I don't think my skill level (or lack there of) should be used as proof of anything.
The top player strategy right now, which I can't pull off, is to use your engineer to fast build a second engineer and try to take 2 regions.
We plan to make these changes to the balance:
- Engineers will take less time to build but cost substantially more thus, if you want to rapid expand, go for it but it'll consume all your metal).
- You cannot build in a region that you don't own.
- Factories will cost a bit more to construct.
And without giving too much away here are 2 PHC units we have in mind:
- PHC Sapper. Via orbital fabricator (which will become cheaper and quicker to build but Incursion will require more quanta making it an invalid ability). The PHC sapper will use 50 quanta and can destroy enemy buildings fairly well (it can also attack units but not as well). Good for punishing rapid expanders.
- PHC Instigator. New aircraft. Relatively cheap but can do some harassment but more specifically, it can turn a captured region back to neutral.
- PHC Flea. Is ignored by Splinters and thus can go directly to your base.
For instance, if you simply rapidly expand, you might find that there's a Sapper in your base. Or you might find that the Instigator has gone and cut off some of those regions you just earned. Or you might find yourself harassed by fleas if they decided to build fleas first (30 seconds to build a factory, first flea is coming out 20 seconds later versus player sends engineer over to other region (10 seconds), captures region (20 seconds), builds factory (30 seconds), builds first Archer (20 seconds): Thus fast expand costs 80 seconds to get a unit out versus the enemy having units out in 20 seconds.
Please understand: We don't want to make fast expansion an invalid strategy. We simply want to ensure that there are risks with any strategy if your opponent has the skill to punish you. We have to weigh the price of rapid expansion versus the cost of punishing it. For awhile, Incursion was so powerful we had to nerf that.