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Balance Update 5

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki
[e][h]Balance Update 5
Patch Information
NA Release Date:
October 6th 2012
  • Balance Changes
  • Developer Thoughts

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Balance Update #5[edit]

Hello everyone -

We have made the following updates to the beta last night and the new balance should be in effect by your next game.

Thanks again for all the great testing on the beta! We look forward to your continued feedback and to getting more players involved.

Balance Changes[edit]

Widow Mine
  • This unit has a new missile ability called Unstable Payload.
  • Unstable Payload is an auto-cast ability that initiates once the Widow Mine is burrowed. It cannot be turned off unless the unit is unburrowed.
  • This ability launches a missile at a target within 5 range, then starts to rearm another missile.
  • Unstable Payload does 160 damage to a single target and 40 splash damage.
  • The missile auto-acquires cloaked units.
  • The missile auto-acquires temporary units like Hallucinations, Infested Terrans, and Locusts.
  • It takes 40 seconds to rearm the missile. The cost is free for now.
  • The build time of this unit has increased to 40 seconds.

  • The Phase Shield ability has been removed
  • This unit has a new ability called Void Siphon.
  • The Oracle channels a beam at an enemy structure that deals 3 damage and harvests 3 minerals every second until canceled. (Note: This ability will not cause the opposing player to lose minerals.)
  • The range is 7.
  • The damage/harvest effect ticks when you cast the ability and every sequential second following.
  • Void Siphon costs 50 energy to cast.
Mothership Core
  • This unit’s Purify ability has changed.
  • When a player casts Purify on their Nexus, it grants the Nexus the ability to attack, no longer requiring the Core to attach itself.
  • The Nexus weapon has a range of 13 and a damage of 20.
  • Purify now lasts for 60 seconds and still costs 100 energy.
  • The scale of this unit has been lowered to 0.8.
  • This unit has had its shield/health lowered to 60/130.
  • This unit now costs 2 supply.

Developer Thoughts[edit]

As we mentioned last week, our main focus this week was redesigning the Widow Mine and replacing the Oracle’s Phase Shield ability. We made quite a few changes to these units that we’ll get to in the paragraphs below, but first we wanted to talk about a few Mothership Core changes. We heard your concerns regarding last week’s changes and have made a few additional Mothership Core tuning passes to help make it a stronger defensive option while using Purify but slightly weaker offensively. Thanks again for all the feedback on the Mothership Core; now let’s dig into the Phase Shield and Widow Mine changes.

The Phase Shield ability is great against Fungal Growth, but because it’s used in such limited circumstances, it’s not all that appealing in most games. As it stands, the Oracle is a harassment caster that only goes for the enemy mineral line, but we thought it would be fun to add a secondary harassment ability that’s not aimed at the mineral line which harasses opponents in a brand new way. The Oracle’s new ability, Void Siphon, allows it to harvest minerals by attacking enemy structures. We’re hoping that this change will open the door for some new harassment options to complement those already in Starcraft II.

For the Widow Mine, we wanted to make a few updates to achieve the following goals:

  • Make the Widow Mine into an actual cloaked threat.
  • Make the Widow Mine into a powerful piece that players can revolve strategies around.
  • Make the Widow Mine into a unit opponents fear, forcing them to react accordingly when Terran players bring them out.

In order to go further in this direction, we’re trying a version of the Widow Mine that doesn’t self-destruct to attack. The updated Widow Mine will be used much in the same way as it is now, but the main difference is that instead of blowing up it shoots a missile, remains cloaked, and rebuilds another missile for later use. Because Widow Mines no longer self-destruct, opponents will have to react accordingly when they’re in play. After the changes, this unit is very different from any unit we’ve had in the past, so we fully anticipate that it will need a lot of testing.

Please remember that the numbers are not final and may require multiple tuning passes. While we want to try to push these new designs as much as we can, the new roles are not set in stone, so we encourage you to spend as much time as you can testing out the new changes and give us your feedback. We hope to work towards creating exciting new units and abilities for every race in Heart of the Swarm!