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Thunderbird Balance

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PRrankScrangos
5 months ago
A unit thats probably sparked the most debate in this game and spawned the entire disarm mechanic. Sometimes blamed to be missing in discussions about factory matchups or balanced threads as the main tilting factor between army encounters.... what are the better players opinions on its current state and its influence as a support factory (which is pretty much all planes are)?

I personally feel it does too much still, specially on defense and against slower units, and drive a huge speed advantage to show between units that can simply run away till the debuff passes and trivializes a lot of defenses.

As far as changes im not sure, I do realize its current animation to be very cool... but the area it can cover is insane for the amount of disarm it can put out... I was thinking that it could do less but more safely perhaps switching its animation to a more napalm/licho style in a smaller aoe and perhaps change its damage type to slow instead of disarm.
+8 / -0

GBrankPRO_rANDY
5 months ago
(edited 5 months ago)

I'm not a fan of the thunderbird in its current state. It often has very polarized results, either doing next to nothing or creating a completely one sided engagement. Often times a good run can be a game ending moment, especially in some matchups like rover vs rover. You can dodge a few runs or shoot them down and then still lose when you don't quite manage it the fourth or fifth time.

They are also the main reason I don't go shield bots very often and it also feels too effective against static defences.
+4 / -0


USrankFealthas
5 months ago
>feels too effective against static defences.
Consider you are shields or amph and need to deal with some porc.
You can either facswitch to air and get thunOPbird or go lv and get merl.
Which is better against porc?
Thunderbird, by a mile. It also costs like ~100m less than a merl.

Its almost comical how bad artillery is in ZK.
+2 / -1



CHrankAdminDeinFreund
5 months ago
(edited 5 months ago)

quote:
or go lv and get merl

If I'm shield I'd rather get 2 newtons and a shovel

[Spoiler]
+2 / -0

PTrankraaar
5 months ago
(edited 5 months ago)

Thunderbird!

the name fits the unit perfectly, it's a bird that shoots thunders. It has a unique look and feel. The sweeping behavior looks nice.

ah, this is a thread about balance. Well then, thunderbird balance is HORRIBLE:


- it allows riots and defenses to be swept by the much faster raiders they're supposed to counter at a fraction of their cost
- a single thunderbird can disable both swarms of light units and heavies, including most striders
- it affects slow units much harder than fast ones because they're much easier to attack while disarmed
- it'll often do a successful pass even in the target is escorted by similar cost in AA


what could be done to fix?


- replace long duration disarm by short duration stun (3s) to be more effective against fast units relative to slow but tougher units
- reduce damage so it doesn't easily disable high HP heavies
- deal bonus damage to shields to keep the shieldbreaking role
+0 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
5 months ago
I've been ranting and raving about this unit for years now. The thunderbird meta hasn't really eventuated, though it makes OPpearances every now and then. I still think it's the most powerful unit in the game, but it's limited by the factory it's in.

While I still think it's OP as hell, I don't see the point in changing it until it's actually dominant.

If it were changed, I'd like to see a change to weight. I'd want it to be so fragile that it's deterred by any dedicated AA, have less Disarm burst (to the extent it can't be used to disarm larger units without multiples, and less cost to compensate. This would make it more specific in purpose, and less polarising in match-outcome.
+4 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
4 months ago
I want you to want more than one Thunderbird in many more situations, and not for resilience to AA. Currently if a Thunderbird goes off it stuns most of an army. People make more than one against:
  • Particularly heavy units.
  • Very, extremely, spread armies.
  • AA, to ensure that at least one Thunderbird gets through.
  • The rearm time of Thunderbird.
It would be better if extra Thunderbirds were beneficial in many more situations. This would make it more granular. There would be a choice about whether to reveal your single TB or save up a few. AA could partially fight off TB in more situations than at present. This could be achieved with less AoE, spread or damage.

I like the idea of lower AoE or spread because forcing an army to spread out feels like good counterplay. Currently, if an army wants to spread it has to spread impractically far. I don't particularly think TB is too good against static defenses as stunning defenses for an assault is a decent role.
+4 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
4 months ago
quote:

Consider you are shields or amph and need to deal with some porc.
You can either facswitch to air and get thunOPbird or go lv and get merl.
Which is better against porc?
Thunderbird, by a mile. It also costs like ~100m less than a merl.

Its almost comical how bad artillery is in ZK.

When I see porcball starts to grow I queue 5 cons to reclaim, make 1 storage and queue nuke :D
But hey, I'm clusterfuck citizen :D
+3 / -0

USrankPhytophyte
4 months ago
I had the idea that there could be a short delay between when the Thunderbird fires its lightning, and when the hit actually registers. It could force the Thunderbird's user to be more predictive about where the lightning run should land, as well as giving the assailed player more time to react and spread their army.

+0 / -0


USrankkaen
4 months ago
I'm of the same opinion as AUrankSnuggleBass . To me this unit clearly does too much for its price (especially in 1v1 midgame) but despite this it's not abused often enough to warrant a nerf yet.

I like AoE above all the changes proposed so far, but would propose another alternative:

Perhaps it could have the disarm strength reduced so it disarms most raiders in one pass but not riots or heavier. Then it might have a more defensive role defending larger units against raider balls without disarming the heavier units themselves. It could also be produced in multiples to have its original effect for more cost.
+0 / -0


USrankFealthas
4 months ago
I think part of the reason why of isn't abused much is that its a situational unit.

Effective usage requires a few conditions:
1:Enemy units are slower than yours.
2:Your units are fast enough to close the gap while enemies are stunned.
3:Your units kill stuff fast enough to make it worth it.

Of course it can always be used as artillery :)
+1 / -0

ZArankAstran
4 months ago
Note to self: abuse Thunderbird before it's too late.
+3 / -0



SErankGodde
4 months ago

Even slow units could benefit from Thunderbird then.
Lets make it 30 second stun time instead :P

[Spoiler]
+6 / -0

PTrankraaar
4 months ago
3-5s stun for units with less than 2k hp would be good enough for its current price.

that way even if it made a pass at a shieldball they would be able to start firing and regenerating again soon so it wouldn't be such a hard counter.
+1 / -0




EErankAdminAnarchid
4 months ago
3-5s would make it almost never practical to deploy one Thunderbird, or to deploy it with anything besides a select few units.

Very few if any,units can cross the typical standoff distance in 5 seconds and then deal any reasonable damage.
+4 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
4 months ago
(edited 4 months ago)

resign! there is nothing you can do
resistance is futile, thunderbird gonna get u anyway and then u gonna die to 5 glaives...
+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
4 months ago
what if the units were already trading shots, like a mixed army advancing into another.

3 seconds without being able to move or fire is a significant setback for either force, for 550 metal.
+0 / -0

CZrankTLama
4 months ago
Thumderbird is potent but fragile plane, that so easy to kill...
3-5 secs of stun is not useful, just check multistunner on Scorp and how it does not help agains groups of units, unless U can follow up with another EMP unit.
Slow is also 99 percent useless.
+1 / -0

PTrankraaar
4 months ago
scorpion itself is slow, scorpion's multistunner has much less aoe and can be obstructed by terrain or units that were already in the way and stunned to the max.
+0 / -0

FRrankThornEel
4 months ago
What if it dealt both Slow and Disarm damage?
+0 / -0
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