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Suggestion for Balance?

Creator: NicholasBeige
Time: Feb 8 2011, 10:50 pm

Post #1     NicholasBeige Feb 8 2011, 10:50 pm

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Hey, wasn't sure whether to put this into SC2 Theory and Ideas, SC2 Melee Strategy, or here in General Discussion.

Basically, since Blizzard have this PTR (public test region) available. I was thinking, why not keep it running all the time but rotate the players who get to play on it? Use it as a virtual playground to constantly tweak, balance and try out new things for Starcraft 2 melee. In a way, this would work by separating your current League/Ranking and allowing you to play on the "vastly" or "slightly" different PTR server - at no risk of damaging your current standings. But, the current matchmaking system would still be used for matching players together.

I am not saying that SC2 is massively unbalanced. There is of course the disparity between Zerg and the other races - but that is negligible at high level play. I'm pretty happy to say that SC2 is - for the most part - 90% balanced. But, if we think how SC1 compares to SC2 - certainly there are more players and resources to spend on balancing and fine-tweaking the game?

A few things in the balance changes do annoy me - but they are warranted.
  • The Reaper - first and foremost.
    • Sure, 6 Barracks, Refinery, Tech Lab, Reaper was more powerful than a 6 pool in most maps. But there is absolutely no utility to the Reaper any more.
  • The Supply Depot requirement on the Barracks
    • In my opinion, this change was enough to rectify the reaper by slowing down the rate at which you could have one in your enemies base.
    • It also effectively closes down any fast barracks aggression that Terran were able to do (with marginal success).
  • The Void Ray speed upgrade removal.
    • While I feel this was sort of warranted - especially since Void Rays are such a contested unit anyway - Protoss Air to me, seems quite lacking.
    • Phoenix harassment is, well, just harassment, and the next step up (excluding Void Rays) is the Carrier. This irks me, as the Void Ray is both fragile and expensive. Yet does perform it's role as a glass cannon very well at all stages of the game.
  • Roach range increase
    • This change was required. But I personally would like to see Roaches (maybe) begin with Tunnelling Claws, require Burrow, and gain a further upgrade which enhances their longevity / regeneration / armour.
    • Or perhaps a flat base speed increase, and for the Glial Reconstitution upgrade to provide this longevity instead.
    • Then again, Roaches with Speed are pretty devastating against most Gateway units (excluding good forcefield use - which is then negated by burrow).
    • Edit: My reason for wanting Roaches to have more armour/hitpoints is because I am a Protoss player. And I find that, for the Zerg's main Tanking unit - they are easily out-damaged by most low tier units, and completely obliterated by anything higher.

I didn't want for this post to degenerate into a balance discussion - because quite frankly I am not qualified to discuss Starcraft 2 balance issues. But the point I want to make is that it is all speculation. "What if" unit A functioned like this, and "what if" unit C was made to cost a little bit more. The other point is that balance requires a holistic view of all aspects of melee, both extensive and intensively. And that is why, I think that a constant Public Test Region, with various adjustments made every two to four weeks - will provide a better handle one exactly what works and what doesn't.

The catch 22 of this situation is that making various adjustments and then testing them for 2 to 4 weeks might not give enough depth into the balancing act. But the other option is to simply trust Blizzard, that they know what they are doing. Anyways, what do you think? Can more be done to provide better balance in SC2 Melee?

Discuss!

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My personal opinion (ignore it)


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Post #2     Lanthanide Feb 8 2011, 11:48 pm

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Quote from Cardinal
But, if we think how SC1 compares to SC2
But is SC1 really that well balanced? Truly?

At very high level play, you seem the same strats rolled out over and over again, and the difference in skill is usually about how well or quickly you can pull one off, or if you can take your enemy by surprise, or just dumb luck. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but similarly there are some units that you just never see (or very very rarely) in high level play. Queens, devourers, scouts, battlecruisers, wraiths. These units aren't used simply because they're too expensive and too limited in utility, and I think that's a real shame that Starcraft boils down to that.

Maybe that's just the nature of extremely competitive high-end play though; and most players will make wide use of most units.

You then add in your personal opinion than Terran have too many effective units - this sounds like you want to hark back to SC1 where only a small subset of units are actually worthwhile and the rest are decoration for use in very specific circumstances (and as such, never get built because you can't easily predict in advance if you need them).

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Post #3     Decency Feb 9 2011, 1:54 am

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Maps can make pretty much anything balanced, even Reapers. The map pool being stagnant for so long has made balance stagnant for so long.

With the new GSTL maps which hopefully Blizzard incorporates, that will change.

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Post #4     Dungeon-Master Apr 7 2011, 11:07 pm

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PvZ is horribly favoured towards Protoss.

