This has come up a bunch of times in different threads so I think a dedicated topic might be interesting.
The new macro mechanics are supposed to offer up choices. That's one of the things that is supposed to distinguish them from old school worker management. So for instance the Orbital Command has both MULE drop and Scanner Sweep. You will have to pay attention to your energy use. Similarly, the Queen has several defensive spells in addition to Spawn Larvae, so you have to make a decision about your priorities.
The Dark Pylon has a couple of abilities in addition to the economy-boosting Proton Charge. The problem, as people have been pointing out for a while, is that these abilities would be most useful when cast from a forward pylon, while Proton Charge should be cast in your base. Also, Dark Pylons are pretty cheap.
This creates a really bad breaking point in the balance. On one hand, the competing abilities might not be good enough to warrant building additional Dark Pylons. This means that only Proton Charge will be used, eliminating decision-making and becoming busy work. On the other hand, if the abilities are awesome people will simply build lots and lots of extra Dark Pylons to fuel these while also keeping Proton Charge constantly cast. Again, that becomes busy work.
Here are a few ideas I have for methods to address this. Should be a good starting point for discussion.
- Increase Dark Pylon cost. Part of why the Terran and Zerg mechanics involve more choice is that you are limited in how many casters you can have (CCs are expensive, Queens are costly and require supply). If you can only reasonably afford a very small number of Dark Pylons, and the competing abilities are very useful, the choice will be more difficult.
- Global Dark Pylon energy or cooldown. No matter how many Dark Pylons you build, you still have to choose between abilities. This eliminates the problem with building proxy Dark Pylons while keeping others dedicated to Proton Charge. Milder versions might grant a small increase in global energy for each additional Dark Pylon (1 DP is 200 energy, each additional one adds 5, for instance).
- Make the competing abilities base-centered. Currently, both of the other abilities would be more useful at the combat front which encourages proxys. Changing the abilities deals with the proxy Dark Pylon issue but doesn't really stop the problem with building enough to use both abilities constantly. Perhaps in combination with an increased cost?