Call to Action: January 31 Balance Testing

General Discussion
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02/02/2014 08:17 AMPosted by Azoryen
I can't believe the amount of theory crafting that goes on this thread.

This is a CALL TO ACTION !

And SC2 is a concrete game where balance doesn't always turn out as expected.

Go play the &$#!$ map, post your replays and stop writing BS!

This is why Blizzard doesn't give a damn about our opinions and they shouldn't when people prefer to invent all sorts of arguments to justify their emotional responses instead of actually testing things when they give us the opportunity to do so.


You've said that, and while I am entirely in favour of testing, that has no effect whatsoever on anything I've said multiple times in the past few days. As I said in the post you replied to:

02/02/2014 07:55 AMPosted by Renideo
The changes are basically fine, except for the hydra change which remains as ever one of the more amusingly stupid things they've come up with, and a tragic indication of how they think about the game.


Let's all by all means test. But this is still a tragic indication of how they think about the game.
David Kim has already forgotten how he lost in one of the hots battle report.
Pros thoughts : http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=442494

TL:DR Blizzard changes are random and they are not fixing the problems, rather avoiding them.
02/02/2014 12:19 PMPosted by DoomDash
Pros thoughts : http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=442494

TL:DR Blizzard changes are random and they are not fixing the problems, rather avoiding them.


Seems Dear doesn't know the test map?
After playing quite a few games in the balance test map, my opinion is that the hydra change is on the money.

In PvZ it allows Zerg to tech faster to hive to get ultras and vipers. This is good because currently there is a timing in the MU when roach/hydra/ling just melts to colossi + forcefields and to tech faster to hive zerg has to take huge risks.

I tried a few hydra based all-ins and frankly I don't think they'll be OP. It always takes quite some time to get lair+hydra den+upgrades and zerg can't get it too soon without risking being all-ined himself because some protoss all-ins hit sooner than that.

The change also helps countering mutas in ZvZ by allowing extra gas to go into infestors. I can imagine this leading to a lot more diversed compositions after a metagam shift where mutas become a lot less predominant or instead of being massed will be used for harassment. I think we can see a lot more infestors, swarm hosts, vipers in the future in this MU.

As for ZvT, I've tried ling/bane/hydra/infestor with triple evo chamber and it may be a style that can work for me in the future, not sure if it will be a thing at pro level of play.
WHAT the pros think is this:

http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=442494
@ BuffaloMeat and Miro

You both make good points. The carrier comment was made tongue-in-cheek; I don't expect a change in that unit whatsoever.

To be honest, I don't think the issue with the tempest is it's damage; I don't want it to become an anti-light unit platform at all. Protoss already has units to deal with light units. The tempest as it stands right now is a simply not a well-designed unit in general. The last thing the matchups needed was an air colossus. Frankly I don't think the role it's "supposed to fill" as an anti-massive platform is constructive as a means to making the game more dynamic and interesting.

I remember initially thinking that the tempest's role as an anti-air platform made sense to me and sounded exciting. I know that they felt it was too strong with the splash damage it did, but I wish they'd given it more of a chance as purely anti-air, and tried other options. They could have reduced the range, and given it a shield buff like the Immortal has so that it could go head to head with corruptors or mutas at close range. They could have made it a floating shield battery. They could have given it one of the early abilities the mothership was going to have: a massively powerful laser that shot units directly under the tempest. They could have done a million things, but the direction they went with the unit feels off to me.

Essentially they've created a unit that has been sidelined because it is non-essential to the game; similar to what the carrier quickly became. The carrier and tempest both look and sound cool in theory, but in practice they just feel like inferior choices.
I would be cool with the hydra cost change if they reduced the dps or something like that. Just a cost change outright seems too powerful. Roach Hydra is already underrated in ZvT as well.
02/02/2014 12:10 AMPosted by Ben
Is there a reason why the community support managers don't respond to some of the suggestions raised by the community?


They are all awful.
These tweaks have changed nothing for Terran in TvP. It is still close to impossible to get of any early game pressure when up against PO, MSC and a couple of units, and it is still incredibly difficult to defend any of the early game shenanigans they can pull off. Blink stalker early push and all ins are hardly effected as you only need a couple of good time warps for it to completely destroy any defense Terrans can put up. I think it should cost 125 energy. It is enough that Protoss already have one of the few if not the only terrain modifier in the game with force fields.

The ghost buff does nothing but make Terran mid game a tad stronger if anything, and Terran mid game was never a problem to begin with. It is unrealistic to think that Terran can fit an academy and a ghost into any build until mid game without severely cutting into already very much needed units.

As for the tempest and hydralisk buff I am at a lack of words. It is as if David Kim and his balance crew is trying to balance a completely different game. The hydralisk buff is one of the most game changing buffs I have ever seen.

Tempest buff. Completely unnecessary... If you are so desperate to keep Swarm Hosts the way they are now than at least make the bonus damage only effect biological structures, and not +30 ffs.

There are other things I think would make the game healthier like reverting the oracle speed buff and reducing the MSC sight range but I guess we will have to stick with giving feedback on the changes they felt were the best ones.
02/02/2014 12:29 PMPosted by Azoryen
After playing quite a few games in the balance test map, my opinion is that the hydra change is on the money.

