Thoughts on Tau

General discussion regarding the Tau Empire beta.
The_Phalanx
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Thoughts on Tau

Postby The_Phalanx » 12 September 2016, 18:23

Having played quite a bit of Tau now, with a level 8 MP admiral, I've come to the following conclusions;

1. Experimental Railguns need a nerf. I've had a lot of fun with these, even to the point to where I was able to kill a warping out admiral ship in an assassination match with a clutch last second railgun shot. However, as much fun as these are, they provide 0 counter play. Because of this, these guns are essentially free damage, and its enough free damage to blap Light Cruisers and Cruisers off the field. Seriously, when the enemy force brings 6 Emissaries and 2 Messengers, you can essentially say good bye to either 2 of your own Emissaries or your Protector when the fight starts.

The easiest way to fix it would be to remove the shield ignore trait. However, I'd prefer a rework. Add in a two second delay along with an indicator of where the shot will hit once the order is given but also increase the width of the beam. The extra width will counter act the fact that the target now knows its being targeted (if the player is paying attention) while still giving the targeted player time to actually counter play.

2. Mantas seem hilarious OP. Supposedly they only do a single attack instead of the listed two attacks at 90 damage, but I still feel that ships HP just evaporate when they're hit by Mantas. I see Protectors going from just about full health to just about dead out of nowhere too often.

3. Grav Hooks/Wardens/Dhows do not seem worth it. The Water Caste favor isn't bad, its better than Imp Navy favor IMO, but its both the favors are boring to play with as they make you want to extend the time of the match to try and get the most out of the favor. Tau have an even easier time doing that because of their stealth alloys, which means they have the easiest time avoiding enemy detection until they've popped out a fleet of Dhows. Imperials can try to do the same but they'll eventually get spotted either because they pretty much always show up or they're hiding in an obvious location.

As for the Dhow and Warden themselves, I don't see it worth it. At 300 points, you can bring a Grav Hook Emissary and the normal Emissary. Against the normal Emissary and a Protector, I would wager the Protector winning 9/10, if not 10/10. Wardens barely feel like they get to contribute to anything before their taken out, and Dhows, though stronger, do neither feel like they warrant grabbing the Water Caste favor nor getting the Dhow upgrade to the Grav Hooks.

Wardens and Dhows to me feel more like a liability than a bonus. I think it would be better if those two ships, or escorts in general, felt like they were overperforming, at least in damage, for their points cost. The problem with these ships is that they induce a micro-tax on the player and their fragility means that killing them reduces incoming DPS faster than attacking a capital ship. It would be more interesting for the Water Caste favor to allow you to spawn a single Dhow after 3 minutes have elapsed in the game. Boost the summon range to 7.5k and buff the Dhow, give it 100 more health and four extra railgun turrets and 3 extra defense turrets. With this change the optimal way to play is no longer to just sit back and wait. Waiting is still viable, but moving in to engage is also viable and gives you a ship that you can summon behind enemy lines for a flank. Furthermore, buffing the Dhow in this manner will make the Dhow Grav Hook upgrade more likely to be selected. I would also buff Wardens by increasing their health up by 100.

4. Air Caste is fun but probably OP. The guys I've played against in the Beta probably know me best for bringing a brawly Air Caste setup. My Air Caste Protector has managed to ram into a Stronghold that was in an asteroid and kill the Stronghold. My ships are both lvl 7 now, and I'm running Seeker Missiles, Markerlights, and 75% Shield Armor as upgrades and with Enhanced Induction Coils and Repair drones as skills. Against people who I haven't fought yet, once the main engagement starts have been over in 30 seconds with all enemy ships destroyed. Most are a bit longer, but not by much. I have lost a handful of games, but generally it had to do with getting experimental railgun'd on the approach. MoN Chaos lose in a brawl because of retarded Tau close in dps with Seekers and Mantas, and MoT Chaos lose because I'm faster than them with the Enhanced Induction Coils and Air Caste extra speed. Eldar lose because again, Enhanced Induction Coils means that over a long distance I will catch up, and the second I get an engine or generator crits its over (Mont'Ka helps out with that a lot).

