We sat down with Dustin Browder during the Battle.net World Championships for a lengthy chat regarding the state of StarCraft 2 and what Heart of the Swarm will be bringing in the future.
The following is a basic summary of the major points Dustin addressed in our interview. That being said, we highly recommend you watch the full interview, as he goes very well in-depth on a lot of issues the community is concerned about right now.
Dustin Browder Interview Summary
Believes Immortal/Sentry All-in can be solved by Zerg players without Blizzard intervention
Blizzard is aware of the restrictions on map design caused by the Stephano Roach style, but doesn’t think it can/will be fixed in WoL, will work on for HotS
Will redesign Mothership so it won’t be a serious unit used in professional esports play
Testing internally: Very likely balance map in next two weeks
(WoL)Psionic units immune to Fungal Growth-Hopes EMP/Templar more viable Note: Psionic units include: Ghost, Queen, Infestor, Sentry, Templar, Dark Templar, Archon, Warp Prism, Mothership
(HotS only)Add projectile animation on Fungal Growth-This delay will allow units to dodge
About uprooting spines/spores to base trade in PvZ: The core problem is that races don’t have options vs Infestor/Broodlord, so Blizzard will fix the core problem instead
Regarding the Carrier: Considered Change: Interceptors Immune to Fungal
Thinks Corruptors are a bigger problem vs Carriers rather than Infestors
Blizzard wants to be cautious with balancing PvZ
Seeing more Infestor/broodlord mirrors lately, will play close attention to this
Feels Neuraling Motherships is a problem
Neural is on the chopping block for Swarm
Doesn’t feel changing Fungal to a slow will change much to the game
Believes there’s cultural differences between countries that makes Korean Terrans and foreigner Terrans different
On lack of Terrans at BWC: Some Korean Terrans dropped out for various reasons and “It is what it is”
Blizzard doesn't blindly look at win-rates and actually watches the games
When watching games, Blizzard always asks, ‘could this player could have played the game better?’
Relies on community to call out specific games and issues with the game
Can redesign 250mm strike cannon to give Thors a different purpose
Test map: Seeker missile won’t require an upgrade
Dustin doesn't believe this will change much
Possible buffs to Medivacs to account for more new options to defend drops
Feels like HotS units, especially Protoss and Zerg right now, are “balanceable”, Terrans might need bigger changes to create dynamic play
Will work on Mech TvP later on in HotS Beta
To TeamLiquid: Please keep the feedback coming and please play beta!
Seems like he is finally taking an interest in the pro scene. I dont see how you can change the mother ship as a unit so that it wont be used in professional play, and still have it do anything. Might as well take it out. Psionic units immune to fungal sounds really interesting. I am somewhat confused about his opinion on the weakness of Carriers to corruptors. It seems to me that if you have enough fungals currently, you can just spam them and bring down the enormous swarm of interceptors.
His approach to balance is interesting, but it seems to me that the way to stop the immortal sentry all in is either to get lucky, spend so many units on breaking the attack that you are behind, spend just enough so that you are even because of your third base. Besides that all you can do is some gimmicky 2-base play, which for zerg is somewhat questionable as you have the same number of bases as the protoss.
Last edit: 2012-11-20 16:01:40
MiCa United States. November 20 2012 15:59. Posts 100
I really get the impression from Dustin Browder that he's not passionate about the game, he's just been hired to do his job and he does a bit of research to understand a bit about the meta game.
I think Dustin is good in interviews, but I think they need to hire a few open minded professional sc2 players who can at least assist with balance, because I think Dustin might not have a complete understanding of the game.
I think Dustin has been trying harder lately though. He used to be completely ignorant... now he sounds like he's been watching a bit more of the E-Sport scene.
Last edit: 2012-11-20 16:10:40
Xenocryst United States. November 20 2012 16:09. Posts 519
Every time I hear him talk I just get really afraid that he is going to nerf things and completely destroy the balance. Like for instance that change to fungal to make psyonic units immune, it completely removes infestors as a counter to immortal sentry. And fungal as a projectile just makes me see into a future of just muta in ZvZ becauase what are you going to make hydra? Nope they still suck unless you have 20 of them infestors? Well unless they are asleep they won't lose many muta. So it would change ZvZ completely and make it imbalanced (as in really boring and awkward like early game ling bling battles) mid game from a place that was ok.
And removing neural? They nerfed it out of excistance and then they remove it. I remember talking about thor hellbat in heart of the swarm being stupid and everyone said oh you can neural the thors and that is the only option for winning in that scenario because the entire army has almost 10k hp potentially.
I just feel like Zerg will be a mess if they made every change that he talked about in this video.
Last edit: 2012-11-20 16:12:02
Chicane United States. November 20 2012 16:10. Posts 6566
I really don't know how he doesn't think that changing a fungal to slow wouldn't do much. If he really thinks that, then change it! People will be happy how you can micro against it, and apparently it won't really change the balance so... no reason not to! :D