StarCraft® II

Photon Overcharge?

I fail to see why so many players complain about this. Sure, I know it has saved me from scary pushes and all-ins quite a few times, but the Nexus Cannon does 20 damage every 1.25 seconds, giving it an effective dps of 16. Stalkers have a dps of 7 (just under-6.9), so this is essentially just having an extra 2-3 stalkers worth of damage. I understand that it has a range of 15 which is fantastic and can't realistically die, which makes it better than those extra stalkers, but it's not nearly as infallible as people make it sound. On maps like Akilon Wastes, it's entirely possible to just run past the natural and into the main and the PO would be useless! Don't get me wrong, it's awesome and allows me to 1gate FE most games I play, but everyone acts like it prevents any and all aggression before 11 minutes and I just don't agree with that. What are peoples' thoughts on this?
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In PvP, which is the only matchup in which I'll find myself up against Protoss, I just run out of range for a while. This gives me an extra minute to warp in more units for my all-in push, I may be able to pick up stragglers that try to bait me into range, and generally keeps the opponent in their base and allows me to have map control that way. My micro is generally better than my opponents', so if they try to match my all-in force I have the advantage, and that's if they were wise enough to detect that I was going for an all-in.

Edit: You could also kill the mothership before it can photon overcharge, if it came down to it.
Edited by Bribe on 8/17/2013 1:28 PM PDT
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I think its pretty balanced, given that its single target, costs the MSC lots of energy and is on a timed duration. Yeah the range is strong but i don't think that the DPS is way over the top or anything (takes like what, 3 shots to kill a zergling/marine?)

Its meant to give toss help with early aggression which i think it does great. It supplements the army DPS and potentially gives the Protoss player a few more seconds to react/warp in additional units. Like Thograll said, you can always run past the nexus at the natural, (speedlings are beast at this) or elevator up a cliff w/ medivacs or WPs, or even bait POs then retreat and wait them out.

I think every race has pretty decent ways to add or augment their armies DPS early without going too far out of the way of their builds. Terran have wall off with buildings they were going to have to build anyway and can be repaired during and out of combat (supply depots rax etc) Not to mention bunkers which are really under utilized imho given they can be salvaged. Zerg have Queens which you need at least one of per hatch, and it never hurts to make more. (use them at later hatches for injects and creep spread in the mean time) Protoss have the MSC.

I think PO is actually very weak compared to the planetary fortress which does AoE damage, is on 24/7 and can be repaired indefinitely by SCVs

It is funny though how in Protoss players eyes PO fires sizable packing peanuts but in Terran/Zerg players eyes it fires death star laser nukes that explode into trollolol faces ;D
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The problem with it (from the perspective of Terrans and Zerg) is that it buys us 30 seconds of free space against early pushes. This is something that neither race really has.
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08/17/2013 02:15 PMPosted by Kenos
The problem with it (from the perspective of Terrans and Zerg) is that it buys us 30 seconds of free space against early pushes. This is something that neither race really has.


It's actually 60 seconds. But similarly, Planetaries are straight up better and are always active, and nobody really complains about that. It's simply a tool that Protoss can use now to get into the tech that they want without dying to a-move all-ins as much. A smart person can bait the charge somewhere else and make them pay for it, or specifically target the MSC with a drop or some flying unit to eliminate it before it becomes problematic.
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08/17/2013 01:52 PMPosted by Laz
Zerg have Queens which you need at least one of per hatch, and it never hurts to make more


no terran makes a planetary as early in the game as photon overcharge is used
and queens are not NEARLY as effective... PO has a range of 15, lasts for a full minute and cannot die, only costs energy, attacks both air and ground, and does way more damage than a queen so comparing those two really doesn't make any sense at all

early game zerg defense is pretty bad in my opinion since they can't wall off and they dont have something like PO to save them, they just have to scout the push and make the appropriate units (if they are air units they're likely screwed since zerg doesn't have anything that can shoot up until Lair is finished and then you still have to make the hydra den or spire which is another full minute) I don't think PO is overpowered but if you have never played zerg it's silly to consider queens as being similar early game defense since they just aren't
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08/17/2013 02:52 PMPosted by exiledrabbit
early game zerg defense is pretty bad in my opinion since they can't wall off
They do against other zergs if they open gasless (not saying gasless is a good idea)
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08/17/2013 03:17 PMPosted by burnthesky
early game zerg defense is pretty bad in my opinion since they can't wall off
They do against other zergs if they open gasless (not saying gasless is a good idea)

