Some Eldar Thoughts

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Carl
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Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby Carl » 20 April 2016, 11:25

I want to give a first set of impressions and detailed thoughts on Eldar. I've separated it out from the main impressions thread because i'm planning somthing similar to my Ork thread where i cover a lot of stuff in detail. As a result i expect this to run rather long.

NOTE: DPS sheet updates are next on my list of things to do now i've got to 8 with an Eldar Admiral :).

Weaponry:

Pulsars: Ok as an activated ability these aren't technically awful. They do what they're supposed to do, in theory. And thats the problem in theory. In reality the tightly restrictive arcs and what that does to your approach, (and subsequent escape options, particularly if you don't want your ships to get in each others way), makes for a lot of issues. Conversely when they do hit i have serious concerns about their balance. And i'm not just talking their current 50% over-burst. The deal way more DPS than comparative cannon batteries ATM, and i'd argue out-perform torpedoes and probably bombers too.The fact that they require different approach angles to torpedoes only complicates matters on the Light Cruisers.

TLDR: Much too good right now.

Shuriken Cannon: First from the way shots home i'm pretty sure some kind of translation error on GW's end for the french 40k and BFG rules is to blame for the name. If a Dev can elaborate a little on name sourcing i suspect us fans can clear things up very quickly. As a weapon. These are the worst of the Eldar weapons by far. Their DPS relative to Pulsars is not great even if we discount the 50% over burst ATM. Whilst the Cannon have twice the raw DPS, typical enemy armour values guarantee that it's never going to do more equal Pulsar's at 100% hit rates, but given Eldar playstyle Orks and Imperials will be pointing that prow at people a lot, ergo they're actually going to be down around a quarter of the average damage vs them.

TLDR: Very bad because they're a sustained weapon and Pulsars are too good.

Eldar Launch Bays: Quite nice powerful weapons systems overall on a per squadron level, but again even if we ignore the 50% over burst where looking at Lances way out-performing these. Then again they are a lot longer ranged. I'm not calling foul on these yet as i need more in game experiance with them. But i'm also not impressed with them next to Pulsars. Eldar are much more able to dart in and out so the range feels like less of an edge.

TLDR: Nice but hampered by the Eldar's ease of closing distance so range is less relevant and DPS is poor.

Eldar Torpedoes: What can i say more Torpedoes. Don't get me wrong because they get shot down waaaay less than anyone elses they're a lot more effective vs the AI. But thats AI, in the real world a human is going to have zero issues with these. Their torpedoes, they will be avoided, and they will be mostly usless as a result.

TLDR: SLightly better torpedoes but still all the weakness thereof.

Holo-Fields: Not actually a weapon but i need to address these pronto. SImply put disgustingly overpowered vs things they protect against and in need of a serious overhaul otherwise. Right now with these an Eldar cruiser has around 4000 effective health without upgrade and 8000 with. That compares to, (assuming 1 shield regen), 2000 for Imperials/Chaos vs 50 armour. 2200 if you want to throw in 2 shield regens. Thats way out of line IMO. Waaaay, waaaay, waaaaaaaaay out of line. At the same time they have some critical flaws. Because of their weapons arcs and reliance on Pulsar's and Torpedoes ATM and their hit and run nature an Eldar player allready has waaay more to handle than is reasonable IMO from a Micro PoV, (yes even with Pulsar auto-cast). And then they've got to hand mess with their ships in excruciating detail to keep them moving, keep them out of the enemies way and be avoiding torpedoes and ram attempts, (the latter 3 being hugely complicated by the way Eldar Weaponry works). They're also way too vulnerable to criticals and the fact they effectively cease working on warp jumps makes retreating vs other eldar impossible. And not easy vs everyone else.

TLDR: OP when working, crits are too OP vs them, and a huge excess micro contributor and retreat killer.


Eldar Ships:

Unlike for Orks i'm going to do some talk of specific ships

Aurora: This thing is just so overpowered. Honestly fixed, (as in bring the alpha punch down to 20 instead of 30)), pulsars on the escorts, the Eclipse, and the Void Stalker are probably going to be closer to ok than not. But 2 of them on this thing. No just hell no. The torpedoes however situational they are, are just icing on the cake IMO.

Solaris: This is probably closer to balanced it's batteries are damned near usless but the launch bay whilst situational works well at what it's supposed to do when used in the right circumstances.

