The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

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XViper
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The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby XViper » 02 May 2016, 02:11

The 'general' issue with Eldar is that, they either lose badly or win big.

There are very few games as or against an Eldar player where you are left going "That was a really good and close game."

Experienced Eldar players (or simply those who know where the current abusable Eldar meta is), will likely win most games, if they are using Pulsars along with constantly taking advantage of sensor range and being undetectable.

A new Eldar vs a new <other race> will probably lose most games.

The problem is there is no 'middle ground' with Eldar. There are no close games.

I personally tend to avoid Pulsars quite heavily (I don't own a single Aurora, and dont use Pulsar escorts).
Obviously I have to use them on my Eclipse and Void Stalker, but that's because there are no other ship options!
My games are probably 40:60 (Win:Loss), and I'm probably being kind to myself.
I can quite confidently say most of my wins are against less experienced players.
Any player that even has the slightest idea of what they are actually doing usually doesn't have much problem in beating me. Usually one mistake and its game over. Eldar are so unforgiving as a race it's not even funny.

In Summary: ('most' of the time)
Experienced Eldar (No Pulsars) vs Experienced <other> = Eldar Lose
Experienced Eldar (Pulsars) vs Experienced <other> = Eldar Win
New Eldar vs New <other> = Eldar Lose
New Eldar vs Experienced <other> = Eldar lose horribly

There is one way to play Eldar if you want to win. It's almost akin to discovering an 'exploit' in a game, and using it constantly. The problem is, there is very little scope for victory outside of using the 'known method' of playing Eldar.
Eldar have no option for 'sustained damage', as all their weapons are front facing, which requires them to 'stop' to constantly attack a target, which Eldar can't do or they die. So the only time you want to be stopping is when you're shooting your Pulsars, which everyone wants nerfed. The problem is, once this is nerfed, how will Eldar do any reasonable damage without remaining still?

Front Facing weapons + need to constantly move, turns every Eldar ship into a 'Fighter Jet'. In a '2D' environment where your ships can't fly under or over the opponents ship, and your ships crumble if they so much as bump an enemy Escort; combined with the lack of any other fleet composition options is anyone really surprised Eldar players are forced into one way of play?

There's a lot of complaints from players about playing against Eldar, and multiple threads already of people saying they'll just quit\leave every game against Eldar. I can ensure you that the Eldar players don't like being forced into one way of play either, but by NOT playing that way, they may as well just leave/quit every game before it starts as well.

Now for the 'Crazy idea'.
What if every Eldar ship (along with every Escort for other races), was given an activated ability that allowed them to 'Pass through (over/under)' enemy ships (Front facing and over 50% max speed only; so you can't use it to avoid offensive rams).
This is how Eldar would fight. They would do fly-bys on enemy ships, passing under or over as they released a barrage of fire, maintaining their speed, while flying past the enemy ship.

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Thedrik
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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby Thedrik » 02 May 2016, 03:08

XViper wrote:Now for the 'Crazy idea'.
What if every Eldar ship (along with every Escort for other races), was given an activated ability that allowed them to 'Pass through (over/under)' enemy ships (Front facing and over 50% max speed only; so you can't use it to avoid offensive rams).
This is how Eldar would fight. They would do fly-bys on enemy ships, passing under or over as they released a barrage of fire, maintaining their speed, while flying past the enemy ship.


I support this idea.

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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby Deidryt » 02 May 2016, 03:20

Unfortunately for balance purposes, your "Crazy Idea" will never happen. Consider that the Imperial Navy and Orkz both rely rather heavily upon ramming... and if Tyrannids ever get added, they would need to "attach" somehow to ships.

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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby XViper » 02 May 2016, 03:25

I appreciate your concerns Deidryt, but I thought that was somewhat addressed with the 'Front facing' part.
Other than trying to ram an Eldar ship head-to-head (which you'd expect would be quite difficult anyway), they shouldn't be able to use it to avoid any ramming.

The ability could last maybe 2-3 seconds, and have a cooldown of about 10-15 or so? (This could also differ depending on the size of the ship).
Smaller ships last longer or have a shorter cooldown, while a larger Battleship would have a longer cooldown.

Certainly open to discussion, as it was just an idea. :)
Although I think the general direction of thought has merit.

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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby Deidryt » 02 May 2016, 03:53

It doesn't really -- as Eldar ships can easily keep their speed.

And with enemy ships, many of them can still do a decent chunk of damage even if they're not using boost or have their engines damaged. If for some reason they're able to catch the Eldar ship in that case, it'll be the ultimate "get out of jail free card" for the Eldar ship.

Finally, keep in mind how long it takes to setup for a ram. If suddenly Eldar ships can run right past a ship attempting to ram it, and then on top of that move directly away from said ship (let alone boost away from it), it'd be impossible for the opposing ship to position itself for another ram for a long time.

Nice job with the outside-the-box thinking, but any way I look at it, it would be a gamebreaking mechanic.

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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby MadDemiurg » 02 May 2016, 09:05

Well, the problem everyone seems having with the current Eldar is their pulsar range, in case it's nerfed they would need a MASSIVE survivability boost up close, including tools to avoid ramming. My suggestion would actually be a "Phase shift" skill that would allow eldar ships pass through any objects while being completely untargetable but unable to deal any damage themselves for a short time.

