Apollo Security Team Discussion

Discussion in 'NOTD Discussion' started by Reaper, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Reaper

    Reaper Moderator/The Crimsonrine

    [align=center]Apollo Security Team Discussion
    Everything related to the Apollo Security Team Storyline in any mode to be discussed here.[/align]

    1. The Laser Drones that drop in during the fight with Hades have now completely become obsolete, previously they could take a deal of punishment and put out some damage on Hades and if you fire along with them the damage is good but now they hardly appear before they are recycled by the Dark One.

    They need a buff or the mechanic that was intended for them needs to come to completion.

    2. Not too serious this one but the vast amount of Lelantos that come in during the fight with Athena especially on Nightmare Mode like a wave of death. High health and a serious threat when they get to you and you are stunned by Athena, you are mincemeat regardless of your class.

    My bone to pick is that they require a huge amount of attention and firepower along with Athena harassing the team and after you kill them you don't get much from them.
  2. Froblock

    Froblock Well-Known Member

    Currently in Apollo NM:

    i) It seems like you cannot get passed the "Activate Ivax" scene if you don't have Inception.
    - Even if we have inception, it has to be used during 1 crucial moment where a ton of spawns pop up out of nowhere all at once.
    - If inception is not activated during this time, or maybe is on cool down, you and your team are pretty much fucked.
    - Only the MOTM Tech and Fort Demo might survive, but they will soon fall to
    immortals, lenathos and stranglers 5 minutes later.

    ii) Have never had a Hal shutdown sequence happen in Mining Colony.
    Maybe its just the luck of the draw to have Hal shutdown happen above airlock 10 times in a row?
  3. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Point #2 is pure (bad?) luck

    Point #1 is currently the product of the loss of engineer with his Tower Stuns/Boom Headshot and either OD to mow down the mobs or Nexus to provide buffers/protection AND the current lack of experience of any player on how to properly play Pathfinder.

    I believe once the nuances of PF are figured out, Rocketeer Tree will most likely be the best bet to deal with Ivax mobs, with chain stunning Assault Jumps to stun agrons/hulks mid charge and to clear out larva, as well as the occasional No Quarter to pulverize Agrons/Hulks as the bunch around Ivax or as they approach team. Sadly this one area is the downfall of Gunslinger, pistol is simply no match for 1.5K HP NM agrons backed by 700+ HP hulks. You basically NEED HMG/Stinger/HK/Lasers to deal with this area. The gunslinger at the moment just passively deals with larva, and easily falls to the clustered mobs that close in.

    Also, it is not entirely unreasonable to expect T3's by IVAX, you are now at the threshold of the end of game, comparable to post IVAX in Alpha and Post BO in EC. Given the normal NM spawns that are out the wazoo, getting inception even w/o CP by IVAX is not hard, teams only struggle to have it by HAL. Because of the psychotic (no other word for it) spawns, Apollo NM B usually ends with near dual T3's, people regularly max first tree, and those who get Thors easily hit half of next tree.

    The parrots, along with the stranglers and gargs are designed to actually make that part hard. Before, people would just grab 5 thors and then promptly AFK, as thors EASILY ripped apart the mobs. Now with super slashers and the parrots, the team must actively defend themselves, since thors are terrible vs air, and as you state, the parrots are the tanks, with the highest threat priority in the game.

    Last final point on this subject

    Can we make the start of the A team less a total crapshoot? Currently the Agrons that start there spawn all over the place. Sometimes you get 3 blocking every path towards the gate, other times they all clustered by dome, sometimes up on cliff areas, other times 2/3 wait in ambush outside inner airlock gate on the creep, which on NM is nearly always fatal (Charge + creep speed for them + creep slow for me). Having a more restricted area for them and if necessary, less of them would make for a more challenging/steady part of the game as opposed to one game being a joke (nothing in your way) with the next one being impossible (all of them in your path with couple outside inner gate ready to pick off anyone who runs through.
  4. Reaper

    Reaper Moderator/The Crimsonrine

    The parrots, along with the stranglers and gargs are designed to actually make that part hard. Before, people would just grab 5 thors and then promptly AFK, as thors EASILY ripped apart the mobs. Now with super slashers and the parrots, the team must actively defend themselves, since thors are terrible vs air, and as you state, the parrots are the tanks, with the highest threat priority in the game.

