Build 239

TreiskTreisk Member, Administrator
edited September 2 in Patch Notes

Build 239

Note: PvP will be open all day Monday to celebrate Labor Day!

Build 239 Hotfixes!

September 1, 2016

  • Archive

    • Health: 5000 ⇒ 6000
    • Shield: 5000 ⇒ 6000
  • Archive Tower

    • Damage: 30 ⇒ 45
    • Attack Range: 13 ⇒ 13.5
  • Titan

    • Health: 10000 ⇒ 8000
    • Bonus Health per Round: +10000 ⇒ +8000
    • Percentage health lost per second: 0.5% ⇒ 0.8%
    • Late-game Health scaling begins: Round 3 ⇒ Round 4
  • Deadeye

    • BioShard cost: 50 ⇒ 70
    • Upgrade CDR on hit: 50% ⇒ 33.33%

      • Tooltip still says 50%, but will be fixed in an upcoming patch.

General Gameplay

Context: We've gotten consistent feedback that the games are starting a bit slowly and that a decent percentage of our games are lasting too long. We're not going to make drastic changes here yet, but we wanted to accelerate the early game a bit and try and tighten the titan (and camp) timings a bit.


  • Players now begin with their Hero and two Basic Units on the field


  • Starting Energy: 60 ⇒ 70
  • Starting BioShards: 0 ⇒ 50
  • Starting Supply: 32 ⇒ 38
  • BioShard Generator value: 30 - 82 ⇒ 40 - 96


  • First Titan Fight spawn: 4:00 ⇒ 3:00
  • Respawn time: 5:00 ⇒ 4:30
  • Titan Fight Bonus Health per Round: +5000 ⇒ +3000

    • Health after Titan Fight resolution is unchanged.
  • Movement speed: 3.3 ⇒ 3.6
  • Titans also lose health more slowly after being claimed.

    • Percentage health lost per second: 0.8% ⇒ 0.5%


  • Medium Camps spawn earlier and more often

    • Initial spawn time: 7:00 ⇒ 6:00
    • Respawn time: 9:00 ⇒ 8:00
  • Hard Camp spawn earlier and more often

    • Initial spawn time: 14:00 ⇒ 12:00
    • Respawn time: 12:00 ⇒ 10:00
  • Caterpillar (Easy Minion; Medium Minion)

    • Health: 1100 ⇒ 900
    • Shield capacity: 60 ⇒ 50
  • Flying Flytrap (Hard Minion)

    • Health: 1100 ⇒ 1000
  • Mantis Flower (Medium Captain)

    • Health: 1200 ⇒ 1000
  • Pitcher Plant (Hard Captain)

    • Health: 2250 ⇒ 2000


  • Archive Tower

    • Health: 3000 ⇒ 2500
    • Shield: 3000 ⇒ 2500
  • Healing Generator

    • Health: 2500 ⇒ 2250
    • Shield: 2500 ⇒ 2250


  • Grub

    • Health: 800 ⇒ 700
    • Units should now path more cleanly around idle Critters, pushing them if need be to reach their destination.
    • Shield duration: 4 seconds ⇒ 5 seconds

Movement Speed

Context: We gotten feedback from a lot of new players that unit movement looks and feels a little slow, so we're going to experiment with slightly faster movement speed across the board. This might have longer term balance implications, so we'll keep an eye on it.

  • Uniformly increased unit movement speeds by ~7.5% (rounded to the nearest .05)
  • Upgrade times for unit-specific upgrades have been reduced

    • T1/T2 unit upgrade times: 180 seconds ⇒ 120 seconds
    • T3 unit upgrade times: 210 seconds ⇒ 150 seconds

      • Note: Engineers and Juggernauts use T3 unit upgrade times

Damage/Armor Types

  • Damage Type calcualtions have been adjusted. This is purely for display purposes - there should be no noticeable gameplay effects!

    • Damage tooltips in abilities will now state their damage, then state their damage to Heavy.

      • This will be eventually uniformed in unit attack damage tooltips, as well.
    • Piercing

      • Damage to Normal: 75% ⇒ 100%
      • Damage to Heavy: 100% ⇒ 133%
      • All sources of Piercing damage have been reduced, keeping the actual damage unchanged.

Unit Balance

Context: We've gotten a lot of balance feedback, and we're still working to sort through everything. We're starting off with some minor tweaks to the units we've heard consistently are too difficult to play against and some of the units that really aren't seeing much play. Please keep giving us productive, insightful feedback on how units feel to play with and against!


