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TheProgramer
09-17-2012, 04:26 PM
Tell us how you think Blizz can fix the carrier.
And no, changing the model to the old one does not count as a suggestion./B]

[B]Things you should know

The Carrier has an attack range of 8, and a 'leash' range of 14.
The Carrier will launch it's interceptors at a target at range 8, and the Carrier can then move withing 14 range of the target.
The Carrier must return to range 8 to switch targets, (whether by manual command, or because the target has been elimiated).
The Carrier launches it's interceptors at a cooldown rate of .5 seconds.
With the Graviton Catipult upgrade that changes to a cooldown rate of .125 for the first four, and .25 for the last four. This means that the Carrier will launch all it's interceptors in 1.5 seconds, where as without the upgrade the carrier would only have launched 3 in 1.5 seconds.

TheProgramer
09-17-2012, 04:37 PM
My suggestions. Any of the following:


Increase the leash range.*
Allow interceptors to target additional targets while the Carrier is in the leash range (instead of the carrier having to return to the attack range of 8).**
Allow Carriers to adopt other interceptors (if they have room) when the host Carrier dies.***
Make decently strong anti-ground shields (like the old Tempest's anti-ground shields) so fair better against massed ground units.****
Have the Carrier repair interceptors if they've been docked for a certain amount of time.


*This would allow some more micro with the carrier. Will reward players with skill who spend time to micro the unit. Also makes the unit more fun to mico and use.

**Would allow players to micro and not be punished for their micro by having to re-enter range 8, after they have spent their time using the leash range. This is my NUMBER ONE change that I desire.

***Would help vs (not make invulnerable to) marine balls, which hard counter interceptors.

****Would help vs (not make invulnerable to) marine balls, and blink stalker balls. While still allowing the hard-countering air units to take down the Carrier. I feel that right now for the Terran and Protoss, no matter what tech path they have gone down they will have a counter to the Carrier. Massed Marines or stalkers if the player has focused on ground tech. Vikings and Void Rays if the player has gone air tech. This change would narrow down the counter to the air units, forcing the oposing player to consciencly make a decion to get the counter.

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 04:42 PM
From the new patch thread:


The only solution to fixing the Carrier is... to make the Interceptors invulnerable. To make the Carrier like every other unit. To make Interceptors simply the visual for the Carrier's regular attack. We could make Carriers start with 4 Interceptors, then give the Fleet Beacon an "Interceptor Capacity" upgrade to give them 8 which would just double the Carrier's damage.

TheProgramer
09-17-2012, 05:07 PM
The only solution to fixing the Carrier is... to make the Interceptors invulnerable. To make the Carrier like every other unit. To make Interceptors simply the visual for the Carrier's regular attack.

Making the Interceptors invulnerable would only really help vs massed marines. But would actually be a nerf to all other compositions. No other unit does better takign out the interceptors before takign out the carrier! It's wiser in every other case to go after the carrier!

Also when facing an oponent who's attention is elsewhere having units (minus massed marines) distratcted attacking the inteceptors instead of the carrier will often turn the tide of that battle in the carrier owner's favor!



We could make Carriers start with 4 Interceptors, then give the Fleet Beacon an "Interceptor Capacity" upgrade to give them 8 which would just double the Carrier's damage.

They already start with four, unless that post was dripping with sarcasm, that poster hasn't really ever used carriers much. And making them have to upgrade to get 4 additional is actualy a nerf because they can already make 4 more.

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 05:14 PM
You didn't understand my point. The Carrier is broken and cannot ever be balanced because of the way it was designed, as a unit producing unit. What I'm suggesting is to fix this by making the Carrier a singular unit with no other units (Interceptors) dependant upon it. The Interceptors would be untargetable because they wouldn't be actual units. They'd simply be the visual for the Carrier's damage output. The Carrier would start with a visual of 4 Interceptors, and after the upgrade the visual would change to 8 Interceptors. Like a Zergling getting wings after its upgrade as a visual indicator of the upgrade. Only the Carrier would ever be targetable.

There is another option, of course. Which would be to unhinge the Interceptors from the Carrier. In the sense that they'd be full units, so that when the Carrier died it wouldn't kill its Interceptors too. They'd remain on the battle field until killed independently of the Carrier. Just like a marine is independent of the Barracks that built it.

TheProgramer
09-17-2012, 05:17 PM
Aha I see, I understand now! My point about how its actually only going to help vs marine balls stands!

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 05:21 PM
Aha I see, I understand now. My point about how its actually only going to help vs marine balls stands.

It helps as a whole because the Carrier cannot be balanced as a unit producing unit with a life tether. If interceptors behaved more like Infested Terrans, who can survive independent of the Infestor that creates them, then the carrier could be a truly balanced unit. Its the life tether that breaks the Carrier.

TheProgramer
09-17-2012, 05:47 PM
It helps as a whole because the Carrier cannot be balanced as a unit producing unit with a life tether. If interceptors behaved more like Infested Terrans, who can survive independent of the Infestor that creates them, then the carrier could be a truly balanced unit. Its the life tether that breaks the Carrier.

While my previous point still stands, this also takes out somethign that's 'differnet' in this game! Striping unique units of what makes them unique might not always be the solution we should gravitate towards!

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 05:54 PM
While my previous point still stands, this also takes out somethign that's 'differnet' in this game. Striping unique units of what makes them unique might not always be the solution we should gravitate towards.

I'm all for uniqueness and creativity, but SC2 wants to be an esport where players make a living earning money by winning. Balance is thus the most important thing. Anything else is secondary. If something cannot be balanced, then it should not be in the game. There is no other option.

TheProgramer
09-17-2012, 05:56 PM
I think there are plent more ways we should explore before making that change should even be explored! And when explored, it shows that is itself not much of a buff but more a nerf! Let's see if we can't come up with some others!

