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How to improve Mercs?

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I've mained a Mercs/FF MM since CoV went live, with a 7 year break of course. I've been mulling over ideas to potentially improve Mercs effectiveness compared to other MM sets. I think one of the things that sets Thugs apart from the other sets is how the Bruiser and Arsonist get Inherents. So I figure Mercs could benefit the same way, by maybe giving the Commando Defiance or Opportunity and Spec Ops Containment or Scourge. The Medic's heal could certainly use a change too, maybe an AOE or cone similar to Nature's. Just throwing it out here to see what the hivemind thinks.

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Remove their melee attack, decrease cool downs on the insanely long cool down powers.  I think that's all it would take.

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I'm not sure how much lowering the cooldowns would really help, tbh. Full Auto has such a long animation time, and the Rocket Launcher is so weak compared to the stacking burn patches the Arsonist and Assault Bot can produce.

 

And of course I don't think anything can sort the set out as long as they run into melee as frequently as they do.

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Here are my thoughts:

 

1. Reduce the cooldown on all the mercs' basic attacks.

 

2. Remove brawl completely, or replace it with pummel.

 

3. Get rid of the crash at the end of serum's effect, and allow it to be used on any friendly target.

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The DPA for Mercs on their AR attacks is astoundingly awful. I believe direct comparisons show Mercs has typically around 2/3rds the DPA of analogous Thugs attacks. More recharge doesn't fix DPA.

 

The cooldowns are a problem, especially for the utility attacks (Spec-Ops, i'm looking at you), but the truth is even with reduced cooldowns they'd still be in bad shape.

 

As for Serum, I'd like to see it replaced with something completely different. Mercenaries to me implies a degree of team cohesion that they utterly lack. Thugs has actual leadership toggles in its LTs, putting us in the bewildering space that the powers of Thugs implies they are better coordinated than a bunch of trained soldiers.

 

I'd like to see Serum replaced with a team buff like an actual merc-pet-only combined leadership toggle. Doesn't necessarily need to directly map to leadership, but something like that is, I think, appropriate.

 

Alternately, if it needs to be a clickie, possibly a Merc-pet-only analog to Farsight/Mind Link.

 

Either way, I think whatever Mercs gets in that slot should be a team-wide thing, something that actually conveys "this is a combined unit" rather than 'a bunch of assholes with guns who don't know how to work together'.

Edited by esotericist
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I think changing Serum to something like a Gun Drone or Gun ship assault attack would be cool.   I mean the military when they need support, what do they do?  The call in air support.

 

LOL, or they could rename it Cannon Fodder and make work like Gang War.

Edited by SmalltalkJava
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2 hours ago, esotericist said:

As for Serum, I'd like to see it replaced with something completely different.

Oh man ... you just gave me an Ebil Idea™ ...

 

We all agree (more or less) that Mercs have a serious problem in that they've got long recharge attacks which can't be modified by recharge enhancement (unlike PCs).

But we've also go the Burnout power sitting over there in the Speed pool (on a stupidly long 30 MINUTE base recharge) as an example of what is POSSIBLE to do.

 

So WHAT IF ...

... Serum were reconfigured to be a port of Smoke Flash from the Ninja powerset (meaning 20s base recharge instead of 1000s base recharge) and Serum (only!) acted like a "Burnout" styled instant recharge of all powers for the Merc Pet (and ONLY Merc Pets!) you use it on (single target only per use of the power).

 

In other words ... Serum lets you have your Mercs use their powers "faster" than they would be able to recharge them on their own.

Recharge on Merc powers is too long?

Use Serum on them so they can "double up" the use of those powers in a given time span.

In other words, you use Serum to "supercharge" the offense (and if used on the Medic, defense?) of one Merc Pet at a time.

Enhance recharge and endurance reduction to use Serum even more often ... but you have to use it on a Merc Pet.

 

 

 

Damn.

I think I might have just fixed Mercs for everyone ...

Edited by Redlynne
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Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.

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1 hour ago, Redlynne said:

Damn.

I think I might have just fixed Mercs for everyone ...

I'm utterly bewildered at this idea.

 

To be clear: I think with work this could be technically feasible. That's not one of the problems with the suggestion.

 

But I am unconvinced it's a worthwhile addition to mercs; without a radical shift in the actual powers available to the mercenaries, this wouldn't actually provide substantial tactical benefit. Outside of the utility powers not being on reasonable timeframes, mercs spends very little time idle. They're fairly constantly attacking, especially once you have the full kit (i.e. the level 32 upgrade).

