StarCraft II balance patch gives the zerg a boost, Heart of the Swarm expected in April, 2012

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, 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, 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.netGameSpot

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  • thebigtarget1 - October 9, 2010 8:46 p.m.

    @nightcrawler_358 idk about that nightcrawler. i think that 200 marines beating 100 zealots is fine. Besides, in smaller group zealots usually win. You cant base balance changes off of full popped armies of one type of unit. it doesnt make sense.
  • NightCrawler_358 - October 9, 2010 1:33 p.m.

    This sounds good. i also think they should definitely nerf marine damage a bit. the whole 200 marines>100 zealots doesn't sit right with me.
  • The Feral One - October 9, 2010 1 a.m.

    Uhhh... he didn't let anything slip. It's been on the wikipedia page for a while now that they expect the expansions to come out with about 18 months between the main release and each other. Heck, that was on the wiki page before the game came out lol.
  • publicanemone - October 9, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    2012 for Heart of the Swarm?! OMG that seems like forever.
  • JohnDagger - October 8, 2010 11:24 p.m.

    Even though I am a Terran player, these updates seem well over due for the zerg.
  • ChiChiRocket - October 8, 2010 11:12 p.m.

    Finally, some Zerg love.

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