    I know they are there to make it difficult and that's just fine. The issue is with how many of them there are. I'm not talking about 1 or 5 or 10. No no no, I am talking about 20 or more of them casually cruising in and pounding you with Broodlings as far as they get. Psi Ops with Inception and Stinger MK-3 can handle 7 but the thing is they come spread out. Now you can't wait for them all to gather because that is just suicide as Athena is already among you at this point trolling players with her random stun and the vast amount of mobs. The Thors handle the mobs good. Players can handle Athena with difficulty but you cannot handle as to how the sky goes dark from the Lelantos. If they come before Athena, fine, if they come after, party time!! But during. . . /sobs*
  5. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    - Agrons in Sec Team A spawn are now more centrally and consistently spawned.

    On Lelantos and IVAX sequence, let's get more feedback. I understand they are really crazy in NM mode, but Sec Team is the toughest storyline. How do we get the right balance where it's more skill vs luck based?
  6. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Well to make anything more skill than luck based the sequence needs to be exactly the same each time.
    I.e all Lelantos spawn at point X instead of randomly within a large area (reducing variation)
    Pause some random events (spores, nydi) which in combination with large spawns make a situation definitely chance and not luck based in terms of 100% survival.

    Going back to the example I was providing for something else, how much skill is involved in survivng a parasite nydus popping in the middle of the team just as the queen shrieks? Outside of at most 2 people being shielded and immune to shriek (in an exped scenario the maximum usually, in a skilled team and usually that's medic and tank), everyone else is rooted to the ground and stunned for 7 seconds while chargelisk larvae have at you and massive spawns knock on the door at the same time.

    Or the one someone else mentioned where Nazara or IVAX dies, releases EMP and a nydus or 2 spawn right on you in a -nc situation.

    Or times when you get 2 broodmothers from spores which immediately kill teammembers with 0 time to react really (they don't have any spawn animation - they just appear out of thin air when the spores burst)
  7. Reaper

    Reaper Moderator/The Crimsonrine

    In my honest opinion at the moment you can switch the fight with Athena and the fight with Hades and it'll fit proper.

    The sequence with Athena is the only thing that leaves me a with a headache in the game as to how frustrating and tedious it is. Its a boss fight sequence and the boss isn't the true threat.

    As the situation stands, mobs can be handled by the Devastators easily enough with the help of several players. Athena requires players full attention, she isn't the kinda of problem that resolves itself nor is the mass of Lelantos.

    For me personally I don't want to have to resolve to kiting around Apollo for hours on end just to be able to get past this point for that anyone can do.
  8. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Idk But I feel she is the true threat, just that having all the other stuff thrown in makes her even more than a threat than she would normally be (spamming eggs all over the place as you cannot focus completely on her and always far from her eggs so you cannot hurt her)
  9. Froblock

    Froblock Well-Known Member

    I'm not too sure Ability.
    i) You can time waves of different zombies to spawn during the Ivax scene so it will take some skill/knowledge of what talents and weapons would be best against certain zombies.
    You can possibly leave Agrons + Hulks as is, but then stop that and maybe switch to a Titan/regular zombie wave. Then maybe an all seeker/muta (cloaked & uncloaked) rush after you think previous wave was finished off.

    *I will need help and feedback with this since I don't know all the numbers and armors as well as other vets that I know do*

    ii) As for Lethanos maybe have them spawn in pairs at varying distances from the map so they don't all cluster at one time. There are 10+ lethanos.. like reaper said maybe even 20 of them. You can reduce the number of lethanos spawned and maybe replace them with a few titans or some shit.
    If you have a demo, look usually takes care of them real well, but I do understand that NOTD is filled with random troll and unlucky moments where its a cluster fuck of a huge variety of units vs only 8 marines with a limited amount of skills and mana to use.

