StarCraft® II

The Unbuffables - A Gallery and Appeal

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The title is a silly metaphorical term I've coined for a group of units that have gotten the short end of the stick. These are units that many people want to use, but every time they do, they either regret it or they wish they'd spent their minerals and gas on something else. My hope for the Unbuffables is that they will find new homes on the battlefield with adjustment in the Heart of the Swarm Beta: well deserved attention that many of them have never truly received.

In no particular order: Thor, Carrier, Hydralisk, Raven, Ghost, Void Ray, Battlecruiser, and Nydus Worm.

Thor is here! - A unit that arrives on the battlefield with this memorable boisterous shout, huge guns, a giant stompy frame deserves to be built in any game that features a Terran player playing heavy macro. Huge firepower, high HP, powerful anti-light AA missiles, and slow, ponderous movement. The truth? This behemoth is useful vs the Zerg swarm in a limited capacity. That's about it. Its long range ground to air is its only significant value in TvT. And any Starcraft player knows, Protoss eat Thors for breakfast with every unit except the Sentry. Its mighty back cannons are a joke that no one uses, and its energy bar is no delight to the Terran when it's full (as it should be) but rather a liability.

Carrier has arrived! - The saddest case of them all, in my Brotoss heart, the Carrier is a symbol of the powerful Protoss Fleet, said to be the greatest in the galaxy before the Zerg Swarm's invasion of Aiur. Ingame, it's an extremely expensive unit whose Interceptors are easily shot down by the cheapest forms of anti-air. Long gone are the mighty one ship armies of Starcraft I and Brood War. This unit has never been addressed since the WoL Alpha development stage, and its stupidly long build time combined with its expensive tech and vulnerability make it a showpiece: a way for a Protoss player to "manner" his opponent by destroying them with this outrageous waste of resources and time. The Carrier serves as a shiny example of what an Unbuffable is.

Raaaaawwwwrrrr! - The Hydralisk. The face of the Zerg Swarm long before Kerrigan became the Queen of Blades. These were the bread and butter units of the Swarm, seen in almost every game you saw a Hatchery and Drones spawn in. Now, they merely exist because the Zerg Swarm would simply never get rid of them. In truth they are more powerful than their old-school counterparts, but at a terrible price. Stuck between the Roach and the Infestor on a sidestreet in the Zerg tech tree, they are overshadowed and outplayed by both units. Were the Roach or Infestor removed, the Zerg game would change entirely. Were the Hydralisk removed (perhaps the biggest icon of the Zerg), almost nothing ingame would change. The Hydralisk is a Lair Tech unit; therefore it should be a true Lair Tech option! Instead, we stare at a paltry Hive Tech speed buff. Why, my Hydras, why?

Raven Online... - The remote-controlled Raven: the "replacement" for the "older and costlier" Science Vessel. Now is a time where Terrans need constant detection more than ever, but this unit...this poor old bird has never been given its time of day. Extremely expensive for its supply, easy to kill, and with energy-demanding, somewhat underwhelming abilities that require buckets of time and research. This isn't a lategame unit. It's an ancientgame unit. Only on the biggest, most divided maps do we see it massed, and even then it goes down to AA splash damage in droves. The Terrans need the Raven, but the Raven fails to fulfill their needs. It is Unbuffable.

Ghost Reportin' - A strange member of this gallery is the Ghost. Once the dominant lategame unit in two of the three Terran matchups, the mighty nerf bat tore the Ghost a new one, leaving it a bloody mess. Overpowered is one kind of evil. Underpowered is another. The Ghost can not do much except spam mass EMPs vs Protoss or get off a lucky one on a Templar tea party that failed to use their jam and spread. For a year we have called for Ghost snipe to be useful against something besides Infestors and High Templar, but the calls go unheeded. Highly nerfable. The Unbuffable Ghost.

