Legacy of the Void, Starcraft 2’s final expansion, is shaping up pretty well. The multiplayer beta has been a lot of fun as it comes with massive changes to the economy and unit interactions. It’s a breath of fresh air for the game. I’ve recently hit Diamond on the beta servers again, trying to see if I can make Masters.
Lately, Blizzard together with the community has been focused on Protoss revamps particularly concerning Warpgates and warp mechanics.
Basically, because of the warp mechanic, Protoss effectively nullifies defender’s advantage as it can essentialy reinforce directly at the front, providing there is a Pylon or two to provide warp fields. Blizzard’s latest community update brings forth quite an elegant solution to this conundrum. They propose having different warp-in times for units depending on whether or not a Gateway/Warpgate is connected to a Pylon warp-field. Warp prisms will be unaffected, and can still be used to offensively reinforce albeit at the added cost of taking valuable Robotics Facility production time. I am not a Protoss player so I hold no educated opinion on the matter, but it’s quite a nice compromise in my books. Maybe we can finally see Protoss brought back a notch, eh? Just kidding. Protoss is actually severely underpowered in the beta right now too.
Along with Protoss changes, Blizzard also discussed something that was a surprise to the whole community: the possible changes or even removal of macro mechanics. For those of you who don’t know, each race of Starcraft 2 has a macro mechanic which directly improves productions. Terran has the M.U.L.Es, which are summoned on mineral patches and act like more efficient SCVs without taking up supply. Protoss has Chronoboost, a Nexus ability which improves production speed of any Protoss production building, whether it is used for units, upgrades and even Warpgate cooldowns. The Zerg has Spawn Larva, a Queen ability that allows faster production of Larva.
The arguments for this is that LotV adds more micro-heavy units to allow for more unique unit interactions. Simplifying macro-mechanics would allow the player to focus his APM (actions per minute) on more significant stuff, such as microing his units.
From a Zerg’s point of view, personally, I’d hate to see Spawn Larva go. It is something I enjoy doing, as nailing perfect injects (basically what we call Spawn Larva, because the Queens inject stuff into hatcheries to make Larva) is a personal measure of improvement. BUT. I do see their points. From a game design’s perspective. Injects adds nothing to the game and only serves as an artificial inflater of stuff to click on. Besides it’s not even a choice. Protoss and Terran macro mechanics are both choices. “Which building should I chronoboost?”, and, “Should I scan or should I MULE?” are frequent questions Protoss and Terran players ask themselves, which is adds a layer of decision making, especially compared to the “Have I injected yet?” of the Zergs’.
I’m not sure. One one hand, I really love macro mechanics, but that could just be me hating change. I can see why it can be better for the game though. For now, I’d just love to see it tested on in the beta.