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View Full Version : Balancing ZvZ: Hydralisk's corrosive spines



Tritanis
05-15-2009, 03:49 AM
Zerg vs zerg matchup was a bit dull in sc1 (mutas, lings and scourges were overused). In sc2, as for now, it looks like zvz will be a roach war with very little usage of other units, neither zerglings nor hydras can compete with roaches cost efficiently.

My little idea is to give hydralisks a passive ability(lets call it 'corrosive spines') that would disable any form of regeneration (innate, or from spells like medivac healing) for a few seconds to any organic unit the hydralisk attacks.

With this little ability zerglings and hydralisks with a bit of micro could counter roaches cost efficiently. Also it gives hydras some uses in ZvT besides sniping flying units, it surely won't be overpowered as hydras cost twice as much supply and resources compared to sc1.

What do you think about it guys?

Perfecttear
05-15-2009, 04:00 AM
It sounds good, but i think this alone won't be enough to enable hydras to counter roaches, maybe some poison damage or cripple effect?

Tritanis
05-15-2009, 04:04 AM
Hydras after speed upgrade are much faster than roaches, so they could easily kite them. And without regeneration it takes only 8 hydra shots (14-1 vs 100hp) to kill a roach, in combination with zerglings it is even more deadly.

FlashWar
05-15-2009, 04:46 AM
I like this idea, it could even be used against Medivacs and Infantry, not just Roaches. It would be the perfect counter seeing as Terran has four infantry units.

Eligor
05-15-2009, 05:06 AM
This, is something I'd love to see Blizz implement. Gives the Hydralisks a new dimension.

Audie Murphy
05-15-2009, 05:10 AM
That would only balance 1v1...

Tritanis
05-15-2009, 06:11 AM
That would only balance 1v1...
erm... what? wasn't this thread initially about balancing one matchup?

As for the ZvT it would certainly help zerg against infantry coupled with medivacs, also I think that organic protoss units affected by corrosive spines shouldn't be able to regain their shields by that new 'Plasma Surge' ability for HT.

Perfecttear
05-15-2009, 07:28 AM
Hydras after speed upgrade are much faster than roaches, so they could easily kite them. And without regeneration it takes only 8 hydra shots (14-1 vs 100hp) to kill a roach, in combination with zerglings it is even more deadly.


Even without the regeneration the roach has still more damage and hp and has the same attack speed. Where did you get 8 hydra shots? It takes 12 hydra shots to kill a roach, and 6 roach shots to kill a hydra!
Roach does 16 damage to hydras where hydra does only 9 to roach.
Not to mention, that the roach is much cheaper.


.

Medzo
05-15-2009, 09:37 AM
I really dont think roach is the end all be all of zerg. You guys keep clinging onto how many hits it takes to kill something, but there is a lot more to it, like collision size. The range and the collision size of the roach looks as if you wont be getting 6 roaches on one hydra for a 1 volley kill unless you have some kind of master positioning (and movement speed shouldnt allow this). However getting 6 hydralisks to focus on 1 roach is an easier task.

Baneling
05-15-2009, 09:58 AM
Its to nuanced. It would be confusing to new players and its effect would be hard to judge and balance.

Sounds cool, but in game I just don't think it would be.

Edfishy
05-15-2009, 10:01 AM
With a little bit of balance, I think this would be a spectacular idea. :)

Tritanis
05-15-2009, 10:17 AM
Even without the regeneration the roach has still more damage and hp and has the same attack speed. Where did you get 8 hydra shots? It takes 12 hydra shots to kill a roach, and 6 roach shots to kill a hydra!
Roach does 16 damage to hydras where hydra does only 9 to roach.
Not to mention, that the roach is much cheaper.
.

I thought hydras deal additional 4 damage to armored targets but I guess my info was a bit outdated. Anyway with double the range as a roach and noticeable difference in speed hydras, with a little micro, would kill them cost efficiently in open spaces.

DemolitionSquid
05-15-2009, 10:45 AM
Roaches cost 100, have 100 HP and do 8 + 8 vs Ground Biological at range 3.

Hydras cost 100/50, have 80 HP and do 10 vs Ground, and 10 + 6 vs Air Armor at range 6.

Lurkers cost another 50/100, have 125 HP and do 15 + 15 vs Ground Armored at range 9.

