Get ready for a read boyz!
First, I'll start off by saying that I think the art, sounds, graphics, and animations in this game is second to none. It really does make the whole 40K out in space feel authentic and amazing. The new Holo-fields are absolutely gorgeous and I love the effects on the Drukhari Shadowfields as well.
I wrote a thread a long time ago with how I think the 3 Eldar factions should be, take a gander if you want, but in general, what I see in the game resembles the fluff close enough.
I’ll start with some themes from the lore:
- Speed - Drukhari > Corsairs > CW
- Durability - CW > Corsairs > Drukhari
- Boarding - Drukhari > CW > Corsairs
- Damage - Drukhari > Corsairs > CW
Since all Eldar factions employ hit and run strategies with 90 degree prow-facing weapons, each faction had a niche: Drukhari did a lot of damage but was paper-thin in return, CW was the tankiest of the Eldar but did less damage, Corsairs was more of a balance of the two.
In this latest beta, since this is an RTS game:
- Mostly all of the Eldar had the same speed
- CW had the most armor but they didn’t have a 2K HP BB, but Holo-fields are much tankier than Shadowfields
- Drukhari dominated the boarding and CW/Corsairs are not even close
- Drukhari damage was king, followed by CW due to sustain, but Corsairs are capable of big damage, they just can’t stay in the fight long.
A little different than the lore, but at least each of the Eldar factions had a theme that was somewhat similar to the lore. Because this is a table-top to RTS translation, not everything is a perfect port, but at least themes can be reinforced. I will talk about this part a bit later, but for now I want to get to the juicy part.
If it’s my understanding, from what I see in the 3 Eldars’ playstyles right now, I would say that:
- Corsairs are the cooldown/ordnance faction where they can rely on a big, strong BB in the form of the Voidstalker, utilize their plentiful Pulsars, and employ powerful ordnance using many Bays and Torpedoes. Because a lot of these items are limited and on a figurative timer.
- Craftworlds are a macro-heavy faction with lower DPS compared to the other two Eldar factions, but makes up for it with 67 armor ships under Holo-fields which makes them really tanky. They definitely seem to last the longest, that’s for sure.
- Drukhar are just really sneaky and killy. They have Shadowfields to sneak up on the opponent and once they’re there, they just have merciless damage. Luckily, Escorts are able to reveal them for as long as you keep them alive, you have a chance.
OK, now that the themes and playstyles are out of the way, I’d like to talk about each Eldar faction separately. I’ll start with Corsairs because I think they need the most work out of all the Eldar factions. For the rest of this document, I will bold and underline (and highlight) areas that I think needs adjustment, improvement, or just general change.
From the Corsair's perspective, one of the biggest problems that they're suffering right now is because they still have the Fragile attribute that makes them take more crit than everyone else (+100% chance to receive a crit). This is absolutely murderous on something like Eldar because they require their movement and gens to stay alive. The game size has increased and so has the engagement range. There’s more ships shooting you from 21.5km away and some of them use lances, or land lucky macro shots once your units get marked. I believe this to be an oversight that just made the transition from the first game to the second, but I really do not understand the logic for why Corsairs are the only Eldar to keep this trait while supposedly. It is a huge negative player experience and essentially punishes the player for just trying to play their faction since it’s so Hit and Run focused and require sustainability to produce damage opportunities.
If you look at the DPS capabilities of the Corsairs, they're actually quite good, between DE and CW comfortably, so not much needs to be changed there IMO. Corsairs focus a lot on hit and run; they're a cooldown faction for the most part of the Eldar trio. They excel at bringing plentiful Pulsars and have a ton of ordnance. This brings me to two key points about the Eldar that are also relevant in the upcoming discussion about Craftworld and Drukhari.
First, the Pulsar. Now, I’ve talked a lot in the past about this weapon. In the fluff, it’s simply a rapid-fire up-scaled Bright Lance that’s more akin to something like a Pulse laser. It goes pew, pew, pew, and then goes on reload, but a capital ship size. In the game, it is a forward-facing, fixed weapon that shoots out a pulsing death beam that supposedly annihilates things. It’s a burst weapon, capable of doing 90 damage over a span of 3 seconds before going on a 20 second cooldown. So, here’s my issue with this weapon: I know that I’m not going to be able to influence the design of this weapon because I tried that 3 years ago, and if they didn’t make it lore-appropriate by now either by technical limitations or some other form of magic, it’s pretty much here to stay. I will say though, that this weapon right now in its current form is very awkward to use. It’s awkward because unlike the first game, as the active player, I have no idea when the weapon system will come back online. A 20 second cooldown on a weapon that you have to manually guide into position and let rip, is troublesome to use without a visual indicator. In its current form, I would almost prefer to use the old version of the Pulsar (can’t believe I’m saying this). Right now, I have to keep a mental tally of when the weapon will be available and count in my head. I’ve adapted to it by now since both CW and Corsairs share this technology, but I still think it’s troublesome. I don’t know what the fix is here, but it could be something as simple as a cooldown timer on the weapon on the bottom toolbar.
This brings me into a follow-up statement about the Pulsar. The Pulsars DPS was roughly doubled from the first game, and in some ways, it accounts for the 2x increase to Hull but not for Shields. In its current form, it’s a very all or nothing weapon. When a Eldar ship uses the Pulsar, it is at its most vulnerable (hint hint). Because it is a 3-second 9k range weapon, it forces the Eldar player to hard commit to a fixed line directly to its target and close if he wants any chance at hitting with all of the burst. This is just the byproduct of having a fixed-fore weapon, but because of the speed at which the Eldar ship closes and the fact that you’re closing (hopefully with AHF for a ram), makes the weapon in general a higher-risk weapon to utilize. I do not feel that this weapon currently has the damage that outweighs the risk that it induces. I’m also sure, and please correct if wrong, but with the doubling of the hull from the first game to now, shields also doubled in some cases. If this is the case, then doubling the DPS of the Pulsar was not enough to justify the increase to shields. The tracking on this weapon is also quite poor in most cases as if you let the AI aim for you, you will not be able to hit most Frigates in the game.
Lastly, I’d like to mention that there are no direct upgrades or skills that promotes additional Pulsar use. I will talk about this later in the upgrade section, but if you look at Drukhari Phantom Lances, their receive a Concentrated Fire perk for taking Reload as their stance that increases the damage for their Phantom Lanes by 100%, doubling the damage. For CW and Corsairs, perhaps taking Reload on them will increase the range of their Pulsars by 4.5k? Some food for thought.
Next, I’d like to talk about Eldar Ordnance really quick. For future references, I’m using Ordnance to describe Torps, Fighters and Bombers. In the lore, Eldar had superior fighters and torpedoes: They had dodge properties essentially and they were only destroyed on a roll of a 6, which no other factions had. In short, they had Top Guns in space with their Fighters and Bombers, and their Torps were extremely advanced and capable of impossible maneuvers that when combined with Holo-fields, made them almost impossible to shoot down. In the first BFG, Eldar ordnance maintained a certain level of superiority. After all, the Eldar is expected to do more with less, so they had 30% dodge on their fighter/bombers and 50% dodge on their torps. In the current beta, I shit you not, I’m losing to Harpies and Orks. My torps are also being knocked out of the air by a BB not in Brace looking at me sideways. Something is up, and I can’t put a finger on it, but it seems like Eldar has lost its space/air/void superiority.
Both of these factors combined, combined with the Fragile trait is why I believe Corsairs are currently underperforming compared to the other 2 Eldar factions. They focus mainly on their Pulsars and Ordnance, and because of Fragile, they are put on a fast-ticking timer for when their effectiveness to actually pull off those hit and run tactics before they just cave and are incapable of continuing the fight. It doesn’t help that currently, the Voidstalker and Eldar Launch Bays feels overcosted and that the lynchpin of the Corsair faction is often overlooked for more reliable weapons like the macro. Reliability is the hallmark of any strong, competitive faction, and right now Corsairs are very far from the tree. Eldar in general are designed to be a high-risk, high-reward, high-skill cap faction, but in its current state, Corsairs are not rewarded enough for their play and the amount of effort you need make successful attacks.
