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  • Power nodes are stupid

    Last night we had a Captain's Night game on Refinery. Wyzcrack was marine commander and Bobby Wasabi and I were gorges. Both of us were using Crush and both of us know how to do a lot of bile bomb damage very quickly and we ran into Containment and biled the power down and ended the game. And it was just stupid and unfulfilling.

    Obviously, there are times when aliens deserve to win because of their hail mary rush on a power node that is deep within the base and the marines didn't do enough to prevent it or didn't react quickly enough and the aliens really put all their eggs into one basket and so we can all say "Yeah, that's fair"

    But the game Bobby and I ruined last night wasn't like that at all. It was a really good captain's game, everyone was doing everything right and Wyz beaconed as soon as he possibly could have to respond to the threat. But two gorges with crush who know what they're doing and the particular layout of that room just made it feel like the entire round had an Off switch that the aliens could have pushed any time they felt like it.

    And that's fine, that's one of the things Captains night on TGNS is good for. Discovering how breakable things really can become when everyone just suits up and works together. (I think the next round after that we saw some of the best pack play by alien Skulks I've ever seen literally ever. It felt like playing against bots, the way a massive ball of skulks would just round a corner in unison)

    But this power node **** got under my skin enough at least to write this forum post about it. Aliens suicidally rushing the marines and doing a ton of damage is part of the game, definitely want to keep it. I'm all for rushes on the gate or the com chair or the arms lab.

    But I do want a mechanic change that mitigates the too-easy power node rush on marine start. Here are some of my ideas

    - All power nodes are tougher
    - Only the marine start power node is tougher
    - Power nodes take less damage from subsequent attackers (Similar to how subsequent gorges build hives with diminishing returns)
    - Nano Shield reduced cost
    - Nano Shield free
    - Nano Shield and Power Surge free

    And the big one

    - Both Command Chairs and power nodes can power items in a room

    And the impossible one

    - Introduction of a researchable, placable Generator object that both powers and fortifies objects in a room

    You should be able to trash a marine base with bile bomb. I literally live for it. But the way the power nodes work, the way it instantly neuters the commander and makes him unable to act, and how easy it is since the introduction of Crush - It's just too much. It shouldn't happen or it shouldn't be so easy.

  • #2
    I like the comm chairs being a power node as well. How hard would it be to modify stock maps to move the power node to be next to the tech point? The location of some power nodes are quite vulnerable.

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    • #3
      I wonder if it would be more fair to be able to power surge a power node. There are two functions that I would be interested in seeing, and they may help address Samn's problem (Because I often am in Wyz's place and hate losing a game because I know I can't outpace a couple players on my power node). I will list a small and large change based on the impact it will have on gameplay, and the combination of both will also be considered. To look at what was already posted, I can't say power surge or nano shield should be free (although having the tech cost 10 instead of 15 res would be nice to ensure most marine commanders have it by the mid or late game would be cool). The 5 res usage cost should remain the same because marine commanders should not be able to use powerful deterrents from the chair at any time for any reason, it should be used only in tense or special circumstances or if a commander wishes to use res that could be put elsewhere. To the command chair idea, I think command chairs cannot power a room because it would remove the value of a power node, and since a tech point is often designed for a hive OR a chair and power nodes are very specifically designed for marines it would likely cause serious balance issues on many maps to remove the need for power nodes and instead use chairs to power a room.

      Small Function:
      We all know that power surge causes a similar effect to pulse grenades on any aliens around the surged structure. If gorges (or any aliens) are very close to a power node as they often are during a rush, this may buy a marine team crucial seconds to react and maybe kill a lifeform before they lose power.

      Large Function:
      A power surged power node would either be (for a few seconds) invulnerable due to the surge of additional power OR the room would remain powered despite the fall of the power node. This effect would (of course) be extremely short and would hopefully not be long enough to give the marines an unfair advantage but may be a way for a late game marine commander to quickly and desperately save their main from a dangerous rush.

      Unfortunately however, the normal end game for NS2 often revolves around frequent alien hits on the marine main base. The fact that the power node's destruction causes such a large and serious impact on the game is what makes that entire mindset possible. Removing that in any way would in essence change the game and make it very hard for alien hail mary plays to work. While it certainly sucks that 2 crush gorges can kill a node so quickly, I must say that no matter how much I loathe losing to power rushes, in many cases I only have my lack of foresight (because we all know rushes are a guarantee in the late game) to blame for not creating a second base. I agree with Samn that it sucks that a great game can end in such a manner, but I don't know if that's something that needs to be changed from a game design perspective or from a player mindset and behavior perspective. I would like to hear more from more people for sure, but that's just my two cents.

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      • #4
        I like the idea of power nodes at a tech point with a chair of being stronger/buffed regardless if its marine start or not.

        Damage cap on the node is strange.. I feel like aliens might want that against their hives? Not to mention it means that you don't need to coordinate the whole team because after a certain number of people, it's not efficient to bring more

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        • #5
          Samn, I had a dream recently.

          An old asian lady gave me some school work on a book I did not read. I tried to do it on a couch, but I was so bored I fell asleep (what), so I made some pasta, and eating that turned me into a lerk. I flew around to the enemy base (the enemies were batmans), and I started biting on an observatory. that obs was powered by a generator structure of some kind. I killed a batman and then went for the generator.