SPECIAL NOTE: this conversation has gone on far too civily, so all periods have been replaced with exclamation points to comply with the rules of the internet.

Shadow Archon
09-17-2012, 06:01 PM
I'm all for uniqueness and creativity, but SC2 wants to be an esport where players make a living earning money by winning. Balance is thus the most important thing. Anything else is secondary. If something cannot be balanced, then it should not be in the game. There is no other option.

I do agree that mathematically, it's unbalanced. However, the Carrier has been this way for years, both in WoL and the original games. I doubt Blizzard is going to change that mechanic at all. They might do some buffs or nerfs here and there on the stats, but the actual Carrier mechanic I doubt is ever going to be completely scrapped for something else, broken or not.

They might do it, as I can completely see them doing it in the future, but I generally doubt it.

I was fine with the Carrier gone in HotS though. I wish they would just try and work with the Tempest by itself more.

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 06:05 PM
I think there are plent more ways we should explore before making that change should even be explored! And when explored, it shows that is itself not much of a buff but more a nerf! Let's see if we can't come up with some others!

SPECIAL NOTE: this conversation has gone on far too civily, so all periods have been replaced with exclamation points to comply with the rules of the internet.

I have dedicated many long, painful hours to unlocking the secrets of the Carrier. It is not balanced, has never been balanced, and cannot truly be balanced in its current form. I have theorized and tested dozens of possible changes, and I can promise you nothing leads to true balance unless the life-tether between the Carrier and its Interceptors is removed. You can change whatever other stats you want, but the unit will remain broken until the life-tether is scrapped.


I do agree that mathematically, it's unbalanced. However, the Carrier has been this way for years, both in WoL and the original games. I doubt Blizzard is going to change that mechanic at all. They might do some buffs or nerfs here and there on the stats, but the actual Carrier mechanic I doubt is ever going to be completely scrapped for something else, broken or not.

They might do it, as I can completely see them doing it in the future, but I generally doubt it.

I was fine with the Carrier gone in HotS though. I wish they would just try and work with the Tempest by itself more.

This is why I have always had a problem with SCBW as an esport. It is undoubtedly the most balanced RTS ever, but with people acctually making their living playing it, the fact that a unit that's been so obviously broken has been allowed to exist for over a decade is intolerable. The only reason it is allowed to exist is because its so high-tech and as such has a relatively low unit cap. If the Carrier was low tech and mass-able like Marines, it wouldn't have survived a day.

RODTHEGOD
09-17-2012, 06:11 PM
@DemolitionSquid

I disagree about the carrier being "unbalance able" and I think your idea to fix it is awful. If you want to have a discussion about this fine. But you and I already know that we're not going to change our opinions.

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 06:13 PM
@DemolitionSquid

I disagree about the carrier being "unbalance able" and I think your idea to fix it is awful. If you want to have a discussion about this fine. But you and I already know that we're not going to change our opinions.

You're entitled to your opinion. I don't have one, I just have facts that indicated a clear and solvable problem.

Kimera757
09-17-2012, 06:43 PM
You're entitled to your opinion. I don't have one, I just have facts that indicated a clear and solvable problem.

For what it's worth, I think DemolitionSquid is right. It's a conflict between balance and creativity. If we had a perfectly balanced game, it'd be like chess (which has a slight unbalance, in that whoever goes first gets one advantage, and whoever goes second has another type of advantage).

I wouldn't say Demo's idea is bad, but if you like creativity more than balance, you might disagree with him anyway. Of course, the carrier in StarCraft II sees little play, if only due to some engine-based nerfs to the interceptors (IME, they just die a lot faster in StarCraft II), so maybe the carrier "as is" isn't actually a creative unit, instead just looking cooler (and spending a lot of CPU power on tracking all those interceptors).

On a related note, the movement of interceptors is kind of random, although this is probably less of a balance issue. If the interceptors were purely visual (the weapons seem to come from the interceptors, but it's really coming from the carrier) it'd be more balanced.


Allow interceptors to target additional targets while the Carrier is in the leash range (instead of the carrier having to return to the attack range of 8).**

I like this one due to the micro potential.

RODTHEGOD
09-17-2012, 06:51 PM
You're entitled to your opinion. I don't have one, I just have facts that indicated a clear and solvable problem.

Lol ok. You think just because you use the word "fact" that your opinion is somehow law? :) Sure, keep telling yourself that.


Here's an idea for the carrier. Make it so that the interceptors launch no matter the range if you select a specific target.

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 07:01 PM
Lol ok. You think just because you use the word "fact" that your opinion is somehow law? :) Sure, keep telling yourself that.


Here's an idea for the carrier. Make it so that the interceptors launch no matter the range if you select a specific target.

I use the word fact because its a fact the Carrier is broken. I know this because maths. You argue like an evangelical republican.

As for your idea, you want to give the Carrier unlimited range? The 22 of the Tempest wasn't good enough for you so you thought, "hey, why not let me attack the enemy's mineral line from my own base, cause I have an Observer in there?!" You claim my idea is terrible, and then try to troll. Pathetic.

RODTHEGOD
09-17-2012, 08:32 PM
I use the word fact because its a fact the Carrier is broken. I know this because maths. You argue like an evangelical republican.

As for your idea, you want to give the Carrier unlimited range? The 22 of the Tempest wasn't good enough for you so you thought, "hey, why not let me attack the enemy's mineral line from my own base, cause I have an Observer in there?!" You claim my idea is terrible, and then try to troll. Pathetic.

And you argue like a left wing fanatic

I havent seen any of your numbers on the carrier. Post them. I'll have a look.