 

So you aren't actually going to meaningfully increase the offense capability of the attack pets (the only serious damaging power which needs faster recharge time is LRM, and it's not as impressive as it should be in the first place), nor will it meaninfully impact the "defense" capability of the medic (an extra heal and an extra casting of stimulant. Yay?). It would allow a spec-ops to deploy its mez again, but the jankiness of the AI is such that it will probably still waste it anyway.

 

Further, I am completely convinced this is not even remotely in line with the actual conceptual design of the powerset.

 

Ultimately, you're proposing trading one poorly-fitting mostly-useless power for an even more poorly-fitting mostly-useless power.

 

I'd sooner have the gun drone. On Serum's cooldown.

Edited by esotericist
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3 hours ago, SmalltalkJava said:

I think changing Serum to something like a Gun Drone or Gun ship assault attack would be cool.   I mean the military when they need support, what do they do?  The call in air support.

 

LOL, or they could rename it Cannon Fodder and make work like Gang War.

I've been in favor of changing it to an Artillery Strike for ages. Something like a ground targeted AoE pseudopet field that does knockdown (Like Earthquake) and also damage over time.

 

However I also like the suggestion of turning it into a combined leadership toggle of sorts. That would be thematic, and give Mercs something unique.

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You can't fix mercs without radically changing them. Which yeah it might be one of those few sets that really needs it too though i've never played ninjas I'd assume they are just as bad too.

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Ninja at least has some damage to back up the squishiness. Mercs are just...Eh.

 

My initial idea, which I know is unlikely to be doable, was to either change Serum to a Swap Ammo mechanic similar to DP with the MM in control, or give the T1 soldiers the ammo effects (One with fire, one with ice, one with Toxic), preferably without removing the -Def they naturally come with.

Edited by Twintania

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26 minutes ago, Twintania said:

Ninja at least has some damage to back up the squishiness. Mercs are just...Eh.

 

My initial idea, which I know is unlikely to be doable, was to either change Serum to a Swap Ammo mechanic similar to DP with the MM in control, or give the T1 soldiers the ammo effects (One with fire, one with ice, one with Toxic), preferably without removing the -Def they naturally come with.

The problem with a swap ammo power would be that if we look at Dual Pistols, Chem is kind of the only good one. Fire's damage boost is negligible, and Cryo gives less of a mitigation bonus than Chem. It's not a bad idea, giving all their gun attacks -damage would certainly help them with survivability, no argument. But you'd pretty much *always* be using chem.

 

And ultimately I feel like what the set really needs (Well, not counting stopping them from suicidally running into melee all the damn time) is more damage.

 

Keeping them alive can already kind of be done by picking a secondary with really good mitigation, but then you're still left with the problem that their damage is awful and your clear times are abysmal.

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8 hours ago, esotericist said:

Either way, I think whatever Mercs gets in that slot should be a team-wide thing, something that actually conveys "this is a combined unit" rather than 'a bunch of assholes with guns who don't know how to work together'.

How about giving every merc minion a mini-leadership? Like maybe 1/5th or 1/10th of regular leadership, much like Enforcers have. The more are together the better they perform. And I like the idea of simply turning Serum into Mind Link.

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3 hours ago, Noyjitat said:

You can't fix mercs without radically changing them. Which yeah it might be one of those few sets that really needs it too though i've never played ninjas I'd assume they are just as bad too.

You don't need to redesign mercs entirely.

 

To fix the DPS problem, just adjust the DPA upwards a little closer to sane. Keep the same animations, increase the damage a bit, and that problem is solved. Doesn't even need to match the DPA of other sets just as long as the window is narrowed (and the below problems are tackled).

 

The utility power problem is already fairly thoroughly understood wrt the cooldown stuff. Just look at how some of the newer sets are rigged up and that becomes pretty clear.

 

Almost anything would be better than serum. While I'm obviously in favor of my leadership-toggle-or-clickie suggestion, the gun drone idea would at least give Mercs a mule for the recharge intense pet auras. And I wasn't even the slightest bit joking when I said that I'd accept it with serum's cooldown. It'd be that much of an upgrade over Serum.

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10 minutes ago, esotericist said:

You don't need to redesign mercs entirely.

