Vetinari's Simple Balance Mod (VSBM) and Vetinari's Experimental Balance Mod (VEBM) (2017-12-09)

VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
edited March 2018 in Modding
A new balance mod appears!
Two, actually.

Vetinari's Simple Balance Mod (VSBM) (487ae4a5): http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1216013477
and
Vetinari's Experimental Balance Mod (VEBM) (4EE383FD): http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1323533309

The goal of these mods is to improve the balance and feel of ns2 as non-intrusively as possible.

As you have probably noticed, I'm not a fan of silence being on shift hive and the current state of the MG.
But because no one listens to me, I said fuck it, I'll make my own balance mod, with blackjack and hookers.

This is just a starting point, though. I intend to use VEBM to test various changes that I think may improve the game. If I and the people I play with approve, they enter VSBM, which should always be stable, consistent and minimal.

The features as of release, are:

VSBM:
  • Switched Alien Abilities around: Silence is now back on Shade Hive, Vampirism is on Crag, and Crush is on Shift
    • This change is supposed to bring shift hive back in line with the others. Now you actually have to chose between celerity (shift) and silence (shade). Celerity+Silence skulks are still a problem, but in my opinion they are less of a problem than silence on shift and will thus be addressed at a later time.
  • Silence now only affects movement
    • Specifically, attacking with silence still makes sound. This is supposed to make combat against silent aliens less disorienting, and help less skilled players notice that they're under attack.
  • Vampirism does not cloak anymore
    • As it is back on crag hive, it would not be fitting to keep it's cloaking ability. Vampirism is probably a bit underpowered now. It will likely be buffed in the future.

Thanks a lot to @GhoulofGSG9 , whose code I stole who allowed me to use parts of his mod to create the changes above.

In addition to all of the above, VEBM also has the following changes:
  • The MG is now automatically researched with Advanced Weaponry, along with GLs and FTs
    • The MG is often overlooked and a very underused gun. My first goal is to bring it back into the game, then we'll see if we need to make changes to it. It should also help marines a bit late game, where aliens dominate, particularly against Onos. I hope that this change will also make AA a valid research without going for JPs/Exos immediately, creating a tiny little bit more depth.
  • With the Focus upgrade, attacks now consume 50% more energy
  • Alien upgrades have been switched around:
    • Shift Hive now unlocks: Celerity, Regeneration, Aura
    • Shade Hive now unlocks: Silence, Crush, Vampirism
    • Crag Hive now unlocks: Focus, Carapace, Adrenaline
  • The following alien upgrades are now mutually exclusive:
    • Celerity, Silence, Focus
    • Regeneration, Crush, Carapace
    • Aura, Vampirism, Adrenaline
  • The GUI has been updated in various places to reflect these changes
  • Railgun Exos now only have one Railgun instead of two. Railgun damage has not been adjusted yet.
  • Vampirism provides cloak again.

(See thread for reasons behind changes)
Post edited by Vetinari on
formerly known as F0rdPrefect

I am good Onos
meteruNintendowsKasharicpSyk0mAn

Comments

  • NintendowsNintendows Join Date: 2016-11-07 Member: 223716Members, Squad Five Blue Posts: 341 Advanced user
    That's cool. Any plans to change how Crush deals with marine armor? Always felt weird to deal less health damage.
    Also, feel free to include my Machine gun rebalance in your mods if you feel that it's appropriate http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1192024942
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    Nintendows wrote: »
    That's cool. Any plans to change how Crush deals with marine armor? Always felt weird to deal less health damage.

    Not really. I think crush makes sense the way it works right now - and the armor stripping is really just a bonus on top of the additional structure damage.
    On top of that, this kind of non-obvious change from vanilla is exactly what I'm trying to avoid.
    I'd like it if every change in my mod is readily visible (provided you know vanilla well enough).
    Also, feel free to include my Machine gun rebalance in your mods if you feel that it's appropriate http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1192024942

    Thanks, I'll check it out. Did you manage to edit it's fire rate? I went searching for that earlier, but couldn't figure it out.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 647 Advanced user
    Nice job, I totally agree with the changes you've made here, I look forward to maptesting which I hope has this mod active ;)
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
    Vetinari
  • pSyk0mAnpSyk0mAn Nerdish by Nature Germany Join Date: 2003-08-07 Member: 19166Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 1,713 Advanced user
    Great changes, great job!

