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Nicol Bolas
12-02-2009, 01:59 AM
Incoming wall of text. Scroll to the bottom to see the tl;dr version.

I've been thinking about this for a while now. And I haven't found an answer to this question yet: what exactly are these things for?

In refuting arguments that the Zerg are broken based on various videos, I find that I'm always citing the lack of use of various facets of Tier 2. They didn't go for Infestors. Or they didn't use their Overseer's abilities. Or no Nydus or Overlord drop play. Or whatever.

At no time have I seen a situation where I thought, "You know what this Zerg player needs right now? Some Roaches."

What would that situation look like? Does that situation even exist? I've been hypothesizing, and I can't come up with a legitimate eventuality where Roaches would actually save someone.

The common thought for Roaches is as tanks for Hydralisks (since Hydras out-range Roaches). However, for the cost of a single Roach, I can get 4 Zerglings (or more Hydralisks, but we'll focus on the Zerglings for now). Together, they can absorb 140 damage, which is almost the Roach's Hp. However, since many units will over-spend to kill Zerglings (hitting a Zergling with a 20-point blast when it is on 5 Hp), this can be raised to ~155-160, depending on what's shooting at them.

Roach regen, at this point (Tier 2: 3 buildings in), is sufficiently slow that you can only expect them to regenerate maybe 10-15 Hp before they die or you are forced to burrow them. That's 185 Hp vs. 140, worst case. A 25% reduction is certainly significant, but far from earth-shaking.

It should be noted that Zerglings do a metric assload more damage than Roaches. The only downside other than the 25% expected health reduction is that Zerglings are melee-only: thus, there's a fairly low limit to the number that can attack something. Even so, substituting one Roach for just 2 Zerglings is still more damage.

So where are Roaches an overall win? AoE. Zerglings die quick, bloody, and en masse to most AoE. Roaches do not. But even here there is a problem. And I think this illuminates the Roach's problem overall.

So your Roaches survive that Psi Storm. But they won't survive it because of their high Hp or regen. They will survive it because no Protoss player will aim at them. The Psi Storms will be aiming at the Hydralisks behind the Roaches. This is similar to how a Protoss will react to Thor+Marines.

However, there is a difference between Thor+Marines and Roach+Hydralisks. And that difference is this: Roaches are not dangerous. At all. Against anything.

Thors, by themselves, cannot be ignored. They do far too much damage far too quickly to ignore them. Oh, you shouldn't fling Psi Storms at them, but they're a perfectly legitimate target for Phase Out. There are entire units specialized for dealing with Thors (Immortals and Void Rays, for example).

Roaches... not so much. And that's the problem.

In an MMO, a tank class can force an enemy to attack them. They do this by using abilities that manipulate Aggro, the AI system that determines who the monster attacks next. In an RTS however, there's nothing to make someone attack a unit. People will naturally attack the unit they find to be the most dangerous.

You can't ignore a Thor. Nor can you ignore an Ultralisk. Or an Immortal. Or an Archon. All of these units will kill people and break things; they will do so quickly and savagely. You have to attack them, sooner or later.

Roaches... not so much. They do pitiful damage, and their rate of fire is maybe as good as a Hydralisk. But Hydralisks get to attack air and ground, as well as have a bonus to the kind of unit that tends to have high Hp (armored). Roaches don't. Hydralisks have range. Roaches don't.

The only threat posed by a Roach currently is that it's semi-hard to kill. This is mostly due to its Hp, not its regen. And there's the problem: Roaches may be the first to the fight, but if it is at all possible to get around them, then the enemy will. They're not damage dealers, so there's no reason to attack them right now. Better to take out what they're protecting now and deal with them a bit later.

In order to do what a Roach is supposed to, it must actually be a threat. A team of 7-10 Roaches had better pose a threat to something. And this gets into a possible Tier 2 weakness: taking out armored units.

Banelings have AoE covered reasonably well. Hydralisks are good at just about everything. Zerglings are, well, Zerglings. In SC2, there are a lot more high-Hp targets at lower Tiers than in SC1. Thors, Marauders, etc.

Hydralisks are generalists: they can handle everything approximately equally well. But because they have no weaknesses, they have no strengths. A unit designed specifically to take out light units will have a field day with them.

Roaches can cover this. Give them an attack of perhaps 10 + 15 vs. Armored. That will make them a certifiable threat against Thors, Siege Tanks, Stalkers, Immortals (once the shields are down), Marauders, and so on.

tl;dr: Roaches aren't good tankers because they aren't dangerous to anything. Give them a large bonus vs. armored units to make them dangerous.

flabortast
12-02-2009, 02:29 AM
I'd agree but wouldn't giving a relatively massable unit a strong attack be dangerous?

PsiWarp
12-02-2009, 02:44 AM
True, the Roach (as of current) does seem to focus on tier 1 rather than higher tech, so the Hydralisk would remain uncontested in its go-to nature due to Anti-armor + Anti-air capabilities.


-Psi

Caliban113
12-02-2009, 03:05 AM
How about giving the Roach an attack similar to the Devourer's acid spore attack in BW? - an attack which is weak on it's own, (like the Roach's current one) but creates a temporary effect (on certain unit types - armored?) that increases the amount of damage made by other units. (or in some way lowers the effectiveness of the target)

PsiWarp
12-02-2009, 03:15 AM
I think it'd be cool if the Roach has a passive ability which prevented HP or Energy regeneration of any type, spell (Medivac Heal, SCV Repair) or natural (Zerg Regen, Shield Regen), for perhaps a second or more.


-Psi

Gifted
12-02-2009, 03:19 AM
Before I even give an opinion, to help form my own opinion and any other opinions from this point forward I think it's good to bring the current statistics to the table that I have access too. There are also ways to judge the statistical advantages of DPS, range coordination, time charts and whatnot. I'm merely judging by basic elements for this conversation. Information provided may be flexible based on balance and should not be treated as law.


Unit Statitistical Comparisons

Damage

Roach: 11 damage (+3 light)
Hydralisk: 8 damage (+4 armored, same rate as roach)
Zergling: 5 damage (No bonus, faster rate of attack)

Armor

Roach: Armored (Biological)
Hydralisk: Light (Biological)
Zergling: Light (Biological)

Hit Point

Roach: 160 (1 armor)
Hydralisk: 80 (0 armor)
Zergling: 35 (0 armor)

Cost

Roach: http://www.bit.ly/mins 100
Hydralisk: http://www.bit.ly/mins 75 / http://www.bit.ly/vesgas 25
Zergling: http://www.bit.ly/mins 25 (Per unit as they spawn as 2)

Build Time

Roach: http://www.bit.ly/btime 27
Hydralisk: http://www.bit.ly/btime 27
Zergling: http://www.bit.ly/btime 24



Efficiency Ratios

Roach

Damage Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 9.09~ per damage ( http://www.bit.ly/mins 7.1428~ against light)
Hit Point Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 0.625 per hit point (Not counting armor and regeneration) *

Hydralisk

Damage Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 12.5 / http://www.bit.ly/vesgas 3.125 per damage ( http://www.bit.ly/mins 8.33~ / http://www.bit.ly/vesgas 2.083~ against Armored)
Hit Point Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 0.9375 / http://www.bit.ly/vesgas 0.3125 per hit point

Zergling

Damage Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 5 per damage (Faster rate of attack not included) **
Hit Point Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 0.7142~ per hit point

* This value can be reduced by a fraction of one over the damage value of the attacker.
A unit that does 5 damage reduces cost per hit point of the roach by 1/5th (.625 -> .5) for example. This still does not
include increased regeneration to the equation.

** This value is inaccurate due to the lack of a global equal value to judge by. If we
could determine damage per second then we could change these values to be fully
correct. All we know is that the attack speed for the Zergling is faster than the Hydralisk
and Roach. The Hydralisk and Roach have the same attack speed.


http://sclegacy.com/features/break.png

Basic jist of opinion:


I can see too narrow of a niche for this unit and agree with your point slightly. Another unit that could stand to be in the same boat is the Immortal as it's most efficient niche is also a likewise narrow situation.

I suspect that our conversation will lead more so into the angle of how to balance it further on paper which won't lead well into real scenarios. That's fine and dandy though as we're examining the unit in terms of counter analysis and not in terms of actual performance.

There are some parts of your information which I disagree with but I think with proper statistics we can reach a same page.

Regarding the roaches' damage output:


I find that statistically the roach has a similar damage output to the hydralisk. When you place it against light units, however, it's efficiency shows to be about par as well in it's current form.


In ZvZ the roach becomes a sufficiently more efficient unit in terms of damage compared to hydralisks and could replace them in certain counter compositions leading up to mid-game.
In ZvT, I feel they'll be more efficient against a Terran infantry army that has a low maurader count... the issue is that terrans can swiftly fix that unless there is a focus on the maurader killing. They could also work as planned base defenders against raider guerilla attacks in a pinch with proper scouting.
In ZvT and ZvZ, 3 Roaches can one shot a worker, allowing them to be the most efficient harrassment drop to an enemy base, especially with burrow being natural to them.


If you still feel the damage of Roaches being light.. feel free to state so. But in light of the statistics I am looking at right now I believe it to be adequate.

To all reading my post:

I hope these statistics help the discussion out to alleviate questions/concerns/misconceptions about what's more powerful or not. These statistics can help you bring your own conclusion to light

flabortast
12-02-2009, 03:42 AM
Those stats are wrong. Are you using SC2armory? SC wikia has more up to date stats.

MattII
12-02-2009, 03:52 AM
I don't know how true it is, but the wikia states that the Roach's attack is 11 +3 vs. light (everything else is the same though), which, if true, would make it slightly worse vs. bio units, but better vs. everything else, and still more than a match for the Hydralisk vs. light units (and almost a match vs. armoured, less the range).

RamiZ
12-02-2009, 07:03 AM
Yup Gifted, as already mentioned those stats are wrong, SC wiki got stats from November 2009.

Roach does now 11+3 vs light -.- Which sucks in my opinion.

I don't know how true it is, but the wikia states that the Roach's attack is 11 +3 vs. light (everything else is the same though), which, if true, would make it slightly worse vs. bio units, but better vs. everything else, and still more than a match for the Hydralisk vs. light units (and almost a match vs. armoured, less the range).
True, but we already have Hydras that are doing bonus to armored, why don't we get Roach bonus to biological or Light? And I pretty much agree on anything Nicol said, except 10+15 would be too powerful, and Hydras already do 8+4 vs Armored. So I would say, give them something like 10+10 vs Bio units, or light units. But I think they will buffed it, or do something about them.

Gifted
12-02-2009, 07:08 AM
Thanks for the clarity, updating it.

GRUNT
12-02-2009, 07:46 AM
In that show match where David Kim went Roaches and Hydras vs a ball of Marines and Marauders, I think that Roaches and Zerglings would have been more efficient.

It's cheaper and more efficient against that AoE-less enemy, and even with pro APM, it's going to be difficult to micro your units to always be attacking only Zerglings - those Roaches are bound to take a good number of hits so that your Zerglings can do their thing.

At least, that's my theory.

And of course, we might be seeing Roaches in ZvZ :P.

The thing is that even in large engagements, there's a point where investing in only high DPS units lead to diminishing returns. As the OP out, the enemy may not target Roaches with stuff like Psi Storm, but they're still going to be taking quite a few hits from auto-fire and such, and I suspect that that is enough to justify their inclusion in an army.

Ultralisks and Zerglings works great in Brood War. Pound for pound, Hydras and Zerglings in Brood War are going to do more damage than an Ultralisk. In an ideal world, the enemy would always auto-target Zerglings and Hydralisks first, but Ultralisks always take a lot of hits for their squishier friends. Their damage output isn't as efficient for cost as a Zergling, but it's good enough to clean up the enemy once your Zerglings are all dead. I think the same will be true for the Roach.

Norfindel
12-02-2009, 08:03 AM
I think that a tanking unit should have much more important damage bonus, as otherwise, a general attack on a tough to kill unit has too much potential to mass.

Seeing how the Zerg have problems against Terran infantry early game, i would make the Roach available early, and give it a lower attack and a more important bonus vs light. Roachs would take on Marines, while Zerglings take on Marauders.

Also, it's not too clear if the Roach regeneration is a good idea. Any unit can kill it if the DPS is higher than their regeneration, so masses of ranged units can kill them as long as they're focusing fire.

I think that splash could be important vs Roaches, as overlapping splashes increases the DPS.

Finally, i want to say that Psi Storming Thors is likely to be a common sight. Psi Storm's damage bypasses armor, and softens Thors considerably. The Thor isn't too fast, either. All not too fast units, or very tightly grouped units are a likely candidate to Psi Storm.

Gt2slurp
12-02-2009, 08:34 AM
The actual stats tell me that a roach vs 2 marines (same cost) win easily.

2 Marine
110 hp (combat shield on)
5 range
12 dmg (normal speed)
0 armor

1 Roach
160 hp (+regen)
3 range
14 dmg(Probably normal, maybe slow..)
1 amor

Unmicroed, the marines are eaten alive. If we consider burrowing the damaged roach and the marine being 2 time in number (so the damage output drop each time a marine goes down 2 time more ofter) i dont think the +2 range micro can save them. But plz correct me if i'm wrong.

You guys can say my logic is flawed because all terran will go marauder. But my point is Roach is cost effective vs light. I could have done the same exercice with zergling and zealot and i'm sure the Roach win cost to cost.

That being said, Roach feel boring to me. Considering Burrow is already upgraded for this unit, why don't make another upgrade to make the roach move wile burrowe(i know it was like that for a time, I cant see why it has been cut down). It could lead to really interesting strats and cheeses and add some uniqueness to it, because now I see it like a fat hydra -_-

(plz no flame for english)

Blazur
12-02-2009, 08:37 AM
Good synopsis. Might I suggest giving the roach a quicker burrow animation, or allowing them to move very slowly while underground. Then they become true to their name with how difficult they can be to kill using proper micro, and their regenerative abilities can be better taken advantage of.

Gt2slurp
12-02-2009, 09:01 AM
Good synopsis. Might I suggest giving the roach a quicker burrow animation, or allowing them to move very slowly while underground. Then they become true to their name with how difficult they can be to kill using proper micro, and their regenerative abilities can be better taken advantage of.

You're right, Burrow animation need to be fast, fast as a Roach crawling for darkness XD.

Is the regen faster undergroung?

Blazur
12-02-2009, 09:12 AM
You're right, Burrow animation need to be fast, fast as a Roach crawling for darkness XD.

Is the regen faster undergroung?

It was at one point, but I think they may have removed that. Who knows what it's like these days.

n00bonicPlague
12-02-2009, 09:36 AM
What's that building that techs Roaches? ("Roach ______")

Are there currently any abilities that get researched there?

Raisk
12-02-2009, 09:38 AM
What's that building that techs Roaches? ("Roach ______")

Are there currently any abilities that get researched there?

Roach Warren. You can research increased HP regen there once you reach Hive-tech.

SoFool
12-02-2009, 09:57 AM
How about giving the Roach an attack similar to the Devourer's acid spore attack in BW? - an attack which is weak on it's own, (like the Roach's current one) but creates a temporary effect (on certain unit types - armored?) that increases the amount of damage made by other units. (or in some way lowers the effectiveness of the target)

I think it'd be cool if the Roach has a passive ability which prevented HP or Energy regeneration of any type, spell (Medivac Heal, SCV Repair) or natural (Zerg Regen, Shield Regen), for perhaps a second or more.


-Psi

I like xD

flabortast
12-02-2009, 10:02 AM
Regen and Acid spores? Wouldn't two passive abilities on the Roach be a bit overkill?

Norfindel
12-02-2009, 10:59 AM
Before I even give an opinion, to help form my own opinion and any other opinions from this point forward I think it's good to bring the current statistics to the table that I have access too. There are also ways to judge the statistical advantages of DPS, range coordination, time charts and whatnot. I'm merely judging by basic elements for this conversation. Information provided may be flexible based on balance and should not be treated as law.


Unit Statitistical Comparisons

Damage

Roach: 11 damage (+3 light)
Hydralisk: 8 damage (+4 armored, same rate as roach)
Zergling: 5 damage (No bonus, faster rate of attack)

Armor

Roach: Armored (Biological)
Hydralisk: Light (Biological)
Zergling: Light (Biological)

Hit Point

Roach: 160 (1 armor)
Hydralisk: 80 (0 armor)
Zergling: 35 (0 armor)

Cost

Roach: http://www.bit.ly/mins 100
Hydralisk: http://www.bit.ly/mins 75 / http://www.bit.ly/vesgas 25
Zergling: http://www.bit.ly/mins 25 (Per unit as they spawn as 2)

Build Time

Roach: http://www.bit.ly/btime 27
Hydralisk: http://www.bit.ly/btime 27
Zergling: http://www.bit.ly/btime 24



Efficiency Ratios

Roach

Damage Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 9.09~ per damage ( http://www.bit.ly/mins 7.1428~ against light)
Hit Point Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 0.625 per hit point (Not counting armor and regeneration) *

Hydralisk

Damage Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 12.5 / http://www.bit.ly/vesgas 3.125 per damage ( http://www.bit.ly/mins 8.33~ / http://www.bit.ly/vesgas 2.083~ against Armored)
Hit Point Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 0.9375 / http://www.bit.ly/vesgas 0.3125 per hit point

Zergling

Damage Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 5 per damage (Faster rate of attack not included) **
Hit Point Cost: http://www.bit.ly/mins 0.7142~ per hit point

* This value can be reduced by a fraction of one over the damage value of the attacker.
A unit that does 5 damage reduces cost per hit point of the roach by 1/5th (.625 -> .5) for example. This still does not
include increased regeneration to the equation.

** This value is inaccurate due to the lack of a global equal value to judge by. If we
could determine damage per second then we could change these values to be fully
correct. All we know is that the attack speed for the Zergling is faster than the Hydralisk
and Roach. The Hydralisk and Roach have the same attack speed.


http://sclegacy.com/features/break.png

Basic jist of opinion:


I can see too narrow of a niche for this unit and agree with your point slightly. Another unit that could stand to be in the same boat is the Immortal as it's most efficient niche is also a likewise narrow situation.

I suspect that our conversation will lead more so into the angle of how to balance it further on paper which won't lead well into real scenarios. That's fine and dandy though as we're examining the unit in terms of counter analysis and not in terms of actual performance.

There are some parts of your information which I disagree with but I think with proper statistics we can reach a same page.

Regarding the roaches' damage output:


I find that statistically the roach has a similar damage output to the hydralisk. When you place it against light units, however, it's efficiency shows to be about par as well in it's current form.


In ZvZ the roach becomes a sufficiently more efficient unit in terms of damage compared to hydralisks and could replace them in certain counter compositions leading up to mid-game.
In ZvT, I feel they'll be more efficient against a Terran infantry army that has a low maurader count... the issue is that terrans can swiftly fix that unless there is a focus on the maurader killing. They could also work as planned base defenders against raider guerilla attacks in a pinch with proper scouting.
In ZvT and ZvZ, 3 Roaches can one shot a worker, allowing them to be the most efficient harrassment drop to an enemy base, especially with burrow being natural to them.


If you still feel the damage of Roaches being light.. feel free to state so. But in light of the statistics I am looking at right now I believe it to be adequate.

To all reading my post:

I hope these statistics help the discussion out to alleviate questions/concerns/misconceptions about what's more powerful or not. These statistics can help you bring your own conclusion to light
It's me, or you just showed your ultra-secret unit DB? :D

RamiZ
12-02-2009, 11:02 AM
It was at one point, but I think they may have removed that. Who knows what it's like these days.

Judging by SC wiki, which was updated in November 2009, Roach regen is 5 hp/sec, and after Upgrade it is 10 hp/sec. They can't move underground anymore, but they have Burrow without Upgrading it, and they do have faster regen while burrowed.

Building for Roaches is Roach Warren, and there you can upgrade Roach speed, and Roach Regen to 10 hp/sec.

ArcherofAiur
12-02-2009, 11:05 AM
I have no doubt in my mind that with in the first week of beta people will be posting threads on how OP the roaches are.



The only complaint I have for the Roach right now is its hideous axe arms. The physiology is completly ridiculous. You cant get proper acceleration with a ball and socket joint, minimal muscle attachments, a heavy payload attached to a thin support stalk and a short lever arm constricted in movement.

http://starcraft.incgamers.com/gallery/data/517/medium/roach.jpg

MrJack on the other hand has a much better understanding of skeletal and musculature action. He even included a patella-like leverage amplifier at the crucial extension joint.

http://screenshots.filesnetwork.com/89/potd/1244672544_74.jpg

B~E
12-02-2009, 11:26 AM
I like the Roach because it doesnt take gaz and its so cheap. Combined with zerglings, you might be able to put enough pressure on your opponent to prevent him from allocating ressources to tech ahead of you, while you use your unspent gaz to do just that, to reach a game-ending tech, either mass-muta or nydus worm.

I really dont see why a combo of ling, baneling and roach wouldnt be deadly in its own right.

In the OP, it is mentioned that the hydralisk is a generalist. But wouldnt be more correct to assume to the hydralisk is now filling the same role than the goliath in SCI?

Pandonetho
12-02-2009, 11:58 AM
What if we make the roach a melee unit...

Well, if the roach is not much of a threat now, what if we simply up the default regen rate so that you'd need more units to actually kill 1 (or heavy fire like sieged tanks). This would be a threat if the Zerg player got enough numbers of roaches to kill light units very fast so it'd be wise to take them out sooner than to let them mass up.

XSOLDIER
12-02-2009, 12:03 PM
What if we make the roach a melee unit...

Well, if the roach is not much of a threat now, what if we simply up the default regen rate so that you'd need more units to actually kill 1 (or heavy fire like sieged tanks). This would be a threat if the Zerg player got enough numbers of roaches to kill light units very fast so it'd be wise to take them out sooner than to let them mass up.

It's not a melee unit so that there's a space between it and the targets to allow the Zerglings to swarm around, and not interfere with each other's attacks.


X :cool:

n00bonicPlague
12-02-2009, 12:06 PM
We could do this (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showthread.php?p=43915#post43915).

XSOLDIER
12-02-2009, 12:50 PM
What about keeping the Roach's damage small, but allowing it to hit 2 Targets at once? Essentially let them have 2 attacks fired at the same time, but they're each used against different units within range. This means that they'd be reduced to only 1 attack if there's only a single target within range. Sort of like a slightly less effective Mutalisk.

This would make players pay more attention to them, depending on the situation. Againtst massed units or infantry, aach Roach is pulling down the total HP of your enemy's force, in addition to the fact that not focusing on them, is bumping up the HP of the player's force because of their Regeneration. This also means that against buildings & few heavy/long range units, they're much less effective.

It would help carve the niche out for the Roach and seperate it's role from the Hydralisk. Having a +3 Light make sense, against infantry, and they'd be a viable choice when targeting AoE attacks, because you'd have to deal with the fact that each Roach is reducing a larger pool of HP, and set up like this, the Zerglings would be able to eat through a foce MUCH more easily. This leaves the +4 Armored attack on the Hydralisk letting them take care of the tougher individual units.

It would also give some really frightening anti-unit choices with Ultralisks & Roaches, or pairing them along with the Infestors, being able to stop a force of units. At this point, you'd probably need have Roaches at Tier 2, because having them too early in the game would let them rush into mineral lines, and wreak havoc being able to hit 2 workers at once.




X :cool:

The_Blade
12-02-2009, 12:50 PM
I believe the roach was move into lair tech because it just overwhelmed zealots and stalkers where not enought to kill themy if they where massed with lings aside. Eventually it was OP and Blizzard wanted to find a new way of using it later in the game, but now we have a weak roach.

And what if it attacked from its practically useless scythes rather than its mouth in a concept similar to spitting cobras.

http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/4571418/68524_Full.jpg

Every snake has 2 hollow tooths that inject poison into their victims, but the cobra uses them to shoot poison at its victims eyes, and vulnerable areas.

XSOLDIER
12-02-2009, 01:04 PM
I believe the roach was move into lair tech because it just overwhelmed zealots and stalkers where not enought to kill themy if they where massed with lings aside. Eventually it was OP and Blizzard wanted to find a new way of using it later in the game, but now we have a weak roach.

My suggestion makes Roaches a little bit more like a support unit for the Zerglings, so having that version at Lair seems a little bit more viable.

It's a little bit like the Marines & Marauders, but for the Zerg. Maraduers acting as the support to let the Marines be more effective, this version of the Roaches would be allowing the Zerglings to potentially kill more units, while the Regen would keep the Roaches safe, and in this case, attacking the Roaches would be a viable tactic, and with some good Micro, could be painful for anyone without Detectors.


