This will never be as balanced as Starcraft or any other game that does not offer a singleplayer GC campaign that includes land and space, SP GC story campaigns land and space, land skirmish and space skirmish for single and multiplay, period. These are the times I miss the good ole days of singleplayer only games
Its almost a bad comparison as EAW is a different kind of RTS than those.
I see this as several games wrapped into one:
1.Singleplayer GC with land and space: This is where the game shines, the cost for the ZC is 3-4 times that of the rebs and imps and the power of the ships balances out, because you just cannot buy as much as the imps or rebs until you grow.
2.Singleplayer Skirmish land: Things generally balance out as its a rock,paper, scissors battle with the three sides. I love the way things play out here.
3.Singleplayer Skirmish space: Things get out of balance as the cost are equal which leads to the ZC having more power than they would in GC by FAR! The BM items are a big advantage early, but the ZC AI can still be defeated.
4.Multiplayer Skirmish Land: The land RPS balance seems to be ok but that is a guess as I don't play multi and most ppl have only talked about multi space. No solid experience.
5.Multiplayer Skirmish Space: This is where the BM items and the eqaul cost of the space ships really shows the problem with doing all of these types of gameplay based on "1" set of rules.
Frankly, it is SO friggin easy to change the cost of the ZC ships for multiplay space "only" I started to release the underworld space ship xml's with the new cost based on what the community decided was a good number. I decided against it because it does not seem that ppl can come up with a consensus, which is not a surprise at all.
In reality Petro did not put out the game I play on my computer as is, since I "ALWAYS" mod my computer games. Nothing "ANY" developer has put out and I play on computer in the past 18 years has not been modded to "my" perferences. I "never" look for the developer to decide what should be in my gameplay experience. A road map/blueprint sure, but once its in my hands I mod it to the game "I" want it to be.
My opinions are based on my experience with the game, it has "NOTHING" to do with Petro faith or anything like that at all.
I do thank Petro for the XML route as Hex editing still sucks after 18 years of doing it LOL!