    I've never had an unlucky situation at athena, maybe the first time around.
    But we've seen the immediate danger and urgency to prioritize killing lethanos first, even if athena is around. Gotta keep her at bay with Force Push or anything... but lets say god forbid the PO is stunned. It might be GG there.
  10. marloelikeswaffles

    marloelikeswaffles New Member

    give him some replays (successful and unsuccessful) and he'll be able to get more of an idea about how the timing goes right/wrong. It'd be so much easier if replays could be jumped to the 1:40 mark, though.

    In terms of what players can do about massive IVAX sequence and related spawn? CC, CC and more CC is all i've found that works. 2-3 stinger + grenade launcher, firewall/fire vulnerability, aggressive satchels (you NEED those hulks down so IVAX oneshots the agrons down before they build up) Nano Sear and inception. One common hangup might be lack of nexus (reduced team vision can mean you guys walk right up into an agron moving north from starport) so your surv con is going to want to save energy to flare those blind spots. I've found nano really helps for parrots too - any abilities weapons you can use blind (grenade, satchel, nano) helps clear and fight back that push.
  11. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    I propose replacing half the Lelantos spawns with Titans (would be good for them to make their debut to Sec Team) in the Athena sequence. Titans are generally easier to manage than Lelantos as they are land based. This would still require teams to pay attention to them nevertheless.

    Any violent objections?
  12. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I suppose adding one or two titans would be alright, but something to consider also is to maybe spawn a total of idk 12 Lelantos, but never have more than 2 alive at a time. So that if a Lelantos is killed, a new one spawns, but very far so that they come in slow waves without completely overwhelming players.
  13. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    I don't think we address' Reaper's original Q of Laser Drones dying too fast in Hades fight. Can some others also help elaborate and give more perspective? Is it because their HP is too low so they die to fast, or because their AI isn't good - or a combination of several factors. Need some ideas.
  14. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    The general thing that I've seen is that

    1) They spawn all over, even seen one spawn up by where Apollo Sec Team A starts, so it has to go all the way around.

    2) They can not fight back against normal spawns, so NM agrons/Mutas/Wraiths whittle their HP down, and when Hades turns to them, they are already 2/3 - 1/2 HP

    3) Because Hades Venom Cannon attack has MASSIVE splash, getting near a Laser Drone to actually take advantage of the bonus is risky business. Also I barely notice the damage difference amid the mass HMG/Stingers/Laser Rifles/M5 Pulse/HK and Thors. We generally arrive at hades packing serious heat, so the Laser Drones feel like "win more". Moreover, teams prefer to simply shiva hades to death once his HP is low enough.
  15. Reaper

    Reaper Moderator/The Crimsonrine

    First explain what was the intention behind the Laser Drones.

    It was said previously that the fight with Hades is only about 65% complete and now the Laser Drones need balancing meaning their "purpose" or mechanic is already complete but its of no real significance to the fight.
  16. Lyanden

    Lyanden Well-Known Member

    Hades used to have so much HP it was nearly impossible to take the dude down (hence the previous design of MotM having so much punch). The drones were supposed to work much like how polarity vs Seth does.

    2 SCVs zap the boss, team fires from the angle that those 2 attacks made.

    Use it, and you kill him faster
    don't and you COULD still do it, but probably with heavy losses.

    A vast influx of complaints however moved the dev team to nerf the Hades fight. Unfortunately, it went to the point where a team didn't even need the SCVs because the Tech (intended for the original Hades) was now way too OP for the new Hades.

    Also, the SCVs weren't really that good a design with the current Hades fight seeing as
    1. the thousand sight blockers kept you from actually seeing where they were,
    2. there was no real way to tank Hades (then) so taunting him away from attacking the SCVs was suicide,
    3. the spawns you can't hold back decisively if you want Hades dead fast. Any diverted firepower is bad. Even with the current design.
    4. said spawns could kill the SCVs
    5. Shiva.
    6. the SCVs don't always move as intended. I've seen times where they made a really really tight angle, and othertimes they made a 180 degree one.
    7. attacking from that angle means the team was bunched up. forget the SCVs dying to the splash from Hades' 2nd attack type. The team is in danger as well.

    My personal guess is Hades was supposed to be a blend of Athena and Seth.

