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nograndplanhere
10-19-2012, 08:25 AM
hey all is it just me, or are professional P v Z late games getting super boring with the mothership's vortex ability?

it seems like such a huge portion of these matches hinge on a vortex or 2. i know its possible to counter this, but it seems that, even at high levels of play, one vortex with a single archon will decimate a zerg army and be a win for the toss... esp since toss can reproduce a huge chunk of their army instantly with warp in.

while brood war had nukes, those were much easier to counter or avoid. it seems to me at least, that there was never 1 units single cast of a skill that would end an entire game. as another example.. stasis field was a great skill that stopped many units in their tracks, but getting 1 mob of units hit by a stasis field wouldnt be a GG.

what are your thoughts?

flak4321
10-19-2012, 09:57 AM
I agree it is beginning to feel repetitive, but there is a reason for this. There's actually two. First off, Protoss lacks an effective air to air counter to corrupters that can be massed as easily at that point in the game. The counter is mass voids, but their gas cost can be prohibitive late game, and their speed leaves them very vulnerable to fungals.

The second reason is the vortex is a high degree of difficulty move, whereas the voids counter is not, thus making vortex a more appealing strat to the pros. If you don't get enough enemy units in the vortex in comparison to your army, it's pointless. Vortex is essentially a late game all in move that is GG one way or another.

Note that in HotS this may become somewhat less common with broods being a massive unit and tempest currently having a vs massive damage upgrade. I can see some stalker tempest builds under current HotS circumstances.

nograndplanhere
10-19-2012, 10:36 AM
hey - interesting points.

i agree that toss doesnt have a direct air to air fighter like a viking, or the scout from BW; and the carrier as it currently works is pretty bad, but that doesnt mean that they should settle on this GG unit. and while it is important to position a vortex correctly - when used offensively over an opponents main base, for example, they are forced to engage your army.

Warcraft III was all about super strong individual units that could make or break the battle (as far as i remember, i never played it that much). and i am ok with the protoss death ball. a race of very few expensive units is naturally going to group them together, whereas the zerg would likely have their units swarming in from everywhere -

i think my problem is, and you seem to agree, that the mothership is a 'death unit' essentially... which IMHO greatly diminishes the enjoyability of late game P v. Z battles.

DemolitionSquid
10-19-2012, 12:42 PM
As disappointed as I am in Blizzard, especially after beta patch #6, they do appear to be actively pursuing a way to make other late game options available. Namely, the Tempest. Its +35 vs Massive upgrade is a clear maneuver to make them more effective versus Broodlords and Ultralisks late game, and their range is just as effective against Vipers and Infestors who could Abduct or Neural Parasite them. Its still in the same tech path as Vortex but hopefully a bit less hit-or-miss.

Triceron
10-19-2012, 01:04 PM
Well from what I'm figuring from pro replay commentary, Brood Lords are the definitive late game unit vs toss. You could throw any other unit against the deathball, but they're mostly going to die. You have Archons, Colossus, High Templar all in the mix dealing crazy splash behind the lines of stalkers/zealots padding damage and protecting the squishies. Brood Lords overcome all of this being long-ranged aerial snipers that create fodder troops.

Then you have Protoss who has to switch their late game to deal with the Brood Lords, which is archon toilet.

It's a big game of rock paper scissors in the end, and it's sort of a terrible matchup without much diversity to break things up.

IMO, I don't think it should be an issue that Protoss need a direct counter to Brood Lords as I think the whole game should be fixed so that the Deathball doesn't exist; allowing Zerg to diversify units late game with appropriate counters and vice versa. Ideally the new HOTS units are meant to help with this, but I think most games I've seen still employ the same WOL strats forgoing most of the new units most of the time.

Rake
10-19-2012, 02:01 PM
PvZ is quite stale at the moment and the vortex play is the rotten cherry on top.

A full Protoss deathball with archons is just indestructible by any means other than Broodlords. But once Zerg gets its own deathball (Broods, infestors and queens) then they can almost A-move into the Protoss's base. The only way the Protoss can stop that is with the archon toilet. Then the only way for the Zerg to stop that is to spread their units or Neural the mothership. So a whole 20 min game comes down to one 5 second space of time and who ever wins that wins the game. All the advantages and disadvantages of the previous time get wiped out.

