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Of Snakes, Birds and Dragons

Discussion in 'Eldar' started by Rheeva, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Lady Rheeva Steam Early Access


    1) The Double Fusion Bomb in its current state is too powerful against unguarded or unpiloted vehicles. Even if the Fire Dragon gets noticed, it is often hard to stop her in time.
    Furthermore this problem gets amplified if the Dragon uses a Falcon or Serpent as vessel for safe delivery or to block the enemy tank’s movement.

    2) Despite its power, the Double Fusion Bomb is a One Trick Pony, meaning the Anti-vehicle capabilities without it or against a properly piloted vehicle are almost non-existent. A single, full Predator can be almost impossible to best.
    Emp-bombs prove a possible solution, but are one of the least used pieces or gear in the game, even less than Gravguns, requiring a much greater level of coordination.

    3) Eldar are very weak in general defence, not being able to dig in and break the Storm as other factions may, making AV imperative.
    Many times a blob fight on a point is a struggle for survival until the Dragons have done their job.

    4) Eldar Vehicles can, depending on the circumstances, be very powerful or very underwhelming. Their potential for quick delivery and road kill is excessive, whereas they are extremely easy to counter, almost impossible to protect and non-competitive in a direct engagement against enemy tanks.


    1) The Fire Dragon is the only class dedicated to the Anti-Vehicle role. It should maintain a supreme reign in this area. However more counter play needs to exist to ensure transports are protected from suicide-bombers.
    Furthermore, in order to better compensate for it’s loss, Dragons should be able to build in a way that is not exclusively AV and be designed to counter another bane of the Eldar and the other side of siege-warfare: Anti-entrenchment.

    2) Alternate, long-range Anti Vehicle Ordnance, specifically the Dark Reaper, needs to receive a buff, so Eldar are better suited to wear out Tanks over time as other factions can do using a Lascannon or Gravgun.
    Buffing the Dark Reaper’s long ranged potential may also help solving the problem of lacking defensive capabilities

    3) As the Physics Engine does not allow a simple nerf to Eldar Roadkill, a workaround has to be found that keeps Eldar-vehicles a force to be reckoned with but doesn’t lead to unavoidable, sudden death.

    The Fire Dragon

    The general idea is to make the Fire Dragon something more akin to a demolitions expert, rather than a suicide bomber. A demolitions expert has the potential to create very powerful, very lethal effects that, however take a considerable time to prepare and can be avoided via caution and battlefield-awareness.

    1) The Fusion-charge. I am sure most people will be familiar with what in most games is C4:
    A powerful explosive charge with very high damage that is planted and later remotely detonated. Usually it is supposed to destroy either structures or vehicles.
    That is what (Double) Fusion Bombs could be: They can be planted instantly, but will not detonate automatically on a timer.
    Instead they will take a moment to arm, consistent with the current timer on Fusion bombs between plant and explosion, and can then be remotely detonated by the user.
    In the mean time, any damage on the device will destroy it, rendering it useless without an explosion.
    In exchange, the effective radius is significantly increased, making it more viable against infantry and allowing to set traps for both infantry and vehicles.
    Should it prove too effective, a setup time could be introduced so the device can not be planted instantly, starting at 0.5 seconds.
    This removes the suicide-bombing, allows a cautious team to destroy the bomb before it can do any harm and gives the Fire dragon a way to attack vehicles in remote locations by preparing traps for them.
    The offensive potential actually increases, but it takes more effort to use and can easier be negated.

    2) The Smoke Grenade. This one is pretty simple:
    The Eldar’s best assets in terms of anti-entrenchment are the flankers and disruptors who can rip apart the enemy lines. The biggest general problem is the inability to get close or survive under precision fire.
    The Smoke Grenade serves as a supportive utility to cripple the damage done on long range and creates visual noise to support the melee fighters.
    The specifics are TBD, but the general ballpark I am thinking in would be:
    2/4 Grenades for 50/100 LP respectively.
    Radius of approximately 15 metres
    Duration of about 7 seconds
    Vision impairment inside the radius of about 50%, 80-90% when looking at the cloud from a distance. Possibly affecting Eldar less than opponents.
    Muzzle flashes or other light effects do not suffer from decreased visibility, so the clouds cannot be abused as easily for unpenalized fire without cover.

