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sandwich_bird
05-09-2009, 09:50 AM
Something that I always hated about Starcraft is the fact that most air units suck and are never used except to support your army or to harass. Rarely did I ever saw someone make a powerful air fleet in 1v1 (with the exception of mutas of course). If you're Terran why build wraiths when you can build tanks + gols? If you're Protoss, well who really use the scout often anways? AtA only ships are not useful because really no one use air fleets (again, except against zerg). As for capital ships, you usually don't have the funds or the time to mass them. Really, I don't think it make much sens that the race with the strongest air fleet is the zerg. Mutas are quick and powerful and if you dare to build an air fleet against the zerg, they can easily mass produce scourges.

With units following the same tendencies in Starcraft II, there's a high probability that the air units will also be useless.

What do you think? Should we have more powerful air units?

Kimera757
05-09-2009, 10:03 AM
Same tendencies? I don't think it's a good idea to use such broad brush statements.

For terrans there's the banshee. It does 24 damage a pop. A group of three can be ordered to serially kill every worker in a base (obviously you'd use more to avoid losses). That's three times the damage of a Wraith (assuming same RoF). I don't see this fitting the same tendency.

There's also the viking, but it's role is a little unclear given that reapers can kill workers much better than it can.

For protoss there's the void ray. A small group can carve buildings up quickly, even town centers. Destroying a command center will disrupt your opponent's economy just like killing their workers would. They're also powerful enough to destroy anti-air towers, something wraiths and scouts horribly sucked at.

There's also the phoenix, which is only really useful against ... oh who am I kidding, it sucks. It can't do splash anymore, it can't attack buildings, it's more of a spellcaster when it attacks ground units (it's inefficient vs workers, it can't lift heavy targets, you only use it to take out certain high value targets like enemy high templar and you can only lift one target at a time with it).

For zerg, there's the mutalisk. It's been indirectly nerfed (light armor doesn't give the same benefits since both phoenixes and vikings do decent damage to it) and the brood lord, which will be more expensive than the swarm guardian, has more hit points but doesn't deal more damage, plus it's higher tier than the banshee.

Corruptors meanwhile got beefed. They're cheaper than mutalisks, they do good damage vs armored units and now their turrets can target ground. On the downside corruptors cannot target ground themselves (which means if your enemy has no air units, you can't make turrets to attack their buildings) and the turrets only deal 6 or 7 damage, which is pretty lame against the very capital ships corruptors seem designed to fight.

I left capital ships to the end. I can't find a good set of stats on carriers (how do you compare its cooldown to that of the StarCraft I carrier) but the battlecruiser does more than double the damage of the SC I version and Missile Swarm can be used to take out dangerous opponents like corruptors and vikings. I suspect you'll need smaller, more affordable groups of them.

Also, the raven/nighthawk has defense pods which basically do the same thing as the predator did -- shut down certain enemy attackers, such as missile turrets. This is awesome support for any terran AtG attackers - namely banshees as well as battlecruisers. I think terrans are real winners in the AtG battles :)

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 10:12 AM
You have a few valid points and some that are pretty far off.

Still, I agree. I hope air units are more effective this time around.

sandwich_bird
05-09-2009, 10:13 AM
That's true for the banshee. There's certainly more opportunity to build them than the wraiths.

I'm not convinced for the void ray though. Apparently they only deal 6 damage (from sc2armory). Does the dps really compensate?

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 10:15 AM
The damage increases the longer it attacks the same target.

Eligor
05-09-2009, 10:24 AM
Wasn't one of the main development goals in SC 2 to make air units more viable and effective? It does seem to me that in SC 2 the best way to counter air is with air units of your own, at least in theory.

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 10:27 AM
Let's hope it ends up that way :D

SpiderBrigade
05-09-2009, 10:37 AM
Yeah, I'm pretty sure they made the changes they did exactly to address this.

Zerg still have their Mutalisk awesomeness, and they get the Corrupter to give them strong antiair without being as dominating as Scourge were. Plus guardians make a comeback which were another commonly-seen air unit.

