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 Zee's complete game analysis

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Zee
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PostSubject: Zee's complete game analysis   Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:49 am

Long time no see these forums. I still play the game though, and now I have a pretty clear vision of unit balance (I play all 3 races, main being Terran as of now). I'd like to share my fictional patchnote here:

Gases:

A lot of non-experienced players immediately put their gas down, pretty much awarding a free middle for the opposing team, and a hefty army advantage that can and is pushed out for a win. I suggest changing them up a bit:

Gases can accumulate to a charge of 2, you start with 1, and every 240 seconds a new one becomes available.

This makes putting the gas down ASAP pretty pointless, and I hope it encourages more sensible playstyles.

Tech:

Add a similar counter on it to the gases: Tech 2: 120 sec, Tech 3: 500 sec

This is to avoid the lame suicidal techrushes

Detection

IMO allow all 3 races to use the scan at the start. No race should be favored in this regard, however the scans should retain their different costs:

Terran - 20 minerals
Protoss - 30 minerals
Zerg - 30 minerals

Also, if you read below I'm suggesting some buffs to stealth stuff, so this can compensate for it.

Middle

I'd like to see some kind of change in the way the middle line works. Right now, it is pretty much whoever takes it first, wins most of the time. There are some ideas in other threads.

Terran:

Overall maybe the most balanced race, has a few things off. Mech however seems to be far too weak.
I take this back. Terran is forced into a super strong T1 with infantry, super weak T2 and then slowly advance into BC. There's no other good strategy.

Overall change directions: make mech units viable not only in TvT. Make air play less dependant on BCs and more on mixed units. Make mass infantry an actual investment, instead of a transition strategy.

- Hellion blue fire upgrade: cost: 150 -> 125
- Marauder: health: 100 -> 125, damage: 10+12 -> 10+10, cost: 115
- If you plan re-adding conc shells, keep their cost at 120. Maybe can even be 125, it'd need some testing.
- Infantry weapons and armor: 100-125-175 -> 125-150-200
- Ghost snipe: 50 -> 45 damage. (NOTE: normal game patch have changed this, but i'm not sure that it is good for this game)
- Ghost and Banshee cloak: make it last longer, drain no energy for Ghosts
- EMP energy cost: 0 -> 35, cooldown to half
- Raven: cost: 275 -> 300
- Raven: idk if it is possible (due to this spell being single target), but it'd be good if seeker missiles would only target lumps of units. Also, seeker missile cost: 0 -> 45
- Raven turret range, turret duration cost: 75 -> 25
- Medivac energy cost: 100 -> 50
- Banshee: cost: 225 -> 190; Slow acceleration and/or speed a bit, they should stay behind marine lines
- Viking: same deal with acceleration and/or speed, they need to stay behind
- Viking: cost: 190 -> 175
- Mech upgrades: second upgrades should be available at T2.
- Battlecruiser Yamato Gun: remove targets: High Templar, Infestor, Ghost?, Corruptor; Add targets: Broodlord
- Vulture: cost: 165 -> 125, disable friendly fire on mines (already done?), but add a timer to mines (should be something like 120 sec, maybe raven upgrade can increase it)
- Siege Tank: cost: 240 -> 230, disable friendly fire. Maybe they'll be somewhat useful then, because currently they are rather bad.
- Siege Tanks: disallow unsieging while there are any targets in range. I'm fine with them only sieging up if there are more than 3 targets (could even be increased to something like 6), but they should not unsiege if there are only two colossi left.
- Thor: enable cannons on the following targets: Queen, disable building stun with cannons, cannon range: 6->8

+ Units i'd LOVE to see: Goliath

Protoss:

IMO currently the weakest race. Gets crushed early game by T, late game is around equal, slightly favoring T due to BCs (this was before scouts), Zerg is around equal in early game, slightly favoring Zerg because of Roaches, but once Broodlords hit, it is all over for Toss unless he has a major eco advantage. The unreasonably expensive weapon/armor upgrades just add insult to injury.

Overall change directions: buff T1, slightly nerf T2, nerf T3 ground, make upgrades not so punishing.

- Sentry: cost: 110 -> 100
- Hallucination: cost: 125 -> 225, T2 -> T3
- Stalker: cost: 120 -> 110 (I analyzed this unit, and it is weak in all 3 matchups)
- Dark Templar: Why is this unit a complete gimp and an invitation for a free win (if any more than 1 is placed)? Such a newb-trap should not exist. Cost: 200 -> 150
- Ground weapon costs: 150-200-200 -> 150-175-250 (nerf +3 colossi late game, buff midgame)
- Ground armor costs: 150-200-200 -> 125-150-200 (buff early game)
- Air weapon cost: 200-250-325 -> 150-200-250
- Air armor cost: 175-250-325 -> 125-175-225
- High Templar: storm cooldown to half (20s -> 10s). Cost: 275 -> 250, speed should be 2.6.
- Phoenix: make it disregard ground targets, even if it means removing the graviton beam (give it to Templar or something). Also damage: 5+5 -> 7+3. Speed: 1.8(?) -> 1.7
- Immortal: cost: 250 -> 275
- Carrier: attack: 4(+1)+4(+1) -> 8+1, armor reduction: 0.5 -> 1 (this makes them not scale late game, and makes a whole lot more sense + I found out how to make it still appear as a double beam: see the Diamondback as an example, change the weapon launch attachment to the same as the Diamondbacks')
- Carrier: cost: 590 -> 525, slightly increase interceptor cooldown (from 2.5 -> 2.75 IIRC)
- Colossus: this unit is almost as bad as Broodlords, if massed up. cost: 460 -> 480
- Colossus upgrade: cost: 210 -> 190
- Scout: cost: 200 -> 220, speed: 1.8 -> 1.7

