Community Feedback Update - February 26

General Discussion
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Fostering a Positive Atmosphere
It’s awesome how we’re all working towards having a more positive atmosphere towards StarCraft II on various sites and forums. We’re encouraged by the results of our collaboration with all the dedicated players out there who contribute to the StarCraft community on a daily basis. Thanks to you, we’re able to make the game better through weekly updates, balance test maps, and our constructive discussions. A healthy and positive community is vital to our game, especially when it comes to attracting new players and making them feel welcome. Let’s continue to focus on constructive feedback and work towards our goal of continually improving StarCraft II.

We’d also like to congratulate everyone on the great job you’ve been doing as we continue to iterate and make the design of StarCraft II that much better. You’re also creating a much better environment for newer people to participate in a constructive way. Thank you!

KR Pro Feedback
We recently received feedback from all the professional teams in Korea regarding the current balance test map. Let’s run through what they thought.

The pros didn’t like the Siege Tank damage increase or disabling pickup, saying that Siege Tanks weren’t viable after these changes. The vibe we got was that Siege Tanks don’t need a damage increase—without mobility, they won’t be an effective tool, even if they hit much harder. We still believe that there could be a scenario where the damage is increased enough to offset the mobility loss. However, the more important question here is not about if the damage buff is stronger or the Medivac pickup is stronger. Instead, we should be more focused on the loss of micro and strategic potential versus the gain of the Siege Tank fulfilling their fantasy better by having clear strengths and weaknesses.

Regarding the Ravager change, the main feedback was that Ravagers are primarily used to counter Liberators and Widow Mines, so if a nerf is needed, then their ability cooldown should be increased instead. Our stance on this one is that the type of change we implement really depends on the issue we’re trying to solve. The damage nerf was suggested to help with not just the Siege Tank change, but also in case Ravager timing pushes are too strong versus Protoss. If either of these scenarios have changed, we would definitely need a different solution.

We also received feedback that players are still testing and figuring out our most recent changes, so it would be best if the next balance patch doesn’t happen until we are sure that the issues being addressed are real and the changes are tested. We agree; while things like Ravager timing attacks looked very strong and Protoss looked to be struggling when the last patch hit, Protoss players are still figuring out how to play in this new patch and we’re still figuring out the current state of the game.

Siege Tank Change
Let’s go into more detail about the Siege Tank change.
We agree with many people out there who disagree with the changes:

  • Siege Tank pickup micro is definitely really cool.
  • We see Terran players fielding a good mix of Bio and Mech units—do we really have to split those two strategies again?
  • We definitely understand this stance. Perhaps Terran is more fun to play with and watch if there’s always a mix of the two like we’re currently seeing, and maybe we don’t need them to be completely split.


Do we really need to mix strategies up at this time due to other factors such as resource changes, the push we’re making towards map diversity, games just having a lot more action in Legacy of the Void, and so on?
  • Our stance here is that we should have some changes tested and ready in case we get to this type of spot, so that we can react more quickly if necessary.


We also are seeing many people bring up good reasons for going through with the changes:
    The fantasy of the Siege Tank has diminished due to how mobile the unit is now.
  • The changes would bring back the “lock down this location at the cost of mobility” vibe.
  • The current test map will test how cool it would be to bring this back.

Internally, we’re wondering if there’s a way to hit the positives of both sides. For example, if we further increased the time before the Siege Tank can fire, we may be able to get the effect we’re looking for. What if the time it takes to go into siege mode and fire once is equal to the time it takes before a Siege Tank can fire once it’s dropped off by the Medivac while in Siege Mode? While we may not need to go this extreme, this example shows the direction we've recently been considering.

We also agree that this isn’t a change that needs to be implemented immediately. Therefore, we should take our time to carefully evaluate different options before making a final decision.

The State of Protoss
Contrary to right after the last patch hit, Protoss didn’t look to be struggling as much. However, we are definitely seeing the strength of early game aggression in ZvP. We will be testing some nerfs on the Zerg early game timing attack so that we can be prepared to make the change if the situation doesn’t improve over time due to players figuring out how to counter these attacks better.

Next Balance Test Map
On the next balance test map, we’re looking to swap out the Ravager and Liberator changes, potentially trying out a different change to the Ravager that only really affects ZvP, and try out a version of the Siege Tank where we heavily increase the delay before Siege Tanks can fire after being dropped off by the Medivac while in Siege Mode. We would obviously want to combo this with more of a damage buff than what we have currently.

We agree with those of you who have pointed out that testing some changes to the Cyclone would be useful. The goal here would be to increase the effectiveness of the Cyclone for early/mid stages of the game while not allowing mass Cyclones to be a viable composition in the later stages of the game. In order to do this, we’re thinking about increasing the effectiveness of Cyclones by either increasing their health or damage, and also increasing the supply cost so that their value diminishes in the late stage of the game when players’ armies start to approach max supply.

