HotS Units and Changes: Overview and Opinions
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend MLG Anaheim, so I have not played with any of these units. To anyone who has played the pre- release version, please share thoughts and opinions. All following opinions are based on research and a general knowledge of the game. Enjoy
Mass Recall: Rescue units
Energize: Energy regeneration
Teleport: Moves to different nexus
The Mothership Core is going to be a structure that is build based on what you’re going to be building, and what you plan on doing with it. It can be incredibly useful when you’re getting harassed because of it’s Purify ability. Mass recall will be great when doing harass because of its ability to, well, mass recall. Energise will be something that will greatly help your spell-casters, particularly your oracles and sentries. And even if you want to land a clutch storm and don’t have enough energy on a high templar, it can be useful to have that ability in your back pocket.
The only downside I can see to it is its cost and the fact that you might be able to forget about it in lower league play. Knowing myself, I probably would, but that comes from being in silver league. It would be a difficult structure to take down early game, and late game it can just teleport away, but it’s effectiveness diminishes as the game progresses.
I can see it being used as something like a Planetary Fortress, except with spells. Something used on more forward bases that are kind of secluded and can get attacked easier. It could mass recall units to protect and pop purify to defend.
Entomb: Slow enemy economy
Cloak Field: Cloak units and buildings
Preordain: Scouts enemy buildings
The Oracle is going to be a very useful unit if kept alive and allowed to save up energy. Its skills will be mostly useful in early and meta game, because of the lack of counters to what it does. Its skill Entomb would be an immense annoyance for anyone without some good DPS right beside their mineral line, and early game, or even meta-game, it’s not very likely. Preordain is going to be useful after an initial scout, as it acts sort of like the Terran Scan, revealing everything around a certain building. Cloak field is going to be useful on both offensive and defensive. I can see the skill being used in a variety of different forms of harasses and counters, like cloaking a warp prism while it drops in units on the edge of and opponent’s base, or just cloaking a wall off against a standard zergling or roach rush.
The weakness of the oracle is its significant lack of life and shield. Although it is fast, it would be an expensive unit to lose early game if you don’t handle it properly. It also has no base attack, which could prove devastating if it’s out of position and out of energy.
I think the Oracle is going to be used mainly to harass in early and meta game, then used for scouting and defence in late game. Then once again may be used to harass if the game goes really long. I doubt it would be useful in a battle unless you used the Cloak field ability, but even then, detection is not an uncommon thing.
The Tempest is going to be a massive anti-tank unit, destroying them, or at least un-siege them for when the brunt of the force arrives. I can see it also being a long range worker line harasser. If it is placed at equal distance from both mineral lines, it would be able to snipe workers even if they shuttle off to a different location. This would effectively shut down some eco, and creating a distraction for the enemies anti air units while you pushed from another side. It can also be just a massive damage spike unit during an all out battle, it would be able to focus down enemy massive units fast and let the rest of the army deal with the enemy.
The weaknesses of the Tempest are its very slow attack speed, and relatively slow movement speed. It wouldn’t be very good for sniping off units in the base, because it can’t get away very fast, so any type of harass from the tempest would be a commitment and probably suicide.
The tempest is going to be used as a late game assault unit, for focusing down missives. It will stay a long way away from the enemy, and assault from a safe distance.
- Tempest: Carrier is cut, and has same attack for ground and air
- Replicant: Gone
- Oracle: Phase shift replaced by cloaking field
- Mothership: Was originally gone, but can now be upgraded from Mothership Core.
- Phoenix: Changes may occur, due to effectiveness
- General goal: is to give Protoss more aerial firepower
- Pylons: lack of z-axis warp in, must be on level ground.
Wrap-up: The Protoss are becoming even more caster and micro heavy. It is risky for anybody to simply A-move, but there will be so much more micro needed to properly play Protoss. Their air forces have become more powerful with the tempest and oracle, and I can envision mass air armies coming our of Protoss players, with Phoenix, Void Ray, Tempest, Mothership and Oracle, although maybe not oracle, because they would only really do the cloaking field in an assault, and the Mothership has that covered.
Transform: Tough close combatant
The Battle Hellion will be an awesome base defence against melee units to make an even more effective turtle Terran. With increased defence in battle form, it will be able to hold better against stronger pushes like roach rushes against mech.
Downside to using Battle hellions is their slow speed and the time taken to transform. Factories are going to produce hellions in battle form now, so it will take more time to get them mobile.
I presume they’ll be used like standard hellions, early game to harass. They’ll be mostly used to harass in mobile form, but used to contain in battle form.
Haywire missiles: Targets mechanical units
The Warhound seems like a strong attacker and defender for even better turtling. Its anti mech is going to change the way tanks are used in TvT, but will also result in good anti bio. Its ability, Haywire Missiles, will be a devastator to enemy mech units, especially Protoss Colossus and Terran mech.
Although being a powerful unit, it is going to have a low hp and not the fastest movement speed. Like the Thor, it will be vulnerable to mass bio attacks and will need to be defended. Although it is relatively cheap, it will likely get focused and die fast. It will also be vulnerable to air attack.
