It has been a week since the release of the new patch. I have played and watched some games. Here is what I expect.
- Movement speed increased from 3.375 to 4.
- Acceleration increased from 2 to 3.
- Units that burrow or cloak while under the effects of Revelation will once again be revealed after unburrowing or uncloaking.
- Vehicle and Ship Weapon upgrades have been combined.
- Siege Mode attack period decreased from 3.0 to 2.8.
- Sentinel Missiles now deal reduced damage to units caught within its splash radius based on their distance from the target:
- 40 damage within 1.25 radius.
- 20 damage from 1.25 to 1.5.
- 10 damage from 1.5 to 1.75.
- The Tunneling Claws upgrade now increases burrowed Roach movement speed from 1.41 to 2.
More mech. Mech gets buff in this patch. While the Tank buff makes Tank line harder to break, the Widow Mine nerf does not have much meaning in this match up. The combination of vehicle and ship weapon upgrade is what changes the match up.
The Tank buff itself is not enough to make mech superior. Bio does not really engage mech’s Tanks when they are well sieged up, and hence, the Tank buff is not that significant. You need a certain number of Tanks in the engagement to observe the impact of the buff. Interestingly, Marine Tank battle may get affected. There are times whereby Marines form a nice concave and stim in to attack opponent’s army when the opponent is caught out of position slightly. The Tank buff makes it harder to judge if you can clear up the isolated units.
The combination of vehicle and ship weapon upgrade buff “mech’s air units”. Banshees and Vikings are stronger in the mid-late game when the mech upgrade kicks in. This makes upgrade advantage in mech vs. mech much more critical than before.
Air transition also favors mech now.
I expect more mech in TvT.
I still don’t see mech better than bio in TvZ. Mech has problem dealing with Swarm Host. TLO made a good point in Home Story Cup. He said, Zerg makes 8 Mutalisks for map control and forces Terran to make Thors. Behind that, Zerg makes Swarm Host, and Thor is not an answer to Swarm Host.
What about the Tank + Mine composition that Blizzard is looking for? As I had speculated, pure Widow Mines are still stronger against Zerlings, Banelings and Mutalisks. Tanks can be useful if you play a Bomber style whereby you turtle up to make a big army before pushing across the map. If not, Tanks do not sync well with the movement of the Terran army against Zerg in general play, and they are a liability at times. Another reason why Tanks will not be used that often against Zerglings, Banelings and Mutalisks composition is that Zerg gets more than 25 Mutalisks. Thor is a better choice.
With that being said, the Tank buff helps Terran to deal with Roach and Hydralisk composition better. You can get more Tank shots on the Hydralisks.
The Widow Mine nerf makes a big difference. I played against Zerg players who were sloppy to just A-move with a big bunch of Zerglings without being aware of the number of potential Widow Mines. The difference is obvious when 4-5 of my Widow Mines land on the big pool of A-move Zerglings. I was expecting many more Zerglings to die than what actually happened. I guess the difference is less obvious with top level Zergs who micro well against Widow Mines.
I don’t expect the metagame to change much.
Jokes aside. I am not convinced with the Oracle buff. My critique about the buff is not the buff itself, but the rationale behind the buff.
Protoss feels like it has been playing too defensively (outside of Warp Prism harasses). We’re seeing Oracles only being used in the early game, and not much during any other stage of the game. We hope by reducing the gas cost of the Oracle, they’ll be used more throughout the game.
The speed changes are something we’ve tried in the past and we believe this is a better direction than a straight cost reduction for the unit. The main reason is that we’d like the difference between someone who’s amazing with Oracle micro to be able to keep them alive the whole game to get the most out of them, whereas lesser skilled players won’t get as much out of this change. Not only that, this direction is a smaller buff to the all in case and/or early game use cases compared to the previously proposed 50 gas cost reduction.
Revelation right now is the main late game ability for Oracles, meaning if it’s a bit easier to use, we’d see a lot more Oracle usage in the late game as well.
Blizzard buff Warp Prism and Oracle (offensive units) in order to discourage defensive play. First of all, if you buff something and not nerf another, the race gets buff. Justification is required if you want to buff a specific race. If you want to discourage defensive play, you do not just buff the offensive options, but you also need to nerf the defensive options. The problem now is that Protoss can play the same defensive style that Blizzard wishes to change, but with better offensive units.
I like the idea to increase the skill ceiling of unit control though. It rewards better players and is more fun to watch as a spectator sports.
Terran can make use of the combination of vehicle and ship attack upgrade for smoother Hellbat transition. Previously, it is difficult to get bio upgrade, ship attack upgrade (for Vikings) and Hellbat upgrade (Blue flame and mech upgrade) altogether. The buff may result in more Hellbat transition to deal with Zealots in big engagement. Thus, I expect more Hellbats in TvP.