• StarCraft 2 Blog on Facebook
The State of StarCraft 2 Balance; Chris Sigaty Interview

Despite the release of the first major balance patch for StarCraft 2 last week – or perhaps because of it – many discussions about StarCraft 2’s state of balance have been taking place, possibly even more than during the beta, when things were constantly changing and before people have had the chance to experiment with the game thoroughly.

Is StarCraft 2 balanced? While only little time has passed since the game’s release, many already argue that the game is not as balanced as StarCraft 1, especially when it comes to the Zerg race. The Zerg have indeed been on the receiving end of quite a few nerfs during the beta. Particularly of note is the Roach, originally geared to be a fast, cheap, regenerating tank unit – which, during the beta, has had its armor rating reduced from 2 to 1, its supply cost increased from 1 to 2, its burrowed move speed reduced by 30%, and its regeneration changed and nerfed again and again to the point where it now regenerates more slowly and only while burrowed – a research that is only available at Tier 2, unlike in the original game, where Burrow is Tier 1.

Indeed, many players complain about the Zerg’s lack of viable options in the early-mid game: the limited ability to tech and macro at the same time (making a Queen prevents the Hatchery from being upgraded to a Lair); the extreme need to be reactive against Protoss and Terran early game attacks, which are themselves more diverse than what the Zerg can field during that period of the game; the much more demanding macro mechanic, requiring constant attention that one is severely punished for lacking; the lack of mobility before creep tumors can spread, and the competition between those and energy reserved for injecting Larva. All of these issues and more are even making some pro-gamers rant about the state of the game, a few going as far as as “threatening” to switch to a different race and to stop playing Zerg altogether.

IdrA, one of the most famous American Zerg players, has published his thoughts on the recent patch here.

The balance problems in early game ZvT come down to the fact that terran is simply stronger and much more diverse early on, zerg has to rely on hard counters to have any chance to survive, but cant scout in time to implement them.

Interestingly, in a recent interview, Chris Sigaty, StarCraft 2’s lead producer, said that he himself finds Zerg difficult to play and that he tends to avoid the experience:

I avoid playing Zerg as much as possible because I find them to be just more complex in general. Zerg, or rather larvae management is harder for me to deal with, so I don’t enjoy playing them as much.

On the topic of 1v1 balance problems, Chris does not seem convinced that any exist:

You can go up and read on the forums at any one time and there are a bunch of different theories about balance and imbalance. We’re being very cautious about making large swinging changes right now because at the highest level things are actually very strong. The things that we’ll probably be addressing are the 2v2 and larger scale games. Ultimately, the 1 to 1 is what we want to keep as sacred as possible, but as a result right now there are some things that we need to address in the 2v2 at the higher level. We’ll be looking at ways to do that without affecting the 1v1 balance.

Discussing the next patch, Chris slates it to be released by the end of this year, calling it “the e-sports patch”. Finally, and after months of being in demand, chat channels will be introduced:

largely our e-sport patch. A couple of big things that will be in there are support for the season rolling, so players can look at the history of how they did in past seasons. There will be bugfixes, balance changes and tweaks, too. Chat is the other major thing we want to get in there next patch. We’ll also add more significant features to the editor.”

Lastly, Chris makes a comment regarding balance and the time it took to achieve it in StarCraft 1:

[Balance] is an ongoing process that, honestly, will take a year of longer to do. Even after Brood War was released we still patched and continued to drive towards a really solid final balance.

Will patches be enough to balance the game, or will an expansion, introducing new units, be necessary for that purpose? Is the game balanced right now? Is the Zerg race “broken”? If you have an opinion on the subject, now’s the time to voice it! We are putting up a new poll on the sidebar to the right to investigate what you think about this important issue.


Chris Sigaty also took the time to talk to PCGamer about the upcoming BlizzCon 2010 event and, most importantly, Blizzard’s decision to not show any aspect of StarCraft 2: Heart of  The Swarm at the convention.

We’re still working on the details [of the expansion],” explains Chris, “and the last thing I want to do is to talk about theoretical things instead of talking about what’s real.

