StarCraft® II

Reasons to pick alternate evolutions.

I noticed that most people pick certain evolutions more frequently then other ones. I think this is due to the fact that one initially seems stronger then the other, but here I am going to explain why you should consider going the alternate route.

Bear in mind that I am not trying to put you under the impression that the other unit is bad. I am simply trying to show how they are not as perfect an option as they seem, and the other option is just as good.

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Zerglings:
The Zergling splits are the ones that are most evenly divided among people, due to them clearly seeing the reasons between each. Either Quality, or Quantity.

Banelings:
The Hunterling usually seems like the insta-pick option, due to its ability to dive bomb the enemy without dying. However, there are flaws with this ability, such as the fact that Banelings can still be killed mid-flight, dealing no damage whatsoever, and that the ability slightly overlaps with the Raptor.

The Splitterling, however, has the advantage that it doesn't die right away. It's babies don't get overkill damage spilled over. Meaning that they can walk into a Siege line and push through, unlike Hunters. Their extra 5x2 damage may not seem like much, but you should realize that the Baneling spawn don't cost supply or have a timed life. That means you can have technically infinite baby Banes. They also still deal splash damage, which means you're dealing 10 extra damage to everyone, giving a potential of 120 damage to a bunch of clumped Marines. And I believe the Corrosive Acid ability affects them, meaning they deal 10x2 damage to the main target.

Roach:
This unit is also a pretty balanced unit. The important thing to remember is that Corpsers are futile against heavy forces, and Vile Roaches aren't anything special against anything but armored.

Hydralisk:
Lurkers seem like the underpicked unit, due to Impalers being all-new and very powerful. Lurkers are very powerful though. With massed Lurkers (which you do with Impalers as well) you can tear through defenses easily, and defend better then usual.

Mutalisk:
The Mutalisk is strange. It evolves into the Brood Lord (Corruptors are unavaliable) or the Viper. (wut) Vipers are buffed, with units unable to shoot out of the blinding cloud, abduct costing nothing, and them being able to shoot. Brood Lords are an amazing force though, tearing units to shreds and supporting other units. They can be A-moved, too; you're probably gonna forget to cast the spells with your Vipers.

Swarm Hosts:
Carrion have good damage capabilities, and their Locusts are quite mobile, is true. The problem is that they provide zero defense against armies marching forwards. Creepers allow instant defense and forward movement with their teleport and creep spread. They do have the downfall of normal Locusts though.

Ultralisks:
Here's the big one. The Torrasque may give you extra Ultralisks, but the fact is that it just gives you two Ultralisks that you can only use one at a time. They can be killed before being able to revive, and they don't deal very much damage. Plus, money is everywhere in the campaign. You can always buy more Ultralisks, it doesn't make a big difference. You just have to expand.

The Noxious has tons more dps, which (I believe) even gives out damage while burrowed. It has a +5 flat dps (that affects everyone nearby even outside of the attack range, even while stunned) and a plus 20 damage every 10 seconds, which adds +2 dps, extra vs buildings. Enough for 3 Ultralisks to one shot a Marine by standing next to it. Add that to the 40 dps already there, that's 47 reliable dps.

The Noxious therefore has the ability to burrow charge right into the center of the enemy army and deal tons of damage before dying, which probably won't happen if you have multiple Ultralisks. Or it can deal even more damage with Monarch Blades then normal, adding more to it's splash. Or it can (as a joke) become a toxic minefield that damages units walking over it. The Torrasque can't do that. It's just two Ultralisks that deal normal damage.

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I hope you enjoyed, and that this gave you new insight to your next (or first) playthrough. You can discuss or whatever.
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Too much thought when you can just mass unit of choice and A-move.
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Too much thought when you can just mass unit of choice and A-move.


What is your unit of choice though? You shouldn't rule out one option at first glance, even if your strategy is to A-move. Your units could effective either way.
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lol i picked viper instead of broodlord because i thought viper muta looked cooler. I knew i would use viper or bls so i just went for the looks. btw the bl muta looks gay
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The Splitterling, however, has the advantage that it doesn't die right away. It's babies don't get overkill damage spilled over. Meaning that they can walk into a Siege line and push through, unlike Hunters. Their extra 5x2 damage may not seem like much, but you should realize that the Baneling spawn don't cost supply or have a timed life. That means you can have technically infinite baby Banes. They also still deal splash damage, which means you're dealing 10 extra damage to everyone, giving a potential of 120 damage to a bunch of clumped Marines. And I believe the Corrosive Acid ability affects them, meaning they deal 10x2 damage to the main target.


