The alien lifeforms should all be re-balanced to act as support units for the skulk

MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
edited November 2017 in Ideas and Suggestions
To continue my dominance of I&S:

Currently the lifeforms are balanced more or less independently and are primarily Glass Cannons - they can deal a lot of damage, but they die quickly. To give more focus to their balancing, they all need interlinking roles. My suggestion is that they all act as support lifeforms for the skulk:

Skulks are always in combat or on their way to combat, and they can do all of the things; they're in the room fighting.
Gorges are 1 room away from combat, making it easier for skulks to get to (tunnels) and return to combat (healing).
Lerks are in the doorways; not going for kills, just chipping health and trying to get the marines down to a single skulk bite.
Fades are in with the skulks; not going for kills, just chipping armour and trying to get the marines down to a single skulk bite.
Onii are in the doorways; blocking exits and making it difficult for marines to escape skulks and easier for skulks to get to marines.

Skulks have the most kills & deaths, Lerks & Fades have the most assists, Gorges & Onii have the least amount of kills & deaths.
Gorge+Lerk & Gorge+Fade slow marine progress along the lane and drain marine tres through medpack spam.
Gorge+Onos can almost completely block the lane.
Onos+Lerk & Onos+Fade can make slow progress down the lane, pushing marines back.
Lerk+Fade can hold a room and have a similar ttk as 2 Skulks.

So far, I haven't thought about how these roles could be implemented.
Post edited by Mouse on
-/AUS/- PS_Mouse

Comments

  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    edited November 2017
    An interesting idea, but the question that has to be asked. Why is the cannon fodder going to be the boss :D Anyways, perhaps Skulks can choose one of 5 upgrades based on which aliens they want to fight alongside, as away to "implement" it?

    Alongside:

    Gorge, they get a buff for their passive healing ability
    Lek, they get a buff to their celerity/movement
    Fade, they get a buff to their attack speed
    Onos, they get a buff tot heir carapace/armor

    Visually this could be shown to the Skulk as an aura around those alien types and for the aliens who are of those type they get a +1 indicator with nickname when they are supporting them (on their HUD). A sort of reversed "paladin" aura idea, not the paladin doing the stuff, but the skulks leeching of them :D

    Visually to show marines WTF is going on, this could be represented with very small "alien" particles streams (the same particles floating around the hive?) coming from the alien the Skulk is leeching from (visual clutter :trollface: ), but hey it has to be visible somehow


    Beware for balance issues, remember we did try these group buffs before and aliens kinda turned into an unstoppable ball of death \o/

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  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    edited November 2017
    Kouji_San wrote: »
    An interesting idea, but the question that has to be asked. Why is the cannon fodder going to be the boss :D Anyways, perhaps Skulks can choose one of 5 upgrades based on which aliens they want to fight alongside.
    In decent part because they're already very mobile & versatile cannon fodder. But also because they respawn the fastest, which means you're less screwed if a skulk dies. If the fade was the boss, you'd be screwed if a fade dies and then remain screwed until that player had enough pres to go fade again.

    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
    Kouji_San
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    edited November 2017
    Mouse wrote: »
    Kouji_San wrote: »
    An interesting idea, but the question that has to be asked. Why is the cannon fodder going to be the boss :D Anyways, perhaps Skulks can choose one of 5 upgrades based on which aliens they want to fight alongside.
    In decent part because they're already very mobile & versatile cannon fodder. But also because they respawn the fastest, which means you're less screwed if a skulk dies. If the fade was the boss, you'd be screwed if a fade dies and then remain screwed until that player has enough pres to go fade again.

    So it is indeed a reverse idea, now the big bastards being the center of attention. But the foot soldier kicking ass.

    Hmm, might even add a Skullk+Skulk leech idea. getting Skulk packs going. Frenzy was awesome but overpowered. Wans't it something like they get healed a small amount for kills and a smaller amount for assists, when fighting in a pack?


    I like out side the box thinking, but daaaaaaamn @Mouse, this is could potentially be a nuclear bomb for balancing :D

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  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    edited November 2017
    From your first post:
    Beware for balance issues, remember we did try these group buffs before and aliens kinda turned into an unstoppable ball of death \o/
    Wouldn't that be a good thing? A ball of death (with a good distribution of lifeforms) is a sign that the team has a well structured interdependency. From there the goal should be trying to get the marines to the same point, not unwinding the changes made to the aliens.

