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 All Terran units- some thoughts

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Bottle
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PostSubject: All Terran units- some thoughts   Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:38 am

I played several games with deminuscolo earlier, he suggested I post my thoughts on the forum. I predominately play Terran, so here's my opinions.

Marines are seriously powerful at all stages of the game. They have a 75-mineral upgrade that increases their survivability by 22%. They have stim at T1 that annihilates every other T1 unit, including their so-called counters (zealots and banelings). They are even more useful in lategame if you can cover them with heavier units as their weakness is splash damage only. I would suggest moving stim to T2 at the very least. I don't know what can be done to balance them lategame- you have to rely on splash attacks. Maybe up the cost to 110?

Marauders, on the other hand, are quite poor. They do a solid job at what they're meant to do, ie. kill tough units and buildings, but the AI rarely lets them do it- instead they waste their grenades on the zerglings and zealots while the roaches and immortals blast them away. If you go for pure marauder vs pure roach, the roaches will hold their own, which should not happen as the marauders are meant to counter the roach. I suggest a slight cost decrease.

Reapers are strange. It is perfectly possible in many public games to just spam reapers and win easily- people try to counter them with more expensive air, let the reapers run straight past them, and blow up the PF in about 5 seconds. They also work far too well against their supposed counters- marauders and stalkers in particular- due to the comparatively low cost (2 reapers will almost kill 1 maruader or 1 stalker in a straight up fight, and the reapers are smaller so more can fire at once). Having said that, they suck in a regular army mixture or lategame against splash. So I don't know what to suggest. They seem like too much of an all-in strategy to me- if you don't kill the PF before the opponent gets colossus, tanks or infestors out you're in trouble.

Ghosts are nicely balanced, although they could do with some improvements to the AI. Several times I've seen ghosts die, uncloaked, with around 75 energy remaining, against a protoss massing archons. EMP you idiots!

Hellions need improvement. They are meant to counter light units, but all they do at the moment is fry a couple of zerglings if you get lucky (zealots don't clump up enough for the splash to hit multiple targets)- to the extent that it's always preferable to go for marines instead, as they do a better job than the hellions at the job the hellions are designed for. I recall that during the beta, hellions had a different range mechanic. Currently they have a range of 5, but their attack reaches to a range of 6 once fired. Perhaps the hellion would be better if this range was improved so it also countered mass marines a little better? Or improve its weapon speed again? Or introduce an AI script that makes hellions move back after firing? Or get the hellions to move in closer, so they hit multiple units at once instead of 1 unit at the limit of its range? At the moment, the only terran counter to mass marines is either tanks, or- you guessed it- more mass marines than the opponent has!

Tanks are nicely balanced. Having siege at T3 is a good idea and they are not cheap to get enough to wipe out a ground army without significantly investing in them. The zerg have plenty of nice counters to them- broodlords and neural parasite being the best of course- but Protoss lacks a really good counter, especially when you consider that the strength of the toss against Terrans is on the ground. Perhaps Phoenix could be rescripted to lift tanks ahead of other targets? Although with the tanks being so far back in the line, that does expose those fragile paper aeroplanes to marine fire...

Thors have a major problem with their targeting AI that makes them unusable in any situation other than "your opponent is going mass air only". Because thor air range is so much higher than ground range, they will happily plug away at that same medivac or overlord while the marines or roaches beneath them munch away. To fix this, either make the range of the thor's ground weapon the same as its air weapon (either by decreasing the latter or increasing the former), or alter the targeting priorities so that a thor shoots the right target- and changes target if a higher priority unit turns up (for example, if a lone corruptor wanders past, quickly followed by a swarm of hydras, the thor shoots one volley at the corruptor and then switches to the hydras instead of continuing to target the corruptor). Other than that, their balance is OK.

Banshees are way, way too weak. Any anti-air unit at all will kill them- even stalkers, which they do reasonably against in non-custom SC2 because they are light. Cloak is redundant after the 3 minute mark because everyone gets detectors as soon as they see any form of cloaking. Unless you don't want people using them, they need a cost reduction.

