Navigator Role

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Post  Lady-Natalya on Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:44 am

Hi there!! I have played this game a lot the last week. I've played with some of y'all like Confuse Ray so maybe some people have seen me before. Whatever.

I'm coming to post here because I usually am a navigator, but after the recent (August 18?) update well, there is no point to the role of navigator. Allow me to explain...

When playing with experienced players the chief strategy before the August 18 update seemed to be to turtle at the start -- go nowhere, save energy. Ping for enemy wraith, if it approaches use your wraith, but shields and weapons are low so the capacitor can charge up. Then you get into a fight for the Kermeculite and things get interesting, but before the Kerm spawned the main thing you did as a navigator was to sit around waiting for the ping cooldown to finish -- UNLESS your Wraith died and now you actually had a job to protect your miners. You were the last line of defense, and you were also very important during a fight with the enemy BC. You had to line up missile shots for the gunner, and you had to keep one side aimed at the enemy BC when doing broadsides.

The new flying asteroids have changed this dynamic a bit because now you don't have to fight for the first Kermeculite spawn in order to get some of the more important upgrades so it has increased the available viable strategies teams can use, which is a good thing IMO, so good job on adding the flying asteroids. The thing I'm upset about is that with broadsides moved over to the weapon station there is basically nothing for the navigator to do for practically the whole game.

Since the navigator can't shoot at anything, teams are less inclined to send their wraiths out on raids early in the game because they know that if their wraith dies they have no protection for their miners. In the past, if your wraith died it wasn't the end of the world since the navigator could try to protect their miners if they were nearby. Because that isn't the case any more, a smart team won't even send its wraith out unless it has like a super good wraith pilot who they know can kill the enemy wraith, because the smart thing to do would be to just wait until the enemy (if noobs) sent out their wraith or whatever and only risk their main line of defense in that scenario. What I'm saying is that without a navigator who can shoot broadsides, the wraith has become so important early in the game that there is a powerful incentive to not even use it because using it can mean wasting it.

At this point you might say, "oh well why not just send the wraith pilot to be a gunner if the wraith dies," and you'd be right to say that, but even though the gun has been buffed (I think it was buffed?), it still is much harder to kill a wraith with that thing than it is to kill it with another wraith, or any of the other attack ships for that matter. This is mostly due to the low fire-rate of the gun but also its small hitbox.

Anyway, because the navigator can't shoot the broadsides, their life is now incredibly boring. I loved playing this game and I would almost always be the navigator because it was a challenging job during a fight and the performance of the navigator had some importance for the team's performance. Well, now there is nothing for them to do during a fight and so therefore the roll of navigator is something you would assign to the least skilled player on your team, like if a total noob was on your team you would tell them to be the navigator because of how unimportant the role has become. I mean you can aim the nose at the enemy BC and fire the Yamato cannon if your team was kind enough to buy it for you, but aside from that and aiming it to shoot missiles the navigator doesn't do shit anymore. I was so crushed by this tonight when I got online to play it that after one game I didn't ever want to be the navigator again because of how boring it was and how unimportant it was. We just killed the enemy BC by knocking out its shields with missiles and a yamato blast (again, not hard to aim at a huge battlecruiser) and then the gunner just kinda point-clicked on the enemy BC like 40 times until it died.

There was no skill for the navigator at all. I just kinda pressed the ping button for about 15 minutes and then I went near the enemy BC and looked at it for about two more minutes and then we won. There was no fun, no excitement, no point. Everyone else did shit, I didn't. I feel like I didn't even play a game.

It was like getting a new car, but the new car was a Camry.

It was like getting pizza, but it had no toppings.

It was like getting on the team, but then being benched for the whole season.

It was like graduating, but you graduated from DeVry and are $60K in debt without an accredited degree and no job prospects.

It was like reading a book, but the book was Twilight.

It was like watching the Olympics, but you were watching dressage.

It was like pressing the same button for fifteen minutes, then right-clicking on a screen for a little bit.

It was like eating a sandwich, but it had nothing in it.

It was like going to the beach, but it was rainy.

It was like going on a field trip, but the trip was to a box factory.

It was like watching a movie, but there was no picture and no sound.

It was like dancing in a club, but no one else was there.

It was like doing a jello shot, but without the alcohol.

It was like buying a new album, but it was a Justin Bieber album.

