On February 15 2011 06:34 EatThePath wrote:Second, you can decrease the capacity of some or all mineral patches. Generally, this would have a delayed adverse consequence to the same effect as the first option. The base will be mined out sooner, prompting a player to expand. Again, this does nothing to directly address saturation>expo, and again, this would likely encourage all-in play. It would take a 5+ minutes horizon of planning to incorporate saturation choices on a low capacity main base, and even natural. The third base seems like the first opportunity to use this without strongly promoting all-ins. (As seen on Tal'Darim Altar.)
I agree almost completely with EatThePath, and I particularly like the second idea.
If well thought out, a change to minerals contained per patch could be great. For example, it could work that at roughly the same time for all races they start to saturate (obviously not exact, but the differences aren't particularly great), the minerals in their base come close to running out. This would first of all mean that all-ins with fully saturated bases would be less effective, as they could not sustain any attack and there would be a very small timing window to make use of the advantage.
It might promote all-ins as an alternative to expanding, still, as the differences in mineral count before and after the proposed change would be small and players might be more tempted to expand as certain strategies (eg 1-base Colossus) would be less viable, so all-ins would be more effective against this.
However, the solution to this is already being put into practice. With bigger maps, this incentive to all-in would be greatly reduced - one of the main intentions of the change, I believe.
The second major change of this to gameplay would be the intended promotion of increased number of expansions in lategame - I find the thought of just 3base Protoss rolling over everything, and additional expansions being taken at a slow rate as minerals run out in the 1st and 2nd base quite depressing, and I'm primarily a Protoss player.
Unfortunately, there is one main flaw in this plan in the lategame: The exact same problem would remain, except more expansions would be taken over time. What I mean is that people will only expand when their previous mineral patches run out - that those mineral patches run out faster doesn't magically make the problem disappear, only makes it less noticeable. The effect would be that the Protoss player would reach 3 bases and make a deathball, as normal. Instead of staying tight on those and pushing, winning/losing etc, however, Protoss would get more bases as their previous ones ran out, and transfer workers more often. The players seem to be expanding more, but they would stay on the same number of mining bases and it still wouldn't be a great advantage to have 14 bases over 3.