Co-op Mission Update - Alarak Revamp

Co-op Missions Discussion
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Greetings! Our final Commander for this round of reworks is Alarak, Highlord of the Tal’darim. We commonly see Alarak being played with two drastically different playstyles: Ascendant-based strategies, and Mechanical unit-based strategies. Ascendant-based strategies are currently seen as very strong but require a high level of execution. Meanwhile, Mechanical-based strategies are relatively straightforward but fall behind Ascendants in terms of effectiveness. Our primary focus with this revamp is to improve Alarak’s mechanical army and reduce the gap between the two playstyles.

Empower Me
  • Alarak's Empower Me will now scale twice as much for Alarak's Mechanical units. Each supply of Alarak’s Mechanical units will improve his attack and ability damage by 10%, up from 5%.

Alarak’s fantasy is that he is the leader of the Tal’darim, a war-like society that places much value on its tradition of ascendency. Alarak sits at the top of this societal ladder and other units in his army exist only to serve him. Gameplay-wise, we feel Supplicants and Ascendants support this idea well as they both have abilities that directly and specifically buff Alarak. However, we feel we can push this fantasy even further with his other units, which all happen to be Mechanical. We considered many options for how we could achieve this and ended up improving the way in which Empower Me scales with Mechanical units. Of all the options we considered, we felt that this was the most elegant as Empower Me is an existing ability that already scales up with the supply cost of units affected.
  • Alarak's Empower Me will now reset the cooldowns of Deadly Charge and Destruction Wave.

We want players to feel immediately powerful after Empower Me and thus are making this change so Empower Me, Deadly Charge, and Destruction Wave will always be able to be used in quick succession.

Slayer
  • Slayer damage changed from 10 (14 vs armored) to 13 (18 vs armored).
  • Ground weapon upgrades now provide Slayers with +1 (+2 vs armored) damage, up from +1 damage.
  • The Slayer's Blink ability replaced with the Phase Blink ability, which will retain all functionality of Blink. In addition, after casting Phase Blink, the Slayer will deal double the damage with its next attack.

As with Vorazun’s Stalker, we’ll be increasing both the base damage and how it scales with upgrades. In addition, we’d like to push the offense-oriented Tal’darim fantasy even more and thus will be improving Blink so that Slayers will deal more damage after being cast.

Vanguard
  • Vanguard area of effect radius increased from 0.6 to 1.2.

The Vanguard has a very complicated weapon, so we looked into many different options for how we could adjust and improve it. We eventually came up with a larger area of effect radius, which should make it harder for the Vanguard to completely miss a moving target and reinforces the unit’s area-of-effect role.

Wrathwalker
  • Ground weapon upgrades now provide Wrathwalkers with +10 (+18 vs Structure) damage, up from +10 damage.

Wrathwalkers are in a pretty good place right now, so we’d just like to slightly improve how well they scale with upgrades.

War Prism
  • War Prisms in Phasing Mode are now valid targets for Structure Overcharge. Switching modes will allow the Prism to retain the barrier portion of the ability, but disable the damage portion until the Prism is switched back to Phasing mode.
  • War Prism power radius increased from 4.75 to 6.5.
  • War Prism movement speed increased from 2.5 to 3.38.
  • War Prism transformation time decreased from 1 to 0.75.
  • War Prisms can now transform without coming to a full stop.

We want War Prisms to feel like mobile Pylons, so we wanted to remove some of their differences. Perhaps most importantly, Pylons can be targets for Structure Overcharge while War Prisms cannot, so we’ll be amending this! We’ll also be increasing the power radius of the War Prism so that it matches that of the Pylon. Finally, we’ll be making some improvements to the responsiveness of the War Prism.

Upgrades
  • Ground Weapon upgrades renamed to Protoss Weapon upgrades.
  • Ground Armor upgrades renamed to Protoss Armor upgrades.
  • War Prisms, Motherships, and Destroyers will no longer start with 3 Air and 3 Ground upgrades, but instead will benefit from Alarak's upgrades from his Forge.

These changes are aimed at making Alarak’s upgrades work more consistently with those of other Commanders.

Masteries
  • Shield Overcharge attack speed increased by 95%.
  • Shield Overcharge Barrier absorption increased from 200 to 400.
  • Shield Overcharge Shield and Attack Speed Mastery bonus decreased from 7% per point to 2% per point. Maximum bonuses decreased from 210% to 60%.

Because of how powerful it is, the Shield Overcharge Mastery felt like a must-pick. We’ll be transferring much of its power to the base ability in order to make the choice of Mastery more competitive.

  • Empower Me Duration Mastery increased from +0.5 seconds per point to +1 second per point. Maximum bonuses increased from 15 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Death Fleet Cooldown Mastery increased from -2 seconds per point to -4 seconds per point. Maximum bonuses increased from -60 to -120 seconds.