    [EDIT] Oh and I'm personally not much of a fan of layering on more mechanics to achieve a balance goal.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    edited November 2017
    The Skulk's roles has traditionally always gone from initial attack wave(early game), to support (mid game), to building muncher (mid-end game). And TBH in NS, it was simpler and easier to see the synergy between the aliens, NS2 is very cluttered compared to NS, causing loads of confusion and "WTF-ness"

    So who's going to do the lone wolf expansion harassment? If the Skulks are busy being the cannon-fodder main attack group, while the rest are in support of their foot soldiers? I mean the way you described it, the higher lifeforms seem less effective without their Skulks in there, wreaking havoc


    [edit]
    I agree by not having more layers and hidden game mechanics, but something would have to be added for these new roll distributions, substance and visually -> as long as it is simple to understand at a first glance for all players involved in these combat scenarios

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  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    edited November 2017
    There's nothing stopping skulks from doing some amount of lone wolfing, because they are intended to be versatile. With the example I gave, I was just trying to paint a picture of a situation that involved all 5 lifeforms.
    Using that example as a guide, it seems that lerks and/or fades would be best suited fill that lone wolf role. With the lerks harassing the marines & the fade dealing with the structures (!?!).
    That said, part of me wants the lerk to fill that role, with them doing armor/structural damage with their bite and damage to hp with spikes & spores. That's because lerks are available relatively early on & are very mobile. Though I'm not sure where that'd leave the lone wolf fade.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
    Kouji_San
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    edited November 2017
    Alright fair enough, the concept is there. Now all we need is to somehow flesh it out, which is the hard part. We've got the what, now we need the how and of course the why, because the reasons are just as important as the implementation.

    More importantly, it would benefit NS2 regardless if the roles of the aliens are clearly defined, because as of right now they are a beginners trap. ie: Onos is being used as a big behemoth tank that can kill anything, only to see it melt to bullets as a result of that assumption. And we can't really blame 'em, I mean it looks like it could slap you across the map with the abilities it has. However it's just a crowd controller, there to cause chaos using guerrilla tactics. More importantly, in this game it cost time and resources to get it, only to see it melt away like it's nothing. Any other game this would be shrugged off as, meh I'll try again, but here... You done fucked up bro, gotta wait for resources to get that thing back. Also why we need no penalty training modes alongside Classic (combat, last stand etc...), but that is a whole other discussion in and of itself :D


    I think alien gameplay can be summed up in four words

    Run in, run out ∞


    The only ones who are not using that tactic are Skulks(cannon fodder) and George (supporting from the next room)

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    Mouse
  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    edited November 2017
    I think you're right, the Skulk & Gorge already fill those roles, so nothing major would need to change with them.
    Here are some initial thoughts on how the Lerk, Fade & Onos could be changed:

    Changes
    Lerk
    Change the Bite damage type from Normal to Structural (double damage vs structures)
    Change the Bite damage from 60 to 40
    Change the Spike damage from 7 to 10

    Fade
    Change the damage & RoF of Swipe from 75 & 0.65 to 36 & 0.3
    Remove Advanced Metabolize and change Metabolize to only regenerate health
    Reduce the energy costs of all of its abilities
    • Swipe from 7 to 2
    • Stab from 30 to 20
    • Blink from 32 to 20 and Blink start from 14 to 5
    • Metabolize from 25 to 10

    Onos
    Change the Gore damage type from Structural to a damage type that does high damage to structures & exos, but low damage to marines.

    Reasoning
    Lerk
    The Lerk's role is now supposed to be chipping health from range and destroying structures. Between Bite, Spikes & Spores it's already pretty good at chipping hp. Bite's damage type was changed to double the damage it does to structures. The damage of Spike was increased to encourage Lerks to stay out of melee. The damage of Bite was decreased for 2 reasons, firstly to encourage it to stay out of melee combat, but also to restrain the damage it can do to structures to something that's comparable to the Skulk (the Lerk's Bite has a better RoF than the Skulk's so Bite damage might need to be reduced further).

