Lerks

KhyronKhyron Members Join Date: 2012-02-02 Member: 143308Posts: 498 Advanced user
Skilled lerks dominate early game more than any other skill based play, and by a huge margin. In other words, the skill ceiling for lerking is way out of proportion to everything else in the game.
Lerks have too much combat flexibility with the highest maneuverability, a ranged attack, a strong melee attack and a poison DOT.
The hitbox for lerks is tiny.
The lerk can't be "countered" with a shotgun because it will simply chose not to engage. It has an unparalleled capability to chose favorable engagements.
This has been a problem for many, many builds.

And yet, I remember clearly during the beta how the Lerk struggled to find a role as it also struggled to become a viable way to spend pRes.

I'd like to know if anybody has ideas for improving the situation.
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Comments

  • ScatterScatter Members, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2012-09-02 Member: 157341Posts: 635 Advanced user
    Have you looked into the bt mod where lerks have been altered somewhat?
  • KhyronKhyron Members Join Date: 2012-02-02 Member: 143308Posts: 498 Advanced user
    Nope, I haven't ever tried out the BT. My patience for NS2's shenanigans is at an all time low.
    Spending more time on the forums than in the game. Since build 209.
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  • AsranielAsraniel Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Retired Community Developer Join Date: 2002-06-03 Member: 724Posts: 2,557 mod
    I think at this point any discussion about balancing the game has to be done in the context of the balance mod, everything else is probably just a waste of time
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  • StoneburgStoneburg Members Join Date: 2002-11-11 Member: 8174Posts: 1,171
    Wait, what? You don't play the game or care about the game much, but think we should "solve" a "problem" that seems to be bothering you, but you don't want to have to spend any time or energy doing anything constructive. No thanks, I'm either going to be out in the sun or inside playing NS2 today. Cya!
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  • BalmarkBalmark Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 3476Posts: 332 Advanced user
    Neoken wrote: »
    If lerks were really THAT good, then why don't we see every alien player go lerk the moment they saved up 30 res. Why don't we see a tres lerk egg drop at start in every game? Lerks are in a pretty good spot atm.

    I think the 'skill based' part is the main reason for this.. I assume you're talking about public games Neoken where this might be the case .. most competitive games I've seen have, in alot of the time, 2 lerks out in the field early game.

    If you've ever seen a skilled lerk in a public game, they dominiate.. but I think this is as it should be ... SKILL is the difference .. and it should be

    I think lerk is good as it is


  • GrayWGrayW UKMembers Join Date: 2009-12-18 Member: 69701Posts: 59 Fully active user
    I spend pretty much all my Alien time as a Lerk to improve my skill with that life form, and it takes a hell of a lot of time.

    Of course we choose favourable engagements, I'm not going to fly in to 5 marines (except by mistake... so embarrassing). I'm going to pick you off one by one while you all hesitate at the door instead of rushing me and forcing me out of the room while skulks move up behind you and finish you off.

    If you catch a Lerk, close quarters with a shotty, we drop like a rock like everything else.
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  • CataclyzmCataclyzm Members Join Date: 2005-01-06 Member: 33031Posts: 135
    GrayW wrote: »
    I spend pretty much all my Alien time as a Lerk to improve my skill with that life form, and it takes a hell of a lot of time.

    Of course we choose favourable engagements, I'm not going to fly in to 5 marines (except by mistake... so embarrassing). I'm going to pick you off one by one while you all hesitate at the door instead of rushing me and forcing me out of the room while skulks move up behind you and finish you off.

    If you catch a Lerk, close quarters with a shotty, we drop like a rock like everything else.

    Lerks are also good with bacon. But, only if you can catch them.
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  • Ghosthree3Ghosthree3 Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2010-02-13 Member: 70557Posts: 3,432 Advanced user
    Neoken wrote: »
    If lerks were really THAT good, then why don't we see every alien player go lerk the moment they saved up 30 res. Why don't we see a tres lerk egg drop at start in every game? Lerks are in a pretty good spot atm.

