GameAxis visited Blizzard Entertainment’s Irvine campus to interview Dustin Browder. He talks about the reason the Lurker didn’t make it into Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, and the possibility of its return in the upcoming Heart of the Swarm episode. It’s not yet written in stone. It might return in the single player, but not in multiplayer.
The developers are toying with a thought, based on feedback. The Lurker offered that stealth + threat aspect for the zerg, and it’s gone in the sequel. Can the developers come up with a new unit to meet those expectations?
Dustin also talks about multiplayer balance and eSports. GameAxis will post the second part of the interview in upcoming days.
What about Lurkers? Will we see them ever again?
Well certainly Lurkers will probably be in the solo campaign. Uhm. No guarantees.
But whether we put them in multi, it really depends on a number of factors.
The reason we pulled the Lurker from multi was that they were simply just weren’t useful at the end of the day. Like, the reality was that so many units had taken over his combat role as we went forward – infesters, roaches and banelings all were doing things better than the Lurker was doing at the time and we found that we just weren’t building them in games really all that much
We were so in love with the unit that we kept it way past its prime like it was sitting way at the very end of the tech tree. It was like an artillery unit now and it was doing all this crazy stuff and it was not really even a Lurker anymore.
It didn’t really make sense but that’s what the unit had become and it was just a desperate attempt to hold on to it and as we looked at it this was not a unit the game needed. The Lurker was not actually doing what it used to do and the game had changed too much for this unit to have the same core role.
I do know there was a big outcry from certain players; not specifically for that unit although they’ll sometimes say that. Although the outcry I’ve heard is that they wish they had more ways to use cloak or burrow specifically as a threat to enemies and they feel they have lost that with the Lurke. I think that is a fair feedback from our players that is something we will definitely look to address in the expansion.