Zerg:

The most broken race as of now. Terran is completely raped by Fungal, Banelings and/or Ultralisks and Broodlords. (if meching) Broodlords can be nominated as no1 broken unit: they completely negate melee units, Tanks, all Protoss ground, and most Zerg ground as well.

Overall change directions: slightly nerf T1. Undo broken abilities that do not work with a-move armies (FG stoppage and infinite distraction from BL)

- Hydralisk: IMO they should be converted to SC1 style.
Tech: 2 -> 1, Cost: 110 -> 150, Spawn: 1 -> 2, Damage: 12 -> 5(+1)+5 vs Armor, range can remain as an added bonus, but keep the upgrade on T2.
Add a speed upgrade to hydra as well that makes them able to kep up with Roach/Ling/Ultra
- Roach: 85 -> 90
- Queen: Tech: 1 -> 2, Air attack: 9 -> 10(+1). Also remove those carrots, please.
- Mutalisk: cost: 125 -> 220, spawn 1 -> 2
- Baneling: make it auto-target buildings again to avoid Terran-rape. Make their AOE smaller, or add gradually decreasing damage similar to archons. Add a +5 damage vs shield to make them more useful vs Toss.
- Infestor: Fungal Growth: remove movement block, change it to 50% slow. Movement block is completely broken, it makes any melee unit besides Ultras useless. As if Zealots were not useless enough in the late game. Decrease damage by 2 per tic to make terran or zerg forces more resistant to this. Decrease cooldown as well by 25%.
- Infestor: lower (or maybe disable? no, it makes them Broodlord 2.0) the energy cost of Infested Terrans, but increase the cooldown slightly (to avoid wasting too much energy).
- Broodlord: the mother of broken units. Remove targetability from Broodlings. This pretty much fixes it, turning it into a dps dealer instead of a making all ground useless unit. If you intend to keep the broodlings as targets, then it should cost significantly more (475 -> 525)
- Ultralisk: add a speed upgrade that costs 25 minerals. Normal speed should be the same as unupgraded lings/roaches/hydra, upgraded speed should be upgraded lingr/roach. I really like this unit, but slowzergs pretty much cannot utilize it because they run away (+ broodlords make them useless anyway).
- Ultralisk: change attack: 15 + 20 -> 20 + 15 (slight buff vs Protoss and T infantry)
- Corruptor: slow it down slightly below mutalisk speed to maintain good formation
- Overlord: - remove this unit. It may have been a lot of work to make them spread creep the way they do, but they are just newb-traps, making your army all messed up. I rage hard when my zerg allies put these abominations down.
- Lurker: range: 7(Cool -> 5(6), with a +2 upgrade at Tier 3.

Existing Major Bugs:

- When a player leaves due to battle.net bug dropping them at the start, his team get punished with the "money bug", they start from 0 resources.
- When a player leaves with some units that crossed the middle, middle income for opposing team is unavailable for quite some time. Suggested fix: only remove buildings on player leave (thx for the fix, that leaver-sell-building was really killing games)
- Some units with manual abilities (Lurker, Ghost, HT, Infestor, maybe more) can either be held in place, or moved backwards, thus stacking up with an other wave. This is quite a serious issue, as it allows vastly inferior forces to smash through superior numbers.
- Pathing bug still exists (I have SEEN the code, and STILL have no clue what causes it...), units sometimes fan out and most of them avoid the fight unless you order them to move anywhere, which fixes the pathing bug.

Matchup analysis

TvZ:
T1: Slightly Zerg favored. Marauders are killed too easily with Roaches. With Queen change I'd wait a bit on this, as I had no proper way of testing mara/reaper strength vs Queen/Roach/Gaslings
T2: Heavyily Zerg favored. Terran virtually gains no good combat units on T2, while Zerg gets Infestors and Lurkers.
T3: Usually zerg rolls terran easily at this point because of the gathered advantage, but I'd say it is fairly even.

TvP:
T1: Heavily Terran favored. All toss T1 units have good counter, and Terran units just gain critical mass much easier.
T2: I'd say even, but just because how Terran T2 is rubbish, and Toss T2 is slightly OP in general. The best terran T2 is actually... T1.
T3: Slightly Protoss favored. Terran cannot take the ground, and is forced to fight Protoss from the air. And there are scouts in the air.

PvZ:
T1: Slightly Zerg favored. Queens have no P counter on T1, and Roach/Ling is generally very effective. It takes critically massed Stalkers to beat Z T1.
T2: Protoss favored. Immortals and Archons with proper ranged support tear through zerg. Generally P has the best T2 units probably.
T3: Heavily Zerg favored. Broodlords lack any correct counter, only heavy handed tactics (Archon all-in) can somewhat mitigate the advantage.


