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Onos Balance on TGNS

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  • Onos Balance on TGNS

    (There is a TLDR at the bottom; believe me, I was tempted to write a lot more ;) )

    It's been about a month since build 316 released, and with it the Onos changes to Bone Shield and speed. I had a pretty immediate reaction when I read the patch notes, but wanted to wait a good while for the adjustment period to pass and test out different playstyles to see if the changes left the Onos still reasonably viable.

    (As a bit of a disclaimer so people know where I stood prior to 316: I went back and forth on whether Bone Shield needed to be nerfed, though I always felt a minor to moderate reduction in armor regenerated was reasonable. And I never thought Onos' speed was an issue)

    Well, I won't go so far as to say Onos are useless. In fact, prior to jetpacks being researched, they are still reasonably strong. And there I think is the biggest issue regarding Onos' current state of balance: jetpacks. Jetpacks are such a hard counter to Onos, and Bone Shield pre-316 was the only real ability the Onos had that let them remain competitive/useful (relative to their extremely high p-res cost). Now, it is laughably easy for two jetpackers with W3 (or even one!) to kill an Onos who is only barely outside Alien territory and has support from khamm/other players. And the reduced speed means an Onos has to pull out even earlier; there are many team fights where I've had to pull out two seconds into the fight to just barely make it out alive. I honestly still can't understand the reasoning behind the speed nerf; I read the patch note reasoning, but in practice it just doesn't make sense if I'm being honest.

    The server also seems to have acknowledged the nerfs in it's own organic way. There have been multiple (balanced) games that go 30+ minutes where either no one ever goes Onos, or the Onos flashes immediately and no Onos is seen again, but the Alien team wins regardless. And I've seen long-time veterans who mainly play Onos get killed, and say sincerely something like "well, probably for the best, just wasn't useful and I'll get more done as a skulk." And for me personally, I've played 50+ minute games as a skulk on back res (khamm's orders) and felt I accomplished more than I would have as an Onos.

    Also a (somewhat related) fun fact: statistically on TGNS, Marines' chances of winning generally improves as game length goes on.

    A final important factor is that I can't help but wonder if the changes were made with pub games in mind; TGNS is pretty unique in being one of the only servers that have our level of coordination and skill. In pub games, Marines frequently lack the coordination and discipline to focus an Onos down, and a good Onos pre-316 could just run over the Marine team with ease. On TGNS, our level of coordination never really allowed that, the threat of a pinch was always pretty high. If an Onos was demolishing Marines here, it was usually a mix of imbalance between the teams in coordination, skill, and amount of tech researched. Which is why I'm concerned if Onos are underpowered on TGNS but balanced on pub servers, we won't see any sort of official rebalancing from UWE.

    TLDR: Which is why I'm wondering if possibly making changes just for TGNS. If I had to suggest a change at this point, it would be completely reverting the speed nerf, and a compromise on Bone Shield would perhaps keeping the current form as a default bone shield, but move it to Biomass 5 (Bone Shield used to be Biomass 5), and add an "Advanced" version at Biomass 6 of bone shield that does what 315 Bone Shield did, but lower the Armor regeneration to maybe 80% of what it was before (and requires you to research the Biomass 5 version before the Advanced version).

    Whether you agree or disagree, please post your thoughts!

  • #2
    I've modded TGNS to 315 Onos speeds (Base and Charge) and changed nothing else.

    Modifying the bone shield pushes the limits of my dev ability (other things we enjoy today have done the same, so bone shield changes aren't out of the question), and tech tree additions are a dev and training burden I'd prefer to avoid if possible. And baby steps are worthwhile anyway, so let's see if reverting the speed change gets us close enough to where we want to be.

    I don't mean with this change to stifle the conversation Nyon's post encourages. Of course, this conversation didn't begin with this thread. So, consider this change as just more conversation, and we can adjust as everyone sees fit.

    I do strongly recognize that what's designed for the NS2 community at large isn't always the best TGNS can do.
    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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    • #3
      I think just reverting the speed nerf goes a very long way in helping Onos, and that may very well end up being all that is needed as Onos players continue to adjust their playstyle. Thank you for that, Wyz.

      And yeah, I figured the Bone Shield change I suggested would be either impossible or extremely difficult from a modding perspective, I guess I was moreso brainstorming what I view an ideal solution. If the server ends up feeling further changes need to be made, perhaps someone more creative than I can come up with a clever (and doable) adjustment that compensates for whatever disadvantage Onos may still be at. But, baby steps like you said! See how the speed change goes.

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      • #4
        Agree Nyon. I personally felt the onos nerf was overboard. I think speed thing is the best counter to their uselessness. I wish also that boneshield was a lower biomass or at the very least made a little bit stronger. But i can see how that is difficult to implement. I feel that the update increased the stagnancy of the game. By making the Onos a roadblock instead of an attack machine. Might even be worthwhile to decrease Onos to 58 res points.

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