From my perspective, as a player who does not habitually com-morph and
(#1) would like com-morphing to be interesting
(#2) would not like com-morphing to be obligatory
(#3) would be ok with com-morphing being kind of weak (especially in 1v1/2v2), but not terrible
I am not entirely satisfied. I think #2 and #3 are more or less satisfied but #1 could be improved on. The question is how to improve #1 without compromising #2 or #3.
Some IssuesSome of the generic 8x modules are pretty lame.[Spoiler]
The weapon modifiers (Flux Amp, Disruptor Ammo, Napalm Warhead) are wonky.[Spoiler]
The earlier thread
is a reasonable summary; my take is as follows.Ablative Armor
, High Power Servos
are OK.High Density Plating
scales very poorly but the idea isn't inherently bad. Could potentially be saved by numbers tweaks.Advanced Targeting System
is hindered by the fact that we don't want a com with 8x to be an artillery monster.Damage Booster
is boring, bad, and could be very annoying if it was good.Companion Drone
and Battle Drone
are pretty bad. I think the poor state of the drone mechanic in general is partially to blame for this. Not an easy fix.
These modules all feel like either strictly-good choices (Flux Amp) or they're mechanically disadvantaged so that they are almost always bad (Disruptor Ammo, Napalm Warhead). Strike, Guardian and Engineer chassis are fundamentally very similar, unless you are going full com-morph.[Spoiler]
In theory they could be costed to make them an interesting choice without the inherent downside but in a longer game a few hundred metal makes little difference.
From my perspective as somebody who intends to take a generic weapon and probably not morph further, the only distinguishing feature between these three chassis is a tradeoff between "how fast can I expand" and "how many Ravens/etc will it take to kill me". Engineer frequently seems strictly better than the other options.The Recon chassis is qualitatively different in a way that is very relevant to competitive play.[Spoiler]
Jump allows for very different expansion patterns on some maps, and some early attacks can be avoided with jump. There is very little reason to morph beyond level 2 (the first weapon) unless you intend to morph to level 4.[Spoiler]
However, choosing Recon frequently makes you much more vulnerable to cheese.
Especially in competitive 1v1/2v2 play, level 3 is a really underwhelming commander level. Your commander does very little that it could not have done at level 2, and you spent a bunch of metal.A general lack of interesting decisions.[Spoiler]
Once you've made your choice about what weapons you want and whether you want cloak/shield, the rest feels like
(#1) pick the chassis which allows you to have those weapons
(#2) add generically good modules
I'm not really trying to nail down specific balance numbers at this stage - my goal is to achieve a reasonable design.
Remove Disruptor Ammo, Flux Amplifier, Napalm Warhead and Lazarus Device.Recon:
Significant increase to Jump cooldown, perhaps decrease jump range; a bit more HP to compensate. You can still expand (on say Quicksilver) but you'll be vulnerable to raids for a while afterwards.Engineer:
Moderate decrease to build range, perhaps buff something to compensate.Strike:
Moderate decrease to autorepair, perhaps buff something to compensate.
These changes might seem to reduce chassis distinctions and some cool modules. Read on.
This is largely a refinement of this idea
. If you have played Dota 2 recently this idea probably looks kind of familiar.
The basic idea is:
At level 3 or later you can add a minor subsystem
module. Only one minor subsystem can be selected.
At level 5 or later you can add a major subsystem
module. Only one major subsystem can be selected.
The goals of this change are:
Add interesting module choices.
Make the choice of chassis more interesting.
Improve the design of weapon modifier modules (their inherent downsides can be removed if they have the downside of not choosing a different subsystem).
Make level 3 a more appealing thing to morph to.
Some of my design principles for these subsystems are:
Avoid negative side effects (being unable to select the other subsystem should be a sufficient tradeoff).
Each pair of subsystems doesn't need to be equally useful in all games, or on average, but there should be some kind of game in which each one is useful.
Try to avoid just making ordinarymodule++ but one or two (like crazy movespeed) might be ok.
Subsystems which are dependent on other module/subsystem choices (like weapon mods) make me sad but are probably unavoidable.
The subsystems are different for each chassis. A first draft:
ReconMinor SubsystemJUMP BOOSTER:
Increase Jump range and decrease cooldown [?]SENSOR ARRAY:
Increase vision radius to something near 800 (i.e. Radar Tower vision range). [?]Major subsystemKINETIC DISTRIBUTOR:
Jump impacts like a Sumo.RUN YOUR BOI:
Significant movement speed increase. [?]
StrikeMinor SubsystemFLUX AMPLIFIER:
Increase damage of Beam Laser, Particle Beam. Increase EMP damage of Lightning Rifle.FLEX-ALLOY ARMOR:
Significant increase to autorepair, some HP. [?]Major subsystemOVERCLOCK:
Decrease manual-fire weapon reload time. [?]SYSTEM REBOOT:
Remove all negative status effects, long cooldown. [?]
EngineerMinor SubsystemDISRUPTOR AMMO:
Add slow damage to standard weapons. [?]DUAL-PHASE LATHE:
Significant increase in build power and range [?]Major subsystemRESONANCE COIL:
Increase manual-fire weapon range. [?]LAZARUS DEVICE:
Commander can resurrect wrecks. [?]
GuardianMinor SubsystemNAPALM WARHEADS:
Increase Heat Ray and Flamethrower damage, add fire damage to other weapons. [?]VANGUARD DEPLOYMENT:
Deploy Commander economy pack as a building, get some combat benefit like HP. [?]Major subsystemANCHORING MODULE:
1/2 damage taken while stationary. [?]CONCUSSION PULSE:
Throws nearby enemies away. [?]
What about fixing the 8x modules?
I have some ideas but they are less well baked at this stage. On the other hand they're way easier implementation-side.
Remove Damage Booster, have interesting subsystems which increase damage of weapons instead.
Reduce High Density Plating and Advanced Targeting System to max 3x or something, but make them better individually.
Perhaps do something similar to drones? Drones in general need more thought.
Have a choice of three minor subsystems; add a second one at level 6/7. [?]
Limit com morph to level 7 (similar to campaign). The later levels are just "add generically good modules" anyway, and are reached so rarely that it's not really worth trying to make them better.
Do something drastic to Disintegrator Gun.
I'm not a big fan of the Area Shield conversion.
Since I'm not a habitual com-morpher and a lot of these choices have more to do with appeal than balance, other perspectives are probably useful in this instance.