FF, designed to help Protoss survive to a stim timing attack, becomes one free ticket to deny an expansion and splits the short-ranged units so in any given time in the game, the Protoss army can engage the Zerg's army, even if the Zerg's side is more costly and bigger, without losing much, if any unit.

The Colossus is fundamentally flawed. Zerg is designed to have more units for the same ammount of supply, the colossus' attack completely destroys anything ground form zerg, except for Ultralisks.

Which takes us to flaw number three, FF is basically a no-punishment button, Fast expansions usually can't be punished thanks to them, as well as speed teching to the T3 colossus, which leaves zerg behind in T2 with their swarming units and no ultralisks.


TL;DR
Protoss is OP, it's flawed, and I'm not buying anything else from Blizzard or activision until it's fixed. Call of Duty sucks anyway.

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Post #5     Tempz Apr 8 2011, 2:19 am

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Dungeon master you should look into Crisis 2 and Homefront or the new game developing by Respawn Entertainment which has the lead designers from Infinitiy Ward

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Post #6     Roy Apr 8 2011, 8:17 am

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Quote from Dungeon-Master
PvZ is horribly favoured towards Protoss.

FF, designed to help Protoss survive to a stim timing attack, becomes one free ticket to deny an expansion and splits the short-ranged units so in any given time in the game, the Protoss army can engage the Zerg's army, even if the Zerg's side is more costly and bigger, without losing much, if any unit.

The Colossus is fundamentally flawed. Zerg is designed to have more units for the same ammount of supply, the colossus' attack completely destroys anything ground form zerg, except for Ultralisks.

Which takes us to flaw number three, FF is basically a no-punishment button, Fast expansions usually can't be punished thanks to them, as well as speed teching to the T3 colossus, which leaves zerg behind in T2 with their swarming units and no ultralisks.
Sounds like you need to change your build and take to the skies. Also keeping in mind that if your opponent is going for Sentries early to try to rush with force fields, they will be very weak against an early Zergling rush, since it's a lot of investment in gas to get Sentries out. If they build up enough zealots to defend an early rush, then you should have no problem grabbing your natural expansion and building your army before they'll be ready to march towards you. Any other use of the force field is effective only depending on the two players' micro.

Here's a good MLG game of PvZ that mostly refutes your key points (although FF is not used in the late game):


The Zerg player took some damage from some great force fields in the early game, but he managed his units well and defended his natural. He quickly upped his ground units with two Evolution Chambers, which helped against the Colossi. He also went for Corruptors to take care of the Colossi, since he figured his opponent would try to mass Colossi to deal with the ground army.

Also, tunneling claws > force field.

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Post #7     Dungeon-Master Apr 8 2011, 12:43 pm

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Alright, I guess I'm just a derp, but I still am losing to Protoss way too much. I'm not playing melee anymore, I mostly bought SC2 for custom games anyway.

...I mean UMS.

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Post #8     UnholyUrine Apr 9 2011, 12:04 am

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I mostly bought SC2 for custom games anyway.

Wow.. you must be dissappointed then..

Anyway.. I think Terran is ..... "OP".. but not really b/c it's unbalanced.. but b/c it's the easiest of the three races to play.
I think the roach speed up is great

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Post #9     NicholasBeige Apr 9 2011, 12:58 am

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Quote from Roy
Quote from Dungeon-Master
PvZ is horribly favoured towards Protoss.

FF, designed to help Protoss survive to a stim timing attack, becomes one free ticket to deny an expansion and splits the short-ranged units so in any given time in the game, the Protoss army can engage the Zerg's army, even if the Zerg's side is more costly and bigger, without losing much, if any unit.

The Colossus is fundamentally flawed. Zerg is designed to have more units for the same ammount of supply, the colossus' attack completely destroys anything ground form zerg, except for Ultralisks.

Which takes us to flaw number three, FF is basically a no-punishment button, Fast expansions usually can't be punished thanks to them, as well as speed teching to the T3 colossus, which leaves zerg behind in T2 with their swarming units and no ultralisks.

Also, tunneling claws > force field.

Not even claws, just get burrow. Chances are there won't be an observer out by the first Roach vs Gateway clash. And if you've secured Burrow by this point, that's one blunder for your opponent.

I play a lot of Protoss. Almost no one makes Zerglings against Protoss unless they go fast pool no expo. Roaches are what you want, they pretty much dominate Gateway units, get burrow, get roach speed and even get tunneling claws if you want. The fact is, if you go mass roach (which is pretty easy to do), you force your Protoss opponent into considering immortals, collosi (or even mass stalker at lower level play). Another option when a Toss player see's your roach army is to go voidrays... Then you just need to scout and see what option he has made and counter with either air or hydralisks (collosi or immortals/voidrays).

I lose about 40% of my games due to 7-roach rushes when my ramp FF has been shocking or I pushed out and got crushed. I can cope with mutalisk balls, hydralisks, zerglings, banelings... The roach is 'almost' too good against gateway units, but it doesn't need a nerf.

I think with the speed upgrade, roaches are faster than stalkers (maybe only on creep, not sure). Note enough players abuse their regeneration, when I occasionally dip into random and get Zerg - burrow-roach beats blink-stalker in a lot of cases.

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Post #10     UnholyUrine Apr 9 2011, 8:56 pm

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I think, with the new speed up and creep
Burrow-Roach vs. Blink-Stalkers are probably some of the best battles in SC2.
I really hope they don't change this.

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Post #11     ClansAreForGays Apr 10 2011, 10:18 pm

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Quote from Uniden
  • The Reaper - first and foremost.
    [list]
  • Sure, 6 Barracks, Refinery, Tech Lab, Reaper was more powerful than a 6 pool in most maps. But there is absolutely no utility to the Reaper any more.
Well I look at it this way. Reapers used to be cheese, but now all they can be is anti-cheese. I'm very good at a certain spinal rush to crack a blocked ramp, but if it's scouted, reapers easily counter the spinals with their bombs, and the lings with their guns.

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Post #12     Dungeon-Master Apr 29 2011, 7:38 pm

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I mostly bought SC2 for custom games anyway.

Wow.. you must be dissappointed then..
So disappointed that I stopped playing SC2 whatsoever.

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Post #13     Decency Apr 29 2011, 8:12 pm

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Here's a good MLG game of PvZ that mostly refutes your key points (although FF is not used in the late game):

I guess you're missing that the Protoss player had the game won and then didn't micro his sentries. He let 6 of them get focused down for no reason. The game was over if he didn't fuck that up. And then he didn't make any more after losing his initial force. Very shitty play.

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Post #14     Roy Apr 30 2011, 12:31 am

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Keyword: mostly. It's not a perfect game, obviously. Also, sentries are very expensive in terms of gas, so replacing them and skimping on the actual army is not always the best investment if you lose the ones you create initially. Once the Zerg takes to the air, force fields become less useful, and sentry/blink stalker combos can be defeated with Infestors. If you have burrow researched, then the early Protoss push (which won't have an observer) can separate your army, but you can just burrow to hide them (plus roach healing). If you were rushing your roach tech, you may even have tunneling claws at that point.

Half of the argument I claimed the video mostly refuted was Colossi, too.

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Post #15     Dungeon-Master May 1 2011, 4:38 pm

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I don't care about game balance anyway, I can't do anything to win anymore, so I'm done with RTS.

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Post #16     Sacrieur May 1 2011, 5:45 pm

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Sure, 6 Barracks, Refinery, Tech Lab, Reaper was more powerful than a 6 pool in most maps. But there is absolutely no utility to the Reaper any more.

lol wut? Reapers + nitro packs are killer harass.

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Post #17     Decency May 2 2011, 7:42 am

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One Stalker, one Marauder, or one Roach almost completely nullify small amounts of Reaper harasses. It's rarely worth a commitment to make more than one or two and by the time you have a Factory out there's not much that it can do.

I've heard mass Reaper counters gasless Zerg very well, so we may see a resurgence there.

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Post #18     Sacrieur May 2 2011, 6:59 pm

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Quote from FaZ-
One Stalker, one Marauder, or one Roach almost completely nullify small amounts of Reaper harasses. It's rarely worth a commitment to make more than one or two and by the time you have a Factory out there's not much that it can do.

I've heard mass Reaper counters gasless Zerg very well, so we may see a resurgence there.

They're very strong against melee zerg units like zerglings, and micro very easily.

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Post #19     Decency May 2 2011, 10:36 pm

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I'm aware; they're also terrible against any of the above three and plenty more.

The only use I have for Reapers is one for scouting, a quick 3 for a pre-tank harass in TvT if the opponent swaps Tech Lab and doesn't get a Marauder, or a 5 rax-reaper all-in against a greedy FE build.

I haven't heard of anything outside of that being viable at a high level.

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Post #20     Sacrieur May 3 2011, 3:35 pm

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I'm aware; they're also terrible against any of the above three and plenty more.

The only use I have for Reapers is one for scouting, a quick 3 for a pre-tank harass in TvT if the opponent swaps Tech Lab and doesn't get a Marauder, or a 5 rax-reaper all-in against a greedy FE build.

I haven't heard of anything outside of that being viable at a high level.

I could see multipronged attack using medievac drops to distract opponents and then reapers to kill the fleeing workers viable. Medievac + Reaper can be pretty devastating for its price. Since you can simply pull back injured reapers or attack over and over at full strength. More of a boxer-esque strategy (he likes reapers).

But yeah, that does seem higher level play. Most mid level play is about macro.

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