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Thread: Things you don't like about current balance and what you'd do to fix it

  1. #1
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    Things you don't like about current balance and what you'd do to fix it

    Here's some things I've been noticing from the marine side of things:
    There is no tl;dr but I did format it so it's not a total wall of text.

    Neurospam

    It's cancer. It has no counterplay, and little risk. It isn't even blocked by cades, unlike marine gunfire from the DEFENSIVE side. Spitters, Sentinels, Praetorians and Queens can all spam this as much as they like until they get a hit in, and then they're tanky/fast enough they can run through gunfire, grab the downed marine and drag them away to their death. Being able to spam all the while to make sure the downed marine can neither get up to run, nor pull out a gun to fight.

    Solution: Just make neurospit actually cost a substantial amount of plasma. Actually this is a problem with ALL combat xeno abilities - everything can be used willy nilly without even caring about how much plasma you have. Neurospit in particular is bad with the way the spitting castes can machinegun fire it. Changing neurospit to a more reliable but substantially less spammable ability would do wonders to eliminate how cancerous it is without making it useless. In essence, make it an ambush/initiator. It may even be a good idea to simply adjust them to work more like a short range boiler/prae spit.



    Queen Screech

    This is just as bad as neurospit, in part because it gets combined with neurospit - particularly queens spamming neurospit to grab/drag/slash whatever marines they hit, and then using the screech if they ever get in trouble/swarmed. Eliminating ENTIRELY any risk involved whatsoever. A decent queen doing this on the front lines completely destroys marine pushes by itself, and more generally it's a pain in the ass to deal with as it can drop an entire FOB dead in combination with a boiler attack, and makes all cade lines worthless. The only real counters marines have against this are the SADAR or a well-timed CAS. That isn't nearly enough for just how effective and spammable it is.

    Solution: Change the screech's area of effect. Don't make it hit everything the queen sees, have it only hit a cone, or a line in the direction the queen is facing. Limit the number of people that can be hit by the queen screech so it takes some skill to use and isn't always "get out of jail whenever I feel like" card. Consider even just getting rid of it entirely.



    T2/T3's Too Tanky

    Almost across the board, T3 are too tanky. Crushers are the worst offenders, with Praetorians coming in close second. Only the boiler actually feels like something that can be killed without requiring an entire unga-rush of 20 deltas shooting while chasing it down. Not far behind the T3's are the T2's - which get tanky enough in combination with their speed at elder/ancient - that attacks stop being a risk and become more like toying around with marines, and on top of it all is how much health elder/ancient xenos still have despite being in crit, making it even more difficult to actually confirm a kill on the back-and-forth frontlines with xenos quickly dragging those crit back to safety and body-blocking incoming shots that might finish it.

    Solution: It's all over the place, there's so many different changes needed. Crushers could do with less health, praetorians and ravagers with less speed. T2 castes in general are too tanky once they reach elder/ancient tiers, and Lurkers in particular are way too fast for their stealth/damage; A good lurker is honest to god better for the xenos than a ravager is.



    Too Hard to Defend Cades

    It's not just a problem with Queen screeches and massive gobs of boiler gas covering the entire FOB - cades are completely useless once you extend them enough from the main LZ that a marine can't be covering it 24/7. This isn't just a problem with how weak cades are in general to xeno attacks (where marines have to spend significant resources + TIME on cades while xenos just need 10 seconds alone to destroy it), but also with the map design that makes it impossible to hold vital logistical lines because of the dozens of flanking opportunities from vents and side passages, and then on top of THAT is the amount of time it takes for engineers to put up cades in the first place, and the substantial amount of material used up to do so. Two engineers in a squad can barely make one defensible mini-FOB, let alone securing the path the squad takes. Metal cades are garbage in general, and sandbags are a goddamn nightmare to fill up and use in a timely fashion - you can't even prefill and carry sandbags with you.

    Solution: One of the biggest problems with cades is that a spitting caste with 10 seconds to spare can annihilate an entire line of cades that took an engineer five+ minutes to grab supplies, run around, and build. Acid is a cheap and easy way to destroy cade lines and marines have ZERO counter to it besides babysitting the cade constantly, which isn't always feasible given our current maps. Give engineers some kind of acid neutralizer so they can stop the acid and repair the damage done, and change the acid from a guaranteed destruction timer to a Damage Over Time effect. In addition, increase the hitpoints of cades to match the now stronger mutator-buffed xenos so the cades aren't such a breeze to smash through, reduce the time it takes engineers to build cades, and massively decrease the time it takes to fill a stack of sandbags.



