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Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

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  • [INFO] Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

    This is only the first set of upcoming balance changes including the Harasser, addressing the trade offs between AV and AI vehicle secondary weapons and moving the proximity radar from the utility slot to defense slot.

    Balance Pass Post 1: Vehicle Weapons and the Harasser


    Everyone loved the Harasser when it was introduced, it handled so much better than other vehicles, it's fast, and it opened the gate to new hit and run tactics. I know many here really enjoy the Harasser game play - myself among them, I just don't play it too often - so any changes SOE make have to be done carefully. I think most will accept that it was not wholly balanced against everything else in the game, which is understandable given that the developers only aim for a general fit and then adjust based on performance among the -more numerous and more practiced- player base.

    In typical SOE fashion, this has been a long time coming but appears to be well thought out and for the best. Being too powerful can be just as unsatisfying as being underpowered.


    The main changes that affect the Harasser are:

    -Reduced repair speed while in the 3rd seat (SOE want to keep it, but you'll be rewarded for getting out of the fight and stopping).
    -Turbo regen rate reduced
    -Mine hit-detection being looked into
    -Composite armor will no longer protect against C4 or small arms fire
    -Composite armor slightly reduced in effectiveness against tank shells and, presumably, everything else


    Upcoming Posts

    Nanoweave and related features, like sniper rifles
    Rocket launchers, underbarrel grenade launchers, and engineer turrets
    MAX anti-vehicle and ability adjustments
    And more to come



    |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

  • #2
    Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

    About freaking time.

    In before RAGE, Assault, and all the other Harasser fans whining. lol

    #NotAFanOfHarassers
    #IHateHarassers
    #IAlwaysTargetThemFirstWithAVLockOns
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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    • #3
      Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

      It baffles me how the harasser routinely destroys my Vanguard, it currently is the #1 threat. I understand the 3rd person repair is a great feature and changes the balance, but they should not overpower a maxed Vanguard when it comes to damage given or received. Their rate of fire is unequaled and their armor packages, ROF, and handeling are better then any other vehicle IMO. As for the Lightning, I wont even play anymore because they are so under-powered and vulnerable to the Harasser that it is a waste of resources to use.

      SOE has done a decent job at addressing and balancing various vehicles/aircraft over time. They have however taken way to long to look at the harasser to nerf.

      And yes my Harassers are maxed and play them and think they are too much in their current construct.
      "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

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      • #4
        Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

        <- Still waiting for tanks to have stabilised turrets so I can actually drive over bumpy terrain and shoot at the same time. That's another reason why the Harasser is so powerful and one of the main reasons I don't tank too much. It's just not fun to chase things so you have to hope they don't run when they should.


        Mind you, last night someone jumped in my Vanguard's Enforcer so I invited him to my 2-man overflow squad and we proceeded to destroy about 5 or so Harassers plus lots of infantry. I even destroyed one in mid-air just before he escaped out of sight. In the end, two Sunderers with fully active turrets, a Harasser and I'm not sure what else had to ambush us from behind to finally get us - took a Sundy with us though. Having a gunner makes a world of difference.


        Both the problems of MBT secondary guns being as, or even more, powerful than the main turrets and balancing the Lightning against a solo Vanguard stem from SOE's decision not to make MBTs require both a driver and gunner like the Harasser. The downside to solo players (particularly those that are unfamiliar with the scale and don't really know what they want) were overstated because they could always tank with Lightnings, now an entire vehicle and game balance suffer. Of course, they did consider the change and it's my opinion / total guess that the Magrider's special case of a fixed cannon was one hurdle too many so they didn't bother. Everything else made perfect sense.

        The best solution I could think of would have involved three new tanks and making the Skyguard a separate vehicle (another benefit) but that would've meant more models... ah well.



        |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

          Nerfing the rear repair option should even out the playing field a bit so that you can't do a suicide run into enemy armor anymore and expect to escape unscathed like many on the TR/VS side do routinely. What they really need to do is nerf that TR Vulcan cannon so that it can't tear a fully upgraded Vanguard to shreds in seconds and do a proper downgrade on the VS Max yet again.

