We just pushed build 28 of Grid 12. Changes include:
* Add long-range cannon to Enemy Building. * Increase range of Watchtower, Grid Control Tower and Super Tank. There should be no safe place to stand. * Fix turret following bug which allowed near infinite circle strafing * Scorpion missile range reduced; added gun; simplified graphics * Make Silver's shields more interesting and useful * Nerf Hurricane's gun dps 20% * Make buildings level up in a single gridshard deposit *  Add Peacekeeper class
One theme of this week's changes is to have enemies outrange players. We wanted to eliminate the ability to fight enemies in complete safety. The idea is to create a more difficult, interesting gameplay based on moving in and out of range, shield & hitpoint management, kiting, etc, as opposed to sitting there waiting for the enemies to die. We also wanted to make it harder work to penetrate into enemy-held lands. We are planning to move Grid 12 away from its current emphasis on "spatial buffs" (buffs that that change as you move around) to a flatter playing field. We are not sure where this will lead, but we really appreciate your willingness to come along for the ride.
Alright, the game is far more engaging now, so I'm going to go through each tank and figure out its playstyle and how effective it is compared to other tanks. Mainly farming from Origin + Firebase.
The Silver has 4 shields in the main cardinal directions and a twin cannon that can point any way it pleases. In a solo setting, I've found it can circle Super Tanks flawlessly as long as it minds its speed. Watchtowers are a mixed bag but mainly about finding an opening and avoiding damage when possible. Enemy Buildings are about carving an opening and just wailing on the building, since the guns on the main section won't do enough to put you in real danger. Grid Defense is an interesting one that requires a bit more attention but can be perfected. You circle it one way until it breaks down your shield, then do a u-turn and circle the other way. This gives time for the shield to regenerate before the next one goes down. Repeat ad infinitum. The bombers don't seem to pose any threat as long as you don't purposely run onto the bombs. Drill Station requires some focus and heavy management of shields. You'll run through all four of them and sometimes have to duck out if you're not careful. Just don't go too far.
In a coop setting, this thing can be a wall for the more offensive tanks, like Mustang, Valkyrie, and Cobra. Set it in front of dangerous fire, seldomly rotating to get the most out of every shield. Thanks to the 360 twin cannon, you can also output some of your own damage.
The Corsair has a weak 300-degree shield and a strong 60-degree frontal shield. It fires twin cannons at mid-range and a third power cannon at close range, no limit to direction.
This tank only performs if you drive headfirst into combat. Enemy Buildings get crushed. Watchtowers are kind of a struggle. Super Tanks get circled. Drill Stations take a lot of patience but are very doable.
Grid Defense is impossible. The minions specifically fly behind you as you attempt to attack the tower, preventing you from spending any significant amount of time on the building and getting any damage on it.
However, while I have not practiced it yet, it would perform better than Silver as a meatshield when in a team. The green frontal shield can take a long beating before having to retreat.
Last Edit: Nov 14, 2012 18:13:41 GMT -5 by linkshot
Additional change in this release not in OP: New tank: peacekeeper (team support/healing tank, one 360 degree cannon).
First off: I'm writing this in response to your message in b27, but putting this here since this is the newer thread.
On resonators: My main problem with the approach is that they make the game too "linear". Fighting an enemy far from Origin on a resonator-buffed tank is no different than fighting an enemy close to Origin using a non-buffed tank in the early stages of the game. That makes gameplay flat and boring. I'd like to see more kinds of enemies, with different mechanics, far from Origin that are harder and require more resonator buffs to kill. That would make the gameplay change as the game progresses, but the non-player-centric nature of the resonator concept would ensure no separation between "pros" and "nubs".
On cities: A few suggestions:
Roads between cities. Building roads and clearing out of the way would be a fun activity with a purpose.- More elaborate city-building metagame: different kinds of resonators (think of one, for instance, that only "projects" in one direction, or resonators that trade local buff power for range/global buff power).