    Defcon Doesn't Matter

    Defcon is neat from a lore/atmosphere perspective, but as a gameplay element, it's awful. There's too many items scattered around the map worth too little to bother with. 9/10 rounds never make it past Defcon 4 and marines have zero incentive to gather that intel in the first place when it just places them at greater risk for zero gain while giving the xenos breathing room and better weight of numbers in ongoing fights.

    Solution: The simplest solution is to remove the requirement to 'chain' defcon items together and simply allow full points to be collected for each item when you have it, not when you've done the busywork of reading this and that piece of paper and inputting codes. That would make defcon work more intuitively and be a little bit easier to actually get points for. I'd prefer, however, if this entire method were scrapped, and we moved to a capture-point mechanic, with marines having to hold certain areas and gain intel while doing that, rather than simply playing collect-a-thon.



    Fire Helps Xenos

    Rather than being the bane of aliens everywhere, fire is actually pathetic. There's so many things wrong with it I hardly even know where to begin - rather than fire resistance, the Queen and Ravager inexplicably have fire IMMUNITY. All xenos are still able to heal WHILE ON FIRE! The damage over time that fire does is garbage - only the Pyro's blue fire is actually something to worry about at all, while regular orange or god forbid green fire can almost be outright ignored by xenos. It's so bad right now that xenos will actually walk into fire, SET THEMSELVES ON FIRE, and drag a marine into the fire with them - because it kills a marine faster and better than it does the xeno. And then there's the Incendiary OB, which, while it's the only genuinely effective OB marines have right now - is ONLY effective because most xeno players panic and try to run out of the fire, taking damage from each tile, instead of standing still and resisting to put it out or resting to outheal the damage. Speaking of which - most xeno castes at elder, maybe even mature+ (I've even seen young xenos do it with pheromones) can actually OUTHEAL THE DAMAGE FIRE DOES TO THEM WHILE RESTING WHAT THE FUCK.

    Solution: For starters, remove fire immunity from the ravager and queen. Even if it does reduced damage, it should still DO DAMAGE. There aren't ANY marines that are 100% immune to xeno slashes, spits, or boiler gas attacks, so why do xenos get unilateral immunity to fire??? It also should not be possible to heal while on fire, let alone out-healing the damage the fire is doing, and the fire itself needs to do more damage in general to xenos to actually scare them away. A xeno set on fire should be running away to try and have the fire put out by other xenos or die. None of this, oh no 30% of my HP is gone, guess I'll just neurospit this flamer guy and light him on his own fire then drag him off to ensure he dies while I outheal the fucking damage of the fire. Fire needs to hit like a truck. A big flaming firetruck of fire. Xenos who think they can just grab marines and tussle around with them in fire need to be properly punished for such ridiculous shenanigans.



    Grenades Are Completely Worthless

    This is pretty much the same category as the fire bullshit. Grenades do FUCK ALL to xenos. ONE HEFA can give 5 or 6 marines IB and broken bones, making them slow, paincritting them to the ground, or disabling their ability to even shoot their gun, nevermind just outright killing the marines. Meanwhile your typical young drone with no mutators can sit its ass directly on a HEFA and live. Fuck that noise. It should DIE. The grenades are so fucking telegraphed already you have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to run into one as a xeno. You DESERVE to die to them. At the moment your typical T2 can sit within 3-4 tiles of detonating HEFA nades and tank a half dozen or more of them. That's like 30 fucking seconds of tossing grenades at a xeno to kill it while hoping none of those bounce back at you, or god forbid you get fucking neurostunned with the primed nade in your hand; it's fucking stupid! HEDP is even worse, doing even less damage while failing to stun xenos for any length of time that would allow anyone to actually move up and finish the xeno off. And that's not even getting into the massive issues with throwing grenades in the first place - just one person running in front of you or playing help-intent games and that's it, you've fucked the entire fob and yourself, and your friends.

