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The Rockets' Red Glare?


wvwraith

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I've been noticing within past 2 weeks at least on my server that a lot of people are using rockets over missiles. The amount of missiles I've had to deal with has went significantly down. Are missiles on scouts becoming a thing of the past now? The beep beeps are being replaced with lots of zooms. lol Discuss my fellow gsfers. Heads up that I'm not complaining about them. Just an observation of mine. Edited by wvwraith
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Might have something to do with the relative stealth of rockets over missiles.

 

On my home server, people seem to be going more and more towards funships and battlescouts. Since both of those get the extra missile break with Disto, it only makes sense that you wouldn't want to broadcast to your target only for them to hit disto and fly away. In those cases, missiles can actually be a liability.

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Depends also on whether you have a bunch of newbies lately. Pods are the starter secondary for T1 scouts I believe.

 

I think Sabo probe is currently glitched when certain upgrades are used (plus it was never super popular) which has probably decreased usage of that and the only other option for T1s are Thermites which, as noted, can be less than ideal when facing enemies with multiple missile breaks. Which leaves pods as the only other secondary for T1 scouts.

Edited by Gavin_Kelvar
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Pods have always been competitive with Clusters. They require more skill to use effectively, but they can provide a lot more burst and--as others have noted--do not give a warning signal.

 

They also have significant shield piercing AND 100% armor-piercing, which makes them yet another weapon that makes damage reduction builds pointless traps.

 

In truth, Pods are debatedly overpowered, especially so long as only Scouts can equip them. They effectively let a Scout fire two sets of lasers at once, with their only limitation being severe accuracy penalties for range or angle. But this is easily countered with Targeting Telemetry and/or Wingman.

 

Targeting Telemetry, especially, synergizes well with Pods since it provides accuracy and crit bonuses to both primary and secondary weapons.

 

Imagine if a Rycer could fire Quads and Heavies at the same time--and get accuracy and crit bonuses to both. That's pretty much what a Scout with Pods can do if lined up on a target with Targeting Telemetry.

 

The best defense against them is Evasion, which coincidentally Scouts have the most of.

 

In short, it's yet another weapon Scouts have that is great for killing everything but other Scouts.

 

And I say this as someone who mains a Blackbolt with MLC/Pods.

 

I suspect the original design of Pods was to give Scouts a way to easily destroy turrets ... and maybe stationary Gunships (but honeslty I doubt it, given the flavor text description of Pods). But even making them an anti-turret weapon was a design mistake from the beginning. Scouts should have had zero ways to deal with turrets and damage reduction. Then Strikes would have had a purpose, and damage reduction would be a viable defensive build choice.

 

Either way, the meta long ago learned that TT and Wingman make Pods great anti-starfighter weapons, instead of mere turret killers. And honestly, without Pods, Blackbolts would have no chance of competing with Stings as dogfighters. Just like the Bloodmark can't. A Scout must have either Pods or Cluster Missiles to compete near the highest levels.

 

That's not to say Pods totally outclass Clusters. Clusters are very powerful in their own right. But Pods probably offer a slightly higher skill ceiling for those who have capped out with Clusters.

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I think that rockets are working for their intended purpose. They are meant to be good against stationary targets, such as gunships, bombers, and turrets.

 

They are probably a bit too good against strikes, but tbh, strikes are just sort of weakish, so it's probably more of that.

 

 

I actually think that, as implemented, they are a middling design. They are effectively blasters with some sharp numbers attached to make them different, which isn't that impressive.

 

Better designs could be a very powerful dumbfire load that has a long recharge time, multiple charges of rockets (say, 8) with one recharging say, every 15 seconds, or pretty much anything that allows for interesting burst.

 

 

 

But as it is, it's at least fun. Though I agree it's a bit overtuned, I can't think of any really solid fixes.

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I think that rockets are working for their intended purpose. They are meant to be good against stationary targets, such as gunships, bombers, and turrets.

 

They are probably a bit too good against strikes, but tbh, strikes are just sort of weakish, so it's probably more of that.

 

 

I actually think that, as implemented, they are a middling design. They are effectively blasters with some sharp numbers attached to make them different, which isn't that impressive.

 

Better designs could be a very powerful dumbfire load that has a long recharge time, multiple charges of rockets (say, 8) with one recharging say, every 15 seconds, or pretty much anything that allows for interesting burst.

 

 

 

But as it is, it's at least fun. Though I agree it's a bit overtuned, I can't think of any really solid fixes.

 

A big problem with Pods is that they make Scouts extremely good at jousting, especially when combined with RI, DF and/or Retro Thrusters. In a joust, you don't have to worry about tracking penalty, and the combination of 28% Shield Piercing + Armor Piercing melts anything very fast.

