StarCraft Balance Test Map Update – Swarm Hosts & Ravens

Humans of the Internet rejoice, for Blizzard have officially stated they are updating the current Balance Test map. Most likely following the 4+ hour long WCS Europe Qualifier match that took place this week.

Please note: All these changes are not live yet, as they rather huge and sudden, but everything here is what Blizzard are currently working on internally. These updates will likely be pushed to the live Balance Test map sometime “later this week or early next week”.

What's happening? You may ask. Well, essentially, all the original proposed changes to the Swarm Host for Legacy of the Void are being carried over to Heart of the Swarm. To be as precise as possible, allow me to break down the figures for you:

Swarm Host: Still 200m/100v/40s. Now 4 Supply. No longer starts with Burrow. Enduring Locust upgrade has been removed.

Spawning Locust: Cooldown is now 60 seconds (+35). Can be done Burrowed & Unburrowed. Must be done manually (activatable). Now only spawns 2 Locust each time (-2).

Locust: Still 12 damage. 0.6 weapon speed (-0.2). 30 second duration (+15).

Flying Locust Upgrade: Requires Lair. 200m/200v/160s. Allows Locust to fly using Swoop, but must land before attacking.

This is a massive change for all races. Previously Zerg have been able to use Swarm Host very effectively as a defensive strategy – perhaps most famously Stephano – but now will likely have to play a far more mobile game with them.

Not to mention both Terran and Protoss will need to be far more aggressive when dealing with Swarm Host, so as to avoid becoming overwhelmed, but will no longer be forced to do a brute force push into order to just hold back swarms of Locust.

That's not all though, as Terran Ravens are also getting a nerf to their Point Defence Drones, which will now only have a mere 20 second duration (-160). A humongous duration drop, as well as taking into account the deployment energy cost appears to remain the same for now (100).

Both these changes are very likely linked to a recent WCS Europe Qualifier match between Lillekanin and ZhuGeLiang, which would end up being over 4 hours long thanks to Lillekanin using Point Defence Drones to drag out the game. 

He was quick to jump on Twitter claiming he was a “Martyr”, these changes were “what i wanted”, and that this tactic was what “got me banned from WCS”. Clearly Lillekanin never read my previous article outlining the several other infractions he committed in order to get himself suspended.

It's terrific to see Blizzard reacting to recent happenings in a more timely manner, and showing willing to make big, major changes to the game because of them.

Blizzard did state in their post that these changes will be pushed to the live Balance Test map sometime in the next week or so, stressing that: “getting a large amount of external testing and feedback will be critical to our decision making process”. So if you're interested in trying out these changes yourself in Custom, be sure to keep an eye out.

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