Closing statement: High risk, low reward (because cooldown-reliant and Fragile).
Next, I want to talk about CW Eldar.
For the most part, I feel that CW Eldar is in a good place minus the existing problems that I talked about earlier; which is Pulsars and Eldar Ordnance. However, I feel the need to call out that the biggest issue I see for them right now is that they’re too safe. They’re too safe because of the 270 degree firing arc (thanks to Runic Targeting) and the fact that they’re the tankiest Eldar. I agree with the design that they’re supposed to be tanky with full holos, but their ability to deal damage and infinitely kite away with 13.5k weapon systems makes the faction generally over-performing and a better pick over Corsairs.
Let me explain: The Eldar playstyle by design forces the player to make difficult choices. You’re traditionally forced to make the decision to stay alive or deal damage, and you make that decision to several different ships at once in any given moment of the game. This is because the Eldar have all prow weapons with a 90 degree firing arc, or have to play with hard commit weapons such as fixed Pulsars and Torpedoes. The only thing that is multi-directional for the Eldar are its “superior” Fighters and Bombers. When it comes to the Craftworlds, the fact that they have an upgrade that provides 13.5k range to 270 degree firing arcs makes the faction overly effective because you start to blur the lines of high-risk and high-reward to a point where you can almost always reap rewards. You no longer trade safety with damage potential so you’re always able to kite while maintaining damage pressure on the enemy. This playstyle also limits fleet construction because ‘why not more macros’ and further reduces the usefulness or incentive to take Pulsars. Macros can do more work, it’s more safe to use, and you never have to dive on the enemy which is when Eldar ships are at its highest risk. If you don’t believe me, try Kin-crewed with Reload on a Tyranid player where you’re constantly dining on death’s table. It should be stressful to play against the Great Devourer, but that stress is greatly diminished with safer play with 270 degree guns. I believe that this is a problem with not only the CW faction, but also with Corsairs so I see this as a overarching problem with the current playstyle of both Eldar factions. You merely notice as much with CW because it is the more competitive pick due to the state that Corsairs are in. My suggestion is to reduce the firing arc to 180 degrees instead of 270 because it will at least force the Eldar player to travel horizontally and thus reducing the kiting impact of gameplay noticeably.
Closing statement: Low risk, high reward (because of reliable kiting with 270 degree fire).
Lastly, I want to talk about the Drukhari. In short, the Drukhari Battleships are undercosted: They have the highest DPS per point of any ship in the game by far, and it only compounds and gets more powerful with upgrades, stances or variant of BB. For example, if you factor in Reload, Kin-crewed, and take an Obsidian Rose BB, you’re looking at upwards of 100+ DPS if you are able to stack enough Kin-crewed. There’s a measurement that I usually employ when determining the effectiveness of a ship and that’s through a system called Effectiveness Value, or roughly how much bang do you get for the buck. For perspective, the average of the DEV (Damage Effectiveness Value) with respect to total DPS including lances for the entire Imperial Navy BB line is ~19. That means you pay 19 points per DPS essentially. For the 298 point Falling Moon BB that you can take 4 of in a 1200 game, you have 42 DPS in your macros ALONE before Reload, Kin-crewed, or anything else; which makes your total DEV a 6.8. Lower means that you pay roughly 3x as less than IN for the damage, which makes sense in a lot of ways because you’re also much more fragile. However, there is no doubt that this is still value-city coupons because once you factor in Reload, Kin-crewed, or throw in Phantom Lances into the equation (+100% damage under reload), you’re looking at by far, the best DPS ship for the points in the game. This effect is greatly amplified by the fact you can simply sit there in most cases and burn down enemy ship without remorse, sometimes without a thought or fear of retaliation because you have movement-stopping torps, Statis and Black Holes (Dark Matter Cannon). In short, Drukhari BBs are undercosted, and that while the damage is very much Dark Kin in nature, there’s just too much value in the damage that they’re doing currently. I would propose and argue for a points increase of these ships because it is only really prevalent on these large, 2000 HP 50 armor beasts. For the Cruisers, while damage value is also great, they at least die in reasonable times vs. competent players using Scan effectively. The 1200 HP when revealed really doesn’t do the Drukhari any favors. I think because the Battleships are so domineering (because less ships = easier to control), it limits fleet composition in competitive builds and severely decreases variety.
Before I move onto Skills and Upgrades, I’d like to talk briefly about Shadowfields. I’m not really sold on the design of these because I think they are very all or nothing in a lot of ways, both in design and in-practice. The shorter explanation to this is that they either make the ship Stealth if moving at max speed, or gives them nothing at all, so they’re paper airplanes. Against lists that runs Frigates and have access to Scan, Shadowfields are only really great on approach. Against lists that runs without Frigates, it’s like shooting a fish in a barrel because you can disengage and approach at will, completely driving the tempo of the game. For the unfortunate factions that do not have cheap Scans because of the cost of Frigates (cough, other Eldar, cough), Stealth is often a huge decider in games because it makes even 13.5k kiting methods virtually useless.
Let’s back up for a minute here and talk about the fluff, lore and design aspects of Shadowfields from the table-top, both in general 40K and in BFG. Since we’re in BFG land, I’ll be first to say that the original DE design for Shadows was uncreative at best. It was a literal copy and paste of Eldar holo-fields and very boring to say the least. In 40K, Shadowfields was a 2++ Invulnerable save that once failed (you rolled a 1), it stopped working for the rest of the game. It’s supposed to represent this immensely powerful forcefield that can stop the heaviest armament regardless of source until it wears out eventually; essentially putting the DE player to test their luck and hopefully not roll 1s. Fast-forward to the current game, Shadowfields are more like another Drukhari technology called Night Shields, which before 8th Ed., made it so that opponents weapon ranges were shorter vs. Dark Eldar because they were clouded in an inky darkness. I understand how copy and pasting the Eldar holo-fields will just feel bland and I agree with that. Stealth was given over as a mechanic to make Dark Eldar more unique and I think that’s great flavouring, but again, polarizing because it’s very much a all or nothing approach. To the active Drukhari player, it’s either you have Stealth, or you get nothing, and for the defending player, it’s either you have Frigates, or you die.
I can’t put a finger on this yet but I generally dislike the idea that since you have no shields anyway, you might want to just stick around and shoot (not saying you should). Just prow in and engage at 9K or something because by the time you’re revealed, you don't have to play like Drukhari in the fluff. This seems strange because in the lore, the Drukhari are not a standing navy, and avoid confrontation that they cannot win. It is this all or nothing feature that seemingly makes Drukhari Cruisers and Light Cruisers less appealing (looking past BBs), because without active Stealth, 1200 HP and 50 Armor have almost no staying power. Perhaps you can give them lesser Holo-field properties (imagine half the effectiveness of current Holo-fields), keep the Stealth mechanic, but lower the health of BBs to compensate for the fact they have 2000 HP? It would be more lore-appropriate while keeping the current design, and would give Drukhari Cruisers a little more leg to stand on.
Closing Statement: Low risk in some cases, high risk in others (as a result of Shadowfields), generally high reward because of underpriced BBs
We’re almost done, I promise. I just want to briefly talk about the Skill/Upgrade options that players have right now and how I would rate them. In general, any perks that are very specific and conditional are just not widely used. In contrast, any perk that gives a unique distinction to playstyle, or uniformly benefits the entire fleet in a non-conditional way, is a solid choice. The ones that only benefit one ship like the flagship, are somewhere in the middle. Keep in mind that I understand that some of these are fluff and casual choices and not every upgrade must be useful, but I want to point out the ones that promote different styles of play (good) and ones that will never be picked (bad). There’s tons of suggestions I can give, but I’ll hold off on that until Tindalos wants some suggestions.
