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Flea Balance Thread

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This post is to discuss the current balance of the controversial unit known as the flea. Flea spam has become a very viable tactic nowadays able to punish players severely for nearly no cost in many cases. It's role was meant to be a scout that is capable of very light raids however for its measly cost of 20 metal if has a whopping 45 dps. At first this may not seem like much but it has the highest dps to metal ratio. In groups the flea is able to take on a variety of riot units and win without much difficulty when microed correctly. It's burrow ability combined with its low cost allows a player to spam fleas and setup "Traps" for stronger units in which to kill them extremely quickly do to their high dps.

The presence of fleas in a non-spider mirror match gives the spider player a notable edge in the early game as the non-spider player is usually forced to spam LLT in order to protect all of their metal extractors, a significant investment early on which the spider player can take advantage of in which case they can expand much more freely. The flea is also one of the fastest land units in the game able to traverse maps in a very short time making them a very powerful counter to sudden skirmisher presence on the battlefield as they can join the battle quickly.

Fleas can easily make cost in several situations, a single flea taking out 1 metal extractor is already a 55 metal advantage and tends to happen often, more so at the early stages of the match where llt presence is near nonexistent. Fleas are also capable of taking out wind gens very quickly which would provide another early economical advantage. Having to invest in several LLT is costly at the start of the match, and the spider player can simply counter them with recluses later on making them obsolete other then being a flea deterant.


My personal opinion on the matter is that the flea may be in a slightly too powerful position for what it is thus should have some form of nerf whether it be cost or dps.


Feel free to state your own opinions on the matter and post replays =) as there are not many "good" replays which show the issue at hand as many likely go unnoticed

http://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/657923
http://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/658842
http://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/658839 (this one was just very poor play on my part, was caught off guard)
+11 / -1

4 months ago
theres nothing wrong with fleas, they are perfectly balanced
+1 / -0
4 months ago
Slightly slower fleas and maybe 25 metal per flea. Until puppies have cloaking spiders is the only way to go if you want harrassment domination
+0 / -0
4 months ago
I contend they could use a 10% reduction in DPS.

They are overtuned, but not by a ton.
+3 / -0
4 months ago
there have been other threads about this

basically i'd halve flea dps and increase redback's movement speed from 54 to about 70 to make them more generally competitive.

+0 / -0
4 months ago
PTrankraaar

while I do agree redback could use tuning this thread should be dedicated to flea, thanks for your input
+0 / -0


4 months ago
A 10% dps reduction sounds like a sane way nerf the flea swarms in compensation for their increased effective dps and scaling due to the range buff.

Overall the combination of "more range, less dps" moves a bit of flea power from individual flea harrasment to swarm tactics, which is i think more interesting to watch.
+4 / -0
quote:
while I do agree redback could use tuning this thread should be dedicated to flea, thanks for your input

This kind of balancing is what I believe keeps adding to the constant imbalance between factories. Fleas being so disproportionally powerful is what gives the spider fac an edge in many current matchups. Instead of just removing the strong unit and making the factory weak, the strength between the different units should be normalized. Find the strongest unit and the weakest unit and exchange some of their strength. If the factory is generally a bit too oppressive you can nerf slightly more than you buff.

For example we've just had the amphibious bots, who relied mostly on Archers and Grizzlies, nerfed. Ducks, Buoys or Scallops were rarely used, and by simply nerfing Archer and not buffing one of those underused units, the result is that hardly anyone starts Amphib anymore. (Although I don't believe more than a 2% buff would've been needed)

This is by far not the first time for this to happen and I'm just unsure whether the intention of every discussion of a single unit is really intended to nerf/buff an entire factory. Because if that's not your intention, you'll have to include some other unit in the spider lineup to compensate.

To get to the point of this thread, I do believe Fleas need a slight range or dps decrease. Keeping the longer range does make for more interesting swarm strategies. I also believe that Redbacks, Venoms and Hermits are generally underperforming.
+7 / -0

4 months ago
I think a small flea DPS nerf is justified.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
Is LLT spam even the right response? Most factories have raiders that are able to cover more area more effectively against flea.

Anarchid and Deinfreund are right. Fleas are basically a mechanic of the spider factory, not just a unit. Spider units are balanced around being used in combination with the information and map control that fleas bring.
+0 / -0
quote:
Spider units are balanced around being used in combination with the information and map control that fleas bring.


Are they though? Really?

Spider units are balanced to be moved around in one big blob. Fleas only synergise directly with Venom & Widow.
+0 / -0


4 months ago
I'm in favour of a small dps nerf.
+0 / -0
I'd propose to leave DPS and range as is, but rather nerf the flea main weakness - health. Say 50% of the current.

I feel like the way they are able to swarm other raiders, LLTs, Scorchers, Commanders, etc is related to the fact that it takes too many shots to kill a single flea. Fleas should be able to harass undefended structures indeed, but in the same time they are supposed to die from a sneeze, which is not the case when they are present in numbers.
+1 / -0

4 months ago
Health doesn't matter as the limiting factor for most units is targeting and turret rotation speed.
+3 / -0

4 months ago
I'd reduce the DPS/cost so that it can't overwhelm wrong type units as quickly.
Currently it can hide and shred any unescorted assault/skirm/arty/com.
It doesn't help that riot units are generally much less effective than normal against fleas because they hugely overkill.
+0 / -0


4 months ago
*not serious*
quote:
Health doesn't matter as the limiting factor for most units is targeting and turret rotation speed.


Make it damage self (5 hp) when it shoots. Then it becomes a limiting factor.
+0 / -0


4 months ago
Personally, I would prefer reverting the range buff but a slight DPS nerf is okey aswell.
+2 / -0

4 months ago
https://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/659045
+0 / -0

4 months ago
So this threads about fleas make spiders now viable in flat maps in same skill brackets? Or it's just about several games vs very high skilled players who knows more game aspect then never players? Can top 10 players make some experimental games in their own rank to decide question about flea is OP or not?
+0 / -0


4 months ago
http://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/659460
+0 / -0
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