Community Update - January 16, 2019

General Discussion
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Greetings! It’s been almost two months since the 2018 end-of-year balance patch and we’ve already seen a ton of interesting metagame developments. Special shoutouts to Onpoong for putting on such awesome Ultimate Battle showmatches in the offseason and to Dark for showing especially great games. Now that we’ve had some time to gather feedback, reflect, and witness the changes in action, we think we’re ready to make some adjustments. In addition to tweaking some of the units we’ve changed in the 4.8 patch, we’d also like to reinforce some of the initial stated goals of the end-of-year patch. These include, but are not limited to, bringing more parity to the late game of various matchups and increasing opening and composition diversity in PvZ.

Terran

Cyclone
  • Mag-field Accelerator research time increased from 79 seconds to 100 seconds.

We’ve gotten a lot of varied feedback on the strength of Cyclones in TvZ, but as we feel counterstrategies against Cyclones are still developing, we think it’s too early to hit this matchup too heavily. At the same time, we do feel the Mag-field Accelerator upgrade comes online a bit too quickly, and we’d like to more directly target the initial strength of Cyclones when used as part of TvP proxy all-ins.

Thor
  • High Impact Payload weapon range increased from 10 to 11.

We’ve received feedback that TvP late-game still feels Protoss-favored. We believe that by further pushing the Thor’s anti-Massive role, we can open up other late-game TvP options, such as ranged Liberators and Battlecruisers.

Additionally, we’d like for Thors to be slightly more powerful at dislodging enemy Liberators, which we believe will reduce the importance of air control in TvT and promote mid/late-game interaction.

As range adjustments have historically been very impactful, we’ll be keeping an especially close eye on this change.

Battlecruiser
  • Weapon Refit research time increased from 43 seconds to 100 seconds.

The Weapon Refit upgrade was not initially designed with early-game Battlecruiser rushes in mind, and we feel these rushes in TvZ come online with full power a bit too quickly. Thus, we'd like to delay the full might of the rush without completely removing the build from the game.
As with Cyclones, we believe Battlecruiser strategies and counterstrategies are still being developed and would like to see how this plays out.

Zerg

Ultralisk
  • Anabolic Synthesis upgrade now increases Ultralisk movement speed off creep by 0.82, up from 0.41.

We’ve received feedback that this upgrade isn’t as impactful or as noticeable as we’d like, so we’ve doubled its effectiveness from 10% of the unit’s base speed to 20%. This new speed off-creep will allow Ultralisks to slightly outpace Stimmed Bio even when they aren't kiting.

Nydus Network/Nydus Worm
  • Nydus Worm health increased from 200 to 300.
  • Nydus Worm armor while emerging decreased from 6 to 5.

We haven't seen many Nydus Networks used so we'd like to make a few changes to remedy this. First, we believe Nydus all-ins are significantly less powerful than we initially intended due to a combination of the Transfuse nerf and the ability to pre-target them before they pop. Increasing the health is intended to allow Nydus Worms to be more resilient against low numbers of units with moderate damage, such as Stalkers and Roaches. This could be especially useful for Zerg players who are trying to be offensive against Cannon contains. At the same time, we’d like to reduce the Nydus’ armor to maintain its relative durability against Terran and Marines.
  • Nydus Network and Nydus Worm initial unload delay period decreased from 0.36 to 0.18.
  • Nydus Network and Nydus Worm unload period decreased from 0.36 to 0.18.
  • Nydus Network and Nydus Worm load period decreased from 0.18 to 0.09.

By changing load and unload periods, we hope to improve how fluid the Nydus feels when used as a mobility tool. Our intent is to make the Nydus Worm more useful in its mobility role without returning its all-in role to the full power of its invulnerability days.

Protoss

Adept
  • Gateway build time increased from 27 seconds to 30 seconds. Warp Gate cooldown remains unchanged.

In patch 4.0, we changed Chrono Boost from a persistent effect to a more concentrated charged effect. In practice, this had a large effect on the first units that were built from key structures, such as the first Adept, Oracle, or Warp Prism. Since this change, we’ve been hearing feedback that it’s difficult for Terrans to expand to a low-ground natural, because a Chrono Boosted Adept would cancel it too easily on smaller maps. This interaction is often cited by Terran pros for why TvP macro play feels at a bigger disadvantage than before. We’d like to address this by adding a slight delay to how long it takes an Adept to show up at an enemy base.

Cybernetics Core
  • Warp Gate research time decreased from 114 seconds to 100 seconds.

We’d like to revisit the research time of Warp Gate for a variety of reasons across all three affected matchups. In PvT, most offensive options are currently not limited by Warp Gate timing, so we don’t believe this change will have the most significant effect in this matchup. In PvZ, this change could allow Gateway units to more easily fulfill a defensive role that the Oracle currently partially fulfills. That is, Protoss would be able to more easily defend against Baneling busts and more easily expand to a third, either with the support of an Oracle or in lieu of an Oracle. In PvP, strengthening Warp Gate would hopefully disincentivize the Stargate tech path, one that has traditionally been weak against Gateway pushes.

