Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

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GONDOR
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Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby GONDOR » 28 April 2016, 02:11

It's been a very contentious topic recently, with those who play against Eldar calling for nerfs, while those of us who play it are basically playing the current meta - which is Pulsars are basically the best thing we have - asking for buffs to the other Eldar abilities, to even things out.

The point of this thread isn't to look at a single ship, but at Eldar as a whole, and what other playstyles could be cultivated with minor tweaks to skills, favours, upgrades, buffs, and nerfs, to make Eldar more flexible in how they are played. Whether you think some of the suggestions here to be good or bad, I would ask that any comments to be substantive onto why you agree or disagree.

One of the main goals of these points is to remove the idea/principle of 'mandatory upgrades'. While many of you, particularly as forum users, will be more engaged in playing in the thought of fair sportsmanship and try different things, these tweaks are designed to affect the userbase of the whole game, in both enjoyment of playing with, and against, Eldar.

As a note, I have not touched on holofields and the inherit frailty of Eldar ships deliberately, as I think, at this moment, while they are a little bit on the frail side, tweaking both of these aspects might make them too robust as glass cannons.

I will put a TLDR list at the in point format as a summary.


Weapon Systems:

Pulsars:

Most other players genuinely do not enjoy having Pulsars blip them from 9k (or 12k) thanks solely due to the upgrade. If you all remember when you first started with Auroras, that matches would be much more micro intensive, and there was a greater element of risk involved with getting into that 6km range and trying to joust past.

The one change I would recommend is replacing the range upgrade with a base increase to 7.5km from 6km. Making Pulsars 7.5km will reintroduce an element of risk, and really pin down players into making successive passes as you Pulsar Joust past, while trying to micro your way through the 2.5km window of Lightening strikes and most broadsides. Something I think would be interesting as an upgrade is


Starcannons

Very fun to use, could do with a very slight buff on the damage front.

I would advocate seeing a damage increase at the expense of RoF, to further emphasise slicing and the hit and run playstyle.

I think an increase of 1 Damage, or 1/2 - 2/1 Damage/RoF, would be all that is really needed.


Ships

Shadow

Originally I poo-pooed this ship, solely because Starcannons are kinda average, and it's more fun to take Aconites. Once this ship starts to get upgrades, it's a lot of fun to use effectively.

If Starcannons were to be buffed on the damage front (even by just 1 point) the Shadow would become a solid ship of the line.

There are, however, a few other tweaks that would improve the overall playstyle and feel of this ship.

Increasing the base speed of the Ship to 275 (from 262), to bring it into a middle space between the Aurora and Solaris (300) and the Eclipse (262).

Increasing also the base turn rate to 40deg/s.

The emphasis for the Shadow is that it is a Gunboat. High ROF Eldar weapons encourage to stay in the danger zone of return fire. Increasing agility will encourage successive passes and reward good positioning. It is worth remembering that the Shadow, as a gunboat, is very much outshone by the Aconite in terms of dakka to points and survivability, until you start to Upgrade the Shadow past level 6-8, and throwing a favour onboard.

And yes, of course you can upgrade the mobility on this ship, but as a Cruiser, it should sit in the middle ground between a BC and a LC in terms of handling. Upgrading mobility at the moment on the Shadow, in my opinion, is one of the more 'necessary' upgrades to make this ship effective. It isn't fun to slog out 6-8 levels on a ship before it becomes fun to actively use.

Increasing the torps launched to 6 would be a welcome upgrade too, to really make it a 'proper' tonnage upgrade from the Aurora.


Eclipse

This ship is where it should be in terms of handling, however it is used as a Pulsarboat as opposed to a true carrier.

While Eldar Ordinance is exceptional (twice as good as Orks) one launch bay doesn't particularly bring much to the table, more than a Solaris, and is heavily outclassed from a carrier standpoint by the Void Stalker. If Pulsars were to be nerfed, a second launch bay would be very welcome to move this ship towards a 'true' carrier role, with the Pulsars being used for finishing, or in a joust.

Solaris

I'm of two minds on this ship, I think it works as it is, but is completely outclassed by the Aurora.

I think that with a buff to Starcannons this ship will be more of a reasonable alternative to the Aurora, or as a support carrier in larger games.



