I am making another thread about a balance/design decision, so please do not jump on my back too hard before reading through.
This time I wanted to bring up the raven buff blizzard has recently proposed and describe issues with TvZ and you will note by the end that a raven speed buff does nothing to address any of the core balance concerns.
Recently, after months of diminishing Terran tournament results as well TvZ balance issues have become obvious to the point that blizzard has acknowledged that Zerg is favored in the match up right now.
The raven has been pointed to as an answer to "lategame," being brought up in many discussions, as well as blizzard releasing news that they are planning to buff the raven to help Terrans lategame.
This thread will be about discussing blizzard's proposed raven buff, and how it does not actually do anything for balance at all, and how they can look at the raven to make it useful, as well as other issues that are basically plaguing the match-up.
There are a few core issues to why so many Terrans, including pro korean Terran players are suddenly being beaten handily by inferior Zergs, most often when the game goes to lategame.
1) Raven HSM can be cost effective if the opponent clumps up broodlord/infestor, but you need about a 3 minute wait time to ever get HSM and you have to perfectly predict your opponent 100% committing to broodlord/infestor/corruptor. The problem: time, efficiency, fungal growth.
No one is really arguing that ravens aren't the answer to TvZ lategame. What I will argue here is that the reason ravens don't work even when you do build them is because fungal growth many times locks down ravens making it so you cannot HSM (regardless of how well you split). I will also argue that the amount of time, research cost, and energy for the HSM is not appropriate or proportional or balanced for what the HSM is supposed to be able to do.
Templar/infestors are able to become useful 100% right when they pop out in the form of either feedbacks, archons, fungal, or IT. Ravens are a gamble and incredible risk because of the time necessary to make them pay off with HSMs, and even in the case you do get an HSM, if your raven is fungalled you suddenly have a paper weight in terms of an investment. Then the ravens die, that's -200 gas for TErran and the infestors are able to burrow and get away.
A raven speed buff does zero to address these issues because the problem is and never will be raven speed. The problem is how fungal growth pins down ravens making HSM unusable, and the amount of time necessary to put ravens into play and make them pay themselves off.
2) The queen buff. The queen range buff has been controversial, for obvious reasons. Blizzard recently has acknowledged that creep spread is incredibly powerful but I want to go over why creep has come into the forefront as a balance concern in zvt.
Everyone knows how Zerg works. Their economy with larva inject can grow exponentially, faster than both Terran and Protoss in theory. The catch? You can only get this super economy if you are able to drone, drone, drone unhindered.
Why has creepspread become such an issue? Well, it's a factor of many things. The queen buff (many dubb it the "queendralisk" nowadays) allows Zergs to make a unit that requires no larva, can accumulate heals, and also can spread creep - creep which helps deny a lot of timing attacks by simply being on the map giving vision/time to react.
Pre-queen buff, creep was more easily able to be controlled with hellions that could kite queens, allowing Terran to keep Zerg's economy in check. Ever since the queen buff, you now see queens holding off virtually all aggression in the first 10 minutes of the game to the point that Terrans have indeed been trying equivalent "greed" builds but all of these greed builds naturally lend themselves towards a lategame TvZ, which right now, as mentionted above - the raven is a gamble due to the amount of preparation time required to pay itself off.
The queen preventing hellions denying creep...allows more creep spread...allows denial of attacks...allow all larva to be used on drones until Zerg can power 100% units/tech...all of this snowballs to the point where Terran "has to do damage" but cannot due to the reaction time creep spread allows to deny attacks + the queens themselves.
3) Fungal growth/infestor I believe this one is another core issue for late game, not only with TvZ but PvZ as well (yeh, as a random masters player I can talk a bit about this one too).
Broodlord infestor is basically the super army in both lategame TvZ/PvZ. The problem is not how strong broodlords are per se, it's the combination of fungal growth locking down stalkers/units, as well as fungalling vikings/ravens.
Fungal growth completely negates any possible micromanagement from Protoss/Terrans and simply makes the game into a game of running away from the fungal growth, or in the Zerg's case hitting 1 fungal growth means you 100% force an engagement because the opponent cannot flee or use their units.
For TvZ, a lot of lategame air vs air battles turn into "dodging the 1 fungal growth" to the point every pro terran will scan everywhere when engaging brood/corruptor with vikings/ravens to see where the infestors are. 1 fungal results in a chain of 5-10 more fungals can often times mean the end of a game or losing a large expensive chunk of your army for free. In Terran's case, that means their AA is gone from 1 fungal landing into chain fungals, in Protoss's case it's many times a ton of blink stalkers that simply will never be able to reach the broodlords, or archons being trapped in place.
The infestor is not OP per se, but the stunning effect of fungal is quite problematic in every match-up. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The above essentially describes what has happened with TvZ. The raven speed buff will not change a thing because the above issues are the core issues. It does not matter how fast your raven is if it gets fungalled. You can build ravens but never have them guaranteed to pay themselves off like infestors/templar are able to because of the current HSM energy/time/research requirements.
Blizzard has said they are nerfing creep spread. They are looking at the raven obviously. What I would suggest and bring up for discussion is to tweak the raven hsm energy/upgrade research times/build times/tweak the splash+damage accordingly and make it so these units do not end up as paper weights so often like they do.
To be honest, at this point what would be best for the game period (including ZvP) is to revert the queen change. The overlord speed buff was an excellent change, giving zerg a better scouting option, but the queen change has proven over the last 2-4 months to be too much - perhaps it's time to acknowlege a mistake.
But if blizzard does not want to go the route of reverting the change, they need to buff the raven or tweak something else in some way. A raven speed change does nothing for the match-up nor address any of the current problems with ravens or unhindered Zerg economies.
If other masters/gm/pro Terrans can leave their input in this thread, that would surely be appreciated by the entire community. I hope I at least put out some food for thought and that this will lead to discussion.
The worst thing that could possibly happen in terms of a balance patch is ravens are given a speed buff and then Terran is left alone for the next 5 months wondering, "how did this address anything?"
Last edit: 2012-08-19 11:43:46
InDesconrowl Togo. August 19 2012 11:10. Posts 311
"If other masters/gm/pro Terrans can leave their input in this thread, that would surely be appreciated by the entire community. I hope I at least put out some food for thought and that this will lead to discussion."
I think you should have bolded this, avilo. Obivously some people just see your name and don't bother reading - or can't *shrugs*
@ InDesconrowl - Taeja is an anonmaly and even he loses.
Seriously, if you can't offer a legitmate argument and your opinion on this well thought out thread, don't take up space from those who really want to discuss this.
Last edit: 2012-08-19 11:16:34
avilo United States. August 19 2012 11:14. Posts 3234
Yea, lets just ignore having this discussion because avilo started the thread? Im guessing if this thread was started by someone else the discussion would have started insteaded of just being ignored completely.
"starcraft isn't a hobby, its a lifestyle."
avilo United States. August 19 2012 11:19. Posts 3234
The answer always seems to be marines, when in doubt make more. As everyone knows BL/infestors are about as mobile as siegetanks and you are free to send your bio all over the place, all out bio will be the future of TvZ
BlindKill Australia. August 19 2012 11:22. Posts 1180