A little about myself and the games I play. I am about an 800 ranked player in 1v1’s and a little higher in team games. Predominantly I play Aeon, but the Cybran are very fun to play. Mapgen maps and any map that isn’t a less than 3 lane map are my preferred maps. Basically maps that discourage firebase standoff matches. With that in mind, I want FAF to move in a direction that continues to encourage maps with many avenues of attack.
The problem with open maps or maps with many avenues of attack is that raids will constantly be a thorn in your side. There are specialised units designed for raiding to fulfil such roles. Each tier of land has a unit designed for raiding. At T3 the kings of raiding are the Loyalist and Titan. Neither is designed to be used in a straight engagement as heavier and slower units (Bricks and Percivals) can quickly dispatch them.
There is disparity between the effectiveness of Loyalists and Titans as raid units. In my lower level of play, APM and response time are limited. A common method of dealing with raiding units is to grab whatever is nearby, attack-move into the path of the raid, then get back onto more important (or not) matters. Typically T1 bombers are dispatched because they are faster than the raiding land units. This works on the Loyalist but not the Titan. The Loyalist can be killed with approximately 4 passes from 3 bombers, thereby dealing with the raid. The Titan on the other hand takes over 3 times longer to kill because its shield pops back online so quickly. I encourage people to grab 3 bombers in a sandbox game and count how long it takes to kill the Loyalist and Titan.
The same is true if T1 or T2 (the leftovers) are used to “mop up” the raid. While both Loyalists and Titans are effective at cleaning up lower tiered units, the recharge of the Titans shields necessitate enough fire power to kill it in one go before the shield returns. If the Titan is not killed in one go, it lasts while raiding far longer than the Loyalist, where all damage done is permanent.
When Loyalists are dispatched to fight Titan raids (or vice versa) so long as both units are at full strength the Loyalist will barely defeat the Titan. But these are ideal conditions and that is often not the case. If the Titan dips out of range for a literal second, the shield will blink back online before it dies and the Loyalist will be dispatched instead. 1 Second of miss-micro at the 800 ranking level is very common – it’s the norm.
I’ve heard that the stun on death which Loyalists possess evens things out in major engagements between T3 armies. Not a chance. It just doesn’t work out that way in my level of play. If Percivals are present, Cybran cannot take a straight engagement, period. If it’s only Titans present against a Loyalist army, the Loyalists don’t get in close enough (same move speed) to stun a mob of Titans.
Some solutions to the aforementioned problems include: Increasing the time it takes Titan shields to come back online (12s -> 18s) or increasing the Loyalists move speed. By changing the Titan’s shield, it will make it possible to kill Titans with small forces of air units, making a fairer playing field instead of UEF players having a monumental advantage in anti-raid ability. It will also make the Titan less immortal to drips and drabs of lower tiered units which can easily take out the Loyalist over time. By increasing the move speed of Loyalists they will be able to catch up to Titans raiding the backline and prevent that 1 second of the Titan dropping out of range, thereby surviving and continuing to raid. The move speed will also allow Loyalists to make use of their stun ability in a more ubiquitous manner. A rework of the Loyalist activated ability to make it more attractive to lower level play would also bring the power level of the Loyalist more in line with the Titan by increasing its effectiveness as a main army unit.
Hopefully the disparity between the effectiveness of the Titan and Loyalist as raid units (and low tier unit janitors) has been sufficiently illustrated. I would like to hear other suggestions for closing the gap in usefulness between these two units.