StarCraft® II

An analysis of Terran as a race

Posts: 244
Well, after looking and comparing, here's what I've concluded:

1. Terran Production is the most versatile of all 3 races, and also the most inflexible (contradictions ftw).

-Zerg: all units are produced from a single production building (hatch) or morphed from existing units (which initially still come from hatch). As such Zerg has the easiest production system in Sc2 and is also the most versatile when swapping army-compositions. This is why Zerg is considered a reactive race - they have the capability to instantly produce a different unit when it is required.
To obtain access to a new unit Zerg needs only to construct the required building. Once that building is on-site, Zerg can produce as many units as they want within the limitations of larvae/resources.
The tech buildings are therefore critical vulnerabilities in Zerg, whereas they are not in other races as the tech buildings also act as production facilities.

-Protoss: Is quite similar to Terran, but has simplified production and composition work. The main idea is effectively identical to Terran: you have 3 primary production facilities and they unlock more units as you obtain tech structures.
Once those tech structures are unlocked, you can warp in as many units as you like from the same production facility, limited only by the number of warp gates. The exception is with the heavy-hitters and sky-units.

-Terran: The issue with Terran is that their production is also their tech. The only tech structure to allow units which is not a production facility itself is the Armory/Fusion Core. All other units are produced from their tech structures (counting reactors/tech labs as part of the main structure).

This is where it gets more difficult for Terran compared to the other two races. Terran can only produce an army composition equal in reinforcement and size to the other races if they have a production facility for each unit.
This makes Terran relatively inflexible once a primary tech path is chosen. Either you go bio, or mech, or sky, but you cannot primarily mix them. Unlike Zerg where you just build a single tech structure and mass whatever units you want, or Protoss which has a ground-unit system similar to Zerg and the rest similar to Terran, T is forced to pick an option and stick with it, and then support it with other tech-structure units.

The advantage here is that Terran have only two critical structures (armory/fusion core) which prevent unit production if destroyed, whereas Zerg is made up of nothing but critical structures and Protoss has the middle-ground.

As such, despite being constantly described as the most versatile of races, it is actually the most inflexible. Until late-game is reached and enough time and income has passed to allow equal production of all 3 production facility types, T is stuck with one major composition type.
Furthermore, this is limited by the requirement of tech-labs to produce other units - forcing Ts to pick and balance reactors to tech labs to get the correct composition. Protoss can warp in X amount of Zealots, X amount of Stalkers, and X amount of DTs/HTs whenever they need that amount, whereas T is stuck in their production rate due to the dependance on either reactor or tech-lab.

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2. Unit abilities.

T is the unique race in this category. While all races depend on having a synergy between their units to create an effective army, Terran is the only race where a key units ability is a mandatory decision and can kill you.

Abilities like EMP, storms, fungals, and so on are all net positive abilities. They either work or they miss, but they do not cause your army to become vulnerable if not used. T is the only race that depends on tanks either being sieged or not sieged, infantry being stimmed or not stimmed (medivacs render stim a net positive ability like the others), vikings landed or not.

This is what makes the T army so incredibly dependent on positioning and micro compared to the other two races. Zerg and Protoss armies both function the same way: you A move into the enemy and then supplement the attack by casting spells and positioning your heavy-hitting units/army as needed.

Terran however has to decide each and every time before the attack happens what needs to be done: sieged/unsieged, hellions/hellbats, stim/save health, air-vikings/ground-vikings, and so on.
Much like their production choice, T must make an initial decision and is then forced to stick with it, because if it was the wrong one, it's over - whereas the other races need only attack and support the attack.
There is no other unit that has an ability like this in either Protoss or Zerg. All Protoss/Zerg abilities are directly offensive spells and not contextually dependent abilities.

Thoughts?
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