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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm for Geeks and Cool People

Here is fun RTS (Real time strategy) game for you peeps out there to play. For those who aren't so in tune with the game, let's just say it deals with resource management, micro management and fighting aliens...yeah ok so this might not be fun for everyone but it sure is for me. The fun part of this RTS (real-time strategy) game is that every game is different and you have to think a lot (relative to other games) in order to win. I personally use Terran or Protoss but I can’t figure how to use the Zerg effectively enough. I play with a few of my buddies who are all way superior than I am at this the game. I am still proud to say that I am a “Gold” level player which I guess is about slightly above the middle of the pack.

A new trailer for the expansion "Swarn of the Zerg" was just released at BlizzConn2011.

New units were added that make the game really different. Here is a recap (text in orange from Ryan's blog) with some additional comments in black by me:

+ Battle Hellion (Hellion can transform into more powerful robot mode) 

Robot mode can withstand more punishment and their attack loses range but becomes more powerful so they are more useful late in the game vs. stronger units
+ Warhound mech 

Meant to replace Thors (you can only have one uber-Thor in play now at a given time) they are smaller, cheaper and more agile
+ Shredder radiation robot 
Emits radiation so that any enemy units nearby lose energy. In a preview, we see two of these completely wipe out a bunch of lings. The goal is to help Terran gain map control because of the inherit weaknesses of siege tanks when left alone. Note they automatically turn off when friendly units enter its range.

+ Ultralisk Burrow Charge 

Now you can burrow and pop them up anywhere as a "cloaked" unit so they don't have to take on damage when moving to a target 
+ Corruptors Syphon buildings (minus Corruption) 

Drains a building's health and converts it into minerals 
+ Viper replaces Overseer (plus Blinding Cloud and Abduct ability) 

Now I think this is the game changer. The blinding cloud reduces the range of a unit in the cloud to 1! So Terran players, with marines and tanks used as solid defensive units, will become super vulnerable. I think the Zerg were given something a bit too powerful.
+ Swarm Host (artillery unit) 

Emits a bunch of locusts to draw fire from the enemy. At 90 HP each (significantly stronger than marines), they will certain be a hindrance. 

+ Tempest (anti Mutalisks) 

This is a cool anti-air (AA) unit that deals area of effect damage (AoE), something that Toss players never had. Finally a way to counter pesky Mutas.
+ Oracle (building harass/spy unit) 

Can disable a building's function/build or block minerals from being mined.
+ Replicant (can morph into any non-massive unit, like Siege tanks) 

You also instantly get all the upgrades from the unit
+ Nexus gets new abilities 

Takes in mass recall from the Mothership, can cast extra shield and a canon for light infantry defense
- Carriers 

Gone, not longer available in multiplayer
- Mothership

 Gone as well, no one used this unless they had a huge lead and wanted to toy around

Pros: High replay value, tons of strategies can be learned, intergalactic warfare without hurting anyone

Cons: The matching system for random multiplayer games is whack. Teams tend to be super unbalanced even though similar calibre players are supposed to be matched up together. For something totally geeky, see this dude’s video on Starcraft a la Justin Bieber.


  1. The new units for Heart of the Swarm look like they're going to add a huge amount of variation to the gameplay. I'm really excited to see some of the pro-gamers use the new units in the multiplayer setting and see what strategies they come up with. My favorites are probably the viper for the Zerg (the abduct ability looks amazing), the shredder for Terran (although I'm not sure Terran actually needs more map control), and the replicant for Protoss. The replicant might be the hardest to balance, but I feel it gives so many cool options for a protoss player. Imagine taking your 3rd or 4th base as a command center or hatchery. I'm hoping blizzard releases this game sooner rather than later!

  2. I find it hard to get map control with Terran vs Zerg. Pesky mass lings that constantly roam are hard to fend off when you are trying to expo so the shredder will be nice :) I think that the blinding cloud is actually better because marines and tanks with no range = useless!

    I've made bases from other races using Infestors to control a probe/SCV. The only problem is that you have to rebuild all your buildings and upgrades which i don't think is viable in a tight match.

    Btw cool, shirts!


  3. Just bought it online at Blizzard's store, 30$! Game on!

  4. Awesome! It's worth it I tell you :D