I just want to point out that the spawn do cost supply which annoyed me greatly.

Screenshot for proof: http://i.imgur.com/Eoq35SE.jpg
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lol i picked viper instead of broodlord because i thought viper muta looked cooler. I knew i would use viper or bls so i just went for the looks. btw the bl muta looks gay


Thanks... for the info.

I just want to point out that the spawn do cost supply which annoyed me greatly.

Screenshot for proof: http://i.imgur.com/Eoq35SE.jpg


Oh. Each spawn can cost either 1/4 or 1/6 supply then. Well, that still means you can have either 800 or 1200 Baneling spawn, which is a pretty dang lot. Thanks for the info.
Edited by Martiny on 3/18/2013 9:57 PM PDT
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lol vile are good against everything

lurker has the problem it overlaps with locust in many roles and neither evolution is necessary or should they really be on a hydralisk when options such as the hunter killer existed

Ultra is the choice between a better tank or a better dps both are about equal since they shouldn't be your primary unit
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swarm host, impaler, lurker, mutalisk, viper and broodlord are 100% irrelevant so it doesn't matter.

ultra ling is all you need.

I feel like raptor and hunter are solid choices for the lings. I've only tried torrasque, but i do see the value of the poisonous ultra, pretty cool.
for me hunterling with the double attack on single target was how I beat most objectives. Kill PF? Kill Odin before mengsk sends it out? Kill big NPC building behind an army?
Use ultra ling to break open the defense and then jump 50 banelings at the target.

corpser roaches felt way stronger in the few missions where I used them (ie up until unlocking the ultarlisk)
Edited by Oboeman on 3/18/2013 10:23 PM PDT
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I've gone through the final mission several times with different loadouts, because it gives you everything, has abundant resources, and no annoying timers so I can actually experiment.

Splitter banelings are by far my favorite choice. They just work better than the jumpers in most circumstances.

I liked lurkers at first, but switched from them for 2 reasons. 1: they're meant for hordes of lighter units. Since zerg defense is paired with swarm hosts, and SH already handle the massed infantry just fine, Impalers deal with the heavier units. I don't use either for offense so can't comment there.

My micro sucks, so brood lords are the obvious choice over a caster unit.

Again, I use swarm hosts for defense, so being to have one group massed at a single location, and just move all of them instantly to where I'm getting attacked is the obvious choice.

You realize the Tarrasque can ressurect more than once, yes? It's lovely for you if you're able to plow through every single mission in one push, but most people can't, or don't.
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What is your unit of choice though? You shouldn't rule out one option at first glance, even if your strategy is to A-move. Your units could effective either way


Unit of choice is preference, how i'd like to play, my style, nothing to do with mjn-maxing which is best left to multiplayer. For reference i just mass raptorlings all day and use either banes or mutas for anti-air/ or anti armor. Usually i don't need it as Kerrigan herself fullfill this role by herself most of the time.
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You don't really have reason to ever build half this stuff anyway unfortunately. I feel like mission design didn't promote use of a variety of units like WOL did. Part of it I suppose is that you have Kerrigan in every mission, and she can solo small armies. Especially if you take the Spitterling mutation for the Banelings then just spam her Spawn Baneling ability. It's hilarious how OP that is.

I admit I picked the Torrasque mostly cause it looked cooler. But in hindsight reading this I think the Noxious one probably is the better choice, and i'll use it when I replay on Brutal.

The other mistake I made was getting the Carrion Swarm Hosts. You never have reason to use them. But there is one mission where the Creeper version is very useful when your trying to defend the Bile Launchers, and forces attack them at random. It's either constantly save/load cheat or use this unit to teleport around to defend where needed. I didn't have them though, and it got a launcher or two killed.
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You guys are saying that you only need to mass 1 or 2 units to beat the game, but that doesn't mean you have to. Try using the units you wouldn't usually, like try massing Lurkers instead or Roaches. If you just play to win dead on then sure, you don't need the other units.
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BANELINGS: I totally agree with your Spliterling decision. If it were any other unit, I would have gone with the hunter, but banelings are one shot units. If you're going to intentionally lose a unit, you want to make the most out of that investment. If you choose to use Kerrigan's Spawn Broodling ability, creating banelings in a normal way becomes obsolete, and since she can spawn them over cliffs and in the midst of enemy formations, you have no need for them to jump to their destination.