 

Personally I think that Scouts simply shouldn't be able to win jousts. Not against Gunships, not against Bombers, and especially not against Strikes. Those classes, which all have slower turning speed, should be heavily rewarded for lining up on their target. On the other hand, Scouts have the mobility to flank or get behind other fighters--they should actually need to do that in order to score kills.

 

But how to make a "backstabbing" mechanic without it literally being a boring positional damage bonus? Well, first I'd say that you have to remove Scout burst damage from the equation. Scouts shouldn't need it anyway. Their extra mobility allows them to keep in an advantageous position on their targets, which should translate to more time to deal sustained damage. Blaster Overcharge and Targeting Telemetry should be retuned to focus heavily on increasing accuracy, firing arc, weapon regen, and turning speed--all things to help you keep sustained damage on a target you're tailing.

 

Sabotage Probe already fits with this concept well. LLC's do as well, since they offer high sustained damage at close range, but they aren't not as effective in bursty situations or jousts.

 

Rocket Pods should lose their shield-piercing altogether. There's no point for them to have it, as turrets have no shields. In fact, I might go so far as to say they should do less damage to shields and more damage to hull, like a reverse ion effect. That would make the Scout have a more nuanced burst--get the shields down with sustained lasers first, but once you do that, you can quickly burn through the hull with rockets if the target is still not evading effectively enough.

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A big problem with Pods is that they make Scouts extremely good at jousting, especially when combined with RI, DF and/or Retro Thrusters. In a joust, you don't have to worry about tracking penalty, and the combination of 28% Shield Piercing + Armor Piercing melts anything very fast.

 

Don't forget that evasion piercing!

 

Personally I think that Scouts simply shouldn't be able to win jousts. Not against Gunships, not against Bombers, and especially not against Strikes. Those classes, which all have slower turning speed, should be heavily rewarded for lining up on their target. On the other hand, Scouts have the mobility to flank or get behind other fighters--they should actually need to do that in order to score kills.

 

So, I want to say two things here.

 

1- This is absolutely insightful and correct. Anyone who disagrees with this is just flat out wrong about game design.

2- I disagree.

 

I'll elaborate: This would require a redesign which would harm the game with alienation more than anything. There are casual posters who drift by, feel like they are the underdog in a battle scout, take a crap in the forums about game balance, and then go back to living in their own heads. These players, while annoying, represent a larger group of players who spin a narrative for themselves and then live it- and since this is a fantasy sci-fi roleplaying game, these players are actually who we want playing. If you redesign their battlescout to be unable to do the thing that they clawed their way up to, they will be so angry, even though you're absolutely correct. This assumed you'd NAIL the balance- a player who has a mastered battlescout and moderate req on everything else might be playing "flavor of the month", but that month is named "2014 AD", and taking away the one toy he could afford while accidentally breaking balance and making it, say, a BAD ship (not merely a fair one) is pretty much the worst thing possible.

 

 

So while you are correct, I think it is far too late for this. The fact that every scout has access to two personal dps cooldowns should, I feel, be corrected by reducing the burst magnitude of those, not by making them utility (again, utility is the CORRECT thing- blaster overcharge and targeting telemetry should be special buttons on a heavy fighter class that is like a gunship with no railguns, not something attached to the best maneuverable ship with the best sensors (again, meaningless, but not by design) and the best evasion and the best speed. That ship should not also have the highest dps and the highest burst.

 

And that's the suggestion track I take in my thread, because I don't think we could redesign the scouts without shattering the connection everyone has to the game. It's not worth it. We don't need to NGE SWTOR.

 

 

 

Rocket Pods should lose their shield-piercing altogether.

 

I am actually not in favor of any nerfs to rocket pods. I agree that they are overtuned, but any nerfs could make them very weak- multiple builds depend on them being strong.

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1- This is absolutely insightful and correct. Anyone who disagrees with this is just flat out wrong about game design.

2- I disagree.

I agree with your acknowledgment of insight, and agree with your disagreement... unless...

 

You know how every time they muck with the talent trees for our regular characters, they refund the skill points? What if they did a major redesign of the GSF classes and refunded all req spent, topping it off with a nice bonus burst of req for your trouble (like say another 50k)... then people could find out what new build suits them and it would put a fresh coat of paint on the whole game.

 

On rockets, I feel they are really what pushes battlescouts into the 'I have to fly this or a gunship' category. Rockets vs. Cluster Missiles is no contest for me. Once you learn how to aim and time rocket attacks, cluster missiles start to look like you're shooting a swarm of gnats against your target instead of a viable means to kill something. I feel like I have to use rockets, or I'm just not going to be able to kill anyone competent or better who's in a T2 scout or bomber. Taking on gunships would be a whole different ballgame, too, and would be much more protracted.

