Co-op Mission Update - May 17th, 2018

Co-op Missions Discussion
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Hi all! We hope you’ve had fun playing the newly revamped versions of Raynor, Swann, and Artanis over the last month. We’re hard at work on the next Co-op Mission and Commander, but in the meantime, we’re ready to present an overview of the next round of Co-op balance updates. In the past few updates, we’ve been focusing on Terran and Protoss Commanders; in the spirit of balance, we’d like to give some more love to our Zerg friends! With that said, the next three Commanders we’ll be looking at are Nova, Kerrigan, and Zagara.

Nova
We feel that Nova is in a pretty good place right now. Her core gameplay is solid, and she has a diverse roster of powerful units. We’d like address some of her slightly more underwhelming units, including Hellbat Rangers and Covert Banshees. For instance, Hellbat Rangers could probably use a bit more survivability in order to fulfill their role as an anti-light tanking unit.

Kerrigan
Kerrigan, like Nova, rewards a very hero-based Commander playstyle, with a variety of powerful options and a high skill-cap. Many of you have pointed out that her Spire units are hard pressed to compete with her ground options, however. Our Kerrigan pass will focus on bringing more use to these Spire units.

Zagara
Of the three commanders we’ll look at in the next Co-op patch, we’re going to focus the most attention on Zagara. We know that a lot of you wish Zagara had more options when it comes to army composition. We’ll be looking at changing parts of her toolkit so to give her more varied playstyles without adding additional units. Specifically, look forward to changes for Corruptors—lots and lots of changes.

Going Forward
In addition to these goals, we’ll also be looking at quality-of-life improvements and Mastery options for each Commander. As always, the next few weeks is your opportunity to voice your concerns about these Commanders. Please let us know what you think!

Kevin Dong
Co-op Commander Designer
Maybe give Nova's Banshee's the Shockwave Missile battery upgrade? Only reason I can think of not to is if you don't want her lasting units to surpass the power of Raynor's Dusk Wing calldown.
Good to hear from you.
We've missed you, Daddy Monk.
I always thought a suitable idea for the Covert Banshees would be to make the Rocket Pods ability just a passive upgrade for huge splash, instead of an active ability. Have it completely change the auto-attack into the circular aoe of the former ability, much like how the normal Banshees get a linear splash upgrade. This would give Nova two options for air to ground damage. Either the A-move friendly Covert Banshees which don't require micro management, or the Raid Liberators, which can do a lot more than Covert Banshees, but require micro due to nature of how Liberators function.

Hellbat Rangers, could use more than just a flat HP buff. The biggest issue is that the Jumpjets just pull the Hellbats way out of position to be instantly mowed down regardless of how much HP they have. I think Jumpjets just ought to be changed into some kind of Plasma weapon upgrade that melts enemies into pools of plasma, which slows and damages enemies caught in it, much like the Plasma gun Nova used in her campaign. This would give the Rangers a nice form of crowd control, complementing the tanking unit role of keeping enemies away from Nova's other forces.

If you are deadset on keeping Jumpjets, then it desperately needs some kind of damage reduction upgrade, in similar vein to Infested Liberators getting damage reduction when attacking. Perhaps if the Hellbat Rangers gained 90% damage reduction for a second or two after jumping, they wouldn't die instantly and make the upgrade basically a downgrade.

As for Mastery, aside from making Holo-Decoy and Tac Nuke Cooldown better, I think Nova Bonus Attack Speed would be better if remade into Nova Bonus Ability Power, to synergize better with Nova Energy Regen, making her spells do more damage in addition to being able to use them more often. She is, after all, an ability-driven mage hero, rather than an auto-attacker.
after so many updates here's my conclusion:

during blizzcon 2018:

"so last blizzcon we announced leaderboards for coop, and today we are finally ready to show you it"
"release date later this month"
What if hell bat's had a 1 second aoe stun upon landing with jump jets? It would slow the enemy down, and give them a bit more survival. Maybe the stunned enemies could take 10% more damage or something too.
05/17/2018 12:07 PMPosted by LeafIt
What if hell bat's had a 1 second aoe stun upon landing with jump jets? It would slow the enemy down, and give them a bit more survival. Maybe the stunned enemies could take 10% more damage or something too.
Hellbats already have a very brief stun on their jump. It isn't very good. An increase to the Hellbat's survivability should make the upgrade better, but it is still going to be a pretty flawed ability, just by virtue of it separating the Hellbat's from the bulk of Nova's army.

