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Geezy
01-08-2010, 12:06 PM
I've been thinking of some ways to make these new SC2 macro mechanics more useful and strategic. As I read here, http://sclegacy.com/feature/9-contributor/508-proton-charge-the-potentially-game-breaking-mechanic, in the part titled "Factor 5", there is a problem regarding ability competition for these new macro-casters (the lack of equality between abilities, making one significantly more viable than the others). Regarding the queen's "ability competition", I was wondering what more knowledgeable people might have to say about some ideas I had.

The problem I have with the queen is: you might as well just have the hatcheries have a button you click to spawn extra larva in 40 seconds, because she's really just useful for this and sits at home performing this task. So what's the point of having a queen? The idea behind the queen is to make macro more interactive and strategical, instead of just constant, redundant production of probes. But the queen needs more versatility and purpose to fullfill this role. As of now, she's an excuse to have people doing some things back at their base, turning the macro into the same old same old.

So my idea is to make the queen more active in macroing. My idea is to give the queen the ability to cast larva on any creep, not just on a hatchery. I don't know if this has been done, or how much this has been discussed, but bear with me. The point of this would be to keep her from being just some hatchery add-on. Instead of being a one dimensional, superficial macro unit, she would be a versatile macro/micro unit. She could cast creep tumor anywhere, then make units on any of this permanent creep. (Also it might be useful to change the Transfusion ability into something more versatile and/or useful). I should also add that for this to work, the queen would need to be made more mobile for her to even be able to accomplish any of these tasks.

Perhaps using creep tumor, then making some larva on it, would be too slow and obvious to be useful. So another idea is to allow the queen to spawn larva anywhere, regardless of creep. I wonder if this would be too powerful, but the additional harassment, scouting, army composition possibities would be very interesting, and would lead to more versatility and activity in the unit. It would just require a lot of balancing.

Also, this new form of Spawn Larva (which would be like "Mutant Larva" from earlier in development) would make Creep Tumor a less viable spell, because the queen would be too busy laying larva at the two bases. So another idea is to make Creep Tumor a somewhat expensive Drone ability, and give the Queen an ability to aid fighters and/or workers. Maybe a spell which causes eggs to finish more quickly. This would make the transitioning from base to army less costly.

Ultimately though, the issue is this: make the macro-casters have a much more active role.

What do you guys think?

ArcherofAiur
01-08-2010, 12:12 PM
Macro! Ok since this is a copy of the TL thread ill ctrl paste my suggestion.


Zerg Queen
Spawn Larva
Creep Tumor
Hyper Evolution Virus: 10X research speed for current upgrade


(Transfusion goes on Overseer as AoE heal)



The key is that the more tension you put on Spawn Larva (by funneling energy into say this Hyper Evolution Virus) the more limited SL becomes. This means you have to make increased decisions about where to best cast SL. For instance (and this is an extreme example) say youve limited half your energy resource such that you can only keep half your hatcheries Spawn Larva filled. Do you want them to Spawn at your expansion hatcheries close to the front lines or your base hatcheries? How do factors like Nydus worms and the buildings where your casting Hyper Evolution Virus play into this decision?

Geezy
01-08-2010, 12:15 PM
It's not a copy, but thank you for reading it so thoroughly. It's a revised version of what I wrote on TL, with some major corrections and addendums. What do you think of the ability to quicken the speed with which eggs are hatched? It's similar to your suggestion, but goes along with the idea of being able to use Spawn Larva more offensively. (This all depends upon balancing and improving the queen speed of course.)

Edit: Also I posted it here because Chill closed the thread because "There's no choice," and "It's all been discussed already." I figured this might be a less pretentious group of people. To get feedback from and discuss this with.

ArcherofAiur
01-08-2010, 12:24 PM
Edit: Also I posted it here because Chill closed the thread because "There's no choice," and "It's all been discussed already." I figured this might be a less pretentious group of people. To get feedback from and discuss this with.

I think the thing you should be prepared for is to defend your arguement from those kind of statements. For instance how do you answer Chills statement that there's no choice.

P.S. Labeling an entire community "pretentious" is never a good idea. Especially when many members here carry dual citizenship.

Geezy
01-08-2010, 12:34 PM
Well if the shoe fits, wear it. Many people on TeamLiquid are pretentious, especially the moderators and old school members. Sorry if that bothers you.

