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Major Balance Changes: Testing Now Available

Major Balance Changes: Testing Now Available

During the WCS Summer Circuit Championship in Montreal, David Kim teased several major balance changes we had been testing earlier. These changes are now live on and ready to be experimented with in the Testing section of Multiplayer. Check out the full changes below and after you've had some time to test them, let us know what you think.

For an in-depth look into the reasoning behind these changes, check out our comprehensive blog.

Recent Changes/Bug Fixes

November 11

  • Balance Changes
    • Cyclone
      • Anti-ground damage reduced from 3 (+3 vs armored) to 3 (+2 vs armored)
    • Hydralisk
      • Base attack range reduced from 6 to 5.
      • “Evolve Muscular Augments was split into two separate upgrades:
        • "Evolve Muscular Augments" upgrade will increase the Hydralisk base movement speed by 25%.
          • Cost 150/150
          • Research time: 100
        • "Evolve Grooved Spines" upgrade will increase the Hydralisk attack range by +2.
          • Cost 100/100
          • Research time: 100
    • Ultralisk
      • Base armor increased from 1 to 2.
      • Armor provided by Chitinous Plating upgrade reduced from 4 to 2.

October 21

  • Balance Changes
    • Siege Tank
      • In Siege mode, Crucio Shock Cannon weapon attack period changed from 2 to 2.14.
    • Swarm Host
      • Locust Acid Spit weapon damage decreased from 12 to 10.
    • Tempest
      • Anti-ground weapon range increased from 6 to 8.
      • The Disruption Sphere ability replaced with the Disruption Blast.
      • Disruption Blast:
        • Tempest charges up for 4 seconds, and then stuns enemy ground units and ground structures in the target area for 7 seconds.
        • Cast range is 10.
        • Area of effect radius is 1.95.
        • 43 second cooldown.
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue with the Changeling's timed life duration.

October 6

  • Balance Changes
    • Baneling
      • +10 Health buff moved to the Centrifugal Hooks upgrade.
    • Cyclone
      • Anti-ground weapon attack period changed from 0.07 to 0.1.
      • Removed random delays from the Anti-ground weapon.
    • Starport Tech Lab:
      • The "Explosive Shrapnel Shells" upgrade was replaced with the "Recalibrated Explosives" upgrade.
      • "Recalibrated Explosives" upgrade:
        • Increases the Seeker Missile unit's tracking range by 50% (13 to 19.5).
        • Increases the Seeker Missile's damage by 30%.
  • Bug Fixes
    • The Nexus no longer has a kill counter.
    • Updated multiple tooltip descriptions.
    • Fixed a display issue with the Infestor when using the Neural Parasite.
    • Cyclone now deals intended amount of damage over time.

September 15

  • Balance Changes
    • Void Ray's speed increased from 3.15 to 3.5.
    • Ravager's ‘Armored’ flag was removed.
    • Warp Prism's health maximum reduced from 100 to 80.

September 1

  • Balance Changes
    • Banchee’s Research Hyperflight Rotors upgrade time increased to from 93 to 121.
    • Adept Shade Vision reduced from 9 to 2.
    • Infestor’s Deep Tunnel is now removed.
  • Bug Fixes
    • Battlecruiser’s Yamato Cannon now does not get interrupted by Infestor’s Neural Parasite.
    • Fixed multiple issues with the Cyclone’s Lock On.

August 23

  • Fixed an issue that prevented a player who didn’t have detection from seeing the tentacle of an enemy Infestor when using the Neural Parasite ability.
  • The Raven's Auto-Turret damage is now increased to the correct amount from the Explosive Shrapnel Shells upgrade.
  • The Infestor's Deep Tunnel ability now creates a visual warning at the target destination.
  • Both Unburrowed and burrowed Infestors will now cast their abilities when they are in the same selected group.
  • The Cyclone’s subgroup priority has been adjusted.
  • Fixed various unit and building tooltips to reflect all of the balance test map changes.

August 18

  • The tooltip for the Tempest’s Disruption Sphere ability now specifies it only damages ground units and structures.
  • The Raven’s Point Defense Drone ability will no longer destroy the Disruption Sphere missile.
  • The tooltip for the Cyclone’s Lock On ability now correctly states it can only target air units.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Chrono Boost from being casted on the Dark Shrine.


