HotS Beta Impressions #4: Pylon Changes and PvP

Most of the articles I have written before these have been talking about specific units that will be coming to Starcraft in the upcoming expansion. However, I wanted to change gears and talk about something slightly different today; the change coming for Protoss’ pylons. Simply put, players will no longer have the ability to warp-in units, or build structures on the high-ground if the pylon is placed on the low-ground.

This change has many Protoss players concerned, though as a Protoss player myself, I do not share their concern. This change basically nerfs two things; four gates and cannon rushing. Now, I am not necessarily against these builds, but they are just a little out of hand currently. With a four gate, if you get vision of the high ground for just a couple seconds and are able to get a warp-in, the game is basically won. The same is true with cannon rushing, get control of the high ground and as long as you know what you are doing it is an easy win.

Currently, this is not a huge issue, since these builds are easily countered if players scout and react correctly. However, it is just kind of silly when a majority of PvP games are “Who can defend a four gate?”. Furthermore, other changes coming in Heart of the Swarm will also raise issues for this already fragile situation. The main problem will be the addition of the Mothership Core. This unit would allow players to have free vision of the high ground, allowing them to warp onto the high ground. It is true that getting this unit would delay the four gate quiet a bit. However, I think most players would agree that a couple seconds is well worth the ability to warp units straight into your opponents main base. The Mothership Core, however, is a great unit for Protoss to use for defense. The nerf to pylons is a way to help make sure that the potential synergy between four-gates and Mothership Cores are not too strong.

Honestly, this is another change I am very glad came along for Heart of the Swarm. The first thing I thought when I heard of the Mothership Core being added as a unit was how amazingly it will work with four-gates and other all-in builds that require vision of the high ground. This change to pylon mechanics is not a terrible nerf to Protoss players, unless you are a player that relies on these one-base, gimmicky plays to win. All and all, it seems Blizzard is trying to make it so PvPs last longer in HoTs, since this is a matchup that is infamous for being extremely short.

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