Co-op Missions Update - Raynor Revamp

Co-op Missions Discussion
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Hey all! Last week, we looked at upcoming Artanis changes we had in the works. After reading through your feedback and doing further playtesting on the Commander, we’d like to provide an update.

High Templar/Archon
  • Khaydarin Amulet research time decreased from 90 to 60.

Combined with the Plasma Surge research time buff, the ramp-up time of the High Templar tree will be decreased by a full minute.

Energy Regeneration and Ability Cooldown Reduction Mastery
  • Our previously proposed Mastery, Energy Regeneration and Ability Cooldown Reduction, has had its numbers reworked. This Mastery now increases the energy generation and ability cooldown reduction of all of Artanis' units by 1.5% per point up to 45%. (Previously 1% per point, up to 30%).

After further testing, we believe going up to 45% would make this Mastery a more competitive choice without making it overpowered.

Shield Overcharge
  • Shield Overcharge cooldown reduced from 300 seconds to 180 seconds. (Previously down to 240 seconds)

After testing this community suggestion, we liked how it felt. It also helps the energy tension problem we identified with Artanis in the last update.

Guardian Shell/Guardian Shell Mastery
  • Artanis' Level 2 Upgrade, Guardian Shell, now restores 15% life and shield regeneration when the effect saves a friendly unit.
  • The Guardian Shell Life and Shield Restoration Mastery now restores 0.5% additional life and shields per point, down from 1% per point. Maximum additional restoration reduced from 30% to 15%. The overall effect at full Mastery will remain the same.

After further testing with the new Shield Overcharge and the new Shield Overcharge Mastery, we found that we missed the Guardian Shell healing Mastery way too much. As a result, we’re rolling some of the power of his Guardian Shell Life and Shield Restoration Mastery into his base ability so that the other Mastery in the slot will be more competitive.

Dragoon
Though we’ve received many thoughtful suggestions about how to buff Dragoons even further, we’ll be holding off on doing so for now. One of our philosophies on the Co-op team is to preserve a level of fidelity across game modes when it comes to how units behave, regardless of whether they’re from StarCraft I or II. We feel this is especially important for Artanis, because he is one of our basic Commanders. For better or worse, the Dragoon is a tanky, slow-moving unit that doesn’t have the best damage output in the game. It also lacks splash damage, siege range, and a stim ability.

Unlike Marines or Hydralisks, Dragoons were not designed specifically to be massed. Rather, they are most effective when used to support ground compositions such as Immortal/Reaver or Archon/Zealot. The buffs we’re giving the Dragoon (+armored damage and range) are intended to reinforce this role without changing its core identity.

Raynor
Now that we’ve covered Artanis, we’d like to touch to the next Commander we’re revamping: Jim Raynor, our very first Co-op Commander, and many players’ first introduction to the mode.

Raynor poses a unique challenge. For more experienced players with solid macro and micro abilities, Raynor can be a powerhouse with his bionic play. But to get the most out of the Commander’s ability and unit set, players must achieve a level of skill that is not easily attainable.

On the other hand, Raynor’s mechanical units are relatively easy to use. We feel that a broad spectrum of players can utilize them to near their full potential. That said, their “full potential” still isn’t anywhere near as powerful as it could be, so newer players get the short end of the stick. Their options are to either try to play him in a way that’s too demanding for their current skill level or rely on his underpowered mechanical units.

We’re not saying that skill shouldn’t be rewarded when playing Raynor—or any other Co-op commander, for that matter. Rather, we believe that the playing field between beginners and veterans isn’t as even as we’d like. We’ll therefore focus on improving both Raynor’s mechanical and bio-mechanical options in this coming update.

Rapid Recruitment
  • Raynor’s Factory and Starport units now receive 20% gas cost reduction bonuses instead of 20% mineral cost reduction bonuses.

Because of Raynor’s Orbital Commands, Raynor players were never really hard up for minerals. Both bio-mech and mech strategies were severely restricted by the gas resource, however. We believe that this change will increase the number of mechanical units players will be able to field.

Banshee
  • Banshees now gain +2 range when cloaked.

We feel that the Banshee is one of the weaker units in Raynor’s mechanical arsenal. We hope that adding this additional functionality to Cloak will create more interesting decision-making opportunities as to when to cloak and differentiate the Banshee’s version of Cloak from other units’.

Battlecruiser
  • Battlecruisers can now shoot while moving.
  • The Battlecruiser's Yamato Gun cooldown decreased from 100 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • The Battlecruiser’s Tactical Jump no longer requires vision.

