Friday, January 22, 2016

Time To Buff The Tank

Friday! We all love Friday. It is the last day of the work week. It is the day we can relax and get ready to enjoy the weekend. So many things to look forward to, including the Reader Post and what it is going to be about. This week I decided to go with one of the Starcraft flavour from Doncroft who is talking about giving the Siege tank some buffs to make mech play more viable all around. Have a read and let's hear what you have to say about it.

I believe most of us have been saying on and off how the Medivac Siege Tank pick-up-and-move ability is bad from a design perspective. Not only has it virtually removed the tank mode aspect of the Siege Tank and made the Siege Tank an immobile fly-and-drop cannon, but it also has undermined the core aspect of the Siege Tank's siege mode cannon design: damage, splash damage, and range in exchange for immobility.

For reference, I'm going to quote Mr. Kim's latest word on the subject of flying siege mode meditanks.

Siege tanks going back to tank mode when picked up by Medivacs does seem to be a solid suggestion. We agree with you that Siege Tanks gaining mobility did take away from what the unit is by design, and also agree that this change played the biggest part in making mech not viable in TvT. We can definitely add this to the next balance test map.

So here's the question that must be on everyone's minds right now:

Okay, Mr. Kim and balance team, you're going to take away the problematic siege mode drop, improve TvT, and fix a glaring design issue. Great! Now...what about the Siege Tank's balance?

Let's face it. From a balance perspective, this is a Terran nerf, and I think it goes without saying that right now the Siege Tank does not need to be "nerfed" at face value.

Therefore, this is the PERFECT TIME to consider buffing the Siege Tank in earnest, and I believe the best way to buff the tank is to improve its damage output. Many of you will recall in HotS, the Siege Tank received a small attack speed buff in siege mode. This did not help very much, because the Siege Tank's siege mode is much more about BURST rather than SUSTAIN. The first volley matters the most, since enemy units will usually either retreat out of range or advance into minimum effective range before most the tanks can fire a second volley.

Consequently, I think it's time to bust open the damage numbers on Siege Mode. I'm talking significant increases. Something like 35 (+35 vs armored). I don't actually think something that big would be uncalled for, especially considering the strength of lategame Ultralisks, the general weakness of mech vs Protoss, and the incoming balance nerf to the Siege Tank in the name of better game design.

A change in damage output vs armored would help out a lot in Terran pushes using the tank, as damage to all buildings would be heavily increased (70 up from 50 is an increase of 40%). Vs Protoss, this would help take down those pesky Pylons when a Protoss is being overly greedy. Vs Terran, this will make tanks stronger vs many units, including other Siege Tanks. However, considering flying siege mode Siege Tanks will be a thing of the past, I believe this will be a welcome tradeoff.

Well what do all the Starcraft players think? Something to think about over the weekend. With that make sure your weekend is a good one!

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