What if Karax's Chrono Wave can boost Worker's gathering efficiency?

This was one of my ideas to remedy for Karax’s expensive unit costs. Interesting but questionable when there are more viable solutions (Why not just bring back Discount mastery?).
Link: https://youtu.be/0h8bn4MrcSI

So basically the workers move 500% faster and gather resources as fast.

The result was interesting but not as efficient as I thought.
I ran the test in Rift of Korhal and filling all resource spaces.
48 Probes in total (36 for minerals 12 for gas)

Without Upgrade (in 20 seconds)

  • 475 Minerals
  • 160 Gas

With Upgrade (in 20 seconds)

  • 1650 Minerals (347%)
  • 668 Gas (417.5%)

It also turns out more probes there are, more efficiency in gathering. I’ll spare you the details but the double number of probes yielded in more than 2000% increased overall resource gathering in 20 seconds.

But the best solution would be just set +50% more Health/Shield for all units (including Probes) at Talent 1 and give back the discount mastery.

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Word all around says they won’t give back the discount mastery. It’s just “too automatic” for most people. Especially since folks have managed to make Karax as is work just fine. For better or for worse, that’s just “his thing”.

Cases in point is I feel many of the other COs are OK, but I wouldn’t object if they got “extras” as well, including but not limited to:
–Nova being able to create duplicate production buildings to ease the charge and cd restriction system
–If Zagara could have generic units (everything’s specialized)
–If other heroes have means to instant-revive (so Kerrigan, Zagara, and Alarak)
–If Zeratul could have the dotted circles on his map from the very beginning, when using his Premonition ability.
Yes, I’m aware that you can use the trick with waypoints and rally lines and display them in his “thought bubble”, but that’s still tedious for me to work through

I hope that’s not true, Karax’s army may have become very durable but their army building is slow which leaves him in precarious position in certain mutations.

Unlikely, as much as I want to make more units for Nova, her panel abilities and unit perfomance do more than to compensate.

What? Zagara was difficult in her blue level because her units were generic.

I once proposed that Queens should revive them more quickly with Transfusion. The idea was rejected.

There isn’t much trouble with it.

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Honestly the sc2 coop masteries are mostly a failed design.

In vast majority one of the choices is clearly superior for most situations.
And unless you know exactly what you are gonna be facing going for the most generally useful is always better.

A lot of the masteries are very boring (swanns for example) and some masteries are so weak that they could be skipped and no loss noticed.

I would much rather have something like the sc2 campaign “zerg/protoss upgrades” where before a mission you choose a big change to your faction (choice between two units, or two powerful upgrades or similar).

That would at least be a noticeable choice…


A major issue to get around with this particular change is the clear need to over-saturate the bases to gain its full benefit.

Clearly the test shows even without doing so, the gain in economy is very high (possibly useful during the first Chrono Wave at 7min). And diminishing returns on successive uses per each cooldown.

Overall, I think without addressing the “over-saturation need during early game” then transitioning to “removal of said additional workers” may very well contribute to a net negative to the player (especially when some more supply deficient commanders are concerned).

My Karax solution:
-all combat units cost 50% more than baseline (up from 30%)
-all units (combat and otherwise) get +100% hp (up fom 50% for combat and 0% other)
-all units get 50% reduced cooldown time for abilities

-Mirage ignores armor while invulnerable
-Sentinels do damage on charge
-Carrier repair drones repair at 40 dps, while on the move r8
-Colossus fire lance stacks and does not slow down attack speed

-All buildings (combat/econ/all$ cost 20% less
-Probes build at range 500

Just remove the unit tax and revoke whatever buff they received and everything will be perfect.

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Karax is perfectly functional as is, he just requires experience to play.
I complained a lot after they removed Discount mastery, found out the commander is actually ok regardless.

He still has some design issues here and there such as:

  • Repair Beam upgrade too weak/pointless.
  • Repair Drones still have issues.
  • Half the masteries are garbage.
  • Mirages and Carriers still don’t have clear roles/don’t excel at anything.
  • His leveling experience doesn’t teach you to use his army, but to avoid it.
  • He still struggles with basic light air units killing his energizers, and Zerg, a lot of problems with Zerg.

If you’re strugling with resources as Karax, you’re probably upgrading too many things at once. Just get what you need at the time and you will be fine. Takes getting used to. Takes realizing his army is tanky enough to deal with problems. Takes knowing how much energy you are supposed to spend too.

Also takes not doing the super greedy tactic of burning down the rocks with all your energy in the early game regardless of the map/enemy comp that people think is the meta. I main Karax with Chrono Boost mastery, just saying. It is a lot safer and works on all maps regardless of Amon’s composition.

Other things to note:

  • Opening Carrier is not an option, most people don’t realize that.
  • Spamming cannons is not optimal and is not cost efficient, most people do it anyway.
  • Making Sentinels is fine and the safest when paired with early energy upgrade, most people ignore them like the plague.
  • Your army should have one energizer for every 8 units if you wanna maximize Karax’s synergies and actually have damage without Orbital Strike.

