SC2 Economy - What needs to be done

StarCraft II General
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/legacy-of-the-void/482775-a-treatise-on-the-economy-of-scii

This is an in-depth article about how to make expanding reward the player instead of forcing him to do so.
"TL;DR:

SC2 worker pairing creates what most people will call a three base cap. Removing worker pairing is the best way forward. It can be done a lot of ways, Double Harvest is described in the article, its in our opinion the best approach.

LotV limits minerals punishing players for not expanding, created time influenced expansion timings and this has repurcussions for strategic depth.

We would rather see player influenced expansion timing and no worker pairing makes expansions give you more income (since no 3 base cap) and more strategic depth.

Still encourage you to read it all!"

We need to somehow get this in the attention of Blizzard!
I really like this :) nice work from whoever wrote it!
I managed to read down to The Impact of the Current Mineral Efficiency Model in SCII before the repeating got to me, from what I read and your shortened version Hrair the topic is to double the time workers need to gather an batch of minerals in order to discourage getting two workers per mineral patch?
12/04/2015 09:16Posted by Hrair
Double Harvest is described in the article, its in our opinion the best approach.


While it was an interesting read, doubling the harvest amount of workers will have a huge impact on the overall game more so than the current economy changes have had. There are way too many strategic considerations and build order impact when doing a double income thing.

I don't think that having a cap at 3 bases is a bad idea. The game should be all about balancing your economy and your army. Since most players do not know about the 16 workers trick, removing it will only just make the game shallower. Having the bigger economy doesn't always have to win you the game.

Besides, most of the time players will only be mining from 3 bases because defending more than 3 is not worth enough, even if you had the income (you still need more workers and you will still have a smaller army regardless of cap). If you want players to more beyond 3 bases, you need to tone down harassment. A LOT. And the article seems to *ignore* this aspect completely.

Expanding for the sake of expanding isn't the point.

Economy also has some other caps, not just the worker efficiency one:

a) the cap at which you can no longer spend your money fast enough because you have a way too large income.

b) the spending cap, when you basically only replace your army losses from the bank you already stockpiled.

We are talking about really late game stuff here. The 3 bases cap rarely affects a game in a meaningful manner.
And the more we make economy changes and require more expands, the more power we give to Terran, who are specialized in killing workers. Let's see how blizzard will handle the economy model they proposed without making this game a drop fest.
SC2 Economy change:

1. Let it be like in hots 1500 mineral + 2500 gas
2. Increase minerals per trip from 5 to 8 from blue and 15 from gold..
3. Introduce upkeep
4. Split worker and army supply - make it both independant. Supply depots are for units (and half of supply depots for workers), CC's for workers only.
5. Upkeep only if army supply is big enough (only minerals pays for upkeep)
12/04/2015 11:43Posted by Moonshadow
While it was an interesting read, doubling the harvest amount of workers will have a huge impact on the overall game more so than the current economy changes have had. There are way too many strategic considerations and build order impact when doing a double income thing.


You may consider actually reading the article before posting things about it.
13/04/2015 01:56Posted by Loko
You may consider actually reading the article before posting things about it.


I actually read it.

My opinion still stands. There is no point in butchering the economy model even further. There are far bigger economy problems blizzard will need to fix in LOTV beta than the 3 base cap (which isn;t really a problem, in case you all missed it, blizzard wanted it that way, otherwise they would not have bothered with the worker AI or displaying us the little numbers above the nexus, or carefully pointing out that you need 3 workers to mine properly), which has no real impact on the game.

oh and by the way: MULES xD
I'll be honest I really have not gotten this "Punishing" vs "rewarding" argument for how expanding works in LOTV

3 full mining bases saturated gives optimal income. Base 1 mines out after about 6 minutes, I haven't played LOTV but are players really getting full saturation on 3 bases before their main loses efficiency? So you have to take a 4th base to get to the 3 base optimal mining, and you'll never be there for more than a few minutes because other bases are mining out.

I don't see how this is any more or less punishing than anything anyone else has suggested. Reduce the amount of mineral patches and if a player doesn't expand their still punished because they're mining less. They expand they get more money, but that's exactly how it is?

I've not seen anything yet which really explains why the current beta model is punishing? is it because if your opponent does and you don't you lose, but again thats the same with any econmic model in RTS.
The 3 base income cap is what killing the idea of expanding. Currently you are FORCED to expand so you won't be punished by depleted resources in your old bases rather than rewarding you for aggressively expanding.

If the double harvesting is implemented instead, it could allow having more bases with more income with the same worker count without the worry of too soon depletion in your old bases.

As it was said. Expanding should be a choice not something punishable.
14/04/2015 19:37Posted by Wrath
If the double harvesting is implemented instead, it could allow having more bases with more income with the same worker count without the worry of too soon depletion in your old bases.


If you double harvesting rates you will deplete twice as fast (obviously), which means you have to expand faster.

Yes, it rewards you more for expanding, but expanding already rewards you well enough if you can defend.
14/04/2015 19:37Posted by Wrath
Currently you are FORCED to expand so you won't be punished by depleted resources in your old bases rather than rewarding you for aggressively expanding.