Seekers are cool, but a full DPS per defense turret is probably too much. I'd drop the DPS down to .5 per defense turret; make it deal 2 damage every 4 seconds per enemy ship. As for Air Caste, I'd drop the accuracy reduction on Special Maneuvers down to 25% from 40%. 40% reduction plus 75 armor shields means that only 15% of the incoming DPS will actually hit which is a huge reduction.

5. Kauyon seems pointless. I've tried using it, but the tooltip isn't that clear and the extra accuracy seems neligible.

6. The Favors are nonsensical. The fleet is Air Caste, its an integral part of why the Air Caste exists. Having an Air Caste favor on top of the Air Caste fleet doesn't make sense. I think the better way to do this is have the favors be called after the Septs that fit that color scheme. Fire Caste becomes Vior'la Sept, Earth Caste changes to Dal'yth Sept, Water is now Sa'cea Sept, and Air is Bork'an Sept. This matches the fluff better.

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Imperator5
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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby Imperator5 » 12 September 2016, 18:31

1: Agreed. If this was a rare thing like IN Novas, it would be fine. But you can bring more of them and they are an addition, not a replacement for grav launchers, akin to ork novas. Propably the no shield pierce would fix them, as their CD is long and the damage not that horrible.

2: I think that's due to the fact that they deal surer damage than other bombers.

3: While the Dows are not bad, I do agree that Wardens really are not worth it. Perhaps there could be Tau ship versions without the hooks?

4: The 40% accuracy debuff can propably use a little bit toning down. Maybe to 30-33%?

5: I have not tested it, but Montka feels just superior based on descriptions. Perhaps if Kauyon did not need you to be stealthed it would be better?

6: Honestly I would be fine with caste or sept favours either. Not that huge an issue for me.
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MadDemiurg
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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby MadDemiurg » 12 September 2016, 19:20

I'm using a very similar build as Tau actually and agreed on many points.

Experimental railguns - yeah, railguns are painful for low health factions when spammed, how do you get 6 Earth caste emissaries though? 2v2? Don't thin it's possible 1v1. Think Tau can field 5 railguns at most in 1v1, which is OK vs factions with high healts, but yes, they can instagib vs SM/Tau. Giving the target a chance to dodge would be fair I think.

Mantas - they do only 90 damage, but 2 protectors can launch 4 of them, so it's 360 damage for a protector with its 600 health if all get through, and they have better chances of getting through than other ordnance, at least with +HP upgrade. Eldar bombers can be just as nasty though, problem here is low Tau health, but Tau can counter ordnance very well with marklights. SM are kinda fucked though, as they can only have fighters through a skill + low health. Other factions can manage. Tbh I think the problem is on SM end, they need bit better anti ordnance.

Air caste - it's pretty great and It's the only thing keeping Tau viable vs kiting lance fleets, so I'd hate to see speed part nerfed, but the macro accuracy reduction can be lowered a bit.

Seekers - I'd rather remove the aoe instead of dps nerf. It only makes sense that turrets fire at one ship at a time.

Wardens/Dhows - agreed that they feel like a liability most of the time. I think +100 HP on Warden is a must and would make it viable.

Kayon - I think the stealth reuqirement needs to go, this would give Tau targeting matrix equivalent and make 12k macro viable. This would maybe make possible to run a non air caste fleet and not autolose vs faster long range fleets.

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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby The_Phalanx » 12 September 2016, 19:40

Yea I mainly play 2v2s. Since I'm lvl 8 and the guy I play with also has a lvl 8 Tau Admiral and a lvl 7 Imp Admiral, we normally get matched up where our opponents have 330 or 315 points to our 300. It would be awesome if the Messenger was dropped to 32 points since at 300 it would be easy to max our your points, but at 315 vs 300 what you're actually looking at is 269 vs 306 and that's painful especially since it tends to be all railguns pointed against us.

Definitely don't want to see a speed decrease on the Air Caste. Speed in of itself isn't the problem, and it definitely keeps Tau competitive against kitety fleets. Without Air Caste, Tau really don't have an answer to MoT Chaos fleets. I've spent too many games already chasing around Hellbringers for the entire match.

I'm not sure about removing the AoE on seekers simply because its the only think keeping the Warsphere viable. Of course the Warsphere in of itself a whole different can of worms. I've stayed away from using it because everytime I've seen it in combat, it died before doing anything. It can't dodge torps for shit, so Eldar and Imp torps destroy it long before it gets to fight back.

