As always I preface this with the fact I play on average about 20 hours a month of actual game time, that I am a solo queue pub player, and that I generally play Arcade. Also, this’ll be a long one, strap in.
[details=A brief preface]First up, I really can’t stress enough how much better the game feels for me compared to legacy, a vast… vast number of things have improved seemingly immeasurably. That said, there are some areas that I feel that, if improved, would really put the game on that next level that would curb initial feelings of imbalance or frustration that could turn new people off.
“Better matchmaking” is of course always an acceptable answer, however there are so many variables that go in to matchmaking, the most important being “skill level” which can actually be inaccurate for people with low player hours, that I think there are other things that can be dealt with in game to provide that safety net for when matchmaking doesn’t hit the right note.[/details]
This is number 1 in a series of posts intended to silo each suggestion to keep discussion focused and less confused. I also know that devs prefer to have individual topics to look over rather than sprawling mass-suggestion mega posts!
#The strike system
Right now I believe that the incap and strike system is doing too much work. An incap lessens the Hunter teams ability to function, it weakens that Hunter in future fights, it lowers the dome timer and it adds to the drop ship timer. This is a lot of benefit for the monster regardless of the amount of effort put in. The argument, of course, is that at higher level these strikes are hard fought and so they need to count. The problem is that at any other level strikes are not hard fought at all, and they start the snowball effect of a pubstomp.
In general I think that strikes need to put a hurdle in the road for the hunters, and definitely need to help reward the monster in the late game… but they shouldn’t put a roadblock up in front of the hunters from the very first moment it happens. How would I approach it?
- Strikes no longer give health penalties. Strikes put hunters on their ass, they put hunters out of the game for longer as the game goes on, all the while the monster gets stronger. Hunters don’t need to lose max health.
- Strikes give greater dropship timer buffs to the monster. Overall I feel the monster should be getting their end-game benefit from fighting and downing hunters, not running away to evolve. Evolutions still need to add time to the dropship, just maybe not as much as they currently do.
- Decrease the time it takes for a hunter to revive an incapped hunter. The team as a whole is already a person down, and then another person leaves the fight to try and level up that advantage again. Let’s not penalise people that choose to do this so bad by making it so easy for the monster to interrupt. The monster already gets “time off” while this happens from the full co-ordinated assault of the hunters.
- This is the big one… Let hunters revive themselves. They’ll still gain the strike, but they’ll be able to get back into the fight without another hunter coming to their aid. Naturally the time this takes would have to be longer than the current revive time if being picked up by another hunter, and would need to be interrupted by being hit as per usual.
The end effect of this should be that if a hunter goes down they know they aren’t necessarily a liability in the next couple of fights, just that they are on borrowed time since 2 strikes would still mean auto-death on the next incap. Reviving a hunter will feel less futile and the team will have an option to keep soldiering on against a monster and let the person get themselves up to further aid against body-camping as a tactic (monsters would still be able to kill a person by body camping just as easy as now, but kiting around a body to trick the naive into a revive would be less viable)
This would keep the hunters strong in the early game where they should be, against a stage 1 and early stage 2 monster, but absolutely weaker against a stage 3 monster that has taken the time to build up strikes on a key member of the hunter team or two.
One important balancing aspect of all this will be ensuring that monsters can get those strikes a tiny bit easier, though it’s important not to go too far because hunters being too easy to kill at the end game is not going to create exciting experiences.
####TL;DR: Strikes need to be an investment for the future, not for in 20 seconds time. Strikes, the act of having someone down for so long, the weakness it brings to the team… it exacerbates differences in skill level to too high a degree and moves games away from being close.
Thanks for reading, the intent of this is not to try and make hunters or monsters stronger than the other, it’s a discussion about an element of the game that I feel could be improved for a better experience for all players.