Improving Karax commander in StarCraft II Co-op
One thing that sets Karax behind commanders like Swann or Zeratul is the inability to do anything with defensives structures once they have been set up as Karax lacks Swann's Salvage mechanic or Zeratul's Shade Projection.
Now Photon Cannons, Khaydarin Monoliths and Shield Batteries can phase to nearby locations in range of Pylons – opening new strategies and micro potential.
Improved base and upgraded power of units, reduced cost of upgrades, and new mechanics should smooth out Karax's early game and open options for more diverse strategies built around units, structures or both.
Mechanics and interactions
Chrono Boost together with new Combat Chrono Wave can target defensive structures increasing their attack speed and regeneration. This adds new depth to Karax's gameplay. Both of the effects can be improved further with a new mastery.
As this is a cooperative mode, Karax's allies will also benefit from these changes – be it their Chrono Boost or defensive structures.
To reflect the increased cost of Karax's units, several of them have been improved while keeping the fantasy of well made and durable Khalai machines.
Previously many of these units were too costly to get in a reasonable time and amount on the battlefield. With their power increased, they should prove powerful even in low numbers.
How to play
On any of my [MM] maps use
-karax2 command in chat in the commander selection screen. Without entering the command, Karax will play exactly the same as on the live version of the game.
In the game lobby leave settings as they are. If you don't want to play on Brutal difficulty, lower difficulties of AIs.
Main Karax's issues are slow start, high tech cost discouraging mixing unit compositions, and being overshadowed by Swann and Zeratul in the department of static defenses. Following changes aim to address these and other issues.
Changes are not final. This is simply a way to test possible changes in-game. The list will change based on further testing and feedback. Also, few bugs affecting Karax were fixed.
- The Reconstruction ability is available without the upgrade and its base cooldown is increased: 120s → 180s
- The Reconstruction upgrade renamed to Improved Reconstruction. It now reduces the cooldown of the ability: 180s → 60s
- The upgrade cost reduced: 150/150 → 100/100
- Reinforcing Sentinel's unique ability should make them more viable as combat units and "mineral-dump" alternative to Photon Cannons.
- Fixed its subgroup priority in the phasing mode (bug).
- Shields increased: 40 → 140
- Energizers have a high target priority and there are often no other units that can shoot air. This change makes them a bit more durable as they are a significant gas investement.
- Reclamation is available without the upgrade.
- The upgrade renamed to Improved Reclamation and now it's doubling the duration: 120s → 240s
- Build range increased: 0 → 3
- Added visual beam to the ability
- This is a quality of life change that was previously tested in other mods.
- Damage increased against non-light targets: 5 (+7 vs light) → 12
- Phasing armor duration increased: 2s → 3s (cooldown is 5s).
- Phasing armor reduces incoming damage to zero instead of making the unit invulnerable.
- Shadow Cannon is available without the upgrade.
- Shadow Cannon upgrade is renamed to Improved Shadow Cannon which lets Immortals store one additional charge on the ability.
- Incendiary Lance no longer increases attack period from 1.65 to 2.2 (possible bug).
- Incendiary Lance damage over 5s increased: 150 → 250
- Carriers start with 1 Repair Drone without any upgrade
- Repair Drones upgrade renamed to Carrier Capacity
- Upgrade cost reduced: 200/200 → 100/100
- Increases Interceptors per Carrier: 8 → 10
- Increases Repair Drones per Carrier: 1 → 3
- Carrier no longer has to stop for Repair Drones to start repairing mechanical units.
- Better and more numerous Repair Drones should make Carriers more attractive to add to the army for bonus repair. Increased Interceptor numbers help to justify increased Carrier cost. Reduced upgrade cost encourages mixing unit compositions.
- New ability Power Discharge – Carrier releases its energy disabling enemy units in wide radius. Enemy heroic units can still attack and move but at reduced speed.
- Power Discharge provides an opportunity for micro and decision making with Carriers. It can be particularly useful when combined with ground army. It can also serve as an alternative form of detection.
- Power source range increased: 6.5 → 8
- This is mainly a quality of life change to make phasing easier. One forward Pylon will be enough for a good amount of phased cannons.
- Photon Cannon, Shield Battery, Khaydarin Monolith
- These structures can phase every 30s to a new location in 30 distance. This ability requires powerfield at the targeted location.
- Attack and armor upgrades affect structures as well. Highest value is counted between air and ground upgrades.
- Enhanced Targeting
- Defensive Structures can phase in unlimtied distance in addition to granting +2 range to weapons and abilities of static defense.
- This significantly helps with phasing, and it being an upgrade provides an interesting choice when or if to get it. On the other side, having direct combat benefit prevents players from trying to optimize too hard.
- Shadow Cannon
- Upgrade cost reduced: 150/150 → 100/100
- The cost is now consistent with other upgrades on Robotic Facility, and the barrier between fun abilities and players is reduced.
- Twilight Council
- All upgrade costs set to 100/100 (3 of them previously at 150/150).
- This is to further reduce the tech cost of Karax, encourage mixing unit compositions or switching between them.
- Solar Core
- Twilight Council unlocks both Solar Efficiency upgrade level 2 and 3.
- Solar Efficiency level 1 cost: 200/200 → 150/150
Energy increase per tick unaffected (+2)
- Solar Efficiency level 2 cost: 250/250 → 225/225
Energy increase per tick: +4 → +5
- Solar Efficiency level 3 cost unaffected (300/300)
Energy increase per tick: +6 → +9
- Solar Effeciency upgrades have been rebalanced to provide easier start for Karax, and appropriate return value for high investement.
- Player can switch to Combat Chrono Wave.
Replaces basic Chrono Wave, and affects static defenses instead – increasing their attack speed, shield and energy regeneration.
- The switch costs no resources and takes only time. It can be reverted by switching back the same way.
- Both abilities share the same cooldown.
- Locking Combat Chrono Wave behind a switch provides a choice when or if to get it, and prevents the inner conflict and confusion about when to use Chrono Wave to boost production, and when to use it defensively.
- Purifier Beam
- Purifier Beam puts enemy units on fire (100 damage over 10 seconds).
- Chrono Boost & Combat Chrono Wave
- Combat Chrono Wave and Chrono Boost can target all defensive structures, increasing their attack speed, energy and shield regeneration.
- Chrono Boost: +100% attack speed, +600% shield and energy regeneration.
- Combat Chrono Wave: +50% attack speed, +300% shield and energy regeneration.
- If Karax is ingame, the other player can use his own Chrono Boost on any defensive structures as well.
- This introduces additional depth to Karax gameplay, further reinforcing his Khalai engineer fantasy, and opening unique interactions with the ally.
- Combat Chronomastery
- This mastery replaces "Chrono Wave Energy Regeneration" mastery.
- It increases bonus of Chrono Boost and Chrono Wave for defensive structures +2% – 60%.
- For example, Chrono Boost +100% → +160% attack speed; +600% → +960% bonus energy and shield regeneration.
- Chrono Boost Effeciency mastery
- Tooltip changed to “Increases the effectiveness of Chrono Boost on production buildings” to make the difference between this mastery and Combat Chronomastery clear.
- Repair Beam Healing Rate mastery
- Maximum bonus increased: +30% → +90%