    Regarding the MG I would really like to see changes with a bigger picture in mind.
    Regarding how Focus is removed in NSL, because its considered overpowered, I'd like to see a bigger variation between going Carapace or Focus.
    Let MG do more damage against armor and maybe add a buff to hive2/3 carapace, if necessary.
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.
    This would also improve the Shade-Crag hive combo, when Aliens dont have Celerity and Fades are so slow that Carapace barely cuts it.

    So basicly with minor changes to MG and Carapace getting slightly buffed with No. of hives or Biomass, you adress a lot of problems and at the same time add more diversity to the mid-game depending on the tech choices made by both teams.


  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    edited November 2017
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    Great changes, great job!

    Regarding the MG I would really like to see changes with a bigger picture in mind.
    Regarding how Focus is removed in NSL, because its considered overpowered, I'd like to see a bigger variation between going Carapace or Focus.
    Let MG do more damage against armor and maybe add a buff to hive2/3 carapace, if necessary.
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.
    This would also improve the Shade-Crag hive combo, when Aliens dont have Celerity and Fades are so slow that Carapace barely cuts it.

    So basicly with minor changes to MG and Carapace getting slightly buffed with No. of hives or Biomass, you adress a lot of problems and at the same time add more diversity to the mid-game depending on the tech choices made by both teams.

    Thanks a lot for your input!

    I never really managed to get a feeling for carapace, so I'll be careful with changes there. I'm also mostly focusing on pub balance here, since the NSL guys have their own balance mod, anyway.

    Before I make any more changes to the MG, I'd like to see how the changes play first. Maybe it turns out that it's already a lifeform killer now, who knows.
    After that I'll look into reducing it's fire rate and making it deal more damage per bullet, because the amount of bullets in that tiny magazine is ridiculous. But that is more of an atmospheric thing than anything. I'm a little worried that it will make the "get shot around corners" problem worse, though.

    I've also been thinking about a system that allows you to mix and match upgrades more freely, which might address some of the issues you have with focus/carapace. Right now I don't know my way around the ns2 code well enough to implement that, though, so it will have to wait a little.
    Post edited by Vetinari on
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 647 Advanced user
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 647 Advanced user
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
  • HandschuhHandschuh Join Date: 2005-03-08 Member: 44338Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 369 Advanced user
    In ns1 we had stronger faster fades, with normal focus, but that wasn't the issue. I think the issue is that focus relies on welding even more - which usually doesn't happen on pubs.
    Vetinari
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.

    But right now you get higher damage with slower speed... meaning you can deal more damage over time, but it requires to actually land your hits to do it.

    I also think this variant makes it a little more difficult to use, which is a good thing. It's a strong upgrade after all.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 647 Advanced user
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.

    But right now you get higher damage with slower speed... meaning you can deal more damage over time, but it requires to actually land your hits to do it.

    I also think this variant makes it a little more difficult to use, which is a good thing. It's a strong upgrade after all.

    The current focus iteration prevents marine commanders being able to mitigate the damage caused via the use of medpacks... totally removing comms from the equation seems against combat in NS2 to me.

    My idea would mean that players would need to lands hits consistently AND that the commander can actually med the marine to keep them alive... both require skill to do... anyone can land a single hit.

    Currently any fade player with focus can land a lucky swipe on the flyby and instantly kill a marine with no armour... because they can do that at such high speeds it makes the risk/reward of "get in - 1 swipe - get out" incredibly low.
    Making it so that a fade would need to get in, land 2 swipes (without medpack intervention) and then get out, instantly reduces how OP focus is in general and as I said above, the addition of actually giving the comm a chance to med also makes faster attack - lower damage MUCH more preferable to me.
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
    Handschuh
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.

    But right now you get higher damage with slower speed... meaning you can deal more damage over time, but it requires to actually land your hits to do it.

    I also think this variant makes it a little more difficult to use, which is a good thing. It's a strong upgrade after all.

    The current focus iteration prevents marine commanders being able to mitigate the damage caused via the use of medpacks... totally removing comms from the equation seems against combat in NS2 to me.

