Dumbed Down Mechanics - No More Please

Co-op Missions Discussion
It seems like increasingly as Co-op has gone on and new commanders have come out, they have gotten stronger and stronger. A player with even a respectable level of competence can carry Brutal missions at Level 5. The reason for this is that Zeratul encapsulates the worst trend that has consumed many commanders and is getting worse - oversimplification.

This trend started back with Nova, where it was a new and unique concept that fit a Ghost commander - simplify her base management mechanics in favor of encouraging micro play. But even then she was overpowered and remains so. Tychus and H&H continued the trend in different manners, and now Zeratul is picking it up again and making it worse.

- Limited unit producing structures to a certain amount in favor of reduced build times (H&H) or instant construction from charges (Nova)
- Nova's upgrades are absurdly cheap, Tychus' upgrades research instantly, and Zeratul's upgrades don't even need you to click on a UI button, he gets them automatically for finding artifact fragments
- Nova, Tychus, and Zeratul, all have mechanics that let them teleport anywhere on the map. Nova and H&H can reinforce armies in the field instantly.
- Everything is smartcast, even things you wouldn't think could be set to smartcast
- Supply is automatically set to the max for Nova, Tychus, and Zeratul, and H&H get double depot supply.
- Zeratul doesn't need pylons, he can build anywhere he wants. H&H only have two unit producing facilities, one of which will always be on the frontlines.

It seems like more and more, game mechanics are being simplified and players are being given less control over their base and their army. You don't have to worry about supply capping, you don't need to worry about having enough unit-building structures, you don't need to keep an eye on your Forge/Evo Chamber/Armory/etc to make sure you're upgrading. And then in the field, we're starting to see a trend of you not having to manage your army - just A-move them at enemies and maybe tab to one unit with an activated ability to trigger or one spellcaster unit to control.

I think Zeratul is one of the most poorly designed commanders precisely because the player's decision making skills are a non-issue to the point Zeratul can pretty much play himself. Playing as Zeratul is boring. His refineries auto-build and auto-mine, he doesn't need Pylons for supply or power, his command tree is heavily reduced to the extent you can be fully teched up within five minutes, all his upgrades come free and instantly when you find the artifacts (and the first two are typically very easy to find), and his units are extremely powerful. Aside from using Zeratul to track down the artifact fragments, playing him boils things down to two choices - do you wanna go Gateway or Robo tech, and where is your army attacking to? That's it, hotkey your buildings, tap the hotkey to build the unit you need, and A-move into enemies and watch them die.

I just don't wanna see this trend continue for future commanders. I know Co-op is a casual play mode based on the campaign, but dumbing down basic gameplay mechanics like this is making commanders too hand-holdy and too simple, and it also makes it easy for them to be overpowered because of the ease they are on APM and player focus. There's no fun in playing a commander that holds our hand and distills all the decision making and unit and base management out of the gameplay, leaving us nothing to do but mass a deathball and steamroll armies.
you can always play ladder...
It's funny 'cuz mass bunkers with Stukov seems like rocket science now.
A bad thing from keep releasing very simple commander is that they seems to be better choice and convince newer players that commanders like raynor, swann are so bad when they're not, they just much more skilled required. Also, HH actually can be played very skillfully but the spam reapers and a-move still do just fine on brutal so no one cares about their other stuffs (some even ignore their top bar!!!).
Yeah I hope this comes to an end, and TBH I hope some nerfs come around so people aren't ROFL-stomping Brutal with A+Move. If nerfs will never happen then a new difficulty needs to be implemented.
I think it is good to have different commanders; some people like micro, some macro. But now it is time for a commander that is more army and macro focused.
12/02/2018 09:57 PMPosted by DrakeyC
I think Zeratul is one of the most poorly designed commanders precisely because the player's decision making skills are a non-issue to the point Zeratul can pretty much play himself
His design is good. You just don't enjoy the way he plays, and that's fine. If Blizzard keeps creating commanders that are new and different from each other, you are bound to encounter one that you don't enjoy.

Playing Zeratul provides a decent amount of choices, and it's micro intensive. The skill floor might be lower (he is easier to play at casual level), but I don't think it's a bad thing. His army and hero unit might not be as interesting as Nova's, but that's a very high bar to meet.

Personally, I hope for macro focused commander next, but that doesn't make Zeratul's design bad. The artifact hunting mechanic basically requires highly simplified macro. Lategame after artifact are collected Tesseract spam & projection is a good addition and supplements traditional macro.
12/03/2018 06:09 AMPosted by Maguro
12/02/2018 09:57 PMPosted by DrakeyC
I think Zeratul is one of the most poorly designed commanders precisely because the player's decision making skills are a non-issue to the point Zeratul can pretty much play himself
His design is good. You just don't enjoy the way he plays, and that's fine. If Blizzard keeps creating commanders that are new and different from each other, you are bound to encounter one that you don't enjoy.


