THE PROBLEMS WITH THE UEF - Part 2 (The ACU Billy Nuke)
In this post, I would like to bring some attention to the UEF's Billy Nuke Upgrade.
And, to save some time, let's just head straight into it.
These are just some problems I wanted to bring attention to. I am offering my own solutions to these problems, however, I am not a balance team member, nor do I have a large data pool to back up my suggestions; Hence, the balances will likely need some adjustment. There may also be some better ideas to fix these issues, out there - so I encourage you guys to suggest your own ideas as well.
-The Armored Command Unit (ACU)-
Problem: Billy Nuke Upgrade, detailed version:
For a while, I've felt that the UEF's Tactical Nuke could have used an update. Don't just take my word, however - I've gone around and asked players (of varying skills) what their thoughts of this upgrade are and this is what they had to say:
"Currently, the upgrade is a meme that you only use in team games." - Oblii
"I never use it, tbh." - Strdxr
"...it's super easy to counter." - Xeigho
"Every Billy Nuke you build is that fewer Titans." - snowy801
"I think it's lackluster... Needs to do more damage in a bigger area and have more health." - Hyp3r2001
"It's a good meme, that's it." - SpikeyNoob
"It's just the 3-4 T3 pgens that are a bit outrageous." - Xayo
"Too expensive to use..." - Prohibitorum
"...I almost never ever get it as its rarely worth the risk..." - Hot-Soup
"Too Expensive... by the time you can afford it, it's already too late." - Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
"... If opponent has brain... billy is completely unusable" - Grimplex
The Tactical Nuke is a bewildering upgrade. Currently deals 12,252 damage, which is enough to wipe out any Tier 1-3 land unit, however, it has a few large issues, causing it to really not be seen outside of team games. I believe the reason for its rare use is because of its overall high risk with low-impact on the game.
To start off, the damage fall-off is extraordinarily high. The Billy Nuke deals all of its damage in the inner ring of the reticle; dealing a pitiful 252 damage to anything outside of that inner circle. This makes the upgrade difficult to use, as not only can the missile be destroyed with ease, but if it barely misses its target, it will just tickle it!
A decrease in the damage fall-off needs to be made, as well as a slight increase to its main damage, so, that even if it misses its intended target, the projectile would still have an effect on it. After all, it is a tactical nuclear warhead.
Increasing the damage would help get the most out of the cost of this upgrade as it costs a whopping 5,400 mass! Let's not forget the previous upgrade, too! Plus 1,400 mass! On top of that, you have to build the projectile for an additional 3,000 mass. All totaling 9,800 to fire one projectile.
Almost 10,000 mass and you only get 12,000 damage out of it and we're not counting the mass needed to build the power generators to obtain said upgrade.
Image: Shows where Billy Nuke damage is applied against Brick test subjects.
Image: Shows HP remaining from an enemy unit stationed in the outer ring.
The upgrade and projectiles themselves are already expensive on power, so I believe that by increasing the damage the projectile deals, it would counter-weigh its power cost, making it worth the investment if it manages to land one hit, even if multiple are fired.
Since the Billy Nuke is easy to counter, a small increase in its projectile HP would be of benefit. This would also help counter-balance the upcoming Buff to Tactical Missile Defenses (TMD) as they were buffed to counter cruiser missiles, which offsets the balance against The Billy. Again, it can tank three hits from a TMD with the fourth destroying the projectile. This makes it incredibly punishing to use as any shield will block its damage and it takes only two TMDs to destroy it. Aeon, on the other hand, only needs one TMD as the flare completely deflects the projectile.
Because of this, the projectile should explode upon destruction. However, instead of dealing full damage when destroyed, it would deal a portion of the damage. This would still keep it deadly and would make it viable to use against navies or very shielded targets.
Since we are talking about a nuclear projectile, I would also like to bring some attention to unused audio lines that have been found in the game files. Specifically audio lines numbers 202 & 203. Unfortunately, I cannot link or post them here as the forum does not take .MP3 files, however, audio line 202 warns "Enemy Nuke Inbound" & audio line 203 notifies "Strategic Missile Destroyed".
I believe these two audio lines can be brought back and used in conjunction with this new Billy Nuke change. Considering its new damage output, it will be deadly to unshielded enemy Commanders, bases, and armies. When the projectile is fired, line 202 should be activated to warn enemy players and line 203 can be used to notify the player that the projectile has been destroyed.
(Audio line 202 should be edited to say "Tactical Nuke Inbound".
Line 203 could get annoying if the enemy Commander keeps firing them progressively, so this line could be left out.)
Problem: (Billy Nuke Upgrade TL:DR)
Billy Nuke missile lacks HP, projectile damage is low compared to its high-risk and investment costs, and damage fall-off is ridiculously high.
Projectile HP increase: 4 -> 6 (Edit: 5)
Projectile explodes upon expiration.
Direct damage increase: 12,252 -> 15,000 (Edit: ~14,000)
Fall-off area damage increase: 252 -> 10,000 (Edit: 5,000)
Add warning to enemy players when the projectile is fired.
Thanks for your time!
I encourage you all to offer your own suggestions.
I appreciate all the feedback I can get.
I will continue to post the next parts over the course of the next few days.
Sneak peek at part 3: The Parashield
For now, see you on the battlefield!