In PvZ it allows Zerg to tech faster to hive to get ultras and vipers. This is good because currently there is a timing in the MU when roach/hydra/ling just melts to colossi + forcefields and to tech faster to hive zerg has to take huge risks.

I tried a few hydra based all-ins and frankly I don't think they'll be OP. It always takes quite some time to get lair+hydra den+upgrades and zerg can't get it too soon without risking being all-ined himself because some protoss all-ins hit sooner than that.

The change also helps countering mutas in ZvZ by allowing extra gas to go into infestors. I can imagine this leading to a lot more diversed compositions after a metagam shift where mutas become a lot less predominant or instead of being massed will be used for harassment. I think we can see a lot more infestors, swarm hosts, vipers in the future in this MU.

As for ZvT, I've tried ling/bane/hydra/infestor with triple evo chamber and it may be a style that can work for me in the future, not sure if it will be a thing at pro level of play.

I agree as well but I think the big concern is if this change leads to a faster mutalisk tech switch. Though I personally feel that if it does become an issue, they could just nerf the mutalisk by making it 25 gas more expensive if need be or nerf it in some other fashion.
zvp is broken the hydra change is great but i dont know if its enough.
02/02/2014 09:08 AMPosted by MerlinSAW
for the ghost the main problem is its overall costwhen its really supposed to be a mech unit so make the acadamy require armory not just factory


Ghost is infantry, not mech, it should not, and does not require factory, DEFINTELY should not require armory. Reason why it should not require armory is that Ghosts have 0 relevance to the Armory. The only requirement that Ghosts have that need the Factory would be their nukes, which usually aren't that great because normally they're caught unless you time things right or if it's an early bunker/wall bust. Ghost Academy cost I can go for it costing 200/100 reducing Ghost cost to 125/100 or 150/100, Snipe isn't that good so maybe buff that a bit, maybe to 30 instead of 25.

If they want EMP added to mech then maybe add it to the tanks as I've said in a post on page 6.
I'm about 15 games into the test map at this point. Here are some of the things I've noticed so far regarding the Hydra buff:

ZvZ
  • cost reduction provides more options in the mid-game
  • you have the option of picking ling/roach or ling/hydra
  • large maps don't force you to build mutalisks
  • muta wars are less razer thin; if you lose a fight you can recoup by protecting your bases with hydras
  • ling/bane/hydra mirror has a very high skill ceiling
  • the match-up feels much more stable over-all (and even fun!)


ZvT
  • Ling/bane/hydra is much more feasible
  • Roach/hydra/bane has greater longevity and can be used beyond an all-in
  • Nyduses can be used defensively with a few hydras stored for emergencies
  • Tanks are reintroduced into the match-up, by virtue of their strength against hydras
  • The games I played were very close every time.
  • Hydra based compositions do not feel quite as strong as ling/bane/muta; but the gap is much smaller now


ZvP
  • expensive tech paths are opened up with the gas saved, such as ventral sacs and the nydus
  • it is possible to stay on roach/hydra with complimentary support, like vipers, infestors, or ultras
  • a full tech switch feels less effective and wasteful when +2 ups and unit specific upgrades are researched
  • hydra/nydus may force the meta game into 1-gate expand


I'll continue to research the smaller nuances of the match-ups. I'd like to get to 50 games played before I form a full opinion.
I wonder if ling/bane/hydra/infestor into ultra can be a nice ZvT composition post patch:
http://drop.sc/373090

Hydras are much better than mutas vs mines, although he doesn't make them in this game, but I've been snipping mines with overseers and hydras a lot.
like everything

cept reduce hydra to 35 gas. or make ups better
Hey Blizz,

One problem with this test map is that with 2.1 you run into some new players. And I mean, in some cases, really new players. I know you probably can't change the approach now, but it is something to keep in mind for future balance test maps. It's a waste of players' time to play against total newbies as you don't really get a game (of any kind) and the information gleaned is probably not worth much.

Thanks

Edit/ After another game, the Tempest change is still cool, though. And like I said earlier would be a nice addition to the game if implemented well. I'll see if I can play a few more and comment on the Ghost and Hydra changes.
02/02/2014 05:14 PMPosted by aeontech
zvp is broken the hydra change is great but i dont know if its enough.
\
I'm confused by this statement... Zerg has had a marginally higher win rate than Protoss in the matchup throughout most of HoTS...
PvZ is fine as is. The Hydra buff is for ZvZ and ZvT; it might tip the balance into Zerg favor in ZvP a bit too heavily, but that remains to be seen.
Perhaps if this tempest thing is happening it may be time to tone back the massive damage bonus the tempest gets.
02/02/2014 10:17 PMPosted by Asamu
I'm confused by this statement... Zerg has had a marginally higher win rate than Protoss in the matchup throughout most of HoTS...

What win ratios?
Because ladder win ratios mean nothing.
The only thing they show is that P is more favored vs T than vs Z. Simply that.

But they say nothing about the absolute power of each race in the game.

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