    Solution: It's not the damage that needs increasing. Grenades already do a fuckton of damage to marines. It's the damage TO XENOS that needs fixing. Xenos should not be brushing off grenades like they're nothing. Grenades should not be so worthless that all the experienced players literally disposal every grenade box they see to prevent noobs from friendly firing the entire FoB with idiotgrenades. Grenades are so fucking bad right now I can barely put it into words. The only thing they're good for is fucking suiciding yourself and friendly firing your friends. Increase the damage to xenos, and let marines toss grenades through other marines.
    Last edited by Boersgard; 02-13-2019 at 09:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boersgard View Post
    Too Hard to Defend Cades

    It's not just a problem with Queen screeches and massive gobs of boiler gas covering the entire FOB - cades are completely useless once you extend them enough from the main LZ that a marine can't be covering it 24/7. This isn't just a problem with how weak cades are in general to xeno attacks (where marines have to spend significant resources + TIME on cades while xenos just need 10 seconds alone to destroy it), but also with the map design that makes it impossible to hold vital logistical lines because of the dozens of flanking opportunities from vents and side passages, and then on top of THAT is the amount of time it takes for engineers to put up cades in the first place, and the substantial amount of material used up to do so. Two engineers in a squad can barely make one defensible mini-FOB, let alone securing the path the squad takes. Metal cades are garbage in general, and sandbags are a goddamn nightmare to fill up and use in a timely fashion - you can't even prefill and carry sandbags with you.
    I agree with most of what you said in this post(I don't necessarily think T3s are too tanky and fire can be useful if you're smart about it), but I'm going to address this specifically because there is something that I have really come to believe strongly about this in the past few months: making cades non-directional was a terrible, terrible update. It has done nothing but make the game worse. I said this at the time, and was told to not be so reactionary and to give it a chance and see how it shook out. I have done so. It is a massive problem with the gameflow as it stands. The xeno siege abilities are so strong that breaking one line of cades is trivial, and cades being non-directional means that having more than one line of them is actively detrimental to the marines. As it stands, the marines cannot hold positions because one line of cades cannot withstand an assault for any amount of time. This means that the marines are not able to use building resources to extend the amount of time that they can hold a position. They cannot fortify beyond the most basic. This also makes engineering incredibly simple and straightforward: you build one line of cades, no room for creativity. This also means that M56Ds are largely useless, because half of their firing arc gets blocked by the cades to their left and right which they cannot shoot over. This also makes Smartgunners useless because if they are doing their job and firing over a line of marines, they're just hitting the cades. Cades also cannot protect against sentinels and spitters, and once a cade line is breached and the marines have to fall back from it the xenos can use it as cover, so having a fallback line is useless for anything other than buying a minute to evacuate.

    It is a godawful change. Rarely am I so harsh in describing something in this game, I understand that the devs are unpaid and are just doing their best and I accept that generally the devs know better than I do about what will make the game enjoyable. The reason I am so blunt about this is because I am so convinced of its badness as a change. I asked the dev who committed this change, at the time, why he had done so, and his response was that "xenos shouldn't have to assault big onion FOBs". To that I say, why not? As a xeno, I often enjoyed prolonged sieges. They were fun, either side could win and they provided opportunities for clever flanking and clever defence. With the siege tools currently at their disposal, I would hardly say that the xenos would be totally unable to break a 4 line FOB. As a marine, I enjoyed building and defending them. There was room for interesting layouts, and holding against an onslaught was thrilling(not so much if command was cowardly and retreated early to take advantage of it, but they do that with the Almayer now anyway so this certainly hasn't fixed that). It was fun, certainly more fun than the current "screech, gas, cade line breaks, Queen takes fire and retreats, marines evac by the time she gets back or everyone dies". Just about every FOB location can be flanked, anyway, so it's not as though you always have to claw through 20 cade lines. The marines don't have the resources to build one of those at every flank, and without the tank their ability to defend is lessened from the time that change was implemented anyway. The only place that the xenos can't flank like that is Ice Tcomms, but even that is probably doable with boilers in their current state, not to mention the fact that Ice is apparently getting a rework and this won't necessarily even apply to it for much longer.

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    >Fire is not strong against xenos
    I disagree, it is pretty deadly (ignoring rav/queen and crushers), while being set on fire once does not kill you outright, you'll probably have to spend a lot of time recovering. And no, marines dont take more damage and even when they get set on fire by friendlies (!) they have access to ointments, extinguishers and revives.
    I have mixed feelings about fire immune xenos, I think if they did not exist, pushing with flamethrowers would be too simple.

    >Boiler gas
    I think this is too distruptive to marines because when you get a few boilers you basically can't see shit. Playing the game practically blind is just not fun at all.
    A fix could be making the gas spread out and disappear faster.

    >Grenades
    I think the game already has enough FF so letting thrown grenades pass through mobs is fine. (IRL you are throwing the thing over their heads so it's not unrealistic)
    The stun from grenades is extremely deadly to xenos, you can easily chain stun with them just follow up with anything.

