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  • Contamination: Modification or removal?

    There was some lively discussion during the 6/9 captain night of the alien late game ending tech Contamination, this thread is for capturing our various input on the topic.

  • #2
    From what I can recall from the discussion.

    Issues/Questions:
    -Why to remove or modify contamination?
    -Secondary impacts of removal or modification?
    -What problem is contamination solving?
    -Are ARCs the marine equivalent, do they need changes as well?
    -Lack using other alien 3rd hive abilities
    -Contamination requires no support of a player to be effective
    -The game is asymmetric, there are no equivalents?


    Proposals:
    1) Removal
    2) In addition to requiring biomass 9, also require a tech upgrade with a time and cost associated.
    3) Increase cost of activation
    4) Increase cool down

    Comment


    • #3
      Haven't deeply thought about it, but if I'm to provide input then I say it should be removed. Obviously it is OP. Besides, I miss stomp, xenocide, and playing proper end-game sieges as a Marine. Removing it won't be a loss; it will make late-game more fun for both teams.

      Comment


      • #4
        One thing that should be keep in mind is that old style contamination was just that, no bilebomb on structure (they did take armor damage still, like normal infestation on the ground from cysts.).

        Contamination was then to be used with whips or other alien structures for an assault on a fortified last marine base. Contamination, echo in the whips, structures as the aliens rush in.

        Going back to just that might be all that is required if you wish to weaken it, as it can't kill bases on it own. You need to echo in whips to kill stuff. Going this way, you don't need to do any other changes in regards to research time. Or you could do a base and an upgraded level of Contamination that needs to be researched that adds the bile bomb effect back in.

        Current game name : Lost, Phantom Thief

        Comment


        • #5
          I thought we were just going to allow Exos to carry buildings and call it a day.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by QuestionableMagic View Post
            I thought we were just going to allow Exos to carry buildings and call it a day.
            Contamination in its current state is simply unacceptable, but the solution to this problem should not require much brainstorming. A much more pressing question is how to make Exos worthwhile. They seem to be very unpopular, at least on TGNS, and this is an issue that needs due attention. A dedicated thread is begging to be opened, IMHO.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think we'll try it first without bile. Baby steps, and all that. I'll post here when that's deployed.
              Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

              Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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              • #8
                Deployed: contamination doesn't bile. This is advertised at round start.
                Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So i strongly oppose removing contamination.

                  1. Put arcs in your main base. You are telling me that the commander in marines can shoot our res nodes and hives down with arcs. But they can't put arcs in base to combat contamination? I mean if you think Contamination is bad think about how the good commanders on TGNS place their arcs in convenient places to arc res nodes out. Also how they spam obs across the map. So again you can't put arcs in your own base? Especially since 3rd hive comes usually late game maybe 20 minutes. By which time marines could take out a hive quickly with Jet Packs, Exos, Weapons 3, Armor 3, Power Surge, Nano Shield.

                  2. Marines have every tool to acquire and keep 3 tech points.
                  • Phase Gates Instantaneously
                  • Obs/Chair/Beacon
                  • Beacon from other rooms!!
                  • Power Surge
                  • Nano Shield
                  • Cat Packs
                  • Med Packs and Ammo
                  • Mines
                  • HMG
                  • Turrets?
                  • ARCS!!!!

                  3. If hypothetically a hive goes down think about how much time it takes to acquire 85 additional res and the time it takes to build hive and upgrade the biomass. By that time the marines should of already shot down one hive with Jet Packs, Weapons3/Armor3/, CatPacks, Med Packs, Dare i say Exos. And if they can't then aren't they by default going to lose. I mean aliens can't be around all hives, One hive should be free to attack. And guess what you have beacon so you can get to your other tech points. The moral is; is that their is ample time after a tech point is taken for you to A. Re-Secure the tech pt or B. Rush another hive with your arsenal. By that stage in the game you should practically have everything. If you can't rally your marines to take down one of the alien hives in that time. Then what are you doing?

                  4. I think that the balance that contamination bring is that in the late game when marines have everything. Its hard for aliens to close the game in the full sense(taking down the last CC). And usually marines capitalize on aliens hesitation to weapons 3 and armor 3 by taking a hive and setting the aliens back. 85 in res and time.

                  5. I'm assuming everyone is talking about "good games" that are like 20+ minutes long. Marines controlling 3 tech points for the most part. Aliens fighting for that 3rd hive. So instead of rewarding aliens with their hard work and diligence. You kind of take the appeal of contamination off. Especially since marines have every tool to retake or take down a hive.

                  In Conclusion, I think a better approach would be to experiment with contamination cost and have a long time on it. But in my opinion its spot on in timing. If Marines lose that 3rd tech point then they need to figure something out and push one hive on the map with Jet Packs, Exos, Weapons 3, Armor 3, Catpacks/Meds , Nano Shield. They have time. And marine tools are effective late game. In the meantime marine commanders, I knowwwwwwwww....you have an arc factory so leave an arc in your base.