In SC/BW Terran air had a few problems. Wraith cloaking was cool but they absolutely sucked against ground. Valkyries were strong against air but much too special-purpose unless the other guy went for mass light air. In SC2, they swapped the Wraith out for the Banshee, which is antiground but keeps the useful cloak. The Viking is strong against heavy air but has more versatility due to transform. And of course BCs are back too.

Protoss have the Phoenix which is sort of like a Corsair (probably their most-used air unit in SC/BW) but with an ability that will let them hit ground if you micro a lot. But the main purpose of the Phoenix is to protect your big ships - Void Ray will absolutely destroy buildings but is vulnerable against light air.

RainbowToeSocks
05-09-2009, 11:40 AM
Didn't someone from blizzard say they were aiming to make air have more playtime in SCII? I do believe so. With all the air units being a lot more effective against ground (banshee, nighthawk, carrier, etc..) It will force players to go air to fight back or have a possibility of being overrun with air.

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 11:58 AM
A lot of people seem to remember Blizzard saying they wanted to address this issue. I hope they are taking this into consideration.

Does anyone remember where this was said?

Rylin
05-09-2009, 12:11 PM
I know that's how its been for a lot of the games I've played over the years but I'm sure Blizzard is trying to balance that out as best as they can.

That and we'll have to get out of our old habits of playing in that mindset and utilize every unit on the battlefield (per usefulness)

The_Blade
05-09-2009, 12:12 PM
Still the game must not be oriented to go "air and only air or else u die"

like the terran bc there is no actual ground counter

Tanker
05-09-2009, 12:22 PM
Prostoss mothership is a good example of a strong air unit...black hole and everything. It can destroy 10 units in few seconds. That's why the air units are for :)

The_Blade
05-09-2009, 12:23 PM
Man...

Black hole is gone since 2007 XD
currently the mothership cloakes nearby units, got a timb bomb and a recall

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 12:30 PM
Wow, Tanker. How long's it been since you were on a forum?

Aldrius
05-09-2009, 01:22 PM
A lot of people seem to remember Blizzard saying they wanted to address this issue. I hope they are taking this into consideration.

Does anyone remember where this was said?

It doesn't matter, it's obviously true.

A unit that deals 24 damage a SECOND after 9 seconds (and I'm pretty sure that's on normal time) is going to be killing ANYTHING really fast, even on it's own.

Mutalisks have always proven to be very strong units, and Banshees have triple their fire-power against ground targets and they can cloak for only a very slightly higher cost.

Vikings will probably see use with the lack of goliaths and their lower cost than the wraith for double the firepower against air, and substantially higher firepower versus ground. (Though I still wish it was in the factory... sigh.)

Air casters will pretty much always see use, especially now that the Zerg air-caster is their detector.

The Phoenix is also really good, even if it can't attack buildings (why would you want it to with the void ray anyway?). It's got anti-gravity which, when balanced will probably make it good against a wide variety of enemies (especially with how low it's cost is). And it deals triple the damage the corsair did to light targets, in exchange for splash.

And with that much damage, why would it need splash?

Nicol Bolas
05-09-2009, 02:00 PM
A unit that deals 24 damage a SECOND after 9 seconds (and I'm pretty sure that's on normal time)

Um, the Void Ray fires a hell of a lot faster than that, if the BlizzCon build was any indication. I'd say it was around a Marine's rate of fire. And I'm pretty sure it doesn't take 9 seconds to ramp up to full power. I'm guessing maybe 5 seconds, but it was over 6 months ago since I played it.

In short: if you do not kill those bastards quickly, they will burn down everything you own.

DemolitionSquid
05-09-2009, 02:05 PM
The known numbers are

6 for 3 seconds
12 for 3 seconds
24 from then on

at a "fast" speed. "Fast" is as fast as a Marine shoots.

Pandonetho
05-09-2009, 02:09 PM
currently the mothership cloakes nearby units, got a timb bomb and a recall

Doesn't it have cloak units/buildings, teleport, and vortex? IIRC...