If there are other balance issues that we should be testing, please get a conversation started this week so that we can decide together what the best move will be for the next balance test map. Our hope is to evaluate this week and next week, and be in a spot where we can make a decision and release the next balance test map the week after next.

Thanks again for continuing to support and contribute to the future of StarCraft II. Although there are currently no immediate, glaring issues, let’s continue doing what we can during this time so that we can be prepared for the future.
Highly Rated
I might have missed something, but what about keeping the Tank+medivac mechanic as it is now, but making the siege tank automatically go into mobile version when picked up? This would make the "delay" after getting dropped off atleast somewhat meaningful instead of having an invisible behavior that makes the tank not attack for X seconds.
Middle compromise that I haven't seen suggested:

- unsieges upon pickup
- normal unload/drop leaves it in tank mode
- extra button to unload/drop it where it auto transforms to siege mode

This is in line with what Blizzard has been testing with increased delay but also gives a choice to the player. In addition, it gives a visual indicator to all players of when the sieged tank can fire.
So... No real changes then. Alright thanks. Good job blizzard. David Kim strikes again. Don't worry everyone we just have to wait 4 months for a proper update.
I'm sorry but why is it that zergs can't have a timing attack with ravangers that punishes greedy toss players. Both terran and toss have multiple early game aggression options. Why can't zerg also have strong aggressive options?
Good feedback. I'm curios what the "only effects zvp" change would be.. As for Protoss having a hard time with early aggression I posted this elsewhere, but I'll do it again here. What if Stasis ward could be manually triggered, but you added an effect where units coming off of stasis could not be frozen again for 5 seconds. It would allow oracles to better help in def, but remove the chaining of stasis wards. A small buff to protoss.

The problem with the liberator is that it is frustrating to deal with. early game it can shut down mineral lines and and late game it is just so good vs ground units while also being really good against air units.A suggestion might be to increase the size of of the AoE circle based upon proximity to target. So If you fast it at the full range 9 it will be small, but the liberator will be safe, of you could go in and cast at range 5 where the circle would be the size it is now, but expose the liberator to more harm. There is a risk vs reward type element to it, and not simply run in, siege up, and lock off large portions of the battlefield. You have to weigh in the situation and decide how best to position your liberators. It would add a little more strategic thinking.

Thanks for the update. Always look forward to these. Keep up the hard work.
Longer fire delay and increase damage sounds pretty good to me. I stood on the fence between removing tank pickup and not removing them.

Why is mass cyclone looked down upon? You lose about half of them when you try to engage a fight due to the short lock on range. I feel a price reduction or HP buff should be the way to go. I think Cyclones already deal a ton of damage.
02/26/2016 10:34 AMPosted by IeZaeL
I might have missed something, but what about keeping the Tank+medivac mechanic as it is now, but making the siege tank automatically go into mobile version when picked up? This would make the "delay" after getting dropped off atleast somewhat meaningful instead of having an invisible behavior that makes the tank not attack for X seconds.
This.

And we could still keep some of the damage to armored on it to make them more of a staple siege unit when needed. Something like 1/2 of the current change to become +5 damage to armored, which scales with upgrades into really good damage. I would still buff the base damage to 40, though.

A stronger siege tank can only be good for this game, and giving it mobility but penalizing that by reverting it to tank mode allows for good mobility on retreat but the only decent offensive strength occurs in siege mode.

A compromise of the two would keep the mobile tank a viable option.

This way, Cyclones could be buffed (and supply cost nerfed) as suggested to make them better support units, although the lock on ability needs to be reworked.

Maybe making Lock-on Range 6, and making the range after Lock-on max out at 9 combined with its high speed already, would make the Cyclone a good anti-air unit to support mech units and bio units alike against Air threats like Tempests and Carriers. The Lock-on needs to have a longer cooldown and higher damage output, and the base damage needs to be at 6 range but at lower damage output so that it can still support against large priority targets on the ground and air, but not have an overwhelmingly powerful attack. I am not sure how strong that needs to be since we would have to see how David Kim buffs the HP and damage of the Cyclone for early-midgame phases first.

02/26/2016 10:35 AMPosted by purakushi
Middle compromise that I haven't seen suggested:

- unsieges upon pickup
- normal unload/drop leaves it in tank mode
- extra button to unload/drop it where it auto transforms to siege mode

This is in line with what Blizzard has been testing with increased delay but also gives a choice to the player. In addition, it gives a visual indicator to all players of when the sieged tank can fire.
That's pretty interesting. I would love to see that tested.
Really really hoping the tank can have the “lock down this location at the cost of mobility” vibe.

Kind of disappointed by this update as it sounds like they're leaning towards keeping a mobile tank. I just wish another unit could fill this role rather than the tank. If the tank has any added mobility, I hope it could be through something like drilling claws reducing siege/unsiege time.
None of this addresses the communities interpretation of mothership core or photon overcharge, which is more of a problem when addressing the units Protoss has on hand to deal with a good zerg timing.

