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Friday, August 27, 2010

So I finally got the new blog up and running today, and this week we saw some big things in the Starcraft 2 universe. In the finals we had Idra vs. MorroW in which Idra felt a crushing 3-2 defeat. I won't go into much detail since this is a bit old, but there seemed to be a lot of controversy on with a few players who many in the community deemed shouldn't even be there, MorroW being one of them. It's evident that those invited were invited for a reason and the backlash from the community was completely unnecessary and unwarranted.

On to some more recent news: MLG Raleigh is right around the corner, kicking off today (August 27th) with a huge single elimination tournament housing hundreds of the best players from around the world. Casters include none other than Day[9], HDStarcraft (J.P.), and HDHuskey.

The rules can be found at:

While the actual live MLG stream can be found here:

The last big thing we saw this week were some significantly game changing patch notes ( Unfortunately these won't be implemented in time for Raleigh, but as long as they're getting it done:

We have two key changes in mind for the zealot: the build time is being increased from 33 to 38 seconds, and the warpgate cooldown is being increased from 23 to 28 seconds. Zealot rushes are currently too powerful at various skill levels, particularly those that rely on rapidly assaulting an enemy base from nearby "proxy" gateways. We feel the window players have to scout for and fend off this rush is too small. We also want to address the problem of protoss being able to dump minerals a bit too quickly with the combination of warpgates and Chrono Boost.
 One major problem with the zealot build time nerf is that conventional non-rushing players will be crippled horribly in the early game, especially when Protoss has a significant inability to defend against early pushes. On the other hand, the warpgate cooldown is completely warranted and while slightly altering the mid-game, has no "major" adverse effects.

There are several changes in the works for terrans. Reapers against zerg are stronger than expected. Due to the zealot build time increase, reapers would be a bit problematic in combination with proxy barracks, bunkers, and/or marauders against protoss. Therefore, we have decided to increase the build time of reapers as well from 40 to 45 seconds. Fast reaper + bunker, or fast marine + bunker rushes are problematic against zerg. Although this rush would never outright destroy the zerg player, we feel zerg suffers too much of a disadvantage from either having to cancel the fast expansion, or getting trapped inside the main base for too long, so we are also increasing the bunker build time from 30 to 35 seconds.

Siege tanks in large numbers are performing too well in all matchups. In the mid- to late-game, siege tanks are too dominant against all ground units. We want a small set of light and unarmored ground units to perform better against siege tanks. With this in mind, we're changing the Siege Mode damage of the siege tank from 50 to 35, +15 vs. armored; to correspond with this, damage upgrades will be changed from +5 to +3, +2 vs. armored. This change reduces the base damage of the siege tank against light and unarmored units, as well as the splash damage.
 This one has been a long time coming, as we've heard from countless players including the infamous IdrA who has pointed out the TvZ imbalance issues countless times. We'll see how this progresses as the patch is released, but this change should greatly contribute to fixing the obvious issues we're seeing in this match-up.
Battlecruisers currently lack good counters from the ground and still perform very well against a wide array of unit types. We're aware that it is not easy to get battlecruisers out for the cost, but at the same time, it is possible in both 1v1s and team games to create stalemate situations to bring them out. Overall, we feel that battlecruisers are too strong for their cost, and the terran-forced stalemate situations are causing less interesting gameplay. We will be lowering their damage against ground units from 10 to 8.
 This on the other hand is completely out from right field, and has much of the Starcraft 2 community baffled. Where this minor change game from is beyond me, and many others out there, but I suspect a large number of lower ranked players have been complaining about the battlecruiser rush as they often have trouble scouting and adapting to situations. This seems like a positive change for the community overall, especially since we hardly ever see any significant battlecruiser play in competition.

Ultralisk damage is being decreased from 15, +25 vs. armored to 15, +20 vs. armored. This reduction is comparable to the changes being made to the battlecruiser and siege tank. Like the battlecruiser, ultralisks are simply too powerful for the cost, even though they are difficult to muster. Also, in combination with other units, ultralisks are difficult to counter from the ground. The ultralisk building attack (Ram) is being removed because the damage rate is too similar to its normal attack, which will be used against buildings instead. When ultralisks target tightly packed smaller buildings such as supply depots, the Ram attack is actually outputting considerably less overall damage than its normal attack, as Ram only hits a single target.
At this point, I feel like I'm getting a bit lengthy, but I'll just say that this is perfectly fine in terms of balance, especially in the ZvP match-up.

That's about it this week guys, and we'll see you next week.

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