“Older dies” discovery (Part 1)

Yesterday, Yegwen posted a very interest discovery on Team Liquid forum.

His finding answers a question that I’ve in my mind for more than a year.

In summary, when two high templars feed back each other at the same time, the older one dies. By ‘older’, it means it is being produced relatively earlier than the other high templar. Other players reported that this can be generalised across other units, for example marine, zergling and zealot.

Since I’m no programmer, I will not cover the technical reason behind this but focus on the implication in the actual game.

When two vikings attack each other at the same time when everything else being equal, both die. This is because the damage is  dealt when the missiles hit the target. Therefore, Yegwen’s finding cannot be applied to every unit. A possible explanation is that his finding is only applicable to units that do not have projectile attack animation.  For example, viking’s missiles are projectile. This is supported by the fact that when two marauders attack each other at the same time when everything else being equal, both die. If I assume that Yegwen’s finding is indeed applicable to all units, it then seems logical to hypothetically predict that the older viking will die first, and follow by the younger one when the older viking’s last missile hits it.

As I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post that this finding answer an unanswered question which I’ve for a long time. The question arises from a common scenario:

Opponent sent one marine to a xel narga tower which I had already positioned one of my marine there. Both marines attacked each other without any micro, and my marine died while his didn’t. I concluded from the replay that it is because my marine is not facing the other marine, and hence it has an additional turning time which leads to slower attack. Subsequently, I manually walk my marine to attack the other marine when the same scenario happens again. It does not make sense for me to give up my control of the tower when both send the same quantity and quality of unit to fight for the tower. I predicted that both marines will die. Apparently, I was wrong and only my marine died. Then I concluded that it might be due to chance. This conclusion seems accurate as I win occasionally in the same scenario. With reference to Yegwen’s finding, a more appropriate explanation is that my marine is simply older.

The above scenario highlights the significance of this discovery in early game. I will do my own experiment and post it up in part 2.

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