Community Feedback Update - August 21

General Discussion
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Before we begin, we’d like to send a shout-out to the highest level pro-gamers out there in Korea who are always looking to find new strategies, counters to those strategies, and doing all they can to find solutions to obstacles within the game. It is both inspiring and admirable to see top end players who work through significant adversity to adapt and find new strategies and tactics. In many of the top-end pro-level HotS games this week, we saw lots of interesting counters to certain strategies that were seen as unbeatable, and it was awesome to be reminded that there are players out there who will explore things to find their own solutions rather than immediately jumping to extreme conclusions.

Heart of the Swarm Mech/Swarm Host Balance Test Map
We’ve seen your feedback regarding TvZ mech play, and we agree that certain mech games are dragging on too long. We’ve seen a lot of potential in this area as well, as some mech games have been packed with action. These have cultivated in unique max vs. max battles with heavy tech switches on the Zerg side.

With that said, we’re testing these Swarm Host changes:
  • Supply cost decreased from 4 to 3
  • Cost changed from 100/200 to 200/100
  • Locusts can fly without having the upgrade
  • Locust health down from 65 to 50

  • We believe this could be a good change that helps against Terran mech and against Protoss in a fun way. To reiterate, we don’t want to jump to conclusions and we don’t know if Zerg is underpowered against mech. With this test map, we can prepare a patch if that turns out to be the case. We’ll try to get the test map up next week.

    Now, let’s talk about Legacy of the Void.

    Protoss Feels “Gimmicky” Compared to Other Races
    Thank you for discussions in this area this week. The main points that could contribute to the “gimmicky” feelings point toward offensive warp-ins, which should be addressed with this week’s patch. So overall, this is potentially a non-issue if testing goes smoothly with the new changes.

    We didn’t quite agree with some of the other main arguments in this area. We feel that the consequences of not scouting if the opponent is going for Oracles or a Dark Shrine is just StarCraft II, not a case of Protoss being gimmicky. For example, if I’m going mech and I don’t scout that the opponent is going fast Spire, I could be at a huge disadvantage because my AA isn’t out yet. The same goes for things like proxy cloaked Banshee, Baneling bust, or any strategy any race can do that requires scouting and reacting. Scouting is a critical component of StarCraft II, and we want to increase its importance in Legacy of the Void.

    Our goal is to give players plenty of strategically viable openers in Void in order to have more action throughout the course of the game. That’s why we’re adding tools to other races, including individual Overlord transport, Liberator harassment, Nydus changes, Siege Tank Siege Mode drops, and so on.

    With that said, more options aren’t always better. If a race just has so many options that they can’t be effectively scouted, we would obviously look into ways to either increase scouting capabilities for the other races, or reduce some options on a race. We will definitely need to do a pass at this before the game launch, so please remember to not be too quick to judge. Previous experience has shown that learning to defend something takes more time than going on the offensive with new tools.

    During beta tests, small groups of players often arrive at conclusions concerning a topic and, even though their assertion may no longer be the case, they just can’t let go. We encourage everyone to be more open minded in actually discussing and testing changes during this beta so that we can work towards having the best possible StarCraft II.

    It’s one of the main reasons why we’re communicating with you more than ever before—it’s unproductive to focus on preconceived notions while not paying attention to the actual state of the game.

    Mothership Core Photon Overcharge
    We’ve been exploring a change to how this ability works based on your suggestions. Our current change is for the ability costs less, to only be cast on Pylons, and to no longer have siege range. We’re seeing a lot more interaction with this ability use due to this change, because now there are lots of decisions to be made on both sides. For example:

    How many Pylons need to be overcharged?
    How many and what type of Pylon building placement is optimal in case Overcharge needs to be used?
    Do you avoid their firing radius, kill the Pylon, or run away?

    We haven’t been too focused on this change recently, but we will continue testing and hopefully make a call before the next balance update.

    Colossus
    We heard your feedback that the Colossus nerf was too much, and regarding Colossi having a more general role like they do in Heart of the Swarm. We’ve been testing Colossus in combination with Disruptors and the results are cool so far. We started playtesting with their upgraded range back to 9, and the combination of the redesigned Disruptors supported by Colossi looks to be going well.

    Adept
    We agree that early game Adepts can be a bit too powerful, and we would like to see a greater variety in Protoss army compositions. We have been trying various suggestions internally, and are leaning towards changing their cost from 100/25 to 75/50. This will slow down how many Adepts can be massed early on, and in the later stages of the game, it’ll be more of a commitment when going heavy Adepts. Another benefit that we’re seeing in the late game is that the army composition becomes more diverse due to the minerals-to-gas ratio. We will continue reviewing this internally and hopefully get it out to the beta if testing continues to go well.

    Carrier Interceptor Behavior
    We’d like to thank you for your suggestions in this area. Based on your feedback, we’ve been exploring a change to issuing orders to the Interceptor. Even when Interceptors are starting to return to the Carrier, it is now possible to issue a new order to have them instantly attack another target without having to first return to the Carrier. We’ve put this change in this week’s balance patch.

