We need to talk about the Scathis. Topic is solved

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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby Hildegard » 10 Oct 2018, 09:41

GalaBalance had an interesting high RoF Scathis with a large EMP blast and near to zero damage on a massive range - for stunlocking armies and production.

Also Cybran has 0 super game enders. What's wrong with reverting it back to Vanilla SC/FA? (not FaF)
Just make it cost on par or more than a Mavor and give it similar range to Salvation.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby Apofenas » 10 Oct 2018, 12:22

IMO should copy all Disruptor stats and paste it into Scathis and increace deploy time. Than rework Disruptor into rapidfire Salvation-like arty with huge range.

This way Scathis isn't super usefull on 10x10 maps and isn't super useless on 20x20, because it is legit t3 arty. Sure it can somewhat move, but can't get any adjacency. And cybran get some sort of game ender.
VictimOfJaggedBalance wrote:IMO Scathis is in a perfect spot right now - nobody's using it, so nobody's complaining about it, just like fire beetles.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby Plasma_Wolf » 10 Oct 2018, 13:25

moses_the_red wrote:- Build T3 artillery behind the scathis' range and use it to snipe the scathis and or commanders and or wreck their economy. Since you get one up before the scathis you'll have done some damage before its even turned on.

1 T3 artillery will almost never do anything. 1 T3 artillery is stopped by a couple of shields. Since you're building the scathis under protection of shields anyway, it's very much possible to build one and keep building after your opponent finished the artillery.

- Tele, a cybran com with tele-maser should work, but you could also use tele-scus. Seraphim SCUs with nano + tele + shield cost about 20k each and do 400 DPS with 50k health. 3 of them is 60k in total mass cost, deals 1200 DPS and only has to do 15000 damage since they have the death nuke. If they have an absurd amount of PD/Ravagers or multiple monkeylords sitting on the scathis just target shields which are tightly packed and have 500 health. You should kill several with the death nuke alone, use that in combination with other methods. If that doesn't work for you target their SMD and nuke them. Tele is a very effective counter to "game enders" of any type.


An ACU tele snipe will cost an ACU, so it will cost a player. SCU's telesnipe is more difficult to deal with, but you need multiple SCUs which costs an insane preparation time. If your opponent is getting them, there's other stuff he's not getting. With teleport, it's always a matter of paying attention. Paying attention is OP against teleport. Just move the scathis when you see it, move it back after the SCUs have died.

- Bombers. 20 T3 bombers is 40k mass. More than half can die or have their damage mitigated by shields and you'll still kill the scathis on the first pass. Remember that a Scathis must be built close to the front, so bombers are far more effective against a scathis than they are against T3 arty.

They are effective at this. It's what bombers do. It's also the only thing bombers can do when attacking an enemy position. After that, they're dead. With properly layered shields, and using air properly, 20 T3 bombers are also not enough.

- Drops, 20 bricks and the t3 transports to drop them costs less than 30k mass. You might think that drops aren't viable but again, the scathis is in the front. As long as they didn't spend 110k mass on the scathis AND somehow achieve complete air superiority this should be viable. Drops are a terrible strategy for killing T3 artillery, but they are viable for a scathis.


Air drops are horrible when there's a stalemate that allows for a scathis to be built. Not a single air transport will get through.

- TML. You can build 50 TML for 50k mass, and because the Scathis must be built in front they will be in range of it.
And three Aeon TMD protect against this Also a good deal of other TMD will work, in combination with shields. Doesn't mean that it doesn't work, it just stops working when your opponent pays a single second of attention.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby uzurpator » 10 Oct 2018, 16:47

The neverending "Scathis sucks' topic. Oh yes!

The problem with Scathis is that it tries to be a hybrid between a game-ender and a regular t4 unit and it just does not work in this game.

- it takes too long to build on the front line, where it could wreck some chaos
- it takes too long to get anywhere, because it's so goddamn slow
- it has too short of a range to be a game ender. Except for 5x5 maps, where it is an "I Win" button.

I like the suggestion to make it a proper T4 mobile arty - 65-75% of tis current max range, 25-35k mass of cost, speed of ML or Mega and some damange tweaks. It would then be a nice tool to build along with a few MLs to break enemy fire bases or to defend against navy. But also - due to its high firing arc, it would be defenseless against direct attack.

Such scathis on the battlefield would force anyone out of their base to deal with it, kind of like Fatty does now.

But frankly - any well defined, useful role would be nice because having an unit so cool yet so useless is quite sad.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby moses_the_red » 10 Oct 2018, 18:53

So I feel like there's a theme to your post, and the theme is "no single counter against a scathis is guaranteed to work and easy to pull off", which I think is absolutely as it should be. If team scathis scouts your counter, they should be able to defend against it. Its not unbalanced or OP just because its possible to prevent counter attacks against it if they're scouted.

I also note the lack of a response to double nukes, which I can only assume means that not only think that will work, but you think it will work well enough that it wasn't worth responding to it.

1 T3 artillery will almost never do anything. 1 T3 artillery is stopped by a couple of shields. Since you're building the scathis under protection of shields anyway, it's very much possible to build one and keep building after your opponent finished the artillery.


