Community Update – July 19, 2018

General Discussion
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Hello everyone! It’s been an exciting time at WCS Valencia. Many different strategies have been utilized, all three races were well represented in the playoffs (for us on the balance team this is always heartwarming to see), new faces made it into the top 16, and there were plenty of hats for everyone. Congratulations to Serral for winning WCS Valencia, and hats off to Has for showing us the power of unorthodox play!

To start things off, we wanted to mention that the Team Liquid Map Contest 11 is going on now. The judging phase ends July 30, so make sure to check it out when the finalists are revealed. We are always excited to see all the new maps the community comes up with. Good luck to everyone participating!

In the tournament world, we’re not seeing anything immediately concerning. Interestingly, we’ve been getting some conflicting reports about ZvP. We’ve seen conversations in the community about late-game being Protoss-favored. However, reports from some pro players have said the opposite. Of course, it’s normal for players on any side to believe the others are too strong while also feeling like their own faction needs buffs. From our perspective, Protoss Carrier with High Templar support is very powerful, but if the game goes on for a long period of time, the Zerg does have options to pull them apart and punish that composition’s relative low mobility.

Additionally, many ZvP games are focused around mid-game Zerg pushes and how the Protoss player responds to these, which can be an issue if the majority of games are decided around this singular, pivotal moment.

ZvP also continues to have Stargate as the most common opener. This isn’t a completely unexpected development—Oracles and Phoenixes are some of the fastest scouts for early game Protoss, and they can also double back and defend their base in case of early attacks. Beyond the early build choices, ZvP does have very interesting back-and-forth dynamics during the mid-game and early late-game, so we’re not looking to make an immediate change here.

In TvZ, the previous Raven changes have had the desired effect of reducing the ability of mass Ravens to defeat Zerg armies on their own. It also has generated a number of reports that TvZ has now shifted into the Zerg’s favor late-game in head-on fights. Having an advantage at different points of the game can be fine, as that provides incentive to tech up in a matchup rather than investing deeply into lower tier units and fighting with those. But having it be unwinnable is certainly undesirable. We don’t think this matchup has developed to the point where a tactic can be said to be “unwinnable,” but we will be watching for these situations going forward.

TvP’s biggest change was the Marauder buff. This seems to have had the desired effect of making mid-game battles closer, which results in micro and positioning being very important for both sides in order to gain an advantage. We are still observing how the matchup is playing out in this regard. Since Terrans have a stronger mid-game, Protoss will have to adjust and discover areas where they can get away with more workers or squeeze in an upgrade. Ideally, both races would be able to pressure each other throughout the game through offensive action, although at different times.

For mirror matchups, we are not planning on making any short-term changes. PvP has historically been a matchup where your opening builds are extremely important, but lately, we’ve gotten reports that it’s difficult for games to go safely beyond three bases. ZvZ has decent diversity between Zergling/Baneling openers, Mutalisk-focused games, and Roach-focused games. This matchup also often evolves in a healthy way into Lurker pushes or Hive tech. In TvT, the early game often centers around Cyclones, but the matchup can diverge into different playstyles, i.e., Bio vs Mech as the game goes on. We are keeping an eye on this matchup in particular to see how it develops.
Sounds good. Marauders are a bit much at the moment but I am more than happy to give it more time.
Good update, been waiting for it :D
No mention of Nexas recall lol. Oh well not watching sc2 tourneys will give me more time to do other things at least.

Not playing sc2 also saves a lot of time too :D
Thanks for the update balance team. It is nice to know that you are keeping an eye on balance and design, but are not too hasty to pull the trigger on any changes. I agree with the gist of it, it seems on point.

TvZ is Zerg favored at the late game atm like you mentioned, but it is offset by the Terran mid game advantage and it is not a severe disadvantage for Terran. TvP is similar to TvZ design wise too with the asymmetrical balance.
Blizzard, Protoss also has an advantage in the late game versus Terran. It's the same issue with PvsZ. Protoss Carriers + High Templar combination will wreck any combination from Terran.