    The Dark Reaper

    I would like to point out that I do not usually play heavy classes or Reapers, so this is by far the area I have the least knowledge about. If my proposals are absolutely horrible, please let me know.

    1) The Reaper Launcher.
    As it stands now, the Reaper Launcher substitutes at what we have closest to a sniper, as well as what comes closest to a Lascannon.
    Surprisingly it gets repeated complaints for being overpowered, which I strongly doubt.
    I will not address the Star-Swarm here, as far as I am aware they could just remove it, and focus on buffing the two main roles whilst also adding a bit of counter play.
    A Lascannon, aiming for weakspots, can effectively threeshot a Wave Serpent with very little we can do about it. Having the Reaper launcher doing the same to a Rhino would be excessive, however it should definitely prove a similarly lethal thread to enemy vehicles.
    The proposition is relatively simple: buff the damage to slightly less than ¼ of a Rhino’s health, so it can be taken out either in 5 hits to the back or 4 hits with a bit of damage from other sources.
    Now I am aware that it is harder for a Rhino to swiftly seek cover from a RL, than for a serpent to flee a Lascannon.
    Therefore: the counterplay: Make the projectile a destructible object with a rather large hitbox, so both Vehicles and Infantry have a chance of defending themselves if they see the attack coming.
    Alternatively it could be outfitted with a laser-pointer, indicating origin and target of the attack, also like a lascannon

    2) The Shuriken Cannon. Generally a solid weapon, in relative TTK I see it far from being on par with a Heavy Bolter or other equivalents. You cannot shoot down everything that dares to engage you up front, and you can not kill people across the entire map with a few succeeding hits.
    Most importantly: you cannot choke a door with a killzone and prevent zerging incursions.
    At this point I’d simply start with a slight damage buff of maybe 10-20% and see, how things work out. After all for raw damage and choking, there is still the Tempest Launcher.

    The Wave serpent

    1) Roadkill. Personally I believe many complaints about roadkilling come from people who just don’t look left and right before crossing a street.
    However driving myself, I do notice its more than that. For instance harassing a Rhino and driving over everyone that gets out, or exploiting outside spawns on contested Maggon A.
    The Devs have stated that adjusting the damage of Vehicle collisions requires solving the Physics engine, which simply requires specialist knowledge they don’t have.
    So, as a patchwork, I would suggest removing deaths from roadkill altogether.
    Make it a similar function as falling-damage (the less health you have, the less damage you take, I tested it on a very boring game of Blackbolt and its almost impossible to die from it), simply make it Armour-only or hardcap it at any specific amount. Just push people around, do a bit of damage, maybe stagger them, but let them live, at this points its better for everyone, including your own teammates.

    2) Turret. In order to compensate for the lost potential in roadkills, drastically improve the damage output on the main weapon. More specifically: less falloff and greater accuracy.
    The current turret is modelled after the ones found on Rhinos and mostly solves to rid unwanted guests near the Serpent.
    I think it would work better if it had a more offensive function, mirroring the idea behind the Eldar faction.
    Don’t make it sudden-death, but make it powerful enough to chase away Gravguns or Lascannons before they can do too much damage.
    Also make it powerful enough to sustain some serious covering fire for advancing troops.
    Basically you can either try to park your serpent safely as any transport, or you can use it as a supportive combat-platform that can take care of itself, helping out the infantry around it.
    With these changes you keep the Serpent lethal, give it a greater chance to fight its hardcounters so it can stay in game longer and still get rid of the roadkilling everyone is so upset about. All of this without having to buff EHP.