I’ll start with the ones that some of the factions share in common:
- Holo-field/Shadowfield Overload - Provides extra protection on the flagship. Situational but can be very strong in some cases so I view this as a worthwhile upgrade.
- Augur/Wraithbone Probe - Scouting is always good. Not as strong due to Eldar’s reliance on active scouting using faster ships and fighters, but acceptable.
- Disruption Bomb - General purpose bomb that punishes bad play. I don’t have a problem with it per se other than it’s sort of a boring, non-Eldar weapon with a distinct lack of flavor.
- Statis Bomb - Same thing can be said here. More worthwhile for the Eldar who needs room to breathe sometimes, usually my #1 pick because it combos well with Maelstrom. More on this later.
- Wraithbone Reinforcements - I do not feel that this is very worthwhile because it’s frontal only and for CW, it’s only a minor benefit. For Corsairs, this is certainly much stronger, but I would like to see the armor bumped up to a 2+ save (83) to make it more enticing. The reason why I say this is because it requires Eldar ships to be in 9K proximity and sometimes those occurrences are rare, especially if you’re swarming or get displaced by the enemy fleet.
- Micro Warp Jump - MWJ for short, I don’t see the value on this on Eldar as much as I see it on something like the Retribution because they lack HET and general speed. It’s still solid and useful to have, it’s just that it’s more edge-case for Eldar ships because of their inherent speed and movement capabilities.
- Polarized FIeld - Never used. This is strictly situational and dependent on the whims of the Chaos Gods when rolling on map generation, and obstacles can be generally avoided with ease due to superior Eldar turn.
- Void Predator - Again, never used. This is situational and dependent on a certain strategy that generally no one employs. Holo-field effects are strong enough and circling around in a gas cloud when there’s objectives to take is almost never an idea scenario.
- Kin-crewed Batteries - This is good because it promotes higher-risk play for greater damage rewards. It changes both the playstyle of the player, possible fleet composition, and gives greater incentives at the risk of shorter engagement ranges and increased multi-tasking. It also forces hard player decisions such as changing stances to Brace or Reload mid-match because you will lose this benefit, but will gain flexibility. Trade-offs should occur in perk design and I see this as an example of great design. Some numbers can be tweaked with this combined with Reload, but that’s another story.
- Accelerated Batteries - Another worthwhile upgrade because it puts emphasis on the Flagship. This stands out immediately to me because it provides certain flagships with a different way of play. For example, this greatly benefits the Voidstalker and takes advantage of its already impressive 13.5k range weapons, but it also allows ships like the Obsidian Rose or Phoenix to start the party from further away, reducing the risk factor on your flagship.
- Spirit Crystal Lens - I don’t dislike it, but I think it can be so much more. I would rather see this upgrade provide some incentive for Pulsars for line ships to promote a certain playstyle. For example, if this made Pulsars deal 50% more damage to Shields, it will incentivize the player to possibly look into Pulsar-heavy fleets and expand his creative fleet-building capabilities. What about range? If players took this but gave them a 4.5K range increase on Pulsars, that would make them more worthwhile as well. Let’s see what BFG, 2010 Comp has to say about something similarly named:
“Enhanced Crystal Focusing. Rare ultra-pure crystals and a delicate realignment of the firing mechanisms raise the power transfer ratio of the ship‟s weapons, significantly increasing their range. Add +15cm range to the ship‟s weapon batteries and lance-type weapons.”
Well, we already have something like this that applies to the flag, but a range increase for line ships might be another conversation. The only thing I caution against is giving something like this and Accelerated Batteries on the Voidstalker. If we see Pulsar improvements, I don’t think anyone would enjoy 21.5k Pulsars. Keep in mind that I’m not supporting increasing range of Macros, we already have something that does that.
- Spirit Stone Targeting Node - This is another upgrade I like because it locks you into a certain stance to get the benefit, and changes your style of play. However, like I said earlier, I believe the current iteration of extending range AND allowing 270 degree fire is a bit much. However, my point still stands that I think this is excellent design and changes the dynamics, fleet comp and playstyle of the entire fleet, and essentially adds another active decision the player has to make in battle (to stay in Stance or not).
- Blessing of Vaul - I like this upgrade. It allows for a certain mentality in battle that if you want to TEAR THEM APART, you can, but at the risk of getting rammed, boarded or torp’d. It further encapsulates the high-risk, high-reward nature of the faction, and I like that. It’s too risky for me in most situations, but the damage this can apply is very appealing. Great to use when you’re swarming and coming from all different vectors.
- Venom Shards Bomb - Situational and unsure how venom/Splinter shards enter through 100 feet of Adamantium, but OK. The range on this is what is least appealing as 1.5K range is absolutely tiny. I would love to see this created to match the Disruption Bomb at least to make it more appealing.
- Dark Matter Cannon - This is one of the go-to Drukhari combos for a one-two Statis Bomb/DMC combo. This slows and does damage, essentially trapping the ships in the Statis bubble. This allows allows ships trapped towards the edge of the Statis to get torpedoed into the ground, so I think this combination is a bit too strong. I would seek to remove the movement hampering capabilities on this first otherwise..
- Maelstrom - It just becomes a carbon copy of this, which I don’t find very appealing. This is a great displacement weapon, and I like the design of it, I just don’t enjoy all 3 Eldar factions having something similar. Maelstrom is like a giant Psychic Storm cast by Farseers so I can understand its place in CW, but for Corsairs it should be something different. Again, just minor complaints.
- Wych Cults - This is fine for the most part, but Drukhari boarding is already so strong that I find this to be unappealing.
- Splinter Torpedoes - I like this upgrade a lot. It gives Torps something unique on top of their damage and makes Drukhari standout in that respect. The design is great.
- Ramming Blade - Not a fan of ramming with Eldar ships so I always skip over this one.
- Torture Chambers - Morale for the Drukhari is generally not an issue because you should be killing things and staying ahead. If you’re not, that’s the fault of the player and you have active countermeasures like Inspiring Speech to keep your ships in the fight. Morale is generally not considered a super high-priority in a battle and if things go south, you’ve probably already lost anyway so morale doesn’t matter. It’s also very conditional, which further limits its use and application.
- Dire Avenger Node - I would like this more if CW weren’t terrible in boarding actions (both boarding and Lightning Strike). The chance to inflict Crit chances on boarding gets increased to 30%, but in general I feel like this needs to have a much greater impact for it to take a upgrade slot.
- Shrine of Asuryan - CW Eldar certainly do not require more morale benefits so I don’t see a point to this upgrade at all. Again, morale only matters when you’re almost dead, and by that time the game might as well be over (especially for CW). The only time that morale might matter is when you’re being nuked by something like Psychic Scream (btw, this is insane), but you can counter-play that with positioning and Inspiring Speech.
- Ship of the Dead - Extremely conditional and situation because it forces you to also use Rally. If this was a hard Troop benefit like +5 troops or something, it might be more worthwhile, but in its current state, it will never be chosen over some of the other options.
- Vibro Torpedoes - Another great design choice for the Corsairs and can be very powerful in the right circumstances.
Environmental Energy Drain - Situational and RNG dependent on map generation, so again, will probably never take.
To summarize and provide a minor disclaimer: I feel that Eldar is pretty close to where they need to be. I don’t think they need a lot of changes, especially in the realm of design, but I do think they will need some numbers worked.
The disclaimer that I want to throw out is that changes to the Eldar factions have to be very small. Because the faction is highly skill-dependent, they are often at the extremes when it comes to in-game battle performance. A great player can sing with Eldar if they have good enough control, but a mediocre player will not be able to take them to their full potential. While the same could be said about every faction, I don’t think anyone will argue that it takes a certain type of player to use the Eldar factions effectively because their minimal skill level is just much higher. Mistakes cost the Eldar player a lot, and the window at which they can allow those mistakes are much smaller. This is OK everyone, please don’t be offended. This is both lore and gameplay appropriate and design wise, makes perfect sense. It was like this in BFG TT, like this in Epic, like this in 40K, like this in virtually every game where Eldar is present, including modern interpretations that is the Dawn of War series, and the first iteration of this game. The TLDR there is: Please take extra care in the balance for the Eldar factions!