You may have to nerf the Carrier + High Templar combination to give Zerg and Terran a chance in the late game.
ZvP also continues to have Stargate as the most common opener. This isn’t a completely unexpected development—Oracles and Phoenixes are some of the fastest scouts for early game Protoss, and they can also double back and defend their base in case of early attacks. Beyond the early build choices, ZvP does have very interesting back-and-forth dynamics during the mid-game and early late-game, so we’re not looking to make an immediate change here.

You better make Oracle speed upgrade baseline, and redesign upgrade so it increases vision radius by 25% in both modes.
Thanks for updating us. It was pretty clear that the game was very well balanced and no immediate changes needed to be made, but it’s always nice to read how the devs view the meta :).
Yeah fair enough TvZ late game is zerg favored.

But... nothing about late game TvP being protoss favored?
At this point it's becoming a meme but also : nothing about mech still being horrible in TvP?
07/19/2018 11:14 AMPosted by JackONeill
Yeah fair enough TvZ late game is zerg favored.

But... nothing about late game TvP being protoss favored?
At this point it's becoming a meme but also : nothing about mech still being horrible in TvP?


Yup, that's true. Protoss is favored in the late game versus Terran. The carrier + high templar combination is too strong.
Can we at least get a test map with design changes to the battlecrusier? It's not like any pro builds them anyway. Remove tactical jump, add a defense matrix ability, and reduce its attack speed, but increase the damage. Just try something.
07/19/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Balance Team
From our perspective, Protoss Carrier with High Templar support is very powerful

Let me expand on that for you.

The war of attrition against Carrier based compositions is now less impactful because of the 15 mineral interceptor cost.

Now previously when interceptors were more expensive(25 mineral cost) a very common strategy would be to starve the protoss out of minerals by killing the interceptors over time in the late game.

As it stands right now, killing interceptors doesn't matter or have a impact anymore because of the 15 mineral cost.

The cheaper interceptors have allowed Protoss to do multi-prong warp-prism mass zealot warp in harassment in the late game.

Zerg is forced to play behind a forest of spore crawlers because of carriers(more specifically trying to kill the interceptor numbers), just like how Mech terran is forced to play behind large numbers of missile turrets.

07/19/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Balance Team
It also has generated a number of reports that TvZ has now shifted into the Zerg’s favor late-game in head-on fights.

Want to know what Terran unit is supposed to be good in late game head-on fights?. Battlecruisers, but they aren't right now.

How often do you see BC's in late game TvP and TvZ?.

It has everything it needs to succeed, from great HP & Armor, to fantastic abilities and great composition support options.

But the Battlecruiser doesn't succeed in direct combat(that it's designed for), because of how low the damage is for both ATA and ATG.

Do the following to the Battlecruiser to make it viable and be the "late game head on fight" unit for Terran:

  • ATG damage increased from 8 to 10


  • OR

  • ATG damage increased from 8 to 10
  • ATA damage increased from 6 to 10


  • OR

  • ATG damage increased from 8 to 10
  • ATA damage increased from 6 to 8


  • OR

  • ATG damage increased from 8 to 9
  • ATA damage increased from 6 to 9


  • OR

  • ATG and ATA merged into a 10 damage ATX


  • OR

  • ATG and ATA merged into a 9 damage ATX


  • OR

  • Fire rate decreased from 0.23 to ___
  • ATG damage increased from 8 to __
  • ATA damage increased from 6 to __


  • They are called BATTLE-cruisers for a reason. Not units you build to lose the game.

    07/19/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Balance Team
    In TvT, the early game often centers around Cyclones, but the matchup can diverge into different playstyles, i.e., Bio vs Mech as the game goes on. We are keeping an eye on this matchup in particular to see how it develops.

    With the Cyclone you have a fantastic opportunity to not only reduce the power of early cyclone pressure and all-ins, but to also make TvP Mech viable.