Considering the accuracy bonus on Kauyon isn't that great, I think removing the steath aspect would be ok. It would definitely make it easier to use.

On a side note about accuracy, having played Eldar against Tau and Tau against Eldar, I can't help but feel there's something funky going on with Tau weaponry. They seems far more effective against Eldar holofields than other races' weaponry.

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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby Adrmial Seraph » 12 September 2016, 19:54

The_Phalanx wrote:Yea I mainly play 2v2s. Since I'm lvl 8 and the guy I play with also has a lvl 8 Tau Admiral and a lvl 7 Imp Admiral, we normally get matched up where our opponents have 330 or 315 points to our 300. It would be awesome if the Messenger was dropped to 32 points since at 300 it would be easy to max our your points, but at 315 vs 300 what you're actually looking at is 269 vs 306 and that's painful especially since it tends to be all railguns pointed against us.

Definitely don't want to see a speed decrease on the Air Caste. Speed in of itself isn't the problem, and it definitely keeps Tau competitive against kitety fleets. Without Air Caste, Tau really don't have an answer to MoT Chaos fleets. I've spent too many games already chasing around Hellbringers for the entire match.

I'm not sure about removing the AoE on seekers simply because its the only think keeping the Warsphere viable. Of course the Warsphere in of itself a whole different can of worms. I've stayed away from using it because everytime I've seen it in combat, it died before doing anything. It can't dodge torps for shit, so Eldar and Imp torps destroy it long before it gets to fight back.

Considering the accuracy bonus on Kauyon isn't that great, I think removing the steath aspect would be ok. It would definitely make it easier to use.

On a side note about accuracy, having played Eldar against Tau and Tau against Eldar, I can't help but feel there's something funky going on with Tau weaponry. They seems far more effective against Eldar holofields than other races' weaponry.


With the Warsphere I've found the best use for it is to place Stealth Alloys and the upgrade that allows it to use special maneuvers without revealing works best, you engage as per normal with your fleet and lure them into your stealth warsphere position. It's a great support ship assuming it can actually get in range which is just about impossible without stealth alloys.

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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby Beernchips » 12 September 2016, 20:02

Air caste is Tau answer vs kiting fleet? ok but what Orks have vs MoT lance?
Eldars have no answer vs IN widowmakers.
+50 speed is too much and totally ignore 1 major drawback of Tau.
Everyone was crying back in times with the +50/+25 speed upgrade available to everyone.

The biggest problem with Tau balance is that their upgrades/favors brings too much to them especially compared to other factions upgrades/favors.
Earth is like having the best of AM and Blood axe without the 25% auto destroy
Air is like a Holofield and Chaos speed
Tau upgrades can be used to totally change faction design or to compensate some of their weaknesses

Eldar pulsar range upgrade was removed because it synergizes too much with Eldar strength. Speed upgrade was removed because it totally ignored the slow speed inherent trait for IN and Orks and there is other examples.
With the different favors/upgrades, Tau can be used in almost every set up possible (stealth faction, long range artillery, mid range brawling, carrier fleet) except the kiting set up in much better ways other factions can do
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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby Imperator5 » 12 September 2016, 20:07

Beernchips wrote:Air caste is Tau answer vs kiting fleet? ok but what Orks have vs MoT lance?
Eldars have no answer vs IN widowmakers.
+50 speed is too much and totally ignore 1 major drawback of Tau.
Everyone was crying back in times with the +50/+25 speed upgrade available to everyone.

The biggest problem with Tau balance is that their upgrades/favors brings too much to them especially compared to other factions upgrades/favors.
Earth is like having the best of AM and Blood axe without the 25% auto destroy
Air is like a Holofield and Chaos speed
Tau upgrades can be used to totally change faction design or to compensate some of their weaknesses

Eldar pulsar range upgrade was removed because it synergizes too much with Eldar strength. Speed upgrade was removed because it totally ignored the slow speed inherent trait for IN and Orks and there is other examples.
With the different favors/upgrades, Tau can be used in almost every set up possible (stealth faction, long range artillery, mid range brawling, carrier fleet) except the kiting set up in much better ways other factions can do


I agree. Tau are not the problem, they are totally fine as standard, but the upgrades have nasty synergies that add up way too much.
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MadDemiurg
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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby MadDemiurg » 12 September 2016, 20:38

Beernchips wrote:Air caste is Tau answer vs kiting fleet? ok but what Orks have vs MoT lance?
Eldars have no answer vs IN widowmakers.
+50 speed is too much and totally ignore 1 major drawback of Tau.
Everyone was crying back in times with the +50/+25 speed upgrade available to everyone.

