Co-op Mission Update: Zagara Revamp

Co-op Missions Discussion
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Hey everyone! Much like the changes we’ve made to other commanders, our goals with Zagara include providing buffs to some of her more underwhelming units. We’d also like to encourage a greater variety of playstyles beyond the “mass suicidal units” approach that is currently very popular among Zagara players. Before we get started on Zagara, though, we’d like to go over some changes will be making to Zerg Overlords.

Overlords: All Zerg commanders
  • Pneumatized Carapace research cost decreased from 100/100 to 50/50.
    Overlords with the Ventral Sacs upgrade now drop their cargo if they are destroyed.
  • After Pneumatized Carapace is researched, Overlord movement speed increased to 3.38, up from 1.88.
  • After Pneumatized Carapace is researched, Overlord acceleration increased from 1.0625 to 2.125.
  • Baneling Spawn cargo space reduced from 2 to 1.

These overall buffs to Overlords are primarily designed to encourage more drop play, especially in combination with Banelings. We imagine that this style can be especially useful when facing specific enemy compositions that are powerful against ground units, but lack significant anti-air capabilities. While we don’t imagine Drop Overlords will be as useful with other Commanders, we’d still like to extend the change to encourage drops overall.

Zagara
  • Zagara's Respawn time decreased from 120 seconds to 60 seconds.

We’d like to adjust Zagara’s respawn time to be consistent with other Commanders’ heroes.

Medusa Blades
  • Medusa Blades damage increased from a flat 10 to 50% of Zagara's weapon damage.

Medusa Blades was a bit underwhelming, previously dealing 10 damage to two targets. With this change, Medusa Blades will deal a minimum of 15 damage and will also scale with Zagara’s attack damage Mastery.

Mass Frenzy
  • Sustained Frenzy Mastery replaced with Intensified Frenzy Mastery. Its new functionality increases the attack and movement speed bonuses granted by 1.5% per point, up to a maximum of 45%.
  • Mass Frenzy Cooldown decreased from 120 seconds to 90 seconds.

We received feedback that the Sustained Frenzy Mastery wasn’t particularly useful in some cases because battles involving Zagara often did not go on past Mass Frenzy’s original 15 second duration. To remedy this, we’ll be adjusting this Mastery to increase the effectiveness of Mass Frenzy instead of increasing the effect’s duration. If players opt for this Mastery, they’ll feel extremely powerful when using it, as it will now have a much more noticeable effect. Not only will it help non-suicidal units shred their foes, it’ll also help your Banelings and Scourge close in on enemies.

Infested Drop
  • Movement speed of Roaches from Infested Drop increased from 2.25 to 3.

We thought that Roaches coming from an “ultimate level” ability should have their speed upgrade built in.

Upgrades
  • Zerg Melee Attacks upgrades renamed to Zerg Ground Attacks. This upgrade now benefits Zagara's Queens, Hunter Killers, and Roaches, in addition to its current functionality.
  • Banelings now receive +4 damage (+8 vs. Structures) with each Zerg Ground Attack, up from +4 (+5 vs. Structures).
  • Scourge now receive +11 damage for each Flyer Attack upgrade, up from +5.

We’ll be adjusting upgrades so that Zagara’s ranged units also get benefits from her attack upgrades, allowing her to scale a bit better going into the late game. In addition, we’d like to uncap the bonuses Zagara’s suicidal units receive from attack upgrades, partially because some players felt that Flyer upgrades were not as effective as simply building additional Scourge.

Queen
  • Zagara's Level 1 talent, Relentless Swarmer, now reduces the supply of Queens from 2 to 1, in addition to its current functionality.

We felt that Queens were a bit too supply-intensive given Zagara’s 100 supply cap.

Zergling
  • Zagara's Zergling Evasion percent chance increased from 0.5% to 1.5%. Maximum bonuses increased from 15% to 45%.

Zergling Evasion Mastery felt underwhelming, so we’re hoping this substantial improvement helps it compete with Baneling Damage Mastery. We want this change to very explicitly highlight a key decision point for players: whether to go for a more suicidal army or a more sustainable one.

Abberation
  • The Abberation's Protective Cover has been reworked. Its new functionality reduces all damage dealt to units under its cover by 50%.
  • Abberation now receive +2 damage (+4 vs. armored) with each Zerg Ground attack, up from +2 (+3 vs. armored).

The Protective Cover change will allow units underneath Abberations to not only better survive normal damage, but also splash and spell damage. It’s also a significant improvement from the previous iteration of the build, which merely granted +2 armor to units under its protection.

Corruptor
  • Corruptor movement speed increased from 2.9531 to 3.375.
  • Corruptor acceleration speed increased from 2.625 to 3.
  • Corruptor Parasite Spore weapon damage point changed from .1670 to .0625.