X :cool:

Nicol Bolas
12-02-2009, 02:29 PM
Hydralisk: 8 damage (+4 armored, same rate as roach)

I don't buy that. Not based on the videos we've seen. The Roach definitely looks like it has a slower rate of attack. For example, in this vide (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh3r7FflQ8E), at around the 1:25-1:33 mark, you can see some Roaches doing two attacks (before they die). There is a good second between each attack. Whereas Hydralisks are faster on the attack (this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdvaHfMk1kE) at around 4:55-5:00).


we already have Hydras that are doing bonus to armored, why don't we get Roach bonus to biological or Light?

Just because something has a bonus vs. Armored doesn't make it anti-armored. The Hydralisk's damage bonus is only +50%. It exists solely because armored units also disproportionately have higher Hp than unarmored ones. It mitigates that fact, and thus allows Hydras to be approximately equally effective against both.

The 10+15 bonus would clearly make it anti-armored. Giving the Roach an anti-light or biological attack would make it too anti-Zerg, forcing ZvZ to be a Roach vs. Mutalisk kind of match.


Ultralisks and Zerglings works great in Brood War.

That's because Ultralisks are actually dangerous. They hit hard and they move fast (once upgraded). Roaches, especially for Tier 2, are not particularly dangerous.


even with pro APM, it's going to be difficult to micro your units to always be attacking only Zerglings

Why? For the Zerglings to be doing something useful, they must be closer to your units than the ranged Roaches. So the Roaches won't even be coming under fire.


Finally, i want to say that Psi Storming Thors is likely to be a common sight. Psi Storm's damage bypasses armor, and softens Thors considerably.

Thors are large enough that they take up most of the room under a Psi Storm. So odds are, you're only going to hit one or two units with it. That's ~200 damage best-case. Whereas if you nail Marines or Marauders with it, you're doing 800+ damage. Thors just aren't worth Storming. If you need to use energy to deal with them, it's better to Phase a few out.


But wouldnt be more correct to assume to the hydralisk is now filling the same role than the goliath in SCI?

What is it about the Hydralisk's stats that in any way mimics a Goliath?


if the roach is not much of a threat now, what if we simply up the default regen rate so that you'd need more units to actually kill 1

By Tier 2, they already have the "more units" needed to kill them. That's the problem: regen loses effectiveness as the game progresses. By the time Roaches are actually available, it is a minor feature that effectively gives the unit maybe 15 extra Hp.

Quirel
12-02-2009, 02:49 PM
I believe the roach was move into lair tech because it just overwhelmed zealots and stalkers where not enought to kill themy if they where massed with lings aside. Eventually it was OP and Blizzard wanted to find a new way of using it later in the game, but now we have a weak roach.

And what if it attacked from its practically useless scythes rather than its mouth in a concept similar to spitting cobras.

http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/4571418/68524_Full.jpg

Every snake has 2 hollow tooths that inject poison into their victims, but the cobra uses them to shoot poison at its victims eyes, and vulnerable areas.
If you're going to give them a spitting attack, should we make it do linear AoE?

So far, I think the best idea is to give the Roach an Acid Spore ability. It seems like the potential damage multiplication they could do would make them prime targets.

But it would also make their 'natural prey' (As in, the units you'd use them against) their natural predators (As in, high armor, probably high health units that can deal out a lot of damage against the Roaches)

XSOLDIER
12-02-2009, 04:41 PM
So for possible ways to fix this, we have the following suggestions (lemme know if I missed any):


Caliban113: An Acid Spore-like attack, that causes other units to deal more damage against the affected unit.
• Advantage: Helps deal more damage against stronger units, and a damage buff for other units.

PsiWarp An attack that prevents the target from healing/regeneration effects for a brief period of time. (Unknown if it should affect repair/buildings)
• Advantage: Helps give a HP advantage against the opponent in some situations.

n00bonicPlague: A Range 1, Energy-based, AoE heal.
• Advantage: Gives the Zerg a slightly larger HP pool that extends to other units.

XSOLDIER: Keeping their attack light on damage, but allowing it to hit 2 targets (if there are 2 within range) Attack won't double against a single unit or buildings.
• Advantage: Helps to reduce the HP pool of the opponent in groups.



X :cool:

Triceron
12-02-2009, 05:07 PM
It's a tank unit, meant to take hits so that other units don't die. It's mean to counter light units since it's Armored and has high HP regen (best vs low damage output attacks).

The units it counters is Marines, Zealots, Lings. These type of units are numerous and cheap.

Therefore I think the best type of attack the Roach could get is something that does moderate splash, or fast attack speed to help thin down enemy numbers. Since splash is covered by the Ultralisk (Cleave) and it doesn't look like a fast attack would be appropriate for Roaches, a debuff seems to be the best coarse.

Acid Spores make the most sense. Have this splash on enemy units, and stackable to say 3 points. This kind of debuff would make it so you want to mix in roaches with your army, and if you make an army of roaches, to mix in lings or hydralisks to make better use of the armor debuff.

Have this upgrade late-T2 or even T3, so it's an effective T3 counter to mass infantry. If it needs this type of ability in early game, keep the debuff but have the stacking aspect be an upgrade.

Nicol Bolas
12-02-2009, 05:20 PM
The units it counters is Marines, Zealots, Lings.

Um, Zerglings are better against 2/3rds of those units. They do more damage per unit cost, and are faster and more effective overall. The only exception is the Marine.

And what is a Zerg player supposed to use to deal with something like Marauders? Units that are less numerous than Marines, but still quite massable and do lots of damage. Units that will simply ignore Roaches and kill the Hydralisks or Zerglings behind/in front of them. Units that the Zerg really don't have an answer to except to go for air.

If you give Roaches a decent bonus vs. Armored, Marauders would be picked apart by them. They would not be allowed to ignore them.

The point isn't to make the Roach good at a niche the Zerg don't need. The point is to make the Roach useful.


Acid Spores make the most sense.

Acid spores don't make any sense here. That's because Roaches will be the last units left on the field, not the first. The enemy will ignore the Roaches and kill the things that do the actual damage. They don't attack fast enough or have AoE to make the extra damage from spores matter.

XSOLDIER
12-02-2009, 05:24 PM
The point isn't to make the Roach good at a niche the Zerg don't need. The point is to make the Roach useful.



Acid spores don't make any sense here. That's because Roaches will be the last units left on the field, not the first. The enemy will ignore the Roaches and kill the things that do the actual damage. They don't attack fast enough or have AoE to make the extra damage from spores matter.

There seems to be a conflict here in what you're saying. If the Roach becomes a more useful unit, then your opponent won't be leaving it as the last one on the field - thus the reason for giving it an attack like that. It's supposed to make it a bigger priority for your opponent to target.

Overall it was my reason for suggesting the 2 attacks that function similiarly to AoE damage.


X :cool:

DemolitionSquid
12-02-2009, 05:30 PM
Roach AoE would infringe on the Baneling.

XSOLDIER
12-02-2009, 05:32 PM
Roach AoE would infringe on the Baneling.

I'd thought of that, and that's why I proposed having it act like the Mutalisk attack, and only affect 2 units when they're both in range, and not allow the attack to stack. It also doesn't have any bonus vs. buildings.


X :cool:

Nicol Bolas
12-02-2009, 05:47 PM
If the Roach becomes a more useful unit, then your opponent won't be leaving it as the last one on the field

But, with the acid spores thing, it is only useful because something else is made better. If the enemy kills all of the "something elses," then the Roaches go back to being useless. Which is the problem they have now: there's no reason to shoot at a Roach when there are dangerous targets in the area.

It simply doesn't matter how many acid spores a Roach can splash when you've killed all the Zerglings or Hydras.

RamiZ
12-02-2009, 05:48 PM
Roach AoE would infringe on the Baneling.

Or not? That is like saying Mutalisk would infringe on the Baneling. Roach and Baneling combo would be great since you will need less Banelings, and Roach will Tank for them. So, for example, it is better to go 10 Roaches and 10 Banelings, then 20 Banelings or something like that, since if you send only Banelings half of them will die before they get to the enemy. So I think it could work, but I still think they need some good bonus damage.

Btw, Nicol, what you are saying, I don't really get the point. Immortals are Tanks like Roaches, but they are different since they are good vs anti-armored units, units that do huge damage, and they do bonus vs them. Roach is the opposite, they are good vs light units that do low damage, and they should do bonus versus them. I don't see the point in doing bonus vs armored, when they won't tank at all vs armored, Siege tank 2-shot them. Even with a regen, they won't survive that damage. You said that Toss player will Storm anything but Roaches, but what will change that if you give them bonus vs armored, and they are fighting Zealots in first lines of battle? Everything else will be Stormed, but they still won't kill Zealots, since they are supposed to do bonus to armored. Just my way of thinking.

Norfindel
12-02-2009, 05:48 PM
That's because Ultralisks are actually dangerous. They hit hard and they move fast (once upgraded). Roaches, especially for Tier 2, are not particularly dangerous.
In fact, the Ultralisk attack is pathetic for a unit of that cost in BW. The only reason why Ultralisks+Zerglings works so well, is because once your units start attacking the Ultralisks, they take a lot of time to go down, while the Zerglings aren't attacked at all. Also, because targeting individual Zerglings would be nearly impossible.

The damage rate of a single Zergling with the Adrenal Glands upgrade is surely better than a Ultralisk in BW. For cost, it's immensely higher. So, Ultras = keep Zerglings safe, Zerglings = deal damage.

If the Roaches can take damage, Roach + Zergling should work fine. However, we know that focus fire is very good to kill Roaches. With Ultras, they go down faster, but with Roaches, the faster the damage rate, the less time they have to heal, which makes their durability much lower in such a situation. Tanking units aren't used in huge numbers, so focus fire against them will be kind of "automatic".


.

Krikkitone
12-02-2009, 05:57 PM
I think a simple way to improve the roaches is to give them a high armor... possibly an armor upgrade

Because the Roach is armored, it is meant to counter units that that do anti-Light damage or at least Not anti-armored.. (that is what the Hydralisk is for, particularly armored anti-armored units).. so

Zerglings, Ultralisks, Zealots, Dark Templars, Disrupters, Stalkers, Marines, Reapers, Hellion, Ghost

Ones that are armored and don't do anti-Light damage are better for Hydralisks to take on (Stalkers, Disrupters, probably Ultralisks.. but those should be handled by Air/NP)

so good targets for Roaches
Zergling, Zealots, Dark Templars, Marines, Ghost, Reapers, Hellions

Ghosts+Dark Templars primary combat value is as a cloacked unit, so their real counter is Overseers... so cutting them
Zergling, Zealots, Marines, Reapers, Hellions

all of them do a fairly small amount of damage per attack v. armored targets (like the roach)

So if you give the Roach a +3 armor upgrade.... then you make it particularly resistant to those units.

It does need to beef up its attack a little, but increasing its armor is probably more useful, in helping its regeneration matter.

Basically the roach approaches... and clears out these "anti-Light" units, and the Hydralisks/Zerglings follow to clean up the rest.

Pandonetho
12-02-2009, 06:14 PM
In fact, the Ultralisk attack is pathetic for a unit of that cost in BW. The only reason why Ultralisks+Zerglings works so well, is because once your units start attacking the Ultralisks, they take a lot of time to go down, while the Zerglings aren't attacked at all. Also, because targeting individual Zerglings would be nearly impossible.

That doesn't matter. The whole reason WHY people target Ultras is because they still do a lot of damage. It takes 2 hits to kill a marine. If they did pathetic damage overall no one would target them, which is what Nicol is saying with regards to the roach.

3-4 Ultralisks can already take down a large group of marines and medics by themselves.

Triceron
12-02-2009, 06:23 PM
Banelings are similar in that they also counter early units, things with relative low HP and are easily massed.

The difference is Roach is a tank-like unit, meaning it will kill stuff through attrition. If it's the last thing that survives, then it's the last thing that survives. Acid spores does not impede this in any way. It's a form of indirect splash that wouldn't overlap with Baneling's effectiveness. The idea is Acid Spores splashing, not the Roach main attack. The armor debuff is what gets spread around.

Your argument against it basically 'this unit shouldn't get any support abilities because it's the damage-dealing units die first!'. A debuff effect is a good reason for you to target Roaches first. At the moment there is no reason why you would want to, because they aren't a direct threat with their moderate damage. Zerglings, banelings and hydas are higher on the priority list because they do more potential damage. Debuffs put the Roach on priority without having to boost their overall damage. It's the perfect support abiilty.

Armor debuff might or might not be the most threatening ability, but it's an idea. If that doesn't work, things like movement speed debuff, attack speed debuff or even minor poison damage could be things that would make you want to kill the roaches first. Having an ability that lasts over time goes well with burrow-unburrow, attacking every once and a while to keep the debuff on enemies.

Norfindel
12-02-2009, 06:28 PM
That doesn't matter. The whole reason WHY people target Ultras is because they still do a lot of damage. It takes 2 hits to kill a marine. If they did pathetic damage overall no one would target them, which is what Nicol is saying with regards to the roach.

3-4 Ultralisks can already take down a large group of marines and medics by themselves.
People don't targets the Ultras in Ultra+Ling, they just cannot target the Zerglings, something that would be more than desirable, because while the Ultras have 20 dmg and 15 cooldown, a lonely Zergling has 5 dmg and 6 cooldown.

The Ultra costs 10min and 10gas per 1 dmg, while the Zergling costs 5 min per 1 dmg, and has a much faster attack, 15/6 = 2.5 times faster, so it's really more like 2 min per 1 dmg for the Zergling.

You can buy 8 Zerglings for the mineral cost of an Ultralisk, and they will deal 100 dmg in the time the Ultralisk is dealing 20 dmg.

The combined HP of the 8 Zerglings is of only 280 HP, and every dead Zergling will lower the damage, so there's no doubt that it will be much better to shoot at the Zerglings, if it could be done.

Pandonetho
12-02-2009, 06:35 PM
Except for the fact that Ultras TWO HIT KILLS a marine, and a Zergling takes 8 hits to kill a marine, not to mention the fact that M&M rapes Zerglings, but not Ultralisks. Why do you think Ultralisks are made at all? They're nowhere near as numerous as marines or zerglings, yet they "somehow" "magically" soak damage? It's called people are afraid of the damage that Ultras can do.

Yes, people DO focus fire Ultras, they're much more of a threat to an infantry army than any ling army that can easily be stopped with 3-4 firebats.

Nicol Bolas
12-02-2009, 07:01 PM
Roach is the opposite, they are good vs light units that do low damage, and they should do bonus versus them.

My point is that the Zerg do not need a unit that is good vs. light units. They have plenty of them already. Banelings, Zerglings, and Mutalisks are all good vs. light units. There's no point in making a unit to do what the Zerg already have covered.

The hole in the Zerg arsonel is with regard to massable armored units.


You said that Toss player will Storm anything but Roaches, but what will change that if you give them bonus vs armored, and they are fighting Zealots in first lines of battle?

If Roaches were anti-armored, why would you bring them into a Zealot fight? You'd be misusing the unit. Better to bring Banelings or Zerglings than Roaches.


The damage rate of a single Zergling with the Adrenal Glands upgrade is surely better than a Ultralisk in BW. For cost, it's immensely higher.

That's true. But even cost-for-cost, the Ultralisk's damage is neither minuscule nor negligible. And Adrenal Glands don't help you get past units with full +3 armor upgrades; that still hurts Zerglings a lot. Whereas Ultralisks are just fine going up against +3 armor upgrades.

And by the time Ultralisks hit the field, infantry will certainly have at least +2 armor. So your Zerglings will already be on diminishing returns, while your Ultralisks (with their +4 attack upgrade, since you're probably on +2 melee attack already) will be chewing through Marines like it's going out of style.

Ultralisks are dangerous.


that is what the Hydralisk is for, particularly armored anti-armored units

Hydralisks are not strong vs. armored units. They're generalists. Their current armor bonus is the equivalent of explosive damage in SC1.

Hydralisks will lose, cost-for-cost, against dedicated ground units like Marauders.


So if you give the Roach a +3 armor upgrade.... then you make it particularly resistant to those units.

The purpose of a tanking unit is to absorb fire meant for other targets. Why would those units attack a Roach, when they can simply ignore them and go attack units that can actually kill them?

Caliban113
12-02-2009, 07:08 PM
Banelings are similar in that they also counter early units, things with relative low HP and are easily massed.

The difference is Roach is a tank-like unit, meaning it will kill stuff through attrition. If it's the last thing that survives, then it's the last thing that survives. Acid spores does not impede this in any way. It's a form of indirect splash that wouldn't overlap with Baneling's effectiveness. The idea is Acid Spores splashing, not the Roach main attack. The armor debuff is what gets spread around.

Your argument against it basically 'this unit shouldn't get any support abilities because it's the damage-dealing units die first!'. A debuff effect is a good reason for you to target Roaches first. At the moment there is no reason why you would want to, because they aren't a direct threat with their moderate damage. Zerglings, banelings and hydas are higher on the priority list because they do more potential damage. Debuffs put the Roach on priority without having to boost their overall damage. It's the perfect support abiilty.

Armor debuff might or might not be the most threatening ability, but it's an idea. If that doesn't work, things like movement speed debuff, attack speed debuff or even minor poison damage could be things that would make you want to kill the roaches first. Having an ability that lasts over time goes well with burrow-unburrow, attacking every once and a while to keep the debuff on enemies.

My point exactly - I would add that an ability like this, while not adding to the 'tank' role directly, would help make Roaches more of a priority during a battle, (without completely changing the Roach's stats.) for as long as they are attacking, your group is at a disadvantage -

That said, the 'Devourer' version of the attack will definitely need to be tweaked for the Roach, (smaller AoE, and a much shorter duration of the spore's effect to match faster attack rate of the Roach) but still, a good enough incentive to go after them first in a battle IMO. At least force them to burrow or run.


.

GRUNT
12-02-2009, 07:13 PM
Except for the fact that Ultras TWO HIT KILLS a marine, and a Zergling takes 8 hits to kill a marine, not to mention the fact that M&M rapes Zerglings, but not Ultralisks. Why do you think Ultralisks are made at all? They're nowhere near as numerous as marines or zerglings, yet they "somehow" "magically" soak damage? It's called people are afraid of the damage that Ultras can do.

Yes, people DO focus fire Ultras, they're much more of a threat to an infantry army than any ling army that can easily be stopped with 3-4 firebats.

A 200 mineral and 200 gas unit, even if its primary role is to tank, is going to kill marines faster than one 25 mineral Zergling.

It's still undeniable that Zerglings, for cost, do far more damage than Ultralisks.

Of COURSE M&Ms tear through Zerglings faster than Ultralisks. That's why you get Ultralisks to absorb damage so that your lings can live longer.

Nicol Bolas
12-02-2009, 07:23 PM
Of COURSE M&Ms tear through Zerglings faster than Ultralisks. That's why you get Ultralisks to absorb damage so that your lings can live longer.

The point is that they wouldn't bother shooting at Ultralisks if they only did 5 damage. Or 10 damage. It's the fact that Ultralisks are big and dangerous that make them this work.

B~E
12-02-2009, 07:38 PM
What is it about the Hydralisk's stats that in any way mimics a Goliath?


For some reason I thought it had a bonus aginst air units.

That was the case at some point in time, right?

XSOLDIER
12-02-2009, 07:45 PM
For some reason I thought it had a bonus aginst air units.

That was the case at some point in time, right?

At one point in time I do believe they were given a bonus vs. Air.


X :cool:

Kimera757
12-02-2009, 07:47 PM
It used to do +6 damage vs armored air units; I believe this was back when it did high damage overall, was tier 2, but had very low hit points for its cost. (The hp haven't really changed.)

RamiZ
12-02-2009, 08:28 PM
It used to do +6 damage vs armored air units; I believe this was back when it did high damage overall, was tier 2, but had very low hit points for its cost. (The hp haven't really changed.)
Well it changed for 10 hp, now it has just like old hydra. While it had 90 when was tier 2. But that is not a little change at all.

Gifted
12-02-2009, 08:47 PM
The point is that they wouldn't bother shooting at Ultralisks if they only did 5 damage. Or 10 damage. It's the fact that Ultralisks are big and dangerous that make them this work.By nature of the game's natural priority, the reason why Ultraling works so well is that attempt to NOT hit the Ultralisk is a hard thing to do.

When looking at design elements of a game like this, we can look at from multiple angles. Three that are relevant to this discussion are as follows:

- Resource Efficiency
- Raw Damage
- Raw Survivability

Let's look at the old Ultraling combo with base numbers. The Ultralisk damage efficiency was despicable... the second worst in the game. But they have the highest EHP. Alternatively, Zerglings have the worst EHP with the highest damage efficiency.

Ultraling works if you do minor micro, you have to get the ultralisks in there first with the zerglings in there quick after to make it efficiency. This is due to the way the AI works in terms with targetting. Even if you move/re-attack move, it will still typically default to your previous target (which is ideally the Ultralisk)

I think that if utilized this way, the Roach can do the role it's intended to do, tank damage. And without proper focus fire, it works as a firm replacement for the ultralisk in the Ultra-Ling combo.. and is available at Teir 2. In terms of resource AND supply equivelence, the roach becomes AS effective as Ultralisks 1.8 seconds after damage is taken by 3 roaches. At that point, they simply exceed the EHP of Ultralisks in likewise comparison.

With the obviously boosted speed of the Zerglings, improved pathing/surround and unlimited selection of units, utilizing Roach/Zerglings in the exact same fashion as Ultra-Ling is a very efficient use of them, working specifically against infantry/light units as the roach does.

This is tested/analysed with units who deal 9 damage per attack or less to the Roaches.

(If requested, I can provide all the numbers)

Nicol Bolas
12-02-2009, 09:06 PM
And without proper focus fire

Or until the first Roach dies and the units automatically select a new target. Which will likely be the closest Zerg unit to them: the Zerglings.

That's not much of a tank.

The Ultralisk worked in this capacity because it was melee (and thus a new selection was semi-likely to pick an Ultralisk) and because the Ultralisk took a lot of killing, thus maximizing the time the enemy wasn't shooting Zerglings.


The Ultralisk damage efficiency was despicable... the second worst in the game.

Against what? Against a unit with 0 armor, Ultralisks are pretty bad compared to Zerglings. But against a unit with 3 armor? Ultralisks lose only 15% of their attack strength, while Zerglings lose a whopping 60% of their damage output.

If you drop the Ultralisk's damage down to 10, it doesn't matter how much EHP they have. They could have 800 Hp or whatever. People will simply be able to ignore them, because they can't kill anything fast enough to matter.

Tanks must be able to threaten the enemy with damage.


Ultraling works if you do minor micro, you have to get the ultralisks in there first with the zerglings in there quick after to make it efficiency.

This almost never happens in an actual pro game. Usually, Ultralisks are roaming somewhere in the middle of a light bundle of Zerglings. You generally do not see the kind of meticulous micro you're talking about.

Indeed in some games, they don't even use lings. They just build like 12 Ultralisks and fling them at the enemy. This is quite successful, even late-game. I defy anyone to mass Roaches (as they currently stand) and expect them to do anything of value against a late-game army (even in SC1).

Norfindel
12-02-2009, 09:51 PM
Nicol, you're not taking something into account: Zerglings die like shit. That means the Ultras/Roaches are being shot a lot more of the time, specially if the player using them isn't stupid, and sends them in the front, instead of letting Zerglings die uselessly.

Don't you ever seen how much time take cracklings to completely level a base? It's scary. Now, use the same cost worth of Ultralisks. You maybe want to make a coffee while you wait.

The Ultralisk's job is to take the Zerglings next to their targets undamaged. Then, it's a situation of 2 Cracklings every 1 Marine at 0 distance, Marines just lost a lot of effectivity, and they're still shooting at the Ultras for quite some time. They will be likely dead before the Ultras die.

Nicol Bolas
12-02-2009, 10:01 PM
Don't you ever seen how much time take cracklings to completely level a base? It's scary. Now, use the same cost worth of Ultralisks. You maybe want to make a coffee while you wait.

No one is doubting that Zerglings do more damage over time than Ultralisks. But that doesn't change the facts that:

1: The Ultralisk's damage is significant and cannot be ignored by units unless those units want to die.

2: The Ultralisk's style of damage (slower attacks with larger damage per attack) compilments the Zergling's attack, by being disproportionately better against late-game highly armored units.

Neither of these is true of the Roach. And both of these are vital to being an effective tank. A unit simply sitting there is not a tank, even if it is in range of other units. It must actually be dangerous to be able to tank. And Roaches are not dangerous to anything that isn't already scared of Zerglings.

