In the last eight days, Heart of the Swarm’s dev team have been looking on in awe as StarCraft’s international community burrow into their creation. They’ve watching every single major match so far, through the IEM World Championship and MLG’s Winter Championship, and have drawn a few early conclusions.
Players are already conducting some far more aggressive games, says Blizzard’s David ‘dayvie’ Kim, but Blizzard aren’t planning any balance changes just yet. Instead, they hope to see the community’s more creative elements develop some workable counter-strategies.
“Some of the initial balance concerns do seem to be continuing in games whereas the more creative players aren’t struggling as much against them,” wrote Kim. “A few players are really changing up their play and having completely different results than what’s expected by the majority.”
“We’ll continue watching all the pro and community concerns, but keep in mind we’d really like the game to settle before we step in and make a move.”
Balance aside, Kim says the newly aggressive play is “turning out to be super fun to watch”.
We’ll try our best to not be too quick to make judgments on things that are allowing players to play a much more aggressive game,” he said. “For example, yes Medivacs look strong but it’s forcing even the opponents to play aggressive and the constant action throughout the game is looking to be really fun to watch.”
What’s more, he suggests cryptically, “Nobody is close to figuring the game out yet”.
Right now, Heart of the Swarm players are enjoying a critical period of trial and error – a game of elevated rock-paper-scissors. It’s likely that they’ll be employing utterly different strategies a few weeks down the line, and Blizzard hope to let those develop organically before reaching for the nerf gun.
Here’s our Rob’s tentative judgement on Heart of the Swarm so far. What early trends have you noticed in-game?