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 Post subject: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:27 pm 
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Sentry, as always, is a pretty polarizing character rn. I haven't been playing much these days, but I have a pretty good grasp of where Sentry is right now and in my opinion the following changes will make make him less frustrating to play against without severely nerfing his power.

1. Teleport beacon now has 2s arming time. EDIT: nah
Justification: previously on the forums I've been an advocate of teleburst, but these days Sentry players just build buff beacon and double tap. This is just so contrary to how I think he's meant to be played -- he has the potential for such complex gameplay via strategic beacon placement (he can instantly appear anywhere on the map, ffs), but the best strat rn is just to press a button for instant stats increase. Enough is enough, force players to use tele a little more intelligently. This won't completely cure the issue, but it's a good start. Buff beacon should still be viable

2. Circuits of time, arming time now starts after beacon is placed, not after teleporting to beacon
Justification: This upgrade is pretty bad; this change allows it to be used once again be used for some finishing burst by teleporting *away* from an enemy, without making it proc when double-tapping the tele button.

3. Black holes now decay completely after some time (10 s after charge? needs testing)
Justification: A long time ago I suggested making black hole autofire after some time because (especially in the late game) Sentry can be a terrifying zoning presence just by holding onto a zero-charge black hole ad infinitum. The autofire mechanic is a bit dumb maybe, but I think the principle still remains true: we should force ppl to play more actively and eliminate the perma-BHS

4. Black holes can now be cast instantly once the shield is broken
Justification: All Sentry players everywhere want this change (EDIT: ok, apparently not). Being locked out for two seconds in a teamfight is the * worst, especially when your ostensible job is counter initiation

5. Photon mines: Damage nerfed for stationary mines, buffed for direct hits
Justification: not sure what the numbers should be, but a lot of people have been asking for this for a while. Mines are really really good right now, and it's pretty lame that a Sentry player can just stall out by holding left click and creating an impassable wall of damage with zero effort. Again, buff his active playstyle and reward players for direct hits with mines

6. Drive over skulls: strong nerf or replacement
Justification: still an insane item that is good in every game and every build. Maybe replace it with the common suggestion of extra damage when mines haven't been fired for a while

Now, let the bitter argument begin

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Last edited by Urethra Franklin on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:39 pm 
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1+2 - no, just fix IAM. It's 50% not 33%. Don't make things clunky to use, just make beacons auto disappear after 15s to stop his ridiculous map control with it

3 - yes

4 - no. I know it's buggy and doesn't make sense but it's what's holding sentry back from being a complete god honestly. If you want to fix this, you need to largely reduce the damage conversion rate on shield so he doesn't get full holes so damn easily.

5 - yes, and also buff travel speed so sentry can hit anyone at all running away.

6 - duh

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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Sam! wrote:
If you want to fix this, you need to largely reduce the damage conversion rate on shield so he doesn't get full holes so damn easily.


I feel like the suggested change only really matters against high burst nauts (especially telegraphed burst), and they shouldn't be trying to burst down a Sentry with BHS off cooldown anyway. Maybe we can compensate with a small BHS cooldown nerf.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:17 am 
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Sam! wrote:
just make beacons auto disappear after 15s to stop his ridiculous map control with


if it's going to auto disappear after 15s, can i suggest that it get a lifetime meter like weedlings? otherwise predicting when he has teleburst ready is going to feel semi random.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:03 am 
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Urethra Franklin wrote:
1. Teleport beacon now has 2s arming time.

Strongly disagreed.

This change would prevent any active use of Teleport Beacon for initiating, and would instead encourage passive map control by means of placing beacons on turrets, chokepoints and hide areas. The high-risk, high-reward teleburst playstyle would be killed completely. Without the ability to deal burst damage instantly, Sentry has no reason to hold on to the beacon and use it to contribute to fights.

Additionally, characters like Ix, Deadlift, Froggy and Penny (among quite a few others), who already counter Sentry, will be completely impossible to deal with due to the inability to apply silence to them without them stepping into the beacon by themselves.

While it's understandable that the use of Teleport Beacon as a stimpack is a rather annoying low-risk high-reward mechanic, adding an arming time to the ability itself is not the right approach to fix the issue; the problematic upgrades themselves should be addressed instead.

Interrogation Answering Machine's description is incorrect: the upgrade currently provides a 33% cooldown reduction on Photon Mines, which is equivalent to a ~49.5% fire rate increase. The upgrade is too potent in combination with other AA upgrades and should have its stats fixed to actually provide a 33% attack speed increase.