The problem with those "micro commanders" is that the micro is not hard to do at all compared to the equivalent macro on chars like Fénix for exemple. You get way to much for way to little efforts. Like imo Tychus has nothing to do in SC2 coop , its design is fun but makes him overpowered.
Chars that have no multitasking required do not belong to SC2 imo. Also the constant medivac teleport removes all the fun/difficulties from ennemies attacks.

In this week's mutation i had like 75% Tychus allies and it s about the same every week ,cause Tychus is op af, Zeratul close second.

I love Zeratul and would love Tychus if I had him lv 15 but they are just flat op, when you dont have any macro to do you break the balance of the game.
After these last 2 mutations I can say some of the newer heroes have their draw backs. I did beat it today as zeratul, but I could probably beat it with just about any other.

Last week I struggled using the newer heroes, they felt off and too high in damage requiring a lot more baby sitting. I went to Fenix, I tried mass scouts hey that failed. Then I simply went to all gate way units and it became faceroll.

I will say the older heroes need updates, and changes, or the game needs to change. I doubt they'll change the game because that'd be too much effort and blizzard seems to be about minimal effort, do what's easiest and cost efficient.

If maps had some semblance of key objectives, not just go kill 1,2,3,4,5. Then heroes could shine in a way. Like the old dungeon crawls they made in starcraft 1.
I agree, there has been a steady trend of power creep and oversimplification.

The funny thing is the classic 6 commanders appear very complex now, but when they were released they were simplified versions of ladder/campaign.

Whoever the next commander is, I hope that they return to similar design philosophies as the earlier commanders.
12/02/2018 10:28 PMPosted by Daegoth
It's funny 'cuz mass bunkers with Stukov seems like rocket science now.

Wings of Liberty on brutal is basically the KSL finals now.
Yep, I must agree that the new commanders (especially Zeratul) are much more simple to play than old ones. I just started using Karax, without mastery still: his units are overpriced and not impressive, he got so many upgrades to manage (and not cheap), and it takes a lot of time to understand the best way to play him.
When I look at my Zeratul ally, he basically has set up his complete base at around five minutes, surrounding it with those "stun turret" that are even better than Karax Nerazim Monolith...
Playing with the old commanders now seems almost to be Co-op hard mode.
Zeratul's simpler design compared to the traditional gameplay is an unique aspect to Protoss commanders. The basic play on average is easier due to the uncomplicated build order (again by design). However, there is still room to move between "simply moving along Brutal/Brutation" vs "Totally dominating every map". Zeratul falls short between the two ends.

His basic game mechanic allow the less experienced player to not easily die to Brutal waves. On the other hand, even an experienced player (in fact, especially an experienced player) will note his shortcomings despite his "base power level". This topic has been discussed many times since his debut. Zeratul is powerful, yes, but only scoring above average (and again again due to his more basic design). Yet, he is nowhere near the most powerful in terms of skill ceiling.

On a side note, as for the message sent to newer players. I don't think people should worry because this game is meant to be enjoyed. And as more play coop mode, newer players will see the more skilled and experienced players maneouver the higher skill ceiling'd commanders. Ultimately, if they really enjoy coop and want to master all the commanders, then the options are certainly there. As for Blizzard continuing to produce commanders like this? I very much doubt it. Each of the commanders released post initial debut has provided a fairly new game mechanic and play style. There really is no evidence to think otherwise. So why not trust the team to continue to do a great job? (Or a better job, if they communicated a little more frequently lol.)
You skipped over Fenix, who still needs pylons and regular macro buildings to build an army. After that characters reception I cant help but think hes the reason why the devs are leaning towards less macro based commanders.

" Limited unit producing structures to a certain amount in favor of reduced build times (H&H) or instant construction from charges (Nova)"
This does have its drawbacks, if I instantly build Ghosts and they die its going to take a long while to recover.

"- Nova's upgrades are absurdly cheap"
So are Jimmys, Kerrigans, and to a lesser extent Fenix's

"- Nova, Tychus, and Zeratul, all have mechanics that let them teleport anywhere on the map. Nova and H&H can reinforce armies in the field instantly."
So can Jimmy, Swann, Artanis, and Kerrigan if you build worms.

"- Everything is smartcast, even things you wouldn't think could be set to smartcast"
You can always set them to manual cast if you'd like. Sometimes thats more optimal like with Corsairs.

"- Supply is automatically set to the max for Nova, Tychus, and Zeratul,"
Same thing for Artanis once you hit level 15, Jimmy can just instantly summon supply depots as well after a few levels.

"- H&H only have two unit producing facilities, one of which will always be on the frontlines."
This is actually a big drawback since if you loose your Galleons you'll loose the ability to re enforce your army.
12/03/2018 09:48 AMPosted by Trzrk
"- Nova's upgrades are absurdly cheap"
So are Jimmys, Kerrigans, and to a lesser extent Fenix's

Actually, I strongly believe we need more upgrade cost reduction.

