Balance changes during the off-season
In order to get more testing done, we’d like to change up how we do patches just for this off-season. Instead of putting every balance change through the balance test map process, we’ll decide on a case-by-case basis. We’ll try to push out smaller or more known changes to the live game quickly, but we’ll still test the larger or less certain changes on the test map before going live.
After going through both the community and pro feedback since the release of the patch, we’re thinking to push out these two changes rather soon:
Revert Cyclone range upgrade
Pro players have pointed out that they were dealing with the early game Cyclone all-ins toward the end of the testing phase right before this nerf went out, so we’d like to try reverting this change and go from there. We hear the concerns that early range can be problematic in TvT in particular, but because players were already finding solutions to some cases, we think this could use more testing. Defending against new threats often takes longer to learn than executing attacks, so we can come to a better conclusion in a couple weeks.
Colossus +light damage (current thinking is 12 +4 light)
We agree that with the mid/late game buffs to Zerg, Protoss looks to be struggling at those stages. This change would help against players going heavy Hydralisks. And with the Cyclone nerf being reverted, this change will help in PvT as we’ve seen bio was very strong in combination with heavy Cyclone usage before the upgrade change. We do hear concerns that this could either bring back the colossus-dominated metagame of HotS, or make bio too weak overall in PvT. We will be watchful going forward to ensure this does not become the case.
The other main thing currently on the list is Viper strength vs. mech play. We’d like to discuss a couple possibilities: nerfing the duration of Blinding Cloud vs. reducing the range of Abduct. Please give us your thoughts in this area.
Demotions on ladder this season
There was some discussion/confusion regarding demotions at the start of this season so we wanted to provide some clarification. Last season was the first time that we bootstrapped your off-races to the MMR of your main race due to the introduction of separate MMR per race. This potentially caused players to rank higher than their actual skill level on their off-races. At the start of this season, the boundaries automatically adjusted to the correct values, so many players at the higher levels of the ladder were seeing lower ranks than they did toward the end of last season. We expect player rankings to continue becoming more accurate over time.