          That's good to hear they're going to look at the mine hit detection too. You can hit a mine going full speed and explode, but if you're going 30 MPH or less you'll just be damaged instead. The composite armor nerf against tank shells could be a problem though. VS Mags can easily destroy a Harasser in 2 - 3 hits from their main gun even with maximum composite armor. Prowler's aren't that difficult as you can out maneuver them and engage at medium to long range, provided they aren't carrying that damn Vulcan.

          All in all it sounds like they're trying to make the Harasser similar to how I use mine as a standoff weapon for the most part and up close and personal when necessary.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

            In general I like the changes they're talking about. We'll have to see how it alters the balance of things. It's a lot of small changes rather than anything too drastic, so it's difficult to see how it'll shake out, but I suspect those changes have been very carefully considered.

            Where I'd like to see the harasser eventually evolve into isn't entirely too far off from where it is now, to be honest. The hit and run style of play is fun and adds a lot to the game, even if the Harasser is too sturdy right now. I feel like the problem actually lies in how the other vehicles are set up right now, to be honest. Harassers could easily serve a rapid and interesting squad transport role, but don't because the Sunderer is too ubiquitous and does the job better (and has an AMS). They outperform the Lightning in almost every respect save the skyguard niche, and ditto for the Flash which is slower, more awkward to maneuver and fight with, and fragile as all hell.

            What I'd really like to see happen is something like the following:

            * Lightnings become cheaper, more flexible and are given more options. They'll never dominate front line combat and they can't out-harass Harassers, so they should be either cheap force multipliers and/or have more options to make them interesting support vehicles like the Skyguard (which I still like as a Lightning sidegrade, even if it could stand to have a more recognizable silhouette).
            * MBTs made more powerful and sturdy, but logistically more troublesome. Pull from main bases (with Tech Plant) or Warpgate only. They should be big, expensive, and impressive assets on the field, but should be difficult to replace (and possible to ambush en-route! :D ). I'd also love to see them have driver/gunner setups to justify their increased power and even three man crews, since the Harasser has proven beyond a doubt that it works well and is a lot of fun. The Magrider could be made more like PS1 where the gunner had access to an anti-vehicle turret while the driver's front locked gun was more of an anti-infantry thing... or it could just be the exception. It's a Vanu vehicle, after all.
            * Sunderers locked to tank terminals. The only reason they're able to be pulled from small bases right now is that in Beta there wasn't a harasser and flashes weren't NEARLY sufficient for moving around from small bases, but that's not the case now and these vehicles aren't as valuable and logistically expensive as they should be.



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            • #7
              Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

              BigC, if you are getting destroyed by Harassers and you are alone in your MBT then there is not much I can say, the MBT is a crew vehicle just like the harasser (the difference being that unless the Harasser has more than one in it, it wont be killing anything, and if it is killing something then it's sat still), 2 guns verses 1 will win. Providing the crew is proficient and land their shots and communicate well they will win and they will win easy, after all, you wont kill anything unless you can hit it. If you are being destroyed by Harassers and you do have 2/2 in your MBT, then I'm sorry to say that either you (driver) or your gunner or the communication between the both of you is to blame.

              I've put many, many, many hours into Harassers. Do I get a lot of kills... yes, do I generally stay alive a long time...yes, is this because the Harasser is over powered... No. The main reason I am proficient in a Harasser is because I forged a level of teamwork and understanding with another player (RAGE).

              It's difficult to fully describe it in text form, but we see it all the time, people jumping in a MBT and thinking they should be able to wipe the floor with a crewed Harasser. We have come up against many good MBT crews who have wiped the floor with us via a combination of good teamwork and MBT loadouts, and as such we pick and choose our fights and the area we fight in. We have come to learn to take advantage of the Harassers advantages.

              From an NC perspective the NC does have the worst of both worlds though, and that is just a fact... purely because of the faction specific weapons. The Vulcan (TR) and the Sauron (VS) are far superior to the Enforcer (NC), hence why RAGE and myself run with the Halberd, a gun which all factions have access to and even all MBT's have access to for their gunner... Now, If I have a Halberd on my harasser, and you have a Halberd and a main cannon on your MBT... how am I possibly winning the encounter? Let me say that its not because I am repairing... since when I am repairing I am not shooting (we only ever run a 2 man crew), It's because either the MBT crew is not landing their shots (human error), or they are not using the terrain to their advantage (human error), or they are not disengaging at the appropriate time (human error)... or they are allowing the Harasser to shoot it's weak spots (human error)... you see the pattern forming? I've been in enough encounters to know when the person controlling the Tank was to blame, and a very high percentage of times that is the case.

