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Call to Action: Balance Testing

Call to Action: Balance Testing

We’ve recently published a custom version of Antiga Shipyard, called "Antiga Shipyard 1.5.0 Balance v1.0," in which we’re testing a few small balance changes to StarCraft II. Our plan is to bring the changes to the game in a week or so. Here’s the situation:

  • Globally, matchups outside the professional level are balanced, and we see no significant issues.
  • As always, we are watching matchup balance in order to react as best as possible when issues do arise.
  • At the very highest levels of eSports competition, we feel that terran players are at a slight disadvantage against zerg. Many terran players, specifically those just below the very highest skill level, are underperforming in this matchup.
  • We’re dealing with this issue very carefully, because at the highest end of the pro level, terran players look about equal against protoss.
  • We’re making the smallest changes that we believe will address this.

Here’s what we’re testing:

Creep tumor build radius, vision radius, and creep spread radius decreased from 10 to 8.

This is a relatively minor change, but one that we feel will positively impact game balance at the highest levels of competition. After carefully watching as the pro game has shifted since zerg players started spreading creep more often, we noticed the increase in creep spread was only having a significant impact on TvZ. These are our goals with this change:

  • Keep the early game queen defenses and creep spreading viable, while at the same time making it slightly more difficult for the zerg pro to quickly spread creep across the whole map.
  • With tactics where a single creep tumor is being used, there is practically no change. Creep doesn’t spread fast enough for this change to make a difference at most levels of play.

Raven movement acceleration increased from 2 to 2.25.

Raven movement speed increased from 2.25 to 2.5.

After seeing pro players using the raven, we made these changes considering these two lines of reasoning:

  • Even the best micro players in the world were struggling to use the raven due to the slower acceleration and movement speed of the unit. Seeker missile cost or cast range appear to be secondary factors.
  • Because ravens are difficult to use, we don’t expect this buff will have more than a small impact on high-level play or any significant impact on balance at most skill levels.

Please log on, try out the changes for yourself, and then join our feedback thread. We’re looking forward to testing these changes with you, and will do our best to address the feedback we receive.

Tags: Balance
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