StarCraft® II

Ideas for Carrier Buffs

Posts: 1,296
Its a shame that the carrier is so awesome in appearance, yet so lame in effectiveness. Much like the hydra for Zerg, I think the Protoss carrier is to cool a unit to not see the battle field.

So based on what DonCroft said about Carriers:
( http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/7006898378?page=1 the "Carrier has arrived" part)

And this (source: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/3549513 (under zerg buffs for that patch)):
Build time decreased from 70 to 55.


I've thought of a few buffs the carrier could use:

1. Carriers should only take 95 seconds to build, not a whopping 2 minutes (120 seconds).
Effect: builds 25 seconds faster so you can mass them much sooner.

Why: If I remember, Blizzard buffed Ultra spawn time because they felt that Ultras spawned after the time they were useful (btw, Don didn't call Ultras unbuffable). Since Ultras got about a 21% faster spawn time so they don't miss their time of glory, why not do the same for carriers? Seriously though, even colos build 60% faster(75 vs 120) and don't have to wait for anything!

2. Make Carriers cheaper by making interceptors cheaper.

A. Have Carriers start with full interceptors (much like Brood Lords start with both broodlings ready).

B. Add a fleet beacon upgrade that does the above.

C. Decrease interceptor cost to 10 minerals or lower.

D. A combination of C and either of the above.

Effect: Carriers are on the battle field even sooner, and cost less too.

Why: You already waited up to 2 minutes and got a massive flying machine for more than the cost of a base, you'd need a toss version of MULEs to have enough mins for the entire intended unit! I absolutely would not want to wait yet another 32 seconds for a unit to reach critical mass (ties into buff #1), especially if that minute is when the enemy death ball is moving to my main.

Even Terran battle cruisers (90 sec build time), they're ready to go and are probably ready to Yamato something by the time Carriers are at critical mass. Worse, BCs have Behemoth reactors (the +25 starting energy), so I very seriously doubt it would be fair not to give carriers a "fully ready sooner after arrival" upgrade.

Motherships can cost much more than a base because it makes perfect sense, but plz not carriers.

3. Carriers should be able to fit a role the colosus doesn't.
A. Damage buff vs something

B. Some ability to scare off AA based units.

Effect: the carrier can cover the colo's weakness that immorts and even stalks don't.

Why: Remember back when the carrier was at risk of removal from SC2? That was because colos were filling the original role of carriers like a boss (faster build time, rofl stomps things like marines, etc.). So why not give carriers a new role?

Colos got the small units, so no point in buffing anti light damage on Carrier. Immortals often rofl stomp armored, so that's not an issue.

What if Carriers were refitted to be a terrible threat to bases in the late game? The idea for bonus damage vs structures is to crack a Terran turtle, or give Zerg something to watch out for when trying to keep an expansion. Paired with MS recall, Carriers could be turned into a form of late game, base killing, map controlling harass (maybe throw in a speed buff too).

The idea with bonus vs armored is to scare off AA, since colos can be targeted by AA weapons. Carriers could be a death ball unit in response to vikings, coruptors, or void rays. This seems capably quite OP though, so I doubt that's the answer.

But what if Carriers could hit massive units with lethal force? This would make trouble for BCs and Brood lords. This may not be applicible though, since Tempests are supposed to do that in HotS.

My only other ideas are more damage vs mech, which also might be a bit OP, or add some ability that targets armored flying units that aren't massive as another method of chasing away AA.

TL;DR:

1. Carriers should be ready to roll out sooner.

2. Interceptors shouldn't be mineral hogs, and Carriers should start w/ more than 4 of them.

3. I think Carriers could be capable anti-expansion/map control units if used right and buffed vs structures.

Guy here had a good idea too: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/7200301585
Edited by Setho on 11/28/2012 5:33 PM PST
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Posts: 902
Thanks for recognizing my post. Just wanted to present simple math about carrier cost to everybody.

Interceptor : 25 minerals
8 Interceptors : 200 Minerals

Carrier cost 550/250

Or since a carrier starts off with 4 interceptors it's 450/250.
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Posts: 1,296
Thanks for recognizing my post. Just wanted to present simple math about carrier cost to everybody.

Interceptor : 25 minerals
8 Interceptors : 200 Minerals

Carrier cost 550/250

Or since a carrier starts off with 4 interceptors it's 450/250.


One more thing: interceptors take 8 seconds to build. source: http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Interceptor (try not to confuse the SC2 one with SC1, I missed a 10 second difference originally (lol)).

That means each seperate carrier takes 120+(8*4 is 32)= 152 seconds (or about 2.53 munites) total (unless the stargate is constantly chronoed) to be 100% ready. Battle Cruisers also need to wait at least 100 seconds to have enough energy to use Yamato cannon (based on approx .5 energy per second, as shown here when hovering mouse over energy: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/game/unit/battlecruiser ), but other than the behemoth reactor upgrade, it doesn't cost a penny more.
Edited by Setho on 11/28/2012 5:39 PM PST
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Posts: 6,575
The reason they take so long to build is because in critical mass + mothership there is no true counter.
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Posts: 1,296
11/28/2012 05:43 PMPosted by Hunta
The reason they take so long to build is because in critical mass + mothership there is no true counter.


I disagree.

I just tested that on a unit test map, and 80ish corruptors do pretty well vs 32 Carriers (the MS didn't do ANYTHING, and prob wouldn't, even if a vortex was used).

Terrans? All they have to do is what thay do best: turtle with missle turrets. That, plus pure vikings do fine.

toss vs toss? would be a race to see who can mass more first, but even a ton of voids paired w/ defensive cannons all over the place would do fine (skipped voids + cannons though).
Edited by Setho on 11/28/2012 6:36 PM PST
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Posts: 687
11/28/2012 05:43 PMPosted by Hunta
The reason they take so long to build is because in critical mass + mothership there is no true counter.