    Immortal
    We agree with your feedback in that the new ability is quite difficult to use for a majority of players, and this ability might only impact the highest-level of players out there. Therefore, we’ve been trying out having the ability auto-cast by default. We’re noticing that this change is allowing Protoss to be able to focus on the more important parts of engagements, while Immortals continue to function at a high efficiency. At the same time, in order to use the ability for maximum efficiency, the highest-level players who have the extra micro to spare should turn this off. Thank you for this suggestion, and we will continue testing this change internally before making the call to have it go out to the beta.

    Ravager Upgrade
    We’re playing around with a new Ravager upgrade internally that increases the cast range of Corrosive Bile from 9 to 13. The idea here is to have a stronger counter to Siege Tank and entice Terran players to use different unit compositions depending on how the Zerg is playing. For example, if Zerg is going heavy Hydra/Lurkers, units like Liberators or Siege Tanks would be stronger, whereas if Zerg is going heavy Roach/Ravagers, Siege Tanks or Liberators might not be as strong as other units such as Cyclones or speed-upgraded Banshees.

    Further Learnings From Internal Testing
    Finally, we’d like to talk about a couple major changes suggested by our community that didn’t quite turn out to have as positive of an effect as we had hoped. We’ve been discussing and playtesting the following two areas internally, and have decided that both are not fit for beta testing.

  • Reducing the number of workers per base so that army sizes become bigger

    • When trying out this change, we determined that reducing the workers needed per base isn’t good for the game because many of the coolest moments in StarCraft II come from worker harassment. With fewer workers, it was just too easy to rebuild after taking economic damage, making these moments less meaningful.

      We also looked into feedback suggesting we reduce the efficiency of workers when more than 1 is mining at a single mineral patch. This was aimed at making expanding result in a higher income more often than not, even when on an equal worker count. What we found is that expanding quickly and often already feels like a big advantage in Void, so this change does not feel all that different in terms of when you want to expand. Also, when you do expand faster and have your workers more spread out, it’s easier to replenish workers that you’ve lost to harassment. As we stated above, this is the opposite of what we’re looking to accomplish with the economy changes.

  • Introducing auto-build on units

    • This changed up the game to such a great degree that the game didn’t feel like StarCraft II anymore. It also wasn’t as simple as it sounds. New issues kept popping up, including difficulties expanding or saving up resources, since float was automatically being spent.


    Even though we won’t be testing either of these changes in the beta, we wanted to get our results out to you for better communication. Thank you for your continued support during the beta, and please remember that while discussions are important, actually playtesting the beta is critical to the success of Legacy of the Void. Please check out the major changes that went into this week’s patch in actual games, and continue giving us your feedback. We appreciate all the effort you’re putting into making this the best version of StarCraft II yet.

    Thank you.
    omg hots patch the hype is real

    But how about infested terran upgrade?
    Colossus need to just be deleted.

    You guys need to get it out of your head that they are fun to play with or against in any way.

    Photon overcharge no longer serves a purpose with the defensive advantages that Pylon/Gateway interaction provide in PvP. It is literally just a free, 1-button click defense now.
    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    We didn’t quite agree with some of the other main arguments in this area. We feel that the consequences of not scouting if the opponent is going for Oracles or a Dark Shrine is just StarCraft II, not a case of Protoss being gimmicky.


    How can you see as just StarCraft II that one race can win games with just one unit before the 6:00 mark?.The same race can cannon rush you,proxy 2 gate and win the game before the 6 minutes mark.They can also win with dark templars around 7:30.If it's okay with you and it's just StarCraft II ,then give zerg and terran the same amount of options to end the game like this.(HoTS timings)

    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    The same goes for things like proxy cloaked Banshee, Baneling bust, or any strategy any race can do that requires scouting and reacting.


    How can it be the same?
    Proxy cloaked Banshee------>all in
    Baneling Bust---------->all in
    5:30 oracles-------->standard opener

    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    We encourage everyone to be more open minded in actually discussing and testing changes during this beta so that we can work towards having the best possible StarCraft II.


    We ask the same from you
    .How about you add the reaver that the community is asking for,ignoring the community seems really close minded to me.

    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Further Learnings From Internal Testing

    I hate this sentence with passion,do you realize that this is sentence that you use so often ,is a prime example of the mechanisms to avoid responsibility. I understand that you can't test everything that the community ask for, but how about the top rated suggestions.
    Carriers are getting buffed? That's surprising.

    The other changes look cool. I like the idea of giving the ravager some additional range, and the immortal barrier with auto-cast is nice (although I still think the 2-second duration isn't long enough).
    Thank you for the post.
    Great update, thanks Dayvie!
    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Also, when you do expand faster and have your workers more spread out, it’s easier to replenish workers that you’ve lost to harassment. As we stated above, this is the opposite of what we’re looking to accomplish with the economy changes.


    So, you want us to expand more quickly, but you still want ~22 workers per base[16 mineral + 6 gas]? You want more expansions, but not less workers at each expansion, even though the mining rate is exactly the same for each new base you get until the depleted minerals mine out?