Now, if you’re balancing Karax around mutations, there ain’t much I can say there. They are definitely a case by case scenario and I’m unaware of commanders being balanced around mutations, but I’ve been out of this game for a while, so I don’t know. Did that happen recently?


The discount mastery had to go. It was such a one-sided mastery choice that it was essentially part of his kit. I think the HP mastery is great and helps a lot, though there’s still the problem that his units cost 30% more but aren’t any better than anybody else’s without the mastery (the new mastery should still be treated as optional and not essential like the one it replaced, after all). Like everyone, I’d like if they got rid of the unit tax entirely, but at this point, I don’t think they will, so they should commit fully to it.

I like Maguro’s idea of giving all of his units weaker versions of their special abilities (e.g., Reconstruction for Sentinels, Repair Drones for Carriers, Shadow Cannon for Immortals) and changing the research to give him improved versions of those abilities instead (e.g., shorter cooldowns or more drones). It solves the problem of his unit tax feeling completely unjustified as well as simplifying his macro since it doesn’t feel like he needs to research seven quadrillion different things before he’s a baseline strength commander.

Karax is so weird because none of the recent commanders were designed with the same philosophy as him. He has deliberate weaknesses like the unit tax and his difficult anti-air (similar to how Alarak has deliberately weak mobility or H&H have deliberately fussy static defense), whereas recent commanders feel like they went through a checklist to be as well rounded as possible: here’s how this commander will demolish this or that composition, here’s where his mobility will come from, here’s this unit or ability to handle this objective or mutator, etc.

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Well without mastery they still have +50% health over duplicate units but I get the point. I agree maguro’s approach of giving special abilities baseline and changing research to decrease cooldown/increase effect would be the best way to improve units.

Part of me thinks his static defense should just be much stronger, rather than teleporting like Zeratul and Karax 2.0. Stronger turrets = fewer required = more money for research.

Maybe have optimized ordinance, instead of a flat 20% attack speed buff, give a huge attack speed buff that decays as cannon/monolith takes shield damage? Double attack speed with full shields, regular attack speed at 0 shields.

Though we probably don’t need something that complicated.

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Your response pretty much illustrates my point. All of the buffs I mentioned are ones that I find “would be nice”, but I definitely understand if they do NOT implement any of them (and I doubt they will).

Likewise, your suggestion for Karax seems to fall under the same camp. It’d be “nice to have”, but I doubt they’ll implement it because it doesn’t feel like it’s really needed (anymore than the buffs I suggested)

Hmm, that could prove interesting. Would get people to build more Shield batteries. I’m guessing that would be on top of any other attack speed buffs, like Energizers?

My suggestion was to:
–Make all of his 0-build time structures 80% cheaper
–let His Nexus recall those buildings, removing them from the map, and refunding the resource costs

This should put his structure path strong enough to cover the issues with his units. Flexibility in moving structures, and saving enough resources for other things.

The multi-faceted takes on Karax in itself is telling, the lawlz.

Maguro has this covered and I wish the Co-op developers can implement these abilities.
Also to Typhoon, at least Alarak and H&H is surprisingly resource balanced while Karax’s quite isn’t thanks to tax, also H&H has Widow mines which does very well in defence (and mineral efficient).

I have to ask though, why do you want Zagara to get generic units rather than advanced ones? Wouldn’t that make her inefficient?
Ah you mean Hydralisk/Ultralisk/Mutalisks/Roach available etc?
Well, Zagara is more of a carthasis commander for me.
All of her units are like ammunitions when they gather in max number (especially Banelings/Zerglings) and when they are unleashed with Fury, they deliever one hell of a destructive power. I do Zagara for the fun of instant gratification and pay off, I think that is what the developers were going for with Zagara.

By “diminishing” do you mean decreased resource return due to increased resource expenditure from purchasing unit/upgrade?

In condition of if this “what if” ability is actually implemented, the resources gain will rise with more workers present by then (even more so when the number exceeds the limit).

What? You would make his overpriced units even more expensive? And with cheaper buildings … so he will be only cannonrusher (with building anywhere on the map, apparently) :hear_no_evil:

Granted I do rush into upgrade SoA and Sentinels as quickly as possible and sometimes my resources do drain quite quickly. Karax deathball is very dependent on Sentinel builds and they are one of the best mineral tanker units I know but the unit taxes makes it tedious to make advanced units. By the time advanced units such as Colossus, Immortals, Carriers gather in number, about 1:6 proportions are sentinels and since that they don’t die that much it’s har to replace them.
Karax’s deathballs are viable but personally I want tax discount back so I can invest to produce more advanced units.

Karax structures already do their job in defensive mutations but all he can do is support with SoA in mobility theme mutation, and with his current unit taxes it may not be as sufficient especially when there is a time limit.

