HotS Beta Impressions #2: Stargate Changes

One of the things I am most excited about Heart of the Swarm is the fact that Protoss players are getting more options then just Robotics Bay play. Protoss’s will definitely start to use the Stargate more with the addition of the the new units, The Oracle and the Tempest, which both provide something that the Protoss army has been missing. However, there has been a little bit of complaints among the community about these new units.

The Tempest has not had as many complaints, but it is still a very strong unit from Protoss. Basically, the Tempest is a long ranged air unit, ideal for sieging enemy units from afar. It also deals bonus damage to massive air units, which means it will be an effective counter to the Brood Lord/Infestor army that Zerg players use in the late stages of games. The Tempest is still slow, and very vulnerable without protection from a ground army. This means that Marines/Stalkers/Hydras will be a decent way to deal with them, if they ever become a problem. Overall, the Tempest is a great unit while still being balanced. It provides the siege unit that Protoss lacks, the anti-Brood Lord unit, without being powerful against anti-air units.

The second unit, the Oracle, however, has had a lot of players upset, and at first I can see why. With just two Oracles, a Protoss player can annihilate an enemies workers if they are not prepared. A lot of people claim that this worker harassment is too strong. It is true that it is strong, but if a player is prepared for the Oracles, they are extremely easy to kill. Furthermore, after the initial worker harassment, the Oracle has little use. Yes it is highly effective against light units, such as Marines, but it is also very vulnerable. If Blizzard decides to change this unit, it will need to be done very carefully. If it’s ability to damage workers is nerfed, without increasing its durability or something else, then it will become an obsolete unit. A better change I feel, would be an increase on the build time. This will at least give players more time to scout and prepare accordingly for the incoming Oracles.

Ever since these units were first announced, I was very excited. Stargate has been a viable tech path for Protoss players, however it lacked variety, as well as detection in Wings of Liberty. The Oracle and Tempest will help change this in Heart of the Swarm and hopefully help make Starcraft II and even more entertaining game to play, as well as watch.

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