  • Aquanaut

    • Health: 140 ⇒ 200
    • Energy cost: 5 ⇒ 6
    • BioShard cost: 15 ⇒ 20
    • Damage: 22.5 ⇒ 27


  • Grove Tender

    • Unit Cap: 6 ⇒ 4
    • Health: 195 ⇒ 220
    • Grow Needlefern

      • Cooldown: 40 seconds ⇒ 20 seconds
      • Cast time: 0.3 seconds ⇒ 1 second
      • Now takes 8 seconds to grow.
      • Duration: 45 seconds ⇒ 40 seconds
      • Attack Cooldown: 3 seconds ⇒ 1.5 seconds
      • Attack Damage: 45 ⇒ 18
      • Attack Range: 14 ⇒ 16
      • Health: 180 ⇒ 120
    • Death by a Thousand Needles (Upgrade)

      • Reduce Grow Needlefern cooldown by 10 seconds ⇒ Increases Needlefern attack range by 3
  • Toxin Mystic

    • Deadly Toxin

      • Range: 10 ⇒ 12
      • Leash range: 11 ⇒ 14


  • Cinder Beetle

    • Summon Cinderling

      • Cinderlings are no longer added to your current selection when cast
      • Cinderlings are no longer included when using the "Select All" hotkey
      • Cinderling health: 80 ⇒ 60
      • Cinderling armor type: Normal ⇒ Heavy
  • Lancer

    • Renamed the Lancer's Abilities

      • Burrow ⇒ Engage
      • Unburrow ⇒ Withdraw
  • Apocalyte

    • Destructive Prophecy

      • Damage: 187.5 ⇒ 200

        • Note that 187.5 was its damage after the uniform damage reduction applied to all Piercing damage
      • Damage Type: Piercing ⇒ Normal
      • Added Destructive Prophecy's impact delay to its tooltip
  • Emberfiend

    • Unit Cap: 4 ⇒ 3
    • Heat Wave

      • Duration: 18 seconds ⇒ 15 seconds

        • Note that this also means the Heat Wave travels slightly faster!
      • End Radius: 5 ⇒ 4


  • Purifier

    • Unroot time: 2.67 seconds ⇒ 2.2 seconds
    • Root's tooltip now clarifies that the Purifier's attacks deal Physical damage, even while rooted
  • Conduit

    • Drill Laser

      • Cooldown: 32 seconds ⇒ 30 seconds
      • Range: 24 ⇒ 22
      • Duration: 8 seconds ⇒ 6 seconds
      • Damage per Second: 90 ⇒ 80
  • Precognitor

    • Blinding Smoke

      • Cooldown: 30 seconds ⇒ 40 seconds
      • Radius: 4.8 ⇒ 4


Context: We want to make sure that players don't have to exclusively rely on titans to push. While we want to more thoroughly address this in the future, we're going to experiment with making the Engineer and Juggernaut more viable mid-game threats, as an alternative to pure Titan pushing. This won't outright solve the issue, but it will hopefully create more points of interest on the map in the mid-game.

  • Engineer

    • Structural Integrity (Upgrade)

      • Tech Requirement: 4 ⇒ 3
      • Bonus healing: +100% ⇒ +75%
  • Juggernaut

    • health: 2000 ⇒ 2500
    • Reinforced Juggernaut (Upgrade)

      • Tech Requirement: 4 ⇒ 3
      • Bonus Resists: 200 ⇒ 150
      • Now adds +75 bonus attack damage
  • Snerp Herder

    • Snerps can no longer be triggered by Critters or Titans

User Interface

  • Added a "Mute" function to ignore player chat in-game. This can be accessed via the TAB (scoreboard) menu


  • Map

    • Visual updates to brush assets, focusing on increasing unit readability and making the brush regions feel more inviting and traversable.
    • Adding various set dressing elements to Creep Camp areas.
    • Some texture resolution adjustments
  • VFX

    • Cleansing Light (Celesta's Ultimate) has received new VFX!


  • Restored the Zephyr's Attack FX
  • Fixed a behavior that would frequently cause units to ignore Archive Towers in favor of any other target
  • Fixed a bug that caused the first stack of the Abominable Sludge's periodic damage to do less than subsequent stacks
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented resource pickups from spawning, especially after Hero kills
  • Fixed a bug that caused players that frequently party to have higher-than-expected MMR, making it harder to find matches.


  • Lets see what we got now :chuffed:

  • ArchibobArchibob Member, Administrator

    check out this gif of Celesta's new Ult VFX by @JCvfx !

  • CohLysionCohLysion Member
    edited September 2

    @Archibob said:
    check out this gif of Celesta's new Ult VFX by JCvfx !

    Woah, well done!

  • That looks sick as tits.

