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New Hunters info in SFG blog

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In the interest of stoking the fires of (healthy) discussion and keeping said fire contained to one thread:

Some of you may be aware of the Guild Ball Zone Discord and the weekly discussions that take place therein, whenever a topic of sufficient interest arises. This week's discussions understandably centered around Hunters. You can find a passionate article about this here: http://www.guildball.zone/blog/2017/4/18/hunters-on-the-horizon

One of the "it" moments that made me really respect Steamforged as a games company and invest my time in Guild Ball was when Jamie Perkins was asked the question "what is the worst guild in the game" on a podcast circa end of Season 1, he unexpectedly responded with "Alchemists - because they don't work as intended". Then he elaborated that while Midas + 3 Union was not particularly weak, it did not represent the design intent for Alchemists and the condition-based gameplay, and went into a sales pitch for Smoke.

And to their credit - they fixed Alchemists, then later Engineers who had also been criticized for their dichotomous, largely unengaging playstyle. They carefully nerfed the Obulus alpha/omega team with careful surgical strokes that (in my opinion anyway) didn't make any given player on that team useless, like a lot of people were crying out for. The SF record for balance changes that have been made so far has been exemplary - most of the criticism actually revolves around changes that were NOT made, rather than those that were made. Hunters are a prime example of this.

The general consensus is that things are not ok with Hunters. You can see anecdotal evidence of this in this thread, you can see statistical evidence of it on the Black Orifice rankings, and have been able to since their release.
I am open to the possibility that these 4 Winter's Moon new players will change things for Hunters in the coming months. If they do not, I would expect Hunters to get an overhaul in the next balance sweep that rivals that of the Engineers in Season 3 (and then we can start talking about S3 Brewers and Stave again, yeah? :P)

 

And I still don't understand why Theron's forest was changed to 'start of activation'. It keeps me up at night.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, JS said:

In the interest of stoking the fires of (healthy) discussion and keeping said fire contained to one thread:

Some of you may be aware of the Guild Ball Zone Discord and the weekly discussions that take place therein, whenever a topic of sufficient interest arises. This week's discussions understandably centered around Hunters. You can find a passionate article about this here: http://www.guildball.zone/blog/2017/4/18/hunters-on-the-horizon

One of the "it" moments that made me really respect Steamforged as a games company and invest my time in Guild Ball was when Jamie Perkins was asked the question "what is the worst guild in the game" on a podcast circa end of Season 1, he unexpectedly responded with "Alchemists - because they don't work as intended". Then he elaborated that while Midas + 3 Union was not particularly weak, it did not represent the design intent for Alchemists and the condition-based gameplay, and went into a sales pitch for Smoke.

And to their credit - they fixed Alchemists, then later Engineers who had also been criticized for their dichotomous, largely unengaging playstyle. They carefully nerfed the Obulus alpha/omega team with careful surgical strokes that (in my opinion anyway) didn't make any given player on that team useless, like a lot of people were crying out for. The SF record for balance changes that have been made so far has been exemplary - most of the criticism actually revolves around changes that were NOT made, rather than those that were made. Hunters are a prime example of this.

The general consensus is that things are not ok with Hunters. You can see anecdotal evidence of this in this thread, you can see statistical evidence of it on the Black Orifice rankings, and have been able to since their release.
I am open to the possibility that these 4 Winter's Moon new players will change things for Hunters in the coming months. If they do not, I would expect Hunters to get an overhaul in the next balance sweep that rivals that of the Engineers in Season 3 (and then we can start talking about S3 Brewers and Stave again, yeah? :P)

 

And I still don't understand why Theron's forest was changed to 'start of activation'. It keeps me up at night.

 

 

That was a nice read. It made me laugh because of how spot on it was. The Theron forest changes really are just inexplicable. You can't leave out the loss of forest sight either. I feel like that is even more amazing. If you are going to force him to magically grow a forest when he starts his turn, he should be able to still see through it . . .

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I can understand why they felt the need to do it. There was something not terribly fun about dropping a forest and then a pin which lead to a 4" total reduction in move and then allowing Theron to casually walk out of range. 

What I don't understand is that they felt they could do it and not offer anything to compensate. (Unless you count the reduction in terrain proximity.) 

I still say they should take Nature's Growth off Theron and give it to oHearne, that would basically solve all of Hearne's issues and then refocus Theron so he has a clearer identity as a player. 

