StarCraft® II

Another HotS patch, still no Carrier love.

Posts: 687
Does Blizzard really think that the carrier is in a good location right now? I can only think that they want to see if star-gate play from toss will let us use the carrier more and see if its viable, but I still don't think it is because it takes too long to mass up to a useful number.
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Posts: 6,690
I STILL think mass Carrier + Mothership is unbeatable.
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Posts: 750
12/03/2012 05:46 PMPosted by Hunta
I STILL think mass Carrier + Mothership is unbeatable.


No one will ever get to that kind of a situation the way Carriers build so slowly.
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Posts: 12
I dont think i can ever mass up carrier even against terrans battle cruiser
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Posts: 6,382
There have already been multiple posts from David Kim saying that they will add in the leashing micro that NONY brought up.

There will be a huge outcry if they didn't so they will at least test this in beta, even if it doesn't make the final release for whatever reason.
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Posts: 698
12/03/2012 05:46 PMPosted by Hunta
I STILL think mass Carrier + Mothership is unbeatable.


Mass Carrier is inferior to Carrier/Archon/HT in essentially every way.
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Posts: 2,691
As usual, a lot of misinformation here.

12/03/2012 05:46 PMPosted by Hunta
I STILL think mass Carrier + Mothership is unbeatable.


You're right. It's pretty damn good. Problem is, in a game where both sides play right, this composition should never have the chance to be fielded.

12/04/2012 08:30 AMPosted by MidKnight
Mass Carrier is inferior to Carrier/Archon/HT in essentially every way.


I don't even... wut? This is what unit testers are for. Go find out that you are a bad, bad void ray ><
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Posts: 698
As usual, a lot of misinformation here.

I STILL think mass Carrier + Mothership is unbeatable.


You're right. It's pretty damn good. Problem is, in a game where both sides play right, this composition should never have the chance to be fielded.

Mass Carrier is inferior to Carrier/Archon/HT in essentially every way.


I don't even... wut? This is what unit testers are for. Go find out that you are a bad, bad void ray ><


LOL? You cite a unit tester and then lecture ME about misinformation? My God, Sidewinder is going to have a field day with this post.

Let's not beat around the bush. Your reliance on unit testers as evidence only proves one thing: that you aren't thinking about the game very deeply. While you're herp derping around in a unit tester playing out hypothetical army vs. hypothetical army, the rest of us are actually playing the game. And the fact is that, in real games, no engagement takes place in a vacuum like it does in a unit tester.

Admittedly, I don't know what compositions you're testing against mass Carrier. Hell, in isolation, it probably does well against a lot of different compositions. In fact I'm sure that it does. But if you're going to say anything meaningful about mass Carrier as a strategy, you have to consider the conditions of a real game. And I'm not just talking about the standard conclusion that mass Carrier is good, but next to impossible to field. It's a perfectly valid point, but let's ignore it for the sake of argument. I'm talking primarily about 1) your opponents unit composition and 2) subsequent engagements.

For example, in the current metagame, Carriers are most commonly used against late-game Zerg armies, which are some mix of Brood Lord/Infestor/Corruptor. Consider how each composition deals with the Zerg army from a theoretical point of view:

Mass Carrier
-Carriers kill Brood Lords.
-Carriers kill Corruptors.
-Carriers avoid Infested Terrans if possible, and fight them if necessary (i.e. Fungaled).
-Carriers kill Infestors.

Carrier/Archon/HT
-Carriers kill Brood Lords.
-Archons zone out/kill Corruptors with focus fire and splash damage.
-Archons kill Infested Terrans with splash damage.
-High Templar kill Infested Terrans with Psi Storm.
-High Templar kill/nullify Infestors with Feedback.

It pretty much goes without saying that Carrier/Archon/HT has much better answers to Zerg's army than mass Carrier. Realistically, if Zerg sees you massing pure Carriers, he isn't going to make a ton of Brood Lords; they serve no purpose against an air army. Instead, his Corruptor and Infestor counts are going to be higher than normal, and contrary to what some ignorant people believe, Carriers do not trade well against Corruptors. Even when you're massing Carriers, Zerg will always be able to produce Corruptors faster and trade efficiently. Indeed, your production is so poor by comparison that if you ever do lose a large portion of your army, there is essentially no way you can recover. It's much like losing your Colossi in a PvP engagement. And I should also point out that all of this talk about Corruptors is ignoring two other big problems. Fungal Growth plus a carpet of Infested Terrans underneath your Carriers is a very serious threat, as is a wall of Spore Crawlers that prevents you from ever attacking into the Zerg.

