StarCraft 2 multiplayer patch brings major changes, final Nova Covert Ops episode also released

StarCraft 2: Nova Covert Ops

Blizzard has outlined in detail its StarCraft II Multiplayer Revamp, which is live as of yesterday with patch 3.8. Headlines include fundamental redesigns of the Terran Cyclone, Zerg Hydralisk and Protoss Tempest, and major changes to many others. The third and final mission pack for Nova Covert Ops is also now available.

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Nova Covert Ops

Nova Covert Ops is a bonus single-player campaign for StarCraft II focusing on Nova, a Terran assassin with psionic powers. You can customise Nova’s loadout before each mission and will have to manage her abilities at a micro level to get the most from her, yet many missions retain StarCraft II’s base-building and army-management gameplay as well. Issued in packs of three missions, the third instalment completes the campaign, and is available now.

Head here if you’d like to pick it up. It’ll cost you £5.99 ($7.49 US) for one mission pack, or £11.99 ($14.99 US) for the whole trilogy.

Multiplayer Revamp

The Multiplayer Revamp was first announced back in August at DreamHack Montreal, and is intended “to bring the game to a place that is consistently full of diverse combat, strategically-rich choices, and balanced gameplay.”

Basically, it’s another round of balance changes and redesigns to make the game more competitive, with special focus this time out on improving the diversity of army compositions.

For the Terran, Factory and Starport units get a lot of attention to make comps based on these structures more compelling. The Cyclone is redesigned into “a front-line anti-armoured damage dealer.”

Likewise with the Zerg, Blizzard are looking to achieve “a good balance between Roach/Ravager, Zergling/Baneling, and Hydralisk-based play while empowering some of the under-utilised support units”. These units, accordingly, all get tweaks, with the Hydralisk being buffed and redesigned.

For the Protoss, Blizzard want to “even out the strengths of the race’s harassment options, and increased the combined power of Stargate play.” Protoss harassment units are thus tweaked, and larger changes, mostly buffs, are made to the Tempest, Carrier and Void Ray.

We’ve also reproduced the patch notes in full for you below. You can also read the preview at Blizzard’s blog here. The patch went live in Europe yesterday.

A Nova Covert Ops mission

Patch notes

Terran Cyclone redesign

The Cyclone is being redesigned into a front-line anti-armored damage dealer. It can now be produced from Reactors while being cheaper, beefier, and a bit slower. It also now possesses a much bigger punch versus ground units.


  • Supply cost decreased from 4 to 3
  • Health increased from 120 to 180
  • Movement speed decreased from 4.72 to 4.13
  • No longer requires Tech Lab to construct (Reactors can produce)
  • Cost reduced from 150/125 to 150/100
  • ‘Lock-On’ ability now targets air ONLY

Basic Attack:

  • Anti-ground ONLY
  • Damage decreased from 18 to 3 (+2 vs armored)
  • Attack speed increased from one attack per .7 seconds to one attack per .1 seconds
  • Range reduced from 5 to 4*
  • Anti-air basic attack removed
  • New Upgrade: “Mag-field Launchers”*
    • Increase the attack range of the Cyclone by 2.

Terran Siege Tank changes

  • Health increased from 160 to 175*
  • Sieged Siege Tanks can no longer be lifted by Medivacs
  • Sieged Siege Tank Damage increased from 35 (+15 vs armored) to 40 (+30 vs armored)
  • Crucio Shock Cannon attack speed decreased from one attack per 2 seconds to one attack per 2.14 seconds
  • Terran Battlecruiser changes
  • Energy bar removed
  • Abilities no longer require energy. Instead, each ability uses a separate 71-second cooldown

Other Terran changes

  • Thor: Javelin Missiles (AA-splash attack) radius increased from .5 to .6
  • Banshee: Removed Fusion Core requirement for Hyperflight Rotors (speed upgrade)
  • Viking: Ground mode now has bonus (+8 vs mechanical) damage
  • Liberator: Removed +light damage for AA attack
  • Raven:
    • Auto Turret: Auto Turret damage increased from 16 to 24
    • Seeker Missile: Added new upgrade “Recalibrated Explosives”
      • Recalibrated Explosives:
        • Increase Seeker Missile tracking range by 50%
        • Increase Seeker Missile damage by 30%

Zerg Hydralisk redesign

The Hydralisk is being transformed into a core tech option for Zerg. It has become much stronger on creep and is also seeing a general buff to its combat effectiveness to make its use more appealing.

  • Upgrade Split: Muscular Augments is being buffed and split into two upgrades
    • Evolve Muscular Augments:
      • Cost: 150/150
      • Research Time: 71 seconds
      • Effect: Increase base movement speed by 25%
    • Evolve Grooved Spines:
      • Cost: 100/100
      • Research Time: 71 seconds
      • Effect: Increase attack range by +2 (from 5 to 7)

Zerg Infestor changes

  • Can now cast all abilities while burrowed
  • Gained collision radius while burrowed. Radius is smaller than when unborrowed.

Zerg Swarm Host changes

  • Cost decreased from 150/100 to 100/75
  • Locust Swoop range increased from 4 to 6
  • Locust Acid Spit weapon damage decreased from 12 to 10

Other Zerg changes

  • Baneling: Centrifugal Hooks research now increases health by +10
  • Brood Lord: Range decreased from 11 to 10
  • Ultralisk: Base armor increased from 1 to 2. Chitinous Plating armor bonus decreased from +4 to +2

Protoss Tempest redesign

The new Tempest’s role versus air remains the same, while it is becoming more of a utility spell-caster versus ground units. Its new ability, “Disruption Blast”, stuns ground units in a 1.95-radius for 7 seconds, giving an accompanying Protoss army a window to move in and lay waste.

  • Supply Count increased from 4 to 6
  • Ground-attack damage increased from 30 to 35
  • Ground-attack range decreased from 15 to 8
  • New Ability: “Disruption Blast”
  • Cast Range: 10
  • Radius: 1.95
  • Cooldown: 43 second
  • Cast Time: 4 seconds
  • Effect: Units in the area after cast time is complete are stunned for 7 seconds, unable to move, attack, or be issued commands of any type.

Protoss Carrier changes

  • Ability “Release Interceptors” has been removed
  • Interceptors’ cost reduced from 25 minerals to 5 minerals
  • “Build Interceptor” is now set to auto-cast by default

Protoss Dark Templar changes

  • New Ability: “Shadow Stride”
    • Research Cost: 100/100*
    • Research Time: 121 seconds
    • Cooldown: 21 seconds
    • Effect: Instantly teleports the Dark Templar a short distance and emits a plume of smoke.

Other Protoss changes

  • Zealot: Base movement speed bonus from “Research Charge” increased. When completed, movement speed will now be 4.13 rather than 3.85
  • Adept: Shade vision reduced from 9 to 2
  • Void Ray: Speed increased from 3.15 to 3.5
  • Warp Prism: Health reduced from 100 to 80