If there’s one thing we know on the StarCraft team, it’s that players love to have the option to build lots of capital ships. We agree that Raynor’s Battlecruisers were underperforming, so we’ll be giving them a few buffs. First, the Battlecruiser will now be able to shoot while moving, allowing for additional micro opportunities for mass Battlecruiser players.

The cooldown of Yamato Gun will also be reduced from its base Versus-mode stats into those worthy of the Co-op mode and its power level. Players will now be able to cast both Yamato Gun and Tactical Jump once every 60 seconds.

Our intention with these two buffs is not only to increase the power level of the unit but also to improve the control players have over their Battlecruisers. We think this will make them much more fun to use.

Finally, we’ll be reverting the change we made a few patches ago that required the Battlecruiser to have vision of the target area to use Tactical Jump. This change will be extended to all versions of this ability, including those of Swann and Han & Horner.

Masteries
  • Replaced Stimpack Duration Mastery with Research Cost Reduction Mastery. Research Cost Reduction Mastery reduces the costs of all research by 2% per point, up to a maximum of 60%.

The Stimpack Duration Mastery was not used very often, and was generally seen as inferior to Drop Pod Speed Increase. We’ll be looking to replace this bio-specific mastery with one that focuses on both bio-mech and mech play. As we previously mentioned, we believe gas to be the limiting resource for mech. We expect both bio-mech and mech strategies to opt for this new Mastery to save on precious gas. Meanwhile, gas is not in such heavy demand for bio players, so they’ll be more likely to stick to the Drop Pod Mastery.

  • Reduced Damage during Medic Heals Mastery replaced by Mech Attack Speed Mastery. Mech Attack Speed Mastery increases the attack speed of Factory and Starport units by 1% per point up to a maximum of 30%.

Raynor also happens to have two Medic Masteries and we realize the “Reduced Damage during Medic Heals” Mastery was underperforming compared to its counterpart, the “Medics Heal Additional Target” Mastery. In its place, we plan to add a Mech Attack Speed Mastery for Factory and Starport units. We hope that with this change, there will be a clear bio Mastery and a clear mech Mastery, but for players who opt for bio-mech, the choice will be more difficult.
  • Hyperion Cooldown Mastery increased from -3 seconds per point to -4 seconds per point. Maximum bonuses increased from -90 seconds to -120 seconds.

Finally, we felt that the Hyperion Cooldown Mastery was underperforming slightly compared to its counterpart, the Banshee Airstrike Cooldown Mastery, so we’ll be adjusting the numbers so that they’re more comparable.

Going Forward
While working on these changes, we’ve been careful not to disturb the power level of Raynor’s bio, a playstyle that we know a lot of you really enjoy. We’re also aiming to make mech more powerful and dynamic. As always, though, we rely greatly on your feedback. Do you think we got it right? Are you looking forward to playing with Raynor’s improved mechanical units? We’ll be listening!

Until next time,

Kevin Dong
Co-op Commander Designer
Banshees with 9 range, 80 gas, +30% AS, and reduced upgrade costs? lmao
#raynor mech gonna look like fun hehe :D if it will work out as planned
Make banshee range bonus always active, perhaps as an upgrade - or make its cloak cost no energy.

Also please consider giving some Raynor unit, like the battlecruiser, a Detector passive.
Or make Scan have no energy cost but have a ~10 second cooldown.


Also please consider making some sort of notification or something that tells Raynor players that they NEED at least 4 orbital commands as soon as possible.

Many Raynor players make barely 1 orbital command and then they are mineral starved for the rest of the game because they do not realize they need to make multiple orbital commands.

EDIT: Please consider giving Fenix and Artanis the ability to heal/repair their own units.
It is really really lame and boring when i can't fix my half dead army.
7/10 commanders can already fix/heal protoss units so it makes zero sense to leave fenix/artanis in the gutter.
04/05/2018 11:15 AMPosted by Stratos
Make banshee range bonus always active, perhaps as an upgrade - or make its cloak cost no energy.


Definitely no energy (as in no energy to initiate cloak, not no energy to maintain) it.. and extend that across all energy cloakers Swann Wraith, HH unupgraded Wraith, Nova unupgraded Banshee
04/05/2018 11:15 AMPosted by Stratos

Also please consider giving some Raynor unit, like the battlecruiser, a Detector passive.
Or make Scan have no energy cost but have a ~10 second cooldown.


