Content of the article: "So after 3 months, I put together this fantasy Balance Patch (Part 2: Zerg)"
NOTE: I KNOW THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN, BLIZZARD WON'T CONSIDER ANY OF THIS, THIS IS PURELY A PASSION PROJECT 🙂
Link to Part 1 : TERRAN
Link to Part 3 : PROTOSS
FULL AUDIO/VIDEO Rundown of this HERE:
- Adaptive Talons research Removed
- Seismic Spines research Removed
- Maximum Health Decreased: 185 HP (from 200 HP)
- Base Attack Range Increased: 10 range (from 8 range)
- Unburrow Duration Changed: 1.5 seconds (from 0.7 seconds)
- Lurker Den now morphed from the Hydralisk Den (Lurker Den can research Hydralisk Upgrades)
- Lurker Den Build Time Decreased: 45 seconds (from 57 seconds)
I want to make the lurker THE siege unit for Zerg. Right now, it’s kind of in a weird place, but also a very strong one. The Lurker is a kind of a siege unit, but with less range, although you can upgrade the range, pretty tanky for the cost, kind of slow moving and slow to siege and un-siege, but with an upgrade to negate that. You see what I mean? This feels like the Tankivac all over again. Blizzard made the Lurker, which had strengths and weaknesses, then gave it upgrades that literally negate its weaknesses. Screw the upgrades, let’s slot the Lurker into the siege role. Upgrading its base range and lowering its health by a bit to make it less tanky. I don’t think this overlaps with the Siege tank, even though they have the exact same weaknesses, the way they deal damage is still very different. Lurkers splash in a line and are burrowed. So, I think this change is fine and good for the role the Lurker is trying to fill.
- Locust Attack Cooldown Increased: 0.54 (from 0.43) (For reference the DPS is now 18.5 from 23.25.)
- Locust Duration Increased: 21 seconds (from 18 seconds)
- Swarm Host Movement Speed Increased: 3.30 (from 3.15)
- New Passive Effect from Spawn Locust Ability: While Spawn Locust is on Cooldown, the Swarm Host’s Movement Speed is reduced by 20%.
The Swarm Host is a difficult unit to balance since it shifts from having free units to being dead supply. I think the cheapness of the unit (100 minerals+ 75 gas) justifies its swing from cost efficient to useless. I do believe the burst damage of locust can be too easily game ending in some situations, being able to snipe main bases or key buildings in a matter of seconds, since Swarm Hosts ignore terrain. Although there is some counter play, I want to reduce that effectiveness of game ending swarm host waves. By lowering their overall DPS and increasing their life span, I’m allowing the opponent to have a little more time to be able to react and deal with to the locust waves whilst retaining a high overall damage if undealt with. I also want to emphasize the locust’s vulnerability after launching their locust wave and encourage synergizing plays such as nN
- Blinding Cloud spell reworked and moved to the Infestor
- Unit Cost Changed: 100 minerals + 150 gas (from 100 minerals + 200 Gas)
- New Abduct Spell Interaction: Target Massive Unit is now pulled halfway between its initial location and the location of the Viper.
- Parasitic Bomb Damage Changed: 120 (+80 vs Massive) (can stack)
After having an entire spell removed from its kit, my first instinct was to lower the cost on the Viper, also trying to encourage people to build both Viper and Infestor in synergy. I wanted to differentiate the Viper from the Infestor; one being a more anti-air spellcaster vs an anti-ground spellcaster. Abduct is a spell that almost serves as an instant kill spell, because you are pulling a unit in isolation into the DPS of your entire army, so the power of abducting a zealot or a capital ship is almost the same. So, I made it a bit more difficult to pull the expensive units right into your army, which for the most part are Massive units, requiring often 2 abducts and proper positioning to pull off. And since I will be removing Fungal Growth from the game, I will be adding some extra power to the Parasitic Bomb to help against late game Capital Ships, furthering its role as the anti-air spellcaster.
- Size of Infestor reduced by 10%.
- Fungal Growth spell Removed.
- Neural Parasite spell Removed.
- Microbial Shroud spell Removed.
New Spell – “Septic Fog”
Cannot be cast while burrowed. Energy Cost: 100 Range: 11 Duration: 7 seconds Radius: 2 Effect: Creates a bright green cloud for 7 seconds that reduces the attack range of ground units and structures underneath to melee range. Movement Speed of enemy units underneath the cloud is reduced by 20%. Enemy units under the cloud take 2 damage every second (does not stack).
New Spell – “Fiendish Nebula”
Cannot be caste while burrowed. Researched at Infestation Pit – 200 minerals + 200 gas, 100 second build time Energy Cost: 75 Radius: 1.5 Range: 8 Duration: 4 seconds Effect: Creates a dark brown cloud for 4 seconds. Friendly Ground Units underneath the cloud take no damage from spells (energy-based abilities).
