Breaching the marine spawn

Shrike3OShrike3O Join Date: 2002-11-03 Member: 6678Posts: 718Members, Constellation
edited February 2012 in NS2 General Discussion
A thought on the Kharaa endgame
One of the main problems at the moment with finishing an alien victory is actually forcing entry into the marine spawn and destroying important structures. There's a number of issues combining here:
  • At this point, the entire marine team is concentrated in one place. That means your assault is charging into the muzzles of the entire team's LMGs, and that adds up. The situation gets worse if they have bigger guns, or one of those spawn areas that has good lines of fire, and is one of the reasons that the lighter lifeforms that would theoretically be ideal for this kind of fight (Lerk for crowds of marines, Gorge for crowds of buildings) have a hard time staying alive for any length of time.
  • There's no real loss for marines who buy a shotgun, GL, or flamethrower and then die three seconds later, because one of your teammates can just pick it right back up again. Hell, YOU can pick it right back up again, since you'll be alive and on location again in 10 seconds. That means that those "bigger guns" I was just talking about don't actually get removed from play when their owner dies, unlike an Onos or Fade who gets chopped up during the assault; as long as there's an Armory intact in the area, those big guns effectively never come off the line.
  • The marines have no travel time after respawning to delay reinforcing their frontline (which is five feet away from the IP), whereas alien reinforcements are coming from all over the level. "Keeping pressure on them" is very difficult when you have an equal number of players on either side, but one side has a lot of distance to cover; the presense of "extra bodies" in the form of MACs repairing base structures and sentry guns firing at incoming aliens does not help this disparity at all. If the marine team has managed to get an ARC or two dug into their base, you've got even bigger problems, as alien forward operating bases can't be safely set up.
  • Upgrades for aliens take time, upgrades for marines are instantaneous. Gestating into your preferred assault lifeform takes a while, again making it difficult to maintain pressure after an assault, whereas the marines simply need to pick up the weapons they dropped when they died a few seconds ago, or spend a couple of seconds accessing the armory. The premier breaching lifeform, the onos, has a 35 second gestation time... add in travel time from a hive, and the death of an onos takes about a minute to come back from.


These issues should be addressed (IMO), but in ways that don't necessarily change early-game play. I've got a few ideas, and I'm sure others will have some of their own. I'm also sure some of you don't feel these are issues or will point out that there are different issues in organized play (I'm a pub player, but have clanned in the past, and understand there are significant differences), but the discussion could be handy.

Some ideas to address this:
  • Rapid transport for Kharaa: likely on the Shift, allow the alien commander to have one of his mature shifts designated as the "receiving point" for other shifts, which are then Used similar to the movement towers of NS1 for teleportation to that location. This would be a 3+ hive ability for the tower, to prevent early game skulk rush insanity.
  • Allow alien attacks to destroy dropped weapons (either corrosive types like acid spit/bilebomb, or all of them). This will allow the Kharaa to more rapidly sap the PRes pools of marines dug into their last holdout by preventing "hot-potato" shotguns and GLs from moving from one marine to the next quite as much.
  • Shorten gestation times based on the number of hives. This will allow for more rapid reinforcement of an endgame breaching party, but not change early-midgame play much.
  • Add 2/3+ hive abilities to the lerk and skulk, who don't really benefit from multiple hives at this time (Leap aside). Xenocide never seemed that useful in NS1, but if it left behind a lingering Umbra cloud, that might be a great way to open an assault. Give lerks something amusing at 3+ hives like acidic clouds... damaging to both people and buildings, or give them rapidfire acid rockets so they can go on strafing runs.
  • Allow the alien commander to set the default hive people spawn at. While players will still have the option to rightclick and hop to a different egg, the commander could pick which hive is initially selected. This will save a couple of seconds of orientation and changing spawn locations for skilled players, and will put those players who are a little less apt and don't understand things like "you can pick which hive you spawn at" in a good location for the grand strategy.
  • Create some kind of effect for Croach (infestation) vs. marine structures. If my assault has progressed to the point that I'm en-Croaching upon the marine base, I should really get some benefit from that. Slow damage to structures, slow depletion of the MAX health on a power node (meaning it's more and more fragile until the infestation is cleared, or it fails on it's own), or late-game multi-hive abilities from mature support structures onto enCroached areas (ranged projection of Umbra, improved healing in a given area, projection of the disorientation effect) would allow for more aggressive uses of Croach. While we're at it, allow for Mature Cysts that are more heavily armored and spread lovely alien goo over a larger area, to allow for more aggressive frontline use of Croach.