    SCVs = Polarity + Cocoon death
    Hades's ginormous HP = Athena's Invulnerability

    Cept Hades has a lot of spawns, has 2 forms, SCVs can die, there's a lot of sight blockers and the only guy that can hold Hades's attention relies on his energy to be able to hold him which is basically a time limit until shit hits the fan.
    Once that runs out and Hades is still alive, few classes have the capability to survive the all hell breaks loose scenario and it becomes a game of luck/chance for the other classes.

    Sorry for the non-skittles post. Kind of in a rush.
  17. Reaper

    Reaper Moderator/The Crimsonrine

    Either way, they don't serve much purpose at the moment. Even if their damage is boosted or their health is boosted that wont be enough for the fight with Hades.

    On the side, the Technician just makes the fight easier and end sooner. When you get to fight 2 its just a matter of damage and time versus Hades' health. No skill required for this part. Its just cheese tactics. There is no real complex strategy of engaging something with monstrous health and damage except to prevent it from using its damage just by staying out of its range. Now Hades shouldn't get a range increase for that will just be ridiculous and no amount of skill then will save you. What should happen is players would have to come into his range to deal damage but not without help. This is where for me the Laser Drones should come in.

    I've suggested before that they don't get destroyed but merely become damaged or go offline and players have to search the area for Fuel Cells, AI Chips or stand near the Laser Drone to repair and to reactivate the Laser Drones. When a Laser Drone locks onto Hades and starts firing nearby players who fire from the same position will deal more damage to Hades this way. Players will have to do something special in order to beat Hades instead of buzzing around the map and staying away from him. For balance, Hades health can be increased or he can receive damage reduction to attacks that do not come from the near vicinity of a Laser Drone.

    Alot of you know me to be a fair and creative thinking machine but now I am going to unleash some more thinking power and issue this warning.


    A fair one, over the next couple of weeks I am going to rain down on the Apollo Security Team on how to improve it and give it such an awesome overhaul that players will want to play it. It is still to my taste boring, unappealing and empty. Time to get this turkey stuffed with goodies which will have it bursting with flavor and be filled with the most challenges which will keep players glued to their screens. I am going to be making use of the Galaxy Editor to get my ideas across. Nothing of the current Apollo Security Team will be safe from me, everything is going to get looked at and dissected. Time to polish this diamond and have it become flawless.

    And I do know development is hard pressed, time-constraints, certain things have priority yackety yack and all that jam, I know and I don't want to hear it. I am going to suggest and what is good or crap can be taken or left out and implemented when there is time.
  18. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Here is my concern for Apollo Security Team.

    Right now Apollo Security Team is a very "My way, no highway option" storyline. For it's challenges there are really only one way to do anything. Ask most players and they will tell you Security Team devolves into "We need a ModTech, we need a Mind Ops, we need a SubMM... and we don't really care about anything else." Each challenge/event in Apollo Security Team is pretty much soloed by one of those classes, and other teammates tend to feel relatively unnecessary for anything beyond support or having extra bodies to trigger Devastator Activations.

    Now we might say that things are always like this. Look at Easy Company for example (In harder ratings) and it's reliance on the Tanks (Assault and Demo) and OpComms. Particularly for Chapter 3. But it's not impossible, and it can be perfectly viable to kite it out, Field Engineers with their Menagerie, and I'm sure there are a lot of other options that would work but aren't really tried due to convenience instead of inability to use anything else. Or take the Civilian Rescue Mission in Apollo. MobCons, SurvCons, SubMMs, and Survival Riflemen all are capable of doing it.

    Alpha Company has it's own version of it. It's THE DPS storyline, and a lot of the DPS solutions are interchangeable. OpComms, SubComms, FOs of either tree, MMs of either tree, Combat Riflemen, Engineers of either breed, all viable and can be used to put their own spin and accomplishing the mission. Even the requirement for a Flamethrower to tank necessarily can be avoided through good use of FO skills, Engineer skills, and SubComm skills.

    But Apollo just... doesn't. Nazara, Athena, Deimos has being Force Pushed unto death. Hades Marks I and II, and Apop have being MotMed. Domes, Gens, Bergmann, Lasers of Doom, Comms, all about the SubMM.