  • FoambornFoamborn Member
    edited September 2

    Aquanaut changes are pretty good for backdoor Hydros (435 DPS this patch without upgrades + the sustain from ult). I think that build is problematic because there is no time to respond to it. With grathdoors you can at least attempt to kill their units. Not to mention that Warp Drones and flying units in general clip through map elements like trees and frequently get shoved off map/out of range. Knowing full well this build is coming there is little to nothing you can do about it outside of resetting the attacker or hugging your base. I have tried playing very defensively with sentinels patrolling the air paths around the edges of the map but there is a huge imbalance of effort required. The attacker threatens everything by posturing with a warp drone while the defender cannot afford to leave their base.

    I like backdoors. I think if the enemy team is sufficiently out of position and a player or group of players can recognize and capitalize on that to push for a win, then they should be able to do so. Currently I feel it is too easy for the attacker.

    The player going for the back door should have some obstacles in front of them. I constantly see archive towers outright ignored in games. Healing generators provide defensive benefits only if the defending team is within their range. I think game winning back doors should be a late game threat. The attacker should have to prioritize other base elements before having that option available to them.

    I'd like to see some changes to base elements, although I'm not sure if I have any suggestions just yet (especially with many of the changes in this patch promoting faster games).

  • tedstertedster Member
    edited September 2

    I think the current build gives far too much incentive to skip tier 1 entirely. You start with so much Energy and Shards and Supply cap that it's very easy to just breeze straight to tier 2 or 3 with the new generator changes while still fielding and replenishing a reasonable stalling army with your banked energy. I'm seeing people with Tier 3 by the end of the first Titan fight and that seems pretty wonky.

    With tech this fast the game loses its distinct "phases" and I think that's unhealthy. It also makes a tech rush less interesting, and pretty much impossible to react to or punish. There's no way you can punish someone for tech rushing if it comes online by the end of the first titan. There's no way to build a lead with strong tier-1 or 1.5 openings when the opponent can have simple counters online by the first titan.

    I'm ok with streamlining the opening minute of the game but I strongly dislike the idea of forcefeeding resources to people as it cuts out all the interesting decisionmaking at the start of the game.

  • tedstertedster Member
    edited September 2

    To put it in perspective, one of the changes the devs mentioned in stream was "giving people the option to explore tier 1.5 early on". I've been regularly fielding full tier 1.5 armies with healer support by the first Titan in the old build. People are just so used to mashing "supply cap" that they haven't experimented with shard-first openings.

    I think early tier 1.5 is weaker now than it was before because everyone can have it or tier 2+ answers without really having to give anything up. Before an early T1.5 army was a very strong and aggressive opening that was GREAT for punishing tech rushes : now it's often just par for the course at best and frequently outclassed by the first or second real fight.

    There's a disconnect here between "what is possible" and "what people are mechanically doing", and I don't think the solution is "just give everyone everything so they can do all the things without tuning a build order".

  • Closing statement: Do we need Big Game Hunters or do we need to give people time to experiment with 14CC?

  • I haven't played with the new patch, but here are my thoughts. I think that the balance changes are meant to nerf the strength of abilities. At the moment, it requires lots of skill micro to dodge ability AOE/Line splash abilities. The Emberfiends and Conduits in the past were serious crowd control methods and were game changers if used right in Titan fights. Now, I could see them being supplementary, but still have the same potential if used more skillfully.

    Mercenary buffs are probably the more interesting thing. Engineers are tweaked so that it's prevalent in late-game defense and Juggernauts has increased strength as an alternative to Titan fights, both of which I'm fine with. Perhaps the Juggernaut buff maybe too strong as it's increased attack cut down kill time for towers by many seconds.

  • MotivaMotiva Member
    edited September 2

    I wouldn't mind seeing the re spawn times on creeps reduced even more. I like the idea of having to actually decide what to do on the map instead of being funneled into whatever happens to be available so tightly.

    I also generally agree with Tedster. I think compounded with the previous cost changes, the overall inflation of shards here might be a little much. I think the starting units and hero already warped in is great though.

    Great changes overall in my opinion.

  • tedstertedster Member
    edited September 2

    Also @Motiva it's not just shard inflation - which is obviously a huge part of it - but also that starting with higher unit cap and banked energy makes it easier to play defensively and/or repeatedly trade armies early with no real penalties, making it even safer and more consistent to tech unopposed since you can still do your job adequately in the meantime.

    Considering that some of the changes to Tier 1.5 have been, in part, to give interesting counters to tech rushes, this change feels like major steps back and I believe depreciates the effectiveness of a large number of units.

    Agree that starting hero/units warped-in is a great and proper change.

