Next Balance Test Map Changes

General Discussion
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Here is what we're exploring, and what we would like to bring out next week. There are a few new changes on top of the changes that we're carrying over from the last balance test map, so let's focus down on testing these changes so that we can aim for a release to live potentially later this month.

Swarm Host cost reduction
  • We want to really nail down to see if the current role of the Swarm Host is good, and we believe the best way to do it is to do a straight up power buff such as this one.

  • Liberator AA damage to be focused to be +light

  • We want to help the situation where mass Liberators are too all round against Air units in the late game.
  • Thor AA damage to be high, single target, and focused vs. armored
  • We want to combo this with the Liberator change to give Terran a tool back to help deal with armored air units.

  • Cyclone supply cost increased, but resource cost reduced.

  • We’re seeing a lot of community request to resume testing Cyclone changes so we’d like to add this to the list. (Let us know if we’re wrong here)
  • Goal here is to have them see more play in the early/mid games, but make sure mass Cyclone only strategy isn’t viable in the end game.

  • Colossus improvement

  • We want to give back some of the Colossi strength. Goal here isn’t to make Colossi be used in every single game, but we want to have them see play a bit more frequently.
  • Attack speed buff is what we’re thinking here to help with the overall DPS output.
  • Immortal Barrier nerf
  • Due to heavy pro player feedback regarding this ability being the top priority in terms of changes needed to the game, we’d like to test this out.
  • We’re currently thinking of reducing the amount absorbed when Barrier is up.
  • Awesome suggestions!
    thor change almost seems like a nerf.

    can you just leave it the way it is and then give back its transformation for it to do single target damage?
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Cyclone supply cost increased, but resource cost reduced.
    We’re seeing a lot of community request to resume testing Cyclone changes so we’d like to add this to the list. (Let us know if we’re wrong here)
    Goal here is to have them see more play in the early/mid games, but make sure mass Cyclone only strategy isn’t viable in the end game.

    Any numbers on the cost reduction?

    Also I think removing the lock-on mechanic and adjusting damage would also be a good thing to test.
    Stop trying to make Swarm Hosts happen.

    They're not going to happen.
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Swarm Host cost reduction
  • We want to really nail down to see if the current role of the Swarm Host is good, and we believe the best way to do it is to do a straight up power buff such as this one.


  • That's fine, I'm glad you realized that the supply cost increase is not a good idea at least for the swarm host and that it only needs a cost reduction. This should make it more viable overall.

    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Liberator AA damage to be focused to be +light
  • We want to help the situation where mass Liberators are too all round against Air units in the late game.


  • This depends on the compensation provided and while your suggestions in compensation are decent, they are still a little short, which I will elaborate on.

    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Thor AA damage to be high, single target, and focused vs. armored
  • We want to combo this with the Liberator change to give Terran a tool back to help deal with armored air units.


  • I would prefer bringing back HIP guns because it would allow more utility for thors than simply redesigning it.

    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Cyclone supply cost increased, but resource cost reduced.
  • We’re seeing a lot of community request to resume testing Cyclone changes so we’d like to add this to the list. (Let us know if we’re wrong here)
  • Goal here is to have them see more play in the early/mid games, but make sure mass Cyclone only strategy isn’t viable in the end game.


  • Just reduce the resource cost, but do not increase the supply cost. Mass cyclone will not become a problem in the end game because cyclones got nerfed heavily in the beta. A resource cost reduction will encourage more cyclone usage, but a supply cost increase will discourage its usage resulting in little change.

    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Colossus improvement
  • We want to give back some of the Colossi strength. Goal here isn’t to make Colossi be used in every single game, but we want to have them see play a bit more frequently.
  • Attack speed buff is what we’re thinking here to help with the overall DPS output.


  • I am curious to how this compares to the HotS Colossus. Is this somewhere in between the HotS Colossus and LotV Colossus or does this change bring it more in line with the HotS Colossus? If it's the former than I can accept this change over the latter.

    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Immortal Barrier nerf
  • Due to heavy pro player feedback regarding this ability being the top priority in terms of changes needed to the game, we’d like to test this out.
  • We’re currently thinking of reducing the amount absorbed when Barrier is up.


  • I'm not going to comment on this, since this is mostly a PvZ issue.
    I feel these changes are getting worse and worse.