I don't need a lesson in rhetoric. I'd rather you just respond to my question and discuss macro, since that's what this is about.

Regarding how to respond to an argument like, "There's no choice." I don't even know what the hell that means. It's vague and could apply to anything on the subject of macro casters or what I had to say about the queen.

MattII
01-08-2010, 12:42 PM
10x is way too much IMO, and I'd prefer a speed upgrade be applied to eggs instead (say 2x), which I feel would add to the 'swarming' image of the Zerg, and maybe buildings (say 1.5x).

ArcherofAiur
01-08-2010, 03:13 PM
10x is way too much IMO, and I'd prefer a speed upgrade be applied to eggs instead (say 2x), which I feel would add to the 'swarming' image of the Zerg, and maybe buildings (say 1.5x).

Hmmm a queen ability that speeds up unit production and adds to the swarming image of the zerg. Why hasnt anyone thought of that before :p

Triceron
01-08-2010, 04:09 PM
What's the point though? Queens will be positioned near buildings regardless, not at the front of battle. Anywhere there is creep there will be a hatchery relatively close by.

Unit production is done at base. Zerg don't have a need to create units in battle, so it's not really going to add much to Zerg's game to bring overlords and queens to spawn a few larvae in/near the enemy's base. If they wanted that kind of mechanic, they would have kept Nydus Worms.

RE: Hyper Evolution Virus

What do you think the reason is that all research and tech requires time? They could all be instantly researched given you have the economy to do so.

Research time is designed to pace gameplay, so that you can't get to tier 3 i n the first minute of gameplay. Even rushing tech is a tradeoff to being able to make an army, since there is risk in being attacked while you're teching or researching some evolution. Making researches go faster through a spell is a bad idea because it's breaking the core reason why they have a cooldown in the first place. To top it off, it's not a valued ability if you've maxed out all the researchable abilities you want.


Here's my take on a Queen Ability

Aggregation Pheromones

Use - Casted on Drones using AoE template, affected Drones glow red and are Empowered
Effect - Empowers drones to increasing their movement, attack and harvesting speed. Halts regeneration for duration. 'Militia' ability for Zerg. Lasts 15 seconds.

Applicable for both resource collection and as a defense mechanism against early rushes. Worker surround is a key deterrant for Zerg, this ability would make the Queen a more practical choice early on in the game. This also doubles as a resource macro ability when defense is not an issue.

ArcherofAiur
01-08-2010, 04:19 PM
RE: Hyper Evolution Virus

What do you think the reason is that all research and tech requires time? They could all be instantly researched given you have the economy to do so.

Research time is designed to pace gameplay, so that you can't get to tier 3 i n the first minute of gameplay. Even rushing tech is a tradeoff to being able to make an army, since there is risk in being attacked while you're teching or researching some evolution. Making researches go faster through a spell is a bad idea because it's breaking the core reason why they have a cooldown in the first place. To top it off, it's not a valued ability if you've maxed out all the researchable abilities you want.

What your getting at is time is a resource. Like other resources it serves as a pacing element. What certain macro abilities do is allow you to bend or break these pacing elements.


And yes, like the accelerated mining and unit production and supply boosters they lose value after a certain point. For instance calling down supply isnt much good if your already at 200 supply.

Triceron
01-08-2010, 04:52 PM
Time is a valuable resource for production. Research time is generally static across the board.

Blizzard balances the game pacing by using Research Time. With HEV, the game would have to be balanced with Zerg tech rushing in mind. If you were focused on zealots and hit T2 while the Zerg players tech rushed to T3 Zerglings at the same time, you have absolutely no way to counter that considering you're too behind on tech (Archons, Air, Psi-storm, Colossus). Hell, how would you respond to speedy tech Ultralisks with a handful of zealots and stalkers?

All tech is paced in a way that every time an opponent reaches a certain tech, you are able to catch up and counter. HEV potentially increases this gap between a Zerg player and non-Zerg player, making tier differences difficult to balance.

Speed teching comes at the risk of relying on low tier units to defend while you reach higher tier unit tech. The risk is greatly reduced with HEV.

ArcherofAiur
01-08-2010, 04:57 PM
Time is a valuable resource for production. Research time is generally static across the board.