I hope Blizzard is aware of the issue but I don't know what they are doing to stop it.

flak4321
10-19-2012, 02:29 PM
...as I think the whole game should be fixed so that the Deathball doesn't exist...

Not likely to happen. If the deathball disappears, Toss would suddenly have no answer for Terran whatsoever. Right now, Terran can go vike/medi/rauder and counter most deathballs easily, adding a few ghosts for EMP.

Going back to Zerg, HotS is giving Zerg more answers to the deathball that are making the toilet even harder. The Swarm host/Hydra/Infestor build, with or without vipers, is very viable if you have your swarm hosts synchronized. I've seen a lot of battles with mis-synchronized swarm hosts doing little or no damage.

The key to balancing this equation is going to fall around the microing of the units. Armies will have to be split by default to counter the number of abilities that can be lobbed by Zerg in HotS.

Carsickness
10-19-2012, 03:58 PM
The Vortex is to counter Zerg air, as it makes air units stack for a bit which maximizes archon splash. Ground units are incapable of stacking, so the vortex is less effective vs. a ground based army.

I don't think the problem is the vortex, but the options a Zerg player has late game.

Hopefully with the new zerg ground focused abilities and units of HoTS, vortex will be less of of a GG ability, and more of a terrain control ability.

I do agree with the OP on its boring state though.

RamiZ
10-19-2012, 04:06 PM
It is boring indeed. Majority of players(including Pros) hate how ZvP is right now. Sase posted a wall of text on TL.net about some of the changes that he would like to be included in the HotS, one of them is the Mothership removal.

And I don't think that Brood Lords are the problem, there is only one serious problem with the Zerg, and that problem is Infestor...
That unit is just too good, it is the reason you see less and less Mutas, or mass Banelings with speed, Hydras, Nydus, or anything else. You can go Infestors, and because of ITs, Fungal and Neural, you are safe against everything. Deny drop? Few ITs and fungal. Mass air units? Do the same. Mass small units? Mass Fungals. Mass Large units? Neural Parasite with ITs.

It is retarded that PvZ(or even TvZ for that matter) end up with 10+ Brood Lords, and 30+ Infestors with no back-up army, because you don't need any with masses of Broodlings and Infested Terrans... I really really hate the Infestor and Brood Lord composition right now, but that is mostly because of the Infestors.

Sometimes, it doesn't even reach the late game, Zerg knows to stay on the Lair and get like ~15 Infestors, and then start pressuring Protoss, and every fight, he just sacrifice all of the Roaches and Zerglings, and can deal 0 damage, as long as he managed to cast ~40-60 Infested Terrans, the game is over, or he actually traded low cost, and energy cost army, for half of the Protoss high tech, high cost army.
And Zerg just keep adding the Infestors, so in the end, he has like 30-40 Lings, 10 Roaches, and 25+ Infestors, and he just keep pushing and pushing with even more Infested Terrans every time, and Protoss just end up dying.

I am complaining and sad thing is I am Zerg player... it is just stupid, and sad to watch.

Blizzard said themselves that Infestors will probably get nerfed(especially fungal) with the new stuff that Zerg got/will get. Right now, even though Swarm Hosts are great units in my opinion, it is still better to get the Infestors first in most cases. And thing that you need same building for both doesn't actually help.

Triceron
10-19-2012, 08:48 PM
Not likely to happen. If the deathball disappears, Toss would suddenly have no answer for Terran whatsoever. Right now, Terran can go vike/medi/rauder and counter most deathballs easily, adding a few ghosts for EMP.

Going back to Zerg, HotS is giving Zerg more answers to the deathball that are making the toilet even harder. The Swarm host/Hydra/Infestor build, with or without vipers, is very viable if you have your swarm hosts synchronized. I've seen a lot of battles with mis-synchronized swarm hosts doing little or no damage.

The key to balancing this equation is going to fall around the microing of the units. Armies will have to be split by default to counter the number of abilities that can be lobbed by Zerg in HotS.

TBh I haven't followed up on most PvT matchups. I watched WCS and it looked like Terrans are in the minority, and were being destroyed by good protoss players. I don't know if this is relevant to the death balls or not, but the community is looking for big changes at this point.

Rake
10-20-2012, 02:06 AM
And I don't think that Brood Lords are the problem, there is only one serious problem with the Zerg, and that problem is Infestor...


The problem is that zerg only has two reliably efficient units. The infestor and the broodlord. If you nerf one or the other, you have to buff something else. But if you buff other units (eg. zergling, hydralisk), zerg production becomes overwhelming.