    Am I understanding this as your goal correctly?
    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Introducing auto-build on units

    This changed up the game to such a great degree that the game didn’t feel like StarCraft II anymore. It also wasn’t as simple as it sounds. New issues kept popping up, including difficulties expanding or saving up resources, since float was automatically being spent.


    YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOURE DOING!

    We dont want a Moba!

    I will not play any Blizzard Game anymore i swear to Mengsk!
    Could you test Protoss Pylon Powerlines? Like if a pylon is range of another pylon is connected to a gateway, then all those pylons get boosted warp in time? <3 keep up the great work.
    we don’t know if Zerg is underpowered against mech


    For the love of god, please, PLEASE PATCH ITS HORRIBLE.
    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Reducing the number of workers per base so that army sizes become bigger


    I think that the wrong point about having more supply for army. Its really all about having more income when you take a base. In Lotv, expanding is not rewarding, it forces you. If you don't expand, you will lose. So the point should be "Reducing the number of workers per base and increase the amount of minerals that workers gather." DH8/9/10 is an example but not the best. BW and Starbow economy is so base on having a better economy by taking more bases. Right now, the cap is 3 bases with 16 workers (& 6 in gas) each base. Having more than 66 workers will decrease your army count and you will be at a disadvantage.
    Zerg is fine against mech, there is no need to change anything atm. Change like this might make ZvP imbalanced.
    Highly Rated
    Devs...people were being sarcastic when they started requesting auto-building units. I can't believe you even considered it enough to test it internally.
    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Introducing auto-build on units

    This changed up the game to such a great degree that the game didn’t feel like StarCraft II anymore. It also wasn’t as simple as it sounds. New issues kept popping up, including difficulties expanding or saving up resources, since float was automatically being spent.


    LOL WHAT ??? Im sorry devs but those people are trolls.
    AUto build on units was even considered? WHERE IS THIS GAME GOING
    WHAT THE !@#$ you actually tested auto building units? This community man... I have no hope for Lotv.
    Remove MSC/overcharge and give shield battery (similar), please.
    I wasn't aware that auto build on units was being considered... Thank god that didn't go through. Have to keep in mind that many people actually enjoy starcraft, and theres no value in getting rid of many of the things that make starcraft what it is just to potentially appease people who dont enjoy starcraft
    Highly Rated
    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    We also looked into feedback suggesting we reduce the efficiency of workers when more than 1 is mining at a single mineral patch. This was aimed at making expanding result in a higher income more often than not, even when on an equal worker count. What we found is that expanding quickly and often already feels like a big advantage in Void, so this change does not feel all that different in terms of when you want to expand. Also, when you do expand faster and have your workers more spread out, it’s easier to replenish workers that you’ve lost to harassment. As we stated above, this is the opposite of what we’re looking to accomplish with the economy changes.

    Still completely out of touch with the idea of offering risk/reward vs. forcing fast expanding. Well, it took you over 5 years to finally listen about warp-ins needing pylon-oriented offensive power toned down, so I can't say I'm entirely surprised. To break down how silly this line of thinking is:

    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    What we found is that expanding quickly and often already feels like a big advantage in Void, so this change does not feel all that different in terms of when you want to expand.

    There's a big difference between wanting to expand and having to expand. Currently in LotV, if you don't expand quickly you find yourself broke within a few minutes. BW and WoL both had very nice decision making between fast expanding or being aggressive without pigeon-holing the game into an all-or-nothing scenario for the player who chose aggression over FE. The only remaining viable option is light harassment to keep pressure away from your expand, unless you're successful enough with an all-in to at least even the playing field (assuming the game doesn't just end right there).

    This is also somewhat a problem in HotS (depending on the matchup), but it's exacerbated with the current LotV economy.

    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Also, when you do expand faster and have your workers more spread out, it’s easier to replenish workers that you’ve lost to harassment.

    This is an empty argument; decent players will spread out their workers anyway, both to avoid being economically devastated at any particular base and to slow down the excessively fast mine-out rate you encounter with a fully-saturated mineral line. Keeping bases economically relevant for longer reduces extreme swings in the state of the game should you lose the ability to mine from your newer bases for any extended period of time. This is one of the main reasons I hate the LotV economy -- it promotes snowballing.

    08/21/2015 10:27 AMPosted by Dayvie
    As we stated above, this is the opposite of what we’re looking to accomplish with the economy changes.

    Frankly, I think you guys put way too much emphasis on turning single moments of harassment into a game-ending proposition. Harassment in the SC franchise has traditionally been about eking out small advantages here and there as you work toward your overall strategy. Game-ending harassment used to have a lot of wow factor because it was a rare and difficult thing to do. Your current design philosophy is more about winning games off the back of random hail marys, which I don't consider fun or interesting to either play or watch. Kill a new base to halt their economy, because all their other bases mined out after 5 mins of operation; shut down their economy with a couple widow mines/lurkers/whatever because all their workers are only at one or two bases (again, because the others are mined out already); et cetera. What is enticing about that?

    I seriously think you guys need to revisit exactly what you're trying to accomplish, here.

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