PsiWarp
12-02-2009, 10:10 PM
I have another idea based on Acid Spores:

Corrode (Passive): Upon inflicting an attack on an enemy unit, the virulent acid will deal 3 damage per target's attack interval. Lasts 2 seconds (can be changed).

So, this is clearly an ability that does more damage per second to units with rapid attack intervals (Marines, Reapers, Hellions (?), Zealots, Disruptors, Zerglings, Hydralisks, Ultralisks, etc). The unit will receive 3 SPELL damage for every attack it makes. This makes fighting Roaches generally a bad idea, much like a situation against an Ultralisk but to a lesser extent.

Edit: The debuff doesn't stack, it renews on each successful attack from a Roach.


-Psi

Kraziliak
12-02-2009, 10:42 PM
Here's my idea:

The roach's acid attacks apply a debuff that reduces damage done by the enemy to non-roach units by 40%. This debuff turns the enemy green-ish and lasts 3 seconds.

Advantages:


The enemy is encouraged to attack the roach.
This allows for roaches to be great in combos with weaker units.
The roach can still burrow micro.
Attacking the roach is optional.
The 3 second timer allows for roaches to be microed, possibly allowing for multiple units to be "slimed".

Gifted
12-02-2009, 11:23 PM
Or until the first Roach dies and the units automatically select a new target. Which will likely be the closest Zerg unit to them: the Zerglings.

That's not much of a tank.

The Ultralisk worked in this capacity because it was melee (and thus a new selection was semi-likely to pick an Ultralisk) and because the Ultralisk took a lot of killing, thus maximizing the time the enemy wasn't shooting Zerglings.I saw hydralisks change attack naturally (meaning AI controlled) from zealots attacking them in the face and attack units at range. Replaying it multiple times it looks like the hydralisk didn't attack "closest unit" but rather "what unit hit it after it finished it's current target" which happened to be a ranged unit.

This could be due to one of three things:
1. For some reason the priority levels are different, but other gameplay brings about the theory this is false.
2. The new "aggro" reaction is next hit on you and doesn't take range of unit into consideration
3. A bug that will get fixed.

Against what? Against a unit with 0 armor, Ultralisks are pretty bad compared to Zerglings. But against a unit with 3 armor? Ultralisks lose only 15% of their attack strength, while Zerglings lose a whopping 60% of their damage output.Any time you suggest 3 armor you may want to consider that the zergling at that time may have 3 attack to counteract that. I considered the circumstance and simply did my numbers under base circumstance.

Per point of damage, the ultralisk spends 10 minerals and 10 gas. The zergling likewise spends 5 min per damage. While I can understand that focus firing on the Ultralisks is not bad cause they deal a ton of damage... if a person had the superhuman ability to efficiently target the zerglings and bypass the ultralisks completely you'll see a substancially faster removal of the attacking forces' damage potential. In short, for every 8 zerglings you kill you'll see a larger DPS drop in his force than for every 1 ultralisk... and that's completely bypassing the mentality of gas as well... If we included that it would be a comparison of DPS between 16 zerglings and 1 ultralisk.


If you drop the Ultralisk's damage down to 10, it doesn't matter how much EHP they have. They could have 800 Hp or whatever. People will simply be able to ignore them, because they can't kill anything fast enough to matter.Unfortunately, in the case of my example of the ultraling they would not have as much a choice either way. Part of the reason that I know people focus fire the ultralisks is to get them down quicker to react to the true threat with is the swarm of zerglings around them. It has an added benefit of removing the Ultra DPS but they're a smaller part of the whole.

Alternately, the ultralisks can not be "ignored" due to the nature of AI unit control. They will still be a factor if you're ingoring them, allowing the zerglings to deal more damage than if they didn't exist because the AI will still spend time attacking the ultralisks.


Tanks must be able to threaten the enemy with damage.Yes... for 200 minerals you can get two roaches which deal 22 damage a volley at the same rate (or faster) than an ultralisk dealt 20. This is not including the +3 bonus that each of them get against light units which would improve them to 28 a volley. This is also removing the fact that the ultralisk cost 200 gas. Lastly, the EHP of 2 Roaches is BARELY less than 1 ultralisk at a teir lower. While you keep saying that their damage is "poor", in comparison it's actually not that bad and more efficient damage as hydralisks in the earlier portion of the game due to a higher saturation of light unit options in the early game.


This almost never happens in an actual pro game. Usually, Ultralisks are roaming somewhere in the middle of a light bundle of Zerglings. You generally do not see the kind of meticulous micro you're talking about.First, please don't mislead my verbage. I called it "minor micro" for a reason and didn't elude to meticulous micro.

Even if it's as simple as attack-moving the ultralisks first, and moving the zerglings merely 1 second later, it allows for the majority of the force to be equal or behind the ultralisks when they enter the attack range of their enemy. Typically this is more done where they throw the ultralisks in and use the zerglings to flank perpendicular for a second at most attack in right afterwards... to add spread and avoid a straight line in as well.

I feel you may have seen it so often that I think you may just look over it now. It's 1-2 more APM at max most the time without a screen shift.


Indeed in some games, they don't even use lings. They just build like 12 Ultralisks and fling them at the enemy. This is quite successful, even late-game. I defy anyone to mass Roaches (as they currently stand) and expect them to do anything of value against a late-game army (even in SC1).Your true, sometimes they choose to send the ultralisk fast in and hard. Depends on the game.

Let's use your previous example of 12 ultralisks. The equivelent materials will be 2400 minerals. Late game 24 roaches with the regen upgrade will be a significant force that isn't something to sneeze at. I don't think it will be fear inspiring, but it wouldn't be something trivial. Assuming equal upgrades, the roach will be doing 11 damage each, involving a 228 damage per volley at a normal attack rate. This theoretically is 330 DPS. The equivelent of 12 ultralisks in SC:BW had a DPS of about 180 (at 20 damage each) assuming each one was in range and attacking units at melee (which was hard as typically you had 1/3rd of your ultralisks moving due to their clunky nature and poor pathing)

In fact, the only statistic that the old ultralisk compared to the equivelent of new roaches beat out was EHP, and that is equalized based on the regen statistic shortly after the battle begins.

Here's some basics for ya in case you're curious:
http://www.thefenceline.net/kevin/starcraft/sc2-stats-roach.jpg
http://www.thefenceline.net/kevin/starcraft/scbw-stats-ultralisk.jpg
http://www.thefenceline.net/kevin/starcraft/scbw-stats-zergling.jpg
If you find any inefficiencies, please let me know, I'll change the statistics and throw new info at ya if you'd like. I have no problem doing so if it helps you look at our opinions and clarify things.

No one is doubting that Zerglings do more damage over time than Ultralisks. But that doesn't change the facts that:

1: The Ultralisk's damage is significant and cannot be ignored by units unless those units want to die.

2: The Ultralisk's style of damage (slower attacks with larger damage per attack) compilments the Zergling's attack, by being disproportionately better against late-game highly armored units.

Neither of these is true of the Roach. And both of these are vital to being an effective tank. A unit simply sitting there is not a tank, even if it is in range of other units. It must actually be dangerous to be able to tank. And Roaches are not dangerous to anything that isn't already scared of Zerglings.1. Agreed, it's not poor at all. No argument
2. I'll agree with that. But please understand that while you're speaking of Ultraling as a Tier 3 tactic and all information you provide I'm not arguing with.. I'm providing roachling as an equivalent strategy at the mid game instead of late game.

While I agree that it's vital that a unit that has the role of a tank should have incentive to attack it.. I think that the AI will naturally assist in the role if the player does so correctly. The options the player will have is this:

1. Micro and kill the roaches to allow the units to rip the zerglings apart afterwards.
2. Allow the AI to assign damage, which means that they'll be spread across roaches (which is when they're more efficienct due to regen) and the zerglings (which increases their EHP as a whole due to the roaches soaking hits)

The Zerg may do this in reply

1. If there is a high amount of roaches to tank, he may micro his zerglings back, zipping them out of range so the roaches take damage and re-surround the army, thus complicating the AI again and allowing the zerglings to do their superior damage.
2. Just let it all go to hell, as Zerglings die, more units will start shifting to the roaches.... just like in Ultraling.

Just looking at the options I see the stategic choices exist same when comparing Ultraling and Roachling. That's all I'm trying to say.

Nicol, you're not taking something into account: Zerglings die like shit. That means the Ultras/Roaches are being shot a lot more of the time, specially if the player using them isn't stupid, and sends them in the front, instead of letting Zerglings die uselessly.

Don't you ever seen how much time take cracklings to completely level a base? It's scary. Now, use the same cost worth of Ultralisks. You maybe want to make a coffee while you wait.

The Ultralisk's job is to take the Zerglings next to their targets undamaged. Then, it's a situation of 2 Cracklings every 1 Marine at 0 distance, Marines just lost a lot of effectivity, and they're still shooting at the Ultras for quite some time. They will be likely dead before the Ultras die.Very true. Requoting as this is the only reason I didn't include that in my opinions.

B~E
12-03-2009, 12:16 AM
Neither of these is true of the Roach. And both of these are vital to being an effective tank. A unit simply sitting there is not a tank, even if it is in range of other units. It must actually be dangerous to be able to tank. And Roaches are not dangerous to anything that isn't already scared of Zerglings.

For your Roach to be dangerous, would you accept some sort of trade off (higher ressource cost or longer production time), or would you let it as it stands right now?

Nicol Bolas
12-03-2009, 12:53 AM
1. For some reason the priority levels are different, but other gameplay brings about the theory this is false.
2. The new "aggro" reaction is next hit on you and doesn't take range of unit into consideration
3. A bug that will get fixed.

If it's #2, then you're still more likely to target a Zergling than a Roach, since Zerglings attack much faster and there are more of them.


I'm providing roachling as an equivalent strategy at the mid game instead of late game.

The problem is that it isn't like that in any way. Roaches do not compliment Zerglings. Every unit that Roaches are good against is a unit that Zerglings are also good against. And typically Zerglings are better against them.

Contrast that with the Ultralisk, which is stronger against units with high natural armor. Light units, the thing Roaches get a bonus to, don't have high natural armor.

There is simply no synergy between Zerglings and Roaches, beyond merely having one unit that is ranged and one that isn't. Zerglings already have that with Hydralisks.


While you keep saying that their damage is "poor", in comparison it's actually not that bad and more efficient damage as hydralisks in the earlier portion of the game due to a higher saturation of light unit options in the early game.

Let's assume I agree with that. There's still one fact you're missing: Roaches aren't available in the earlier portion of the game.

For a Tier 1 unit, the Roach is pretty strong. For a Tier 2 unit, one that requires a Pool->Lair->Roach Warren, it's junk. By then, you're looking at swarms of, not Marines, but Marauders. You're looking at a couple of Thors or an unpleasant number of Siege Tanks. You're looking at blobs of Stalkers with Blink, some Disruptors and so forth.

If there are Marines or other light units running around, there are legions of them by now. Marines will have Medivac support, so the Roach's poor rate of fire will hurt them. Marines will also have their combat shield upgrade, as well as at least +1 attack and/or armor. Zealots will have Charge, which allows them to attack whatever they want. If the Roaches are in fact more dangerous than the Zerglings (they're not), then the Zealots will Charge them and engage.

Roaches can't handle armored units at all. And they can't handle the large swarms of light units at Tier 2. For that, you need Banelings and/or Infestors.

The Roach was designed to be able to handle small-to-medium swarms of Tier 1 units, not medium-sized groups of Tier 2 units and swarms of Tier 1 units.


The options the player will have is this:

1. Micro and kill the roaches to allow the units to rip the zerglings apart afterwards.
2. Allow the AI to assign damage, which means that they'll be spread across roaches (which is when they're more efficienct due to regen) and the zerglings (which increases their EHP as a whole due to the roaches soaking hits)

Why would the player specifically micro to attack the units that suck? The damage dealers are the Zerglings, not the Roaches. The whole point of microing is to attack the units that matter the most, not the distraction units.

Further, the effect of spreading across units could be had with any other unit. Banelings, Hydralisks, etc. There is nothing special about the Roach that enhances this effect except for the fact that it has Hp. It could be a Spine Crawler and it would have the same effect.

Immortals are not Hardened Shields. They have Hardened Shields, but this is not all that they do. They have a strong, and very necessary, damage bonus vs. Armored. This fills a void in the Protoss arsenal: taking out armored targets. Thors are not just lots of Hp. They certainly have lots of Hp, but that's not all they are. They are also a 30x2 GtG attack, a 10x4 AoE GtA attack, and a 500-point Strike Cannon attack against a single target.

In neither of these cases do you build these units just to absorb fire. The things that Immortals absorb fire from (lots of damage in one massive burst) are also the exact same things that Immortals damage the most (armored). Similarly, units that do lots of damage in one shot also tend to have lots of Hp, so a Thor's high Hp attack is very warranted.

There is no similar need for a Roach. The Roach's anti-Light role is filled by every other ground attack unit the Zerg has by Tier 2. The only reason to build a Roach is so that you can hope that the AI will arbitrarily assign some of their units to attack Roaches that happen to be in the same battle. If there is no reason for a human player to aim at a Roach rather than Zerglings or whatever, then it is a failed unit and needs fixing.

And then there's this: Spawn Infested Terran. Free Hp. Costs less than Roaches (if you ignore the cost of the Infestor itself). They do effectively the same thing Roaches do (absorb damage). And they're basically free.

So why put down a Roach Warren when I can throw down an Infestation Pit and get free tank units, as well as a great spellcaster? Not to mention, the Pit is the path to Hive tech, so it isn't a tech dead-end the way the Roach Warren is.


For your Roach to be dangerous, would you accept some sort of trade off (higher ressource cost or longer production time), or would you let it as it stands right now?

Huh? I've already said what should be done to change it: give it a strong bonus vs. Armored. 10+15 vs armored was my suggestion. And yes, this would be at the same cost. The Roach currently is not worth the money, so whatever it needs shouldn't cost extra.

Gifted
12-03-2009, 01:11 AM
I'll say I understand the argument on the lack of synergy and agree with it. I actually do agree with a lot of your points though I've not done a good job of elaborating on that and for that I apologize buddy. I agree that the niche it fills is very specialized as well and possibly outlived in terms of the teir that it lives on.

The only points that I think we view differently is that statistically it does adequate damage in it's current form and has a solid cost efficiency to both it's damage and EHP. I've read that you have the opinion that it does poor damage and isn't worth the money.

Just look at the following comparisons:

1 hydra does 8 damage (+4 to armored)
1 roach does 11 damage (+3 to light)
1 zergling does 5 damage (about twice the rate, so 10 damage)

I'm not saying the roach is adequate, good, awesome or great damage. I'm just not calling it poor. Even if you utilize it on an armored army it can still do adequate damage (almost as much as a hydralisk actually) and upgrades damage on the same teir as them. And any concern about "the opponent may have upgrades" can be countered with upgrades of your own so I don't think that upgrades should play a role in this discussion.

In short, sorry I didn't elaborate on this earlier, I agree with almost every point you have, but I disagree about the opinion of poor damage as I feel it's current incarnation is competitive. This doesn't change the fact that whether it's competitive or not... I agree that it has an opportunity to fill a better niche and think that the design of this unit needs more review.

RamiZ
12-03-2009, 06:22 AM
1 hydra does 8 damage (+4 to armored)
1 roach does 11 damage (+3 to light)
1 zergling does 5 damage (about twice the rate, so 10 damage)
But there are a lot more factors that you didn't count. Roaches and Hydras are range, while Zerglings are melee. But When Roach shoot one time, Hydras shoot 1.5 and Zerglings attacks 3-4 times. :/

Norfindel
12-03-2009, 08:08 AM
I saw hydralisks change attack naturally (meaning AI controlled) from zealots attacking them in the face and attack units at range. Replaying it multiple times it looks like the hydralisk didn't attack "closest unit" but rather "what unit hit it after it finished it's current target" which happened to be a ranged unit.
That happends in BW, because units retaliate first. If someone attacks your unit, they're going to retaliate against it. That makes Medic walls in front of Marines really a wall, because enemy units ignore them (that's aided by the fact than Medics don't have an attack).

Zigurd
12-03-2009, 08:45 AM
http://i50.tinypic.com/2rqn0c5.gif

GRUNT
12-03-2009, 11:08 AM
The point is that they wouldn't bother shooting at Ultralisks if they only did 5 damage. Or 10 damage. It's the fact that Ultralisks are big and dangerous that make them this work.

Even if Ultralisks only did 10 damage, I reckon they'd still be a necessity for the Zerg lategame.

Even if your opponent doesn't actually focus fire on Ultralisks, they are still going to be absorbing enough auto-attacking hits to justify their cost. In the early-mid game, I believe that the same will be true for the Roach (even if their performance in those Gstar show matches didn't seem very flattering).

It's undeniable that Roaches aren't as good as Ultralisks as meat shields. However, I think that they're tough enough to do the job adequately before too much enemy firepower comes into play (at which point you'd probably switch to Ultralisks).

That's my only real concern with Roaches - I'm not sure why you'd want to build them lategame.

Gifted
12-03-2009, 11:19 AM
Shared concern, I can only see it as a swift way to counter some tech switches... (such as a swift move to marine mass.... But more than likely you'd see a marine/maurader mass which would make things more difficult. No matter the case high end zerg tech would fit that niche nicely.

This is part of why I agree with the majority of what has been said by Nicol... some tweaking can benefit the unit... The only viable one that I can think of is giving Hydralisk their bonus to air back and shifting roaches with a bonus to ground... but ultimately that design decision is a poor one that won't fit in the long term.

I don't know.. I almost have to say the regeneration is not the right gimmick for a teir 2 unit. While I don't know if "acid spores" is the right debuff, I do agree that something that compliments other units as a support is something that can justify this unit better. Though it's not a valid suggestion, but the shift of "slow" from marauder to roach is something that could be a start from... Ideas like that.

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 11:22 AM
Marauders have slow to support Marines by keeping Zergling and Zealots away to let the Marines get more fire in. If the Roach is to support Zerglings in the same kind of way, it would need an ability that lets Zerglings do more damage to Marines and Zealots. Ultimately, having a ranged tank does not accomplish this. The obvious answer to the problem is the Devourers acid spores.

I have never supported the Roach. Its based on a gimmick that doesn't work.

Nicol Bolas
12-03-2009, 01:39 PM
I prefer keeping Acid Spores as an AoE ability cast by Overseers (though I have no problems with Spore Cloud coming back either). But if the Roach is to get this ability, how would it work?

Would Roaches spread them in a small AoE like Devourers did, or would it be single-target only? How many get spread per-shot? And how many can stack on a unit?

I'm thinking that each Roach only gets to provide one spore, and only to its actual target. This rewards a little Roach targeting micro. Spores should be able to stack up to 10 on a single unit. This helps the Zerg deal with big targets like Thors and PFs and such.

Gifted
12-03-2009, 01:46 PM
Marauders have slow to support Marines by keeping Zergling and Zealots away to let the Marines get more fire in. If the Roach is to support Zerglings in the same kind of way, it would need an ability that lets Zerglings do more damage to Marines and Zealots. Ultimately, having a ranged tank does not accomplish this. The obvious answer to the problem is the Devourers acid spores.

I have never supported the Roach. Its based on a gimmick that doesn't work.Agreed completely regarding how slow isn't the right ability. (as I did state, it wasn't a valid suggestion) but it was a different angle to try and get more brainstorming going. I don't know if spores "works" but I do agree that it's a good suggestion to bounce from.


I prefer keeping Acid Spores as an AoE ability cast by Overseers (though I have no problems with Spore Cloud coming back either). But if the Roach is to get this ability, how would it work?

Would Roaches spread them in a small AoE like Devourers did, or would it be single-target only? How many get spread per-shot? And how many can stack on a unit?

I'm thinking that each Roach only gets to provide one spore, and only to its actual target. This rewards a little Roach targeting micro. Spores should be able to stack up to 10 on a single unit. This helps the Zerg deal with big targets like Thors and PFs and such.If we did proceed with spores, I agree that it should be 1 target. (This would be compariable with the Maurader in that sake, we've seen that the single target effect work in that case in terms of synergy)

The stacking itself is a difficult design issue to consider. In game design terms, some things should be taken into consideration. The roach has a slower attack (Thank you to a post earlier that made me confirm it's about 1/3rd slower than a hydralisk, I confirmed it afterwards) and the mechanic needs to be dynamic based on the amount of units present with the ability. Also we have to have consideration on it's power to the unit that provides it first, then consider it for other units.

Some questions for the group to consider.. I think multiple people answering them may get us some solid discussion/opinions/brainstorming.

Questions:


1. Do we limit it to damage increase only or fully emulate it and reduce attack speed as well?

2A. Do we provide it as a singular high powered debuff with a short duration? (IE: maurader's slow?)
2B. Or do we provide a longer duration with the potential of refresh/stacking. (IE: Original Devourer's Spores)

3. Do you think this should be passive? An alternative would be making it an autocast on the original attack allowing a slightly more powerful ability that is limited in it's use. (And therefore encouraging, or requiring, a use for having more than 2-3 in some cases)

4. Do you think the roach should keep it's regeneration as well as this new suggested ability?

5. Do you think that with this ability, the 100 mineral cost of the roach is still a viable cost?

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 01:46 PM
I prefer keeping Acid Spores as an AoE ability cast by Overseers (though I have no problems with Spore Cloud coming back either). But if the Roach is to get this ability, how would it work?

Would Roaches spread them in a small AoE like Devourers did, or would it be single-target only? How many get spread per-shot? And how many can stack on a unit?

I'm thinking that each Roach only gets to provide one spore, and only to its actual target. This rewards a little Roach targeting micro. Spores should be able to stack up to 10 on a single unit. This helps the Zerg deal with big targets like Thors and PFs and such.

Works for me.

XSOLDIER
12-03-2009, 01:53 PM
I prefer keeping Acid Spores as an AoE ability cast by Overseers (though I have no problems with Spore Cloud coming back either). But if the Roach is to get this ability, how would it work?

Would Roaches spread them in a small AoE like Devourers did, or would it be single-target only? How many get spread per-shot? And how many can stack on a unit?

I'm thinking that each Roach only gets to provide one spore, and only to its actual target. This rewards a little Roach targeting micro. Spores should be able to stack up to 10 on a single unit. This helps the Zerg deal with big targets like Thors and PFs and such.

Is this Unit specific, or would this ability affect Buildings & Destroyable Terrain as well? If so, it could make a significant difference against the rocks that are used to block off areas for the high yield Expansions & backdoors to bases.


X :cool:

Triceron
12-03-2009, 02:21 PM
Questions:


1. Do we limit it to damage increase only or fully emulate it and reduce attack speed as well?


Limiting attack speed is definately an idea, but it's the sort of debuff that would make the roach itself almost impossible to kill if you didn't have enough units to one-shot roaches per volley. If it had a normal regen rate (while keeping the burrow-regen), I could see this happening.



2A. Do we provide it as a singular high powered debuff with a short duration? (IE: maurader's slow?)
2B. Or do we provide a longer duration with the potential of refresh/stacking. (IE: Original Devourer's Spores)

High duration wouldn't make the roach a priority, since you know the debuff would linger even after you kill all roaches.


3. Do you think this should be passive? An alternative would be making it an autocast on the original attack allowing a slightly more powerful ability that is limited in it's use. (And therefore encouraging, or requiring, a use for having more than 2-3 in some cases)

I don't really understand the difference here, but it might as well be passive just for ease. I'm guessing you're talking about the debuff being on a separate cooldown than the attack. I don't think it needs to be considering the roach attacks pretty slowly to begin with.


4. Do you think the roach should keep it's regeneration as well as this new suggested ability?

Yes, in some form. It's still meant to be a tank unit.


5. Do you think that with this ability, the 100 mineral cost of the roach is still a viable cost?

I've always thought 100m was too low, but considering it still does pitiful damage and spores do little to boost its own attack, 100m is fine.

I also feel the ability SHOULD splash, albeit a minor one. The Roach counters light units, and light units come in masses. Having one Roach per enemy unit to keep the debuff on is hardly threatening to the whole of your army. The point of the debuff is easy and quick application, making you want to take them down asap.

Caliban113
12-03-2009, 02:25 PM
Is this Unit specific, or would this ability affect Buildings & Destroyable Terrain as well? If so, it could make a significant difference against the rocks that are used to block off areas for the high yield Expansions & backdoors to bases.