                  Ive rarely seen, especially on TGNS, a round won solely because of contamination. Usually its over by alien sheer power or concede by marines. And if it was by contamination. It usually because the alien team fought hard to take a 3rd hive and keep those hive till biomass 9. And in fear of losing to say arc trains or exo rushes, or any other 100 variables and tools the marines have but don't want to use. Your punishing aliens for getting that 3rd hive location. Cause then what reward is a 3rd hive? This really just makes it less worrisome for good marine commanders who aren't on the race to get their team to take down a 3rd hive location or keep 3rd tech point.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    VMan, I also agree with your point, but part of what I see is that when you get the third hive, you have 3 options to go. The third upgrade chamber, Hive 3 upgrades or Contamination.

                    Stomp is the only real Hive 3 upgrade that really matters. Stab is all but useless, I don't think I seen a serious Fade ever use it because they have no regular gaming experience with it, and it just so rare to get. Xeno is not very much worth it. It cool that skulks can just explode, but when have you see an a game won because Hive 3 aliens have Xeno?

                    For the most part, unless you going to immediately lose your third hive, so you grab the third upgrade chamber, Contamination is without contest, the way to go.

                    We had a captains game won last week because I rushed Contamination, and the aftermath is what brought this topic up. The replay link is here: http://rr.tacticalgamer.com/Replay/W...nds=1497066065

                    Do note that my recording is silent because OBS was recording the wrong sound device, but there is sound on other other cameras to make up for it.
                    Current game name : Lost, Phantom Thief

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I know the change (removal of Contamination-sourced bilebomb) is significant, but in case anyone missed it above: Contamination is not removed. Khamm can still Echo into Contamination.

                      We continued after that linked game a discussion started long before that game, but this change wasn't made in response to that game.

                      VMAN your points resonate with me, but I'm trying to deal with what's likely, not what's merely possible. If Marines have "tools they don't want to use", it's because they've learned they're either less entertaining and/or competitive than alternatives. The player-vs-player fun which is the opportunity cost of Contamination is great enough to warrant experimentation. We stand to have a lot of fun fighting the fights that Contamination denies us.

                      Following the game Lost referenced, someone in the Ready Room asked me why I thought Contaminate was so OP. My response rejected the premise of the question (that my irritation was in response to Contamination's competitive strength). I explained that it wasn't so much about winning and losing, but about what stock Contamination took from our /gameplay/.

                      Non-unit ARCs against non-unit Contamination is arguably sideshow. The critically urgent hive push failing because one or more Marines HAD to stay in main base and battle a survival-threatening NPC that materialized out of nowhere and practically without tactical warning substitutes defensive PVE drudgery for organized PVP offense -- that's nothing worth denying experimentation over.

                      At that point in a game, we're often on the verge of enjoying fairly rare unit tech permutations -- JPs with nano shield, stab, xenocide, hive pushes with pulse grenades, stomp, bone walls isolating Exos from their support, gorges with level 9 biomass swimming in umbra while they bile ARCs from the shadows of the Onos' bone shield, etc, etc -- nevermind our REALLY fun teamwork that has taken several minutes to fine-tune the flow of -- I want those technologies, and the coordinated players which present them, to finish the TGNS game.

                      Just as Contamination's bilebomb has sealed many questionable victories for Aliens, its absence will allow Marines to win games they otherwise might have lost. How terrible would it be for Marines to win games for a while at the rate Aliens have been winning them recently (65%)? And who knows -- maybe we'll continue to experiment and manage much closer to 50/50.

                      UWE observed a larger casual playerbase demonstrating weaker teamwork than TGNS and decided that bile-throwing Contamination was a necessary game-ender. I assert player-less bilebomb is not necessary for our Aliens to end the game (throwing 3 or 4 three-hive, umbra-soaked Onos at a Chair is cake for us), and its gameplay opportunity cost is high enough to warrant experimental design disruption.

                      As we experience more gameplay with this experiment, we should all continue to share feedback here. That is, share it here. That is, don't just spew it out of your mouth in the Ready Room (I mean, do that, too, but...). Actually write some of it down. Here. In the thread. Not just on the game server. Also, type. Hey, everyone... did I mention to come here, to the thread, and share feedback? Not just on the game server? Ok thank you. Ok good. Ok.
                      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So if our end goal is to increase high end tech, might I suggest a few changes that all together might cause this? This is not a one off balancing change, but a set of changes that I think might get what you want.

                        Keep in mind that all these changes are suggested together.

                        Marines:
                        *Reduce damage to alien structure (except for RTs) for all weapons other then Flamethrower,GL, railgun, Exo Minigun to 10%

                        *Robotic factories provides power to nearby structures. (Range similar to Cyst.)

                        *Buff hand grenades to roughly half kill a whip on a nearby hit.

                        Aliens:
                        *Reduce damage for all marine structures (except for RTs) for all attacks to 10% except for Bilebomb and Onos gore.

                        *Contamination can only be cast within the range of a whip on infestation. Grants bilebomb and infestation on target location like default NS2.