    The Falcon

    1) Roadkilling: See Serpent

    2) The Falcon is currently extremely underwhelming in the use of its main weapons compared to a Predator or Wagon. It has been balanced out by the roadkills and the fact that a Dragon driver could still win every Tank v Tank-battle, but with that gone, the weapon itself needs a revisit. The Main gun has to receive a flat damage buff, there is no way around it.
    I would suggest enough to normalize TTK in Tank vs Tank battles (aiming for weakspots), using only the main weapon.
    Under that premise, a Predator using its sidearms will still win the engagement, as well as any frontal, long-range duel, but both vehicles will die if there is only a gunner and a pilot.
    The main weapon is still subpar against infantry in any way when compared to the Predators primary gun.
    On that note, I would not change the secondary weapon too much, as an increase AP-potential would make the Falcon directly more powerful than its equivalent, given its better manoeuvrability.
    The main weapon may remain a sniper, the sidearm could be used to finish off targets damaged by collision.
    On a side note: The primary weapon’s charge should not get randomly cancelled by abrupt movement.
  2. Oldmannings Recruit

    I think these suggested changes are very much off the mark and reflect an attempt to balance casual play annoyances rather than actual balance issues. Quite frankly, the biggest solution to most of the proposed balance issues is for people to learn how to play properly rather than for the numbers to be changed. This game is absolutely insane when it comes to how poor the skill level is - there is no skill based match making because the game's population is tiny.

    With that in mind, instead of changing the game, lets do a little tutorial for those who don't know what good LSM/Chaos stacks do:
    • They keep a guy in their rhinos and have him move out of range of fire dragons.
    • They consolidate their squads so they burn through less rhinos and get more value out of each one.
    • They regularly move rhinos away from points defended with 10+ people to hit other points.
    • They abuse the fact that per person, their squads have dramatically more ehp and far less dead weight due to how their support classes work. This means that even with a few FDs off-point, they don't need to shut down Eldar AV to win points, they just need to keep equal numbers on point to win despite the defender's advantage.
    • They use transports to transport large groups around rather than serving as a location to trickle-in from, allowing them to attack in areas where they have a disproportionate numbers advantage.
    • They generally run one grav/melta combination per team to hunt wave serpents.
    Against proper play, a fire dragon chasing solo rhino in a wave serpent will be lucky to place two bombs on the side or top of a rhino. He will die for this effort, and he will lose his wave serpent in exchange for 80% of a rhino's life. If you're on defense, even a 1 for 1 trade is bad, as you have less transports available over time.

    If you have 3 rhinos sitting in the same spot and you're hoping that the trickle reinforcements will keep your rhinos safe, you're playing poorly but predictably. Keeping a rhino safe earns you dick-all xp, despite being key for steamrolling Eldar. Want players to start safeguarding vehicles? Provide xp bonuses for tank drivers, and remove the 25% xp tax for having the same impact in a vehicle as on the ground. Change those incentives and LSM pugs will have much less to complain about.

    I'd get into the details of the other suggestions, but there's too many problems to go over them one by one. I'll point out one issue in particular: your suggested change to the Reaper Launcher is buff it by reducing the damage it does as well as make the shots slower and destructible.
    Brujah likes this.
  3. Utherix Utherix Firebrand

    Give Fire Dragon the ability to capture, and then we can talk about nerfing the melta bundle.
    Sily likes this.
  4. Lady Rheeva Steam Early Access

    First of all I do not think you quite understand. The idea is exactly that:
    -An unccordinated/pug team will loose Rhinos left and right
    -A proper driver or defence is almost impossible to kill in a suitable amount of time.
    I am perceiving both of these as issues and also trying to address both of these.
    As far as the launcher goes: I pointed out that I dont use them, but purely based on observation, I would say that they can most certainly not almost 4-hit A rhino.
    If I am wrong about this then yes: maybe damage needs to go up even more.
    The idea is to make them 'our' lascannon: Reliably killing a vehicle in a low amount of shots (although still higher than the relative amount for Serpents) on long distance, still being oneshots to infantry, but giving both the ability to escape doom in one way or another.

    Actually I do not consider this a nerf. The theory is to amplify the current state of it: Making it much easier to properly defend vehicles from DFBs by keeping them moving or watching them, making it possible even for Pugs to stop you, but you would still be able to blow up an abandoned vehicle.
    Further more you could even use them as 'mines' to target a moving vehicle when you can predict its path.
  5. Jaywalker Jaywalker Steam Early Access

    I love the C4 idea for Meltabombs, because that's how they are meant to operate in the first place.

