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Call to Action: Balance Testing

Call to Action: Balance Testing

Updated May 4, 2012 4:00 p.m.

We’ve just published a new multiplayer map called "Antiga Shipyard (1.4.3 Balance v2.0)", in which we’re testing a few small balance changes to StarCraft II. Our hope is to bring the changes to the game in a week or so, without a full patch. Here’s the situation:

  • Globally, all matchups below pro-level are pretty balanced.
    • We aren’t currently seeing any problems with non-pro-level matchups, but as always, we’re watching them very carefully on a weekly basis.
    • We want changes we're making to balance at this time to be small, strategic adjustments that will only affect pro-level play.
  • Zerg at the pro-level are struggling a bit to scout effectively in the early game.
    • This is tricky to balance, because we do not want to hinder sneaky strategies or tactical early play vs. zerg.
    •  Our goal here is to improve zerg scouting, but not to the point where other races feel like they can’t or shouldn’t make any strategic early moves vs. zerg.
  • Zerg at the pro-level are slightly too susceptible to all-in rushes.
    • We want to make creep spread a little bit easier to counter hellions in ZvT.
    • We want to make the general zerg defense slightly stronger in the early game.
  • Protoss at the pro-level are doing well, but not at the very top of the pro-level.
    • At this time, we’re keeping a very close eye on this, and preparing to make any necessary adjustments.
  • We are closely watching TvP to see if the offensive capabilities of terran in the early/mid game becomes too much, or if late game strength of protoss becomes too much.
    • We aren’t making a change to affect this now, but it’s very near the top of our list of things we’re watching.

Here’s what we’re testing:

Overlord movement speed increased to 0.586, up from 0.4687. Upgraded overlord movement speed unchanged.

This is to help pro players scout a little easier in the early game, and to help zerg on larger maps. We feel that this is the right way to encourage the best zerg players to scout in the early game, without giving them something that allows them to see everything most of the time. We will be watching the public testing very carefully.

Queen starting energy increased to 50, up from 25.

This change is to help zerg deal with early- and mid-game all-in rushes, and timing pushes. Each queen will have either one more chain of creep tumors, or slightly faster transfusions. During public testing, we’ll see whether zerg end up with too many creep tumors early on, or the general upgrade in defensive capabilities make it too difficult for other races to attempt any early pressure.

After initial testing and feedback, we have decided to modify:
Queen anti-ground weapon attack range increased from 3 to 5.

Feedback in this area from players who have played the map will be greatly appreciated.

Observer build time decreased to 30, down from 40.

Protoss players at the pro level currently have all the tools they need to counter various early- to mid-game threats. However, in order to see them utilize the correct tools in various scenarios, we’re decreasing the build time of observers. This will give protoss slightly earlier scouting, as well as less time spent tying up the Robotics Facility while building observers. we feel this small change will result in protoss players utilizing their other units a bit more efficiently.

Please play the map "Antiga Shipyard (1.4.3 Balance v2.0)", and join our feedback thread in our StarCraft II discussion forum to give us any feedback you have on these changes.

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