A quick note - I am not trying to claim there are no balance issues that need to be taken care of. Also, please note that this post isn't to call out Demuslim. It's actually being made to call out about 90% of the outspoken community. And I like Demuslim, he seems like a cheerful and easy to get along with guy. But, he did make the fatal mistake of making a balance complaint while casting. And it inspired me.
To make my point, I am going to take us back in time, with a little history lesson. We are going to talk about sc2's predecessor, brood war.
Before the sc2 pro scene, the brood war pro scene was at the forefront of RTS e-sports. And before that, there was a time when esports was a fledgeling idea. At this point in time, there were almost *no* esports opportunities outside of korea...and in korea it was just beginning. Once a year we got the World Cyber Games. That was pretty much it. Everything else was made by the community, and the competition was mostly for honor - often there were no monetary prizes whatsoever. It was purely love of the game that drove competition during this period.
Now, other high level players from this period might have a different perspective - particularly ones that actually went to korea. So if they would like to contribute a differing view I would love to hear it. But from my own personal recollection - I almost never saw actual balance complaints from high level players. And ironically, as far as statistics go, Brood War was *less* balanced than sc2 has been for most of it's existence. Not by much, but there were clear racial imbalances that I believe continue to this day.
P>T>Z>P. Everyone knew. Sometimes we would see specialists or innovators rise up to defy the odds. But in general, Protoss knew they had to play exceptionally to win vs a good Zerg. I say this as a Protoss main. But it wasn't really something to complain about, it was just a fact of life. Each race had it's most challenging matchup. And the best players, they accepted that fact, and they rose to the challenge. In Korea, we saw numerous legends born - players who defied the odds and consistently won in all matchups. Players who could not be held down.
Since my experience was with Protoss, pvz is what I want to talk about. Note that the following are generalities, there are always exceptions. When I played pvz, there were two main ways to play. The first was to tech quickly into storm or reaver(probably storm), trying to survive early game and then leverage the tech advantage to slowly put yourself in an advantageous position. The second was to open with dedicated pressure, sacrificing your own tech and economy to attempt to slow down the Zerg even more(quick note, I am from before when corsair openings rose to popularity).
Here is the thing about these playstyles. In both cases, if you didn't outright win the game with a rush, you knew you would be behind in economy if the Zerg was playing macro. You'd likely be way behind in income. But that's okay, that was expected. That was part of the matchup.
Likewise, the Zerg knew they had to be way ahead in economy, or they were in for a rough time. Or, in PVT, there was a reverse situation. You typically expected to get a little bit ahead in economy. If you had managed to get up to 4 bases, but the Terran had somehow managed to accrue a similar income rate... well you were probably in deep shit.
So, where am I going with this? Well, I want to go back to what Demuslim was talking about. I think his statement is something a lot of people would agree with. The Terran can't safely match Protoss income rate, and that's a problem with the matchup.
I don't agree. I think we should look at the brood war examples as to why. I think, for some reason, too many people have decided *how the game is supposed to be*. I think that this rigidity of thinking sets people back, and makes them miss out on understanding and fail to see potential opportunities. Players, especially pro players, should be embracing the strengths of the race they are using - while working around the weaknesses.
There is nothing inherently wrong with Terran having to open up with hyperaggressive openings vs Protoss, for example. Maybe that's how the game should be played! It's all in your mind that there is something *wrong* with that. Maybe the best players are players who can embrace this playstyle, seeking to do the most damage possible and if not winning the game with it then *coming out ahead* to go into the later game. A lot of players act like the only thing you can do with an aggressive opening is win or lose, but that's silly. It's just an opening, and it puts you in some sort of position for later into the game. The amount of times I see players say *if X fails you lose*, is sad. Because it's not true. An opening can fail to kill an enemy but still put you in a great position if you do it well enough.
Players should not be looking at weaknesses as imbalances in the game. The races should not be directly compared. But they are, constantly.
If brood war came out now, instead of 20 years ago, the amount of complaining would be through the roof. It would be absolutely bonkers.
#You can't move out against Zerg it's impossible and they expand all over the map
#All Terran can do is turtle while Protoss can take a million bases
#I can't even get out of my base vs Terran all I can do is make a thousand sunkens and try desperately to get to lurkers so that I don't instantly die
But instead, because brood war was new, players didn't know better. So, they embraced these aspects of the game and played around them. They perfected them. They weren't balance issues... they were the game.
To sum it up, I think that many members of the community need to re-think how they view balance between the races... and I think that pros should be gleefully embracing the strengths and weaknesses in the matchups.