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View Full Version : Protoss Shields and Armor



Nicol Bolas
05-18-2009, 05:15 PM
In SC1, Protoss players completely ignored shield "armor" upgrades. And with good reason: they were worthless. Shields take full damage from all attacks, so armoring them was meaningless. What good is turning a 20-point Vulture attack into a 19-point one? And even though shields heal (relatively) quickly, they run out just as quickly, especially to Terrans who use a lot of damage types.

In SC2, shields work differently. They take damage as the underlying unit does. They heal extremely quickly if the unit is out of combat for long enough. High Templars now have a spell to help heal shields (though the particulars of the spell are unknown). Shield upgrades are not broken down into "ground" and "air"; shield upgrades cover everything, even buildings.

Immortals take this to a new level. They get to apply the shield "armor" after minimizing the damage to 10, so each +1 of shield armor reduces the maximum damage they take to shields by 1. At +1, you need 11 separate attacks maximum to punch through their 100 points of shields. At +3, this becomes 14. This is on top of having 200 points of Hp.

My question is this: does all of this effectively compete with +1 armor upgrades, or is it actually more powerful than the armor upgrades?

My concern is particularly for TvP, where Immortals with +3 shields can be devastating. It even makes Marine attack upgrades past +1 meaningless. This becomes even stronger if you've got a HT or two doing their shield healing thing on them (though it might be best for them to take the opportunity to Psi Storm the Marines instead).

I know units don't have that much in the way of shields compared to Hp. But still; fast out-of-combat shield healing + standard damage + serves air and ground units equally could make armor upgrades the meaningless ones. Which effectively means that the Protoss only have 3 domains to upgrade rather than five.

MattII
05-18-2009, 05:43 PM
Personally I don't think shields should get 'armour upgrades' at all, I think the upgrades should just increase the number of shield points (say, 2/upgrade for a Zealot, 3/upgrade for a Stalker, maybe as much as 5/upgrade for an Immortal).

I've also thought about another type of shield, a 'leaky shield'. This would regenerate even under fire (but at 1/3-1/2 speed), but any single attack over a certain amount (say 15) would leak through, doing damage to the unit underneath.

Perfecttear
05-18-2009, 06:02 PM
The shield upgrade will be more important this time than in sc1, since shields regenerate faster and thus more damage is done to shields and can be prevented. If i would have to choose +1armor or +1 shield, i would choose shield, since it affect every protoss unit including buildings.

DemolitionSquid
05-18-2009, 06:14 PM
There needs to be a big distinction in armor and shield ups. Shield needs to be much more expensive, and not influence units like the Immortal in bizarre ways.

ArcherofAiur
05-18-2009, 07:02 PM
There needs to be a big distinction in armor and shield ups. Shield needs to be much more expensive, and not influence units like the Immortal in bizarre ways.



Whoa someone who doesnt like the immortal =:O

Pandonetho
05-18-2009, 07:12 PM
Nah armour won't be meaningless, unless you plan to run your guys every single time they engage in a fight and then have their shields drained.

Or when they get blasted by multiple EMPs from Ghosts (if they still have it).

Norfindel
05-18-2009, 07:47 PM
There needs to be a big distinction in armor and shield ups. Shield needs to be much more expensive, and not influence units like the Immortal in bizarre ways.
They had always been more expensive. Twice the cost of the ground Armor upgrades, that's why nobody used it, as you gained little. In fact, Shield upgrades aren't a benefit, they're a disadvantage, as they don't stack with the Armor upgrades, you just needed to research 2 upgrades to get the same benefit that the other races with 1.
With the way Shields work now, it's very possible that players will start researching them, but remember than for the cost of one Shield upgrade, you can upgrade Armor and Weapons.

Zigurd
05-18-2009, 08:27 PM
I fully support the way upgrades work right now. I also fully support the power of the Immortal.

Whanhee
05-18-2009, 08:29 PM
Personally I don't think shields should get 'armour upgrades' at all, I think the upgrades should just increase the number of shield points (say, 2/upgrade for a Zealot, 3/upgrade for a Stalker, maybe as much as 5/upgrade for an Immortal).