 

What if T2 scouts lost rockets, and T2 strikes gained rockets? Now, that could be interesting.

 

- Despon

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What if T2 scouts lost rockets, and T2 strikes gained rockets? Now, that could be interesting.

 

- Despon

 

T2 Strikes with rockets would be a game changer.

 

T2 Scouts without rockets would probably lower their skill ceiling a smidge. It would be nice in that you would no longer have a build that combines BLC's and Pods. Though taking a look at the records thread, while the majority of slots are filled by Stings, there is evidence that T1 Scouts with pods can also do pretty well.

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I think pods make much more sense on the T1 than the T2.

 

And to be fair, I've always thought the term "Scout" is a poor name choice for what they do (Especially the T2). The T1 and T3 are arguably scouting vessels. The T2 is clearly designed (at least it seems) to be an interceptor. In actual air combat, an interceptor is a ship that has limited range (as defined by mobility from the fuel depot, not weapons), and excels at close quarters combat of all sorts. I think the more interesting way to look at it would be to leave the T2 alone from an offensive standpoint, but cut the fuel/boost reserves in half. For the T1, I would say remove TT. The rest of the options (EMP, Booster Charge, Sensor Drone-thing) are much more in line with what a "Scout" would have. I still don't really know what use the T3 has, since it's in such an awkward place. I guess kind of mobile support, but it's so awkward in design (And I don't think Tensor at spawn makes it any less awkward, it just gives it a single thing to do at the very beginning).

 

The T1 and T2 Strikes end up being more like the bulk attack ships. I'd say it's pretty clear they're supposed to be fighter/attackers in air combat. I look at them somewhat like the old F-4 Phantom. The original ones didn't even have guns for dogfighting, and were quickly outclassed by any true dogfighters. The issue really is that there's no good roll for a ship like that in space (longer range, beefy with some dogfighting capabilities, good firepower for taking out defensive positions, etc, but definitely not ideal for dogfighting). The T2 scout is more mobile, more deadly, and more maneuverable than the T1/T2 Strike (I think the T3 actually comes kind of close to hitting the mark because of its solid support roll, and it can be outfitted to be a bomber-buster). So the T3 Strike has a home, but the T1/T2 don't, because the T2 Scout does everything the Strikes do, but better*. Again, I'm in general fine with that, except chop mobility out of the T2 Scout, and make it a real "interceptor". It might not be enough, but it would open things up a bit if the T2 Scout couldn't boost from A => C in Denon with a single bar, and blow everything up as soon as it gets there. To me, an interceptor class should be all about stopping incoming. It shouldn't be an attacker class.

 

The real problems with the T2 Scout is that the mobility and range have boosted it well past the strikes in terms of attacking capabilities. At least, that's my take. There's no real tradeoff with the T2 Scout.

 

In general, I agree with you that the T2 should be awful at taking out turrets, and until you get the armor ignore from BLC (or I guess if you're using pods), they actually are. Until you get that upgrade (ignore armor), BLCs are really not that good at taking down turrets. To get 3 of them solo without dying, you almost need to use missiles or pods. Heavies out of the T1, combined with the durability, and you can easily get them down so long as you keep LOS on just 1 of them, and they may not even get through the shields like they do with scouts (I'll note, however, that I feel like this is a balance issue in general, with all the things that just have the blanket ignore armor buff. This problem isn't Scout specific to me).

 

There have been times in matches when I'm on an alt without ship mastery, or anything resembling full upgrades, that not being able to ignore armor on turrets let the 3rd one kill me, and allowed their team to regroup, resulting in a loss. In those matches, just having that single upgrade turns those matches into a win, or at least a close match. At those times, I'm not necessarily "happy" about it, and wish that I were flying an upgraded ship because I want to win. But I can't argue that it's not correct.

 

*EDIT - While not strictly true, the points where the strike is better usually show up in edge cases.

Edited by nyghtrunner
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I have always flown Quads and Pods on my T2 scout. The no lockon beeps, then dead bewilders even vets.

 

Match quads pods with targeting telemetry and either bypass or concentrated fire and anything melts to dead in seconds. It is how I kill bombers with my T2 scout.

 

If you could have Charged Plating with the correct armor on the T1 strike I'd fly these weapons as well. However it moves too slow to get in that close in most cases.

Edited by zaskar
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I actually prefer the T1 scout with pods + laser cannon over T2 with quads+pods. Telemetry + CF makes short work of heavy shields, or telemetry+wingman means distortion field doesn't do very much. Laser cannon have reduced tracking penalty, which means I can hit things off-center a little more reliably. BLC... are just OP. Everything they can fit on is OP, which is a pretty strong hint.