Tritanis
05-15-2009, 10:51 AM
Yeah, I checked starcraft.wikia after his post too :P

Praetor_Ixab
05-15-2009, 10:58 AM
good research there, DS. As the stats stand now, I vote yes for this ability (or something like it), mainly because the Hydralisk desperately needs something ot make it effective and worthy of being used. With the current build (or the last known stats of the hydra), there doesn't seem to be too much of an incentive to go with hydras over roaches. this may help out a little bit. as an iconic unit, it needs to have a larger role in the sequel, or at least a role just as large as SC1

SpiderBrigade
05-15-2009, 11:48 AM
I think this might make Hydras viable against roaches if they also get a generic + vs armored instead of only against AIR armored. That would make them powerful vs roaches, creating the infamous "triangle" described in other threads, and it would make them slightly better against mid-game Terran infantry (countering medivacs).

Pandonetho
05-15-2009, 11:54 AM
Solely on the idea itself... I like it.

It makes sense and sounds unique.

unentschieden
05-15-2009, 12:24 PM
There is no need for such a specialized mechanic that has sideeffects to boot. To beat them you simply need Damage spikes. If Zerg donīt have that it will be supplied.

Pandonetho
05-15-2009, 12:29 PM
There is no need for such a specialized mechanic that has sideeffects to boot. To beat them you simply need Damage spikes. If Zerg donīt have that it will be supplied.

True that it's pretty specialized. It'll be completely useless against Protoss.

Maybe have it so that medivacs can't heal their infantry as well for a short while?

RamiZ
05-15-2009, 12:30 PM
Thumbs up to the idea creator ;) like it, and im really thinking it has potential in every MU if you give that ability to counter Protoss Shield regen, it would be also very good ;) and i dont think Hydras need bonus vs Armored units, they are good this way, if they get bonus vs Armored they will be overused, and Lurkers wont see the light of the day...

Pandonetho
05-15-2009, 12:32 PM
The thing about it is, it's pointless against anything other than the Roach in ZvZ because no one really cares about regeneration in general.

Against Protoss it really doesn't matter because their shields don't regenerate anyway unless they're out of battle.

RamiZ
05-15-2009, 01:25 PM
The thing about it is, it's pointless against anything other than the Roach in ZvZ because no one really cares about regeneration in general.

Against Protoss it really doesn't matter because their shields don't regenerate anyway unless they're out of battle.

We are talking about Med-vac Dropship healing and HT recharge of shield ability, so it would be useful...

Norfindel
05-15-2009, 01:26 PM
No, if the Roach has too much regeneration for the other Zerg units to be effective, this should be resolved by different means.
Roaches are Armored, just by giving the Hydralisks a bonus vs Armored, you make them more effective against them. Anorher one would be to make the Hydralisks Armored units, instead of Light, and change the Roach bonus vs Bio to a bonus vs Light, so that they don't get a bonus against all the Zerg.

The_Blade
05-15-2009, 03:51 PM
currently the hydra is being moved back to thier 1.5 and with it the cost will be reduced.

I need to see this in game... too few information about the zerg currently.

RamiZ
05-15-2009, 05:51 PM
No, if the Roach has too much regeneration for the other Zerg units to be effective, this should be resolved by different means.
Roaches are Armored, just by giving the Hydralisks a bonus vs Armored, you make them more effective against them. Anorher one would be to make the Hydralisks Armored units, instead of Light, and change the Roach bonus vs Bio to a bonus vs Light, so that they don't get a bonus against all the Zerg.

It solves some problems but it make another ones....If you change Hydras to get bonus vs Armored, then they will be far more effective and We wont see Lurkers in the game...and in second one, if you make that changes that are not small at all, you still didnt solve the problem that Roach got 15 regen and that Hydras cant easy Destroy that....That wont be problem for them, in fact, you just made Hydras harder to kill and Roaches are the same....Also if Hydras are Armored they will be killed by Siege tanks that do 50+50 vs Armored...You must watch other aspects of the game, no just one race...