Anyone else?
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • internetexplorerinternetexplorer Join Date: 2011-10-13 Member: 127255Posts: 1,369Members
    edited February 2012
    Even in the game's current state (where it's missing important content like the shift and exosuit), all you need to do is get a proper mix of onos, fades and gorges (plus whatever other support you want). Gorges kill bases extremely quickly with bilebomb, and fades/onos kill everything else (while tanking loads of damage).

    You have to be careful about overthinking this, because the game probably doesn't need more mechanics as much as it needs players to learn it and work on coordinating themselves.

    Hivewalk from the shift (like in NS1) will have a big impact like you mentioned, but not as big as in NS1 (you won't be able to do the classic "ninja place a hive and teleport the whole team inside" if there's a command chair in its place).

    I'd like to see the effect of infestation ramped up in the late game, too. I always find it funny when an alien commander covers the entire marine base in slime, and it all vanishes 30 seconds later. The slowing effect is useful but it's not really good.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • twilitebluetwiliteblue bug stalker Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13116Posts: 1,754Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    edited February 2012
    Mature Whip is suppose to be the "low tech" way to help break Sentry defenses. Unfortunately, two Mature Whip are barely capable of taking down one Sentry right now (as long as the Marine Commander refills ammo). Let's hope Bombard gets re-examined soon.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • IronHorseIronHorse CDT Technical Support & QA Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 6,196Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Community Dev Team admin
    edited February 2012
    QUOTE (Shrike3O @ Feb 20 2012, 06:30 PM) »
    [*]The marines have no travel time after respawning to delay reinforcing their frontline (which is five feet away from the IP), whereas alien reinforcements are coming from all over the level. [/list]

    this is not an issue for aliens to tackle, this is an imbalance in the way map control works in regards to techpoints. currently theres not much incentive for marines to place just a CC like aliens drop just a hive. there are a list of imbalances in this area, from benefits to motivation. we should fix it and not the symptom.

    QUOTE (Shrike3O @ Feb 20 2012, 06:30 PM) »
    [*]Shorten gestation times based on the number of hives. This will allow for more rapid reinforcement of an endgame breaching party, but not change early-midgame play much.[/list]

    this could be a real bad slippery slope that may not be necessary with other implementations like shift, especially if there is no counter on marine side.
    QUOTE (Shrike3O @ Feb 20 2012, 06:30 PM) »
    [*] If my assault has progressed to the point that I'm en-Croaching upon the marine base, I should really get some benefit from that.
    [/list]

    you already do: marines are slowed, aliens regen, marines cant build, marines are parasited.
    i dont think it needs anymore buffs, especially once:

    QUOTE (Shrike3O @ Feb 20 2012, 06:30 PM) »
    [*]Add 2/3+ hive abilities to the lerk and skulk, who don't really benefit from multiple hives at this time (Leap aside). but if it left behind a lingering Umbra cloud, that might be a great way to open an assault. Breach the marine spawn
    [*]Allow the alien commander to set the default hive people spawn at.

    these two right here will make all the difference in the world, more so than you could imagine if Umbra can be spread to a wider degree than spores! (if this happens for lerks, you will have to allow the umbra to spew forth from his mouth, covering his underbelly in flight, else he will be shot down far too easily in a room full of turrets and marines.)

    on a slightly related note:
    devs, or modders, i know i've mentioned it before but i'd love to see it tested, can we get spores (and future umbra i suppose) to fall towards the ground, around marine height for that "Crop duster" effect its intended to emulate? it would alleviate the issue of lerks having two options:
    • fly into/through marines, where if you dont get shotgunned to the face you run into marines themselves and stop flight. hopefully marines arent grouped together like they always are?
    • fly just above marine height to ensure you dont run into anything, but your spores arent able to be effective just above marines' heads.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • Egad!Egad! Join Date: 2011-10-19 Member: 128250Posts: 143Members
    Yeah, games now stalemate all the time. Games (at least the ones I play) last close to 40 minutes, when I think they should average around half that. What's especially annoying is that most games are won in the first 5 minutes, and the rest is just a slow and ignominious struggle to inevitable defeat.
  • Egad!Egad! Join Date: 2011-10-19 Member: 128250Posts: 143Members
    QUOTE (ironhorse @ Feb 20 2012, 10:08 PM) »
    on a slightly related note:
    devs, or modders, i know i've mentioned it before but i'd love to see it tested, can we get spores (and future umbra i suppose) to fall towards the ground, around marine height for that "Crop duster" effect its intended to emulate? it would alleviate the issue of lerks having two options:
    • fly into/through marines, where if you dont get shotgunned to the face you run into marines themselves and stop flight. hopefully marines arent grouped together like they always are?
    • fly just above marine height to ensure you dont run into anything, but your spores arent able to be effective just above marines' heads.


