1: This post is going to be huge. Like, Donald Trump yuge.
2: In addition to being pretty big, this post will be pretty disorganized and go off in several different tangents. Try to bear with me.
3: I know some of these are suggestions, but they definitely aren’t all. This doesn’t belong in the official thread. Please don’t remove this post without at least first messaging me then waiting for me to reply. I’ll reply fast, I promise.
4: I’m by no means a top player, but I’ve been around a while and I probably know more about the game as a whole than almost anyone else. I’ve played every class a ton and I’ve played the game for years, so it’s safe to say that I know my stuff even if I can’t follow it up ingame consistently.
1: The Double Slash Issue:
Note: I’m not actually a Scout main. I have approximately twice the number of kills on my Gunner as I do on my Scout, if I count all my accounts. Also, removing double slash wouldn’t actually hurt me a ton. I could be a sub-machinegun Scout just as well as the style I normally play. However, I still don’t think an “exploit” that requires skill to use should be patched.
Here’s why our new developers shouldn’t patch double slashing:
A: It isn’t even an exploit or a glitch, at least not in the definitive sense. If it didn’t exist, guns like Assault Rifle and Sub-Machine Gun doing more damage in full-auto mode wouldn’t make much sense. I understand that the two are pretty different, but i think there should be a way to do more damage with melee weapons, the same way it’s possible to do so with automatic weapons. Obviously the mechanics of the two are very different, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.
B: It actually requires some degree of skill. I know some (@SS) will be quick to say that it doesn’t, but it honestly took me and most people I know here more time to master double slashing and triple slashing than it took to master an entire class. Without double slashing, Scout will literally just be an turbo-boosted, smg/haze spamming nuisance, which I honestly think is much worse than its current state.
C: Now, a ton of people will probably disagree with me here, but here’s how I see the game: there are six classes that are incredibly easy to learn. Then, there are four that will, in the right hands, completely destroy the other classes. The four are Gunner, Scout, Tank, and Assassin. They are the classes with the highest skill ceilings, more or less in that order.
Tank and Assassin are tied. Tank can actually do some crazy stuff, theoretically. Most people don’t try to master concussion jumping, air mauling/slamming, or double slashing with the mauler in general. As for Assassin, I personally think the class is dumb as a whole. Realize a player is out-sniping you, switch to Assassin, wait for skills to refresh, instakill target, rinse, and repeat. There’s not much the average player can do against the average Assassin. However, I can’t disagree with the fact that a midair instakill against a turbo-boosted scout takes skill. I’ve only achieved it once or twice, so I respect the Assassins who can do it regularly.
Gunner has the highest skill ceiling by far because the best sniper would theoretically beat any other class with ease. Scout is the second most powerful class because of its speed, haze bomb, and double slashing. The other two (Assassin and Tank) have a much higher skill ceiling than the other classes besides Scout/Gunner, but Scout/Gunner are definitely on top. Gunner/Scout::Assassin/Tank:Bomber/Commando/Tech/Blazer/Blaster/Shocker , I guess.
So, here’s a question for everyone. What would taking away double slash ultimately do?
It would cripple Scout’s survivability, and effectively render Gunner the only true skill class. If the reason our developers are planning to remove Scout’s double slash is because of the general annoyance it causes to other players, think about how much more annoying Scout can really be. Heck, remove Blaster. It seems to be more annoying than double slashing, considering it can be picked up by anyone instantly.
Anyways, here’s a poll. I want to know what the players think. I actually think there’s really a 50/50 chance of either choice winning, simply because skill is overpowered and there are many players who don’t like that. The only difference between the killing potentials of Scout and Gunner is that you can’t patch a sniper’s aim. They are both deadly, and I think they should both stay that way considering it takes a player a while to achieve that deadliness.
Vote “Yes” if you believe Double Slash should be patched.
Vote “No” if you want it to stay.
2: Why Class-Vs-Class Duels are Pretty Dumb:
Note: this isn’t because I lose duels. I generally don’t.
