Unchaining Evolution Chambers
Allowing more diverse alien stratagiesCurrently alien stratagy is in a rut. Almost since the first days of NS's public release in October 2002 the chamber order has been Defense - Movement - Sensory, or DMS. Despite attempts in 2.0 to make sensory a move viable opening chamber, DMS reasserted itself with disturbing speed.
The fact of the matter is that DMS will never go away as long as the current system remains. No Onos, Fade or Lerk is going to trade regen for focus, and no alien team is going to want 2 hives without MCs connecting them.
My suggestion is almost as old as NS itself, as I first remember seeing it back when I first came onlo the forums. This issue has come up over and over again and every time it's been raised there has been widespread support, but it's never been tried out. I say that in Beta 5 we give it a shot: remove hive requirements for multiple chamber types.
And the question that is always raised is "Wait, won't that make aliens too powerful?". Not nessessarily. An alien would only be able to evolve a number of evolutionary traits equal to the number of hives. Hence, a 1 hive skulk could take regen, or focus, or silence. A 2 hive skulk could take regen and focus, but not silence as well. A 3 hive skulk could take all 3. In addition, getting 3 of each chamber costs the alien team 90 res. I say if they invest that many resources, they should be able to reap the benefits, like the marine team does.
The problem with DMS is that whilst it's great for higher lifeforms, gorges and skulks miss out. There's a lot of talk now about skulks being too weak: the main reason being they're denied the evolutions that help them the most: cloaking, focus, silence, celerity and scent of fear. Sensory chambers are of tremendous help to alien teams, but they're not used because defense or movement has to be sacrificed for them.
Giving players the option to pick and chose opens up whole new areas of stratagy and makes the game far more diverse and interesting. Marines right now can pursue a whole range of varied tactics, ranging from shotgun rushes to phase gate seige bases to slash-and-burn electrification expansions even up to HA vs JPs. The marine side can do that because their tech tree is unchained and unconstrained.
In this same forum there's talk about putting the "fear" back into NS. I can truely say as a marine that the most frightened I've been in NS was in the early days of 2.0. Cloaked aliens that you could hear but not see coming closer, striking unseen from the shadows, my team running deperately through a tunnel shooting at shadows. Unchaining the alien tech tree would go a long way to putting the fear back.
Like I said above, this is not a new idea. It's been around for over a year at least. I really think it deserves a test, and I know from previous times when this idea has been raised that others think the same way.