    Very, very much like this. Not only is it useful, but it would also look very cool. Really hope devs are reading this suggestion -- it's a goodie.
  • devicenulldevicenull Join Date: 2003-04-30 Member: 15967Posts: 1,538Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    When did general discussion become ideas/suggestions?
    Rent NS2 Dedicated Servers at www.gameservers.com
  • TechercizerTechercizer 7th Player Join Date: 2011-06-11 Member: 103832Posts: 1,850Members
    QUOTE (devicenull @ Feb 20 2012, 09:37 PM) »
    When did general discussion become ideas/suggestions?

    When people started discussing game issues/features/mechanics and other people offered potential solutions/changes.

            Once the infestation reaches the Command Chair, the process begins. One Gorge enters the chair to provide the necessary height. Another climbs on its shoulders to access the controls.

            A Gorge Lab is quickly established, staffed by microscopic Gorges who work tirelessly to unlock the secrets of Frontiersman Technology, stopping only to change their lab coats when they become dirtied. Once the research progresses to a certain point, the Gorgecom gives the order. Nanites are called into service.

            The armature forms. A chosen Gorge, tested many times in the field of battle, enters the machine.

            Servos whir; miniguns spin up in diagnostics; an Exogorge is born.

  • rantologyrantology Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143750Posts: 1,406Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, Community Dev Team
    If they are still planning to implement all the tier 3 alien abilities like Onos charge, Acid Rocket, Web, and Xenocide etc I think once they are in stalemates will be less of a problem.
    image
  • internetexplorerinternetexplorer Join Date: 2011-10-13 Member: 127255Posts: 1,369Members
    QUOTE (devicenull @ Feb 20 2012, 11:37 PM) »
    When did general discussion become ideas/suggestions?


    when there was no reason to have a 'general discussion' forum in the first place
  • GodofThunderGodofThunder Join Date: 2011-12-13 Member: 137815Posts: 119Members
    Just bilebomb. Who needs tanks and soldier's, when the workers can do everything.
  • incogincog Join Date: 2003-07-26 Member: 18452Posts: 21Members, Constellation
    QUOTE
    on a slightly related note:
    devs, or modders, i know i've mentioned it before but i'd love to see it tested, can we get spores (and future umbra i suppose) to fall towards the ground, around marine height for that "Crop duster" effect its intended to emulate? it would alleviate the issue of lerks having two options:
    fly into/through marines, where if you dont get shotgunned to the face you run into marines themselves and stop flight. hopefully marines arent grouped together like they always are?
    fly just above marine height to ensure you dont run into anything, but your spores arent able to be effective just above marines' heads.


    Why is bite gun no longer an ability for Lerks? I don't see any imbalance as you're taking the risk of getting one shotted by a shotgun... maybe even slapped with a rifle butt if the marine times it right, basically cancelling out bite attack. Just a thought..
    #cri.onic
  • Shrike3OShrike3O Join Date: 2002-11-03 Member: 6678Posts: 718Members, Constellation
    It sounds like the popular choices here are:

    • Offensive Umbra delivery
    • Allowing commanders to select default spawning hive.
    • Larger/droopier lerk Spores (allowing "flyovers" rather than "flybys")
  • StarkwindStarkwind Join Date: 2011-07-26 Member: 112394Posts: 41Members
    i like the idea of the "crop duster" effect on lerk spores
  • IronHorseIronHorse CDT Technical Support & QA Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 6,196Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Community Dev Team admin
    wheres that fragmagnet when you need him?
    someone needs to aggressively jump on modding this in, its got to be easy :)
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • NammNamm Join Date: 2011-12-08 Member: 137116Posts: 398Members
    This was a big problem throughout NS1 too... Fun at times (lots of action) - but also very repetitive and simplistic, which is the complete opposite of typical NS gameplay. The problem was the res tower which kept feeding the marine team with just enough resources for the occasional shotgun, grenade launcher, beacon... A solution could perhaps be a late game upgrade for the skulk ("enhanced parasite") that deactivates marine res towers for a short time (or even drain res).
    Eternally Gratituded™
  • MuYeahMuYeah Join Date: 2006-12-26 Member: 59261Posts: 610Members
    AoE damage is the obvious solution. Xenocide at the cost of some PRes on skulks would be cool. It would also give career skulks something to spend their res on rather than having to change class at some point.
  • swalkswalk Say hello to my little friend. Join Date: 2011-01-20 Member: 78384Posts: 1,868Members, Squad Five Blue
    This is mostly due to the new marine respawn times, it was fine before, but now they are spawning way too fast.