    My idea would mean that players would need to lands hits consistently AND that the commander can actually med the marine to keep them alive... both require skill to do... anyone can land a single hit.

    Currently any fade player with focus can land a lucky swipe on the flyby and instantly kill a marine with no armour... because they can do that at such high speeds it makes the risk/reward of "get in - 1 swipe - get out" incredibly low.
    Making it so that a fade would need to get in, land 2 swipes (without medpack intervention) and then get out, instantly reduces how OP focus is in general and as I said above, the addition of actually giving the comm a chance to med also makes faster attack - lower damage MUCH more preferable to me.

    But it essentially means you'll have to look a whole lot at marines during combat. I feel like that fundamentally goes against the way aliens fight.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 647 Advanced user
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.

    But right now you get higher damage with slower speed... meaning you can deal more damage over time, but it requires to actually land your hits to do it.

    I also think this variant makes it a little more difficult to use, which is a good thing. It's a strong upgrade after all.

    The current focus iteration prevents marine commanders being able to mitigate the damage caused via the use of medpacks... totally removing comms from the equation seems against combat in NS2 to me.

    My idea would mean that players would need to lands hits consistently AND that the commander can actually med the marine to keep them alive... both require skill to do... anyone can land a single hit.

    Currently any fade player with focus can land a lucky swipe on the flyby and instantly kill a marine with no armour... because they can do that at such high speeds it makes the risk/reward of "get in - 1 swipe - get out" incredibly low.
    Making it so that a fade would need to get in, land 2 swipes (without medpack intervention) and then get out, instantly reduces how OP focus is in general and as I said above, the addition of actually giving the comm a chance to med also makes faster attack - lower damage MUCH more preferable to me.

    But it essentially means you'll have to look a whole lot at marines during combat. I feel like that fundamentally goes against the way aliens fight.

    You feel like the creatures that literally have to be at point blank range should spend more time looking away from the enemy, than looking at them? I'm sorry but, I can't follow the logic there... how often do you try attacking the marine while looking away Vet? It may explain why you miss so often :P
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.

    But right now you get higher damage with slower speed... meaning you can deal more damage over time, but it requires to actually land your hits to do it.

    I also think this variant makes it a little more difficult to use, which is a good thing. It's a strong upgrade after all.

    The current focus iteration prevents marine commanders being able to mitigate the damage caused via the use of medpacks... totally removing comms from the equation seems against combat in NS2 to me.

    My idea would mean that players would need to lands hits consistently AND that the commander can actually med the marine to keep them alive... both require skill to do... anyone can land a single hit.

    Currently any fade player with focus can land a lucky swipe on the flyby and instantly kill a marine with no armour... because they can do that at such high speeds it makes the risk/reward of "get in - 1 swipe - get out" incredibly low.
    Making it so that a fade would need to get in, land 2 swipes (without medpack intervention) and then get out, instantly reduces how OP focus is in general and as I said above, the addition of actually giving the comm a chance to med also makes faster attack - lower damage MUCH more preferable to me.

    But it essentially means you'll have to look a whole lot at marines during combat. I feel like that fundamentally goes against the way aliens fight.

    You feel like the creatures that literally have to be at point blank range should spend more time looking away from the enemy, than looking at them? I'm sorry but, I can't follow the logic there... how often do you try attacking the marine while looking away Vet? It may explain why you miss so often :P

    Constantly keeping your crosshair on the enemy while pressing LMB is what marines do. Aliens are more like shotguns in that they spend a lot of time looking in the general direction of the enemy while only looking straight at them in key moments, during attack.

    Aliens aren't about tracking, but if you increase their attack speed and lower attack damage, they will be. And that would be a fundamental change.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 647 Advanced user
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.

    But right now you get higher damage with slower speed... meaning you can deal more damage over time, but it requires to actually land your hits to do it.

    I also think this variant makes it a little more difficult to use, which is a good thing. It's a strong upgrade after all.

    The current focus iteration prevents marine commanders being able to mitigate the damage caused via the use of medpacks... totally removing comms from the equation seems against combat in NS2 to me.

    My idea would mean that players would need to lands hits consistently AND that the commander can actually med the marine to keep them alive... both require skill to do... anyone can land a single hit.

