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Aug 18 2012
By: orangejedi829 Monster Hunter 30 posts
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How to Fix Build & Battle.

36 replies 332 views Edited Aug 18, 2012
v v Warning: Epic Rant Ahead! v v

Build and Battle is dead.  Yes, dead.  That may sound harsh, but anyone who played the Beta knows it to be true.  Where once great and thought-out bases were built, now lie randomly placed, half-destroyed vehicle pads, even more-randomly-placed beam and autoturrets, and an unholy number of Sidewinder corrals.  This is, of course, before the whole place gets razed to the ground by an unending stream of tanks and/or torpedo-touting Hawks.
However, anyone who played the beta knows that it wasn't always this way.  When vehicles and other weapons were fewer, bases could actually be built.  They were fun to build, because you knew you were creating something that would give your team a tactical advantage and the enemy a hard time.  They were fun to infiltrate, because you knew you were breaking into a genuinely high-security base.  Build and Battle was pretty cool.
And then everything else was added.  Tanks, speeder bikes that are descendants of kangaroos, more powerful Hawk weapons, mines, and so on.  I would not want any of these things to go away, but there is a huge problem: Build and Battle was never adapted to account for all these new and powerful weapons, and, as a result, it is currently next to worthless.
By 'worthless', I mean this:  while B&B was intended to allow the creation of bases, defenses, and other strategically-designed things, it is never used this way.  I, and most every other player I know, use B&B like so:  Place a bunker if you need some weapons.  Place a vehicle pad if you need a vehicle.  Location is irrelevant; you can hardly expect it to be there when you return, anyway.

So, after much consideration, here is the way I believe Build and Battle can be revived (along with balancing the game):

1. Make all structures stronger.
I cannot think of a single structure that I would consider to be 'too strong'.  Tanks tear through them like paper (I know, they are tanks, but more on that later).  Hawks wreak serious havoc on them.  It's easy for a cheap hawk pilot to land, destroy the launchpad of the enemy to prevent them from launching a hawk of their own, take off again, rinse, and repeat each time the opposing player gathers enough rift to build another platform.  Players understandably don't see the value in planning out a base or placing walls when the walls will to next to nothing to stop the inevitable swarms of tanks, and that, walls or no walls, their 'base' will be leveled within minutes, as a general rule.

2. Make walls MUCH stronger.
Walls are a very important base defense mechanism, and they are currently next to useless.  I know they are cheap.  But I would much rather have substantial walls that cost 3x as much than cheap walls that get spammed all over the place and provides no real defensive advantage.

3. Make ALL structures connectable.
With the exception of autoturrets, shield gens, ARMS, and perhaps vehicle pads, allowing any structure to connect to the adjacent one is essential for the construction of an effective fortress.

4. Make Razorbacks better.
Since the introduction of the Ox and Sidewinder, the poor Razorback has been the odd child out.  Instead of being the default, all-around combat transport that it originally was intended to be, its weak armor and slow speed have made it more-or-less obsolete.  Currently, the 'default' combat vehicle seems to be the Ox Heavy Tank, and this is bad for the whole B&B system.  The Razorback should be made *slightly* more expensive, given bettor armor, and be made a bit faster.  See the next step for the fate of the Ox.

5. 'Specialize' the Ox Heavy Tank.
The Ox is the bane of B&B. And this can be good, in the right amount.  However, currently, Starhawk's battlefields swarm with tons of tanks almost all the time.  When everyone and their little sibling playing with them has a tank, the tank becomes the new 'normal'.  This would be fine, but this elevated level of firepower wreaks havoc on the whole B&B system.  Instead, tanks should remain 'special', letting the improved Razorback fill the workhorse role of vehicular battle.  To accomplish this, tank pads should cost 12 rift.  Yes, 12.  And tanks should cost 10.  At least.  Expensive, I know.  That's the idea.  The tank can then stay 'tankish', becoming a rare and feared beast on the battlefield.  They would also have some increased armor (but not firepower) with this new price, as no one wants to spend all their rift on something that is too easily destroyed.  Basically, when you get in a tank, it should be an earned thing, and you should feel powerful!
Also, the 'artillery' mode should be made slightly more effective against structures, while the standard shells should be made much less effective against them.  Other than times when I don't have a clear line of sight, I rarely feel urged to use the artillery mode, as it's not much more effective than the standard shells, and I would need to switch back to standard shells in case of an attack; a time-consuming process than would make me vulnerable.  Making the standard shells non-effective against structures and the artillery shells more so would still allow tanks to be effective at attacking structures, but make them more vulnerable when doing so.

6. Add an anti-air vehicle.
The MAW is not very effective as an anti-air weapon.  However, at the same time, I believe that it really should not be much more powerful against Hawks than it currently is - making it a guarantee-killer would be awful for pilots.  But the MAW is currently the only mobile/practical defense against Hawks that ground troops have.  The answer?  An anti-air vehicle.  I kinda scribbled together my idea here:

AA Vehicle Concept by orangejedi829

It's derived from the Ox, and could be purchased at the same pad.  However, its only weapon would be a flak turret.  The turret would have a short range, such that the vehicle could not just sit and pick off every hawk in the sky.  However, at close range, the turret's damage would quickly increase to lethal levels, even to a one-shot-kill at a close-enough range.  This extremely high close-range damage would deter Hawks from making multiple 'flyby' attacks and picking the vehicle apart bit-by-bit.  The vehicle would also feature a hatch for a second player, who could either launch MAW missiles at the hawks, or provide a small amount of ground defense for the vehicle.
The vehicle would be faster than the Ox, and would excel at defending 'convoys' of troops or vehicles against Hawks.  However, it would not stand well at all alone, as its G2G defenses would be minimal at best (flak turret does little damage to anything other than Hawks, and a second player is required just to provide infantry-weapon-level firepower).  It would cost about 5 rift at the Ox pad.

