Novax needs to be nerfed, here's why.

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Personally, I think it's fine as is. (I am the guy who thinks all units are fine as is) I would much rather have a novax over my base than to have incoming t3 arty fire. If you make a novax just to send around and kill mexes its a huge waste because they don't really kill t3 mex very well. To me Novax is best used over a base in conjunction with t3 arty, on its own its just intel .....need at least 3 of them to be any real threat unless you have t3 arty too. The most annoying thing about a novax to me is that I know the enemy has full intel on me

I understand FAF better than I can play it

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There is a balance forum with its own guidelines for posting there. There is not much point in posting balance questions to the general forum. If I went back and looked I could probably find a replay where I made 6 novax and they couldn't break the enemy shields.

It is true you can "hold fire" your satellites until a clear shot opens up. But you can also time your attacks with other units. You can wait for the right time to send in strats or an ahwassa.

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I just had a game vs a player that did this and they lost:

They're annoying, but really cheap to counter. And remember: if they spent 30K mass on a Novax, and you spent 10K on some shields, it means you have a 20K advantage.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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they have no spalsh so you can't really compare it with an arty,it might be annoying,but if you get 6 sats vs 3 arties,arties always win with the shield grid

queuing with a newbie to show him the beauty of tmm and meeting tagada be like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLcRpdZ0Xb0&ab_channel=Tomoko

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Novak are really bad, they are good for Intel or with t3 arty.

They are very expenses and you could send in a bunch of units instead of building a novax.

They also take a ton of e to build, a long time ago I lost a gap game because I built one and e stalled then the t3 arty broke my base.

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Novax isn't too powerful on most maps, but it is actually very, very good on setons, and probably similar maps with spread out bases and lots of mexes. Just do the math:
Let's say you are the air player and have 13 mexes to defend. Only the core 4 mexes can possibly be defended with less than one shield per mex, even assuming 1 is sufficient for those 4 mexes giving a total of 10 so far, you'll still need a bunch of extra shields if you don't want your air grid to explode, plus your smd in the middle. So you'll still need probably at least 13 t2 shields (with maybe a couple t3 shields on the air grid because you need their longer range). If they are sera shields, that's 13x700 mass, equaling 9100 mass, PLUS you will need an extra t3 pgen for power to run those additional shields which drain 13x250=3k power. One t3 pgen, which won't even totally cover that power drain, is 3240 mass. That puts us at basically 12.5k mass spent (rounding up since we still haven't covered the full power drain) on countering the novax. BUT THIS IS JUST ONE PLAYER! There are 4 players that all have to do the same thing or the novax will just target them instead. Are you able to multiply by 4? Now the enemy team has had to spend about 50k mass (12.5k times 4...) because all the other slots have to build very similar numbers of shields, PLUS a bunch of apm queing up engies to build shields on every mex plus every important structure not otherwise covered by a shield (usually you don't have every pgen or hq right beside your mexes) to avoid significant damage from the novax. Some spots like the corner trio of mexes for beach you might get away with fewer shields, but you'll probably need a couple extra shields somewhere else that aren't on mexes so I think it basically evens out and this is a pretty fair estimate. Even if the other slots can get away with just 10 t2 shields (so we save 9x700=6300 mass) it's still going to be well over 40k total mass spent. But the novax STILL gives very nice scouting, PLUS it can STILL be used on any units not shielded, such as navy or t4s, or landed asfs, sams, etc. And it can help to soften up shields for a strat snipe of an smd too. And AFTER the enemy builds all those shields, you could still simply reclaim your novax, which takes a whole lot less apm for you to recover the mass than for the enemy to reclaim all their shields. Even further, you can just start to build the novax and not finish it, and possibly force out a whole bunch of shields in anticipation of it and not even invest much at all yourself.