Favours

All of the Eldar Favours are fun to use, and cool to play with. The one change I would suggest is to change the Saim-Hann favour, to increase the damage of Starcannons while a blip. This will synergise with their detection nerfing ability, and synergise well with the AOE detection disruption, without making that ability mandatory for Saim-Hann. It'd be a welcome skill to take, but you wouldn't want it on every ship if you were intent on pushing the skill ceiling.

I would however, remove the damage bonus from applying to bombers. I think it's fine to have it still apply to pulsars while hidden, but bombers doing 60 damage is a bit much imo. It also doesn't make fluff sense if there are turrets and fighters etc in an active combat for surprise bombers are flying at you!


Skills

Vaul's Maneuver

Every Eldar Player loves this skill. It's almost mandatory on every ship. Therein lies the problem. It's so useful with our boost that it's almost a 100% get out of jail free card.

Changing this skill to boost turning speed by 50-100% would keep it's intended use intact, but require good preplanning and positioning to make the use of. It would definitely provide a benefit to microing into better firing arcs, and would work in conjunction with the boost. This could possibly also turn the boost into an offensive tool, whether it's to Tokyo-Drift past while boosting frontal armour, or to pull a hard turn after a joust.



TLDR

Please remember these changes are to be looked at in their entirety, not on a "this ship is good now, why these buffs / nerfs".

Pulsars
+ Keep them as an activated ability, same cool down, damage etc.
+ Increase base range to 7.5km - Void Stalker would be unchanged @ 9km.
- Remove the range upgrade, lowering their max range from 9km.

Starcannons
+ Increase Damage
- Reduce ROF

Shadow
+ Increase Movement Speed from 262 to 275
+ Increase Rotational Speed from 35 to 40deg/s
+ Increase Torps launched from 4 to 6
+ (Starcannon Buff)

Eclipse
+ Additional Launch Bay
- (Pulsar Range Nerf)

Solaris
+ (Starcannon Buff)

Saim-Hann Favour
+ Change the 50% damage bonus to also affect (only) Starcannons while a blip. The bonus to Alpha while hidden on all weapons, such as pulsars, would be the same.
- Remove the bonus damage from bombers

Lightening Strike Resilience
+ Holofields provide +10 troop strength against boarding fields for every 30% of Holofields active (min +0, max +30 Troop Value)
+ (Alternatively) Ulthwe Favour loses 10 troop strength against lightning strikes, which is added to the base strength of all Eldar ships.

Vaul's Maneuver
+ Vaul's Maneuver now boosts turning rate by 50-100%
- No longer a 180
Last edited by GONDOR on 28 April 2016, 04:17, edited 2 times in total.

Deidryt
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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby Deidryt » 28 April 2016, 02:18

Agree with you by and large -- I absolutely hate skills that become "mandatory" -- which is why I dislike the Pulsar Range and Vauls Maneuver so much.

However, after talking it over with some people on the boards, I think that Pulsar Range by itself is not a major issue, though making it +1.5k (for a total of 7.5k range) would make things more interesting, as Eldar will still want to stay beyond 6k range, but would need to do some fancy maneuvering to stay there.

I do think that something should be done about Pulsars being able to hit undetected ships, which is why I've been saying give them a 50% chance to not do any damage when hitting targets that are unidentified.

I'm willing to wait and see how the non-pulsar mods you mentioned would play out -- but Eldar do need to be more survivable within 6k range if there's going to be any real chance of giving Eldar viable alternative fleet configurations.

GONDOR
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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby GONDOR » 28 April 2016, 03:28

Deidryt wrote:
making (Pulsar Range) +1.5k (for a total of 7.5k range) would make things more interesting, as Eldar will still want to stay beyond 6k range, but would need to do some fancy maneuvering to stay there.

I do think that something should be done about Pulsars being able to hit undetected ships, which is why I've been saying give them a 50% chance to not do any damage when hitting targets that are unidentified.

Eldar do need to be more survivable within 6k range if there's going to be any real chance of giving Eldar viable alternative fleet configurations.


I have tidied up the quote just to keep the thread a bit clearer as I discuss with you, I hope you don't mind (the last thing I want is to come across is as editorialising).