SWARM HOST: You are absolutely right about the creeper. Swarm Hosts in general are more useful as a defensive unit; they are too vulnerable when used offensively, and a good Zerg offensive should be highly mobile, not rooted in place. Since they’re supposed to be defending your base, you want the attacking units to focus on your locusts rather than your structures or drones, which many ground-based attackers won’t if your defenders are airborne.

ULTRALISK: You've actually changed my mind. I used to think that, while the cloud can be useful against melee units like Zealots, Terran units are mostly ranged, and this would'nt allow you to position them in a way that’s truly helpful. Terran units are based around dealing as much damage to as possible from a distance, which the extra life helps mitigate.
That said, your description has totally sold me on the Noxious Ultra. It seems they pack a much greater punch than I thought, against units and structures.
Edited by Duke on 3/21/2013 10:50 AM PDT
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I feel like mission design didn't promote use of a variety of units like WOL did

Ha, please. WoL missions were "Spam the unit we just gave you. Win game."
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Generally I picked all the ones you said were the alternative (except for the ultralisk). Once I finished the campaign I realized it really didn't matter. I'm now going through brutal and it still doesn't seem to matter.

Generally, your arguments are valid but the reason I choose Torrasque or Noxious is because when I had an army that could support ultras, damage was never an issue. I also hate spending so much on replacements. My goal was to end the mission at 200/200 and loosing an ultra delays that.
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Generally I picked all the ones you said were the alternative (except for the ultralisk). Once I finished the campaign I realized it really didn't matter. I'm now going through brutal and it still doesn't seem to matter.

Generally, your arguments are valid but the reason I choose Torrasque or Noxious is because when I had an army that could support ultras, damage was never an issue. I also hate spending so much on replacements. My goal was to end the mission at 200/200 and loosing an ultra delays that.


Which is totally valid. If you have a goal, or you have reasons for picking that choice, you can do so. I'm just doing this to show why you should pick the other options as well.

True, you may have a good army, and extra damage may seem pointless. But killing an army faster means you take less damage, bringing the survivability to about equal. And when you burrow charge an Ultralisk into the midst of their army, the enemy will be focused on them instantly, meaning your supporting units can whale away on them, while the Ultralisks will be tearing things to shreds even faster then before from the inside. Ultralisks have plenty of health.

BANELINGS: I totally agree with your Spliterling decision. If it were any other unit, I would have gone with the hunter, but banelings are one shot units. If you're going to intentionally lose a unit, you want to make the most out of that investment. If you choose to use Kerrigan's Spawn Broodling ability, creating banelings in a normal way becomes obsolete, and since she can spawn them over cliffs and in the midst of enemy formations, you have no need for them to jump to their destination.

SWARM HOST: You are absolutely right about the creeper. Swarm Hosts in general are more useful as a defensive unit; they are too vulnerable when used offensively, and a good Zerg offensive should be highly mobile, not rooted in place. Since they’re supposed to be defending your base, you want the attacking units to focus on your locusts rather than your structures or drones, which many ground-based attackers won’t if your defenders are airborne.

ULTRALISK: You've actually changed my mind. I used to think that, while the cloud can be useful against melee units like Zealots, Terran units are mostly ranged, and this would'nt allow you to position them in a way that’s truly helpful. Terran units are based around dealing as much damage to as possible from a distance, which the extra life helps mitigate.
That said, your description has totally sold me on the Noxious Ultra. It seems they pack a much greater punch than I thought, against units and structures.