First, we wanted to bring the Corruptor’s stats up to those found in the Versus mode. These changes allow the Corruptor to feel more responsive, and although we don’t think these changes will have as much of an effect in Co-op, it seems like a positive change overall.
  • Corruptor damage changed from 14 (20 vs. Massive) to 14 (28 vs. Armored).
  • Corruptors now receive +1(+3 vs Armored) damage for each Flyer Attack upgrade, changed from +1 (+2 vs. Massive).

In the versus mode, vs. Massive damage is significant because it allows Corruptors to be specialized and counter a very specific subset of units. In the Co-op mode, it’s more important to fulfill multiple roles, so we’ll be extending the Corruptor’s bonus damage so that it’ll be effective against armored units as well.
  • The damage bonus provided by Corruption is increased from 20% to 35%.
  • Corruption cooldown decreased from 45 to 15.

Corruption doesn’t translate well from Versus to Co-op because fights in Co-op are much more frequent. As a result, we’ve adjusted some of the numbers so that it fits the mode better.
  • Zagara's level 8 upgrade, Incubate Banelings, has been renamed to Incubate Banelings and Scourge. It now has the following additional functionality: Corruptors spawn 2 Scourge when killed.

And here’s the big one. Corruptors will now behave like an aerial version of Abberations in that they’ll now drop suicidal units on death. We hope this will increase the power level of Corruptors in a big way, while still feeling true to the Commander’s theme.

Bile Launcher
  • The Bile Launchers' Bombardment ability has been reworked. It will now bombard a target area repeatedly instead of attacking it only once per command.
  • Bile Launchers can now target areas in the fog of war.
  • The Bile Launcher's Artillery Ducts upgrade now provides 9 additional range, up from 7. Maximum range after the upgrade increased from 20 to 22.

The biggest complaint we heard about Bile Launchers was that, despite their power, they demanded an exorbitant degree of micro and attention to use effectively. We decided to add some automated functionality to the building in response to this. With this change, Bile Launchers should now work especially well on maps that continuously spawn hordes of infested units, such as Dead of Night and Miner Evacuation.

Going Forward
Whew! And with that, we’re done with all the Co-op balance changes we’re aiming to make in the upcoming patch. As always, let us know what you think; we look forward to chatting again soon!

Kevin Dong
Co-op Commander Designer
Could add option to transport Nova around with her ship without needing to kill and revive her for a medium cost.

And add the bonus range to Raynors Dusk Wings while making the mech mastery affect them and the Hyperion.

Just suggestions, thanks for all the other updates!
Great changes, Monk.

Thanks for your hard work.
OMG thank you so much Monk! I am really, REALLY looking forward to play Zagara's corruptors now. Her bile launchers seems more appealing to play too now. I LOVE IT!

Keep up the good work :)!!
There need to be some more changes for Zagara.
Her main problem is that her army becomes weak in the mid to late game because her army cannot be sustained as other Commmander army.

I know her army theme is 'explosive and expendable', and thus she needs to constantly spend more resources to sustain her army. Often you find yourself having very little resource when you urgently need them.

I propose that more baneling nests can be built per hive level.
Also Scourge Nests could also have an Incubation Chamber like Baneling Nest
3 Baneling Nests (Hatchery + Lair + Hive) and 2 Scourge Nest (Lair + Hive).
Baneling Nest = 3 Banelings per nest
Scourge Nest = 3 Scourge per nest

Zagara needs some extra free expendable units to alleviate from resource problem to sustain her army.

Also, thanks for keeping us posted.
Extremely disappointed, the gameplay additions are minimal and the commander has just been buff without questioning, it's just despicable, No more want to see the next commander, stop the maj he will go faster
like the changes (especially the unexpected overlord ones)

A bit disappointed Corrupters didn't get too much more. (although I do like making it stronger)
I don't think the dropping Scourge is particularly helpful...2 Zagara Scourge are18 gas.. not much, considering the Corruptor is 90 gas... For Abberations 2 Zag Banelings are 28 gas.. from an Abberation that is only 67 gas)

Was hoping for autocast larva on Queens...hatches seem too much better (since they don't need management or supply)

Bile launchers having continuous area attack seems like a good way to keep them unique and not becoming strike fighters/siege tanks

[Looking forward to patching the Phoenix/Mirage Range bug and the Nova invulnerability bug on the next patch..maybe ?]
Thanks for the hard work and transparency, Monk! It has not gone unnoticed :)
That's a long list. Thank you for the update.
I hope the patch will go live soon.
What a disappointment. The delay and revamp implied huge changes...and we got a whole lot of nothing. Zagara is still a 1 dimensional unit. There's not really any differentiating in strategies. You make lings, you make banes and you make aberrations and go. That's it. I was seriously hoping that you would introduce a new unit to her arsenal to give her more dimension. I was hoping for the defiler since it's the only zerg unit that isn't controllable anywhere. But really, the infestor or viper would have been an amazing addition as well. As it is, Zagara is still 1 dimensional and this revamp isn't a revamp at all. It's just a couple of minor tweeks. You didn't really do anything to change the mass suicide playstyle. It's still going to be the same style as before. Abathur is well designed because he has multiple strategies to go. Kerrigan and Zagara not so much.