              Now...

              -Reduced repair speed while in the 3rd seat (SOE want to keep it, but you'll be rewarded for getting out of the fight and stopping).
              -Turbo regen rate reduced
              -Mine hit-detection being looked into
              -Composite armor will no longer protect against C4 or small arms fire
              -Composite armor slightly reduced in effectiveness against tank shells and, presumably, everything else

              In truth, on the face of it non of those changes will really effect the outcome. As a crew we rarely repair while the enemy has line of sight on us, we generally save our turbo for when we need it. We hardly ever hit mines. No one gets close enough to C4 us and it would need a helluva lot of small arms fire for use to be worried about it. That leaves composite armour slightly reduced in effectiveness against tank shells... which as I mentioned... wont make any difference if the Tank crew isn't actually hitting us, and if they were landing their shots, chances are we'd have lost the encounter anyway unless we managed to retreat... using our full charge of turbo.

              If SOE want to do something about Harassers, they need to look at the faction specific weapons, I can only dream of how much damage RAGE and I would have done with a vulcan at our disposal. Hell, maybe if they would have turned the MBT's into a true crew vehicle like people were asking for by only allowing the driver to drive, there may be a lot more truly proficient tank crews out there by now who would no doubt be laughing at Harassers while farting in their general direction.
              It matters not what letters or numbers come before my name, I'll always be 1stMIP.

              sigpic

              "It is all about being a teamplayer. Give a kitchen sink to a teamplayer and he'll find a way to support his squad with it."
              - John_CANavar (Marshall & Founder of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

                Without contesting your main point, FineStyle, I'd point out that the Harasser is leagues away from an MBT on those controllable factors. The agility of a Harasser allows better use of terrain, they're able to fire while moving effectively (where an MBT has to stay still to reliably hit targets with the main gun), and the speed of the Harasser allows it to choose both time of engagement and to retreat if necessary, which are not luxuries the tank crew has.

                The tank crew CAN compensate for the Harasser's advantages with good terrain use, superior firepower, and good aim, but those things are all more difficult for the tank crew than they are for the Harasser, and the durability and firepower advantages aren't always enough to overcome the Harasser's ability to control the flow of the battle. Tanks are very badly punished for their mistakes, and those mistakes are often made minutes before their consequences are felt.



                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

                  I don't think they are leagues away, MBT drivers felt for too long that they could go anywhere and have their way with the battlefield, an asset comes along that should make them think a little more about where they take their tank and how important it is to have cohesiveness between driver and gunner and instead they carry on as before and scream OP at the new asset.

                  I assure you an MBT crew with good communication, teamwork and practice has no problems with harassers... I know this because I have encountered them. Admittedly, it is more difficult for the NC because of the empire specific weapons, but trust me, I have seen what a good TR and VS tank crew can do against RAGE and myself. It's not difficult to see when you beat someone (if you are 1 man MBTing you deserve to be killed) or a crew because they made errors or when you were beaten because the crew you were up against were on the ball.

                  The problem is it takes time to forge a partnership, and average Joe doesn't care for that, so instead people call for nerfs.

                  Apparently there's just far too much "work" in "teamwork" for most people.

                  Alas, it doesn't matter what you or I believe... SOE will do as they wish, apparently listening to the playerbase, unfortunately though the majority of the playerbase is the reason why the game is dumbed down so much, and will continue to be so.
                  It matters not what letters or numbers come before my name, I'll always be 1stMIP.

                  sigpic

                  "It is all about being a teamplayer. Give a kitchen sink to a teamplayer and he'll find a way to support his squad with it."
                  - John_CANavar (Marshall & Founder of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

                    Finestyle, on the one hand you say these changes won't affect you much, on the other you say it is catering toward tank crews that want everything to go their way. As I see it, SOE have thrown out the sort of complaints from tankers you're talking about and ONLY addressed the absurd cases that make up the bulk of complaints.

