Over-emphasis on Hit & Run
I couldn't really quite figure out where to put this topic, but I figured general discussion would be best, because I guess all I'm really looking for is just a plain ol' discussion on this idea.The Alien classes, currently, are all based on a Hit and Run Fighting Style
I think this is a major detriment to the team as whole, as well as a possible contributor to a general alien weakness as a whole latley.
I'm just going to take a simple look at all the individual classes.The Skulk
: This class by defination should be the hit and run class. Of that there is no question its small size, low HP, and fast speed all contribute to make it what it is, a guerilla fighter. Parasite and leap are both, generally, considered assistants to the ambush. Xenocide is kinda of a left hook in the skulks overall plan, but not necessarily detrimental.The Gorge
: At first glance its hard to label the gorge as a hit & run class. But upon further thought, most of its combat abilities force the pudgy one into just that. Spit: Even though it has a recieved a damage buff, for the most part its most effective for peaking around corners shooting a few off, and running off to catch the marine again off guard. Bile-bomb: Same concept, run into a room, fire off a few BB's, run out. Webs even this when used in a combat scenario is again best used a corner peaker. Heal-spray is obviously exempt from this theory. And while I am certainly not saying that these are the only ways to use these abilities, in most cases of playing, they ARE the way I see them used most often. An exception being to web, where its a general toss up between combat and just laying them down for defensive purposes. However the main problem exists in that it simple cannot stand up to much (Not that it should really) to be able to just keep these abilities going without hitting and running away to find another advanteous point to attack again.The Lerk
: Thankfully the lerk probably fills its role the best as a support class, and it has very little with actual un-intentional hit & run tactics. However at the same time it is also a hit & run class. It's primary means of damaging marines are basically harassment. Throw a spore cloud, fly away. Fly back throw a spore cloud. Rinse and repeat until you can bite them(Which also falls into the category, of simply flying in, taking a bite or 2 and flying out) and kill them with ease. I will not complain of umbra and primal however. For one they are not primary combat but secondary, in that of a support role, and also it would be difficult to argue a hit & run primal scream The Fade
: Yet another guerilla fighter. The fade has gone from a front-line shock trooper to a sneaky ninja. While it's certainly nice and all, it detracts from the alien's ability to maintain any kind of large scale battle. It's base speed is barley faster than a marine's, thus making blink necessary to travel anywhere in a decent amount of time. And its HP although "high", is, in a utilitarian aspect, still relativeley weak. You simply do not see fades attacking marines head on because its either suicide or folly. Even 3 LMG marines have the potential to rip a fade down in a matter of seconds. Blink and metabolize reinforce the hit & run specialty of the class as well. Blink in, Slash Slash, Blink out, Metabolize. Anything more than that and your risking death. Acid rocket is a joke, period, this really needs to be changed, but since that is off track for the post I will leave it as is.The Onos
: Even the Onos is forced to hit and run. Stomp, Devour anybody? Or how about stomp, gore, gore, stomp, run away? Heck, even charge, which should assist the onos in attacking is used as an escape tool. The most expensive and powerful alien lifeform, is yet another guerilla fighter.
Beginning to see the trend here? This is something that is just horribly wrong. All the classes forced to fit the same role creates such a redundancy that it's no wonder aliens have a hard time fighting a concentrated marine push. They simply lack any ability to clash head on with the marine's firepower. And trade-off's aren't even worth it, if an onos were to charge head-long into a team of 5 marines, kill 2 or even 3 and then die. It would be considered a terrible loss for the alien team and a victory for the marines.
NS is amazing in its design, conception and execution as a hybrid of FPS and RTS. But its difficult for me to imagine an RTS game where there would be one-side of decent HP and ranged damage units, who are exceptionally powerful when in even in a simple pair, facing off against a team primarily melee-centric units with high damage low HP and that even their top-tier unit can fall to 4-6 basic units of the first team.
I guess my only idea here is bring back definitive roles for the aliens. They need some kind of distinction other than HP/Armor values and models. Because for almost all real-time encounters they play exactly the same: Run in, kill 1 whatever, Run out. That, I personally believe, is just wrong.