We’re trying to finalize the changes we’d like to look into with a balance test map very soon. Like we said recently, our main focus has been on Protoss strength, especially against Terran.
Photon Overcharge duration decreased from 60 to 50
We’d like to try a smaller change with Photon Overcharge duration than we previously proposed because we agree that going too low on this side could negatively affect PvP. On the balance test map, we must make sure to not only test how the change works out against the other races, but also in one-base PvP play.
Time Warp energy cost increased from 75 to 100
This is another option we can go with. We hope this will decrease the effectiveness of early game Protoss strength, as well as somewhat decrease the power of Blink-based strategies, which have become a lot more effective recently.
Ghosts build with the energy upgrade built in
We believe this change will not only help Terran against Protoss, which is our top concern right now, but it’ll also help with TvP mech. Right now, we’re seeing a lot more mech usage in both TvT and TvZ, and as far as mech buffs go, we’d like to only touch TvP right now.
Hydralisk cost decreased from 100/50 to 100/25
We’re most concerned about PvZ with this change since Hydralisks are really only a core unit in that matchup. We’d love to see how the testing goes for this change on the next balance test map.
We don’t think this will be problematic for either side in TvZ right now. It’s very Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk focused for Zerg, whereas Terran players are exploring mech play and have the already solid option to go bio. We were thinking this buff will potentially help open up some more options for Zerg in this matchup.
In ZvZ, we’re seeing a lot more Roach focused strategies than before and believe this change will allow for easier Roach/Hydra transitions.
Overall, we want to check what a general Hydralisk buff would do for all three matchups in the next balance test map.
Late game PvZ
Additionally on the Zerg front, we’re seeing a bit more in the way of super long and dragged out PvZ games in Europe. We’ve been discussing this internally and believe the main issue comes from using Swarm Hosts in a completely defensive way while taking additional expansions, massing Spore and Spine Crawlers, then continuing to play passively while using Vipers to pull key Protoss units into the forward, massed Zerg defenses. For this strategy, there are two main units involved, as well as the massing of base defenses, and we’d like a change that only hits this specific part of the PvZ game. We believe that when Swarm Hosts are not used in this manner, they aren’t an issue at the moment, especially when we see them being used in a lot of games coming from Korea. Similarly, when Vipers aren’t comboed with a mass of base defenses, we also don’t see the Viper being too powerful in other scenarios.
So the change that we’re thinking about is:
A Passive Tempest ability that allows them to deal 2-3 times more damage vs. Structures (We’re not 100% set on the actual value yet.)
Protoss players who are facing this very passive Zerg style can get Tempests without too much trouble, and they come into play late enough that we’d like to test this change. If Tempests can not only kill the Crawlers much faster, but also allow Protoss to make cost effective trades more easily in this mid-map standoff scenario, we believe there will be much less incentive for Zerg to play this way.
Again, none of this is final. We haven’t published a balance test map on it, yet. Your feedback is welcome, and if this process goes smoothly, we will look to publish a balance test map within the next couple of weeks at the latest.