New Fade Ability Concept (Shadowstep? Gone. Vortex? Gone. Stab? Sucks. Try this instead.)

NousWandererNousWanderer Join Date: 2010-05-07 Member: 71646Members Posts: 258 Advanced user
edited April 2018 in Ideas and Suggestions
Existing Fade Theme
shadows, stealth, "assassination", energy regeneration

Reality
Shadowstep was a great movement ability but isn't coming back. Ditto acid rockets from NS1. Since the removal of shadowstep and vortex (which was never used anyway), NS2 fade has been a blink/swipe/metab machine. Stab is situationally useful versus unaware exos but rarely gets researched anyway and actually completely works against the fade's movement design (while being likely to result in the death of any inexperienced fade trying it out).

Experienced veterans do pretty well with fades. Hitbox changes have made things more difficult, but bad/new fades get the worst end of this: they're poor at energy management, have difficulty timing their swipes or estimating their swipe range, and they often find themselves walker fading in the middle of a group of marines. Thus: fade has a high skill floor and a much higher skill ceiling. This results in new players rarely learning how to fade. It also means that changes made to the fade always have to take the already high skill ceiling into account: no ability that gets introduced should significantly increase the effectiveness of a top tier fade.

That means that a good fade ability should be 1) simple / easily understood so that new players can use it effectively while 2) still offering unique, non-OP utility to high tier fades. If it 3) fits into the fade's existing theme, all the better.


Proposal
  • Remove stab
  • Replace stab with a new ability @ whatever biomass prereq. you deem appropriate called 'execute' or 'lunge' or 'impale' or something comparably flashy
  • MOVEMENT FUNCTION: The fade quickly dashes forward a few meters in any direction within a 45 degree cone in front of the fade. You can edge this direction right or left slightly, but the fade's trajectory should be relatively predictable after triggering the ability. The closest analogue would be the skulk's leap.
  • MOVEMENT SYNERGIES: There should be no delay between this ability and blink. A fade should be able to blink-cancel the attack at any point in the animation. A fade should be able to transition to blink seamlessly after executing the attack as well.
  • MOVEMENT SPEED: Faster than blink in terms of distance traveled per unit of time, but slower than shadowstep (from the player's perspective). This could be adjusted for balance as needed.
  • APPEARANCE: Use shadowstep-like particle effects -- something like the familiar shadowstep-ish black and purple smoke from the fade's point of origin.
  • ATTACK FUNCTION: The fade should damage whatever it comes in contact with after the first 25% of the animation. There would need to be a minimum distance required in order to do damage; if you use the ability while already pressed against a marine, you'd execute the animation but be blocked from doing damage.
  • DAMAGE: The attack should not be significantly more damaging than a normal swipe. Maybe 1.25x.
  • ENERGY COST: 2-3x swipe's cost seems reasonable
  • SPECIAL FUNCTION: If a fade manages to kill a marine using this ability, the fade instantly regens 2x the energy cost of the ability.

Considerations
  • This isn't shadowstep but as a movement ability it preserves some of shadowstep's function, albeit limited to a cone in front of the fade. It would be used by fades with subpar energy management to more easily close the distance when they find themselves in bad positions. It would be used by players of medium skill to do the same, albeit more effectively. It would be used by players of high skill both defensively (for example: a final burst of speed to round a corner, or to dodge behind a column) and offensively (obvious).
  • The 'energy regen on successful kill' function dovetails really nicely with aura and pairs well with the fade's theme.
  • Stylistically the attack is simple and already resembles mechanics familiar from other games and, indeed, NS itself. Lunging attacks are common.
  • There would be no awkward windup or egregious limitations as with stab, for example.
  • Although the attack could be used to quickly do damage, spamming it would quickly deplete energy unless kills were being chained, in which case the fade would be fulfilling its original design role as a quick killer of low health and/or straggling targets. This would also take a good amount of skill to pull off due to the directional limitations of the attack. It'd also be countered by marines with good tracking/prediction because of the attack's characteristic forward-facing trajectory.
Post edited by NousWanderer on
coolitictwiliteblueskav2

Comments

  • skav2skav2 Join Date: 2007-05-28 Member: 61037Members, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 190 Advanced user
    Dude this sounds awesome! and I was in the discord when you were talking about it earlier. After reading through this it sounds really fun and not OP except when you chain enemies of low health. But that will be rare. One question. Does this attack damage ANY marine in its way or just whoever it connects to first after 25%? of the animation?
  • NousWandererNousWanderer Join Date: 2010-05-07 Member: 71646Members Posts: 258 Advanced user
    skav2 wrote: »
    Dude this sounds awesome! and I was in the discord when you were talking about it earlier. After reading through this it sounds really fun and not OP except when you chain enemies of low health. But that will be rare. One question. Does this attack damage ANY marine in its way or just whoever it connects to first after 25%? of the animation?

