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Thread: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

  1. #1

    Default Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    This idea isn't a replacement for the macro mechanics, but instead a replacement for how the macro mechanics are carried out. Instead of building a building, and casting every minute or so, you gather a resource that is hard to get, and build a building/unit that provides a permanent boost.


    Special Resource (Needs a name)

    • Takes up very little space on the map
    • Requires a greater distance between it and any main building than regular resources. (Double the normal distance)
    • Takes a much longer time to harvest (1 minute to harvest 8 units)
    • Small amount to create one macro mechanic unit/building.

    o 1 permanent mule = 8 units
    o 1 permanent spawn larva = 8 units
    o 1 permanent charge in an area of effect next to a building (building costs 8 units)


    What the resource provides:


    • Resource gives each race the ability to build its own race specific macro mechanic
    • Since the resource is much harder to successfully harvest, there is no need for the macro mechanic to wear off after a period of time.
    • If you want to get this mechanic in several areas, you’ll need to get the appropriate number of additional resources to do so.

    How the resource works:

    • This resource would be some sort of substance that can be used as fuel for the mule.
    • The resource would be a substance that not only acts as fuel, but creates a chemical reaction within a hatchery to make additional larva after making a specific building or attaching the queen to the hatchery permanently.
    • This resource also can be used to boost protoss energy, likely meaning it has some sort of sunlight-like energy that the protoss can take in much easier and faster, thus boosting their power.

    Now, I realize that I am using PC which is probably going to change in some way. However, without the need to cast it constantly, I’m not sure we really need to change it. I’ll leave the rest to you guys to give me some feedback on. This would need a name obviously, but it could be a resource that is so potent, it doesn’t need to take up much of the map, so a 1x1 space on the map.


    The following is through PMs with gifted after he asked some really good questions. I feel his questions and my answers will help give some more insight into this idea, so here they are:


    Quote Originally Posted by Gifted
    1) Do you think your mechanic assists in being the solution to the issue that was originally identified?

    2) If not, do you think the issue is different than they felt and this solution befits it better?

    3) Do you think this solution will fit better than the absense of said solution? (In other words, does this provide more solutions than problems?)

    4) Does this fit well with "easy to learn, lifetime to master?" motto that helps Blizzard judge their mechanics?

    5)Do you think this is a dynamic solution to approach as an opponent?

    Do you think your mechanic assists in being the solution to the issue that was originally identified?


    I think multi-tasking was the goal, not so much making you return to a specific point every period of time. In this idea, the multi-tasking would be having to worry about protecting your workers while they try to harvest this "special resource" over a long period of time. Without the special resource, you won't gain a permanent boost to resource harvesting, or unit production in case of zerg. I think having to pay much more attention to vulnerable workers trying to gain a hard to gain resource will create the same multi-tasking needed to return to base, while also requiring you to think more and react better in many circumstances; something that these point and click mechanics don't provide.

    If not, do you think the issue is different than they felt and this solution befits it better?

    Again, I think the idea was to make you put your attention on something other than moving an army, however, it doesnt have to be sending you back to your base, but rather something making you pay attention to a different area at the same time.

    Do you think this solution will fit better than the absense of said solution? (In other words, does this provide more solutions than problems?)

    I believe it does provide more solutions than problems. A major problem with some people involving the current mechanics is the obvious APM-sink nature of the mechanics, and lack of decision making involved in just pointing and clicking after gaining X amount of energy. There will be a lot more decision making involved in trying to find the best way to protect workers trying to harvest the special resource, when to gather the resource, and how to protect the macro mechanic unit or building after its in place giving its benefit. This mechanic would also be more incentive to scout better throughout a game.

    Does this fit well with "easy to learn, lifetime to master?" motto that helps Blizzard judge their mechanics?

    I think it would be easy to learn and hard to master. It will be very difficult to master the act of gaining this resource since you have to be on one spot for a long period of time and then you have to protect your unit or building providing the macro benefit throughout the game. The more special resource you harvest, the more benefit you get.