Thanks to player feedback, we noticed that these Masteries feel a bit weak. We’ll be doubling the effectiveness of both!

Artanis

In the past two weeks, we’ve talked a lot about Stalker variants, but there’s one more we haven’t talked about yet—the Dragoon. We’ve noticed a lot of discussion surrounding the Dragoon recently, so we think it’s time to revisit this topic. As we previously addressed, we think it’s important that Dragoons retain much of their identity from StarCraft I, but at the same time, we agree that the Dragoon could use an additional power bump. Thus, we’ll be looking for ways to buff the Dragoon while at the same time respecting the unit’s origins.

  • Dragoon movement speed increased from 2.25 to 2.95.
  • Dragoon weapon speed changed from 2 to 1.764.

First, we’ll be improving both the Dragoon’s movement speed and weapon speed to more closely match its StarCraft I stats. During testing, we found that this increased movement speed, in combination with its 8 maximum range, was especially helpful for kiting enemy units. The weapon speed change will also allow players to kite at a similar cadence to what they might remember from StarCraft I.
  • Dragoon damage increased from 14 (28 vs armored) to 15 (30 vs armored).
  • Dragoons now receive +2 (+3 vs armored), up from +1 (+3 vs armored).

This slight damage bump is intended to help Dragoons scale better with upgrades. Combined with the attack speed buff, it should represent a significant increase in damage.
  • Dragoon base HP increased from 80 to 100.

Dragoons will now come out of the box with more HP, matching its Brood War stats!
  • The Dragoon's Trillic Compression Mesh upgrade renamed to Trillic Compression Systems. It now increases the Dragoon's HP by 20, down from 40. In addition, it will allow Dragoons to regenerate shields in combat and doubles their shield regeneration rate (from 2 per second to 4 per second).

Finally, we wanted to make the Trillic Compression Mesh upgrade to be more interesting, so we’ll be adding some passive shield regeneration to the upgrade. Combined with some micro, this will allow Dragoon-centric strategies to have some more sustainability.

While playtesting this new Dragoon, my personal favorite moment was when I was able to force enemy Siege Tanks to continuously siege and unsiege, taking advantage of their slow siege animation to pick them off one-by-one—very reminiscent of Brood War!

We recognize these are major changes to the Dragoon and we do have some concerns about their role overlapping too much with both Immortals and Tempests, so we’ll be closely monitoring this situation.

Going Forward
Before we go, I want to loop back a bit to both Alarak and to these commander revamps as a whole. We’re always reading feedback and suggestions— and we’re always looking out for ways to improve the gameplay experience for our players. While we won’t necessarily be able to address all the feedback we get regarding the Commander revamps, there are certainly opportunities in the future to revisit commanders or individual units we’ve already addressed. That said, I’m excited to hear what you have to say about these proposed changes and look forward to talking to you again soon.

Kevin Dong
Lead Co-op Designer
08/17/2018 11:15 AMPosted by monk
Shield Overcharge Shield and Attack Speed Mastery bonus decreased from 7% per point to 2% per point. Maximum bonuses decreased from 210% to 60%.


Welp there goes a bunch of early game resources.
08/17/2018 11:20 AMPosted by ILIKEPIE
08/17/2018 11:15 AMPosted by monk
Shield Overcharge Shield and Attack Speed Mastery bonus decreased from 7% per point to 2% per point. Maximum bonuses decreased from 210% to 60%.


Welp there goes a bunch of early game resources.


Maximum mastery is actually buffed slightly to 312% of current base instead of 310%, while the ability is actually competitive without it now.
08/17/2018 11:24 AMPosted by Arrow
08/17/2018 11:20 AMPosted by ILIKEPIE

Welp there goes a bunch of early game resources.


Maximum mastery is actually buffed slightly to 312% of current base instead of 310%, while the ability is actually competitive without it now.

I cannot believe I missed that line

Still, you gotta put a bunch of points in for early expos, not much has changed.
It is so wonderful! Especially the abandoned W p may be the main force now! Vanguard is sorry
Vanguard abandoned the shield skill to gain a strong offensive ability. Vanguard's DPS is similar to immortal. Please increase the number of missiles. I will not use it even if the Vanguard is changed as it is now.

Give slayer model war chest and war chest portrait to Vanguard.
I was hoping for a bigger buff to death fleet. The mech buffs are ok but at the lower end of my expectations. Overall the changes are fine I think.
08/17/2018 11:25 AMPosted by ILIKEPIE


I cannot believe I missed that line


No harm, just figured I'd head it off at the pass.
these changes are a huge disappointment to me, as i felt that Alarak desperately needed a substantial rework considering the lack of units he has available to him. seeing one of the few good things he has going for him (structure overcharge) being nerfed also came as a big surprise.
overall these changes seem very uncreative to me, just buffing aoe of the vanguards a bit and giving number buffs to wrathwalker upgrades. Alarak would be even better off if he would just be unchanged as the slight buffs to his mech don't even slightly compensate for the -55% attack speed loss for structure overcharge, which this commander relies on so heavily.
and how does empower me even compare to the ultimate abilities of other commanders?
it's just sad, i am ascension level 320 and i've had an Alarak partner maybe 10-15 times.
Ideas for previous commanders:

Nova - her revive ability could be used for moving her around if alive for a mineral cost. Currently we need to kill he with her own units then revive at another spot. Feels odd, breaking the fantasy of her commanding an elite army of loyal units.

