Praetorian Balance Discussion

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Toroic
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Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Toroic » 27 Aug 2016, 23:37

What is the general consensus on Praetorian? From what I've seen they appear to be underwhelming and less desired than boilers and offensive T3.

What do people who play spitter think about them?
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by YungCuz » 27 Aug 2016, 23:40

I think of them as a pheromone supporter with some combat abilities.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Jay Burns » 27 Aug 2016, 23:56

I think as them as a guard for the queen, not really useful because we have spitters, the only good thing is that it has pheromones, and not many people use those
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Jroinc1 » 27 Aug 2016, 23:57

I prefer spitter, as praes are too slow to be effective. Marines tend to swarm when they attack and show no fear, and a spitter has a decent chance of evading/escaping, while praes tend to be pinned and murdered by the 3-4 man teams, as their extra armor and health isn't enough to make up for the lack of speed.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Biolock » 28 Aug 2016, 00:03

Alright, praes technically have better spit than spitters, but that is so heavily outweighed by the speed of a spitter on an open map like this, that they're almost a stupid decision to make 100% of the time. The best way I could see praes seeing popularity again is to GREATLY improve their armor to increase their deflection rate, as well as increase their health slightly OR give their spit a 0% chance to miss.

Obviously this would have to be tested to see exactly how much the praes should be buffed before they become OP.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Renomaki » 28 Aug 2016, 00:23

I been a prae myself once, and while you are a lot tankier, you are reduced to a support role only.

Spitters are great for guerrilla tactics, striking from the darkness and dashing off with great speed into the night before the marines can find them.. A Prae, on the other hand, can't do that without getting swarmed by kill-hungry marines.

I wouldn't mind beefing up their armor a bit more to make them more tanky and able to hold their own, instead of feeling like short-ranged boilers.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Dailychaos101 » 28 Aug 2016, 02:30

Right now praes just feel like they are useless as other castes can do what it does but better. I think praes would greatly benefit from having another spit type on top of the ones spitters have or just buffed versions of the normal ones. Maybe an AoE slow? Not sure, just an idea.

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Godzillan » 28 Aug 2016, 15:45

Praetorians used to be the shit in the nostromo, but that's because everything was very narrow and I think they had faster spit recharge times, to be fair I haven't played praetorian in forever but I'd agree that at the moment it seems more worth while to upgrade as Spitter than to evolve into a Praetorian as the evolution slot would be better used by say a Boiler or Ravager. Something with a defined role which I think is the problem, praetorians don't have much of a unique role besides sitting next to the queen and giving out plasma, but spitters can already sit next to the queen (and nests) and hivelords fill the plasma tank role so all a praetorian is left with is being a slower spitter with more health and pheromones. Definitely niche, only time they're useful is during defense and invading the Sulaco.

They're not useless or anything, just underwhelming and a bit of a waste of a t3 slot. I like Dailychaos101's idea since that'd allow praetorians to save itself or other slow xenos like drones by slowing down Marines which are chasing it. Could also add a slow after the neurotoxin stun.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Ithalan » 28 Aug 2016, 17:19

As I see it, the Preatorian's greatest foe is the opportunity cost of having one. Sure it's better tougher to kill than a spitter, but at the end of the day it doesn't fill any role that can't be covered by a spitter and a drone together, and any other tier 3 xeno is a vastly better use of the slot because of that.

Even if the praetorian's toughness is buffed, it doesn't change that it doesn't bring anything special to the table.

IE; Maybe if it had a weaker, shorter-range version of the queen's screech, it'd be more popular and also allow the queen stay out of combat at the same time.

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by ParadoxSpace » 29 Aug 2016, 00:17

They need to be better support units. Stronger pheromones, and more defense would be ideal. Something entirely suited to defending the hive, especially the Queen.

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by saronsen » 29 Aug 2016, 03:23

A Hivelord is literally a more dangerous opponent because of his ability to Resin-Frenzy and shove people down at the speed of a fullspeed Ravager.

(S)He can also be useful and build things unlike the Praetorian, which is SO FUCKING SLOW.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Toroic » 29 Aug 2016, 03:33

It sounds like the consensus is that prae are considered underpowered currently and their main weakness is their slow speed and limited utility compared to spitters.

