The recent harpoon updates gave me an inspiration for a different type of Trapper - one that ironically makes sense to be another robot. I think it would fit very well as a Bucket variation too, and reuse a number of his existing weapon models.
Secondary Weapon - Grappling Claw
This is essentially a reverse of Griffin’s harpoon. The trapper fires a claw-harpoon at the Monster (or any non-hunter organic target). On impact it briefly slows the target (stasis or tranq effect), but also pulls the trapper directly toward the monster. If the Monster breaks the tether quickly, the pulling effect is cancelled - otherwise it is cancelled when the trapper takes damage or gets to within a few meters of the monster.
Primary Weapon - Flak Cannon
Single-shot weapon, fires a glob of metal that explodes into a wide spread of shrapnel after a few meters. If the glob hits the Monster, it creates a weakpoint; the airburst shrapnel does not create a weakpoint, but if the full spread hits it can cause more damage. The target reticle/crosshair for this weapon will look like a bullseye - the center will be red when the target is within range of the pre-burst glob, and the outer ring will be red when the target is outside of the glob’s range.
Equipment - Seeker Drone
Fires a small drone (or perhaps clone head ala the defunct Bucket UAV, or one of the Evacuation attack drones?) that flies in a straight line until it strikes something or maximum range is reached. The drone will hover at its destination until a new one is placed. If the Monster enters the drone’s range either in flight or while hovering, it will open fire with a light-damage gun and reveal/mark the Monster until it exits the drone’s range.
Class Ability - Defensive Planet Scanner
One difference for this - initiating the planet scanner does not give this trapper a speed boost, but instead grants them a weak damage reduction field.
ALTERNATE: Instead of a DR field if that is deemed too powerful, the planet scanner could also greatly increase the detection range of the Seeker Drone for a few seconds - meaning that instead of just a directional ping, you may also get a full location track for those few seconds. Or perhaps it could give the whole team the outlining effect instead of just the trapper - something to justify NOT having the speed boost.
This is a trapper meant to get up close with the Monster, moreso than any of the others.
The claw can help during the chase to stay on top of the Monster, but the altered planet scanner means that staying in range will require better jetpack and path management. The damage reduction on the planet scanner also means it is a tradeoff - use it to find the monster, or save it for combat - possibly after grappling the Monster. Creative use of the claw against wildlife can also be used for mobility during the chase - just don’t grab onto a plant or megamouth!
Its weapon rewards straddling the edge of the shrapnel burst range - weakpoints for you and your team if you’re close, and a shotgun-like burst if youre somewhat close. Hitting your own weakpoint with a spread of shrapnel is intended to be rewarding.
The seeker drone has three uses: finding a Monster during flight similar to Gobi (but will not reveal outlines or track when the monster leaves range), monitor an area and reveal the Monster if it goes there later (similar to a Griffin sound spike but only one and deployed at moderate range), and a small amount of additional damage plus Monster position tracking mid-dome (similar to standard bucket turrets, but only one).
Claw allows Trapper to stay closer to Monster - Yes by design, but overuse of this ability will also lead to the Trapper being alone with the Monster, with predictable results. It will help during the post-dome chase and allow the trapper to land a few more shots, or to stay on a fleeing monster when preparing to land the dome. Sufficient cooldown on the ability can keep it from being chained and abused excessively. Keeping it in reserve means it could also be used as an escape or dodge traversal if wildlife is in the area. Depending on how it feels during development, relaxing the ‘wildlife’ requirement and letting it grapple onto any surface might not be a bad idea - it’d be a great dodge, but with a longer cooldown and mean giving up your trapper slowing option.
Planet Scanner DR vs the standard Speed Boost - Given the claw’s movement utility, the speed boost would be redundant. The up-close nature of this trapper works with the idea of a DR field, but it is weak and very short-lived. Yes it will make the trapper a little harder to focus-kill during combat, but it has a long cooldown.
Sentry Drone Deployment - a la Gobi or a la Griffin? - Youve only got one of these to fire; do you throw it in the direction you think the Monster went, or throw it to monitor a choke point while your team checks another direction?
To Claw or Not To Claw? - The claw is this Trapper’s only means of providing a tranq/stasis effect, and it pulls the trapper right on top of the Monster. Sustaining that slowing means clawing every time it comes off cooldown, but it also means you won’t have it for an escape - and if you use it during the hunt for mobility, you may not have it when the Monster comes into range. Plus if you’re low on life and your defensive planet scanner is on cooldown, do you REALLY want to jump on top of the Monster?
This was fun to write up, and it fits together surprisingly well… here’s hoping people like the concept!