StarCraft® II

HotS Overseer replacement suggestion

Hey Guys,

I have made maps for Starcraft, Warcraft 3, and have some cool stuff in the works for Starcraft 2. Being an aspiring game designer and a true fan of Starcraft, I always think about what I would do if I were part of Starcraft 2's design team. In a recent interview for HotS, Duston Browder discusses how the Overseer may be removed as a unit in HotS. I thought I'd provide some of my own thoughts and suggestions in response to the Overseer's potential removal. I know it likely won't get in, but who blames me for being hopeful. I at least hope this stirs an interesting discussion and provides fellow fans with at least a little entertainment.

I have designed the following Zerg unit as a replacement for the Overseer. Because it requires food instead of providing it, I could make this unit both a wonderful scout and a stronger support caster than its predecessor. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but feel free to be blunt if you have any critical feedback or suggestions. I hope this doesn't trigger too many of you to scream TL;DR, but just in case I bolded the sections and made the layout all pretty.
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Widower

Back Story:
Commander's Log: Entry 511
No recent sightings of the older, flying variants of queens have been noted for some time by other Dominion forces. Lately, there have been rarer reports of Overseers as well. The ensnares of queens were left ineffective after the deployment of our newly designed medivacs. Medivac healing beams were found to completely dissolve the stuff in addition to curing parasite infections. New regulations in command protocol have allowed for easier spotting of changelings entering the ranks, so perhaps that could be a reason for decreased Overseer sightings.
Our scientists have noted no new Zerg strand that could be a potential scouting and detecting replacement in the Overseer's absence. Since Kerrigan's recent escape, attacks have continued with cunning accuracy. Stories have been spreading among the grunts of "ghost zerglings" wiping out heavily defended military installations. Such stories are utter garbage. For one, the wings of a zergling are far too small to allow it to scale the cliffs surrounding any fortified Dominion base. Secondly, zerglings bodies are too frail to claw through the ground when burrowed. How could a pack of zerglings waltz right into the middle of a compound without drawing any kind of fire? There has to be a rational explanation. I'm betting some fool on a night patrol left a Supply Depot lowered or something.
I have more important worries on my mind than ghost stories. My medical teams are being attacked by broodlings that have been crawling from the chests of sedated patients! I thought the days of such pests were over after the queens took to the ground and the brood lords took over the skies.
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Appearance:
The Widower looks mostly like a large, bloated drone in appearance with spider and cuddlefish-like influences. The two spiny frills running down the side of a drone allowing it to hover are still present, but they ripple up and down like a cuttlefish to move the widower around.

Stats: 60 life, 3.75 movement, air unit, 11 vision range, 1 armor, no attack, light

Cost: Mutates from a drone for 50 minerals and 100 gas. It costs 2 supply and takes 20 seconds to mutate.

Requirements: Can be mutated from drones upon the creation of a lair.
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Abilities


Detector (11 range)

Creep Web- Spews streamers of creep over the targeted location, incapacitating buildings in the area while allowing units to walk past cliffs, forcefields, and buildings in the targeted area as well. Lasts 15 seconds and covers a 4x4 square area.
-Costs 75 energy
-Casts below the Widower like an overlord dropping creep.

Notes: The creep web provides increased movement like regular creep. This ability sort of acts as the Zerg's equivalent to cliff climbing.


Parasite- Infects the targeted enemy unit with a parasite that shares vision with the swarm. If the host's life falls below 50%, two broodlings will erupt killing the host in the process.
-Costs 25 energy

Notes: You cannot parasite massive units. Unlike the old parasite from BW, infected units have a normal portrait. Detectors are required to see the infection. If an infected air unit creates broodlings in death, they will flutter to the ground like a brood lord's attack. In general this skill is somewhere between Parasite and Spawn Broodling from BW. However, It is more useful in combat without being too powerful.