I don't know whether changing the range upgrade to be half would make it any less 'mandatory', as it's still too much of a 'sweet' upgrade. It would make it more interesting though, as the margin for maneuvering, and thus error, would be narrower. I don't personally believe, no matter which way the cat is swung, that extra range on pulsars won't ever be mandatory.

It could be stated that if we're going to get rid of the range upgrade on Pulsars, what about Starcannons and their upgrade? Does it become mandatory for cannons? I would argue no, but it's a nice upgrade to have if you build around having extra Time on Target as you close to make use of Eldar Accuracy. There is a trade off with increasing the range on Starcannons, which is the less DPS you get from lower accuracy, and the fact AP ammo doesn't work until within 3k, but that option would be there if you wanted to go in close. Extra range on Pulsars doesn't have some sort of tradeoff. Even extended orders have a trade off in that you'll likely be using that order almost exclusively.

I think that it would address some of the complaints about Pulsars and Eldar being hard to pin down in general, but it would not make the upgrade any less mandatory, as even at 6k, all other factions are fairly inaccurate, and if you compound that with full holofields miss chance, it becomes quite high, but it depends on how the math works - if it's a % to miss of their total current accuracy, or if it's a straight miss chance.

There's a difference between being able to keep range with impunity, and keeping range through being careful.

I agree that Eldar do want to keep at range, and our in an ideal world we would have better tools for managing being in close, or maneuvering away from in close. That said, Pulsars are great alpha, and I am very firmly in the camp of the more damage involved, the more risk involved.

I can also understand the fact people being annoyed about being hit with the Pulsar while hidden, or a blip, but is it really any different to being hit with a Nova Cannon, bombs / AOE, or torps? It is possible to be shot at while a blip too. I for one love to drop Maelstrom + Stasis on escort heavy opponents that are hiding in clouds, throwing in errant pulsars at the risk of missing entirely isn't terrible. I think removing fighters showing up when you're hidden would do a lot to reduce player accuracy.

I think a question to ask would be - what would make you, as an Eldar player, more comfortable to 'dip' into that 6km arc?

I think you said it very well in another thread though "this is really no different from forcing Eldar to fight at the range preferred by the other fleets." I personally would still prefer to see the removal of the range upgrade, but a buff to overall Pulsar range (say to 7k), if it were to keep it more in the line of "our first defence is distance".

It would make it much more obvious that Pulsar's are coming in for a run as you'd line it up from the 8k mark, prefire just before you close to 7.

Deidryt
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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby Deidryt » 28 April 2016, 03:50

In my view, going within 6k range of any fleet is the danger zone for Eldar. Not only are you moving into a band of increased accuracy, but there's also the detection range, lightning strike range, and a multitude of skills just waiting at that 5k band that's right next door. Additionally, if the enemy fleet commander is halfway decent, his ships would be in easy support range, so you're never just facing one ship once you get into that range.

At the moment, the only reason for Eldar to dip into that range is for a torpedo strike, as that is the only thing that provides enough oomph. The only other option is to use an Augur Disruptor, and be able to dance at that range with impunity.

Going into that band normally... it would need to be a pretty big carrot danging in front of me... to risk getting shot, losing systems due to critical hits, getting boarded by space marines, etc. Losing a single system could mean writing off an entire ship for the rest of the battle, which has happened to me before.

When balanced against that, there's really nothing I'd risk my ship for... even a pulsar attack. Certainly I wouldn't want to stay in that range if I could help it... not after seeing what massed macros can do to a ship.

ADDENDUM:
To answer you big about Nova Cannons, AOE bombs, and torpedoes -- Nova Cannons aren't reliable for landing hits, AOE bombs take too long to go off, and torpedoes can be countered with maneuvering and anti-ordnance measures.

On the flip side, Pulsars burst means they can be more easily countered by defensive skills and mods, such as shield recharges or shields being invulnerable to a fraction of shots.

GONDOR
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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby GONDOR » 28 April 2016, 04:08

Deidryt wrote:Pulsars burst means they can be more easily countered by defensive skills and mods, such as shield recharges or shields being invulnerable to a fraction of shots.


