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My terrible Mercs/ Improvement Ideas


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I played live back when CoV released and I fell in love with the MM class, particularly the mercenary primary and back then It wasn't in the best spot.  Sadly (or maybe luckily) I quit live before IO's became a thing so I didn't see if they really helped the set. After a few weeks on this server it looks like the general consensus was it helped them a little but they're still worse than pretty much every other primary.  Me loving my mercs tried to come up with ways to improve them without just making them broken/OP.  I browsed the suggestion forums before posting to make sure my Idea's weren't already out there and I came across Monos and Galaxy Brain's post about Mercs and damn if they weren't super damn close to what I was thinking (even the serum name change was almost identical to what I had in mind).  After reading though their post and a few others I feel like the idea's I had differ enough from the other posts to warrant me posting my ideas here. Hopefully nothing is too nuts / broken and all the numbers I use are just to give you idea's on what I want the power or change to do.  Before we get to Mercs though:


General MM Change Suggestion:

The two henchmen upgrade powers should come with a level increase depending on the pet. using mercs as an example:

Equip Mercenary: +1 level to t1

Tactical Upgrade: +1 level to t1 and t2

Overall would be a great change for all MM's, having t1's be at +6 when running 54 stuff is never fun.  Would help both with damage and I am hoping with survivability because of the health increase that would come with the level increase. Secondly as has been mentioned before henchmen with weapons would benefit from either no redraw or simply keeping the weapon out at all times. 


Now onto Mercs


Maybe replace the primary attack M-30 Grenade with the Conical Heavy Burst just to differentiate it from the primary attacks in robots.



As many have recommended before, will now summon 3 soldiers instead of 2 + Medic.  All attacks will have an 80' range to promote the unit staying together.  Not a whole lot of  major changes to be made.


Base Powers

Pummel - Melee / Minor Damage

Burst -  Moderate DoT / -DEF


Equip Mercenary

Slug - High Damage / - DEF

Heavy Cone Burst - Cone AoE / Heavy DoT / -DEF


Tactical Upgrade

Suppressing Fire - Targeted AoE / Minor DoT  / -DMG / -DEF

High Velocity Rounds - Auto Power +To-Hit / +DMG



Spec Ops

After reading some replies and  giving it some thought, I wont completely just remove Spec Ops but instead rework them into a pair of units that focus mainly on single target damage and AoE CC grenades.  Same deal still applies with ranges, everything is 80' unless otherwise stated.


Base Powers

Rifle Butt - Melee / Moderate Damage / Small Chance for Disorient

SCAR Burst - Moderate DoT / -DEF

Sticky Grenade - Targeted AoE / ST Immobilize / AoE -Speed -Fly


Equip Mercenary

SCAR Heavy Burst - High DoT / -RES

SCAR Incendiary Burst - Moderate Lethal & Fire DoT / Chance to Burn

Flashbang Grenade - Targeted AoE / ST Disorient / AoE -ToHit


Tactical Upgrade

SCAR Snipe - Extreme Damage / Chance to Knockdown / 120' Range

SCAR Cryonic Round - Moderate Lethal & Cold Damage / -Recharge -Speed

Stealth -  Auto Power: +Stealth / First Damaging Attack in stealth will critically strike



Changed his skillset to focus mainly on gun based attacks (less missile and flamethrower) and could possibly change out his Legacy Assault Rifle for one of the Longbow/Council chainguns.


Base Powers

Brawl - Melee

Burst - Moderate Damage / -DEF

Heavy Cone Burst - Cone AoE / Heavy DoT / -DEF


Equip Mercenary

Long Burst  - Single Target / High DoT / -DEF

Full Auto - Cone AoE / Extreme DoT / -DEF


Tactical Upgrade

Full Burst - Single Target / Extreme DoT / -DEF

Mow Down - Wide Cone AoE / Extreme DoT / -DEF

Lucky Shot - Auto Power / 20% Chance for bonus Lethal Damage on all attacks.


That's the general idea of the Henchman changes and now onto the Serum change.


Field Support

60s Duration

240s Cooldown

Not affected by +Recharge


Will summon two support temporary pets, both will have minimal combat abilities having Slug, Burst and Brawl but provide buffs to both the MM and his other henchman. If either of these units are killed they will cast a short (60s) vengeance on the other henchman. The two units it will summon are:


Medical Support Unit

Med-Kit - ST Heal / Low CD

Tissue Restoration - 2min Duration / +Regen / Low CD


Equipment Support Unit

Well Maintained Equipment - 2min Duration / + RES (All but Psi)

Tactical Auto-shielding - 1min Duration / Small Regenerating Absorb Shield



That's it for my version of the changes, hopefully my bias towards the set didn't make anything too overpowered.  Id be interested to hear what other people think of these ideas or any changes you think would be good. 

Edited by illunic
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I had a Mercenaries MM back on Live, and I honestly don't know whether they're as "bad" as everyone says they are or whether it might just be groupthink; that said, your changes are certainly respectable. My feedback, however:


- Why totally deprive Spec/Tac-Ops of rifles? It would seem appropriate for Mercenaries to have an element of conformity to their weapons.