    I think it should be subject to normal collision like any other alien melee attack, so no penetration (i.e., no hitting a marine behind a marine). Also, the 25% value was mostly arbitrary and would have to be balance tested in order to determine the appropriate value (or even if that aspect of the concept is necessary).
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributor Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Posts: 8,191 admin
    This isn't shadowstep
    iiiddkkk.... sure sounds like shadowstep, just with damage...
    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/
    NordicIeptBarakatcoolitic
  • HandschuhHandschuh Join Date: 2005-03-08 Member: 44338Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 387 Advanced user
    Since I wasn't there... why was shadowstep removed in the first place? I like the current fading which has a high skill ceiling... just asking
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,771 Advanced user
    edited April 2018
    Nordic wrote: »
    Handschuh wrote: »
    Since I wasn't there... why was shadowstep removed in the first place? I like the current fading which has a high skill ceiling... just asking

    Others may remember it differently, but a lot of high skill players told me that it was too easy to be somewhat effective at fading. UWE's actual reasons may have differed, but at least that is what I remember from the time.

    I miss the old shadowstep. I don't know why but I found it so much fun. I still enjoy it when I try it. I was very upset it was replaced. I used to main fade back then. I stopped playing fade because it wasn't fun for me anymore.
    Replace stab with a new ability @ whatever biomass prereq. you deem appropriate called 'execute' or 'lunge' or 'impale' or something comparably flashy
    Why not call it "stab"
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
    Kouji_SancooliticGhosthree3
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    Nordic wrote: »
    stupid forums making double posts. Please delete this.

    No, you shall live with the double poster shame of doom! :trollface:

    Guardian of the "magic cookiejar" 

    Retired forum Admin, I mostly used a flamethrower tank for disputes... Mostly

    Retired EUPT Deputy | Moral Support | Squad 5 Blue | 102 1HP Skulk escapes and counting

  • NousWandererNousWanderer Join Date: 2010-05-07 Member: 71646Members Posts: 258 Advanced user
    edited April 2018
    IronHorse wrote: »
    This isn't shadowstep
    iiiddkkk.... sure sounds like shadowstep, just with damage...

    1. Shadowstep was a (very brief) multidirectional teleport as far as the opponent facing the fade was concerned; this proposal is a trackable lunging attack limited to a narrow cone in front of the fade's model (and only in front) with a speed closer to leap
    2. The proposal's animation would have a longer trajectory than shadowstep
    3. The original shadowstep let you manually swipe at will throughout the brief 'step'; that's not possible as envisioned here
    4. The proposal offers none of shadowstep's lateral/reverse movement advantages

    I see it as a happy medium. It's a move where the animation has an attack window - like stab - but unlike stab, it doesn't come at a huge disadvantage to the fade's positioning or momentum conservation, and can be cancelled with blink. It also does significantly less damage than stab. The momentum conservation is similar to shadowstep, but the costs are different, and most of the features which made shadowstep so OP in the right hands have been limited and deliberately constrained.
    Post edited by NousWanderer on
    .trixX.
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind you Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Members Posts: 1,684 Advanced user
    edited April 2018
    Seems pretty decent, tho I personally think it should be done w/o the regen. This is because: 1. Metab is still there, and 2. The fade shouldn't be compelled to change it's strategy to pull off the special kill. It won't blend in seamlessly with everything else otherwise.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,771 Advanced user
    IronHorse wrote: »
    This isn't shadowstep
    iiiddkkk.... sure sounds like shadowstep, just with damage...

    1. Shadowstep was a (very brief) multidirectional teleport as far as the opponent facing the fade was concerned; this proposal is a trackable lunging attack limited to a narrow cone in front of the fade's model (and only in front) with a speed closer to leap
    2. The proposal's animation would have a longer trajectory than shadowstep
    3. The original shadowstep let you manually swipe at will throughout the brief 'step'; that's not possible as envisioned here
    4. The proposal offers none of shadowstep's lateral/reverse movement advantages

    I see it as a happy medium. It's a move where the animation has an attack window - like stab - but unlike stab, it doesn't come at a huge disadvantage to the fade's positioning or momentum conservation, and can be cancelled with blink. It also does significantly less damage than stab. The momentum conservation is similar to shadowstep, but the costs are different, and most of the features which made shadowstep so OP in the right hands have been limited and deliberately constrained.

