Monday, 15 December 2008

Design Re-Engineering

Valve is on the hunt again for upgrade advice - in this instance, for the Scout.

Unfortunately, I have little advice to offer here. I’m not a great scout player.*

But luckily, they’ve also recently released a patch that greatly improves playing the Engineer – by allowing the engineer to upgrade their dispensers and teleporters to level 3, with a consequent improvement in dispensing and teleporting speed. Here I am qualified to offer suggestions; the engineer is my first and foremost love and anything that allows the engi to fuss around their buildings and move around the battlefield more is an improvement in my book. So here are my engineering upgrade ideas:

The Quik-R-Ratchet: The Quik-R-Ratchet immediately (on one hit) builds any building to level 1. It allows buildings to be upgraded to level 2 at the normal pace, but cannot be used to upgrade a building to level 3.

Because running up and deploying buildings quickly is what engineers should do. It also helps two engineers work together much more efficiently, one with the Ratchet and one with the w’regular Wrench. Engineers should be encouraged to drop an annoying level 1 turret on the front line, or to move their turrets following an attack to confound the opposition.

The I-Spy-Shooter: The I-Spy-Shooter is a shotgun which immediately decloaks any spy, preventing them from cloaking for 5 seconds, and otherwise does half the damage of a normal shotgun.

There is nothing as frustrating as knowing there is a cloaked spy around, and not being able to do anything about it. You have to squat on your kit, back to the wall and pray. At least with the I-Spy, you’ve got a fighting chance. Of course, a disguise isn’t going to be stopped by this.

The Big Red Button: The BRB replaces the pistol, and allows the Engineer to teleport back to his teleport exit, provided both the exit and entrance are built and fully charged. Doing so discharges the exit, but requires the engineer stand still (in taunt mode) for several seconds to activate. ‘I said B...R...B...’

And this should allow Engineers to wander the battlefield, helping out others with their shotgun, while letting them get back to their equipment in a jiffy (provided a Spy hasn’t sapped it, of course). This may encourage engineers to build entrances in useless positions: if that is the case, it should be tweaked to teleport back to the entrance, or exit, depending on a left or right mouse click.

*I lied. At least about the advice thing. I might be able to come up with some scout solutions:

The Short Order Book: The Short Order Book replaces the pistol and can be used on any player on your team. Once you get an order from the player, by hitting them with the order book (at close range - a short taunt animation shows the scout writing up the order), the scout must collect a health and an ammunition pick up (or refill from a supply closet) to fill the order. Once the order is filled, the instant you touch a player of the same class as the order you took, you dispense them 25% of their ammunition, 25 health, 40 metal for an engineer and for a medic or spy, a 25% uber or cloaking charge. You can also part fill orders, with just either health or ammunition, but the class specific benefits will not apply.

This gives Scouts stuck behind the front line something to do, and helps speed up the game play for those teams stuck attacking or defending near their spawn point. And for once, a scout will be giving you health and ammunition instead of taking it. Understanding the game play for this is complicated, so the order book should take the form of a big checklist that gets filled in as the Scout completes the required actions:
[] Get health
[] Get ammunition
[] Give to _________

Once the scout has filled the first two steps, they automatically shout out as they move around the map e.g. 'I got an order for an engineer!'.

The Brooklyn Bridge: The Brooklyn Bridge, a fence board with a nail in it, as opposed to a regulation baseball bat, fixes any turret it hits in position until the Scout is killed, preventing the turret from turning, but still allowing it to fire in the direction it is pointing. It takes twice as long to attack with the Brooklyn as the regular bat.

Ah... the mythical anti-turret scout weapon. What rage and anger fills the Valve forums, discussing the pros and cons of various ways of the scout countering his ‘hard counter’ and the means by which he should do it. By whacking it, of course... the gun effect is far less useful than a Spy's sapper, and it is far harder to for the scout to get in position to use it, but against an undefended gun, the Bridge should provide a way past.

The Soar’n’Off Shotgun: The ‘shortie’ as it is affectionately known, does critical damage while the scout is in the air. It otherwise is incapable of criticals.

Because running around a target is more boring than running over it.


Ian said...

Good ideas

Cyranix said...

Those crack me up. I'm in favor of all!

I especially see the Short Order Cook version being on rollerskates.