Additionally, if Photon Mines themselves receive a nerf to their stationary damage, and upgrades like Drive Over Skulls and Camouflage Tent are dealt with, the effects of the temporary attack speed increase will be less overwhelming, as much of their current power comes from the ability to create a "cloud" of discouraging chip damage around Sentry by holding down the left mouse button.

Urethra Franklin wrote:
3. Black holes now decay completely after some time (10 s after charge? needs testing)

Agreed.

Currently, the delay for the gradual damage decay is 10s. Shortening this delay slightly, letting the black hole charge bar decay past the current minimum and removing the black hole when the bar reaches zero seems like a good way to force some actual downtime upon Sentry, encouraging him to fire his black holes rather than sitting back and discouraging enemies from approaching him.

Urethra Franklin wrote:
4. Black holes can now be cast instantly once the shield is broken

Disagreed.

This change would allow a Sentry with BHS off cooldown and sufficient health to successfully retaliate against any lethal damage, essentially granting him a guaranteed "suicide attack" similar to Clunk, and making him even riskier to kill than he is now. BHS should have a consistent delay of 2 seconds from the initial "warning" visual of the shield going up, to the actual black hole being fired.

Urethra Franklin wrote:
5. Photon mines: Damage nerfed for stationary mines, buffed for direct hits
6. Drive over skulls: strong nerf or replacement


Agreed.

Sentry already has two powerful abilities for area denial. He should not be able to surround himself with mines (which deal practically unavoidable damage for enemies trying to approach him when Drive Over Skulls is used), making him hard to approach even with his skills on cooldown.


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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:23 am 
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Ok, Marukyu and Sam have made solid points about why #1 is a bad suggestion, so I happily withdraw it in favor of "Fix IAM." I can also get behind Sam's suggestion to make beacons disappear after 15s (or some other largeish time).

Marukyu wrote:
Additionally, characters like Ix, Deadlift, Froggy and Penny (among quite a few others), who already counter Sentry, will be completely impossible to deal with due to the inability to apply silence to them without them stepping into the beacon by themselves.


This point in particular I'm not sure how I neglected, you're absolutely right.

As for #4, I'm still not convinced. I feel like to take advantage of this, 99% of the time it's going to be either on account of an error on an enemy player's part (say, derpl throwing out a nuke at a sentry with BHS off cooldown) or a good play on the sentry's part, especially now that NVS isn't great and you have to be a lot smarter with your positioning. I'm skeptical that sentry will be a god if this is implemented, as long as the other changes making his zoning presence less overbearing are made. Again, nerf the BHS cooldown if you need to compensate; I'd much rather have BHS not be clunky and frustrating to use in teamfight situations.

Finally, I still think the spirit of #2 is correct. Here's a change that would give CoT a little more utility while still preventing it from applying to double-tap teleburst: start the arming time counter after the beacon is placed, not after teleporting to the beacon. That way, it can be used, as I said before, as burst damage in teleporting *away* from an enemy

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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:45 am 
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I don't care what you do to him as long as it's a huge nerf.
Sick of sentry in every game.

Everytime I decide to abuse him aswell it feels like a free win (as long as the enemy doesn't have two dashers + ix)
Problem is, the char is boring. Spamimg aa and holding bhs all the time is sooooo much fun :shrug:

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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:13 pm 
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Sentrys dont want teleburst for area denial or escape, they only care about the damage it does and will whine to prevent anything from removing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:33 am 
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S_Fits wrote:
Sentrys dont want teleburst for area denial or escape, they only care about the damage it does and will whine to prevent anything from removing it.


thanks for the meaningful contribution to this topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentry suggestions
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:08 am 
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Black Hole's base duration needs to scale with the damage absorbed via the shield, just like the end-damage does

This is one of the top 3 urgent balance issues that needs to be addressed. Once this change has been made, adjust the cooldown of the ability accordingly. Another good idea would be spreading out the damage over the duration by making it a variable DPS-field, rather than having it delayed until the very end in a single burst.

Sentry is in a definitively unbalanced place right now because he utterly destroys anyone without a get-out-of-black-hole-free card (pounce, dash, lunge, etc) and is gimped by anyone with one. The main utility of Black Hole is in its CC, not its damage. That CC is front-loaded at the moment, meaning Sentry is too highly effective in pub games where counter-picking against him is impossible. All he needs is two other teammates with half a brain between them to follow him around and pick up the free kills front-loaded-CC Black Holes make possible.

This objective fact needs to be recognized and rectified posthaste.


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