  • @tedster said:
    Also Motiva it's not just shard inflation - which is obviously a huge part of it - but also that starting with higher unit cap and banked energy makes it easier to repeatedly trade armies early with no real penalties, making it even safer and more consistent to tech unopposed since you can still do your job adequately in the meantime.

    Considering that some of the changes to Tier 1.5 have been, in part, to give interesting counters to tech rushes, this change feels like major steps back and depreciates the effectiveness of a large number of units.

    Sure. I agree with the supply cap for sure. It was surprising to me, I thought having it pretty low created an interesting balance. Eris already felt strong at 39-49 supply, having to sacrifice shard generation rounds to get up there, and rarely the need to go over 60 food until very late. With the eco changes, you can already more easily afford to spend a cycle on supply now.

    I don't really think that there is literally "no real penalties", but it is absolutely a balancing act of stability, pacing, and economy. Obviously. The first few titans now are less of a threat and game length also should be shorter.

    As long as there is a way to gain an economy lead, I think the ability to just constantly trade-in is nice. Economy-Attrition is my favorite way to play Zerg. :)

    I didn't see the tier 1.5 thing, but it was finally starting to shape up.

  • Starting Resources

    I also think the higher starting resources isn't good for the game. No longer is there really any period where T1/T1.5 is dominant, because everyone is at T2 basically immediately. There's no longer any real distinction between builds - there's not really a "tech rush", because you can very safely tech up without too many risks, and conversely there's not really a "supply rush" / "zerg rush" where you try to punish a teching player with a larger army early-game (because, again, teching players can tech so safely). Referring to Bombs' excellent video on early-game builds, since everyone effectively now "used" their first two generators on Supply, the "Tech Opening" is gone, and the only option is the "Safe Opening" vs the "Push Opening" - and the "Push Opening" wasn't meant to punish the Safe Opening, it was meant to punish the Tech Opening, which no longer exists.

    TL;DR I'd prefer the early-game resource changes be reverted, or even actually go the other way. I'd be interested to see what starting with 40 Energy / no Shards / 28 or so Supply would look like. I think lower starting resource counts allows more ways for early-game builds to distinguish themselves; more opportunity to take risks with interesting payoffs; basically, more strategic depth to the early game.

    Titan / Camp Times

    I approve these changes. More often are there actual decisions on where you should be / what you should be doing; and whether a team should split up to take more objectives, or stay together to be safer or try to catch an enemy hero alone.

    Titan Health Changes

    I felt these were also damaging to the game; even the first Titan or two could easily get deep into the enemy base and end up giving an enormous advantage to the pushing team. I think the health drain was the biggest culprit. I see now that a hotfix has reverted some of these changes, which seems good to me (although I haven't played any games with the hotfix yet).

    Just a few thoughts. Thanks again to the devs for all your efforts in making this the best game it can be!

  • @cdiss on shards, I like starting with 50 shards, but I think that the shard buff in core made teching way too easy, and it was already really easy.

  • I agree with a lot of other posts here. I think too much was being done at the same time. I totally agree with Tedster for a change that the first 'economic phase' is being shrunk too hard. I think Titan changes along with speeding up the timers is enough.

  • tedstertedster Member
    edited September 3

    I really dislike the starting shards, even though it is something I've suggested in the past. The reason is that now that Tier 1.5 is viable and interesting for at least some factions, deciding whether or not to take it has become a real choice - but that choice still requires build order concessions. This is interesting and allow for differentiation between players and styles! But just throwing a glob of shards at everyone at the start of the game (and 50 is a lot) really homogenizes armies and builds while also just letting people skip over the units that tier 1.5 is supposed to be generally better than!

    I could see maybe starting with enough to make like, 1 or 2 tier 1.5 units, but even then I'm more in cdiss's school of thought where I personally would prefer the more restrictive starts as long as the flow of action is interesting. In the old build you could start making T1.5 units after your first two units popped! That's very quick!

    I think a good goal is to have tech come online by about the same time it used to, but it be easier to make once you're there. The changes as implemented make it come online WAY earlier AND make it way easier to mass once you're there, which just feels like a BGH match.

    (I personally felt that high-tech units were already in a good enough place regarding frequency and strength before this last patch. If anything, I'd like to see the creep camps be more frequent but give smaller amounts of resources, so the gains are about the same but spread out over more actions).

  • SpideyCUSpideyCU Member
    edited September 2

    @Motiva said:
    As long as there is a way to gain an economy lead, I think the ability to just constantly trade-in is nice. Economy-Attrition is my favorite way to play Zerg. :)

    YES YES YES a player after my own heart. Agree fully with this.

    Also, re: Celesta's ult, didn't realize the girl was GDI! She's totally callin' down the Ion Cannon there.

Sign In or Register to comment.