This was and still is the most hotly debated topic among the design and testing team of SC2ProMod. This was to be expected of course, since user interface changes have been massive in SC2 compared to SCBW. Not all of those hinder competitive gaming of course, so we quickly scratched the idea to rebuild SCBW’s interface 100%. For example, to give the most prominent change in SC2, multiple building selection is still unchanged in SC2ProMod, as its effect on professional gaming in testing has not been as bad as people thought it would be. Just like in the general TL population there are basically two groups of people within SC2ProMod as well. Those who welcome the interface improvements and those who would just like to go back to the SCBW interface. After long testing sessions and even longer discussion, we think we found the perfect balance of sensible improvements and competitive challenge.
Max unit selection
The maximum unit selection has been reduced to 24 units. We tried several options there from unlimited to the 12 units from SCBW, even to reducing the number down to 10 as some players demanded. But in the end 24 emerged as the commonly accepted compromise, and after a lot of testing we are happy with it.
This decision was rather easy. Auto-mining has been removed in SC2ProMod. The Pros all agree that this tremendously increases the difference skill makes between the good and the great players.
Attack rally points
Changed so that the default rally is a simple move command. Players can still choose to attack rally by a-moving their production buildings instead of right-clicking.
Auto-surround / targeting
Another hotly discussed point. Something had to be changed, that much everyone agreed on. In the end we decided similarly to rally points: Auto-surround and auto-targeting has been disabled when the players focuses a unit or building. If a simple a-move is issued, auto-surround will still be on.
Has been removed in SC2ProMod. This was another simple decision. We want to see powerful casters that can obliterate entire armies – but we don’t want to see them every game. The skilled player should be able to make a difference using casters, not everyone.
High ground advantage
This has been discussed in length on the public SC2 forums. High ground and the defenders advantage. Here we went for another compromise between the SC2 and SCBW mechanics: Attack up high ground will result in a 54% miss chance if the attacker does not have vision, and a 25% miss chance with vision.
Simple change: There will be just 1 gas geyser on a standard expansion, holding 5000 gas. (Note that since we cannot edit maps fully yet the other geyser will still be there but will just be empty from the start).
No longer provides uninterrupted vision. All watchtowers now have an ability "scan" which provides vision for 5 seconds in the radius around the tower. This ability can only be used when a player has a unit nearby.
We have very limited means to change Battle.net within a mod like SC2ProMod unfortunately. However, a few crude features we could push through.
This is a very hackish solution, but SC2ProMod offers basic public chat rooms (what actually happens is that we included an IRC client that you will be chatting through from within the Bnet client).
Auto Match Making
AMM has been left as-is, with the small addition that you can now still leave the match during count down right up to the point the game would start, without the leaving player losing points.
Public game list
The public game list has been improved for performance. As a side effect until all available games are loaded the public server list will remain black.
Given the much higher skill level we expect for SC2Promod compared to vanilla SC2, and given the number of interface changes, we were forced to change a lot about the game to rebalance SC2ProMod. In some parts, the changes are substantial, while others almost remain untouched.
Frankly, our Zerg players love the queen. Small wonder, since in its current SC2 form it is incredible powerful. We knew this since Blizzcon 2009 of course, but it took several weeks of Beta play to be sure: The queen is a) too strong and b) encourages low hatchery and/or 1 base play, both features we don’t want for professional Starcraft.
The queen in SC2ProMod no longer spawns additional larvae for 25 energy, but instead spawns "queen nests" anywhere on the map for 150 energy. A queen nest functions similarly to a hatchery, in that it can receive cargo and produces larvae. It cannot be used to upgrade though. The concept sounds radical, but testing has shown it works: The timing for 10 pool / overpool into 3 hatch play is perfect.
Yes, it's back! Reissuing the lurker into the Zerg lair arsenal has been the best decission for SC2 so far.
Giving the Zerg a reliable defensive unit in the midgame has tremendously changed the ZvP and ZvT metagame
Currently the lurker is morphed from the roach just like it was from the hydra in SCBW, after the lair tech lurker upgrade is researched.
The infester has been criticized since its introduction. It’s just no match to the P and T midgame casters. The solution was simple and effective. The infester has been moved to hive tech. In return, it’s fungal growth spell has been buffed to do up to 250 damage, without ever completely killing a targeted unit though.
Well this was only logical. Yes, you can stack mutalisks with an overlord or another unit in the same group in SC2ProMod.
The roach now has a ground-to-air attack, but only against biological targets.
The beta as well as SC2ProMod saw an unfortunate trend to multi-gating and 1 base play, driven by the Protoss’ chrono boost. SC2ProMod addresses this by introducing the chrono boost feedback. If the chrono boost is used on anything but accelerating the build time on Nexuses (now possible), it will actually slow down whatever it is casted on. The chrono boost feedback is in effect until the protoss has at least 2 Nexuses completed.
Stalker and Immortal
This has been one of the hardest tasks for the coders: Reworking the pathing of the stalker and the immortal to mimic the behavior of their predecessor, the dragoon. It’s not quite the same yet, but it’s damn close, as our players confirm.
Along those lines goes a new attack animation for the stalker and the immortal that is more distinctive and helps identifying targeted units. Immortal damage has been changed to 10 + 10 vs armored.
Has been removed. We simply don’t want hero units – this is Starcraft after all.
As an homage to great Starcraft moments, the observer now blocks turrets, cannons, and spore colonies when placed directly above them.
The mechanic has been changed similarly to the chrono boost. The orbital command cannot be used to call in a MULE until the Terran has finished their 2nd command center. We have already seen a shift to more economic playstyles as a result, and although the feature isn't at all exciting, driving the game into the right direction is all that counts for SC2ProMod.
We never liked the thor. It is slow, tedious to micro and way too big. We already have the battle cruiser for that. The thor in SC2ProMod has been greatly reduced in size, giving it much better maneuverability. Its AA damage has been reduced to 10 +10 against armor. However to balance that it receives the new Charon booster upgrade which extends it’s range to 9 (that of a carrier or broodlord). Cost has been reduced to 100/50.
Damage has been buffed to 50 + 20 against armored.
EMP burst radius is increased to 4. However the EMP is now fired in a projectile which has some travel time, giving the opponent a chance to dodge it.
The Marauder is built from the factory again. To make up for the later availability, a speed upgrade can be researched from the tech lab. Additionally, the marauder gains the IED ability, which allows it to place up to 3 of its grenades on the ground, which will explode on enemies nearby.
With the marauder on tier 2, the hellion has been moved down to the barracks. Consequently it gains the stim pack upgrade, and it's unit type is changed to light-biological.