    NS2 6v6 Gathers
    QUOTE (Floodinator @ Feb 28 2012, 08:41 PM) »
    it's always a good idea to kill swalk or he will kill you.
  • _Necro__Necro_ Join Date: 2011-02-15 Member: 81895Posts: 1,903Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    QUOTE (Shrike3O @ Feb 21 2012, 03:30 AM) »
    One of the main problems at the moment with finishing an alien victory is actually forcing entry into the marine spawn and destroying important structures. There's a number of issues combining here:
    • At this point, the entire marine team is concentrated in one place. That means your assault is charging into the muzzles of the entire team's LMGs, and that adds up. The situation gets worse if they have bigger guns, or one of those spawn areas that has good lines of fire, and is one of the reasons that the lighter lifeforms that would theoretically be ideal for this kind of fight (Lerk for crowds of marines, Gorge for crowds of buildings) have a hard time staying alive for any length of time.
    • There's no real loss for marines who buy a shotgun, GL, or flamethrower and then die three seconds later, because one of your teammates can just pick it right back up again. Hell, YOU can pick it right back up again, since you'll be alive and on location again in 10 seconds. That means that those "bigger guns" I was just talking about don't actually get removed from play when their owner dies, unlike an Onos or Fade who gets chopped up during the assault; as long as there's an Armory intact in the area, those big guns effectively never come off the line.
    • The marines have no travel time after respawning to delay reinforcing their frontline (which is five feet away from the IP), whereas alien reinforcements are coming from all over the level. "Keeping pressure on them" is very difficult when you have an equal number of players on either side, but one side has a lot of distance to cover; the presense of "extra bodies" in the form of MACs repairing base structures and sentry guns firing at incoming aliens does not help this disparity at all. If the marine team has managed to get an ARC or two dug into their base, you've got even bigger problems, as alien forward operating bases can't be safely set up.
    • Upgrades for aliens take time, upgrades for marines are instantaneous. Gestating into your preferred assault lifeform takes a while, again making it difficult to maintain pressure after an assault, whereas the marines simply need to pick up the weapons they dropped when they died a few seconds ago, or spend a couple of seconds accessing the armory. The premier breaching lifeform, the onos, has a 35 second gestation time... add in travel time from a hive, and the death of an onos takes about a minute to come back from.


    These issues should be addressed (IMO), but in ways that don't necessarily change early-game play. I've got a few ideas, and I'm sure others will have some of their own. I'm also sure some of you don't feel these are issues or will point out that there are different issues in organized play (I'm a pub player, but have clanned in the past, and understand there are significant differences), but the discussion could be handy.

    Some ideas to address this:
    • Rapid transport for Kharaa: likely on the Shift, allow the alien commander to have one of his mature shifts designated as the "receiving point" for other shifts, which are then Used similar to the movement towers of NS1 for teleportation to that location. This would be a 3+ hive ability for the tower, to prevent early game skulk rush insanity.
    • Allow alien attacks to destroy dropped weapons (either corrosive types like acid spit/bilebomb, or all of them). This will allow the Kharaa to more rapidly sap the PRes pools of marines dug into their last holdout by preventing "hot-potato" shotguns and GLs from moving from one marine to the next quite as much.
    • Shorten gestation times based on the number of hives. This will allow for more rapid reinforcement of an endgame breaching party, but not change early-midgame play much.
    • Add 2/3+ hive abilities to the lerk and skulk, who don't really benefit from multiple hives at this time (Leap aside). Xenocide never seemed that useful in NS1, but if it left behind a lingering Umbra cloud, that might be a great way to open an assault. Give lerks something amusing at 3+ hives like acidic clouds... damaging to both people and buildings, or give them rapidfire acid rockets so they can go on strafing runs.
    • Allow the alien commander to set the default hive people spawn at. While players will still have the option to rightclick and hop to a different egg, the commander could pick which hive is initially selected. This will save a couple of seconds of orientation and changing spawn locations for skilled players, and will put those players who are a little less apt and don't understand things like "you can pick which hive you spawn at" in a good location for the grand strategy.
    • Create some kind of effect for Croach (infestation) vs. marine structures. If my assault has progressed to the point that I'm en-Croaching upon the marine base, I should really get some benefit from that. Slow damage to structures, slow depletion of the MAX health on a power node (meaning it's more and more fragile until the infestation is cleared, or it fails on it's own), or late-game multi-hive abilities from mature support structures onto enCroached areas (ranged projection of Umbra, improved healing in a given area, projection of the disorientation effect) would allow for more aggressive uses of Croach. While we're at it, allow for Mature Cysts that are more heavily armored and spread lovely alien goo over a larger area, to allow for more aggressive frontline use of Croach.