Last edited by Zee on Tue May 15, 2012 5:18 am; edited 13 times in total
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Patrick
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:29 am

The third gas is the dangerous one. These days I see a refreshing number of bnet players not taking it (straight away).

I'd hate to pay more for ravens. There's not just '1 raven' or 'mass raven', I just had a long game where I had 6.

Broodlords are meant to distract ground. They are lame damage dealers (although would become decent if the broodlings are ignored as per your post)
They're the only way Z beats P. Z has to keep P investing in ground, to stop an air war. In comes Colossus, to eventually make the ground a write-off (I am aware P struggles until colossus). In comes Broodlord to stuff all protoss ground. Happy ending.

I absolutely agree Terran can't handle banelings. And agree with some buff to hydra and banshee, and make hellion/muta usable instead of faithful to SC2.

My patch:

Zealot charge doesn't give increased move speed
Phoenix, stalker and archon move speed reigned in
Baneling damage 20(+2)/35(+4) -> 20(+3)/30(+3)
Scan -> 30 minerals, and T has a more demanding requirement than "Marine"
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:30 am

zerg the strongest race and protoss the weakest? wat?

edit: oh right this was posted before the new units were added?
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:13 am

silverstone1294 wrote:
zerg the strongest race and protoss the weakest? wat?

edit: oh right this was posted before the new units were added?

Those 3 new "units" 1 for each race doesnt change the fact that P is without doubt the strongest.

I tried 1v1 against one of my friends he only play protoss and is very skilled.
I have a hard time defeating him as zerg or terran.

Anyways. Played many matches now as P against Zerg, and omg I never seen it be so easy before.

Archons + scouts and u dominate everything.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:16 am

Im pretty sure Zerg is the best faction...

If you want we can play some 1v1...just dont know my id right now. maybe you can post yours or ill post mine tomorrow (if you want ofc)
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:23 pm

Actually I reasoned the Raven 275 -> 300 change with breaking down the popularity of mass ravens, but in fact I do believe this is one of the changed that must go through. Ravens are slightly too powerful for their cost. BTW I edited in some compensation I believe to be just.

If you have a hard time defeating a toss as either zerg or terran you need to just improve.

Zerg:
basically has the early game with ling + bling. It kills zealots cost effectively, and just wipes T infantry off the map. Once you have the economic advantage due to holding the mid/destroying cannon, you simply advance to a few broodlords + proper AA (hydra/infestor/corruptor) or ultralisks and the enemy cannot do anything.

Terran:
infantry rules early game vs toss. He has zealots? You have marines and reapers (zealots will not even get close, you will only lose the first two rounds until you get critical mass). Zealots actually blow versus terran, you cannot keep it up, only in the very early game. Protoss is basically forced to go stalker sentry vs terran, but a nice combination of a few marauders + marines cost effectively defeats them. EMP and medivacs are insult to injury. Storm is not very effective, you get killed even with those 1 HP stimmed marines. The only thing that truly counters mass infantry is colossi with number 3-4 or above. Fast teching to that number is a quick way to lose. Slow teching is the slow way to lose (still better, at least you last for a while, and if it is not 1 on 1 then your teammates might make up for you). If you are playing TvP just remember: Vikings are NOT the counter to Colossi (they die too quickly and kill them too slowly). More marauder or ghost or Thors or BCs are. TvP late game is pretty even, but it still slightly favors Terran (EMP / Seeker missiles / Thors counter VRs very effectively, and there is no other toss counter for BC), but early game is heavily T favored and will gain you a dominating eco advantage. If the toss insists on using so many colossi that makes your inf useless, just sell it and go mech (thor/tank) + air (BC vike raven).

Terran vs Zerg:
just give up. It is impossible, unless the zerg is stupid and goes roach hydra. He should know better and go ling bling and you cannot do anything.

Zerg vs Toss late game:
As just a few Broodlords (4-5) can make pretty much the entire toss ground army useless, forcing him to go air which cost infinite resources to upgrade, and easily countered by the combination of corruptors and infestors or queens (or even mutalisks) with cost efficiency.
Also if broodlords are nerfed, my hydra SC1ization allows zerg better T1 AA (+ i buffed queens AA - should help vs pesky colossi) and to keep properly up with conventional toss or terran ground forces. Ultra + ground is a lot more even vs other races than air supported zerg or infestor heavy.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:04 am

So much nonsense in this topic, I'll at least correct one thing
Zee wrote:

Terran vs Zerg:
just give up. It is impossible, unless the zerg is stupid and goes roach hydra. He should know better and go ling bling and you cannot do anything.
This is so oversimplified. Terran has multiple ways to counter lingbling as you call it. Ever seen a raven with seeker missle against them? One raven kills like ten of them. Also get a banshee to harrass and survive (block middle income).
Also you could start mech play, hellions like to kill lings...
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:57 am

Phoscur wrote:
So much nonsense in this topic, I'll at least correct one thing
Zee wrote:

Terran vs Zerg:
just give up. It is impossible, unless the zerg is stupid and goes roach hydra. He should know better and go ling bling and you cannot do anything.
This is so oversimplified. Terran has multiple ways to counter lingbling as you call it. Ever seen a raven with seeker missle against them? One raven kills like ten of them. Also get a banshee to harrass and survive (block middle income).
Also you could start mech play, hellions like to kill lings...
even more simple:
lings lose against marines, if he has bling:
get few marauders, manually stim the marauders,
they will take quite some blings before dieing...
and if neot the blings only roll around a ball of zlings,
and are easier to hit for marines

interessting variant which i might test some time:
manu-stim marauders and then see whether hllions get a better positioning
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:47 am

By the time you 1: get enough marauders that they absorb enough of the banelings - this is pretty hard due to marauders having only 100 hit points, 80 when stimming, 2: get ravens
you will have lost the middle for a long time. Since banelings no longer splash into turrets, and turrets only stop lings for a few seconds, they will have enough time to get to your infantry ball and do their damage before the unreliable seeker missiles even hit. Seeker missiles are great versus ranged balls/lines that do not move much, but are a lot less useful versus banelings rolling directly towards your forces.

Mass marauders simply lose to zerglings (even pure banelings BTW), so if you overcompensate with marauders you will just lose to the zergling force. Stimming 1-2 marauders ahead only absorbs a couple of banelings, it is enough if just a few make it through. Usually bling-ling forces roll over terran with approx. half of them still standing, Ravens or otherwise. I have seen it from both ends. Thors would be the only decent counter, but: 1: benlings scale pretty well, even versus armored. 2: they get quickly taken out by ultralisks with lings shielding them.

Ravens are mostly dangerous vs other terrans, since it demolises infantry once 5-6 are out, catching weaker players by surprise (if you are good enough you should know that straight teching to raven is suicide).

By the time you normally get to Ravens you will have such an economic disadvatage (talking about 1v1 OFC) due to middle bonus racking up, and you having far less cost effective forces, it will not even matter what unit you buy.

Hellions are light and deal weak damage on banes, they are mostly good at clearing out lings, but they die instantly to banelings anyway, so none of them will be left over in case banes are stopped.

If you doubt that ZvT is insta-win for Z, just 1v1 me.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:48 am

i would like to 1v1 you to prove that protoss is much better than zerg, and on the bright side if i lose then i can steal your strategy for my own games

are you on eu or us servers?
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:51 am

Stimming marauders in front only works if you have a clear path to your opponent. Any opposition lets the marines catch up / wastes the marauders.

Banshees let most of the lings reach the cannon, (if you went straight to banshees, the zerg never had to buy blings and bling speed, so it's just pure ling) and as an inefficient unit don't present much problem to the next player's army.

Hellions I'm certain are fodder to banes.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:34 am

Zee wrote:
Terran vs Zerg:
just give up. It is impossible, unless the zerg is stupid and goes roach hydra. He should know better and go ling bling and you cannot do anything.
As was stated, stimming some Marauders could help (magic number is about 6 from my experience), but you can also use Vultures (mines + they have more speed to go in front of the army) and Ghosts (I believe they have a priority to snipe banes). Late game add thors to have 100% chance of no baneling actually go past your army.
Although baneling explosions tend to bring much random in engagements, often times it results in some kind of stalemate situation - Z trades banes for bio and loses 3/4 of his forces so he can't damage the next army or planetary, while T air units (ravens and such) stick on the enemy's part of the map preventing them to have a bonus.
So it's pretty much like ZvZ - a big green mess for 2 seconds with nothing useful left from both sides after that, until some luck or techswitch decides the game.

Ravens should be nerfed more than that (just +10% cost?) - it's not about increasing the cost, it's about making them have more counters as an addition to the army. I'd suggest having less range for Seeker Missle and making PDD spend 20-25 energy per shot. I'll explain: there is no other midgame composition in TvT than bio, but it varies enough to have a good composition counters. But the only way to counter bio+Ravens is to just have bio+Ravens too.
Vikings don't counter them - even without PDD they'll spend all their energy before Vikings kill them, and PDD makes it impossible.
Ghosts don't counter them - they EMP only when Ravens already did their job (especially if you engage on the opponent's side of the map so your ghosts are late).
Thors shoot 4 missiles in 3 secs and cost more than 2 Vikings (who shoot 4 missiles in 2 secs total), so PDD is even more effective.
Marines take Seeker Missle and die.
And they are effective agains other races as well.
On top of that, ravens tend to survive the army trade and then help the 2nd army with new energy and cooldowns. AND they also provide detection (which should have been their main role).

To add to that list of suggestions I'd really like to see some nerf to cannons and PFs - at least to make them not regenerate shields (even if they'll have like 5 times more hp) and do something agains PFs rate of fire and AoE damage. Because right now it's just too boring when you completely win over your opponents (like 1 your wave clears their 2 waves), but the only thing you get is "not having their PF at full shields for 20 secs" - so you need to just mass army/tech to something strictly against PFs. I feel like there should be more ways to convert your advantage into winning before 10-15 min game time to make less people go 3-gas-carrier-rushes and stuff like that.