    Currently any fade player with focus can land a lucky swipe on the flyby and instantly kill a marine with no armour... because they can do that at such high speeds it makes the risk/reward of "get in - 1 swipe - get out" incredibly low.
    Making it so that a fade would need to get in, land 2 swipes (without medpack intervention) and then get out, instantly reduces how OP focus is in general and as I said above, the addition of actually giving the comm a chance to med also makes faster attack - lower damage MUCH more preferable to me.

    But it essentially means you'll have to look a whole lot at marines during combat. I feel like that fundamentally goes against the way aliens fight.

    You feel like the creatures that literally have to be at point blank range should spend more time looking away from the enemy, than looking at them? I'm sorry but, I can't follow the logic there... how often do you try attacking the marine while looking away Vet? It may explain why you miss so often :P

    Constantly keeping your crosshair on the enemy while pressing LMB is what marines do. Aliens are more like shotguns in that they spend a lot of time looking in the general direction of the enemy while only looking straight at them in key moments, during attack.

    Aliens aren't about tracking, but if you increase their attack speed and lower attack damage, they will be. And that would be a fundamental change.

    I agree, it would be a fundamental change, but it would be a choice that people can opt in for, for potentially increased damage... as opposed to something that is ludicrously OP in situations with bilebomb or lerk spikes.

    I know i've been mainly focussing on fades with focus, but skulks with focus are equally able to 1-shot an unarmoured marine, currently gorges would have a 45 damage spit with no attack speed penalty and if you combine current focus with crush, armour 2 becomes much less useful for marines.

    I think the tradeoff of fundamentally changing aliens to tracking over twitch is worth it if you are doing it to negate 1 shot mechanics. 1 shot mechanics themselves have been tried in NS2 in the past and always considered too strong and were either nerfed or removed... what makes focus different?
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
  • 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: 3,562 mod
    edited December 2017
    On the topic of meds not doing
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.

    But right now you get higher damage with slower speed... meaning you can deal more damage over time, but it requires to actually land your hits to do it.

    I also think this variant makes it a little more difficult to use, which is a good thing. It's a strong upgrade after all.

    The current focus iteration prevents marine commanders being able to mitigate the damage caused via the use of medpacks... totally removing comms from the equation seems against combat in NS2 to me.

    One solution could be that any excess healing from a medpack goes into regenerating armor.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    Kasharic wrote: »
    ...

    I guess I see where you're coming from, but I'm still not really a fan, sorry.
    Mouse wrote: »
    On the topic of meds not doing
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    pSyk0mAn wrote: »
    If Focus is really overpowered, a stronger MG would make Fades think twice about going in for that 2nd swipe. Choosing Crag hive over Shade hive for Carapace would be more of an option.

    The reason focus is so OP is because if the marine has had its armour taken down (bilebomb, spikes etc) the fade can come in and 1 hit the marine... no chance to medpack, no chance to react etc, you can't balance that imo.

    Focus allows aliens to perform 1 hit kills on marines with little/no armour... this was the whole reason onos gore was taken from 100 damage down to 90... adding Focus brought that back and no matter what you try to do to counter it, Focus will always be OP as hell until it is changed.

    That's a problem many games have.

    There's often a lot of interesting options... but in the end, all that matters is increasing your damage output.

    A good start would be to make it so focus uses more energy. Right now, with focus you are more energy efficient than without. That just feels wrong.

    In fact, let me put it on the list, I'll look into it.

    Honestly, I would rather see focus have its whole design reversed... make the attack speed faster, but the damage lower per hit... meaning you can technically cause more damage over time, but it requires you actually landing your hits to do it.

    But right now you get higher damage with slower speed... meaning you can deal more damage over time, but it requires to actually land your hits to do it.

    I also think this variant makes it a little more difficult to use, which is a good thing. It's a strong upgrade after all.

    The current focus iteration prevents marine commanders being able to mitigate the damage caused via the use of medpacks... totally removing comms from the equation seems against combat in NS2 to me.

    One solution could be that any excess healing from a medpack goes into regenerating armor.

    I don't think that's a good idea. Either you have medpacks straight up heal armor, which would be terrible, or you'd have medpacks heal armor only if marines take them when they're slightly below max health, which would be terribly inconsistent.