Norfindel
05-15-2009, 07:14 PM
It solves some problems but it make another ones....If you change Hydras to get bonus vs Armored, then they will be far more effective and We wont see Lurkers in the game...and in second one, if you make that changes that are not small at all, you still didnt solve the problem that Roach got 15 regen and that Hydras cant easy Destroy that....
Hydras have pretty fast attack rate, and are cheaper now, so that shouldn't be a problem to destroy the Roaches. It was mentioned several times that ranged units can destroy Roaches with ease when you focus fire on the Roaches, or if there are enough units. So, it's not like the Hydras need +500 vs Armored to be effective, maybe they even don't need any bonus at all, or a very low one.


That wont be problem for them, in fact, you just made Hydras harder to kill and Roaches are the same....Also if Hydras are Armored they will be killed by Siege tanks that do 50+50 vs Armored...You must watch other aspects of the game, no just one race...
I don't think that the Hydralisks were designed as counters to Siege Tanks, anyways. In BW, they're next to useless vs them.
With the modification, they would be twice as hard to kill for the Roaches, and that would change the balance quite a lot. But really, i don't think that it's even necessary to modify the Hydralisk's armor Type.

Perfecttear
05-15-2009, 07:34 PM
I'm wondering does anybody know the frame attack speed of the hydralisk. I was told it's 1.45sec for normal attack speed and 0.86sec for fast attack speed.
The hydralisk has normal attack speed in sc2,and the roachs regeneration speed is 15hps and after the the Organic Carapace upgrade 25hps.
If you think about it:
Hydralisk does 9 damage per atack to the roach , this makes it do roughly 6 damage per second, if you compare that with the roach regeneration(15hps) , you find out that the hydralisk cannot even kill the roach since the regeneration is greather than the damage, hell even 2 hydras constantly fireing cannot kill a roach :s, and thats before the upgrade. You need atleast 4 zerglings to start doing damage to the roach, and even then they only do 2 dmg per second.

Or did i misunderstand roachs regeneration?


.

mr. peasant
05-15-2009, 07:39 PM
Hydras have pretty fast attack rate, and are cheaper now, so that shouldn't be a problem to destroy the Roaches. It was mentioned several times that ranged units can destroy Roaches with ease when you focus fire on the Roaches, or if there are enough units. So, it's not like the Hydras need +500 vs Armored to be effective, maybe they even don't need any bonus at all, or a very low one.


I don't think that the Hydralisks were designed as counters to Siege Tanks, anyways. In BW, they're next to useless vs them.
With the modification, they would be twice as hard to kill for the Roaches, and that would change the balance quite a lot. But really, i don't think that it's even necessary to modify the Hydralisk's armor Type.

Erm... I think Norfindel's comments were aimed at your suggestions of giving the Hydralisk a bonus vs armored units and/or armored units itself; that such changes have far bigger consequences on overall balance and not just Roaches alone. Oddly, I find it weird that you're arguing against your own points/suggestions. :s

Also, regarding your comment on the Hydralisk's attack rate and that focus firing counters Roaches: This is not a specific counter to Roaches but a general one against all units. It's basically saying in order to kill something quicker, you attack it with more units. Pretty obvious, pretty basic a concept.

However, if the DPS/firepower is not sufficient, no amount of micromanagement can turn the tide against Roaches and kill them in a timely fashion. As a result, the outcome of that round is decided even before it begins regardless of skill, which in my opinion is not good. Compare to Zealot vs Stalker. Cost for cost, Zealots would normally kill Stalkers. But with Blink micro, Stalkers can take out those Zealots.

ManjiSanji
05-15-2009, 08:37 PM
I think this could be a good idea; but could it be extended to any and/or all regeneration, including Terran Repair, Protoss shield regeneration, etc? This would make the Hydralisk a much more dynamic unit. The length of the debuff doesn't have to be too long, so that it's definitely gone shortly after combat or fleeing (10 seconds?), but enough to be a tactical hindrance.

Whanhee
05-16-2009, 12:10 AM
Though it may not be useful vs protoss, in 2v2 (or other team matches), it can prevent terrans from healing their allies! :O

Also, would it prevent repairs by scvs? Seems a bit stacked as it prevents a terran from repairing his base while help is on the way...

RamiZ
05-16-2009, 01:13 AM
Would be a little bit stupid to prevent repairing, it would be pretty overpowered...