They are pretty strong when you can get them to the right amount with zealot archon. You should just play a No rush 30 game with your friends to see how good they are.
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Posts: 687
11/28/2012 06:35 PMPosted by Setho
The reason they take so long to build is because in critical mass + mothership there is no true counter.


I disagree.

I just tested that on a unit test map, and 80ish corruptors do pretty well vs 32 Carriers (the MS didn't do ANYTHING, and prob wouldn't, even if a vortex was used).

Terrans? All they have to do is what thay do best: turtle with missle turrets. That, plus pure vikings do fine.

toss vs toss? would be a race to see who can mass more first, but even a ton of voids paired w/ defensive cannons all over the place would do fine (skipped voids + cannons though).


You do realize that corruptors counter carriers right? and vikings..... and you forget psi storm destroys anti air ( brings corrupters and vikings down really low)
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Posts: 1,219
Carriers hold their own against corruptors surprisingly well in small numbers, and with archons and storm they can win easily even in higher numbers
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Posts: 1,441
No. If Terran can't have T3, you can't either.
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Posts: 651
11/28/2012 08:49 PMPosted by dharkness
No. If Terran can't have T3, you can't either.


Can we have your T1 then?
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Posts: 1,296
11/28/2012 08:09 PMPosted by Hippo
you forget psi storm destroys anti air


Just tested a few more things:

32 Carriers + several HTs vs 100 corruptors:

the carriers actually die faster than normal WITHOUT corruption hitting them (because i figured out that overlapping the zerg deathball w/ the carriers is the best way to get them to target mostly the carriers). Also figured out that if the zerg micros a bit, nearly all the interceptors die by friendly fire.

32 Carriers + several HTs vs 100 vikings + rows of missile turrets (3-4, but w/o the range buff):

the vikings get eaten alive by the storms, yes, but the missile turrets still eat up the carriers. also, guess which unit protoss shields scorn the most? ya, expect EMP rain to bombard a carrier death ball, and nukes to fall on a few things, quite possibly including that same deathball if you try to throw in a vortex.

So, you guys are saying the carrier can't be buffed because it would rofl stomp anything? I proved (at least to myself) in unit testers that carriers are quite counterable as they are, even when massed and maxed.
Edited by Setho on 11/28/2012 11:29 PM PST
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Posts: 779
Make it move faster I say. It is still slower than collosi. Build time is reasonable given the current condition (WoL), not so in HOTS.
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Posts: 211
11/28/2012 08:49 PMPosted by dharkness
No. If Terran can't have T3, you can't either.

Can we have your T1 then?


I second this nomination :)
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Posts: 687
11/28/2012 11:27 PMPosted by Setho
you forget psi storm destroys anti air


Just tested a few more things:

32 Carriers + several HTs vs 100 corruptors:

the carriers actually die faster than normal WITHOUT corruption hitting them (because i figured out that overlapping the zerg deathball w/ the carriers is the best way to get them to target mostly the carriers). Also figured out that if the zerg micros a bit, nearly all the interceptors die by friendly fire.



This could be a useful buff. And if we were to buff the carrier I would make it 2 MS and have + armor to carrier and interceptors upgrade @ fleet beacon.
I think that if we do start making the carrier take less damage from small fast firing units It could become a lot more viable.
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Posts: 2
bringing back BW mechanics would go a long way towards improving carriers imo
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Posts: 143
I agree that the carrier needs some sort of buff. It just isn't that viable unless the game goes on really long and its paired with other units like a ground force or mass void rays.
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Posts: 4,906
Some good ideas here. Obviously, all at once would be OP, but one or two would be nice.

Personally, I think they just need a slight decrease in cost and build time. They're not really bad units; they just aren't good enough to justify the effort involved in getting them.

These decreases could even be indirect by making interceptors free or baking the interceptor upgrades into the base unit and making each carrier start with a full compliment of eight.
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Posts: 687
Some good ideas here. Obviously, all at once would be OP, but one or two would be nice.

Personally, I think they just need a slight decrease in cost and build time. They're not really bad units; they just aren't good enough to justify the effort involved in getting them.

These decreases could even be indirect by making interceptors free or baking the interceptor upgrades into the base unit and making each carrier start with a full compliment of eight.


What is your opinion on the Carrier's move speed? I think just making the capital ship faster could be a huge buff. More interesting than the 'tier 3 units are slow' we see.
Edited by Hippo on 12/1/2012 10:44 AM PST
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Posts: 1,215
12/01/2012 10:44 AMPosted by Hippo
What is your opinion on the Carrier's move speed? I think just making the capital ship faster could be a huge buff. More interesting than the 'tier 3 units are slow' we see.


I agree with this. What if Flux Vanes came back as well? Void rays are not getting much use recently as in PvZ the speed upgrade will not change much as it is a lategame upgrade and infestors stlil kill voidrays. This will allow for more multipronged attacks and use of abilities like mass recall. In PvT marines > toss air already and this upgrade will not change much. In PvP however this will be very interesting to see lategame air plays more than just mass pheonix like this game: http://day9.tv/d/Day9/day9-daily-527/
If the carrier was buffed in speed and the voidray got the upgrade back, that game in particular would be much more than 20 pheonix vs 25 pheonix and then archons suddenly win because they hard counter the pheonix. A mobile Protoss lategame army would make this game more interesting.
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Posts: 4,906
What is your opinion on the Carrier's move speed? I think just making the capital ship faster could be a huge buff. More interesting than the 'tier 3 units are slow' we see.


If it were combined with the ability to attack while moving more effectively, it could be interesting. Still think a cost decrease is the most elegant solution.
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