 

Honestly, heavy dumbfire rockets make a lot of sense on strikes. They'd be really good for dealing with those bombers who like hiding in cracks in sats with small-radius splash damage. Even a 1m splash radius would do the trick. Heh, even make a magazine+rack mechanism, like on the single-player space missions: you can fire 4 at once, but you have to wait a while for them to reload.

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You know how every time they muck with the talent trees for our regular characters, they refund the skill points? What if they did a major redesign of the GSF classes and refunded all req spent, topping it off with a nice bonus burst of req for your trouble (like say another 50k)... then people could find out what new build suits them and it would put a fresh coat of paint on the whole game.

 

This is doable in principle, but I think "redesign the game from scratch" is not what I want. Why would the redesign be better?

 

Here's the problem: just today in this thread and others, we have a bunch of folks who think scouts are a bit too strong. But we have

> Nemarus saying he would like less burst out of scouts, notably, the offensive burst cooldowns.

> Caedaeron wondering if we could just move the rocket pods away from them.

> Nyghtrunner wants the engine pool cut dramatically down.

> Zaskar saying the ship is too defensible, so remove the reactor.

> GK saying the ship is too defensible, remove the active and passive evasion on distortion field and halve the duration.

> Someone else was crying about BLC

 

So, lets pretend a dev was listening AND agreed AND was willing to tone down battle scouts. Whatever he does, 5-6 of you are going to be like BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE JUST DONE X.

 

 

 

 

The answer? Certainly none of these. The mildest of these is "remove the reactor". All of these are decent REDESIGN ideas, but if any one of these was implemented in a vacuum it would do just about nothing to the meta except delete one of the good ships from it.

 

Reactor? The ship should probably have never had a reactor. If you look at the ships with reactor AND armor, your list is: Clarion, Flashfire, Spearpoint, Quarrel, Rampart, Warcarrier. With ONE exception, all of these are some kind of support ship. Every primary dogfighter EXCEPT the flashfire loses either reactor OR armor. If you were looking to make an exception, it shouldn't have been on the scout.

 

So that would have been wise, but it's way too late now.

 

 

One reason everyone gets a little cross about the ship isn't even its performance- it is that it has a lot to say about pushing the type 1 scout around. Your type 1 scout can run EMP Field and Shield to Engine- and that's the extent of his tricks that the type 2 scout can't do. Why does he have booster recharge? If he had been missing a couple more components, not even the top ones (booster recharge, sabotage probe), he wouldn't feel like a "better type 1 scout" so often. But, again, it's WAY too late for that.

 

GK's suggestion would delete the ship and blow up the meta. Distortion being too strong means that nerfing it a lot is the one thing you want to avoid, because you accidentally redesign the game. In my thread I suggest some redesign for distortion field (including a way to take away the missile break without leaving all the ships who use it on live extra vulnerable to missiles), but there's a lot of ways to gently nerf this popular and powerful component without punishing the players who use it.

 

 

With so many contradictory nerfs (and most of them being wild overnerfs), it's clear that anything that would make you guys happy would be:

 

1)- Nowhere near that severe.

2)- Aimed at not changing the fundamental role of the battlescout at all, but rather keeping him more in line with others.

 

Anything else would really make you guys sad. Take away the burst cooldowns, and one of you is sad. Take away the defenses, others of you are sad.

 

And what do you think the people who MAIN the ship would think of a random redesign?

 

 

 

So anyway, that's why I think we should get mild nerfs and buffs to push the ships around a bit and make them all good, not try to delete one or repurpose it to a more accurate or more original design- not because it wouldn't be a better design, but because we already HAVE a battlescout, and he is what he is.

Edited by Verain
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> Nyghtrunner wants the engine pool cut dramatically down.

 

So anyway, that's why I think we should get mild nerfs and buffs to push the ships around a bit and make them all good, not try to delete one or repurpose it to a more accurate or more original design- not because it wouldn't be a better design, but because we already HAVE a battlescout, and he is what he is.

 

To be fair, I'm not saying that I WANT them to nerf the booster pool on the T2 Scout, I just feel like it would make more sense for what the class seems to want to be/do. I agree that it's too late for something like that, though, because it would radically change the way the thing needs to be played. It could very well render it into irrelevance, because it would largely have only the roles of defending sats or GS lines in TDMs. But it would probably make it mimic an interceptor idea a bit better while opening up a lot of play space for Strikes.

 

I would be perfectly happy with a little balance tweaking*, but I have seen a lot of people speak on the forums about how they don't think a "scout" should be so lethal (because of the name). I was really musing a bit more on the name/role discrepancy than I was proposing an actual change, and I apologize if that wasn't clear. You could certainly make the argument that all of it is technically within range of the "fuel depot" that is the capital ship, and thus, the booster power isn't really out of line, even for an "interceptor". We're not fighting in open space, but quite close to capital ships.

