In case you missed our big feature on eSports in America, StarCraft II is kind of a big deal. This weekend at the MLG Spring Championship in Anaheim, Blizzard revealed new details about Heart of the Swarm, the Zerg-centric follow-up to Wings of Liberty.
What fun new toys has the Blizzard team come up with? Keep in mind, these units could be modified or even removed when the Heart of the Swarm eventually comes out. Blizzard has already nixed some of the units it revealed at BlizzCon 2011, including a Terran unit called the Shredder, which was deemed too confusing, and the shape-shifting Replicant, which was causing players to avoid building certain units in fear that they would be copied.
Blizzard is also releasing some welcome updates with Heart of the Swarm, including the ability to resume multiplayer play if you get cut off in the middle of a match and global play with multi-language support. Oh, and there will be 2o single player missions in the game as well, but let’s get to what you really want to know: the new multiplayer units you’ll get to play with.
Mothership Core: This ship is basically the Protoss equivalent of the Terran’s planetary fortress. It sits over your Nexus, defending it against invaders, with the added bonus of being able to move to any Nexus that’s being threatened. It also has the ability to warp units back to the Nexus if they’re under attack.
Oracle: This little guy has the annoying ability to “Entomb” mineral lines, making it impossible for workers to gather minerals. It can also cloak nearby buildings and units, making them invisible to attackers.
Tempest: An expensive ship with the ability to launch long-range attacks against both ground and air units. According to G4, the developers are considering adding an upgrade that would extend its range to 22, which is farther than a Siege Tank.
Battle Hellion: This unit solves the issue of speedy Hellions basically being useless late in games. Now it can transform from a harassing unit to a mech with a flame-thrower, making it much more useful when you’re done picking off workers in mineral lines and need some muscle.
Warhound: It walks! It shoots stuff with missiles! This unit specifically targets mechanical units, meaning that its missiles will automatically skip over biological units in search of vehicles to blow up.
Widow Mine: These mines attach themselves to air and ground units, devastating groups with a strong AOE attack.
Swarm Hosts: This beetle sets itself in the ground and then spawns endless, free “locusts” that attack anything in the area. Good for busting into fortified bases and grossing us out.
Viper: This might be the most fun new Zerg unit. It manipulates units by either dragging them closer to your forces or it ejects a cloud that shortens the shooting range of enemy units.
Ultralisk: Remember the last time you built an Ultralisk? No, you don’t, because they were expensive, slow and got hammered by ranged units before they could do any damage. Now they’ll have the ability to “burrow charge,” meaning they get a split second of cover underground before bursting out to attack.