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Freeplay's core problem

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After playing several matches of Freeplay I've come to the conclusion that I don't really like the mode and that the missions are much more fun.
The main issue with Freeplay - and this is pretty much the core issue of Freeplay that causes all the other issues the game mode has - is that everything is just TOO FAST.

Enemies (re)spawn at a ridiculous rate and your brood development speed and colony growth are pretty much the same as in the missions which very quickly leads to a point where your ants are permanently engaged with nonstop invading and respawning masses of enemies leading to a (necessary) permanent food income which causes the entire game mode to become a self-sustaining perpetuum mobile of warfare that nukes even good gaming PCs.
Also the game mode once again extrapolates how utterly broken the Formica shooters are - enough rapid fire shooters kill absolutely everything before it can even make close combat contact (I posted suggestions on how to fix the shooters in other topics so I won't repeat that here).

I had a expected a much slower gameplay from Freeplay where raising a larva actually takes several minutes (and ideally repeated feeding by the workers) and your food raids need to planed carefully to not end up without a defense when (far less frequent) invaders spawn, also resources (and other creatures) should spawn MUCH slower as well, so there's actually a reason to go on the risky march to a poppy seed plant at the other end of the map and not just harvesting the ones at your front door that keep showering you with seeds (or harvesting the nonstop respawning masses of enemies).

All in all I had expected Freeplay to be a much slower, relaxing game mode where you can watch your ants slowly grow (and ideally doing ant stuff like feeding the larvae or grooming themselves) featuring a much more strategic gameplay with careful planing required for the dangerous surface food raids - not the chaotic performance-nuking perma-war mess it is now.

Shooters on their own I might argue are relatively balanced.  It seems a lot of their overpowered nature comes from the shooters potential to use and boost their own venom damage, which for some reason tends to be extremely overkill compared to the high pressure + crippling abilities. 

I'm beginning to wonder if there's an unseen "armor" value that we aren't aware of, but which a dev might be able to confirm.  If that's the case, then it's actually really weird that venom damage has a higher value than flat physical damage, as venom would then have a fairly significant advantage against heavily armored foes AND high vitality foes, while flat damage should really be bad against heavily armored foes but good against the high vitality foes. 

Wood ant colonies seem weak enough that the issue isn't the spitters themselves.  The only reason that black ants are currently significantly weaker than wood ants is because the game currently provides enemies with primarily anti-melee abilities, while there isn't a single anti-ranged ability besides perhaps lvl 3 mortars, which we're yet to be able to encounter as an enemy.  Black ants will thus, as a rule, be disabled for longer periods of time, and take more damage as a whole against:  M and L tiger beetles, devil's coach horse beetles, and M and L wolf spiders. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 11:57:02 AM by Rayalot72 »
And on the sixth day, God created ant in his own image, and gave them dominion over the earth and all of its creatures.  Amen.

Hmm... never thought of rapid-shooters as a good fighter, especially against heavy enemies. As for free-play, it defiantly needs some work. I would agree with the rapid-spawning creatures. A few times I played, I would raided by two large Bach Tiger Beetles, and would die. It would also be cool to see slower larva development, since the day-night cycle seems slower already.
Ants are beautiful,
but if fooled around with,
can be deadly.

Hmm... never thought of rapid-shooters as a good fighter, especially against heavy enemies. As for free-play, it defiantly needs some work. I would agree with the rapid-spawning creatures. A few times I played, I would raided by two large Bach Tiger Beetles, and would die. It would also be cool to see slower larva development, since the day-night cycle seems slower already.

Their DPS tends to match that of the mortars, and in-fact exceeds it in cases where enemies move around a lot.  If you don't want AoE, rapid-fire are generally much more reliable. 
And on the sixth day, God created ant in his own image, and gave them dominion over the earth and all of its creatures.  Amen.

Shooters on their own I might argue are relatively balanced.  It seems a lot of their overpowered nature comes from the shooters potential to use and boost their own venom damage, which for some reason tends to be extremely overkill compared to the high pressure + crippling abilities.
The shooters are NOT balanced. I played stock F. rufa (no upgrades or feats) and once you have 100+ shooters they just murder everything. Most of the time before it can even make close combat contact.
The fact that shooters are mostly unaffected by stun and disable abilities is just the icing on the cake, their absolutely ridiculous damage combined with their range and their ability to have hunderds of ants that deal damage simultanteously (something close combat ants can't do because they simply cannot bring more than a around two dozen ants into physical contact with the enemy) are the main issue.
But mostly it's the massive instant ranged damage.

I'm beginning to wonder if there's an unseen "armor" value that we aren't aware of, but which a dev might be able to confirm.  If that's the case, then it's actually really weird that venom damage has a higher value than flat physical damage, as venom would then have a fairly significant advantage against heavily armored foes AND high vitality foes, while flat damage should really be bad against heavily armored foes but good against the high vitality foes. 
There IS an unseen armor stats and it just makes shooters even better because aside from having ridiculous hard damage in the first place they also completely ignore that physical armor. You can see that best with the hermit crab in the 2.1 and 2.2 levels.

Wood ant colonies seem weak enough that the issue isn't the spitters themselves.  The only reason that black ants are currently significantly weaker than wood ants is because the game currently provides enemies with primarily anti-melee abilities, while there isn't a single anti-ranged ability besides perhaps lvl 3 mortars, which we're yet to be able to encounter as an enemy.  Black ants will thus, as a rule, be disabled for longer periods of time, and take more damage as a whole against:  M and L tiger beetles, devil's coach horse beetles, and M and L wolf spiders.
Wood ants aren't weak, their shooters are the most overpowered units in the game.
The shooters ignore armor, deal ridiculous amounts of instant damage, can have ten times the number of units dealing actual damage (because they don't need physical contact to the enemy to execute their attacks) AND on top of all that can either have AOE (which just murders enemy ants) or a pretty decent slow which massively helps when dealing with spiders and prevents weaker/slower enemies from ever even getting into close combat range.

Additionally F. rufa soldiers are pretty much useless as everything they can do can be done better by the workers which are cheap as dirt. Even a group of workers stalling the enemy for a second is enough for the shooters to nuke those off the face of their earth. Rapid fire shooters in groups of 30+ don't even need escorts due to their high accuracy and slow debuff.



HOWEVER this has nothing to do with the core issue of Freeplay which is the game simply being to fast and escalating into a perpetual self-sustaining eternal war within less than an hour.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 09:06:36 PM by Serafine »

28 survivors for the black ants. 

80 black ants (lvl 1) vs 50 workers (lvl 1) + 50 rapid-fire (lvl 1)

I'd like to see you make an equal food arrangement where black ants lose. 
And on the sixth day, God created ant in his own image, and gave them dominion over the earth and all of its creatures.  Amen.

I done tests myself, giving both colonies the same worth in food, however I was doing this with 2-1 with soldiers and shooters. Shooters being the 1 amount.
Ants are beautiful,
but if fooled around with,
can be deadly.