 5.
    • HP/Shields reduced from 300/150 to 150/125.
    • Move speed increased from 2.63 to 3.5.
    • Acceleration increased from 1.49 to 2.8.
  • Carrier
    • Build time decreased from 86 seconds to 64 seconds.
    • HP/Shields increased from 250/150 to 300/150.
    • Interceptor build time increased from 6 to 11.
    • Graviton Catapult upgrade removed from the Fleet Beacon.
    • Interceptor release period changed from 0.36 to 0.27.
  • Mothership
    • Strategic Recall name changed to Mass Recall.
    • In addition to slowing unit movement speed by 50%, Time Warp will now also reduce unit and structure attack speed by 50%.
  • Assimilator
    • HP/Shields reduced from 450/450 to 300/300.
  • Shield Battery
    • Health and shields reduced from 200/200 to 150/150.
    • Shield Battery can now regenerate shields of units Graviton'd by Phoenix.
  • Gateway
    • "Transform to Warp Gate" will now be an auto-cast ability.

The original balance post can be found here.

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