That's what I'm here for, to give you new insight! ^.^
Remember though, I'm not trying to make the other evolutions obsolete, it's just so you realize that both can be very effective, and it's not as one-sided as you think.
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Just a thought: does anyone think the Mercenaries, research, and armory system in WoL was better or worse then the Upgrades system in HotS? WoL let you have all the upgrades for one units, but you couldn't get all of them and they couldn't be obtained right away. HotS gives you stronger bonuses right away, but each unit could only have 2.
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I know this is an old thread, but I'll respond anyhow, the Beta HoTS campaign IMO was a better upgrade system overall (where you must do specific side missions with the zerg units to acquire their abilities, thus showing you're making them evolve and adapt into stronger variants, process of evolution, like Kill X number of units with Zerglings, Have a Zergling with x Number of kills and alive, Use Zerglings to obtain bonus objective, or even Have a Zergling survive 100 points of battle damage over time, then after you acquire all specific side objectives, you will then gain the ability to evolve the Zergling. This allows players who wish to evolve their units into other types right after the mission they're used, or gives options for lazy players to avoid it overall. Either way it was a more interesting and Zergish idea). The New version right now sucks as hell, making you only pick ONE viable upgrade over the others, making it kind of an obvious choice of "Pick broken A, Overpowered B, or just plain stupid C". Thought the Zergs were all about evolving into stronger and deadlier killers, not stagnating into this kind of progress.

I personally found the Swarm Host to be utterly useless, as a few hundreds of minerals can save your expo base instead of wasting supply and gas just to have 2 locust come out and spit at a few enemies before dying. They attack slower then a Hydra, have less health, and the only way they can be powerful is getting the Carrion upgrade to boost their damage up to 15, which is still slower then a Hydra's attack speed (Once you have Frenzied Hydralisks, you can kill anything within seconds, even Odin at end-game).

As for the Ultralisk, Torrasque IMO was only chosen because of nostalgia. Other then that, I found Noxious to be far more powerful and menacing...If only Torrasque had +3 more Armor and +100 HP more would've made things interesting to choose from. But then I guess in order to balance that, the AoE poison effect on the Noxious should be a bit larger to compensate for that.
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Heh, I had kind of forgotten about this thread :P

The Beta HoTS campaign IMO was a better upgrade system overall (where you must do specific side missions with the zerg units to acquire their abilities, thus showing you're making them evolve and adapt into stronger variants, process of evolution, like Kill X number of units with Zerglings, Have a Zergling with x Number of kills and alive, Use Zerglings to obtain bonus objective, or even Have a Zergling survive 100 points of battle damage over time, then after you acquire all specific side objectives, you will then gain the ability to evolve the Zergling. This allows players who wish to evolve their units into other types right after the mission they're used, or gives options for lazy players to avoid it overall. Either way it was a more interesting and Zergish idea). The New version right now sucks as hell, making you only pick ONE viable upgrade over the others, making it kind of an obvious choice of "Pick broken A, Overpowered B, or just plain stupid C". Thought the Zergs were all about evolving into stronger and deadlier killers, not stagnating into this kind of progress.


Actually, in the Beta campaign of HotS, there was a different system entirely with Mutagen, which you would collect to upgrade your troops. It was scrapped because it was stupid and was too much like WoL, with "Zerg bucks."
I remember them saying they had changed it to this style a long time ago. And although your complaints are valid, I politely disagree on a few. The way I see it, is that you obtain a unit, then you obtain upgrades for said unit during the mission, which is then archived and prepared to be used another time. This way is a bit more forgiving to bad players, unless you're stupid (like a couple people I watched playthrough) and don't even check the pit. And this allows LotV to have the style you were suggesting, where you go and do other missions to get the upgrades you want. I remember them talking about LotV, and this is kind of how I perceived it.

And the upgrades are pretty balanced as well. Just like the evolution splits, it can be a matter of choice or conditions. I'm not going to list the balance between the upgrades, but they all can be useful given your playing style or mission. Give me one unit with upgrades that seems too strong and I'll explain otherwise. I do that.

05/08/2013 05:46 PMPosted by Zerginfestor
I personally found the Swarm Host to be utterly useless, as a few hundreds of minerals can save your expo base instead of wasting supply and gas just to have 2 locust come out and spit at a few enemies before dying. They attack slower then a Hydra, have less health, and the only way they can be powerful is getting the Carrion upgrade to boost their damage up to 15, which is still slower then a Hydra's attack speed (Once you have Frenzied Hydralisks, you can kill anything within seconds, even Odin at end-game).


