Cybran hives, idea for Seraphim and Aeon

So Cybran's hives are a very strong unit, UEF have engineering stations which is a good alternatives for UEF. However Aeon and Seraphim do not a good early hive alternatives . Seraphim and Aeon SACU with the Rapid Fabricator is a good late game replacement however quite costly and slow. So they really have to depend on engineers resulting in having lots of engineers surrounding building causing bad path finding.

Now I do not like the idea of Seraphim and Aeon just getting their own hive building as I like the diversity in the factions. Also I am not sure on what is possible so here are some ideas.

idea 1
Be able to combined engineers together.
So if you had 10 engineers of the same tech level you tell them to all combine together, now you have 1 engineer with the power of x10 engineers (maybe even give them a bonus boost as well), limit the max amount engineers that can be combined together. (Kind of like creating super engineers) could work the same way as a transport ship.

idea 2 when engineers are assisting they then allow units to passthrough themselves (not enemy units though) this removes the pathfinding issues and allows units to stack while assisting.

Idea 3 make hives and engineering stations T3, however this is not going to be a very popular change and I do not think is solves the issue.

So I am not sure on what is the best solution but I think both Seraphim and Aeon need something a little extra vs the hive/engineering station.

What are your Ideas and thoughts.

Never Fear, A Geek is Here!

I think it is important to note that this is only an issue on some maps as they encourage gameplay where a hive is reasonable cost-efficient.

A fourth option is to allow factories of those two factions to be able to enhance themselves, similar to how you can enhance an (S)ACU. A factory could therefore have a 'rapid fabrication' preset. This is how they tackle it at LOUD.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

@jip "A factory could therefore have a 'rapid fabrication' preset "
That sounds like a good idea.

Never Fear, A Geek is Here!

enhancement*, not a preset. But something to allow the factory to upgrade itself even further.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

Kennel isn’t even a good alternative to hives

An option to enhance factories for Sera and Aeon so they build faster would be useful I think. Would help compensate for not having hives/kennel equivalents.

Hives also have the possibility to move build power very fast. Buidling ras boys, and just before enemy army arrives, throwing up experimental. Or Building units, and just when enemy scouts have passed, throwing everything into building a nuke. Etc.

Hives also have self upgrading capacity, that allows to add very much build power in short time, without engineer/trafficjams.

So, yes, Cybran hives seem very strong ,on some maps. But they are not detrimental on other maps , as Cybran has no obligation of using those. For quite low cost (?) 14 mass for 1 bp. While t3 engie costs 10,4 mass for 1 bp.

Making hives more expensive could reduce the advantage of Cybran. But idea could be also to give different hives for Aeon and Sera. Less range, hp, cost. Or more range and no upgrade. Watch out for too much range, as they become defensive arms.

Alternatively there is always the option to remove Hives and Kennels, which would be better in my opinion.

@jip said in Cybran hives, idea for Seraphim and Aeon:

I think it is important to note that this is only an issue on some maps as they encourage gameplay where a hive is reasonable cost-efficient.

Not really. In teamgames no matter what maps you play hives will be good if it goes lategame.

Hypothetically, if T3 engi's had the same range as a fully upgraded Hive, which would you build? I'd build the T3 Engi because of its more efficient buildpower per mass. Thus the only reason to build a hive is because of its build range right? Thus, can't hives be balanced using only their buildrange? More range = better and vice versa?
I'm a near exclusive Aeon player and I've never felt disadvantaged because I can't build a hive. I've felt disadvantaged in other ways (lookin at titans) but not because of hives.
In the opening post, I agree that hordes of engineers makes it troubling for land units rolling off factories. Making combat units pass through friendly engineering units would solve this problem. But engineer stacking would make me cry because one bomber could do LOTS of damage as a result.

"if T3 engi's had the same range as a fully upgraded Hive"
I think that could be an idea for Seraphim and Aeon to have engineers with a bit more build range. Also keep in mind it does take a bit of time to build up enough engineers to == a fully upgraded Hive which also ties up a factory. It is very fast for Cybran to build 10 hives with a few SACU and have a really high build power. For Seraphim to equal this they have to build about 24-25 T3 engineers (which can be more vulnerable then hives). Or make SACU with Rapid Fabricator which is slow.

The thing is hives are a really good unit and a lot of players love using them. So nerfing them is not going to be liked much.
Maybe what is needed is an extra bonus for Seraphim and Aeon T3 engineers
1 More build range
2 Increase their speed
3 Increase their build rate

Anyway some ideas, still not sure on what the correct balance should be

Never Fear, A Geek is Here!

What about just buffing the SACU rapid fabrication by increasing both the mass cost of the upgrade and build power, so it becomes a viable option on those maps where hives are good - i.e. it gives concentrated build power that doesnt cause pathfinding woes (since you wouldn't need many of them). Since you'd get a mobile unit with a basic combat ability it'd need to be slightly less efficient than a hive at building, but not much.
For example, instead of a modest increase in build power from 56 to 98, quadruple the build power from 56 to 224, and also increase the build range slightly. Then set the mass cost of the upgrade accordingly to balance it. E.g. a hive costs 350 mass per 25 build power. Since the value of having a mobile builder with combat ability and basic resource generation is priced into the base SACU model, lets make the rapid fabricator upgrade as efficient as a hive in respect of the increased BP element. So taking the Sera ACU, and assuming it's roughly balanced at 2k mass for 56 bp, that'd mean you'd want the extra 168 bp to cost 2,352 (total cost of 4402 for 224 build power). By comparison, the current upgrade gives you 42 bp for 800 mass (so is significantly more expensive than a hive in terms of the additional bp).

If this would be too powerful, then make it 10% more inefficient for the additional BP.

Personally rapid fabrication feels really weak and not worth getting (I'd rather have 3 Sera SACUs than 2 rapid rabrication Sera SACUs, even if I'm planning on using them to say build a firebase or setup some SAMs) and I've never seen anyone get rapid fabrication SACUs, so it feels like an opportunity to increase variety a bit, it preserves the uniqueness of the hive, and it doesn't require work with creating a new unit.