                    Differentiation must be made between Harassers at large roaming at will and the peak performance of what Harassers are capable of. It is unsurprising that these changes won't stop top notch Harasser crews from destroying tanks, otherwise they'd be useless. As you say, it's already possible to stop them, just difficult - as it should be. [Although I would argue that there will still be a slight increase in deaths for top Harasser crews, either when they inevitably mess up or many of those moments that previously would have been very close escapes.]

                    The point is that Harassers overall have had too many benefits and come out on top too often in cases they really shouldn't. A better way to look at it for those who run Harassers is what cases WILL these changes have an effect? This points to the frustration that players have been feeling on the receiving end.

                    I have mined and C4ed Harrasers that survive. I have hit, missed, hit, missed, hit etc. Harassers with an AP Vanguard turret (chasing on bumpy terrain) and watched them repair all the way to safety. Or watched many different sources (3+) all target the same Harrasser and still watch it survive through a combination of speed, armor and dodging. Should they not equally be rewarded for teamwork?

                    Again, this is not to say taking on lots of enemies shouldn't be possible, only that Harasser duos at varying abilities are being rewarded more than the same level of ability in other roles. More specifically, their combination of speed and armor has been innately more powerful than is fair. Harassers overall will die more easily because of this re-balance (and may well cause them to be played slightly less), but if the players practice they'll still be very capable. Sounds all good to me.


                    EDIT: I'll also add that as for tanks vs Harassers I think you and Star are both right. The hardships tankers face are caused by the tanks themselves, given they have to divide their attention between driving and gunning, plus having to stop/slow for reliable shots.
                    Last edited by MrJengles; 11-10-2013, 11:15 PM.



                    |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

                      Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
                      The agility of a Harasser allows better use of terrain, they're able to fire while moving effectively (where an MBT has to stay still to reliably hit targets with the main gun), and the speed of the Harasser allows it to choose both time of engagement and to retreat if necessary, which are not luxuries the tank crew has.
                      Not a big Harrasser driver eh? Finestyle mentioned the need and in my opinion a requirement of the MBT to have a 2 person crew. Driving around in a 1 person MBT is tantamount to asking to be destroyed (even a magrider). The first thing and I mean ABSOLUTELY first thing that is communicated between the driver and gunner in a Harrasser upon encountering a MBT on the battlefield is "It's 2 of 2" or "It's 1 of 2"..........1 of 2=easy kill, 2 of 2 needs finesse. Finestyle and myself have the rep we do because we have put in tons of time in the Harrasser.....yup countless hours. Having spent that period of time in the Harrasser I would say that changing our technique to address the SOE changes will be minimum as Finestyle pointed out.

                      In turn, I think that you would still have people moaning and groaning about the Harrasser being OP. But then that's what happens went you reach the level that Finestyle and I have acquired, it's a instant gratification world now where everyone thinks that they can jump in something and be the best without investing the time or effort. And if they aren't they want the devs to change it so they can be............SOE threw them a crumb in the bigger scope of things. They will still get wasted by the better crews.

                      Finestyle had suggested that he and I jump in a MBT and 2 crew it, (and we probably would have if BF4 didn't come out) just show how effective a MBT can be on the battlefield with players that communicate, know the equipment, can actually aim, etc.......like we see with SOME of the 2/2 Magriders. And the fact is, Finestyle can headshot a dude on the fight pad of a tower with the Halbred going at full speed all the way from England (pingwise) and that skill wasn't built in by SOE. That skill still hasn't been built in so they are still gonna complain. ( Nice Monty python qoute Fine :) )

                      P.S. Randy grab anything with anyone and Finestyle and myself will be happy to engage you after the nerf....that's how much confidence I have in our teamwork and communication............the equipment is a very small part of the equation and isn't that the TG way?
                      Last edited by Rageq3a; 11-11-2013, 11:28 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

                        Given the quote you selected from me, Rage, your post contains no rebuttal of those statements that justifies implying that I've got no idea what I'm talking about, ESPECIALLY not when I've said that I essentially agree with you and FineStyle and was arguing a tangential point: that Harassers get to control the flow of battle at pretty much all times due to their incredible mobility.