I hope that Blizzard will revisit the change that was made to Kerrigan's Leaping Strike in regards to targeting cloaked/burrowed enemies. That interaction was one of the more interesting aspects of playing Kerrigan/Alarak, in my opinion.
+Nova
is one of, if not the most, well balanced hero to play.
One of the Banshee upgrades, Rocket Barrage, requires needles micro while providing little benefit. When I play air I specifically avoid getting this, as it causes the banshees to have group priority over liberators when in the same control group, which I hate as I need to be able to rapidly re-deploy liberators.
If it was a passive ability it would work better.

+Kerrigan
Omega worms are not used by inexperienced players, which is quite a shame as they provide immense benefits by spreading supercreep while providing rapid transport. Could consider adding a topbar for it, each worm providing it's own recharge. Nothing changes, just nudges new players to use the worms a bit more.

Her air is weak, as it can not rapidly enter and exit a worm, which severely cripples her mobility. Not to mention that healing brood lords is night impossible unless you carry around several queens and micro them, as the healing creep does not affect air units.

And lastly, defensive structures in the campaign gain bonus from supercreep (hp regen and attack speed), while in coop they don't. Could experiment with changing it unless there is a valid reason for it.

+Zagara
could have her static defense modified so she can be played defensively as well. She already has cheaper drones, which help while building spines. If she had a way to heal her static defenses automatically (without wasting her precious supply on queens) it would be great. And if bile launchers would be modified to work like liberators (place bile launcher bombard zone and let them hit stuff automatically).

Currently her playstyle is A-move to victory with banes and scourge. A bit of a defensive boost would not hurt.

+
and please, do finally fix the bug where the new Phoenix weapons (for Karax and Artanis) do not get bonus weapon speed ;)
Oh, and the broodlings that spawn from Stukov infested civilians do not get bonus movement on creep.
It's nice to hear that Zagara's Corruptors are getting some heavy changes, they desperately need it. It'd be interesting to see Zagara gets sort of two different builds, bane/scourge for heavy offense with lots of rebuilding or a tanky Corruptors/Aberrations build meant for holding down defenses.

Bile Launchers could also use some changes to make them more user-friendly, but I think there's been a lot of minor changes proposed by others that would make a big difference there so they shouldn't need as much work.
Like always, a very interesting choice of changes from the team. Keep up the good work !
Thoughts

Kerrigan
Quality of Life (air units pick up assimilation aura)
Air units/Detection lack mobility of worm/benefit of creep (air units get toughness in exchange for lower mobility-add spire upgrades; fibrous core: +20-40% to air units max hp and +0.3-0.5% max hp regen/sec; interlocking plates: +1-2 armor to all air units)
ExEvo op (Reduce base upgrade cost+time [part of Kerrigan’s Level1] to 50-70%, make mastery effect 30-45% reduction)
Carapace up (change to 60-90% boost to lifesteal+max carapace)

Zagara
Corruptor (corruption: autocast w cooldown of 2-4 sec, research: mp caustic spray v building?units ability, boost to hp and armor)
Bile launcher (boost range to 20-25 unupgraded, 30-40 when upgraded, can fire into fog)
Ling evasion mastery (increase to 22.5-45%)
Queens (0 supply, limited number 8-12, autocast spawn larva-remove/reduce 60% natural larva production boost to hatcheries/lairs/hives)

Nova
Hellbats rush ahead taking damage (make stun area of effect, hp increase to 360-440, increase Hellion damage to 12-15 + 25-35 v light and range by 1… so a long range mode that doesn’t jump forward is available for anti-light splash)
Banshee up v tank (increase move speed to 5-6, damage to 20-24)
Nuke/holo mastery up (increase amount of reduction to 60-120 seconds)
Nova Attack speed up (change from attack speed +30% to attack damage bonus +30)
Looking forward to Zagara's changes especially the Corruptor. I also want to see Aberrations and Bile Launchers get similar treatment because they are in the same boat as the Corruptor.

