Today, let’s cover some new units. Remember that the game is still on its alpha development stages, so that means nothing’s final. A lot could change over the months. I hear that Starcraft 2’s not gonna be out till next year, so that’s a long time to make some changes and balancing issues.
Zerglings – Zerg staple. Not new. They do have a new ability though – they become powerful suicidal little monsters that turn green –*play green-eyed monster theme, right now, please* – when they are in this state. Saw a game play trailer where the controller, after killing his opponent’s units, instructed the Zerglings to form the letters GG – good game. Hahaha. These buggers also happened to be good against the mighty Protoss Colossus.
Reapers – They may look like Marines, but they are NOT Marines. They’re frogs! Hyuk hyuk… Actually, they’re the Terran’s answer to the Protoss Immortals. With their dual machine pistols, they will actually be able to go head-to-head with the Immortals and not trigger the shields of them robots. Plus, they can jump up or down different tiers of the map with their jet packs. Wohoo! Bring on the Jumpin’ Jacks!
Zealot – Protoss staple. Not new. But, like the Zergling, has a new ability. I don’t know if it’s a passive ability or one that needs to be activated, but the Zealots I saw in the game play trailers almost always accelerates when they are about to attack. Think Marine with Stim Packs, only, the Zealots don’t lose their health while accelerating.
Immortal – Dragoons are a thing of the past. This unit is the new primary ground range support for the Protoss. They’re able to activate a near impenetrable shield when under heavy arms fire, like the siege tank’s Arclite cannon blast. The Tanks are nearly powerless against Immortals, since their heavy tank blasts activate the shields. As a contrast, Terran Reapers’ small arms fire can make short work of these guys. Power always comes with a price, you know.
Colossus – Ah… the one that I said reminds me of War of the Worlds. Well, guess what? This guy thinks so, too:
“Think of the recent film War of the Worlds and you’ll have a good idea of how this new unit looks. Their long legs allow them to easily traverse tiers of land. Equipped are a set of dual lasers that can make quick work of smaller, poorly armored units such as Zerglings.” (http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/790/790160p1.html)
Stalker – A quadruped unit which has the Blink ability similar to Warcraft 3’s Night Elf Warden hero. It’s controlled by the essence of a Dark Templar who voluntarily allowed himself to become one with the machine. These guys are good in ambushes and tracking down fleeing opponents.
Phase Prism – These things can transport Protoss units quickly across the battlefield. They’re also capable of acting as replacement Pylons, powering all structures within range should a pylon be destroyed.
Another new air unit for the Protoss – the Phoenix:
“Phoenix: New flying unit, capable of overcharging its weapons to unleash a barrage of projectile volleys. The demonstration showed four of them simultaneously initiate this ability, ravaging a swarm of Zerg Mutalisks. Players need to be careful when engaging the overcharge, as the Phoenix cannot attack or move for several seconds after performing it. Go, death blossom, go.” (http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/790/790160p1.html)
Death blossom, huh? Reminds me of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. In the latest book (11th) – Knife of Dreams – two of the abilities that the main character demonstrated was the ability to create Blossoms of Fire and Deathgates. Hahaha.
However, to quote Urban Dictionary, “From the movie ‘The Last Starfighter’, the Death Blossom is a uni-directional super weapon which fires all over the place, hitting everything within range. If you are taking on a whole bunch of people, you could be said to be doing a ‘Death Blossom’.” (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Death+Blossom)
On with the show…
Warp Ray – This little is guy may have a small health for the moment. But according to the author’s quote below, it increases its damage in relation to the length of time that its laser weapon has been kept firing.
“Warp Ray: Another new flying unit. These guys blast a continuous laser that increases in damage output the longer it fires. We saw a group of these things take out a Terran Battle Cruiser pretty rapidly. Though they’re effective against heavily armored foes, they can still get shredded by small arms fire, like that from Terran Marines.” (http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/790/790160p1.html)
And last but not least:
Mothership – A very expensive but very powerful unit such that only one of these can be present on the battlefield at a time. It’s got three powerful abilities, the first of which is called Time Bomb or something related to time manipulation.
“Using this [ability] surrounds the ship in a translucent spherical field capable of stopping incoming missiles. When the field times out, the missiles drop to the ground like harmless Tic-Tacs.” (http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/790/790160p1.html)
The second ability is called the Planet Cracker. Once activated, the Mothership fires a battery of laser beams at the ground – three major ones from the ship’s extremities forming a triangle and four smaller beams from the ship’s center that move in a circular direction. While this ability is active, the Mothership can move anywhere.
The final ability is Black Hole, which tears a hole in the fabric of reality and actually sucks in whatever units surround it.
And there you have it. Quite a barrage of starships for the Protoss, it seems. But hey! It’s called Starcraft!