 

All in all, I will absolutely concede that if you followed through on nerfing the booster pool like that, it would constitute a high level redesign that would radically change the landscape. In a live game that's pushing being a year old, that's not a good thing to do.

 

*Edit - Especially in the form of nerfing the armor ignore in BLCs and Slugs. The prevalence of those 2 things in the meta, combined with everything else, render builds of Strikes as largely irrelevant for anything other than a bomber buster. GS and BS don't care about the possibly 90+% DR with Charged Plating active. And stacking health or evasion on a Strike isn't really where I want to be. I know you've had some ideas here, and some of them are interesting, and probably more along the lines of actual changes I'd prefer to see. I don't want the game redesigned, so please don't lump me into that category. I really was just kind of musing through a thought experiment.

Edited by nyghtrunner
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And as an idea, it's a pretty good one. The issue is mostly the direction they came from.

 

In *my* opinion, the type 1 scout feels scout like until you start putting rocket pods on it, then it becomes a rapier, and the type 2 scout feels like an A-Wing interceptor, full stop. I would expect that it would have better mobility and range than a strike fighter, however, but I'd expect the strike fighter to have MORE firepower, not less. But my model is the EU, including the games, not the real world where an interceptor is named that for intercepting longer range craft that can't meaningfully defend against them. I'd argue that's the "better design" from a lore perspective, but maybe not from game balance. In any event, while I will openly state that the scouts shouldn't have been made like they were, I'm definitely opposed to any of the changes that would really redesign the scout. Some of them glibly assume that game balance would just be FREE after that design change (or just have a bone to pick with the battlescout). I think such a design would actually ruin the game for a decent number of players.

 

The other side is this: if a player is running around with the most powerful ships and that's it, that's good. He's playing the game objectively correctly and shouldn't be punished. Nerfing his ships to increase diversity in the meta is only good if his ships are still IN the meta. Players should never be punished for making the correct choices. If a guy flies a boy bomber, battlescout, and rail sniper, and the redesign makes him want to try other ships because they can do cool stuff, that's good- if it makes him feel he wasted his time because his boy bomber is super niche, his battlescout can't battle or scout, and his rail sniper can't actually kill enemies, you just erased his whole save file- not ok.

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Also, apologies to the OP for turning this into a balance thread.

 

No worries. Its good to see discussions on gsf. Looks like everyone has kept it civil so that's what I want to see in a thread. Nice to see a lot of ideas across the board. Hopefully the devs understand how much we gsfers love the game and want to see it develop further.

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I actually kind of like where the firepower is for at least the T1 strike at the baseline. It's definitely not as bursty as a battlescout, but it can absolutely punish people who stay in sights too long (or as tommmsunb would probably say, "bad pilots"). Between Heavies/Quads, Ions, and (insert missile choice here - Personal preference is Concs), you largely have the tools to do what you need to do offensively. It's one of the reasons I like them quite a bit against entrenched bombers. The additional range of Concs and Heavies along with the beef makes it less dangerous to charge gunships as well, and actually gives you better chasing options, which I like.

 

To me, the Systems choice was what really separated the battlescout (or the T1) from the strike in terms of bursty offensive firepower. I'm a little late to the party, I suppose, but I only recently started messing around with BLCs + Pods + TT + CF/Wingman on the T2 Scout, and my god, is that thing lethal. That setup cuts through everything like butter. :eek: I've begun to see why so many of the top pilots are in love with a setup like that. Starting to mess around on TEH here and there kind of forced me to rethink my buildout a bit... Finally starting to lose jousts here and there on JC was also a motivator (shoutout to Keenz). A couple of times, I had Aimbot or Rhint dead to rights, but my build was just slow enough on the burst to let them get away while their teamies came at me and forced me to peel. And I've come to the conclusion that giving Aimbot an extra shot is not a good idea.

 

So it could be the combo of having systems + pods. Or maybe even pods alone. Outside of stock ships, I never really gave pods much of a serious look, despite what people were saying. I preferred them on the Blackbolt, but it was more of a "what other option is there?" kind of thing. I never liked Sab Probe because its effect is so varied on when the missile actually lands, and Thermite always bothered me with the tight aim ring and the long lock-on, along with the stupid long flight time before you get the T4 upgrade.

 

So my top end experience with pods is only about 4 days old. :o I don't think I ever gave them a chance on my Sting before this past weekend, despite having them maxed. I can be a little stubborn...

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> GK saying the ship is too defensible, remove the active and passive evasion on distortion field and halve the duration.

 

Just to point out that this oversimplifies my suggestion and doesn't accurately reflect it.

