Criticisms of Special Units (And Some Other Elements)

While the player classes feel pretty good overall, I have some constructive criticisms to provide over the balancing based on my experiences so far.

Trapper: While conceptually sound and with no glaring issues from a mechanical perspective, trapper still suffer from very poor audio communication. In isolation, it all seems fine, but once any sort of action kicks up it’s incredibly difficult to hear their chatter and wind-up over the ambient sounds of battle.

Hound: Uncertain if this is a bug but hounds seem to be unable to animation cancel. I’ve seen hounds leap and dodge while being shoved or shot by high KO weapons and only trip AFTER they’ve finished the animations they already had queued up. This makes them incredibly temperamental to manage, especially in close quarters where you can just as easily be getting pounced when you COULD HAVE SWORN you shoved / shot it. They lurch and lock around in weird ways as a result and it takes players out of the action because it’s unclear what is actually happening with the hound half the time.

Mutant: Tracking is way too tight. As soon as they spawn they are in a full sprint, making hairpin turns around corners and swerving around obstacles to grab their target. Dodging the grab is finnicky at best, especially with how quickly they move. Besides killing them well in advance of them ever getting to you (which isn’t always possible), it feels like there’s nothing the player can do. Additionally, they suffer no cooldowns or penalties for interrupted / dodged charges, being able to immediately break into another sprint after throwing a player or getting interrupted by a Skullbreaker charge. Players who look for creative ways to interrupt mutants seem to be punished rather than rewarded for their work.

Bomber: Movement penalties suffered while in bomber AoEs are unnecessarily harsh, especially considering the volume of bombs thrown by bombers. Being slowed to a crawl while also being shot and on fire makes getting caught by one in an enclosed space, if not a death sentence, then most certainly a gigantic health penalty. Players should be afforded a bit more leeway to escape if they can.

Beast of Nurgle: In tight halls, this thing is nearly impossible to deal with. If it starts chasing a teammate, it is a Heculean challenge to catch up to it through the slowing acid it leaves behind that seems to last forever. In general, the acid is its biggest problem, creating a less-than-fun experience that leaves this midboss feeling more like a chore than an interesting test of camraderie. Acid needs to fade faster or the penalties caused by acid need to be reduced to allow players to actually contend with the monster as a team rather than chasing it through halls for several minutes.

Explosive Barrels: While a fun and interesting element that adds some emergent gameplay properties, the sheer volume of them all over the map and the inconvenience of accidentally setting one off in melee makes them feel more hazardous to players than enemies.

Gunfighting: While all the core systems are conceptually sound, enemies do not become suppressed as easily as the tutorial lets on. Enemies will not press themselves into melee or cover unless players are ABSOLUTELY FORCING them to, which causes them to shred down players as whole squads with very little regard to themselves or the situations they are in. Players are trained to fear gunfire and work together to suppress enemy fireteams but enemy gunfighters don’t seem to respect the same rules players are forced to abide by.

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Regarding the slug, don’t fight it in a corridor. You have to kite it and take it to an arena that’s good for you and your team. Don’t give it the advantage.

I do think it should have a smaller weak spot in the front though. Wouldn’t mind a small ballsac to kick!

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I try, of course, but sometimes your team is trapped on a tileset that’s nothing but consecutive hallways and there’s nothing you can do about it. Agreed on the smaller weak spot.

Another issue with the special identification is that the humanoid specials have multi gender voices so I often find myself confusing flamers with trappers a lot

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Yeah the suppression/melee swap on enemies seems to just not work. I’ve tried to close in to a squad that was shooting at me by sliding in, shooting to try and suppress them so I can close in safely, didn’t work. They still just stood right there clumped just shooting at me and interrupting my movement and I got stuck. Even though I was literally killing some of them with my gun.
I tried to close in with melee and attack them, I’ll be hitting one with melee as the rest still just stand there shooting at me while I’m killing them with my melee.

Both of these don’t seem to be working as intended with how it was portrayed in the tutorial.