Camouflaging Mucus- Coats allied units and buildings in the targeted area with a layer of the widower's color changing bacterial mucus. For a short duration, affected units are rendered invisible to enemies. Lasts 5 seconds.
-Requires Pigmentation Clusters Upgrade
-Area of cast is similar to Fungal Growth
-Costs 75 energy

Notes: Affected units are invisible with similar restrictions to the mother ship's cloaking field. Can affect any allied ground/air unit and any allied building.
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Upgrades

Pigmentation Clusters- Grants the Widower the Camouflaging Mucus ability.
Cost: 200 minerals, 200 gas, and 110 second research time.
Edited by CEM on 6/22/2011 6:04 AM PDT
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General Design Thoughts: I attempted to balance the numbers and create restrictions on the abilities to a degree that more skilled players could better understand the widower's role and general timing within any given game. The addition of the widower gives a significant boost upon achieving lair tech. It basically has the same capacities of the overseer, but can be more powerful due to the added supply cost. The Zerg are given a form of cliff movement, which wasn't necessary but might shift the meta-game in ways that make playing against Zerg in ZvT and ZvP more interesting early on. Widowers with queens can fend off early harassment from small groups of Mutas, Banshees, or Void Rays. Lastly, Zerg now have a form of cloaking to supplement burrowing that is different from the other races. I'd get into all the potential uses, but cloaked muta stacks, infestor neural parasites, and invisible hydra/roach bioballs come to mind most quickly. I always felt it was a bit of a disadvantage that Zerg had no form of cloaked air attacking. Sure, it differentiated the races, but each other race has a ground cloaking unit and an air cloaking unit. Terrans have banshees and Protoss have the mother ship. Another thing that came to mind was Widower/Speedling attacks. It might even be a viable strategy to rush lair with only speedlings. You'd sneak a ramp into an obscure corner of a player's base and just nail him with a never ending swarm of zerglings.

Thanks for reading guys! I'll try to answer any questions and deal with any shortcomings in my idea that you guys find.
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send this to blizzard, sound alot more useful than our Overseer
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no offense but it sounds alot like the queen from BW. Change some of the abilitys to be more scouting stuff it would be awesome.
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Only real problem I see is that it makes cliff walking. Terran has 1 cliffwalking unit...Protoss has 1 cliffwalking unit...this unit (while it is only 1) can make it so that ALL Zerg ground units can cliffwalk, which would be beyond frustrating.
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gotta admit I thought this was gonna be a "oh lets make the overlord a detector again" thread this actually makes alot of sense for the most part I don't think an ability that allows all units to have cliffwalk would be balanced;
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I think it would be balanced if the Widower's spell only allowed units with their respective speed upgrades to get up cliffs, and also make the spell researchable.
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06/22/2011 11:47 AMPosted by BladedThesis
gotta admit I thought this was gonna be a "oh lets make the overlord a detector again" thread this actually makes alot of sense for the most part I don't think an ability that allows all units to have cliffwalk would be balanced;


heh, i actually havent seen anyone make threads about the overlord becoming a detector again. I do highly doubt that blizz would make it a detector again =)
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Creep Web- Spews streamers of creep over the targeted location, incapacitating buildings in the area while allowing units to walk past cliffs, forcefields, and buildings in the targeted area as well. Lasts 15 seconds and covers a 4x4 square area.
-Costs 75 energy
-Casts below the Widower like an overlord dropping creep.

Notes: The creep web provides increased movement like regular creep. This ability sort of acts as the Zerg's equivalent to cliff climbing.


Instant ramp anywhere sounds really fun, however the only concern is that unlike collosi and reapers the ability will allow you to sneak in with your whole army. Although Nydus worms can be used for the same purpose.

Parasite- Infects the targeted enemy unit with a parasite that shares vision with the swarm. If the host's life falls below 50%, two broodlings will erupt killing the host in the process.
-Costs 25 energy

Notes: You cannot parasite massive units. Unlike the old parasite from BW, infected units have a normal portrait. Detectors are required to see the infection. If an infected air unit creates broodlings in death, they will flutter to the ground like a brood lord's attack. In general this skill is somewhere between Parasite and Spawn Broodling from BW. However, It is more useful in combat without being too powerful.


This is an interesting combination of two BW queen abilities. Personally I would make it only spawn the broodlings upon the infected unit's death.

Camouflaging Mucus- Coats allied units and buildings in the targeted area with a layer of the widower's color changing bacterial mucus. For a short duration, affected units are rendered invisible to enemies. Lasts 5 seconds.
-Requires Pigmentation Clusters Upgrade
-Area of cast is similar to Fungal Growth
-Costs 75 energy

Notes: Affected units are invisible with similar restrictions to the mother ship's cloaking field. Can affect any allied ground/air unit and any allied building.


This sounds very useful, but given that you set it to only cloak for 5 seconds, there's not much sneaking you can do with that short of a duration.
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