Possible Changes for Balance Test Map (13/08/2013)


Finally there is something for me to blog about.

There is a new balance test map with possible changes.

Note: this is not a patch (yet).

1. Overseer speed buff (after upgrade) 

TvZ feels quite balanced until the very late game when there are so many skirmishes and so many Widow Mines. We want to keep the really exciting gameplay while finding ways to help out Zerg in those specific battles. Having to micromanage your army in every engagement, morph new Banelings, manage 4-5 (or more) bases, and morph new Overseers can be a bit too much. So we’re going to test giving Overseers a speed buff after the speed upgrade is purchased, so that we keep the early- and mid-game the same while specifically helping out the Zerg in the later stages. They still wouldn’t move as fast as say, Mutalisks, but perhaps late game TvZ goes more evenly if Overseers don’t lag behind and get killed in most late engagements.

2. Combine mech ground and air upgrades

We don’t think Terran is struggling, but do think mech in general has been weak throughout HotS. We tested this specific change a bit in the beta, and we have some idea of how much better mech will be, but a lot has changed since then, so we’d like to actually have players playtest it again.

Right now, it’s looking like the only area where Terran might be weak is late game PvT, but it’s debateable. If so, this change would address that area, because upgrading Vikings that are really core in the matchup will also help with the Hellbat transition in the late game.

3. Vipers start with full energy

We’ve been discussing various options for the Zerg both internally and with top players and casters around the world, and we feel that this change might be a good place to start testing.

We don’t know yet whether we want to increase the rate of Vipers’ spells, and thought it might be cool if Vipers come out of the box at full strength, so their first use has a much bigger impact. It’s possible that we can both increase the strength of Zerg in the late game and bring back a fun strategy that we’re seeing a bit less lately.

1. Overseer speed buff

The stated problem never came to my mind once since I don’t play Zerg. Indeed, I tend to pick out the leftover Overseers after a successful engagement, so the change map work out. However, the question is how fast? I have issues with Overseers in regards to how they trigger Widow Mine shots in medium to large battle. It is a paradox in itself. From Terran’s perspective, you don’t want the Widow Mine shot to land on Overseers. However, the reason for that to happen is that the rest of the Zerg units are too fast for the Widow Mine to lock on and activate at times. Thus, some of the Widow Mine shots will end up on the slower units like Overseers. Yet it is better than not activating at all.


I am unsure how fast the Overseer speed is after the upgrade, but it should be fast enough that the Marines find it hard to catch them. Moreover, the upgrade should be at least a lair tech or it may affect other match ups. For example, the usage of contaminate in ZvP.

2. Combine mech ground and air upgrades

Not sure if this encourages players to use mech. However, it certainly affects TvP as Blizzard has pointed out. I have to choose between either upgrade against protoss. +1 air attack is a definite one, but it is the subsequent upgrade that becomes more difficult. With patch 2.0.9, I even decide not to get Hellbat and focus on air upgrade. Probably I should try to add another factory for Hellbat in late game (one with tech lab for upgrade).

3. Vipers start with full energy

Vipers have definitely been unpopular among Zerg players. It is a cool unit with game changing ability, but the opportunity cost is high. Let’s hope that Vipers with full energy from the start will not end up with a deadly push timing with Vipers mixed in.


All in all, these proposed changes are worthy of examination.

2 thoughts on “Possible Changes for Balance Test Map (13/08/2013)

  1. I guess the first two patches will come through. They are useful and seem to adress problems. The third one, the viper patch, seems quite strange to me. Vipers are already strong and I dont see why they need a buff.
    From a metagame perspective I can only hope that we will never see this change going live.
    I dont understand how you can think positvely about it.
    Imagine other casters starting with full energy…

    1. Vipers have interesting abilities that fit specific purposes. Abduct breaks deathball, while Blinding cloud is a good supportive spell like Fungal. Infestors can fit these purposes better than Vipers as of now. Blizzard generally buff units that are underused.

      As of the impact of the buff, it could potentially affect balance.

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