Huggers

Discussion in 'NOTD Discussion' started by ArcanePariah, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    For the last month or so, Huggers have been non functional, so it has been interesting to see how people play without them (effectively). Couple things have stood out to me

    1) Teams still wipe, mainly becuase at the high SR and overall, the mobs are pretty heavy and regular (ambient spawns on NM games are everywhere, your almost always under attack).

    2) Teams still stick together simply because of infestors and blind trains rolling around. Without a team, both of these tend to kill or lead to someone getting killed.

    Because of this, I've been going back and thinking about Huggers and how much impact they have on games and whether we should reexamine their role and their power

    As it stands, when Huggers worked, they spawn at random all over the map, the move towards random positions. En route they are non hostile and are easily killed. If they are stunned they will turn hostile and start hugging. Once they reach their desitnation they are revealed on the map for a short time, then disappear when the Fog of War recloaks them.

    Whenever a player approaches one, they start to move towards them and are revealed. Often times they move fast enough that the game doesn't update the revealing part of them, so they can become lost between Fog of War patches. When they do hug, they lose the property of revealing themselves. This leads to the infamous (coined by Reaper) Sniggers, who can grab a player and then leave the team sitting there. Sometimes road flares or traps can be used to reveal them, or if you have a SS recon, you can flare them. You can also use indirect fire methods (Mono, Engi Towers) to kill them or at least stun them out of hugging.

    Some players feel huggers add a nice challenge to the game, and also serves to promote teamwork by screwing over any rambo player. However the ninja huggers often also screw over teams through either bad placement (they hug down when you can't see) or bad timing (hugged in the middle of a boss fight) or someitmes just plain bad luck (combo of the 2 above + multiple huggers at once).

    I don't entirely like the aspect of luck where having multiple huggers at the wrong place at the wrong time = auto loss, especially given the heavy spawns that are present today (anyone hugged alone will be dead in seconds). They also, while preventing ramboing, also curtail various gameplay strategies. You are more or less forced to have 4 people together at all times until huggers are cleared. Since Road Flare are no guarantee to be present or available, they often also force class choices (you NEED a sscon/rofl/osoker/engi to counter them).

    I would propose huggers be adjusted/nerfed to allow more effective teamplay against them. Some of my suggestions are:

    1) Huggers are permanently revealed

    2) Huggers are revealed whenever they hug someone

    3) Huggers hug is made into a timed ability, with a small grace window between hugs (say, like 5 seconds).

    4) (Extreme Option) Remove huggers and up the spawns even further, or add more varied ambient spawns that can pressure teams more (Hulks in Chapter 1 for instance or occasional seekers).

    Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions?
  2. Shooz
    • Donator

    Shooz NOTD Staff: Killjoy

    Occasional zoombies*
  3. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Back in YE OLDEN DAYS of :AM, the old solo deterrent was Garg rushes where wads of flying enemies showed up out of nowhere to completely destroy anyone foolish enough to run around soloing. At this point, we can fix them or cut them, and I'd honestly prefer cutting them in favor of more enemy waves. Not the three or four zombies that you encounter when walking around, I'd like to see mobs of 20-30 zombies with an Agron or two leading them patrolling the map. Alternately, periodical spawn of something like 15 Gargs.
  4. Archangel

    Archangel Well-Known Member

    id take seekers over hulks in chapter 1. gauss kind of sucks verse them early game
  5. Froblock

    Froblock Well-Known Member

    I'd have to go with:
    3) Huggers hug is made into a timed ability, with a small grace window between hugs (say, like 5 seconds).

    I suggest that the hug can be a minimum of 20 seconds long and up to you guys to decide how long it should be, but i'd say 20-35 seconds.

    With that and the combination of making sure huggers do not show up at boss fights where they are not intentional and having them spawn when they are supposed to,
    I think it should be a pretty fuckin' good game. 8)
  6. Shooz
    • Donator

    Shooz NOTD Staff: Killjoy

    I'm liking the suggestions here by Kith and Arch.
  7. Jercy

    Jercy Well-Known Member

    I like Kith's suggestion so much that I tried to thank him three times!
  8. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    So far it seems people are in favor of option 4, removing the huggers and replacing them with randomly spawning kill squads composed of fast moving enemies to swarm someone, in quantities that are easily dealt with by teams, but will swarm/overrun a solo person.

    The benefit seems that it still does effectively punish rambos, while not outright being cheap, and also allowing those with survival skills and playstyle (Mobcon, Trappers) to dance around them and do their job.