X :cool:


Intreresting, I would like to see that, but it wouldn't nec have to work on buildings or terrain - Ironically, while I always thought acid spore was a great mechanic, I don't really ever build a lot of Devourers - (and also have not seen a lot of players use them either) - I imagine acid spore would have been pretty effective on Terran buildings if you could catch one in the air.

My idea for the Roach's version of the acid spore was basically to make it acid spore, "light" - given their attack rate, make it a small AoE, (1 unit deep?) and a fairly short duration. The idea is that as long as roaches are firing on you, your group is at a disadvantage. This could help the roaches draw fire away from whatever units they are supporting - Perhaps focus fire on the Roaches long enough to get the player to burrow them or otherwise stop attacking.

I also like Nicol's version and especially like the idea of potentially giving the ability to the Overseer - if things didn't work out for the Roach. :)

Gifted
12-03-2009, 02:45 PM
I don't really understand the difference here, but it might as well be passive just for ease. I'm guessing you're talking about the debuff being on a separate cooldown than the attack. I don't think it needs to be considering the roach attacks pretty slowly to begin with.I was intending the alternative being an autocast, energy reducing ability. This would give the spores "ammunition" in a sense that regenerates. A comparison by nature is Frost Arrows or Black Arrows from WC3. the "autocast" happens when the unit attacks, therefore boosting it with the effect.

This is a form that exists well for balancing reasons: It allows the unit to come at a lower cost than it otherwise would, or allow the ability to be more powerful in terms of balance as well since it's limited ammunition. A comparible feeling to this is medics. In solid, hardcore games it's important to ensure they have enough energy to proceed. (Such as how often they drain up after a plague for example) but in a typical situation there's not much of a concern for it by players of lower skill.

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 02:56 PM
Here's my problems with this whole thing.

The Devourer's acid spores were passive because it was so high in tech and cost, and each shot was slow and only added 1 extra damage.
So how to translate that ability to the cheap, massable Roach? Limit it with energy or a cooldown.
All thats fine and dandy.

Until we realize, well hey, the Roach is based around quick regen too. So now we have a unit which is cheap, low tier, massable, hardy, and can reach the same DPS with acid spores as Zerglings can normally. So why bother building Zerglings?

Unless we actually get rid of regen, this whole thing sounds silly. But the Roach is BASED around the regen. So really, we're creating a new unit here.

XSOLDIER
12-03-2009, 02:59 PM
I was intending the alternative being an autocast, energy reducing ability. This would give the spores "ammunition" in a sense that regenerates. A comparison by nature is Frost Arrows or Black Arrows from WC3. the "autocast" happens when the unit attacks, therefore boosting it with the effect.

This is a form that exists well for balancing reasons: It allows the unit to come at a lower cost than it otherwise would, or allow the ability to be more powerful in terms of balance as well since it's limited ammunition. A comparible feeling to this is medics. In solid, hardcore games it's important to ensure they have enough energy to proceed. (Such as how often they drain up after a plague for example) but in a typical situation there's not much of a concern for it by players of lower skill.

I think that the main issue with making the ability energy based is that it'll let Ghosts bomb an EMP into the group over the top of the Marines & Marauders, and they'll be in the clear. That circumvents the "Tank" aspect of the unit. If you can cripple your reason for killing it with a spell, you're not turning the Roach into an effective Tank. I'd like to see it as an extention of the normal attack with a shorter duration. Even if it was something like the Reaper's D-8 Charges that had a cooldown, it would be preferable to making it an energy based ability. If you want the Roach to be a tank, you'll have to give it an ability that can only be avoided by killing the unit.


X :cool:

Nicol Bolas
12-03-2009, 03:01 PM
1. Do we limit it to damage increase only or fully emulate it and reduce attack speed as well?

I don't recall acid spores in SC1 reducing attack speed.


2A. Do we provide it as a singular high powered debuff with a short duration? (IE: maurader's slow?)
2B. Or do we provide a longer duration with the potential of refresh/stacking. (IE: Original Devourer's Spores)

Short duration is fine, especially with their cost. Spores should dissipate at about the speed of 2 Roach attacks, so a single Roach can only keep 2 Spores up at once. This encourages massing and micro.


3. Do you think this should be passive? An alternative would be making it an autocast on the original attack allowing a slightly more powerful ability that is limited in it's use. (And therefore encouraging, or requiring, a use for having more than 2-3 in some cases)

Just a modifier on the attack is fine.


4. Do you think the roach should keep it's regeneration as well as this new suggested ability?

Regen just isn't viable at that point. It adds maybe 15Hp to the Roach. Give them a +10 Hp upgrade and take Regen away. Or no Hp upgrade and still take Regen away.

A Tier 3 upgrade to the Roach might be an increase in the Spore cap. Maybe it starts off at 5-7, and you can upgrade it to 10-15 or so.


5. Do you think that with this ability, the 100 mineral cost of the roach is still a viable cost?

Yes. You have to build quite a few to make them truly dangerous. If they're too expensive, then you can't mass them like you need to. They still don't have a great rate of fire or damage output. And while the Spores do give them an interesting cumulative effect, their short range means that they can't take as much of an advantage of it as a longer ranged unit could.


The Roach counters light units

No, it shouldn't. The Zerg have enough light unit counters at Tier 1. What they need at Tier 2 is something that deals with massable armored units.


Unless we actually get rid of regen, this whole thing sounds silly. But the Roach is BASED around the regen. So really, we're creating a new unit here.

No, the Roach is based around being a tank. The mechanism they used for tanking was regen. That mechanism simply doesn't work at Tier 2, and neither does their damage output or bonus type. It is a new unit in body (and probably should get a new name), but it serves the same function that the original Roach tried to.

The original Roach was Tier 1+Regen. The current Roach is Regen+high Hp. This new Roach would be high Hp+Acid spores.

Gifted
12-03-2009, 03:05 PM
That is a good set of points which is why I was curious to the idea of removing the regen. The approach that I'm looking at is how to fill or work the "NICHE" not the unit. In terms of game development I feel it's a more solid approach and the reason why many units get cut.

Some people may understand it more in terms: When purchasing a computer, what do you think about first.. software or hardware? You think about the software because the hardware enables what you're seeking. If you're seeking a device that can type then you'd pay for substancially less hardware than someone who plans to game or work on art.

Off the tangent... I think that the removal of the regen (above ground) would still allow it to fill a limited tank role while providing a neccessary boost to the niche that it lacks. In the words of Dustin Browder:


we've certainly found specifically at tier 2, the Zerg lack legitimate ways to really push an advantage.

I think a "damage improving" unit can provide that advantage now that I've toyed with the idea in my mind. I hate to cut the roach.. maybe it will find a niche later on...

--------------------------------------------------------

For Nicol's information: http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Cooldown

Devourers are dangerous air-to-air units as they inflict a delay of 1 and weaken armor by 1.

Triceron
12-03-2009, 03:13 PM
How does the roach in any way counter armored?

Stalkers and Marauders are supposed to be countered by Roaches? Siege tanks? Immortals? Thors?

These are the Roach's most feared enemies, no?

Gifted
12-03-2009, 03:14 PM
@Triceron: The current damage of the Roach is 11 (+3 vs Light). The unit with an advantage against Armored is the Hydralisk with an 8 (+4 armored).

I hope this answers your question :)

Nicol Bolas
12-03-2009, 03:28 PM
Devourers are dangerous air-to-air units as they inflict a delay of 1 and weaken armor by 1.

But one of these is patently false. Acid spores do not "weaken armor"; they cause extra damage. Weakening armor assumes that you can run out of armor to weaken, while acid spores continue to increase damage up until the cap of 9.

Considering how misleading one of these statements is, I'm not sure how much I'm willing to accept the other.


How does the roach in any way counter armored?

I didn't say it does; I said it should. It should because the Zerg don't really have a way to deal with Marauders, Stalkers, etc besides just "throw more Zerglings and Hydralisks at it." The +4 bonus that Hydralisks get is simply mitigation against the higher Hp of armored units. This does not make them disproportionately better against armored units, nor does it make them a particularly great idea in a fight against massable Tier-2 armored units.

And acid spores are a way to do that.

MattII
12-03-2009, 03:47 PM
So you're saying to switch the damage bonuses of Hydralisk and Roach to Light and Armoured respectively?

Quirel
12-03-2009, 03:57 PM
I don't recall acid spores in SC1 reducing attack speed.
They did. IIRC, the Valkyrie was considered a "Decent" counter to them because it's attack speed was barely affected (It was so slow anyways)
Something like a Corsair would actually have it's cooldown doubled (from 8 to 17) from an attack by nine Devourers...


Short duration is fine, especially with their cost. Spores should dissipate at about the speed of 2 Roach attacks, so a single Roach can only keep 2 Spores up at once. This encourages massing and micro.
But multiple Roaches attacking the same target...
Since other people are better at statscrafting than I am, I'll leave the actual number to you guys, but a cap of 5 sounds good.


Regen just isn't viable at that point. It adds maybe 15Hp to the Roach. Give them a +10 Hp upgrade and take Regen away. Or no Hp upgrade and still take Regen away.
So, if I understand what you're saying, rapid regeneration isn't viable because of high-damage units which can KO the Roach before it really begins to help.
So... possibly, remove the Regeneration and give it to an earlier-tier unit?


A Tier 3 upgrade to the Roach might be an increase in the Spore cap. Maybe it starts off at 5-7, and you can upgrade it to 10-15 or so.
I like the idea of upgrading, but that means that each Zergling will be doing 20 damage (Minus armor penalty, plus attack upgrade)
Although you'd need ten Roaches (Preferably more) to do this, the fact that you could rape Thors and high-health units with Roaches and Lings means that they WOULD be a priority target.


But one of these is patently false. Acid spores do not "weaken armor"; they cause extra damage. Weakening armor assumes that you can run out of armor to weaken, while acid spores continue to increase damage up until the cap of 9.
Think about it this way: The weakening of the armor does not stop at 0. It goes to -1, then -2, then -3 and so on.
Effectively, for gameplay purposes and possibly coding purposes, the Devourer DOES weaken your armor stats.

Nicol Bolas
12-03-2009, 03:58 PM
So you're saying to switch the damage bonuses of Hydralisk and Roach to Light and Armoured respectively?

Ya know, I keep saying this, but it keeps going right over peoples heads. I don't know why.

What is it about "Hydralisks aren't anti-armored. Their damage bonus is simply mitigation for the fact that armored units have higher Hp," that's so difficult for people to understand? What is the brain lock that prevents people from understand that just because a unit has a damage bonus doesn't make them a specialist?


So, if I understand what you're saying, rapid regeneration isn't viable because of high-damage units which can KO the Roach before it really begins to help.

It isn't viable because of the large amount of damage that gets flung about at Tier 2. By that point, you have swarms of Tier 1 units running around. All it takes for Marines to kill Roaches quickly is a little micro. Smaller groups of Tier 2 units are just as dangerous. Running into a pack of Marauders or Stalkers will also quickly lead to death for Roaches.

It doesn't have to be large single-shot damage; it's the quantity of damage that can be brought to bear that's the problem.


I like the idea of upgrading, but that means that each Zergling will be doing 20 damage (Minus armor penalty, plus attack upgrade)

Then you should have dealt with those Roaches, shouldn't you have? ;)

Besides, you'll only see that many acid spores getting on a unit in Tier 3 that has lots of Hp.

Quirel
12-03-2009, 04:01 PM
Ya know, I keep saying this, but it keeps going right over peoples heads. I don't know why.

What is it about "Hydralisks aren't anti-armored. Their damage bonus is simply mitigation for the fact that armored units have higher Hp," that's so difficult for people to understand? What is the brain lock that prevents people from understand that just because a unit has a damage bonus doesn't make them a specialist?
Ehm, I get the feeling I'm going to get bitten for this, but he's asking about the damage bonuses, not roles.

Although the Hydralisk should keep the damage bonus regardless.

XSOLDIER
12-03-2009, 04:02 PM
I'd like to see the Roach keep the Regen if possible, along with the Acid Spores. While in combat, it may only account for ~10-15 HP, that's assuming that the Roach dies. I think that leaving it in place, gives a larger incentive to completely get rid of them. Even dropping a Roach to half health won't matter if you can manage to barely survive, All your Roaches will be back at full by the time they move forward to the next conflict. This seals the Tank aspect, and makes them a high priority target whenever they're being used. This also allows for the micro tactics that can give the Zerg forces an edge in Tier 2 that they're really lacking right now.

As for the damage bonuses, I don't think that it matters for the Roach with Acid Spores. They're added to a force in order to increase the damage done to tougher units, because of the way that Acid Spores works. They're meant to be used in mixed forces to be effective as Tanks like this.


X :cool:

MattII
12-03-2009, 04:12 PM
Ya know, I keep saying this, but it keeps going right over peoples heads. I don't know why.

What is it about "Hydralisks aren't anti-armored. Their damage bonus is simply mitigation for the fact that armored units have higher Hp," that's so difficult for people to understand? What is the brain lock that prevents people from understand that just because a unit has a damage bonus doesn't make them a specialist?

Maybe you could explain your solution then (clearly, not just make it a few sentences in a wall of text), rather than continually complaining that a mechanic is broken.

Gifted
12-03-2009, 04:23 PM
Nicol: The delay did exist, I'm 100% sure of it in recollection. Alternatively it's noted multiple places with a google search though the Wiki was the first I found. Devourers against Battlecruisers is when you can truly see it work.

However, the wiki stating that the armor reduction is in place is written poorly and you're correct, it increased the incoming damage instead of reduced the units armor. This allowed the third bounce of Mutalisk strikes to have +3 and enabled them to be complimented well.

Back on subject..

The shifting of attack bonuses will not fix the issue that I truly believe exists. The problem isn't the roach but the niche which Nicol has eluded to quite well a few times.

In short, there is no need for a dedicated tank at teir 2 and I feel that the niche that is lacking is not resolved by a unit of this capability. I agree that the niche that needs to be filled at teir 2 is a unit that would give them the power to push forward with an advantage they already have. This is why the acid spore ability would make sense to me. There are some MAJOR balance issues with it which can be tweaked.

NOTE: I was able to chat with Jack Doe on this subject during one of his breaks. He was able to give some thoughts on the matter that influenced the REMAINDER of this post.

First, I now feel that it should be single target... 2 targets at most. I don't know the mechanic that would incorporate this but it's important to not make it a splash ability like in Brood War. The balance concern starts to show when you start incorporating other units into the fray from the other races, such as 2v2.

Units with natural splash such as Archers, Collosii and hellions will show some rather powerful boosts against units that it should be subpar on. This would significantly disrupt the natural counter feel to the game, which would definately limit choices and create this "new roach" as a goto-combo unit with any splash setup. By limiting it to 1-2 units instead of splash area, you prevent this situation greatly and provide a greater value to each unit.

He advised that if we discuss this further, move on with the assumption that it's a passive ability and that you keep the regen for now. If it's deemed to be too powerful, a nerf by removing the regen is something to discuss but cross that bridge when it gets approached. The same mentality was given when I suggested my mana idea. He said "nerf it if it's needed" but don't assume the unit is sub-par until it is confirmed.

--------------------------

For the record, he doesn't feel it's an under-performing unit right now. It's a unit that requires micro on it, much like the stalker requires micro to be used efficiently. Due to it's slightly higher base damage it has the ability to "burst" damage forward in chunks which can be beneficial against situations such as the medivac heavy infantry army which is seen often in late game he's seen. But overall, any discussion about the teir 2 zerg is something he's more than happy to hear is going on.

Obviously this is all basic iterations of what he said, none of it is quoted.

ArcherofAiur
12-03-2009, 04:59 PM
Units with natural splash such as banshees, immortals,

Jigga wha?

Nicol Bolas
12-03-2009, 05:15 PM
Jigga wha?

Same here. Have there been some changes we haven't been appraised of? Did Immortals turn into Reavers or something?

RamiZ
12-03-2009, 05:47 PM
Same here. Have there been some changes we haven't been appraised of? Did Immortals turn into Reavers or something?

He probably meant Siege Tanks and Colossi! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Just kidding. Gifted Banshees doesn't have splash from 1 year ago, and Immortals never had splash, what got into your head? :D

Gifted
12-03-2009, 06:03 PM
First, the Banshee change I was unaware of, I threw that out as an example. The Immortal was a botch on my end. The letters may have been I-M-M-O-R-T-A-L, but my mind was thinking A-R-C-H-O-N. Sorry about that confusion, folks. :) 100% my botch. Please carry on. (These are not the posts your looking for...)

ArcherofAiur
12-03-2009, 06:07 PM
Just on the subject Id like to chime in that giving acid spores (or some other type of special attack debuff) sounds interesting.

I would like to the debuff have some type of synergy with regeneration. As in a debuff that takes advantage of being on a unit that can last in battle (be it decreasing armour, increased damage or whatever).

Also simplicity is vital since the roach already has an ability.

Triceron
12-03-2009, 06:33 PM
Just a thought

Would a Crippling Poison effect be too much for Roaches? An ability that slowed enemy movement speed by say 25-50%, single target. This lets Zerglings and Banelings make great use of surround and lets Zerg effectively pick off enemy units. It seems like Zerg have the worst time chasing or getting the kill, maybe if Roaches acted more like Dryads, they would be more useful as support.

It's only movement speed, so a pure standing fight between roaches and other units wouldn't affect any outcome. Ranged units can still focus fire and pick off roaches. This helps most vs melee because you can micro roaches better if the enemy footspeed is slowed down.

The idea of the Roach is attrition anyways, and slowing the enemy movement and preventing them from running away is a perfect way to force them to fight when you want to, as well as flank where you need to.

Is this too powerful though?

ArcherofAiur
12-03-2009, 06:36 PM
I think people should focus on whether the ability is good for gameplay rather then ask questions of balance. Yes I know balance is part of gamepaly but right now any comments we make on balance are assumptions at best.

XSOLDIER
12-03-2009, 06:45 PM
Just a thought

Would a Crippling Poison effect be too much for Roaches? An ability that slowed enemy movement speed by say 25-50%, single target. This lets Zerglings and Banelings make great use of surround and lets Zerg effectively pick off enemy units. It seems like Zerg have the worst time chasing or getting the kill, maybe if Roaches acted more like Dryads, they would be more useful as support.

It's only movement speed, so a pure standing fight between roaches and other units wouldn't affect any outcome. Ranged units can still focus fire and pick off roaches. This helps most vs melee because you can micro roaches better if the enemy footspeed is slowed down.

The idea of the Roach is attrition anyways, and slowing the enemy movement and preventing them from running away is a perfect way to force them to fight when you want to, as well as flank where you need to.

Is this too powerful though?

I think that the main reason that this was avoided was to give the Zerg something that's a little more tailored to them, and doesn't just match what the Marauders are doing for the Terrans. also - the Acid Spores gives them an advantage against the slower, more well armored units, whereas cutting the movement speed wouldn't help as much.


X :cool:

Triceron
12-03-2009, 06:55 PM
But that's the thing. Not all armored units are slow.

Stalkers with blink are very hard to chase down. Marauders with Stim are incredibly dangerous. These are the armored units that you are going to encounter most when you make Roaches.

Not saying Acid Spore doesn't help in its own way, but it requires your lings and lisks to get hits in. Movement impeding effects actually helps them get those hits in.

ArcherofAiur
12-03-2009, 06:59 PM
I think thats what the Infestors new spell is for.

RamiZ
12-03-2009, 07:01 PM
Just a thought

Would a Crippling Poison effect be too much for Roaches? An ability that slowed enemy movement speed by say 25-50%, single target. This lets Zerglings and Banelings make great use of surround and lets Zerg effectively pick off enemy units. It seems like Zerg have the worst time chasing or getting the kill, maybe if Roaches acted more like Dryads, they would be more useful as support.

It's only movement speed, so a pure standing fight between roaches and other units wouldn't affect any outcome. Ranged units can still focus fire and pick off roaches. This helps most vs melee because you can micro roaches better if the enemy footspeed is slowed down.

The idea of the Roach is attrition anyways, and slowing the enemy movement and preventing them from running away is a perfect way to force them to fight when you want to, as well as flank where you need to.

Is this too powerful though?
No point in this, since one Infestor can do that much better, since it slows down units over 6 sec and then immobilize them for 10 sec, which is already too strong! So no point in giving such ability to the Roaches.

XSOLDIER
12-03-2009, 07:02 PM
But that's the thing. Not all armored units are slow.

Stalkers with blink are very hard to chase down. Marauders with Stim are incredibly dangerous. These are the armored units that you are going to encounter most when you make Roaches.

Not saying Acid Spore doesn't help in its own way, but it requires your lings and lisks to get hits in. Movement impeding effects actually helps them get those hits in.

True, but Hydralisks & Mutalisks are also capable of taking advantage of Acid Spores, and this is a case I can think of where those benefits would FAR outweigh the ones of reduced speed. Not to mention if it's allowed to affect Buildings & destroyable terrain.


X :cool:

Caliban113
12-03-2009, 07:34 PM
True, but Hydralisks & Mutalisks are also capable of taking advantage of Acid Spores

Yipes! Thats right - Mutas in particular got a huge damage advantage with acid spore - probably best to keep the stacking fairly low in that case - and definitely drop the whole slowed attack rate thing as well.

XSOLDIER
12-03-2009, 07:48 PM
Yipes! Thats right - Mutas in particular got a huge damage advantage with acid spore - probably best to keep the stacking fairly low in that case - and definitely drop the whole slowed attack rate thing as well.

I think that this could be just what the Zerg needs at Tier 2. It opens up a lot of really mean unit combinations. You could harass some groups with Mutalisks to lead them by a hideen Infestor/Roaches. As the group's in range, slow them, start attacking them with Roaches, as soon as the Acid spores take effect, you could fly in Mutas to pound down on them.


X :cool:

Gifted
12-03-2009, 08:23 PM
Another thing to consider is the synergy between Broodlings and Roaches in this case.

Norfindel
12-03-2009, 08:34 PM
Here we could twist some mechanics to come with something new. For example: what if the Roach could "heal" different attacks in a non-linear way? For example: it's attacked by a Marine for 6 dmg, but the healing reduces it to 3 or 2, or something like that. If it's attacked by a Siege Tank, it takes the full damage. Really, it's more like a dynamic armor or inverse-immortal than healing.

It could be coupled with faster regeneration, but less extreme than it would be needed if it taken the full damage from everyone.

Probably giving it extra armor would be very similar, however.

Triceron
12-03-2009, 08:41 PM
I don't understand what that would achieve since taking hits isn't really the problem. It's from not being a target choice.

flabortast
12-03-2009, 09:32 PM
Acid Spores on Roach sounds nice, but would 2 passive abilities (regen and acid spores) be too much for one unit? Especially for Zerg who can easily mass them on a whim? Also, giving roaches acid spores means you'll be removing them from Overseers who can cast them on both air and ground targets.

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 10:45 PM
Acid Spores on Roach sounds nice, but would 2 passive abilities (regen and acid spores) be too much for one unit? Especially for Zerg who can easily mass them on a whim? Also, giving roaches acid spores means you'll be removing them from Overseers who can cast them on both air and ground targets.

I said this before.

To add the spores, the Roach needs to lose regen, and thus will no longer be a Roach.

The only way to keep the Roach a Roach is to let its high regen be used to its fullest - as a tank. To do this, it needs to be melee. To do this, it needs to be dangerous through either insanely high regen, or a strong attack as well. To do this, it needs to not compete with the Ultralisk. Ultimately, it is not possible.

And thus, as I have said since it was first showcased, the Roach is a bad unit with a bad gimmick and should not be in SC2.

flabortast
12-03-2009, 11:00 PM
In your opinion...

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 11:02 PM
In your opinion...

No.

You can keep the high regen and have spores if you want. But then you get a tier 1-2 cheap, massable, bulky, hyper regenerating unit who supports others of its breed.

Why build anything else but Corruptors and Roaches?

ArcherofAiur
12-03-2009, 11:06 PM
Its nice to know demo does this in other threads and not just the macro ones...

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 11:12 PM
Its nice to know demo does this in other threads and not just the macro ones...

You mean be right?

Its a bad habit, I know.

Nicol Bolas
12-03-2009, 11:18 PM
To add the spores, the Roach needs to lose regen, and thus will no longer be a Roach.

Neither statement reflects reality.

I already answered how an acid-spore Roach is still a Roach (because it still tanks, which is the fundamental nature of the Roach). And the Roach does not have to lose regen. It might not be a bad idea, but giving a single unit two abilities is not a bad idea.


To do this, it needs to be melee.

What? Both the Thor and the Immortal are not melee. Yet both can tank perfectly fine. Melee and tanking have little to do with one another.