You do know the tempests range has been reduced to 15 right? And you didn't quite understand my idea. Basically the carrier could launch interceptors from far away but if the carrier actually wants to engage the target then it needs to move in range. Basically let the interceptors have a head start to the target while the carrier catches up.

topsecret221
09-17-2012, 08:39 PM
Let us not forget that it is a game, and as such needs to be fun, both to watch and to play. Brood War is insanely fun to watch and incredibly fun to play.

If it's not fun to watch, no one will watch it, and then the money in the prize pools will go down steadily driving pros out of their jobs. Being fun is a primary goal on the level of balance.

EDIT: Actually, this is also why no one likes PvPs. Not fun to watch. If more units were viable in the matchup, it would probably change that instead of PvPs almost consistently being clones (all the ones I've seen anyways). Hope that issue gets solved in HotS.

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 08:55 PM
And you argue like a left wing fanatic

I haven't seen any of your numbers on the carrier. Post them. I'll have a look.

You do know the tempests range has been reduced to 15 right? And you didn't quite understand my idea. Basically the carrier could launch interceptors from far away but if the carrier actually wants to engage the target then it needs to move in range. Basically let the interceptors have a head start to the target while the carrier catches up.

You can get the numbers anywhere: hit points, costs, damage output. They then factor into the death equations. The issue is the power disparity in lost damage and army hit point total between a Carrier with no Interceptors dying, and a Carrier with 8 Interceptors dying. A Carrier with no Interceptors is underpowered, it cannot do anything at all. Only when a Carrier has an Interceptor can it be balanced. But if a Carrier is balanced at 4 Interceptors, it cannot subsequently be balanced at 5, or 2, or 8. This is the issue - the Carrier is constantly in balance fluctuation as Interceptors are built or die. When a Carrier dies in combat, it can either have no effect on the battle if it has no Interceptors, or a massive impact on the battle if it has all 8 (thanks to life-link). This is why the Carrier can never be balanced - depending on how many Interceptors the Carrier has at its death, a battle may tilt in a uniquely unpredictable way.

Your idea, clarified, is completely viable, but ultimately does not solve any underlying problem with the unit.

TheEconomist
09-17-2012, 09:34 PM
I know this because maths. You argue like an evangelical republican.

Haha! You gave a similiar "insult" to me a few years back for some of my arguments. Too bad everything going on today proves me right. And I do mean everything.

Twilice
09-17-2012, 09:41 PM
Aha I see, I understand now! My point about how its actually only going to help vs marine balls stands!

No, because it would help versus every single anti-air tower in the game. It would also help with harassing mineral lines without being in actual danger from all ground units.

RODTHEGOD
09-17-2012, 10:04 PM
You can get the numbers anywhere: hit points, costs, damage output. They then factor into the death equations. The issue is the power disparity in lost damage and army hit point total between a Carrier with no Interceptors dying, and a Carrier with 8 Interceptors dying. A Carrier with no Interceptors is underpowered, it cannot do anything at all. Only when a Carrier has an Interceptor can it be balanced. But if a Carrier is balanced at 4 Interceptors, it cannot subsequently be balanced at 5, or 2, or 8. This is the issue - the Carrier is constantly in balance fluctuation as Interceptors are built or die. When a Carrier dies in combat, it can either have no effect on the battle if it has no Interceptors, or a massive impact on the battle if it has all 8 (thanks to life-link). This is why the Carrier can never be balanced - depending on how many Interceptors the Carrier has at its death, a battle may tilt in a uniquely unpredictable way.

Your idea, clarified, is completely viable, but ultimately does not solve any underlying problem with the unit.

I don't think you can compare the carrier to most attack-move units. It is unique, yes, but that doesn't mean it's not balance-able.

Look at the scourge, it's a unit that does quite a bit of damage for its cost and dies while doing so but you won't find a game where a zerg dominates the air with scourge. It is true that when you reach a critical number of carriers that they are almost impossible to stop. However critical numbers exist with almost every unit in relation to other units. The carrier just so happens to be a big dog.

I think it would be more apt to compare the carrier to a flying barracks as it has no direct attack of its own, it only produces units. Also I don't know if you did but it sounds like you are considering the interceptor as part of the carrier, literally. Perhaps your concern should be to balance the interceptor, not the carrier. The carrier has limited value without interceptors. Perhaps it's the interceptor that's not balanced. Another unit that's serves as a useful comparison is the swarm-host. The swarm-host gets 2 FREE, POWERFUL units every so often. The Locusts also stop spawning when the swarm-host is killed. It's not completely unlike the carrier, at least the way you are describing it.

How they've started balancing the swarm-host is not by changing stats on the swarm-host but stats on its LOCUSTS. It's still a good unit but it's not god-like. I've watched a decent amount of games now to see that the swarm-host can be quite effective and quite ineffective. A similar thing could be done to the carrier.

Just theorizing here. Perhaps 1 or 2 damage could be taken off each hit of the interceptor in exchange for 5 additional HP on each interceptor and another 25 on the carrier.

I'm curious about this "death equation."

DemolitionSquid
09-17-2012, 10:13 PM
Haha! You gave a similiar "insult" to me a few years back for some of my arguments. Too bad everything going on today proves me right. And I do mean everything.

Remind me? I'm too distracted lolling at the new leaked Romney footage.

@ROD

You're not understanding. The problem is two fold.

1) A Carrier with 0 Interceptors is less powerful than one with 8. The Carrier can only be balanced a set number of Interceptors, any less or more makes the unit imbalanced.

2) The Carrier has life-link it has with its Interceptors. When the Carrier dies, so do its Interceptors. This makes the death of each Carrier vary from the death of another, turning the tides of battle in an unpredictable, unbalanceable way.

It is not like Scourge, it is not like Swarm Hosts. When these units die, only 1 unit dies at a time. When a Carrier dies, between 1 and 9 units die simultaneously.

