Home Editorial Balance Idra shares thoughts on Starcraft 2 balance

Greg Fields, better known as EG Idra, has seen a number of exciting matches over the past few weeks. With grand triumphs and painful blunders alike, he continues to captivate both the admiration and ire of  Starcraft 2 players worldwide. While I personally look down on the Grack’s history of bad-mannered rage quits and sometimes petulant post-game attitude, there’s no doubt he’s a resourceful player with a lot of charisma, even if it does fall on the evil side of the fence.

Galen Andress recently had a chance to interview Fields and ask him what he’d change in SC2 if given the chance.


Idra’s proposed Starcraft 2 balance changes

  • Allow Fungal Growth to be cast while burrowed
  • Increase Hydralisk speed
  • Decrease Ultralisk size
  • Make Fungal Growth a slowing spell instead of freezing spell
  • Decrease Marine rate of fire
  • Lower Collosus damage
  • Make Forcefield destructible with no target priority
  • Increase Stalker damage and give them slower movement speed or higher Blink cooldown

While I’m certainly not a Grand Master Starcraft 2 player, I’d like to share my own thoughts on these proposals, many of which are (somewhat surprisingly) reasonable, given previous statements from Idra such as “Apologize for playing that race,” and “Protoss should be removed from the game.”

Fungal Growth: While changing this spell to slow units instead of freezing them is probably not a big deal (especially given its incredibly short duration), making Infestors the equivalent of invisible High Templar seems like it’s asking a lot. Many players already believe Infestor play is integral to the most powerful late-game Zerg unit compositions as-is. Do they really need such a powerful buff? If anything, Neural Parasite from a burrowed state would produce more interesting results and less stop-and-go harassment opportunities.

Hydralisks: Hydralisks are certainly the black sheep of the Swarm, seeing most play as an anti-air move against Protoss but never really making up the backbone of the Zerg army as their iconic status would indicate. I don’t think faster Hydra base speed would break the game, as long as their on-creep speed remained the same as it is now.

Ultralisks: At their current enormity, Ultralisks are nearly unusable. They’re basically damage sponges, but their girth also precludes Zerglings, Banelings, and Roaches from swarming the enemy as God intended in the Bible. If their actual size or their pathing hitbox could be reduced, we might see more late game Ultra play.

Marines: America’s favorite unit, the fucking colonial space marine has stayed a vital part of Terran play since day one. With anti-ground, anti-air, and kiting capabilities, are they simply too powerful? I don’t think so, but if any aspect of Marines were to be toned down, a ROF change would probably be the most reasonable.

Collosus: Collossi are powerful, to the point that Robo tech is widely favored over any other Protoss technology path available. That said, they also represent a substantial investment. I’d love to see Collossi get hit with the nerf bat, though only if it means Fleet Beacon units were somehow buffed to compensate.

Forcefield: I don’t know how Blizzard would implement destructible forcefields, but I don’t want to know, either. Forcefields have already been nerfed in PvP with the recent Archon size change to Massive; unless Queens were given Massive status, I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing another Sentry nerf for a while, especially given Protoss’ reliance on the spell for early game rush defense.

Stalkers: Despite their reputation for damage dealing, Stalkers’ DPS isn’t particularly high against non-armored units. To that effect, a damage buff in exchange for a slower-recharging Blink almost seems fair, essentially buffing early game Stalkers at the cost of not having a moving wall of death later in the game. Blink Stalkers are great, but I have wondered if they’re too great, especially given the Phalanx-like rotation they can set up against shorter-ranged units.


Idra’s changes are certainly reactionary, and it’s not hard to see how many of his losses over the past two months may have influenced his thinking. But for all his rage and BM, he’s still a pro player with thousands of games under his belt. On the other hand, I’m a complete scrub who can’t hold off a poorly-executed baneling bust, but since I run the site, you’re forced to deal with my ramblings. Either way, many of Field’s suggestions seem relatively harmless and… dare I say it… practical. Will Blizzard heed his advice?

LOL, no. But don’t worry, Grack. You keep dreamin’ the dream, and we’ll keep cheering or booing you on!


Andress’ article contains the full interview, so if you have the time, you can read it at MLG. Thanks to LightSora93 on GameFAQs for the heads up.