True, but you get a second up after only 30k more mass, with a faster build time, and with less mass and resources spent on defending it because it isn't on the front line. Because its farther back, nearly every counter you'd use against a scathis is more difficult to pull off for the arty. And yeah, it may not directly counter the scathis, but it does give you the ability to target eco, and if you've rushed the arty, it may come up before all of your opponents power is shielded, or it can be used in conjunction with other attacks like gunships, bombers or nukes. At minimum it forces the enemy to spend a great deal of their eco building shields over everything.

The point is that even if the scathis got a damage increase, T3 arty will still be a viable option with its own advantages. The scathis might drop your firebase and outer mexes quickly after being built, but your arty will have been firing longer and you can expect to have more than one of them shortly after the scathis has been built.

An ACU tele snipe will cost an ACU, so it will cost a player. SCU's telesnipe is more difficult to deal with, but you need multiple SCUs which costs an insane preparation time. If your opponent is getting them, there's other stuff he's not getting. With teleport, it's always a matter of paying attention. Paying attention is OP against teleport. Just move the scathis when you see it, move it back after the SCUs have died.


Trading a player for a 110k mass unit doesn't really seem like its that bad an idea, the enemy is now in the hole. It may not be your first choice, but it certainly works and should not be discounted as a counter. Yes SCUs take a great deal of preparation and are expensive, but so is a scathis. I find the strategy of moving the scathis to not be serious though, it has a deploy time and is slow as hell. To move it you'd have to 1. Have already spent the 110k mass cost to build it (its not still building). 2 Have scouted the tele SCUs with time in advance to undeploy and move the scathis. I feel like what you're really saying here is that tele SCUs are not guaranteed to work, but neither is building and deploying a scathis.


They are effective at this. It's what bombers do. It's also the only thing bombers can do when attacking an enemy position. After that, they're dead. With properly layered shields, and using air properly, 20 T3 bombers are also not enough.


Yes, bombers can be countered with shields and AA. When 20 bombers is not enough, you can use 30 or 40, its still much cheaper than a scathis. If your enemy has managed to both build a scathis and kept air dominance then I think you deserve to lose.


Air drops are horrible when there's a stalemate that allows for a scathis to be built. Not a single air transport will get through.


Air drops are horrible when you're trying to drop past the front line in late game team games. When you're trying to drop on the front line I don't think they're as bad as you think they are at least if you plan it effectively and work on removing their T3 air before making the drop. Morover, they can be used as a very quick counter. You likely already have some T3 land units so you probably just need the transports to do this. Aside from getting air dominance, there's not much involved in terms of prep.

And three Aeon TMD protect against this Also a good deal of other TMD will work, in combination with shields. Doesn't mean that it doesn't work, it just stops working when your opponent pays a single second of attention.


Yeah, Aeon TMD is pretty ridiculous, but TML is just one of many options at your disposal. I didn't mention T4 assault bots because they're countered by nukes, but there's a theme here. Yes, everything has a counter, no that doesn't mean that powerful units are OP. If your opponent has nukes to counter a land push + enough SMD to stop a nuke or multiple nukes + enough air domainance and shields on the scathis that he has near perfect scouting to move his scathis out of the way to stop tele SCUs and can also stop bombers or mass T3 drops on the scathis + enough shields to stop significant damage from a single T3 artillery now and another one when you get 30k more mass then you are just dead. And you should be dead, and you didn't die because of the scathis, you were just outplayed.

And after the loss, maybe you'll blame the scathis, and ignore the stunning mass disparity that team scathis must have had to do all that. Maybe you'll blame it and claim that a scathis worth building is automatically OP on 10x10 maps, and maybe the balance team will listen to you... but none of that means that it was really OP. It just felt OP because team scathis was so far ahead that they were able to build the thing on the front and were so dominant that they were able to scout and stop all counter attacks while pouring 110k mass into a fragile unit that they had to build and defend on their front line.

Anyway, its worth saying that if everyone really believes that a scathis cannot be balanced on 10x10 maps and must be in its current state which is never worth building in any circumstances then you can change its role to something you feel is balance-able or you can remove it. Just don't leave it in the game if you can't make it useful for any particular purpose.
Last edited by moses_the_red on 11 Oct 2018, 18:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby Apofenas » 11 Oct 2018, 11:49

moses_the_red wrote:Just don't leave it in the game if you can't make it useful for any particular purpose.

You seem to like to play with fire, dont you?
VictimOfJaggedBalance wrote:IMO Scathis is in a perfect spot right now - nobody's using it, so nobody's complaining about it, just like fire beetles.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby uzurpator » 11 Oct 2018, 13:18

@moses: You seem to forget the most important thing. If anyone is in a position of needing to counter Scathis, then they most likely already lost. That is because they allowed 110k+ mass being spent close enough to their base that it is an issue.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby moses_the_red » 11 Oct 2018, 17:59

Apofenas wrote:
moses_the_red wrote:Just don't leave it in the game if you can't make it useful for any particular purpose.

