In Blizzard’s booth at this year’s Gamescom I attended a presentation on what’s to come for StarCraft II in the upcoming months. Even though all three parts of the game have been released, Blizzard Entertainment still has lots to come for the StarCraft II community. Here’s what to come next:
Alarak, the highlord of the Tal’darim, will be added to the co-op mode as the ninth commander in the game. Alarak will be a playable unit that can lead an army of Tal’Darim Protoss units into battle himself. Alarak will also be create various units, including a new unit called the Supplicant. Supplicants are weak ground units that support Alarak in combat and when he takes fatal damage, Alarak will be able to sacrifice Supplicants to heal himself. However, Alarak is recommended for experienced players!
New single player missions
Instead of letting fans wait for two years for more single-player content, Blizzard is now focusing on releasing new single-player content periodically. As a result of that, they have announced that we can expect a third and final Mission Pack for this year. They will continue to support the single-player fanbase for the time to come, although for how long exactly is unknown.
Very soon, Blizzard will release a number of free and purchasable Announcer Packs for those players who want to customise their experience, in addition to the skins that are already present in the game. What we don’t know is what kinds of announcers we can expect however, as well as the pricing.
Major changes to multiplayer balance
The following balance changes will be made, and should be playable on the test realm very soon:
- Terran – For Terran, our primary focus is on improving the viability of Factory unit armies—popularly known as ‘Mech’ compositions. While the resource changes in Legacy of the Void have been working great overall, they did have a unique effect on the effectiveness of Mech play. Outside of very specific maps (such as Dusk Towers) it has been challenging for players to go Mech due to the difficulty in securing additional expansions. Because the resource changes have had such positive effects outside of Mech play, we wanted to make some changes to Mech to improve it across the different types of StarCraft II maps.
- Protoss – Protoss has seen significant changes and improvements in Legacy of the Void, and with this update we have a few things we want to improve even further. For one, we’re aiming to make the race’s interactions with Terran Mech more interesting. We’d also like to increase the power of the Zealot in certain areas compared to Adepts or Stalkers, and also make some generally cool unit improvements.
- Zerg – Zerg has had numerous new strategies since the launch of Legacy of the Void, yet there are definitely areas of potential improvement available. We want to take this opportunity to experiment with a heavy rebalance of the Swarm Host, a redesign on the Infestor and its abilities, and a rebalancing of the strength of different Zerg tech paths. This means there are changes to units in different tech options, as well as an adjustment to the Ravager that feels necessary, especially given the changes that we intend to make to the Siege Tank
The full list of balance changes can be found here.
Additionally, extra ladder ranks will be added to the game to give players a better sense of progress, especially those players who are new to the competitive multiplayer part of the game.
With the upcoming content, Blizzard seems to succesfully address all types of players within StarCraft II’s fanbase. Whether or not the changes and content will please the fans is to be seen, but as Blizzard is constantly responding to feedback from the community (Alarak as a co-op character has been requested many times), I’m pretty confident that it will be good.