The siege tank unsieging when being picked up is more logical, but as much as you say bio is in a good place... It's too mobile, outrunning starships is a !@#$ mechanic for such a beautiful game.

I also think Korean Pro's are the wrong people to look at, if the general base is not happy about the game... They won't play, or compete - you won't get new blood coming through to boost esports. People won't watch, support advertising if the game is not fun for themselves to play. You as a company are here to support your majority consumer, otherwise you wont have a consumer (no demand).
Did he just states he is testing tank fire delay and having more tank damage ? Am i wrong here?
Good community feedback, i would like to see an increase in cost(or lair requirment) of overlord drops since right now it takes little to no commitment to do ling drops and in most cases it is guaranteed to do dmg. One other route to nerf this strategy is moving overlord speed upgrade to lair tech.
As stated above, defensive pick ups should remain and then the "delay" be a tweak of sieging-back-up timing. That way a tvt isn't determined strictly by whomever dropped their tanks first. You can have a stronger siege shot, medivac rescue AND quick redeployment, without inventing rules that are convoluted.

Just remove the siege mode drop and mess with the sieging mode numbers.

EDIT

Also, PLEASE fix the Cyclone's behaviors while you're considering whatever changes.
http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/20742404733

Its only fair that we get a unit that actually works well.
Thanks for the update.
Ravager:


I think a cooldown nerf on ravager can work both for PvZ defence and for the liberator situation. The question is, if we were to nerf the cooldown on ravagers, could we then compensate the ravager with additional +bio damage?

First off, I would not mind a cooldown nerf without compenstion, but if we find that cooldown nerf on ravager is too weak, we could consider for example the following:

I believe increasing the cooldown on Ravagers from 7 to 9.4 and the damage from 45+15 to 60+20 is a solid solution to the PvZ earlygame and liberator scenario.

This would completely equalize the DPS between the current test-ravager and the cooldown-nerf-test-ravager.

- It means that ravagers will be stronger versus smaller, light units but weaker vs armored and immobile units, just like Blizzard originally intended with the balance test map. (Still weaker than the live-version of the ravager.)

- It would allow ravagers to 3-shot liberators with little trouble as it is very unlikely another liberator shows up during that cooldown period of 9.4 seconds.

- The damage is compensated with +20 damage to bio to match the current DPS from 60 damage every 7 seconds.

- It will help Protoss in earlygame PvZ as ravagers will require a longer time and higher damage burst to destroy pylons etc.

Siege Tank:

I think it is a great idea to increase the attack delay/speed/period on siege tanks to match that delay of siege tanks performing the siege mode. If it is weird, you can always implement a "siege animation" to the siege tank each time it is deployed by a medivac when currently being sieged. Perhaps this is only possible if we allow siege tanks executing the "siege animation" to be picked up.

I hope we will find a middle-ground solution for tank as many in the community is really yearning for this.

Cyclone:

I am open to buffs on cyclone damage and/or health and I like the supply increase idea. However, I could be afraid of earlygame cyclone timings. Perhaps make an upgrade for midgame?

Other thoughts:

I think PvZ is still polarized. Zerg is quite strong in the earlygame, and Protoss is quite strong in the lategame. Happy to hear about internal tests, but I would strongly encourage Blizzard to think about the lategame position Protoss can get to versus Zerg if the earlygame is more comfortable for Protoss. Alongside nerfs to help Protoss in the earlygame, perhaps consider i.e.

- increase +massive damage to corrupters to help versus tempest and carriers.

- split immortal attack in two to help ultralisks versus immortals.

The ideas right above are examples of changes that could be done if lategame PvZ is hard for Zerg.
Make the cyclone 4 supply with Tempest Range as an upgrade and high hp . and Make thors have option to disable Anti Air attack , Cyclone was meant for key specific units in beta why not give it more range and increase in supply so it cannot be massed. So we can actually force an engagement besides banshee .
I think the solution for tanks is buffing its damage coupled with making it go back into normal mode after being picked up. This will keep the micro potential of dodging and remove the gimmicky part drop&fire micro of tankivac.
I honestly believe Blizzard cherry picks their feedback because they don't want to change the tank.

I really do think MediTank drops are really stupid... And can't believe after all this they're going to stay.
WOW this is bad, you return to the siegetankpickup that most dont like? Didnt you read the post on TL, people liked these changes dont throw them away!

Edit: Does this mean the damagebuff for the tanks is gone? If it isnt gone then I am okay with the change.
I am very disappointed though that there is a slight hint of returning to the current tankivac. It freaking sucks and keep me from play LotV despite having played since the release of WoL. I simply hate my own race(terran) as it is in LotV solely because of tankivac.

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