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Contamination: Modification or removal?

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  • #16
    I would be in favour of trying minor changes at first.
    - Increase research time for contaminate.
    - Increase res cost to contaminate.
    - Notify the Marines that contaminate is being researched / on the way? At least the Marine's would have the information... ie. 'We have 2 minutes to kill a hive, how are we going to do this?" This may allow games to continue longer. In the current state Marines must attack a 3rd hive immediately, as they don't know how long they have. This often leaves them exposed.

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    • #17
      Bert, I could not agree more with that idea. I find that contamination is a scare factor and less of a real solid ticket to victory. I have so rarely won an alien round while using contamination that I often push other upgrades instead that benefit my players (or build crags and forward bases). For me, contamination is useful only for breaking up stalemates that (in my opinion) do nothing but drag a game on without usually changing the winner (obviously there are exceptions but that's not what we discuss for the most part). I personally loathed the old contamination that still required endless failed alien assaults on a single marine base because neither team was able to either concede or finish a game. While I agree with Wyz in that TGNS players are far more coordinated and capable of team play than average NS2 players, that should not be the only basis for removing a key feature from the game without first trying other more minor changes. TGNS offers an incredible opportunity to take part in experimental changes that often improve the NS2 experience, but this change may be the first one that has been so drastic and so heated among our community (that I have seen). If we first try methods that nerf the contamination without removing key features, I believe that will be a strong first step towards creating a change that will be seen as far more accepted and approved of (since I am fairly sure that everyone wants win rates to be 50-50 and as fair as possible).

      To VMan's point, arcs are not as easy to focus on late game as one would suspect, especially in base. I command a lot, and although I use less arcs than Wyz, I hardly ever build an arc factory in my main base, as arcs are too slow for that kind of deployment. The res that one spends for a single arc (10+5+10=25) is the same price as jetpacks, and frequently I don't think twice about which choice is more valuable to my marines in the late game. While I agree that arcs are a counter to contamination, you must keep in mind that the cost of arcs (I think at least 3 are needed to swiftly kill contamination so 30 res+) rapidly damages a team's chances of winning, as often times marines are low on rt count and that res is often far better spent in meds, ammo, and hive rushes. I rarely have the luxury to afford both an expensive rush and a lot of base arcs, especially if contamination and gorges are frequently destroying them. That being said, I also agree that bile from contamination also so rarely wins a game for aliens (often it forces a concede but rarely does it win the game alone) that it should not be the target of removal efforts.

      To Wyz's points, I personally subscribe to the idea that contamination (in its vanilla state) can ruin the teamwork and player skill that used to be a hallmark of late game alien play. But I also must appeal to your personal experiences with the end game of NS2 in its current state. How often have you commanded marines and felt a game had concluded once aliens secured a third tech point? How often have you predicted a marine team to concede once you dropped your third hive and it finished? I certainly know I have experienced both many, many times, both on the ground and in the chair. What this says to me about contamination is that the fear of it is so much more damaging to the late game than any other tech in the entire game. Is it justified? In some ways, yes it is, because it comes out of nowhere, cannot be blocked, and has enough health to tie up marines in one of the most critical points in the game. But on the flip side, marines can frequently win games due to the concerns VMan was describing, as many teams risk falling apart from being forced to fight in long stalemates. Personally, I hate end game marine turtling more than almost any other thing in the game, and contamination to me solved that frustrating issue. However, I agree that the late game was sacrificed in exchange, and I do agree that contamination is in need of a change that makes it more viable for its true purpose: as a stalemate ender. So below is some brainstorming on what I think may keep contamination's goal in mind but also ensuring that alien player skill is invaluable to its success.



      1.) Vision could be required to place contamination (think of it as similar to [or could be?] a drifter's ability, where it is tied to an entity instead of being able to be placed anywhere). This would allow contamination to only be used in scenarios in which an alien team was already rushing into a room, and due to its bile, it would act in a more supportive role to help an alien team that may be struggling to end a game finish it without taking too long. This would both ensure that a marine team knew when contamination was coming, prevent contamination alone from ever finishing a game (instead requiring teamwork and coordination to be effective), and force an alien commander to be more intelligent with tactics and choice of when and where to use the alien's most potent end game tech.

      2.) Make contamination occur less often. Lot of ways this can be done so here are a few to think about. This can be done by forcing contamination to have a longer cool down, cost more, require a tech, prevent it from being placed in a proximity to structures and itself, require all other alien tech be researched prior to its use, or even simply reducing its health and bile damage. Any or all of these could be used to reduce the impact of contamination and allow it to both break marine turtling and still give marines the freedom to push back against three+ tech point aliens.

      3.) Make rupture carry the bile. It sounds odd, but it may give both techs (contamination and rupture) more value. Obviously this would prevent rupture from being biomass 2, but it may give alien commanders more incentive to use their abilities while in the chair. This would also require both contamination and rupture res to make effective use of a bile strategy, which may be another way to combat contamination's current status as the single most dangerous tech to a marine team.

      Again, all of these are things I'm throwing out there because this topic addresses one of the biggest aspects of NS2 for me (the end game turtling that time and time again I used to be frustrated by) and I want to throw in my two cents. I absolutely want to be part of future conversation, because I would love nothing more than for the win ratio to be 50-50 and for aliens to get more use out of third hive upgrades (honestly, can we make stab a biomass 6 trait? I want to see it used!). I simply fear the ever present threat of marines benefitting from turtling until something slips and they win a game they should have lost, as when all techs are researched, often times marines are the ones who pack the bigger punch, and a extra five minutes of stalling for wep 3 and jetpacks while the aliens can't push a final room seems counter productive to what I see as the major selling point of the primarily aggressive play NS2. However, any suggestions on what I've said and what people think will not fall on deaf ears for me, so please talk to me in the ready room or anywhere about what we can do about this. I could not agree more that contamination needs to be changed. Just not without removing what I frankly see as its only redeeming feature.

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      • #18
        Insofar as any "Contamination Incoming" warning would reliably get Marines /out/ of their main base, it would then reliably put Aliens /in/ the Marine base.
        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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        • #19
          Okay so I just had a crazy idea, and I don't know if it's a good idea or not, but here it is:

          What if when you contaminated, you couldn't control exactly where it spawns in the room? You just hit a room, and it appears somewhere in that room. The reason I think this might work is because, afaik, one single bulb of contaminate isn't enough to actually kill anything - it's only when you have 2-4 of them all hitting the same structure that you can actually kill anything. Disbursing the bulbs throughout the room means it's not an instant-win, but it's still an impactful siege-breaker.

          Based on my limited knowledge of lua, I *think* this could be possible, but I can't say for sure.

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          • #20
            I just commed an alien game where we were fortunate to get three hives, and it was weird seeing the contamination cause armor damage but not base health damage to marine structures. MAC's were not affected at all. I vote for contamination to be more powerful but have a very long cooldown time. Suggest contaminate cover a larger area, reduce all structures to 25%, prevent armor to be welded for 30 seconds, and have a 60 second cooldown. >:o

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            • #21
              I've got a change ready that changes Contaminate to have only the following modifications from stock:

              - cooldown is doubled
              - lifespan is doubled
              - bilebomb frequency is halved

              Again, that's all from stock values.

              I'll post here when I've deployed it.
              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


              • #22
                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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