well yeah I mean I'm not saying it's a problem or anything since zerg shouldn't be played defensively, the fact they have weak early game defense means they have to be very aggressive which is the nature of the race which is fine. Protoss and Terran can stay defensive until they get the armies they want and push out but I don't think that is how zerg is supposed to or should be played in HotS
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Ah ok, I agree with that.
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no terran makes a planetary as early in the game as photon overcharge is used
and queens are not NEARLY as effective... PO has a range of 15, lasts for a full minute and cannot die, only costs energy, attacks both air and ground, and does way more damage than a queen so comparing those two really doesn't make any sense at all


Huh well fair enough. :) I'm not very good at zerg so yeah I guess it wasn't a good comparison. I thought the pros made like 4 queens early and that was enough to hold off early Reaper/Hellion harass, so i thought they fulfilled similar roles in that regard. Sounds like MSC -> PO is better though?

early game zerg defense is pretty bad in my opinion since they can't wall off and they don't have something like PO to save them, they just have to scout the push and make the appropriate units (if they are air units they're likely screwed since zerg doesn't have anything that can shoot up until Lair is finished and then you still have to make the hydra den or spire which is another full minute)


This I definitely agree with. I mean I've seen people kinda wall off with that whole double Evolution Chamber + Spine Crawler thing. Isn't Zerg static defense the easiest to get though? I know Spore Crawlers don't need Evolution Chambers to get anymore... not sure how much that helps xD I also thought Zerg tend to have a lot of minerals throughout the game. (seen a lot of threads where people say dump extra minerals into static defense on the Zerg forums? idk might be Bronze League advice)

I totally agree that Protoss defense is more straight forward and requires less micro. 1 hotkey for PO, maybe drop come cannons, maybe a little MSC micro here and there to deny lings/reapers but not managing multiple queens and transfuses and injects etc.
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It's actually 60 seconds. But similarly, Planetaries are straight up better and are always active, and nobody really complains about that. It's simply a tool that Protoss can use now to get into the tech that they want without dying to a-move all-ins as much. A smart person can bait the charge somewhere else and make them pay for it, or specifically target the MSC with a drop or some flying unit to eliminate it before it becomes problematic.

I agree with all this. I just can't understand all the hate and QQ about it. There was one game in WCS america where someone had like a 12 army supply defecit and held it with PO and every was screaming for nerfs, but the fact of the matter is that the toss player microd whereas the terran did not (3 of the marauders were attacking an assimilator). PO is great and helps defend against all ins, but it's not some infallible bulletproof shield for the first 10 minutes...
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I play all 3 races (learning P right now) and I can honestly say that for my money, PO is a great spell to have available, particularly for fast 1 base terran aggression, but it's not the end-all be-all I thought it was when I played T. With Z, it doesn't really come into play as much it seems though it gives time to shore up a muta harass on one base while you defend another, assuming you FFE and have a decent wall. I think it's really pretty well balanced, but I am just a plat player (gold now since I'm learning P). I don't see how you could hold off 1/1/1 without it since siege takes no research and banshee cloak is cheaper as well, so yeah, it's pretty necessary when playing T.
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08/17/2013 09:05 PMPosted by Issues
I don't see how you could hold off 1/1/1 without it since siege takes no research and banshee cloak is cheaper as well, so yeah, it's pretty necessary when playing T.


Exactly. If it wasn't in the game, Protoss would die outright to 1-base PvP, 1-1-1 and speed medivacs all day long. As far as holding a big attack, it really is just 2 Stalkers' worth of damage against unarmored but has high health... it's only objective is to hold gimmicky attacks, otherwise ridiculously strong drops and allowing expands in a previously unplayable matchup.
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It's actually 60 seconds. But similarly, Planetaries are straight up better and are always active, and nobody really complains about that. It's simply a tool that Protoss can use now to get into the tech that they want without dying to a-move all-ins as much. A smart person can bait the charge somewhere else and make them pay for it, or specifically target the MSC with a drop or some flying unit to eliminate it before it becomes problematic.


Probably because high tier units can out range it and air units are immune. Not the case with the planetary.
Edited by Kenos on 8/18/2013 7:39 AM PDT
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