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Shieldball+Lobster balance suggestion

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4 months ago
To start off, sheildball+lobster is too overpowered and needs a nerf. While people may debate how powerful a normal shield ball is and its counters, adding a lobster breaks the game as its almost impossible counter, and MOST IMPORTANTLY NOT FUN TO FIGHT AGAINST.
So a simple balance change I propose is:
Make shields turn off and need to recharge whenever lobbed by a lobster. Thats it...
It still lets you lob shieldball units to safety, but you have to wait and recharge shields. It ends the oppresive naturare of assaulting arty/everything by lobbing a shieldball onto it, and makes it so you cant just lob into the air to ultra kill anything that flys.
+5 / -2

4 months ago
CArankTarkin that would make offensive lobster OP. Just walk cloaked lobster to enemy shieldball and deal 100% shield damage to all units you've captured, all while bringing them into your lines for destruction.

The real counter to lobster shieldballs is to just to exploit their clumping. Cloaked imps/snitches are very fun. Also if enemy shieldball has 2 lobsters in it, that is metal that you could have in extra thunderbirds. While most lobpot shieldballs can happily eat 1-2 thunderbirds, 4 will usually be enough to disarm the whole thing (and you can add some ground units for tanking to save the TB's). So yes, lobster shieldballs are oppressive, but also really high risk (since you need to clump hard to fit into lobster capture area), and area damage is a thing. Finally, any shieldball tends to sorta melt if you can force it to actually fight anything without being able to retreat.

To be honest, just about any assault-riot unit becomes very good with lobsters mixed in, that is sorta the point of support units. Same as most skirmishers become real good when combined with aspis and/or cloak. Same as most units become far better when owl is around. Same as most units become better when funnelweb is shielding and repairing them at 40 buildpower.
+3 / -0
4 months ago
I find that plan to be too ineffective to ever be an issue to a shield ball. IF you can get close enough with a lobster, your close enough to snitch which is far more cost effective than discount disarm. Also lobster has poor range if your trying to cloak it and get close enough without dying, at best might get a few thugs out of a ball.
Thunderbirds dont work, the shield ball jumps up and melts them instantly. and
The issue is the counters you mention are ineffective against lobed shield balls/require a huge skill gap to execute.
Also lobster disables cloak when used, so why not disable shields?
+1 / -2

4 months ago
I'm pretty skeptical about lobsterball being broken, I had little trouble dismantling Histidine when he tried it against me a few days ago.
https://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/1766289

Granted I was going Spiders, the factory shields has the most trouble against normally, but it definitely felt to me like Histidine would have done much better if he had just switched to amph entirely rather than lobsterballing.
+2 / -0

4 months ago
This post has been downvoted below -5 and collapsed, click here to expand
Uh hum, ladies and gentlemen, esteemed players, and fellow enthusiasts,

Uh hum, thank you for gathering here today as we delve into the realm of gaming strategy, a space where skill, tactics, and fair play converge. Today, uh hum, I'd like to address a topic that has been resonating within our community – the overwhelming power of the combination of shield ball and lobster in our beloved game.

Now, uh hum, let's not beat around the bush. The shield ball, on its own, is already a formidable force on the virtual battlefield. It raises heated debates among players about its potency and the array of counters available. However, uh hum, the addition of the lobster seems to tip the scales in a way that transcends healthy competition. It's not just a matter of power; it's about the fun factor. Fighting against this combination has become an experience that leaves players frustrated, and dare I say, uh hum, it's almost impossible to counter effectively.

So, uh hum, what do we propose? A simple, yet effective balance change that aims to rein in the dominance of this overpowered duo. And, uh hum, here it is: whenever a shield ball is lobbed by a lobster, the shields should turn off and require a recharge. That's it.