Assaults on cities: right now cities are essentially build and forget. Creating attacks (and allowing people to defend cities with, say, constructable turrets) would give a strategic element to city-building: is it wise to spend resources fortifying an outlying town, or is it better to spend the extra gridshards to super-level-up a few towns close to Origin?
More elaborate city-building metagame: Right now you just build stuff and level things up. How about introducing a little more variety, and bringing tradeoffs into the mix? For instance: resonators projecting in one direction only, or resonators that sacrifice local power for global power, or vice versa.
Now: on the changes.
Add long-range cannon to Enemy Building.
This makes moving more interesting. Still, though, I feel ten minions per building immediately is a bit overmuch, especially since we can't actually target the main buildings (in Realm what you can do at the low levels in the lowlands is aim at the main boss first, eliminate it and stop the spawn, and then kill the minions. You can't do it here.). Therefore, I propose that the number of minions of a just-encountered building be lowered to a random number between 0 and 8, with max minions staying at 10.
Increase range of Watchtower, Grid Control Tower and Super Tank. There should be no safe place to stand.
This feels like fighting in the bufflands with a buffed tank: relative power is still the same, but you have to close in now. Now that the range is so long, I'd like to see a mix of instant-hit weapons and projectile weapons which can be dodged, to increase the dodging aspect a bit more.
Scorpion missile range reduced; added gun; simplified graphics
While this makes scorpion much more of a reasonable tank to play, it does take away some of the uniqueness of the class. I would have preferred missiles being able to switch targets, or higher missile speed for a buff. Also, Scorp description needs to be changed.
Make Silver's shields more interesting and useful
Finally, a reason to play silver other than "it's the only tank I have". The front-and-back shield design is perfect for newbies (who probably tend to run headfirst into stuff).
Nerf Hurricane's gun dps 20%
No. WHY?!??!! The previous hurricane nerf was already a bit too much, making hurricane at best a decent tank. Now it's absolutely useless, especially considering the presence of the Phantom, which has the same omnidirectional targeting ability, better shields, and the capability of targeting 6 rather than 3 tanks. My idea: bring damage back to Build 21 levels, reduce range by 40-50%, toughen up the shields, and bring back unlimited-enemy targeting.
Make buildings level up in a single gridshard deposit
Building stuff is far more efficient now. Excellent improvement.
Thumbs up to everyone on the G12 team! Looking forward to seeing more from you guys.
Let me preface by saying I'm not trying to shout you down. The last thing I want to do is annoy/alienate a Brave Tester. I just would like to explain the reasoning behind the Hurricane nerf. Plus I've been wrong a zillion times before so this discussion can only help.
The Hurricane nerf was because when I was playing last week, I tried all the tanks and it seemed that my gridshard collection rate was highest by far (like, by a lot) when driving the Cane. So it needs a nerf, right?
I actually still like playing it in 28. Do you find it less powerful than other tanks? The 3 targets vs 6 targets argument seems pretty good, except that the Phantom can't target 6 things at a time most of the time. You'd have to be surrounded, and then you'd be dead very soon. Cane hits any 3 within range, regardless of positioning. You can keep the targets on one side and then rotate to the other shield once that one is gone.
In general I prefer to balance by playing the classes and judging in a seat-of-the-pants fashion which one is more powerful. Looking at numbers (such as maximum theoretic DPS) is very helpful, but in my experience the whole picture must be examined. Firing arcs, shield strength & configuration, turret rotation speed, hitpoints, cool combo tactics...all combine with DPS to make a class OP, balanced or UP.
I'd be very interested to know how people rank the classes, in terms of gridshard farming efficiency.
I'll concede that the hurricane gets loot pretty efficiently off buildings.
Thing is, that's about the only thing it does well. It's utterly outclassed at other things by the other tanks - even more so now that enemies have longer range. Mostly this is due to its relatively wimpy shields.