DemolitionSquid
12-03-2009, 11:41 PM
Neither statement reflects reality.

I already answered how an acid-spore Roach is still a Roach (because it still tanks, which is the fundamental nature of the Roach). And the Roach does not have to lose regen. It might not be a bad idea, but giving a single unit two abilities is not a bad idea.

Giving the Roach acid Spores but removing regen would not make it a tank. In the same way the Marauder is not a tank. Yes, the Marauder has more HP than Marines, but their role isn't to soak up damage for the Marines, its to let the Marines deal more damage. The same would go the Acid Spore Roach.

Giving the Roach two abilities is a bad idea. Especially when those two abilities remove all but one weakness. The Roach is not the Nullifer.


What? Both the Thor and the Immortal are not melee. Yet both can tank perfectly fine. Melee and tanking have little to do with one another.

The Ultralisk is a tank for 3 reasons.
1. Its big and makes it hard to target the real Zergling threat
2. It has a lot of HP and strong armor
3. It deals good damage

All these factors make you want to target it. The Thor is not a tank. It has the last two factors, but that's because it costs so much. The Immortal is a tank because it has an ability that negates any damage above 10, and it has a strong attack. These 3 units have a hefty price tag.

The Roach, to be an effective Tank, needs to
1. Be big or makes it hard to target the real Zergling threat
2. Have a lot of HP, strong armor, high regen, or some other way to negate damage
3. Deal good damage

The Roach cannot have too much HP, armor, or regen as long as it remains cheap and low tier. It cannot do big damage while remaining cheap and low tier. If you raise it up to a higher tier to get these things, it becomes an Ultralisk.

The cheap Roach being ranged means that your enemy will not first auto-target it, they will auto-target the weak Zerglings. If Zerglings were ranged, it'd be a whole different matter. But if the Roach is not being fired at, it is being wasted with its low attack because its cheap. The Thor's range poses a threat because it has a long range. The Roach has a tiny range. If the Roach could shoot as far as a Hydra, then it'd have to use for its regen anyway as you could micro it better, or just use Hydras.

To make sure Roaches actually tank, because they are cheap and low tier and thus ultimately weak, it needs to be the first thing targeted in an engagement. Hyper regen is meaningless unless you're being attacked and can micro to use it. To first be attacked, the Roach needs to be melee.

Nicol Bolas
12-04-2009, 12:32 AM
but their role isn't to soak up damage for the Marines, its to let the Marines deal more damage.

By soaking up damage meant for the Marines. Marauders have strong damage output, but uses of them clearly show that Marauders go between Marines and dangerous things. The strong Marauder damage and slowing effect (Marauders also have 2 abilities: passive slow and active Stim) combined with their relatively high Hp are what make them into effective tanks.

SC1 only had what we would think of as "big tanks". Units that were large with lots of Hp, etc. But tanking isn't about how big something is. It's about cost.

Tank units must have higher Hp:cost ratios in order to even be considered potentially a tank. In SC2, what they have done is create several units with non-standard tanking mechanics. The Hp:cost ratio for Immortals depends primarily on what's attacking them. Regen was supposed to be something similar for Roaches, but that isn't panning out with them stuck at Tier 2. This is why they have 170 Hp, which is massive Hp:cost for Zerg (regen or no regen). You could remove regen from the current Tier 2 Roach and the effect on their lifespan in most situations would be minor.

In terms of non-standard tanks, the Marauder is certainly one. They have a high Hp:cost ratio. They also fulfill your other requirements (makes it hard to attack what they protect, ie: Marines, and deals good damage).


Giving the Roach two abilities is a bad idea. Especially when those two abilities remove all but one weakness. The Roach is not the Nullifer.

As stated above, Marauders have 2 abilities. And the only things Marauders are weak against are flying units.


The Thor is not a tank. It has the last two factors, but that's because it costs so much.

Ultralisks cost more than Thors. And Thors have all of those properties.


These 3 units have a hefty price tag.

Immortals are actually relatively cheap. 250 minerals may sound like a lot, but gas is more valuable and it only costs 100 gas.


The cheap Roach being ranged means that your enemy will not first auto-target it, they will auto-target the weak Zerglings.

Untrue. If the Roaches go in first, as they would have to in order to be tanks (especially with acid spores, as you want some spores to land before the Zerglings get there), then the enemy will naturally attack the Roaches. The Zerglings swoop in just behind them.

Plus, with short-lived acid spores, killing the Roaches is a priority for a user deliberately microing their units. The Roaches will be the things that the enemy will want to die ASAP.

Lastly, even if everything you said was true, you're still assuming that Roach/Zergling is the only viable use for them. With acid spores, Roach/Hydralisk and Roach/Mutalisk are both excellent combinations, all for different situations.


But if the Roach is not being fired at, it is being wasted with its low attack because its cheap.

And therein lies the entire point of giving them acid spores. Because of acid spores, users will want to target them. Thus, in user micro situations, the player will attack the Tanks, not the damage dealers.

Pandonetho
12-04-2009, 12:48 AM
Here's a potential problem though, if your roaches go in first then you send in your lings, what's to stop the enemy from simply pulling is forces back a few centimeters and re-attacking? They'll all automatically target the nearest units which would be Zerglings.

Triceron
12-04-2009, 01:27 AM
This could easily be solved if either Regen or Acid Spores was an upgrade.

At this point I would suggest it getting boosted regen as an upgrade, simply because if acid spores was the upgrade, the Roach still falls into the same low priority role it was previously. Acid spores gives it great support value early on.

With the regen upgrade, either for burrow or in combat, it would be like the tanking unit we see now. It doesn't need to lose one or the other because it's an early unit.

I simply see this as a parallel to say a Zergling before and after both speed and attack speed upgrades. It's the same unit, but with both upgrades the functionality is different. The increased speed and damage output allow the zerglings to fill a flanking, light-cavalry role. In the case of the Roach, it would be primarily a debuffer/support unit that can become a tank.

As for the Roach losing/gaining its identity, this change is no different than say the Thor or Colossus. The Roach has a reason to be attacked.


What's to stop the enemy from simply pulling is forces back a few centimeters and re-attacking?

That's what we call Micro. If your opponent does that, then he's using effort to stop your strategy. Roach/Ling combo isn't supposed to always work in your favor, and lings will get targetted by players who react fast to do so. The point is you're forcing your opponent to reposition, and lings are often faster than other units so they can get a few hits in while the enemy has their back turned. Acid spores also increases your lings damage, so your goal is to kill as many units before your lings die, and the roaches help mop up.

Even if you lose that battle, having acid spores is still better than not having it. This scales up even higher later in the game when you get more units with splash and units that attack faster.

Nicol Bolas
12-04-2009, 01:52 AM
Here's a potential problem though, if your roaches go in first then you send in your lings, what's to stop the enemy from simply pulling is forces back a few centimeters and re-attacking? They'll all automatically target the nearest units which would be Zerglings.

But then he's attacking the Zerglings. Remember: the point of adding acid spores is to make the enemy player want to attack the Roaches. Therefore, attacking the Zerglings (assuming that acid spores do the job) is the wrong move to make.

Gifted
12-04-2009, 05:00 AM
But then he's attacking the Zerglings. Remember: the point of adding acid spores is to make the enemy player want to attack the Roaches. Therefore, attacking the Zerglings (assuming that acid spores do the job) is the wrong move to make.While I agree with you in theory... there is a point to be said that it's not a 'wrong move' but more situational.

The best way of saying it is that the choice involved with your tactics is more dynamic because the roach is a viable option to kill as well as the zerglings.

Also, due to the nature of AI control of the units, attempting to kill the zerglings will still allow the roaches to tank damage as you would split your damage between killing zerglings and attacking roaches (A natural thing for the AI to perform)

Nicol, please let me know if this is something you disagree with. It's still 100% compatible with what you're saying... I just think the way you stated it was a bit more assertive than the answer deserved.

flabortast
12-04-2009, 06:27 AM
I think the point of the Roach is not so that its regen makes it survive large amounts of damage but the fact that if the Roach even barely survives or is microed to retreat, it is back to full fighting force in moments. I really don't want to see the regen to go away.

RamiZ
12-04-2009, 06:48 AM
I still liked the most Roach that was Tier 1 with 100 HP and 15 hp/sec regen, and 8+8 vs biological attack. :/ It wasn't balanced for sure, bu they still were somehow better than Roaches now.

Norfindel
12-04-2009, 08:34 AM
I don't understand what that would achieve since taking hits isn't really the problem. It's from not being a target choice.
It's the same scenario than Ultra+Ling, you cannot really choose to target the Zerglings. Unless you turn all your units around the enemy forces, so that the Zerglings are closer than the Roaches, your units are going to shoot at the Roaches.

If the Roach regeneration is a problem to balance, coupling the regeneration with higher Armor, the unit will be good soaking damage from weak attacks, but not so much against heavy attacks.

It all depends on the tier the Roach is aimed, if it's Roach first, then Hydra, that could work, but the Zerg wouldn't have early GtA.

If the Roach is tier 2, it needs more HP, and probably higher regeneration, but the regeneration should allow the unit to be a better survivor, not make the unit survive by itself. It needs more HP to do that, then, you could move the unit out of the way, or burrow it when it's going to die, and make it survive while another Roach takes it's place (or just let it die if you aren't willing to micro, it's job is done).

I think that the key here is the right combination of HP, reasonable regeneration, and Armor. The attack seems to be reasonable at 11+3 vs Light.

RamiZ
12-04-2009, 09:07 AM
It's the same scenario than Ultra+Ling, you cannot really choose to target the Zerglings. Unless you turn all your units around the enemy forces, so that the Zerglings are closer than the Roaches, your units are going to shoot at the Roaches.


Huh no? If you send Roaches first, and then Zerglings, I will press 'S' for Stop once, and then all my units will focus Zerglings cause they will be the closest targets to my units... And Roaches do very little damage, so it is my advantage if I kill Zerglings first. Unlike Ultralisks which are big, and are primary targets since they are very dangerous.

Norfindel
12-04-2009, 01:23 PM
Huh no? If you send Roaches first, and then Zerglings, I will press 'S' for Stop once, and then all my units will focus Zerglings cause they will be the closest targets to my units... And Roaches do very little damage, so it is my advantage if I kill Zerglings first.
You still lose the range advantage, and the Zerg player could dance it's Zerglings, or use Burrow until your units attack the Roaches again.

Unlike Ultralisks which are big, and are primary targets since they are very dangerous.
Didn't we determined that shooting the Zerglings would be better? Ultralisks are dangerous, but the Zerglings in that numbers are a much bigger threat.

Pandonetho
12-04-2009, 01:28 PM
You still lose the range advantage, and the Zerg player could dance it's Zerglings, or use Burrow until your units attack the Roaches again.

You can't dance melee units around ranged units, that's now how the game works.


Didn't we determined that shooting the Zerglings would be better? Ultralisks are dangerous, but the Zerglings in that numbers are a much bigger threat.

Of course the Zerglings are a threat, that doesn't mean the Ultralisks aren't. The Zerg would be terrible late game if their Ultralisks didn't do any good damage. Why do you think you can't just stop a Zergling/Ultralisk army with some firebats?

mythology
12-04-2009, 01:42 PM
I just need to rant about the roach,

Watching those gstar videos i couldn't tell the difference between hydras and roaches. They might have regen ability but the enemy player had no problem killing them as they were mixed with the hydras.

The only terran counter from zerg i saw was overwhelming force and the roach just dosn't fit in because it dosn't seem like a force to be reckoned with. Maybe they made the roach to be the one zerg unit who dosn't get splattered easily, but it has no bite.

A dozen hydras are to be feared, they are swarms of ranged death.
A few ultralisks are to be feared, they are tanks of melee death.
1-2 dozen zerglings are to be feared, they are swarms of speedy death.
Banelings are feared, they are explosive death.
Guardians (broodlord) are feared, now twice as scary in sc2.
Lurkers are greatly feared, now twice as scary in sc2.

Roaches are wimps. The infestor has more bite than it does. It's gimmick dosn't boost it's deadliness or the deadliness of others is what i'm saying.

Nicol Bolas
12-04-2009, 02:18 PM
If you send Roaches first, and then Zerglings, I will press 'S' for Stop once, and then all my units will focus Zerglings cause they will be the closest targets to my units...

No, they won't. Because the Roaches will already be attacking them. Units shoot first at that which is hitting them. The Zerglings won't be there to attack yet.

Furthermore, shooting the Zerglings is still the wrong target, because those Roaches will be spreading spores. Your Marines will go down faster, and though there will be fewer Zerglings, those 'lings will be doing more damage overall.

You always kill the damage multiplying factor first.


Unlike Ultralisks which are big, and are primary targets since they are very dangerous.

And how are Roaches with acid spores not dangerous?


It's gimmick dosn't boost it's deadliness or the deadliness of others is what i'm saying.

Did you read the thread, even a little?

Triceron
12-04-2009, 02:30 PM
Well spores is to incentify Roaches as a legitimate factor. They scale on the threat list the more units you bring.

In a Ling/Roach situation, Lings are still the biggest threat. They deal the damage, not roaches. You can still legitimately ignore roaches because they take longer to take down. If you had M&M vs Roachling combo, it's still better to kill all lings. If you focus fire the roaches, that debuff is still on your units while the lings get in freeshots, meaning your units die faster. You kill the lings, the debuff stays on, but the roaches don't attack fast.

Roaches become bigger threats when you bring in ling/hydra etc in the mix. Now you have multiple priorities. Before the debuff, you would always prioritize Ling-> Hydra -> anything else -> Roach, with debuff you might actually want to get rid of the roaches first because that debuff boosts ALL zerg units.

The roach would be more dangerous in small groups with a debuff that isn't directly dependant on other units. Debuffs like this would break synergy though, which is what we want more.

Norfindel
12-04-2009, 04:00 PM
You can't dance melee units around ranged units, that's now how the game works.
Ok, did you even read what i written? You dance them until the Marines start attacking the Roaches again. That means either move out of range, or Burrow.


Of course the Zerglings are a threat, that doesn't mean the Ultralisks aren't. The Zerg would be terrible late game if their Ultralisks didn't do any good damage. Why do you think you can't just stop a Zergling/Ultralisk army with some firebats?
I didn't said the Ultralisks were not a theat, just that the group of Zerglings deal more damage and have less HP than the Ultralisk group. So, the best course of action would be to attack the Zerglings, but you can't, as they're a lot. That's why tanking works. The same could happend with Roaches, up to a point. Don't forget they're tier 2, so don't expect them to be as good as Ultralisks. As long as it's not easy to bypass them completely, it would work, IMHO.

Caliban113
12-04-2009, 04:09 PM
Remember: the point of adding acid spores is to make the enemy player want to attack the Roaches.


Exactly. While not 'tanks' in the classic sense, this ability makes Roaches a priority in a matchup by helping to draw fire away from the units the Roach is meant to support (something you want your tanks to do) - Again, as long as Roches are firing on you, (and continually applying the damage buff) your group is at a disadvantage - where even equally matched battles are out of your favor. If you don't deal with the Roaches (kill them, or at least force them to run or burrow) you will continue to take unnecessary extra damage, or potentially even lose the matchup.

Even when up against Zerglings, the damage boost will allow them to take out more units than they would ordinarily. Plus, while an 11(+3) attack from the roach isn't much, it isn't exactly hurting the matchup. Particularly, if you have say, 5+ Roaches in your group. (and their attacks are going unanswered as you deal with the Zerglings)

Personally, I do like the Roach, gimmicks and all :) and I'd also like to see the regen mechanic stay, but I dont see a means to have things both ways with this unit: Too much muscle, and regen makes it OP - too little muscle, and it's not enough of a threat to take seriously. (resulting in its failure as a tank.) With the damage buff ability, you give the Roach the means to give other units the muscle to do the job, and a reason for your opponent to draw his fire to your Roaches and away from your real threat.

....and to top it off, we get to keep this facinating 'regen' micro. :)

(?)


.

RamiZ
12-04-2009, 07:59 PM
No, they won't. Because the Roaches will already be attacking them. Units shoot first at that which is hitting them. The Zerglings won't be there to attack yet.

Furthermore, shooting the Zerglings is still the wrong target, because those Roaches will be spreading spores. Your Marines will go down faster, and though there will be fewer Zerglings, those 'lings will be doing more damage overall.

You always kill the damage multiplying factor first.



And how are Roaches with acid spores not dangerous?

We were talking about Roaches without spores, he said you will attack them anyway. Of course I won't stand there for nothing, but still when Zerglings do attack, I will just press stop, and you will be attacking them. And still Roaches didn't tanked enough... That was my point, read first the post I was replying to. I still disagree that Roaches would be primary target, even with acid spores, If you mass them, they will always apply Acid Spores, no matter how much do you kill them. And Zerglings will eat you for that time. It is more effective to kill the Zerglings and let the Roaches then, just like you do now.

Roaches without Acid Spores:
-If you are killing the Roach, Zerglings will do good damage. If you are killing zerglings, Roaches won't do any damage.

Roaches with Acid Spores:
-If you are killing the Roaches(And they will apply Acid Spores anyway...), Zerglings will EAT you! But if you are killing the Zerglings, and with Marines and Marauders you will kill them pretty fast, Roaches will apply Acid Spores, and still won't do any damage, or maybe they will do a little better then in first scenario, but still I don't see big difference.

Of course it doesn't mean that Roach with acid spores is bad, just I don't think it is the best way for the Roach to be primary target, cause in both Scenarios it won't be...

Nicol Bolas
12-04-2009, 08:21 PM
and with Marines and Marauders you will kill them pretty fast, Roaches will apply Acid Spores, and still won't do any damage, or maybe they will do a little better then in first scenario, but still I don't see big difference.

The Roaches are getting a 50+% damage bonus (depending on how many spores stack. If it's 10, then it's almost 100%) off of the acid spores they're spreading. That's not a minor bit of damage in and of itself. So even if you kill off the Zerglings, you still have to deal with units dishing out lots of damage that are tough to kill.

Imagine Hydralisks with double the Hp and more damage.

RamiZ
12-04-2009, 08:36 PM
The Roaches are getting a 50+% damage bonus (depending on how many spores stack. If it's 10, then it's almost 100%) off of the acid spores they're spreading. That's not a minor bit of damage in and of itself. So even if you kill off the Zerglings, you still have to deal with units dishing out lots of damage that are tough to kill.

Imagine Hydralisks with double the Hp and more damage.
Yeah, I agree, but it is much easier to kill the Zerglings than a Roaches, and still Zerglings would do more damage than a Roaches. Yeah, I know it would work perfectly in some other scenarios, but if you kill the Zerglings you can just walk away from Roaches, since they aren't really fast...

But as we saw in the video, Roaches weren't much of a threat there, since even if they were focused first(Hydras+Roachs vs M&M + Tanks) they died almost instantly, as someone said, it didn't look like they were tanking much or that they have a lot more Hp than other units.

Nicol Bolas
12-04-2009, 09:33 PM
they died almost instantly, as someone said, it didn't look like they were tanking much or that they have a lot more Hp than other units.

They didn't die that quickly. They died about as quickly as one would expect from a unit that has ~170 Hp, which in StarCraft is fairly fast.

If those Roaches had something like Acid spores, I'm pretty sure the Zerg would have won that fight. The problem was that the Roaches weren't carrying their own weight in damage.

mythology
12-05-2009, 02:05 AM
i just thought of a cool roach idea.

what if roaches could burrow into other zerg units and buildings and give them it's speedy regen ability?

pure.Wasted
12-05-2009, 02:08 AM
I read through most of the thread, but have one question regarding the proposed 'glaive' ability that's come up a lot over the last few pages. The only way I can see it making the Roaches a bigger threat, as opposed to the Hydras behind them, is if only Roaches can take advantage of the armor debuff/attack increase.

Is this, indeed, the case? The suggestion is to make them into something like micro-less Void Rays?

Triceron
12-05-2009, 02:15 AM
You don't want it being mutually exclusive to the Roaches, or it loses synergy with other Zerg units and effectively becomes more of a 'self buff' than a debuff. Acid Spores promotes unit synergy. Acid Spores that works only for Roaches makes you want to make Roaches exclusively (to make best use of the debuff), or conversely, not make them at all.

pure.Wasted
12-05-2009, 02:41 AM
OK, but then you come back to the issue of priority on a battlefield.

For the Roach to be a higher target immediately, it has to be able to outdamage the Hydralisk cost-for-cost. The problem with Acid Spores is that it makes BOTH the Roach and Hydralisk more effective cost-for-cost.

In other words, it solves nothing.


edit: I may have (inadvertently?) come up with a solution while refining my ideas about the Hydralisk-as-Cliffalisk. It boils down to leaving the Roach as is while changing the Hydralisk. If the Hydralisk has a higher cooldown while dealing more damage (and has less life), that gives the Zerg time to move the Hydralisks back so they are not taking damage while they are reloading. This, in turn, gives the Roaches' job a new meaning -- they are to keep enemy units from chasing down retreating Hydralisks at all costs. Their purpose is, essentially, to get in the way and impede movement while Hydralisks reload.

"OK," says the disgruntled Terran player. He starts fighting what he can see, the Roaches. But then the Hydras return for the next volley, presenting once again a glass cannon of a high priority target. He goes to chase after them again, but the Roaches again get in the way. He starts attacking the Roaches...

...but what do you know, they're back to full health by now.

RamiZ
12-05-2009, 05:39 AM
OK, but then you come back to the issue of priority on a battlefield.

For the Roach to be a higher target immediately, it has to be able to outdamage the Hydralisk cost-for-cost. The problem with Acid Spores is that it makes BOTH the Roach and Hydralisk more effective cost-for-cost.

In other words, it solves nothing.
That was my point, Roaches are tanks, and they will apply Acid Spores anyway, so it is better to kill the units that really do huge damage, especially in synergy with Roaches, and then again, Roaches won't be primary targets.

don
12-05-2009, 09:51 AM
How about make Roach damage correlate to its current health? Make a full health Roach more dangerous than the its current stats now but a lot less effective once their health goes down? They would be primary targets then as the goal would be to neutralize their attack.

Of course how their attack changes with their current health should balance with Hydralisk and Zergling stats.

Gifted
12-05-2009, 10:45 AM
Substancial balance issues. For a factor of that nature you'd have to decide a point to be the static return. This means that at (for this example) 80% health they'd be "equal" to other units. That means that at 100% they'd be overpowered by design.

For this reason, consider an army of units that is admittedly 20% stronger than it should be. Now consider it in mass. Suddenly your intent of "attack them to reduce their damage" is a problem cause if you reduce the damage of 5 then you might as well kill them. By the time you are reducing the next 5's attack the original 5 regenerate. This doesn't change the fact that the remainder of the army (which could number 10+) has 20% more damage to their opposition.

Another balance idea to counteract this idea is to remove regen on the "dynamic shifted units" but then we have a unit that has a more uninteresting mechanic with a harder base to balance.

This is just one example. In short, due to the mechanic of dynamic shifting you have to consider it as a global mechanic or not a mechanic at all to ensure solid balance. The identity of SC2 as a game has balance as a key facet so it wouldn't fit in this game system persay. It's not a bad idea and works in other games though.. just it's my personal opinion that it doesn't fit the bill in this one...

Triceron
12-05-2009, 02:53 PM
The idea is that the spores stack, and are single target. The roach with a bit of micro can debuff your whole army, but over time due to their slow attacks.

The potential of having the debuff spread to many of your units is a serious disadvantage, one worthy enough to choose the Roaches as the primary target. It's not to say this will always be the case, and it shouldn't be. Yes Roaches are a tank unit, but players need to have the ability to pick and choose their targets.

If Roaches started doing comparable damage to other units, then it's ultimately BETTER than other units because it's also got regen. Acid Spores has to depend on other units to deal damage, or else the roach itself stops being a tank and becomes an all-purpose unit.

Nicol Bolas
12-05-2009, 04:33 PM
For the Roach to be a higher target immediately, it has to be able to outdamage the Hydralisk cost-for-cost. The problem with Acid Spores is that it makes BOTH the Roach and Hydralisk more effective cost-for-cost.

In other words, it solves nothing.

Short-lived acid spores mean that killing the Roaches quickly will result in fewer deaths overall. This is more true if your units have lots of Hp. So while Terrans using Marines may not care so much about them (big deal: Marines die in 2 hits rather than 3), Protoss units will definitely want to target the Roaches. Because they're going to live long enough to actually care about 2-second acid spores going away.

Furthermore, it's much harder to hit Hydralisks, in Hydra/Roach builds, because the Hydralisks are behind the Roaches. You can reach more Roaches with your ranged units than Hydralisks.