I've also thought about another type of shield, a 'leaky shield'. This would regenerate even under fire (but at 1/3-1/2 speed), but any single attack over a certain amount (say 15) would leak through, doing damage to the unit underneath.

I like the shield point upgrade idea. It really works with protoss and it keeps immortal shields from being stacked with upgrades.

The leaky shield seems a bit weak though since anything that does lots of damage would just rape its face off. *cough* siege tank *cough* Though I did just notice that very few units in sc2 do ridiculous amounts of damage.

Noise
05-18-2009, 09:35 PM
I did not know this! Sounds great, and it sounds like shield upgrades are better than armor, justifying their greater cost.

TwoTimer
05-18-2009, 10:52 PM
Shields do regen under fire in BW. Let the game play out before deciding among shields. At top levels of play in BW, shields weren't a common upgrade because the community was really brought up on at/ar then at/ar then at/ar then sh/sh/sh. Pro's macro was also so good that shields really did seem expensive to them.

At practical levels of play (where just about of us are), I never had a problem adding a third forge and doing all three ups at once, especially since few of us macro so well that the shield upgrade actually couldnt be afforded at the same time as the other two. Usually the third forge would come a little later after a third expansion goes online (main/nat/min only/2nd main). While I don't play money map at all, there's no reason tri forge shouldnt be the norm on those maps.

In BW the shields really make a difference against the zerg (not so much the terran unless you end up going air against them), as 3-3-3 protoss can compete effectively against 3-3/5-3 ultraling or hydra. 3-0-3 toss gets ripped to shreds without spell help. Protoss builds orders as a result "morphed" slighly to starting the attack ups sooner so the shield ups started sooner then before. For buildings, the extra shield is meaningless as all three races with any ups at all eat through the cannons. Shields give a slight edge in PvP as well, as few players can actually make that extra goon and temp you get for the money count. In PvT that extra piece of shield if you go air faster then normal in combo with an air up or two (1-1-1 carriers for example) really can turn the tide of battle in hit and run tactics against gollies, and make wraith slightly less effective.

flabortast
05-18-2009, 11:30 PM
We need to ask the status of shields from Blizz again. SC Wiki says shields don't take any bonus damage. So siege mode only deals 50 damage to shields or something like that.

Nicol Bolas
05-19-2009, 12:04 AM
shields weren't a common upgrade because the community was really brought up on at/ar then at/ar then at/ar then sh/sh/sh.

Huh? What do those letters mean?


At practical levels of play (where just about of us are), I never had a problem adding a third forge and doing all three ups at once, especially since few of us macro so well that the shield upgrade actually couldnt be afforded at the same time as the other two.

Tight macro is going to be quite a bit easier with MBS and so forth.


We need to ask the status of shields from Blizz again.

No, we don't. It has been explained before, and it is very clear: shields take damage as the unit does. The presence or absence of shields is only factored into bonus damage if a unit has a specific damage bonus vs. shields.

flabortast
05-19-2009, 01:30 AM
It wouldn't hurt to clear it up. The last we heard about shield damage calculations was back in Q&A Batch 25. I wouldn't mind to hear any changes to confirm which sources are right or whatnot.

MattII
05-19-2009, 02:07 AM
Huh? What do those letters mean?

at - attack, ar - armour, sh - shield, at least I'm assuming that's what they mean.


It wouldn't hurt to clear it up. The last we heard about shield damage calculations was back in Q&A Batch 25. I wouldn't mind to hear any changes to confirm which sources are right or whatnot.

They would have told us if it had changed, something like that would not (and likely could not) have been kept a secret.

Eligor
05-19-2009, 02:39 AM
I actually like the way shields seem to be working in SC 2. Any potential imbalance would be possible to deal with by reducing the amount of shields (I think they already changed the Zealot from 60 to 50). Besides, Terrans have EMP again, so I won't be too worried.