Snipers/sera mobile shields need a rebalance

As the meta currently stands, sniper bots incentivize turtle gameplay. Why? The only counter to a ball of sniper bots + mobile shields + flak is a t2 arty base. Sniper bots hardcounter any mobile unit that isn't a sniper. Mobile t3 artillery deals too little damage to kill the shields. Well microed strats can deal with snipers + mobile aeon shields, but getting multiple strats is, depending on the map, not a very realistic option. And no, it's also not realistic to get a fatboy or megalith up in time.

Even then, strats just won't efficiently work against seraphim mobile shields, leaving you with the only option of making a t2 arty base. Being abused so hard to the point where you're forced to make an arty base is in no way fun or fair to play as it is hard to (timely) establish an arty base on some maps.

A small compromise is that aeon snipers can be dealt with by suiciding air units due to the fact the shields are weaker, but snipers + seraphim shields are absolutely broken. It would be nice to see these shields or snipers reworked.

profile picture credits to petric

listen BUDDY there was a single 1v1 on open palms this year that went to t3 stage and snipers did not play a significant role there so idk what your issue even is

maybe increase sniper hp and reduce sniper dps to nerf them while making them more usable without shields?

Sera T3 mobile shield isn't that much different to a fixed UEF T2 shield, despite being mobile and able to go on water:
T2 UEF structure: 600 mass, 9250 health, 120 regen, -200 energy
Sera T3 mobile shield: 720 mass, 10400 health, 133 regen, -175 energy
So costs 20% more, for 12% more health and 11% more regen and marginally less energy consumption. The size isn't much smaller when you factor in the mobile shield is a lot smaller than the fixed shield (i.e. you can fit units in the area that a fixed shield would take up). However, it's mobile, making it far more versatile.

Other factions' mobile shields are harder to use since they have a much smaller shield size (needs more micromanagement), and the shield is a lot weaker (so you get less benefit from using them, and bombs and arti shells will quickly break through them).

Currently if trying to kill a sniper bot under a Sera mobile shield with strats you'd need 4 strat bombs. If the mobile shield health was reduced to 8250 from 10k (17.5% reduction) then most factions could kill with only 3 strat bombs. The mass cost could be reduced slightly to compensate (e.g. a 12.5% reduction to 630).
The shield size could also be increased - while this would be a buff in some scenarios, it'd also make the mobile shields more vulnerable to T3 mobile arti fire, and mean multiple shields would run into the shield overlap and aoe damage issues.

I.e. if they were to be nerfed, it'd be nice for sniper bots to retain a key role as a counter to slow moving ground units such as percies, while in turn having clear weaknesses to units such as mobile arti and bombers that can only be lessened but not removed through the use of mobile shields.

If the health of the Sera sniper bots was to be increased, it could also make T3 mobile arti much weaker against them when they were without shields, since UEF deals 750 a shot and Sera 700 a shot (i.e. they can 1-shot an unprotected sniper bot at the moment, since the sera health is 700)

Another option is to make them more of a glass cannon - increase their initial damage, but increase their cost as well

Something like nerfing dps would be a good start. They should play a role in slowing/whittling down percies/bricks to make up for othuums/harbs being inferior, but not utterly annihilating them. Nerfing percies/bricks and then buffing snipers was a hard double nerf to the percy/brick vs sniper matchup. Seraphim mobile shields just further magnify this issue.

Maybe something like removing the sniper's ability to shoot while moving (or just decreasing its accuracy when its on the move) without touching its dps could also work, since it will still deal a lot of damage but atleast allow units to catch up to them.

profile picture credits to petric

Bring back old epic t3 balance.

Ever try rushing with labs?

Low accuracy is kind of a shit rng solution. Will end up with retreating snipers doing 10 shots for 1 hit if u get bad luck. Better do some combination of less dps/lower speed/more mass instead imo

maybe just increase sniper bots cost with 15-20%

queuing with a newbie to show him the beauty of tmm and meeting tagada be like:

only increasing mass cost still leaves u with the main issue where the only reliable and consistent counter to sniper bots is an arty base
i think having their movement speed and dps reduced would be good to improve matchups for other units vs snipers (can also throw mass cost increase in there lol)

profile picture credits to petric

Snipers won't get a change. They've already had a cost increase because of this exact issue. Nerfing them into oblivion will make sniper factions struggle unfairly against armored assault bot factions.
Instead, divert your argumentative efforts into a fruitful pursuit.
Example: Has anyone noticed how cracked the Titan's shield recharge speed is after collapse?

While sniper bots do potentially pose an unanswerable counter; A rebalance would need to direct the power else where. It also begs the question: what is the sniper bot for? Ilshies use to have a speed of 2.9, while t3 bots were at 4, now ilshies at 2.5 and bots at 3.8. This means that outside of drops and their rather bad t2 hover tank, seraphim army lacks any raid option, and therefore lacks a key counter raid option. sniper bots dont fix this well at all (they are arguably countered by raid bots plus shield/ stealth). So the question is: do the seraphim (and to a lesser extent aeon) get to have busted snipers because uef and cryban have hugely better direct fire? or do both need rebalance? Also mind that currently sniper bots are the only cost efficient land unit the seraphim have for experimentals. Ytho loses as long as the other unit micros the slightest bit, (just dodge eye once or twice) and OC supcoms are (despite what some may think) not mass efficient in the slightest.

Give them an pack / unpack sequence that forces them to stand still, like the artillery. This allows units to easily catch up to them, such as titans and loyalists.

Or, from another angle: reduce their movement speed if they are trying to fire at a target. That makes sense for a sniper. And it would allow for micro to occur - if you want to run away you can disable their attack.

edit: both these solutions are about two lines of code, so it wouldn't be difficult to implement either 🙂

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

1st one is too much like t3 mobile arty and would spoil the feel of the unit

the second one sounds really fitting tho - give the unit a 'cool up' instead of a cool down to allow more counter play

Code accuracy while standing still, miss more while kiting

A nerf that involves changing an existing stat (eg mass cost increase; damage change) has the advantage of not changing how the unit fundamentally works vs the original fa/steam implementation. Something like randomness while moving or a deployment time would be a significant departure and in the case of inaccuracy while moving wouldn't be obvious to a new player.

I think just reducing the movement speed while aiming is sufficient for a nerf, making it a lot more vulnerable to fast units.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

Titan is already really good against snipers it doesn’t need to be buffed. Problem is that snipers just immediately hard counter percies and bricks in a way that harb/othuum doesn’t hard counter titan making percy vs titan a false choice which in turn ruins a lot of the potential variety you could see in t3 stage.

nerfing sniper speed can also have the opposite effect vs percies. Currently snipers are significantly faster, so if kite on max range and move them back they will get out of range and you have to move them back in. nerfing sniper speed down do percy speed might make kiting vs percies (and also bicks for that regard) even easier and stonger since the snipers will never get out of range (considering their massive range advantagethere will still be enough time to react.
So I would expect that to main affect sniper vs hard/othuum

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