Co-op already has almost twice as many upgrades per unit as compared to multiplayer. And then they force you to stay on two base all game, which sucks because after all in multiplayer the only time you stay on 2 bases is a big 2 base all-in with only 1 or 2 key upgrades in order to put all your money into units.

So now I have to spend MORE than a 4 or 5 base player would usually spend on upgrades while on 2 bases? This seems very poorly concieved, and I blame this for why people try to pick out 1 or 2 optimal units and only make those; 2 base economy isn't meant to support anything more than minimalist upgrades.
I agree you, but I don't think H&H should be included in the list of "overpowered/easy" commanders. They certainly differ from Nova/Tychus/Zeratul in that they don't have a strong early game presence. (mag mines are OK but quite different from Tychus, Hero Of The Universe).

Indeed, as much as I enjoy H&H's units and mechanics I don't play them very often because I feel like I'm struggling to catch up for most of the game while my ally gets to gallivant all over the map.
12/02/2018 10:12 PMPosted by Dereck
you can always play ladder...


majority of coop players are casual / bronze players , dont ask that m8.
12/03/2018 11:19 AMPosted by albedo
12/02/2018 10:12 PMPosted by Dereck
you can always play ladder...


majority of coop players are casual / bronze players , dont ask that m8.

Why is there always comments like these on here lol. Just because a player plays coop or ladder doesn't mean they can't do both. Moreover, just because you are good at ladder doesn't translate to you are good at coop, and vice versa (as well the opposite is true).

The fact is if you can micro and macro, then you can micro and macro. Anything outside of that is just knowing the timing and the map (be it coop or ladder), aka. experience. Lol so judgmental...
12/02/2018 11:18 PMPosted by Pictures
A bad thing from keep releasing very simple commander is that they seems to be better choice and convince newer players that commanders like raynor, swann are so bad when they're not, they just much more skilled required. Also, HH actually can be played very skillfully but the spam reapers and a-move still do just fine on brutal so no one cares about their other stuffs (some even ignore their top bar!!!).
Ironic considering only the first batch of commanders were pegged to be as "for players of all experience levels". Everyone after them were labeled as "for experienced players". I suppose it isn't just the "easy to pick up and kick !@#" factor. For those new to the likes of Nova, HH, Zeratul, and Tychus, they do play differently from your traditional Sc game. And, they're outliers as far as their lore goes.

12/03/2018 07:09 AMPosted by NyCkiTT
12/03/2018 06:09 AMPosted by Maguro
...His design is good. You just don't enjoy the way he plays, and that's fine. If Blizzard keeps creating commanders that are new and different from each other, you are bound to encounter one that you don't enjoy.


The problem with those "micro commanders" is that the micro is not hard to do at all compared to the equivalent macro on chars like Fénix for exemple. You get way to much for way to little efforts. Like imo Tychus has nothing to do in SC2 coop , its design is fun but makes him overpowered.
Chars that have no multitasking required do not belong to SC2 imo. Also the constant medivac teleport removes all the fun/difficulties from ennemies attacks.

In this week's mutation i had like 75% Tychus allies and it s about the same every week ,cause Tychus is op af, Zeratul close second.

I love Zeratul and would love Tychus if I had him lv 15 but they are just flat op, when you dont have any macro to do you break the balance of the game.

Well, therein lies some potential conflicts. I'm sure Coop was created as a means for those that simply do not enjoy "traditional Sc", or competitive StarCraft. But even within the Coop community, we're quite diverse. Some folks who find Brutal to be a walk in the park may even find a proposed harder difficulty beyond that ("Brutal+", or "brutally brutal") to be still too easy, whereas others can struggle with Hard.

As pointed at by another poster, having a variety of playstyles ensures we get a wider variety of players. It's also a means as a handicap system. If nothing else, they could treat Zeratul, Nova, HH, and Tychus as a form of "pay to win" (although it's only a 1-time payment, and you'd still need some skill. It's not an auto-win).

Those said, I'm sure Blizzard could try to tweak Zeratul and company to have less of the issues discussed in this thread.
12/03/2018 09:58 AMPosted by WireBender
12/03/2018 09:48 AMPosted by Trzrk
"- Nova's upgrades are absurdly cheap"
So are Jimmys, Kerrigans, and to a lesser extent Fenix's

Actually, I strongly believe we need more upgrade cost reduction.

Co-op already has almost twice as many upgrades per unit as compared to multiplayer.


I think unit upgrades could be made cheaper for swann since all of his units each have two, them being 100-100 or 150-150, which competes with your regular armory upgrades.

At the same time Terran in general gets a huge discout in co-op, since their armory upgrades are combined while in multiplayer air and factory are separate.

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