    Not too hot on other ideas, but it is a solid foundation for future improvements.
  6. I personally like anti personnel mode on the falcon, something does have to be done about the main gun though. I also very much like the idea of a c4 style melta bomb. that would make for somevery interesting plays.
  7. Oldmannings Recruit

    I understand your argument, I just don't agree with it. Largely I don't agree with it because this game doesn't need balance changes -- it needs to tweak the xp incentive system to stop promoting shitty play in pugs.

    An uncoordinated team should be penalized for losing their rhinos. It takes a grand total of ONE player to keep a rhino alive for a substantial period of time in casual play. They do not do this because there is literally ZERO xp incentive to do so. This is not a numeric ttk issue in casual play. It is an incentive issue within the xp system, hence changing the numbers won't fix the fact that people ignore their transports (because they don't give xp) and Eldar players will continue to bomb their transports (because they give a fucking metric fuckton of xp). Wave Serpents have an almost identical ttk by marines as rhinos do by FDs yet no one complains about those. Perhaps because you can get XP while driving a Wave Serpent around, so Serpents are almost always manned.

    On the other side, your statement that a proper team which drives their rhino around creates a situation where the rhino is 'impossible to kill in a suitable amount of time' is false, and even if it wasn't, it wouldn't be a substantial issue. FDs do a lot more than double melta to the rear of rhinos. Why isn't the increased resilience of rhinos an issue? Because this game is not about killing things contrary to popular belief. It is about resource allocation, where the main resource is player-time. Forcing a rhino away from exceptionally close spawn points while threatening kills with your Wave Serpent significantly slows the rate at which the rhino can provide reinforcements to a fight on point, which denies resources on-point despite a mirrored investment between attacker and defender. This can be countered by playing with grav/melta, which itself can be countered by positioning or allocating more people to the AV effort off point. Note how advantage in this scenario changes dramatically as people respawn and depending on position. This is GOOD interaction. Note that in pugs vs stacks, the main issue isn't individual aiming or positioning. It is the lack of decisive rotations between points.

    On the point of the reaper launcher, you are wrong. The issue with the gun isn't the damage per shot. It is how slow and cumbersome the projectile is. Your proposed buff lowers the damage and makes the projectile even more cumbersome then also makes it destructible.
    Brujah and Tyrium like this.
  8. Lady Rheeva Steam Early Access

    Its about Fire Dragons, how can you not be 'hot' about it.
    I mean: I wrote this of the top of my head in like half an hour, its not gonna be perfect.
    The problematic thing is to find solutions that are simultaneously a buff, a nerf and realistically implementable.

    The game is about destroying Rhinos. It really is. i can easily kill 1-2 dozens of them in one Maggon game, if they arent defending them, there is absolutely nothing they can do to win.
    In Supremacy it is a bit more balanced and, as you say, a moving Tank will often have to stray away from the capture point.
    When I am talking about 'properly piloted vehicles', I dont normally mean Rhinos. They can substantially increase the time to kill, far beyond anything a Wave Serpent could survive against Meltaguns or Gravcannons, but a fully-manned Predator or Wagon can be literally a gamechanger.
    As in: It stays in play for half the match, one-or twoshots everything in its line of sight and defies all attempts of getting some damage in.
    Thankfully those are rare.
    And yes, Wave Serpents being piloted helps a lot, not just the Exp tho, they are also really fun and intuitive to drive, unlike a Rhino.

    The point being:
    -Suicide Bombing is bad. Its not the way you are supposed to play a game, and definetely not the way an Eldar would think. If you place your bombs, at least stay alive for another three seconds.
    -Melta bombs currently have no counter-mechanics after being planted. A grenade for instance you can run away from or dodge. It just seems there needs to be an option to disarm them, even more so under the assumption that they can be remotely detonated.
    -And still: OTP=Bad Design. There should be multiple, viable ways to achieve a goal. If the DFB continues to exist in its current stae, it will always be the superior choice, so rather decrease its effectiveness and buff something else.