Transferred Spell – “Contaminate”
Can cast while burrowed. Energy Cost: 100 Range: 3 Duration: 21 seconds Effect: The Infestor covers an enemy structure with slime. The structure will be unable to train units or research upgrades for 21 seconds.
First, let’s get it out of the way, the Infestor is clunky as f**, so I’ll be reducing its size slightly to help with that. Secondly, I want to slot the Infestor into the more ground spellcaster/ ground terrain control type unit. So Fungal Growth is gone and instead I gave it a new disgusting spell which is basically Blinding Cloud mixed with Fungal Growth all in one (but with less damage). This spell will help a lot with that terrain control role, but its energy cost is quite high, so use it smartly, the Infestor does not have the Consume ability. Then, Fiendish Nebula is a spell made to be an anti-spellcaster spell. With the existence of Feedback which sucks all energy and deals damage, EMP with deals shield damage and removes energy in a AoE, Fiendish Nebula is a spell that nullifies the damage and effects from spells instead, so players will have to be quick and decisive with this cast, sometimes having to predict in advance where the opponent’s spells will land. Lastly, I always thought the Overseer Contaminate spell was much closer in identity to the Infestor. So, I’m moving the Overseer closer to its vision unit role and moving its Contaminate spell to the Infestor. Now we will once again see burrowed Infestors infiltrating enemy lines, but not to drop Infested Terrans, but to sabotage and infest their buildings.*
- Contaminate spell Removed
- New Ability: Farsight (Researched at Hive, 100 minerals + 100 gas, 43 second build time)
- Effect: After 0.7 seconds, the Overseer narrows his vision to a cone in front of him, immobilizing him until cancelled and granting him 50% extra vision range. The cone will have a silhouette that the opponent can see.
Zerg late game army vision has been an issue for a while, in comparison with other races. Protoss have the Revelation spell from the Oracle, and Terran have Scans, both to keep track of the opponent’s late-game army in a consistent way. Realistically, the only late-game army vision Zerg can have is spamming a bunch of Changelings, which seems (and is) quite ridiculous when you think about it. Since creep is already quite a strong, I don’t want to give Zerg a permanent army vision type spell like Revelation or Scan, so Zergs will have to dart in and out and micro their Overseers to spot the army without getting themselves killed, so their army vision will most likely be in short bursts. For reference, the narrow cone of vision on an Overseer will have 16.5 range when sieged. And just like Revelation and Scan, the silhouette of the vision cone will give a visual indication to the other player of what the Overseer can and cannot see. When you think about it, it’s like Sauron’s Eye.
- Movement Speed Decrease: 5.49 (from 5.6)
- Mutalisk Attack Range Increased: 4 (from 3)
- Passive Ability “Tissue Regeneration” Changed: After 3 seconds of being immobilized, the Mutalisk health regeneration rate increases to 2 HP per second (from 1.4), until they are no longer immobilized.
- “Tissue Regeneration” renamed to “Asymmetrical Slumber”
I wanted to increase the attack range by 1 for a couple of reasons, so early small Mutalisk numbers could pick off key units a little easier with proper micro but mostly to reduce the hard counter of the Phoenix on the Mutalisk early on. This change will not affect late game much but will help Mutalisk’s in the early to mid-game. With that said I want improper use of the Mutalisks to be easier to punish and more impactful. Previously, Mutalisks could very easily dart in and out, and keep putting pressure all while regenerating very quickly. In my opinion, small or large clumps of Mutalisks should not be able to continue to be as oppressive after being caught or punished, since they can still fly around and find picks all while rapidly healing. With the slight movement speed nerf, Mutalisks will have to be more careful, and will have to immobilize in a safe area to quickly heal their flock, giving the opponent an opportunity for offense after damaging them. For high level players, they will most likely continue to fly around with their Mutalisk flock but shift out the damaged ones to heal before re-adding them to their control group.
- Movement Speed Increased: 2.35 (from 1.97)
I would almost categorize this buff as a quality of life change. Broodlords are used a lot less in the late-game in comparison to his follow Zerg friends like the Lurker, the Viper, the Ultralisk, and just straight up the Corruptor. The main reason is their movement speed being painfully slow. Even though it was chosen to be this way because of its role as a siege unit, it’s still much too slow. Wherever the Broodlord flock goes, it’s basically 100% committed. They cannot turn around after a fight without all dying and cannot go from 1 side of the map to another in any reasonable amount of time, slowing down the games involving Broodlords to a very remote location or section of the map. It’s counter parts would be the Tempest and the Liberator (as air siege units), however those two have 3.15 and 4.72 movement speed respectively, and all capital ships have 2.62 movement speed (Mothership, Carrier, Battlecruiser, Thor, Voidray). So, I’ll be giving it more movement speed to help match the air movement of other late-game air compositions.
- Zerg is Weird
- Here’s a list of every relevant balance change since patch 4.0 (free to play patch) that is still in the game, or was tried and reverted.
- Which units would you keep, and which throw in the trash, for StarCraft 3?
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