    Because while they dominate the early game, they quickly become next to useless once fades COULD be out, and if you don't dominate to the point of a win early when you've all gone lerk, gg for you.
    76561197996992409.png
  • billetbillet Members Join Date: 2012-10-02 Member: 161318Posts: 54
    ^
    Lerks are good for early/mid game that is it. Once fades are out the lerk shifts to a more harrassing role rather than out right killer. Once spores are up, its the lerks job to spore the battlegrounds while the rest clean up.
    You are right, skilled lerks on pub games own. If you want to kill a lerk, get a shotgun and gank the lerk you know is coming after your buddies, works for me nearly everytime.
    ChikunSolidSpiderBlarney_Stone
  • NeokenNeoken Bruges, BelgiumMembers, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver, Subnautica Playtester Join Date: 2004-03-20 Member: 27447Posts: 1,305 Advanced user
    edited June 2013
    Ghosthree3 wrote: »
    Neoken wrote: »
    If lerks were really THAT good, then why don't we see every alien player go lerk the moment they saved up 30 res. Why don't we see a tres lerk egg drop at start in every game? Lerks are in a pretty good spot atm.

    Because while they dominate the early game, they quickly become next to useless once fades COULD be out, and if you don't dominate to the point of a win early when you've all gone lerk, gg for you.

    I know, that's why I said it, that's why lerks aren't OP. You can't afford to have more than two without risking your mid-late game.
  • DavilDavil Florida, USAMembers, Constellation Join Date: 2012-08-14 Member: 155602Posts: 734
    It's weird I've been gone for 3 months and I come back and suddenly I agree with the majority of the community. I came back to the twilight zone...
    Meh
  • current1ycurrent1y Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester Join Date: 2003-12-08 Member: 24150Posts: 677 Advanced user
    edited June 2013
    Respectfully I disagree with the OP. If a lerk is dominating in pubs it's because there is a large skill difference between the players not because the lerk is overpowered, same goes with any lifeform. When you see a skulk go 12-0, lerk go 30-0 and fade go 50:0 in a pub it's due to the ever increasing skill gap between new and experienced players not because the class is crazy over powered.
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  • SolidSpiderSolidSpider Members Join Date: 2013-04-14 Member: 184805Posts: 46
    An early lerk often means one less fade later on, so it would be fine even if lerks were unbalanced.
  • TheriusTherius Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Supporter Join Date: 2009-03-06 Member: 66642Posts: 750 Advanced user
    A top level player with a tres lerk egg dropped right at the beginning of a match can easily dominate the entire marine team up until being able to afford a fade, so dropping that tres lerk is really a guarantee for victory if you have one great player and the marine team isn't stacked.

    Most pub commanders won't provide the lerk egg, though, thinking that they lose map control because of not being able to expand quickly. This is in par with the fact that most public players don't realise that map control is gained by winning engagements, not spreading cysts or building power nodes. That early lerk will win you those engagements.

    That being said, this isn't a problem with the lerk. This is a problem of skill difference. That same player would dominate the early game skulks as a marine too, but we're not going to nerf marines because of that, now are we?
  • rantologyrantology Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143750Posts: 1,493 Advanced user
    Lerks in pubs can be overly effective I think mostly due to the dependence on commander meds to effectively engage a lerk. You are lucky to get meds after an engagement, let alone timely ones during combat so fighting good lerks in the early game with a commander that isn't on the ball with meds can be an uphill battle.
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  • joederpjoederp Members Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 165992Posts: 333
    The OP makes a few good points but I do agree the lerk is pretty close to where it should be. The only complaints I would make would be about the hitbox and ridiculous maneuvers. The hitbox seems to act all screwy when the lerk is tweaking all over the room, which brings me to the lerks insane maneuverability. The thing should not be able to make such drastic and sudden changes in direction, it can pretty much turn any angle at full speed, it makes it impossible to track, the model is spastic, and it just simply looks ridiculous.
  • BestProfileNameBestProfileName Members Join Date: 2013-01-03 Member: 177320Posts: 448 Advanced user
    edited June 2013
    I do not think the lerk is overpowered but I haven't seen anyone completely understand what the OP says.

    What he is effectively saying (and here is the nuance) is that the skill ceiling of the lerk is such that a great lerk player will destroy the marine team utterly (provided everything else on both marine and alien is equal - for good measure) whereas a great fade will not quite do as much damage because the fade has a lower skill ceiling (it does - if you disagree you are wrong).

    If your lerk is decimating the marine team early on you can acquire and hold onto more harvesters. This might mean you lose out on fade in the later game, but it might also mean that you get 4 fades at 8 minutes instead of 12, which is surely a better tradeoff when one considers the alien commander also has at their disposal the requisite res to purchase a fade egg when the time comes...
  • KhyronKhyron Members Join Date: 2012-02-02 Member: 143308Posts: 498 Advanced user
    edited June 2013
    Thanks to those who understood the subtlety of my post. I'm not saying Lerks are OP.