The other thing - I am surprised that not much people have noticed how powerful Lurkers are in the new patch:
- They force detection (+ going to tier 2 if not there yet);
- They have really high damage + AoE + good range (still viable even with the detection);
- You can manually burrow them to make defensive positions or just to add them to your ally army (or just have 3 waves of them in one place in 1v1).
That's close to Broodlords or Ravens level because of the last part.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:56 am

Quote :
The other thing - I am surprised that not much people have noticed how powerful Lurkers are in the new patch:
- They force detection (+ going to tier 2 if not there yet);
- They have really high damage + AoE + good range (still viable even with the detection);
- You can manually burrow them to make defensive positions or just to add them to your ally army (or just have 3 waves of them in one place in 1v1).
That's close to Broodlords or Ravens level because of the last part.

unless they ve been buffed since they were first added this has to be a joke
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:04 pm

silverstone1294 wrote:
unless they ve been buffed since they were first added this has to be a joke
What exactly do you mean? I'm playing on EU, lurkers have 15 damage (30 for armored), 8 range and I can burrow them manually (and manually target stuff, even friendly unit/canon). Is it not like that for you?
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:54 am

Played some since new units were added. Im still not sure about vultures, but their mines seem to be a decent deterrent to the speedzerg style. I was still able to effortlessly demolish Terrans with bling/ling builds, but i'll have to wait on how the vulture fares.

Modified some stuff that'd better reflect the current game balance.

Zee #956 - add me if anyone wants to test the strenght of strategies as well. If I get any new revelation, I could modify my patch wishlist accordingly.

About Lurkers:

They seem to be buggy ATM, they have 8 range listed, but their attacks do not actually reach to range 8, most of the time doing nothing. Also, their armored bonus damage is just not fitting for the linear area damage they have. Few armored units come in single lines. They are kind of good vs ultralisks in numbers, though, but not much else.
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PostSubject: tl;dr   Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:01 am

Quick intro, I play mostly terran, sometimes both the other races, with no allies (and 1-3 foes, depending on how many join before i can hit go). I've got a 28:1 win record (96.6% win) on recent matches (minus one loss due to 5 people signing up at once, so it was a 3v3 and my allies were too bad to hold on, the only solo loss was an interesting Protoss play with carriers earlier than usual which beat me despite my early control of the middle), primarily because reapers are extremely powerful, and most players are have a few common flaws in their strategy (taking gas too early, teching too fast, being unable to counter Ravens effectively, not using casters at the right time).

I'm impressed by Zee's analysis on the whole, though disagree with the idea of making a lot of tweaks to the units themselves (HP, attacks, etc) because of loss of familiarity for normal players. AI tweaks and cost changes should definitely come before changing the units stats.

The ideas for improving player skill and pushing new ones away from the downright terrible "instatech" and "gas right away no matter what" strategies should be implemented. The number of games you can almost win in the first few minutes by just getting gas a little late and dancing on the line is.. well, it makes the game dull. Either prevent people from getting way too much gas/tech fast than makes sense, or make a notice appear when you try it like "Are you SURE you want to tech to tier 2 before the 5 min mark. It's probably a really bad idea.", which would leave alone the strats which also almost force the foe to get an early T2.

I'm not sure of the need for balance with scans, each race should have advantages and disadvantages, though it is kind of unfair that the others have to T2 for it.. but on the other hand, they are much less vulnerable to DTs and Lurkers than terran, and terran's perma detection is a lot more expensive. Leaving the scans as it is could work if terran as a whole can be balanced with the other two.

General balance issues:

Overall impressively well balanced, but imperfect. As Zee said, Terran has no way to deal with Ling/Bling effectively. I have developed a trick which handles it fairly well early game using a Reaper/Marauder mix to take the middle early, then dancing several Marauders individually to soak up the leftover banelings from each wave, but that's more micro intensive than anything else in the game and certainly not something most players would want to be doing. Plus it becomes less effective late game.

Potential counters and why they don't work:
Infantry - marines die to banes so fast it's not funny. Reapers are even worse, though they do clean up the zerglings nicely. marauders can survive a few banes, but deal almost no damage to the zerglings so.. once the banes wipe out the units which hurt zerglings, the zerglings go to town on marauders.
Hellions - Too expensive for their effectiveness. If they were significantly cheaper or had micro AI (preferably the former, since then the infantry ball could survive too), they could work.
Banshee - They pick off a few, but not enough unless you really mass them which makes you very vulnerable to any anti air because banshees are not cost effective.
Tanks+Thor - Need siege mode, and Thor to soak up enough damage for the tanks to save much of an army (by the time they siege up, a bio ball is mostly dead). That's T3. Ok, they HELP, but needing to mass two T3 units (with an upgrade needed for one!) to stand a chance against a cheap T1 composition is insane.
Vultures - Have not tested this one as much as I'd like, but the cost and the fact that the units themselves are fairly terrible against ling/baneling, plus the fact that spider mines will never allow you to push forward, only slow the foe's advance make them unappealing. Lets you die slower at least, maybe save a cannon so you can tech to mech. Still, expensive and weak.
Raven+big bio ball - This is my usual tactic. It does hold for a while, the auto turrets attract the zerglings which makes it possible for the bio ball to target just the banes, however.. the moment they go baneling heavy, you're screwed. bio can't stand up to tanks. HSM can't catch banelings unless you're really lucky with when it fires.

I have had games where I control the middle from wave 2 until the 20+ min mark, thanks to the dance micro of marauders and ravens, but end up being beaten because they just keep pumping out banelings. Previously, banelings targeted auto-turrets, so there was some way of stopping them from wiping out the bio ball, but that's no longer possible.