RamiZ
05-16-2009, 01:17 AM
Erm... I think Norfindel's comments were aimed at your suggestions of giving the Hydralisk a bonus vs armored units and/or armored units itself; that such changes have far bigger consequences on overall balance and not just Roaches alone. Oddly, I find it weird that you're arguing against your own points/suggestions. :s

Also, regarding your comment on the Hydralisk's attack rate and that focus firing counters Roaches: This is not a specific counter to Roaches but a general one against all units. It's basically saying in order to kill something quicker, you attack it with more units. Pretty obvious, pretty basic a concept.

However, if the DPS/firepower is not sufficient, no amount of micromanagement can turn the tide against Roaches and kill them in a timely fashion. As a result, the outcome of that round is decided even before it begins regardless of skill, which in my opinion is not good. Compare to Zealot vs Stalker. Cost for cost, Zealots would normally kill Stalkers. But with Blink micro, Stalkers can take out those Zealots.
Exactly...That is my Point, if you give that bonuses the whole balance would be changed, and to the people who said that collision size make a difference, also range and movement speed...yes they do, but still Roaches with Organic Carapace is untouchable...I dont think Hydra has any chance to win against Roaches...

Edit: Sorry double post....my PC is a little bit fuked - up

Norfindel
05-16-2009, 10:43 AM
Exactly...That is my Point, if you give that bonuses the whole balance would be changed, and to the people who said that collision size make a difference, also range and movement speed...yes they do, but still Roaches with Organic Carapace is untouchable...I dont think Hydra has any chance to win against Roaches...

Edit: Sorry double post....my PC is a little bit fuked - up
Ok, time to get some stats:


Hydralisk BW Hydra Roach
(prev build)
Hit points 90 80 100
Armor Type Light (medium) Armored
Minerals 100 75 100
Gas 50 25 0
Control 2 1 1
Build time 33 23
Ground Attack 10 5+5 vs Armored 8+8 vs Bio
Armor 0 0 1
Range 6 4/5 3

We don't have the Hydralisks current stats, but we have the stats from the previous build and BW. In paper, the Roach beats the Hydralisk, but cooldown changes it all. How quickly can the Roach cause damage? The Hydralisk in BW had insane shooting speed. The same than a Marine without Stim, and 10 damage has the potential to ruin a Roach's day, specially with focus fire, and it's easier to focus fire with units with longer range. The Roach has a miserable range.
I'm not saying that no problem exists. If that were the case, the Hydralisk wouldn't be moved lower in the tech tree, but i think that this problem should be easy enough to fix. At most, decrease the Roach damage output if too high, i think that their main qualiy should be take the damage, not deal it.
But, there's another problem. It would be desirable that the Zerglings have something to say about all this, but i don't see them being particularily effective against the Roach, or the Hydralisk with their current stats. However, judging by how the Hydra was much more effective against large (Armored) units in BW, i think that they probably are going to take the same route now, as the Roach is Armored already, and the Zergling is not.

Edfishy
05-16-2009, 11:39 AM
The trouble I see with saying, "you can just focus-fire the roaches with Hydralisks", is that requires some hefty micro every time you encounter Roaches in a ZvZ match up, and you can bet both players would be spamming the Roaches for this reason.

I'm wondering if the corrosive acid should just cut regeneration in half. Considering that it would be a passive ability(?), this would be enough to "even" the odds while not removing all of the micro component, while also giving the Hydralisk a unique ability that has so far gone unused in StarCraft 2.

Either way, I would like to give this idea a whirl once the Beta editor is available.

RamiZ
05-16-2009, 11:54 AM
That "you will focus-fire and got longer range" just doesnt really work that way, as Edfishy said, yeah you can do that, but still Roaches got 23 sec Build time and cost no gas, no matter how bulky, slow or whatever they are, you will have more Roaches then he got Hydras...Especially like you said in other thread about Siege Tanks, that 2 population make big difference, especially early game where he would have 2 Roaches for every your Hydra, so if he Rush you with just 5 Roaches, and you maximum got by then 3 Hydra, you can Focus-Fire and even if he doesnt micro at all, you just cant kill him, you will have to make Spine Crawlers and waste drones on them, and waste gas on hydras, and he will have more gas and drones then you, so he will get faster higher tech units...and that would be gg...