What I hope to see in general is that the changes make way for a viable non-suicidal build.

Changes to consider for the Corruptor:

-- Level 8 Upgrade (Incubation): Corruptors should also spawn Scourge on death on top of its current form.

-- Triple attack upgrade: Similar to Medusa Blades, hits 3 targets at once.

-- Corruption (or some other ability) needs to be something special to make the Corruptor useful and reliable. Reduced cooldown, autocast and similar changes are frequent suggestions but those are not necessarily enough. Whatever the changes, it needs to help the Corruptor do its job, first and foremost, and in a fun and interesting way.

A more detailed write-up here:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/sc2/topic/20759647890

Changes to consider for the Aberration:

-- Give them a self-healing ability (e.g. 150 hp on a 20 second timer) to make them a little more durable.

-- They need a new offensive ability to make them cost effective and fun to use. All they have is an anti-armor attack and are probably more useful when they die i.e. spawning 2 Banelings. There's otherwise nothing particularly interesting about them.

-- They have 0 armor to start. Even Zagara's Hunter-Killers have armor. That's not right.

Changes to consider for the Bile Launcher:

-- The least they need is a significant range increase.

-- Allowing them to be built without creep would make them more viable. Zagara has the worst creep functionality which severely limits where it can be built. This could be a Lair required upgrade.

Other changes to consider for Zagara in general:

-- Zagara's respawn timer is 2 minutes - the longest of all hero units. This should be reduced to 60 seconds.

-- Zagara's Attack Damage mastery is largely useless, as most of her damage is from her unit spawn skills. This should be replaced altogether.

-- Medusa Blades upgrade - allows Zagara to deal 10 damage to 2 additional targets. Not worth the cost which is 150/150. Needs to be looked at.

-- Evasion Mastery could also spread to Aberrations and Corruptors.

-- Mass Frenzy needs an announcement upon use.

-- Time buffs for Creep Tumors where they build faster and have reduced cooldowns to plant additional tumors.

-- Ventral Sacs (Overlord transportation)...why is that there? Never used it and never seen anyone use it. Seems like the most useless upgrade particularly for Kerrigan and Abathur who both have Nydus Worms of some flavor.
need more update swan. too weak. why ignore
Gonna hijack this thread a little to ask for Anion-Pulse Crystals to work properly. Right now Artanis’s Phoenixes and Karax’s Mirages don’t benefit from that upgrade for some reason, staying at 5 range.

Also, Corruptors do indeed need a HUGE buff, so thanks for taking a look at them. A possible way to change them is to decrease their supply cost. Maybe to 1.5, if 1 is way too cheap. Not the biggest change, but a necessary one.
Regarding Zagara
I think Aberrations need just as much work as the corrupters.
Perhaps making Aberrations regain life faster on creep, which would also incentivize Zagara players more to creepspread, and tinkering with Protective Cover (Such as giving it a larger radius, adding a healing aura? Or preferably changing it into something actually interesting). I currently never bother researching it in the rare cases where I build Aberrations.

Though with 100 supply it probably wouldn't help much.
The idea of increasing her supply in some way has been talked about before, and it's something I'm favoring.
For instance: a Hivetech research that increases supply to 125 would make Zagara feel less weak late-game.
Someone aired the idea of making Queens not cost supply to incentivice their usage, 2 supply feels pretty steep with Zagara's supply limit, which is why a lot of players just get extra hatches instead.
The teamliquid guide actually recommends getting hatches and skipping queens!
Perhaps limiting their number to one per hatch to balance them not costing supply?
I'd like to see the possibility of Kerrigan's larvae spawn mastery being brought back for power set 3, considering the slot is currently taken by Prolonged Mutating Carapace. Not sure how much that would conflict with Expeditious Evolutions also being a macro-based mastery, so I'm simply throwing the thought out there. As of right now, her early game feels slow and uninvolved until you get a Queen.