With Roach/Mutalisk builds, it's more of a matter of where your Mutalisks are. You send your Roaches in, spread some spores, then send your Mutas in to kill the spored units. You then back off to spread more spores, and dance your Mutas back in. A player attacking the Mutas will still have to deal with the fact that the Roaches are not only getting free hits in but regenerating from damage that they're no longer taking.

SlickR
12-05-2009, 05:38 PM
I don't think the Roach is weak.
Its actually one of the most dangerous tier 1 units. Sure it sucks against armored units, but you should cover that with other zerg units.

Gifted
12-05-2009, 06:15 PM
I don't think the Roach is weak.
Its actually one of the most dangerous tier 1 units. Sure it sucks against armored units, but you should cover that with other zerg units.The roach is teir 2, thus part of the concern of it being weak.

don
12-06-2009, 04:36 AM
Substancial balance issues. For a factor of that nature you'd have to decide a point to be the static return. This means that at (for this example) 80% health they'd be "equal" to other units. That means that at 100% they'd be overpowered by design.

For this reason, consider an army of units that is admittedly 20% stronger than it should be. Now consider it in mass. Suddenly your intent of "attack them to reduce their damage" is a problem cause if you reduce the damage of 5 then you might as well kill them. By the time you are reducing the next 5's attack the original 5 regenerate. This doesn't change the fact that the remainder of the army (which could number 10+) has 20% more damage to their opposition.

Another balance idea to counteract this idea is to remove regen on the "dynamic shifted units" but then we have a unit that has a more uninteresting mechanic with a harder base to balance.

This is just one example. In short, due to the mechanic of dynamic shifting you have to consider it as a global mechanic or not a mechanic at all to ensure solid balance. The identity of SC2 as a game has balance as a key facet so it wouldn't fit in this game system persay. It's not a bad idea and works in other games though.. just it's my personal opinion that it doesn't fit the bill in this one...

Well, this can be balanced by giving the roach only 2 levels of attack. One that is Imba and one that is Less Effective.

Then, have the roach only have the the imba attack when it has say 90% HP, any HP below and it reverts to a less effective attack, explained in lore that its attack is weaker because it is using biological processes to heal.

We can even have the "imba attack" be not a damage buff but any of the debuffs discussed in this thread.

I think Roaches would then be primary targets for AOE, for example, a well placed psi-storm would make a group of roaches weak... If they are significantly weaker when not in 90% HP, they would always be primary targets.

Sample Stats:
At 90%-100% HP, 1 Roach = 1.2 Hydralisk
At 1%-89% HP, 1 Roach = 1.2 Zergling

Raisk
12-06-2009, 09:16 AM
Last night I was thinking about this perceived Roach problem and I came up with a rather simple solution to get the enemy to attack your Roaches. Instead of making them more threatening by increasing their damage, how about giving them a Taunt ability which forces enemy units to attack them?

Now I haven't really hammered out the details of how it would work best yet, as it was just a quick idea, but I was thinking something along the lines of an ability that is on a cooldown of, say, 10 seconds, and forces the enemy to attack your Roaches for 5 seconds, after which the enemy regains control. Affected units could have a red aura to show they are "enraged" at the Roach. Each cast would only effect one unit per Roach and they'd obviously have to be manually targeted. Making this AoE would probably be way too OP.

The advantages to this are that with a group of Roaches you can force the enemy units to attack different Roaches, which benefits their regenerative qualities. It would also force the enemy to manually target the Roaches down fast and repeatedly, otherwise their damage potential would be completely wasted by firing on multiple regenerating units.

Furthermore assuming the affected unit would follow the Roach, this ability could be used to taunt opposing forces into traps. Of course if the following thing turned out to be too effective at whittling down enemy forces, the ability could simply stop functioning as soon as the Roach moved out of range.

MattII
12-06-2009, 01:54 PM
Last night I was thinking about this perceived Roach problem and I came up with a rather simple solution to get the enemy to attack your Roaches. Instead of making them more threatening by increasing their damage, how about giving them a Taunt ability which forces enemy units to attack them?

Personally, I find this idea to be abysmal, a player should never lose control of their units unless ownership is actually transferred (as was the case with the DA's Mind Control, and with the Infestor's Neural Parasite).

RamiZ
12-06-2009, 03:22 PM
Personally, I find this idea to be abysmal, a player should never lose control of their units unless ownership is actually transferred (as was the case with the DA's Mind Control, and with the Infestor's Neural Parasite).
They can use Taunt like in Warcraft 3, that has Stone Giants. When one of them use Taunt, all units start to attack them, but you can control them, and start attacking again. So you need additional control after Taunt, to go back to the units you were attacking before. I like it, but not for StarCraft 2. I don't see any lore connection for Roaches to have Taunt, this isn't WC3. I just don't see the point of this ability in SC2.

Triceron
12-06-2009, 03:41 PM
Taunt is not good on a tier 2 easily massed unit. Make 40 roaches, chain taunt and your opponent has micro hell.

Raisk
12-07-2009, 08:28 AM
Personally, I find this idea to be abysmal, a player should never lose control of their units unless ownership is actually transferred (as was the case with the DA's Mind Control, and with the Infestor's Neural Parasite).

Umm? So what do the stasis field and maelstrom in SC1 do? Surely immobilising your units is taking control from you.


Taunt is not good on a tier 2 easily massed unit. Make 40 roaches, chain taunt and your opponent has micro hell.

The taunt would only affect one unit and giving the Roach any ability is going to force it to cost more anyways as far as balance is concerned. Chain taunt 40 roaches onto 40 units isn't going to be easy either, t-click unit-t-click unit-t-click unit ad infinitum.

Anyways, it was just an idea that I thought was fitting for a tank unit. The effect wouldn't have to last 5 seconds either, it could just be an instant cast effect that changes the unit's target to the Roach in question. This way no control over said unit is lost at all.

RamiZ
12-07-2009, 09:43 AM
Umm? So what do the stasis field and maelstrom in SC1 do? Surely immobilising your units is taking control from you.

He didn't mean that kind of control lose. He meant, that you can't actually control your units at all. Sure maelstorm was like that, but ability didn't have use on Mechs and was barely used even versus zerg, just like Lockdown has barely used even vs Terran or Protoss. And immobilize=/= lose control. Immobilize only means you can't move your units. Just like infestor ability Fungal Growth, they still can attack, cast spells, and can focus.

Norfindel
12-07-2009, 10:39 AM
Umm? So what do the stasis field and maelstrom in SC1 do? Surely immobilising your units is taking control from you.
Maelstrom was so short it got not much use, and while Stasis Field lasts a lot, it renders the units invulnerable. Lockdown would be horribly broken with smartcasting, however, as you can continue to shoot at the enemy unit, and it does last a lot of time.

MattII
12-07-2009, 12:21 PM
Umm? So what do the stasis field and maelstrom in SC1 do? Surely immobilising your units is taking control from you.

As others have noted, getting your units frozen is not the same as losing control of them because they can't move and they can't shoot.

Raisk
12-07-2009, 08:55 PM
Okay, i wish people would stop focusing on losing unit control and focus on this instead:

The ability could just be an instant cast effect that changes the unit's target to the Roach in question. This way no control over said unit is lost at all.

I now agree that stasis and whatnot are not the same thing, but no one has commented on the ability simply changing target of focus. No loss of unit control.

Nicol Bolas
12-07-2009, 09:13 PM
The ability could just be an instant cast effect that changes the unit's target to the Roach in question. This way no control over said unit is lost at all.

Except of course that the unit is no longer doing what I told it to do. I don't know about you, but I would consider that a loss of control. And a fairly unprecedented one.

deadlock
12-07-2009, 09:30 PM
taunt was absolutely useless in wc3

Raisk
12-07-2009, 09:40 PM
Except of course that the unit is no longer doing what I told it to do. I don't know about you, but I would consider that a loss of control. And a fairly unprecedented one.

touché.

Aldrius
12-07-2009, 09:41 PM
I don't like the idea of Roach having taunt. I don't like the idea of the Roach having an ability besides hyper-regeneration. Taunt is just not a good fit for the Roach, though. Besides the fact that it's not all that effective in an RTS (didn't work very well for the Mountain Giant), the whole point of the Roach is that you want the enemies' damage as spread out as possible.The less damage the enemy is dealing to each individual roach, the more healing they're doing.

But really, I don't see why the Roach need another ability. They're intended to be resilient to most AoE attacks, and to be a good counter to anti-light units like Reapers and Hellions. They're tanks as far as they're hard to kill with anything but high-DPS ranged units and some basic micro. They're definitely more useful in the early-game, but at the end of the day, what they are, is something that's extremely resilient to colossi, psi storm, hellions, hunter-seeker missile and resilient to Siege Tank fire for their cost. (The AoE, at least) Everything that counters Hydralisks and Zerglings.

I don't think it needs to be anything more than that, personally. My only real problem with it is that it's pretty much outclassed by the Ultralisk in almost every way. There's very little reason to get it post-Lair.

Caliban113
12-07-2009, 09:48 PM
taunt was absolutely useless in wc3

Oy....Agreed - and if the goal was creating the most annoying ability in all of rts...mission accomplished. Just so we're clear tho - 'Taunt' has no extended control over units; the moment they are redirected by the MG, you are able to order them back to whatever they were doing. (providing you've caught it) - the goal of the ability was in forcing a lot unnecessary micro.

Have to say, not a fan of introducing this ability to SC.


That said, just what exactly would the Roach's 'Taunt' look like? - I'm kind of imagining the scene from 'Predator' just as 'it' and Arnold face off. :)


.

Nicol Bolas
12-07-2009, 10:05 PM
But really, I don't see why the Roach need another ability.

Did you read the initial post?


They're intended to be resilient to most AoE attacks, and to be a good counter to anti-light units like Reapers and Hellions.

The problem is that both of these units can easily avoid Roaches. The reason the Roach needs to be able to fight these kinds of units is so that these units aren't attacking real damage dealers. But the Roach doesn't do that. It can't stop Hellions from running around behind them and burning Hydralisks. It can't save Zerglings from Hellions either.

And they're really weak to many Tier 1 and 2 units. Marauders and Stalkers tear though them.

It's a unit that has a job to do that can't do it.

Aldrius
12-07-2009, 11:54 PM
Did you read the initial post?

Most of it. I think mostly you're just taking too much for granted, but then maybe I am too.



The problem is that both of these units can easily avoid Roaches.

In what situation are we talking about? For harassment? In a battle?


The reason the Roach needs to be able to fight these kinds of units is so that these units aren't attacking real damage dealers. But the Roach doesn't do that. It can't stop Hellions from running around behind them and burning Hydralisks. It can't save Zerglings from Hellions either.

No, but the Hellions won't be killing them, and they do DECENT damage. Enough damage that a group of Roaches are enough of a threat to low-tier units. They're weak to Stalkers and Marauders, but so are Hellions. Now, granted, Hellions aren't intended as meat shields, but still. An Achilles heel doesn't mean the whole unit is useless.


It's a unit that has a job to do that can't do it.

Sure it can. You just need enough of them. I mean a Hellion can't just rush by a group of 20 Roaches to attack your Hydralisks. But in order to take advantage of it's AoE, it'll need to do that, and if it does, it'll get slaughtered because the Roaches and Hydralisks will easily surround them. Same thing goes for Reapers. It'll have to get so close to get at your Hydralisks that they'll be sitting ducks for your sturdy roaches.

As for Psi Storm, if your Roaches and Hydralisks are mixed together, then the Protoss player will have to aim carefully, because hitting Roaches, especially in a non-combat situation is a total waste. They'll just heal the damage back in no time. So part of your army is basically completely immune to a key anti-Zerg skill. For a pre-tier 3 unit that's pretty handy. And again, it flat-out beats Hellions, High Templar, Reapers, Psi Storm, Nullifiers and Colossi.

That's not to say I think the Roach is a perfect, flawless unit, but I think there are plenty of easier improvements that could be made before tacking on another ability...

First off:


Make it tier 1 (this one is absolutely necessary IMO)
Raise it's damage (not just give it acid spores or give it a damage bonus)
Change it's regen boost upgrade into an HP boost upgrade instead. (This is more to give it some longevity in the game, a higher HP buffer would be handier than faster regeneration I theorize)
Make it bigger (as in it's collision size) or make it faster.


All of these would improve the Roach, I think. All of these would be preferable to a new ability.

Nicol Bolas
12-08-2009, 01:38 AM
I mean a Hellion can't just rush by a group of 20 Roaches to attack your Hydralisks.

Hellions are faster and have longer range. Unless your Roaches are actually in a choke point physically blocking access, the Hellions will simply run past them.

And if your unit only actually works in one instance where terrain is on your side, that's a bad unit.


it'll get slaughtered because the Roaches and Hydralisks will easily surround them.

How many shots do you think it really takes for Hellions to kill a group of Hydralisks? Two, without the damage upgrade vs. light? A reasonable cluster of Hellions can simply walk around the much slower Roaches, burn the Hydralisks, and then run off to do something useful.


As for Psi Storm, if your Roaches and Hydralisks are mixed together, then the Protoss player will have to aim carefully,

All they have to do is aim at the Hydralisks. Which is what they would have had to do if there were only Hydralisks there. So the presence of Roaches is entirely negligible.


Make it bigger (as in it's collision size) or make it faster.

The bigger it is, the less damage groups of Roaches do. They have short range; they can't be too big or else groups of them won't be worthwhile. And your Hydralisks won't be able to shoot over them.


All of these would be preferable to a new ability.

Why? Giving them acid spores makes them more useful without having to dramatically shift units around in the tech tree.

Aldrius
12-08-2009, 01:59 AM
Hellions are faster and have longer range. Unless your Roaches are actually in a choke point physically blocking access, the Hellions will simply run past them.

And if your unit only actually works in one instance where terrain is on your side, that's a bad unit.

That's not that rare, though.I mean you don't just let Zerglings run by your front-line to get at your Dragoons. You micro the Dragoons away, or you block the Zerglings with Zealots, or what have you.

The Roaches create a buffer of sorts for a lot of things. Like the Hellion, like the Reaper. They have to pass through them to get at your squishier forces, or they have to get near them at least. Letting them get off an easier surround. Choke-points aren't all THAT rare. And Zerg units can cover them pretty effectively.


A reasonable cluster of Hellions can simply walk around the much slower Roaches, burn the Hydralisks, and then run off to do something useful.

How are the Roaches not getting a surround off on them if the Hellions are in-between the Roaches and the Hydralisks, though? And why are the Hydralisks, with their 80 HP and fairly substantial DPS doing nothing to defend themselves? I don't think Hellions are going to be THAT good against ranged opponents like Hydralisks.

The key advantage the Roach has in that case over the Zergling is that the Hellion can't just turn around and turn the Roach into crispy mush the way it can with a large group of Zerglings.

And what is 'running off to do something useful'? Harassment? Because Harassment-wise, with a speed upgrade and creep movement, a group of Roaches will probably give the Hellions a run for their money, I'm betting.

Though I'm actually not sure how fast the Roach is to be honest... if it's too slow, and it's range is too short, then those things can be increased. If it can't actually hit anything, then increasing it's damage or giving it acid spores isn't going to help.


All they have to do is aim at the Hydralisks. Which is what they would have had to do if there were only Hydralisks there. So the presence of Roaches is entirely negligible.

If they're intermixed it won't be that easy. You run the risk of hitting more Roaches than Hydralisks. In which case you've wasted a storm on what amounts to a negligible amount of Hydralisks. But that's a pretty silly example I suppose.

In any case, the point is, Roaches aren't affected by Psi Storm for the most part. That's very useful. Especially for Zerg.


The bigger it is, the less damage groups of Roaches do. They have short range; they can't be too big or else groups of them won't be worthwhile. And your Hydralisks won't be able to shoot over them.

Er... I meant like Dragoon-sized. Not Ultralisk-sized. That's not going to affect their range much or the Hydralisk's.


Why? Giving them acid spores makes them more useful without having to dramatically shift units around in the tech tree.

Why on earth would you overcrowd a serviceable unit with two passive abilities like that? Can you name me ONE combat unit with TWO abilities? (Excluding burrow, and heck if we want to include burrow that's three abilities for the Roach.)

And I'd say giving the Roach Acid Spores would be a more major shift than bumping it down a tier on the tech tree. Or upping it's damage so that it's more of a threat.

Nicol Bolas
12-08-2009, 02:26 AM
How are the Roaches not getting a surround off on them if the Hellions are in-between the Roaches and the Hydralisks, though?

How did they get there? There won't be that much room between the Hydralisks and the Roaches. What the Hellions want is to run past the Roaches to hit the Hydralisks. They don't have to get between the two sets of units to do that.

As for surrounding, the faster unit has that advantage. And it isn't the Hydralisks.


I meant like Dragoon-sized. Not Ultralisk-sized.

They're already about that size.


Why on earth would you overcrowd a serviceable unit with two passive abilities like that?

Because it works? And regen isn't exactly the most useful ability on a Tier 2 unit. So if it isn't actually important to the Roach's success, it can be removed.


And I'd say giving the Roach Acid Spores would be a more major shift than bumping it down a tier on the tech tree.

For the Roach, maybe. For the Zerg as a whole, no. You wouldn't have to move Banelings up to Tier 2 and adjust their stats, rebalance other things to match, etc.

Plus it allows Roach/Mutalisk and Roach/Zergling to actually work. Mutalisks take excellent advantage of acid spores, and Zerglings have the ridiculous damage-over-time to make spores worthwhile.

Rather than having Roaches be "that thing you use with Hydralisks" at best, it becomes a much more well-rounded unit. Lurker/Ling worked in SC1, as did Hydra/Lurk. The same standard applies here.

deadlock
12-08-2009, 02:42 AM
i don't see any problem with roaches having limited use. as long as they're important for a vital stage of the game they're all they need to be. no need to give them new abilities

Nicol Bolas
12-08-2009, 04:27 AM
Except that, as the thread title indicates, we have yet to see Roaches actually being "important for a vital stage of the game".

RamiZ
12-08-2009, 07:08 AM
taunt was absolutely useless in wc3

That is cause Wc3 is a Micro game. And it isn't fast as StarCraft.

deadlock
12-08-2009, 07:40 AM
Except that, as the thread title indicates, we have yet to see Roaches actually being "important for a vital stage of the game".

i thought they tanked for hydralisks

Raisk
12-08-2009, 11:08 AM
i thought they tanked for hydralisks

My problem with the Roach is that it just seems like a shitty Ultralisk now. The Roach'll tide you over till Tier 3, tanking for Hydras and then you'll just replace them with Ultras which actually do damage now.

Why would anyone if given the choice choose a Roach over an Ultra? They both have bonus vs light and tank for Hydras.

The unit just becomes obsolete and they should focus on making it a viable choice throughout the entire game.

Aldrius
12-08-2009, 11:24 AM
How did they get there? There won't be that much room between the Hydralisks and the Roaches. What the Hellions want is to run past the Roaches to hit the Hydralisks. They don't have to get between the two sets of units to do that.

Okay, I'm not following you. How are the Hellions getting anywhere near the Hydralisks without having to get near the Roaches too? I mean choke-points aren't THAT rare. And it's not like we don't already have a unit that is much better in a choke-point than it is out in the open. (i.e. the Zealot)

In effect, in order to attack the hydralisks or whatever is accompanying the Roaches, it'll need to get close to the Roaches themselves. And if the Zerglings/Hydralisks/whatever run away while the Roaches can hold their ground. They'll need to get through them or go around them (in which case they'll still be being attacked anyway).

Anyway, I think this is one of those things that's really hard to argue. It's difficult to say how the pathing and interaction between the units will work. If the Roach is so slow that it's not even a factor when fighting Hellions, it's probably WAY too slow.


Because it works? And regen isn't exactly the most useful ability on a Tier 2 unit. So if it isn't actually important to the Roach's success, it can be removed.

I find regen to be more interesting/useful than Acid Spores, but that's just my personal opinion. And giving it both would again, be overcrowding it, and of course it WORKS. I'm sure Stalkers could use Acid Spores. That'd make them REALLY handy. But it's not balanced, and it splits the unit in too many directions.

Also, if the Acid Spores make it balanced because it increases the Roach's damage, then why not just up the Roach's damage further?


They're already about that size.

They are? They look about Hydralisk-sized to me.

ArcherofAiur
12-08-2009, 11:31 AM
Just a thought you know what unit rapid regen might also fit with (if the roach ever did get dropped/changed)
http://www.sc2blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/infested_terran.gif

Krikkitone
12-08-2009, 12:00 PM
I think the Tier 2 Roach, with Armored status and regeneration, and high armor and a decent dps+hp would fill a vital Tier 2 role
Taking on larger groups of light or anti-light units

Banelings are good for small groups of Marines/Reapers, or large groups of Zealots/Zerglings but they won't hurt Hellions much (a bane of the Tier 1 Zerg) and Large groups of Marines/Reapers would definitely stop them. (at least in a cost effective manner) Large groups of Hydras would too.

The Roach being armored can survive v. Hellions+Reapers, and its high hp would let it successfully deal with Marines/Zerglings and Zealots.... especially if it had high armor.

It is in a sense a mini-ultralisk, but its high regen makes it a cost effective mini-ultralisk even when you have actual Ultralisks, which are very expensive.

Ultralisk gets damaged 50%, well it'll never really get that back without Transfusion...
Roach gets damaged 50%, well it's healed before the next battle.

If it is fast.. it can get by defenses and be useful for raids

ArcherofAiur
12-08-2009, 12:04 PM
Roaches cost 100 minerals. The fact that they dont cost gas is huge. Especially for a massable unit.

I dont think the Roach should be compared to the Ultralisk or the hydralisk. If anything I think the choice is between massing zerglings or massing roaches. Fast expendable damage or staying power.

Triceron
12-08-2009, 01:40 PM
Okay, I'm not following you. How are the Hellions getting anywhere near the Hydralisks without having to get near the Roaches too?

Lots of Hydras and roaches need space. Why would anyone want to fight that combo in a choke point?


If the Roach is so slow that it's not even a factor when fighting Hellions, it's probably WAY too slow.

You nailed it. Roach pathing and their unit size suck for their combo. Ttheir range is short, not melee, so they won't get a full surround like lings. Their damage output is pretty pathetic. They're not a threat, why would you want to target em?


...giving it both would again, be overcrowding it, and of course it WORKS. I'm sure Stalkers could use Acid Spores. That'd make them REALLY handy. But it's not balanced, and it splits the unit in too many directions.

Lings have two passive upgrades, one that makes em move faster, and one that makes em attack REALLY fast. Roaches could have a similar schtick, having one natural passive and the other coming from a research upgrade. Two passives is not bad when it's complimenting the role it's intended for.


Also, if the Acid Spores make it balanced because it increases the Roach's damage, then why not just up the Roach's damage further?


Unit synergy and balance. If you boost the Roach damage high, it becomes too cost effective. By adding Acid Spores you

A: Give Roaches added purpose on the battlefield
B: Give your opponent a reason to target Roaches, not just 'because they're in front of me'
C: Maintain the 100m cost
D: Give incentives to use a mixed army, benefiting units that attack faster than roach

Nicol Bolas
12-08-2009, 01:44 PM
How are the Hellions getting anywhere near the Hydralisks without having to get near the Roaches too?

It's like this. You start with this formation:



H RY


Where H is the Hellions, R is the Roaches, and Y is the Hydralisks.

Then, the Hellions do this:



Y
R H


They run right past the Hellions, taking minor damage along the way. The Roaches try to interpose themselves between the Hydralisks and the Hellions, but the Hellions are too fast. A cycle of Burnination later, and your Hydralisks disappear.


And it's not like we don't already have a unit that is much better in a choke-point than it is out in the open. (i.e. the Zealot)

Zealots are still useful away from choke points. Their utility is not limited to choke points.

Also, I would point out that Zealots are backed up by a unit that can create choke points.


I find regen to be more interesting/useful than Acid Spores, but that's just my personal opinion.

No; objectively, it is not useful at Tier 2. It is an ability that intrinsically becomes less useful over time.

Regen works based on time and damage. The less damage over time a unit suffers, the more regen matters.

At Tier 1, you have a few Marines running around. Marines do decent damage-over-time, but without stim, their damage isn't that huge. Damaging a unit with increased regen requires sustained focus fire from several Marines. And since you don't have that many yet to begin with, it takes a lot of firepower to take the unit out.

Zealots in particular are bad at this. They're melee, so there is a low limit to the number of them you can put on a target. And their damage comes in slow bursts.