    The Liberator does need to be toned down in late game when they'red massed but nerfing it so heavily without an actual GOOD compensation is not the right solution. You're totally missing the problem which is that thors just outright suck. It's slow, its clunky, its WEAK (yes the new AA still is weak), expensive, and takes forever to build. It'll never suffice without bigger changes, stop tiptoeing around this problem. The thor has been overdue for a fix since mid WOL.

    The cyclone also still sucks, its biggest problem is its so easy to die. It has a ridiculously low amount of health and is easily killed by things it needs to counter like phoenix/muta/air. You need to buff the health along with the resource. Lastly, you need to give it an end game role against the t3 air units, tempest/carrier/broodlords are ridiculous for end game terran. Increase lockon range to something much higher but only vs air.

    Immortal does need a heavy nerf - its ridiculous seeing 10 immortals in an army nowadays. Not sure what change needs to be done though. The current shield system feels very lame, there's little strategy behind it since it absorbs so much but in so little time and cooldown is so fast. It needs to be more situationally worth rather than just awesome in every circumstance like it is right now. Give it some penalty like remove all shields at the end of the barrier (but make barrier last slightly longer)
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Attack speed buff is what we’re thinking here to help with the overall DPS output.


    So, these are going to be slightly better versus light units and still pretty bad versus armored units. Still deathball-only units.

    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    We’re currently thinking of reducing the amount absorbed when Barrier is up.


    I assume you'll probably halve the damage absorbed again ... maybe a slight movement speed increase to help compensate?
    A buff to the Cyclone's HP would help a lot too. Right now it just explodes any time it gets hit.
    Mr. Kim
    I think you should have the prerogative to give a substantial middle finger to this community.
    This community is filled with imbecilic A holes, that think they are all game creators.

    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    We’re seeing a lot of community request to resume testing Cyclone changes so we’d like to add this to the list. (Let us know if we’re wrong here)


    I'm thinking about the let us know if ... thing.
    Because really, Starcraft is a good game (even though at the current moment its too fast pace for me to play, but I played some games today and it was fun again!)

    That said, I am loving the cyclone change! I love the unit, I think protoss will struggle vs it though, but its not like protoss HAS to open phoenix to counter it :)

    I think liberators should have +armored not +light but thats my opinion, an opinion I share with LiquidTLO !

    Never use Thor, dunno how the change will make me use Thor O.o we'll see.

    I'd enjoy a 10% collosi dmg buff instead.. but! It might be equally as good this!

    Immortal nerf, I get that the pro's say its OP.
    I still think Zerg has ALOT of options to deal with the immortals i.e cracklings, broodlords, mutas, hydras & lurkers.

    But, I am not a pro gamer. So I trust your judgement on this.

    I realise LOTV is still new and all.
    But, its an old game. Perhaps the rage from the "community" lately is because starcraft has been out 5 years, and you know the saying: you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
    DK, this is a great update. Thank you for tackling multiple underused units at the same time! Cyclone/SH/Colossus changes should make them more viable thus increasing the number of options each race has and thus increasing the fun for players and spectators.
    The problem with your thor idea is that you're just switching one air unit that does its job better for another, currently the liberator does AOE AA better because its faster and cheaper, while after this change the viking will be better for the exact same reasons, they're faster cheaper, and you can make more. 6 supply of vikings does nearly 90 damage a shot at a faster rate of fire with more health for only 25 more gas than 1 thor and mineral costs for a mech player are irrelevant.

    Basically you're going to have to do more with the thor, like making it faster, and dramatically increasing its attack speed (if you're sticking with the same damage from the last update)

    Also the Cyclone is going to need more than just a cost decrease if you plan to increase its supply, really think you're missing an opportunity here to make it the + light AA unit for mech with a range increase upgrade to 9 AA range, maybe change AA damage to 15+10 light to emphasize its new role.
    -1 to all haters
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Swarm Host cost reduction

    Sounds great!
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Liberator AA damage to be focused to be +light

    Absolutely necessary.
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Thor AA damage to be high, single target, and focused vs. armored

    Nobody uses thors, might as well try it.
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Cyclone supply cost increased, but resource cost reduced.

    Might not be enough but worth a shot. I think the issue is with lock-on being so clunky, but I could be wrong.
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Colossus improvement

    Not sure this is necessary given the strength of the disruptor. Maybe get rid of that range upgrade since right now its one of those mandatory upgrades you need before you can make the unit, which is rather pointless if no one makes it anyway.
    05/06/2016 09:55 AMPosted by Dayvie
    Immortal Barrier nerf

    Sounds fine to me, always felt silly seeing that immortal ball tear through everything while taking no damage.
    These are all solid options, and I am all for a slightly nerfed immortal. Mass immortal has become the answer to Zerg ground and phoenix the answer to mass air.