Shadow: Oh dear, the red headed stepchild of the Eldar. Suffers awfully from the batteries being terrible and torpedoes being both situational and in this case no better than the light cruisers in numbers per launch.

Eclipse: I'm kind of annoyed about this ship. Creating an Eldar BC? Sure, and they could have done what they've done and then put an actual TT acurratte eclipse in the cruiser range IMO. That said whilst again the batteries are worthless it combines a good Pulsar punch with a good Launch bay, if only a single so it's a decent design given current state of the Eldar.

Void Stalker: As usual the weapons battery is completely forgettable. The 4 Pulsars give it awesome alpha but it's real scary part lays in the quad launch bays. That combined with the pulsars is a very nasty one two punch. Too nasty if the batteries are made to be worth a damn.


There's only really two abilities i want to discuss.

1. Darkstar Fighters: This honestly is much too mandatory atm. With how vulnerable Eldar are to ordnance they need this badly.

2. Taunt: Right now this is much too powerful vs Eldar. Given how they work this will result in an Eldar ship coming to a complete stop in the midst of an enemy fleet. WHich is just instant death. Aside from generator crits this is the biggest source of deaths as Eldar for me.


TLDR Overall: Simply put Eldar have a bunch of problem weapons problem ships and holo-fields are the source of a lot of awkwardness and this combined with other stuff makes the eldar both unfun to play, but also creates a lot of issues for the Eldar player that aren't needed IMO. Eldar are currently a race of extremes to far too great a degree IMO.



Suggestions:

Pulsars: These need to come down to no more than 15 damage a pulse IMO. That brings their DPS down from the current 4.5DPS to 2.25DPS which is much more reasonable IMO. At the same time the Micro overhead and the way they force you onto predictable highly vulnerable courses needs addressing. These need to be able to target and track within a 45 degree arc so you don't have to go exactly bow on to the target. It makes lining up multiple ships much easier and makes the enemies job of countering them as less trivial. Right now they're so powerful the latter point barely matter but get them down to a reasonable punch and you're going to see this exploited horrifically.

Shuriken Cannon: There are two options for these IMO.

Option A) Make them like Pulsars. I.e. an ability that can target and tracks any targets within a 45 degree frontal arc firing a short burst of very damaging cannon fire. This has a lot of issues due to targeting matrix range extension, AP ammo, e.t.c. You've got a system that because of these is going to go very micro heavy to get the best possibble salvo out. IMO you'd have to change Eldar to a single fixed flat accuracy at any range with targeting matrix and AP ammo replaced. And it would deny the Eldar somthing i think they do need atm. A decent sustained fire weapon.

Option B) Take advantage of their guided nature and open the arc up to 270 degrees. They can allready achieve tracking shots like this in very close range extreme angle passes, by the time the shots start turning out the barrel the target is allready alongside. So visually it would work MO, and it would open a lot easier use out of these weapons IMO without adding extra micro and keeping the Eldar with a sustained damage weapon for finishing off cripples and lastly not messing up targeting matrix or AP ammo.

I prefer B myself for all the reasons stated not to mention how simple it is.

Launch Bays: Fix Pulsar Alpha and these will be fine IMO.

Torpedoes: don't actually feel there's any need to change these and taking some of the work out of lining up other weaponry would make these far easier to use anyway IMO.

Holo-Fields: These need their block chance brought down a fair way. 65% base. 75% with upgrade IMO. At the same time take away the whole moving affects save bit. You don't need this to reinforce Eldar going hit and Run. If the save rate is low enough and the weaponry is bursty enough, (and the latter's allready true enough), there's no great need for it to also reinforce it via needing to keep moving to keep it working and removing it removes a lot of silliness vis a vis ships getting in each others way whilst trying to dodge 50 diffrent things. It lets the Eldar player focus on making hit and run attacks and avoiding other things instead of constantly fretting about how he's going to move his ships away and that takes a lot of the micro overhead out of things IMO. At the same time make the save effect everything bar mines and rams. A lower save that isn't specifically weak to very specific things is far better because it prevents Eldar as a race just invalidating entire builds. Specific fleet builds doing so. Sure. Entire races just by existing? No just hell no. It also means Taunt and any similar strats, (like boxing a ship in, it can be done btw), are no longer auto-wins. Again Holo-fields are a huge cause of Eldar's extreme nature of being auto-win or auto-lose depending on various specifics. Generator crits need a look at, and i think how Eldar engines have been handled is the right baseline. But everyone needs this stuff, not just Eldar IMO.

