Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void – new units and changes overview and analysis

Blizzard Entertainment finally revealed the long awaited cinematic for Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void, which means that the game’s release date should’t be too far away now. Moreover, Beta registrations for the expansion are now live, although Blizzard has yet to announce when the first phase of testing will begin. What’s clear however is that the company will need an army of testers to balance the upcoming game given all the new stuff their adding. While some of these changes are definitely not unexpected, there are a few that will really affect the core gameplay and make for a more action-packed experience according to Blizzard themselves. Below you can find an overview of the general changes coming with Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void and we’ll also be looking at the new units that will be introduced with the standalone expansion.

General Changes:

Blizzard announced only two major changes for now and they’re both aimed at making sure that Starcraft 2 players will start expanding faster. Although you’ll still be able to go for one base all-in or cheese attacks, the game in fact encourages you not to do that and instead go for a macro game with multiple expansions and large armies. Legacy of the Void achieves this by giving you twelve workers from the get-go instead of just six. Coincidentally, you will need just twelve to mine at maximum efficiency, so basically you’ll only need additional workers when you grab your gases, or when you plan to expand. This change is pretty important as it allows you to focus entirely on base building from the start and greatly enhances you mineral income in the early game. It’s also worth mentioning that because of this change supply granted by the Nexus, Command Center, and Hatchery has been increased.

The other major gameplay change coming in Legacy of the Void will essentially force players to expand quicker. Blizzard decided to decrease the resources found on Mineral Fields and Vespene Geysers by 33%, which means that you’ll run out of minerals and gas much faster now, especially considering that you will also have twelve workers from the start. In Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm each mineral patch holds 1,500 minerals and each geyser can provide you with 2,500 gas. By comparison, in Legacy of the Void you’ll only have 1,000 minerals per patch and 1,700 gas per geyser to work with.

Protoss – new units and changes:

The Protoss race is only receiving one new addition in Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void in form of the Distruptor. This unit is built from the Robotics Facility and is best used for crowd control. The Distruptor has an ability called Purification Nova which basically transforms it into a ticking time bomb. Once activated, this ability makes the Distruptor invulnerable to damage and gives it increased movement speed. More importantly, after 4 seconds the Distruptor deals massive AoE damage in a small radius around itself. This unit was undoubtedly added to Starcraft 2 in order to encourage more micro from your opponent, although the High Templar’s Psionic Storm arguably has the very same purpose. Not sure how the Distruptor is better than the HT because its cost and damage have not been revealed yet, however, its advantage seems to be that you can build it faster as you only need a Robo to do it.

We’ll also see changes to a lot of existing Protoss units in Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void and even to the warp-in mechanic. Units are now much more vulnerable while warping in as they take no less than 200% more damage while doing so. All the land units will remain the same except for the Immortal who will lose its signature Hardened Shield passive ability. Instead, the Immortal will have an activated ability called Barrier, which gives it a 200 HP shield. As for the aerial Protoss units, in Legacy of the Void the good all Carrier will be able to permanently launch its interceptors at a target and they will keep fighting even after the Carrier goes down. The two abilities of the Oracle – Revelation and Envision – have been combined so that cloaked units hit by Revelation will also be revealed. The Oracle also has a new ability called Stasis Ward, a cloaked trap that when triggered explodes and immobilizes enemy units caught in its blast. The Tempest received a speed buff and a new active ability called Disintegration, which deals 500 damage over 50 seconds. On the flip side, the Tempest will only be able to attack ground targets in Legacy of the Void. Last but not least, the Warp Prism can now pick-up units from a distance.

Terran – new units and changes:

We’re looking at two brand new additions here: the Herc and the Cyclone. The Herc is a new bio unit that will be available in the Barracks once Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void kicks in. This is a melee unit that has a grapple ability for quickly closing in to the enemy and dealing its small-radius splash damage.  Similar to the Distruptor, you’ll likely use this unit against groups of clumped up enemies, although the Herc also seems useful at catching fleeing targets. The Terran’s second new addition is also very useful for this as it can lock onto a target and fire on the move while also dealing massive amounts of damage to that target. Dubbed the Cyclone, this unit will be available in the Factory in Legacy of the Void.

In terms of changes, the Terran race will receive some pretty interesting ones in the final Starcraft 2 expansion. First off, Siege Tanks can now be lifted and dropped by a Medivac while maintaining their Siege Mode. Needless to say, Terran harassment will never be the same again following this change. Speaking of harassment, Banshees are about to get a lot more annoying in Legacy of the Void thanks to a new Fusion Core upgrade. This upgrade not only gives the Banshee +1 attack range, but it also greatly increases its movement speed so that it can outrun any mobile detection unit. The Thor is receiving a pretty nifty ability that you may be familiar with from the Starcraft: Wings of Liberty campaign. This ability allows the Thor to go offline and fully repair itself over a period of time. In order to make room for the new Emergency Repair ability, Blizzard has removed the previous one, High Impact Payload. Finally, the Battlecruiser will become one hell of an opponent in Legacy of the Void thanks to its Tactical Jump ability which allows it to teleport anywhere on the map regardless of the fog of war.

Zerg – new units and changes:

One of the most iconic Zerg units from the Brood War era will be making a comeback in Legacy of the Void. I’m talking of course about the Lurker. This is a siege unit that morphs from the Hydra and is capable of doing massive amounts of damage to ground targets from a great distance. What’s more, its attack range can be upgraded even further at Tier 3. Similar to how the Swarm Host used to work, the Lurker can only attack while burrowed. The other addition to the Zerg arsenal is called the Ravager. This new unit morphs from a Roach and comes with a very useful ability: Corrosive Bile. With this ability the Ravager can hurl fireball-like projectiles into the air which deal damage to both land and air units after a few seconds. In addition, the Corrosive Bile is also capable of destroying force fields.

As for the changes, only three Zerg units will be modified in Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void. The Corruptor will no longer have the Corruption ability but don’t worry because Blizzard has replaced it with something much better. The new channeled ability, Caustic Spray, allows it to deal damage over time to a unit or building. The damage increases the longer it’s being channeled but the Curroptor is immobile while using it. Next off, the Swarm Host has been transformed into a mobile harass unit with the changes made to its Spawn Locusts ability. You will now have to activate the ability manually and it has a longer cooldown, but it can be used while the Swarm Host is unborrowed and even when it’s moving. Furthermore, the locusts can be upgraded to flying units at Tier 3. We wrap things up with the Nydus Worm, which can no longer be damaged while unborrowing in Legacy of the Void. This means that you’ll better have some units nearby that are ready for a fight because defending with workers will not be a viable option anymore in the final Starcraft 2 expansion.