The early commanders really need a complete revamp. Especially the zerg ones of Kerrigan and Zagara. Their unit's don't really fit their play styles. And they are both 1 dimensional in strategies. This was a complete let down. Just give us the defiler already that's all I want out of a zerg commander.
My eyes were getting swirly from the suite of upgrades even before i hit aberrations. Dear god i did not think she needed this many boosts but holy cow.

I don't know why people are complaining about this. Late game power is significantly improved with the aberration and corrupter changes. And now you can use queens to spread creep and heal those aberrations and corrupters much easier.
Not going to lie, I was expecting a bit more than that.

I hope the changes feel better in practice than they look on paper.
01/17/2018 01:03 PMPosted by monk
Although we’re not completely against reworking or adding new abilities to units, we generally will lean towards number-related changes if possible.

I am also going to leave this quote right here for the inevitable "Zagara needs a complete rework" comments
Maybe give bile launchers ability to demote them for full resource cost and reduce their build time, might give them some situational offensive use.
Speed boost on overlords? If this carry over to overseers then we will see more overseers rushing to their death XD

The changes to bile launcher are awesome. While not as cool as the air strike from Horners, Zagara can now camp spawn points all day with them cannons. However, if we truly want to promote diversity with Zagara, I would suggest that you either allow the launchers to be built off-creep and generate creep underneath or allow them to deep-root to any creep-covered ground(in this case, we can utilize overlord's creep-dropping ability). Would it be too much to ask for detection on these guys as well?

The upgrade to aberration's "protective aura" is awesome! Now we can have a smaller but permanent version of Fenix's sentry and I hope this will make the zerglings survive 1-2 extra hits and help deliver the banelings further toward their target. The much awaited changes to corruptors is much welcomed.

I am afraid that reducing queen's supply cost won't be much an impact with Zagara. Mass hatcheries will still be more dominant with all the extra minerals. Also hatches provide faster rally, and eliminate the need to spread creep. I used to build queens to inject larva to Kerrigan and Abathur's hatches, but I have long dropped that habit and don't expect to go back to using queen unless there is a more significant change to their function.

In my post under Kerrigan's revamp idea, I suggested that we use queen's inject (and supplicant's sacrifice) to reduce respawning time for the hero. Currently we have ways to respawn Nova (pay minerals), Dehaka (sacrifice drones), and Fenix (upgrade that reduce his offline generation - not to mention he has 3 lives!). I wonder what do you think about this idea.
Always good to hear your reasoning. Cheers!

It is good that Queens are less of a supply trap, but they'll need more than that in order to be usable.
06/12/2018 11:04 AMPosted by Panthera
Speed boost on overlords? If this carry over to overseers then we will see more overseers rushing to their death XD

The changes to bile launcher are awesome. While not as cool as the air strike from Horners, Zagara can now camp spawn points all day with them cannons. However, if we truly want to promote diversity with Zagara, I would suggest that you either allow the launchers to be built off-creep and generate creep underneath or allow them to deep-root to any creep-covered ground(in this case, we can utilize overlord's creep-dropping ability). Would it be too much to ask for detection on these guys as well?

The upgrade to aberration's "protective aura" is awesome! Now we can have a smaller but permanent version of Fenix's sentry and I hope this will make the zerglings survive 1-2 extra hits and help deliver the banelings further toward their target. The much awaited changes to corruptors is much welcomed.

I am afraid that reducing queen's supply cost won't be much an impact with Zagara. Mass hatcheries will still be more dominant with all the extra minerals. Also hatches provide faster rally, and eliminate the need to spread creep. I used to build queens to inject larva to Kerrigan and Abathur's hatches, but I have long dropped that habit and don't expect to go back to using queen unless there is a more significant change to their function.

In my post under Kerrigan's revamp idea, I suggested that we use queen's inject (and supplicant's sacrifice) to reduce respawning time for the hero. Currently we have ways to respawn Nova (pay minerals), Dehaka (sacrifice drones), and Fenix (upgrade that reduce his offline generation - not to mention he has 3 lives!). I wonder what do you think about this idea.

Overseers are already 3.38 IIRC
Did you disappointed people skip over half the text or something? And no they're not going to add a new unit for Zagara, everyone already knew that.
Can aberrations also get the 2 base armour they had in the HotS campaign?

Oh, and can corrupters get barf on buildings?
Wow Zagara was already very strong, now she looks really scary!
Good changes that still keep the theme of the Commander intact.

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