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Starcraft 2: Balance debate

By Calinescu 'Dynasty' Dan-Gabriel
May 11, 2010 11:05

ImageAs a follow up on Michael 'Zechs' Radford's "Terran weak or just unlucky?", I would like to share insight from a former Starcraft:Brood War player's point of view.

After reading Michael 'Zechs' Radford's Terran weak or just unlucky?, which quite frankly was a very interesting read, I decided to start up a debate, based on a different point of view.

By different, I mean, the game seen from the eyes of a former Starcraft:Brood War player.

First of all, I want to point out that a statistic based on prior performances of a player or group of players, during a competition, can't provide arguments for or against what race is balanced, weak or even overpowered.

In my own vision, I strongly believe that it all comes down to every player's perception on a certain race and what they look for when first chosing a race to play with.

For example, a player that is about to have his first contact with the game, raises a simple question:

What race should I play in my future adventures within the Starcraft 2 universe?

Well, the answer for this question is quite simple. You have to try out every race and chose the one that suits best your game dynamics preferences. For instance, the Terran's gameplay is more static, yet stronger and a little harder to counter, while the Protoss and Zerg races are more dynamic, yet weaker in small numbers and easier to counter.
Please note that the stronger-weaker status is ment for certain types of units, not the race balance issue.
Personally, I chose Protoss becouse it suits me best.

If you ask me why there are so many Protoss and Zerg players out there and so few Terran players, my answer would defenately be : 'It's becouse few players find Terran entertaining to play with and enjoy the more static game'.

A little above, I mentioned something about the way a player's perception of a certain race, can affect it's judgement when the balance issue is brought into dicussion.

At least in my case, I have a hard time besting Zerg players. Eventhough, the Zerg race isn't necessarily imbalanced, in my head I'm fixed on the idea that the Zerg is imbalanced, for the simple reason I rarely win against it.

Regarding the technical imbalance that currently seems to affect the beta stage of the game, all I can say is that, in order to achieve balance, Blizzard's devs should focus on balancing the costs, build time and efficiency (damage/armor/skills) of each unit in the game's arsenal, by comparing it to it's counterpart from the other 2 races.

If you have, for example, a Thor that costs 300 Minerals, 200 Gas, 60 seconds build time and 6 supply, and it gets beaten easily by 2-3 Zealots (Only 300 minerals, no gas and the same supply usage), well that's an imbalance.

Now, as a former Starcraft Brood War player, where the game wasn't this oriented towards unit counters, I can say for sure that there are some units in the current beta version that are simply not worth building.

As a good example, i can offer you the Protoss High Templar with it's Psionic Storm, that in the current beta has a really small AOE that's almost a single target spell.

The High Templar costs the outrageous amount of 150 gas, which is a lot of gas to pay for a unit that has the survivability of a Probe and has an ability that needs to be landed perfectly, 3 times in a row, in order to kill air units.
The Terran Thor, costs a fortune, yet it only takes 3 zealots to beat it.

Well, what I wanted to point out with these examples is that, the first step towards balancing the game, is nerfing or boosting every unit's efficiency rate.

This is my point of view, what's your's?



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