Good news for zerg players. “The balance changes in our next patch will primarily focus on improving the zerg,” explains lead designer Dustin Browder on Blizzard’s official StarCraft II blog.
In a post concerning 1 vs 1 game balance, Browder reveals some interesting statistics on how often each of StarCraft II’s three playable races are selected. The numbers are from the North American region. But according to Browder, they closely mirror the percentages in other leagues.
Protoss are played 38.5% of the time.
Terran are played 38.0% of the time.
Zerg are played 23.5% of the time.
You’ll notice that there are far fewer players siding with the swarm. “When we look at things like the Top 200, we like to have this data in-hand so we can ensure that it’s proportionate to the amount of each race actually being played. We don’t want to have a huge chunk of zerg players sitting somewhere further down, unable to rise through the ranks,” says Browder.
Browder also includes a preview of some of the upcoming changes that Blizzard is planning to implement in the next balance patch. In addition to the zerg boosts, a bunch of changes have been specifically designed to decrease the effectiveness of mass reaper rushing from terran players.
- We're increasing roach range. This will allow roaches to be more effective in large groups, giving the zerg more options in the mid to end game.
- Fungal Growth will now prevent Blink, which will give zerg a way to stop endlessly Blinking stalkers which can be very challenging to deal with in large numbers.
- The Barracks are going to require a Supply Depot, which will impact a lot of early terran reaper pushes.
- The reaper speed upgrade will require the Factory, which is meant to weaken a lot of the early terran reaper attacks that dominate so many matches, especially in team games.
- We're making a number of increases to the health of zerg buildings, which will make the very vulnerable zerg technology structures more resistant to raids. We don't expect these hit point changes to have a super significant impact on the game, but the current numbers felt way too low.
In other news, it sounds likely that StarCraft II fans will need to be patient as the game may not release until early 2012. Speaking at GDC Online in Austin, Texas, Battle.net project director Greg Canessa may have unintentionally revealed the estimated release date for the upcoming singleplayer zerg campaign for StarCraft II.
While discussing additional features for Battle.net, Canessa said they were “a main area of focus we’re going to be seeing on the StarCraft side over the next 18 months between now and Heart of the Swarm.” Do the math, and that places the release date of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in March or April of 2012.
Oct 8, 2010
Source: Battle.net, GameSpot
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