    Mech(specifically TvP Mech) has always been missing a Goliath like unit. You tried to fill the gap with the Thor and Viking(That didn't work). Then you tried to fill it with the Warhound's original design(It was going to possibly work before you made it into a ground killer that got it removed). Now we have the Cyclone, it's time to make the Goliath proud and diversify TvP finally after 8 years.
    07/19/2018 11:04 AMPosted by gadwin
    Blizzard, Protoss also has an advantage in the late game versus Terran. It's the same issue with PvsZ. Protoss Carriers + High Templar combination will wreck any combination from Terran.

    You may have to nerf the Carrier + High Templar combination to give Zerg and Terran a chance in the late game.


    Lategame Protoss has the stronger army than Zerg or Terran but weaker mobility

    It basicly comes down to this, can Protoss keep his bases up and running and force a head to head fight then Protoss wins or can Zerg/Terran kill Protoss economy while avoiding a head to head fight then Zerg/Terran wins. You may not like that design but it's not imbalanced

    If you nerf Carrier/Storm you need to give Protoss other options. Zerg can play a Broodlord deathball or a more mobile Ultralisk style. If you nerf Carrier/Storm Protoss is basicly a Zerg without Ultralisks
    07/19/2018 11:29 AMPosted by SPQR
    Lategame Protoss has the stronger army than Zerg or Terran but weaker mobility


    Recall. LUL.
    07/19/2018 11:29 AMPosted by SPQR
    07/19/2018 11:04 AMPosted by gadwin
    Blizzard, Protoss also has an advantage in the late game versus Terran. It's the same issue with PvsZ. Protoss Carriers + High Templar combination will wreck any combination from Terran.

    You may have to nerf the Carrier + High Templar combination to give Zerg and Terran a chance in the late game.


    Lategame Protoss has the stronger army than Zerg or Terran but weaker mobility

    That has now changed because Nexus Recall is an option.

    Protoss can now over extend or be out of position and be able to respond to it without physically moving across the map.

    Previously Recall was dependent on a unit. BW it was arbitars and in SC2 it was motherships or mothership cores. Now any nexus can Recall(every 130 seconds for only 50 energy) with no upgrade required.

    07/19/2018 11:14 AMPosted by JackONeill
    Yeah fair enough TvZ late game is zerg favored.

    But... nothing about late game TvP being protoss favored?
    At this point it's becoming a meme but also : nothing about mech still being horrible in TvP?


    Both TvP and TvZ late game come down to the Battlecruiser. TvP Mech being viable also comes down to the Battlecruiser, but it also comes down to the current Cyclone design being a gimmick.
    How often do you see BC's in late game TvP and TvZ?


    And how often do you see Carriers in PvT?? Go watch all the WCS and GSL games, I’m not even sure if a single Carrier was made.
    07/19/2018 11:39 AMPosted by Velitey
    How often do you see BC's in late game TvP and TvZ?


    And how often do you see Carriers in PvT?? Go watch all the WCS and GSL games, I’m not even sure if a single Carrier was made.

    Tempest are more popular in TvP to deal with ranged libs. Carriers can still be mixed in but it's far less common than Tempest.

    You see more Carriers,Tempest,Broodlords and Motherships then you ever see Battlecruisers.
    Any comment on the fact that cross spawn TvZ is nigh unwinnable at the professional level unless the Zerg player takes crippling damage within the first 5 minutes?
    Yup. Pretty much sounds right and reflects what we see. No big problems.

    Thanks for the update.
    07/19/2018 11:42 AMPosted by Boggyb
    Any comment on the fact that cross spawn TvZ is nigh unwinnable at the professional level unless the Zerg player takes crippling damage within the first 5 minutes?


    Is it actually that bad? There have been plenty of akewed maps the other way as well over time.

    Anyways that's at a pro level and map related which cycles in less than a month. It's not the reason you lost a tvz.

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