Scouting: Hurricane is completely unsuitable for this due to its low shield capability. Back before the 3-target nerf it was a pretty good scout because unlimited targeting ability meant that it could escape when fenced in by a mob, but now the Phantom, and even more so the Valkyrie (which has much heavier shields and a scattergun to boot) utterly outclasses the hurricane in this regard.
Drill fighting: This is the main way I get shards so "shard efficiency" for me is mostly measured by how well a given tank can handle drills. With poor shields, only three-target capability (omnidirectionality (is that even a word?) doesn't matter because after breaching a wall I'm generally inside the station and circling with enemies on all sides anyway), and lack of long range, multiple shields, or mob control, the Hurricane is unsuitable for this purpose. (For background: I normally use a cobra to breach an outer wall or two, then circle with an avenger, a valkyrie, or when I'm feeling derpy, a hercules. After the walls are down it's always an avenger. For single-tank-vs-drill encounters, e.g. those far away from a town alone, valkyrie is arguably the best.)
Fighting heavy single enemies (GCT, Watchtower, Supertank). Against Watchtower the hurricane is useless, since it's a single target. It fares better against supertanks and GCTs, but not as well as some heavy-damage single target tanks or shotgun tanks, since both of them have more than 3 minions.
(By the way, IMHO the most powerful tank right now is the Avenger. Despite being a single target tank, the sheer DPS it puts out now, and the speed of turret rotation, means that I can drive right up to a building, sit there, and it will go down in under two seconds. Watchtowers go down in three close to Origin.)
This is great stuff. Thanks! When I farm, I just go for enemy buildings, and Cane rocks those. I can see how it would suck against bigger stuff.
With the coming removal of resonators, all of our assumptions about balance and how to fight are going to get turned upside down. Regular old "Enemy Buildings" are going to be a challenge. Bigger stuff should be mostly impossible to solo. Everyone's shard collection rate will plummet. I have a feeling that class balance will not be important for a few weeks as the fallout from removal of resonators dominates G12.
Bug: Drillstation walls immediately respawn when you enter a town.
I was fighting a drill alone yesterday. I got hurt pretty badly and retreated around a screenful away back to a town (there were 1-2 enemies at most between the walls and the town - just enough for the walls to slip out of view when I was at the outskirts of the town.) When I returned seconds later, the entire DS had respawned.
This is not only frustrating for someone trying to kill the drill, but also quite easy to abuse - just run to the DS, knock out a wall and collect 1.5k shards, retreat, and come back and shoot it again. I managed to get over 10k shards in a minute doing this.
Enemies are much more aggressive than the previous build, at times I ended up being surrounded when standing at one place to regenerate shields. As a result, I felt impatience collecting specific lenses and exploring.
Favorable tank I prefer in this build was either the Cobra or the Valkyrie, best use for blasting a couple of enemy fortress who crossed paths. The tanks with the most durable shield are most likely to discover a few towns rather than speed. Crystals does stall a minimum amount of time for the shield recovery depending on the dense of minions lingering bout.
Which ever direction does G12 goes to, will be the wonders of exploring the core of the game-play. What a journey, it'll definitely be worth the ride!
Eh, did Silver miraculously gained a high dps? [Erk, I meant dexterity.]
Suggestion: Enemies should randomly decide what they're going to be on respawning, rather than respawning as the same type again and again.
There's been a drillstation right next to Origin to the southwest for a few days. Every time I log in, it's there and I'll kill it for ~40k shards. If it randomly decided its type every time it respawned then it would lead to a bit more variety in the game.
The extrinsic reward here is grid shards (xp). The intrinsic reward is reclaiming land for our team. Respawning destroys the intrinsic reward for me. I feel no desire to go kill something that's just going to come back in a few minutes. So the only reason I play is for grid shards to level up to see new tanks. That's hard to sustain. I'm hopeful but the only way to find out is to try it so I'm glad to hear that you're experimenting with this