No, lacking mobile detection is fine.

Also please consider making some sort of notification or something that tells Raynor players that they NEED at least 4 orbital commands as soon as possible.
.

This would be a better solution

cheap gas-move attack BCs will be nice with Karax/Swann ally
04/05/2018 10:55 AMPosted by monk
Dragoons were not designed specifically to be massed. Rather, they are most effective when used to support ground compositions such as Immortal/Reaver or Archon/Zealot


i guess that's fair enough. If that's the case perhaps dragoons can cost less mineral / gas (something like 125/50 to 100/25) to increase their cost effectiveness as a support unit. Reavers are quite expensive and Archon devours gas like no tomorrow.
Everything else on Artanis looks super good. 45% cdr and energy regen increase is a very competitive option vs haste (especially if you are using reavers or templars/archons). 180s cd shield overcharge is super strong. Love the mastery changes also. Giving 15% base healing on guardian shell will make leveling up artanis less of a chore. Now the shield overcharge mastery looks really good, now we're looking at a 380 shield available every 142 seconds at max level, which, again a raynor/zagara/stukov ally is going to absolutely love.

And those Ryynor change- gas cost reduction, research cost reduction mastery, attack speed increase for mech mastery, - are soo nice. Im very looking forward to playin mech raynor now.
I am slightly disappointed with the medic healing damage reduction mastery removal. I found using it enjoyable, and +15% might seem like a small bonus but adding it with the upgrade for a total of 40% is quite significant.

Especially since you consider you already buffed the Fenix Conservator bubble to mitigatte 35% damage.

Perhaps you could at least increase the medic upgrade to 35%. The mastery really did help with squishy bio units and it was noticeable.

Another thing limiting new players is the fact they forget to use scans or mules.
You could add both skills to the top ability bar, which would (hopefully) motivate less experienced players to use those abilities more often. We can naturally use a control group for all command centers, but I wonder how many new players do that.

Same could be said for Kerrigan and her Omega worms. Such a wonderful ability, yet so few players actually use it.
Ooooooooo I really like these Raynor mech changes. Quite significant changes.

8 range cloaked Banshees (or is it 9 range, I forget if Raynor has advanced optics), that means they can outrange turrets, can't they? Very nice...
04/05/2018 10:55 AMPosted by monk
DragoonThough we’ve received many thoughtful suggestions about how to buff Dragoons even further, we’ll be holding off on doing so for now. One of our philosophies on the Co-op team is to preserve a level of fidelity across game modes when it comes to how units behave, regardless of whether they’re from StarCraft I or II. We feel this is especially important for Artanis, because he is one of our basic Commanders. For better or worse, the Dragoon is a tanky, slow-moving unit that doesn’t have the best damage output in the game. It also lacks splash damage, siege range, and a stim ability.Unlike Marines or Hydralisks, Dragoons were not designed specifically to be massed. Rather, they are most effective when used to support ground compositions such as Immortal/Reaver or Archon/Zealot. The buffs we’re giving the Dragoon (+armored damage and range) are intended to reinforce this role without changing its core identity.


I don't mind the dragoon being a backup unit for cleaning up after archons or for dealing with a light air presence when you don't have full dedicated AA units available. But they cant even do that very well because they attack so slowly, for such poor damage. I hate to turn this into a dragoon thread, but it feels like you don't understand why the unit isn't being used the way you think it should be.
04/05/2018 10:55 AMPosted by monk
Raynor’s Factory and Starport units now receive 20% gas cost reduction bonuses instead of 20% mineral cost reduction bonuses.

Finally, this is one of the oldest suggestions.

04/05/2018 10:55 AMPosted by monk
Banshees now gain +2 range when cloaked.

Does this apply to Dusk Wings, the calldown, as well? Otherwise, they will have shorter range than the normal Banshees.
Those mech buffs plus whatever Swann's getting are going to make Raynor and Swann tag teams real fun once they hit.
04/05/2018 11:23 AMPosted by SkyHiRider

Another thing limiting new players is the fact they forget to use scans or mules.
You could add both skills to the top ability bar, which would (hopefully) motivate less experienced players to use those abilities more often. We can naturally use a control group for all command centers, but I wonder how many new players do that.