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16 hours ago, Azreal13 said:

I still say they should take Nature's Growth off Theron and give it to oHearne, that would basically solve all of Hearne's issues and then refocus Theron so he has a clearer identity as a player. 

That's actually a no bad shout, I mean what benefit does THeron himself truly get out of it barring ground he doesn't care for?

I know he isn't ranged only, and should get stuck into melee here and there, but being able to grow trees that only hinder his OPT range play is a bit silly. I mean I love the ability, just odd HE has it. I get it from the way hunters currently are, a one-two punch deal and should buddy up a bit round the pitch, but it's a whole 2 activations before Hearne can use it, the situation can change a lot in that time.

They should perhaps take from the fluff and give him team control abilities like the hand signals he uses. Make him a truly mid-feild support captain that has some melee to go anti-football (and thus leaves Skatha to be the opposite)

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Awww man I shouldn't read that article. I have a game tomorrow against a union.

Now I looked at my cards and realise. I've got nothing good except da bet inf battery captain.

Sooo depressing.

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35 minutes ago, Larhendiel said:

 

Awww man I shouldn't read that article. I have a game tomorrow against a union.

Now I looked at my cards and realise. I've got nothing good except da bet inf battery captain.

Sooo depressing.

 

Read the snaring for victory thread and look up the plays against Union players. 

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1 hour ago, Larhendiel said:

Awww man I shouldn't read that article. I have a game tomorrow against a union.

Now I looked at my cards and realise. I've got nothing good except da bet inf battery captain.

Sooo depressing.

What!?

 

Don't you know he is a WORLD CLASS BRAWLER?

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18 hours ago, Azreal13 said:

I can understand why they felt the need to do it. There was something not terribly fun about dropping a forest and then a pin which lead to a 4" total reduction in move and then allowing Theron to casually walk out of range. 

I agree that it may have not been fun, but Puppet Strings on Obulus isn't fun either. 

 

I disagree with how potentially powerful the old Pinned/Snare/Forest combo was. In their own blog they describe Theron as a captain that had a decent/strong control element. So you take a captain designed around controlling the board and make his control inexcusably worse. While potentially strong, it was far from being OP or immune to counter play. The opponent can shake the snare and/or pay one momentum to walk through rough ground without penalty. That being the case, said model could then sprint through the forest and still attack Theron, at the cost of one attack. Or not, and position their player for the next round. Compare this to Obulus another control captain, where your only real counter play to Puppet Strings is stay outside of his 16" threat bubble. I was fine with Season 3 Hunters, but the forest nerf is inexcusable IMO.

 

Side note, anyone else tempted to do a turn two goal with the bear just because? 

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1 hour ago, Anudem said:

I agree that it may have not been fun, but Puppet Strings on Obulus isn't fun either. 

 

I disagree with how potentially powerful the old Pinned/Snare/Forest combo was. In their own blog they describe Theron as a captain that had a decent/strong control element. So you take a captain designed around controlling the board and make his control inexcusably worse. While potentially strong, it was far from being OP or immune to counter play. The opponent can shake the snare and/or pay one momentum to walk through rough ground without penalty. That being the case, said model could then sprint through the forest and still attack Theron, at the cost of one attack. Or not, and position their player for the next round. Compare this to Obulus another control captain, where your only real counter play to Puppet Strings is stay outside of his 16" threat bubble. I was fine with Season 3 Hunters, but the forest nerf is inexcusable IMO.

Don't mistake "I can understand why they felt the need to do it" with "I think they should have done it."

I thought it was fine, but I can also see how it could have been viewed as an NPE. 

Whats inexcusable though is not that they did it, but that they did it and offered nothing else in exchange. 

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I do think a lot of the negativity came from the fact the Hunter's as a guild haven't had anything new for near a year (I know Seenah and Chaska came later but a lot of us got them at Salute which was on the 16th last year) combined with our total lack of roster flexibility and very few positive changes in the digital s3 player update.. 

I do think these new players will open things up a lot however and I'm fairly confident the guys at Steamforged will be keeping an eye on things.. 

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1 hour ago, Redmaw said:

I'm fairly confident the guys at Steamforged will be keeping an eye on things.. 