 

To fix the DPS problem, just adjust the DPA upwards a little closer to sane. Keep the same animations, increase the damage a bit, and that problem is solved. Doesn't even need to match the DPA of other sets just as long as the window is narrowed (and the below problems are tackled).

Can't really be done. The activation/animation on Full Auto is FOUR SECONDS. And the activation on LRM is even worse, at 5.87s.

 

Regardless, buffing their damage to make them even close to the DPA of other pets would require them to be absurdly strong, which would arguably make the Commando too powerful in terms of burst damage.

 

Especially when you factor in what the best damage dealing primaries can do with burn patches, which Mercs doesn't have.

Edited by kelly Rocket
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Another idea that just popped into my head, trying to keep thing thematic. Give all rifle attacks "Suppression": Guaranteed -ToHit and -Recharge regardless if the attack hits or not. Suppressing fire is a defining tactic of the small infantry squad/fireteam. Just by shooting at an enemy you force them to duck for cover and stop returning fire.

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Oh hey, numbers!


I've been cataloguing the MM pets in an excel sheet to evaluate their performance. You can see it here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1j6MiqD6aMXagyq6b-FNwbgOOBikjbU42-NYNQWeBksM/edit?usp=sharing

Some grains of salt to take:

- The pets never reach their theoretical DPS - this is clearly exemplified by the DPS tab where I fitted actual DPS rotations I saw the pets do.
- Pets don't do well with really low CD powers(and mercs are "blessed" with these) - they just won't rotate them optimally
- Pets don't do well with really high CD powers - they're prone to use them in bad situations(before a fight, at the end of a fight, AoEs on single targets, overkill, etc..)


Looking at the powers, in my mind, the mercs's theme is roughly like this: Long animation time rifle bursts, lethal dmg, -def. Training and discipline. Good equipment(medkits, sniper rifles, rockets, grenades..). Their main drawback is very subpar damage values on most of their attacks.

Let's compare numbers for say Punks vs Soldiers:

Punks - 2 fast-animating attacks with a ~50% fill rate(fill rate is how much of their available time must be spent to cycle the attacks), for a total of ~470 DPM. A cone with roughly ~120 DPM.

Soldiers - 3 slow-animating attacks with a total ~80% fill rate(!! very likely they won't use their powers effectively), for a total of ~470 DPM. No AOE

Suggestions:
- increase recharge of Assault Rifle Burst to 6 seconds
- increase damage of all powers by 50%(!) 

End result: Soldiers end up as middle-of-the-pack(Ninjas>Demons>Beasts>Zombies>Buffed Mercs/Thugs>Bots>Current Mercs) single target ranged DPS, whose main utility is the -def they can stack. 

Medic vs Arsonist:

Medic is really low on the DPS, but they make it up with some really nice utility(heal, mez protection). The SMG Heavy Burst they get gives them a decent Fill %. Their damage is atrocious.

Suggestions:
- boost the damage of SMG Heavy Burst and Frag Grenade by 50%.

 

End result: This brings them halfway to Alpha Wolves(another "buff" pet), with some AoE capability.

Spec Ops vs Enforcers:

Enforcers are beasts. They not only do insane AoE damage(~420 DPM), their ST totals up to ~900 DPM! Their fill % is close to 100% with one really fast attack(Uzi Burst), so their realistic DPS is a bit below that potential.

Spec Ops are meh. They don't do any AoE damage, their ST chain adds up to ~630 DPM, and to boot they ALSO have a low-cd power which they're unlikely to make great use of. Their shtick is a lot of utility(immob, stun, hold, -dmg). 

Suggestions:
- SCAR Burst - up to 4 sec recharge, 40% more damage
- SCAR Heavy Burst - 40% more damage

- SCAR Snipe - 100% more damage

End Result:
This brings Spec Ops damage in line with enforcers. The snipe becomes an actual high damage ability(used to do LESS than a cone from enforcers..). The tradeoffs between the two are auras + aoe(enforcers) vs lockdown utility(spec ops)

Commando vs Assault Bot

It's difficult to compare the commando and the bruiser straight up, because they have different roles. The commando is closer to the assault bot in this regard - having to pick up the AoE slack from the first two tiers. Of course, nothing the Commando really does will measure up to the bullshit that is incendiary swarm missiles, but we can at least try to nudge him in that direction.