Channel the light of Aiur! - The prismatic beam of the Void Ray. The poster child of the WoL Alpha. It was supposed to be powerful vs high HP air and ground units. Is it? More specifically, is it ingame? No. Not at all in fact, and now that the Protoss have a unit that truly fulfills the anti-massive role in the air, the Void Ray is seen on occasion to pick off a Queen or Overlord on a blue Shakuras moon. Slow, expensive, unarmored, and cost inefficient against almost every unit it is supposed to be good against, the Void Ray turns the Stargate into the Failgate. It and the Carrier are supposed to be the core damage dealers that make Stargate play possible, but instead they plummet into the Unbuffable pit, made more entertaining by their pieces bouncing with the physics engine. Tragic.

Battlecruiser Operational! - The Terran's pride and joy. Flying fortresses of armor and guns. Yet their damage comes in small bursts that fail vs the thick armor or long range of their many counters. Expensive and short ranged, the Battlecruiser looks good in the sky and poor on the ingame battlefield. Lacking a definitive role and dying to its numerous counters, the Battlecruiser is a showpiece. Not as bad as some, perhaps, but badly needed for the Terran lategame and failing to provide results.

BooooooooooROOAAAAARRR! - The Nydus Worm breaches the surface and vomits out a stream of death behind enemy lines. This has got to be one of the coolest additions to the Zerg race in Starcraft II. Terrifying and incredibly fun to watch, how is it countered? By leaving one or two units lying around. One Stalker can DPS down a burrowing Nydus Worm with ease. A few workers prevent it from emerging. While creative and not completely useless, the Nydus Worms makes the Unbuffable gallery with its nonthreatening ingame presence, considered a waste of gas better spent on Infestors. For something as cool and amazing as the Nydus Worm, its role falls into the mediocre. Good for the occasional ooh and aah and not much else. It's Unbuffable.

With this I make a gathered appeal. Design and Balance Teams, we love these units. We want to use them and see them used. Even fight against them as they're used against us. Why must these eight units be put into this sad gallery, never to see the true light of constant 1v1 gameplay?

If you feel as I do and would like to see these units get some well-deserved and long-awaited attention, leave your feedback here!

Thanks for your time, fellow nerd ballers.

- MVP Doncroft

(Posted in Beta and General Discussion for widespread feedback.)
Edited by Doncroft on 11/27/2012 2:28 PM PST
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:D

Awesome use of subtitles. Logical reasoning +1
Edited by VIPER on 11/14/2012 1:14 PM PST
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BooooooooooROOAAAAARRR! - The Nydus Worm breaches the surface and vomits out a stream of death behind enemy lines. This has got to be one of the coolest additions to the Zerg race in Starcraft II. Terrifying and incredibly fun to watch, how is it countered? By leaving one or two units lying around. One Stalker can DPS down a burrowing Nydus Worm with ease. A few workers prevent it from emerging. While creative and not completely useless, the Nydus Worms makes the Unbuffable gallery with its nonthreatening ingame presence, considered a waste of gas better spent on Infestors. For something as cool and amazing as the Nydus Worm, its roll falls into the mediocre. Good for the occasional ooh and aah and not much else. It's Unbuffable.


An idea for nydus worm- what if the cost for each worm remained the same or was increased, but the network became able to put out multiple worms at a time? think that'd solve some problems?
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11/14/2012 01:15 PMPosted by Erchamion
An idea for nydus worm- what if the cost for each worm remained the same or was increased, but the network became able to put out multiple worms at a time? think that'd solve some problems?

I think the best idea is just giving it some armor. Or a faster build time.

The other problem with it is how slowly units come out of it, especially Zerglings. So faster divulge time, and some armor or faster build time.
Edited by Doncroft on 11/14/2012 1:17 PM PST
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+1 sticked Thanks doncroft
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Battlecruiser Operational! - The Terran's pride and joy. Flying fortresses of armor and guns. Yet their damage comes in small bursts that fail vs the thick armor or long range of their many counters. Expensive and short ranged, the Battlecruiser looks good in the sky and poor on the ingame battlefield. Lacking a definitive roll and dying to its numerous counters, the Battlecruiser is a showpiece. Not as bad as some, perhaps, but badly needed for the Terran lategame and failing to provide results.