GnaReffotsirk
09-17-2012, 10:16 PM
Question: What is the Carrier's current role? ATA, ATG, Siege, Harass, crowd control, diversion, deathball/Ultimate/Super, etc?

RODTHEGOD
09-17-2012, 11:29 PM
Remind me? I'm too distracted lolling at the new leaked Romney footage.

@ROD

You're not understanding. The problem is two fold.

1) A Carrier with 0 Interceptors is less powerful than one with 8. The Carrier can only be balanced a set number of Interceptors, any less or more makes the unit imbalanced.

2) The Carrier has life-link it has with its Interceptors. When the Carrier dies, so do its Interceptors. This makes the death of each Carrier vary from the death of another, turning the tides of battle in an unpredictable, unbalanceable way.

It is not like Scourge, it is not like Swarm Hosts. When these units die, only 1 unit dies at a time. When a Carrier dies, between 1 and 9 units die simultaneously.

1) A carrier has NO power. A carrier with 0 interceptors is a supply depot. A carrier with 8 interceptors is a supply depot with 8 interceptors. It has NO attack.

2) Wrong again. The carrier does NOT have life-link with it's interceptors. It's interceptors have life-link with the carrier. If all the interceptors die then the flying supply depot is still a flying supply depot. If the carrier dies THEN the interceptors die

3) You act as if the potential of EVERY OTHER unit is ALWAYS reached to it's MAXIMUM. A high templar that dies before it can cast a psi storm loses it's potential.

4) You also act as if the interceptor is FREE. It isn't. As well It is not the carrier that has the weakness. It's the interceptors that die if the carrier dies. Maybe you should argue that the interceptors fly to the closest carrier if the original carrier dies, with only the extra interceptors dieing or maybe put into "storage."

5) Why do you equate a unit's balance-ableness to it's ability to die?

6) Why do you view the interceptors and the carrier as a single unit. They are not a single unit.

SebiAlex
09-18-2012, 12:12 AM
What if when a carrier dies all remaining interceptors teleport to the fleet beacon, and you get a stash of them stored. When a new carrier gets created it could use them to fill its 8 slots:

1 - receive them for free
2 - at a fraction of the cost: 5 or 10 minerals
3 - full price but, they get them instantly
4 - mix between cost fraction and build speed

So if you have 16 interceptors in the flee beacon, 2 new carriers can use them.

Or maybe current carriers with less then 8 interceptors, and new ones, can use option 3 or 4.

Maybe even add a timer 1-2 sec for them to teleport, and enemy can try to kill them before they port.

Just some thoughts, would go with the nature of protoss teleporting units.

GnaReffotsirk
09-18-2012, 12:16 AM
My proposal:

1. Siege Carrier with Warp tech

Deploy (becomes immobile and cooldown required to revert) carrier at a far range. Observer linked and spots. Launch interceptors.

interceptor types:
1. Bomber -- powerful ATG single runs (Line AOE. fires explosive stuff in a line)
2. Persistent -- using normal attack. Stays in the area and gets retrained when killed. Attacks any unit or structure within attack radius. Will retreat to carrier once vision is lost (ex. observer killed)

Warp tech:

-- Has Cooldown
-- Allows the carrier to zip to a location at limited range. Requires vision.


Counter:

1. Destroy observer linked to Carrier.
2. Destroy Carrier
3. Dark Swarm
4. Emp Shot that disables robotic attack for a duration
5. Remove units from area of attack (dodge)

The_Blade
09-18-2012, 01:26 AM
As you said, the Carrier has no firepower. Interceptors do the DPS. If they die, the Carrier is a useless hull which uses supply. Interceptors have the ability to die, have a supply dependency, and do damage; therefore they are units, like locusts.

DS is stating that a Carrier with different numbers of Interceptors have: different damage outputs, different costs, and different balance rates.

Probe:
1 supply; 50 mins
DPS: 3.3333
HP/shield: 40

Carrier with 1 Interceptor:
6 supply; 350 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 1.6666 : 2 : 2.3333
relative HP/shields: 80

Carrier with 2 Interceptors:
6 supply; 350 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 3.3333 : 4 : 4.6666
relative HP/shields: 80

Carrier with 3 Interceptors:
6 supply; 350 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 4.9999 : 6 : 6.9999
relative HP/shields: 80

Carrier with 4 Interceptors:
6 supply; 350 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 6.6664 : 8 : 9.3332
relative HP/shielddddd: 80

Carrier with 5 Interceptors:
6 supply; 375 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 8.333 : 10 : 11.6665
relative HP/shields: 80

Carrier with 6 Interceptors:
6 supply; 400 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 9.9996 : 12 : 13.9998
relative HP/shields: 80

Carrier with 7 Interceptors:
6 supply; 425 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 11.6662 : 14 : 16.3331
relative HP/shields: 80

Carrier with 8 Interceptors:
6 supply; 450 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 13.3328 : 16 : 18.6664
relative HP/shields: 80

Carrier with 0 interceptors:
6 supply; 350 mins; 250 gas
DPS: 0 : 0 : 0
HP/shields: 450

Now, we have a total of 9 sub-units. Four of these sub-units are underpowered when we compare them with their higher level equivalents. Carriers with 0-4 interceptors cost the same, but have different power-levels. The DPS of Carriers 0-3 is actually negative, because a Carrier will spawn with 4 interceptors. A carrier with one Interceptor is SO weak, a probe does more DPS.

Then, the top 4 Carriers have an increased linear firepower. The only reason you should buy "Carrier 8" over "carrier 7" is that it deals more DPS at the same supply cost.

Now to the problem:

Each Carrier has a 80 HP/shield potential before dropping to the next lower Sub-unit AND a real health which destroys the whole investment. Therefore, Carriers have two different DPS reduction rates: real deaths and devaluations. Both rates interact during a fight, lowering the DPS of your army. No other unit behaves like this.