Suggestions:

- Burst - up to 6 s cd, 50% increased damage.
- Full Auto - chance for last damage tick 10% -> 80%. Lower CD 60->30

- M30 Grenade - increase CD 12->16. 100% more damage.

- LRM Rocket - lower CD 240 -> 120. 50% more damage.

End result:

Only a slight overall dmg increase(10%). AoE is more bursty, but overall DPM is not amazing(~700 DPM). For a comparison, AssBot is ~480 without burn patch, ~750 with(and this is without units taking damage from overlapping burn patches). The increased CD on burst reduces fill pressure. 

 



You can see the end result of my suggestions in my sheet - Mercs vs Buffed Mercs. The end results are nothing spectacular, but they would bring Mercs more in line with what other sets have. That needs to be coupled with a change to Serum(which is just meh for Mercs...it's actually way more useful for Thugs!). Here's a sample suggestion to make Serum more useful for the Mercs theme:

Dig In!

- 30 radius around MM

- 25% res to all(-psi) 
- 10 KB protection

- 100 immobilize(or whatever they put in to force you to stay put)
- +25% Damage

- +7.5% Hit
- 30s duration, 240s recharge

- affects MM pets only

Edited by BGSacho
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40 minutes ago, BGSacho said:

I've been cataloguing the MM pets in an excel sheet to evaluate their performance. You can see it here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1j6MiqD6aMXagyq6b-FNwbgOOBikjbU42-NYNQWeBksM/edit?usp=sharing

FINALLY.

Data I can WORK with ...

 

 

 

My experience has been primarily with Ninjas (go figure, eh?) and according to how I've seen them perform, then tend to cycle through their attack chains relatively fluidly/flexibly with relatively little downtime.  The data you've posted provides an answer as to why ...

 

Genin animation times (recharge times)

  • Melee: 1.07+1+2 = 4.07 (recharge 3, 6, 8)
  • Ranged: 1.07+1.07+1.07 = 3.21 (recharge 4, 6, 16)

Jounin animation times (recharge times)

  • Melee: 1.05+1.05+1.05+1.05 = 4.2 (recharge 5, 3, 9, 12)
  • Ranged: 1.07+1.5+2+1.07 = 5.64 (recharge 30, 60, 4, 120)

Oni animation times (recharge times)

  • Melee: 1.67+3 = 4.67 (recharge 3, 6)
  • Ranged: 1.2+1.17+2.67+1.07+2.03 = 8.14 (recharge 4, 4, 16, 8, 60)

Now it doesn't take a whole lot of squinting at those raw numbers pulled off your spreadsheets @BGSacho to reach some relatively simple conclusions about why Ninjas seem to be so "fast" with their attacks and why they waste so little time between attacks waiting for power to recharge.  Their powers animate "quickly" and they don't have "too many" powers to choose from in any particular category (melee vs ranged).  Even the Oni, with all of his ranged powers, one of which is a Rain of Fire, manages to finish animating ALL of his ranged attacks (FIVE of them!) in less than 10 seconds ... and will have some of those range attacks recharged and ready for reuse before being reduced to needing to charge in to use a melee attack.

 

My point being that the animation times and the recharge times ... sort ... themselves somewhat neatly/conveniently for the Pet AI to be able to cycle somewhat effectively, in my experience.

 

 

 

Contrast the above performance with Mercs, and try not to groan ...

 

Soldier animation times (recharge times)

  • Brawl: 0.67 (recharge 16)
  • Ranged: 2.2+2.67+6 = 10.87 (recharge 4, 8, 16)

Medic animation times (recharge times)

  • Brawl: 0.67 (recharge 16)
  • Ranged: 3.17+2.67+3.17+1.87 = 10.88 (recharge 20, 6, 15, 16)

Spec Ops animation times (recharge times)

  • Brawl: 0.67 (recharge 16)
  • Ranged: 2.2+2.67+1.87+3.83 = 10.57 (recharge 3, 6, 30, 16)

Commando animation times (recharge times)

  • Brawl: 0.67 (recharge 16)
  • Ranged: 2.2+1.87+1.87+6+1.87+3.5+3.83 = 21.14 (recharge 4, 8, 8, 60, 16, 20, 240)

Just LOOK at those animation times and compare them to the recharge times.  I don't even need to get very far before coming to the blindingly obvious conclusion that Mercs are GIMPED BY DESIGN when it comes to being able to attack in anything even approximating a useful rotation of powers.