We can actually buff the battlecruiser without making it overpowered. How you might ask? Allow it to say "Battlecruiser Operational" on spawn.

Well written Doncroft, although I'm beginning to think that TheSkunk wrote this and you just grammar checked it.
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11/14/2012 01:24 PMPosted by PotatoLiSK
Well written Doncroft, although I'm beginning to think that TheSkunk wrote this and you just grammar checked it.

Hahaha, no this is all me. Thanks anyway.
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I remember when I first got my hands on Starcraft II, one thing was readily apparent. Battlecruisers were amazing. Every game, my friend and I would basically have a one base mass battlecruiser contest. Good times, not understanding the game at all. Now that I've been practicing and playing on a semi serious basis, I see the Battlecruiser as a tier 3 counter to tier 1 units. When I bought an account and was able to play Zerg and Toss, another thing blew my mind. Nydus Worms. Why was this not being used everywhere, I thought? I can just build one by every base and respond to everything! I can attack him anywhere! Eventually, as I learned to play, the lost opportunity of this unit (structure?) presented itself. I want the cool things in this game to really be cool. Thank you for pointing this out in your post. One thing I agree with a little less is the Thor. While it is a joke in TvP, and I would love the strike cannons gone, or a better spell in its place, I find them extremely useful in HoTS TvT and TvZ in general. Though this is coming from a plat perspective, Thors are fairly effective in TvZ against everything except for infestor brood. (but then, what is?) In TvT in HoTS, I have found Thors to be ridiculously effective as tank line breakers. With a little splitting, and the high health battle hellions tanking, Thor/battle hellion can roll right over tank marine. I really don't like them in TvP though, as they were worthless vs everything toss and tempest has made them even more worthless. Same goes for battlecruisers.
Edited by daimyo on 11/14/2012 1:37 PM PST
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Nydus makes more QQ
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This +10
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I agree with everything except the Thor.

Ive always hated him since WOL beta, hes just so bulky and clunky to use (not because of the slow movement speed) and looks extremely ugly with his model cutting into everything.
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11/14/2012 01:53 PMPosted by Enigma
I agree with everything except the Thor.

Actually, that's saying a lot. Seven out of eight. Yeah, the Thor isn't a bad unit, but it does need attention, I still think, because 250 mm Strike Cannons is one of the saddest excuses for an ability in the game.
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I stopped playing Starctaft 2 about a year ago, at least consistantly, still play from time-to-time, but I still find myself watching pro games and checking the forums for updates and well written posts like this one.

I just have to admit that even though Starcraft 2 has not gone in the direction I had hoped it would've, it is still (strangely) entertaining.

Pretty much every unit you listed is as you said, unbuffable and I do agree. If I may just go out on a limb here and say it looks like the dev team is trying to introduce too many options and stragedies and choices for players all in one lump.

Introducing three-four units for each race in the expansion may be quote "sexy", but by doing so, it just feels as if they're burdening themselves too much, trying to introduce new stragedies when there are all these "unbuffable" units in WoL that still haven't developed theirs' yet.

Many of these units you described feel like they need a complete re-engineering/re-designing or just be eliminated from the game all together, which unfortunately might be the best solution, because now with the expansion you have even more units competing with one or two other units' role, eg.; Void/Tempest/Oracle.

There's too many units, with many of them having little to no synergy, with other units.

Good night and good luck.
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I agree with all of these. Don't have much to add.
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Doncroft how do making good threads com naturally?
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I agree with everything, but simply complaining without providing ideas won't fix much as we've already complained a lot about every one of these units; at best you'll let Blizzard know about one or two that still aren't very good.

You have seen my Thor idea, but didn't talk much about it: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/7004343465

I think the Banshee is also nearly on this list since it only sees use in the early and mid-game in TvT and TvZ, with some limited Sky Terran play. Since it costs so much and takes so long to build compared to the Battle Cruiser, much like the Siege Tank to the Thor, I would love for it to get +2 to each of it's attacks instead of just +1. You saw my thread on this, as well: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6933237130

For any of you reading the thread, it's specifically for the Banshee.