UEF and Aeon shields are a bit cheaper for both mass and power, but give less range and don't affect the calculations too much. Generally, due to the small range you will need a couple extra shields to protect your buildings if you are aeon so you don't end up saving too much anyway. iirc the lowest tier cybran shield isn't strong enough so you need at least ed2 which makes the cost also similar. If you say about 600 mass times 10 shields for each of the other 3 players, that's 18k mass, plus 9k mass for the pgens to run the shields, so 27k, plus about 11k for the air player's t2 shields. So 38k total mass for a pretty conservative estimate.

Still, I haven't added in any cost of having to build t3 shields to protect the air grid. T3 shields cost a lot of mass. Maybe just 2-3 is sufficient depending on your air grid size, but that's another 5k or more mass you have to spend. So about 55k total mass will probably be spent by the team, and at least 40k. So, even if you use far more optimistic numbers by using other faction shields that are cheaper, it's still definitely going to be cost effective to build at least one novax. Building a second probably might not be worth it, unless you can surprise them and snipe an smd or something before they realize you made multiple and build additional shields. That shouldn't happen, but if there is one player managing multiple bases in the late game it would not be impossible.

edit: so does it need to be nerfed? Well I think it's quite weak on maps where you need far fewer shields, like canis, so it's hard to say overall.

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It’s even worse than what @CorvathraNoob said because a single sat breaks t2 shields covering mexes. The only way it doesn’t break the shields is if you leave build power there assisting the shields. Functionally it does far more damage than a t3 arty at range because it has pinprick accuracy, plenty of times a t3 arty will completely miss its target the one chance it gets to hit it after dropping shields. Doesn’t happen with a sat. Also it’s virtually impossible to get build power to those shields to assist them unless you’re using sacus, engineers will just die as soon as they’re unshielded. Oh yeah and it does everything an Aeon Eye does without the energy drain though slower target changes.

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Novax is THE ultimate area denial tool. No - it cant crack a base - but it can prevent anyone from leaving the base and there's not much you can do about it once you're locked in.

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@exselsior said in Novax needs to be nerfed, here's why.:

It’s even worse than what @CorvathraNoob said because a single sat breaks t2 shields covering mexes.

No it doesnt. And even if it does it will be so time inefficient its not worth doing it at all

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I just had a match yesterday where my opponent rushed novax at the cost of having fewer ASF. He lost air, the bottom ocean got torped, his novax did almost no damage at all, then I sniped his SMD and nuked his novax. I did build a lot of T3 shields to protect my mexes. (I guess I could have done just T2 shields, I was under the impression that T2 shields would fail against novax, at least over time.) It was a big investment and it didn't pay off.

My nuke forced the enemy team to make a bunch of nuke defense. That's not so different from forcing the other team to make shields, except it's easier and more consequential to snipe SMDs than it is to pick off t2 shields here and there covering mexes. I think I did hundreds of thousands of mass worth of damage with a few nukes, compared to my opponent made me build a few shields that are nice to have anyway.

I can think back to a match where I made something like 6 novax and they wouldn't break the enemy's shields. They made a significant number of shields but they spent a lot less on the shields than I spent on the novaxes.

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@arma473

  1. Anecdotes are very weak evidence because they are extremely susceptible to bias (cherry picking data). I can counter with dozens of examples where someone didn't stupidly "rush" a novax in a game situation that made it a disastrous strategy, and it was instead a very efficient and effective strategy for the reasons I explained.

  2. Nukes work similarly in that respect, that in a game where they force out multiple smds exceeding the cost of the nuke, they are a good investment, so long as you don't sacrifice so much to get there that you lose horribly. So I could also come up with an anecdote about how rushing nuke is terrible because there's an example where it didn't work out for someone, but that's not a good argument.

  3. Making one novax is good because even if it does ZERO damage, it forces out a far higher amount of mass in shields. Additional novax have a far lower marginal benefit because when you concentrate their fire, it is much easier for your opponent to concentrate their efforts on supporting shields in that area to ensure the novax wont break through. In reality they have to build shields on everything for just a single novax because you have to micro units all the time and cant watch it constantly to build shields only where it goes. So you basically have to preemptively build shields everywhere. But with multiple novax, you focus more and just build some additional shields and assist where the novax concentrate fire so they don't break through, but don't have to have 6x the shields everywhere. That's why I said building even just a second novax probably wouldn't be worth it most of the time. But that DOESN'T mean that a single novax is not extremely strong on setons and similar maps.