The other major balance issue is Protoss is simply not able to compete with well played (read: get reapers if there are zealots) infantry in general. I'm not sure how best to balance this, perhaps the increases to inf upgrade costs proposed would help. I think making Sentries noticeably cheaper (10-15 mins less) could be a better way to go though, and making halluc more expensive to compensate. Sentries are almost useless in direct combat, and when there are only a few they tend to melt quite quickly to a reaper/marauder force. Allowing toss to get more of them gives a better chance that one or two will live through the battle and grant that excellent guardian shield which really hurts marine/reaper DPS.

Plus reapers seem kind of crazy (96% win rate should flat out not be possible, and I attribute a large portion of my wins to reapers), but I'd like to test them against someone prepared more since they seem to get a lot of surprise value.

Oh, and lategame zerg is really hard to play against due to Infestor/Broodlord, but it's not unbeatable as terran with a decent bio ball and plenty of ghosts. Not as sure about PvZ since I play those less.

Terran specific changes..

-Hellion definitely needs a buff. They are pretty terrible right now. Giving them a decent buff would give terran a real answer to the mass ling/bling into Blord/queen which is damn near unbeatable as terran currently.
-I'd leave marine combat shield cost. Marines seem to me like the weakest choice of early infantry in general, with a reaper/marauder mix being quite capable of adjusting itself to beat almost anything.
-+1 to giving marauder back its original HP/damage.
-Ok with making infantry upgrades cost more, so long as the baneling issue is sorted out somehow.
-+1 to giving snipe back original damage. Not for balance specifically, but for familiarity.
-YES to cloak lasting longer. And not draining Ghost energy. Researching cloak for ghosts is currently horrific, they spend a few mins on perma detection and suddenly.. all your ghosts have much less energy for no gain. It's not broken, I'm sure.
-I was unaware EMP cost 0 energy. +1 to fixing that.
-As much as I love mass ravens.. yea. ok. They are pretty amazing, despite firing way too many HSMs at broodlings. But also drop the building armor upgrade to 25 mins. And maybe even drop the costs of other raven upgrades slightly. Let's see them used easier in small numbers if the mass ravens have to be nerfed.
-medivac energy, sure, no big deal. It's not that important an upgrade imo, kind of strange to have it cost so much.
-Yes to banshee boost. They have very limited use currently, only early/to force detection then they suck badly.
-Explain Yamato change? I don't think it's that bad, I just don't see the point.

toss..

-First one I really dislike! Stalker's role should stay as it is imo, making it good vs light would tear apart lings, while making toss struggle hard against Roach/Baneling until Immortals. I also think the extra damage against marine/reaper would throw the balance off too much in protoss's favor, and feel very wrong to players of the normal game to be dealing that much more damage. Lings are zerg's classic counter to Stalker. having Stalkers hold their own against straight lings would be an uncomfortable shock.
-Blink change, ok.
-Yes to DT boost. I usually intentionally delay detection in the hope that the foe toss will go DT because that's 200 mins down the drain the moment I do, or even 400-600. It's a straight out easy win from there.
-Upgrade changes in general seem reasonable, though I'd like to try making Sentries cheaper rather than low tech upgrades first perhaps.
-HT, that's quite a large buff.. it could be ok though. I think HT are underused already though.
-YES to phoenix doing their job.
-Obs change, does not matter really, but it's cloaked unlike overseer, you can quite ofter hold middle control/stop theirs with an obs when you could not with an overseer. I'd keep it the same price, or even slightly more. Fragility does not matter, it's behind your army unless your army is dead, in which case if it's seen it dies.
-Not sure if Carriers need much of a buff, I'd like to playtest against a few protoss who get to mid/late game in an even match before giving their endgame units more power. I'd say no.

and zerg!

I agree it's the strongest race, but I don't like the degree of changes, or moving too far from SC2. The zerg earlygame is pretty balanced once you give terran a way to be cost effective against banes at T2 (Hellions cheaper and make banes auto target buildings is the best imo), and give toss some of the buffs each of us has suggested. I think you're severely underrating Hydras, especially against air. I like the interaction between Hydras/speed and creep, the way you need to invest in ovies if you want the really high DPS hydras with your army.
-Giving mutas some boost seems ok, but why put two in one? Just lower the price slightly imo.
-Alternate suggestion to Infestors, just raise the cost to 300. Without them, especially the fungal movement stop, dealing with bio balls and mass ravens could get extremely hard, almost impossible.
-As amazing as broodlords are.. I think zerg needs them. Late game both other races get units which control space amazingly, in a different way of course. The scary thing about broodlords is, in my eyes, the ease with which they stack. If Phoenix has sane AI then a T2 toss force could stand up to zerg air somewhat well for a while, terran would still have trouble.. but without the baneling destruction of everything, marine/ghost could be effective enough I think. Leave them as they are for now, look at late game again once we've balanced early and mid properly.
-Ultra speed, yea, makes sense. Or give them extra speed on creep so they can stay even with the army there.