However, Blizzard will hold a story panel with a Q&A with the fans, tying some loose ends from Wings of Liberty. Some Heart of The Swarm bits of information can be expected despite the promises to the contrary.

Be Sociable, Share!

Related Posts:

19 Comments to “The State of StarCraft 2 Balance; Chris Sigaty Interview”

  1. Starcraft II Videos — September 28, 2010 @ 12:39 am

    excellent topic .it’s very helpful.thanks for sharing.

  2. Spiral Architect — September 28, 2010 @ 5:39 am

    How to fix Zerg:
    (select a few from the list)

    Queen starting energy increased to 50 from 25
    Creep Tumor propagation cooldown decreased
    Hatchery can be upgraded to Lair while Queen is being made
    Roach given a special attribute that provides it with +x armor points against attacks with bonus damage to armor
    Mutalisk attack range increased from 3 to 4 (by research, perhaps)
    Hydralisk move speed off-creep increased/given a speed upgrade
    Burrow moved to T1/burrow given naturally at Lair tech
    Overlord speed/drop upgrade combined/moved to T1
    Overlord creep drop available in T1
    Baneling speed gas cost reduced

  3. Starcraft II Videos — September 28, 2010 @ 6:31 am

    Nice done job!
    This topic is very interesting, I’ll add it to my favourites!

  4. Apharmd — September 28, 2010 @ 6:45 am

    I play the protoss.
    and I found a formula that nearly ALWAYS destroy the zerg unless we are talking about Island maps. I too think the zerg is a bit weak.

    Perhaps a solution is to let Hydralisks be creatable with spawning pool, but a watered-down hydralisk. Subsequent upgrades at the Hydralisk’s den.

    I tihnk that will solve MANY issues.

    On that topic, the roach is not weak at all.

  5. SikTh — September 28, 2010 @ 7:49 am

    Recently in my games as T or P when I meet a Zerg it’s like “haha, a Zerg, free win”

  6. tweety — September 29, 2010 @ 12:40 am

    i am fine with how zerg is at the moment no complains, the only thing i would change is the way u spread tumors. give tumors more armor like larva and make it spread faster a lot FASTER and then we are talking :)

  7. Starcraft II Videos — September 29, 2010 @ 9:01 am

    I hope that the upcoming patches will give some alternative to the zerg , peace .

  8. Starcraft II Videos — September 29, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    Yeah, i am also waiting for the next patches, because the game really needs some upgrades. :)

  9. ovi_nano — September 29, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    I love this kind of games. there is many videos in our website comments readers can enjoy this videos its relay nice.this comments for Starcraft II loving peoples………

  10. Starcraft 2 Player — September 29, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

    I don’t think ZvT is that imbalanced but Hydralisk need to have vespene amount cost taken away from them..
    Practically all zerg units require gas, so I think hydralisk should have no gas cost as 2 marine>Hydralisk.
    Anyway I’m a Diamond player check my blog out for some help :)

  11. hatfringer — September 30, 2010 @ 7:28 am

    Idra says: “…while the balance issues in TvP will only be made worse, terran will now be even stronger early and protoss even stronger late in the game” but then doesn’t explain what it is that makes TvP even worse…

  12. Shut it — September 30, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

    very nice post.i like ur post that……….

  13. Starcraft II Videos — October 8, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

    i like this game so much .
    i hope the patches will coming soon
    if you want to see some video , please visit http://www.starcraft-ii-videos.com
    thank you

  14. Terran Build Orders — June 14, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    Yeah I kinda agree with zergs.. Terran build orders can be just to strong sometimes.


  15. Click here — March 11, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    Super-Duper blog! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

  16. Floral Arrangement — July 4, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

    magnificent submit, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must proceed your writing. I’m sure, you have
    a huge readers’ base already!

  17. Valves — November 14, 2013 @ 4:26 am

    Valves shoul be create similar game but in XXI anv.

  18. Tricia — July 17, 2014 @ 12:03 am

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply
    how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    my homepage – pinterest.com (Tricia)

  19. domain — October 30, 2014 @ 11:29 am

    My spouse and I stumbled over here different website and thought
    I might check things out. I like what I see so now i am
    following you. Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Write a comment




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
All the Rest © SC2 blog 2007-2010