Pros talk about patch 4.8.2 and the latest Protoss balance changes.
Hello and welcome to the final article in this trilogy.
In this finale we’ll be talking about the protoss changes as well as giving each of our pro gamers the opportunity to propose a change they would have liked to have seen in this balance patch.
As always my guests are our Australian terran Seither, our Indian zerg Demi and the American protoss Astrea.
Gateway build time increased from 27 seconds to 30 seconds. Warp Gate cooldown remains unchanged.
Since the chrono change, it’s been hard for terrans to expand on the low ground in TvP, as a chrono boosted adept could cancel it too easily.
“[It’s] two seconds when chronoboosted right. I don’t know how this effects everything exactly, but it sounds good I’ll take it, [I] hope it’s enough. Some protoss players were complaining about reapers getting in too fast but I don’t know.
It also doesn’t help our macro game as it states. We are still going to mind game and all in every game.”
“I see this change mostly to help terran players since if you go core before nexus you can delay their natural.”
When I asked about if this might benefit early pool plays, Demi said, “No, I think early pools in general are quite bad.”
“It’s really a two second difference as when you chronoboost, you increase it by 50% so the adept is popping out two seconds slower. It’s still a pretty big deal I’d say because I’ve seen lots and lots of games where the command centre (when you go cybernetics core first) just barely, in the last second get cancelled.
The timing is really tight. I don’t think any players will go cybernetics core first [and] I think this completely shuts this strategy down.”
When I asked about protoss possibly being exposed to an early reaper, Astrea said,
“The reaper can get there a few seconds before the adept. Actually I think this is a bad change because of the map pool because all the maps are so big.
It seems like blizzards goal with this patch is to increase the diversity of strategies at the top level and I think this completely [ruins] of one of these strategies which is cyber core first. I think on this new map pool it wouldn’t have been as strong because all the maps seem to be bigger than the previous pool.
This change will also make terran proxy barracks reaper a lot stronger.”
Warp Gate research time decreased from 114 seconds to 100 seconds
Blizzard want to revisit this for lots of reasons, they don’t believe it will affect PvT as offensive options are not limited by warp gate, in PvZ they are hopeful that this could release pressure on the oracle as a defensive unit, and in PvP they are hopeful that strengthening warp gate will make stargate less effective.
“I was talking to Future from Infinity Gaming about this, he said that it means they will have warp gate in time for the hellion drop.
When I asked if it could also affect plays like the widow mine drop, Seither said,
“It extends to everything that hits around that time. I’m sure someone will make up some timing that hits faster now [with faster warpgate].
I’m worried about what else it will allow them [protoss players] to do so I think this a bad change.”
“Protoss won’t be in a rush to open warp gate like now where it is a stargate meta, you can delay warpgate and go for robo and twilight openers which might make it hard to scout."
When I asked if he was scared of any potential fast pushes that could come about because of this change, Demi said,
“The chargelot all-in, since warp gate finishes faster it will be really scary.”
“It does have the potential to be pretty tilting for some players. I think three gate warp prism could have the potential to be obscenely strong in PvP, the combination of the warp gate being reduced and the robotics also being reduced. I think it could be impossible to hold going stargate. Overall, as long as the all ins in PvT and PvZ aren’t overpowered I think this is a good change.
I have some theories in PvP where stargate is really good against robotics expands, robotics expands are really good against 4 gate and 3 gate robotics and the 3 gate warp prism is really good against stargate. If they manage to achieve some sort of circular build tech pattern then that’s kind of cool.”
Blink research cost decreased from 150/150 to 100/100.
Cost decreased from 200/100 to 150/100
Cost increased from 250/100 to 275/100
Blizzard is trying to encourage more robotics tech play and have such made slight changes to make robotics facility tech and their supplementary units (stalkers) more viable.
“[The changes are] just small efficiency changes that probably won’t make a big difference”
“Not sure if I will be scared of proxies but the reason you don’t see robotics play often is because of lurkers. We might see people trying but lurkers hard counter it well”
“I’m confused as to why blizzard want to see colossi so much in PvZ. The robotics change is kinda crazy to me, it’s surprising. It might be too much for all ins, like warp prism all ins in particular. If they aren’t so strong then it might be a good change.
