August 25, 2011

Public Test Realm notes for Patch 1.4

Blizzard recently released  the Public Test Realm patch 1.4 notes. As with all public test realm patches, these changes are only proposed updates and may not make it into the general servers.

Along with balance changes, Blizzard is also making several cool general changes to the game options, user interface, display, and even sounds. 

Some notable general changes:
  • Game performance has been improved
  • Privacy settings have been implemented to reduce unwelcome chat messages
  • Building cancellations display a text indicating returned minerals for the owner and a text for the enemy
  • New option to fade existing alert sounds if a new one is played
Of course, the real interest in the patch lies in the balance changes and Patch 1.4 does not disappoint in causing a stir. 

Discussion, balance changes, and link after the jump.

One of the focuses of the PTR 1.4 patch is to alleviate PvP match ups. This is evident by the fact that Blizzard is reducing ramp vision and increasing Immortal attack range. Currently, 4 Gating still dominates PvP and the proxy pylon that allows units to warp on top of the enemy ramp was not drastically affected by the pylon power range nerf we saw in patch 1.3.3. If the vision reduction is severe enough it may be the straw that finally breaks the 4 Gate dominance in PvP. The increase in Blink research time will also help shake things up. God knows the match-up needs changes.

Another focus is on the Zerg late game. Infestors were clearly not fine and are getting a small damage reduction to fungal growth. In exchange, Ultralisks pop 15 seconds faster. Bliz clearly wants to increase usage of the rarely seen armored beasts. I still think Ultralisks need more changes but this is sufficient for now.

Terrans will be dissapointed to learn that they got hit hardest by the nerf stick. First, Hellion blue flame upgrade is nerfed to 5 damage from 10. Considering that the upgrade cost is unchanged (150/150), this upgrade seems a bit on the expensive side now. Second, Barracks build time was increased by 5 seconds. I am not entirely sure what the basis for this change was. 

The balance changes are pasted below. If you want to see the entire patch notes, here is the link.


  • General
    • Unit vision up ramps has been reduced by 1.
    • Immortal
      • Attack range increased from 5 to 6. 
    • Mothership
      • Acceleration increased from 0.3 to 1.375.
      • The Mothership’s Cloaking Field no longer cloaks all units instantaneously, but rather adds units to the cloak field over time (maximum of 25 per second). This should alleviate “Mothership Lag” issue when a Mothership comes online.
    • Stalker
      • Blink research time increased from 110 to 140.
    • Warp Prism
      • Shields increased from 40 to 100.
    • Barracks
      • Build time increased from 60 to 65.
    • Hellion
      • Infernal Pre-Igniter damage upgrade decreased from 10 to 5.
    • Raven
      • Seeker missile movement speed increased from 2.5 to 2.953.
  • ZERG
    • Infestor
      • Fungal Growth damage changed from 36 (+30% armored) to 30 (40 vs Armored).
    • Overseer
      • Morph cost decreased from 50/100 to 50/50.
      • Contaminate energy cost increased from 75 to 125.
    • Ultralisk
      • Build time decreased from 70 to 55.


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