Now, devaluation will always reduce DPS at a lower or at an equal rate than real deaths. Players will therefore try to kill Carriers with focus fire [corruptors, vikings, stalkers] or kill the Interceptors with high DPS [storm, fungal, marines, hydras]. The Carrier player has no way to micro his stuff away successfully, because of the terrible Interceptor UI and the Carrier's speed. So, it becomes a DPS game. The Carrier player has to kill the other army before he loses his own, but we have way too many different scenarios.

Basically any army composition will deal a different amount of DPS vs the Carriers. So, which armies should the carriers be able to clear out? How many Interceptors do you need to reach a much higher DPS than your oponent? Should Carriers be able to kille 3/4 of a 200 army of corruptors before dying?

Now when the carrier army wins:

If all the damage was done through devaluation: It will only take the Protoss a minute and 200mins/Carrier to fight again.

If all the damage was done throuhg flat deaths: The Protoss won't recover in time or will recover at the expenses of huge amounts of resources.

The damage done to the Carrier army falls in between these two ratios.

So, what is the real balance over this ratio war? Clearly if you allow the Carriers to survive, they will be back in an OP time; and if you kill them all, the Carrier is UP.

As a conclusion, buffing a Carrier in any way will result in players having a closer devaluation ratio than flat death, which is broken by design. While doing nothing, keeps the Carriers as UP units which relate best to the negative spectrum of the DPS reduction ratio.

note: I'm actually curious on how Carriers will behave with recall technology in HotS. I will try that tomorrow.

Drake Clawfang
09-18-2012, 07:14 AM
Oh goody, theorycrafting! My favorite part of SC fandom! *breaks out the thinking cap*

On the topic idea of how to change the Carrier, I re-submit my idea for different varieties of attack drones, each can have their own limit to how many they use. Base interceptors for all-purpose assault, shuriken for ground-only melee splash attackers, missile drones for air-only anti-armor attackers, etc.

Now, in a more creative vein, one of the problems I see DS mention is the fluctuating number of interceptors always changes the DPS of the Carrier. What about this - an optional upgrade so that when a Carrier is destroyed, instead of self-destructing its Interceptors retreat to dock in a nearby Carrier, and if they can get there in time before destructing, they reassign themselves to that Carrier. Then balancing becomes a matter of how long/far can the Interceptors last before they destroy themselves unable to get to a new Carrier, and adjusting how many Interceptors each Carrier has.

I guess this could also lead to some cheese, players killing their own Carriers to pass their Interceptors to other Carriers, but if they have the time and resources to do that then I don't think it matters since the opponent has already lost :p On the other hand could lead to some fun misdirection, "he's sending a lone Carrier, lol noobsaOMG, two dozen Interceptors from one Carrier?"

Alar
09-18-2012, 08:57 AM
What if, rather than making Interceptors invulnerable, they gave them a different mechanic, like... connecting their shields to the Carrier? Carrier shields will automatically drain to absorb fire for the Interceptors. I would think that a strong buff to Carrier shields could make this more viable and less cringe-worthy for some. Increasing Interceptor movement speed and how fast they 'retreat' when out of range of the Carrier could help too.

TheEconomist
09-18-2012, 09:46 AM
@DS:
http://sclegacy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14146

Response above, no OT here.

Pr0nogo
09-18-2012, 12:23 PM
Wouldn't it be less destructive to take it to PM/VM?

I don't think there's an argument for people who think the Carrier is balanceable/balanced. It's clear that the Carrier is a unique unit that has a unique imbalance.

TheEconomist
09-18-2012, 12:36 PM
Wouldn't it be less destructive to take it to PM/VM?

Doubtful, considering that topic is based on that subject. Either way, not nearly as destructive as you bringing up it again. Why does someone ALWAYS bring it up again?

flak4321
09-18-2012, 01:02 PM
I agreed with the mathematical imbalance earlier, and I stand by that. However, we can claim the game is balanced around the carrier because the same or a very similar set of numerical analyses can be use to prove the imbalance of all of the following units:

Medivac
Warp Prism
Overlords with ventral sacs upgrade
Infestors (infested Terrans)


The first three carry units produced by other buildings, which gives them a replenishable dps source. The warp prism could be argued to have a double imbalance on these grounds due to warp in. Their dps is wholly dependnent on the units they bring with them as they do not do dps on their own. The only difference here is where the units are produced.

Infestors suffer from similar imbalances. The overall dps depends on the number of energy units that can be produced at the time of production. Further variability occurs when we consider the infestor's other abilities.

I would consider adding the swarm host to this list, but that unit, despite creating its own units, does so all at once, and waits until all its spawn are all dead for reproduction. As this unit is also an incomplete construct and will very likely suffer 1 more nerf, this part of the post is highly subject to change.

The overall point is that each race has 2 units apiece that suffer from this type of imbalance. Therefore we can assume the game is balanced even though certain units are not. I for one prefer having a carrier or two around just for the f=mind game factor. More than once I've bated a terran into heavy anti-air only to strike with zealot/stalker/immortal/dt/archon mix combos.

DemolitionSquid
09-18-2012, 02:26 PM
1) A carrier has NO power. A carrier with 0 interceptors is a supply depot. A carrier with 8 interceptors is a supply depot with 8 interceptors. It has NO attack.

2) Wrong again. The carrier does NOT have life-link with it's interceptors. It's interceptors have life-link with the carrier. If all the interceptors die then the flying supply depot is still a flying supply depot. If the carrier dies THEN the interceptors die

3) You act as if the potential of EVERY OTHER unit is ALWAYS reached to it's MAXIMUM. A high templar that dies before it can cast a psi storm loses it's potential.