I agree with everything you have said, and it makes a lot of sense.

I think a key point about Pulsars here is that Alpha can be hard countered for 1 of every 3 pulsars (30s cd vs 120, shield at the start, shield on the 4th).

I still think the removal of the range upgrade is necessary to make it less of a 'mandatory upgrade', however, I think increasing range on Pulsars to 7,500 base would be a reasonable change.

Do you think as an aside buff, shifting the focus away from Pulsars onto Eldar as a whole, moving the +30 troop strength from the Ulthwe Favor to an inherent +30 against all Lightning Strikes as a racial ability?

Fluff wise, Eldar are dangerous to teleport onto due to Holofields and inability to lock auspex onto, generally requiring a beacon to get a solid fix.

I have added a line in the OP regarding holofields adding +10 troop strength per 30% from +0 to +30 against lightning strikes, as IMO no inherent defence is a tad silly, and if Eldar do have to get close, if you don't take Ulthwe, you're crazy, and being mandatory isn't really a great thing. Why not take a page from Eldrad's book regarding Ulthwe, and mirror the Tzeentch blip warp?

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CTCParadox
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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby CTCParadox » 28 April 2016, 04:26

My comments and thoughts.

Remove Pulsar range upgrade: Yes, this is a compulsory upgrade. IMO Eldar should not have any range upgrades in order to force them to closer range.

Starcannon Damage/RoF changes: Small changes to RoF and damage will not turn Starcannons into hit and run weapons. I think these weapons are a good opportunity to provide a different playstyle, where you stay in the danger zone to inflict high-DPS. Currently the safety and ease-of-use of pulsars mean they outshine Starcannons.

Shadow: Starcannon changes could help this ship a lot. Extra torpedoes don't fit the model (only 4 launch tubes) but would help to differentiate it from the Aurora in terms of torpedo firepower.

Eclipse: Yes another launch bay would let it match fluff and differentiate it from Solaris. Also it feels like a big jump when you get the Void Stalker going from 1 to 4 launch bays.

Some additional weapon swapped ship classes might be nice as well.

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MadDemiurg
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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby MadDemiurg » 28 April 2016, 10:03

Pulsar - yes, 3k range upgrade is compulsory. One of my initial suggestions on balancing pulsar was to remove it completely. However, after the holofield nerf I think removing it completely is not an option (you can try to play without it vs a competent opponent and see what happens). 7.5k stock range w/o upgrade feels like a solid option worth exploring, but I think it should be coupled with a slight holo buff (that would also help starcannons).

Speaking of compulsory upgrades, +3k starcannon range also feels like a must to do ANYthing with them (you don't want to trade macro fire at 6k), while AP upgrade is useless (you never want to be at 3k) and long range accuracy upgrade is questionable (it gives much less gains than for other races). Increasing starcannons burst wouldn't help them much, unless they have reload time of like 12 seconds which feels wrong. A common suggestion in a TON of previous threads was to increase their firing arc, so you can fire them longer when manoeuvring.

So a possible changelist for me would look like:
-Pulsar range 7.5k
-Heavy pulsar range 9k
-Pulsar damage to 25
-+3k pulsar range upgrade replaced with : Ordnance stealth fields (Eldar ordnance is only detected when it enters augur range) - or any other, like torp speed, but I like this idea
-Starcannon range to 9k
-Starcannon firing arc to 180
-Starcannon range upgrade replaced with increased crit chance upgrade
-Starcannon AP upgrade replaced with 33% chance to ignore armour at any range
-Shadow torps count to 6
-Eclipse launchbays to 2 (unless a dedicated carrier is added as another option, which would be preferred
-Holofield strength vs macros to 60% at max
-Holofield gives 50% chance to miss with recon probe at max (may seem like a nitpick, but it hardcounters some Eldar favours too well)
-Holofield gives 50% nova damage resist

Favours:
I am more used to some of the favours after a while, so I think many of them are useful on their own, however Alaitoc cameoline alloy seems redundant and underwhelming if you have void blending. I would suggest to change it to: enemy loses identification of the ship as soon as it exits augur range (still sees a blip, unlike with running silent). This would allow alaitoc ships to break LoS and avoid fire while running some different special order. I also feel like Maelstrom is underwhelming atm (although not entirely useless). I see it as an area denial tool, so it would be nice to see an aoe buff for it to cover larger clouds (hiding in clouds is one of the more annoying tactics Eldar have to face atm).