 

Genin can unload a complete Ranged cycle of attacks ONCE and a complete Melee cycle of attacks TWICE in the time it takes Soldiers to animate their Ranged attacks ONCE.

Genin can unload a complete Ranged cycle of attacks ONCE and a complete Melee cycle of attacks TWICE in the time it takes a Medic to animate their Ranged attacks and buffs ONCE.

DISadvantage ... Mercs ... obviously.

 

Jounin can unload a complete Ranged cycle of attacks ONCE and a complete Melee cycle of attacks ONCE in the time it takes Spec Ops to animate their Ranged attacks ONCE.

DISadvantage ... Mercs ... obviously.

 

Oni can unload a complete Ranged cycle of attacks ONCE and a complete Melee cycle of attacks TWICE in the time it takes a Commando to animate their Ranged attacks ONCE.

DISadvantage ... Mercs ... obviously.

 

 

 

Alright, I get that Brawl CANNOT be removed unless it gets replaced with another melee attack as demonstrated by Ninjas (Ninjas apparently don't have a Brawl attack ... funny that), but the solution to that problem is to just simply increase the recharge time on the Brawl power to be well above 16 seconds (so they don't keep trying to do it all the time).

 

The thing that REALLY gets to me, looking at the data you've compiled for Mercs, is ... why are all of their animations so stupidly LONG?  Are they just using OUTDATED animations that never got updated?

 

Soldier animation times vs Assault Rifle Blaster animation times

Assault Rifle Burst: 2.2s vs 1.05s (Burst)

Assault Rifle Heavy Burst: 2.67s vs 1.05s (Slug)

Assault Rifle Auto Fire: 6s vs 4s (Full Auto)

Total wasted animation time on outdated animations = 4.77 seconds!

 

Medic animation times vs Assault Rifle Blaster and Medicine Pool animation times

Med Kit: 3.17s vs 3.93s (w/ 1s Interrupt) (Aid Other) ... recharge is 20s vs 10s (Aid Other)

SMG Heavy Burst: 2.67s vs a stupid TEMP POWER port of a Stolen SMG!

Stimulant: 3.17s vs 2.93s (Injection) ... recharge 15s vs 12s (Injection) ... and range is 25ft vs 40ft (Injection)

Frag Grenade: 1.87s vs 1.67s (M30 Grenade)

Total wasted animation time on outdated animations = 1.1 seconds

 

Spec Ops animation times vs Assault Rifle Blaster

SCAR Burst: 2.2s vs 1.05s (Burst)

SCAR Heavy Burst: 2.67s vs a stupid TEMP POWER port of a Stolen SMG!

Web Grenade: 1.87s vs 1.67s (Arachnos Soldier Wide Area Web Grenade)

SCAR Snipe: 3.83s vs 3.67s (Sniper Rifle)

Total wasted animation time on outdated animations = 3.13 seconds!

 

Commando animation times vs Assault Rifle Blaster

Burst: 2.2s vs 1.05s (Burst)

Slug: 1.87s vs 1.05s (Slug)

Buckshot: 1.87s vs 0.9s (Buckshot)

Full Auto: 6s vs 4s (Full Auto)

M30 Grenade: 1.87s vs 1.67s (M30 Grenade)

Flamethrower: 3.5s vs 2.33s (Flamethrower)

LRM Rocket: 3.83s vs 5.87s (w/ 4s Interrupt) (LRM Rocket)

Total wasted animation time on outdated animations = 4.27 seconds!

 

 

 

So THERE is our culprit for why Mercs are underperforming so badly.  They're using outdated animations from pre-Issue 6 Assault Rifle and have never been updated to be worth a damn.  They are ... literally ... GIMPED BY DESIGN(!!) ... an outdated design that is desperately crying out for an update.

 

Fortunately ... there's an answer to this problem.

We can rebuild them ... WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY ...

 

 

 

So ... given all that info ... here is what I propose as to solution as a Change Log for Merc Pet powers.

