Branched off a post from the recent BAR playerbase thread.
Hi all, its train factory guy Qrow
here. If you're relatively new to this game, you probably have no clue who I am, and that's probably a good thing because a lot of the stuff I'm remembered for is generally stupid and useless. As such, please set your expectations accordingly for this post.
I'm sure if you're reading this, you have likely played in countless games in the infamous "big teams" ZK lobby and are well aware that most games, regardless of being short or long, stuff usually devolves into strider versus strider game play. At this point in the game, generally the way things are playing out looks like this:
* Eco is well established, both sides usually have full grid up w/ multiple singus
* Normal units are still being produced but usually are given a supportive role around striders being produced at that point (think flea screen)
* Porc is usually extremely prevalent and a majority of non-strider supportive units generally end up being cons or arty units
Now you may be asking: Why does this even matter? This is just the way ZK big teams fundamentally works, right? For years it has always been this way, and for years it will remain as tradition demands it.
I'm not sure that it has to be this way, though.
The main issue revolving around striders goes something like this:
* Striders provide a predictable endgame to most large scale team games, which while being an easy roadmap to follow for players, removes from demanding decision making, unit selection strategy, and other aspects which can make big teams interesting
* Striders require building a non-free factory, which conversely of being an easy roadmap to follow for mid and upper level players can screw new players pretty hard if they see tons of other people rushing strider factory every game and have no idea of whats going on
* Striders don't promote player engagement if they're rushed because rushing normally consists of multiple players rushing and doing nothing else except maybe eco actions
* Striders are needed (or at least are the easiest way by far) to counter other striders, which makes it so that both sides must change their existing game plan in order to counter a textbook situation (not exactly unhealthy for gameplay, but boring nonetheless)
So, in theory, if we managed to keep the solutions that striders provide (big scale units that have the power to push through porc, with some other features), but moved it somewhere else, that would work, right? I won't go into detail about where to move specific units, make new units, etc - I'm sure plenty of lobsters already have ideas for that, but my general systems design philosophy would probably look something like this:
* Delete strider hub. Begone, evil.
* Move toned down
versions of some striders and their various abilities to whatever factory fits them best.
A strider does not fit in some factory, ideally the design philosophy and use of that strider should be kept in a toned down sense, and then a new unit should be designed with that focus in mind. IMHO, 1 strider per normal factory, toned down. (Sea gets 1 extra because of unit dis-balance).
Now, obviously this will not fix all systemic issues that striders cause, or the issues that striders are designed to fix. While I won't go into it in a lot of detail here, porc should probably see a revisit from the dev gods, and some others thing should also probably be looked at, but in general
I think these changes would allow regular factory units to see more of a profound impact on big team games without having to make major changes to the rest of the units in the game.
I will make a drop down spoiler below this note when feedback is received, so that it may be compiled and kept for further discussion in an easy to find place.[Spoiler]
There are options in factories that counter striders, contradicting the notion outlined in the post that the easiest way to counter other striders is with striders. Such examples include Cyclops, Widow and Racketeer