14/04/2015 19:37Posted by Wrath
If the double harvesting is implemented instead, it could allow having more bases with more income with the same worker count without the worry of too soon depletion in your old bases.


Youre punished for not expanding currently but with double harvesting you would be rewarded for expanding while spreading out workers because you dont mine out the bases?

Why cant you currently expand to six bases and spread out the workers to not mine out everyone too fast and why would you not put 16 workers in mineral lines on less bases even if you had the double harvesting time?
14/04/2015 20:34Posted by Moonshadow
If you double harvesting rates you will deplete twice as fast (obviously), which means you have to expand faster.


Please don't comment on this unless you read the article.
The TL article is fantastic. Please read it if you have any interest in this what so ever, and don't write comments like "double the harvesters, double the money DUH".

The ideas presented seems like a much better way to take LotV then what they have implemented in the current beta. Personally, I don't care if the beta have to be extended, or the main game delayed.

On paper, the double harvest model seems like a way to give blizzard(and the players!!) what they want. Faster games, rewards for expanding, increasing strategic options while removing as few as possible, still making it "feel somewhat like HotS". The current harvester pairing model in LotV seems destructive to overall idea behind SC2, it seems limiting and punishing. Obviously the double harvest method isn't perfect as mentioned in the article, but the downsides are much less impactful and potentially fixable with some number tweeking, compared to the current LotV model which introduces more new problems to the already problematic model.

We need to see a response from blizzard on this particular post. It should be implemented and tested during the beta asl well in my opinion. It is a beta after all. I will gladly have the LotV beta and/or main game delayed to have this model in it, or at the very least tested beforehand.
14/04/2015 20:34Posted by Moonshadow
14/04/2015 19:37Posted by Wrath
If the double harvesting is implemented instead, it could allow having more bases with more income with the same worker count without the worry of too soon depletion in your old bases.


If you double harvesting rates you will deplete twice as fast (obviously), which means you have to expand faster.

Yes, it rewards you more for expanding, but expanding already rewards you well enough if you can defend.


The first sentence of this comment alone proves you have not read the article, or you were unable to understand it. So please don't comment on it before you read and understand it.
Let's hope Blizzard sees this article soon, so we can possibly see something worked out during the beta. It's time to do what the community has wanted since 2012.
12/04/2015 14:13Posted by Neuromancer
4. Split worker and army supply - make it both independant. Supply depots are for units (and half of supply depots for workers), CC's for workers only


this one is a very bad idea. It would significantly favor Terran since they can expand inbase and then produce more workers there. Also zerg would gain an advantage over protoss, since a nexus' only funcion is to produce workers, so no gain for additional inbase nexi. And protoss has the hardest time securing expansions.

And after this change there would be no downside going for too many workers (now it limits the army size.

If you want changes to force players to be more widely spread on the map, the LOTV economy system is good for that. But 3-base eco is all a player needs, so maybe they could increase the supply cap to 250, so players would be going for a 3,5-4 base eco instead of 3. And with the lotv eco changes to force that 3,5-4 base eco on 5-6 bases.
You're punished for not expanding currently but with double harvesting you would be rewarded for expanding while spreading out workers because you don't mine out the bases?


Yes because with double harvesting 8 workers in a mineral you will be mining at the same rate as HOTS with 16 workers. Thus you will not mine out as fast as LOTV currently.

14/04/2015 21:05Posted by Likkan
Why cant you currently expand to six bases and spread out the workers to not mine out everyone too fast and why would you not put 16 workers in mineral lines on less bases even if you had the double harvesting time?


Because currently in HOTS, 6 bases 8 workers = 3 bases 16 workers. There is no point in expanding beyond the 3 base economy. But in double harvesting. You cannot add more than 8 workers per mineral line. Thus you are FORCED to expand beyond 3 and 4 bases to have better income. At the same time, workers count won't eat a lot of your supply because it will be the same worker count but distributed on more than 3 bases.
20/04/2015 13:52Posted by Wrath
Thus you are FORCED to expand beyond 3 and 4 bases to have better income.


So why is this model better than being contained to a *fixed* number of bases?
20/04/2015 15:18Posted by Moonshadow
So why is this model better than being contained to a *fixed* number of bases?

It increases activity in the map, where players need to be all over the map in order to harass and claim territory. You need to have better control of your army in double harvesting, because there's three times more places you need to be at. It makes for a lot more fun BW-esque games where skirmishes are happening everywhere instead of one army ball sitting between natural and third and one squad looking for openings to harass. With double harvesting, the benefit from expanding has much greater value and keeping your expansions safe and running becomes a much more meaningful sector of the game. Like expanding 5 hatcheries early is a legitimate strategy, not just something to do for goofing off. There's just much more diversity between games when there's something to gain from expanding more than twice.
14/04/2015 19:37Posted by Wrath
The 3 base income cap is what killing the idea of expanding. Currently you are FORCED to expand so you won't be punished by depleted resources in your old bases rather than rewarding you for aggressively expanding.


20/04/2015 13:52Posted by Wrath
You cannot add more than 8 workers per mineral line. Thus you are FORCED to expand beyond 3 and 4 bases to have better income.


This is changing one objectively better choice for another then? Instead of punishing you for mining out an base youre punished for dedicating supply to less bases?

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