  • Anti-ground weapon heavily changed.
    • Damage changed to 3 (+3 vs armored) damage, attacks once per .07 seconds, range increased from 5 to 6.
    • Weapon upgrade amount changed from 2 to 1 to account for the new damage value.
  • Changed weapon name to Tornado Blaster.
  • No Anti-air weapon.
  • Movement speed decreased from 4.72 to 4.13
  • Lock On can now target air units only.  Range is unchanged, and the ability now deals 160 damage over 14 seconds.
  • Removed auto-cast for the Lock On ability.
  • Supply cost decreased from 4 to 3.
  • Increased health from 120 to 180.
  • No longer requires a tech lab to build. The Cyclone can now be built with a reactor.
  • The Cyclone auto-attack missile art is now smaller to avoid causing visual clutter. The missiles fired from the Lock-on ability are unchanged.
  • Removed the Cyclone Lock On Damage upgrade from the Factory Tech Lab.

Siege Tank

  • Sieged Siege Tank damage increased from 35 (+15 vs armored) to 40 (+30 vs armored).
  • Sieged Siege Tanks can no longer be picked up by Medivacs.


  • Remove the +light damage for the Anti-air attack.


  • Anti-air splash for the Javelin Missile Launchers radius increased from 0.5 to 0.6.
  • Thor High Impact Payload Mode: The Anti-air weapon, 250mm Punisher Cannons, will now be prioritized before the Anti-ground weapon, Thor's Hammer.


  • Removed the Fusion Core requirement for the Hyperflight Rotors upgrade.


  • Ground mode auto-attack now deals +8 mechanical damage.


  • Energy bar removed.
  • Yamato Cannon and Tactical Jump no longer require energy to cast. Instead, each has a separate cooldown.
  • Yamato Cannon cooldown is 71 seconds.
  • Tactical Jump Cooldown is 71 seconds.
  • Removed the Behemoth Reactor upgrade (energy upgrade).


  • Auto Turret damage increased from 16 to 24.


  • Increase supply count from 4 to 6.
  • Anti-ground damage increased from 30 to 35, but no change to Anti-air damage.
  • Anti-ground weapon range from 15 to 6.
  • New ability: Disruption Sphere
    • Immediately launches ball of energy and fires at target ground.
    • Damages ground units and buildings in that location
    • Deals 450 damage over a 32 second duration.
    • 43 second cooldown.
    • Area of Effect radius set to 1.95.
    • 13 cast range.
    • No friendly fire damage.


  • The "Research Charge" upgrade will now increase the Zealot's movement speed from 3.85 to 4.13.


  • Remove the Release Interceptor ability.
  • Interceptor cost reduced from 25 minerals to 5 minerals, and autobuild is enabled from the start.

Dark Templar

  • New Ability: Shadow Stride
    • Allows the Dark Templar to teleport a short distance.
    • Cooldown of 21 seconds.
    • Creates a visible smoke-effect upon being cast.
    • Research from Dark Shrine.
    • 150/150 cost.
    • 121 research time.

Swarm Host

  • Swarm Host cost reduced from 150/100 to 100/75.
  • Increased Locust Swoop range from 4 to 6.


  • Add +Armored flag.


  • Hydralisk attack range increased from 5 to 6.
  • The "Evolve Muscular Augments" will continue to give +1 range to the Hydralisk, as well as a base movement speed bonus of 25%.
  • Changed the Hydralisk movement speed to be affected the same as other units while on Creep. Muscular Augments now gives a 25% speed boost both on and off of Creep.


  • Health increased from 30 to 40.


  • Has a collision radius while burrowed (but smaller than normal).
  • Can cast all abilities while burrowed.
  • New Ability: Deep Tunnel
    • 50 mana cost.
    • Can cast anywhere on the map with vision.
    • Provides an audible warning to the enemy when Deep Tunnel begins.

Brood Lord

  • Range reduced from to 11 to 10.

We encourage you to head on into the Balance Test Map to test these changes out!  If you already have StarCraft II installed and updated, you can launch it here.

Launch Test Map

Otherwise, enter the Multiplayer section and navigate to Custom. The Balance Test Map will be at the top of the list under ‘Top Played.’

We’ve also updated the Extension Mod for balance testing, so you can play around with these changes on a variety of maps. Those of you interested in trying out the Extension Mod can do the following to get started:

  •     Navigate to Browse Maps on the Custom Games menu
  •     Select a map and click the Create with Mod button in the lower right corner
  •     Choose to sort by Blizzard Mods from the dropdown list at the top of the screen
  •     Select the “Balance Test Mod” Extension from the list and then hit Create Game

We’d like to remind you that feedback based on playtesting is the most helpful information you can share with us at this time. We kindly ask that you spend some time playing games on the test map before offering your thoughts on the changes listed above. We look forward to hearing your feedback and please remember that none of these changes are final.

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