Monkey Lord - roleless T4 that needs a Buff

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Howdy Folks,

Replay: I don’t have one because the ML is useless and nobody makes it anymore.

Now why do I think it’s underpowered:

I think the role the ML fits with his relatively low hp and high dps is the role of a surprise glass cannon cheese weapon. You build it fast and hope it’s unscouted, use it’s stealth field to creep up and then kill acu, or a base or something critical.

ML strategies are most of the time all-in, because getting t3 acu, T3 Power (to be able to spend mass quick enough for the ml to matter) and then the mass for ML (before T3 MeX, because this is the time frame where the map isn’t littered with t3 units, bp concentrations that can spam pd or air build power that can make gunships, corsairs or even t1 bombers that can easily counter the ml and reduce it to a nice mass donation. If you give up t3 MeX or units or air in favor of a ML that’s so easily countered you are almost always behind, the ML just isn’t worth it, doesn’t really have a nieche anymore.

Now why do I think the ML has become worse?

The build power nerf totally killed it. Before you could make a ML with t3 acu only in a reasonable amount of time, which not only saved mass, but also made it harder to scout a ML in the making, because acu could make it underwater. Engi clusters are more easily scouted by radar, it’s just much harder to make a sneaky ml because of a combination of the need for more engis (mostly t1 engis because this is the bp you got in the relevant timing window of the ml) and the increased time it takes to make it.

Now I could go on how the game matured and cheese options are harder to get away with because people know how to deal with it better, scout more and know how to make hives that that straight up reclaim and approaching ML, but that’s Another discussion.

I would propose to reduce the build power required to make a ML back to the old levels, or maybe at least reduce it by 33% to see if it gives some strength back to the ML as a surprise mechanism that has an actual timing window on team game maps like Canis, setons, wonders etc.

The arguments for the experimental bt nerf were to make them less of a late game mass sink: I think people will not start spamming MLs now, because of their relative inefficiency in terms of hp per mass, and if they do: great, sounds like fun games.

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I was generally in favor of the build time nerf for experimentals, but I agree with you that the ML is just too weak to be used now. Because it is such a glass cannon and therefore easy to prepare a counter for, it really does need to be a surprise, which is much more difficult when it takes that much longer to build. Otherwise it is extremely likely to end up as a mass donation. So I would approve a bp reduction, not necessarily back to what it used to be, but some reduction would be good.
Alternatively, an HP buff might work as well, but it would definitely change the nature of the unit and make it more of a generic t4, which I think would make it less interesting than the more niche role it used to occupy. So I also think reducing build time would be best.

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they nerfed the brick and loyalist and the cybran have no t2 or t3 shields, monkeylord costs 1k more than before. yet the gc chicken and fatboy all crush it with the most minimal scouting for slightly more price (6-8k which is usually the time it takes the monkey to walk across map) and all have shields that can go with them, balance team nerfs cybran race for players ignoring standard unit compositions

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At certain ratings Monkeylord are far from bad, might it also be the most-built experimental all games combined?

FAF has a wide dispersion of usefulness in units, is the Monkeylord really an outlier in terms of usefulness?
In casts I seem to see it more often than Novax for example.

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@Valki said in Monkey Lord - roleless T4 that needs a Buff:

At certain ratings Monkeylord are far from bad, might it also be the most-built experimental all games combined?

FAF has a wide dispersion of usefulness in units, is the Monkeylord really an outlier in terms of usefulness?
In casts I seem to see it more often than Novax for example.

It is horrible to argue balance is flawed because "at certain ratings" players are too ignorant to know the best strategies. Obviously low rating players are doing things wrong, hence, their rating. e.g. "Yeah, 'at certain ratings' mass storages around t3 mexes are rare, so their adjacency bonus needs to be buffed." The problem has nothing to do with game balance, it is ignorance.

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yeah,i do agree that even in mid game it's so bad due to op corsairs and several OC's,even on medium-sized maps(10x10),you can get a bunch of percies under a shield and a com and easily kill it,making it almost a 100% non-usuable in mid-tier->high ranked games,the very least usages it probably has is roaming,tho it's speed is not something that makes it incredible powerful,neither does stealth,with the recent t3 harb upgrades,the only fraction that would be bad against it is sera,howerver your opponent is gonna build a ythotha just in time considering the mass cost is just 6.500 higher than ML one and has twice effectiveness(20k/26.5k)

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Small speed buff would be quite interesting. Faster rushes across map, easier to close distance with percies/OC, and you could use it a bit more sneaky with the stealth by mixing up its positioning. Have it be something that lurks on the map like a shark, make it scared for you to move out.

Just dreaming up ideas, don't mind me.

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Make it a jumping spider with a leap ability

(Obviously I'm memeing)

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If you didn't like my speed buff idea you could just say so 😞

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Cloaking ability that requires 10k energy (requires 12k mass in power plants)?

Maybe throw in 1 minute charge up to prevent abusive cloak blinking micro.

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@Tex said in Monkey Lord - roleless T4 that needs a Buff:

If you didn't like my speed buff idea you could just say so 😞

Oh no I didn't mean it like that. A speed buff was also one of the first things that popped to mind upon reading the OP

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I like the idea of a movement speed buff, and while we are at it could we consider increasing it's turret turn speed? The monkey is especially frustrating when it is attacking different useless targets on opposite sides of it, which require a very long time for the turret to turn. This is especially critical when you are just getting in range of what you really want to attack (e.g. acu) with a move command but it takes an extra 5 seconds to actually start attacking because it was focusing on some t1 tanks behind it.

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https://replay.faforever.com/14222198
https://replay.faforever.com/14222278
Replays for anyone who would like to see just how incredibly easy it is to [edit: receive a Monkeylord mass donation] with an equivalent amount of mass invested into a few bricks and shields, with and without any acu overcharge.

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If, and I stress IF, the Monkeylord is underpowered, perhaps a solution would be allowing it to climb steeper terrain (like a spider can) to allow for more tactical deployment?

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@Arran sounds like a nightmare...

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I am 99% sure that something like this is not supported by the engine.

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It is supported 🙂 , but it would break on all of my maps where I use the 'unpathable' terrain type to cover some holes in the mountains that allow units to get on top 🙂
edit: I believe Madmax even made a unit as part of a tournament for that. Its in the vault

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Why would a 10k energy cloak toggle not work?

It prevents the Monkeylord from being discovered randomly by ASF, bombers, and raiders. Now it remains invisible until it approaches your omni radar, unless the opponent has set up a good T3 air scout patrol.

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@Tagada said in Monkey Lord - roleless T4 that needs a Buff:

I am 99% sure that something like this is not supported by the engine.

It is and is not. But it can be done. I do it in SCTA even