7. Make Hawks more expensive?
Hawks are very powerful.  And they should be.  They're high tech spaceship-planes that transform into freaking battlemechs.  But they're super cheap.  Any player can buy one as soon as they spawn.  If hawks were a bit more expensive, people may find their "OP"-edness to be a little more acceptable.
I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THIS ONE, THOUGH.

8. Torpedoes and Shields.
The Hawk torpedo is very powerful.  It respawns too often, for one thing.  This allows a dominating team to continually raze the opponents' attempts at rebuilding their home base indefinitely.  This is not good for the B&B scheme.  Additionally, shields do little to mitigate the effects of the torpedo.  Also, the torpedo's ability to repeatedly annihilate even shielded bases makes the shield itself not worth much.  Instead, when a torpedo hits a shield, it should 'short it out' for a period of time (say, 60 seconds?) without damaging any structures.  This will give ground units time to move in and strike, but won't allow a single pilot to single-handedly dominate an entire enemy base.

9. Can Bruiser.
Seriously.  Get rid of it.  Completely.  If I were LBI, and I were trying to come up with a game feature that would completely and singlehandedly destroy the entire Build and Battle system, I don't think I would be able to come up with anything more effective than Bruiser.  I won't elaborate, since Bruiser has been discussed at length numerous times, to put it lightly.  But I believe that this skill is completely contrary to and ruins the B&B system, and I think it needs to go.

10. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, increase the building limit (if possible).
I didn't make Starhawk.  I don't know if the 32-building limit is due to physical hardware limits.  However, the limit strangles B&B.  By the time a base is set up at the team's spawn area (or what passes for a base these days), the building limit is nearly reached.  A core idea of B&B was to allow the player to set up a base of operations anywhere on the "blank canvas" of the map.  However, this is never possible without *extremely* good team coordination / vigorous reclaiming of structures.  The system is "Build and Battle", not "Try to build, realize build limit is reached, reclaim nearby random Sidewinder corral, try to build again but get shutout when someone somewhere else builds first, rinse, and repeat until a passerby tank kills you because you couldn't set up a base."  Increasing the allowed number of structures would also do a great deal to prevent the total-razing-and-subsequent-base-ravaging that happens so frequently in Starhawk.


These, I believe, would be very effective first steps in reviving Build and Battle.  Right now, B&B is just a fancy way of paying for weapons and vehicles.  But I want more!  I wanna build epic bases!  I want the enemy to build epic bases!  I want to build forward-bases and test my skill at infiltrating the enemy bases!  I want to Build, and I want to Battle!

/Endrant

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Lombax Warrior
Registered: 03/04/2012
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

Aug 18, 2012

Build n Battle is great,state of the Art.U must not know how to use it effectively

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

Aug 18, 2012
I didnt read it all. But I LOVE THE DRAWING
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Monster Hunter
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

Aug 18, 2012

Detroitmademe wrote:

Build n Battle is great,state of the Art.U must not know how to use it effectively


That's the problem.  No one seems to know how to use it effectively.

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Monster Hunter
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

Aug 18, 2012

Southern_DuDe_20 wrote:
I didnt read it all. But I LOVE THE DRAWING

lol thx :smileyhappy:

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

[ Edited ]
Aug 18, 2012

orangejedi829 wrote:

Detroitmademe wrote:

Build n Battle is great,state of the Art.U must not know how to use it effectively


That's the problem.  No one seems to know how to use it effectively.


i agree with you there.way to often the build limit is reached simply because of bad builders.and yes that sketch is pretty good
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Monster Hunter
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

[ Edited ]
Aug 18, 2012

Thankz.  And I agree with you that B&B can, in its current form, be effectively utilized by skilled players on a team with very good coordination.  However, in my experience, this rarely happens, and I don't think it's good for attracting new players when the core game mechanic requires this much expertise to use correctly.  The changes I proposed would not fundamentally alter the B&B system; just make it more rewarding and easier to more effectively use by everyone.

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I Only Post Everything
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

Aug 18, 2012
I didn't read it all, but I agree with the gist of everything. Structures NEED to be stronger, bruiser needs to be canned (which it is), more COMBINATIONS, and maybe adjustment to vehicles.

at the same time, people are just unaware of the many tactics underlying bnb--so if you guys have any post them here: http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/Starhawk-General/Interesting-amp-Efficient-Tactics/m-p/374948...
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Gaming Beast
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

[ Edited ]
Aug 18, 2012

What a thoughtful post. But you need to realize quickly this dev is incompetent. They have borked this game from the start. And the kids playing PS3 these days think this is COD: Air and Tank battle.

 

Anyway, some decent ideas there that will never get implemented just like all the rest.

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I Only Post Everything
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Re: How to Fix Build & Battle.

[ Edited ]
Aug 18, 2012

IMO the bldgs are the right strength, they were more durable in the beta and build limits were always maxed out.

I never have a problem building a structure when I need one and that keeps the game moving , for me anyway, I play mostly zones and DF, so I can't speak on CTF or TDM

 

and I agree on the sketch, nice job

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