So, with that said, let’s talk about some proposals. What am I suggesting after talking about the factions for so long? Well, not much actually. The way that I will present this is with a concern, followed by a suggestion(s), followed by my reasoning. I will start with the key concerns that have already been highlighted in this document. Keep in mind that for suggestions, I’m not asking or even insisting that all of it should be taken.
Concern: Fragile Attribute greatly decreases Corsair reliability
Suggestion: Remove the Fragile Attribute from Corsair ships
Reasoning: The Corsairs are a hit and run faction that is greatly hampered by the inclusion of this trait. Threat range and engagement ranges have been increased and so has the number of ships capable of inflicting Crits in a 1200 point game. At 50 armor across the board and standard Eldar hull values, Corsairs are ‘fragile’ enough.
Concern: Pulsars are under-performing and awkward to use
Increase Pulsar damage slightly; from 30 to 35.
Display a Pulsar cooldown timer on the bottom UI to better help players visualize the cooldown
Reasoning: Pulsars are awkward to use and as a fixed-fore weapon, requires the player to commit to use them which greatly increases the Eldar player’s risk factor. Currently, it does not feel that the risk/reward factor is justified and that damage needs to be increased. This is evident in the fact that while Health was effectively doubled and armor reworked, Shields have also seen doubling while Pulsar DPS doubled according to just Hull. I am seeking an increase in damage for the Pulsar itself because a Reload decrease will only force Eldar players to commit more to “Pulsar runs” that unneedly increases their risk factor.
Concern: Eldar Ordnance are under-performing
Suggestion: Increase or give Dodge properties to Eldar Fighters, Bombers or Ordnance
Reasoning: This is not only lore appropriate but was also present in the first BFG game. I don’t know what happened between the two games but somehow, in my experience and playtime, I not believe the properties are present or are working as intended. Eldar fighters are often seen losing to Harpies or Ork fighters, and their Torpedoes are not as reliable.
Concern: 270 degree firing arcs are over-performing
Suggestion: Change 270 firing arcs to 180 degrees
Reasoning: 270 degree firing arcs leads to particular high-reward, low-risk behaviors from Eldar admirals as they can continuously kite without committing to any attack pattern.
Concern: Drukkhari Battleships are over-performing
Suggestion: Increase the point cost of some Drukhari battleships; mainly Obsidian Rose and Falling Moon
Reasoning: The reason why this is some is because Iron Thorn is currently over-costed due to similar DPS output as a Falling Moon but cost over a hundred more for 1 Launch Bay. However, Falling Moon at 298 currently allows 4 Drukhari BBs to be taken, and Obsidian Rose DPS is greatly over-performing. I believe increasing the Falling Moon’s cost into the 300 range outside of being able to realistically take 4 in a game, while increasing Obsidian Rose’s cost to mid-300s would better justify the value from these ships. Likewise, and for consistency, I would imagine that both the Iron Thorn and Dying Sun (assuming it gains its assault modules back) to be somewhere in the middle of the two proposed values.
Concern: Shadowfields in current form.
Shadowfields provide a 10% Macro accuracy reduction, 20% lance at max speed (minor holo-fields effect), and Stealth upon full charge
Reduce Drukhari BBs HP from 2000 to 1800
Reasoning: This would increase the survivability and viability to Drukhari CA/CL/FFs by giving them more survivability, but will require Drukhari BBs to fall in HP to compensate. However, the Shadowfields charge faster and makes the Drukhari more unique compared to the CW or Corsairs. This is much closer to the lore of Shadowfields and GW's initial design for Drukhari while maintaining cohesion with the current Tindalos design.
Concern: Corsair Torpedoes only have 4 instead of 8
Suggestion: Corsair Torpedo count increased from 4 to 8
Reasoning: Drukhari and CW both have 8 Torpedoes in their layout so I think this might have been an oversight from the first game. In BFG:A1, the Corsairs had 4 torps, but now with BFG:A2, all the other Eldar got 8 torps while Corsairs remain at 4.
Honestly, there’s not much here. The Shadowfields one might be the most design-centric one and the largest change, but it’s also one we can all live without. I strongly believe that with some of these changes, the 3 Eldar factions can be unique in flavour while being competitive in the hands of a skilled player. There are some points adjustments that I would advocate as well, but I'm interested in seeing these changes implemented first before looking at prices (I'm looking at you Voidstalker!).
Thanks for reading!
While looking at Romain's community post yesterday, I was elated to see that they're using metadata to make balance-driven decisions. I think it's definitely the right direction, especially if they can use this data to confirm the opinions of top players who are giving them feedback.
However, there is some data that I think is missing, or at least not being shown that can help us a little more when it comes to balance. I'm not sure what the telemetry is like over at Tindalos, but part of what I do professionally is helping people smarter than me make better decisions using data. Since I love the game and I want it to succeed, I figure I can just iterate on some things to be considered.
When looking at the win percentages like what I see above, I'm not exactly how to interrupt this data. Most of the time when we're looking at data, we're asking questions first. It starts with questions, then the data is collected, then we analyze the data, to make decisions based on that data, and it eventually (and hopefully) turns into actions such as balance changes.
Some questions I would ask based on the data displayed above:
- Is this the global average of all skill levels and all matchups?
- Does this combine 1v1 and 2v2 as well?
- Are we focusing balance on the majority or by the top players?
- Are we targeting balance around 2v2 or should 1v1 be the priority?
- If we're using data from top players, what does that data look like compared to the average player?
- Is Legendary rank being used or is overall ELO or possibly a mixture?
Just based on what we see so far, I would interrupt this as the global average of all skills vs. all matchups in both 1v1 and 2v2.
I think this is a good start, and as I said before, I'm not sure if more data is being collected in the background so this is going off the assumption that it is. Most telemetry data being collected these days in modern game companies capture quite a lot, so I think we have some wiggle room for me to mass interrupt and make assumptions.
I think what data would be really useful would be, especially in the realm of balance would be to answer the following questions:
- Who are the top players by ELO and what factions are they using?
- Within these top factions, what fleet composition are they using?
- Within these fleets, what upgrades/skills are they using?
This data can be used to confirm whether or not something like Tyranids, for example, are as dominant as everyone says they are. More importantly, it can also determine whether or not it's just Tyranids, or are other factions displaying the same outliers and patterns. I'll elaborate below..
Let's just say that the data we got back the data above and it looks like this. All the data is hypothetical and high-level:
- We find out that there are 4 players in the Top 10 ELO that are using Nids as a faction, however, there are also other factions like CW Eldar, Drukhari, Chaos, Orks..etc.
- OK, so we think that Nids might be over-performing a bit, so let's dig a little deeper and see what fleet comp they're using. It turns out that 4 of the 4 are using heavy Carrier fleets hmm..
- Digging again, we look at the Nid Admiral Skills and Upgrades are the exact same from all 4 Nid players in the top 10.
Data, when aggregated correctly, can tell us a crap ton. Just based off of the high-level hypothetical data that I presented above, we can tell:
- That Nids are performing well in top-level play, making up of 40% of the 10 players in 1v1. We can expand this to show top 25, I bet that will tell even a greater story.
- That most common fleet type being taken is Carriers for those Nid players, and identifying which ships are the most competitive choice for these players.
- That all the Nids and Admiral skills are the exact same, identifying that not only is there very little competitive variance, but perhaps maybe these upgrades to increase the effectiveness of Carriers specifically, or if they're just incredibly good that they're auto-include (Psychic Scream, I'm looking at you).
However, what we can deduce what this looks like for everyone else on the top tables. The reason why this analysis is important is that it allows us to answer questions like: Are Nid Carriers too powerful specifically? or are Carriers too powerful specifically? If you look at the Top25 and all 25 of every faction is packing Carriers, that might be saying something. If you look at the data and see convincingly that it's just Nids, the balance decision can be to just target balance fixes at just Nid Carriers.