[/quote]

That is a really good idea... with a little tool tip "Build more Orbital Commands for more MULES/Scans" ... similar to HH Strike Fighters.. a top bar ability you expand with production.
lol, change of BC is just funny. Remind me of some one who used to said that it would be cooooooool if ONLY Hyperion can jump without vision (and he nerfed swann's Hercules, and made interceptors cost 15 etc.)
I love these co-op updates.
Artanis changes feel pretty good. Giving some restoration to the baseline Artanis trait means that it can be used easier at lower levels. However, I think that Dragoons really need to be looked at some more given that they are often seen as a 'core army unit' whose role seems to be largely taken by the Immortal.

Raynor changes feels like a good compensatory buff for the Dusk Wings bugfix a while back. However, I feel that the Mech AS buff is misguided as it locks you in to a composition before you even start the game. Some compositions just destroy mech, such as Reavertoss, Swarmy/Sky Zerg etc. Any change in the mastery should improve mech more, but not feel like you're playing -30 mastery points if the enemy comp makes mech unviable.

Similarly, the research reduction is not really needed on Raynor. Even on more Gas heavy comps such as Siege Tank/Viking on defense maps, you don't really have that many researches to go through. Instead, perhaps consider letting MULEs mine gas (though limited to only 1 mule per gas geyser) like in the MP test.

Siege tanks are in a decent spot, but perhaps the ability to hover-siege like Sgt Hammer in HotS (at a much reduced speed) would do much to improve their use alongside bio.

Finally, maybe consider decreasing the MS buff on the Thrusters, but apply a small AS buff as well. The new ability could be called Overfire Reactors and would give a stim-like ability to improve mech's ability to take on combats in smaller numbers.

This could then be enhanced by a mastery called "Improved Stimulants" which would boost the effect of buffs like Stimpack/Overfire Reactors with 1%/mastery point. That could take the place of the research reduction, and would serve as an alternative if you have a more durable army (ex. Marauder/Firebat heavy, or even Mech).
I love the Raynor changes, though having played so much of the Horners lately, it feels like some of these BC changes are stealing a tad of their thunder. Already, Raynor's BCs could get a near Sovereign level HP with Vanadium plating upgrades, in addition to having a greater attack range than the Sovereign thanks to the Advanced Targeting armory upgrade giving a +1 flat range boost.

Sovereign Battlecruisers have a rather comically undersized attack range for a ship of its size, and one of the few pluses they had over regular BCs was being able to fire on the move. Rather than take away Raynor's ships firing on the move, I suggest boosting the range of H&H's BCs by 2 or 3 to give them a range fitting for their size.
Great changes. Shifting some of the Guardian Shell heal into Artanis' baseline kit is an excellent solution!

I worry for Banshee's, though. The 25 activation cost on cloaking is very prohibitive towards satisfying use of Banshees and other units that manually cloak (the Wraith in particular). It basically means that you really have to pick your moment for cloaking and then really stick to it, because you can't just cloak for a brief moment (which is really all you need in Coop) and then stick with it, and it also makes it very difficult to add on additional units, as they will then spawn with lower energy.

I really feel that units with this kind of cloaking should not be penalized for making active use of their ability, but should instead be on a different budget; faster energy consumption for remaining cloaked, and faster energy regeneration, while activating the ability in itself costs nothing.

That being said, thanks for keeping us updated. Keep being awesome!
04/05/2018 10:55 AMPosted by monk
Research Cost Reduction Mastery reduces the costs of all research by 2% per point, up to a maximum of 60%.


I had a heart attack while reading this. im thinking this doesnt include upgrades? Anyway, the saved gas is massive for starting your bio upgrades early. Really looking forward to this.
04/05/2018 11:49 AMPosted by Kirena
Sovereign Battlecruisers have a rather comically undersized attack range for a ship of its size, and one of the few pluses they had over regular BCs was being able to fire on the move. Rather than take away Raynor's ships firing on the move, I suggest boosting the range of H&H's BCs by 2 or 3 to give them a range fitting for their size.
Raynor's BC's being able to attack on the move appeals too much to me for me to refuse it.

The thing about giving H&H's BC's more range is that it decreases the amount of damage they receive as a result of shorter ranged units taking damage instead, and if you have a BC that has 1500+ health, what is the point of health if it is not being fired at? This would not be much of a problem if you manually control them to be closer to the enemy (and using the fact that they fire on the move), but it reduces their purpose if you a-move them where they will attack at max range. I am just not sure if it will actually improve anything, besides for the mini yamato gun where damage is done instantaneously and less time is spent moving into range of certain units. ATX mode is kind of the mode where BC's ram into enemies to take damage and deal damage.

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