Ideas for Mercy changes

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I'm working on a mod to test out some of my own ideas for changes to the Mercy, and would like some feedback.

Potential changes to the weapon are still a work in progress as I'm trying out a few different versions. The changes below are intended as a groundwork for future weapon changes.

Mass cost: 300 => 250

  • This makes it equal in mass cost to a TML missile for consistency and ease of remembering.

Universal scale: 0.15 => 0.2

  • Makes the Mercy a little bigger as it was always tiny, especially for a T2 air unit9b536ebf-f2c3-4df0-a6de-a236cd885918-image.png

Health: 10 => 55

  • This is still a pitiful amount of health, for reference the Aeon interceptor has 285. However it can now survive a single interceptor hit or 1-2 T1 MAA hits instead of disappearing with the slightest AA presence.

Movement changes

  • This is a big and potentially contentious set of changes, but not one I've found a combination I'm happy with yet. I'd like the Mercy to be a little more missile like and less plane like. The current ideas is to increase the max speed while decreasing the acceleration and turn rate in order make it a little harder to intercept while also leaving windows where it is particularly weak. Might have to scrap this one because that particular combination of changes leads to some... issues.
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Originally I wanted to implement this as an unranked mod instead of just saying it and hoping someone else does the change, but I've been a bit busy.

The idea I've had for a mercy rework is making the weapon a projectile weapon instead of a homing missile. The Mercy "becomes" an Oblivion cannon shot (maybe Tempest shot sized, or a bit smaller). If you start changing direction right as the Mercy becomes a projectile, you should just barely be able to dodge the damage. This creates interesting counterplay dynamic where the Mercy player may want to ground fire to predict the dodge movement, etc.

  • Mercy projectile can be ground fired and now becomes dodgeable.
  • Mercy: 2400dmg, range 25->22, muzzle velocity 10, damage radius 3, non-tracking projectile.

You can fine tune the range (the distance at which the Mercy becomes a projectile) and the muzzle velocity for balance purposes—the numbers chosen above were just some reasonable sounding numbers. Imo it should be somewhere in between a Seraphim strat bomber and UEF strat bomber in terms of dodgeability.

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@deribus said in Ideas for Mercy changes:

Mass cost: 250 => 300

According to unitdb Mercies already cost 300 mass.

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I assume he meant it the other way round, because missiles cost 250.

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I don't know why you would throw a mass cost change as "groundwork". Better see if it's necessary after deiciding on the other stuff, no ?

In general, let's be carefull about changing all stats at once, it makes balancing and testing a lot harder ... It's better to decide the goal of the rework first : in which direction you want this unit to go, and then modify stats to fit this goal.

For instance, answering those questions from last thread would be a good start : Do you still want the mercy to be a snipe tool, but with more consistent counterplay ? Or do you think the unit design is broken and should be something else (last thread mentionned some damage over time on a big area) ? Small tweak to numbers, or big rework ?

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Any hp change will make the mercy snipe everything, I played with it s bit. At 55 ho and 23 range you probably could snipe with flak.

I like the idea of the projectile change.

I think the range needs to be like 6 with increased ho, bit it doesn't work with range under 12ish

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Now my opinion : I am not in favor of just tweaking numbers and keeping the design as is, i'd rather see a rework of the unit. Current design has too many problems to be fixed with just small tweaks.

Now you guys bring up interesting point toward a full rework.

We talk a lot about frustration of getting sniped, but the frustration of using this unit is also very real, to the point where you never make it because it's too risky. I would rather have a weaker unit than a powerfull one that you can't reliably use. So for me the "1 HP, Low Fuel" aspects of the unit should just disapear. Higher HP (even if it's low) is a good step to make this unit more reliable. Bigger size, why not but what for exactly ?

Now based on what you suggest and on the last "AoE DoT" idea, i can see a design where :

  • The goal of the unit would be to snipe isolated immobile targets such as buildings and to zone units. So it's not an ACU snipe unit at all
  • The damage is DOT, so you can react by moving out of the zone or repairing the building being damaged.
  • The aoe is large, damage small, but duration quite long, so you can use it to zone units off of a zone
  • The mercy would be more "missile", and would fly in some sort of straight line, with little room to turn/ change direction
  • Once the target is set and speed is max, it's hard to change direction, so it won't follow easily moving units. The payback for the mercy user, is that the mercy is harder to shoot at max speed.

Basically you would use the mercy to pick off isolated building like you would do with TML but here the counterplay is static AA instead of TMD. And the second (main) use of it would be to zone off units.

Maybe that's too big of a change, i don't know ... But i can see it being usefull and not too blatantly overpowered/frustrating to play against.

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I think those changes are good as a "groundwork".
Witch implyes that something else is also gonna be changed.
More HP + bigger hitbox = more reliably shot down
Lower cost? well im fine with that if effectivness is gonna be lower as well.
I think there were ideas about giving mercy some long lasting AoE DoT, so thats is why it is compared to TML... units could move away from aoe and buildings would get full damage, and low tier or low HP targets will probably die while higher tier will get damaged slightly if microed out of the aoe range.

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Making the mercy behave more like a tactical missle, but one we can control during flight... I like it! Overall very good ideas.

One thing I find particularly frustrating about the current mercy is the large range of the weapon. Often you only have a split second between seeing the mercy in vision, and it dissolving into its invincible weapon blast. From that point onwards you can only watch, no counter possible. I think decreasing the range of the weapon would remove much of the frustration and allow for more counter-micro. HP can be compensated.

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You guys are right about the mass cost, I misremembered the change. I blame posting this at 2 AM.

Fixed

As for weapon changes, the current ideas are thus:

  1. Low damage, large aoe damage over time, similar to @Tagada 's version in the other thread.
  2. Even higher damage but over a long dot, currently playing with around 10 seconds. Intended to punish upgrading commanders or high value structures.
  3. Essentially a Salvation shell, damage TBD
  4. @archsimkat 's idea. Might be difficult to code but I'll give it a shot

Other ideas are welcome and encouraged

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I use mercies when I should but I hate using them and receiving them, be it with AA or my ACU's face.

I would love a large area dot, really something new and interesting. However, it might shake up Aeon meta completely. Is the balance team ready for this?

Otherwise the oblivion option is nice too.

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If you take the current faf mercy and change the range to something under 12, it attacks weird and if like to see if we can code it based off of it.

So if will come in at a high altitude and dive bomb and touch the target but won't do anything, don't like any of this, but then it will fly away and come back at a near ground level flight and it can active and attack at it's short range.

I'd like to see if we can change the range to around 6 and code it's attack run to attack at a linear angle or low angle so it's vulnerable to stay damage and also gives aa alot of time to hit it, then the hp can be increased and a lot more fun can be had.

I'd like to also make them volatile so one mercy gets destroyed it will take out others so you have to micro them a bit. Then they can be used to flay into a asf or intie cloud and blow a small group up.