    I'm going to see if I can change focus' energy cost this week and then we'll take a look at that.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • pSyk0mAnpSyk0mAn Nerdish by Nature Germany Join Date: 2003-08-07 Member: 19166Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 1,713 Advanced user
    I think focus is more of a problem in smaller games (NSL games), since there are less marines to shoot on aliens or weld each other (more likely to have a lone marine too).
    How about trying a very simple way first.
    Remove the speed penalty, which is probably confusing to new players anyway.
    Make Focus add 3 / 6 / 9% more damage to the attack or whatever % is necessary to reduce the number of bites/swipes vs armor 2/3 marines by 1 (obviously not fully welded marines with lesser armor upgrade are effected by this too, but it won't drift into the "brainless one-shot" mechanic again)
    May sound underwhelming, but one hit less is a huge deal. It's just a less spectacular upgrade this way, just like celerity doesnt make you move like Flash and carapace doesnt give you a kazillion armor.


    Kasharic
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    edited December 2017
    VEBM update!

    First, most importantly: The Mod ID changed! Because I fucked up while publishing. It is now 490aee00. I set my mod.settings to read only so it should stay that way from now on.

    Here's the change:
    • With the Focus upgrade, attacks now consume 50% more energy
      • Before, Skulks could regenerate all their energy between Focus bites, because while the time between attacks increased, the energy consumption did not. This meant that not only their DPS was higher, but they had to worry less about stamina, too. This affected all other lifeforms to a lesser degree, as well
      • I worked with a factor of 100% energy increase while creating this, which felt too high. At 50% you definitely have to watch your energy, but it won't just suddenly disappear. I require your feedback to balance this value.
      • Note that Gorges still spit at full speed with Focus, which means Focus spitting now rapidly consumes energy
      • Also note that my mod currently does not factor in how many veils you have. If you have any amount of Focus, your attacks use 50% more energy. I figure this is not a problem since 99% of the time, having less than 3 veils is useless, anyway.

    Furthermore I have been informed last Sunday that @GhoulofGSG9 has stopped working on his balance mod. I hope that over time, my balance mod can end up as a spiritual successor to Ghoul's.

    edit: Special thanks to beige for helping me out with some lua problems.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    edited March 2018
    VEBM update!
    • Alien upgrades have been switched around:
      • Shift Hive now unlocks: Celerity, Regeneration, Aura
      • Shade Hive now unlocks: Silence, Crush, Vampirism
      • Crag Hive now unlocks: Focus, Carapace, Adrenaline
    • The following alien upgrades are now mutually exclusive:
      • Celerity, Silence, Focus
      • Regeneration, Crush, Carapace
      • Aura, Vampirism, Adrenaline
    • The GUI has been updated in various places to reflect these changes
    • Railgun Exos now only have one Railgun instead of two. Railgun damage has not been adjusted yet.
    • Vampirism provides cloak again.

    The alien upgrade changes are supposed to accomplish two things:
    1. Prevent overly strong upgrade combinations, like silence + celerity, or Regeneration + Carapace, by making certain upgrades mutually exclusive across hives
    2. Prevent one Hive from being the "obviously superior" one, by spreading out strong upgrades like Celerity, Silence, and Focus. Depending on your (team's) preferred playstyle, all starting hive choices should be valid and strong now. At the very least it should mix up the meta.

    Thematically I explain the changes as following:
    1. Shift is now the evasion/cowardice hive. Use celerity to run out of fights and around marines faster. Use Regen to quickly heal back up after you've run, coward. Aura allows you to avoid enemies altogether.
    2. Shade is still the stealth hive: Silence makes you silent, Vampirism makes you invisible, and Crush is admittedly here because it fit nowhere else. I guess it allows you to take down RTs a lot faster after you've sneaked past enemies.
    3. Crag is now the full frontal assault hive: Fcous allows you to deal more damage. Carapace allows you to tank more damage. Adrenaline allows you to stay in the fight for longer.

    Testing is required to make sure that
    a) All upgrades still work as intended
    b) The new upgrade system is balanced

    The Railgun change is based on "game feel". I don't like the weird restrictions on railgun firing with dual railguns. I consider this change a buff overall, since the fist is easier to use in close quarters and should make the Railgun Exo easier to use for less skilled players.
    Testing is required to see if the Railgun damage needs to be raised to pre-dual times. It's probably fine.

    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
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