Sparky Rationalization

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So this is more of a question about sparky in general because I kind of always assumed it "made obvious sense" and never looked too deeply into it, but what is the actual rationale for Sparky not being able to build half the stuff in the game?

Like, the biggest thing is they cant build radar so taking them to the front can be a problem. This isn't that big of a deal because you usually have tons of t1 engies around your pushes anyway which can carry the radar load, but if it isn't that big of an issue why not just add it to sparkies?

The biggest thing is that you can't build a radar with a sparky drop, which can be particularly annoying as it means you need to bring engies with you. Why? Because they can't build factories!

Not building factories just seems weird as well. Is it to stop proxy bases with sparky drops? Why? Does that make sparky drops OP? It doesn't really do anything that brutal at frontline bases. You can set up reclaim factories and forward lobo spam bases quicker than with t2 engies because they are faster, but you can already do that with t1 engie spam that exists.

Finally pgens and mexes. The thing here seems to be about making t2 engies irrelevant. But my argument here is that t2 engies are more efficient than sparkies. A sparky is 2x the cost of a t2 engie for 1.5x the bp. If you want to just get the quick tech access for cheap, you make a t2 engie. This is what tons of people do as they only make 1 or 2 t2 engies and then move on to t3.

So what's the problem if someone makes the heavy and survival yet inefficient sparky in their main base for constructions? It fits UEF style to keep things compact and encourages slightly different playstyle since sparky will predispose people to doing more t2 aggression compared to other factions.

It just seems like a random balance decision done by GPG that no one else really ever bothered to look into tbh.

Even just nerfing the cost so it costs 2.5x the cost of a t2 engie but gets the abilities of a t2 engie is still fine and offers an interesting choice.

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I think the build restrictions were original imposed in order to give the unit "personality" (uniqueness) more than as a balance decision

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@ftxcommando Oddly enough, this is the first time I agree with the idea

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I've mained UEF for years and have never intentionally built a sparky, so yeah i'd agree they need looked at again in terms of utility and cost.

Kill the acu, nothing else matters

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The problem I've with them whenever I've got them is that a normal T2 engineer is often better at the role that it feels the sparky should be there to fill (frontline engineer firebase builder), and the main reason is the lack of intel.

I'd therefore be fine with them either having an increase to their radar range to 50, or to allow them to build t1 radar. That way they keep their unique feel (they cant build power or factories), but can still build a firebase that can actually detect units within range of PD. T1 radar is also arguably more of a defensive structure, so still fits with the theme of an engineer only being able to build defences.

Making them just another engineer (that can build everything) just with more health would mean they lose what makes them unique, even if from a balance perspective it might not be a big boost to them.

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I agree that they should be able to build everything a T2 engi can.
What makes them unique is that they can survive being on the front better and that they even defend against small T1 raids. The reduced amount of blueprints they have just makes them crippled so they can only be used for making firebases with drops and maybe as a tanky reclaim engineer.
I would like some more versatility here.

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If you allow them to make factories and radars they would become pretty OP, T1 engies trying to scoop up reclaim are slow and easy to kill, a sparky on the other hand is fast and tanky with a lot of concentrated BP, you would just end up with 1 sparky per 1 medium size army making radars + a factory after any fight spewing out T1 engies to grab the reclaim 30 sec after a fight takes place.

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@tagada said in Sparky Rationalization:

you would just end up with 1 sparky per 1 medium size army making radars + a factory after any fight spewing out T1 engies to grab the reclaim 30 sec after a fight takes place.

and why is that a bad thing?

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Because it would significantly buff the UEF T2 stage that's already very strong?
Instead of having to transport engies around the map with a transport which takes a lot of APM you would just make 1 sparky per 15-20 pillars (you only need 1 per big army of which you have 1-3) that would provide insane intel value (can build radars within seconds) and allow you to snowball out of control after any fight you win/draw because you would get the reclaim.

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@femtozetta said in Sparky Rationalization:

I agree that they should be able to build everything a T2 engi can.
What makes them unique is that they can survive being on the front better and that they even defend against small T1 raids. The reduced amount of blueprints they have just makes them crippled so they can only be used for making firebases with drops and maybe as a tanky reclaim engineer.
I would like some more versatility here.

I’d give them the bot T2 engi icon that comes with Supcom. Not reg t2 engi

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Calling it a significant buff is a vast vast overstatement. Sure it's a small utility buff, but if moves like this were so strong to begin with you would already see everyone do it but just with 2 t2 engineers instead. normal engies being slower than your army is mostly irrelevant since you almost never do a straight push halfway across the map, plus your engineers should be behind your army anyway.

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sparky feels bad to use because it's kind of an engineer, kind of a tank, kind of a standalone expander while being absolutely terrible at each one of those roles. a buff to make it good at one of those things would make it viable. giving it a full t2 engineering suite will probably make it a very strong option for t2 uef but i don't know whether it would be too strong

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One of the cool things about sparkies is that you can mix them in early and utilize them as the t2 suite for your ACU while you continue to abuse gun or gun+nano. Problem is you can't do that entirely because you still cant make radar or facs with them which a t2 suite ACU always does.