This change still allows for strategic use of shield ball units – you can lob them to safety, but not without consequences. It introduces a momentary vulnerability, a window of opportunity for opponents to capitalize on. It puts an end to the oppressive nature of assaulting artillery and everything else by simply lobbing a shield ball onto it. No longer, uh hum, can one just casually lob into the air and expect an ultra-kill on anything airborne.

Now, uh hum, I understand that change is not always easy to accept. There might be concerns about how this alteration could impact gameplay dynamics. However, uh hum, it's crucial to remember that our aim here is to ensure an enjoyable and fair gaming experience for everyone.

Uh hum, let's think about it. Wouldn't this modification add an extra layer of strategy? The need to time shield deployments becomes even more critical. It encourages players to think twice before unleashing the shield ball and lobster combo, fostering a more engaging and thoughtful gaming environment.

In conclusion, uh hum, I implore you all to consider the positive impact that this simple balance change can have on the overall enjoyment of our beloved game. Let's work together to maintain a healthy gaming ecosystem where skill and strategy triumph over unintended exploits.

Thank you, uh hum, and let's continue shaping the future of our gaming community with fairness and fun in mind.
+1 / -8


4 months ago
USrankStuart98: His lobsterballing was extremely effective, transforming a very definite loser into something he had more of a chance with (you were crushing on map control, eco and army size and that swapped with the appearance of the lobsterball). The only balls he losses are due to mismicro (failing to jump away despite plenty of time and warning).

Hermit and particularly crab are also two of the most annoying units for shield to deal with. The former due to very high hp and the latter due to decent hp on a unit with aoe and good shield penetration.

You won due to the giant eco lead and CNrankHistidineStar failing to properly take it back while miscmicroing his balls.

quote:
While most lobpot shieldballs can happily eat 1-2 thunderbirds, 4 will usually be enough to disarm the whole thing

No, I can jump over them or away from them or into them to Felon them.

quote:
Finally, any shieldball tends to sorta melt if you can force it to actually fight anything without being able to retreat.


This isn't really true. A pure riot or pure assault force can normally beat a same cost shieldball, but in practice that's not really a concern because skirms, raiders and arti are needed and those can be obliterated by the lobball.

A big issue is that Thuglaw is extremely powerful against enemy balls (due to the huge aoe meaning high dps and the slow when combined with the very hefty Thug shield). Even a pure mace ball will die to a jumping thuglaw ball if the latter lands on top of the former.

Also, stopping it from retreating is often hard. You have 10 seconds from landing before the ball can jump again and a moderately large ball (e.g. 4.5k) can have over 18k in shields.

quote:
To be honest, just about any assault-riot unit becomes very good with lobsters mixed in, that is sorta the point of support units

Most don't have the ability to avoid attrition when they do that though. That's where the shieldball really stands out.

quote:
Same as most units become better when funnelweb is shielding and repairing them at 40 buildpower.

Uh. The only thing Funnelweb is good for is absorbing missile silo shots. In every other case you're better off with Aspis and Convicts or something
+4 / -1

4 months ago
Histidine was running at nearly 3x my APM, if despite that he could neither micro lobsters properly nor lock down any of his territorial gains that doesn't say anything good about the effectiveness of the tactic.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
Higher APM is not better skill, I have 3x APM of most ppl in my mmr range but I'm still silver. HistidineStar however makes a lot of mistakes and you again mostly won from better eco and map control. He did give you a struggle with shieldball lob despite starting off fighting spiders which almost entirely can counter shields. If HistidineStar gained any bit if map control and didn't make so many mistake he could have easily turned it back around because of how oppressive it is
+1 / -1
4 months ago
Despite being out ecoed, he got better damage and made cost... prtty good argument on how strong shield ball is...
+2 / -2
4 months ago
Dear Logix,
Waging downvote wars kinda cringe, plz stop...
Sincerely,
Tarkin
+3 / -0

4 months ago
In conclusion, chat.openai.com ass responce, uh hum
+2 / -0
4 months ago
???
+0 / -0

4 months ago
Mehhh ... lobbed shieldball is OK but you run a big risk of snitches or imps being strategically placed at the landing spot. If that happens GGWP.
+1 / -1
4 months ago
I feel like the original idea by CArankTarkin is pretty good. Lobbed units decloak when being lobbed, why shouldn't shields lose all/a part of their charge? Shields in the current meta already are extremely strong, and lobbed shields can easily defeat the only reliable counter that there is against them - skirmishers. If there was some downside to lobbing shields, it would only be good.