    Anyone else?



    I like most of the points. This are really good ideas.
    To counter the stalemates there is a simple solution, that can be reached by more than one way:
    Strengthen the aliens for every hive they got. So the marines can't turtle in their base AND they have a motivation to expand. Because after the 4th hive is placed, the aliens should be so powerfull, that there is no Problem in crushing any marine base into bits.
    Make the creep more dangerous with the 4th Hive. Maybe more HP and damaging marine buildings.
    Increase the bilebomb damage with 4 hives (or better reduce it with 2 and 3 so it becomes the game-ender just after the 4th hive.)
    Make the skulks in late game (with 3 or more hives) usefull again
    etc. etc.

    If the marines have to expand in order to stop the aliens from getting to powerfull, the game will focus more on the tug of war than the slowly dieing in an already lost game. And it helps to end already lost games more quickly and prevents stalemates. And the best part: It doesn't really influence with the early- and mid-game balance. Because you only change things related with the build of the 3rd and 4th hive. And at that time, the games are already decided now.
  • kingmobkingmob Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 3650Posts: 705Members, Constellation
    Force the marines to expand.

    Every multi-sided RTS is about expansion.
    marines are allowed out of it....WHY?

    Make the resource nodes expire.
    Make the next CC UNLOCK the ability to build prototype lab.
    It already gives extra nano-balls doesn't it.
    Make it UNLOCK more.
    Make the third CC UNLOCK the exo-suit.

    Finally ....the FUNNEST marine games I have had are when the commander LOVES expansion.
    WIN or LOSE the game is fun moving and holding different spots.
  • IronHorseIronHorse CDT Technical Support & QA Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 6,196Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Community Dev Team admin
    now you're sounding like me, kingmob. :-D
    i dont remember why techpoint importance was removed for marines, but it has been detrimental to a lot of the gameplay. most notably turtling and stalemates, which includes over produced bases as well since its all in one base.

    marines are always on the defense - always taking down a hive, never putting up a CC. there is no motivation for this + the cost/risk is too much, a CC still needs ips and defense to spawn, unlike a hive which is a self sustaining, self healing spawn machine which spreads infestation that spots marines ahead of time. ::rolls eyes::

    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • TechercizerTechercizer 7th Player Join Date: 2011-06-11 Member: 103832Posts: 1,850Members
    If IPs came 1 per CC, you'd better believe Marines would expand. Endgame would be a lot easier, too.

            Once the infestation reaches the Command Chair, the process begins. One Gorge enters the chair to provide the necessary height. Another climbs on its shoulders to access the controls.

            A Gorge Lab is quickly established, staffed by microscopic Gorges who work tirelessly to unlock the secrets of Frontiersman Technology, stopping only to change their lab coats when they become dirtied. Once the research progresses to a certain point, the Gorgecom gives the order. Nanites are called into service.

            The armature forms. A chosen Gorge, tested many times in the field of battle, enters the machine.

            Servos whir; miniguns spin up in diagnostics; an Exogorge is born.

  • autograderautograder Join Date: 2011-06-24 Member: 106181Posts: 187Members
    Yes, marines NEED a reason to build another chair.

    Jetpacks with CC #2 and get rid of the expensive cost.
  • Chris0132Chris0132 Join Date: 2009-07-25 Member: 68262Posts: 3,854Members
    I don't really see any problem with kharra endgame, other than maybe some mechanism for getting the giant ball o' gorges and onoses which comprises the alien siege weapon into position. Two or three onoses, two or three gorges, roll into the spawn and murder everything, maybe bring a fade or two if you can spare it.

    Doesn't matter how many LMGs they have, you can't do enough damage to an onos fast enough with three gorges healing it and two other onoses rampaging around.

    Unless the marine team has perfect firing discipline and team cohesion (and why are they losing if they have that) then aliens can and should win by sheer weight of hitpoints.
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