Frankly, I don't know what the solution is.

Triceron
10-20-2012, 02:46 AM
More Hard counters.

Infestors and Broodlords are used because everything under tier dies to most anything else. Mutalisks aren't effective because they die to any tier 2/3, and even to tier 1 units like marines. Hydralisks are potentially powerful but very weak against splash damage, which is easily available. Roaches and Lings just don't hold up in the end game against an equal number force, they aren't in the numbers advantage at all. Banelings counter nothing in Tier 3, Ultralisks don't deal the necessary DPS nor do they break bio/deathballs and are ineffective vs Air.

That pretty much leaves the Brood Lord and Infestor as the only viable late game options. It's not that Brood Lords and Infestors are OP, it's that it's ALL ZERG HAS against certain matchups. They aren't really the swarmy race considering mass stalkers are just as 'swarmy' and have higher base stats and mobility to boot.

If Zerg had better hard counter options, we could see answers to the deathballs. Numbers aren't the answer when you're paying for units to die.

Pr0nogo
10-20-2012, 04:10 PM
Hard counters are the problem with SCII in the first place. Why would we want more of them?

Triceron
10-20-2012, 08:31 PM
The problem isn't hard counters, it's the lack of options in dealing with certain unit matchups. Death Balls are too effective, and the only way to break em are with units like Brood Lords and Infestors. This leads to people seeing Brood Lords and Infestors being used so much and thinking 'oh wow, these units are OP!', when the reality is there's no other Zerg answer to breaking a tightly packed Protoss army. Then Protoss has to switch up to archon toilet because they have no good answer to Brood Lords.

It's a cycle of Rock - Paper - Paper

The Tempest was added to help stave off Broodlords. Swarm Host is added to help break deathballs (which they work at doing) and Vipers help targetting down colossi. The problem is a unit like the Brood Lord that has few clear counters (being an aerial unit with long range AND creates free fodder troops) that there's no reason to use a unit like the Swarm Host. Infestors still have advantages over the Swarm Host, being able to burrow move and having spells that work for many situations.

If new units get added, other units need to be broken down into simpler specialized units with clear weaknesses.

Rake
10-21-2012, 01:43 AM
I suspect swarm hosts will see two major areas of non-all in use:
-seiging defended expansions while the major armies are elsewhere
-breaking a defending terran/protoss in the midgame when the zerg has acheived an advantage

I doubt they will be effective against late game deathballs. Deathballs just have too much AOE for the locusts to do any damage.

Can anyone thing of any ways for zerg to beat deathballs while nerfing the infestor and not making zerg OP? I can't.

RamiZ
10-21-2012, 03:58 AM
I suspect swarm hosts will see two major areas of non-all in use:
-seiging defended expansions while the major armies are elsewhere
-breaking a defending terran/protoss in the midgame when the zerg has acheived an advantage

I doubt they will be effective against late game deathballs. Deathballs just have too much AOE for the locusts to do any damage.

Can anyone thing of any ways for zerg to beat deathballs while nerfing the infestor and not making zerg OP? I can't.
Deathballs won't even be the problem with the Vipers and their buffs in a last couple of patches. All of the stronger units can get Abducted, you can use Blinding Cloud on everything else.
And Swarm Hosts even in the late game can be deadly, since Locusts are really really good, pulling all of the Colossi into mass Locusts actually results into Colossus' instant death, and then Protoss is left without their big AoE units.

Right now, there is a problem with the Swarm Hosts as Protoss player in the beta, so I guess that they will change Oracle's vision ability againt to be able to spot invisible units again, since right now it is retarded. Watching peoples stream, or some VODs, Zerg basically mass Swarm Hosts, ~20 of them, and go for ~15 Corruptors with 5-6 Overseers, and the game is over. You attack the Protoss, camp near his base and send waves and waves of Locusts, and he is just dying slowly. Even with 2-4 Colossi, he can't take on Locusts before they deal some damage, and if he tries to kill the Swarm Hosts, Corruptors just snipe the Observers, and that is it, then they snipe the Colossi.

Ka_LgGmyESM

Triceron
10-21-2012, 04:38 AM
Archons? Would've seemed like the appropriate answer to Swarm Host Corruptors.

Rake
10-21-2012, 09:30 AM
Archons? Would've seemed like the appropriate answer to Swarm Host Corruptors.