4) You also act as if the interceptor is FREE. It isn't. As well It is not the carrier that has the weakness. It's the interceptors that die if the carrier dies. Maybe you should argue that the interceptors fly to the closest carrier if the original carrier dies, with only the extra interceptors dieing or maybe put into "storage."

5) Why do you equate a unit's balance-ableness to it's ability to die?

6) Why do you view the interceptors and the carrier as a single unit. They are not a single unit.

1 -2) You knew exactly what I meant. I said exactly what you just did, just in reverse. It was all still correct, you're trying to argue semantics.

3) Every other unit is constantly at maximum potential, because their stats do not fluctuate like a Carrier's can, and their maximum potential is also highly based on the player's current skill level. A Carrier is only at max stat potential with all 8 Interceptors. The balance of said High Templar is mostly derived from player skill through micro. The ability for one player to use the Templar versus the ability of another to counter it. The Carrier and its Interceptors generally have far less player interaction than other units, less micro involved. The less player interaction a unit has, the more its balance and potential have to come directly from its basic unit stats. But if the Carrier's stats are constantly fluctuating because of Interceptor construction and death, the units maximum stat potential of 8 Interceptors becomes less common than the max stat potential of any other unvarying unit.

4) The Interceptors are not free, but its clear that the power disparity between a Carrier with 0 Interceptors and one with all 8 is far more than could possibly be balanced by the 200 Mineral difference. If Interceptors could be adopted by other Carriers in the current battle, ensuring a more constant DPS than the current situation, then that might be a sufficient balancing to equal the same randomness of other variable power attacks, like the Siege Tanks splash. However, Interceptor storage would not solve the issue of battle DPS fluctuation because it would still be variable Interceptors leaving combat at the same time when the Carrier dies.

5) True balance is the possibility of a stalemate situation achieved through stat modification, army composition, and player micro skill averages. The Carrier can never be truly balanced as-is because the creation of a stalemate situation is not possible using any of those factors when a Carrier dies.

6) I do not view the Carrier as a single unit. It is 1 to 9 units - the core Carrier and its Interceptors. This is part of the problem.


I agreed with the mathematical imbalance earlier, and I stand by that. However, we can claim the game is balanced around the carrier because the same or a very similar set of numerical analyses can be use to prove the imbalance of all of the following units:

Medivac
Warp Prism
Overlords with ventral sacs upgrade
Infestors (infested Terrans)

The first three carry units produced by other buildings, which gives them a replenishable dps source. The warp prism could be argued to have a double imbalance on these grounds due to warp in. Their dps is wholly dependnent on the units they bring with them as they do not do dps on their own. The only difference here is where the units are produced.

Infestors suffer from similar imbalances. The overall dps depends on the number of energy units that can be produced at the time of production. Further variability occurs when we consider the infestor's other abilities.

I would consider adding the swarm host to this list, but that unit, despite creating its own units, does so all at once, and waits until all its spawn are all dead for reproduction. As this unit is also an incomplete construct and will very likely suffer 1 more nerf, this part of the post is highly subject to change.

The overall point is that each race has 2 units apiece that suffer from this type of imbalance. Therefore we can assume the game is balanced even though certain units are not. I for one prefer having a carrier or two around just for the f=mind game factor. More than once I've bated a terran into heavy anti-air only to strike with zealot/stalker/immortal/dt/archon mix combos.

We cannot just "assume" something because we perceive symmetry. If the game is not acctually balanced, then it is invalid as a competitive sport for profit. I'm disappointed no one else seems to be aware of that fact.

Shadow Archon
09-18-2012, 03:58 PM
We cannot just "assume" something because we perceive symmetry. If the game is not acctually balanced, then it is invalid as a competitive sport for profit. I'm disappointed no one else seems to be aware of that fact.

Oh I'm aware. I just don't care. Apparently neither does Blizzard.

It may be mathematically broken, but it doesn't mean that Carriers are going to kill Starcraft as an E-sport. It's been fine with it for years, and it'll be fine with it for more years.

flak4321
09-18-2012, 04:04 PM
We cannot just "assume" something because we perceive symmetry. If the game is not acctually balanced, then it is invalid as a competitive sport for profit. I'm disappointed no one else seems to be aware of that fact.

Did I perceive and point out a symmetry? Yes. And I did so with a purpose to show that each unit we could bring up has its own element of imbalance. I chose the symmetry approach so the logical leap would be understood, and the conversation may be moved in a different direction, no more, no less. My words were "we could claim" not "we should claim (or assume)", leaving the reader to his or her or its own judgement. Furthermore, I stated my opinion that the game was balanced, which is by no means an assumption because there is no basis for this assumption in the facts, which is a requirement of mine when I make these suppositions.

When i say the game is balanced, I mean it in a relative fashion. The game is certainly imperfect in its balance and I do apologize for some faulty phrasage. The game is relatively, reasonably balanced. Or at least as reasonably as we can expect Blizzard to get it as far as WoL is concerned. HotS is its own animal owing to the new units, and cannot be described in this fashion yet.

RODTHEGOD
09-18-2012, 04:45 PM
1 -2) You knew exactly what I meant. I said exactly what you just did, just in reverse. It was all still correct, you're trying to argue semantics.

3) Every other unit is constantly at maximum potential, because their stats do not fluctuate like a Carrier's can, and their maximum potential is also highly based on the player's current skill level. A Carrier is only at max stat potential with all 8 Interceptors. The balance of said High Templar is mostly derived from player skill through micro. The ability for one player to use the Templar versus the ability of another to counter it. The Carrier and its Interceptors generally have far less player interaction than other units, less micro involved. The less player interaction a unit has, the more its balance and potential have to come directly from its basic unit stats. But if the Carrier's stats are constantly fluctuating because of Interceptor construction and death, the units maximum stat potential of 8 Interceptors becomes less common than the max stat potential of any other unvarying unit.