By the time Tier 2 units start showing up, however, the quantity of DoT is substantially increased. Marines have Stim. Marines have Marauders who also have Stim. There are Stalkers en masse, possibly with Blink. You might even see an Immortal or two.

All of this means that there is a lot more damage to go around. The faster a Roach dies, the less regen matters to keeping them alive. 6 Marauders is enough to 1-shot a 100Hp Roach. The current 170Hp Tier 2 Roach gets only requires 2 salvos from 5 Marauders. Stalkers are even worse, considering their large well of Hp and Blink micro.

By the time Tier 2 rolls around, regen just doesn't mean anything. A 100Hp unit with fast regen would effectively only get maybe 5-10 Hp out of Regen. That only gives it 10% better survivability. A 170Hp unit may only get 10-15 out of Regen.

It is an ability that is intrinsically front-loaded. Unlike every other StarCraft unit, Roach regen gets worse as time goes on.


Also, if the Acid Spores make it balanced because it increases the Roach's damage, then why not just up the Roach's damage further?

They increase synergy. The Roach becomes effective in tandem with other units. Instead of having to sit at a choke point like a Terran or something, Roaches can be used with mobile forces. In short, Roaches make other units better by their very presence. They start spreading spores and suddenly, all those Zerglings/Hydralisks/Mutalisks start doing more damage. Thus, while Roaches effectively get improved damage, this allows Roach damage to improve the damage of others.

Caliban113
12-08-2009, 02:19 PM
Can you name me ONE combat unit with TWO abilities? (Excluding burrow, and heck if we want to include burrow that's three abilities for the Roach.)

And I'd say giving the Roach Acid Spores would be a more major shift than bumping it down a tier on the tech tree. Or upping it's damage so that it's more of a threat.

Well, the Marauder right now, has 'slow' but along with the Marine, can also use 'stim'

On top of that, both the Marauder and Marine can be effectively healed by Medivacs, plus get taxied/rescued anywhere on the battlefield.

Finally, they have Bunkers where they can not onlly escape the acid spore effect, but can also continue to use their own special abilities.

(re shifting) With Acid Spore on the Roach, the tech tree I think can stay pretty much the way it is now without a lot of change. While I have some concerns about the potential power of the Roach/Muta combo, (as the Muta has the most to gain from acid spore) the ability itself has enough room to tweak without having to rearrange a bunch of units. (limit the amount of times it can stack, limit or eliminate AoE, etc.)

Also, as Nicol points out, there is the idea of unit synergy - it keeps the Roach useful throughout the game in matchups against ground troops.

.

Aldrius
12-08-2009, 04:56 PM
They run right past the Hellions, taking minor damage along the way. The Roaches try to interpose themselves between the Hydralisks and the Hellions, but the Hellions are too fast. A cycle of Burnination later, and your Hydralisks disappear.

Well. If we want to look at this objectively, Hellions will likely fall to the same fate as Vultures did in TvZ. They'll be used for combat purposes if your opponent is massing Zerglings/Banelings, but they generally just won't do very well versus Hydralisks (due to their range and the Hellion's low survivability), Roaches, Ultralisks, Lurkers or any of the Zerg air units. And then harassment. (Which means the Roach would have creep-speed on it's side).

For the purposes of combat, Hellions are fast, but so are speedlings. They'll probably be able to bob and weave past Roaches. Which won't be affected very much by the Hellions' AoE, allowing them to just charge in and attack. Though in effect, if I were an expert Terran player with great micro, I'd probably pull the Hellions back, outrunning the Roaches, and letting the Tanks/Marauders take out the Roaches. But again, if Roaches are only doing, as you say, minor damage, then their damage should be increased to the point where it's not negligible.


Zealots are still useful away from choke points. Their utility is not limited to choke points.

And neither is the Roaches. Or neither SHOULD be the Roaches, rather. If they're not USEFUL in a combat situation, then up their health, up their damage, up their speed (maybe give them Zergling speed). Make them useful by changing their stats not tacking on another ability.


Also, I would point out that Zealots are backed up by a unit that can create choke points.

And if Spore Cloud makes it into the game, then the Roach will be backed up by a unit that can force the enemy to engage your forces at melee-range.

I think that's really the Roaches' problem if it has one. It's a slow, short-range unit. Those don't work so well in StarCraft unless they have huge amounts of HP, the regeneration doesn't compensate enough against the heavy firepower of the Stalker and Marauder, even in the early game.

It's basically a sturdier firebat with less firepower. But the sturdiness isn't going to matter because the things it's meant to target are just too mobile and can surpass it too easily.


No; objectively, it is not useful at Tier 2. It is an ability that intrinsically becomes less useful over time.

Oh I agree. Which is why I think the Roach is a poor tier 2 unit (and why I think a tier 2/3 HP upgrade would be handy).


All of this means that there is a lot more damage to go around. The faster a Roach dies, the less regen matters to keeping them alive.

It's an interesting concept, though. By virtue of their ability, the more Roaches you have, the more the damage the enemy is doing is spread out. If he tries to focus-fire, he runs the risk of wasting a lot of his Marauder/Stalker/Tank/Thor/Marine/Immortal/Hydralisk/etc.'s firepower overkilling Roaches. If he doesn't, then the Roach's regeneration potentially slows down the rate at which he is killing their army.


By the time Tier 2 rolls around, regen just doesn't mean anything. A 100Hp unit with fast regen would effectively only get maybe 5-10 Hp out of Regen. That only gives it 10% better survivability. A 170Hp unit may only get 10-15 out of Regen.

Wait, what? If it's getting 15hp/sec as it's regen it's getting 15 Hp a second. If it takes the Marauders two volleys to kill it, it's healing about 30hp in that time. It's not enough to help it survive a second volley from those Marauders, but still. (Actually, even with the HP regen upgrade it won't survive that.)


It is an ability that is intrinsically front-loaded. Unlike every other StarCraft unit, Roach regen gets worse as time goes on.

There are plenty of abilities that gets worse over time, though. Anything that cloaks get less useful as time goes along, because the enemy player will have more detection. Blink gets less useful as flying units and faster units start to emerge on the battlefield. Regen is a particularly acerbic case of this to be sure, but I don't think that's necessarily a huge problem. It's still a cool ability, and it still allows it to give a lot of units (particularly melee and AoE-damaging units) some trouble, and of course the option of guerrilla combat, and the way it co-operates with Burrow.

Again, I don't think the Roach is perfect. And I LIKE Acid Spores. Whether it's in as an ability, or as it was in SC1 as a unit's attack. I almost thought that maybe they could switch the Roach and Hydralisk's damage, and then give the Hydralisk acid spores. A lot of the same stuff would be true, but then the Roach wouldn't have two abilities, and the Hydralisk would have something new to call it's own. Rather than just being the same old Hydralisk.

But that's just a random crazy thought I had.


Also, as Nicol points out, there is the idea of unit synergy - it keeps the Roach useful throughout the game in matchups against ground troops.


I understand the benefits of Acid Spores. But, as I pointed out a few posts ago, ANY unit (particularly any Zerg unit) would benefit from having Acid Spores. That doesn't make it a good fit for the Roach other than to give it some more offensive power. And there are simpler and easier ways to do that. Synergy is good, but again, I don't really see why the synergy needs to specifically apply to the Roach.


Well, the Marauder right now, has 'slow' but along with the Marine, can also use 'stim'

Still... Stim is another one of those blanket upgrades. Like Burrow. It applies to the Terran's basic infantry.

But... all right. I'll give you the Marauder.


On top of that, both the Marauder and Marine can be effectively healed by Medivacs, plus get taxied/rescued anywhere on the battlefield.

Being healed by an ability and being able to go into a bunker doesn't really count as an ability, and being transportable (which any unit in the game can be) REALLY doesn't count as an ability.

Caliban113
12-08-2009, 05:48 PM
Being healed by an ability and being able to go into a bunker doesn't really count as an ability, and being transportable (which any unit in the game can be) REALLY doesn't count as an ability.

Right - I should have pointed out that these are in addition to the abilities they have already.

Edit: What I was getting at was the notion that they can be healed by the unit that also transports them.

.

Nicol Bolas
12-08-2009, 06:07 PM
If we want to look at this objectively, Hellions will likely fall to the same fate as Vultures did in TvZ. They'll be used for combat purposes if your opponent is massing Zerglings/Banelings, but they generally just won't do very well versus Hydralisks (due to their range and the Hellion's low survivability),

What? Vultures sucked against Hydras for one reason: concussive damage. That 20 damage becomes 10 just from shooting at a Hydra. That's only 1/8th a Hydra's life; not enough to kill them fast.

Whereas, Hellions do 10 damage in a line. That's AoE. 8 Vultures can kill one Hydralisk in one shot. 8 well-placed Hellions can kill lots of Hydralisks in one shot. And even poorly-placed Hellions will only require 2 shots to burn down a fairly large group of them.

Oh, and Hellions get a damage upgrade: +10 vs. Light. Which means you only need four to kill Hydras, and 8 will absolutely wreck a Hydralisk line.


And if Spore Cloud makes it into the game, then the Roach will be backed up by a unit that can force the enemy to engage your forces at melee-range.

Which brings up another point: if you give Roaches acid spores, that leaves Overseers with a missing spell. You can bring back Spore Cloud (though I imagine it wasn't removed to add acid spores).

PsiWarp
12-08-2009, 06:15 PM
I miss Spore Cloud... it was such a perfect alternative to the Dark Swarm of old...

The Overseer could make do without Acid Spores if it was a single target ability.


-Psi

Aldrius
12-08-2009, 09:20 PM
Whereas, Hellions do 10 damage in a line. That's AoE. 8 Vultures can kill one Hydralisk in one shot. 8 well-placed Hellions can kill lots of Hydralisks in one shot. And even poorly-placed Hellions will only require 2 shots to burn down a fairly large group of them.

Getting 8 Hellions into a suitable position against long-ranged Hydralisks isn't going to be easy... the Hellions will have to get pretty close to take advantage of their AoE. And Hellions are still ridiculously fragile themselves, so Hydralisks will probably kill them pretty fast.


Which brings up another point: if you give Roaches acid spores, that leaves Overseers with a missing spell. You can bring back Spore Cloud (though I imagine it wasn't removed to add acid spores).

Er... yeah, not really. With the acid spore spell, they still only have two spells. There is room for a third.

Nicol Bolas
12-08-2009, 09:54 PM
Oh, and another reason why acid spores on the Roach is a good idea. It differentiates between the Roach and the Ultralisk.

The Ultralisk is pretty terrible against Tank units, particularly Thors. Thors do big single-shot damage, and they have that strike cannon attack that nails Ultralisks for over half of their health.

Roaches come in mass, so the big attack isn't that big to them. And the attack is slow, so it plays into regen. But the big problem has been that Roaches don't hurt that much. If you add in a few acid spores, suddenly you have Roaches that are able to bring down larger units like this. And they help other units bring them down. Even only 6 Roaches with a group of Cracklings will murder a Thor in seconds. A few Roaches with a group of regular Zerglings will bring down a Planetary Fortress quick and easy.

And that is all because of the acid spores. A flat damage buff wouldn't do that. Ultralisks can take out PFs only because of their sheer weight of Hp. And even then, it's more expensive that the PF cost the Terran player.


Getting 8 Hellions into a suitable position against long-ranged Hydralisks isn't going to be easy...

No, it's very simple. Select Hellions. Right click next to the Hydralisks. Wait a moment. Done.


And Hellions are still ridiculously fragile themselves, so Hydralisks will probably kill them pretty fast.

Not as fast as Hellions move. Hydralisks are still basically damage-over-time units, so it'll take a while for their damage to kill off enough Hellions. Oh and while they're shooting, they're not running, so it makes them that much easier to catch.


With the acid spore spell, they still only have two spells. There is room for a third.

They've never had a 3rd spell before. I don't know if they still have that sight-range extending passive ability, but that generally counted as their third spell. They're also rather cheap to have 3 spells.

PsiWarp
12-08-2009, 10:22 PM
Well, the Overseer used to make Changelings for 35 energy, Nydus Worms for around 75 energy and had Transfusion for 50 energy...


-Psi

Aldrius
12-09-2009, 12:21 AM
And that is all because of the acid spores. A flat damage buff wouldn't do that. Ultralisks can take out PFs only because of their sheer weight of Hp. And even then, it's more expensive that the PF cost the Terran player.

And again, ANY unit benefits majorly from having Acid Spores. ANY unit. It's a damage bonus that stacks and helps other nearby units. What DOESN'T benefit from having that?

I think it'd make the Roach majorly overpowered personally, would overcrowd the unit's ability roster and doesn't really suit it all that much, but that's just my opinion.


No, it's very simple. Select Hellions. Right click next to the Hydralisks. Wait a moment. Done.

They'll be dead by that point I think, depending on how many there are and how good the Zerg players micromanagement is. And what other units are on the field at the time.

But I suppose we'll see. I don't think it's as straight-forward as your implying, though.


They've never had a 3rd spell before. I don't know if they still have that sight-range extending passive ability, but that generally counted as their third spell. They're also rather cheap to have 3 spells.

Most spellcasters have three spells. In fact they all do to some degree or another.

Draco
12-09-2009, 12:54 AM
I've never really made too many recommendations for units because nobody really cares in the end, but I'd like to say that debuffs are the best answer to the Roach problem.

You have a unit with great survivability in a game where anyone can attack anybody. How do you get someone to kill the Roach first without making him overpowered? You give him something that builds up and it's to the opponent's advantage to cut him down before that buildup gets anywhere, even moreso than those sniping Hydras. WAR did that with their tank classes. They recognized the inadequacy of typical tanks so they gave them crazy AoE debuffs.

Now, the Roach alone is formidable, but because it is dedicated toward debuffing, it won't be that strong by itself. In a mix of units, its synergistic potential takes priority over the others, making it fulfill its role as a tank.

Nicol Bolas
12-09-2009, 03:50 AM
I think it'd make the Roach majorly overpowered personally, would overcrowd the unit's ability roster and doesn't really suit it all that much

Short duration acid spores aren't particularly overpowered. If a single Roach can only keep two on a unit at one time, then one Roach with spores is not that much more powerful than one Roach without them. It's the mass of them that makes the dangerous, plus the fact that they take a lot of killing.

And let's not forget that this is a Tier 2 unit. Other Tier 2 units include Thors, Siege Tanks, Immortals, Colossi (by some measures), Void Rays, etc. Even Hellion own the hell (groan) out of many units.

The Roach should be powerful. If you see a Zerg army bearing Roaches, you should be peeing your pants. The Zerg need a unit that can send Marauder&Marines running back to their Bunkers (which will then be cracked open and the cowards inside will be feasted upon). And a Roach with acid spores can do that.


They'll be dead by that point I think,

I'm pretty sure you can't kill 10 Hellions in a second. Because that's about how long it would take for them to close the distance on Hydras. Maybe 2 seconds in the outside, owing to the Hydralisks running and having to take a longer route due to Roach interference.

That's barely the attack cycle of a single Roach.

Triceron
12-09-2009, 01:32 PM
I agree that hellions can dish out the damage, but how exactly do they survive the incoming volleys from hydralisks? They're not exactly high HP units.

Caliban113
12-09-2009, 01:59 PM
I want to try dividing a group of Hellions into two, come in on a Hydra group from the sides, and then doing something like a Zergling surround to keep them from moving. Hellions may not have the HP for that kind of thing, but it sounds like it would do some damage.

Nicol Bolas
12-09-2009, 02:26 PM
I agree that hellions can dish out the damage, but how exactly do they survive the incoming volleys from hydralisks?

Overkill and wasted shots. The first few Hellions that the Hydras see will be shot at by the Hydralisks in their first volley. However, since the player isn't directly microing each Hydralisk attack, the Hydras will overkill several units: more Hydras will fire on a single Hellion than are needed to kill it. Hydras in SC2 aren't hitscan anymore.

Hellions have enough speed that the Hydralisks second volley, which may be more spread out and optimal, will be concurrent with the Hellion's first attack.

So the Hellions only lose maybe 2 units getting close. Considering the cheap cost of Hellions and the fact that they're double-pumpable, this is a minor loss compared to roasting a batch of Hydralisks.

Triceron
12-09-2009, 02:51 PM
I don't know, it just seems like on-paper theorycraft that doesn't translate in game.

Sorta like when you take the example of Zerglings vs Siege Tanks. On paper, Siege Tank does explosive damage, which is poor vs light, and are immobile; while zerglings are very fast, very numerous and can surround siege tanks very easily. The reality is a couple siege tanks is enough to ward off zerglings due to hitting first and having splash.

I sorta see this happening with using hellions vs hydras. Hydras simply shoot first, and even if you have more hellions, for them to get into optimal position to hit multiple hydras is time that static hydras would be pelting hellions. Using hellions as a Hydra counter sits in a very gray area IMO.

Nicol Bolas
12-09-2009, 03:24 PM
Sorta like when you take the example of Zerglings vs Siege Tanks. On paper, Siege Tank does explosive damage, which is poor vs light, and are immobile; while zerglings are very fast, very numerous and can surround siege tanks very easily. The reality is a couple siege tanks is enough to ward off zerglings due to hitting first and having splash.

No, that's bad theorycrafting. It doesn't take into account known factors, like the actual damage value of ST shots, the Hp of Zerglings, etc. You've concocted a strawman that proves nothing.

Oh, and Zerglings are quite decent against Siege Tanks in practice. It's the stuff in front of the Siege Tanks that makes it hard for them to take it out.

Norfindel
12-09-2009, 03:34 PM
Overkill and wasted shots. The first few Hellions that the Hydras see will be shot at by the Hydralisks in their first volley. However, since the player isn't directly microing each Hydralisk attack, the Hydras will overkill several units: more Hydras will fire on a single Hellion than are needed to kill it. Hydras in SC2 aren't hitscan anymore.

Hellions have enough speed that the Hydralisks second volley, which may be more spread out and optimal, will be concurrent with the Hellion's first attack.

So the Hellions only lose maybe 2 units getting close. Considering the cheap cost of Hellions and the fact that they're double-pumpable, this is a minor loss compared to roasting a batch of Hydralisks.
With the Hydralisk shooting speed, you won't notice any difference. It's not like the Hydras are all placed at exactly the same distance, and are shooting synchronized.

Dragoons or Reavers have slow projectile speed, and can waste a lot of firepower in dead units, but the Hydralisk?

Raisk
12-09-2009, 09:11 PM
So the Hellions only lose maybe 2 units getting close. Considering the cheap cost of Hellions and the fact that they're double-pumpable, this is a minor loss compared to roasting a batch of Hydralisks.

Which actually makes Roaches a useful counter. Having them between the Hellions and Hydras, means the Roaches get some shots off in defence and as a consequence the Hydras live longer.

This actually makes me think the Roach should potentially change it's bonus against light to a bonus against mechanical targets. This would make it a more useful option vs terran mech builds and vs mechanical protoss units such as stalkers.

Nicol Bolas
12-09-2009, 09:34 PM
This actually makes me think the Roach should potentially change it's bonus against light to a bonus against mechanical targets.

Or ya know, acid spores. That would effectively do the same, except also help other units.

Krikkitone
12-09-2009, 11:02 PM
A Roach bonus v. mechanical would be great since
1) There are no v. mechanical bonuses
2) A Roach with high armor would do well v. Zerglings meaning Hydralisks would be the counter

So
To fix the Roach
1. Give it a good armor (countering Zerglings, Reapers, Marines, slightly Zealots)
2. Give it a decent dps with a bonus to mechanical (differentiating it from the Ultralisk which is better v. very small units+buildings, the Roach would be good against the usually larger mechanical units)
3. give it a decent speed, hp and size

This way the Roach would counter.. because the Roach is ()
Zerglings (armor+ranged)
Banelings (not light.. regen works against splash)
Ultras (regen works against splash)
Marines (armor)
Reaper (not light + armor)
Hellion (not light, anti-mech)
Zealot? (armor+ranged)
Disrupter (anti-mech.. ability to 'hold choke point' with regen+armor)
Stalker (anti-mech).. although Zerglings would probably be better

And get countered by.. because They are ()
Lurkers (anti-armor.. although splash effect would be reduced)
Hydras (anti-armor)
Marauders (anti-armor)
Tanks ? (high damage..anti-armor)
Thors ? (high damage)
Archons (anti-bio, not mechanical.. although splash would be reduced)
Immortals (high damage, able to avoid bonus damage with hardened shield..probably)

And give them a Level 3 ability upgrade to move slowly while burrowed [give the upgrade to Lurkers too]

MattII
12-09-2009, 11:13 PM
Actually, it's probably not going to be that good against Stalkers due to being outranged and Blink, and not much better vs. Disruptors, since they can FF it and then sit back and drill it with their anti-bio bonus continuous beams. Also, Reapers can hit it with D-8s (about 3 will kill it).

Aldrius
12-09-2009, 11:31 PM
and not much better vs. Disruptors, since they can FF it and then sit back and drill it with their anti-bio bonus continuous beams.

I highly doubt that'll work. Disruptor damage is pretty low, even with the bonus and Roaches can burrow.


It's the mass of them that makes the dangerous, plus the fact that they take a lot of killing.

Makes it dangerous, makes it pretty damn powerful. I'd say the fact that it's so powerfully offensively and defensively puts it into 'potentially overpowered' territory.

It can't have both regeneration AND Acid Spores.

And I think if I had to choose between those two, I'd go with regeneration. Easily. That's not to say I'm against a Zerg ground unit with Acid Spores at tier 1/2, I just think flavour and art-wise, that shouldn't be the Roach.


No, that's bad theorycrafting.

So few people have played this game that we still barely know anything about it. We have NO clue what a reasonable number of units in a Hydralisk army is versus what a reasonable number of units in a Hellion army is. We have no idea what kind of DPS a Hydralisk army can do to a force of Hellions. Especially when considering Spawn Larvae and the Reactor. There are so many unaccounted variables.

Granted saying this makes me a hypocrite, but I think we should be clear on the terms of this discussion. It's all very preliminary. Very little of this is absolute.

MattII
12-10-2009, 12:50 AM
I highly doubt that'll work. Disruptor damage is pretty low, even with the bonus and Roaches can burrow.

Disruptors do 10 +3 vs. bio, which is low, but they do it continuously, so it stacks. Also, burrowing isn't going to work brilliantly because by the time you have enough Roaches to be a threat the other guy is going to have a couple of observers around, and besides, if they have to burrow they aren't getting their hits in.

Nicol Bolas
12-10-2009, 01:23 AM
It can't have both regeneration AND Acid Spores.

Why not? Several people have said this. And except for the supposedly unprecedented nature of a unit with two passive abilities, what is wrong with this?


I just think flavour and art-wise, that shouldn't be the Roach.

But we're talking about gameplay.


We have NO clue what a reasonable number of units in a Hydralisk army is versus what a reasonable number of units in a Hellion army is.

We know the costs of the units. In particular, Hydralisks cost gas and Hellions don't. Getting a good stream of gas in SC2, the kind needed to produce Hydras constantly from a Queen-spawned Hatchery, requires 2x the number of workers as in SC1. A Terran intent on pumping Hellions can work only one gas mine and keep up with production, or work two initially to produce the first Factories+Reactors, then cut gas entirely.

So while we may not have exact numbers, we certainly have enough information to make reasonable estimates.


We have no idea what kind of DPS a Hydralisk army can do to a force of Hellions.

We have videos that show, at that time, the Hydralisk's attack speed. We know it's damage at the time was 8+4 vs. Armored. That's all you need to know to calculate the DPS of an army of X Hydralisks.


Disruptors do 10 +3 vs. bio, which is low, but they do it continuously, so it stacks.

Nonsense. All any "beam" attack is is just a visual effect. The actual attack works just like any other: do damage, cooldown. Repeat as needed.

Aldrius
12-10-2009, 01:48 AM
Why not? Several people have said this. And except for the supposedly unprecedented nature of a unit with two passive abilities, what is wrong with this?

Makes the unit more complicated, pulls it in two completely different directions (particularly when one ability is defensive in nature and one is offensive), among other things. Not necessarily bad things, but they're concerns, and there's a REASON there's no prescedent for a combat unit with two distinctly different abilities. (Unless you count the Disruptor I suppose, but I think of that as more of a combat/caster hybrid. That doesn't really apply to the Roach.)


But we're talking about gameplay.

We're talking about both. The two are not mutually exclusive by any means.


So while we may not have exact numbers, we certainly have enough information to make reasonable estimates.

So what are those estimates exactly? We've both been pretty vague about estimated number of units we're dealing with here. How many Hellions are baring down on how many Hydralisks exactly, do you estimate?


