In May of this year, I wrote an article about why, from a personal and strategic point of view, I believe Chronoboost is a boring ability.
Is it powerful? Definitely. Necessary? Certainly. But exciting? Not a chance. Some of my complaints were as follows…
- It limits player choice.*
- It is just so vanilla and default.
- Its visual effect is lackluster.
All around, Chronoboost is just one giant yawnfest.
While responses in that article’s comments were respectful, even among dissenting parties, I can’t say the reaction to my piece on various Starcraft 2 forums and communities wasn’t as benign. My suggestions that the Nexus receive one or two new abilities that affected units or buildings were scoffed at. After a few hours, the general consensus was that I was an idiot, and that Blizzard would never add more abilities to the Protoss Nexus.
Then Heart of the Swarm previews began, and lo and behold, the Nexus had two new abilities. Mass Recall was transposed from the now-defunct Mothership to the Nexus, allowing the Protoss to move its armies around the map quickly when necessary. Arc Shield transforms any Protoss structure into a weaker Photon Cannon for 20 seconds, allowing for spot defense or a dastardly forward push.
Well, I hate to say “I told you so,” but I fucking told you so, haters. And I wouldn’t relish these inclusions as much if it weren’t for the fact that nobody on the internet who seemed so opposed to my suggestions originally had a negative thing to say about these additions. There was silence from everyone who mocked me (and other people who agreed with me) for even degning to suggest the Nexus receive a way to boost early game defense. Everyone who said “no player would willingly use an ability other than Chronoboost” suddenly vanished.
It’s as if an enormous wave of vindication swept over the masses and cleansed their minds of their previous transgressions. A single tear swelled in my eye.
Of course, we don’t know if these two Nexus abilities will actually make it untouched into the final build of Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. But by their very inclusion in this early build, Blizzard has demonstrated a shared belief that Protoss macro balance should be more multifacted than just asking “which thing do I want to speed up?” I can’t pretend to know if Arc Shield and Mass Recall are balanced or viable, but I certainly welcome anything that adds variety to the Aiur armory.
* Compared to the more varied and interesting choices posed when using Orbital Commands and Queens.