I think you get what I'm trying to say. Please give the broadsides back to the navigator. I don't care that you have to buy the ability to do it, keep that feature if you want, though IMO that is kinda dumb too. Just let the navigator actually do something instead of sit around most of the game and press the ping button. It is essential to the victory of the team that the navigator use the ping ability, so that means SOMEONE has to get stuck in there, but after doing it once like this I never ever want to do it again because of how little else I did. Navigator is like a curse or a burden, not something important anymore. If you wanna give more weapons to the weapon guy, give them yamato cannon or something, but not the broadsides, unless you want to kill people with boredom. Sad

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Post  Siretu on Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:22 am

First of all, thank you for writing all of that. A well-thought out opinion is great for me when I'm trying to decide what to do.

I read your entire post and I understand your argument. Let me explain why I did change it and maybe we can find a good solution that'll solve all the issues.

I've been considering moving the broadsides for a long time. There are several reasons for this.

1. The weapons console didn't have enough to do. Having a man using the weapons console often did no difference in a fight. In the latest patch, I buffed the aimable laser damage and moved the broadside, therefore increasing the importance of a guy in weapons. This is a good thing. (I know that the moving of the broadside also resulted in less fun and excitement for the navigator, but what I'm saying is that increasing the importance of the weapons console is a good thing).

2. Broadsides doesn't fit in the navigator console energy-wise. If you've tried out the energy console, you might have noticed that there are two energy storages on board. There's the main capacitor and the weapons capacitor. When you increase power to weapons, it fills up the weapons capacitor and when you use weapons, it uses energy from the weapons capacitor, not the main capacitor.

Why is this relevant? The weapons console's energy levels show the current energy in the weapons capacitor since all the weapon stuff takes energy from the weapon's console. The navigator console's energy levels show the current energy in the main capacitor since most of the navigator stuff(engine boost etc) takes energy from the main capacitor.

However, broadsides does not. It still works mechanically correct so when you used the broadside from the navigator console, it used the energy correctly(from the weapons capacitor, not the main capacitor). But it had several problems. First of all, the navigator couldn't see the energy levels in the weapons capacitor and it also looked bad visually because when you ran out of energy in the weapons capacitor, you were unable to shoot broadsides even though it looked like you had enough energy(because you had enough in the main capacitor.

Moving the broadsides fixed all this easily.

3. It makes sense to have the weapons console handle all the weapons.

Despite all this, I understand your point, and I think I agree with it. So how can we solve it?

1. Move back the broadsides to the navigation console.

Problems: All of the ones I mentioned above + added confusion because I just changed it yesterday.

2. Add some new feature to make navigation more interesting. Preferably something related to navigation. This would solve all the problems I mentioned, and if the thing is interesting enough, it will solve most of your problems as well.

Problems: Vague. We still need to figure out what feature we want. Doesn't solve the wraith problem.

3. Move some other feature to navigation. One example of this would be to switch the missiles to the navigation console. This would make the missile firing easier since you don't have to coordinate the missiles between navigation and weapons(which might not be a good thing. Requiring teamwork is good, in my opinion). This also solves the energy issue since missiles don't use energy.

Problems: Might not be interesting enough to make up for the loss of broadside. Makes missile firing easier and removes need for coordination.

As you see, there are several solutions all with their respective problems. In my opinion, it's not easy to pick one and say: "This is the best solution". I would really prefer the 2nd solution, but I need ideas for stuff to add to the navigation console.

Some things I've thought about: Remaking the information system(pings and such) to be harder and different(not just click -> almost perfect information). I've also thought about warp engines. A warp engine that allows you to specify an angle and distance instead of just point-click, would require some more skill. The warp engine could cost a decent amount of energy and set energy levels of everything to 0(and disable them until you're at the destination) as well as disabling the weapons. This would give the BC an escape mechanism which will let you escape but while still taking a lot of damage(if the cast time is high). It would also allow you to move around the map quickly to help out with stuff.

If I don't figure out a good feature to add, I might move back the broadsides. I'd rather not do that, but it's not set in stone and I'm a reasonable person.

As for the problem with the wraith, I feel like it's not as big of an issue as you're making it out to be. The fact that the BC has a harder time protecting the miners just means that a wraith will also have an easier time taking out miners. Sure, there's a risk of an enemy wraith defending as well, but that was always the case. You'll just have it easier now that there are no broadsides to worry about.

