StarCraft

[In-depth] Outlining a movement speed buff for unstimmed bio only (stim speed unchanged)

starcraft 1 - [In-depth] Outlining a movement speed buff for unstimmed bio only (stim speed unchanged)
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Background

Unstimmed bio, broadly speaking, really sucks. I don’t think there’s much disagreement on that. It’s slow and weak and fragile and gets bullied around by just about everything. Stim, being one of the most important upgrades in the game, provides a power spike that transforms the ugly duckling of unstimmed bio into fast, powerful, and beautiful stimmed bio. Do drugs, kids!

But until Terran’s super steroids are ready, unstimmed bio mopes about in base, bumbling around behind walls and ramps for fear of having faster units run rings around them. In TvT this isn’t a problem because, well, the other guy needs super steroids too. In TvZ, Hellions are a common stopgap and wall-offs work wonders. In TvP however, Stalkers and Adepts can and do bully unstimmed bio to their heart’s content. Oracles and Phoenixes and Prisms only pile on the punches, if a Protoss is so inclined, while Terran has little recourse until stim finishes.

Of course, tech units like Mines or Cyclones or Vikings help in defending, but they can only support bio, not supplant it. Allins aside, Terran is forced to curl up and endure harassment it can’t respond to with an economy that can’t afford it. And all the while, Protoss is free to expand, tech up, or otherwise prepare for an inevitable stim push.

Thing is, Protoss harassment is actually quite brittle. Stalkers and Phoenixes and so forth are all expensive, so once bio–even unstimmed bio–does show up, they leave. But since all of them have the speed to run rings around unstimmed bio, this is less a weakness than an inconvenience. So TvP is left in a binary state, where Protoss can look utterly dominant with a handful of units making a total joke out of twice their supply in bio–as long as they never get caught.

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Proposal

Read:  Aligulac Predictions for Group D tonight! (and for Super Tournament)

A movement speed buff to unstimmed bio would allow Terran to respond faster to Protoss harassment. By shifting some–but only some–of the stim power spike, it would allow Terran to better defend itself without buffing WoL-style aggressive stim pushes. Unstimmed bio can fend off harassment if it gets there in time, but pushing across the map without support is suicide. Tanks still move at the same speed, so allins would be unchanged. The only other use case I can think of for unstimmed bio is bunker rushes, and I don’t see how moving faster helps Marines inside bunkers.

Marines and Marauders currently have a movement speed of 3.15, increased to 4.72 with stim. So there’s a lot of room to work with. At first glance I’d propose 3.94, which splits the difference, and is also the movement speed of Ghosts, the only other Terran infantry unit. Stim speed would of course remain at 4.72 no matter how fast unstimmed bio moves.

Ideally, the movement speed buff would allow Terran to secure a third base in TvP without getting picked apart or kited to death, and move into a macro game on even footing. This would reduce the amount of frankly weird shit that goes in that matchup, in favor of standard 3-base play. And that’s a goal I think most people can get behind.

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