Looking at this larger subset of data can also tell us more subtle things like:
- Proportionally, there is a smaller number of CW Eldar players in the top 25, but whether or not this means design expectations is another story.
- The follow-up here is that the 4 or whatever CW Eldar players are all packing the same fleet comp and the same skills/upgrades. Do we want that or should we promote more diverse play?
- Likewise, we see that there is only 1 Corsair player in the top 50, and go hmm.. we need to look at evening the odds here somehow.
- This can also be used to tell outliers, like this HERO guy asking for 270 arcs to be nerfed and a nerf to Eldar torps. Is he the only CW Eldar saying this, or are there more players of similar skill levels all using the same fleet comp/skills/upgrades?
I'm sure I can go on, but I feel strongly that when it comes to balancing and interrupting data, the data itself should be used to confirm the opinions of top players giving feedback. This is healthy and can only benefit the game in the long run.
I made an Intermediate to Advanced guide on how to play the game a bit better. I didn't really have a set script, so I just ran down some bullet points and talked about each for a little bit. Unfortunately, because there is quite a bit of gameplay, it ran much longer than I expected! 2.5 hours actually.
I mainly just stream 1v1s when I have time and don't have a dedicated YT channel, so I've highlighted this vid on my channel:
Here are the points I talked about in this video:
- Fleet composition; focused vs. balanced fleets (~8 min)
- Upgrade/skills additions (~17 min)
- Hotkeys; improving speed (~24 min)
- Scouting, strategic deployment, focus fire while moving (~32 min)
- Selecting critical systems (~37 min)
- Understanding ship movement (~1h10m)
- Understanding weapons and engagement distance (~1h10m)
- Cooldown management (~1h37m)
- Predicting engagements, reacting to the enemy (~1h50m)
- Understanding specific matchups; meta fleets (~2h2m)
I primarily showcased the IN when talking about designing a fleet, but also dabbled in Eldar when talking about cooldown management. There's also a lot of torping in this vid with both factions and a fair amount of jumping around topics because there's so much to talk about.
I want to mirror the specific feedback in where upgrades and abilities are LOCKED for Skirmish/MP. I do NOT believe they should be locked because it just adds a barrier of entry for players who want to experiment and try things out. It also doesn't allow you to easily test matchups for other factions, and runs the risk of gating players access to more powerful skills and upgrades that other ranked players have access to.
With that said, I suggest removing the level cap for both Skirmish and MP, but if it must stay, it should stay in MP and NOT for Skirmish. Skrimish should be a true sandbox. Custom games, for that matter (so me inviting a friend to 1v1) should also have everything unlocked.
First, I'd like to preface this by saying that I'm incredibly happy to see all 12 BFG factions being included in the second game. In the modern age of DLCs and freeniums, this is a great step in the right direction and a huge boon to 40K players everywhere, especially with the recent events of DoW3.
With that said, I think much can be said about the design space specifically to the 3 Eldar races. BFG in general, is a fairly old game with several outdated mechanics from the table-top perspective. However, 40K as a whole has progressed quite a bit since when BFG and even the 2010 compendium was constructed. The new game is to take place hot off the heels of the Fall of Cadia, so we can assume that everything so far is at least updated with the 7th Edition if not 8th Edition codexes and FW additions.
To be perfectly fair to Tindalos, I think overall they did a pretty good job with their first game BFG:A. There was a lot of table-top fluff that they translated very well into a video game and that's always a challenge in itself. However, one of the areas I think they were the weakest was in their design of the Corsair Eldar fleet specifically. When you consider the huge amount of resources and fluff available to them (40K, FW, Black Library) that described Eldar technology in detail, I think overall it was a miss.
Here were some of the sore points for me:
Space shuriken cannons - Later changed to Starcannons thank goodness. However, Starcannons are still plasma technology vs. the laser batteries explicitly called out in BFG fluff. Not too big a deal I guess.
Pulsars - I don't know what happened here. Pulsars are simply gigantic lance batteries with a high ROF, so they can be comparable to a mix of a Pulse Laser with Lance properties. In BFG:A, they were mega death beams that did massive DoT. This is completely against the fluff and not representative of what Pulsars are at all.
Holo-fields - As of Doom of Mymeara, Corsair Eldar use a new technology called Corsair Kinetic Shroud. If you look at the description for these shields, it matches the current design of the Eldar Holo-fields exactly: The faster you go, the more powerful the shield becomes at negating damage (macro and lance). So if you want BFG:A to be lore-accurate, it should simply be renamed to Corsair Kinetic Shrouds.
Which brings me to this point: The current design of holo-fields in BFG:A is completely against Eldar fluff in almost every regard (EPIC 40K, all codices, all FW material, all Black Library). The fluff-accurate depiction of holo-fields should be that they distorted Eldar ships/titan image with multi-spectrum images that confused sensors and aim. A real life example can be in the form of an acid-laced beer goggles, or the fact that you're simply seeing double/triples. For real life applications, the best chance at hitting a quail or skeet would be with a shotgun (high ROF macro) and not a rifle (lance). For an in-game translation, this would impose a heavy accuracy debuff to lance weapons shooting at Eldar ships that are equipped in Holo-fields, vs. a minor penalty to macro weapons shooting at them (column shift roughly translates to 20% accuracy debuff if we're referring to range bands).
Now that that's out of the way, we should talk about what's new and design space. First, Craftworld Eldar and Corsair Eldar are relatively similar in terms of shared technology and application minus Holo-fields. New to the CW Aeldari specifically are in the inclusion of a new breed of fighter aircraft known as Crimson Hunters (first introduced in 6th Ed.), and they present the pinnacle of fighter air supremacy. While Corsair Aeldari heavily employ the use of Nightwing and Phoenix bombers, CW Eldar can enjoy the luxury of this elite shrine (Eldar Top Gun) and their Exarchs.
As for the Drukkari, this is where Tindalos has the most freedom in terms of design space. Not only has their entire faction changed in terms of aesthetics (compare 3rd vs. 5th artistic style), but they're also the most freeform for how they can be designed. However, I say this knowing how Shadowfields specifically barely changed in terms of the fluff for all this time, but lazily enough, DE was almost a copy and paste of Corsair/CW Eldar mechanics where the Shadowfields functioned exactly like Holo-fields (but by lore they functioned way different i.e. see Epic 40K), but Phantom lances were noticeably different. This is a slight departure from the traditional idea that this wepaon was just an upscaled Dark Lance (vs. Pulsars being a rapid fire capital ship Bright Lance), that it was more destructive in nature compared to the ROF benefits of a Pulsar. I'm not even going to go into slave-taking, their movement mechanics or Mimic Engines, but what can be said is that in BFG at least, they were very different but in times, similar due to lazy design. This also gives them the most flexibility when it comes to design space, especially when you factor in the fact that GW added a ton of design room with re-defining how Shadowfields work in 5th, and a few new additions like the "Void Lance" and "Void Mines" that the Voidraven Bomber uses. Razorwings are also new in this respect, especially when you factor in their multiple different missile types and weird-Al technology i.e. the Implosion stuff.
OK! So what does all this mean? I think this means that Tindalos has a golden opportunity to make all 3 Aeldari races very unique based off the facts presented here. I'll pitch out some surface-level ideas and leave the rest up for debate, but here are some thoughts from a fluff to table to game perspective. I'll list them out as "themes" that promotes a certain playstyle:
Corsair Aeldari Themes
Corsair Kinetic Shrouds - Current in-game design, promotes constant movement to maximize full damage negation on relatively less durable ships (compared to Wraithbone structure of CW Eldar).
Pulsars - Rapid-fire upscaled Bright Lances.
Generally better raiders than CW Eldar in terms of boarding assaults, and plentiful Nightwing/Phoenix bomber squadrons.
More plentiful than CW Eldar, but less disciplined and elite. Mid-way between Drukkari and CW.