Vikings have a minor problem with the landing script. Especially against things like broodlords and especially when you spawn on the top side of the map, the vikings will land to engage the ground forces rather than shoot what they're meant to shoot- the heavy air units. While this can sometimes be good (vikings shielding marines from banelings anyone?) it is usually just a pain. Solution: make the landing/liftoff ability an upgrade. Then players can choose whether to get it or not. Alternatively, reduce their speed somewhat so they arrive at the battle slightly later, and can take advantage of their superior range. Finally, vikings don't counter capital ships enough, because of their double-attack making armor twice as effective. One viking volley does 22 damage to a battlecruiser (with equal upgrades) with a cooldown of 2- that's 11DPS. Meanwhile, the cruiser does 22DPS to the viking and can also yamato them. Yes it's three times more expensive, but the cruiser is just so awesome compared to the viking. The unit that's meant to counter capital ships, just like the marauder is meant to counter roaches, doesn't actually do its job very well. Solution: add an extra +1 to anti-armored damage with each upgrade. Then, the more upgrades, the more effective the viking becomes. They also have a nasty tendacy to overkill a wounded unit, for example 10 vikings wasting their attacks on a single void ray with 10HP- not sure how to fix that one.

Ravens are funky. Massively underused, they are the only unit in the game with a splash spell that stacks. If you get 12 of them with turrets, PDD and seeker plus upgrades, you're well set and can transition into anything else you like. On the other hand, you can't say "well that makes them too good, increase the cost" because it makes terran detection unachievable early game. Solution: make the lethal upgrades (seeker missile and PDD) either cost more or raise them to T3. On the downside, the seeker AI is very bad and regularly targets broodlings, infested terran eggs, or has all 12 ravens firing their missiles against a lone marine that stimmed ahead, leaving them with no energy to take on the rest of the army. Don't know if that can be easily fixed- although you did it for HT storm very well indeed.

Cruisers are way too good even with the recent cost increase. Once you reach critical mass, the only way to beat them is having more cruisers than the enemy. The problem is yamato cannon. It kills the units that counter BCs (corruptors, vikings and archons) instantly. The cruisers then have an easy time even if it's pure corruptor vs pure cruiser, because 1 corruptor died already for each BC, at no cost to the BCs. Only mass EMP and feedback prevent this, but then you've spent money on expensive caster units that don't inflict any serious actual damage. Solution: reduce the damage of the yamato cannon to, say, 200. Corruptors and archons are no longer one-shot kills and can actually get a few attacks in before dying- especially if they're defended well.

Hope you had fun reading all that. I'll add more later if I think of anything I missed.


Last edited by Bottle on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:08 am; edited 6 times in total
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Sylon
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:16 am

I read these suggestions, i think about them in detail later, thx for usable critism

hf Sylon Wink
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:55 am

Oops, I forgot to mention Medivacs. Their balance is fine but the AI script means they're only useful in a pitched battle where the infantry is standing still. If a bunch of marines engages a small enemy group (eg. the leftovers of the previous spawn), they all stim, kill the units in a flash and sprint off leaving the medivacs a mile behind. So either remove the movement speed boost of stim, or allow medivacs to heal while moving. Then they can actually do their job. A cost increase may be required if this works too well though!

I made a few edits to my last post with a few more suggestions and issues that I thought of.

Having said all of this, I really like your game. The SC1 version of DS was stodgy and slow and took forever to play- some games lasting upwards of 3 hours when people just started trading specials (infestation-mindcontrol-nuke, repeat). This one is fast-paced and if you make a mistake with your unit choice you are punished hard, instead of being rescued by a timely special or a boom. You did a good job to start with, balancing the units quite well for a first attempt, and every patch has improved the gameplay significantly to the point where the game is now entirely bug-free and exploit-free. With a few more balance patches and AI tweaks this will become easily the best custom map out there for pure strategy.

A final point- if you're bothered about it, I can help correct some minor English mistakes you've made in the game- which are completely understandable since English is evidently not your first language. If you're not bothered, that is fine.
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:29 pm

Good read and I agree with a lot of your observations, except Ravens and BC/Yamato. Both are a non-factor against Terrans as they can easily be countered by Ghosts (EMP).
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:35 pm

well only terran have this kinda thing i do not know if it goes maybe it would make sense thats the cannnon will not be fired at low hp air units like vikings and voids and corruoptor it would make it easier to counter them with thier normal counter units and still make it strong against brutes carrier and other bc and heavy groundunits like thors and archons
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:51 am

Hey Bottle, thx for the thread.

I had good time playing with you (also vs you without knowing for the first 20 minutes ^^).