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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby Ivanna » 02 May 2016, 10:35

I feel like you're making far too many assumptions in your post. You say an experienced Eldar will usually beat an experienced player of another race, but is that really true?. The thing with Eldar is that you MUST become somewhat experienced with them to win any games at all, whereas you can play quite sloppy with the other races and still win some of the time. How do you define an experienced Ork or Chaos player? In my experience, a high level Chaos will mop the floor with most Eldar, but without any statistics we're just going to be relying on anecdotes and conjecture.

Anyway, your idea is interesting, although I'm not a huge fan of totally reworking mechanics that might only need minor tweaking and/or time for people to adapt. It would also make them easy pickings for anyone packing Slaneesh or Taunt, which I presume could stop the ability and instead make them kamakazi into whatever they're attacking.

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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby XViper » 02 May 2016, 11:02

Ivanna wrote:I feel like you're making far too many assumptions in your post. You say an experienced Eldar will usually beat an experienced player of another race, but is that really true?. The thing with Eldar is that you MUST become somewhat experienced with them to win any games at all, whereas you can play quite sloppy with the other races and still win some of the time. How do you define an experienced Ork or Chaos player? In my experience, a high level Chaos will mop the floor with most Eldar, but without any statistics we're just going to be relying on anecdotes and conjecture.


They are only my observations of course.
However in my experience, I feel it is true.
With some of the other races you can 'play sloppy' and win more than just some of the time.
I've literally won games by just throwing my Imperial fleet in the general direction of the enemy, sticking my ships on auto-attack, and throwing around some bombs occasionally. I literally don't even move my ships, I just let them do their thing and I win. It's stupidly easy compared to Eldar.

Ivanna wrote:Anyway, your idea is interesting, although I'm not a huge fan of totally reworking mechanics that might only need minor tweaking and/or time for people to adapt. It would also make them easy pickings for anyone packing Slaneesh or Taunt, which I presume could stop the ability and instead make them kamakazi into whatever they're attacking.


I didn't say the idea was full proof :P.
I'd suggest your two counter plays (Slaneesh and Taunt), are valid, but I'd welcome them as suitable counters to the ability.
It's still better than what they have now :)
If Taunt proves too strong as a counter, you could make it so they can't be targeted by Taunt for the duration of the ability (which is only a couple of seconds), so if a player see's an Eldar flying towards him, they need to time Taunt right to get them before they trigger their 'Phase/Flyby' (or whatever we're gonna call it).

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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby Ivanna » 02 May 2016, 12:16

XViper wrote:They are only my observations of course.
However in my experience, I feel it is true.
With some of the other races you can 'play sloppy' and win more than just some of the time.
I've literally won games by just throwing my Imperial fleet in the general direction of the enemy, sticking my ships on auto-attack, and throwing around some bombs occasionally. I literally don't even move my ships, I just let them do their thing and I win. It's stupidly easy compared to Eldar.


I was being conservative, but yes, that pretty much sums it up :P

And in my personal experience, many people detest playing outside of their comfort zones. If somebody can win 40-50% of their games by throwing their ships at the enemy, they might feel like they're already playing well and don't need to adapt or really think all that much about tactics. And if that works fine against Orks, IN and Chaos, but fails against Eldar, it's not a huge surprise that they would then perceive imbalance. The concept that they would need an entirely different strategy to fight Eldar (who have a fundamentally different playstyle to the other races) is probably quite jarring.

You can't play so casually with Eldar, especially at lower levels before you have range upgrades and the infamous Voidstalker (which I do think is a bit on the strong side). You must be attentive at all times, you must think about how you approach every fight, you must have an escape plan, or you're going to lose ships fast. This effectively forces them to play better than they otherwise might, and most likely better, on average, than players of other races.

Note that I am specifically talking about common tendencies here, that obviously don't apply to everyone. It's unfortunate that we don't yet have a ranked system as that would allow us to analyse high-level games to get some real, useful data as opposed to the current state of affairs (which feels far more like emotional knee-jerk reactions to perceived imbalances in a game that was only released 2 weeks ago)


XViper wrote:
Ivanna wrote:Anyway, your idea is interesting, although I'm not a huge fan of totally reworking mechanics that might only need minor tweaking and/or time for people to adapt. It would also make them easy pickings for anyone packing Slaneesh or Taunt, which I presume could stop the ability and instead make them kamakazi into whatever they're attacking.


I didn't say the idea was full proof :P.
I'd suggest your two counter plays (Slaneesh and Taunt), are valid, but I'd welcome them as suitable counters to the ability.
It's still better than what they have now :)
If Taunt proves too strong as a counter, you could make it so they can't be targeted by Taunt for the duration of the ability (which is only a couple of seconds), so if a player see's an Eldar flying towards him, they need to time Taunt right to get them before they trigger their 'Phase/Flyby' (or whatever we're gonna call it).


Sounds like a complicated solution, honestly :P Not saying it couldn't work. It probably could, but it would be introducing a lot more variables into the balancing equation, which might cause all kinds of unforeseen issues in the long term. As interesting as mechanics like that are, they take a lot of work & consideration to implement properly, and are the kind of thing you decide at the very beginning of a design cycle. To slap something like that on the game in its current state would be a band-aid solution to a problem that.. we're not even really sure what the problem is yet.

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Re: The 'general' issue with Eldar (+Crazy idea)

Postby XViper » 02 May 2016, 13:50

Just one more thing for the devs to read and take onboard :).
I'm not particularly invested in any of my ideas, but better to express them in detail in case they are used, even just in part.

Everything I say is to better the game. Some of the best design choices I've seen in games have come from the random forum post of some 'nobody'.


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