    As for the RL: that doesnt sound like a problem. Simply periodically raise 'v' with airtime. So effectiveness and control stays the same for short distances, but it hits much faster and more reliable for extended-range shots, increasing its effectiveness as a sniper.
  9. Dauntless Tyrium Steam Early Access

    Problem I see with your suggestion is it tries to give Eldar units more flexibility with their roles, but this is not how the Eldar are designed in any way shape or form. Since their creation Eldar have always worked by having classes which are bottle-necked into a single purpose. Fire Dragons are the anti-vehicle units of the Eldar and as such their whole arsenal is focused onto that one job. Making Eldar units have multiple roles would remove one of, if not THE, core concept of the race.
  10. Oldmannings Recruit

    The game isn't about destroying Rhinos, although being able to destroy them certainly helps. The game is about resource allocation. If my team is able to place 6 players on an objective and your team can only field 3, you're going to lose that fight 95% of the time. This is why the biggest blowouts occur when clan stacks play pugs, because pugs do not rotate as a group, so stacks always get favorable engagements. That isn't an aiming skill issue. It isn't a balance issue. It is a resource allocation issue.

    Resource allocation issues create the largest divergence in game outcomes. They are also subtle, so most people don't learn. Accordingly players in this game do not think to group up before going into a point, they rarely pile into transports even when offered for a rotation to a new point unless directed, etc. Killing ALL the rhinos creates a massive disparity in the ability to allocate resources effectively. The rhinos themselves with their dinky little guns aren't crucial for winning the game. It's their ability to place players on the point that's key. Forcing all of the opposing rhinos to book it cross map because they're driving defensively isn't quite as good, but it ain't bad either, and that's where the counterplay begins.


    'Suicide bombing' is bad? Because it's frustrating to lose your transports against it despite feeling like you did the right thing to stop that (ie, you killed the FD but your transport still died. what gives)? Sure, I get that. It feels frustrating to kill the FD because the game rewards upon kills, and so you ignore all of the positioning issues that led to that situation. A player sees that +100 or 115 and thinks "Well, I did my job, but that rascal FD still got his kill. That's bullshit". But really they didn't do their job. The time to kill in this game is under 1.5 seconds. If you're shooting the FD before he's elbow deep in the transport's ass, he's dead before two bombs get set up.

    Players don't recognize they've already been outplayed if the FD is already sitting behind a stationary transport. Why? Because the people who complain about this are people who respawn in the transport, pop out, then shoot the FD while he's already popping bombs on. That happens VERY often, but it isn't someone trying to defend their transport. It's someone being in a position to defend despite having abandoned the transport to die elsewhere.

    But still, this doesn't deal with the other prong of the issue: why is there no issue when any other class in the game accomplishes its objective but dies? Why is it fine for a tactical marine, who is versatile and effective against literally every class we have, to walk into a WS and pop a single melta on the hood for 83.3% of it's life while remaining better than a DA in almost all aspects of the game even with the loadout space dedicated to the melta? Is it because we assume the person who placed the WS is a dolt for putting it in harm's way (all marines are threats to vehicles, after all), not that the tactical marine is broken?

    I run with the assumption that people who leave rhinos unattended to be either a) taking a calculated risks to gain a temporary advantage at the objective point or b) dolts. The proper time to stop the FD is when they're not literally in melee range of your transport's ass. Why is getting to a transport's rear armor as an FD a bad thing if you trade for it 1 to 1?

    As for the fluff - FDs run in all the time during tabletop play - meltas gain a massive bonus at half-range. Y'nnari's Strength through Death makes it even more ridiculous - lose FDs -> get extra super-melta shots in. Blow up a vehicle that explodes and kills some allied troops -> get extra super-melta shots in. You've got this idea that Fire Dragons all have Fire Pikes trying to keep their hands clean from range while they burn down transports - that's not accurate.

    Melta bombs do have counterplay when they're placed. You shoot the first one and the FD dies immediately and cannot place the second. That's if you've already been outplaced and the FD is setting up on a stationary transport and you've just started shooting the FD while he's bombing. If you're confused as to why getting both off has no counter if you let the FD get to the transport and then set up his full loadout worth of bombs on the transport, then you're analyzing the wrong point in time. You've already been outplayed if you're in that situation.

    In short, the xp-system promotes bad play (see: executions) and we're trying to paper over it by changing the numbers, but doing so actually removes real and actual counterplay that exists in better teams.
    Brujah and Zaxie like this.

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