We have videos that show, at that time, the Hydralisk's attack speed. We know it's damage at the time was 8+4 vs. Armored. That's all you need to know to calculate the DPS of an army of X Hydralisks.

There's pathing, there's the map pool, there are so many other factors that aren't being considered.

Krikkitone
12-10-2009, 02:13 AM
Actually, it's probably not going to be that good against Stalkers due to being outranged and Blink, and not much better vs. Disruptors, since they can FF it and then sit back and drill it with their anti-bio bonus continuous beams. Also, Reapers can hit it with D-8s (about 3 will kill it).
Well I agree on stalkers, but the FF+D8s
1. can be avoided (last I checked D-8s didn't stick to units)
2. are temporary
3. take a while before 'recharge'

MattII
12-10-2009, 02:33 AM
Nonsense. All any "beam" attack is is just a visual effect. The actual attack works just like any other: do damage, cooldown. Repeat as needed.

Well yes, there's no other way to do it, but the 'continuous' bit affects at least targeting (the unit continues to target that one unit) as well as the animation, and I suspect the cooldown is a bit lower as well.


Well I agree on stalkers, but the FF+D8s
1. can be avoided (last I checked D-8s didn't stick to units)
2. are temporary
3. take a while before 'recharge'

Well you specifically mentioned using it against Disruptors while in chokes, so FF is a viable argument, and even if it was 50 energy they can still pop off a couple each while half-way charged. You're right about the D-8s though I'd forgotten that they didn't stick to stuff.

Triceron
12-10-2009, 02:52 AM
An offensive ability compliments a defensive one perfectly. There are very few units that have multiple offensive abilities/passives, and when they do they're usually glass cannons. The roach is a tank, and it has to stay competitive with other units that can dish out damage.

Bonus to Mechanical is interesting, but confusing. I don't understand completely why it would need bonus to mechanical, since this unit isn't exactly a counter to Mech, and most Mechanical units are actually Roach killers (Siege Tank, Thor, Immortal). The only units it would be better against are disrupters, stalkers, hellions and perhaps vikings. This doesn't really give the roach a clear role by doing extra damage to these units.

Nicol Bolas
12-10-2009, 03:04 AM
pulls it in two completely different directions (particularly when one ability is defensive in nature and one is offensive)

So is the linear AoE of the Ultralisk pulling it in a different direction from its high Hp? Or is it just an effective compliment to its toughness, making it more dangerous overall?

Regen isn't about offensive/defensive. It's a way of giving a unit more effective Hp. But unlike actual Hp, it's not as reliable.

A unit with 300 Hp always has 300Hp (until you attack it, of course). You know that, to kill it, you must deal 300Hp worth of damage to it.

A Roach, on the other had, has a variable number of Hp due to regen. If you deal damage to it one way, you may never kill it. If you deal damage to it in another way, it may have effectively 500Hp. If you deal damage to it quickly, it only has maybe 175Hp.

Regen isn't about offensive or defensive. It's about what it takes to kill a unit. Regen, like Hardened Shields on Immortals, is a way of making a unit harder to kill without resorting to increasing its base Hp.

Also, I find the distinction between damage styles and passive abilities to be a false one. A unit can have massive bonuses to damage for certain unit types, and that is never considered a passive ability. But something as simply as increasing the Hp regeneration rate of a unit (particularly when all other units have natural Hp regeneration anyway) is considered something special. Something that a unit can only have one of.

Regen and acid spores compliment each other. Regen alone isn't enough reason to attack a Roach. And a simple damage buff doesn't combine well with other units. Acid spores make a Roach dangerous to the enemy, and thus worthy of enemy fire. At which point Regen kicks in and makes the Roach tougher.

Lastly, if Regen isn't helpful, it can be removed. But it should only be removed if it doesn't prove to be helpful.


There's pathing, there's the map pool, there are so many other factors that aren't being considered.

If the only way for the Roach to work is if it is in a very specific piece of terrain, then it's not a worthwhile unit. Ultralisks, Lurkers, Zerglings, etc, none of these units are bound to terrain. They can get better with different terrain. But a Lurker is powerful even in open terrain.

If Roaches have to be in a specific piece of terrain, then they're not going to get used. Or else map makers will have to design all maps to constantly feature this terrain.

In short, terrain shouldn't be used to balance things at this stage of the game. All units should have at least some viability regardless of terrain.

MattII
12-10-2009, 03:27 AM
Frankly, I wouldn't mind dropping the Roach, and transferring the regen bonus to the Ultralisk (and dropping the thing's hp by 100-200).

RamiZ
12-10-2009, 07:17 AM
Frankly, I wouldn't mind dropping the Roach, and transferring the regen bonus to the Ultralisk (and dropping the thing's hp by 100-200).

Ultra would be too Strong then. Even with 300-400 HP with good regen he is much stronger than with 500-600 HP. Ultras already have high armor, 6 exactly, or 5(don't know in SC2), which makes fully upgraded Marines to damage him for 4 damage, or 3, even worse...

If you give him regen of 5 or 10 hp/sec, he would be pretty much unstoppable. Together with Cleave vs units, and Headbutt attack vs buildings...

Krikkitone
12-10-2009, 08:52 AM
Well yes, there's no other way to do it, but the 'continuous' bit affects at least targeting (the unit continues to target that one unit) as well as the animation, and I suspect the cooldown is a bit lower as well.



Well you specifically mentioned using it against Disruptors while in chokes, so FF is a viable argument, and even if it was 50 energy they can still pop off a couple each while half-way charged. You're right about the D-8s though I'd forgotten that they didn't stick to stuff.

Well I mentioned it with disrupters while 'in chokes' because I was talking about the chokes the disrupters made (because Roaches would do well in chokes)
Basically the Roaches need just
a bump to dps, and a decent speed to make them competitive and a
role enhancer of + to armor (a base of 2 or 3 with an additional +2 armor upgrade at level 3). (so the roach can laugh at massive numbers of Tier I units)
Possibly add the ability to move very Slowly while burrowed as a Level 3 upgrade.

deadlock
12-10-2009, 10:59 AM
tl;dr: Roaches aren't good tankers because they aren't dangerous to anything. Give them a large bonus vs. armored units to make them dangerous.

yo i actually read your post and i sincerely disagree. i think you underestimate the usefulness of regeneration and what people will do with it. i think you can compare it to the use of gargoyles in wc3. gargoyles have the shittiest damage ever but undead players use them (at least they did, haven't played in a while) against night elf because a) they're mobile and can disrupt lumber harvesting but importantly b) they can stone form to regen really quickly.

high regen rewards micro, and even with shitty damage can make for a pretty useful unit. i reckon if you gave them acid spores they would be hella imba since by dodging and attacking you could essentially cover the enemy in spores for extended periods without actually losing any roaches. i don't even think they're meant to be tanks BECAUSE they actually require micro. i mean you should be able to attack click your tanks and then micro your dps (i.e what you do with ultralisks). also they're ranged and that makes for a weird tank. of course, they could still tank effectively for hydralisks if the zerg player kept the hydras mobile so the enemy bumped into the roaches whilst chasing and was exposed to their attack.

at most i would recommend increasing their damage if they're not sufficiently powerful, or increasing regen to make them even better harassers. acid spores are too much bro.

RamiZ
12-10-2009, 01:07 PM
i think you underestimate the usefulness of regeneration and what people will do with it. i think you can compare it to the use of gargoyles in wc3. gargoyles have the shittiest damage ever but undead players use them (at least they did, haven't played in a while) against night elf because a) they're mobile and can disrupt lumber harvesting but importantly b) they can stone form to regen really quickly.
Being a player that played WC3 TFT for 4 Years I really disagree with this, especially cause I am Undead player myself.

Gargoyles were never used cause of Stone Form. And their Stone Form were used only for one thing, and that is to dispel Panda's Drunken Haze. Gargoyles are used vs Night Elves cause they do Piercing damage, and can't be focused just like Mutalisks in SC.

Most of Night Elves' units got Unarmored armor that takes extra damage from Piercing. Also you don't even have to Upgrade Stone Form since you need to have only one Opsidian Statue, that is tier 2 unit, to have same regen without stone form. You are right about one thing, they are the best Harassers Undead race has, but trust me in half of those games, where Night Elf player didn't get Panda, you didn't even upgrade Stone Form.

Gargoyles don't have shitty damage at all, especially on unarmored units. It has much better damage than Ghoul for sure, and it attacks faster and are more mobile than buggy Crypt Fiends. Beside, all Undead creatures got one way or another of regen, but you still see one unit, and it don't use regen that much overall in game.

MattII
12-10-2009, 01:52 PM
Well I mentioned it with disrupters while 'in chokes' because I was talking about the chokes the disrupters made (because Roaches would do well in chokes)
Basically the Roaches need just
a bump to dps, and a decent speed to make them competitive and a
role enhancer of + to armor (a base of 2 or 3 with an additional +2 armor upgrade at level 3). (so the roach can laugh at massive numbers of Tier I units)
Possibly add the ability to move very Slowly while burrowed as a Level 3 upgrade.

This is a unit that costs 100 minerals flat, you start adding stuff like this and the price is going to skyrocket.


Ultra would be too Strong then. Even with 300-400 HP with good regen he is much stronger than with 500-600 HP. Ultras already have high armor, 6 exactly, or 5(don't know in SC2), which makes fully upgraded Marines to damage him for 4 damage, or 3, even worse...

If you give him regen of 5 or 10 hp/sec, he would be pretty much unstoppable. Together with Cleave vs units, and Headbutt attack vs buildings...

Oh no, you have to go metal to take it down, how terrible[/sarcasm]. Seriously, do you really think that losing a third of your hp is worth a regen of 5 or even 10 hp/sec when you're going up against metal?

Nicol Bolas
12-10-2009, 01:57 PM
This is a unit that costs 100 minerals flat, you start adding stuff like this and the price is going to skyrocket.

Right now, the Roach isn't actually worth 100 minerals. So giving it additional properties is entirely reasonable without increasing its cost.

MattII
12-10-2009, 02:06 PM
Right now, the Roach isn't actually worth 100 minerals. So giving it additional properties is entirely reasonable without increasing its cost.

Not too many though, because the Siege Tank has fewer hp, but costs 200/150, so it would probably be better for the Roach to trade some hp for damage and speed.

RamiZ
12-10-2009, 02:30 PM
Oh no, you have to go metal to take it down, how terrible[/sarcasm]. Seriously, do you really think that losing a third of your hp is worth a regen of 5 or even 10 hp/sec when you're going up against metal?
Ultras were already fearful in SC1. Bio/Metal combo have hard time vs Lings/Ultras combo. And they manage to kill Ultras cause Tanks are doing enough damage to weaken it, and then Marines are finishing the Job, or your Irradiate weakens them, and then again, Marines finish the job. Tanks weren't one that was killing the Ultras, Marines did. Especially cause you didn't have many Tanks in Bio/Metal combo.

Now you are suggesting to give regen to the Ultras that are now 2 times stronger, so Marines will deal NO damage, but you are thinking that weaker Tanks will stop them? Seriously, WHAT THE F*CK?!

Yeah you can go pure Metal, but you can't switch from units to units with Terrans like you can do with Zergs...

Triceron
12-10-2009, 02:55 PM
Ultras have huge armor/HP, deal a massive amount of damage now (considering its splash), can burrow, and now you want to give it high regen?

I wouldn't say that's a small impact, even against Terran metal. Burrow for a few seconds and you're going to regen 100 hp in 20 seconds with 5/s regen. Considering the amount of armor an Ultra has, that can go a LONG way. You don't make just one Ultra, this is Zerg we're talking about. We're going to see about 6 at a time for a nice push, and they can last quite a while with decent enough micro.

The reason fast regen works on Roach is because they're relatively low HP units that are counterable. Ultras aren't quickly countered if they have regen abilites. I would only allow this if every race had easily available crowd-control spells like banish.

MattII
12-10-2009, 03:11 PM
Ultras have huge armor/HP, deal a massive amount of damage now (considering its splash), can burrow, and now you want to give it high regen?

Did you read the bit where I want to drop it to 400 hp?


I wouldn't say that's a small impact, even against Terran metal. Burrow for a few seconds and you're going to regen 100 hp in 20 seconds with 5/s regen. Considering the amount of armor an Ultra has, that can go a LONG way. You don't make just one Ultra, this is Zerg we're talking about. We're going to see about 6 at a time for a nice push, and they can last quite a while with decent enough micro.

This being a time when the Terran have Ravens and the Protoss Observers, burrowing is going to be counter-productive. also, at 5 hp/sec, even a single ST is going to do 240 damage in that time as the Ultra regenerates 100.

Pandonetho
12-10-2009, 03:28 PM
Did you read the bit where I want to drop it to 400 hp?

Have you watched SC1? Have you seen how just a few Ultralisks can already destroy entire armies of infantry? Did you see SC2? Did you see how Ultralisks seem to be spammed in every game we see involving them, on a larger scale than SC1 was? I'm pretty sure dropping their HP down to 400, and then giving them Regen is going to make them imbalanced. It will either be too powerful against infantry, or too useless against Siege weaponry. What are you going to do, have it regen at 5 HP a second where it will be completely useless against siege tanks and other high damage units? Well don't bother increasing it either, as it's just going to be rigged against units like the marine that already do only a couple points of damage.

Krikkitone
12-10-2009, 05:08 PM
This is a unit that costs 100 minerals flat, you start adding stuff like this and the price is going to skyrocket.


Basically increase Armor, and make some of the damage anti-mech
Do those to increase its specialization of some mid/early units (excepting Hydralisk, Marauder, probably Stalker with Range +Speed)
Keep a fairly high regen to keep it unique.
keep it slightly toward the fast side (probably after it has an upgrade.. that brings it from somewhat slow to somewhat fast) This allows it some minimal raiding possibilites.

keeping the cheap price, find the right hp-dps balance to make it
1. competitive
2. worth targeting
3. tankish (so towards the hp side)

Because its Regen decreases in importance as the game goes on,
Give it both a regen boost and an armor boost late game (Tier 3)

Burrow while moving would be good for late game too, but I can understand Not having it.

MattII
12-10-2009, 05:20 PM
So there is absolutely no possibility of say, decreasing the hp to bring those somewhat in line with comparably costing units like the Hellion? I'm sorry, this is now just too poweful for its cost.

n00bonicPlague
12-10-2009, 05:22 PM
I'm confused about something.

Are we discussing what Blizzard wants the Roach to do and how it is failing miserably or what we as fans want it to do and how it needs to be done?

ArcherofAiur
12-10-2009, 05:30 PM
We are complaining without any real idea of how the roach works in Starcraft 2. But dont worry, next month is "The Mutalisk Problem".

DemolitionSquid
12-10-2009, 05:36 PM
The Roach is an early game micro tank. It was created for two reasons: to add the hyper regen gimick to the game, and to be a support unit. It is failing at the second goal because the first is not being utilized properly. Its not that hard to understand.

ArcherofAiur
12-10-2009, 05:39 PM
See we dont even need Beta. People here already know everything about the game and exactly whats wrong.

DemolitionSquid
12-10-2009, 05:42 PM
Thank you Lead Designer Demosquid.

You're welcome, Quasimodo.

n00bonicPlague
12-10-2009, 05:49 PM
http://www.thesuperelitesaiyan.zoomshare.com/album/Uploading.....Frollo/images/9c24c78aeaad7baac2ecd26e51e95638_11479786240/image.jpg

Triceron
12-10-2009, 05:51 PM
Dropping the Ultra to 400 HP and giving it regen, why? Because the Ultra is not serving its purpose, or 'just cause'?

The Ultra itself has no real problems, so it doesn't need this change. I mean you might as well drop the armor bonuses and make them 'immune to damage under 20'.

MattII
12-10-2009, 05:57 PM
Fair enough, it was just a proposal that would allow us to dump the roach and maybe replace it with something decent (and I don't like the idea of a giant elephant having more hp than everything up to a Battleship).

Nicol Bolas
12-10-2009, 06:21 PM
it was just a proposal that would allow us to dump the roach and maybe replace it with something decent

Replacing the Roach is not predicated on finding a new home for Regen.

Quirel
12-10-2009, 07:21 PM
The Roach is an early game micro tank. It was created for two reasons: to add the hyper regen gimick to the game, and to be a support unit. It is failing at the second goal because the first is not being utilized properly. Its not that hard to understand.
So, you're saying there is a proper way to utilize regen?

I would honestly like to hear this, because I rather like the concept.

Triceron
12-10-2009, 07:24 PM
He meant Regen is useless because Roaches aren't being attacked/targetted. They're being ignored and/or picked off one by one after the major threat is done.

What's the use of giving a unit high regen when it isn't being attacked?

ArcherofAiur
12-10-2009, 07:35 PM
He meant Regen is useless because Roaches aren't being attacked/targetted. They're being ignored and/or picked off one by one after the major threat is done.

What's the use of giving a unit high regen when it isn't being attacked?

Mass Roaches instead of Zerglings. They only cost 100 minerals.

DemolitionSquid
12-10-2009, 08:06 PM
Mass Roaches instead of Zerglings. They only cost 100 minerals.

In which case, why the hell have we kept the Zergling?

Now there's a plan. Scrap the Zergling, keep the Roach.

Quirel
12-10-2009, 08:18 PM
In which case, why the hell have we kept the Zergling?

Now there's a plan. Scrap the Zergling, keep the Roach.
*gasp!*
Unthinkable!

Triceron
12-10-2009, 08:30 PM
Mass Roaches instead of Zerglings. They only cost 100 minerals.

Ha... Ahaha... Ahahahahaha!

Caliban113
12-10-2009, 08:50 PM
Thats right, I forget the Roach does not cost any gas - - if we do give the Roach an added ability....say.....Acid spores :) there should be some gas cost - I mean, the Marauder is currently 100/25 right now (?) That sounds about right.


.

Krikkitone
12-11-2009, 12:51 AM
That's it... make the Roach The Zerg Tier 1 unit, 75 minerals, melee unit with the hp a little bit more than marine 60-80 and regen.... It can morph into 2 Banelings once you upgrade the roach warren to the Baneling nest. :)

Zerglings can be replaced by Broodlings, that are shot by the Tier 2 land based Breeder (range 6, requires spawning pool which requires Lair)... The Breeder then can upgrade to the Broodlord at Tier 3... extend the life of the Broodlings to something like 15-20 sec. allow them to do decent damage on their own if you don't kill them, and reduce the 'impact' damage.

phazonjunkie
12-11-2009, 12:58 AM
My God Nicol what have you done?!

Do you realize the pandora's box you've opened with this thread?!
DemolitionSquid would be put to shame.

flabortast
12-11-2009, 01:21 AM
Ultralisk isn't just a tank unit anymore. It actually kills things by the dozens now. I don't see the sc2 Ultra to be tank anymore. It's more like badass rape things in the ground by dozens unit.

Nicol Bolas
12-11-2009, 02:41 AM
That's it... make the Roach The Zerg Tier 1 unit, 75 minerals, melee unit with the hp a little bit more than marine 60-80 and regen....

So let me make sure I get this right.

You want to remove the Zergling and swap it with a weakened form of the Roach. But it's still the base Zerg unit. It has low Hp for cost (75 minerals buys you 3 Zerglings, with combined health of 105. 2/3rds of a Zealot is ~100), is melee, but it has regen. And presumably, these things do not spawn in pairs.

So out goes the Zerg's swarming nature. With their most basic unit coming one at a time, you're just not going to see the hoards that they used to have.

Second, this regen had better suck. If it's enough to matter in low-unit combat, a fast "6-Warren" build will rape the hell out of anything. Remember: early unit play may only involve 2 Zealots at this point. And Zerg units are built by larva, so many come out at once. Even if Roach regen can't directly overpower 2 Zealots in damage, how easy would it be to micro the Roach being attacked away, while another one moves in to attack?

And if the regen is low enough that 2 Zealots can reasonably overpower it, that's not much of a regen. It certainly won't mean a damn to late Tier 1 or Tier 2 units.

Regen is not a legitimate mechanic for a basic unit. Zerglings are essentially built around two very simple things: speed and damage. They're fast and they hurt things. If you want to replace them, then they need to be replaced with a unit that is equally simple, but in different ways.

Triceron
12-11-2009, 03:00 AM
Lets make the roach have climb cliffs too

RamiZ
12-11-2009, 07:02 AM
Ultralisk isn't just a tank unit anymore. It actually kills things by the dozens now. I don't see the sc2 Ultra to be tank anymore. It's more like badass rape things in the ground by dozens unit.

That doesn't mean he isn't a tank. Thors also tanks and do great damage, Battle Cruisers also tanks with defensive matrix upgrade, but still do 64 damage per volley.

ArcherofAiur
12-11-2009, 09:40 AM
In which case, why the hell have we kept the Zergling?

Now there's a plan. Scrap the Zergling, keep the Roach.
The roach and zergling are different. They have different pros and cons depending upon many factors.

DemolitionSquid
12-11-2009, 04:55 PM
The roach and zergling are different. They have different pros and cons depending upon many factors...

... with their current stats.

Right now, with the current stats, Zerglings do twice the damage, and Roaches can take more than triple the damage for double the cost. The only differences between the Roach and the Zergling are range vs melee and hyper regen vs normal regen.

I can't see any reason the Roach couldn't easily replace the Zergling altogether. Except, of course, for Banelings.

And just so its clear, I don't support this idea, but I'm putting it out there as a possible tide changer.

ArcherofAiur
12-11-2009, 05:40 PM
The Roach should drain health like a vampire.

Draco
12-11-2009, 07:11 PM
The Roach should drain health like a vampire.

If anyone has played Demigod, Lord Erebus needs to be in this game. High Templar could use a Vampiric Bite. Possibly the Roach/Lurker?

Krikkitone
12-11-2009, 08:06 PM
So let me make sure I get this right.

You want to remove the Zergling and swap it with a weakened form of the Roach. But it's still the base Zerg unit. It has low Hp for cost (75 minerals buys you 3 Zerglings, with combined health of 105. 2/3rds of a Zealot is ~100), is melee, but it has regen. And presumably, these things do not spawn in pairs.

So out goes the Zerg's swarming nature. With their most basic unit coming one at a time, you're just not going to see the hoards that they used to have.

Second, this regen had better suck. If it's enough to matter in low-unit combat, a fast "6-Warren" build will rape the hell out of anything. Remember: early unit play may only involve 2 Zealots at this point. And Zerg units are built by larva, so many come out at once. Even if Roach regen can't directly overpower 2 Zealots in damage, how easy would it be to micro the Roach being attacked away, while another one moves in to attack?

And if the regen is low enough that 2 Zealots can reasonably overpower it, that's not much of a regen. It certainly won't mean a damn to late Tier 1 or Tier 2 units.

Regen is not a legitimate mechanic for a basic unit. Zerglings are essentially built around two very simple things: speed and damage. They're fast and they hurt things. If you want to replace them, then they need to be replaced with a unit that is equally simple, but in different ways.

You balance out the Regen with a low hp... only 50-70 hp and a regen of say 5/sec. Decrease the dps a bit to balance.

Or possibly Regen starts out normal, give them some decent hp in that case... but

The Regen and/or Total Hp then gets upgraded later in the game at Tier 2 and another upgrade of a similar type at Tier 3.

Admittedly it overall makes them similar to a Zealot... Tough to kill


and Banelings are easy... 1 Roach +X minerals and Y Gas->2 Banelings (a Larva isn't the only thing that can pop 2)

Triceron
12-11-2009, 08:14 PM
Come to think of it, banelings from roaches does have an appeal to it.

I mean you attack some guy's base, you have zerglings, if you take out the threat, you're gonna continue attacking their buildings with zerglings. You have no reason to make banelings.

If you fought a battle wtih mixed forces and only had roaches left surviving the battle, you could opt to spawn banelings to deal some massive damage while you're ahead, maybe take out a building. It would also feel good spawning 2 banelings per roach.

phazonjunkie
12-11-2009, 08:34 PM
I'm not sure if anybody's suggested this, but instead of regen, what if the roach had an ability that was more in line with it's namesake? You know how roaches seem to have this uncanny ability to pop up someplace else just when you were almost positive you'd stepped on it?

In line with that, how about, instead of regen the roach had a passive ability that was similar to the 'mechanical rebirth ability that the thor used to have? After it's hp is completely depleted, it's 'corpse' would remain for a few seconds before it respawns. During that time enemy troops would no longer attack it unless specifically ordered to. Perhaps the roach would be able to do this indefinitely, or only once or twice depending on balance.

I don't know, it could give extra incentive to attack the roach since you know it they'll just keep coming back unless you go out of your way to ensure they don't.