    Fade
    The Fade's role is now chipping armour in melee. Swipe damage has been halved and the RoF has been doubled. Although the time to kill (ttk) is almost the same, they'll still need more swipes to actually get the kill and armour levels will have more of an effect:

    Current Fade vs Marine
    a0 3 swipes, 1.30 ttk
    a1 3 swipes, 1.30 ttk
    a2 4 swipes, 1.95 ttk
    a3 4 swipes, 1.95 ttk

    New Fade vs Marine
    a0 5 swipes, 1.20 ttk
    a1 6 swipes, 1.50 ttk
    a2 7 swipes, 1.80 ttk
    a3 8 swipes, 2.10 ttk

    Current Focus Fade vs Marine
    a0 2 swipes, 0.86 ttk
    a1 2 swipes, 0.86 ttk
    a2 3 swipes, 1.73 ttk
    a3 3 swipes, 1.73 ttk

    New Focus Fade vs Marine
    a0 3 swipes, 0.798 ttk
    a1 4 swipes, 1.197 ttk
    a2 5 swipes, 1.596 ttk
    a3 6 swipes, 1.995 ttk

    Metabolize was changed to simplify the fade It's the only ability to increase player energy and its the only ability to have 2 tiers. The only reason that tier 1 Metabolize is useful is that the other abilities require so much energy to use. If their energy costs are reduced the energy regen in tier 1 Metabolize and Advanced Metabolize isn't necessary and the abilities can be merged a single ability that only regenerates health at the cost of energy.
    The energy costs of the fade's abilities has been reduced to compensate for the changes to Metabolize. The energy cost for Swipe was dramatically reduced to account for the increased RoF.

    Onos
    The Onos's role is now blocking exits and destroying structures. By changing the Gore damage type they'll do less damage to marines and be encouraged to focus on herding instead of running in to attack them.
    Post edited by Mouse on
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 760 Advanced user
    As a Lerk player I tell you melee combat is the most fun part.
    antouNordic
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,080 Advanced user
    Mouse wrote: »
    Fade
    The Fade's role is now chipping armour in melee. Swipe damage has been halved and the RoF has been doubled. Although the time to kill (ttk) is almost the same, they'll still need more swipes to actually get the kill and armour levels will have more of an effect:

    Current Fade vs Marine
    a0 3 swipes, 1.30 ttk
    a1 3 swipes, 1.30 ttk
    a2 4 swipes, 1.95 ttk
    a3 4 swipes, 1.95 ttk

    New Fade vs Marine
    a0 5 swipes, 1.20 ttk
    a1 6 swipes, 1.50 ttk
    a2 7 swipes, 1.80 ttk
    a3 8 swipes, 2.10 ttk
    As a fade you are hit & run lifeform. That's why it needs high per swipe damage. You can increase the attack rate, but that does not necessarily impact the effective dps 1:1. There are diminishing returns there. Because the fade cannot afford to stay in closequarters long enough to utilize the high firerate, especially vs shotgunners.

    So these ttk's don't really reflect reality imo.
  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    edited November 2017
    SantaClaws wrote: »
    As a fade you are hit & run lifeform. That's why it needs high per swipe damage. You can increase the attack rate, but that does not necessarily impact the effective dps 1:1. There are diminishing returns there. Because the fade cannot afford to stay in closequarters long enough to utilize the high firerate, especially vs shotgunners.

    So these ttk's don't really reflect reality imo.
    The point of dropping the damage (that I forgot to mention in my post) was to turn fade gameplay from hit & run killing into hit & run kiting. Marines are definitely much more likely to survive encounters against solo fades, but by taking damage, shooting & then not dying the marine is costing their team tres in meds & ammo. They're also now an easier kill for the rest of the team.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,080 Advanced user
    edited November 2017
    Don't pretend it's not a nerf.
    Mouse wrote: »
    Marines are definitely much more likely to survive encounters against solo fades, but by taking damage, shooting & then not dying the marine is costing their team tres in meds & ammo. They're also now an easier kill for the rest of the team.
    This is true as it is. You are saying "but" as if there is a tradeoff to your suggestion, but that's not a tradeoff at all. It's a straight up nerf.
  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    That all makes sense. It'd still be interesting to see the lifeforms fulfilling defined roles.

    Ignoring the nerfing of swipe, what do you all think about the changes to metabolism & fade energy usage?
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • twilitebluetwiliteblue bug stalker Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13116Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 1,988 Advanced user
    edited June 2018
    After watching some Evolve clips featuring Wraith, I feel inspired to replace Stab with a Supernova style frenzied attack.
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