The role of boring units
by, 05-22-2012 at 12:59 AM (3651 Views)
If you've read more than a few of my blogs you may have recognized my general disdain for certain units in Starcraft 2 due to how they don't seem to add more interesting decisions or allow for interesting micro. Some of the more notable units include the thor and battlecruiser for their incredible lack of mobility and lack of potential micro. While I don't particularly like the colossus - it does allow for for some interesting control and use with cliff walking and the ability to stutter step - something which is almost impossible with either the BC or the thor.
So then - what (positive) role do units like thors, bcs, and to some extent colossus have in the game? The basic motivator is that they give your army strength it wouldn't otherwise have while not requiring any real input during the battle to be quite effective. Essentially this frees up a player's attention to focus on more micro intensive/dynamic units during battles. This category generally includes things like spellcasters, marines, blink, graviton, burrow, contamination, transfusion, emp, snipe and so on. There's a limit to the number of things a player can do simultaneously and so an army composition that is only micro-intensive units will generally fail because of human limitations. We simply cannot split marines, vikings, throw down PDD, emp infestors, yamato corruptors, and HSM clumped broodlords all at the same time. So, we build units like the thor which don't really need much input during the battle, but also can't really make use of it anyway so that we have a strong army with a micro intensive component such as a spellcaster like the ht or infestor.
Attention is a limited resource, and in battles where so much is happening at once trying to pursue too many micro intensive options is simply trying to do more than what is possible.