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    Senior Member CABAL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lurkermain View Post
    >Fire is not strong against xenos
    I disagree, it is pretty deadly (ignoring rav/queen and crushers), while being set on fire once does not kill you outright, you'll probably have to spend a lot of time recovering. And no, marines dont take more damage and even when they get set on fire by friendlies (!) they have access to ointments, extinguishers and revives.
    I have mixed feelings about fire immune xenos, I think if they did not exist, pushing with flamethrowers would be too simple.

    >Boiler gas
    I think this is too distruptive to marines because when you get a few boilers you basically can't see shit. Playing the game practically blind is just not fun at all.
    A fix could be making the gas spread out and disappear faster.

    >Grenades
    I think the game already has enough FF so letting thrown grenades pass through mobs is fine. (IRL you are throwing the thing over their heads so it's not unrealistic)
    The stun from grenades is extremely deadly to xenos, you can easily chain stun with them just follow up with anything.
    I have to disagree: Stepping on a fire, catching it and not using any source of extinguishing it, you will die as a marine in normal armor. There is 100% chance you will die. If fire is extinguished pretty late, you will boil in your armor. If you menage to do "perfect run" which means catching fire, immediately extinguishing it and immediately taking armor off, you will get paincrit.
    Not even saying that marines are slowed down the second they stepped on the fire.
    Normal fire (napalm used in standard flamers) is not deadly to mature+ benos.
    Situation from few months ago (Fire wasn't buffed from that time, only mutators gave benos more health): I'm captured, pretty healthy, benos put me in straight 1x1 hallway. Ressist, break out, flame freaking hallway, all 5 titles lit on glorious fire. Mature Hivelord on full health casually walks trough flames, tackles me several times (RNG was "bad" for him), nests me, goes all the way back trough flames, ressists, puts flames down, rest, before I could break again, he was at full health.
    Very deadly indeed.
    It doesn't matter if you have to spend 1-2-3 minutes to recover from dmg. If you as xeno didn't die, but you menaged to drag marine to the flames, you won. Hive didn't lost anything, marines atleast lost one medic's and one flame PFC's time, or they just lost that PFC.
    Because fire doesn't slow down, doesn't do anything besides passive dmg, it's not worth it.

    Only HEDP/that_one_looking_more_like_modern_nades can stun benos and:
    1.
    a) You have to have enough nades to "chain-stun" benos. Outside B18, who carries more than 3 nades?
    b) You have to coordinate with other marines to throw their nades. Impossible.
    2. Nades can't really chainstun, becouse benos have special "system" that doesn't allow their "Stun timer" to reset. Beno have to stand up, to be stunned again. If stunned beno is hit by nade again, it will stand up after the time of first nade stun.
    3. How many chainstuns do you see, or experience during single round? Around 0?
    REDEMPTION

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    Senior Member Heckenshutze's Avatar
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    I donít mind the rest of the subjects but neurospam definitely needs to be changed
    Ruben Benitez


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    Head Manager ThesoldierLLJK's Avatar
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    I think the queen should only be able to pick one special ability with a significant cool down.

    Queen should have screech, heal, build abilities, gib but make it a choice that a queen can pick the following:

    Pounce, Neurotoxin/Acid spit, Charge

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThesoldierLLJK View Post
    Queen Charge
    good lord, no

    I can genuinely say that removing queen charge was the single greatest game quality increasing change I have seen in this or any other game, ever

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    Quote Originally Posted by CABAL View Post
    ...
    Alright, I'll believe you about marines dying easily to fire.
    As a xeno I consider fire one of the more dangerous things because you are stunned during resisting so marines can chase you down and kill you.
    I think there is some RNG when it comes to being damaged from stepping into fire so sometimes you can get lucky.

    Regarding grenades, I mainly meant B18 but cant cargo buy boxes of the stuff too? Admittedly it is more common during the Almayer assault.
    I didnt mean chainstun that literally, just that if you are in a small space you cant really escape the following explosions.

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    I don't like the fact that OB's have no visual indicator of where they'll land. Audio cue is so vague.