 

Soldier (use same weapon costume piece for all animations)

  • Replace (old) Assault Rifle Burst animation with (new) Soldier of Arachnos Burst animation ... reducing animation time from 2.2s down to 1s.  Retain all other parameters as is.
  • Replace (old) Assault Rifle Heavy Burst animation with (new) Blaster Assault Rifle Burst animation ... reducing animation time from 2.67s down to 1.05s.  Retain all other parameters as is.
  • ADD new Frag Grenade POWER as additional Equip Mercenaries granted power to Soldiers instead of to Medic.  Use (new) Soldier of Arachnos Frag Grenade animation with 1.67s animation and 16s recharge.  This power is being moved from Medic to Soldiers.
  • Replace (old) Assault Rifle Auto Fire animation with (new) Soldier of Arachnos Heavy Burst animation ... reducing animation time from 6s down to 2.67s.  Reset recharge time from 16s to 12s.  Retain all other paramaters as is.
  • ADD second(!) Assault Rifle Burst POWER as an additional Tactical Upgrade granted power to Soldiers that is a duplicate of the above Assault Rifle Burst (using the Soldier of Arachnos Burst animation) power, including updated animation.  Change recharge time on THIS version of the power to 6s up from 4s to avoid Pet AI decision conflicts.  Precedent is the 4s vs 6s recharge times on Shurikens thrown by Ninjas.

 

Medic (use same weapon costume piece for all animations)

  • Replace (old) Med Kit animation with (new) Medicine Pool Aid Other animation MINUS the Interrupt time ... reducing animation time from 3.17s down to 2.93s. Reset recharge time from 20s to 10s.  Retain all other parameters as is.
  • REMOVE AND REPLACE (old) SMG Heavy Burst POWER with duplicate copy of updated Soldier Assault Rifle Burst detailed above.  This is swap and replace to "standardize" the powers used by T1, T2 and T3 Mercs.
  • REMOVE AND REPLACE (old) Stimulant POWER with (new) Medicine Pool Injection power ... reducing the animation time from 3.17s down to 2.93s.  Reset recharge from 15s to 12s.
  • Replace (old) Frag Grenade animation with (new) Blaster Assault Rifle .
  • REMOVE AND REPLACE (old) Frag Grenade POWER (moving it to Soldiers instead) with the second Soldier Assault Rifle Burst POWER as an additional Tactical Upgrade granted power to Soldiers being the replacement power here (so duplicate of Soldiers on this one).  Include changed recharge time of 4s to 6s as detailed above to avoid Pet AI decision conflicts.  This is swap and replace to "standardize" the powers used by T1, T2 and T3 Mercs.

 

Spec Ops

  • Replace (old) SCAR Burst animation with (new) Soldier of Arachnos Burst animation ... reducing animation time from 2.2s down to 1s.  Retain all other parameters as is. This is to "standardize" the powers used by T1, T2 and T3 Mercs.
  • Replace (old) SCAR Heavy Burst animation with (new) Blaster Assault Rifle Burst animation ... reducing animation time from 2.67s down to 1.05s.  Retain all other parameters as is. This is to "standardize" the powers used by T1, T2 and T3 Mercs.
  • Replace (old) Web Grenade animation with (new) Soldier of Arachnos Wide Area Web Grenade animation ... reducing animation time from 1.87s down to 1.67s.  Retain all other parameters as is.
  • Replace (old) SCAR Snipe animation with (new) Blaster Assault Sniper Shot animation ... reducing animation time from 3.83s down to 3.67s.  Retain all other parameters as is.
  • ADD new SCAR Full Auto power as an additional Tactical Upgrade granted power to Spec Ops.  Duplicate parameters of Soldiers (updated) Assault Rifle Auto Fire and Commando Full Auto powers.  This is to "standardize" the powers used by T1, T2 and T3 Mercs.

 

