Community feedback update – november 17 gas 76 station

Its been a big week here for StarCraft! Just this past weekend we hope you had fun watching Home Story Cup and seeing all of the changes being played out at a high level. And this week itself we have gone live with our big patch with a new commander for coop and all of the multiplayer design patch changes.

Now that the patch is out, we would like to make a number of balance changes based off of observations and feedback that we received from the community. The patch is a bit larger than usual for a balance patch, but these past changes have been larger than usual as well! In addition, a number of ESports events are coming up in December so we would like to make sure that players have time to practice with new balance updates. In addition the holiday season is upon us so we would like to target a balance update for sometime during the week of November 27th.

For design patches we like to lean on the side of making things powerful so that players can really feel the changes and then pull back from there. However, it seems the Infestor is currently further in this direction than we would like. We believe that Fungal Growth is the prime reason for its strength and we want to increase counterattack options to the currently stealthy Infestors first before heavily nerfing its direct power. So we are going to reduce the Fungal Growth area of effect slightly and remove the ability to cast Fungal Growth while burrowed. In line with this we are also planning on reducing Infested Terran cast range by 2. It can still be cast while burrowed, but now there should be more trade off in how far forward you want to move your Infestors with the initial cast and how much you want to let the Infested Terrans walk towards their targets.

Since Protoss got the biggest design changes in this patch we would like to carefully monitor certain areas before making a move. Disruptors and Stalkers could be overly powerful, but we would like to get more data first. However, the roughly 3 minute Oracle timing vs Terran seems too strong so we want to make a adjustment to that strategy. Since the Oracle itself is a strong option in several matchups and already fights well at short ranges, (Thus already providing player interaction, but perhaps too sharply) we believe that we can adjust the power of the unit.

This changes how effective they are against Marines and SCVs especially. Marines are now able to defeat an Oracle head on with a group of 5 instead of 6. This change also adjusts the relationship between Oracles and Hydralisks slightly and the Hydralisk will perform better vs Oracles. We are also increasing the build time to match Void Rays to help push back the timing of when Oracles hit slightly.

We are also planning on slightly increasing the cost of Shield Batteries. Right now the decision to make them is a bit too ubiquitous so we would like to make their cost more similar to other defensive structures. This is just an initial change, depending on how the meta game develops we might have to revisit this newly added building in future balance passes.

For Terran we want to introduce some buffs as we think a number of their upgrades are currently more expensive than required. With the current nerfs to the Widow Mine we think the upgrade is much more costly than needed, especially since the upgrade is now more needed to keep your mines alive. In addition the Rapid Fire Launchers have a very specific use case so we want to reduce the cost here as well. Finally Smart Servos is probably slightly over costed compared to other mobility/combat upgrades like Stimpack and Combat Shields.

Returning energy on interrupted Steady Targeting should help Terran players who keep their cool under pressure and retarget the ability. Also while the cost change is an overall reduction, Vespene Gas is usually seen as more valuable, except to high level Marine oriented Bio play. This should make it a more competitive choice for players.

This is of course not the end of balance tuning. The changes are very new and we think that even without patches the game will change quite a bit as high level players develop new strategies. Some areas that we are especially keeping an eye on include things like: Widow Mine usage post nerf, Stalker/Disruptor power vs Terran, overall effectiveness of Terran Bio, timings with the new Chrono Boost, Raven strength and the late game strength of Zerg.