Now, this might shake the general community’s salt, but duels are dumb. I don’t mean all duels. Sniper duels are a pretty good judge of skill…at least a Gunner’s skill against another Gunner. I honestly don’t think they’re a good measure of the Gunner as a whole, though. I know this because I’m probably the worst duel Gunner of all time, but I’m great at sniping other classes. As long as I don’t have to move a ton, I can aim. (Note: Rja, I’m not saying this because you can out-duel me and I’m salty. I don’t get salty at friends who can beat me. I totally admit you’re a much better overall Gunner than me. The same goes for quite a few other players.)
Now, Assassin duels are just downright stupid. The player who spams needlers, panic bombs, and uses his cloak first will usually win. Yes, a better Assassin will completely destroy a terrible one, but Assassin duels are honestly a terrible judge of skill overall.
Scout: actually a decent judge of skill, in my opinion. It would be much better if crits didn’t exist, but that can’t really be helped. (Or can it? Refer to the bottom of this post, where I explain why random crits are stupid.) They are pretty fair in that there aren’t as many spammable abilities as the other classes in this list. However, they aren’t a judge of skill overall. The only way to know that is in a duel against every single class, including scout.
Bomber: whoever gets higher than the other. Pretty simple. Air-flares aren’t hard. If you’re actually going to ask another Bomber to duel you, you already know that you can both air-flare with relative ease.
Commando/Blazer: whoever spams Q/F first. In the case of Commando, E is probably the only part of it that actually requires any degree of skill whatsoever.
Blaster: 50/50, regardless of each player’s overall skill. An average Blaster who can spam Q/E/F and press his mouse buttons has no disadvantage against a better one who has learned how to counter other classes and move around quickly.
Tank: probably the only class duel on this list that makes sense at all, as it’s the only fight that should happen in an ingame competitive format. This duel is not stupid, especially if Neutron Shell is banned.
The other classes don’t really deserve a mention duel-wise.
3: Class Roles:
First, I understand that Freefall Tournament isn’t very comparable to Team Fortress 2. However, if it had progressed and gotten big enough for a competitive format, it would be. So for now, let’s all just pretend Freefall Tournament had a competitive format so that I can compare it to Team Fortress 2.
Second, this goes hand in hand with the previous point I made (Why Class-Vs-Class Duels are Pretty Dumb.)
Things to assume:
Competitive FFT exists. In a match of twenty players, every player chooses a different class. Each player is more or less the same skill level as every other player. Both teams are trying to work together to actually win the game.
What would Assassin’s role be? I think that in what FFT was intended to be, a team based game, the Assassin’s role would be to kill mediums, heavies, and healers. Not lights. Why would an Assassin vs Assassin fight ever actually happen? Why waste your abilities on a fight that another player on your team should be able to take care of?
A Gunner’s role would actually partly be taking out other snipers. Snipers can do the most overall damage in the game, and Assassins and Gunners are a sniper’s only real counter. I guess Gunner duels aren’t that dumb after all.
Heavies and supports would also be a huge priority, though. Aegis shields would actually be the largest priority, at least in KOTH.
A Blaster or Tank’s role is to cap. That’s it. Both are huge presences on a control point or hill, and as such shouldn’t be able to move around as fast as they are allowed to do now through slide spamming.
A Scout’s role is to clean up on damage and harass enemy players. A Scout’s speed allows it to finish off weakened enemies running to health. A gunner should win a fight against a Scout with the E/F combo, so a Scout’s main concern shouldn’t be taking out snipers. A Scout should also function as Assassin’s counter, as it’s probably the only class that can really contest with its speed and damage capabilities.
A Blazer’s role is to clean a control point and help create confusion. It should also serve as a meat-shield/counter to enemy Assassins.
Bombers have an odd role. They provide support fire, stuns on power players, and crits to enemy players. In my opinion, a competitive Bomber should get more assists than kills. Since Bombers have shields underneath them that protect them from most of the enemies below them, focusing on slowing and weakening a group of players rather than killing one target should be top priority. They also counter Assassins quite well.
