FUREH FRUM DA SKIES: Kith's Forward Observer rework

Discussion in 'Class Discussion' started by Kith, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Alright, so, let's get started. The Forward Observer has some design issues, in that he ends up doing the same thing regardless of what tree he goes. For Artillery, he's got massive AOE damage. For Air Support, he gets minis and... massive AOE damage.

    This is kind of a problem. Both trees ultimately end up doing the same thing, and the Air Support FO is generally seen as better because his minis have more utility (meatshields, DPS increase that doesn't murder allies, so on and so forth) and he ends up getting AOE damage anyways in the form of Air Strike and Gunship. So I did that thing that I do and here's the Forward Observer with all of the crazy AOE damage in the left tree and the right tree being something like the lovechild of the current Air FO and the Squad Leader concept. Without further ado, I proudly present to you...

    Kith's Forward Observer Rework
    new and improved


    Artillery Flare – Active: 10 energy, 10 second cooldown, 30 second duration
    Drops a single flare in a random location within a 7 radius of target area.
    Adept – Passive
    The Forward Observer has hotwired a few cars in his youth and knows how to activate the turrets.
    Custom HUD – Passive
    The Forward Observer has jammed computer chips into his eyes and can see the Matrix. Has access to a custom HUD so he can control Infantry loadouts and shells per barrage for Fire Mission.

    Right tree: Infantry support
    Deets over hurr.

    Left tree: Fire support
    All of the AOE, all of the explosives. FO's starting shell count gets reduced to 600, by the way.

    TIER 1

    Fire Mission – Active: 15 energy cost
    Calls in an artillery strike over a long distance that blasts a 7 area radius. The shells have a 8 second barrage call down time. Deals 50% increased damage to Armored and Massive.

    Level 1 – Shells deal 25 damage.
    Level 2 – Shells deal 50 damage.
    Level 3 – Shells deal 75 damage.

    Improved Bombardment – Passive
    The artillery platform is upgraded with improved launching and targeting algorithms that decrease travel time and increase shell accuracy. Artillery Flares will also feature improved accuracy.

    Level 1 – Barrage delay is reduced by 1.5 seconds, shells have a 50% chance to auto-obtain targets within the area and hit them directly
    Level 2 – Barrage delay is reduced by 3 seconds, shells have a 75% chance to auto-obtain targets within the area and hit them directly
    Level 3 – Barrage delay is reduced by 4.5 seconds, shells have a 100% chance to auto-obtain targets within the area and hit them directly

    TIER 2

    Upgraded Munitions – Passive
    The artillery platform is now capable of firing a broader range of shell types during bombardments, and the Forward Observer can request more shells to be allocated to the current mission. Shell Shock and Scorched Earth effectiveness are dependent on the level of Fire Mission.

    Level 1 – Shell Shock: The Forward Observer can now drop Shockwave shells, which stun Non-heroic units for 1/3/5 seconds per shell and heroic units for 0.25/0.5/1 second per shell.
    Level 2 – Scorched Earth: The Forward Observer can now drop Napalm shells, which create fire pillars that burn nearby targets for 30 damage a second for 2/4/6 seconds. Biological enemies suffer a 40% movespeed loss when on fire.

    Shell Requisition [Level 1/2] – Active: 40 energy cost, 1 minute cooldown
    Grants [25/50] shells.

    Bombing Run – Active: 45 energy cost, [45/40] second cooldown
    Three F-19 Bombers fly over the designated area, bombing the location in a line a 7 area radius. Stuns affected targets for 3 seconds.

    Level 1 - Deals 75 damage per bomb
    Level 2 - Deals 150 damage per bomb

    TIER 3

    TX-179 Asgard – Active: 55 energy cost, 1:30 cooldown
    The Forward Observer takes control of a circling gunship that provides fire support for a duration of 30 seconds.

    See this thread for discussion and details.
  2. Shooz
    • Donator

    Shooz NOTD Staff: Killjoy

    I support this idea.

  3. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Nite brought up a good point (or seven). The Gunship ability is ON NOTICE, and will be changed here shortly.
  4. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member


    Does this mean that Marines called down no longer have a Time on the Ground duration?

