All the cool kids seem to be doing this, and I want to be cool too dangit!
(Im going to open this up with a in-depth explanation for the logic behind my ideas, if this bores you, you can skip down to the proposed idea, its capped/bolded where it starts. I will warn you now, Im going to attempt to be as thorough as i can within a degree of reason behind all of my following opinions, reasoning, discussions, and ideas)
First thing: This just just for fun. Something to talk and kill time about, and see what other people think of my ideas. A lot of people seem to dislike decoy, for a number of reasons. I myself included. Some feel its too op, some dont, but to be honest, I feel its too lack luster. Yes decoy CAN do a lot of damage- But in practice, at least in my encounters, it doesnt. Decoy is primarily used 1 of 2 ways in my experiences .
Either used from afar, which makes it painfully easy to dodge (a short jump at best, but usually you can just run away and avoid it), tricking nobody because it sparkles like the illegitimate love child of Tinkerbell and edward cullen, has a very obvious pathing, while a couple quick shots reveal no HP bar/damage- And has the benefit of revealing the wraiths rough location/direction. Yay :\
OR, its used in the middle of combat, where it MIGHT finally do some real damage, assuming you dont have enough jet pack to simply neutral boost up which puts you out of its range for long enough that its dissolved by the time you land (In which case you wouldnt have dodged any ability anyways, so no matter what you were going to take some damage), and thats if the decoy actually decides to go after someone instead of just standing there or going off to attack that mammoth bird instead- but still fails to act as a “decoy” because the wraith does a super obvious “peeling” animation as it drops the decoy, giving the team ample time to shoot the real wraith, which reveals it for half a second with each pop (meaning against a half decent team the invis is rendered utterly useless in combat). Its even less useful against people like hyde, who have fire which can basically keep the real one revealed the whole time. Yippee.
So I, like many others it seems, would love to see some changes. Upfront and foremost, we need to establish what a decoy should do, in a manner thats befitting of this games play style. Of course this will be subjective and is reflective of my own opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I personally feel, decoy NEEDS to do damage. Ive seen a lot who say it shouldnt, i disagree. Making decoy do no damage limits the wraith to only 3 abilities for damage, and in my book, thats just not cool. Some say make it so decoy only does knockback! This can trick them into thinking theyre being hurt when theyre not- Well thats nice in theory, but any half observant player will notice theyre taking no damage and immediately go “oh, just a decoy. i can completely and utterly ignore this thing now” (Sure it might knock you out of position, but as its AI based, the wraith would have little control as to WHERE it knocked you, so its random control at best)- When youve only got 4 abilities, i dont feel any should be in a position they can be “ignored”. Plus this gets back into the decoy not being a “decoy” easily spotted aspect.
And biggest thing, which will probably be the most controversial, Im sorry- But i dont feel Decoys should easily allow the wraith to utterly juke/trick/disengage the hunters completely from combat. This might sound great in theory- I mean wraith is supposed to be this tricky hit and run expert! But in practice, having an “easy” button to juke/hide/avoid the hunters, makes the match unfun for 4 out of 5 of the players. I quite often find most wraith supporters ive met want the warith to be too much hit and too much run in too short a time imo. In a game like evolve, for “hit and run” to be fair, the actual “hitting” time, before you can run, needs to be long enough that the hunters have a chance to retaliate. Monsters NEED to be engaging in my opinion. A monster you never see just isnt fun.
SO ONTO MY PROPOSED DECOY MECHANICS! (Holy crap I thought hed never get to it!)
First, changing the aiming mechanic. Allow the player more control. Highlight a player (like how slims heal bug works), and the decoy goes after that poor devil with a vengeance. The aim here would be to make decoys damage more reliable than it is now. Due to the high damage potential of decoy, this MIGHT need to be dialed back a smidgen (And while i would have the decoy take on the image of a supernova’d wraith in the bubble, i dont think it should augment the damage. It should be high enough to be a worthwhile ability on its own, augmenting it from there shouldnt be necessary, and could easily be too powerful). And I feel some perspective is needed for damage. A 3 point rock throw, from a goliath with 3rd star mastery using the damage perk, is capable of killing a 2-strike hunter in one shot. Bam. Dead. One hit. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 experience points. Go straight to the dropship. I would be ok with a similarly equipped wraith (3rd point into it, 3rd star mastery, damage perk) being capable of a bit MORE damage than this, if, and only IF the hunters basically avoid -none- of the decoys attacks, and eat them all. Think of the decoy as a avoidable DOT ability. Capable of doing a LOT of damage if and only if you dont get away. Maybe play with the idea of giving the decoy a predetermined, finite number of attacks before it dissolves, limiting its overall damage to a predetermined amount (Maybe at top tier, not counting sloth buff, give it 4 hits, each hit capable of doing 25% of a hunters life. 2 hits wouldnt kill a 2-strike hunter, 3 hits would nearly kill a 1-strike hunter, and 4 hits would kill anyone without healing/shielding/support/etc. These 4 hits would need a reasonable amount of time between the attack. Reasonable for the hunters, AND for the wraith this is a 2-way street. And again, this is 3 points into it, 3rd star mastery, with the damage perk damage. Maybe not exactly this, but something along these lines to give you an idea.)
When the decoy takes damage, have this reflect up in the wraiths HP bar. Show it taking damage- The new white-bar mechanic showing “burst damage” would go with this greatly imo. But instead of having the white bar dropped off, have the bar fill back once the decoy is dismissed. I know, this makes the decoy hard to detect. Thats the point.
Next, give the wraith perfect invisibility while the decoy is active. Dont give the decoy a super obvious animation to the hunters. Do not make it so the wraith becomes visible when taking damage. The way id make the decoy detectable is to have it bleed pixie dust when shot, instead of blood. NOW WAIT- I can see those pitch works and hands reaching for hydes flame thrower. PLEASE dont melt my face! Let me explain and finish, i promise, it should all work together.
TETHER the decoy to the real wraith. I have 2 lines of thought for this, 1 being to have the decoy dissolve once the real wraith leaves the range limit, but 2, and I think i like this one better, just physically have the decoy get “dragged” with the real wraith if the wraith tries to move too far. And once the decoy DOES dissolve, have it go ghostly of sorts, and B-line straight back to the real wraith, revealing her position.
And id keep the idea that once the real wraith uses warp, or an ability, or attacks, it dissolves the decoy.
The goal being that all of these together would allow decoy to work as a “proper” decoy, but only really in the context of engaged combat. Hopefully allowing the wraith to deal damage a bit more reliably with the decoy, while using the invis to reliably mitigate some damage to herself, in combat, as she repositions herself around the hunters, in combat, WITHOUT being easily able to use the invis as an overpowered juking crutch. Seeing as in how this would allow her to only reposition and not completely get away, being incapable of using decoy to easily juke/hide/run/etc the hunters, id be ok with re-evaluating the time the invis lasts, noting again that if the decoy does only have a certain amount of finite attacks it can deliver before it dissolves, itd make it difficult to milk the invis time while in the dome (disallowing her from simply decoying and hiding for notable portions of the dome-time).
Other things come to mind as well, If wraith uses this ability after a dome goes down, or after dodging a dome- Maybe in combination with her other abilities to try and get that extra down before she runs away, shes indirectly engaging the hunters for longer as things such as the dome recharge, or the dropship gets that bit closer. Point being, shes engaging, stealthfully, without completely just up and running away.
And unlike the changes that propose decoy do no damage, this allows decoy to remain a powerful feeding tool.
Yays, nays, thoughts, opinions, suggestions? I understand this wont be a mechanic for everyone, but id love to hear your feedback.