                        The fact that 2/2 crews of tank drivers exist that can mop the floor with good Harasser crews doesn't actually mean a lot about balance. It's completely anecdotal and is so far on the edge of each vehicle's bell curves that it isn't really representative of the state of play between the two vehicle classes as it stands with average crews. Good players will triumph even with sub-optimal kit. The real question is whether or not your typical 2/2 tank can stand up to a Harasser crew, which is difficult to really quantify without digging through stats we don't have.

                        Of course, to throw my own anecdotal evidence into the pot... in my experience both in manning Harassers and manning tanks, it's usually the case that a Harasser only goes down for the count if they badly overextend. I've seen Harassers escape in open fields from tank squadrons I was running because of the difficulty of hitting them at range and the speedy on-the-run repairs when we DID land a hit... if it ever got bad for them, they'd make it to cover fine, and they'd be landing shots on us the whole time because stationary (and therefore accurate) MBTs are big, easy targets. Those Harasser's couldn't beat us, by any stretch of the imagination, they could only live up to their name. But at the same time, it was almost impossible for us to terminate the threat. We couldn't chase (and would be out of position if we did), and we couldn't reliably hit them enough times to score a kill before they could break line of sight. The Harasser has a combination of speed, agility, all-terrain capability, armour, and on-the-run regeneration that makes it a VERY hard target to bring down unless they're overextending badly. The latter two are the main sticking points for me.

                        I don't doubt that this multitude of tiny nerfs will barely be felt by a good Harasser team like Rage and Finestyle--they largely impact the Harasser's ability to recover from screwing up, which is something you guys are less likely to do!--but I'll be interested to see if they reduce the more frustrating aspects of engaging Harassers.



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                        • #13
                          Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

                          You guys have made a lot of well reasoned arguments here.

                          This is what makes TG the greatest place around to play video games. Smart people and good teamwork. :)

                          [rest of post edited out as I was ninja'ed by Starstriker's excellent post. Now grabbing popcorn instead to continue and follow this discussion. :)]
                          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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                          • #14
                            Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

                            Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
                            The fact that 2/2 crews of tank drivers exist that can mop the floor with good Harasser crews doesn't actually mean a lot about balance. It's completely anecdotal and is so far on the edge of each vehicle's bell curves that it isn't really representative of the state of play between the two vehicle classes as it stands with average crews.
                            Thank you, this is exactly the way I look at it (also the same applies for Harassers taking out good tank crews).


                            Please can we try to see changes in the bigger picture and not focus on a select group?

                            As with any other balance feedback the developers have to sort through which is reasonable and fair, and which is not. I don't doubt people getting annoyed when they lose in isolated fights and blaming balance rather than their own actions - they do that with every weapon / vehicle.

                            However, these outbursts should not be lumped in with complaints about the general, absurd survivability of Harassers. Again, look at the cases that were addressed and you can see these were not the people SOE were listening to, nor the data concentrated on.

                            Rage, the very fact that you expect little to change at the top and these people to keep blaming the game shows that they were ignored.
                            Last edited by MrJengles; 11-11-2013, 02:20 PM.



                            |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Balance Pass #1 - Harasser Nerf (Post Optimization)

                              I agree with all the sentiments that you must have a cohesive unit either in a MBT or Harasser, being alone in either is suicide. My issue lies with the fact that a decked out NC MBT does not stand a chance against a TR Harasser with a G20, one on one. Regardless of armor package or upgrades, a MBT cant get enough rounds off from both weapons to kill them first, the MBT is lacking in ROF, velocity of their rounds (which it should be) and of course the mobility comparisons. I never chase a Harasser I simply find a more appropriate engagement point around friendlies. The Harasser should not have comparable armor to a MBT, it is basically a open seat vehicle..

                              Running the math on the weapons comparison is also interesting based off stock numbers for reload and magazine sizes:
                              TR Harasser with G20 Vulcan with 2 Magazines in 7 seconds does: 120rds*220dmg per =26400 dmg
                              NC Vanguard with Titan 150 Heat plus Halabred E540 with 2 shots each in 7 seconds does: Titan 2 rounds*1750dmg per= 3500dmg Halabred 2 rounds *1500dmg per= 3000 Both weapons only equals 7500dmg
                              This does not account for misses obviously...

                              I don't have a answer as to "what" exactly needs to be nerfed, but there is is a imbalance...
                              Last edited by TheBigC; 11-11-2013, 02:14 PM.
                              "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

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