Balance Updates

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To be honest, I'm not sure the new Dark Shrine cost will change too much, as their biggest cost is the amount of time the structure takes to complete. You'll see DTs a little more often maybe (they're still a big investment on a per-unit basis), but as long as you don't skimp on detection it doesn't change much at all.
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Could see more raven usage in TvZ for PDD now that fungal is a projectile.. raven is kind of a hard counter to festors now with the changed Hunter Seeker missile + PDD. So glad they got nerfed.. zerg have been rolling everyone with one spell in both ladder and pro games (blizzard world championship over 50% zerg, lol?).Also glad to see terran finally got some love and the blizzard have finally acknowledged current weakness of BOTH mech and bio in ALL matchups. They could have come out about this a year ago but hey better later than never. Also, maybe the Thor's special ability will be used this time around? :)
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When behind, Dark Shrine :)
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Eh, bio with a few Ghosts and Vikings is extremely effective against Protoss. Vikings screw hard with Colossi if controlled correctly, and Ghosts deal exceedingly well with High Templar, essentially removing the only two Protoss answers to bio from the picture.
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I think it'll make a fair difference early game. 150 gas is an extra unit or two, which doesn't sound like much but before the midgame it's actually pretty significant for protoss.
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Well, 150 gas in midgame usually boils down to little more than 3 stalkers, 1 immortal and 1 stalker, or 1 sentry and 1 stalker. Useful sure, but simply not going into DTs is a whole lot better for your midgame army. Going Dark Shrine is still an investment because the cost of the units themselves and time required until you can make them remains very significant. DTs are game changing when not scouted or anticipated, but in any other situation, they are a massive drain on resources, unless you decide to go into Archons (which require expensive upgrades).
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A few vikings? More like 5 or 6 with 1 to air upgrade, that is, if you position them perfectly in dead space or the protoss somehow doesn't blink underneath them with just a handful of stalkers. This is of course all happening whilst bioball has to split against Colossi, kite zealots and dodge storms.Protoss micro? Blink a tiny portion of army into vikings, a-move the rest of your army forwards. FFs and storms if you haven't been EMPed. Late game PvT is a joke and always has been - you can never mech against a protoss (every unit hard counters tanks) so that means you're forced to fight with bioball against a race with the most options for AoE damage in the game.Even if you do manage to take out colossi/ht ball as a Terran, then comes the inevitable zealot archon transition which makes your entire air investment useless. I'm sour about PvT as you can tell, I always try and two prong with medivac timing push them in the mid game since winning a straight up engagement with deathball at my level (plat) is never in your favour as a terran player.
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If you know how to position, those blinked stalkers are going to evaporate under the bio. Vikings need to stick near the marines, their range lets them do this. Honestly, once Vikings are getting pumped, Colossi are not a good choice, a smart Protoss will switch to HT.A toss A-moving into bio will lose most of his army, with or without colossi. You have to keep the zealots in the right places, use forcefields and guardian shields well, keep the stalkers the hell away from the bio's reach while zoning out vikings, etc. Also, unlike zerg, Protoss AoE is a complete joke to counter for Terran. HTs get screwed by the units they're supposed to counter (Ghosts) if the Terran player is even halfway competent.Honestly, a bioball is extremely scary for Protoss. Anything, and I mean anything, that walks into its range will die far faster than against any other composition from any race. Line engagements become unacceptable (even if you win them, odds are you will lose more minerals and gas), so the Protoss is forced to rely on positioning and AoE against a race with hard counters to both its AoE units. Seriously, in diamond, Terran can simply dismantle a Protoss deathball. Also Archons are rarely justified against Terran - they die before they get a single shot off if the Terran player knows how to focus fire.

Over the past week, Blizzard has released patch 1.5.3 for Wings of Liberty and a balance update for Heart of the Swarm. The balance update of December 4th introduced only one drastic change for Zerg players. This balance update will see Fungal Growth’s range reduced from 9 to 8, making Infestors more susceptible to EMP, Psionic Storm, and Feedback. In the past, Fungal Growth’s range allowed Infestors to stay safely behind the Zerg army where it was free to Fungal as much as it needed and then burrow to run away. Now Infestors are vulnerable, thus making them a harder unit to use effectively.

In addition, the Infested Terran eggs that Infestors are able to spawn have had their health reduced from 100 to 70. When on the field with a 200/200 army, an Infestor is able to spawn additional units that don’t factor in the supply count; they’re not overly powerful but a 200/200 army going up against a 200/300 army is just crazy. This nerf allows players to kill the Infested Terrans, which can easily sway a game, before they have a chance to do a lot of damage.

These changes address the growing feeling of Zerg being imbalanced and a bit overpowered. Ideally Infestors will no longer be the answer to every unit composition and this helps ensure they are only effective if used intelligently.

In addition to these changes Blizzard also introduced a plethora of balance changes to the HoTS beta. Here’s my list of the worst 3 changes:

  1. Medivac ability Emergency Thrusters. This ability gives Medivacs an 8 second speed boost, allowing them to get in and out with very little cost. As if Medivac drops weren’t potent enough, here’s a way to make them even more effective!
  2. Dark Shrine cost has been reduced to 100/100. Who doesn’t love Dark Templar? Do you hear the sarcasm yet? DT’s are very potent for harass and little else. This change allows them to be a game-ender. So much for “when behind Dark Shrine”. If it’s so cheap why not just Dark Shrine all the time?
  3. Mutalisks have had their speed increased from 3.75 to 4. Mutalisks have always been pretty useless and maybe Blizzard is trying to change that but I feel it will have much the same effect as increasing the speed of Medivacs. This change makes Mutas more effective and less susceptible to death.

These questionable changes are just a few of many balance changes. The majority of these balance updates seem good or at the very least intriguing. There are many changes that make more unit compositions or transitions more viable and allow players to be more reactive. Overall I would say the changes seem more positive than negative, but the overall effect remains to be seen.

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