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Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update – November 19, 2014

Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update – November 19, 2014

Thank you so much for the feedback you’ve provided for Legacy of the Void since our reveal at BlizzCon. Having had time to review the feedback we’ve received, we’d like to provide an update on our current thinking and also help clear up some common misunderstandings as well.

New Unit Count

Everything in the game so far is just a snapshot of where we’re at in development, and nothing is set in stone at this point. For instance, it’s absolutely not determined that Protoss will only get one unit while other races will get two. The final new unit count is not yet decided. We want to do what’s right for the races and the game, and it’s just too early to make a call on the final new unit count for Legacy of the Void right now.

Protoss Strength

We’ve seen concerns about Protoss being mostly ‘nerfed’. Obviously we don’t want any race to get mostly ‘nerfs’ while other races are buffed, but because we’re trying so many things at once, balance will be off. Also, we’re aware that if we take away from the strength of the race as a whole, we’ll need to add something else back to make up for it since the balance of the game is pretty solid right now in Heart of the Swarm.

For example, one of the most powerful buffs in Legacy of the Void that we’re seeing internally is on the Protoss. A Warp Prism performing a drop with two Immortals is ridiculously powerful. The Hardened Shield buff as well as ranged pick up works so well (if an opponent has no air units in play) that Protoss always gets a huge lead in the mid-game.

Resource Changes

As far as resourcing is concerned, right now, we’d like to specifically target a change where players need to spread their bases out more so that there’s a lot more action going on. We believe this will have two benefits: players going on the offense will have more attacking options, and players on the defense can show off their defending skill better since they have to defend a much wider area now.

While we’ve seen a variety of suggestions on this topic, we’d like to focus on changing the problematic parts of this system and not immediately look to do a complete redo. One of the main design goals we’ve always had on our team is to locate the specific area we’d like to change and only change that part. The main reason for this is very simple. We don’t want to potentially lose the good parts of a system by changing more than what’s necessary.

Unit Changes

A few thoughts on some points we are seeing discussed on specific unit changes.

  • The HERC overlap with the Hellbat (and somewhat with charge upgraded Zealots) is something we’re aware of and would like to address.
  • Interceptors are not free. Their cost still remains the same
  • We’re also looking at changes on many other things including:
    • Various abilities we aren’t happy with
    • Exploring new unit ideas on both Protoss and Terran
    • Exploring ways to make the upgrade process more interesting and dynamic
    • Exploring ways to reduce micro in the game that can’t really be seen vs. increasing micro that players can show off.

Once again we really appreciate all the feedback you’re providing. We’d like to offer some points to help keep the feedback as productive as possible before we move into Beta testing.

Focus on discussion rather than conclusions

It’s really not possible to definitively say how good or bad a change is until we’ve had a lot of playtesting. Recently we’ve seen some feedback and discussion turn into definitive conclusions on certain subjects, many of which differ from what we’re seeing in our internal playtesting. We’d like to make sure that everyone understands that nothing is final, and while the discussion on these changes is helpful, there’s no need to overreact to any of these changes we’ve previewed so far.  There will be a time for everyone to test these changes personally and see how they play out. We’d really love to heavily test various, sometimes more extreme, ideas during the upcoming Beta.

Beta will look much different than what you saw at BlizzCon

In our internal pre-alpha build, we’re already exploring completely different changes, making tweaks to existing things, adding/removing units and abilities, and so on. We’d like to point out once more that our current focus is not on specific changes that make or break a race, but how the game as a whole is functioning. The best time for that is during the Beta. Right now, it’s just not possible to make calls on individual changes without seeing what the game as a whole will look like.

As always, thank you so much for your input. Please remember that nothing is final, we’re putting a heavy emphasis on gathering all of your feedback, and we’ll try our best to at least internally test suggestions we see in order to fully explore all the options available to us for Legacy of the Void.

Thank you.

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