What's happened is just that it's easier to do, but if you fail, you're more vulnerable. Not necessary a big problem in my opinion. It can probably be fixed by buffing the wraith slightly.

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Post  Lady-Natalya on Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:13 am

Hmm with the wraith thing I meant that the added vulnerability if you fail gives an incentive to not try. You know, greater risk but same reward as before.

For the broadside energy not displaying to the navigator.. Is there room on the right side of the screen for the BC Information to display the weapons capacitor?

I definitely know what you're saying about the weapons console being like a boring role that no one would want to do either, but during some parts of the game (like early game when you still have a wraith) no one needs to be in the weapons console because enemies won't approach. I guess like you might not have intended it being this way, but the game ended up having very distinct early, mid, and late game phases and it so happens that early in the game there is not much for the navigator to do and there is not much for the weapons officer to do. But again, no one needs to be a weapons officer early in the game because you have a wraith. The navigator role on the other hand, someone has to be there the whole game because of the necessity of map pings, or for following your miners around, though now without broadsides you really don't have to follow the miners unless you were just going to follow them, park it, then go be a weapons officer.

So, if we want to make weapons more interesting, I'm all for it because they really weren't all that important before. I think you buffing the weapons console gun is a good first step to making them more important. One thing you might consider doing is slightly increasing the size of the hitbox for that gun because it doesn't seem to fill the size of the new energy burst model it uses, like it is smaller so you could like scrape someone with it but it wouldn't hit them. This might have been a height issue and I just didn't notice, I'll have to try it again to find out. Also, you might try giving the weapons console a fighter ping. It would be the same as the Wraith miner ping but it instead shows destroyers, mine-layers, wraiths, and corvettes. Or maybe you can give them some other kind of ability, like a temporary increase in fire rate which then demands a cooldown for the whole gun, or a secondary cannon that affects shields more but the hull of a ship less.

I guess like I don't see a situation where you wouldn't always want someone in the navigator chair. Even if you removed the ping feature and gave that to someone else, the navigator still has to sit there the whole game even at the start when nothing is happening and the ship might not even be moving because at a moments notice an enemy could approach and the BC would have to move somewhere.

Maybe there can be a compromise though. If you put the broadside firing buttons back on navigator, but then allow the weapons officer to direct firepower to either the port or starboard broadside laser batteries at his/her discretion (like a see-saw you know 20% port 80% starboard or 50% - 50% or whatever), that would be pretty awesome. During a BC vs Wraith fight early in the game this ability wouldn't be necessary because the Wraith could fly around from one side to the other or whatever, but at the same time a normal broadside (assuming they were defaulted to 50-50 where 50% is exactly how much damage they do now) is already strong enough to be a lethal threat to the Wraith. BC versus BC however, this ability would become very important because the BCs typically end up firing one side much more than the other, like they don't switch position relative to each other frequently enough that this ability would become unimportant. The weapons officer would have to direct firepower to whichever side was doing the shooting, then pay attention to switch it as necessary. That means added real-time teamwork much the way that the engineer does real-time teamwork with the navigator during a fight because at any moment the enemy BC could try to switch sides on you.

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Post  ConfuseRay on Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:28 pm

I like the new gun. It's a lot more threatening now. Not sure about nav role.

edit: as a side note, no one ever uses broadsides anymore. it's just laser spam until death. the little cannon is powerful now.


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Post  DestinyAtlantis on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:51 am

Actually, instead of the weapon console determining the damage levels of the port and starboard Broadside, try the energy regen on the port and starboard Broadside(and instead of cooldown, let it be a separate capacitor for each Broadside), also hacking the energy cable hub thing(where the energy cables separate to the different systems like the shield core, main core, also why don't you make a back-up/auxiliary/emergency core, or even an auxiliary and an emergency(2 separate cores)), so you can lock down the energy giving to different systems, including broadside and turrets(energy to weapons/energy to a specific turret(depends which hub you hack/what you hack in it)).

Also why don't you add acceleration(pressing an ability starts accelerating(different than the current ones, so you can still micro-manage your exact speed), pressing another 1 stops accelerating), that you can hack(temporary put the cruiser in acceleration, increasing speed even beyond the safety auto-stop-acceleration system).


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