The biggest problem with Tau balance is that their upgrades/favors brings too much to them especially compared to other factions upgrades/favors.
Earth is like having the best of AM and Blood axe without the 25% auto destroy
Air is like a Holofield and Chaos speed
Tau upgrades can be used to totally change faction design or to compensate some of their weaknesses

Eldar pulsar range upgrade was removed because it synergizes too much with Eldar strength. Speed upgrade was removed because it totally ignored the slow speed inherent trait for IN and Orks and there is other examples.
With the different favors/upgrades, Tau can be used in almost every set up possible (stealth faction, long range artillery, mid range brawling, carrier fleet) except the kiting set up in much better ways other factions can do


Yes, Tau can do a lot of things, but not all of them at the same time, which is why I think they are very cool and well designed unlike some one trick pony factions in the game. The only other faction with similar level of flexibility is Chaos I think. And it's a good thing, thats how good design should look like. Each Tau setup still has weaknesses, but you can be pretty flexible with what you want to do. Tau favours are similar to Chaos favours in offering strong unique advantages, MoS/MoN/MoT are very strong too and MoK is decent and quite comparable to Fire caste, although I think both of these are the weaker of the 4 respecitve favours.

Orks can bring 6-7 novas and torps vs MoT which do not require any LoS whatsoever. Tau need LoS for all their weapons. But if you think orks are not competitive there then they need some tools too, no? (But personally I think they can cope). Eldar can counter widowmakers by simply destroying them, it's not exactly difficult to bomb a 100 hp escort and the can be temporarily blinded by saim hann/augur disruption too. Tau would be 100% sitting ducks vs lance chaos w/o air caste, they just don't have the tools.

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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby The_Phalanx » 12 September 2016, 22:05

Beernchips wrote:Air caste is Tau answer vs kiting fleet? ok but what Orks have vs MoT lance?
Eldars have no answer vs IN widowmakers.
+50 speed is too much and totally ignore 1 major drawback of Tau.
Everyone was crying back in times with the +50/+25 speed upgrade available to everyone.

The biggest problem with Tau balance is that their upgrades/favors brings too much to them especially compared to other factions upgrades/favors.
Earth is like having the best of AM and Blood axe without the 25% auto destroy
Air is like a Holofield and Chaos speed
Tau upgrades can be used to totally change faction design or to compensate some of their weaknesses

Eldar pulsar range upgrade was removed because it synergizes too much with Eldar strength. Speed upgrade was removed because it totally ignored the slow speed inherent trait for IN and Orks and there is other examples.
With the different favors/upgrades, Tau can be used in almost every set up possible (stealth faction, long range artillery, mid range brawling, carrier fleet) except the kiting set up in much better ways other factions can do


Orks have plenty of ways of dealing with MoT fleets. Grot Assistants + Traktor/Big Red Button + Some probe or Stasis field skill and Zapp. Or you can bring 4 Bashas with Nova Cannons and Belt Armor and deal with them that way. I strongly disagree that the 50 speed is the problem; Chaos and Eldar are both still much faster, the only way for Tau to catch up is by getting Enhanced Induction Coils even with Air Caste, especially since Tau doesn't have Stasis Field.

Not sure what your point is about Eldar and Widowmakers, Eldar is my most played faction and I've never had any issues with Widowmakers. MoS Slaughterers has always been the thing I've had the most issue with because of how it hard counters Eldar way too hard -- use it on something that isn't Eldar and they get to use their combustion gauge to try to get away. Eldar however aren't allowed to use Wraithbone Shift while marked.

Air's accuracy debuff needs to be reduced and the Experimental Railgun needs to be nerfed, but otherwise the fact that these favors can change how the faction plays so much is not a problem but instead the outcome of a well designed faction.
Last edited by The_Phalanx on 12 September 2016, 22:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thoughts on Tau

Postby Sagranda » 12 September 2016, 22:08

nerf the experimental railgun and you make it basically worthless as a "single weapon", since it is only strong when spammed
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