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A look at each race's production

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In light of recent comments by blizzard http://(http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/view...opic_id=334748) and general discussion regarding the state of TvP I'm going to analyze what makes protoss late game so different from Terran from a production stand point. In past blogs I've talked about how upgrades and types of units available seem to favor protoss in the late game TvP.

The primary, and of course, most obvious difference is that protoss production is front-loaded in that they get the unit first and pay the time for it later. Warp-in aside, this makes a tremendous difference in two main phases of the game - the early/early mid game and the late game.

Late game really refers to situations where protoss is maxed out and has enough bank to build at least one round of production. With units costing between 50-125 minerals and 0-150 gas protoss would need somewhere around 1000 minerals and 600 gas for 8 zealots and 4 high templars - not an uncommon situation. When a battle occurs - protoss can actually begin reinforcing the moment units start dying - and of course because of warp gate - they can reinforce at the battle's location.

Not only is protoss effectively able to make a greater than 200 supply army in some sense due to the instant reinforcement but terran will be down one production cycle until he's maxed out again.

Units die - protoss gets units and starts paying cooldown while Terran pays cooldown and gets units later. When protoss gets his second wave of reinforcements - terran will be getting his first. With a relatively similar number of production buildings this means protoss is remaxing roughly one cycle (~30) seconds earlier than his opponent.

The other situation where the front-loaded nature of warp gates acts in favor of protoss is right when the gateways finish. First, here are some numbers:

Gateways take 65 seconds to build. Warpgate takes 10 seconds to transform. The first unit produced from the gateway appears 75 seconds after investing 150 minerals.
Barracks take 65 seconds to build. A reactor takes 50 seconds to build. A tech lab takes 25 seconds to build. Units out of each take between 25 and 45 seconds to build (we'll say 25 or 30 as marine/marauder are the most common).
A barracks building marines with a reactor sees its first units 140 seconds after investment.
A barracks building marauders with a tech lab sees its first unit 120 seconds after investment.

Obviously you can prebuild addons and float - you need an idle production building to do that which doesn't make sense in most situations.

Of course, Terran can go without addons - but that means no marauders and a drastically reduced production capability per resource invested. A naked barracks producing marines will build 1 marine at roughly the same rate as one zealot from a warp gate. One marine per zealot favors the protoss - so at least in the long term naked barracks are not effective marine producers.

So what does this all mean?
Right when a large number of gateways finish protoss has a distinct production advantage for a full minute or so while Terran production gets going. Maxed 200/200 games lead to situations where a battle happens, protoss remaxes faster, takes map control or expands while Terran catches up, rinse & repeat until Terran is dead.

A quick look at Zerg shows that they have some sort of front-loading in their production capacity as larva can be stored past the 5 or so you'd have right after an inject. For a relatively small cost zerg has the ability to remax with much less investment in actual production buildings compared to the other races - given time to stock larva of course.

Maybe Terran has this in the way of Orbitals and needing less scvs to favor a larger standing army - it's not something I'm really sure of. Perhaps I'll examine that further in a future blog.


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