Craftworld Aeldari Themes
Holo-fields - Greatly decreases enemy lance accuracy and slightly decreases enemy macro weaponry.
Pulsars - Rapid-fire upscaled Bright Lances.
Wraithbone constructs - The most durable of all Eldar ships in terms of durability and armor.
Elite and few - Are more elite in boarding and fighter actions due to Exarch Shrines. Has access to limited number of Crimson Hunters that can dominate air space. Better defensive boarding.
Shadowfields - Near impenetrable shields vs. all weaponry, but can be overloaded if saturated and then disabled until it recharges. Picture Corsair Kinetric Shrouds at max at all times, but turns off entirely if overloaded with damage.
Phantom Lances - More destructive than Pulsars, but less Rate of Fire. Higher crit chance and burst damage, but not like the current BFG:A death beams.
Very fast, but very fragile - The most maneuverable and the fastest ships. Best acceleration, decel, turn rates, and raw speed, not reliant on Solar Sails, but has the lowest hit points and armor of all Eldar.
Strongest offensive boarding - Slavers and pirates, very strong boarding actions, but weaker on the defense.
How this translates to in-game themes out of a rating of 5:
Firepower: 4 (Pulsars and lasers)
Maneuverability: 4 (Solar Sails)
Durability: 3 (Kinetic Shrouds, medium ship armor)
Boarding: 3 (offensive and defensive)
Squadrons: 4 (Nightwings and Phoenix)
Firepower: 4 (Pulsars and lasers)
Maneuverability: 4 (Solar Sails)
Durability: 4 (Holo-fields, Wraithbone)
Boarding: 4 (defensive), 3 offensive
Squadrons: 5 (Access to Crimson Exarch)
Firepower: 5 (Phantom lances, void weaponry, more weapons per point)
Maneuverability: 5 (speed and superior turn)
Durability: 2 (Shadowfields, true glass cannons)
Boarding: 4 (offensive), 2 defensive
Squadrons: 4 (Razorwings and Voidravens)
Relationship tree to each other:
Firepower: Drukkari > Corsair = CW
Maneuverability: Drukkari > Corsair = CW
Durability: CW > Corsair > Drukkari
Boarding: Corsair =< CW (defensive) =< Drukkari (offensive)
Squadrons: CW > Corsair = Drukkari
I think if Tindalos applies the theme true to Eldar fluff, they came come out with 3 uniquely different playstyles. The relationship tree tells us by fluff Drukkari will have more heavy weaponry per points and their weapons are more destructive in nature. Maneuverability is relatively the same between the 3 Aeldari races, but two of them rely on Solar Sails while the other is just naturally fast all-around (imagine a Frigate with perm retros and HETs). In terms of durability, all 3 races have uniquely different shielding, with CW having the highest hit points and armor vs Drukkari's paper planes. Boarding in the sense the Corsairs are the most balanced all-around vs. the more offensive Drukkari and defensive Craftworlders. Squadrons goes to the CW having the best pilots in the galaxy, in comparison to the larger number of Corsair squadrons vs. the more destructive Drukkari equivalents. As for points, to get a scope of the scale of each fleet's deployment, CW is the more expensive and elite vs. the more numerous Drukkari. Corsair is smack dead in the middle.
So what do you fellas think?
They're an awkward weapon because they're not lore-accurate. I've been saying this shit since 2016, and its not going to change.
They're supposed to be a rapid-fire lance that shoots 3 times max and then goes on cooldown, rinse and repeat. This means that as long as the Eldar ship has you in its 90 degree prow, he's dealing constant Lance damage.
As long as they're in this current design, you're going to have to accept the giant death beam damage aka 90 (30x3) every 20s. This is doing 4.5 dps; you can still have them doing similar DPS at 6 dmg, 3 shots per weapon in quick succession, every 4 seconds (same DPS, 4.5) and it will be infinitely better as a lore-appropriate weapon without causing the fear of instantly exploding people.
On the point of Corsair ships being 'Fragile', there is nothing in Eldar lore that suggests that they're fragile, especially in comparison to the Dark Eldar vessels. I strongly believe it should be removed because it is just a terrible playing experience for the Corsairs.
As we can see in the picture OP posted, Eldar corsairs are truly the strongest race currently in terms of metagaming. As we all know the red colour symbolises speed, therefore, red ships go faster. And what do we see? 12 Red markes on the ship. How people are supposed to catch up to these levels of fast?
If you want to see something really funny, you should try playing against Prot Tau with Corsairs and see what happens. You will literally have every component on all your ships broken within the first minute of the engagement.
Can one of you fellas put me in touch with a Tindalos Network Engineer? I think I might have a good lead on what's causing this Critical game-breaking defect. I know that Romain wrote to us that he was very interested in how we might be able to reproduce this issue.
To sum up: I think the defect is caused by the server/client desync caused by latency or dropped packets. The server essentially thinks that the Shift/AHF/Torps/whatever activated abilities are still in the 'active' state and because server takes priority over the client, it forces that state down to the client rendering the ability inactive.
I was reviewing the footage on my stream because by the way I play, I seem to get it a lot compared to most people. This would also explain why reports of this happening mainly come from Eldar players compared to others. I have relatively high APM and issue a lot of command through hotkeys, clicks and whatever else. I have had this happen before to one ship, all ships, some ships, and any combination of the above Boost or Torps (sometimes both). This is because I often issue a lot of these commands in quick succession to each other, sometimes immediately within 1 second of each other. The most prominent example is Vaul's into Boost immediately after releasing Torps (T).
I tried to reproduce this multiple times locally using Skirmish and was never able to get it. However, I have seen this issue before in other companies I worked in and my hunch is that it could be due to the server/client logic. To further support this claim, there was a few nights last week that I had quite a bit of packet loss and ripples due to bad weather (confirmed using cmd/ping -t and OBS/Twitch for frames lost). I was seeing a greater # of this reproducing then than any other night. I also played against Brohan who lives in Australia and experienced it more then. However, in games where there's no ping issues and a steady connection, I do not see this issue at all.
My best guess steps to Repro would be:
- Connect to another player with P1 being Eldar.
- Have the Eldar player use clumsy to simulate lag; increasing latency by 100 all the way to 500:
- Use boost immediately after issuing another command and see if the defect happens.
- If not, repeat with Drop, Throttle, Ripples..etc
The server communicates clearly with the game client and the ability is refreshed on cooldown.
The active ability appears as used when it has not.
A possible fix of this could be to have the server issue a pingback to the client and check if server cooldown for ALL abilities = correct cooldown time then set client state = true. But without seeing the actual server logic or talking to Tindalos SDEs I'm unsure if I can help further.
Bumping thread to let everyone know that I'm taking a break from the game/streaming, aside from balance testing. I'll still be doing that.
This is largely because of 3 major factors:
First, I do not feel that Eldar is rewarding to play. They are still too safe with 270-degree macros no matter how you slice it. Even with 9K engagement range, they still do a ton of DPS (intended), and their Holos give them unparalleled protection vs. macros and lances. The problem with Eldar (Mainly CWE and Corasirs) is not because of their holos or DPS, it's the fact that they still do not trade damage for safety. Eldar intrinsically must choose between damage or staying alive, they cannot have the best of both worlds or they will continue to dominate in the hand of a good player. Right now, CWE Torpedoes dramatically overperform because of their potential burst damage and the 270 arcs leads to high-reward behavior as you're constantly able to deliver accurate fire (with AP even) while still being able to infinitely kite the enemy.
Please make Eldar a 90-degree prow and 9K based fleet: This is in-line with GW design and allows Eldar to remain expensive, elite and high-damage dealing. However, they must be able to trade their safety for this playstyle or else the balance fundamentally breaks at the design level. They cannot be high-damaging and be safe since their holos already give them nigh-macro and lance immunity when they're moving. The Eldar must continuously make decisions whether or not to DIVE the enemy and do high-damage or run away until the opportunity presents itself and then you can dive again. These are timing sensitive and high-APM based decisions that must be executed well in order for Eldar to be considered difficult to play. If Eldar is not difficult to play, then they are fundamentally broken. They're a faction that's supposed to have a large barrier of entry with a higher skill ceiling than other factions. Right now, any idiot with a stutter can press T and deal massive burst with Torps or move away while still doing damage with 270 arcs.
