Parnell's reliance on Medics


#1

So here we are, last announced person: Parnell the Assault, and in each reveal I’ve been looking for one of the major pitfalls that often befalls the Medic class (but this time befell the Assault): Reliance on a teammate for an ability.

Now don’t get me wrong, yes, all players rely on everyone else. It’s not that the resolve for this is to “just use teamwork”. But no other class out there can hurt themselves in order to use an ability. But Parnell does; this makes him very reliant on Medics to be healed and topped off for him to amp up his damage. I’m not sure if I’m happy with that.

This does make Parnell groups prioritize the death of the Medic if that means Parnell will have less iterations with his speed boost (or to put more strikes on him as that will make the use of the ability that more costly for him)

I’m curious as to hear why TRS took this route with only 1 Hunter. Heck, even Caira can launch Napalm in her own face and she’s immune the the damage. I’m wondering what the balance in this forced reliance for Medics/Parnell is.


#2

The Reliance is because SuperSoldier makes you tougher. AND you have the shield.


#3

@macman can go into more detail, but basically, super soldier makes Parnell able to deal more damage than any character in the game (albeit for a short time.)


#4

I actually didn’t think there was a problem with the Super Soldier ability. There’s a huge reward for damage if you’re smart, if he didn’t lose HP it would be OP.

The ability is supposed to be used TACTICALLY, it’s something you don’t just activate just because the cooldown is up.

1.Monster body camping someone? Man-mode it and punish him for it.
2. Monster evolving nearby? Man-mode it and chunk his health while he’s vulnerable.
3. Low HP, but have your shield up? Activate it and do a final stand before going down but not without chunking the monster.

Those just some situations Super Soldier can be used without a medic.


#5

That’s a fair question. :smile:

We want all characters to be “balanced.” And by that, I mean, they are all equally viable. At the end of the day, although they play differently, they should all have as close to a 50/50 win/loss ratio as possible.

With Parnell, we knew that we wanted that “Super Soldier” ability. We could have approached his balance in one of two ways:

Option #1 - Reduce his effectiveness outside of Super Soldier mode so that the increased effectiveness of it would average Parnell out. Basically, in order to balance the “Super Soldier” aspect, we’d need to make Parnell under powered when not in Super Soldier mode. That didn’t sit well with us. Nobody wanted to play an Assault character that was underpowered most of the time.

Option #2 - Make Parnell competitive to the other Assaults in his normal mode, make Super Solder mode be a real plus but make Parnell pay for being OP some other way. What does the monster want? The monster wants to damage the Hunters. When Parnell uses his Super Soldier, he’s forfeiting some of his life. As a monster, if you get away from Parnell, or knock him down when he’s in Super Soldier mode, you get that health from him for free. Doesn’t matter if he’s using his personal shield. So as a Parnell player, you’re betting that you have enough skill to land enough damage on the monster while in Super Soldier mode to make it worth 20% of your life. A good medic can help offset that negative effect, but if the monster is landing damage on other teammates, he/she might already have their hands full. If everyone is hurting, now might not be the time to damage yourself. Then again, if the monster’s health is low, now might be exactly the right time to turn up the heat.

We chose option #2 because it made Parnell more of a bad a##.


#6

So, can Parnell down himself with that ability? Or will the item just stay disabled until the minimum health required to use and be alive.


#7

We never take you down past 1 health. You can keep using it but at that point, you won’t last long anyway so be careful!


#8

OK. So what visual cues do you provide to show that Parnell is in Super Soldier mode (to the Parnell player and to Hunters/Monster)?


#9

You should notice Parnell’s screen going red cause he’s so aggro. As a player, you’ll see that and you’ll also hear Parnell say things like “It’s worth it!” when he activates it and other characters warn him against using it too often (as a warning if your health is low.)

As the monster, you can hear that VO if you’re paying attention. You’ll see the rocket explosions and shotgun blasts come at a much quicker rate. And if you look at Parnell, you’ll see red streaks coming off of his body.


#10

Parnell looks to be my second choice for assault after Markov. Really like him, but he doesn’t seem good for pub groups. He does have a reliance on his team mates.

Support: Either Hank or Cabot have good synergy by boosting his damage, or shielding him.
Trapper: Either Maggie or Griffon for their harpoons, with Griffon being favored as his harpoon is a bit more direct. Coordination is key.
Medic:I’d rank Val, then Caira. Val slows the monster, adds weakpoints, and helps heal. Laz is nice for the increased weakpoints, but its much better to stay alive as long as possible to keep that damage coming.

I like him. He’ll be ok in pubs, but he’ll really shine in dedicated groups with excellent teamwork and communication.


#11

It’s all good observations though and we know that some people won’t like the idea of trading health for power. It was pretty controversial inside of the studio but people got used to it. As I mentioned a while back, in a weird way, if our characters are controversial we feel like we’re on the right track. So long as some people love Parnell, that’s all we’re after.


#12

If you’re on the pubs and want to play Parnell, a good option is taking the health regen character perk. You’ll get that 20% health back in no time (without a Medic), so long as you can avoid taking damage from the monster for a bit.


Medic balance discussion
#13

Yeah, in the alpha, when I saw a Laz teammate I took health regen anyways. That is a good point and makes that perk even more worth it.


#14

Whoa, wait wait…let me get my notebook if you’re gonna start chatting strategies!


#15

Works really well on Assault characters because you know you’re not going to take damage while your shield is up.


#16

I dunno, high burst damage in PvP usually has the highest chance to be broken. If I had to take a wild guess at which hunter is most likely to be nerfed after release I think I would pick Parnell.

The fact the self damaging ability is on the Assault is a bonus since that is already the most resilient class and if the monster seems inclined to attack you, you don’t have to activate it and it is arguably already a win for the team if the monster is attacking assault rather than a squishier important character (like the medic). Knowing when to activate it seems pretty key.

One thing I am unclear on, does Super Soldier increase movement speed or just fire rate and reload speed? Article said it did but I didn’t really notice increased movement.


#17

Yup, movement speed is increased too. Sometimes when the monster’s health is low and running, I’ll use it to cover ground.

In the right hands, Parnell is very effective. But you have to use Super Soldier wisely. You have to know when the monster isn’t planning on running. You need flat ground, clear line of sight. And when you trigger it, you need to stay out of the monster’s way. Nothing sucks more than triggering Super Soldier mode and immediately getting knocked down. You get knocked away from the monster, hit the ground, get back up, try to get back into position and you are out of time.

But if you manage to empty a couple shotgun clips into the monster’s face, it’s pretty brutal. A grounded Kraken has a big head.


#18

Decent questions, and even better answers. I appreciate this much thought going into every. single. detail.


#19

I foresee many “Damn it, another Parnell” moments in my future. “Gotta babysit this dang Assault.”


#20

I feel like Laz and Pharnell may end up being a frustrating combination to try and get right. If the monster wants to guard Pharnell you won’t have a lot of damage being dealt to get him off Pharnell making it tricky for Laz.

Effective coordination between the medic and Pharnell will be pretty key for success. Just need to be ready to heal if possible when he activates it. Caira can time it to slam him with a couple of shots right as he activates it. And if the healing needs to be prioritized for some else he should be able to pop his shield if the monster turns on him for long enough to at least get topped off.