You seem to like to play with fire, dont you?


That's funny.

Yeah, I admit I will be disappointed if this is the route the balance team chooses. Ideally the Scathis would be balanced in the role that it originally had in vanilla supcom, the role that it is currently intended to have. That would require at least a modest damage increase, say 1100 damage per projectile with its current rate of fire so that at minimum it does the same damage as 2 T3 artillery in exchange for being built so close to the front line. My next favorite option is if it had a role change and complete makeover turning it into a cybran fatboy or even cybran land novax type unit. My third favorite option is if its made into some kind of T4 cybran artillery, essentially reverting it back to the role it originally had in forged alliance. It wasn't particularly useful then, but if a game did go really long and you were cybran and you wanted a game ender well, it wasn't ideal but it was sometimes, very rarely, worth building.

If none of that is possible, then I'd like to see it removed, and yeah, it would suck to see it removed but I firmly believe that if the balance team does not believe a unit can be balanced, it is better to remove it than leave it indefinitely in a broken state. There is an implicit understanding between players of RTSes and Game makers (a role which the balance team is now fulfilling) that all units are believed by the balance team to be worth building in certain contexts. I'd rather see it removed than see it break that understanding between players and the game. Players should be able to assume that if a unit exists in the game, then it is there for some purpose, that it is useful in some context. Maybe its a niche role, maybe the unit sucks in most contexts, but there must be some context where the unit is reasonable to build. I believe the Scathis in its current form isn't there, and is completely outclassed by T3 artillery. Its not that it doesn't have some advantages over T3 artillery - you can put more shields around it and you can move it - but I don't think those advantages come close to making up for its major disadvantages which are its range and DPS per unit mass.

I think the very worst thing the balance team can do is leave it as is and break the implicit understanding that every unit is useful in some circumstance however niche.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby moses_the_red » 11 Oct 2018, 18:25

uzurpator wrote:@moses: You seem to forget the most important thing. If anyone is in a position of needing to counter Scathis, then they most likely already lost. That is because they allowed 110k+ mass being spent close enough to their base that it is an issue.


I think this is probably true, but I also think there's another related point that really hasn't been made yet.

A balanced scathis will always appear to be OP on 10x10 maps.

Why?

Well, if your team is ahead, building a scathis will seem like a good solid, satisfying way of ending the game quickly, so you'll build it. Its a cool unit, and its devastating, and on chokepoint maps its less risky than say a massive T4 push because of nukes. Since in most games one team has some kind of an eco advantage, and in team games at least one player will almost always be cybran this means that most games will end with a scathis if the scathis is balanced.

If you are on the losing team, and you fail to kill the scathis, it will feel like there was nothing you could have done if you don't thoroughly analyze your loss.

Now if you thoroughly analyze your loss, you'll likely notice that the other team either outeco'd you or had a stronger firebase in the center so they were able to start their scathis earlier. They either had a sizeable eco lead, or they had an infrastructure lead that allowed them to start the scathis first.

People will then point to the fact that so many games on maps like gap end with a scathis rush and claim that its proof that the scathis is overpowered, but its not proof.

Its just that gap is a map that is naturally conducive to the scathis' very niche in-game role as an medium range devastating artillery unit.

Teams that don't have a cybran player would definitely have other options. Even on a 10x10 T3 artillery would be a solid alternative to a scathis because it can be built outside the range of the scathis and is cheaper. Bombers, tele and nukes can all still be effective alternatives. If you can SMD walk you can employ T4 units across the gap as well (jesus do I need to start doing this in my own games).

In short having "scathis rushes" be very common is not proof that the scathis is OP, its just a natural result of having a balanced mid range artillery unit on small maps.
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Re: We need to talk about the Scathis.

Postby uzurpator » 11 Oct 2018, 22:47

@moses

As I said before - Scathis is garbage because it is neither a game ender nor a regular T4 unit. If that makes it balanced - just bump its mass cost to 250-270k, range to Mavor level and then its golden. Sure, its boring, but effective.

Unless you play one of those crazy resource games, or have a para on the ready, nobody is going to invest 110k mass in such a fragile, easily snipable unit. 110k mass is something like 7 MLs and those I would fear more then a single scathis.

I like your idea of making it a 'sorta fatboy' but more in the direction of 'sorta t4 mobile arty'

- range in the 90ish minimum, 140ish maximum. So it needs protection from close fire at all times, but outranges T2 artillery, but is snipable with TML. With such range it is also a very anti-navy unit, because it outranges most of it.
- dps of around 500
- fairly high fire spread and rate of fire. Essentially if it is targetted at a T3 shield all projectiles should hit that bubble in random places. Making it effective against shields and clusters of structures, but ineffective against single targets
- 30-40k mass, 300-500k energy
- 15-20k HP

It might be an intresting twist to the concept to store most of its HP in a bubble shield that is big enough that gunships would get under it ( making it vaulnerable to them ) and a stealth field for anything in that bubble. Stealth as a bonus, but most of its HP being in a bubble would mean the Scathis would be a great counter to Scathis.
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