StarCraft II

Final Balance Changes for Season 4

Final Balance Changes for Season 4
Congrats to our new WCS Global Finals champion, Serral! It’s certainly been an eventful year for StarCraft, and now that the season has ended, it’s time to continue forward with our post-BlizzCon design and balance changes. Thanks to everyone for testing; your feedback has helped us iterate and make many improvements. Before the changes go live, we have a few more updates we’d like to add in:

Terran

Cyclone

  • Cyclone supply cost reduced from 4 to 3.

When the Cyclone had its Vespene Gas cost reduced in a patch prior to 3.8, and we also increased its supply out of caution against mass Cyclones becoming too prevalent at the time. More recently, we have gotten some high-level feedback that this Cyclone could perhaps be too weak due to how the meta has developed. In addition, when we first announced our pre-3.8 Cyclone revert, we emphasized our intention to have them scale better into the late-game. Thus, to improve the Cyclone’s mid- and late-game potential, we are reducing the supply cost, so they can hopefully be more easily utilized as support units in a larger army.

Thor

  • Thor 250mm Punisher Cannon damage increased from 40 (+10 Massive) to 40 (+15 Massive).
  • Thor 250mm Punisher Cannon attack period decreased from 1.78 to 1.71.

When we initially announced our balance revamp this year, we stated that we wanted to push the Thor into a “giant that slays other giants” role, but we haven’t heard much discussion regarding this new focus. In addition, with the recent Carrier damage revert and the Thor’s now lower armor, Thors are not able to fulfill this role as well as we’d like. Thus, we’ve carefully tweaked the numbers on the Thor’s anti-Massive weapon so that it will consistently defeat Carriers in one-on-one combat and be more powerful against the new fast-moving Tempests. At the same time, we were cautious to not critically affect its relationship against Brood Lords. As with many of our other changes in this patch, we want new options to feel powerful out of the gate, but we are also ready to readjust as necessary.

Sensor Tower

  • Sensor Tower pre-placement selection display will now show a range indicator on the minimap.

This quality of life change, which was suggested by the community, will allow players to more strategically and deliberately place their Sensor Towers.

Zerg

Creep

  • Creep spread delay from Hatcheries, Lairs, and Hives decreased from 0.45 to 0.3.

We received feedback that the previously proposed creep spread rate change for Hatcheries would overly adversely affect Zerg early-game, especially in ZvZ. We agree with this feedback and, as a result, will be changing the Hatchery, Lair, and Hive to retain their old creep spread rate values. Meanwhile the other creep generators (Nydus Worm, Overlords, and Creep Tumors) will remain at 0.45.

Ultralisk

  • Ultralisk Anabolic Synthesis upgrade research time reduced from 79 seconds to 43 seconds.

As a Hive-level unit, Ultralisks are already locked to the late-game and having both of its upgrades require a 79 second research time could excessively delay the Ultralisk’s full power. A reduction in research time could also create more of a choice for Zerg players depending on the game state as currently, Chitinous Plating is heavily preferred as the first pick.

Protoss

Structures

  • Robotics Facility cost reverted from 150/100 to 200/100. 
  • Robotics Bay cost reduced from 200/200 to 150/150.

We initially proposed reducing the mineral cost of the Robotics Facility for a variety of reasons. Two of these reasons include improving defense against Zerg in the mid-game and improving defense against Terran proxies. Since our initial proposal, however, we’ve made additional adjustments to the balance test mod such that we no longer believe Protoss needs additional help in these regards.

Another goal of the Robotics Facility cost change was to promote more Robotics-based openers, but we now believe a different change could be more targeted to achieve this goal. By reducing the cost of the Robotics Bay instead, we would promote deeper tech options that aren’t as common right now,such as Colossus, Disruptor, or speed-upgraded Warp Prism openers. This contrasts with the originally proposed Robotics Facility change, which we believe would have undesirably further reinforced the strength of Immortals in PvZ.

We are planning to push the balance changes to live ladder at the start of the next season on Tuesday, November 20th.  However, the SCV single-click priority change will require a patch, so we will be pushing out this change a little earlier with the SC2.4.7 release.

Thank you for all the support and feedback, and as always, let us know what you think!  See you on ladder!


Below is a complete list of the current balance changes:

Changes that will be published to live along with the StarCraft II 4.7 patch.

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

Changes that will be published to live on Tuesday, November 20.

Terran

  • 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.
    • 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 (+15 vs Massive).
    • 250mm Punisher Cannons weapon speed reduced from 2.14 to 1.71.
  • 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.
    • Unit will no longer switch attack targets while moving unless ordered to do so or the current target leaves its range.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sensor Tower
    • The structure's pre-placement selection display will now show a range indicator on the minimap.

Zerg

  • Queen
    • Transfuse restored 75 health and an additional 50 health over 7.14 seconds, down from 125 health instantly.
  • Creep Tumor, Nydus Network, Nydus Worm
    • Time in between creep growth increased from .3 to .45.
  • Overlord/Transport Overlord:
    • Time between Generate Creep growth periods increased from 0.36 to 0.45.
  • Hatchery, Lair, Hive
    • Time in between creep growth remains the same at 0.3.
  • 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/42.85 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/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 separate 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.

Protoss

  • 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 Bay
    • Cost reduced from 200/200 to 150/150.
  • 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 periods 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.

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