    I believe its still as easy as clicking. The actions involved are: send unit to harvest, wait for period of time, build unit/building that provides benefit, then protect them. Only this wont be something you have to do every minute, etc.

    Do you think this is a dynamic solution to approach as an opponent?

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this question. However, I'll try to answer it. If you are asking is this something an opponent can target as a strategy, then the answer is yes. An opponent will need to constantly be watching you, and attempt to prevent you from harvesting these resources. After you have gotten the resources, they can start to target the macro building/unit providing you with a benefit, similar to worker raids.

    They can also watch to see if you are attempting to gather the special resources, if you aren't, they can possibly set up heavy defenses around it and gather a big advantage quickly.

    The idea is to make you have to sit at a spot and worry for a long period of time, then after that period if you managed to keep the worker/workers alive long enough to gain the special resources, you are rewarded with a resource harvesting or unit producing benefit.
    Last edited by Santrega; 12-20-2009 at 02:47 PM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    I will most definitely agree that if there is one thing that could add some serious variation to SC's macro it would be to add a whole new resource.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    Quote Originally Posted by n00bonicPlague View Post
    I will most definitely agree that if there is one thing that could add some serious variation to SC's macro it would be to add a whole new resource.
    I haven't really agreed with this until recently. I think its necessary to add a hard to gain resource, and make that the way to get a permanent boost in the resources that actually matter. The temporary boost does create more actions, but many believe they are just repetitive and thoughtless.

    This additional resource would create many different strategies involved in trying to secure these resources, and trying to protect those beneficial buildings/units that come from those resources. Even though it wont require you to go to a spot and do something every certain number of seconds, it will require a lot of multi-tasking to assure you protect your workers and benefits. The special resource will be vitally important as they will provide a permanent boost (as long as the building/unit survives), but be so hard to get that it will hurt a lot to lose the benefit.

    PS: I added a little Q&A to the main post...
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    It seems a bit of a waste to have an entire resource that can only be used for one thing. If you're going through the trouble of adding a fourth resource (food is a resource), you should be able to do more with it than just make more other resources with it. It should be properly integrated into the unit and building structure of the game.

    If you want to explore this, then the resource should:

    1: Being intrinsically more prone to harassment/difficult to get. You should have to fight for it and work for it. It would be unfortunate if map makers could just stick this stuff in your base.

    This also means that a PF (and thus main buildings in general) shouldn't be allowed anywhere near them.

    They should also probably require special units in order to mine them. This increases the cost of gaining access to the resource, and makes it easier to stop the mining of it.

    2: Be useful for more than one thing. Gas becomes increasingly more valuable as the game progresses. This stuff should become valuable, but in specific ways and along specific lines.

    That doesn't mean it needs to be used everywhere. But imagine if HTs could use this stuff to cast Psi Storm. That is, give them a special research that allows them to convert this stuff to energy. This is a powerful use of the resource, so you'll want to get it. And your opponent will want to keep you from getting it. And so long as #1 is around, it will keep you on your toes.

    3: Be strategically relevant. If you don't get a lot of this stuff, you should still be able to function to some degree. For example, you might need this to get the second or third level upgrades for your units, but you can still get the first level upgrade without it.

    Just like with low-gas builds, you will eventually get out-teched. But the time/effort they spent in getting gas and teching will leave you a window of opportunity to use your low-gas army to end the game (or hurt them substantially).

    4: Not be optional. Just like with gas, you are expected to get this stuff sooner or later. When you do and how you do informs your strategy, but you should still need to do it.