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If you build a novax and I build sheilds in response, and then build around 10 k in t3 units, I still spent less

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so far,i haven't seen a single game where novax spam beats arty grid spam and the single usage of a novax efficiently can probably be the t2 mex hunt if they are split across the map,aka setons but that's it?
i was also thinking about killing t1 assist,but making novax in order to do that isn't the best idea

queuing with a newbie to show him the beauty of tmm and meeting tagada be like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLcRpdZ0Xb0&ab_channel=Tomoko

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@rezy-noob Ya that's accurate. t3 arty is much better than novax for killing bases. But novax can snipe isolated targets very efficiently, so it's excellent on any map with enough of those targets for it to pay off. t3 arty is also much more useful on the common 10km teamgame maps than setons because of the range.
So the answer is obviously that novax is really terrible on some maps and really good on some others (but mass novax is pretty much always bad). People saying anything other than that are missing the point.

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@thewheelie said in Novax needs to be nerfed, here's why.:

@exselsior said in Novax needs to be nerfed, here's why.:

It’s even worse than what @CorvathraNoob said because a single sat breaks t2 shields covering mexes.

No it doesnt. And even if it does it will be so time inefficient its not worth doing it at all

Just for fun I quickly tested this to make sure, it takes ~5 firing cycles and a little over a min of game time for a sat to break a uef t2 shield and kill a t3 mex. Now, the thing here is that the only maps where sats are cancer are high eco maps with spread out mexes. Meaning often the mexes will be surrounded by mass fabs. Killing the mass fab rings kills the t3 mex even faster if I am not mistaken, was too short on time to thoroughly test that part though.

Is this time inefficient? Probably. I can test this later but I'd bet on the novax killing distant mexes faster than a t3 arty would though, assuming mexes are spread out.

@arma473 said in Novax needs to be nerfed, here's why.:

I can think back to a match where I made something like 6 novax and they wouldn't break the enemy's shields. They made a significant number of shields but they spent a lot less on the shields than I spent on the novaxes.

You're doing it wrong. You don't build 6 sats unless you're doing that purely for laughs. You build one or two and then a Mavor. Good luck defending vs a mavor and 2 sats without having a ton of hives + sera t3 shields. And at that point unless you have a para all you can do with your eco is assist shields.

Edit: Also you should have synchronized the sats firing if you had that many. It would take a very large amount of assistance to defend against 6 sats on the exact same firing cycle.

@rezy-noob said in Novax needs to be nerfed, here's why.:

so far,i haven't seen a single game where novax spam beats arty grid spam and the single usage of a novax efficiently can probably be the t2 mex hunt if they are split across the map,aka setons but that's it?
i was also thinking about killing t1 assist,but making novax in order to do that isn't the best idea

Same thing I said to Arma, if you're just spamming sats with no arty then you're not using them effectively imo. It's sats + arty, not just spam sats. That combo brings down shields better than just sats do, and then the sats kill the shield generators the instant they go down to arty. Just arty and there's a decent chance it misses or lands after other shields come back up. With a well managed sat if there's any blip in the shields you start picking off shield gens.

That being said, on smaller and more compact maps sats make less sense than purely spamming arty, unless you don't have Aeon on your team then they're very nice for vision and situationally worth it.

Honestly the only situations where sats are arguably op are almost exclusively high eco 20x20 team games with spread out mexes, but they are obnoxious as hell when they are useful in a way that nukes, bombers, and arty aren't. Their perfect intel + perfect accuracy with decent damage is a pretty strong combo. That's just my opinion though.

