Starcraft: Heart of the Swarm

Starcraft screenshotSo, the HOTS (Heart of the Swarm) beta has been out for a little over two weeks now and the anticipated Starcraft 2 expansion is having some mixed reviews, depending on which pro gamer you talk to or which race they play.

The big change, at least for the multiplayer, which is what the beta covers, is the extensive online multiplayer.  HOTS will incorporate several new features in the game which will be noticeable to everyone as soon as they start the game.  Those little changes are that the worker count for each Nexus/Hatchery/Command Center will be listed above it as well as have the number for the ideal resource collection rate.  This also works for buildings that are placed upon gas geysers.  The other small improvement off the start of the game is that workers automatically start mining rather than a player having to make the workers start mining off the beginning of the game, giving every player a fair start at the beginning so that they may be able to keep up with some more experienced players who knew how and why to “split” their workers in the beginning.

Starcraft screenshotThe other changes in the game will have a much larger implication on how the game will be played.  Each race has new units to change the way players will play the game.  The problem is, that the new units are not balanced yet.  yes I know that the game is only in beta so far, but the units themselves are largely underpowered for one race, overpowered for another, and way to cheap to produce for the third.  And I am speaking of the Protoss, Zerg, and Terran in that order.  The protoss units are almost useless because thye really don’t do much other than keep workers from mining for a short period of time or fire at long range with a weak attack.  The Zerg are able to do something they never have been able to do before in that they can turtle in their play style by using the Swarm Host’s endless amount of free untis to hold the line against other types of units.  The Terren then has a unit that is super cheap to make that can be produced very early in the Warhound, which makes for a powerful push from a Terran player early in the game, making a Terran rush that much more popular.

Maybe I am just complaining a little right now, but unless some of these problems get fixed by the time the game comes out, I will see no reason to play it because my race (Protoss) is so under-powered in the game its kind of crazy.  Why play a game that you lose in every time you play? I truly hope Blizzard gets this stuff figured out.

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