Blizzard Unveils Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm Unit Changes
With Blizzard's annual convention Blizzcon kicking off today, we knew we'd be getting a plethora of gaming goodness thrown our way today, and many were hoping for some detailed information on Starcraft II's upcoming expansion, Heart of the Swarm. Blizzard certainly didn't disappoint, showing a 2+ minute trailer mixing cinematics and actual gameplay, which you can watch below. The trailer is truly epic, but the real juicy part came with the unveil of the new units, some of which you can see in the trailer. PC Gamer compiled a list of the new units, along with which units from the first game have gotten the axe.
The Protoss get three new units. The Tempest is a new capital ship that deals massive area-of-effect damage to air units, accompanied with a standard ground attack. The Oracle is a psionic warship built to harrass. It can "Entomb" mineral fields, temporarily blocking them from being harvested, "Preordain" an enemy building, allowing a player to see what units or technologies are being researched, and "Phase Shift" a target building, preventing it from being attacked, but also preventing it from using any of its abilities or technology. The Replicant has one simple, yet unique ability - transforming itself into any non-massive unit. Getting the axe in multiplayer are Motherships and Carriers, the latter of which has been around since the original Starcraft, so that's sure to anger some. However, both units would still be usable in Wings of Liberty multiplayer.
The Terran get two new units and one modified unit. The Shredder can only attack when it enters stationary mode, where it channels area-effect damage to both air and ground units, automatically shutting off if a friendly unit enters the vicinity. The Warhound is a small, walking ground mech that is highly effective against air, but also contains a ground attack weapon that does additional damage to mechanical units. Lastly, the Thor gets a complete overhaul, becoming much more massive. You can now only have one Thor at a time and it no longer has anti-air weaponry, instead having a new bombardment ability that does a huge amount of damage to a wide swath of ground.
The Zerg get two new units. The Viper is a flying units with three unique abilities, Blinding Cloud (reduces attack range of all ground units inside the cloud to melee range, and prevents energy-based abilities from being used), Abduct (physically pull a unit to the Viper's location, which can be used on both friendlies and enemies), and Ocular Parasite (turn any friendly, non-massive unit into a detector). The Swarm Host is a slow-moving ground unit with no standard attack, but when burrowed, it unleashes a continuous stream of slow-moving melee units called Locusts.
Aside from the above additions, a few new abilities were unveiled for all three sides, so be sure to check the PC Gamer article for more details. That is, after you watch the awesome trailer below first: