[HotS] Suggestion for the Siege Tank

General Discussion
To start, I'll quote a post made on Teamliquid.net:

On September 26 2012 16:06 Acritter wrote:
The problem with the Tank is that the units Terran gets are too good too fast. Marines? Good the second you get them, and scale beautifully with upgrades. Marauders? Pretty darn strong even without Concussive, and that researches pretty quickly. You can hit nice Stim timings too. Hellions? They do plenty of damage without blue flame. Banshees? Cloak finishes about when the first one reaches the enemy base, and they're good without it too. When these fantastic direct combat units (primarily the Marine and the Banshee) are combined with the insane zone control of the Siege Tank, Terran gets access to a dizzying array of incredibly strong timing attacks. Hell, one of them is still alive: the 1-1-1. The combination of powerful units, easy add-on switching, and negligible upgrade drawback means that something has to give, and Blizzard has decided that this "something" is the Siege Tank.

To give you some context, let's look at Broodwar. The Marine needed a 150/150 upgrade to shoot at 5 range (and happened to be worse because clumping didn't occur), as well as a 150/0 building with a relatively long build time to even start the upgrade as opposed to a 50/25 building with a negligible build time. The Vulture needed to get either Spider Mines or Ion Thrusters to even be a unit, not to mention the fact that those upgrades took up valuable Machine Shop time and slowed down Siege Tech. The Wraith dealt meaningless damage when compared to the Banshee. I hope this makes it clear that the problem isn't that Blizzard is REFUSING to buff the Tank, it's that the Tank CAN'T be buffed without severely nerfing other aspects of the Terran race. So just keep this in mind.


My interpretation of this is, without having excessively long rush distances, no direct buff to the Siege Tank will be possible without severely imbalancing early game TvX as well as TvT at all stages.

My idea to fix this is to increase the time to unsiege or siege while increasing the damage output by enough to make the Siege Tank a stronger space control unit, and not just something you use for defending early game, one timing push, then ignore.

I'll quote a post from my previous thread in the HotS Beta discussion as to what this will mean for the Siege Tank:

Posted by LeadfootSlim:
Don't take it personally, but the forums are absolutely flooded right now. That said, you're far from alone in wanting the Siege Tank buffed. This being an expansion, a flashy solution is desirable to make it, yanno, marketable.

Increasing upgrade damage is the easy way out, obviously. Altering siege mode deployment times could be interesting, but would have vast repercussions.

-Faster Siege: Makes it easier for tanks to advance on enemy tank lines, other positions.
-Slower Siege: Demands support for leapfrogging/setup, emphasizes defense. Would make it extremely difficult to execute a timing push against a strong opponent as said opponent would have a more mobile army. In the case of Protoss, they could engage with ranged units and pick off several Terran units and then retreat before taking any losses, and then repeat.
-Faster Unsiege: Makes retreat easier, may increase value of tank-mode damage - which was purposefully bolstered in WoL, versus the BW counterpart.
-Slower Unsiege: Makes retreat very difficult, forcing Terrans to defend harder and eat positioning mistakes. I think this would also increase how rewarding good positioning with the Siege Tank is, encouraging more usage of it. It would also increase how rewarding forcing the Terran to siege up during a timing push is, though it would also be slightly more risky.

At the end of the day, a change has to be flashy somehow. Hydralisk speed is the bottom of the barrel for expansion-worthy additions, despite its gameplay value... an under-the-table damage tweak is even lower than that unless it comes with a visible mechanic change.
I have included my thoughts in bold, which highlight what a damage boost would do for the "Slower Siege/Unsiege."

I have evidence that whether the final paragraph or not applies, Rock(Dustin Browder) is looking at the issue: http://eu.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/5299230684#20

My previous thread in the HotS Beta discussion thread: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6631903961
I have created a new thread for two reasons:

1) I did not format my thread very well, and much of what I was trying to say I ended up not saying in the OP, and rather said in further replies.
2) My previous thread has been buried.

An easier solution could be to increase the damage increase from upgrades the Siege Tank enjoys, for example to increase the damage buff from +3(+2 vs armored) to +4(+3 vs armored).
I think it's a good idea, but you have to remember the reason the tank was nerfed in the first place was because of sissies amoving into sieged positions and losing the game then coming here to QQ. a buff to siege tanks means players will have to think more about where to attack/positioning so,,, inb4 massive disagreement but i do agree. the siege tank is why mech is broken, the rest of the units have great synergy with terrans units. the siege tank is a very expensive necessary evil just like splash damage for the other races (at least in tvz, tvt)
I read everything, Fencar, and it's good material as ever. However, I still request some clarity. The Siege Tank is heavily used in 2 out of the 3 Terran matchups. It's absolutely crucial to TvT due to the generally low HP of Terran ground units as well as its impressive range and splash damage, and in TvZ, it does excellent damage to Banelings as well as keeping Infestors and limited numbers of Zerglings at bay.

So what problem with the Siege Tank, specifically, are you trying to address here?
The problem would be that the only counter zerg has early on against mech, the roach, would be absolutely crushed by siege tanks with your suggested buff.
I read everything, Fencar, and it's good material as ever. However, I still request some clarity. The Siege Tank is heavily used in 2 out of the 3 Terran matchups. It's absolutely crucial to TvT due to the generally low HP of Terran ground units as well as its impressive range and splash damage, and in TvZ, it does excellent damage to Banelings as well as keeping Infestors and limited numbers of Zerglings at bay.

So what problem with the Siege Tank, specifically, are you trying to address here?
In HotS, there are a thousand and one ways to 'counter' the Siege Tank. The most obvious ones are Abduct for Zerg and Tempests for Protoss, make the Siege Tank less viable in the later stages of the game against Zerg, and at most stages against Protoss.(due to the fact that there are a thousand and one ways for Protoss to circumvent early-game Siege Tank emplacements--namely Blink, Warp-in, and Warp prisms.)

Also, many players have explained their distaste with where the Siege Tank is currently balance and meta-game wise, believing that Mech is not Mech without a large amount of Siege Tanks.

I have linked a post from Dustin Browder in the OP as well where he acknowledges this.
So basically, too many long range units are starting to overshadow the Siege Tank, as opposed to Brood War where its only range rivals were the expensive Guardian and Carrier? Because they could always be circumvented. Or broken with Arbiters, Storm, Zealots, etc.
09/27/2012 06:05 PMPosted by Snow
The problem would be that the only counter zerg has early on against mech, the roach, would be absolutely crushed by siege tanks with your suggested buff.
It's not a buff, rather a change in my view. Trading mobility for more damage. You could force more sieges with your Roaches, and if it becomes more of a problem then Blizzard could increase the siege time, giving the Roaches more time to retreat while delaying the Terran's push.

Also Siege Tanks already 3-shot Roaches, I think that it wouldn't matter too much if they get a +10 damage buff against armored, they would still kill Roaches in the same amount of shots.

Finally there are more ways to beat siege lines, namely the Swarm host and Viper (The reason I tagged this thread [HotS])
09/27/2012 06:07 PMPosted by Fencar
Also, many players have explained their distaste with where the Siege Tank is currently balance and meta-game wise, believing that Mech is not Mech without a large amount of Siege Tanks.


Those people are usually stuck in the "WHY ISN'T SC2 EXACTLY LIKE BW?" mindset. Siege tanks pack a very nice punch at a very nice range as-is, there is no way to increase their current damage without making them incredibly difficult for zerg to counter until high-tier expensive units are out - the viper is a good counter, but is expensive and doesn't actually do any damage to the tanks themselves - its range means that it will pick out one tank, but any other tanks near it will still be able to hit most zerg units that would be attacking that pulled out tank. Any that were out of range of those tanks would be in the range of the tank being abducted.

Siege tanks are still effective in TvP with the proper defense around them - which is where the battlehellion and widow mine come into play. They deal good damage output, but in WoL spells such as blink and abilities such as charge made their range insufficient to counter a large army. Increased defense around the tanks gives them the same strength they've always had while allowing them to defend against these units that can close the distance very rapidly.

The one unit that is not affected by the changes in HotS as it is currently is the immortal, which is the bane of mech's existence. Your proposed changes would have no impact on hardened shields, which would still take only 10 damage per volley.

Siege tanks may well need some kind of change in HotS (I'm unconvinced that they do, but I'm open to new ideas). Changing their damage output is not the way, even with an increase in siege deployment time, as it would make them far too effective in the TvT and TvZ matchups.

09/27/2012 06:11 PMPosted by Fencar
Also Siege Tanks already 3-shot Roaches, I think that it wouldn't matter too much if they get a +10 damage buff against armored, they would still kill Roaches in the same amount of shots.


Their splash output would also be increased, but the biggest flaw in this explanation is that you're assuming the meching terran would be going pure siege tank. True, it would still take 3 volleys to kill a group of roaches, but with support from units such as thors, marines, battlehellions, what have you, it would make mech much much harder to break. It would also make mech far too prevalent in TvT.

09/27/2012 06:11 PMPosted by Fencar
Finally there are more ways to beat siege lines, namely the Swarm host and Viper (The reason I tagged this thread [HotS])


With the locust's low range and small size, siege tanks actually have proven to be the most reliable counter to swarm hosts based on streams and VODs I have seen.
The Warhound would have made it all the worse. My hope has been the Tank would find friends in the Widow Mine and Battle Hellion to make holding positions and pushing in with Tanks more powerful and harder to break.
Also, many players have explained their distaste with where the Siege Tank is currently balance and meta-game wise, believing that Mech is not Mech without a large amount of Siege Tanks.


Those people are usually stuck in the "WHY ISN'T SC2 EXACTLY LIKE BW?" mindset. Siege tanks pack a very nice punch at a very nice range as-is, there is no way to increase their current damage without making them incredibly difficult for zerg to counter until high-tier expensive units are out - the viper is a good counter, but is expensive and doesn't actually do any damage to the tanks themselves - its range means that it will pick out one tank, but any other tanks near it will still be able to hit most zerg units that would be attacking that pulled out tank. Any that were out of range of those tanks would be in the range of the tank being abducted.

Siege tanks are still effective in TvP with the proper defense around them - which is where the battlehellion and widow mine come into play. They deal good damage output, but in WoL spells such as blink and abilities such as charge made their range insufficient to counter a large army. Increased defense around the tanks gives them the same strength they've always had while allowing them to defend against these units that can close the distance very rapidly.

The one unit that is not affected by the changes in HotS as it is currently is the immortal, which is the bane of mech's existence. Your proposed changes would have no impact on hardened shields, which would still take only 10 damage per volley.

Siege tanks may well need some kind of change in HotS (I'm unconvinced that they do, but I'm open to new ideas). Changing their damage output is not the way, even with an increase in siege deployment time, as it would make them far too effective in the TvT and TvZ matchups.

Also Siege Tanks already 3-shot Roaches, I think that it wouldn't matter too much if they get a +10 damage buff against armored, they would still kill Roaches in the same amount of shots.


Their splash output would also be increased, but the biggest flaw in this explanation is that you're assuming the meching terran would be going pure siege tank. True, it would still take 3 volleys to kill a group of roaches, but with support from units such as thors, marines, battlehellions, what have you, it would make mech much much harder to break. It would also make mech far too prevalent in TvT.

Finally there are more ways to beat siege lines, namely the Swarm host and Viper (The reason I tagged this thread [HotS])


With the locust's low range and small size, siege tanks actually have proven to be the most reliable counter to swarm hosts based on streams and VODs I have seen.
I feel like you're addressing this as if it was only a damage buff, and there was no mobility involved.

First, since when was SC2 a one-dimensional ball-versus-ball game? It's not Roaches versus Siege Tanks in a vacuum. Factoring in Mobility, you have more time to get up a stable economy, which means more Roaches for you, more chances to counter attack, and more time to get up tech units like the Viper in time to defend a Mech push.

Which brings me to my next point--This isn't WoL anymore, or BW. For the record, I have never played a BW 1v1 game. This means two things:

One, strategies that were OP in WoL will have to contend with the new units in HotS.
Two, that the opinion that Tank-based Mech play is fun (and is not very good in HotS(excluding TvT))is not exclusive to former BW players/spectators.

The Immortal will have to be dealt with some other way, that's a different problem.

The Warhound would have made it all the worse. My hope has been the Tank would find friends in the Widow Mine and Battle Hellion to make holding positions and pushing in with Tanks more powerful and harder to break.


Widowmine and Battlehellion support is all well and good, but Widowmines can be cleaned up by Colossus/observer, and Battlehellions are near-useless against Stalkers, Immortals, and Colossus(thus turning the situation into something like in WoL). These are weaker against Siege Tanks, but still break an entrenched position.

That's all I can think of for now.

Edit: One thing I forgot to mention is that without any testing we won't get any answers. I don't have any idea on the numbers, and theorycrafting based on random ones will only get us so far.
09/27/2012 06:10 PMPosted by Doncroft
So basically, too many long range units are starting to overshadow the Siege Tank, as opposed to Brood War where its only range rivals were the expensive Guardian and Carrier? Because they could always be circumvented. Or broken with Arbiters, Storm, Zealots, etc.
Not so much 'overshadow' as 'overpower'. There are very many units which out-right break Siege Tank lines while ignoring/steamrolling over any Battlehellions or Widowmines.
Whatever it is, it has to be something that doesn't make Siege Tanks over-dominant in TvT. We want non-tank play to still be optional when done correctly.
09/28/2012 02:34 PMPosted by Doncroft
Whatever it is, it has to be something that doesn't make Siege Tanks over-dominant in TvT. We want non-tank play to still be optional when done correctly.
I think experimenting with increases in damage output as to not one-shot stimmed Marines (except at +3 maybe, or +2 if + armor can negate this).

Experimenting with the different options for movement could also work, considering we have a few options:

Decrease movement speed.
Increase time to siege.
Increase time to un-siege.

I think the first two would decrease the Tank's effectiveness in TvT the most, since often when a Terran Mech player is pushing across the map, they have most of their tanks un-sieged, giving the Bio player more opportunity, and time, to defeat the Mech army.

I really think it needs testing before we come to any conclusions at all, though. Drops might become too weak against defensive Siege Tanks, or people might start loading more Marauders to counter the defensive Tanks.
Posting to clear up some stuff I missed:

Posted by Snow

Their splash output would also be increased, but the biggest flaw in this explanation is that you're assuming the meching terran would be going pure siege tank. True, it would still take 3 volleys to kill a group of roaches, but with support from units such as thors, marines, battlehellions, what have you, it would make mech much much harder to break. It would also make mech far too prevalent in TvT.
As far as I can tell, the bane of Mech is it's immobility, which would just be increased with this change, thus giving the Bio player more time to Macro, giving him more units to fight the Mech army with, as well as time to stop the Mech player from pushing out. If Mech still seems too strong against Bio, you could increase the siege-up time, though that would probably have some reprecussions in TvZ, as well as for lower-level players.

09/27/2012 05:53 PMPosted by uffie
I think it's a good idea, but you have to remember the reason the tank was nerfed in the first place was because of sissies amoving into sieged positions and losing the game then coming here to QQ. a buff to siege tanks means players will have to think more about where to attack/positioning so,,, inb4 massive disagreement but i do agree. the siege tank is why mech is broken, the rest of the units have great synergy with terrans units. the siege tank is a very expensive necessary evil just like splash damage for the other races (at least in tvz, tvt)
Broodlords, Tempests, and Battlecruisers are all viable options to slowly break Siege Lines in my view, using range and abilities to chip away at the tank line. If the opponent is massing Tanks, take advantage of his lack of air and do something like BC/Viking, Broodlord/Corruptor, or Tempest/Phoenix!

09/27/2012 06:15 PMPosted by Snow
With the locust's low range and small size, siege tanks actually have proven to be the most reliable counter to swarm hosts based on streams and VODs I have seen.
Please link some VODs. I'd like to see this for myself.
09/27/2012 05:58 PMPosted by Doncroft
I read everything, Fencar, and it's good material as ever. However, I still request some clarity. The Siege Tank is heavily used in 2 out of the 3 Terran matchups. It's absolutely crucial to TvT due to the generally low HP of Terran ground units as well as its impressive range and splash damage, and in TvZ, it does excellent damage to Banelings as well as keeping Infestors and limited numbers of Zerglings at bay.


And the tank also shreds hydras and roaches and does decent damage against ultras. Oh wait that sounds like the entire zerg ground army
Can I just bump the post? cause then I don't have to do a lot of elaborate stuff for this like copying and pasting.
There are two things keeping tanks from being great in TvP.

The first is the post you quoted. Terran's early game is extremely strong, terrans are able to have very greedy openings like 3cc, and on equal bases terran will almost always have higher incomes. Were terran mech akin to BW, a greedy opening transitioning into them would be too strong in general. In BW the strength of mech was accounted for by the other races inevitable having much stronger economies.

The second is that there is nothing to actually get in the way. Comparing numbers, WoL tanks are actually very similar performance-wise to BW ones. The cost 25 gas and 1 supply more, and in exchange get a bunch of benefits (more range, smart fire, better when unsieged) while still having similar DPS while sieged (WoL tanks fire significantly faster). What made tanks truly strong in BW? You try running into them and your entire army dies to spider mines.

The first point can't be addressed unless MMM is nerfed (and possibly banshees), and that isn't going to happen. The second, with tweaks to widow mines (and BH to serve as a better "meat" wall) could definitely make tanks viable.
In HotS, there are a thousand and one ways to 'counter' the Siege Tank. The most obvious ones are Abduct for Zerg and Tempests for Protoss,

His concern was for zerg's early game defense. not hive tech methods of killing something you can have out of a factory
If I had to suggest some interesting and useful buffs to the ST, I would say a faster unsiege and maybe an incendiary effect upgrade for siege mode, where siege tank shots would continue to cause incendiary damage for a short time after the attack, which would make the tanks slightly better against Immortals. If the incendiary effect was added, the Siege Tank's initial damage could be lessened slightly in favor of an overall increase of damage due to the additional effect. It could also increase the siege tank's splash damage by dealing equal incendiary damage over the entire AoE that the splash covers.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum