This StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty mission guide will cover ‘The Dig’ providing the objectives, achievements (The Dig, Drill Hard, Yippee-ki-yay) and a walk-through of how I beat this mission on hard difficulty during my own play through. The Dig takes place on the planet Xil, with Tychus Findlay going over a Moebius Foundation expedition that attempted to extract another Xel’Naga artifact, but failed miserably. The primary goal of The Dig in StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty will be to secure the laser drill at the Moebius compound and use it to burn a hole through the doors of the Xel’Naga temple.
The Dig in StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty begins with a small squad of soldiers, consisting of two Medics, 4 Marines and a single Marauder being dropped in a small canyon. Moving my squad south to engage a pair of Stalkers and a pair of Zealots I move down to the first bend, where a trio of Photon Cannons require a call to Rory Swann bringing in 2 Siege Tanks to allow me to hit the turrets from outside their range. I focus their fire on the pylon powering the cannons to allow my soldiers to help out with mopping up the cannons themselves, once unpowered and unable to fight back. Up ahead I’m instructed to place the Siege Tanks on a cliff, to hit another group of units around the bend to the north. Having the long range and forcing the Protoss to walk around the side allows me to vaporize them one by one as they move to attack my small squad.
Clearing out the area allows me to move north and acquire control of the Moebius base containing the Laser along with a Factory and Barracks. The laser automatically powers up and begins its process of cutting through the Xel’Naga temple doors, and at the same time, the Protoss begin making their attacks. I set about getting my SCVs harvesting minerals while moving one siege tank to each of the two side entrances to my base, also getting an SCV to start laying bunkers down at these ramps. The Xel’Naga temple will take just around 16 minutes of continuous fire from the laser to destroy, losing about 1,000 hp a second. I add a fusion reactor to my Barracks to pump out marines and work on adding a second siege tank to each entrance and eventually adding additional Missile Turrets along the laser’s ridge line.
The Protoss waves begin attacking one the door reaches around 84000 health, their waves initially consisting of Zealots and Stalkers mainly. These waves will gather outside the 3 ramps leading to the Protoss bases. Soon Archons and Immortals become part of the mix, and control of the laser is handed over to me to use against these particularly strong units. The laser takes a short time to charge up and fire at each unit, so I queue commands with the shift key to let the laser do its work while I get back to base building tasks, like building an armory and upgrading vehicle and infantry. I also have a second Barracks constructed with a tech lab to produce Marauders.
Once I have the spare minerals and my primary base is fairly secured, it’s time to advance to the lower right expansion position, building a command center under the cover of the siege tanks along the ridge, while building bunkers to block the northern pass where enemies will be coming from, while at the same time finishing a Starport with a Fusion Reactor to produce Vikings as scouts for the laser to use against the Protoss buildings. I will have to destroy 50 buildings in total to get the Yippee-ki-yay achievement for The Dig, and will do so with the help of the powerful laser, since it can hit any visible target on the map.
Soon after the construction is started, and I send some troops to protect this new base, air waves begin showing up, although they come with significant warnings of their arrival. These waves consist of Scouts, Void Rays and Warp Prisms that begin to call in units on top of my base if allowed to survive long enough to deploy. Luckily my Missile Turret ridgeline does a great job of pummeling the oncoming Protoss aircraft. Using the laser to destroy some of these aircraft along with the stronger ground units as they continue to show up every minute or so throughout the mission allows me to rack up kills for the Drill Hard achievement requiring 20 enemies killed with the laser.
At one point in the first 1/3rd of this mission Matt Horner comes over the communication lines to point out the location of 3 Xel’Naga temples that once destroyed by using the drilling laser, will unearth Protoss relics to collect for research points. These need to be scouted with units to keep them in view while the laser fires and destroys the buildings. Watch out, as each is protected by a pair of Photon Cannons powered by a single pylon. It’s still important to check the mini-map every few seconds for markers to notify of powerful units gathering to attack, so they can be eliminated with the laser. Using some constructed Vikings to scout the Photon Cannons, keeping them just out of firing range, I take the laser and turn its powerful beam on those structures, saving me from having to spend troops on attacking them. Once each area is cleared of cannons, it’s safe to blow the temples and transform the Vikings to walker mode to pick up the relics.
The ground and air waves continue throughout the mission, each spread out almost evenly over time, however getting stronger throughout the mission, with the air waves also considerably less frequent. Towards the latter half of the mission, Colossi begin to appear, posing a significant threat to the siege tanks along the ridges, as they are capable of reaching them easily and destroying several at a time.
In my pursuit of the Yippee-ki-yay achievement, I use a squad of constructed Vikings to slowly move up the back side of the Protoss base, acting as a scout for the laser cannon. My first small group of 3 get destroyed by Protoss aircraft that move in to attack, but coming back with a larger squad of 14 allows me to keep their aircraft at bay while continuing their scouting operations, using the laser to destroy any structures or attacking ground units they come across. This tactic basically allows me to mostly gut the right base, limiting its production capabilities for a fair amount of time. Moving north and across the north east corner free of enemy units allows me to sneak around the rear and gut the main Protoss base with the drilling laser.
The one challenge in this base is how incredibly fast the Protoss rebuild here, making it difficult to leave much permanence to the damage I’m doing, however this pursuit occasionally halted by additional Archons or Colossi requiring its super-heated attention. My perseverance pays off however and the achievement unlocks shortly, although I go on to take out their Nexus along with another handful of buildings.
From this point on I simply let the laser continue to do its work, occasionally borrowing its attention to lighten up any incoming ground squads my now beefy defense might have trouble with. It’s important to divert as much resources to basically making as thick of a firing line as possible, packing the corners with tanks in siege mode, missile towers all across the ridge, and multiple barracks with additional troops outside helping out. SCVs assigned to these areas will also help keep everything nice and healthy during the pretty heavy onslaught that occurs throughout this mission. At the 2000 health mark, the Protoss start throwing fast waves at my base. Breaching the doors ends this mission, retrieving another artifact piece, but with the Protoss warning that this treachery will echo across the stars.
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StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty ‘The Dig’ Objectives
Recover the Laser Drill: This objective is completed upon arriving to the Moebius base and taking control over it. The mission will practically walk you through what to do to keep your squad alive up to this point, so just follow the suggestions and don’t do anything ridiculous here.
Destroy the Xel’Naga temple door: The door begins with 100,000 health and gets damaged about 1,000 hp a second when the laser is firing upon it (very rough estimate). The more you use the laser to attack the Protoss however, the longer the mission will take to accomplish.
The Laser Drill Must Survive: Not the most challenging task, but basically don’t let the Protoss destroy the laser. The Protoss typically go for nearby combat units first, so as long as the defense is strong, you don’t have to worry that much about Protoss rushing the laser. Keeping SCVs along the ridge repairing tanks and missile turrets will make sure the laser stays in good shape as well.
Find Protoss Relics (3, Bonus): The relics are inside of destroyable temples that are marked on the mini-map during the mission. Simply destroy the defending Photon Cannons and turn the laser on the temples to unearth the research points held within.
StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty ‘The Dig’ Achievements
The Dig: Complete all mission objectives on any difficulty for 15 points.
Drill Hard: Kill 20 enemy units with the Laser’s beam on normal or higher difficulty for 10 points.
Yippee-ki-yay…: Destroy 50 Protoss structures on hard or higher difficulty for 10 points.
Click here to see a continually updated mission order and tech tree guide that shows what I have done so far, to explain how I have unlocked certain tech and units.