Aurora: You've got to strip a lance off this. Then it will be Balanced IMO.

Solaris: Fix Batteries and this will be fine if you strip a lance off the other one.

Shadow: Again fix batteries and we've got a good ship.

Eclipse: See Shadow comments, the battery DPS might need an eye keeping on it but thats about it.

Void Stalker: Fix Batteries and you're going to have to strip this down to 2 bays IMO. But again otherwise do everything else i suggested and this will be just fine IMO.


Darkstar Fighters: make Holo-fields affect assault boats and bombers and torpedoes and you can just dump this IMO. Problem solved.

Taunt: If holo-fields don't care about movement speed this goes from most OP strat ever to well balanced IMO.



A bit rushed near the end there. But thats my thoughts and suggestions.

cmdchicken
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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby cmdchicken » 20 April 2016, 11:43

Regarding your holofield suggestion, am I right in thinking you propose to give the Eldar a flat 65-75% damage resistance even if they are sitting still? Against pretty much everything?

Carl
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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby Carl » 20 April 2016, 12:04

65 without upgrade. 75 with, ramming would still bypass.

That would give Eldar cruisers 1280-1800 effective health, which is a good bit less than your IN/Chaos/Ork cruisers get. But then they can stay out of the fight less.

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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby cmdchicken » 20 April 2016, 12:44

But that effective health, while lower than imps/chaos/orks has no weakness to AP macros, lances, torps or bombers. It also has no requirement for positioning (weaker Ork rear armour) or movement.

Likewise your proposal for 270° shurikens and 45° pulsars degrades the level of skill required to manage Eldar and IMO this starts to conflict with how the faction is supposed to work.

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Kine²
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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby Kine² » 20 April 2016, 12:48

Awesome run down. Especially your proposed fixes for a number of items, validates quite a few opinions.

Only one minor disagreement with regards to micro difficulty both in Pulsar usage and sustaining Holofields. I strongly believe Devs share your views on these matters back when they were internally testing but I gotta say (and I'm not the only one on this) is Devs grossly over-estimated the difficulty.

It ain't all that hard to micro these things. Unfortunately some things were balanced with the assumption that they were. Anyways, would love to see this updated if or when Eldars gets patched.
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FarseerBill
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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby FarseerBill » 20 April 2016, 13:12

I agree with most of your points. I was thinking Holofields base chance should be dropped to 70% (80% with upgrade) as right now they are not fragile at all.

Carl
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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby Carl » 20 April 2016, 13:44

But that effective health, while lower than imps/chaos/orks has no weakness to AP macros, lances, torps or bombers. It also has no requirement for positioning (weaker Ork rear armour) or movement.


And. Thats a problem why?

Remember chaos aren't weak vs anything either.

For that matter given they can't really stay prow on all the time neither do Imperials.

The whole point of the suggestion was that they shouldn't have an specific strengths or weakness so they don't invalidate entire gobs of any factions capabilities.


Awesome run down. Especially your proposed fixes for a number of items, validates quite a few opinions.

Only one minor disagreement with regards to micro difficulty both in Pulsar usage and sustaining Holofields. I strongly believe Devs share your views on these matters back when they were internally testing but I gotta say (and I'm not the only one on this) is Devs grossly over-estimated the difficulty.

It ain't all that hard to micro these things. Unfortunately some things were balanced with the assumption that they were. Anyways, would love to see this updated if or when Eldars gets patched.


Er. Yes yes it is hard to micro them. I get the feeling you haven't even considered what a player can do. Or maybe MP players are being really dumb about this.

I played up vs the AI in skirmish as i mostly wanted a general feel and the stats for my DPS sheets. And i spent more time dodging rams, torpedoes and bombs on my run in's for pulsar strikes than was sane or possibble to do reliably. Most of my deaths that were not to taunt or generator crits where because in the process of dodging all of the above i mispositioned two ships and one came to a halt because the other was blocking its move. I also saw more accidental self rams and ships running over mines because i couldn't watch them closely enough than i ever have before.