    As for the other stuff, I've played a hella lot of NS2 and will probably continue to for years to come. Just haven't played as much as usual in the past couple of months,

    @Balmark - I understand, it's just that an equivalently skilled marine really is no match for a lerk.

    Rantology makes a good point, as usual.

    I also agree with those who said a Lerk becomes less useful in the late game, relative to a Fade. Often the game is decided by that time.

    I still think there's an underlying problem with Lerks - it becomes more obvious in pubs where the range of skills on both teams is more exaggerated. It's not so much of an issue in the really competitive games, I think.
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  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983 mod
    Khyron wrote: »
    I still think there's an underlying problem with Lerks - it becomes more obvious in pubs where the range of skills on both teams is more exaggerated. It's not so much of an issue in the really competitive games, I think.
    Problem isn't with the lerk, but the huge skill imbalances we see on most pub servers. The same issues could be brought up for almost every class/weapon when there are skill imbalances. The situations where I've seen pretty evenly skilled teams (mostly comp, but a few pubs), lerks are pretty balanced assuming the marines have at least a minimum level of accuracy (something like >5-10% accuracy is typically sufficient).
    IronHorse
  • CrazyEddieCrazyEddie Members Join Date: 2013-01-08 Member: 178196Posts: 657
    Cataclyzm wrote: »
    Lerks are also good with bacon. But, only if you can catch them.
    Everything is good with bacon, of course, but lerks are best when flame-broiled.
  • KattcattisKattcattis Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2013-01-31 Member: 182683Posts: 96 Advanced user
    Neoken wrote: »
    If lerks were really THAT good, then why don't we see every alien player go lerk the moment they saved up 30 res. Why don't we see a tres lerk egg drop at start in every game? Lerks are in a pretty good spot atm.

    Hihi :D I had this match who the com told us ALL to go lerk as soon as we hit 30res. It was for funsies, and it really was fun to see how a PACK of birds just smashed the marines :D
  • Blarney_StoneBlarney_Stone Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2013-03-08 Member: 183808Posts: 1,037
    edited June 2013
    Good players can also dominate with fades and even with skulks on public servers. That isn't because the game is imbalanced, it's because of a skill gap between players.

    A good marine can deal with a lerk easily, assuming the commander is getting upgrades and such. If the lerk was really so OP we would see competitive teams all go lerk as soon as they have the res, but you almost never see more than 2 at any point
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  • RaZDaZRaZDaZ Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167331Posts: 465 Fully active user
    I'm not a competitive player, just don't have enough investment for it but I do enjoy the game immensely.

    Lerk's are a risky play. I consider myself a decent lerk as I can usually survive from the moment I get my lerk egg at 30pres until my fade egg at 50 res or or res count is really good, onos. But sometimes in games, I'll suddenly play really bad, get stuck or pick a terrible engagement. I've died at times just turning a corner and seeing 5+ marines gun me down before I can react.

    Aren't lerks by design supposed to dominate marines early game until they get +weapon upgrades and shotguns out? They are there to gain ground and map control for a period of time until fades come out.

    The current public meta game seems to be built around the philosophy of a pendulum. Considering equally skilled teams:
    1. Marines work better at the start of the game vs skulks and therefore gain ground and map control
    2. Aliens get up carapace or celerity and start pushing marines back
    3. Mines come out and possibly +weapon upgrades, phase gates also likely to be up
    4. Lerks start coming out and aliens start securing RT positions with gorges or defensive positioning and force marines back while skulks harass
    5. Marines get shotguns up and +weapon and armor upgrades, skulks become significantly less powerful but adopt a more harassment style of play
    6. Marines start making pushes into alien territory with commander support, they start to take forward and central RTs down and possibly setup forward bases
    7. Fades enter the field and once again, start forcing marines back and re-securing RT positions and begin pushing 3rd tech point locations.
    8. Bigger upgrades and possibly now jetpacks are out, fades become less potent and coordinated marine pushes become dangerous, ARCs may also be a threat
    9. Onos are still a few minutes away, Fades are now more likely to be killed and jetpacks become a problem
    10. Exosuits are out and really start to decimate aliens and push forward
    11. Multiple Onos are likely to be out, marines are significantly more cautious, aliens start pushing away exo pushes through coordinated play or they counter to a marine base to destroy or force a beacon. Aliens counterattack the exos and destroy them. Aliens reclaim ground and may take a 3rd base.
    12. Game is not determined by the current res count and upgrade count for both teams and how much economy and whether or not a marine 3rd tech point is retained.

