Intriguing Oracle Changes

Posts: 6
Hello all!

After much thought on the new Protoss unit, the Oracle, I believe that may be some possible tweaks to the unit to make it much more viable and fun! In the Oracle's current state, the Oracle appears to have very limited use and too much risk to use in multiplayer matches for it to be widely viable, so I believe that the changes suggested below will remedy such issues.

My interesting suggestion would outright change the Oracle completely. This suggestion would make the Oracle become an extremely micro - intensive, interesting support unit that would be able to use in most builds.

Suggestion:

Make the Oracle a suicidal "buffing" unit. Such would occur by it having an ability which would cause the Oracle to transform into some sort of "buff mode" in which, once activated, the Oracle cannot move and assumes the appearance of something akin to the merging of two templar. Once such occurs, the Oracle will be able to activate two other spells which will be able to be "pulsed" upon the strike of a hotkey and will drain energy after every pulse. Every strike of a hotkey would result in one pulse of one of the abilities listed below, and every pulse will have the area akin to the area that a pylon produces.

The first of these two spells will create a pulse that restores energy to units, and the second spell will create a pulse that will add additional damage to all non - massive robotic units (sentries and stalkers) for something like 5 seconds. After a time period of something like 15 seconds in being in "buffing mode", the Oracle will self-destruct.

As a result, these new abilities will allow Protoss players to be able to have more use with their sentries and high templar. Additionally, these changes will allow stalkers and sentries, which currently do not have that high DPS, to deal additional damage. Finally, these changes will add to the enjoyment of playing Protoss, as these changes will cause Oracles to become extremely rewarding, micro - intensive units that can fit in with any build. I feel that if such changes were to occur, stargate play would become more common in all of the match ups. I also feel that that this change would be fairly balanced, (after all of the numbers are worked out) as the self destruct component of this suggestion would make it so that the Oracle's new abilities are not too OP. To accompany these changes, I do not feel that a change in the current price of the Oracle is that necessary, but with such being said, I feel that the exact cost of the Oracle after these changes are made can only be accurately determined after testing how effective this new Oracle would be.

Thank you for reading this post and have fun laddering!
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Posts: 5,832
While I think the odds of the idea ever making it past the "wouldn't this be cool?" stage because of the enormous balance implications involved, I always like to hear wild new suggestions like these, so what the heck? If it's never going to be implemented, we might as well play with the idea.

A "pulse" system is interesting. I take it you added the "buff mode" so an opponent could have time to snipe it before it let out its charge? That's an interesting balance factor. I assume the short time limit is also so that a Protoss can't buff himself in total safety and then charge an opponent's base with a handful of blink stalkers and annihilate everything. I also like that it refreshes the buff for up to 15 seconds so that Protoss has to stay close to the overloading Oracle in order to make the best use of it.

That being said, the situation I'm most concerned about how it synergizes with blink stalkers. Part of the reason they have a pitiful attack is because of their incredible mobility. You can already blink a significant amount of stalkers into an opponent's base - if you gave them a buff that made them competitive in a standard army-vs-army fight, they would be overkill with the terrain advantage stemming from being able to hide behind a mineral line, blink backs, and the opponent's own simcity would work against them.

The energy recharge is interesting too, but it has the potential to be abused as well. Templar are somewhat balanced that they take a long time to get energy up. If you could sacrifice an Oracle to get the energy of 10 or so Templar to max, that'd be overkill. Yet, if you made the energy gain too little, the unit just wouldn't be fun to use.

To address the energy issue and to remain in line with the idea that the buff can't be taken with you, I propose something new: temporary energy. Each pulse would restore 100 energy, which would quickly drain itself. Units being buffed could go over their 200 energy cap, if buffed. Units under this effect could then cast abilities, but when the effect ends, they quickly drop back to what they were before - less, if they cast spells. Essentially, this helps casters that had too low energy to cast anything (units that just got EMP'd, for instance), but makes no difference regarding casters who had high energy to begin with. Naturally, the range of the pulse would prevent you from taking the buff outside of pulse range, increasing spellcaster power only when within range.

As for the damage increase, I'm wondering - keeping in line with the energy buff, what if units without energy under the effect of this energy buff had no cooldown on moves? AKA Limitless blinks, charges, and prismatic alignment? It's not a direct buff to damage, but it still makes all the affected units fairly beastly. In a roach vs stalker fight, the roaches would not be able to deal significant damage if the stalkers blink away each time a volley of acid is spewed, or at least not until the stalkers are pushed outside of pulse range. Void rays would have their ability on if they used it before the fight. Would this be better, or worse than a damage increase? Naturally, all units affected by the pulses would have their abilities set on cooldown once it ends.

Lastly, what kind of morph time do you see such an ability having? Too long, and an enemy can easily retreat, but too short and it's overpowered as hell. Should the counter be to snipe the oracle doing the buffing, or to retreat before it deploys? How would this unit fair when paired with other air units? Should an opponent have to 'prepare' for Oracles, or can they get away with good micro and scouting?
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