4) The Interceptors are not free, but its clear that the power disparity between a Carrier with 0 Interceptors and one with all 8 is far more than could possibly be balanced by the 200 Mineral difference. If Interceptors could be adopted by other Carriers in the current battle, ensuring a more constant DPS than the current situation, then that might be a sufficient balancing to equal the same randomness of other variable power attacks, like the Siege Tanks splash. However, Interceptor storage would not solve the issue of battle DPS fluctuation because it would still be variable Interceptors leaving combat at the same time when the Carrier dies.

5) True balance is the possibility of a stalemate situation achieved through stat modification, army composition, and player micro skill averages. The Carrier can never be truly balanced as-is because the creation of a stalemate situation is not possible using any of those factors when a Carrier dies.

6) I do not view the Carrier as a single unit. It is 1 to 9 units - the core Carrier and its Interceptors. This is part of the problem.



We cannot just "assume" something because we perceive symmetry. If the game is not acctually balanced, then it is invalid as a competitive sport for profit. I'm disappointed no one else seems to be aware of that fact.

You keep talking as if you have some kind of master equation. Lets see your master equation. Lets see it in action. Until you can prove that your master equation works for every unit, in every situation EVER, then all you're doing is spewing theoretical bullshit.

Ever hear of the "testable hypothesis?" It just so happens to be what modern science is based off of. Alot of people compare starcraft to chess because of how balanced it is. Let's use the testable hypothesis on chess... You'll end up coming across something like this:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v720/DynastyPoker/carokann.jpg
http://www.chess.com/explorer/

That is how you determine if something is balanced or not. Not with your "master equation" nonsense so let's apply the testable hypothesis to starcraft 2. You'll find something like this:
http://i.imgur.com/B9Rww.png
https://twitter.com/sc2statistics

Until you give me something like that then everything you say is theoretical bullshit. Period

DemolitionSquid
09-18-2012, 05:11 PM
Every scientific truth first starts as theory. I cannot provide a master balance equation for SC2, I do not have resources nor time. I have, however, presented extensive evidence that the Carrier is a unit that cannot mechanically achieve a stalemate situation either through modifying its and an enemy units stats, pairing it with or against other units, or actively engaging player micro at various skill levels. The_Blade provided a great DPS/Cost/HP analysis of the 9 Carrier subtypes which show a disproportionate cost/effectiveness ratio.

There's really nothing else I can say on the issue. To me, it is clear that the Carrier cannot be balanced as long as Interceptors die when their host Carrier does. Every sub-type of Carrier has a different cost/DPS/HP ratio, with some being heavily underpowered. You can choose to ignore the evidence if you want, but it won't help to improve the game's legitimacy as a balanced esport.

RODTHEGOD
09-19-2012, 04:36 AM
Every scientific truth first starts as theory.

The key word there is STARTS


I cannot provide a master balance equation for SC2, I do not have resources nor time. I have, however, presented extensive evidence that the Carrier is a unit that cannot mechanically achieve a stalemate situation either through modifying its and an enemy units stats, pairing it with or against other units, or actively engaging player micro at various skill levels. The_Blade provided a great DPS/Cost/HP analysis of the 9 Carrier subtypes which show a disproportionate cost/effectiveness ratio.

There's really nothing else I can say on the issue. To me, it is clear that the Carrier cannot be balanced as long as Interceptors die when their host Carrier does. Every sub-type of Carrier has a different cost/DPS/HP ratio, with some being heavily underpowered. You can choose to ignore the evidence if you want, but it won't help to improve the game's legitimacy as a balanced esport.

---------- In other words, you have nothing and you are either unable or unwilling to go out and find something.



But all is not lost. It really isn't that hard to determine if the carrier is balanced or not. All you need are two graphs.

1. The first graph would be the primary graph. It would look at the number of carriers built (by a single player) vs the odds of winning the game.

2. The second graph is to help determine how reliable the first graph is. It would look at the number of carriers built (by a single player) vs the number of games that achieved that number.

3. You would then take the first graph, multiply it by the second and if you do not get a reasonably straight line then the carrier is not balanced and you win.

It's not hard but it is time consuming. Not many people here, especially you, would be willing to put forth the effort into actually DOING it.

Blizzard easily has the capability to look at online games in this manner. Maybe if you ask them, they'll release such stats to the public, but I doubt it.

Jconant
09-19-2012, 10:56 AM
I don't see how carriers can ever be overpowered when something like mass marines can counter them....

TheEconomist
09-19-2012, 11:33 AM
One thing I've noticed over the years is that DSquid likes to debate based on ideas and perception; not realities and facts. Leave him be.

Pr0nogo
09-19-2012, 11:51 AM
I don't really see why some people are so opposed to reality.

DemolitionSquid
09-19-2012, 11:54 AM
One thing I've noticed over the years is that DSquid likes to debate based on ideas and perception; not realities and facts. Leave him be.

That is not an accurate assessment. I use reality and facts often. The issue is that reality is relative dependent on the vantage point of the observer.

TheEconomist
09-19-2012, 01:45 PM
The issue is that reality is relative dependent on the vantage point of the observer.

See what I mean? This guy just cannot see the difference between perception and reality. When we argue about economics and politics, I bring graphs, proven theories, and maths. You should repeat your interpretation of the world from your viewpoint as if that meant anything. Basically, you just repeat your opinion over and over again as if you were an expert on the subject without bringing a single thing to back you up.

Again, I refer you to my above post. Your argument centered around morality and anecdotal stories. My argument had graphs, maths, and proven theories. It took years but I've been proven right.

Logic > Emotion any day.

