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What's new in SC2: Changes in Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void
Legacy of the Void is the third and possibly last major expansion for Starcraft II. With it comes the finale of the epic space opera that began way back when the first Starcraft was released 15 years ago. The multiplayer has received a pretty substantial revamp as well. If you're a beginner to the world of Starcraft II, or a returning player who's interested in what exactly are you getting, here's the rundown on what changed for LotV.
1. Legacy of the Void is a standalone game
If the expansion pack model put you off from trying out Starcraft II, LotV is the perfect jump-off point to try it out. Although being the third expansion pack, LotV is actually a standalone game. You don't need any previous versions of Starcraft II in order to play. You'll be able to play the Protoss campaign, as well as play the LotV multiplayer, which is the main version of multiplayer anyway.
Buying the other two expansions will allow you access to their campaigns so if you are hungry for more single player missions, it will probably be worth it to buy them too. Ultimately though, if you only want to play the multiplayer, you only need to buy LotV and you'll be set.
One thing too. If you buy a copy of LotV, your friends will be able to play with you for free!
2. Starting worker count has been increased to 12
While a seemingly minor change, this change means that games will start faster without as much downtime. You'll be able to get the ball rolling ASAP. You'll be able to expand much faster, tech up much faster, and possibly attack much faster. It also means that early game cheese like Zerg rushes and proxy barracks are much more weaker because you will have no reason not to scout them coming.
3. Minerals mine out faster
In conjunction to the starting worker count change, mineral fields also mine out faster. This means that the longer the game goes on, the more you have to expand. Forcing players to expand to vulnerable locations makes contesting expansions much more strategically valuable. This changed is meant to address and prevent massive turtle styles that were prevalent in Heart of the Swarm. No more static, trench warfare-esque games. Games are much more action packed and more entertaining, not only to play but to watch as well.
4. New Units, Incoming changes
New units are a stable of every expansion pack and LotV is no different in this regard. New units include the return of the Lurker, a fan favorite from Brood War. New units are the best way to shake up the meta by quite a bit, and with the changes to economy I previously stated, LotV feels like a whole new game. No opening is the same as in HotS.
Perhaps the more exciting changes come from various overhauls that the developers promised. While they are not here yet, Starcraft II is about to undergo a massive amount of changes. Later this year, Blizzard will be introducing a Ladder revamp which includes a visible MMR, a more meaningful League and Division changes as well as a separate MMR per race per player! They also mentioned developing unit skins as well as announcer voice packs! The future of SC2 is exciting indeed.
5. Ranked and Unranked are no longer the only way to multiplayer
LotV multiplayer comes with a plethora of new game modes. For starters, Automated Tournaments has been introduced. At the moment, they run every two hours but is a nice way to break up the monotony of grinding ladder games. Winning a tournament will award you with a unique trophy that you can display in-game.
Also introduced is the new Archon Mode, where 2 players play as 1 versus another of 2 players playing as 1. This effectively halves the effort but without compromising the intense nature of the game. If you like a more PvE style of coop, LotV also introduces a Co-op missions mode where you pick the role of a commander from SC2's roster of characters, each with unique units and special abilities.
LotV is an amazing addition to SC2 and if you're looking to jump in and try it, there's no better time than now. Remember, you can always try it out for free with the Starter Edition!
If you like to read more about SC2, you could visit my SC2 and strategy game blog Tictac Tactics!