 

1) I'd be returning the duration to what it was in beta. I get the feeling that, post-evasion nerf, 9 seconds isn't tempting an option since 6 seconds is quite sufficient given that disto no longer grants near total immunity to blasters. My assumption here is that evasion is still good enough that having an upgrade that increases duration from 3 to 6 seconds would be worthwhile.

 

2) I'd ONLY remove the active and passive evasion IF you took the missile break (taking the increased duration final tier would leave the active/passive evasion intact). It'd be a trade off. You can either have a second (or 3rd, depending on ship/build) missile break at the cost of greater vulnerability to accuracy based weapons OR be less vulnerable to accuracy based weapons but more vulnerable to missiles. No other shield ability gives the option to completely negate all sources of damage. I think leaving this part out really misrepresents my suggestion.

 

IMO it's totally fair to make disto field have vulnerabilities to some types of weapons and be very strong against others (you might think of it as what CP should have been). The other shield options available for T2 scouts are more generalist in that they offer ways to tank all sources of damage without offering enhanced protection against any specific source. Whereas disto field is more specialized (like CP) in that it offers enhanced protection against a specific damage source (in this case anything that relies on accuracy) so it stands to reason that the enhanced protection to some types of damage should come at the price of increased vulnerability to other sources.

Edited by Gavin_Kelvar
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Just to point out that this oversimplifies my suggestion and doesn't accurately reflect it.

 

Totally disagree. You recommended a complete gutting of the move.

 

 

 

1) I'd be returning the duration to what it was in beta.

But would you be returning the evasion boost to what it was in the beta? Remember, the +3 seconds duration went along with toning it down from > 100% evasion to modern era. That change was a massive nerf to the move, it used to be an immunity bubble.

 

 

I get the feeling that, post-evasion nerf, 9 seconds isn't tempting an option

Dude, that talent increases the duration of the move by FIFTY PERCENT. That's LUDICROUS. You feel it needs to be 100% to compete? Get real!

 

The problem is that "breaks a missile lock" is just so damned good. That's the issue. And there's a bunch of ways to fix it, but your idea would take what is currently the BEST component, and make it the WORST. Right now, how good a pilot you are is PARTLY how good you are at dealing with enemy disto timings, how good you are at timing your own. If you look at that and want to erase it, screw that. That's part of what depth is in this game. Yea, it's probably TOO important, but it's a working element that distinguishes scrubs from goods, it's fun, interesting, and is a solid hallmark of player skill.

 

2) I'd ONLY remove the active and passive evasion IF you took the missile break (taking the increased duration final tier would leave the active/passive evasion intact). It'd be a trade off.

 

Yea, no.

 

It would be a massacre. The "trade off" would make any ship with it have essentially no defense EXCEPT the missile break. That's not interesting or deep.

 

Here's the talents as you propose them:

1- Increase evasion by 8%

2- Ability cooldown becomes 20 seconds

3- Ignore talent point 1. Increase damage taken by ~15%. Trade the active for a missile break. Activating the move now breaks missiles and produces a 3 second glowy effect that does nothing.

 

That's a trap, not a choice.

 

 

No other shield ability gives the option to completely negate all sources of damage.

 

Dude, where are you getting this? Why does "all sources of damage" suddenly exclude concussion mine, ion mine, ion railgun aoe, seismic mine, interdiction mine, lingering effect, and targeting telemetry plus anything?

 

Here's the problem, and the reason the disto field does what it does. It's actually a great design, just overtuned.

 

Every shield option that is defensive in nature (quick charge, overcharged, directional, fortress, charged plating, even shield to engine oddly) provides some defense to missiles. This defense is the same defense it provides to blasters: you can quick charge back your shields if a missile hits, same with overcharged, just as you could versus a blaster. You can double directional the missile, just as you can blasters, etc.

 

But distortion takes DOWN your missile defenses. It needs to have an option to give you some back. The choice they made- having the active break a missile- is too strong. But there needs to be SOMETHING.

 

 

 

There's a bunch of really easy ways to balance this, and some more in depth ones. If the devs do get around to it, they'll probably take an easier route, and I have little confidence that they'll nail it. But broadly, you have two categories:

 

1)- Ideas that keep the missile break.

These mostly involve taking some of the current power of the move and making it go into the other option- for instance, something as easy as swapping "+3 second duration" with "-10 second duration" would actually net a nerf to the move's missile hatred. Others involve making the move ALWAYS break missiles, but reducing the frequency of the active such that less total missiles are broken, and the frequency of joust tricks is reduced. Your idea is in this category, but it's a horrible trap. The move needs to passively boost evasion. It needs to actively boost evasion. It can't lose these when you get an upgrade, or it's a terrible trap upgrade, not an interesting choice.

