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  • Assault Ship Ideas

    As somebody who always plays as the Gaalsien, I begin to really wish the Assault Ship had more appeal. I have a few ideas for things that BBI could do to make it work better (not necessarily good ideas), but before I get to them, I might as well briefly recap what makes this ship a pain in the butt:

    Assault Ship Deficiencies

    1. High-Cost Research: Having a high price tag on Assault Ship tech wouldn't be so bad if there were more substantive returns, but it's just sort of arbitrarily really expensive. Gaalsi need high early CU's to get their economy rolling. For comparison, Coalition factions spend 1400CU/85RU to set up a resource expansion and research AAVs, but for Gaalsi the same operation costs 1750CU/100RU. This pretty effectively forces Gaalsi players to go whole-hog Sandskimmer production instead before transitioning into Railguns. There is some variety in build order, but competitively I never see much of anything outside of Sandskimmer>Rails>Honorguard anymore, which is a shame. It's not just the cost of research either.

    2. Expensive Unit: Even once you get past the research, the thing itself is rather pricey. You're paying 20CU more per Assault Ship than you would be if you were making Assault Rail Guns. I make this comparison because of the next point...

    3. Ineffective in it's Roll as Anti-Strike-Craft: Against the AI, Assault Ships can kill LAV/Sandskimmers nice and effectively. However when pitted against human opponents, it seems to be universal knowledge that all you have to do to succeed against Assault Ships is continue to move your blobs of LAV/Sandskimmers in and out of range. Assault Ships simply can't reach determined and micro-managed blobs of LAV/Sandskimmers, and even if they get a few shots off, it isn't enough. AAV's don't have this problem as much, because they have that crippling fire ability that staggers enemy strike craft so that they often can't escape in time. And the aforementioned Assault Rail Guns actually serve much better as anit-strike-craft ships because a modest group of them can spam enough genuinely painful bullets at superior range to chew up LAV/Sandskimmers that aren't right on top of them. Combining Assault Rails and Sandskimmers for Strike Craft screening is what you will see in the competitive circuit these days with little exception, at least until there are Honorguards afoot. So this becomes further incentive to tech to Rails every time. Rail tech is cheaper in the sense of the desperately-needed early CU's and you get your ranged unit as well as a superior strike craft killer, both out of the same tech.

    So here are my ideas for things that could be done to bring the Assault Ships back into the competitive roster:

    Ways to Improve Assault Ships

    1. Bonus Damage on First Hit: Like I said earlier, Assault Ships are engaged by human opponents using careful micromanagement of their strike craft these days. Assault Ships usually score only a few hits on enemy strike craft as they dance in and out of range before they're completely annihilated by the rails the enemy strike craft tend to be sighting for. If Assault Ships had an occasional opening round of heavier ordinance, they might be able to take at least a few strike craft out that are engaging in this kind of attack. It seems only fair, because this 'sighting-dance' doesn't work nearly as well against AAV's, since they have the aforementioned staggering fire, and also can cover retreat with their smokescreen if need be.

    2. Take the EMP Off of Heavy Rails and Give it to Assault Ships: There are many little reasons this might be a good idea. Firstly the AAV's smokescreen is a really excellent ability that makes AAV's a firm, core unit of Coalition attacks; giving Assault Ships an ability seems only to even the score a bit. Looking at Armor as a class that helps manipulate the battlefield with staggering and neutralization tactics is kind of a neat approach to go for. Also Heavy Rails already have the Ranged Calibration mode; giving them two abilities seems excessive. I'd suggest that if this were done the EMP ability wouldn't require secondary research. EMP in general might be something the game designers should look at, because at present it doesn't seem to affect units for more than about a half-second. Darned if I've ever seen anyone actually use EMP... the difficulty of scoring a hit combined with the seemingly completely ineffectual results have made it a fairly unused part of the game. Free, effective EMP's on the Assault Ship might increase both the use of the mechanic and the use of Assault Ships... it's a win-win.

    3. Make Them Faster: Perhaps the second-most obvious choice that could be made. If they could give a bit better chase to Strike Craft and be somewhat better in the hit-and-run raids that Gaalsien are supposed to specialize in, this would really help.

    4. Make The Research Cheaper: This might just be the most obvious choice. It really isn't enough to do on its own, I don't think, but then again who knows. In any case it's arguable it should be done. You're paying way more to unlock one unit than you are to unlock two when researching Rails. Additionally, like I said earlier, you're sort of sacrificing early economy. Plus, the next rungs on the tech tree get into real expenditure that you are all-the-more-unequipped to pay. Want to use Siege Cruisers? Good luck having enough of an army to support them! Trying to rush air units? These puppies eat through RU's, and to get past the Assault Ship research hump you've had to commit to early CU's, so you're not going to get many Interceptors off the bat. By the time you get a decent attack wave, the Coalition is going to have its absurd multi-redundancy anti-air systems in place. Expensive Assault Ship research just tends to completely nuke any plans of using the next higher-tier units with any hope of competitive success. Maybe that is just me speaking as a lousy player, but there doesn't seem to be any arguing with the relative superiority of going sandskimmer>rails>honorguard, because that is what you will pretty much always see at present.

    I guess that's all I've got to say on the matter. Tune in later for the possibility of more "Make the Gaalsien Stronger" ideas.

  • #2
    Pretty much all valid.

    The Assault ship is a bit of a pig with a few niche roles, but its only saving grace currently is the techs it leads too.

    In regards to the suggestions.
    1. Alot of players complaints about the Assault ships stem from them beating AAVs, lots of people like AAVs...alot, on an unhealthy level.
    increasing the actual damage done would make that more of a problem, a better solution might be to increase the rof without changing the time between "bursts" so the Assault ship would do fire 8 shots quickly then cooldown as opposed to its consistent volleys.

    2. strapping an upgrade on Assault ships might help them, but I don't see anyone wanting to invest more into them, it would give them some utility though.

    3. increased speed would have to cost durability and it actually something I would like to see,
    tbh I feel the Assault ship and Assault rails have things mixed up, having a lower hp, high speed Assault ship with its lower range, while the Assault rail loses speed to be a bit tankier with its superior range just makes more sense.

    4. the entire reason for Assault ships being over priced is that mobile production, it is to delay their tech, otherwise you get 1 PC rush with AS spam, we had over powered AS at one point and it was pretty terrible.

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    • #3
      Move shunt move from AR to AS. And switch their costs. Badda bing badda boom.

      By damage on the first hit, did you mean per volley? As in the first bullet does extra damage? I kinda like that idea. Alternately, if the volley were to be front loaded so the bullets came out faster at the start then slower at the end, it would be really cool.

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