That bit I'm confident will be true. Problem is, watching doesn't leave any signs - it's like moderating, no one knows what we're up to unless they're involved ;)

SFG can't really miss the comments, but they also can't announce every decision or concern they have with things, so it can look like they're ignoring it all. I'm betting they're not though, they're watching and plotting like a submarine crew :D

 

edit: I don't have official (or even unofficial) evidence for this in terms of hunters, only the previous rounds of adjustments. But I do enjoy the image of the steamforged crew manning Red October :D

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Totally agree. Whatever frustrations I may have with the guild at present, the two things that remain unshakeable are my affection for it and my belief that this too shall pass and that SFG are on the case. 

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Release is tomorrow, so I imagine anytime from late tomorrow to the end of the weekend? Spoilers are fine but the app makers like the proper pdfs so the formatting is consistent.

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On a more positive note, and as a farewell to Season 2 rosters, I recently reviewed and posted an article from a New Zealand Wargaming Legend on the topic of Hunters, including pro tips about Hunters. Some highlights: always aim for second and dump that momentum on healing, don't give Theron INF, Egret is one of the best ball holders in the game.

They might be the worst, but they're not that bad: http://guildballnz.blogspot.co.nz/2017/04/therons-fading-light.html

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1 hour ago, JS said:

Egret is one of the best ball holders in the game.

Anyone care to explain how?

She's a 4+1 model with 1" melee and no other defensive abilities at all. Stripping the ball off of her is pretty easy.

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@RedSam I can only assume the point was that the pro tips were either sarcastic or accidentally terrible advice.

That said, Egret can use BttS to run away with the ball an extra 4" after stealing it, so she's a better ball holder than say Boiler.

In all fairness, the hunters are a very nuanced team, so it's nearly impossible to give useful tips on how to use them.  Everything depends heavily on the situation.  For example, giving Theron influence the way you'd give Shark or Fillet influence is almost certainly a bad idea, but with 3 influence a Pinned can sometimes neget 4 or more influence of your opponent's.  If you also want to bless and have to pin on the first activation, he needs 4 to also Sunstrike.  Of course, literally any other way of generating momentum is probably better than using Sunstrike, so it you don't have to activate him early it's better to allocate that influence elsewhere.

Initiative is a tricky balancing act, but if you dumb all of your momentum on healing most opponents can dump a lot of momentum clearing snared and still go first.  Sometimes it's better to hold onto momentum to prevent your opponent from spending theirs.  Sometimes it's better cut your losses and heal everyone you can even if that means using Come on Mate.

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33 minutes ago, MechMage said:

@RedSam I can only assume the point was that the pro tips were either sarcastic or accidentally terrible advice.

Initiative is a tricky balancing act, but if you dumb all of your momentum on healing most opponents can dump a lot of momentum clearing snared and still go first.  Sometimes it's better to hold onto momentum to prevent your opponent from spending theirs.  Sometimes it's better cut your losses and heal everyone you can even if that means using Come on Mate.

True, however its far better to have a player alive then not. In addition if you have the last activation, you can dump your momentum freely into as many players as possible.. Hence get the last activation is very important. Like you pointed out, situation based, making the right call at the right time. One can only speak to generics

 

Why do you think it's terrible advice? She could have def 2/0 and still be one of the best ball carriers why? Defensive stats are only important if they can reach you. She is one of the fastest players in the game (in total movement). Walking effectively 11 inches, and still contribute by poisoning someone.

Yes some of the fastest players might be able to reach her, but they have to be pretty close to her to begin with, or be easily in range of some other player to smack them around. Other team members obviously create zones of influence, which create a buffer.

If they make a dedicated push for the ball, sure you can't stop it. But no player can. if they do that , you can always move the ball to another player with that 8 inch kick (say fahad) and then dodge with them or make it difficult for them to do anything with the ball once they have gotten it. But the question is, has one successfully delayed the ball.

Also she has a large kick range, and as the article stated she can fire the ball up the field. So whenever she has the ball, the goal threat is typically a real thing, Even if you have to Bonus time (or not) a pass into combat for instance

 

Remember if you can have the best stats in the game, but if you are out-positioned, it will be for naught.

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14 minutes ago, PaW said:

True, however its far better to have a player alive then not. In addition if you have the last activation, you can dump your momentum freely into as many players as possible.. Hence get the last activation is very important. Like you pointed out, situation based, making the right call at the right time. One can only speak to generics

 

Why do you think it's terrible advice? She could have def 2/0 and still be one of the best ball carriers why? Defensive stats are only important if they can reach you. She is one of the fastest players in the game (in total movement). Walking effectively 11 inches, and still contribute by poisoning someone.