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    Junior Member DreadPirateFury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CABAL View Post
    I have to disagree: Stepping on a fire, catching it and not using any source of extinguishing it, you will die as a marine in normal armor. There is 100% chance you will die. If fire is extinguished pretty late, you will boil in your armor. If you menage to do "perfect run" which means catching fire, immediately extinguishing it and immediately taking armor off, you will get paincrit.
    Not even saying that marines are slowed down the second they stepped on the fire.
    Normal fire (napalm used in standard flamers) is not deadly to mature+ benos.
    Situation from few months ago (Fire wasn't buffed from that time, only mutators gave benos more health): I'm captured, pretty healthy, benos put me in straight 1x1 hallway. Ressist, break out, flame freaking hallway, all 5 titles lit on glorious fire. Mature Hivelord on full health casually walks trough flames, tackles me several times (RNG was "bad" for him), nests me, goes all the way back trough flames, ressists, puts flames down, rest, before I could break again, he was at full health.
    Very deadly indeed.
    It doesn't matter if you have to spend 1-2-3 minutes to recover from dmg. If you as xeno didn't die, but you menaged to drag marine to the flames, you won. Hive didn't lost anything, marines atleast lost one medic's and one flame PFC's time, or they just lost that PFC.
    Because fire doesn't slow down, doesn't do anything besides passive dmg, it's not worth it.
    I think this is a dangerous thing to touch now that we have Pyro kits, but at the same time I feel this could use some tiny tweaks to solidify the role I've found for the Incinerator. Recently I've taken up a character I've lovingly nicknamed "Incinerator" or more recently "Scorch" (Cause who doesn't love Republic Commando?) this is a Pfc focused marine who only takes up Pyro kit. Through trial and error with my bald ass I've learned that the Incinerator is absolute dog-shit as an offensive tool, but more importantly I've learned it's a serviceable area denial and marine rescue tool. Using the Incinerator you can force aliens to have to think about how they plan to initiate and escape. These seconds of thought on how to navigate my recently constructed flame maze with the least amount of damage possible adds to marine survivability, you can sort of "overload" peoples brains with situation changers like this. You basically add small complications that can help catch them off guard or cause them to overthink things.

    A Crusher has done a run through a hallway in Prison for example. Fine, I'll just flame his route and cut off other castes from coming in to help him for free. This means that the next time he comes in he either has to accept that he's going to be lit on fire on entry, or he'll decide to back off and wait to heal a bit more before charging, giving marines a little bit of a breather before the next boil/screech.

    Another example is a time I noticed a Lurker was pouncing on my buddies and slashing a few times near the Bar in Solaris. So naturally I position myself innocently next to the medic playing around in some Charlie's guts, and as soon as our Lurker buddy gets close, I run past him and flame his escape route. So now he has to make a decision, does he run towards the Ungas who heard his pounce & slash and are coming to slug him to death, or does he run through the fire at the risk of us finding his barbeque lookin' ass around some corner trying to put the fire out?

    Unfortunately, my attempted outplay method didn't do enough damage to him for it to matter, as we had caught him resisting the fire up the path a bit, we shot him once or twice, and then he got up and ran off like it was nothing. While I'm sure he was low, the fire didn't do nearly as much as it should have. After we had caught him around said corner and shot him a few times he should have died of his wounds and the continued fire damage, but instead he pounced off and ran like Usain Beno to survive the whole ordeal, I know he survived too because he continued to harass us until he hit a random claymore next to us.

    I think a slowdown effect like you mentioned would be an appropriate balance, this would also help in the secondary role I've found for the Pyro kit which is, surprisingly enough, marine rescue. If you approach a wounded marine, and you have room for maneuver, you can attempt to get on a tile forward of them or right on top of them and flame the area in front of their body, which is hugely effective as a deterrent, at least until Xenos realize you're not all that scary and then tackle you and drag you into your own fiery demise.

    While I'm on this note I think the Incinerator should be tweaked so that it skips a tile before setting tiles on fire. Adding one tile to max range while removing the first tile of fire directly in front of you. The reasoning for this would be that it would aid in the aforementioned marine rescue capabilities, as well as prevent players from burning themselves if there was a spot of lag when they clicked and they mistakenly move a tile forward into their own flames. I've had this happen several times and I think it's funny that if you try to picture what this flamethrower would look like in real life, you might compare the Incinerator spitting out its Napthol fuel to an Elderly man with erectile dysfunction achieving an orgasm. Like a bad hose with no pressure, pathetically ejecting its contents with no force or enthusiasm. Not very realistic for a flamethrower, which in reality shoot flames ridiculously fucking far due to it being a flammable liquid launched out.
    Last edited by DreadPirateFury; 02-13-2019 at 02:43 PM. Reason: It read like dogshit so I tried to fix it. Still reads like dogshit. I should go to bed.
    I don't know if you've been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked pal!

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