After yesterdays change, a 90 second invulnerability upon spawn has been introduced for captains in combat recons.
This was presumably done to counteract the possibility of being launched into a game where a captain is already dead, which can occur if he is killed before you launch into the game up to 90 seconds after it’s start. Since the game is often already decided at that point, the game would end shortly after you joined the game, sometimes before you even spawn. This situation has occurred to me multiple times in a few dozen games. It was frustrating to be launched into a game where you lose seconds after you join, or where you have no realistic chance to make a difference on the field. Conversely, you would also receive “free wins”, if the other captain is the one to have died before you launch/spawn.
With the new 90 second invulnerability, such a situation can no longer occurr - both captains are guaranteed to survive until all possible players have joined the game, it is simply no longer possible to damage them.
However, there is nothing stopping the captains from abusing their invulnerability for combat in the meantime. An aggressive captain can easily decimate the enemy team members without any danger to himself, he might only wish to retreat before his invulnerability runs out. This can easily decide the game through a situation created for when the enemy captain’s invul wears off or simply by adding to the kill count.
The possibilty exists for both captains to equally abuse their invul and decimate both teams, something which would likely become the norm should the current system persist. However, I don’t believe it would lead to fun gameplay, be it just for the regular members of either team feeling like prey before an invulnerable, powered up supership.
It is desirable to look for another approach to solve the problem outlined above.
Ideas for solution:
- Keep current invulnerability, but prevent captains from using weapons and modules.
Straightforward approach to prevent captains from running rampant. Big cons though; it would be exceedingly boring to fly for 90 seconds without being able to do anything and it would be possible for captains to serve as invulnerable distractions, drawing fire from the enemy team.
- Keep current invulnerability and slow captains down to a fraction of their speed/a fixed low speed/completely fix them in place
Would prevent early attacks. Would encourage taking ships as captain which have some sort of long-range ability or passively affect allies. Still, it would be very boring to crawl at a snails pace for so long.
- Remove invulnerability once captain shoots, like regular spawn invul
Would still enable the captain to run interference with the enemy team, and it would be harder to tell when he’s vulnerable and when not. Also, most players would probably shoot out of habit/not knowing they keep a long invulnerability/opt to fight rather than sit and wait, and this would ultimately defeat the point
- Keep current invulnerability and heavily reduce damage output while active
Would prevent annihilation of enemy team, but would also not stop the captain from going to the enemy and doing what damage he can. I don’t know if it’s possible to reduce all damage someone can output and not just the main gun damage, so I could imagine captains acting to cause havoc with their secondary weapons and modules.
- Remove invul and add strong resistance or heal effect and slows to the captain instead
Slows would prevent the captain from rushing into the enemy formation. The defensive effect would prevent him from getting himself killed for long enough, hopefully. Just how strong the defensive effects should be is hard to say, have them too strong, and you have a kind of soft invulnerability and have them too weak and games will be over before everyone has joined again.
- Disable hotjoining earlier than 90 seconds
If people could only get into games of combat recon for, say, 45 seconds after game start, the chance to launch into a unsalvagable situation is significantly reduced. This would probably result in smaller games since less people would join. Increasing the number of people required to begin a combat recon match might be an idea, but could result in less games of this gamemode compared to others (I assume the MM would rather launch a game of another gamemode so the people already waiting won’t have to wait until the number required for CR is reached).
- Determine the captain role not 10 seconds before game start, but 90 seconds after game start
If there is no captain, he can’t die. The game would be similar to team battle until the captain is determined. The problem with randomly making someone on the field and fighting captain is that they might be about to get killed or find themselves in a situation where they are easily picked off. It might be necessary to give them a brief invul to allow them to retreat (10, 15 seconds), and a weapon damage reduction/disable to prevent abuse. Another issue is that the newly promoted captain may not currently fly a ship he would want to be captain in - instead of promoting somebody on the battlefield, remove the chosen players from battle and put them in a brief respawn queue to enable them to switch ships, without being counted as killed.
I like the idea of slowing the captain to prevent him from rushing ahead the most, I think. Maybe a combination of that and not being able to join so far into the game would be the best combination. The idea to determine captain roles later is also interesting.
In the end an ability like prolonged invulnerability is simply too powerful to be on the field. Even if we’d keep it like it is now, fighting against someone with invulnerablity is not fun.
Does anyone else have an idea how we can have our combat recon without joining on a killed captain?