Commando

  • Replace (old) Burst animation with (new) Soldier of Arachnos Burst animation ... reducing animation time from 2.2s down to 1s.  Retain all other parameters as is.  Duplicate of Assault Rifle Burst power given to Soldiers, Medic and Spec Ops. This is to "standardize" the powers used by T1, T2 and T3 Mercs.
  • Replace (old) Slug animation with (new) Blaster Assault Rifle Slug animation ... reducing animation time from 1.87s down to 1.05s.  Retain all other parameters as is.  Duplicate of Assault Rifle Heavy Burst power given to Soldiers and Spec Ops. This is to "standardize" the powers used by T1, T2 and T3 Mercs.
  • Replace (old) Buckshot animation with (new) Blaster Assault Rifle Buckshot animation ... reducing animation time from 1.87s down to 0.9s.  Retain all other parameters as is.
  • Replace (old) Full Auto animation with (new) Soldier of Arachnos Heavy Burst animation ... reducing animation time from 6s down to 2.67s.  Reset recharge time from 16s to 12s.  Retain all other paramaters as is.  Duplicate of Assault Rifle Auto Fire given to Soldiers. This is to "standardize" the powers used by T1 Mercs.
  • Replace (old) M30 Grenade animation with (new) Blaster Assault Rifle M30 Grenade animation ... reducing animation time from 1.87s down to 1.67s.  Retain all other parameters as is.  Duplicate of Frag Grenade power granted to Soldiers by Equip Mercenaries.  This is to "standardize" the powers used by T1 Mercs.
  • Replace (old) Flamethrower animation with (new) Blaster Assault Rifle Flamethrower animation ... reducing animation time from 3.5s down to 2.33s.  Retain all other parameters as is.
  • KEEP LRM Rocket animation as is.  Reduce recharge time from 240s to 90s, since Pets are not affected by recharge, by design.

 

 

 

There ... that should work, I reckon.

Jettison the lame/old animations for all their powers, reshuffle the Frag Grenade between the Medic (why!?!) and the Soldiers (duh!!) and just let Mercenaries "do their things faster" using the existing faster animations.  All we have to do is "repurpose" already existing assets inside the game and update the existing powers that Mercenaries use to reflect those changes (game mechanically) and they'll be on their way to being "fixed" as far as the end users (Mastermind Players) are concerned.

 

The mere fact that pretty much EVERY animation used by Mercenaries was obsolete when the powerset was built ought to be the first clue that these Pets are DESPERATELY in need of an overhaul by the Homecoming Dev team.

 

And yes ... part of the problem with Mercs (as is) is that they've got too few attacks each with absurdly long (obsolete!) animations and long recharge times that prevent any kind of attack chain "flow" from happening for them.  They basically get "caught" in the granularity of their own attack powers not flowing well over time, unlike Ninjas (or really any other Mastermind Pet set, really).

 

 

 

Any takers?

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7 hours ago, Redlynne said:

FINALLY.

Data I can WORK with ...

 

~~SNIP~~

 

There ... that should work, I reckon.

Jettison the lame/old animations for all their powers, reshuffle the Frag Grenade between the Medic (why!?!) and the Soldiers (duh!!) and just let Mercenaries "do their things faster" using the existing faster animations.  All we have to do is "repurpose" already existing assets inside the game and update the existing powers that Mercenaries use to reflect those changes (game mechanically) and they'll be on their way to being "fixed" as far as the end users (Mastermind Players) are concerned.

 

The mere fact that pretty much EVERY animation used by Mercenaries was obsolete when the powerset was built ought to be the first clue that these Pets are DESPERATELY in need of an overhaul by the Homecoming Dev team.

 

And yes ... part of the problem with Mercs (as is) is that they've got too few attacks each with absurdly long (obsolete!) animations and long recharge times that prevent any kind of attack chain "flow" from happening for them.  They basically get "caught" in the granularity of their own attack powers not flowing well over time, unlike Ninjas (or really any other Mastermind Pet set, really).

 

 

 

Any takers?

Good ideas, but we probably also want to switch them to the no-redraw animations. Redraw currently adds a significant amount of lag time into their attack chains. Also it looks silly because they often put the gun away and then redraw it even when they're going from one AR power to another.

Edited by kelly Rocket

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We should definitely make sure this this data and suggestions gets posted in the "Suggestions" part of the forum.  There is some good analysis here.  It could also lead to making other pet sets more inline.  For example the cast times of Beasts buffs is very long on many of their attacks/buffs.

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So I was just running a Port Oakes mission on my Soldier of Arachnos this morning and was doing the first Billie Heck mission and noticed ... these Mooks are using Tommy Guns that use longer animations, and they have a different sound to them than the SoA/AR Burst animation does.  Longer and also higher pitched on the sound (pistol ammo instead of rifle ammo being autofired) and I realized ... that's what Merc Pets are using.  They're shooting the "Tommy Gun" animations.

 

The big Marconi boss that I rescued?  He pulled out a Tommy Gun and did a 6s Full Auto into a guy.

 

So I think this is the distinction we need to be looking at, and why Mercs might have been saddled with the animations (and sounds) that they've got ... and why changing those MIGHT not be such a good idea for the overall "feel" of the set when listening to it.

 

In other words ... needs more thought.


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