Aldrius
05-09-2009, 02:18 PM
Um, the Void Ray fires a hell of a lot faster than that, if the BlizzCon build was any indication. I'd say it was around a Marine's rate of fire. And I'm pretty sure it doesn't take 9 seconds to ramp up to full power. I'm guessing maybe 5 seconds, but it was over 6 months ago since I played it.

In short: if you do not kill those bastards quickly, they will burn down everything you own.

I meant on a normal clock speed.

Not at a normal rate.

And Dustin said 9 seconds, but again that's probably on a normal clock speed. On fast/faster it's probably more like 5 seconds or maybe less.

EDIT: Oops. He said 6 seconds. Still, that's PROBABLY on a normal clock speed.

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 02:57 PM
It doesn't matter, it's obviously true.

No ....


There are MANY things since StarCraft 2 was announced that have been accepted as truth without basis that turned out to be false.

I assume you've been to other StarCraft 2 forums, so, what the hell?

Aldrius
05-09-2009, 02:59 PM
No ....


There are MANY things since StarCraft 2 was announced that have been accepted as truth without basis that turned out to be false.

I assume you've been to other StarCraft 2 forums, so, what the hell?

They didn't add two really strong air to surface units because they were happy with the air model and refused to improve it.

I mean come on, that's just common sense.

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 03:04 PM
That could also be applied "logically" to other areas of gameplay that obviously weren't how you say it is.

Still, I see your point. But, I'm not going to accept that they said it just because. There's just too much misquotation and too many overly creative Blizzard fans to do so. Maybe they didn't say it publically but had that intention locally.

Like you said, though, it doesn't really matter since they've already made this a priority.

Aldrius
05-09-2009, 03:05 PM
That could also be applied "logically" to other areas of gameplay that obviously weren't how you say it is.

What areas of gameplay are you talking about?


Still, I see your point. But, I'm not going to accept that they said it just because. Maybe they didn't say it publicaly but had that intention locally.

It doesn't matter if they say it or not, though. That's my point.

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 03:06 PM
It doesn't matter if they say it or not, though. That's my point.

I never said it mattered. I'm just saying I'm not going to accept that they released a statement saying that just because. It is, however, obvious that they had this intention anyways so it doesn't matter if they said it or not.

How long are we going to go back and forth?

Nicol Bolas
05-09-2009, 03:07 PM
No ....

There are MANY things since StarCraft 2 was announced that have been accepted as truth without basis that turned out to be false.

Except that this happens to have a basis in reality.

There can be no doubt that air units in SC2 are more powerful than air units of the same Tier in SC1. The Protoss had nothing even remotely as strong vs. high Hp units as the Void Ray. The Terrans had nothing anywhere near as good at GtA pre-BCs as the Banshee, and certainly nothing cost-for-cost. And the Brood Lord is the equal of 2-3 of the old Guardians, in both Hp and firepower.

Similarly, there can be no doubt that there are fewer or less effective GtA options in this game. The Thor is best used for groups of attackers, and Ghosts are too expensive to get lots of (as well as specifically anti-light). Hydralisks are somewhat in flux at present, but even in their best GtA glory, they were still quite expensive. And Stalkers are nothing anywhere near as effective at GtA as Dragoons, cost for cost. Marines remain all-around good, particularly with the Hp buff.

Thus it is an undeniable fact that StarCraft 2 is better suited to air units than SC1. Fewer GtA options means that going for a strong air tactic, or even a mixed air/ground force can force your opponent to go for GtA options that weaken their ground units. And all-around more useful air units on top of this means that air units necessarily are more viable than they were before.

So, did this happen by accident? Or did Blizzard design it that way?

TheEconomist
05-09-2009, 03:10 PM
The debate isn't whether Blizzard is trying to go in this direction; it's whether or not they voiced their purpose publically.

I don't really care either way.

0neder
05-09-2009, 04:13 PM
How do you not see that air units will be more viable in SC2 than they were in SC1?

Scourge are gone. This was IMO the main hindrance to air units in SC1. Also, consider that balancing air units is tricky, because while we don't want underused air units in SC2, we also don't want air to be REQUIRED for victory.