Nerdsworth Academy

Starcraft 2: Patch 13 – Ultralisks squishier?

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Hey all,

I just am popping down for a few minutes to write about a few of my thoughts regarding the latest patch for the Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty beta. 

Okay, I’m a Zerg player.  I play Zerg more than 90% of the time.  I think I’ve played Terran twice in FFAs, and only to see if I could get a few nukes off before I died (I got a couple, but nothing majorly epic.) And I have to say, Bliz, what are you thinking with the Ultralisk?

If you haven’t heard, this is what was changed with Ultras:

UltraliskLife decreased from 600 to 450. Damage changed from 25 to 15 (+25 Armored). Damage versus structures increased from 60 to 75.

This is from the official Patch 13 Situation Report thread.

This shows that Blizzard is trying to change the role that Ultras are meant to play in the Zerg army.  Prior to Patch 13, Ultras were meant to be tanks, soaking up damage so that the more fragile Zerg units (I’m looking at you, Hydralisk) would be able to dish out the pain.  Granted, the Ultra’s splash damage attack made them decent damage dealers. 

However, now the damage change and health nerf mean that Ultras are mean to be… more damage-dealing? I find this not very useful, since there are many other Zerg units with high damage that are fragile (Hydras again, hell, Zerglings do okay if they aren’t getting instantly destroyed). The role of tanky Zerg was reserved for Roaches and Ultras. 

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think that Ultras will see the light of day in competitive SC2 play.  At least not in their current state.  They died too fast at 600 hp, and now they will evaporate in front of the infantry armies that they were designed to maul.  Granted, the new Frenzy ability for Infestors may make their high damage even better, but the benefit of that damage requires that the Ultra get into melee range first.  Which often isn’t going to happen.

I do like the ability for massive units (which includes Ultras) to take down Protoss force-fields.  I’m glad that there is another counter to FF which could be extremely cheesey with large numbers of Sentries.   

Ultralisks are ridiculously expensive to tech to.  Not only do you need the Spawning Pool, Lair, Infestation Pit, Hive, and Ultralisk Cavern, but on top of that two relatively expensive upgrades, one of which, Ultralisk speed, is just about mandatory.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m okay with having Ultras having some nice upgrades, but I feel like the enormous cost of teching to Ultras should make them potent straight out of the box.

Overall, I think that Blizzard will have to re-make the Ultralisk yet again.  I haven’t tried Ultras with Frenzy very much, but I do think that their decreased hp will make their overall damage go down.  Still, I guess the ability to prevent mind control and fungal growth is good.  Coupled with the force field change, at least Ultras have a little bit of extra mobility.

I apologize again for the somewhat ranty nature of this post.  I just don’t know what Bliz is trying to do with Ultras (or rather, why they are trying to turn a great tanky Zerg into a non-tanky Zerg).  I promise that my next post will be on a happier note.  Until then,




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