    Follow up Questions: If so does that mean that an Air FO can conceivably have a force of say, 4 Firebats, 8 Marines, and 3 Marksmen running around permanently or is there an artificial cap of only 3 at a time, if so what happens to the ones on the ground when you call down new marines? Are they beamed back into your stockpile to use later or are they merely used up for good?

    Presuming Marines DO have a duration beyond the ability to keep their lungs inside their chest and out of Agron mouths, does the 15 marine limitation apply only when a marine gets chewed up into funsized bits?
  5. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Overall I like the concept, though I think 15 infantry is not a lot for the FO.
    I'd rather see a limit of how many can be on the field at any time and a total cap of 20 infantry, because of NM in particular.
    Having 15 on the field right away seems rather OP.

    Arty FO suffers from the same issue it did in the current version - the T1 passive REQUIRES you to have a point in the active talent at least.
    Misclick or otherwise skilling the passive first does nothing at all. This IMO needs to be addressed.
  6. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    I believe that issue should be filed under the "Right to be Stupid Act". At some point you can't help people. If the problem is "I clicked on a skill that doesn't help me because I didn't have a point in the skill it effects..." I think it's a bit beyond being able to help. If it was just one misclick, they can suffer through about the 1 minute, at most, of letting Sheng's Boys do all the work to get to level 2.
  7. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Then why are we even up in arms that we have both Lay and Build mines on the Explo demo when it really is one and the same issue?
  8. Yuey
    • Warden

    Yuey Warden

    Two things:-
    -How does the specialization work? If you switch specializations while you have 3 marines on the ground, 1 of them simply turns into what you want after 3 seconds?

    -How does the different cooldowns on the Air strike work? If you call in a Rocket run, will it put both Bombing and Rocket run on a 30/25s cooldown? Or will it put Bombing run in a 45/40s cooldown and Rocket Run on a 30/25s cooldown?
    (Related question if the answer is the latter: if Rocket Run comes off its cooldown will you be able to cast it immediately while Bombing run is still on cooldown?)

    Overall thoughts on the two trees:
    Infantry: I would suggest buffing up Leadership Aura and making it an active skill. Currently, it feels like there's a severe lack of Actives on the Infantry support side.

    Fire support: So....much....AOE. This is basically all of FO's AOE damage from both trees crammed into one tree. I'll wait until you post a gunship remake before commenting further though.
  9. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I do kind of agree that it maybe has too much AoE, a bit like Kith's complaint that Demo lacks a single target skill.

    In the old Alpha, it was really just chewing wave after wave, but the new Alpha has a few holdouts with creeps spawning very close and fights where AoE is can be detrimental.
  10. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    And thus about the only moment of joy and purity of purpose one gets with a holy Flamethrower, presuming your team is competent. I don't need FOs stealing my flaming death kill jollies.
  11. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I do agree the Infantry tree needs more actives.
    Otherwise as I stated, you just call in 15 infantry right off the bat (via SS rec help to combat your 0% regeneration) and can sit on 0 energy with no probs whatsoever as you have no actives.

    Also, for the Arty FO T1 passive, I'm thinking to make it not totally useless if skilled before the active, make it buff the innate flares too. That would actually help cross-classing Infantry FOs a bit if they don't want to go full arty but have limited talents before game end.
  12. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Use of the Infantry Deployment skill only calls in one Infantry unit with each use, and you will only be allowed a maximum of three at any point in time. Calling down an Infantry will take it out of the Reserve Count, I.E., you start with 15 and once you call one down, the Reserve Count is reduced to 14.

    You did not read the skill description. There will only be a maximum of three Infantry on the field at any time, and 15 means you can lose and replenish your squad five times. That should be more than enough for any player.

    Infantry Specialization will use the same Custom HUD that is already in place. Switching a Marine to a Firebat or Marksman will be as simple as pressing the arrow on the Custom HUD and switching the icon to either Marksman or Firebat. A Drop Pod will land on them immediately, and they will stop moving/attacking and be vulnerable for 3 seconds. After 3 seconds, the Drop Pod will break down and the Infantry will be switched to the proper specialization and be ready to take the field once more.

    If you use Bombing Run, both it and Rocket Run will be put on a 45 or 40 second cooldown. If you use Rocket Run, both it and Bombing Run will be put on a 30 or 25 second cooldown. The logic behind this is that they are the same aircraft, and the air to surface rockets take less time to reload than the bombs do.