Josue
05-16-2009, 04:41 PM
Improving the Hydralisk sounds cool, even the name sounds cool: "Corrosive spines".
However I think it should be implemented as a passive upgrade for the hydra, following the same logic of the old SC1 "Grooved spines" with some changes to make it balanced.
For example:

"Corrosive spines:
passively deal X damage per second for 3,5,7 seconds"

or something that works like that. So we don't depend on wheter the unit is regenerating or not. And we have two variables to work with(time and damage/time), so balancing is easier
I guess the ability could stack or not depending on balance. It may also differ the way it affects ground and air units.
That way hydralisks can be good in air to air at the beginning, but get some respect from ground units when they get the evolution. So if your foe goes roaches and you went hydras, just do the evolution, (which must have a reasonable ore,gas and time costs) and counter those roaches! I say this because (if wrong correct me) I remember in battle report 2, Hydralisks seemed OK against air units, but they had to retreat when the ground force came.
PD no vote yet.

Norfindel
05-16-2009, 06:22 PM
From http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Roach#Strategies:

A roach's regeneration is quite powerful, and it can often regenerate faster than it takes damage.[13]

Roaches work well in small skirmishes rather than large encounters,[14] because they are vulnerable to focus fire.[8][14] A single roach can defeat a single stalker due to its high regeneration, for instance, but several stalkers can defeat several roaches with focus fire.[14] Groups of marines can counter roaches as well.[15]

Roaches are also vulnerable to sustained damage.[16] Roaches are strong against opponents that attack slowly and do low damage per attack, such as zealots.[14] Karune reports that "in theorycrafting, they seem stronger than they actually are, although specific units must be used to counter them, or additional micromanagement time be taken to defeat them. Siege tanks, stim packed marines, stalkers, immortals, dark templars, hydralisks, and any air to ground unit, are all effective at killing Roaches with a little micromanagement."[17]

A roach/baneling combo is very powerful against terrans, as the roaches will soak damage, enabling the banelings to get close to the enemy and deal their high damage attacks.[18]
[edit] Zerg vs Zerg

Roaches and zerglings are used early in zerg vs zerg matches. Compared to zerglings, roaches are a more defensive unit. Cost for cost, roaches win against zerglings in chokes but lose in open areas. Later in the game, numerous roaches can defeat numerous zerglings even in open areas.[19]

As a game progresses, a roach/hydralisk combo can defeat a zergling/mutalisk combo.[19]
Of all this, the only thing that bothers me is that the Roach forces the enemy to micro early game, when the unit numbers are low. And requiring extra skill from the enemy just because you built some unit doesn't sound right. It should require some additional effort from the Zerg player.
What do you think about this?: maybe the Roaches could have 2 regeneration speeds, a slower one when they were hit recently, and a faster one when they weren't (similar to the Protoss Shield mechanic). That would require as much micro from the Roach user as from the enemy, as the enemy must focus fire to get rid of them if the enemy rotates it's Roaches.
Seeing how Zerglings can beat Roaches early game in the open, it's probably not that much of a problem in that match-up, but the other races seem to require micro to beat them.

Edfishy
05-16-2009, 06:33 PM
Halving the Roach regeneration when it's damaged also sounds like a plausible balance, but it still doesn't make the Hydralisk cooler. ;)

I can see it happening though.

PsiWarp
05-16-2009, 07:15 PM
It would be awesome if Corrosive Spines can become balanced, frightening really o0o...

What if Hydralisk spines adds a debuff on a target, that deals a small splash radius around the target after an initial build-up duration? Hydralisk shoots a Roach, debuff starts, after 2 - 3 seconds a cluster of needles bursts from the spine, dealing 5 - 7 damage to enemies around the Roach (plus Roach itself)?

Cluster Spines! Debuff probably doesn't stack :3


-Psi

ManjiSanji
05-16-2009, 08:47 PM
Would be a little bit stupid to prevent repairing, it would be pretty overpowered...

We either go all or nothing with this. It has to work on all races, or it shouldn't be in. Having something that specifically only works on one race is just not right (or fun). So I'm postulating possible utilities against Terran and Protoss.

Any suggestions?

mr. peasant
05-16-2009, 09:06 PM
We either go all or nothing with this. It has to work on all races, or it shouldn't be in. Having something that specifically only works on one race is just not right (or fun). So I'm postulating possible utilities against Terran and Protoss.

Any suggestions?

