CO-OP MISSIONS update. - RAYNOR REVAMP
Hey all! Last week, we looked at upcoming Artanis changes we had in the works. After reading through your feedback and doing further playtesting on the Commander, we’d like to provide an update.
Khaydarin Amulet research time decreased from 90 to 60.
Combined with the Plasma Surge research time buff, the ramp-up time of the High Templar tree will be decreased by a full minute.
Energy Regeneration and Ability Cooldown Reduction Mastery
Our previously proposed Mastery, Energy Regeneration and Ability Cooldown Reduction, has had its numbers reworked. This Mastery now increases the energy generation and ability cooldown reduction of all of Artanis' units by 1.5% per point up to 45%. (Previously 1% per point, up to 30%).
After further testing, we believe going up to 45% would make this Mastery a more competitive choice without making it overpowered.
Shield Overcharge cooldown reduced from 300 seconds to 180 seconds. (Previously down to 240 seconds)
After testing this community suggestion, we liked how it felt. It also helps the energy tension problem we identified with Artanis in the last update.
Guardian Shell/Guardian Shell Mastery
Artanis' Level 2 Upgrade, Guardian Shell, now restores 15% life and shield regeneration when the effect saves a friendly unit.
The Guardian Shell Life and Shield Restoration Mastery now restores 0.5% additional life and shields per point, down from 1% per point. Maximum additional restoration reduced from 30% to 15%. The overall effect at full Mastery will remain the same.
After further testing with the new Shield Overcharge and the new Shield Overcharge Mastery, we found that we missed the Guardian Shell healing Mastery way too much. As a result, we’re rolling some of the power of his Guardian Shell Life and Shield Restoration Mastery into his base ability so that the other Mastery in the slot will be more competitive.
Though we’ve received many thoughtful suggestions about how to buff Dragoons even further, we’ll be holding off on doing so for now. One of our philosophies on the Co-op team is to preserve a level of fidelity across game modes when it comes to how units behave, regardless of whether they’re from StarCraft I or II. We feel this is especially important for Artanis, because he is one of our basic Commanders. For better or worse, the Dragoon is a tanky, slow-moving unit that doesn’t have the best damage output in the game. It also lacks splash damage, siege range, and a stim ability.
Unlike Marines or Hydralisks, Dragoons were not designed specifically to be massed. Rather, they are most effective when used to support ground compositions such as Immortal/Reaver or Archon/Zealot. The buffs we’re giving the Dragoon (+armored damage and range) are intended to reinforce this role without changing its core identity.
Now that we’ve covered Artanis, we’d like to touch to the next Commander we’re revamping: Jim Raynor, our very first Co-op Commander, and many players’ first introduction to the mode.
Raynor poses a unique challenge. For more experienced players with solid macro and micro abilities, Raynor can be a powerhouse with his bionic play. But to get the most out of the Commander’s ability and unit set, players must achieve a level of skill that is not easily attainable.
On the other hand, Raynor’s mechanical units are relatively easy to use. We feel that a broad spectrum of players can utilize them to near their full potential. That said, their “full potential” still isn’t anywhere near as powerful as it could be, so newer players get the short end of the stick. Their options are to either try to play him in a way that’s too demanding for their current skill level or rely on his underpowered mechanical units.
We’re not saying that skill shouldn’t be rewarded when playing Raynor—or any other Co-op commander, for that matter. Rather, we believe that the playing field between beginners and veterans isn’t as even as we’d like. We’ll therefore focus on improving both Raynor’s mechanical and bio-mechanical options in this coming update.
Raynor’s Factory and Starport units now receive 20% gas cost reduction bonuses instead of 20% mineral cost reduction bonuses.
Because of Raynor’s Orbital Commands, Raynor players were never really hard up for minerals. Both bio-mech and mech strategies were severely restricted by the gas resource, however. We believe that this change will increase the number of mechanical units players will be able to field.
Banshees now gain +2 range when cloaked.
We feel that the Banshee is one of the weaker units in Raynor’s mechanical arsenal. We hope that adding this additional functionality to Cloak will create more interesting decision-making opportunities as to when to cloak and differentiate the Banshee’s version of Cloak from other units’.
Battlecruisers can now shoot while moving.
The Battlecruiser's Yamato Gun cooldown decreased from 100 seconds to 60 seconds.
The Battlecruiser’s Tactical Jump no longer requires vision.
If there’s one thing we know on the StarCraft team, it’s that players love to have the option to build lots of capital ships. We agree that Raynor’s Battlecruisers were underperforming, so we’ll be giving them a few buffs. First, the Battlecruiser will now be able to shoot while moving, allowing for additional micro opportunities for mass Battlecruiser players.
The cooldown of Yamato Gun will also be reduced from its base Versus-mode stats into those worthy of the Co-op mode and its power level. Players will now be able to cast both Yamato Gun and Tactical Jump once every 60 seconds.
Our intention with these two buffs is not only to increase the power level of the unit but also to improve the control players have over their Battlecruisers. We think this will make them much more fun to use.
Finally, we’ll be reverting the change we made a few patches ago that required the Battlecruiser to have vision of the target area to use Tactical Jump. This change will be extended to all versions of this ability, including those of Swann and Han & Horner.
Replaced Stimpack Duration Mastery with Research Cost Reduction Mastery. Research Cost Reduction Mastery reduces the costs of all research by 2% per point, up to a maximum of 60%.
The Stimpack Duration Mastery was not used very often, and was generally seen as inferior to Drop Pod Speed Increase. We’ll be looking to replace. this bio-specific mastery with one that focuses on both bio-mech and mech play. As we previously mentioned, we believe gas to be the limiting resource for mech. We expect both bio-mech and mech strategies to opt for this new Mastery to save on precious gas. Meanwhile, gas is not in such heavy demand for bio players, so they’ll be more likely to stick to the Drop Pod Mastery.
Reduced Damage during Medic Heals Mastery replaced by Mech Attack Speed Mastery. Mech Attack Speed Mastery increases the attack speed of Factory and Starport units by 1% per point up to a maximum of 30%.
Raynor also happens to have two Medic Masteries and we realize the “Reduced Damage during Medic Heals” Mastery was underperforming compared to its counterpart, the “Medics Heal Additional Target” Mastery. In its place, we plan to add a Mech Attack Speed Mastery for Factory and Starport units. We hope that with this change, there will be a clear bio Mastery and a clear mech Mastery, but for players who opt for bio-mech, the choice will be more difficult.
Hyperion Cooldown Mastery increased from -3 seconds per point to -4 seconds per point. Maximum bonuses increased from -90 seconds to -120 seconds.
Finally, we felt that the Hyperion Cooldown Mastery was underperforming slightly compared to its counterpart, the Banshee Airstrike Cooldown Mastery, so we’ll be adjusting the numbers so that they’re more comparable.
While working on these changes, we’ve been careful not to disturb the power level of Raynor’s bio, a playstyle that we know a lot of you really enjoy. We’re also aiming to make mech more powerful and dynamic. As always, though, we rely greatly on your feedback. Do you think we got it right? Are you looking forward to playing with Raynor’s improved mechanical units? We’ll be listening!
Until next time,
Co-op Commander Designer