Entire factory is NOT based on area cloaking device, individual cloaking has never been much of an issue(scythe, sniper, con)
The entire factory right now is in a weak spot. Its Assault and Riot are too slow, and too short ranged to be of much help when assaulting porc without Iris. They are also quite expensive for simply hurling them into porc. Other assaults are either cheap (Hermit, Thug, Ravager, Halberd), or extremely beefy while retaining good speed (Minotaur, Jack), or psuedo-strider in terms of power (Goliath, Grizzly). Knight only has barely 2400HP for 350 metal, is slow, and short ranged. EMP cannon/AOE plasma is exceptionally strong, but only when it gets close enough, which will not happen without Iris.
Coupled with the fact Ronin cannot kill, merely delay, which is useless when you want to attack, makes using Knight or Reaver untenable when actually assaulting with them.
Iris removes that, and lets Cloakbot fight on its own terms, rather than having to kite away while pathetic rockets miss, or artillery unable to kill porc fast enough, while sniper is extremely expensive and kills one unit so often.
Removing Iris essentially puts cloak on the defensive, as, beyond mass Glaives, cloakbot cannot raid or even push without it.
I am interested on what buffs you would put for the factory if you remove Iris, that don't lead to absolute cancer like speedy Reaver or long-ranged Knight. Even making them cheaper makes them massable far easier than before, which will result, especially in 1v1s, in uncloaked but slowly moving Knight balls stunning everything in their path.
This why I contend that the rework for removing Iris is simply too large and too complicated to get right.
Hence why I want Iris to be cloakbot only. This has as little impact on Cloakbot as possible, while removing other's ability to make them without swapping to Cloakbot factory.Legomenon
, a solution would be to not make factory plates a smaller factory. What I mean is that plates are essentially gimped factories that allow you to make some units of its parent factory, but not all of it.
This stops people from making Iris without actually having a cloakbot factory, or for that matter, other powerful units without that much of an investment. I really don't think players should be able to rapidly access units like Grizzly, Lance, Wyvern, Goliath and the like without actually making that factory.
This has negligible impact in 1v1s, because plates can be used to make the 'regular unit' while the parent factory builds the 'special unit' which is not present in the plate production list. This just swaps their roles right now in 1v1s.
This also delays a non-cloak user from being able to access Iris without teamwork in large teamgames. As for teamwork, then that I am not sure of.
I am personally against removing unit gifting, or unit command sharing, because then that makes team games less 'team' and more 'FFA but these guys you can't shoot at'. Gifting Lances/Snitch to a cloak user essentially brings us to the exact problem Firepluk
shows - incredibly boring gameplay where pushing into a space means you get shot by cloaked Lances nigh-immune to airstrike.