The bottom line is that if you mass Carriers, all Zerg needs to do is counter them. Carriers aren't the worst unit in the game against Corruptors and Infestors, but they aren't strong enough on their own to efficiently deal with them either. They need support units. With Archons, HTs, and sometimes reinforcing Zealots, you now also have a ground army capable of delivering a one-two punch to the Zerg. If Zerg fails to stop your Carriers before his AA dies, your fleet finishes him while he has no answer. If Zerg fails to stop your ground army before his Brood Lords die, your mass warp-in reinforcement kills him while he has no answer. It is because Zerg has to split his unit composition, deal with both halves of your army, and engage carefully that the composition is so powerful.

Addendum: Against a Meching Terran, the other composition against which Carriers are commonly used, Carrier/Archon/HT (perhaps plus Immortals) is again superior to mass Carriers. The theory is the same as before. Terran's composition is some mixture of Thor/Tank/Hellion/Viking. Carriers trade evenly with Vikings, but that isn't good enough when Terran also has a powerful ground army and the means to reproduce his air units faster than you can. Psi Storm and Archon splash are incredible against clumped Vikings (much like Corruptors), and if your Carriers are left uncontested in the air, you are going to win the engagement. Feedback on Thors is also very useful, as is Psi Storm on any repairing SCVs. And the tanking of Archons to protect HTs/absorb damage is straightforward.
Edited by MidKnight on 12/4/2012 2:14 PM PST
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Posts: 4,167
12/04/2012 08:30 AMPosted by MidKnight
I STILL think mass Carrier + Mothership is unbeatable.


Mass Carrier is inferior to Carrier/Archon/HT in essentially every way.


This. You absolutely need archons as a complement to skytoss because they're the only thing that beats corruptors well.
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Posts: 734
I like going carrier/archon/mothership. If you take an early 3rd with immortal/sentry against zerg, it's not too hard to build a few voids then transition into carriers. Couldn't say about pro level, but it works at diamond.
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Posts: 443
12/04/2012 12:43 AMPosted by Enigma
There have already been multiple posts from David Kim saying that they will add in the leashing micro that NONY brought up.


Is this true? I haven't found those "multiple" Blue posts.

Basically, NONY pointed out

1) that there is a SC1 gimmick wherein you tell your Interceptors to attack anything, then tell them to STOP and you click on them all (in SC@ you cannot highlight Interceptors at all). Then you can add them to your highlighted army and move the fleet without the Interceptors returning into their flight deck. When you next target an enemy, the interceptors all immediately blitz for 80+ damage, regardless of their "launch speed."

2) the Carrier has one attack range and the Interceptors have one attack range. The Carriers stay nearby because if they move past a "leash range" (which may be 2 range greater than their attack range) then all of the Interceptors will flee back into the Carrier. If you know this leash range (12?), you can have the Carriers parked extra-far away, maybe even outside of the sight range of your opponent.

I think the point #1 is a strange gimmick. I think the removal of the ability to highlight Interceptors helps Micro by preventing you from attacking your Interceptors when you are trying to Focus Fire enemy units under the cloud of Interceptors. On one level, having the Interceptors in a fighter screen outside the Carrier doing Escort duty seems intuitive and obvious.

With regard to point #2, it would be nice if Carriers also had the obvious range indicators that you see with Tanks and Tempests. Carriers are so slow, they are less likely to take advantage of Shot-on-the-run. Knowing this leash range will help to place them so they stay near particular targets, but keep moving.

As far as the OP asking for "Carrier love," I would like to see 1) the Anion Crystals Upgrade also give a +2 range to Interceptors or maybe all Protoss flyers... 2) Shot-on-the-run for Interceptors be the same as Phoenix (360 degrees; the Phoenix can fly backwards and still shoot, but the Void Ray can only shoot what is in a 40 degree arc in front of itself). I think this will make the Interceptors fly in circles around their target, with a radius equal to their attack range for tiny targets but larger for larger targets. i could be wrong... 3) I would like the Carrier to also serve as a massive troop transport, and actually "carry" stuff like Colossi... 4) If I am making a wish list, I would like a Dark Shrine Upgrade that Perma-Cloaks Carriers, but not their Interceptors.
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Posts: 651
12/03/2012 05:46 PMPosted by Hunta
I STILL think mass Carrier + Mothership is unbeatable.


unless the zerg just builds corruptors

or the terran builds vikings
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