05/17/2018 01:07 PMPosted by Sahara
need more update swan. too weak. why ignore
You should elaborate on what exactly you think is too weak about Swann.
Zagara's Bile Launchers have been discussed often also.
A fair amount of people find it annoying that it doesn't have any autofire.

I would like it if the Bile Launcher had a lower damage autofire (perhaps with shorter range or even making it single target), but still kept the full damage siege attack as a manual ability.
That would be a good compromise IMO;
It won't be competely useless if you aren't microing it and have your attention elsewhere, but microing will still be necessary to get full usage out of it.

Though I would love it if it could be either built off creep and spread creep (since Zagara's creep spread is fairly slow and often not worth the effort), could tunnel, or just uproot like the normal static defense so you could reposition if necessary.

On another note, am I the only one that wishes that she had Hunter Banelings instead of the splitter ones? Those small leftover blobs just annoys me, especially having to continually add them to my group.
Though Hunter Banelings might be left in reserve for a future commander.
I have two main concerns with Zagara:
2-minute respawn time
I don't see any reason why she should be penalized so heavily whenever we lose her in battle. We have commanders that you can pay to revive so that you can micro them more heavily, I think Zagara should at least be matched with the other commanders to have a 60-second respawn time.

Bland playstyle
As a content-creator, I notice that my views for Zagara videos tend to be low. She does not have many options as to unit compositions. And what really makes it stink is that none of these options have much micro potential other than setting up surrounds because her army is mostly melee.

I like the move to change the corruptor. The reason I don't build these is that they take up way too much supply for their damage output. If maybe they were given an AOE spell so that we could at least micro a few of them, or if they have a really unique ability that enables them to last longer in mutations [for example if they get stronger or sturdier over time], they would be a more compelling option.

For Kerrigan, the only reason why I don't go for her air units more often is because they don't go into in her Omega worms. That's it. If you plan to change her air units without making them go into the Omega worms, I suggest you focus on the Broodlord because it is the unit unique to Kerrigan. Maybe give it an attack rate buff, splash damage, and/or range increase to make it Kerrigan's siege tank. I dunno.

For quality of life improvements:
Allow overlord rally for Stukov
I think this should be relatively simple for Stukov. Doesn't impact his power level at all, but it would be a really nice change.

Give Orbital Commands priority [over unupgraded CCs] to train SCVs
A little annoyance for me as Raynor is that whenever I have Orbitals and unupgraded CCs in the same control group, I sometimes don't immediately see the CC and queue an SCV. For some reason, the unupgraded CC always gets priority. A little annoyance, but again, would be really nice to get a change for this.

Minimap indicator for Void Reanimators
Would very much like to know where the Reanimators are coming from. I can see why it would be a healthy challenge, but when Void Rifts, Poopagators, the Purifier Beam, and even Blizzards have minimap indicators, I don't see why Void Reanimators should remain hidden.

Remove annoying UI change for Artanis' Orbital Strike
I understand that this is supposed to be a "cool factor" for Artanis, but the only reason it works in the campaign is because time is stopped whenever we activate these abilities. In co-op, it just wastes valuable time.

Fix starting creep in custom mutations
At the start of custom mutations, creep for whatever reason is always shrunk to a very small radius of the Hatcheries. There's no reason not to fix this.

Fix Void Rifts in custom mutations
This has been brought up before in chat. Void Rifts in Custom are slightly different from Void Rifts in the weekly mutations because of slightly different spawn patters. Would love it if we could remove ambiguity.

Finally, I really like that we're updating older commanders, but it's starting to get a little stale. Some new commanders, maps, or even mutations would be a nice way to inject some freshness into co-op.
A suggestion i want to make is give corruptors that old alpha ability they had, that turned units into turrets.

https://youtu.be/IOFoRLAJZ2k?t=103

As for other Zagara changes, maybe make a mastery that contrasts bane damage with aberration hp or hp regen or armor or damage reduction.

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