Unless i was facing chaos which thankfully don't have torpedoes every single ship on run in had to dodge one, somtimes two attempt to get it and then swing back for a successful pulsar run all while leaving a clear way out. It's not that the Pulsar's themselves are high micro or that holo-fields are high micro. It's that a pulsar run makes it easy for the enemy to drop all kinds of stratagems in your path. Dodging those whilst still getting a good run in and being able to get out without having to stop and get nailed is really hard. And the AI is terrible at timing these well. if i'd been controlling the AI i could have gotten a lot more elda ships that way.

Maybe your some pro starcraft player. But back when i was playing company of heroes my APM was only up a around 60 which was common to a lot of the playerbase, (actually most were slightly higher at 70-75 but it's not a huge gap, enough to feel it in competition but not enough to ease a headache this massive IMO). 60 APM just isn't adequate, i spent more time in tac cog than out of it and even then had issues. First time the AI has ever made me do that. Normally i spend maybe 5% of my time in tac cog vs AI.


To kind of add to this.

Ask yourself "what purpose does holo-fields being effected by movement actually serve?"

This is why i dislike the whole need to move thing. Given Pulsar's and Torpedoes, and Bombers there's allready lots of incentive for hit and run tactics. There's no need for Holo-field to do that. And the only other thing it does is completely and utterly hammer any Eldar player who makes even the most minor micro mistake. And thats unfair IMO. The Eldar player shouldn't be punished anymore than anyone else is for Micro mistakes. ight ow unless you sail a LC into a BB's torp salvo a micro mistake isn't too costly. It will hurt but it's not on the level of just plain getting a ship killed.

And as i pointed out above my experiance was even the AI had a very easy time forcing such mistakes out of me, in part because of how much pulsar's made me predictable which made the AI's job of throwing out things i had to micro around really easy.

For me the problem with holo-fields is the create an unfair situation for the ldar player and don't have any positive attributes. They don't do anything good for Eldar gameplay but they create a huge frustration feature.
Last edited by Carl on 20 April 2016, 13:52, edited 1 time in total.

cmdchicken
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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby cmdchicken » 20 April 2016, 13:46

...are you saying you made a huge balance thread based on AI skirmishes?

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Littlerift
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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby Littlerift » 20 April 2016, 13:53

I only tend to play Solo Skirmish, but from what I've seen the main issue with Eldar is that their 'supposed' fragility is non-existent. Yes they die incredibly fast if they have their generator knocked out (although they can mitigate the chance of this happening with the Ulthwe favour) or if they are sitting completely still, but otherwise their effective health has to be on par or greater than the effective health of other factions. The Pulsars are certainly also an issue.

I really like your idea regarding the Holo-Fields, as when I play Eldar I want to feel like a real corsair: having to use careful manoeuvres and hit and run tactics to deal damage rather than just swarming around them like so many wasps ruining the picnic. Holo-fields should provide a reasonable defense when moving at high speed, but Eldar shouldn't be able to withstand sustained fire. As it stands at the moment Holo-Fields seem like a straight upgrade to the regular Void Shields other factions use.

Further, and I don't know if this is possible within the engine, Holo-Fields should be dependant on the actual speed of the vessel and not whether it has a move order or not. Currently an Eldar vessel that is actually moving slowly can still benefit from the full effect of the Holo-Fields if it's turning tightly, and from what I can tell they aren't effected by Stasis Bombs at all (I might be wrong on this). This is silly, as it shuts down some of the more elegant tactics one could use against the Eldar.

As for Pulsars? Personally I'd rather they just behave like Lances as standard but have an ability packaged with them that behaves like the current Pulsars, albeit with reduced damage and which disables the Pulsar for the duration of the cool-down. This would remove some of the micro-intensive nature of the Eldar and make them more compatible with the torpedoes while also allowing for more skilled players to take full advantage of their strength.

Carl
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Re: Some Eldar Thoughts

Postby Carl » 20 April 2016, 13:55

...are you saying you made a huge balance thread based on AI skirmishes?


Well DuH i only play a limited amount of MP at all. Never claimed otherwise and i've been up-front about it all along. It's also general impressions. Those are valid between MP and SP despite the differences between the two.


You'll also note it's taken me this long since they came out to make the thread. That's because it's taken till now days later to get to level 8 as eldar in skirmish. Thats how little i've enjoyed playing them.

@littlerift Will get to you in a second :).


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