Suggestion: How to balance Kraken until TU9


#1

So I think the common sense nowadays is that Kraken is a bit too strong. I think that’s the case ever since both Lightning Strike (radius) and Banshee Mines (speed, invulnerability?) have been buffed, resulting in easy Lightning Strike executions while Banshee Mines are dealing high damage, too. And Aftershock is quite of a no-brainer as well.

To balance him I have these ideas:

  1. a) EITHER: Banshee mines: The problem with banshee mines is the combination of:
  • Low cooldown and amount (up to 3)
  • Tumble
  • High damage
  • Fast travel speed and invulnerability for the first seconds
  • -> IMO Kraken needs the tumble and he needs the invulnerability. But either the high damage, the travel speed or the low cooldown have to be addressed.
  1. b) OR: Lightning Strike: Reduce the radius by 0.5m and improve the hit indicator. But I would prefer a).

  2. AND: Aftershock: Kraken is supposed to be a range monster. But Aftershock is an easy-to-land highly damaging close-range ability.
    If you compare Kraken with Goliath, both Leap Smash and Rock Throw can be avoided with one jetpack dogde. Goliath has to tumble you or drain your jetpack in order to reliably hit them. Kraken’s LS can be avoided with one jetpack dodge, too, but the Aftershock requires 2-3 dodges. Even when playing monster often I’m amazed at how high ranges the Aftershock hits.
    -> My point being: Aftershock’s radius needs to be reduced (~0.5-1m each stage) and the indication whether you will be hit or not should be improved (see Elder Kraken’s Chain Lightning). You should have to put in work before you cast it to reliably hit it.

EDIT: I know there is a large TU in the works but not until summer. These suggestions can be implemented before summer (except for the hit indicators of course).


#2

You mean the radius? Lightning Strike has an infinite range.

This is already coming in the next update:


#3

Why either A or B? I definitely vote both.

Lightning Strike needs to have a more accurate effect radius AND Banshee Mines need to not be so hilariously instant and impossible to avoid, especially for Hunters who don’t have their primary damage dealer equipped 24/7.
Plus they’re already going to fix the LS radius.


#4

Yeah, I meant “radius”. Fixed it, thanks.

@Rick: I would try out one and see if it’s enough. If not, add the other one, too.
Ah, they are reducing the radius? Or do you mean they fix the visuals?
Better hit indicators (visuals) should be implemented for Aftershock and Warp Blast, too.


#5

They’re fixing the inaccurate LS radius visual effect, but they haven’t confirmed reducing the actual radius of the ability itself.
Personally I hope they do because the previous version was just perfect. The current Lightning Strike however is completely overkill for a Monster whose skillcap lies in being able to chain abilities together so well that Hunters are overwhelmed by the barrage of damage.

This is why I’m completely against the current slightly too large radius of Lightning Strike because it makes the ability individually too powerful, let alone when you’re getting stunlocked.
3/4 of Kraken’s abilities cannot reliably be dodged by using only 1 jetpack thrust. I think this is ridiculous compared to the 1 thrust needed to dodge practically every other powerful Monster ability in the game like Rock Throw, Leap Smash, Warp Blast, Fissure, etc.

The visual effect of Aftershock is fairly accurate in my opinion, and I surprise myself by realizing that I don’t even mind its current huge radius. My only problem with that one is that it’s too easy for Kraken to divebomb to land AS and then immediately take off again.
The only true counter to this is spreading out as the Hunters so only 1 will get hit. Imo that’s bullshit, every ability should be dodgeable.

I’d say Kraken just needs a slight rework in the ground-and-take-off-whenever-you-please department.
Kraken should be screwed on the ground. If he deliberately falls to the ground to use Aftershock, he should not be able to fly back up into the air immediately afterwards so easily.
Obviously would need to be balanced accordingly otherwise Aftershock becomes useless.


#6

I really like how you point out the overpowered parts of Kraken, but not the underpowered parts. If you’re looking for actual balance, you should mention those too. Right now your thread is about creating an underpowered Kraken, not a balanced Kraken. Adding in your changes without addressing the movement speed issue means that Kraken will be easier to dodge, it’ll do less damage and it’ll still have a relatively hard time to break away after a dome fight.

Mind you, I agree that those two skills need to be fixed and I’m pretty sure they’ll be fixed with the next Title Update, along with its movement speed/traversal. I just thought that someone needed to mention his underwhelming side as well.


#7

I imagine that would be quite easy to achieve by simply changing his traversal bar to the same one that Behemoth uses, and possibly requiring a higher percentage of the bar to be filled in order to take off; while removing the need to spam traversals multiple times in order to stay airborne. This in turn would also make Kraken more susceptible to trapper CC, since it would have an actual effect on him :slight_smile:


#8

He may have a hard time escaping. But that’s no excuse to buff his combat so much.
I think many Krakens that have a problem with escaping forget to throw back a couple of Vortexes and Banshee Mine+Lightning Strike combos to slow the hunters down. He can even create an opening while fleeing…

Plus, on some maps you won’t get to Kraken until he is Stage 2 and then he can wreck your team in one dome… (Armory, Refueling Tower and Broken Hill Mine have very good feeding paths that lead to places where he can mitigate and/or do damage very effectively)
But that’s more a problem of food distribution I guess.