Yes some of the fastest players might be able to reach her, but they have to be pretty close to her to begin with, or be easily in range of some other player to smack them around. Other team members obviously create zones of influence, which create a buffer.

If they make a dedicated push for the ball, sure you can't stop it. But no player can. if they do that , you can always move the ball to another player with that 8 inch kick (say fahad) and then dodge with them or make it difficult for them to do anything with the ball once they have gotten it. But the question is, has one successfully delayed the ball.

Also she has a large kick range, and as the article stated she can fire the ball up the field. So whenever she has the ball, the goal threat is typically a real thing, Even if you have to Bonus time (or not) a pass into combat for instance

 

Remember if you can have the best stats in the game, but if you are out-positioned, it will be for naught.

Yes, if she can run 11" away from the nearest enemy while she has the ball, it will be pretty safe. That 11" is kind of a pipe dream, though. It requires that she:

1) start her activation in melee range of whomever has the ball

2) has at least two INF and successfully tackles the ball and then either chooses damage or a dodge to escape

3) the ball-carrier doesn't counter and take the ball back or knock her down

4) she has 11" to walk that don't lead her directly into other enemies

Many players are better at holding the ball than her, including pretty much anyone with UM. Egret might be better than the average bear at all-holding, but I think it's a pretty big stretch to say that she's one of the best.

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Posted (edited)

Most other ball carriers cannot influence the game in any shape or form. So if you decide not push that ball forward you are wasting some influence. Egret however does not waste those 2 influence (unless of course you miss then sad times). It's all about timing when you when you release the ball for that goal. It's a very important decision.

Sorry, I am confused... I am talking about ball carrying, not ball retrieval. They are 2 different things. Yeah she has average ball retrieval skills, won't dispute that. However her ball carrying are actually some of the best.

11" is just about walk 6, pick some low hanging fruit pref , Fire flurry, and then dodge 5. Just keep Repositioning,

 

Like I said, other players have the ability to create zones for her.

She is very similar to the way Brewers used to try protect the ball (not sure if that is still the case) but surround someone like Friday. Although there is more padding with Egret and less about the 2 Inch zones of crowding.

 

Edited by PaW

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Egret isn't even in the top 50% of ball holders, she has a negligable counter attack (T on 2 w/ TAC 4) and her def 4 makes her vulnerable to lure/drag/rough seas/puppet master(okay, even def 5 is vulnerable to this)/seduce/ bonus time goad so she can't walk 6", only dodge away / etc

compare this to:

Def 6 velocity with T on 1 and close control

def 5 (6 to males) snakeskin with cloned up and an extra TAC

Vitriol with def 5 and clone up, extra TAC, can generate own cover

Greyscales 2" melee UM, extra TAC, can go up to def 6 with decoy for 1 attack. 

oG Brisket with 1" melee UM, tackle on 1, 5/1 to males as default

If egret's only use is as a ball killer who moves pretty far assuming she damages someone, i'd rather have Dirge who has an extra DEF on her and a 10" sprint that ignores terrain than egret. 

 

 

 

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If anything the disagreement here is about the term 'ball holder'.

I think what the author is trying to say is that Egret is an exceptionally good model to hold the ball in the backfield away from your opponent, on account of both contributing through her ranged character plays and Back to the Shadows. If an opponent does commit to getting the ball of her, that plays right into the Hunter gameplan. On top of that, she has a reasonably good KICK stat, which allows her to throw the ball up the pitch to your primary goal scorers (Jaecar and Minx) when the opportunity presents itself. 

TL;DR - she is better played as a defensive back than a striker.

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3 minutes ago, JS said:

If anything the disagreement here is about the term 'ball holder'.

I think what the author is trying to say is that Egret is an exceptionally good model to hold the ball in the backfield away from your opponent, on account of both contributing through her ranged character plays and Back to the Shadows. If an opponent does commit to getting the ball of her, that plays right into the Hunter gameplan. On top of that, she has a reasonably good KICK stat, which allows her to throw the ball up the pitch to your primary goal scorers (Jaecar and Minx) when the opportunity presents itself. 

TL;DR - she is better played as a defensive back than a striker.

what is stopping one of these superior models from sitting back there?

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