                        *Contamination becomes a Biomass 3 feature. (necessary for smaller player counts)

                        Theses changes are to make structures a lot harder to attack unless your using the right equipment, it also means that dug in bases are even harder to knock down by one marine or one alien. This means that hive rushs either go in with GLs and Flame throwers or that hive is not dying. Likewise marine bases are either attacked by gorges and or whips that throw bile themselves at a range, or an Onos.

                        Shotguns no longer become the end all weapon they are, but change to lifeform killing, where you will need other weapons to realistically remove any alien structures. Hand Grenades would let you soften a whip that by itself enough to still kill on your own, but otherwise it not really the end all weapon.

                        The percents can change, but this would drive lifeforms to not be attacking bases as much as the players in bases well the structure killing units target structures.

                        Being that contamination is now limited to within a whip range, they become a sort of alien version of the arcs, and placement on them then matters. Marines get the rather useless hand grenades buffed to fight the whips in small scale, but large still still requires either GLs, Flamethrowers or Arcs.

                        EDIT

                        On further thoughts, I would say that EXOs if these changes go into place should keep their damage to structures as normal.
                        Last edited by Eternaly_Lost; 06-13-2017, 02:36 PM.
                        Current game name : Lost, Phantom Thief

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If any of that would be considered, it would be out of scope of this thread.
                          Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                          Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wyz i do see your point. And sure experimentation is fine. And also getting the marines to 50/50 is an admirable goal. I would also like to throw the my solution to make contamination cost 25 res and take like 2 minutes to evolve. Instead of just removing bile from contamination of removing it in general. I think thee best solution first to experiment is just make it harder for aliens to get instead of 85 res currently and the time to get contamination. It would be 85+25 to contamination trait + plus long evolution. Heck you can make contamination cost 6 to contaminate or make it longer to recharge.

                            I fear that removing bile from contamination isn't the first approach i would take in the experimentation process.

                            Wyzcrak you wrote "Non-unit ARCs against non-unit Contamination is arguably sideshow. The critically urgent hive push failing because one or more Marines HAD to stay in main base and battle a survival-threatening NPC that materialized out of nowhere and practically without tactical warning substitutes defensive PVE drudgery for organized PVP offense -- that's nothing worth denying experimentation over."
                            I don't see how putting arcs in your base is a side show. It should be a given if 3 hives are up. A similar example would be when a marine commander such as yourself tries to arc a hive and aliens knowing this makes their 2nd hive to shade so they can use INK. Why do aliens have to adapt to new strategies while marines adaptation is to remove gameplay element? Also to your point about one or more marines staying in the base to combat contamination is kind of moot if you have arcs first off and second you could just tell the marine to move out and go attack a hive with the rest of the team. On TGNS if your commander tells them to move out they move without hesitation or argument. And again once 3rd hive is up or 3rd tech point is taken from marines. Marines have ample time to get to a hive and destroy it. When you have 3 tech points you are stretched out on aliens.That is why marines have instantaneous travel via phase gates and beacon to keep their control of tech points. Also, although not ideal 5 marines can take a hive quite easily with weapons3, catpacks, nanoshield, etc.

                            I just feel strongly that the mood of contamination and this line of thinking is setting up a precedent for it to be removed before other experimentation to limit its effectiveness have been taken.

                            Eternaly Lost, I watched the replay and from the looks of it, Aliens were gonna win regardless. This is just my opinion but that wouldn't be what i would call a "good game". Your team in general was very good in terms of players. And maybe if you rewatch you can tell that well before you had contamination Marines lost pretty much every engagement. Also as aliens even with nano lost you had 3 tech pts and 5 res nodes. Marines strategy for that round wasn't sound. Holding Nano without holding anything else will bottle you up there without any lane blocking. Thus marines lost topo and skylights a bunch as result. Usually the strategy for veil is for marines to acquire one additional tech point and deny aliens nano via arcing in East and West. This allows marines to have 5 res nodes and limit aliens to 3. Denying Aliens a tech point is one of the major gameplay principles of marines. I feel like the games im talking about are the back and forth games in which marines are really good and aliens finally get that 3rd tech. And instead of being rewarded are kind of punished for it because then they become spread thin across the map with no real good advantage aside from 3rd set of upgrades veils,shell, spurs. But that alone late game won't help much against a fully upgraded marine team. Who forever reason does not want to put arcs in their base!!!

                            Eternaly Lost although you did "rush contamination" we have all seen Marines rush arcs and push hives before in the early stages well before aliens could even dream of 2 hive let alone 3. So should arcs be pushed to maybe two tech points? or the nerfing of arcs in general.

                            Im being repetitive but i can't say ARCS more. I know marine comms that utilize arcs religiously around the field to arc res nodes out. Such as in tram putting a arc in elevator to arc mezzanine and then put another arc near ore from hub. And denying alien res and that is early in the round. Its just that the abuse of arcs early in the game compared to contamination in the late game annoys me.

                            I applaud trying to keep it even, marines to aliens, but there are other small gameplay elements on marines to make them more effective. And keep it close to 50/50.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the thoughts.

                              Next week (or maybe the week after? -- not sure yet what my schedule's like), we'll try returning bilebomb to Contamination and experimenting with cooldown and cost.
                              Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                              Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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