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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby Deidryt » 28 April 2016, 14:01

GONDOR wrote:Do you think as an aside buff, shifting the focus away from Pulsars onto Eldar as a whole, moving the +30 troop strength from the Ulthwe Favor to an inherent +30 against all Lightning Strikes as a racial ability?

Fluff wise, Eldar are dangerous to teleport onto due to Holofields and inability to lock auspex onto, generally requiring a beacon to get a solid fix.

I have added a line in the OP regarding holofields adding +10 troop strength per 30% from +0 to +30 against lightning strikes, as IMO no inherent defence is a tad silly, and if Eldar do have to get close, if you don't take Ulthwe, you're crazy, and being mandatory isn't really a great thing. Why not take a page from Eldrad's book regarding Ulthwe, and mirror the Tzeentch blip warp?


I had to think on this for a little bit. At first, I was thinking "hell yeah, decent amount of defense", but when I ran the numbers on what 80 troops actually means... well, I think I started to understand where the current numbers are coming from.

First, the idea is that Eldar are meant to be more susceptible to in-close damage. Lightning-strikes is one of these, and with a 90 second cooldown, there should be a decent chance of them working. After going back and forth on it, I realized that 80 troop strength meant that with 3 attacks, it's really only a 50-50 shot of doing any damage. Going back to vanilla ships, 50 actually seems somewhat right... making the frail ships more susceptible to the lightning strikes than other navies.

As far as holofields go, they should affect boarding pods... and I think they do. I never really had a chance to pay attention to them closely, but I'd expect many boarding pods to miss a holofield using ship.

GONDOR
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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby GONDOR » 29 April 2016, 05:57

Deidryt wrote:I had to think on this for a little bit. At first, I was thinking "hell yeah, decent amount of defense", but when I ran the numbers on what 80 troops actually means... well, I think I started to understand where the current numbers are coming from.

First, the idea is that Eldar are meant to be more susceptible to in-close damage. Lightning-strikes is one of these, and with a 90 second cooldown, there should be a decent chance of them working. After going back and forth on it, I realized that 80 troop strength meant that with 3 attacks, it's really only a 50-50 shot of doing any damage. Going back to vanilla ships, 50 actually seems somewhat right... making the frail ships more susceptible to the lightning strikes than other navies.

As far as holofields go, they should affect boarding pods... and I think they do. I never really had a chance to pay attention to them closely, but I'd expect many boarding pods to miss a holofield using ship.



I was coming from the approach of considering the Eldar playstyle and the synergy of our weapons. Most of our weapons are 6km (most of the weapons in the game are 3-6km).

Lightning strike being 5km doesn't leave much wiggle room for maneuvering, considering the fact that it is 360. There aren't many 360 weapons in the game besides Launch Bays and Lightning Strike, indeed I believe most (if not all) are 270, leaving the opportunity to exploit from their rear.

Perhaps 30 is a tad overzealous? Even if it were to be +5 per 30% of fields it'd not be so much to even things out, but rather further boost our other play styles, such as starcannons. You said it well when we don't want to be fighting in other faction's preferred range, but when our preferred range sans upgrades is the same, I think it's worth considering the options and how they synergise with each other.

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Re: Suggestions for rebalancing Eldar as a whole

Postby Keioel » 29 April 2016, 20:53

I disagree with keeping Pulsars as an activatable ability, I believe they should be retooled to be more in line with what they were in TT so that we can actually engage in hit and run tactics instead of waiting on cooldowns to attack.

Agree on buffing Starcannons.

Agreed on buffing Shadow, Eclipse, and that buffing starcannons would help make Solaris more useful.

I think making the SH favor work while a blip is a nice idea, I disagree with removing the bonus from bombers. I would also like a notification when the favor's damage bonus is active.

Our Holofields definitely need a boost against lightning strikes since they provide immunity to such in TT.

I think with Pulsars being retooled to be regular weapons the current Vaul's Maneuver should be a basic ability applied to all Eldar ships.


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