Call me elitist or whatever, but I expect the global CWE/Corsair winrate to be in the 30%s, and if leaderboards conveyed skill and not grind, there should be a very small percentage of Eldar in the Top 25. That's when you know you got the faction right. Don't believe me? Play with Reload Corsairs/CWE over RTN and it's a completely different game (well, pretend you don't have 8 torps). That is actually how the Eldar are supposed to play.
My suggestions for this is two things:
- Remove 270-degree firing arcs from all Eldar. Replace it with Tracking Sense, but without the whale noises (or with Kappa).
- Decrease the number of Eldar Cruiser torpedoes from 8 to 4. Their burst potential is just way too high.
Second, matchmaking and the leaderboard is not a representation of skill, it's a representation of how much time you have on your hands. 1v1 and 2v2 currently feeds into the same leaderboard and you just need games to reach Legendary, which is the highest rank available. When you search for games, the algorithm seems to prioritize finding a game first above anything else. There might be a 5-second search window to find a "similarly skilled" player, but I don't even know if that's true because I am constantly being paired with players far below my skill level; regardless of they are in Legendary or Bronze. It's been this way since beta and I'm outright bored with the game when it comes to Ranked. Instead, I find custom games vs. other balance testers or players I know can put up a fight. I'm not sure what kind of skill-based algorithm that the game uses, but I don't see any indication of MMR or ELO. I would much rather wait 1 minute to find a game worthy of playing, than a 5-second wait time to find a player who I absolutely murder. It's not fun for me, it's not fun for the player who's paired up against me, and regardless of whether or not I win, I know that I will need tons more of these uninteresting games to catch up to some 2v2 player ahead of me on the leaderboard.
The leaderboard system itself does not promote a competitive environment. We are not low enough on players where you can relax the MM parameters to find any and all players, but what it is doing is killing the game entirely for competitive players like myself. This is especially worrisome when I see that data is being pulled from "Legendary" players; even if they're filter by 1v1. Playtime. Does. Not. Represent. Skill.
I encourage all to read this thread I posted on data:
My suggestions are:
- Separate 1v1 and 2v2 into their separate ladders. Every major RTS title I can think of in the last 20 years had this.
- Widen the search parameters to be much larger than they are now, prioritizing finding players of similar skill over getting a game.
Logic flow should look something like this:
Search players with similar rank in same region for 10 seconds; if not, then:
Search players with similar rank in next region for 10 seconds; if not, then:
Search players with similar rank in all regions for 5 seconds; if not then:
Search players with +/-1 rank in same region for 10 seconds; if not, then:
Search players with +/-1 rank in next region for 10 seconds; if not, then:
Search players with +/-1 rank in all regions for 5 seconds; if not, then:
Lastly, Dark Eldar Battleships. Yes, DE deserves their own section. Why? Because it is more effective to sit there with 3 Drukhari Battleships with Reload/AP ammo and shoot than it is to actually hit and run (because you're not doing damage). Let that sink in for a second, a long second. Yeah.. I'm going to throw out my Shadowfields proposal from Page 1 again.
Pitching this out again:
- Consider reducing Drukhari BB DPS (e.g. Heavy Scythes) or overall weapon systems.
- Consider lowering Drukhari BB HP and add a minor Holo-field effect to Shadowfields.
This will mean that they can't just sit there and AFK and deal damage, but they have to constantly hit and run to mitigate damage. This would also greatly encourage more Cruiser/Light Cruiser play and movement rather than the oversaturation of BBs we're seeing now. I don't know how the Drukhari in this game is almost the complete opposite of how they are on the table-top and fluff. Stealth is great, sure, but they're supposed to be fast raiders capable of doing great damage and then getting out. Eldar in general hate pitched/attrition battles and when it's more favorable to engage and right-click over movement and positioning, I feel that something is horribly wrong.
Tbf it's kinda amusing how all you "old vets" quit the first game after like a month
After a month of release or after months of playing the game before the release? I've had plenty of playtime in BFG:A, but I left the game because it was imbalanced and lacked a ton of features for prolonged, competitive MP play. When you add this on top of the fact you have very unreceptive and radio-silent devs, you don't see a future and you leave. You can't expect people to keep playing something they don't enjoy..
@lkhero Closest to official we have is 'some time in the coming months'.
Given there are meant to be 2 betas, and they thought about releasing the game in September, that tells me there will almost certainly be one in October, if not then November at the latest (provided there are no further delays).
This isn't targeted to you, but more to the devs, but SD44 had a pretty good "pre-order/beta" model up to release.
They released their divisions in waves, so they gave you like 4 divisions in the beginning, and then next week they released 2 more, then 2 more, then 2 more..etc. They did not release the last 2 divisions (I think it was 101st Airborne and something else ), and that was my biggest gripe with the entire thing because the 101st was way too strong upon release. There was no NDA, it was available to all pre-order, and you can stream all you want. BFG:A can do 2 weeks as well between factions being introduced, it all depends on the # of factions and the release schedule itself. Hell, release 1 per week. These factions can hide behind a feature flag that enables/disables them for MP. Since betas for these kinds of games are purely MP, you don't even need to turn on ranked or anything else.
With that said, I think this up-to release model is fantastic:
- No NDA means free streaming which means free advertisement for the game. Simple as that, it's free marketing, and you know damn well that I will finally turn on my Stream after months and months of inactivity (no RTS games to play really).
- The injection schedule of new factions per week is genius and here's why: It allows you to tease out factions and build hype. It builds anticipation. It ties into your weekly blog pots "spoiling" and teasing the fans on which faction will be release. Hype generates pre-orders because people will see your game being played (see above point) and will want to pre-order to try it. It allows the dev team to take feedback and apply it so by the time a new faction gets released, there might be immediate hotfixes to completely broken things. It ties heavily into any marketing campaign: For example, BFG:A2 right now has that FB post that blacks out a ship and you have to guess which ship. Now imagine that but with a faction. It's pretty much who's that Pokemon? but for factions.
- Start earlier than later. It allows you to receive feedback from players on all skill levels and apply it to the game for a better polished product at the end. There's no doubt that when I played SD44 (myself and a lot of top Wargame RD clans played as well) gave tons of feedback to the developer forum, and the game was in a much better position when the game came out. This was my absolute biggest gripe about the first game and this studio, and I hope they change this for the second game.
Eeeeeeh.... Only saw bits and pieces of gameplay. I also see that bombs are still a thing too so i lm not sure how to take that. I really hope they learned something and make ability spam take the back seat.
Word from testers say that it's been toned down greatly. I expect it either be an option only available on larger capital ships, or have a longer cooldown, or limited use. I trust in what they say, but hey, we'll know in a week.
I think the tier list is pretty right on.
Some disclaimers to it are:
*Orkz without Traktors might be lower; they're still great value overall, but not as strong.
*All Eldar can drop dramatically on the tier depending on player skill, which makes them a pain to balance.
*Necrons without a completely broken Star Pulse drop to the same tier as SM.
*Launch bay spam might turn out to be a problem with Orkz and Nids especially; which might increase their tier ranking considerably.
*Ad-Mech also being one of those factions that scales up and down with how much you hit with Nova Cannons.
We need to test Tau more heavily I feel, they're a pretty underplayed faction currently and needs more skilled players focusing on them.
I can speak from the Corsair's perspective that one of the biggest reasons they're suffering right now is because they still have the Fragile attribute (+100% chance to receive a crit). If you look at the DPS capabilities of the Corsairs, they're actually quite good, between DE and CW comfortably, so not much needs to be changed there IMO.