 

The downside here is that you keep the meta that sort of lets anyone with distortion not care much about missiles. Some of them do address the issue where a new pilot doesn't have a missile break and can't get one, others do not. But the real thing is that as long as you keep the missile break, the move retains this crazy edge over the other shields.

 

The upside to these ideas is that they KEEP the game we have been playing, which is a good one. Planning around enemy distos is already something you do if you are good, and lesser players do not. Using your own disto properly is a big deal as well. By nerfing the missile break, you dramatically change the play pace amongst advanced players, and also changing the meta drastically. Even though it SEEMS safe- after all, several of the best ships use disto, that makes it too good, right?- The problem is that you change the game totally and kind of at random. By keeping the missile break, you don't change the gameplay that all the veterans have learned, you don't invalidate spent req, and you don't crap on everything wildly and with hatred. That's the big upside.

 

2)- Ideas that remove the missile break.

 

I'm actually in favor of the missile break going away, as long as the shield gains some utility versus missiles. My suggestion was increased lock on time- something that wouldn't hurt a torp much, but would make it harder to pepper clusters- but there's others that could work. I feel that by taking away the special trick, there would be a lot more choice in components, as long as distortion kept SOME utility versus explicitly lock on weapons (if it just went away and the OTHER abilities became better, it becomes this really niche trick, and very rare- I don't want it to go away, just not always be the best choice).

 

The upsides to this are that you can get a deeper meta, and maybe buff lock on weapons. The downside is that it's a sweeping change that could eliminate a lot of the interesting play depth.

 

 

IMO it's totally fair to make disto field have vulnerabilities to some types of weapons and be very strong against others

 

I think such a redesign is a terrible idea. Disto is taken because it's good against everything but mines, not because it's good against everything but mines and missiles. That's not a fair nerf, that's a total redesign, and it would take away a lot of the learned skill of the game.

 

 

 

Anyway, my one sentence summary of your point was pretty well on: you want the move massively nerfed in the hopes that it will nerf battle scouts and rail snipers.

Edited by Verain
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But would you be returning the evasion boost to what it was in the beta? Remember, the +3 seconds duration went along with toning it down from > 100% evasion to modern era. That change was a massive nerf to the move, it used to be an immunity bubble.

 

No I wouldn't return evasion to what it once was, that was clearly broken since you had people literally just sit there and be invincible turrets. As I've said my theory is that 9 seconds isn't worthwhile in the post evasion nerf and will never be (barring the extreme of the tier 3 right being nerfed so hard it is not useful in any circumstance, which I don't think is the way to go) but if the duration was at beta levels it would be valuable. I guess I just don't see why someone would take 9 seconds duration of evasion at it's current levels over any form of missile defense.

 

The problem is that "breaks a missile lock" is just so damned good. That's the issue. And there's a bunch of ways to fix it, but your idea would take what is currently the BEST component, and make it the WORST. Right now, how good a pilot you are is PARTLY how good you are at dealing with enemy disto timings, how good you are at timing your own. If you look at that and want to erase it, screw that. That's part of what depth is in this game. Yea, it's probably TOO important, but it's a working element that distinguishes scrubs from goods, it's fun, interesting, and is a solid hallmark of player skill.

 

To some degree I agree being a good pilot means timing things well. On the other hand if they have 2 or even 3 missile breaks you pretty much have no chance of landing a missile with a long reload. You shouldn't need people to tag team spam missiles at someone to break through their defensive CDs (on this I think we agree though). As I said (possibly in another thread) my concern with increasing lock duration is it punishes pilots for taking something other than clusters by still making it improbable that you'll land a slower missile (be it either due to the small firing cone, slow speed, inherently long lock time, or some combo of the three). Another reason I'm iffy about increasing duration is due to how we've all observed that missile locks can be quite finicky with sudden dropping of missile locks so increasing the duration might just make things more aggravating for players by increasing the chance to have a missile lock randomly drop. Now I grant that's not integral to balance but I don't think it should be ignored either.

 

 

It would be a massacre. The "trade off" would make any ship with it have essentially no defense EXCEPT the missile break. That's not interesting or deep.

 

Here's the talents as you propose them:

1- Increase evasion by 8%

2- Ability cooldown becomes 20 seconds

3- Ignore talent point 1. Increase damage taken by ~15%. Trade the active for a missile break. Activating the move now breaks missiles and produces a 3 second glowy effect that does nothing.

 

That's a trap, not a choice.

 

I'd be totally cool with the missile break option also replacing the first talent point with an additional 5 second decrease in CD. That'd put it on par with all engine abilities except PDive. In any event you raise a valid point that if that was done you'd need to find some replacement that doesn't just erase an entire unlock tier.