Swarm Hosts weren't used to their full potential in the campaign. They could have been amazing siege units, but their mechanics were changed for the worse. Still, they aren't entirely useless. They are meant to be defenders, and they are the only defenders that will actually slow down the enemy's advance by forcing them to kill tons of minions. And their damage may be worse then a Hydra, but it has more range, and it won't die; its minions will.

As for the Ultralisk, Torrasque IMO was only chosen because of nostalgia. Other then that, I found Noxious to be far more powerful and menacing...If only Torrasque had +3 more Armor and +100 HP more would've made things interesting to choose from. But then I guess in order to balance that, the AoE poison effect on the Noxious should be a bit larger to compensate for that.


Again, it's playing style. If you don't like to waste money or are nostalgic, then Torrasque is for you. If you like to kill your enemies extremely quickly, then Noxious is for you. The Torrasque is giving you a free Ultralisk every minute, so giving it extra armor or life would imbalance it a bit much. You would have to make the Noxious's blast cooldown be 2 seconds and have 1.5x radius to make it fair again, which would make HotS even "easier."
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Heh, I had kind of forgotten about this thread :P

Actually, in the Beta campaign of HotS, there was a different system entirely with Mutagen, which you would collect to upgrade your troops. It was scrapped because it was stupid and was too much like WoL, with "Zerg bucks."
I remember them saying they had changed it to this style a long time ago. And although your complaints are valid, I politely disagree on a few. The way I see it, is that you obtain a unit, then you obtain upgrades for said unit during the mission, which is then archived and prepared to be used another time. This way is a bit more forgiving to bad players, unless you're stupid (like a couple people I watched playthrough) and don't even check the pit. And this allows LotV to have the style you were suggesting, where you go and do other missions to get the upgrades you want. I remember them talking about LotV, and this is kind of how I perceived it.

And the upgrades are pretty balanced as well. Just like the evolution splits, it can be a matter of choice or conditions. I'm not going to list the balance between the upgrades, but they all can be useful given your playing style or mission. Give me one unit with upgrades that seems too strong and I'll explain otherwise. I do that.

Swarm Hosts weren't used to their full potential in the campaign. They could have been amazing siege units, but their mechanics were changed for the worse. Still, they aren't entirely useless. They are meant to be defenders, and they are the only defenders that will actually slow down the enemy's advance by forcing them to kill tons of minions. And their damage may be worse then a Hydra, but it has more range, and it won't die; its minions will.

Again, it's playing style. If you don't like to waste money or are nostalgic, then Torrasque is for you. If you like to kill your enemies extremely quickly, then Noxious is for you. The Torrasque is giving you a free Ultralisk every minute, so giving it extra armor or life would imbalance it a bit much. You would have to make the Noxious's blast cooldown be 2 seconds and have 1.5x radius to make it fair again, which would make HotS even "easier."


I could've sworn they had the idea I was thinking of before switching to the Zerg bucks, then switching to this. I know it's meant to give padding to bad or lazy players, but IMO it kind of ruins the 'Zerg' feeling to them, but I guess that's just me.

I guess I'm not into that kind of 'defending' thing as I use my supply for more offensive units, while my Spine Crawlers kept most enemies at bay, and if something became a hassle, I didn't just wiped out the units; I went over to their base's doorstep and kicked the door down and wiped the floor with them. "Best Defense is an Offense" so I kind of just saw the Swarm Hosts as useless.

This argument is kind of moot, sadly because of the fact you only obtain the evolution split just before the last 2 missions, which were insanely easy to the point of being trivial, even on Brutal it becomes a breeze. Torrasque's skill was only actually useful if you had a group of them acting upon one outpost or main base, making the AI focus on one Torrasque, kill it, then automatically attack another while leaving the egg to form and reconstitute the Torrasque. Noxious works the same way, but better IMO, because of the fact it wipes out enemies even faster while in a group, and if you managed to bring Kerrigan about with Mend, there's no resistance at all. What I mean is yes there's different playstyles, and choices, and they have merit, I just wish they were more...what's the word...'difficult' choices to make? Like literally both choices are great and make the player think carefully. Like the Roach or Zergling choices, instead of making them more obvious (Hydralisk, Muta).
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