Corsairs focus a lot on hit and run; they're a cooldown faction for the most part of the Eldar trio. They excel at bringing plentiful Pulsars and have a ton of ordnance.
Right now, I think there are 3 key issues with Corsairs:
- The Fragile attribute is just too much IMO; gens and engines getting knocked out early can seal the deal pretty quickly. This goes against their hit and run style because without holos or maneuvers to get away, you cannot use Pulsars effectively nor can you use their plentiful torpedos.
- Speaking of which, because of their heavy reliance on Ordnance in their playstyle, Turrets with Brace are extremely powerful and can halt even the most powerful ordnance in the game. Eldar fighter/bombers/torps are supposed to be more difficult to kill with Dodge properties. I don't see in any of the tooltips if its still in the game, but seeing how Eldar fighters lose to Harpies consistently, and Torps being shot down left and right by Turrets even not under Brace, I'm thinking no.
- Lastly, the Voidstalker is one of the most expensive ships in the game and I don't think it's anywhere near worth the points; especially if Eldar ordnance are not where they need to be dodge properties wise. However, the only other alternatives are loaded with other variants of ordnance as well, and they're much lower in HP, and when combined with the Fragile trait, don't have as much staying power as CW, who are generally safer to play because of 67 armor all around and just as much if not greater firepower in some cases.
That's my experience with them so far
Jan Beta Build 8283 feedback:
I can't go into much detail as my first post, mainly because I think the majority of the issues I pointed out with Eldar is still there and relevant. I'm not going to use any exact format to present my thoughts on this patch, but overall we took a big step back in a lot of ways.
For one, the following doesn't work:
- Reload for macros currently, do not work in Reload stance
- 270 arcs are still here, but the upgrade Spirit Stone Targeting Node doesn't work either
This means two of the primary playstyles for Corsairs/CW are not functional and balance feedback currently around this is rather meaningless. With the new armor changes, or should I say the now functional armor (especially noticeable on 83 armor ships), and the change of Pulsars to be more accurate at the expense of min armor now being 50, things are a bit dicey. So, the Pulsar change is two-fold: I'm happy that Pulsars now track a little better and they behave more like actual weapons, but the long cooldown without a visible timer is still pretty frustrating. I have played enough games now that I've basically committed this timer to memory, but for newer players, I can see this be a negative player experience. With the heavier emphasis on armor, lances are more valuable now, but you can't take too many of them or else you risk being hard countered in mirror matches.
Despite not being able to fire from 13.5k range or increasing my DPS with Reload, I will say that 270-degree macro fire is still too generous while playing CW. However, I think if Corsairs had it, it might offer an interesting playstyle difference. The suggestion that I propose is that CW replaces RTN entirely with Lock-On and lose the Spirit Stone Targeting Node upgrade. However, Corsairs should keep both so they can use their 270-degree fire and play completely different than the other two Eldar.
I'll say this again: The Eldar way of warfare is to do big damage or do none. Eldar must trade survivability for damage potential or else the risk and reward factor will be too skewed (generous, or completely crap like Corsairs). If you take big risks in going prow-in for a fixed Pulsar or 90-degree macro or Torp run, you should be rewarded with damage. However, you do this at the risk of sailing straight into boarding range, ramming range, enemy torp range, faster assault boat range, Tyranid maws, Ork traktor beams, the list goes on and on. The closer you are to the enemy, the more you risk take on as Eldar, but the higher the pay off if you succeed aka Torp runs for example. Right now, a Torp run with a CW Starfall is 8 torps at 4 HP a piece with 50% dodge and 90 damage per. That is an insane amount of damage, but you're essentially risking a cruiser every time for a piece of that ass.
The game right now, as in this newest beta, is not really playable because I can't tell you if Reload + Kin-Crewed is too strong, or if RTN + SSTN is too good, because they simply don't work. What I can tell you is that with CW, the surest way to do damage is with Torps, and also because the global price increases make Eldar one of the worst CV (Carrier) factions in the game. The amount of bays you crap out is dramatically smaller than everyone else who can really field them in mass, and in this game, the number of fighters you have wins the engagement e.g. 3 IN fighters beat 2 Eldar ones. Boarding is also a really one-sided mechanic with little to no counterplay whatsoever. An assault will always give you something, whether or not its crits, troop damage, getting hulked, or something else, but pressing "B" should not give you instant benefits with nothing the opponent can do to react or do something against it. It's also purely in the favor of the aggressor and the person who boards, and has nothing to do with how good the defenders on the ship is. Thematically, it doesn't even make sense: It's almost like your "good" quality troops forget how to fight when the enemy suddenly comes on board. In short, there's no roll or calculation that is considered on the defensive, so you just take EZ-mode damage and it feels bad. Players should NOT be instantly rewarded for pressing a hotkey without the opponent's ability to respond. At least when you press "T" for torps, you are putting yourself at risk in your opponent's threat range, and he can still respond with fighter CAP, HET, AHF, angling, or body blocking, or something else reactionary.
With that said, I'll list some suggestions, starting with Eldar. Bugs aside (like fixing Reload and SSTN), here's what I would suggest for Tindalos:
- Consider removing RTN and SSTN from CW Eldar and giving them Lock-On instead
- Keep RTN and SSTN on Corsairs to diversify the 3 Eldars and promoting the Corsair's Hit and Run motiff
- Consider reducing the Eldar Torpedoes to 3 HP from 4 so that they can maintain their high damage, but can still be countered by standard countermeasures (Braced turrets, fighter CAP)
- You now what, I'll say it: Please fix Reload and SSTN.. I literally cannot provide additional balance feedback without the main damage tools of the race being used e.g. Kin-crewed + Reload and RTN + SSTN.
- Please, for the love of God and all that is holy, remove the Fragile attribute from Corsairs. It is such a negative player experience putting a ship down on the table just for it to lose engines in the first 5s of battle. 50 armor is 'fragile' enough.
Thank the maker Drukhari BBs are now more expensive, but I'm not happy with prices overall. I think they need a lot of work and for whatever reason, if we keep creeping upwards in price, we might as well just go back to 600 in BFGA1 because we're at about the same game size.
Onto the game itself:
- Carriers are over-performing for factions that can take them in mass: I've already given feedback for this in another thread, but consider reducing Interceptor dodge from .7 to .6 for all races, or even .5 in some cases. For example, right now Eldar fighters are .8 (which means they have better dodge), but I think they over-perform against ship turrets. It's too turret damage and the swarming is a little too good currently.
- Boarding, ugh.. we're so close to launch and I don't think anything I say now will have an effect, but boarding right now is too powerful. There is no downside, no counterplay, and instant rewards for the player who presses the hotkey within range. The range is large and forgiving and the results speak for themselves: The damage "effects" compound, in the sense, that not only are you down crew and closer to hulking, but also down in performance by dropping troop tiers, crits are happening as well, and subject to extra effects like Surgical Strike. Perhaps consider different boarding ranges for different factions, a slight cool-up before boarders launch, or less punishing effects from boarding. Hell, I would suggest a combination of all of these. Since there's no defender's boarding roll, the assaulting player can't just reap rewards without counterplay.. that's silly.
If you look at just these two things, it's one of the reasons why Tyranids are currently eating their way through Ranked. That's because Nids are generally overpriced and underperforming for all their vessels (they don't function as a true swarm), but some of their most cost-effective ships emphasize both CV play and boarding at the same time. I saw the post that Romain wrote this morning about making upping their cost.. please NO - I advise against it! The problem lies specifically with the CVs and boarding mechanics of the current game and does not apply universally to all of Nids' ships.
TLDR: Infinity Circuit Smashed - Nothing seems to be working as intended.
@lkhero It was yesterday morning (for me, its 4am here). Well, I thought it would be kinda helpful.
Yeah no worries man, I didn't mean to sound harsh to the data you provided. Thanks for breaking it down, but at the end of the day, it could also mean that those 27 Niddies and 19 DE played a crap ton more than anyone else!