    I would say that at this point in SC2's development, adding another resource is just too complex a task. It is a good, solid way to add macro and lots of decision making, but it's really too late in the game to add and properly balance something so huge.
    "When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C. S. Lewis

    "You simply cannot design a mechanic today to mimic the behaviour of a 10-year old mechanic that you removed because nearly nobody would like them today." - Norfindel, on the Macro Mechanics

    "We want to focus the player on making interesting choices and not just a bunch of different klicks." - Dustin Browder

    StarCraft 2 Beta Blog

  5. #5

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    Damn, I've tried to write this post like five different times now, but I just can't seem to find the words I need. I'll just throw down a few main points and barf up what I can:

    — an additional resource would revolutionize SC
    — an additional resource would ruin SC
    — we need to find the limit as a macro mechanic tends to a totally new resource
    — I suggest we allow all the races to pay gas for minerals and minerals for gas

    In a sense I think your idea is a good idea, but I'm worried that it's too good. Yes, we want SCII and not SC1.5, but at what point does a macro idea turn SCII into something that can't even be called SC anything? Personally, I myself would love to add a new resource to the game, but I'm also aware of how much that would alter the game. I want to get a mechanic that comes as close as possible to adding a new resource without actually adding a new resource.

    Note that I'm not calling your idea bad or anything. The clothes are sexy as hell, but I don't think they'll fit the fat lady without a good liposuction, in which case the lady would no longer be fat, and thus not the same lady.

    Argh......am I making any sense?



    EDIT: Nicol actually kinda brings forth part of my point. If your gonna add a new resource, you might as well integrate it into the entire game somehow. But then, it's just not the same game, is it? BTW, I'm not even sure if I'm for or against the idea of adding another resource. I'm just trying to bring some awareness to the crowd.
    Last edited by n00bonicPlague; 12-20-2009 at 05:20 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicol Bolas View Post
    It seems a bit of a waste to have an entire resource that can only be used for one thing. If you're going through the trouble of adding a fourth resource (food is a resource), you should be able to do more with it than just make more other resources with it. It should be properly integrated into the unit and building structure of the game.
    Is it a waste to have a unit that has only one use? I thought specialization is what sc2 has basically went to so that a game cannot be won with a few units/strategies.

    Maybe we can add more uses though, we can explore that... However, I do not agree that it should be integrated into the unit and building structure of the game. If you do that, you effectively change starcraft into all of the other RTS's. I do not want sc2 becoming like the other RTS's!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicol Bolas View Post
    If you want to explore this, then the resource should:

    1: Being intrinsically more prone to harassment/difficult to get. You should have to fight for it and work for it. It would be unfortunate if map makers could just stick this stuff in your base.

    This also means that a PF (and thus main buildings in general) shouldn't be allowed anywhere near them.

    They should also probably require special units in order to mine them. This increases the cost of gaining access to the resource, and makes it easier to stop the mining of it.
    I completely agree that map makers should not be allowed to place these anywhere near a starting location. This is also why I suggested double the space between a main building and this resource and the longer harvest time, to make it more difficult.

    I don't agree special units need to be made to harvest them. That requirement will actually be detrimental to the game. You'll need more supply outside of minerals and gas to be given to these special resources; while in the way I am suggesting it be added, you only need a few of these resources to get what you want, allowing you to move a worker to it, and back after a successful harvest. Requiring special units to harvest makes very little starcraft sense, in terms of the way starcraft is as a game, and unnecessarily complicates the intention of the macro mechanic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicol Bolas View Post
    2: Be useful for more than one thing. Gas becomes increasingly more valuable as the game progresses. This stuff should become valuable, but in specific ways and along specific lines.

    That doesn't mean it needs to be used everywhere. But imagine if HTs could use this stuff to cast Psi Storm. That is, give them a special research that allows them to convert this stuff to energy. This is a powerful use of the resource, so you'll want to get it. And your opponent will want to keep you from getting it. And so long as #1 is around, it will keep you on your toes.
    I would be fine with there being other ways to use this resource. It would be nice if you could at least convert this resource into ways to deliver energy as well as increase the resource harvesting. Maybe for late game this resource could be used for tech 3 upgrades that further boost tier 1 units in some way, or give stronger benefits to otherwise useless units late game.

