SC2 Week: The first announcement
Marine: The gruff-talking, alien butt-kicking armored backbone of the Terran forces is back in action. We spotted a group of marines sporting riot-style shields in our demo—the shields are a possible upgrade the devs are considering.
Says StarCraft II’s lead designer, Dustin Browder: “Every time I see that [teaser cinematic] I think, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of work for 50 minerals and 40 hit points.’”
Siege Tank: When marines just won’t cut it, you call in the Siege Tanks. Just like in the first game, this heavy weapon will deploy stabilizer legs that allow it to fire a larger projectile at a greater range, but also immobilizes it to one spot.
Reaper: The only new Terran unit Blizzard showed off is the Reaper, a fast-moving jump jet infantry armed with dual pistols. They’ll be able to hop up or down ledges to assault bases or slow-moving units from any direction.
Battlecruiser: Also back for round two is the Terran Battlecruiser, armed with its signature Yamato gun that’ll be able to destroy most smaller air and ground units in a single blast.
Zerglings: The dreaded Zerg rush is alive and well. But the Zerglings, small melee attackers that swarm a target and overwhelm it through sheer numbers, will no longer be one-trick space ponies. They’ll be able to evolve into at least one other form: the Baneling, a suicide Zerg filled with corrosive acids that will explode on impact with its target. We’re guessing there will be other Zergling forms to keep the basic units useful later in the game.
Mutalisk: The Zerg’s airborne form was spotted attacking a Protoss Colossus in the demo, only to be taken down by a Phoenix’s overload attack. In StarCraft, these guys could mutate into powerful flying artillery, so it’s safe to assume they’ll have at least one higher-level form.
Nydus worms: In StarCraft, the Zerg could build nydus canal nodes in two locations and instantly travel between them. StarCraft II shows us what dug those canals: the Nydus Worm. They’ll burst out of the ground and open their mouths wide, which will allow smaller Zerg to use their tubular bodies as a quick-transit tunnel.
Picture this: You’re playing as the Protoss, and one of your resource bases on the other side of the map comes under attack. Your gateway, the Protoss barracks, at the besieged base is destroyed. For old-school Protoss players, the battle would already be over. But that’s because they didn’t have warp-in tech, a new upgrade for your barracks that will allow them to build a unit anywhere on the map within the range of a power pylon or phase prism. (There’ll be a limit of one unit per gateway at a time and a cool-down period before you can use warp-in again.) It’s a handy ability that will instantly set strategists’ minds running wild with possibilities, but it will have its drawbacks—the unit will gradually materialize just like a Protoss building and be completely defenseless until finished. And, if your power pylon is destroyed midway through the warp-in, your unfinished unit will be lost.