And all began with a crap match where I tested some mono unit strategy i don't even remember ^^.

Can I quote the whole post and say: "I concur?" Laughing


P.S. I'm in protoss mass halo + voids now ^^
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:16 pm

deminuscolo wrote:
P.S. I'm in protoss mass halo + voids now ^^
Void rays, Void rays, gotta mass up my void rays, everybody's telling Bliz to nerf them, nerf them...
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:01 pm

well i wonder why bizzard do not listen to them ist like they give zerg a spear and terra a stone and toss a laser cannon to fight guess who win Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad they should get a good atttak for massive and armored not get more deadly over time a bunch of voids are like the supercannon of the campain mission just a instankill for everything just remove the power upa and make the attak stronger and all would be ok
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:09 pm

icekid wrote:
well i wonder why bizzard do not listen to them ist like they give zerg a spear and terra a stone and toss a laser cannon to fight guess who win Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad they should get a good atttak for massive and armored not get more deadly over time a bunch of voids are like the supercannon of the campain mission just a instankill for everything just remove the power upa and make the attak stronger and all would be ok
Lol.

Fully charged, fully charged yeah!
Fully charged, fully charged yeah!
Win win win win
Looking forward to your GG.
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PostSubject: Re: All Terran units- some thoughts   Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:51 am

I quite agree with many things. I play primarily Protoss (just because i like them more), and secondarily Terran (Zerg only when i feel like, they are boring to me even in DS), and my observations are almost the same on Terra.

Marine - Stim to T2 and 110 cost would be fine, but ATM they are too good, and only zerg can properly counter them with banes.

Marauder - Yep, they are not that good. Stalkers with their 1337 blink micro can even kill them cost for cost, if they are not supported by anything else. Cost to 115 would be good maybe.

Reaper - I have two suggestions for these: make their base speed slower than the rest of the infantries -> they become much more useful at killing light units if they do not get killed first. Their speed upgrade is good for lategame when all they are good for is to suicide into enemy and soak up a few hits (they are actually good at this, they catch some banes, make 2 rows for colossi, so they don't splash your other units). Also either: make them cost 140 or so, or reduce their damage (base -1, bonus -1)

Hellion - IDK what to do with this. I suggested the attack to be decreased to 2.0, and its a tiny bit more useful, but it's still not worth the investment. IMO the very least their upgrade cost could be 75 or so (not 150).

Medivac - they are pain for Toss (due to toss having shit AA DPS and these things hold up half your force, + they have shit DPS anyway so medivacs heal back very well), but NP for everyone else. I'd not change them ATM.

Thor - yep, they are legendarily stupid. They constantly switch back and forth their targets (+ they have a long aim time), and they sometimes do this with the cannon too. Stats are fine, AI maybe needs some tweaking (if possible)

Viking - they go ahead of your army, and thus get killed by Archons for example. As far as i know their damage does not scale, but it should not because none of the smaller air units get scaling damage upgrades. Well, actually no terran air units scale up with upgrades, but if anything i'd vote for the BC to scale. Hmm now i got the solution for quite a few problems: make the infantry a bit faster (like 2.5, but reduce stim speed bonus), and this solves reapers being front. vikings going in to die, and generally terran being uber slow.

Ghost - personally as a Toss i hate them with passion. They make zealots even more useless and can deplete the shields on an entire army. But objectively they are fine ATM. Zealots are actually useful at making them waste their energy.

Tanks - as a Toss, i find them not too hard to counter. It sucks versus Archon, Zealot, Immo, so just mass those and tanks are no problem. IMO Zerg has a bit harder time, but they are still OK.

Raven - they are OK. Some people like to mass them, but it's not unbeatable.

BC - IMO BC is also OK. Yamato is a maybe a bit too powerful. Thank the developers that it does not target VRs and Vikes, but it still uses it on Corruptors, and Zerg has literally nothing to stop them, eycept outnumbering BCs 3 to 1 with Corrs (cost effective, but very space-ineffective). Neural Paraiste is actually decent versus them, they sometimes waste their yamato on each other, so i might be wrong with them being too powerful vs zerg.

Bonus

VR - I find them OK. They can be extremely lethal when balled up, but they do have counters (Thor + Marine, Archon + Sentry + Stalker + Templar, Infestor + hydra). Hallus can be a problem, because it allows them the time to charge up, but more AA or normal splash takes care of those as well.
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