Blizzard balances the game pacing by using Research Time. With HEV, the game would have to be balanced with Zerg tech rushing in mind. If you were focused on zealots and hit T2 while the Zerg players tech rushed to T3 Zerglings at the same time, you have absolutely no way to counter that considering you're too behind on tech (Archons, Air, Psi-storm, Colossus). Hell, how would you respond to speedy tech Ultralisks with a handful of zealots and stalkers?

All tech is paced in a way that every time an opponent reaches a certain tech, you are able to catch up and counter. HEV potentially increases this gap between a Zerg player and non-Zerg player, making tier differences difficult to balance.

Speed teching comes at the risk of relying on low tier units to defend while you reach higher tier unit tech. The risk is greatly reduced with HEV.


Keep in mind that if balanced correctly you are substituting increased research time for unit production or creep. Also your Ultralisk vs zealot scenario is a ridiculous (but comical) exageration.


Its almost like deja vu. I remember when people were saying "oh we cant have mineral mechanics because it would destroy the pacing". Funny how stuff comes full circle:p

Triceron
01-08-2010, 05:09 PM
It's not a comical exaggeration when your idea involves 10X research speed.

Regarding your second statement, resource mechanics DO affect game pacing. It's a macro player's main advantage over their lack of micro focus.

Pick
01-08-2010, 05:14 PM
TeamLiquid are a bunch of elitists. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I hope to be an elitist in SC2 someday. :)

As for the original poster's suggestion, if the Queen is going to be mobile off of the creep then you need to take her attack away from her. Make her a pure caster with no attack so we are not dealing with Queen rushes. Other than that, then I think it is an interesting thought to make an effort to have her be more than a "hatchery addon".

ArcherofAiur
01-08-2010, 05:22 PM
It's not a comical exaggeration when your idea involves 10X research speed.

All its does is give you a boost for the ultralisk speed. If you still only have stalkers and your opponent has ultralisks than you have bigger problems.


Regarding your second statement, resource mechanics DO affect game pacing. It's a macro player's main advantage over their lack of micro focus.

Yes the point is that people used to say it would destroy the game.




By the way id like to point out the title "Macro-Casters"

don
01-08-2010, 08:04 PM
The problem I have with the queen is: you might as well just have the hatcheries have a button you click to spawn extra larva in 40 seconds, because she's really just useful for this and sits at home performing this task. So what's the point of having a queen? The idea behind the queen is to make macro more interactive and strategical, instead of just constant, redundant production of probes. But the queen needs more versatility and purpose to fullfill this role. As of now, she's an excuse to have people doing some things back at their base, turning the macro into the same old same old.

I could argue that at the point in the game where there are multiple Hatcheries, the queen becomes more interactive and strategical.. But I wont do that because I completely understand what you are trying to point out and I totally agree. Im "ok" with the queen but I do think the Zerg need more. Or, each race needs more.

The macro mechanics of each race should be disrupt-able by their opponents not only by pressure and by out-APM-ing them but by actual attacks to the macro mechanic itself. This is how it becomes more strategic and interactive.

What is making macro "same old" is that it is still constrained to base management. I think it should evolve to strategic location management also.. I think Blizzard should migrate the mechanics to mid-map or proxy points instead of in-base to facilitate interactivity and strategy. They should give us something to defend and attack other than harvesters if we want to disrupt an opponents economy.

The queen should not be doing her thing inside the player's base most of the time. What if instead of having "spawn larva" the queen gets "clone larva"?

She takes a larva from the hatchery and after a certain amount of time, she has 4 larva in her. She then becomes this mobile production unit (probably the same queuing as the barracks?), giving birth to eggs of whatever you mutate in her anywhere in the map and out of creep. (as a balance point, the eggs might be weaker than normal eggs)

It would be essentially the same mechanic, but, strategically the queen would be versatile. If she stays in-base, then its the same mechanic as before. But if she takes it somewhere else, it gives the Zerg proxy strategies.

KadajSouba
01-08-2010, 09:42 PM
Damn this macro discussions get more and more complicated, and the game isnt even out. You tend to turn a simple mechanic into a goddam nightmare.

Everything is just guessing one thing after another, yet u defend them like a religion...

And I like turtles!!!