    I think additional uses are fine, but it shouldnt be a complete integration into the unit/building tree like minerals and gas are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicol Bolas View Post
    3: Be strategically relevant. If you don't get a lot of this stuff, you should still be able to function to some degree. For example, you might need this to get the second or third level upgrades for your units, but you can still get the first level upgrade without it.

    Just like with low-gas builds, you will eventually get out-teched. But the time/effort they spent in getting gas and teching will leave you a window of opportunity to use your low-gas army to end the game (or hurt them substantially).
    I agree with you here as well to some degree. You should have to go and get it at some point, but I don't think it should be involved in any of the current upgrades.

    I think it would be fine to add a few unique upgrades to each race, allowing them to boost different aspects using this special resource. Possibly add a Fourth upgrade level, or a change to a unit that practically turns it into a different unit late game.

    I dont think it needs to be a requirement for 2 people who arent very good. I think they should be able to play normally with just minerals and gas and do fine. However, this resource could be used to take play to a new level, and I think thats the goal here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicol Bolas View Post
    4: Not be optional. Just like with gas, you are expected to get this stuff sooner or later. When you do and how you do informs your strategy, but you should still need to do it.

    I would say that at this point in SC2's development, adding another resource is just too complex a task. It is a good, solid way to add macro and lots of decision making, but it's really too late in the game to add and properly balance something so huge.
    I think you should need to do it in order to be a good competitive player, but it shouldnt be a requirement just to finish a good game between two equally skilled and less gifted players.

    It very well may be too late to add any or all of this idea... However, if they can implement this into the macro mechanics to make the macro mechanics permanent in WoL, they can implement the additional uses for this resource in the following game.

    I kept it simple for the fact I dont believe its too hard to create a couple of animations for a new resource, then make the macro mechanics dependent on it. The new resource shouldnt be difficult to code, you simply give it everything a normal resource has, but change the gather time/distance requirements, and give it a new name.

    Overall, I think they can do it, and they have expressed a willingness to change things in beta.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    What you're suggesting is Oil from WarCraft II. You can't "fix" (I say we wait until we see that it's broken...) Macro by muddying up a game that is beautiful in it's relative simplicity by throwing more complicated systems at it. I apologize but I find this idea awful.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    Quote Originally Posted by SaharaDrac View Post
    What you're suggesting is Oil from WarCraft II. You can't "fix" (I say we wait until we see that it's broken...) Macro by muddying up a game that is beautiful in it's relative simplicity by throwing more complicated systems at it. I apologize but I find this idea awful.
    That actually is not a fair comparison. Oil in wc2 was actually exactly what Nicol has suggested, which is integrating it into the complete game. I don't think that's necessary, and I agree with you that it would be a bad thing to do.

    This idea really doesn't add a new resource as much as the resource is a new way to carry out the macro mechanics. The possible additional uses are irrelevant to the main point of the idea, which is to take the tedious aspect out of the macro mechanics, and add decision making and strategic thought into it.

    Constantly casting an ability every minute is tedious, there really is no way to disagree with this. Now, its less tedious than having to send every worker to mine individually, but its still tedious.

    Having a regular worker mine a new resource with the intention to use that resource to boost mineral harvesting and unit production is a much better way to go through the process of boosting macro. It takes strategic thought... something cast PC, call down mule, and larva injection alone do not have.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    Well, the reason there called "Macro Mechanics" is because there suppose to increase the amount of macro required in a game. It increases macro because the player has to constantly go back to his base to keep the economy up or else they'll be behind there opponent. If it was to be permanent, it wouldn't really boost any macro.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Another Macro Idea : Special Resource (needs a name)

    The.Hell.With.Resources.Mechanics.

    New resource. Not a bad idea. But SC2 was built over the same SC1 skeleton. They just added a better looking skin and more parts. And thats it. Adding a new resource, or a new race for that matters, would change the entire face of the game, and Blizzard didnt have the balls to implement this since the beginning.
    Waiting...

    The damned will return...

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