Co-op was one of the quieter additions to StarCraft 2 that came with Legacy of the Void. Neither the end of an 18 year single-player journey or the next update to a massive eSport, it was high quality nonetheless. Now Blizzard have developed some big new features to increase its longevity and give the more elite players something to strive for. These are coming in the next patch, 3.3, which should be launching soon.
Can’t wait for a patch? Try one of the best strategy games in the mean time.
Here’s their video rundown of what’s happening:
There’s essentially two big additions. The first is mutators, that operate just as they have in Unreal Tournaments past - modifiers that make things different and harder in usually slightly wacky ways. Second there’s these mastery levels, which are similar to Diablo’s paragon system, where you gain additional xp after reaching the previous max, and can spend it on minor bonuses that stack over time.
They’re both fairly simple ways to extend playtime by a lot. Obviously the balance and design work on the mutator side takes time, but once they’re in place they can be applied liberally. It’s also using some of the Brawl tech from Hearthstone and Overwatch, so each week there’s a reset and a new way to play. One of these for the first go round is Time Lock, taking place on the Lock & Load mission, and breaks down like this:
- Speed Freaks – The enemy moves faster than any unit you have at your disposal, giving you little time to react to their tactics.
- Time Warp – The Time Warp ability will be used against you, slowing the movement and attack speed of your units. These fields of time-manipulation must be avoided if you hope to succeed.
- Mag-nificient – Mag mines will be scattered all over the map, forcing your army to move with extreme caution. If you trip their proximity sensors, they’ll fly straight towards the unit that triggered them, causing terrible, terrible damage to you, or your ally.
Beating these weekly challenges gets you extra xp, which will be useful for advacing along the new mastery levels. More details on those, as well as further breakdowns of the mutators, over on the official site. No word on a release date for 3.3 yet, but this sort of announcement usually hits about a week beforehand.