I disagree. I think what they should strive for is for all units be useful in all match-ups though they don't 'need' to be useful through identical means. In other words, a unit can have an ability that specifically works on one race but it would be compensated by other features that benefit it in other ways when facing the other two races.

ManjiSanji
05-16-2009, 09:51 PM
I disagree. I think what they should strive for is for all units be useful in all match-ups though they don't 'need' to be useful through identical means. In other words, a unit can have an ability that specifically works on one race but it would be compensated by other features that benefit it in other ways when facing the other two races.

As in, the same ability has different functions against other races? Ok, that makes sense; as long as the ability gets used.

Do you have any suggestions as to how this sort of ability could function differently against Terrans and Protoss?

Norfindel
05-16-2009, 09:56 PM
Halving the Roach regeneration when it's damaged also sounds like a plausible balance, but it still doesn't make the Hydralisk cooler. ;)

I can see it happening though.
Aren't Hydralisks cool enough? :D
They are fraightening as hell, with it's snake-like appearence, their scythes, their teeths, they can even bring down Battlecruisers, and morph into the now beefier Lurker.

They're one of the most iconic Starcraft units. Other Zerg units i specially like, are the Overlord, the Ultralisk, the Defiler, and the Guardian. They have a very... Zerg attitude :).

Whanhee
05-18-2009, 12:52 AM
As in, the same ability has different functions against other races? Ok, that makes sense; as long as the ability gets used.

Do you have any suggestions as to how this sort of ability could function differently against Terrans and Protoss?

Since what we're dealing with is corrosive spines, instead of making them prevent regeneration, which is only really useful vs zerg, why not give it the acid spores of devours? It should definitely counter the roaches as each hit will be harder to regenerate than the last and it makes controlling them more interesting. Focus fire will increase damage vs one unit but spreading fire will increase the corrosion on the armour of more units.

It will also be useful vs toss and terran, not just zerg.

Sidenote to Psiwarp: You've been playing too much halo XD

ManjiSanji
05-18-2009, 02:35 AM
Since what we're dealing with is corrosive spines, instead of making them prevent regeneration, which is only really useful vs zerg, why not give it the acid spores of devours?

I'd been thinking about that for some time, and it's a function of old SC that I thought would be a lot of fun in new SC, especially if used in greater capacity (like on a ground unit). I was really hoping they'd do more with that mechanic, but, unless they change something, it seems like it won't make it in (unless, perhaps, in one of the two expansions).

RamiZ
05-18-2009, 03:14 AM
Since what we're dealing with is corrosive spines, instead of making them prevent regeneration, which is only really useful vs zerg, why not give it the acid spores of devours? It should definitely counter the roaches as each hit will be harder to regenerate than the last and it makes controlling them more interesting. Focus fire will increase damage vs one unit but spreading fire will increase the corrosion on the armour of more units.

It will also be useful vs toss and terran, not just zerg.

Except it would be too strong, even if you dont give them -9 Armor like Devourer has, at the beginning of the game, -3 Armor is like too much...Combination of Banelings, Zerglings and Hydras would be unstoppable, it is good idea though, but myb for Lair or Hive tech and then it wont have any use vs Roaches...

ManjiSanji
05-18-2009, 03:28 AM
Except it would be too strong, even if you dont give them -9 Armor like Devourer has, at the beginning of the game, -3 Armor is like too much...Combination of Banelings, Zerglings and Hydras would be unstoppable, it is good idea though, but myb for Lair or Hive tech and then it wont have any use vs Roaches...

It could be some extension of an Infester or Queen ability; AOE ability that reduces armor by X. Basically making it limited by the number of caster units you have, as well as their energy, as opposed to an easily producible and possibly pre-massed unit (like the Hydralisk) for other purposes.

Whanhee
05-18-2009, 08:44 PM
It could be some extension of an Infester or Queen ability; AOE ability that reduces armor by X. Basically making it limited by the number of caster units you have, as well as their energy, as opposed to an easily producible and possibly pre-massed unit (like the Hydralisk) for other purposes.
Good idea but zerg doesn't have any tier 1 casters. I think we're looking for a way to make hydralisks more viable vs roaches so that zvz isn't completely dominated by roach massing early game.

Perhaps an evolution of hydralisks that don't require any tech (beyond den) might be in order.