Yeah, on top of speed buffs. Additionally, it gives more incentive to the structure hp mastery, as having turrets stay at high % shields for longer also boosts their damage. The idea is to embrace the bulkiness of karax’s units/turrets and translate that to more offensive strength. (If immortals and sentinels tank damage, turrets can unleash hell)

A slightly different approach would be every point of shield increases attack speed by 1%. So cannons at full shields get +150%, monoliths +100%. HOWEVER, this would scale incredibly well with the structure hp mastery, up to +240% cannon and +160% monolith attack speed. That way, the mastery not only affects structures taking damage, but every defensive turret.

My issue with your suggestions is you’ll be increasing APM required to have a strong static defense (either stand alone or supplementary). With any other commander (bar swann, maybe), I think increasing APM capacity/incentive is a good thing, but idk about Karax. We can see from Karax 2.0 that moving structures is finicky and time consuming, and I don’t think “just make more structures” is any different. And we also already know Karax requires a decent amount more awareness in general due to his top bar design: he has tons of “active” components, so I think buffing him in more passive ways (such that you don’t need to think about them while playing) is a better way to go

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What I mean is Karax saturates around 4min mark (give or take difference with build order). At this point, the player continues to tech up and proceeds to making units around 5.5min to 7min (depending on gateway vs robo approach).

What this particular change gives is an additional 1000/500 resource at 7min mark, post the 20min Chrono Wave. So one of two things can happen:

  1. With only saturated bases, the player can now make use of this 20sec window, along with the 1000/500 additionally gained resources, to make a few more units ~ 2-3 depending on what robo unit is chosen.
  2. Instead, chooses to invest an additional 20-30 probes before 7min. This will (according to you), result in a 6fold higher yield. So this option would seem best.

However, we can see a clearly laid out issue presented for the higher economy route of option 2 above. This would mean the player would:

  1. Have only started to produce units at around 7-7.5min (an entire 2min delay).
  2. Due to this high boost, as well as game progressing to over-saturated bases with Chrono Wave, the 2nd and consequent Chrono Waves will yield less significant returns, despite the same 6fold yield each cast. [This is due to running excess resources post midgame for most commanders, including Karax.] I mean unless the player chooses to further delay production and attempt to support 4 Robo and/or Starports rather than the conventional 2.

That’s what I mean by diminishing returns. The overall gained benefit is highly focused on the very first (7min) Chrono Wave. The significance of continued higher yield with over-saturated bases (taking up supply count) is more detrimental because:

  • Past midgame the player should be approaching 100-150 supply in army. This additional 20 probes per base would means total worker supply takes up closer to 80 supply.
  • So even though the by 2nd Chrono Wave can (with this buff) produce 4 robo units at a time as oppose to the 2 normally at this time, they’ll soon reach their supply cap.
  • By the time the 3rd Chrono Wave is available, continued production of robo units would be meaningless. As Karax’s units are quite resilent with higher bulk and repair beam.
  • And if the player at this mid-late game portion still haven’t maxed out at the 120 army cap vs their usual 150 in army cap, they’ll have to reduce the Probe count to make room… and in turn, decreasing the yield gained from the Chrono Wave yield.

I’m not sure I did a good job explaining, but that’s what I see as a definite problem.

My possible suggestion to solve this would be that Chrono Wave, in addition to its effect, adds an additional permanent layer of Chrono Field (so +10% each, by 3rd Chrono Wave would be 15% base + 10% x 3 = 45%).

This production itself would help make up (in a way) to catch up on the delayed macro that everyone’s having trouble with. In theory, at least, can provide the Karax player a faster army to move out. And I say this because (as I mentioned above), usually past midgame, Karax’s economy has been saturated and functional for 5+ minutes. And what prevents him having a high army cap is his production time.

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Nono, you explained in very great detail. I understand what you mean.
Well I suppose if this is implemented we can find a balanced number of additional workers and when the resource is large enough we can always decrease the number of probes (I say mostly gas as it is the biggest resource problem).

We can make the benefit to varying degree, +10% to Karax and 5% to others.

Interesting idea. Quite a challenge to implement but I see the point.

I’m afraid that @Someone is right. What you are suggesting is not different from the developers went with which made unit production even more difficult.

These are my thoughts on your idea

I have other Alternative solution to Karax’s unit problem, we could give Karax Gas discount with a value of 15% ~ 20%.

Yes… make his units expensive but actually worth it (50% cooldown on abilities, and enhancement of abilities)**

Having them start with some of those abilities baseline and getting upgrades to them makes sense (maybe they start out at normal cooldown and the upgrade give them the boost and a 50% cooldown time (for the abilities with cooldowns)
[immortal barrier, mirage grav, and carrier interceptor production would still get the 50% cooldown benefit from Level1]

[and yes Mirage attacks would ignore armor when the Mirage is invulnerable]

**Karax units would be a little like Stukov bunkers, slow to build up but you don’t lose them.