Stalker
  • Blink research cost decreased from 150/150 to 100/100.

While we’re certainly seeing more Robotics Bay experimentation in PvZ, we’re still not completely satisfied with the amount we’re seeing. As such, the next few changes are partially designed to push Robotics Bay play just a bit more.

For this purpose, we’d like to decrease the research cost of Blink, an ability that has traditionally synergized very well with Robotics Bay tech.

In PvP, we believe this change would allow for an easier counter to Stargate openers and a smoother transition to Disruptors.

Robotics Facility
  • Cost decreased from 200/100 to 150/100.

We previously proposed and tested this change with the goal of promoting Robotics openings and mid-game Robotics Bay play in PvZ. However, we eventually decided against it, because it would both reinforce the popularity of Immortals in PvZ and the strength of proxy-Robotics Facility in the context of Cannon rushes. After some additional thought, we’d like to reintroduce this change and pair it with the Immortal change below.

Immortal
  • Cost increased from 250/100 to 275/100.

In combination with a Robotics Facility cost reduction, we believe this change would achieve our initial goals without overly strengthening Immortals and proxy-Robotics Facility.

Observer
  • Movement speed increased from 2.63 to 3.01.
  • Gravitic Boosters upgrade now increases movement speed by 1.51, up from 1.31.

We’d like the Observer to be more able to compete with scouting options from the Stargate.

Oracle
  • Removed the Light attribute.
  • Added the Armored attribute.

In our previous community update, we talked about Stargate mirrors becoming more popular with the new patch. We believe this is partly because Oracle openings are so powerful against an opponent who doesn’t respond with Phoenix. With this change, we’d like to allow for smaller numbers of Stalkers to be able to defend Oracles. We’ll also be monitoring how this change impacts PvT.
Partially because we’d like to observe the results of this and the Warp Gate change, we will not be changing the behavior of beam weapons in the upcoming patch.

Tempest
  • Movement speed decreased from 3.5 to 3.15.
  • Acceleration decreased from 2.8 to 2.1.

We received feedback that Tempests may be a bit too mobile, especially against Terran. We’re looking to especially focus on changing the unit’s acceleration, as it would more directly affect its ability to kite and disengage from fights. After these changes, we’ll be paying close attention to how effective Vikings and the new Thors will be at warding off Tempests.

Closing

Our current plan is to release this update, along with the new ladder season, on January 22nd, but this is subject to change. As always, let us know your thoughts, and here’s to another exciting year of StarCraft!
You did it Blizzard, you officially broke TvP.

EDIT: soO just said a bunch of things on his stream I figured it was worth sharing. He doesn’t understand the Thor change at all for TvP. Mentioned it is never used and giving a +1 range isn’t going to change that. He feels every Protoss upgrade is cheap and is only getting more cheaper. He mentioned he actually feels really bad for terran players. He chuckled saying it really feels like Blizzard doesn’t have a clue on what they’re doing. But mentioned these patch notes aren’t yet final so he wants to wait until they are.
))))
Great improvement overall! I like the direction of these changes !
Highly Rated
stop buffing toss what are you clowns smoking ?
Like really u want zerg to suffer another 4 months before u figure out that terran can do what every they want and zerg still has nothing good vs early bc with 3 armor and 500 hp???????????? there is nothing we can do before lair and spire to even hope to be cost effektiv cause the bc ALWAYS get away unless terran makes a misstake. only counter is an allinn that is easy countered with 1 sige tank

Same goes for cyclons we need to have roach speed and hydras or roach speed and infestors to be able to trade half way decent against it. at master 1 and over level

so far i have 5 zerg buddys that basicly have stoped playing so think about that for a bit before u totally destroy the game.

ps just check IEM qualifiyers no zerg from eu (zerg heaven) no zerg from us
xD
Highly Rated
Thumbs up if you went googling "weapon refit sc2".

> Adept Gateway build time increased from 27 seconds to 30 seconds.
Nice! Three seconds slower without chronoboost - I would be able to mine out the entire natural before she comes!
01/16/2019 10:21 AMPosted by Balance Team
Gateway build time increased from 27 seconds to 30 seconds. Warp Gate cooldown remains unchanged.

In patch 4.0, we changed Chrono Boost from a persistent effect to a more concentrated charged effect. In practice, this had a large effect on the first units that were built from key structures, such as the first Adept, Oracle, or Warp Prism. Since this change, we’ve been hearing feedback that it’s difficult for Terrans to expand to a low-ground natural, because a Chrono Boosted Adept would cancel it too easily on smaller maps. This interaction is often cited by Terran pros for why TvP macro play feels at a bigger disadvantage than before. We’d like to address this by adding a slight delay to how long it takes an Adept to show up at an enemy base.