    Protoss would prefer not to open up phoenix every single game, and I implore that your team considers adding a change that gives Protoss more options to deal with mutalisk in PvZ.

    - I personally believe there are two options worth considering.

    1) Reduce mutalisk regeneration rate.

    A reasonable amount of number tuning results in units like High Templar and blink stalkers having an easier time defending against medium numbers of mutalisk at home. It also punishes Zerg micro mistakes, which with the current regeneration, does not happen as often as with other units such as phoenix or banshees. Making mutalisk less of a threat opens up robo first and timing attacks Protoss can put up against the Zerg, so that Zerg cannot be as greedy as they currently are in the matchup.

    2) Make underused units better versus mutalisk (compensate with slight phoenix nerf)


    Many units come to mind, and this could be in the form of attack damage or ground-to-air capability. Options include:

    - Resonating glaives also gives adepts the ability to attack air units.

    - Stalkers gain flat damage versus air units

    - Allow sentry guardian shields to soak up much more damage from air to ground attacks
    relative to normal armor buff (would give sentries more utility versus mutalisk and liberators).

    - Archon air attack range buff? This one is a bit of a stretch


    In my humble opinion, I believe option 1 is a much better choice.
    Hey David what about the Mutalisk Reg +Movement nerf NEARLY EVERYONE asked you to do, so PvZ can actually open without Stargate?
    It is great that Blizzard is so responsive and active on these things. Thanks!
    Given what happened to Diablo III, I believe Starcraft II will end in a good place eventually.

    Blizzard has a lot of data that players don't have access to. That's why they may see things different from individuals.
    But still: Swarm Host needs some rework. It is just boring now.

    Also on muta neuf: zerg already lost signature early game Zerg Rush. Do we want zerg to be played as terran or protoss? I would vote for buffing something such as stalkers or archons, instead of changing how mutas are played.
    any chance you could double the PO DPS and energy cost/change it back to the nexus again TvP is really boring with it.... really boring
    Liberator changes much needed, the unit needs a clear weakness. Its too good against all type of air AND against ground units.. Honestly would prefer a nerf to ground attack. but thats impossible to balance because of current ultralisk power. A lot of units would have to be reworked, like siege tanks and ultras.

    Increasing supply..while lowering cost of the cyclone seems a bit weird to me. I know its to discourage massing but... Usually cost is directly proportionate too supply cost, in almost all case ( roaches, banelings, broodlords kinda dont follow that rule i guess).

    I really think whats making it hard to balance cyclone is the lock on. It should be so much easier to balance it around without the lock-on, while making them imposssible to mass by giving them a weakness ( either light, or armored, or air , one of those 3 has to beat cyclones pretty hard, this way no1 will just mass cyclone).

    Why not make cyclones the marines of mech? Good all around, but maybe bad against lings/hydras/mutas??

    Would be easy to just tweak numbers and make it perfect for helping mech have a mobile solid all around unit ( rip goliath) Right now,. every mech unit is super specialized with clear weaknesses ( exept liberator). Have cyclones be the glue that keeps it all together for mech. The bread and butter. The thing that protect your tanks against roaches, ravagers, ultras, while being able to help against mutas a little bit.

    Just have mass cyclone very weak to mass muta, broodlords, mass lings, and then be good against ultras and roaches and stuff like that, while still being able to push back lower amount of mutas, and help against mass mutas as long as they have turret or liberator support.

    Muta changes... I think what needs to happen is;;;

    Speed nerf to the following air units: Medivacs, Mutalisks, warp prism, liberator, oracles, pheonixes.
    The Thor parameters from the last test seemed a bit lackluster. Its high range is its greatest strength, and while the damage looks good, it is fairly slow. Its DPS against Armored was barely better than a single Viking which is much cheaper and has similar range. Its damage against non-Armored is even more lackluster.

    There should be a compelling reason to make a Thor for anti-armored-air if that's goal: other units will still do its job better or well enough while offering more mobility. Either its range should be even better (helping it vs. things like Brood Lords) or its damage/attack speed should be even higher.

    Also, I wrote an essay about Liberator. tl;dr: Nerfing damage may help, but it also affects more than just the late game (which is your stated goal)--nerfing the splash will affect the late game more than earlier phases and the splash is the real reason Liberator is dangerous to begin with. http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/20743695543

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