    It might just be the players, how they have adapted to things and being stuck in their ways. But I'm not really sure that's the case. Apollo, to my recollection, has always had that sort of problem. It used to be two Mobcons and a Assassination MM who dominated everything in the game. Now it's just different classes/skills but the game general effect. This might be because Apollo's difficulty is a result of Gimmicks. But I can't say for certain.

    The goal I think therefore should be to allow a bit more variation in how things can be tackled in Apollo Security Team, providing three or so equally viable ways to tackle any objective. It might require a lot of skill and teamwork, but the idea is that it can work without requiring people to be at the highest levels to pull off, necessarily. Particularly the lower XP teams have really no chance to beat Apollo Security Team. Look at a team where everyone is about 3,500 XP or so. No Pathfinder (Which most people won't think is a huge loss), but particularly no Psi Ops. Which has just made Deimos a very hard, nearly impossible fight on his own. Nazara is now jacked up, Athena is pretty much GGnoRE if they get to it. The Orbital Doom Laser Shutdown is now 5 times more difficult.

    That at least is my general thoughts and concerns.
  19. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Just to be clear: I'm not saying that what should happen is make the chosen method of doing things LESS viable necessarily. But to restructure the design of the challenges in so much that it's not the ONLY way to be certain you can succeed.
  20. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    I agree apollo is basically what you have stated. The reason (in my eyes) why those 3 classes are basically the mainstays and non negitoable is the following

    1) Bosses can not be kited or tanked

    Every boss in apollo can not be kited or tanked directly. Lets examine what happens in each boss case.

    Deimos: If you tank him, he lol's as he ignores ANY armor (the only armor that will do anything to him is KA), and promptly cuts you down. If you kite him, you now spend a large time killing off his minions, for if you don't he will never die.

    Nazara: If you tank, death by 1000 cuts kills you, her attack makes any armor worthless as it builds to something under 25 (making RA pointless), but above 11 (making C6 meh at best) and since the attack is every .2 seconds, you start hurting fast. If you kite, ADC X-1/Zombies will wipe out team.

    Apopthesis: Can sorta be directly tanked, but on NM his attack + mass OW stacking does kill. Can not be kited as you NEED ow to even injure him and you stand real possibility of team getting picked off by huggers from Apop and other normal spawns (Gargs/Zombies/Agrons/Devs).

    Athena: Can NOT BE TANKED. End of Story. If you kite, you now must contend with her MASSIVE army, complete with stranglers that may pick team off. Also her random stun will most likely kill someone, her army has tons of chargers, plus relentless immortals.

    Hades 1/2: 1 Can not be tanked, all his abilites just kill (Goo,Blackholes, Spines). 2 can sort of be tanked, in that his AI targets thors first, then players. But that means it devolves into a damage race. If all thors fall and MotM tech falls, only the PO/SMM will live, rest of team dies.

    In every one of theses cases, no tanking and no kiting leaves teams 1 option, rotating "cheese" of mass disables. And the best 2 disables available are Force Push and Inception.

    As for ModTech/SMM being needed. Mobcon is simply inferior at scouting, with no wallhack scope, he will run into far too much stuff during critcal stages (doing domes) where as SMM will not. Also with said wallhack scope, SMM can do domes without going into apollo. SMM is also the primary dps because literally every other major dps in the game is NOT present in Apollo (No mando, no engie, no arms assault, no FO, no Flamer), leaving you ONLY SMM and Crofl. Crofl is straight dps, no utlity, so it leaves SMM to do the combined DPS/Scout Role.

    Mod tech usually is taken simply because of his versatility, Healer/DPS as needed/the ONLY tank who stands a chance of tanking any boss for more then 1 second.

    Also the MAJOR driving factor behind this team build is doing route B speed, which is the sole reason people play it. They see the glitter of 300+ XP/250+ Creds at the end. If you have a good SMM/PO you can almost certainly be carried far, and the prize is too tempting to resist.

    As for solving this corundum, you would have to rework bosses such that you can actually tank them or kite them, because neither is possible for most bosses.

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