Dudes talking about sparky losing its uniqueness have no idea what they're talking about, a fast but sturdy t2 engie opens up potential game states that other factions can't reach without breaking the balance of the game since to truly abuse sparkies you are going to need 1 or 2 less t2 support factories so you can actually have the mass to utilize these 2-3 sparkies to their full potential. It of course means less units but it could enable quick but efficient titan transitions while you utilize sparkies, acu, and some low level t2 spam to stagnate the game until that phase.

Even just mixing them in with your t2 spam and having unit mixes where you have t2 engies with your forces is still interesting and different than the current t2 phase of blaze + asylum or pillar + parashield + lobo or ilshie + zthuee

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I think making a sparky a sturdy t2 engineer adds to the faction diversity - I say we change this 🙂

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@thewheelie I disagree, having the engineer being slower and very low hp (t1 die to 1 t2 bomber, t2 die to 2 t2 bombers) is a significant difference. Random T1 tanks won't kill your sparky but they will kill your T2 engineer. If your T2 engie is behind your army and you retreat enemy can just kill your engies for free while a sparky will be able to retreat as fast as your army. If you allow it to both make radars and factories in my opinion T2 UEF Land will become too oppressive, as soon as you lose 1 fight they will snowball insanely hard since they will be able to convert that win into a significant unit lead very quickly and without a significant mass investment (having factories and T1 engineers everywhere) nor APM investment (dropping T1 engies with a transport).

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Damn imagine having a unit that snowballs hard, can't imagine that existing in current faf balance, luckily we're safe from that

Sparky doesn't even snowball hard, t2 engie dies to 4 t1 bombers instead of 2, wow UEF t2 stage is unbreakable it's over

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The LOUD Project debated the Sparky quite a bit because in it's original configuration, it's hard to find a practical role for it that would keep it unique AND viable without turning it into a de facto replacement for the normal T2 engineer.

In the end, we kept the build restrictions - removed the pointless weapon - and replaced it with an extra 4 build power. It's a reasonable bit more expensive than a T2 engineer, but the more robust frame, and extra build power translate well. A good tool for mopping up wreckage fields that's not too flimsy - and a useful tool in other roles without overshadowing the existing engineer.

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@sprouto said in Sparky Rationalization

In the end, we kept the build restrictions - removed the pointless weapon - and replaced it with an extra 4 build power. It's a reasonable bit more expensive than a T2 engineer, but the more robust frame, and extra build power translate well. A good tool for mopping up wreckage fields that's not too flimsy - and a useful tool in other roles without overshadowing the existing engineer.

Horrible horrible idea, that small gun is why sparky drops or scouting works with them.

Without it you only can drop in empty places or forced to spam t1 pd instead of t2 shield.

Sure one is little but 5-6 are enough for T1 tanks.

In the build restrictions I have mixed opinions, having to carry a T2 engineer on the drop gives something to the enemy to prioritize, a reward for paying attention.

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@tagada said in Sparky Rationalization:

@thewheelie I disagree, having the engineer being slower and very low hp (t1 die to 1 t2 bomber, t2 die to 2 t2 bombers) is a significant difference. Random T1 tanks won't kill your sparky but they will kill your T2 engineer. If your T2 engie is behind your army and you retreat enemy can just kill your engies for free while a sparky will be able to retreat as fast as your army. If you allow it to both make radars and factories in my opinion T2 UEF Land will become too oppressive, as soon as you lose 1 fight they will snowball insanely hard since they will be able to convert that win into a significant unit lead very quickly and without a significant mass investment (having factories and T1 engineers everywhere) nor APM investment (dropping T1 engies with a transport).

If you think such a small and minute buff as giving the sparky the ability to make radars and facs will suddenly make uef oppressive you're seriously off the rails. Also IF it is too strong you can just nerf sparkies in a different field, like mass cost.

You know what you can do too btw? If you decide to push already queue engies and/or attack move land facs to get the reclaim while the battle is still going on. Don't say that this doesn't work because i've seen it happen enough times already. You just need to give a little bit of effort to make it work.

apm this apm that. Guess what, queuing up a few transports to drop engies around the map on reclaim patches isn't all that much work. It's just that people aren't used to doing it so it feels like a lot more than it actually is since it's not really an automated process.

At the end of the day there were a billion other changes in faf that had a higher risk of causing an imbalance than this . I'd say new beetle buff is way closer than being imbalanced than this, or buffing the already very strong titan by making it more spammable.

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I wouldn't mind seeing this change just from a quality of life perspective. I agree with farms that I don't think it's really a big change for general battles because you almost always have some t1 engies near the front lines for reclaiming and building radars or pd anyway, so the sparkies would just reduce the number of them and slightly reduce pathfinding problems, which is a good thing...and we could always just increase the sparky mass cost a bit to compensate.

Where I could see this ability change making the biggest difference would be sparky drops, which now could pop up a ton of factories very quickly. Maybe this is very good because it would make the game more interesting though.