A major new StarCraft 2 multiplayer update is now in testing

Blizzard has begun testing a new StarCraft 2 design patch intended to "address underused units and abilities while also trying to reduce sudden game ending moments." Multiple units are being redesigned, the Protoss Mothership Core is being dropped altogether, and the economy is being updated as well to help make comebacks easier, even without a third or fourth base. 

"To do this, we’d like to increase the amount of gas on Vespene gas geysers, as well as the large mineral nodes. This means that bases take longer to completely run out, but since it’s only the large mineral node being adjusted, players are still encouraged to take new bases to increase their mineral income rate," Blizzard explained in the update announcement. "This should also decrease some of the pressure on new players to secure new bases right away." 

Multiple units from all three races are also being redesigned, or in the case of the Protoss Mothership Core, removed outright. Blizzard said that may be "the most experimental and risky" change of the update: "This is not a minor change and we will be paying close attention to how this plays out during testing. In doing this change, we hope to somewhat simplify Protoss early game defenses by concentrating defensive power in the Nexus itself rather than a specialized unit that moves between them." 

The listed changes are live in the "Testing" section of StarCraft 2 multiplayer, but the patch will require "a large amount of testing, feedback, and revision" before it's rolled out to everyone, Blizzard said. "Keep in mind that this is a first pass on the design update for November this year. Things may look very different as testing goes on with numbers changing, new changes being added or other areas being rolled back." 

The update is expected to be ready for full release in November.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.