For the Ghost, what about a slight cost change, say +25 Gas, and -25 Minerals in exchange for a base Snipe damage of 50 -15 to Massive?

I also posted a thread with an idea (or set of ideas) pertaining to the Roach, Hydralisk, and Swarm Host. It's a long shot, but I'd like you --and Blizzard-- to see it: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/7004444752

11/14/2012 02:03 PMPosted by VIPER
Doncroft how do making good threads com naturally?
Practice, thought, and un-biased opinions. At least, this is how I do it.
Edited by Fencar on 11/14/2012 2:08 PM PST
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I do Agree Doncroft. and it makes me sad. Pulling off a Nidus worm is SO Satisfying, but it only works when someone fails to scout their own base....which is sad. And Hydras... the poor hydras...Anyways... I agree these units need a serious looking at. its sad to have such potential and... not develop it.
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11/14/2012 02:03 PMPosted by VIPER
Doncroft how do making good threads com naturally?

Years and years of practice plus true and honest passion for the game and its community.

I agree with everything, but simply complaining without providing ideas won't fix much as we've already complained a lot about every one of these units; at best you'll let Blizzard know about one or two that still aren't very good.

I'm a good writer, Fencar, but I haven't honestly come up with a novel design idea in my time. I'm not very good at it. My strength has always been critique, not original creation. One of the reasons I studied to be an editor and not an author.

For instance, I really like the changes to the Oracle over the way it was in the past, but I absolutely could not have come up with them. No way. You're pointing out a weak spot of mine.

Sure, I proposed the Warp Prism shield increase and the removal of the Battle Hellion transformation research, but those were simple changes.

That's why I try to stir the community with threads like these: bringing us together on common ground. We don't design the game; the Blizzard team does. We just provide feedback and sometimes even ideas that they can test out and implement.

Look around at the numerous threads here. People are trying - struggling even - to come up with ideas in isolated pockets. When brought together, that's when the real work can happen.

Fencar, your mind is stronger with numbers and original idea functionality than mine is, which is why I often fail to offer a critique to your ideas because, quite frankly, I feel underqualified for it. There's tons of brilliant minds champing at the bit to make this Heart of the Swarm the best RTS expansion ever. My goal is to make sure those minds are united and their voices heard.
Edited by Doncroft on 11/14/2012 2:24 PM PST
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I agree with everything, but simply complaining without providing ideas won't fix much as we've already complained a lot about every one of these units; at best you'll let Blizzard know about one or two that still aren't very good.

You have seen my Thor idea, but didn't talk much about it: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/7004343465

I think the Banshee is also nearly on this list since it only sees use in the early and mid-game in TvT and TvZ, with some limited Sky Terran play. Since it costs so much and takes so long to build compared to the Battle Cruiser, much like the Siege Tank to the Thor, I would love for it to get +2 to each of it's attacks instead of just +1. You saw my thread on this, as well: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6933237130

For any of you reading the thread, it's specifically for the Banshee.

For the Ghost, what about a slight cost change, say +25 Gas, and -25 Minerals in exchange for a base Snipe damage of 50 -15 to Massive?

I also posted a thread with an idea (or set of ideas) pertaining to the Roach, Hydralisk, and Swarm Host. It's a long shot, but I'd like you --and Blizzard-- to see it: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/7004444752

Doncroft how do making good threads com naturally?
Practice, thought, and un-biased opinions. At least, this is how I do it.


You should throw your Zerg Design Needs A Fix thread in there too Fencar ;)
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I've never really enjoyed reading Doncroft's posts, but this was extremely well written and thought out.

As far as the units you have listed here, I think that the Ultralisk deserves a spot on this list. You have pointed out that the Thor is useful vs Zerg in a limited capacity, and that is about it. Well, The ultralisk is useful vs Terran in a very much so limited capacity, and that is about it. The Ultralisk isn't viable vs Protoss and pro-level Zergs have not found a way to reach an Ultra-based lategame in any reliable fashion.

I understand that the Ultralisk is receiving some love in HOTS, but it is certainly deserving a spot on this list here.

Again, very well done.
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