    Without these lerks dominating in the early-mid game, marines would completely roll over aliens.

    If you were to consider a lerk nerf, I can't think of a nerf that could have severe repercussions to their viability later in the game and how dangerous it would be in the early game. Remember, Lerks are 30 res and the same cost as a shotgun+jetpacker which imo, are far more dangerous than a lerk simply due to how late jetpacks are. Lerks are designed to be strong and aggressive early game whereas in the late game, they are simply support. They allow aliens the transition from basic skulk to fade to onos in a safer way.
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  • DavilDavil Florida, USAMembers, Constellation Join Date: 2012-08-14 Member: 155602Posts: 734
    I disagree with the above mainly because every game does not follow that pattern, really the pattern that is most common is that one team has better players and that team is the one that actually manages to expand and hold onto res towers. Generally from there it's either a quick or slow downward slide for the less well off team until the game is over.
    Meh
  • RaZDaZRaZDaZ Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167331Posts: 465 Fully active user
    edited June 2013
    Davil wrote: »
    I disagree with the above mainly because every game does not follow that pattern, really the pattern that is most common is that one team has better players and that team is the one that actually manages to expand and hold onto res towers. Generally from there it's either a quick or slow downward slide for the less well off team until the game is over.

    Name me another asymmetrical FPS with resource management as its fundamental concept that has a competitive scene. This is one of the most unique FPS games out there, comparing it to other games that have no asymmetry is completely fruitless. You wouldn't use the gameplay foundations of Quake Live as you would for NS2, your comparison makes no sense.

    Despite that, this isn't the idea that you simply win because of your lifeform or class, it's much more deep than that, there is no black and white. A better team/player will still end up winning eventually and capitalize as much as possible even if they are at a statistical disadvantage.

    Games like StarCraft do follow the mindset of better player wins but they also have this progression of advantage/disadvantage and so does NS2, why does Archaea dominate the scene right now? They are just better. StarCraft to a lesser extent dictates that you simply are at a disadvantage because of the current state of the game that includes you and your opponent. Based on your race, you might be less capable in one part of the game compared to another race. Protoss on 2base for example can't expand freely or put on big pressure on the opponent without going all-in or being extremely greedy, Zerg has complete map control but it's reclaimed later in the game. It's a similar concept to lerking, you're setting up for the late game.
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  • billetbillet Members Join Date: 2012-10-02 Member: 161318Posts: 54
    edited June 2013
    PACK of birds just smashed the marines
    Its actually a murder of lerks.

    http://youtu.be/t-JX9GW04aU
  • XaoXao Members Join Date: 2012-12-12 Member: 174840Posts: 452 Fully active user
    Agree with OP only because I know he plays in Australia. I could think of maybe 3-4 lerks I've seen in 100-200 hours on US pubs that are even remotely close to the 8-10 never ending shitters we have in Aus that seem to have a 6th sense for marines hiding on doorways with shotguns, same randos that can't find their screen shot key.

    Fact is on top of the 244-245 whatever patch had marine upgrade nerfs, lerks became relevant for even longer because marines were no longer rocking 1-1 by 7-8 mins in a good game and 2-2 by 9-12 mins in an average game. You can't artificially extend the potential early/mid game tech for marines out by 3-5 minutes and come on the forums and pretend the 30 pres lifeform up by 2:30-3:30 is somehow shit at 9 mins.
    Gavaal
  • billetbillet Members Join Date: 2012-10-02 Member: 161318Posts: 54
    edited June 2013
    The skill difference on pubs between AUS and US is insane. You CANT close quarters your lerk in AUS because you WILL get shut down.
    Once again another thread has been Xao'd. He is right, 100%. Now the ups cost so much a GOOD lerk can smash marines and effectively hold a whole section of the map just using spikes.

    EDIT: There are two types of Lerks on the US servers. The straight flying variety and the near extinct ground lerk.
    Gavaal
  • amoralamoral Members Join Date: 2013-01-03 Member: 177250Posts: 1,331 Advanced user
    also, lerks suck at chewing on stuff. sometimes I know I can do the most good by chewing on rts, but not as a bird.
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