A little while ago Harstem played a long match against Serral on the ladder which after an hour and ten minutes ended in a draw. Witnessing this event made me remember a tale from years back. A tale of marko mech god, a terran player who employed a unique strategy that allowed him to perpetually stall out a game of starcraft 2.
After looking up the name and only finding a thread on /r/starcraft from 2015, an abandoned twitch channel and
, i wondered how many people these days remember this legendary player. In short our hero played a game on the ladder using his strategy, which lasted for over 8 hours and 30 minutes and ended with our hero winning against his opponent, because his opponent's patience ran out.
So what did our hero do to produce this game?
Well the plan was actually quite simple. Build a bunch of ravens as quickly as possible, float them into a corner of the map with a building and wait. That's really it.
Why did this work?
At the time of this event, ravens had an ability called "Build Point Defense Drone", PDD for short. The ability placed down a stationary Point Defense Drone, which would destroy enemy projectiles that fired near it's location. With enough ravens, you could practically create zone in which the enemy could not deal any damage with projectiles and better yet, you could maintain this zone perpetually.
"But OP" i hear you ask. "Wouldn't the game end in a stalemate"? Good question, the answer is no. Let me explain. Games of Starcraft 2 are set to end in a draw if certain event don't happen in a game for roughly 4 minutes, the game ends in a draw. These conditions are the following:
- Generating income
- Producing a unit
- Researching an upgrade
- Destroying an enemy building
- Constructing a building
You see, there was a quirk about the PDD ability. The drones it placed down, were considered buildings. Therefore our hero could just place down a PDD just before the timer ran out, thus extending the game without using any resources, apart from raven energy. There were some obvious flaws with the strategy:
- The strategy didn't work against Protoss
The PDD only worked against projectile attacks, which meant that Protoss players could get around the trick using void rays or carriers, since these units don't attack with projectiles. And since this was before Lotv, zerg didn't have the viper, they couldn't use parasitic bomb to counter it.
- You needed a bunch of ravens for this to work
Since the PDD ability used up a bit of your ravens' energy you needed quite a few of them to actually recover enough energy to keep the invulnerable zone alive. This in practice meant that your opponent had to more or less let you sit in your base uninterrupted for the first few minutes of the game to actually produce the ravens.
- The only way to win was for the opponent to run out of patience.
Since the only army you had was a bunch of ravens you couldn't move out from your corner of the map. The only way for you to win was for the enemy to suicide enough units so that they ran out of resources to produce units, or just give up and exit the game.
This meant that against an opponent that wasn't protoss, if they let you sit in your base for the first few minutes of the game, you could perpetually stall out the game.
So what did we learn?
Nothing, really. This was just a quick look back in history, to a time when a very unique player utilized a very unique strategy to completely destroy the fundamental game mechanics.
Thank you for reading my dumb post about this silly moment in time.
TLDR: PDD dumb, you used to be able to force a game to go literally forever.
edit: I'm dumb, vipers were added in Hots. I honestly don't know why the zerg didn't use them.
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