We're looking into it.
Obviously we'd like to see how they turn out in the coming weeks, but initially we're thinking:
1. Too easy to execute
2. Especially in TvT, not a lot of risk to doing them (when you don't lose the Medivac)
3. Might be too early before defenses can be ready
Rather than jumping to conclusions right now, we'll keep a close eye on it and if in fact Hellbat drops do turn out too strong, we'll do something like rolling in some of their damage with the Infernal Pre igniter upgrade.
It's great that Blizzard held off on the nerf hammer for HOTS to let the metagame settle in. Now that the WCS season 1 is over, maybe it is time to look at Hellbats in TvT?
*Provided by Existor.
Build time: 30
Hit point: 135
Damage 18(+12 light)
*This is not a balance talk, but more of a Terran's strategy options comparing Hellbat drop-play to other options.
Are we doomed to see Hellbat drops non-stop in TvT??
So, let's talk about Hellbats strictly in TvT and put aside other race balance issues.
Hellbat drop is so efficient in its potential damage compared to other options in TvT.
Let's compare a Medivac of 8 Marines to 2 Hellbats:
8 Marines, 400 minerals
2 Hellbats, 200 minerals.
8 Marines, 25s x 4 build time
2 Hellbat 30s build time (It is ready to move out and deal massive damage!)
Hellbat drop only needs to drop out 2 units for maximum damage.
Marine drop needs to drop out all 8 Marines as well as Stim to get full damage.
This is by far the biggest problem I see. The player can continue to attempt drops even if the opponent has already reacted to stop it. 2 Hellbats drop out so quickly.
Blizzard stated they balanced the game to favor the offensive side, but how much is too much? (SOTG EP94)
A Hellbat drop requires much more defensive investment than any other harassment units in the game.
A Hellbat drop is by far the cheapest combo you can send to harass your opponent. It is not heavy in gas cost compared to a banshee.
A turret in the mineral line usually buys more time to react against a drop because it would force the Medivac to drop marines/hellions outside the mineral line, whereas Hellbat drops can ignore that by sacrificing the Medivac to get all units out right at the mineral line.
A turret + viking can completely shut down banshees and most early dropship plays.
The standard setup for Hellbat drops, however, seems to be a bunker and a turret in the mineral line. Bunker (100), 4 x Marine (200), 1 x Turret (100). Just around the same cost as a Hellbat drop.
Not saying Hellbat drops don't require good control, but compared to other forms of harassment, the micro seems to be simpler:
A successful Widow Mine burrow at the mineral takes more commands to execute, but the extra micro does not reward more.
A Banshee kiting her ass off can only 2 hit an SCV.
4 upgraded Blue Flame Hellions chasing all the running SCVs deal just about the same damage as 2 Hellbats.
The stakes are just not as high as losing a medivac full of marines, hellions or a single banshee. Because of the cost and rebuild time.
Gas into reactor hellions into armory + reactor factory + starport.
This opener is fairly standard now, since drop-play ignores ground terrain the strength of the build is less effected by map. (Of course, there are some maps where Hellbat drops are less effective, like the cross-spawn Whirlwind)
Opening with Hellbat drops is just so safe, so good and dominant.
So many problems with this unit the more you think about it:
I feel the problem lies on its efficiency. It is relatively cheap/fast to get ready to be send out. It can deal damage even after defenses are set up. It is not a big loss even if completely shut down as it guarantees some lost mining time... etc...
Love it or hate it, lets talk about Hellbat!
Poll: Is it time for Blizzard to take a look at Hellbat?
3666 total votes
3666 total votes
Your vote: Is it time for Blizzard to take a look at Hellbat?
Previously David Kim on Hellbat @SOTG EP94
+ Show Spoiler +
Hellbat talk starts at the beginning.
I play Terran.