Silver Sky Magician
Suggestion #13 by Silver Sky Magician
1. Change Infernal Android to Infernal Android P and E
Infernal Android is currently still the most popular bot by far in the metagame. Rebalancing it should thus enhance build and strategic diversity. The idea is to make IA’s normal and special attack deal damage of the same type (i.e. either both physical or both energy) depending on whether it’s a P or E bot. This would make it easier to defend against the bot. It’s simply too much for IA to have the strategic choice of two separate damage types on top of a nuke. This change would also return Gamma Bot to its niche of having reliable attacks of both damage types.
Players’ Infernal Androids could be replaced with either Infernal Android. Alternatively, their Infernal Androids could be replaced with a token that sells for the price of one of the new Infernal Android bots, which will replace the old Infernal Android in shops.
2. Buff Static Smash
In a metagame where energy control is paramount, Static Smash’s weak drain makes the Merc class significantly underpowered, limiting class and build variety. It should be buffed by:
a. being unaffected by Katherax’s special. Currently, the Katherax bot can easily shut down all Merc builds. A single piece of equipment should not ever be capable of this.
b. improving energy return to 100% of the drain. This would mean gaining the same amount of energy as a BH at standard 5 focus (approximately 220) while draining a lot less (220 VS BH’s 320). A STR Merc (or a SUPP Merc using Blood Commander) would drain and gain about 270 energy, while a SUPP BH can currently drain about 400 energy for 260 energy gain.
In other words, Merc’s energy drain will be more strategically effective when the opponent has low but usable energy, while BH’s energy drain trades off its greater drain for reduced gain as the opponent’s energy decreases. This will make Merc’s energy drain strategically unique and avoid effective skill duplication.
Static Smash is underpowered to the point that both buffs are IMO necessary, though the first one is more important and urgently needed.
3. Swap Multi Shot and Shadow Arts on the BH skill tree
Dex BHs are far too dominant at low levels, greatly limiting build variety at these levels. This will turn off new players. To fix this issue while avoiding penalising Dex BHs at higher levels, which are quite balanced, Shadow Arts and Multi Shot should be swapped. This means that Dex BHs will need more skill points to start becoming truly effective - and by then, TMs and Mercs will have sufficient skill points to compete fairly.
Balance at low and mid levels is largely overlooked because the endgame players using the forums dominate balance reports. This is another key area where numbers on paper are inadequate and more balance testers sorely needed.
4. Reduce Stat Requirement on Parasite
Currently, BM only has two viable builds - 5 focus and Support. By reducing Parasite’s stat requirement to increase by 1 support per skill level, we can make strength builds more viable and increase build diversity.
Suggested scaling: level 1 - 21 support required
level 10 - 30 support required
5. Underdog Mode for 2v2 and Juggernaut Mode for Juggernaut
Underdog adaptations for 2v2 and Juggernaut were highly anticipated when Underdog first debuted. There has not been any apparent progress since then, leaving 2v2 unbalanced and Juggernaut unplayable for another nine months.
Underdog mode for 2v2 should be the same as Underdog mode for 1v1 - if it’s inadequate or overpowered, we can adjust accordingly. But there should be a start so we can at least collect data about it.
Juggernaut mode should be an Underdog-like buff for the Juggernaut. Juggernaut mode should increase the Juggernaut’s base stats by 10% and HP/EP by 5%. For instance:
Without Juggernaut Mode With Juggernaut Mode
HP: 750 HP: 750 + 38
EP: 630 EP: 630 + 32
STR: 45 STR: 45 + 5
DEX: 45 + 35 DEX: 45 + 5 + 35
TECH: 101 + 35 TECH: 101 + 10 + 35
SUPP: 45 + 14 SUPP: 45 + 5 + 14
Any flat buff for Juggernaut mode would make low-level Juggernauts overpowered, high-level Juggernauts underpowered, or both. A scaling buff based on the Juggernaut’s level would resolve this.
There are two ways Juggernaut mode can be balanced relative to ranks:
a. Buff Reduction
This buff will be reduced for ranked players only. The buff reduction will follow the existing Underdog Scale, with rank 80 and above players having a buff reduction equal to Underdog level VIII, and rank 10 players having a buff reduction equal to Underdog I etc. This is a buff penalty rather than a stat reduction - meaning that ranked players can be penalised to a maximum of +0 stats, but cannot experience a nerf (e.g. -1 to STR).
b. Allow ranks to factor into matchmaking
Using the 10 ranks = 1 eLevel standard, eLevels should be used for matchmaking instead of pure levels. These solutions are mutually exclusive - meaning that if the eLevel standard is already used for Juggernaut matchmaking, it needs to be altered if the first solution is preferred.
Again, we can adjust this as needed, but it needs to be implemented in the first place so we can collect data from actual battles.
6. Diversifying NPC skill trees
Many players are complaining that bosses, especially legendary bosses, have become tedious and boring of late, and I have to agree. The full range of skills available to players should be coded into NPCs’ skillsets, so NPCs can be designed to be unique and interesting (e.g. support glass cannon with Artillery Strike and Overload, player-nerfing build with Smokescreen/ Malfunction/ Parasite, anti-tank build with Toxic Grenade and Assimilation etc.) We could even have legendary Nightwraith as a glass cannon with max Massacre and a high crit rate.
Interesting and challenging boss fights will draw players to the game and fully engage them in strategic thinking and build-making. As PvP balance stabilises, PvE innovation will be the main way to keep things fresh.
7. Increasing no. of skill points for low-level characters
Currently, new players have to go through dozens of battles before they have sufficient skill points for any discernable strategy - in other words, dozens of fairly boring and tedious battles. With the new generation’s demand for instant gratification, this could mean losing new players as soon as we get them.
To solve this issue, we could provide players with 8 skill points to allocate at level 1, with an additional 1 skill point per 2 levels until level 17. This will result in 39 skill points overall as is currently the case while making early game more interesting and dynamic for new players. Retraining for players up to level 10 should be free so new players can explore and experiment.
We’ll need more balance testers to ensure that this change achieves its aim of attracting new players through fair and strategic matches, instead of deterring them due to OP opponents.
< Message edited by Silver Sky Magician -- 10/22/2016 1:24:30 >