There are a number of areas that bother me about tier1 vs tier1 and how the game is progressing for far in general.
1) Skulks can't close distance very well at some times, and they're great at doing it other times but I feel that either way the aliens have more casualties.
2) Lerks are weak. They're just so weak. Why do they cost so much res when the hive makes eggs for no energy cost and no resource cost? Also, in NS1 they became quite useless as the game progressed. People would still go lerk after 4 heavy armors were up for some odd reason. Why? They could have spent their res so much better on so many other things. Well.. I find that lerks are liabilities in the mid-late game. They're great early game though......
3) Aliens are at a disadvantage in open areas. Even with cloak.. once they bite, if they don't have other cloaked teammates with them they're pretty much asking to get shot up like Peter Weller in the opening scene of robocop.
4) In NS1, usually once the marines tech'd passed the point where they got JP/HA, it was over for the aliens unless they aliens had very skilled assassins, and even then the game could prolong and eventually lead to marine victory simply because the marines had the extra player as commander, and the commander could do a lot of useful things that the aliens can't.. Like build AI-using structures that were very effective. The best the aliens ever got in terms of building was the hive itself.. and they were also the most vulnerable if left unguarded. I feel like NS2 is going down this path, and while it makes for interesting gameplay.. the more open the map is the less effective the Onos becomes and if you're on the aliens you find yourself going
"Okay I could go in as skulk but I'd die.. I could go gorge but I'd be kind of useless at this point.. I could go lerk but I wouldn't get any res return... I could go fade but then I'll be chased down by jetpackers constantly, and the marines that aren't jetpackers wil fill me with lead any chance they get.. and I can barely go onos but with all the firepower on the marine team a jetpacker could potentially chase me down and potentially just follow me into the hive, kill me and deal damage to the hive."
So what option do you take? Any choice and you failed sadly....... I think the game should be more balanced for open area fighting.. because even in close quarters in NS2, the marines have the shotgun which lets face it, it's just the marines long-range bite. I think the aliens need a unit to counter the shotgun/flamethrower, and if you're thinking onos.. well then the aliens need something to counter a jetpacker with a larger weapon than those.. because otherwise the marines have the advantage in such a way that a jetpacker unit can attempt to solo hives with "that weapon that deals a lot of damage to lifeforms, and still damages structures". Think about some more open-spaced maps that you know and try to apply NS to it....... if they're too small, the marines can win with just a quick Obs, if they're moderately larger, the marines can win with Obs and Arms Lab, moderately larger again and the game may drag out but it will still be pretty much just OBs, Arms Lab, Robotics Factory...... All scenarios in which the aliens have to fight really hard to get tier 2 or be forced to close the distance between themselves and marines with terrible odds.
I really can't think of any way to balance this.... It's either like bring back mini-leap, or have the alien structures able to be "used" and on top of that, don't take the commanders ability to use them away (because the commander gets discounted energy for group) and also display the energy of the structures to the aliens.. I think that would be useful for letting them know where they might need another building. I can't really think right now but just think if you put skulks and lerks vs marines on blood gulch or a map like that.. the marines have an advantage I think. There are things the aliens can do to be sneaky but with the marines scan ability, that gets taken away quite quickly. So once cloak is gone for skulk and lerk, what do they have then? especially if there's a commander.. marine commander can drop meds, alien commander can just watch or attempt to drop building, spray umbra, use frenzy, use cloak.. all things that aren't entirely as useful as supplying health or energy. Perhaps that can be a solution.. energy recharging is quickened on infestation.
Anyways share your thoughts, I know that maps that are open aren't exactly NS-feeling.. but it would be nice if they felt more balanced. It just seems like you can keep distanced really easily as a marine.