I've added you Zee, look forward to playing a few games against someone who really knows the game Smile

I'd love to have some decent practice partners, or even newer players who can learn (happy to teach!). Add me: ete #983
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:40 am

Actually cheaper sentries might indeed be a good idea. The stalker change was for lings and marine/reaper being a bit of a problem for P. with cheaper sentries, it might be solved with sentry/stalker being more cost effective and sentry/zealot being able to halt lings.

Along with upgrade cost tweaks that might do it.

Yamato change: ZvT air battles are unwinnable for zerg (corrs need to outnumber bcs 3 to 1, this number goes up steadily if ravens with pdds are involved), and it is too much of a deterrent for toss to even use carriers vs t, and in general gets rid of their major units HP very fast. With the change it might even legitimately be able to shoot VRs.

Actually my carrier suggestion is a nerf to the current situation. Carriers are kind of a risky business. They are really crap when you buy them too early, but become really good with numbers. They were really bad before the 4(+1)+4(+1) / 0.5 armor change, but now they are slightly too good in numbers.

With removing their scaling imo they get a bit weaker in the late game.

Two mutas in one: is because zerg is the most space consuming race. And a single mutalisk is one of the worst waste of space. They need numbers to do what they are supposed to do.

IMO Broodlord change is just needed because of 3v3. If zerg are involved, it often degrades to who has the most broodlords and AA to protect it (like one player goes light roach -> broodlord, corruptor, and the other goes marine thor). Broodlords should be beatable from the ground. Besides, carriers also had their interceptor vulnerability removed (though it is a much more drawback like thing).

I also update my changelist to reflect these things.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:16 pm

the problem with banshees is not the cost, but that they get focused
therefor i'd suggest increasing their range,
that way they can have smth. infront of them, that tanks

largest flaw with mutalisk is similiar to the one of banshees,
they're light, fragile, and clumb like hell
->fodder for fungal, thor, storm, ...

but i like the suggestion of zee.

roaches could even be 95 in my opinion,
i'd even say u dont even need bane-/ling against terran t1
roach+few lings are ridiculous


about playing it in general...
use the desert strike channel in bnet
(i hanging out 3 people hanging there from time to time and theyre quite competent)
win rates dont say too much,
if u take the average player (somewhere between noob and braindead) into consideration
(espiacially if ur plaing alone most of the time)

and also there is such a thing as an optimal build for each matchup
(the slightly interesting part starts at 3on3)
dont make things more complex then they actually are.
(espiacially at a low playercount!)

i dont wanna say that ur bad, but i highly doubt,
that ds1338 involves any amount of skill worth mentioning

rereading my lines, i'd suggest the following to the devs:
-dont make too many changes to balance
(just the most important ones: baneling, hellion in particular)

-fix existing stuff!
(scout- and phoenix- behaviour, scout/lurker-upgrades)

-concentrate on concetional changes
(above mentioned banshee/muta, cloaking doesnt cost energy, how about hellion t1?,...)

-new stuff (but no random undiscussed/premature features pls (scout 200 ....))
(add units u mentioned in the race subforums and more,
the middle is the only important factor right now,
[if u capture it u should most likely win] i feel like it could use a large change)

-advertise tohobuwaha's guide in the loadscreen,
concepts to reduce players sillyness is quite important aswell
(tough part for any map)
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:11 pm

Got to play a few games against Zee. It turns out it IS possible to beat well played speedzerg (ling/bane) as terran, but it's extremely hard, you need a specific composition (loads of reaper, some marauder), control the middle early (doing a build which straight up dies to slowzerg), and to dance the marauders carefully, and even then it's still very close. I'd like to try again against a speedzerg who uses infestors lategame. Not sure if that's beatable.

hm, I'm not sure zerg is that weak in air battles, hydras and queens are very efficient against all air, and three corruptors costs almost the same as one BC. The real killer though is Infestors. Fungal makes mass viking absolutely horrible in a big air battle, while BCs are very prone to being neural'd. Having a 525 min unit turn against you is MASSIVE. Honestly, I don't think BCs need to be any weaker. They are already a T3 unit which can comfortably be beaten by several T1/2 units from each race (marines shred them, hydras/queens are great if there's a roach shield to stop them dying to ground, Corruptors can hold their own and sponge damage (1 BC=525 mins, 3 Corrs=540), plenty of High Templar+either mass stalker or voids tends to be enough). And.. most importantly, if you make T unable to win the air battle, those brood lords stack so easily and so much that even the T bio ball does not have enough DPS to clean them up fast enough. Zerg's counter to BCs is not Corruptors (Infestor+Hydra+Corruptor if the way, all of which are available T2 so you can stay 450 min ahead), but it can beat BCs. Make Corruptors a counter and Z will roll T lategame even more thoroughly than it does currently.

sorry, I misunderstood what you meant for Carriers. I'm not sure really, but feel that changing the very lategame balance before giving toss something to work with earlygame would be a bit premature. Still, not saying it's a bad idea.

I guess I kinda like Zerg running out of room first when it uses its most deadly strats.. hm. If Z as a whole gets balanced it'd be ok to make it a two for one building. Fairly neutral on it though. Seems comparable to the T medivac, which is a massive T2 spacekiller, and helps massively in precisely those game when you're low on space (because you have a big bio ball).