Commandos are somewhere between heavies and Blazer. They can clean the point and mantain a presence on it.
Shockers probably have the most important role, at least in KOTH. Securing a point and keeping it is a huge responsibility. Saving fellow teamates from a Catalyze Toxins attack by using Enervate and using EMP mines against intruders is also important.
A Tech’s job is to heal and to debuff enemies. A Tech should run from most fights, and should rarely actually use his primary weapon in a competitive match unless all his team members are dead and there’s no where to run. Finishing off enemies is also fine, but helping a Shocker develop a defensive line is a Tech’s top priority.
4: Why Commando and Bomber are Broken, but not Overpowered:
Commando and Bomber both have overpowered ultimates–at least while their ultimates are in use. What I mean by this is simple. The fact that a Commando can simply press Q and win most fights but lose almost all fights without it is pretty dumb. As for Bomber, her shield is overpowered while in use, but she’ll die quickly without it. The stun locks of each class take too long to wear off. Both could be fixed, though.
A Commando’s Butt Stroke that did less damage and stunned less but propelled him farther and recharged faster would be both superior and less overpowered than the skill’s current state.
A Flare Bomb that did more damage and tick damage but couldn’t be spammed as easily would be better as well. Flare should also not stun as long as it does.
A Commando’s Stim Rush that lasts longer, makes him faster, and nullifies damage by 25% or so but doesn’t increase fire rate without the Commando taking damage first would be great. This would make it a sort of “run away” skill, and could also help Commando win fights against heavies.
A Bomber’s Air Supremacy should not nullify as much damage as it does. The most it should protect from is 50%, at least in my opinion. It should also last longer so that it can be used as the passive skill it was intended as rather than the “kill this Gunner then immediately die to a Scout afterwards” skill it is.
5: Game Balance Fundamentals:
There are three basic pieces of any class/hero, which I’ll represent with numbers between one and ten. The three pieces are as follows: damage output, health points, and speed.
Scout and Assassin are balanced because they have a ton of speed and damage output, but not much health. (Damage: 9, Speed, 10, Health, 3.)
Gunner is completely balanced because it embodies a perfect mix of health and speed, while having a damage output relative to its distance to the target. The fact that lights can kill Gunner with ease is fine, considering this is only possible if the Gunner allows them to get close. (Damage, 1-10, Speed, 5, Health, 5.)
Bomber is unbalanced because it functions as a heavy who can tank tons of damage while her shield is active, but functions as a light with little damage output or speed (comparatively) without it. (Damage, 5, Effective Health with Shield, 10, Effective Health without Shield, 2. [I removed one health point for Bomber even though it’s health stats are the same as the other two lights because a Scout or Assassin’s speed allows him to outrun or “dodge” projectiles and bullets the Bomber can’t.)
Heavies are unbalanced because they have huge damage, huge health, and huge speed. A heavy should have damage and health, but almost no speed. The state they are in now is ridiculous. (Damage, 7-10, Speed, 5-7, Health, 10 to
7: Why Crits Should be Removed:
They serve literally no purpose. That’s really all I can say about it.
8: Competitive Freefall Tournament:
I’ve spoken about class roles in a theoretical Competitive Freefall Tournament, so now I’ll talk about the format itself.
A “highlander” format with two teams of 10 (one of each class.)
A “6s” format with one Tech (or Shocker/Fixer), two Scouts, (or one Scout/Assassin [flank scout] and one Bomber [combo scout]) one Tank (pocket), one Blaster (roamer), and a pocketed Commando. A Scout or Blaster could switch to Gunner when necessary.
A “4s” format with the original four classes.
9: Suggestion: Small Servers:
Specifically for only two players. This wouldn’t be exclusively for dueling. The Control Point or Hill would never be activated, and players could switch teams to experiment with certain abilities at will. (I.e. Tech’s Hypercharge paired with a Commando’s Stim Rush.)