Overall this blink research might be too strong vs Terran, I don’t think it’s going to break anything in PvZ, it might increase the amount of PvP blink builds so I think that’s good for the diversity of strategy.
Astrea on the proxy robotics shield battery build and if it may get stronger due to these changes,
“I don’t do that build, I’m a clean protoss player, [it] will probably make that a little bit stronger but I don’t think it’ll make it significantly stronger.
Movement speed increased from 2.63 to 3.01.
Gravitic Boosters upgrade now increases movement speed by 1.51, up from 1.31
“We’d like the Observer to be more able to compete with scouting options from the Stargate.”
“I don’t know, probably doesn’t change much.”
“The one thing I was thinking, is that observers were slightly slower than overseers, now they’re slightly faster so if you can consistently run an observer from getting sniped by an overseer then perhaps that’s a meaningful change.
This change wasn’t necessary because of the hallucination change.”
Removed the Light attribute. Added the Armored attribute.
Smaller numbers of stalkers can defend oracles more effectively, therefore reducing the need to open stargate.
“It means Vikings do more damage now, also the cyclone with upgrade does double damage. Seems more for PvP that one.”
“Might make marines worse against it but we’ll see how it goes”
“This change is huge. I think this is a really good change for PvP, that is if we’re measuring good by increasing diversity of strategy. You would think before that blink openings counter stargate openings but you never see pros going blink because blink right now does not counter stargate. This will definitely increase the amount of blink builds in conjunction with the blink change.
I think this will definitely reduce the amount of phoenix openings (Phoenix take double the amount of attacks to kill an oracle). In a stargate vs stargate scenario, it makes a phoenix war a lot less likely because the oracle is a lot stronger.”
Movement speed decreased from 3.5 to 3.15. Acceleration decreased from 2.8 to 2.1.
Blizzard received feedback that tempests may be too manoeuvrable against terran.
“YES. I still think I won’t be playing for long games but if I somehow end up there a little nerf is nice. They are probably worse than before now because they are squishy to Vikings.
On pre patch tempests;
“They did seem a little silly when I played against them, combed with everything else.”
“The tempest change is a massive nerf and currently zerg late game is quite strong if used properly. Zerg late game will be even more scarier with this change. [protoss will] probably try ending it before [late game].”
“I’m surprised they’re saying it was too much against terran. From my own play I don’t really use the tempest. I watch a lot of pro games and I haven’t seen any situation where the tempest looks like it’s just destroying terran.
I do think against Zerg this is a pretty significant change in the late game. After the carrier nerf lots of players preferred going tempest, void ray instead of mass carrier. I think it’s already difficult in PvZ late game, but not unbalanced. I just don’t think we’ll be able to take head to head fights."
With the final question of the night, I asked each of these three that if they could put one thing into the balance patch themselves, what would it be?
“I don’t really know how to fix it but they could start with something like the upgrades. I wish they could increase the coats of protoss +2/3 or increase the research time or something.
Get rid of medivacs being armoured so they take a similar amount of stalker shots as before the attack buff and take less hits from vikings in a viking dominated TvT meta.”
“Cyclones are a bit too strong at the moment. They can just kite forever which is really annoying. Your best bet as zerg is to get a good flank with hydra ling bane, mix in a few infestors and pray for a good fungal.”
“The change I really wanted blizzard to make for the proxy cannon immortal shit is just to make it that shield batteries can’t heal to the high ground. You can’t warp in to the high ground with pylons, if they just made it so that shield batteries couldn’t heal to the high ground I feel like that’s the best change.
I can’t think of a single scenario other from the proxy cannon robo build where shield batteries need to heal the high ground for defence.”
There we have it, three pro opinions on the latest changes, brought to by ROOT4ROOT.com. Stay tuned to the site for more exciting Starcraft news as the tournament season dawns upon us.
Many thanks to my guests, SYF Gaming’s Seither, OSC-Elite’s Demi and AlphaX’s Astrea.