I’m not sure whether his movement/traversal can be changed by editing XML files. If that’s the case, sure give him a bit more speed in return. No problem.


#9

Well good thing he’s not getting buffed next update.

They’ve said that a lot of the balance changes were dependent on other parts of the code in TU9, that’s why they can’t just release those numbers instead. Theoretically this could mean that a change like this could potentially be coming up in said patch.


#10

I was talking about the previous buffs to him. ^^

Yeah, they have to make different adjustments for the balancing update than for the TU, sure.


#11

I figured. There’s not much point in discussing errors from the past though :smiley:

They said they could try changing a few numerical values through the use of micro patching, but I personally doubt it’ll do much on the monster side of the spectrum.


#12

And I for one, was suggesting what numbers they should change in the micropatch to fix errors from the past regarding Kraken. :slight_smile:


#13

For all I know, you could’ve been referring to the error on TRS’ behalf where they decided to release a flying monster in the first place. However errors were made and people adjusted to it. Kraken isn’t invincible on many levels, so clearly the changes were justified in some areas.


#14

I just think the changes were made at the wrong places. And I don’t want huge nerfs, just slight ones. But let’s agree to disagree here. :wink:


#15

Personally- Id be skeptical that these changes, and the reasoning behind them- Would have the desired impact.

In my experiences the problem with banshee mines is the tumble (within the full context of the ability), in relation to how quickly lightning strike charges up now. Against good teams, banshee mines already typically do very inconsistent damage. The “trouble” with them is that they tumble lock you right into a lightning strike that was queuing up before you even got tumbled- And you have no control to save yourself when the lightning strike goes off.

Similarly- Im skeptical that reducing the radius would do much, either. Its very common for high-level krakens to only put 1 point into lightning strike anyways even by at stage 2, because the tumble-lock of the banshee mine can so reliably force people into the lightning strikes with only 1 point. Lightning strike moves at about 10 meters per second, and with its cast time can be maneuvered about 16 meters from where its cast at- Even at only 1 point, with a 5 meter radius, this means kraken can hit something as far as about 21 meters away from the point of casting. Reducing the radius as you have suggested, changes this to 20.5 meters. Oo la la lol.

I think the real issue is that banshee mines, do not feel like mines. With the increased speed, the increased invulnerability time, and the short arm time, they feel more like banshee missiles (And have been joking called banshee missiles by the community long before elder kraken hit the scene for these very reasons). Shot “on” a hunter, hey have about .5 of a second to react. You may negate the damage, but youre GOING to be tumbled- Like it or not. Probably right into a lightning strike.

THIS is what i personally think needs to change. Id like to see something done to make banshee mines, feel like mines. Not insta-pop missiles. Something along the lines of an arm time that begins after they make contact with something. Maybe make them harder to see before they activate, maybe make them harder to kill before they activate- So the kraken can set up areas the hunters cant easily/dont want to go- so they function a bit as area control- The job you, you know, typically associate with mines.

Or simply increase the arm time as it functions now, to about 1.5 seconds from 1, and make it so an inactivated mine thats shot, doesnt tumble the hunter. This way the hunters could have a 1 second window to pop the mine to counter the tumble of the mine, otherwise theyll be tumbled as normal if they shoot the active mine before it contacts.

ANYTHING to allow some counter-play to the tumble lock. The devs have made it VERY clear that tumble-locking is NOT a mechanic they overly want in the game, largely because, lets face it- Its not fun to deal with. I see no reason the banshees should continue to serve as this function.

Aftershock, thats another can of worms. Personally id simply like to see aftershock work a bit like a “dot”, instead of 1 big burst- Give it a few (3-4ish) solid ticks of damage almost immediately after the ability is cast. Id even argue to buff the OVERALL damage if the kraken manages to land each tick of the aftershock. This way in order to fully utilize the aftershock the kraken needs to maintain a bit more range to the hunters- giving them a couple second window to get in some damage- Avoiding what we see now. A kraken that sits 20-30 meters in the air, flying at 10 meters per second above the hunters head, then dropping down juuuust at the last moment- unleashing a 20 meter explosion on the hunter in the brief second hes near them, before flying away again- Only allowing the hunters a “window” to do some damage if theres a specific type of trapper there.