    Shadowstep +
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
  • NousWandererNousWanderer Join Date: 2010-05-07 Member: 71646Members Posts: 258 Advanced user
    edited April 2018
    Now we're cooking with fire.

    UWE: when you do your big rebrand marketing push, please consult the community for ideas first. They do it better.
    Vetinariskav2
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,771 Advanced user
    I don't think they can beat: Natural Selection 2: Evolved
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
  • 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: 3,567 mod
    Nordic wrote: »
    I don't think they can beat: Natural Selection 2: Evolved

    Natural Selection 2: Creationism
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
    Nordic
  • skav2skav2 Join Date: 2007-05-28 Member: 61037Members, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 190 Advanced user
    Bump bc awesome
  • NousWandererNousWanderer Join Date: 2010-05-07 Member: 71646Members Posts: 258 Advanced user
    edited August 2
    Latest version of the idea after many discussions on Discord:

    Concept:
    Forward-facing dash attack (AOE damage in cone and/or bar in front of fade)

    Features:
    - Forward-facing speedy "dash"
    - Ethereal form during dash animation; the fade can take damage but passes through marines
    - Some momentum is preserved at the end of the dash; the fade should be able to transition *seamlessly* into blink without sticking to the ground or walking after the dash is complete

    Damage:
    Targets in range take damage. Each target takes less damage than a single swipe, but the max damage is higher than a swipe because you can hit multiple targets in one dash.

    Animation:
    (idea courtesy of psyk) "fade is crouched while doing the dash, holding its blades like a swordsman to each side, sliding through a group of marines"

    Visual Effects:
    I'd add a very distinct semicircle 'blade arc' effect in front of the fade to clearly communicate that it's an AOE slash. I also think there's room to add one of those inky shadowstep 'poof' effects at the point of origin as a throwback to shadowstep and as a way of communicating the speed burst.

    Research:
    - Bio 6 or 7. This ability replaces stab.
    - I am focused on midgame play on 2 hives here. I am not currently concerned with ensuring that the fade has a lategame hive 3 ability that wrecks house. I want an ability that actually gets used, and not a novelty reserved for ending rounds after they're already over.

    Rationale:
    - The goal should be to provide the fade with a reliable option for entering/exiting engagements midgame. This isn't designed to be a completely devastating lategame ability or massive single target damage ability.
    - It should allow the fade to contribute meaningful chip damage (rapidly accumulating with more than one fade) in group fights with a measured amount of risk.
    - The linearity of the dash means that there's inherent risk, but the speed of the dash and the fact that you can pass through marines offsets this.
    - The simplicity of the ability means that it should be accessible to players of all skill levels. Dash/burst attacks are common in the gaming world.
    - Because it has a high energy cost and doesn't do massive damage to a single target, there is less of a risk of the ability being OP in the hands of already excellent fades. However, they will be able to take advantage of it for defense, movement, and well-timed dashes that are incorporated into their normal movement mix. Highly competent fades don't have trouble landing swipes or dodging shots, and as a result rarely need help vs. single targets. That's why I think it's important that the ability has an innate movement utility/benefit in addition to its offensive potential: so that it's a well-rounded ability that solves problems with the fade's existing kit across various skill levels.

    Energy Cost & Cooldown:
    Moderately heavy. Sort of like leap. There should be a short cooldown after dashing so that a fade can't spam the ability.

    Anticipated Applications:
    1. Helps walker fades (usually newer fades) reliably close the gap and do damage. They'll still be vulnerable, but more effective when attempting to get close. Compared to stab this is an improvement in virtually every respect.
    2. Introduces a new geometric alignment consideration for advanced players. The possibility of hitting multiple players at the same time means that new positions/approaches become viable when entering/exiting rooms.
    3. Would chain into blink and has clear non-offensive, purely defensive applications - like quickly bursting around a corner to get away.
    Post edited by NousWanderer on
    twiliteblue.trixX.skav2
  • .trixX..trixX. Budapest Join Date: 2007-10-11 Member: 62605Members Posts: 856 Advanced user
    I love it!

    But marines need something to counter it, can we please have akimbo pistols? :trollface:

    es7v62hbnive.gif
    NO Cyril, when they're dead they're just hookers!
    skav2
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