There's been a lot of confusion and frustration with the state of the current gorge lately. After playing the 207 gorge for a while I'm starting to understand where UWE is going with and I think it's the right direction. Removing Pres from structures was definitely the right move, as well as having the structures die with the gorge. Now it feels like when you evolve to a gorge, you become both a unit AND a bunch of structures. It's a whole package.
While we're moving in the right direction, we're not there yet, so here's some ideas to help our favorite fatty out:
Return structure scaling per hive
Having both structure scaling AND permanence was definitely imbalanced for 206, the age of the hydra. However, now that structures die with the gorge, it wouldn't be unreasonable to have more structures per hive. We already need more incentives to get second and third hives. A smaller scaling would probably be better than just doubling, e.g. 5/8/11 mini-cysts, 3/5/7 hydras, 10/15/20 clogs.
Add "kill all structures" command
With the gorge having a fixed number of hydras that are free, he is constantly on the edge of the cyst chain, helping to hold and expand the front lines. Therefore he constantly needs to be moving his structures as the front lines move back and forth. It is quite annoying to have to go back and find your old hydras (especially when there are other gorges) to recycle them. This is an especially huge problem when you put hydras on ceilings and walls, which is the best place to put them. Ceiling/wall-mounted hydras are one of the best improvements to the gorge since NS1, but now I find myself placing them on the ground just so I don't have to build a clog tower to reach them later. This command should be per type of structure. Also, it would be great to get a way to pick individual hydras off ceilings.
Change mini-cysts to new structure type
Now that gorges have the "portable fortress" role, the idea of the mini-cysts doesn't really fit. When they cost p-res, they were a good way to help the commander out to increase the chain, but they are a bit awkward now. If you help build the chain now and the front line expands, suddenly your cap is reached and you can't place your hydras anymore. Not only would it be difficult to go find your mini-cysts since they look so similar, it would break the chain for your team. We should remove mini-cysts from the chain and make them a different structure completely to emphasize their portability. This would also prevent the annoyance of a gorge dying and a huge hole appearing in the chain for the commander to fix. This new structure should: - Have a different model to make them easy to distinguish - Not contribute to commander cyst chain - Create infestation even when off chain to encourage forward bases
Loving the other changes, such as power-building commander structures and maturity.
Other related suggestions:
Increase the difference in model size between newborn and mature structures
This size difference already adds a "wow factor" to NS2 - like Charlie said, no other RTS uses this idea. Let's emphasize it so we can show this cool idea off, as well as giving more information to both teams about the vulnerability of structures. It'd be great to see the mature structure twice the size of the newborn.
Allow abilities to be researched at 50% maturity - increase total maturity time
Once we have multiple abilities for structures such as the crag and shade, it would be great to see the second level ability purchased at 50% and the third at 100%. I've seen talk about reducing maturity times for certain structures like the whip, but I think a very long maturity time adds a very interesting twist to gameplay. Not only will it increase the importance of nutrient mist, it makes the alien commander role more strategic as placement time now factors in. Please increase maturity times and make HP differences greater to emphasize the importance of this tactic. Slow maturity and misting on whips is the first time I've really felt like a gardener in NS2, which is the goal.