- Maybe replace (in the case of those who don't get Pummel) Brawl/Heavy Brawl entirely with something like "Combat Knife" (a slightly better version, perhaps of the switchblades used by some Hellions/Skulls/etc)?

- Maybe at least some of them should receive Bayonet from upgrade powers, too?

- An idea I heard floated for "fixing" Mercenaries was "double down on the debuffs"; that could be a good approach for Spec-Ops.

- Why not keep Serum, just make it better? I like your Field Support pets, BUT I think every Tier-7 Summon power should aspire to be unique. Admittedly, this is different enough from Gang War and Hell On Earth, but a sufficiently good Serum power would be moreso.

- Maybe "medical support" abilities could be watered down and distributed to all the Soldiers as part of Tactical Upgrade; maybe all Mercenaries could have the Fitness Pool benefits. Even better, maybe dispense with healing entirely and go with your "Equipment Support Unit" abilities; I really like that (and had similar a similar idea for a new Summon set idea I've been working on). Maybe just replace "3rd Soldier is a Medic" with "3rd Soldier is a Quartermaster".


...If you're not willing to risk your life or what you hold dear to accomplish your goal, then maybe you should re-think what you really want. Power, control, security; all of those are just fancy ways of saying that you're afraid, and you want to not be afraid anymore. People will do a lot to avoid fear, even become the monsters they're afraid of. - Crimson



The game lags because you touch yourself at night - @Zem


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Thanks for the reply, I'll try my best to answer your questions but some of them just boiled down to personal taste or trying to prevent as much weapon redraw as possible.


     1&4) I really dislike how the current spec ops are built, techincally t1 soldiers have a wider variety of damaging attacks, and some actual AoE damage compared to their t2 friends.  Any why do they have stealth, yeah I get it fits the theme but theres nothing really good about it.  They had some AoE grenade abilities but they were mostly debuffs so I just went with that and expanded on it.  You could have em keep the guns without much issue tbh.  Give them slug, burst, heavy burst and then a variety of AoE debuff grenades to use (just make them come out of the gun instead of hand tossing).  Ooh and if they keep their stealth at least make the first attack they do coming out of stealth do a critical hit.


     2&3) I only picked pummel because it was an attack that used a gun. I have noticed some occasions where when my t1s were in melee they would put the gun away, punch, then bring the gun back out resulting in more redraw time wasting.  TBH I want to keep the amount of melee they have down to a minimum, but I could see the t2 and or t3 having bayonettee as a melee attack instead of rifle butt / pummel. The idea of having them whip out a combat knife did cross my mind but again I wanted to avoid as much weapon redraw as possible.


     5&6) The idea of removing serum and making temp summons is two-fold. First is the obvious Aura IO sink, while Merc's have a bit more survivability because theyr'e ranged those aura IO's still feel like a requirement and having to sacrifice henchmen slots for them feels bad. Second, I wanted to keep the medic around in some form as well as the Serum idea of a short burst of increased efficiency just instead of offense like serum it was defense/healing.


   At first I did fiddle with the idea of just changing serum around but I ended up going with the temp pet idea because aura IOs are silly things.  One idea I did have was kind of merge it with Experimental injection and make it an AoE.  Reduce the damage and resistance buffs, slap in some +regen to go with the +rec and CC resists.  Increase the duration to maybe 90s (or longer if youre feeling frisky) and reduce the cooldown by half.  Maybe remove the -end part of the drain when it ends but keep the -rec, that way they bleed themselves dry instead of just the sudden cold turkey stop.


Post-Post Edit:

     I realized I never posted my Supremacy idea in here before so Ill drop that bad idea down at the bottom of this.  Ill start off by saying that every MM primary should have a few personal attacks, namely 2 single target attacks and an AoE of some sort (currently Necro is the only set that doesn't follow this).  First remove the whole supremacy aura idea (and maybe IO auras too) and make it a no endurance toggle (so people can turn it off if they need to).  When toggled on any attack the MM uses from its primary pool apply a debuff called "Marked by the Master" to the target for a duration.   Marked enemies are easier for henchman to hit and take significantly increased damage from the henchman (and only the henchman).  I feel like this would help make the MM primary attacks feel a bit more useful and maybe promote more active MM game play.  May find a way to have pets auto attack marked targets as a type of 'assist me' feature. If this change was done, id like to see that stupid 25% end cost increase that MMs have to be removed.

Edited by illunic
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I love the idea of having a Mercenaries 'Gang War' that summons additional mercs who buff your primary pets - I don't think I've seen that suggestion before, and it's great.  I don't love the names (what's wrong with Medic and Combat Engineer?) but their powers seem well-thought out and appropriate.

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Sorry for the late reply I kinda forgot that I had posted this, Ill admit the names aren't that good for me either but I didn't want to use Medic just because I did not want any confusion between the old t1 medic and the new temporary summon.



Also I have updated the main post after reading Aspie's reply I decided not to just get rid of spec ops all together but try to make them a more ST focused while providing some decent CC options. I also redid the commando to focus mainly on gun attacks, gave him more AoE to help balance out with the Spec Ops ST stuff.

Edited by illunic
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