 

Re: #3 that's only true if you take the right final tier. the left tier would still make the glowy effect do it's thing like in live and you wouldn't increase damage taken by 15% (this percent I assume is roughly the damage % evasion protects a disto user from). You could still take the right final tier which would force a player to take missile lock warnings more seriously (flying into the middle of nowhere where you can't break LOS or using it to compensate for a moment of poor situational awareness wouldn't be possible for example) and not just an annoying beeping they will shortly dismiss with a button press. You'd still have your engine ability at minimum after all. Those that don't fly ships with disto field already have to do this so it's not like developing that skill is unprecedented.

 

Every shield option that is defensive in nature (quick charge, overcharged, directional, fortress, charged plating, even shield to engine oddly) provides some defense to missiles. This defense is the same defense it provides to blasters: you can quick charge back your shields if a missile hits, same with overcharged, just as you could versus a blaster. You can double directional the missile, just as you can blasters, etc.

 

But distortion takes DOWN your missile defenses. It needs to have an option to give you some back. The choice they made- having the active break a missile- is too strong. But there needs to be SOMETHING.

 

And see this is where I was saying the other shields give general defense against damage regardless of where it's coming from whereas disto gives you enhanced protection to specific types of damage. It still has a better ability to tank a missile than quick charge without breaking due to having a slightly larger power pool, but it can't tank repeated hits as well (which of course makes sense since if it could what would be the point of quick charge). I guess I just don't get how equipping disto "takes down" a ship's missile defenses since the defenses on the other shields are just various ways to tank a hit and it still can still tank a hit like any other shield (granted it can't tank repeated hits as well as say quick charge). Or why being "weaker" in that area is a problem given how much extra defense it gives against accuracy based weaponry. It's not like it "takes down" missile defenses without providing any sort of benefit for that loss given how it offers an increased defenses against blasters.

 

What really puzzles me is how you keep talking about how shields like quick charge, overcharged, directional, fortress,and S2E providing defense against missiles. Yet they don't provide any specific defense against missiles, it doesn't matter whether that 700 damage came from blasters or missiles they either have the power to tank the shot or they don't and break. They offer different options to tank the damage but at the end of the day their defense is generalist and not specific to any weapon type (with the exception of CP). CP is a bit more unique in that it provides enhanced protection against damage (blaster or missile) that doesn't have AP while being weaker to any source of damage that does have AP. Given that there are both missile and blaster varieties with AP and ones without it isn't providing defense specific to missiles or blasters. However, disto DOES provide missile specific defense in the form of a lock break and the kicker is is it also provides blaster specific defense in the form of evasion (both passive and active). On top of that it's actually got more shield power than quick charge to tank a hit (seeing as quick charge's active is only reactive and will be of no benefit to an undamaged shield). So disto is the only shield that offers defense specific to missile damage.

 

So how is it that disto "takes down" your missile defense when it's the only one to have defense specific to damage by missiles, plus defense specific to blasters (evasion) on top of the generalist defense all shields have in the ability to tank damage? Where did it loose defense to a specific weapon type to merit all of these weapon specific defenses?

 

This all being said what if they replaced the missile break with an ability that made the shield power reduction 10% instead of 20%? That would give it greatly improved ability over quick charge to tank a missile hit (not repeated hits of course but if it did quick charge would be pointless) while not stepping on the toes of S2E or Directionals in terms of total shield power.

 

2)- Ideas that remove the missile break.

 

I'm actually in favor of the missile break going away, as long as the shield gains some utility versus missiles. My suggestion was increased lock on time- something that wouldn't hurt a torp much, but would make it harder to pepper clusters- but there's others that could work. I feel that by taking away the special trick, there would be a lot more choice in components, as long as distortion kept SOME utility versus explicitly lock on weapons (if it just went away and the OTHER abilities became better, it becomes this really niche trick, and very rare- I don't want it to go away, just not always be the best choice).

 

The upsides to this are that you can get a deeper meta, and maybe buff lock on weapons. The downside is that it's a sweeping change that could eliminate a lot of the interesting play depth.

 

I guess for me it just seems that if cluster spam is an issue maybe the better solution would be to just either 1) increase it's lock time or 2) increase it's reload time. I think pretty much everyone agrees that protorps and the like are pretty balanced given the difficulty that comes with landing one balances the hurt that happens if/when they do land. So it doesn't make much sense to me to implement something that will effectively be a small nerf to protorps that don't need nerfing.

 

I dunno maybe a passive that decreased the effective range of a missile (it couldn't be massive like 3K meters obviously since that'd make clusters outright unusable) but maybe something like a 1-1.5K meter reduction? It wouldn't hurt longer range missiles much at all but it would make clusters slightly harder to use (especially against a fleeing target).

 

Another alternative might be making the third tier be a 10% increase to total shield strength (as I said above).

Edited by Gavin_Kelvar
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