Abathur - Roaches should alway drop all biomass on death, making them good mineral dumps. Biomass is a limited resource for Abathur, even more precious then gas. Part of the reason why they are not used is that they waste this resource.

Karax - Sentinels are laughably weak tanks, now being outranked even by Vorazuns zealots. At least reduce the cooldown of their revive to between 30 and 60 seconds. Would make them worth making at least as a diversion to protect allied units. They die so easily now that cannons are more worth it.

Bugs:
Raynor's range upgrade from armour does not effect batttlecruisers.
Well I suppose doubling the attack radius of the Vanguard is basically doubling its attack power (except against trains and objective structures like void shards but the latter is what Wrathwalkers are for)

I was hoping for more Death Fleet love than a buffed mastery, the Death Fleet feels a lot weaker to me then Horner's Call in the Fleet, only advantage I've found with the DF is on TofP where it's actually common to need instant teleport right after killing something that warrants a calldown. I'll be charitable and assume it's because the dev team testers found great usage out of overcharging War Prism's.
Thanks for the update!

I believe if War Prism can get overcharged, the Mothership should, too. That's it from me.
Changes sound really promising! I look forward to testing them out. A full supply army of Mechanical units for Alarak must make give him some crazy Empower Me bonuses, I would imagine, especially with the Duration Mastery bonuses to make use of it for extended periods.
The changes to structure overcharge are a buff, just so we're clear.

Original: 1 * 3.10 = 310%
New: 1.95 * 1.6 = 312%

32 old base dps
99.20 old dps with old mastery
62.4 new base dps
99.84 new mastery dps
08/17/2018 11:15 AMPosted by monk
Artanis

In the past two weeks, we’ve talked a lot about Stalker variants, but there’s one more we haven’t talked about yet—the Dragoon. We’ve noticed a lot of discussion surrounding the Dragoon recently, so we think it’s time to revisit this topic. As we previously addressed, we think it’s important that Dragoons retain much of their identity from StarCraft I, but at the same time, we agree that the Dragoon could use an additional power bump. Thus, we’ll be looking for ways to buff the Dragoon while at the same time respecting the unit’s origins.

Dragoon movement speed increased from 2.25 to 2.95.
Dragoon weapon speed changed from 2 to 1.764.

Seriously? what about swann's Thor? Thor has same problem, If you want to change, Please let change Thor too.
Think people might be underrating the changes just a tad. With alarak's stun with destruction wave, a "burst mech" comp with slayers/vanguards may be a thing.

Probably won't be as amazing or as unkillable as ascendants, but it's a new build.
08/17/2018 11:39 AMPosted by oyasion
08/17/2018 11:15 AMPosted by monk
Artanis

In the past two weeks, we’ve talked a lot about Stalker variants, but there’s one more we haven’t talked about yet—the Dragoon. We’ve noticed a lot of discussion surrounding the Dragoon recently, so we think it’s time to revisit this topic. As we previously addressed, we think it’s important that Dragoons retain much of their identity from StarCraft I, but at the same time, we agree that the Dragoon could use an additional power bump. Thus, we’ll be looking for ways to buff the Dragoon while at the same time respecting the unit’s origins.

Dragoon movement speed increased from 2.25 to 2.95.
Dragoon weapon speed changed from 2 to 1.764.

Seriously? what about swann's Thor? Thor has same problem, If you want to change, Please let change Thor too.


Cyclone's are worse then the Thor. Thor's are something I see Swann's pop out at late game if teamed up with Karax, nobody every bothers with Cyclones.
08/17/2018 11:24 AMPosted by Arrow
08/17/2018 11:20 AMPosted by ILIKEPIE
...

Welp there goes a bunch of early game resources.


Maximum mastery is actually buffed slightly to 312% of current base instead of 310%, while the ability is actually competitive without it now.


210% (current shield overcharge at full points)- 60% (proposed shield overcharge at full points) = minus 150%
base shield overcharge as increased by 95%....
150-95= - minus 55 % attack speed after patch

or am i missing something here?
I would consider giving Theia raven interference matrix and or anti armor missiles!
Vanguard has 16 missiles and is not an OP. Ascendant is OP. Even if the Vanguard is produced, the balance will not collapse because of lack of air defense capability. Please make 16 missiles.

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