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Banshee balance state

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PLrankzenfur
2 months ago
Hey,

After the game Multiplayer B490763 6 on Desertmountain17_Fix we discussed about Banshee state of balance (we were in agreement that it feels weak), so I create a thread to talk about it some more.

Few ideas were thrown:
  • some conservative stats increments, most notably, simple idea of increasing angle of fire which supposedly was changed 180 -> 90 in 2013.
  • make them a bit like Voidrays from starcraft, which have unique ability of either having an activable damage powerup on long cooldown, or just increasing damage the longer they attack - depending on which version of SC we are talking about, campaign or not

I think that such mechanics would make them feel more unique and even more hit and run than they are right now. Some stats of the top of my head to have some picture:
  • D active - lasts 6 seconds, cools down 45 seconds, using 1 energy per second while charging
  • during active, range and damage of the laser are increased by 20-30% (let's say to hit green laser spectrum in zero-k terms - because green lasers are awesome and we don't have enough of them)
  • they could self damage during firing to make it less effective at killing anti-air or killing static defenses and put their passive regeneration to extra use - something like 3/5 of hp for shooting for full duration of active.

Personally I don't think that idea of dealing increasingly more dmg the longer you attack the same target (like applying a stacking, damaging debuff similar to fire which caps off at some level) is fitting Banshee's fantasy, but it could make them better at killing bulky targets like factories or commanders, while making them even worse at raider vs raider skirmishes.

What do you think? Should Banshee see some buffs? Do you like any idea to experiment with adding unique mechanics? Share your thoughts.

Kind regards,
Zenfur
+1 / -0

USrankFealthas
2 months ago
I think they're fine. I try to use them the way you would use mutalisks in sc2. Run around the map, picking off what you can. Possibly can do a surprise attack and overwhelm. Never do direct engagements unless you have massive local superiority.
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminAquanim
2 months ago
(edited 2 months ago)

I don't think Banshee Locust has changed much since the last time it felt useful. The metagame at the moment might not favour Locust switches in many games but IMO the unit is not inherently weak.

The idea of a Void Ray-like mechanic occured to me in the past but (as I was reminded then) ZK is unlike Starcraft in that weapons fire at locations rather than units. This means that Banshees could trivially charge up their weapons before engaging, and makes it impractical to track how long a unit has been firing at a specific target.
+0 / -0


PLrankzenfur
2 months ago
It's fixable when you count how long unit has been fired on, not how long Locust has been shooting. That would have side effect of resetting when target is switched and interaction between many Locusts would have to be established. Whether it's stacking or individual.

Maybe I don't understand. Do you mean it's impractical to count on the target's side?

Also I like active to buff more.
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminAquanim
2 months ago
quote:
It's fixable when you count how long unit has been fired on

I don't think this is practical either (there isn't really a mechanism for counting such a thing).
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminSaktoth
2 months ago
(edited 2 months ago)

Locust is one of the few Gunships that really feels like it fits into the land unit RPS structure. It's a really great raider, amazing versus units with slow projectiles or undefended bases, but dies to LLT's and riots (You don't necessarily need dedicated AA to beat it, which is nice, anything that beats raiders will do).

It can really mess people up if there is no air game, as the all-terrain and extreme speed makes it able to avoid most defenses and hit right in the heart of the eco. But if there is a plane player or dedicated AA, it's only really usable as a fast-response defensive unit versus Sycthes or other deep raiders (Where it still verymuch excels, nothing is better at scythe hunting).

So, if there are no planes and you started/switched gunships, Locust is a great opening to hit their eco hard and decisively. If the enemy has planes, you should probably pick Harpy instead though: That's just the matchup.

Here is a game where I made one Locust as an early raider and it worked pretty well: http://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/481372

It would have worked much better and taken out a tonne of mexes too if I had have not abandoned it to go micro my Rapiers, but it forced much more than its cost in AA from the enemy. I probably could have just kept pumping Locusts once I had established there was no plane player as well, and permanently locked down their rear with them.

It's a gamble to start it in team games though because it does tend to die to fighters which is why it's often avoided.
+1 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
2 months ago
I increased their fire arc to 135 because it feels like a reasonable buff that should make them more fun to use. A lot has changed since the fire arc nerf, I think it was because they were too good against planes. Much has changed since 2013.

I like to avoid activatable abilities as we could end up with ability-micro-soup. I prefer to have interesting weapon characteristics which can all be interacted with and used just through positioning and target selection. Is there any weapon type that does what you want?
+0 / -0


PLrankzenfur
2 months ago
(edited 2 months ago)

Not really. The point of this post was focusing on gunships and thought experiment. What really bugs me is how ground raiders are effective at killing gunships, especially without micro. I don't have problems with riots being able to deal with them, but current interaction make them weak at defence against raiders with only benefit they provide is quick response time.

On the other hand I wouldn't like units like Banshee or Scythe to be universally strong. Scythe is OK btw. All I want is not to be disappointed every time I decide to build them.

Also I think that part of planes and gunships' strength should be ability to choose fight. They should be travelling on high altitudes descending into current weapons' range when fighting. It is fine that raiders can fight them and have advantage as long as gunships can escape into safety. Denying safe travel of planes and gunships should be done by mostly dedicated AA or long range guided /precision units like Fencer.

Would be great to see some good usage of gunships demonstration replay. I'll check out AUrankAdminSaktoth replay.
+0 / -0


USrankAdminmaackey
2 months ago
(edited 2 months ago)

Raiders and other ground units killing gunships is caused by gunships flying so friggen low. They're barely a step up from hovering -- and in many cases, they fly lower than the tops of units.

Presumably this is because ground units typically don't have a cylindrical firing radius? IMO that's fine if ground units need to get slightly closer than normal to hit gunships -- gives a reason to make AA instead of relying on Reavers and Ogres to be the uber go-to units.

Other than that, I'm still getting my feet wet again -- I could have probably controlled them better with more experience -- but one of the things I love about Zero-K is that it automates a lot of the tedious micromanagement present in other RTS games, so I'm happy with a larger firing arc if it means I don't have to position my units just so in order for them to fire.
+0 / -0


PLrankzenfur
2 months ago
(edited 2 months ago)

After I saw some Raaar's games with gunships I think Locusts are in ok spot right now. Still I think that mechanics would be cool, maybe not necessarily on Locust.
+0 / -0