Terran bias much? Terran's reaper is in a Protoss mineral line attacking probes before Protoss' first adept is even out, especially if it's proxied. Do you even watch games? I'd love to play a Blizzard balance team member right now in a 1v1. This change would get instantly reverted with my Terran.

"Immortal
Cost increased from 250/100 to 275/100.

In combination with a Robotics Facility cost reduction, we believe this change would achieve our initial goals without overly strengthening Immortals and proxy-Robotics Facility."

Okay..lowering the cost of the building and increasing the cost of the unit promotes proxy play and hurts macro play. Use your brain. You can put the building down faster and earlier (proxy? Check). It costs MORE to make immortals which over time adds up (macro? Minus) but doesn't affect the first one or two because you're stockpiling resources waiting for the building to initially complete (proxy? Check). This change just hurts PvZ macro in my opinion where immortals are the backbone of most army compositions if not all. Get ready for PvT immortal shield battery all in. Leave the immortal cost as it is and leave the robotics cost as it is. You want to see more robo bay tech? Here's a few hints why you don't see it that much:

1.) We’d like to decrease the research cost of Blink, an ability that has traditionally synergized very well with Robotics Bay tech. Stalkers suck. No seriously, they're trash, cost way too much and require god tier micro to break even--go open the unit tester and have fun.
2.) Colossus does practically no damage and is too easily countered by basically everything. Again, open the unit tester and click the auto attack button. Let me know how that goes for you.
3.) Colossus, its research and simply teching to it is overpriced and leaves many holes in your army that need filling because a colossus cannot stand on its own (pun intended) without a hundred other units to babysit it and only promotes deathball playstyle which is traditionally weak when you need to split units to multiple locations, as is tradition in PvZ.
Rofl, yes sure let's buff protoss macro and nerf terran cheese and right before the GSL qualifier, nice blizzard.
01/16/2019 11:02 AMPosted by IIIIIIIIIIII
Like really u want zerg to suffer another 4 months before u figure out that terran can do what every they want and zerg still has nothing good vs early bc with 3 armor and 500 hp???????????? there is nothing we can do before lair and spire to even hope to be cost effektiv cause the bc ALWAYS get away unless terran makes a misstake. only counter is an allinn that is easy countered with 1 sige tank

Same goes for cyclons we need to have roach speed and hydras or roach speed and infestors to be able to trade half way decent against it. at master 1 and over level

so far i have 5 zerg buddys that basicly have stoped playing so think about that for a bit before u totally destroy the game.

ps just check IEM qualifiyers no zerg from eu (zerg heaven) no zerg from us
4 zerg from wcs winter qualifier LUL
just as Lambo said on stream " after this patch we're gona be an absolutte cheeser this year"
01/16/2019 11:15 AMPosted by IIIIIIIIIIII
01/16/2019 11:02 AMPosted by IIIIIIIIIIII
Like really u want zerg to suffer another 4 months before u figure out that terran can do what every they want and zerg still has nothing good vs early bc with 3 armor and 500 hp???????????? there is nothing we can do before lair and spire to even hope to be cost effektiv cause the bc ALWAYS get away unless terran makes a misstake. only counter is an allinn that is easy countered with 1 sige tank

Same goes for cyclons we need to have roach speed and hydras or roach speed and infestors to be able to trade half way decent against it. at master 1 and over level

so far i have 5 zerg buddys that basicly have stoped playing so think about that for a bit before u totally destroy the game.

ps just check IEM qualifiyers no zerg from eu (zerg heaven) no zerg from us
4 zerg from wcs winter qualifier LUL


from ladder qualifyier u mean? dude they only play a few games vs the top rest vs players they are way better then ^^
Highly Rated
lmao so you want to buff TvP macro openers and you make the blink stalker allin the thing again and now it’s even better with faster warpgates... well, this is going to be the cheesiest season in sc2 history. I’m all the sudden getting PTSD from the hots era of blink stalker allins.
:c I really don't like to get salty about Balance changes but this is too much, protoss didn't need that buffs :c

EDIT:

Thanks for delaying the full power of cyclons, it's been a Nightmare in ZvT
XD
So you're nerfing terran, buffing protoss, buffing zerg... WHY!?

... Has Activision replaced the balance team with hate me bots?
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH FCKING HILARIOUS
I have no idea what Blizzard balance team smokes, but damm, I want some of it.

TvP? Its ded now. ggwp

TvZ, well have to see, but it seems more Terran turtling is going to happen this patch with better Brood counter and overgrown zerglings running on the map. Infestor + Ultra changes just ruin bio play.

ZvP = Not that much change. Easier to defend early roach play and for Zerg to pick out Tempest I guess.

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