The games I have seen involving archons Protoss was able to push through the waves of locusts. The zerg wasn't doing the observer sniping trick but archons will also help to protect observers.

MulletBen
10-21-2012, 04:18 PM
Anyone else thinking psi-storm? if you can push your way up to the swarm hosts, you don't need observers; also psi-storm is good against corruptors, and as others have said archons (go hand in hand with high templar) are pretty good vs. corruptors and locusts.

RamiZ
10-21-2012, 04:39 PM
Anyone else thinking psi-storm? if you can push your way up to the swarm hosts, you don't need observers; also psi-storm is good against corruptors, and as others have said archons (go hand in hand with high templar) are pretty good vs. corruptors and locusts.

Yes, but this was done by some guy, who knows on what level this game has been played. Pro players will split their Swarm Hosts, same as they did with the Lurkers in SC BW. And you need 2 Storms for 1 Swarm Host. Yes, Archon could help to clear the Locusts, but maybe 1-3 waves, I don't see them being able to clear the endless waves of Locusts, or to kill Swarm Hosts at all without Observers.

Maybe the best way would be to flank the Swarm Hosts with few Stalkers and an Observer, when he sends his wave of Locusts on you, and try to snipe as many as you can, but when he is containing you, I doubt that Protoss will be able to do that.

We will see how the game and the strategy develop.

Carsickness
10-21-2012, 10:03 PM
The counter to swarm host for Toss seems to be force field + Collosi.
If you watch this video by whitera, he seems to have figured it out:

Watch at the 13:00 mark to see the battle:

3BPCniPfS5k

Obviously he didn't have to go up against corrupters and overseers, but he is a pro, and didn't just sit there and let his opponent do as he pleased like the other video showed.

You just have to get close enough to be able to cast FF right in front of the swarm hosts....or even surround them if you can.
Sitting back and soaking up wave after wave of locusts is not the way to go.

Triceron
10-22-2012, 03:08 AM
Just checked the TL thread where the Swarm Host/Corruptor video was posted, and yeah it seems the concensus says switching to storm/archon/chargelot would have been able to deal with that comp.

It's just a radical strategy right now. Show a few games of a mid-level player using DTs to great effect against an opponent caught unprepared, and it would look just as OP.

flak4321
10-22-2012, 10:23 AM
TBh I haven't followed up on most PvT matchups. I watched WCS and it looked like Terrans are in the minority, and were being destroyed by good protoss players. I don't know if this is relevant to the death balls or not, but the community is looking for big changes at this point.

I was merely making a note on P deathball vs race balance to say we can't make too much change or we'll have more problems than we started with. The fact of the matter is a lot of high level toss games show little to no effort to avoid the vortex vs zerg situation because of a few factors: harass isn't easy but should be a much, much greater part of the arsenal, and once armies grow beyond a certain size, harassment becomes unviable because successful harass requires a much larger commitment of army for a reasonable return than many players are willing to make. In other words, harassments become all out pushes once armies get to late game sizes.

Edit: This is not to say we don't see harassment. White-ra does just about anything at any time. Hero is another good toss that is consistent with late harass. Also, a lot of late econ harass takes on a multipronged form to ensure at least some success by catching the big enemy army out of position on one front. My point in the above paragraph is a lot of players tend to shy away from harassing when they should only be changing the directive of the harass from econ harass to anti-tech harass (meaning deny certain buildings). Of course any harass has its limitations, and these become amplified as players have many more bases in which to place tech.

A friend brought up the craziest suggestion I ever heard. Give players resources lost/resource damage incurred counters in game and require a certain combined amount of resources lost/damages incurred before a new hatch/CC/Nexus could be built, to equal roughly one third to one half of total resources mined. Players would get to expand to their natural freely, but this would effect the 3rd base and beyond. This would force players into a more offensive playstyle certainly, though it might favor the player that wins more engagements. For those wondering: in situations where a player has lost bases, the calculation would be ignored until the player was back up to the number of bases the last calculation occurred at. Also, this approach would eliminate macro hatches and macro CC's as a necessity of implementation: any hatches/CCs/Nexii built would have to be in mining position. Further, PF would be a separate structure requiring an armory and a fusion core (cost 500 mins 150 gas). A variant was discussed to allow Zerg one macro hatch, but it would have to be placed at least within mining range of one node.