Time for another update! This time with: two gameplay bug fixes, two minor balance tweaks, and an adjustment to stage thresholds in response to the change from last phase. See below for details, including why a few things weren't
changed. Thanks to Dracone, kevlarman, Lakitu7, Meisseli, and Yarou for finding and/or testing the gameplay bugs fixed this phase.Reading the graphs
: Each cross is one game, the distance from 0 on the vertical axis indicates how close a game was to the mean duration for all games on the graph. The numbers in the bottom right are the min/median/max/standard deviation for stage up times and game duration.Both servers combinedEuro serverUS serverStage thresholds
The graphs are comparable to last phase, but a little worse for humans. It looks like fixing the stage counter bug in phase seven has made both teams stage up about 40-50% faster, but with practically no change in how fast games end overall. I'd say it's inconclusive whether the moderate dip in balance can really be attributed to this or not. In the interest of making that more conclusive, and in making the first two stages a more significant part of the game we're increasing the default stage thresholds by 50%
. This is still a server setting though, so other servers can still make the thresholds whatever they like. Armour and locational damage regions
We've adjusted the values for human locational damage and armour coverage so that the armour regions actually line up with the body regions, since it was previously possible to get helmet protection on top of the body modifier for a small region in which they overlapped. The change was to extend the "head" region lower (from 0.9 to 0.8 standing, 0.86 to 0.7 crouching)
, so as a side effect this should make getting headshots slightly easier. I'm not sure how a big an effect this will have on gameplay, or if it will even be noticeable, but at least armour coverage won't be severely counterintuitive.Trample
The trample previously interacted rather poorly with structures: on the first hit to any structure you would immediately lose your entire charge, even for structures that you could walk over. This also meant that a human standing on a telenode or medistation could never be hit by a trample. Now the trample can hit any number of structures without abruptly stopping
, so you can rampage over multiple telenodes without interruption. Structures still only take damage once per trample
, however (so no spinning on top of a tele to kill it). I don't expect this to affect balance.Flamer
I think it'll be pretty uncontroversial to say the flamer is very underused; players on the EU server actually got more blaster kills than flamer kills this phase. As a defensive weapon it's relatively fine, but the usefulness of a purely defensive weapon is pretty low so I decided that the best thing for it was to increase its projectile speed (from 300 to 500)
. This effectively increases its range and will make it a little easier to attack with (not to mention be less dangerous to the wielder). I guessed at how much to change this value though, so we'll see how big an impact it has.Shotgun
Probably a little more controversial is the usefulness of the shotgun. Like the flamer, its damage output is respectably high, but its range just makes it too defensive and too dangerous to use. I've come to agree that, given the cost of the shotgun, the rifle is almost always a better choice. The best remedy for this that I can think of is to increase the effective range of the shotgun by reducing its spread. So I took it from 900 (the same spread as the chaingun) to 700
.Things not being changed (this phase)
- Basilisk - I've honestly been surprised (and pleased!) to hear people suggesting the basilisk is overpowered, since I've personally been worried about it becoming little more than a mobile medistation for aliens. It really hasn't been my experience that the basilisk is a more effective killer than the marauder or dragoon, or even that it's more powerful than its cost warrants, but I'll pay closer to attention to it in playtesting this phase. And I'll be interested to see if the shotgun buff makes any difference for the people frustrated by the basilisk.
- Dragoon - There's been a variety of complaints about the goon, the most legitimate of which I feel is that the bite is not useful enough in comparison to the pounce. I think the pounce should in fact be useful more often than the chomp -- since it's really what makes the goon fun and interesting -- but I'd rather it not be too imbalanced. In phase seven the ratio of player kills by pounce versus dragoon bite was about 2:1, which I think is just at the threshold of acceptable. I'm mostly reluctant to make changes with this because the goon is very clearly not underedpowered (and aliens in general are winning more), and I'd rather not weaken the pounce much from where it is. I haven't ruled anything out yet though.