THE PROBLEMS WITH THE UEF - Part 4 (The Ambassador & Blackbird)
Welp, it's Monday, and as I promised, here is part 4.
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.
Problem: Ambassador & SR90 BlackBird (T3 Strat & T3 Spy Plane), detailed version:
Similar to other factions, the UEF has a solid arsenal in its class. The problem I feel this game has is the unbalanced Air situation - as Cybran is highly favored for this position.
I'll get straight to the point - since Cybran T3 air has a strong ability, and since the UEF lack Air Strength compared to other factions; the idea here was to grant the Spy Plane and Strategic Bomber with the Jamming Ability. This way, we could improve UEF's lack of air strength when it comes to T3 and T4 air as well.
I understand that some people will say that Jamming on a Strat may be 'OP', not needed or useless. However, I would argue that having Jamming on a Strat would not be anywhere as 'OP' as having Stealth. Something you CAN'T SEE (on radar) is far more dangerous than a few more radar blips. Plus, with the current way jamming works, it wouldn't be difficult to know which of the icons is the main unit - it's always the middle one.
The Aeon Strat has an awesome ability, a stun effect; The Cybran Strat has a strong ability, Stealth; Why can't the UEF have Jamming? Having the Spy Plane with the Jamming ability would appeal to a similar case.
I believe in the world of T3 Spy Planes and only T3 Spy planes, it is without a doubt that the Cybran Spy Plane is considered the best; due to the stealth capability, it has, no doubt. The fact that it does not draw power to maintain its stealth adds even more strength to an already strong ability. It offers a much higher survivability chance - even in the face of a powerstall! Radar will never pick up an enemy T3 Spy Plane.
The same goes for the Cybran Strats as well, though yes, these do draw power. You literally will not see it coming until it's already too late.
Sure, some Strats deal more damage, and some have a larger AoE, but none of that really matters when you have Stealth. Stealth is really strong as it can turn the tide of a battle in seconds. All Cybran T3 air can hide within the boundaries of your radar without you ever noticing.
With Jamming, at least your units and defenses can still fire and, with any luck, will hit the main unit. With Stealth, your defenses and units won't even fire - in fact, most of the time they won't even have a chance to do so. Even if you get line-of-sight for a second, they will forget the target exists once it leaves your vision.
Having these two planes use Jamming, even with a small maintenance cost, would not only bring some competition but, I'd say would be of benefit to the game as well. A benefit in the sense that we would see more of these amazing faction abilities. It would diversify the factions just a little bit more, showing the strengths and advantages they have over other factions. Not only would it offer more diversity and more competition, but it would give the UEF a slightly more appealing factor as it is already the least picked faction when it comes to Air roles.
As for the gameplay side of things, both Jamming blips and Stealth are removed when passing over vision. Here, Jamming would be much alike Stealth. However, after they pass through, even with radar, the Cybran Strat and Spy Plane all disappear, again. Stealth increases their survivability, their damage opportunity, and their tactical ability ten-fold. As for Jamming, not only would you see the Strat or Spy Plane coming from a mile away and thus always have vision on it (unless you lose radar), but the Jamming blips would disappear after they pass through vision.
In short, the Jamming ability would not be as strong as Stealth, but it would still help the planes themselves be able to compete against it - especially in larger maps where Omni or vision can't reach every corner.
This change is already live in SpikeyNoob's mod titled "UEFRebalance" - for those who wish to see this change for themselves.
After about a week of testing, dozens of games, and many runs completed by many peers and myself (Many tests were conducted - from proper matches as well as controlled ones.); I have received a lot of positive feedback for this change and so, I believe these can be favorable changes. Jamming just feels natural on these units. It's not too strong to where you can't deal with it, and it's not too weak to where it feels out of place. It feels... perfect.
When it comes to air, UEF seems to be less favored. Especially when comparing them to other factions and their available units (Stealth, Soulripper, Ahwassa, Czar, etc.).
To help with this, I propose that the T3 Strategic Bomber, as well as the T3 Spy Plane, be granted Jamming.
Add Jamming to both T3 Strategic Bomber and T3 Spy Plane.
Blackbird: -50 or Free? power maintenance cost.
Ambassador: -150 power maintenance cost.
Thanks for your time!
I encourage you all to offer your own suggestions.
I appreciate the feedback.
I will be posting the next part on Friday.
Sneak peek at part 5: The Bulwark
See you on the battlefield!