22 replies to this post
  1. As a Zerg player, I agree with everything(rofl). Even the Fungal Growth change. Colossi are too powerful vs. crowds of anything, and blink Stalkers are just out of control – good micro makes them almost invincible, they are fast and have the best ability a RTS unit could have. Marines are ok imo(my god these guys never played Brood War? Marines and Tanks in BW are so bs.), so are sentries(useful but with low dps, and expensive on gas).

    Hydras are just bad, they are slow even on creep, I think that they should start with the +1 range upgrade for free and get a new upgrade to buff their speed.

    • Don’t you feel that buffed Ultras would effectively counter Collossi? Making their splash pointless and stomping through T1 units? And don’t Hydras on creep move the same speed as Marines?

      • Yes, with a good pathing, ultralisks would hard-counter collosi.
        On creep. Without stim. And concussive shell. And tanks zoning you :(

      • concustive shell doesnt slov unltras because they are a “massive unit” but i agree that ultras are WAY to bad because of their size they get countered by every unit that is able to move

      • Actually Ultras are “Frenzied” Units, allowing them to be immune to all non-damaging effect spells. I think what Zergs doesn’t do often enough with Ultras is Nydus them.

  2. Dude, plz don’t comment on balance if you are not a good player. You just don’t have any idea about the game.

  3. Good changes. Then we can add:

    1) Zerg can float bases
    2) banelings do range 7 splash
    3) zerglings are armored
    4) overlords already have Bannelings made with them for dropping
    5) mutas are now invisible and no longer need lair tech…

    Maybe then idra will stop whining and losing.

  4. These ‘changes’ were the dumbest shit I’ve ever read. It’s like some bronze league zerg player made them. Pretty sure Idra is trolling, or he’s just an idiot.

    If the game were in such a poor state of balance as the complete one-sided set of changes would indicate, there would be zero Zergs in the top 16 of any tournament.

    I hope idra’s mother dies.

  5. Funny how every single one of these balance changes boosts zerg.. Idra is a professional who depends on his results playing Starcraft to make his living. Regardless of how much he know sabout the game how can anyone assume he is impartial given that these changes will have a direct result on his ability to win more games and make more money.

    • Every single one?
      How about…

      Decrease Ultralisk size
      Make Fungal Growth a slowing spell instead of freezing spell
      Increase Stalker damage and give them slower movement speed or higher Blink cooldown

      The Ultra sizedown would (again!) make them able to do more deadly hug of love and rainbows. Not hugs of love and rainbows. Deadly ones.
      It would, on the other side, REMOVE their ability to function as the zerg’s forcefields. Or didn’t you come to think thus far, bronzy?

      The Fungal Growth spell would sufficiently nerf it and allow for some movement if it stays in balaned bonds, like 50% less speed. But that would really underpower it

      The stalker change would mean MORE DAMAGE. I would gladly trade that for less movement speed, as their fast movement is sometimes a downside, when your all-beloved support background shooters get ahead of your zealots, surrounded and made DED!

  6. “The stalker change would mean MORE DAMAGE. I would gladly trade that for less movement speed, as their fast movement is sometimes a downside, when your all-beloved support background shooters get ahead of your zealots, surrounded and made DED!”

    This would make everyone QQ about 4 gating even more…

    if stalkers were slower one a toss moves out its almost impossible to save the units while retreating. EVERY zerg unit besides the Hydas would be able to surround them….

    if your problem is that ur stalkers are in front how about learn to micro 2 stalkers back and allow ur zealots to get pass…

    • Of course I do, but when you’re using a simple move command to move them somewhere while macroing and get intercepted…
      Not like there would be things like keeping stalkers at the back or blinking…
      4 gate QQ is delicious. I eat their cries…

  7. Idra’s totally right EXCEPT for fungal from burrow. I think that would be so easy to exploit. I play Zerg and they simply do not have enough flexible units and characteristically they should as they’re a dna swapping/mixing race of aliens.

    Idra get’s burnt up and rage’s because he’s playing with the weakest race against people who just spam T & P because of how much easier they are to use.

  8. imo, they changes in sc2 should not just be random tweeks and changes, the changes should be based on the war in the game, eks, when terran keeps loseing buildings to brutes, terran would think how do we stop that ?, ahh we could lay high powered electricity in the ground, like a spell that clears the ground around ccs, eks the zerg would think ahh my roaches keep dying to banshee, maby evolve a 1 time acid bomb fired into the air, shit like that, the toss would think we can only go either zealot,or stalker, in the beginning of every war, so maby we need another unit,

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