If any of these changes arguably make kraken “too weak” for competitive play to be viable- Id be ok with him receiving buffs in other means- But I think he needs some minor gameplay tweaks. As he sits, kraken is amazingly unfun to fight. I do feel hes SLIGHTLY too powerful, but if he makes just a couple small mistakes, a competitive hunter team will kill him every time. Its just that contending with what he can do, sucks. Oh look, im tumble locked into a lightning strike. Oh look, an undodgeable aftershock. Oh look, hes following it up with an undodgeable heavy/vortex/pounce now that hes close. Oh look- now Kraken is easily denying pick ups from 50 meters away because he can deliver constant snowball damage to anything in LoS, and snow balls explode in a large radius. I guess someone better body block the snowballs, so someone else can get the pick up- And now we have 3 hunters out of position. Oh look, he sees what were doing threw a banshee mine. And is queueing up another lightning strike. Followed by another banshee mine. Which he followed up with a vortex. And here comes another banshee mine, because he can have up to 3 and they only take a few seconds to recharge. Oh look, that person bled out because his abilities/snowballs consistently denied the pickups and exceeded the medics healing capabilities (heaven forbid it be the medic themself that went down- Thats GG right there).

All of this makes kraken feel AMAZINGLY “swingy” in combat. Once the kraken gets a single down, its a very steep battle from there- Unless youve already had a couple very successful domes before hand. NO monster, OR hunter comp for that matter, should be “Swingy”. I want a battle of attrition, not “oh, timmy made one mistake. We all lose now”


#16

Kraken is the only viable monster for med skilled monster-players and people want to nerf him. Sure Goliath is viable as well but only if you’re leet. :joy:


#17

Now as you say it… When you shoot it right next to you you still get tumbled, right? That should be removed, I think. But I guess that requires code…

Of course for hunters that’s the problem. But Krakens wouldn’t hit any Lightning Strike if it weren’t for the tumble. Kraken needs it.
Good teams already shoot off all mines that aren’t missiles. But I agree, Kraken should have to aim them behind you where you can’t see them. And then for example aim the LS in front of you to sandwich you in.
So to remove the ability to throw them right into your face, the arm time has to be higher than the invulnerability time. That might be a good change, too.

That would be interesting. So it had no cast time but work like Gorgon’s acid. Don’t stay in it too long. But I think he needs two heavy hitting abilities…

Yeah, but often you would dodge the banshee and the LS would still hit because of its huge radius. If you say good players don’t need the large radius, then it should be okay to reduce it slightly.

Don’t tell me about the tumble. I made a whole thread about it. :smiley:
Sadly, as of now many monsters have to rely on tumble to stand a chance. But I think that will change in TU9.


#18

That is correct sir. Shooting a banshee mine means they do 0 damage, but they still get the tumble.

I strongly feel many would argue this point. A 2 or especially 3 point lightning strike is VERY tough (but fair) to dodge. At only 2 points, kraken can hit someone as far as 23 meters away in 1.6 seconds from the point of casting. Considering the range hunters can dodge with a jetpack boost, (about 12-14 meters depending on terrain in most situations), and the TIME it takes them to dodge that distance (it takes about 1 second to clear the jump), this leaves a VERY small window for hunters to actually observe the lightning strike, recognize its heading, and dodge in an appropriate direction completely ahead of it to avoid the damage.

But THAT said- If for arguments sake lightning strike WAS deemed too easy to dodge WITHOUT the tumble of banshee mines- The solution IMO isnt to allow the kraken to maintain a mechanic that basically gauruntees a lightning strike. The fair thing to do is to compensate lightning strike itself. Lightning strike is a HUGE hitter- And should remain a skill shot. Leaving lightning strike as a reliable burster, along with aftershock being a reliable burster, along with heavy/vortex/pounce being unavoidable? Meep.

If the banshee mine DOESNT tumble a hunter, I feel LS is a very fair ability to dodge.

It would be ok. My point was that that radius doesnt matter, you could nerf the radius, but if you dont address the tumblelocking, it wont be any less likely to land- Unless its made pretty ridiculously small. Again bear in mind the whole- It can be moved, and HIT someone up to 20+ meters away, at 1 point, in 1.6 seconds.

But lets add some more delicious context here-

Tumble lasts .75 of a second, leaving you .85 of a second to react, and clear the distance needed- Which again, it takes about 1 second to dodge the full distance of a boost.

BUT, keep in mind, banshee mines have a .5 second invulnerability time, with a 1 second arm time. You can start that lightning strike BEFORE the hunter is even being tumbled- Giving them even LESS time to react. Depending on the timing, the hunters can literally have NO actual time to react- Because the lightning strike is going off DURING that 3/4 of a second of tumble lock.

And they shouldnt. Ditch the tumble-lock, compensate in other ways that promote risk, reward, and viable counter play. IMO :slight_smile:


#19

Honestly, the only active and experienced Goliath player I still see on PC is @deanimate.

I used to think I’m not a bad Goliath player myself, but put me up against a few good Hunters who know how to circlejerk around a pillar or tree forever and I crumble insanely fast.

That’s another issue I see with Kraken - his ability to fly counters so many core Hunter mechanics it’s just silly. Wraith is the only Monster who comes close to not being to easy to kite, but she has plenty of other issues to deal with right now.

Kraken’s ability to fly and indirectly nullify so many Hunter strategies should’ve been his main selling point while instead it’s currently treated as a nice gimmick on top of having the highest stunlock potential.


#20

I agree with all of these standards.

Kraken needs to get a missing tooth with that Nerf Bat.