          When I woke up, I thought about the generator structure and how it can be implemented well. I had a few ideas.
          • During a base rush, if the power goes down, the commander can turn on the generator for X res cost. It powers everything in the room for X seconds.
          • A generator can be tied to another structure kind of like a battery and turrets. The generator constantly powers that structure if the room power goes out. I think phase gates would be a good choice.
          • A generator can be connected to power nodes to boost its HP, or the power node can be upgraded to increase its HP.

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          • #6
            bobby all those ideas sound like they could be implemented through power surge avoiding having to bring a new building into the game. ie, power surge the broken power node. I'm just cautious of bringing in new structures. Also, it's probably harder to implement. not to mention you'd need a new model/animations, etc

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            • #7
              Honestly, one big issue is power node placement. Any gorge expert knows that certain power nodes are easier to bile then others. nano's MS power node being a prime example of too easy, refinery has loads of examples of this, containment (only because the wall its between means beaconed marines don't spawn in line of sight of the power node or the people biling it), lower left tech, smelting if aliens control south side... etc. I wonder how much work has been done recently to balancing the placements.

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              • #8
                Other bits of improvement: The delay to rebuilding a powernode should be shorten, or removed and replaced with slower rebuild time that gradually scales off.

                You can also get fancy with power nodes and give them individual upgrades, make them weaker, 5-7 res and some build time for current norm, another 10-15 for basically permanent nano shield. (maybe even make it where a marine has to actually weld the upgrade)

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                • #9
                  This weekend (after Captains Night, whose stability I try to avoid threatening with very new code), I'm going to deploy a change which doubles the max armor of power nodes when a Chair in the same location completes construction. Stock max armor for a power node is 1000, so this would raise the max armor for these affected nodes to 2000 (which happens to be the same number as a power node's max health), and it would not double again (so it only goes from 1000 to 2000 one time).

                  No additional armor is given to the power node at this moment -- rather, its max armor capacity is merely doubled.

                  The power node's max armor will not return to its original value if/when the Chair is destroyed. Once a power node gets the upgrade, it lasts the entire game.

                  Compared to some of the proposed solutions, this feels babystep-y, which I like.

                  I'll post here again when I deploy this code to the game server (to repeat: Saturday at the earliest).
                  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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                  • #10
                    Hrm. Actually, I'll create a separate thread to announce (and repeat feature details) when I deploy.

                    Also, I forgot to mention: my change also causes power nodes to blueprint when a comm chair is dropped. I was technically motivated to make that the case, but it's a feature I've many times seen requested (of UWE) by NS2 players, so I think it's fine to accidentally include it as I make the power nodes change.
                    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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                    • #11
                      Personally don't see any problem with powernodes. I think someone mentioned that power node placement on certain maps are especially bad. Refinery, which Samm is talking about, is exceptionally bad. Buffing certain power nodes on some maps that have bad power node placement would be better. Seems more of a commander issue and lane blocking issue then anything else. The game samm is talking about marines didn't lane block the right so aliens obviously rushed in. Why, if you have containment main base, would you not prioritize one side of your base???? I think i read this post awhile back after it was made. I remember the game cause i was in spectator and the commander had 30 res and another obs he could beacon from. Again marines made the mistake of ignoring one side. But i guess aliens should be punished for that?

                      I guess ill see how the power node thing plays out. I would of liked to see a 500 armor increase instead of 1000. I don't see how 1000 armor is a baby step. Generally speaking the power node issue (if there is one) is a minor one that needs a very little increase. Maybe i just think 1000 more armor is a lot when its really small (possible). Seems exploitable with nano shield too.

                      The worst impact this will have will be on good marine power node positions which is most of them. This will result in less memorable games and less fun games. Think about Caged my favorite map. This almost guarantees no beaconing to Main Hold. Main hold which is completely bunkered won't have a valuable target to hit. Caged is good because of the back and forth that happens. But if you can't get marines to beacon to main then what is the point.

                      Seems like every time someone has a bad game on marines instead of reflecting on what the team did wrong. It has to be some kind of balance issue. Just cause the comm didn't beacon on a power rush or marines didn't lane properly doesn't mean we have to change it so marines always win.

                      I can see where this leads. All the marines are over committed and ARCING A HIVE OUT ROOMS AWAY(cause that is fair). And aliens have 2 choices rush their main base or split up and get them to beacon while others take their arcs. But wait! The power doesn't go down for an additional 30 seconds so the marines can finish arcing that hive from the next room. And the marine comm can take all the time in the world to beacon back or marines to phase back with no worries. Forget about looking at your map anymore. Taking away that dynamic of making marines beacon to help take out a pg or arcs is a vital part of alien gameplay. This is gonna be disheartening when the marines and comms are really good since the issue would never happen if marines paid attention since they would beacon immediately.

                      Weakening power node rushes seems like a way to boost marine and marine comms(especially) pride who lack proper attention span to understand that when your are over committed or not lane blocking you are opening yourself up to attack. Ask yourself how many marines does it takes to get an alien off your power? Or pay attention to the powernode going down?

                      I'm all for experimenting but i think small isolated instances don't need gameplay balances every time especially because it takes away aliens ability to turn games around. Don't deny aliens the joy of turning a game around.

                      Side note: Marines have ARCs which can destroy alien base from room away (#ARC Abuse). Just so everyone knows what is truly unfair.
                      Last edited by VMAN; 08-11-2017, 11:47 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Space characters in hashtags is unfair. I'll deploy with 500 additional armor instead of 1000. Good call.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Haha true space charters in hashtags are unfair. I just didn't want it to show as #arcabuse which sounds like a bird.

                          Appreciate the change to 500. Curious to see how it plays out next week.

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