THE PROBLEMS WITH THE UEF - Part 7 (The Ravager)
Hey, everyone. It's been a while.
I wanted to take a quick break so I didn't spam the forums with my posts, and to give you all some time to look over previous posts.
But, after 2 weeks, I will now post my next iteration. The Ravager.
Contrary to the title, this post is more of a suggestion rather than a problem & solution. However, I already had this written, and it felt wrong to leave it out of the series - Hence why it shares the same title and format as my previous posts.
Anywho, on to 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.
Problem: The Ravager (UEF T3 Point Defense), detailed version:
Many of you may not know what I'm about to show you, as the game itself nor the client database ever mentions this; there's not so much as even a hint of it but, here you go: The Ravager requires energy to reload.
Not to fire, only to reload. It imitates artillery structures, needing 50 Energy to replenish the next volley.
Image shows the Energy consumption of a Ravager.
Granted, it only uses 50 Energy to reload, but the cost is there, nonetheless. This also means it will not fire, or take longer to fire if you are power stalling.
No, this does not mean you can cap the structure with power generators to make it shoot faster.
With this information in mind, we can continue:
This idea was suggested to me by @Jip, so credit goes to them. We both shared similar views and agreed that things could be altered to better represent the Ravager.
The following is their idea but with my offering of a slight twist.
For quite some time, we've felt that the UEF's T3 PD is lacking in its ability to whittle down enemies. Not in the sense of its damage output, but in its fire rate. It's a minigun that only shoots for 4 seconds?!
The idea here was to change the Ravager so, that instead of firing a short burst, it would fire continuously - even when changing targets. However, only for a portion of the damage. Essentially keeping the damage (per second) it would normally deal the same, but instead, being able to keep the barrage ongoing for longer.
To help balance this change, @Jip also recommended that the Ravager should have a longer spin-up time. This way it won't shoot as soon as it currently does.
Having the structure fire continuously may make some of you skeptical at first, but here is my twist on this: Instead of having the structure use energy to reload - it should cost energy to fire. This way, it becomes more taxing the longer the Ravager fires.
To help in further balancing this, I recommend having the Ravager's fire stream be more inaccurate. Implying a stronger recoil effect which causes its projectiles to have a chance to miss.
However, I believe the reason it feels like it doesn't whittle enemies, is because of its awkward firing cycle and animation. The Ravager's animation has it firing 75 energy projectiles in its short 4-second fire cycle. Only 15 of those projectiles actually deal damage (every 5th projectile).
Image shows Ravager animation and projectile fire cycle.
To help mitigate this, the projectile count should be increased. So, instead of 15 projectiles dealing the damage, every other shot could be simulated to deal damage, increasing it from 15 to 25, or even more, projectiles fired.
I reckon that with all the amazing work the FAF team has done and put into this game to optimize its performance, a few more projectiles shouldn't be a problem.
With it still shooting the actual projectiles so far apart, there is still a chance for a unit to dodge the projectiles that deal the damage. Not just the one projectile, but the following projectiles that have been fired, too - as the Ravager hasn't updated its projectile arc to hit the target. So, it could still be outmicro'd.
However, the reason the current projectile count is an issue, is that a unit could avoid the damaging projectile but still be hit by the animation projectiles. They would collide with it yet it would not take damage.
How it would affect gameplay:
The Ravager shooting continuously would now mimic the Seraphim's T2 PD. Basically a beam of energy bullets rather than a static beam. Only differences being that the Ravager would be slightly more inaccurate and it would still have projectile travel time - meaning the projectiles could still be dodged.
Having more inaccuracy would also benefit your opponent as the Ravager will not be as precise but, increasing the projectile amount would help the Ravager instead - so a middle ground could be useful here.
On another note, this would make it far more devastating against spam (T1 / T2), but the swivel time could be toned down to help counter-balance. However, I believe the change to the damage of the Ravager would already suffice. It wouldn't hit nearly as hard as it currently does, instead tickling down the enemy units - again, dealing the same damage it would normally deal, just over a longer period of time and spread out over more projectiles.
Problem: (The Ravager TL:DR)
Improving the Ravager whilst still keeping it balanced.
Lower the damage of each projectile
Increase firing time to be continuous, keeping the overall DPS the same.
Increase the number of projectiles fired (to match or closely resemble its firing animation.)
Projectiles fired per volley: 15 -> 25 (or more).
Increase spin-up time:
2 seconds - > 3 seconds?
Remove reload energy cost.
Add energy cost to fire:
12.5 energy per second to run.
(This way it still matches the current in-game cost.
It fires for 4 seconds for a cost of 50 E. 50/4 = 12.5)
Thank you for your time in reading this.
I encourage you all to offer your suggestions.
I appreciate the feedback.
Sneak Peek at Part 8: Static Shields
For now, see you on the battlefield!