HotS Battle Report (Terran vs Protoss)

After a two months interval from the last Heart of the Swarm Battle Report, Terran vs Protoss was released today on Day[9]’s youtube channel. Despite Day[9]’s marketing value, I’m surprised that it is not on Blizzard’s Starcraft youtube channel, yet.

The collapsable rock has been introduced in earlier videos, and again, it has been given much elaboration in this battle report. Interestingly, the video did not answer some  crucial questions regarding the collapsable rock. It is pretty straight forward that it’s the opposite of destructable rock that when you ‘kill’ it, it will collapse and block the choke as destructable rock. However, the video did not explicitly mention what happens when there’s a unit or build on the location where the rock is going to fall.

Will the rock still fall and form the destructable rock? If it does, will it work like force field, in which it pushes units away and still falls on the location?

Or will it deal damage to units on it? If there is damage on the unit, what if the damage isn’t enough to kill the unit? If it doesn’t exactly deal damage but kill whatever that’s there (just like units in a destroyed drop ship), what happen if there’s a build there? Will the build gets destroyed? What if there is a cloaked unit there? What if something is warping in there?

There are so many questions on my mind which aren’t answered in the video. I must say I’m a little disappointed in that aspect.

If there is collapsable rock at the tower like the map in the video, then it is going to be the contention point in the earlier game. It does not matter if one is Protoss, every race can do the same trick. It certainly reminds me of BoxeR’s supply depot trick against Zerg at the tower.

The Terran went for a mech tech tree which is expected, since the main purpose of the video is to show case the new units. The new Terran units are produced from factory, and this gives the player tech tree options. I agree with Blizzard’s direction that there is a lack of variety in terms of approach. Blizzard admits that Terran has to be aggressive and cannot afford to sit back and get a death ball like Protoss. Consistent with this thinking, Blizzard introduces new units to the factory and also improves the current units. Terran can then be rewarded to be passive which they cannot now in Wings of Liberty. Large part of the community are shouting how OP Terran mech is going to be. I will argue that bio is still very viable, and the objective of the changes is to give additional options not turning Terran into a mech race.

Going back into the video, it appears that oracle will operate like a banshee in terms of its utility value as the game prolongs. Clearly, banshee is stronger in the early game when the opponent can spare little resource to deal with it. The same applies to oracle as shown in the video. If oracle is sent out to harass in the late game, Terran player will deal with it fine with turrets. As being shown in the video, the Protoss player gets an early mothership core and gives oracle energy to harass the economy of the Terran player. Since Terran is going for mech, there is nothing that can hit air apart from planting widow mines. Even if Terran goes for bio and has numerous marines, the movement speed of the oracle is still too much for them. Rather than saying this strategy looks OP, it is really hard to justify whether the harassment is worth the opportunity cost at that stage of the game.  The stargate is rather inactive after the production of the oracle. To justify this, the Protoss player went on to tech to tempest which I argue is simply for showcase purposes instead. The tempest does not look as powerful as it is being speculated due to the range. Day[9] emphasizes that the dps of the tempest is rather low despite its long range. Therefore, it seems more of a map specific unit in early and mid game, whereby the tempest can be placed on strategic location and be effective. As shown in the video, tempest seems to play a role of anti-tank and siege unit. At times, it looks like Broodlord to me. I’m not fond about the fact that it can hit air units.

Warhound looks effective against Protoss since it is an anti-armor unit. It will play the role of marauder for mech in TvP. Warhound will probably be the answer to why mech isn’t viable in TvP. It is just hard to be effective with Thor unless opponent isn’t expecting it. I’m interested to see marine and warhound combination though, but medivac cannot heal them like marauder.

I will like to see more action with widow mines, since no one really knows their role.

As the game moves on to mid game, the Terran player seems to have problem to balance mineral and gas. The player banked up more than 2000 mineral but has less than 100 gas at a point in the game. I’m not sure if it’s the problem with mech itself, or it is the issue with balancing the unit combination. The mineral will be much lower if more hellion is being produced. Clearly, the player did not get enough hellion to maximise his resources.

All in all, everything seems to work as expected. I hope my questions on the collapsable rock will be answered sooner than later.

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