I agree that Blords are pretty much the defining unit of lategame, especially in 3v3... but I actually think removing targetability from broodlings would make it stronger overall. Looking at the math.. wow. A lot stronger. The Broodlord attack does 20 damage. The Broodling, if not attacked, does... 48. That means it'll block the pathing of units for 8 seconds, AND the total damage dealt will be more than tripled. Of course, some of the time the broodling won't be able to attack due to there being other broodlings in the way.. but in that situation, the foe's army will not be able to move due to all the broodlings and you win. There's gotta be a better way to make Broodlords less deadly, or at least make them stack less. Either a cost rise, a drop on the expiry timer, or.. hm. meh. I don't know. Broodlords are so central to zerg's finishing ability, and if you can win the air battle they can be stopped well enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:40 pm

ete wrote:
I agree that Blords are pretty much the defining unit of lategame, especially in 3v3... but I actually think removing targetability from broodlings would make it stronger overall. Looking at the math.. wow. A lot stronger. The Broodlord attack does 20 damage. The Broodling, if not attacked, does... 48. That means it'll block the pathing of units for 8 seconds, AND the total damage dealt will be more than tripled. Of course, some of the time the broodling won't be able to attack due to there being other broodlings in the way.. but in that situation, the foe's army will not be able to move due to all the broodlings and you win. There's gotta be a better way to make Broodlords less deadly, or at least make them stack less. Either a cost rise, a drop on the expiry timer, or.. hm. meh. I don't know. Broodlords are so central to zerg's finishing ability, and if you can win the air battle they can be stopped well enough.

I think the best solution would be to change the AI of air units (Void Rays, Scouts, Phoenixes, Carriers, Mutas, etc) so they ignore Broodlings if they can deal damage to air and make broodling's physical model smaller (or reduce their live timer).
Also, right now Zerg needs to have units like Broodlords just because of that weird Planetary Fortress role that I don't really like. If PFs didn't have the ability to evaporate close-range ground armies in seconds and heal all the shield damage before the next wave, any change to Broodlords won't make Zerg a unit-trade-only race that never actually wins the game itself against decent compositions.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:43 pm

IMO I'm fine with Broodlords doing quite a bit more DPS instead of halting the ground army (possibly indefinitely if the numbers are right). They actually cost more than Colossi, so they should pack a punch.

Yep, the problem of speedling seems to be that leftover units absorb banelings (that is why I felt vultures might be a good answer too), and once you are across the line you pretty much stay across the line, despite your army getting wiped by banes.

I played yesterday vs stacked Carriers, and they are effing unbeatable. IDK what exactly should be done with them to make having a few carriers viable while having over 9000 carriers not instakill everything. They seem to have the same very efficient targeting AI that marines and tanks have, so they never overkill.

Infestors VS BCs is also something I may need to try out better. Neural parasite is pretty random, meaning if you have a few Marauders, they might stim ahead and take all the NP. I have also seen NPd BCs yamato-ing each other, which is a pretty huge blow.

I am also modifying the list a bit, adding a few extras and removing some.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:04 pm

i agree with ete about the t3 units,
leave them as they are right now,
i have yet to see a game,
which hasn't gotten decided long before t3...

if changes too bl...
the targetting ai thing for air units sounds reasonable,
also maybe we could reduce the hitpints of broodlings
(dunno how many they have right now)
or maybe they could be made landing halfay to their target...
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:11 am

Making Blings untargettable would, in large numbers, be just as slowing to an army as they are currently. Even if they don't get attacked, they physically block the pathing of units (unless you could change it so they were pushed out the way i guess?). It would make T bio balls especially even more vulnerable, currently they can do a pretty good job of clearing out the Broodlings before too much damage is dealt. If you're jumping from each shot doing 20 dmg and absorbing a few marine/reaper shots to each shot doing 48 dmg.. the army will die.

And carriers.. yea. You have the same issue in FFA. Mass carriers are almost unbeatable. I've managed to take them down with BCs before (much harder when they have HT feedback+Voids), and stalkers can hold on for a while, giving you time to get Carriers of your own.. but zerg had trouble. Perhaps Neural + Mass Corruptor would be enough?
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:15 pm

Very easy, disable the collision between units and broodlings (see how it works in Nexus wars as a reference, there Brood Lords are pretty good AtG, but not broken).

In my DS version I am going to solve this problem by adding an other modifier to broodlings, and only letting certain units target them (marines and reapers can, but zealots and ultralisks cannot, for instance), and I will do the same with interceptors (IMO it needs testing to determine which units should be able to target them, but I am pretty certain melee units should not, as they run back and forth to the spawned broodlings, not to mention banelings that just suicide into random broodlings).

Also edited in a few changes that came to my mind during playing during the weekend.

About Carriers: the change I listed there will make them a bit weaker vs BC and corruptor with upgrades. Zerg truly has trouble vs air units, that is why I proposed the queen change, and the mutalisk change. Corruptors do fine as long as there are no voids/scouts, that is where mutas could come into the picture.
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PostSubject: Re: Zee's complete game analysis   Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:23 pm

Added an update to the list.

This time I tried to improve TvP mech, which is as of now pretty much a suicide. Mech (and by that I mean Tank based strategies, Thors are good enough) is sorely underpowered anyway, only viable in TvT, and even then there are better options.
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