DemolitionSquid
09-19-2012, 01:54 PM
Clearly I sarcasm-ed too hard for TF on that one.

Looks like I'm acctually going to have to do the math for this one. Algebra wasn't enough for you guys, you couldn't fill in the variables yourself. I wish an obviously broken Carrier wasn't such a serious issue, but the legitimacy of the game as balanced sport that people can use as their livelyhood is at steak.

Jconant
09-19-2012, 02:55 PM
if carriers are so broken, why dont people make fleets of carriers instead of deathballs of colossi/warpgate units?

Wouldn't we see a trend of mass victories for the protoss via Carrier spam? Has not enough time passed for the OPness of carriers to emerge?

TheEconomist
09-19-2012, 02:58 PM
Clearly I sarcasm-ed too hard for TF on that one.

So you're actually a conservative republican and staunch capitalist?

Of course not. Don't try to act like the things you were saying (at least in the times that I'm talking about) were anything but you spouting your beliefs.

The_Blade
09-19-2012, 02:59 PM
An underpowered unit is not as damaging as an overpowered units. I'll just jump in and say the Carrier is UP at the moment. Pros will point out the strong flaws of UP units, but the current game is also balanced through the meta-game. So, why use Carriers when there is just no room for them?

You can't use them vs Terran because of Vikings. You can't use them vs Zerg because of Corruptors and Infestors [both of which are in everyday Zerg builds]. You can't use them vs Protoss because of Stalkers. The other player will basically get enough units to counter your expensive, UP Carriers before you get a critical mass of them. I don't even think there's still a critical mass for Carriers. I'll only use Carriers to confuse someone, but that's as far as it goes.

Carriers are broken in the current meta-game for WoL and for HotS. That's a fact. I won't do graph math, because I don't have time; but Ill show you this:


Building a single punny Carrier with 2 bases will remove from your army an equivalent of 800 minerals and 600 gas. This investment will allow your enemy to have this amount of resources in their army over you for 4 minutes.

If you ever kill someone with Carriers, they were not the mayor reason you won the game. Either your harrass, your macro, or your opponent's lack of skill were.

note: an unbalanced or "broken" unit may be UP or OP

DemolitionSquid
09-19-2012, 03:22 PM
if carriers are so broken, why dont people make fleets of carriers instead of deathballs of colossi/warpgate units?

Wouldn't we see a trend of mass victories for the protoss via Carrier spam? Has not enough time passed for the OPness of carriers to emerge?

I have NEVER EVER said the Carrier was overpowered. I have said it was imbalanced. Whenever I said "If the Carrier is balanced at 4 Interceptors, then it cannot be at 5, or 2, or 8," that was an example, and was not in any way saying the Carrier is acctually balanced at any of those numbers. Looking at the numbers The_Blade provided, it certainly appears the Carrier may not even become balanced until well above its current 8 Interceptors, let alone overpowered.

TheEconomist
09-19-2012, 04:55 PM
Whenever I said "If the Carrier is balanced at 4 Interceptors, then it cannot be at 5, or 2, or 8," that was an example, and was not in any way saying the Carrier is acctually balanced at any of those numbers.

Kind of like saying none of the units are balanced if they have upgrades, i.e. ridiculous. In fact, it's a core fundamental problem of logic that really goes without saying.

Kimera757
09-19-2012, 06:40 PM
Kind of like saying none of the units are balanced if they have upgrades, i.e. ridiculous. In fact, it's a core fundamental problem of logic that really goes without saying.

I disagree with this point actually.

The amount you spend on upgrades and the benefits are set. You can't suddenly lose upgrades because marines randomly picked one unit to attack instead of another one.

Alar
09-19-2012, 09:50 PM
DSquid agrees with me.

This is a weird day indeed.

SebiAlex
09-19-2012, 10:24 PM
What they have to change, as DS said, it to remove the insta death of the interceptors when the carrier dies.

If you played C&C think about air units and airfields. The carrier should work like a mobile airfield. The interceptors should have 'fuel' and if the carrier dies, they can still attack anything in site until their fuel runs out, and at that moment they should find a carrier with less than full capacity to dock (this can have a set range, 15-20 or even the hole map). If they can't find any, then they die.

With this, the carrier could be made so that it costs 0 supply, since an empty carrier is useless (kinda like an overlord with no ventral sacs, it can scout but that's it).

It can have a max of 6 interceptors (buffed to match the current 8 dps/hp), and each interceptor takes 1 supply, keeping the current 6 supply for a fully operation carrier. If you loose 4 interceptors, you can either build them back or make zealots or other units.

This way you can have extra carriers, floating behind an army at 200/200, with the sole purpose of being fall back sites for carrierless interceptors.

Base carrier cost and interceptor cost would have to be played with to find a sweet spot.

The_Blade
09-19-2012, 11:31 PM
I'm proud of the modding community:

LpZVo4mEZQU

Rake
09-20-2012, 02:22 AM
So, rather than discuss if the carrier can be balanced or not, I would like to hear ideas on whether you think a unit using attack range - leash range would be worthwhile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1Rqx8s2qKXM

Do you think that, for example, a carrier with invulnerable interceptors would be a good addition to the game? Or perhaps another kind of unit with similar mechanics?

GnaReffotsirk
09-20-2012, 09:40 AM
It will be good if there's a counter to it and that the potential strength of having to chase a far target or be forced to retreat from a persistent damage source that cannot be stopped directly.

It's like say a psi storm that as long as the templar is channeling at an area, the storm will keep on hitting there.

Of course carrier mechanics would be different, yes, but as long as it can be countered or if it does what it's meant to do without making the opponent totally helpless, then I say why not?

But then again, I'd love more micro mechanics getting back into SC. Especially unit micro, where one can optimize a unit and give it % more effectiveness by giving attention to it in battle.