    The Forward Observer would be lacking in Energy Regeneration to be able to support many active skills due to the energy drain put in place by Infantry Deployment. The idea is that, instead of active skills, the Infantry Support FO is microing up to four different units. He also has the Artillery Flares, which a good FO would be using on a near constant basis.

    Basically, yes. The Gunship rework will be nothing more than making the damage higher and the cooldown lower to promote more thought in placing the shots and also help with FPS issues.

    I conceded the point that Demo doesn't need a single target skill. The Fire Support FO does indeed have a great deal of AOE damage, but the Bombing Run and Rocket Run abilities are a narrower AOE ability that can be used for more delicate aim and an ability that lacks much of the Friendly Fire that the other abilities do. I do not think that there is an issue.

    Artillery FOs don't really need the flares. A common tactic that I've observed is to just drop a single shell in a Fire Mission, and there's your flare. It doesn't even have a scatter mechanic. Cross-class synergy would lie in Infantry FO being able to gain access to the Fire Mission ability, something that has a relatively low energy cost and, if more levels were gained, can be upgraded further with the T1 and T2 passives, respectively. The Fire Support FO would find cross-class synergy by being able to drop in some Infantry as bodyguards for general use or for when he's occupied with controlling the Gunship.
  13. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    I found a single target skill.

    1) Get in your Gunship
    2) Click on a single target
    3) Kill it
  14. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    You mean I'm doing it wrong when I just happen to spot a random blob of enemies and triple spam click at it?
  15. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    The Gunship is no longer ON NOTICE. I've changed it to be less spammy and more "aim = good things happening". I've also put in the Terminator Missile, which I wasn't aware existed until a couple hours ago because it isn't listed on the tooltip.
  16. Arturia

    Arturia Well-Known Member

    I find this rather interesting of a rework.

    It separates FO into two distinct Tree's, both requiring careful thought and skill.

    The Limit on the Mini's is actually a well-thought idea, as it makes people less likely to use them as simple meat-shields. I'm assuming they have the Level Up Bar, and Share Experience, and as they level up, they get those little benefits. Its sole specialization on that however, makes it come off as the "safe option" with little benefits. His ultimate sounds a bit underwhelming currently.

    His other tree however, sounds like the attractive option. A quick question would be, is the shell system going to be kept?

    As an outsider looking in, I was thinking that instead of a maximum limit, the FO would be able to call in X shells per Satelite. He would be capable of full intensity bursting, but once X shells are gone, it switches Satelites, of which there are probably 2 ~ 4 available for usage. These Satelites would be movable, though they will have an energy pool that moving would drain (it would have a regeneration, but the energy drain would be greater than the regeneration), and would have a limited bombardment area. With good macro / positioning, the FO could keep those Satelites available near him to bombard certain locations as required, so that when one runs dry, there would be another available. Alternatively, he could send one ahead to a location and bombard from a long distance. It effectively opens the entire map up to him to bombard, though it requires good effort on his end to bombard where he needs to. The Satelites would take time to reload(~1 minute), during which they would be stationary (I don't think its easy to re-supply something while moving).

    Of course, that was my thoughts on it, but It probably isn't that great of an idea, especially when I know I haven't played Artillery at all, hence, its a person talking on a subject they know nothing about.
  17. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    I designed around the current Shell system being kept, yes. Which is why I put in the Bomber abilities, to somewhat mitigate the problem of running out of shells but still being able to cast on a consistent basis.

    The Minis were not intended to have leveling bars, no. I'm sure that they could largely benefit from having leveling bars, but I didn't exactly want to put any in because the FO minis leveling like the current storyline minis do would... basically make them unkillable. Besides, I'd rather their progression of power lie solely with the Forward Observer as opposed to focusing on killwhoring as much as possible so the minis get leveled.
  18. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    OK sorry I misread, 3 infantry at any time sounds good.
  19. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Or rather I'm sorry for reading it wrong to start with. Since I was the first one to massively make that mistake. *shrug* My mind slips sometimes. I'm sorry.
  20. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    That's quite alright, I understand. Is everything to a more acceptable degree now that you've re-read it?

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