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@exselsior said in Novax needs to be nerfed, here's why.:

Just for fun I quickly tested this to make sure, it takes ~5 firing cycles and a little over a min of game time for a sat to break a uef t2 shield and kill a t3 mex. Now, the thing here is that the only maps where sats are cancer are high eco maps with spread out mexes. Meaning often the mexes will be surrounded by mass fabs. Killing the mass fab rings kills the t3 mex even faster if I am not mistaken, was too short on time to thoroughly test that part though.
Is this time inefficient? Probably. I can test this later but I'd bet on the novax killing distant mexes faster than a t3 arty would though, assuming mexes are spread out.

Ah forgot about the novax dps buff that happened. Guess they can break it now. But yea, still so inefficient you should never bother to do it though

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I've always thought making SMD able to shoot novax would be a nice meta changer. Gives UEF the ability to drain SMDs, changes up end-game strats a little. Too many SMDs for your yolo to get through? Try throwing some novax's. Either give the novax sat a decently long time to rebuild or add a cost to rebuilding it.

Idk. As they are, they're pretty boring & hit or miss. Either you get them early enough without being spotted and they wreak havoc for a while, or they're not that great because everyone has shields already. I think they could be far more interesting. Then again, I guess most experimentals are pretty boring in the end.

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@snagglefox said in Novax needs to be nerfed, here's why.:

I've always thought making SMD able to shoot novax would be a nice meta changer. Gives UEF the ability to drain SMDs, changes up end-game strats a little. Too many SMDs for your yolo to get through? Try throwing some novax's. Either give the novax sat a decently long time to rebuild or add a cost to rebuilding it.

Idk. As they are, they're pretty boring & hit or miss. Either you get them early enough without being spotted and they wreak havoc for a while, or they're not that great because everyone has shields already. I think they could be far more interesting. Then again, I guess most experimentals are pretty boring in the end.

I generally agree with this. Honestly I quite dislike the Novax. Regardless of how good it is in a given game it is always annoying and horrendously boring. It does not feel good for gameplay regardless of the map or situation. Arguably a creatively and well used sat is always op in Setons in particular - it forces 4 players to shield every mex they have + defend the air grid + add more shields and assist shields on smds. It often forces more build power to be built or at least moved from other tasks to accomplish this. It provides intel in a way that's arguably easier than the Aeon eye since you need a huge amount of energy to spam change the eye's location. You can precisely and permanently deny assistance on enemy navy factories in a way that you cannot do with any other unit. It can completely hard counter Cybran stealth navy where you just sit it over their navy killing their stealth boats, sonars, and any engies trying to reclaim while providing vision on anything that's still stealthed. It can force a reliance on ras bois to expand your eco. It doesn't have any range limitation like t3 arty does, a t3 arty on setons has to be built in a very exposed location towards the middle of the map.

Rant aside, it would be nice if there was a toggle options on SMDs to shoot down the Novax satellites and then the sat itself had a larger cost and time to be remade. Would give it counter play that's much better than spending a stupid amount on shields and build power everywhere on the map while leaving you more open to nukes if you choose to use an smd charge to shoot it down.

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In LOUD we've had the SMD able to shoot down satellites for years - with a separate weapon that doesn't drain the SMD. It contained the Novax, at least in terms of it just sitting overhead without any challenge. However, as I mentioned earlier on, this just shifted the meta for it, to one of area denial, and the same fundamental gameplay issue continues to exist. The Novax can effectively seal a player into his shielded base, and even trying to escape using mobile shields is not effective in breaking that blockade.

I imagine, that as long as the Novax continues to exist, it should be considered a need to have some kind of anti-sat units and/or weapon, that can effectively counter it. The Black Ops SMD solution is, as mentioned above, somewhat effective, but not entirely so.

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@jip the replay desynced after bottom air got killed, but this replay where the novax killed ~250k mass and completely obliterated bottomss economy, sniped a comm, helped finish off another, completely destroyed bottom airs powergrid, forced building shields everywhere and more is supposed to prove they are easy to counter? That game was lost by top for many reasons, but the novax wasn't one of them. Of course in this game he hit diminishing return, and investing in nukes after a couple of novax would have been way better, there were also better targets after a while I think than what he used them for.