Geezy
01-09-2010, 09:19 AM
Its almost like deja vu. I remember when people were saying "oh we cant have mineral mechanics because it would destroy the pacing". Funny how stuff comes full circle:p
I wish when you posted things like that, you would also post a picture of yourself donning a monocle and/or smoking a pipe.


don, I like your idea a lot. I imagine dozens of eggs being hatched all over the map, hatching units who proceed to do hit and run tactics, and finally your main army/reinforcements at your base come in to finish the job.

Maybe it's too slow and minimal to be effective after the early stages, as my idea seems to be. I think the point here, though, is not necessarily the exact specifics of the ability, but our (and Blizzard's) motivation: to increase the versatility of all three macro-casters, and of macro strategy in general. Hopefully, despite disagreements, we can remember the importance of that motivation. With the right ideas, a lot of brainstorming and hard work SC2 could become even better than SC1.

KneeofJustice
01-10-2010, 01:14 PM
1) I had an idea once where the queen could "transport" up to x (around 3-6) larvae from any hatchery. Then the queen could lay the larvae and use them to spawn warriors anywhere on the battlefield (maybe just on creep).

2) Anyway, I was also thinking of a new idea where instead of just making units.... what if the larvae could make... larvae? For a price, you can take a larvae and have it spawn 2 or 3 larvae (like lings). It would take time of course, but would have to make sense based on the current spawning time of the hatchery.

So if you want more larvae, you make them out of current larvae! lol i dont know about lore though.

3) Another idea that Ive had that i think has some potential is to give the spawning pool the ability to create larvae.

All the ideas ive had are too complicated or overlap though, so maybe someone can help me.

The idea would be that one spawning pool makes 3 larvae, but at a much slower rate than a hatchery. The advantage is that instead of paying 300 for a hatch, you only have to pay 200.

The rate would be something like: if a hatch and a pool are both at 0 larvae, when the hatch has 3 larvae again, the pool would have 2.1 or 2.3 or something (the third would be building)

And then the role of the queen could be to go back and forth between the hatchery and the spawning pools and maybe do something to decrease the larvae spawn rate or something like that.

I want it so that the player has incentive to make spawning pools in his base instead of spare hatcheries.

And the queen's role should emphasize the thing that makes her special: her mobility. She should be the mother of the larvae, caring for them, helping them grow, not merely whipping the hatches to produce more.

ArcherofAiur
01-10-2010, 01:27 PM
1) I had an idea once where the queen could "transport" up to x (around 3-6) larvae from any hatchery. Then the queen could lay the larvae and use them to spawn warriors anywhere on the battlefield (maybe just on creep).

2) Anyway, I was also thinking of a new idea where instead of just making units.... what if the larvae could make... larvae? For a price, you can take a larvae and have it spawn 2 or 3 larvae (like lings). It would take time of course, but would have to make sense based on the current spawning time of the hatchery.

So if you want more larvae, you make them out of current larvae! lol i dont know about lore though.

3) Another idea that Ive had that i think has some potential is to give the spawning pool the ability to create larvae.

All the ideas ive had are too complicated or overlap though, so maybe someone can help me.

The idea would be that one spawning pool makes 3 larvae, but at a much slower rate than a hatchery. The advantage is that instead of paying 300 for a hatch, you only have to pay 200.

The rate would be something like: if a hatch and a pool are both at 0 larvae, when the hatch has 3 larvae again, the pool would have 2.1 or 2.3 or something (the third would be building)

And then the role of the queen could be to go back and forth between the hatchery and the spawning pools and maybe do something to decrease the larvae spawn rate or something like that.

I want it so that the player has incentive to make spawning pools in his base instead of spare hatcheries.

And the queen's role should emphasize the thing that makes her special: her mobility. She should be the mother of the larvae, caring for them, helping them grow, not merely whipping the hatches to produce more.

I think mobile larva is a hard concept to work with. For one it overlaps with Protoss gameplay (Warp-In) also I cant really see a good way to make it practicle without making it almost a zerg clone of warp-in (mutant larva).

Id rather explore other ways to expand the queens use as a "base mother". I think Spawn Larva can work in its current form if their was sufficient energy tension such that there could be times when players had to decide which hatchery was best to cast spawn larva on.

0neder
01-11-2010, 03:39 AM
the hyper evolution is a good idea, actually. Good racial identity, good gameplay concept (fits zerg's traditional unit switcheroos) and would, I think, have a shot at being a compelling alternative to spawn larvae.