As a reminder - arty barely works against shield (you can lower the charge, but firewalkers, emissaries, even lances dont have the necessary DPS per cost like skrims do), silo could be avoided with lobsters (and silo is such a niche thing that it should not be the only thing that counters a factory), snitches don't work if there are 2+ outlaws in the ball, and likho gets shut down by AA super fast (you might need amphbot AA, because shield AA is not fast enough to snipe likho before it hits)(and a likho usually dies in the process to AA/felon, if the ball jumps it does not make cost at all, etc. - a likho is not a reliable counter).
+0 / -0
4 months ago
Here's my 2 cents: Give lobster a "Charging" animation
Instead of, say, throwing the unit instantly and having the unit fly through the air for 3 seconds before landing, lobster instead has a little animation where it picks up the units a little bit into the air, takes aim (in total maybe 0.7 second), then throws, taking about 2 seconds to target

Aside from being a little graphical fluff which I think would look nice, this completely changes how lobster interacts with shieldballs. that one second aiming animation means that lobster can no longer reliably counter tacsilo and likho, which should open up more counterplay for lobstered shieldballs. It also should make lobster a touch nicer to play with thanks to the faster time to target at long range
+3 / -1


4 months ago
quote:
Lobbed units decloak when being lobbed, why shouldn't shields lose all/a part of their charge?

Because of the established logic of cloakd and shield.

Saying units decloak whenever they do something, or have something done to them, isn't too far off the truth. Moving doesn't decloak, jumplegging doesn't decloak (which is a lot like moving), and Phantom doesn't decloak when it shoots as an explicit special ability. Being repaired also doesn't decloak, but I'm not committed to that (maybe it even should). There are probably a few more cases, but I can't think of them for the moment (being on an airpad should probably decloak, but I don't think it does). Even being underwater decloaks. So it is entirely consistent for Lobster to decloak, and it is pretty necessary for balance since otherwise Snitch would rain from the sky unseen.

Shields are not like cloak, they are like weapons. Things that disable weapons (disarm and EMP) disable shields. Shields lose all their charge when disabled. Shields are also drained by shooting at them, as that is just the core of what shields are meant to do. The situations in which shields are damaged or disabled mostly have nothing to do with cloak, and are only coincidentally aligned for disarm and EMP.
+3 / -0
4 months ago
Then maybe any lobbed unit should be disabled while lobbed (or for a very short period) and everything will be consistent.

What is the lobster purpose? To provide access to unreachable places (platforms/higher mountains/over walls) or to accelerate movement? Can be both, but the movement acceleration seems indeed a bit overpowered.
+4 / -1

4 months ago
How can you balance a unit that provides a fixed buff to 50-50000M of units?
I'm actually amazed that Lobster can have a purpose whilst not completely breaking the game.
+1 / -0


4 months ago
Units like lobster just show how amazing zero-k can be. How can a unit have such an amazing power without totally obliterating the balance.
+7 / -0
4 months ago
quote:
How can a unit have such an amazing power without totally obliterating the balance.
As it can be harder to use than other units, it might just accentuate the differences in skill levels - the best players will use it, while the rest will not. Given enough time though people might learn it out of necessity and then you could say it "affects balance".

Final test would be to teach the AI to use it and check if it uses it always or not. Humans choose what to do and if they like other stuff more they will do that (ex: for whatever reasons giant robots seem to be very cool - how many times have you seen someone rushing from the start poisonous arachnid?)
+0 / -0
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