    I would recommend the kill squads be composed of mostly Seekers. My reasons are that they are easily dealt with as a team, but are incredibly lethal even in pairs, let alone a large mob. Also they grant minimal experience, so they will not serve to simply power level teams. Finally, they are never cheap. If we were to use gargoyles, those can blindside a team walking near a ledge with a pack swarming over said edge for a easy kill with little to no warning.
  9. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Seekers would be awesome. Potentially they could also come with a "leader" with identical Seeker stats, but detection and a different model (such as a large ghoul) rather than an Agron that would just get left behind.
  10. Froblock

    Froblock Well-Known Member

    This.
    Not to mention the gargs double hit like its their job.
  11. Archangel

    Archangel Well-Known Member

    those muck models that slide on the ground would b good for the "pack" and the seeker could b the "leader"
  12. Shooz
    • Donator

    Shooz NOTD Staff: Killjoy

    Changelings!
  13. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Ahh, good call, we have not used that model. I therefore propose the following:

    A mob of changeling based unit model, call them slimes or whatever. Give them fairly fast (equal to seeker) speed, and give them an attack that inflicts no damage or very very little (like 1) but a stackable slow (1-5% per stack, ranging from 5-10 stacks). Kill squads would be composed of several of these (7-8) backed by 3-4 seekers. To reflect their amorphous nature and fragility, make them light biological, with 0 armor and semi mediocre health (30 - 60). If possible, include a special armor for them, with a % chance to completely ignore an attack.
  14. Shooz
    • Donator

    Shooz NOTD Staff: Killjoy

    Oh man. I like that idea. So like evasion or bullet absorption.
  15. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I don't think Seekers are a good idea. Having random (actually not really random, as you need to place triggers) areas of the map spawn a throng of fast creeps may be balanced when someone is scouting the map the first time round, but can get the team killed if they are currently kiting a boss or running from a swarm of foes o what have you.

    You can't say spawn this many seekers/hulks based on one scenario but have to consider all the other factors that influence the lethality of the event.
    Simply doing what you said may well necessitate the entire team walking onto every single known trigger area before moving onto Chapter 2 to avoid getting ganked later in the game when they are less able to defend themselves due to confounding circumstances.

    In my opinion, keep huggers but make their hug duration longer or make the hugged character act as if in MotM mode (random targeting) ignoring the hugger but shooting everything else. Attack speed reduced by 95% to avoid OHK on teammates.
  16. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Legitmate argument, however huggers already do this and so do bane trains. Kiting erebos and having a bane train show up makes for... an interesting scenario, to say the least. Also, although you are correct that it will not be truly random, we can always just use the current blind train spawn locations, there are enough of them and I'm assuming we can add more such that it is effectively random.

    The kill sqauds would operate just like bane trains, spawning at random intervals and heading towards team. So team would be unable to do what you propose. Also, if they prove to be too much an annoyance (though I'm not sure how 4 seekers during most boss fights is really much an added threat, they all already have heavy zombie/stalker spawns as is, with mutas in Erebos 2 IIRC), we could always have them being spawned suppressed (delay the trigger) till the boss is dead.

    2 problems. Huggers already have an infinite duration, which is one reason they are so cheap. 2nd, a number of factors make that a non threat. Anyone wielding a pistol would be mostly unaffected, just rooted in place but still easily mowing down zombies. Those with barret would act no different then today's huggers with such a steep AS reduction. Also finally, stinger will still OHK with the first shot or inflict massive damage to teammates, a crit would probably kill.

    The main beef I have against huggers and this is fairly true in most games, is taking control away from players = bad idea. Only if you can skillfully dodge it can it be considered fair. Right now, if hugger decides to hug you, there is personally nothing you can do, you can either pray someone gets a stun off, or your hugged. Now if the hugger duration was something sane (like 20 seconds or something) sure, keep it. But a permanent disable which has no skill play to dodge it is kind of cheap, and I would like to get away from that. Also as I mentioned somewhat in my first post, huggers lead to basically "Win at Character select screen". No MM, field Engie, Rifle (unreliable) or SS con? Forfeit to the first hidden hugger. Also even if you do run one of those, congrats if he is the one hugged, you're still screwed.
  17. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    UA3 did Huggers right. See, Lickers disable movement, but that's it. They snare the character but still allow the player to attack things. If Huggers functioned in that way, I imagine we'd have much less of a problem.
  18. Shooz
    • Donator

    Shooz NOTD Staff: Killjoy

    Nah you can jump out of the licker's grab.
  19. QuantumMech

    QuantumMech Well-Known Member

    If huggers were a root instead of stun, then I think they would be fine.

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