I see it being used as a support, and non tanky unit. It can follow behind other forces in order to give a good DPS, but it can’t take that much damage.
Time bomb: Large explosion radius
The Widow mine is going to be incredibly useful for a Terran in early game against all races, particularly Protoss and Zerg. Until mass detection comes out, the mine will be a huge threat. With a low cost, fast build time, and massive damage, it will be a fear of everyone playing against a Terran with a factory. It’s ability to attack land and air will be invaluable to counter drops and harasses, as well as a possible unlucky overlord who might pass over. If an engagement is well planned out, a mine could decimate most of the army before actually engaging. Mines can also be put at expansions, or in mineral lines of un-expanded patches for massive eco damage.
I see no real downside to the usage of a Widow Mine. Only that its effectiveness will decrease after observers or overseers begin to arrive.
I think that widow mines will be used throughout the game, as defences and as offences. Unless the enemy gets detection all over the map, they will be like a Terran Baneling, and devastate anyone that walks over.
- Widow mine: replaces Terran Shredder
- Warhound: originally called the “Merc Commander”, was originally meant to be an anti air unit, but became more anti mechanical
- Reaper: Plans to de-nerf
- Battlecruiser: Significant changes will be made.
- General Goal: More advanced this expansion
Wrap-up: The Terran forces are already very versatile, and with no know changes to air units other than the Battlecrusier, the defence will still be very powerful. I’m not expecting turtling pro players, but I do have a hunch that low level players will be turtling a lot more. Defence against early pressure from Zerg will be shut down much easier with the battle hellion. All I can say is that I’m expecting some nerfs on Terran units, like the Widow mine, in the near future.
Spawns free units: Endless
The Swarm Host is going to be a popular late game unit. If it and the Brood Lord partner up with some Hydralisks and zerglings, it would probably be a extremely powerful build. With endless broodings and locusts, along with the distraction and easy replacement of zerglings, and the DPS and range of Hydralisks. There would be a lot of DPS and distractions with minimal losses. With the life span upgrade for the locsts (given that they don’t die) there can be a permanent amount of locusts from your
It is an expensive unit, but has no attack of its own if it’s out of ground, making it vulnerable if it is caught out of position un-burrowed, or detected with no other units around. It has very low hit points, at only 120, it can die very fast.
This would be another support unit, obviously not a assault unit on it’s own, but it could be used in meta game to attack along with infesters and zerglings.
Battlefield manipulation unit and can eat minerals
Blinding cloud: reduces weapon range to 1
The viper is going to neutralize mass marine/marauder play, mass stalker play, and mass hydra/roach play because if it’s Blinding Cloud ability. It will also be a very good unit to use against colossus and tanks because of its Abduct ability. It will be a efficient caster for the Zerg force, along with the infester. And if you’re really desperate for an enemy SCV or Probe, you can now abduct them and neural parasite, instead of waiting for one to roam out of the base.
The downside, like all casters, is if it gets caught out of position without energy. Also, all of its attacks are used so that other units can get their damage in. It has a DPS with a grand total of zero.
The viper will be used to back up the rest of the army, and will be particularly useful in defending against marines, or distracting them to drop a killing blow. It’s range of abduct can easily break apart tank lines.
Burrow Charge: Fast assault
With a new ability for the Ultralisk, the idea of “If you’re ahead and want to lose, go ultra” may be changed. Before, the Ultralisk could be easily kited to the point where a small marine force could beat it. With the Burrow Charge ability, that will change. To be able to instantly cause a massive amount of damage in a large area, very fast, is a beautiful thing.
Aside from the cost of the upgrade, I see no bad side to the skill. It will be a essential skill to have if you decide to go Ultralisk. Maybe not as important as Metabolic Boost or Pathogen Glands, but it would be incredibly useful for absolutely wrecking mass marine, and even for breaking siege lines or mineral lines.
It will be used late game, of course, with the Ultralisk. Although I doubt this will make Ultralisks suddenly popular, it will increase their usage, and maybe even reduce the chance of a Terran going mass bio.
- Viper: Used to be able to grant detection to non massive units, including itself. Removed because of overseer returning.
- Overseer: Removed then returned
- Hydralisk: Speed
- Lurker: Proposed return, but no confirmation. And a different unit may be brought in to replace the role it once had.
- Nydus Worms: New types are being planned.
- New Unit: Concept art suggests there may be a new unit to come
- Campaign: Infested bunkers, Defilers and devourers are possibilities.
- Ultralisk: Significant changes will be made.
- Banelings: Significant changes will be made.
- General Goal: Not really sure, big changes though.
Wrap-up: Like the Protoss, the Zerg units are going to be more micro intensive, with the addition of the viper and Swarm Host. The locusts are going to be a pain to micro in an all our battle, because you can’t hotkey them without losing APM. The Zerg are still going to be powerhouses that can throw away small fry units to save the bigger ones, and with even more free units now, a late game Zerg is going to be a terrifying thing.
Thanks for reading. As always, leave your thoughts and feelings down below. It really helps, and if I get some good feedback on this I’ll go more in depth about each race in future articles.