Pheromones are great, but generally hivelord/queen/drone cover that niche.

Faster movespeed would be the simple solution, and an alternative option would be to make them additional utility.

Some ideas (besides increased movespeed)

1) De-nerfed neurotox range
2) Prae are stronger and faster near the queen
3) Heavier armor
4) Prae could be given a healing spit to use on injured hosts and xenos, would give them a unique niche as well.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Ithalan » 29 Aug 2016, 05:17

I like the idea of Praetorians as a healer role, even if it were somewhat limited like only working up to half or even a third of max health. It would allow them to quickly get downed xenos on their feet again, which would be a lot quicker and safer than trying to drag them to safety mid-combat.

It wouldn't make praetorians on their own any more powerful, but it'd make every xeno around appreciate their presence, just like their do for the other t3s

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Reuben Owen » 29 Aug 2016, 11:26

Acid spit buckshot.

The healing spit sounds cool too. They could save hosts that try to kill themselves and they're usually guarding the hosts anyway.

edit: why can't praes just be like boilers where they get longrange and just use damaging spit? I mean they stand up tall, they should be able to see far like boilers, I think that'd be cool since they don't like getting up close anyway
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Jay Burns » 29 Aug 2016, 11:47

I like the idea of a xeno healer role, was going to do a suggestion about having one.

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Clarkeh » 01 Sep 2016, 17:19

If anyone here has played the AVP games you would know from those games a Prae is a vicious semi-fast bullet soaker. CM does not represent these traits right now. I agree prae needs a slight speed buff (slower then queen? really?) a longer range acid spit that actually hits and a buff to its armor so it can get into combat do what it needs to do and have the chance of getting out alive.

Healing spit sounds alright. What about a roar like previously mentioned but it doesnt knock marines down rather freezes them in place (which would address the lack of fear from the marines)

+1 from me on this suggestion.

I want to main Prae but right now i feel like im cucking the other castes taking the T3 spot.

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Warnipple » 01 Sep 2016, 20:57

Prae is definitely the worse T3 out of all them. Haven't played them since the spitter nerf. Hopefully they were unaffected by the nerf because they were already mediocre.

Also the bonuses of Prae is better armour deflection. Only Elite spitters+ get armour deflection. Prae get it from the get-go.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Jroinc1 » 01 Sep 2016, 21:42

Most EVIL thing I can think of? Hallucination spit.
Add a moderate chance (1/4 shots?)to acid spit to have a hallucination effect. If it hits, the target hallucinates that one RANDOM human within his LoS has been replaced by a random tier 1 xeno for... 5-6 seconds?
On one hand, if marines can keep their heads and recognize that Young Drone (548) doesn't normally shoot bullets at xenos and just was their friend, then it'll have no effect.
ON THE OTHER HAND, if it hits a trigger-happy marine, that's one other marine out of the fight guaranteed.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by ParadoxalObserver » 06 Sep 2016, 11:22

Praetorian is more of a defensive unit. Try playing them when you have a forward hive and marines try to push against it. An example would be the river hives. Stay in the dark, spit at marines, if you're Elite you'll instantly crit them with your acid. Marines will tend to be too focused with several Xenos to notice you, and even if they do the water will slow them down, and since they're in a pushed position they'll tend to try and run when instantly critted instead of trying to chase anyway.

So the Praetorian is really circumstantial, but can be insane if used properly. If, in these situations, if it's left unchecked it can very easily wipe out an entire squad.

Another way I've found it to be useful is in flanking harassment on marine defensive positions. Just spit acid at them from the dark, and although you're slow and your range is just your screen, the marine barricades tend to block them from immediately chasing along with someone already being critted that they need to tend to. Rinse and repeat, and if you have backup like a hunter or two or a ravager? Then good luck to the marines that TRY to chase you. As the crit globs fly at them and after weakened and in range they're pounced/charged from the dark.

After Crusher, Prae is definitely my favorite T3. v.v

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Casany » 06 Sep 2016, 18:35

ParadoxalObserver wrote:Praetorian is more of a defensive unit. Try playing them when you have a forward hive and marines try to push against it. An example would be the river hives. Stay in the dark, spit at marines, if you're Elite you'll instantly crit them with your acid. Marines will tend to be too focused with several Xenos to notice you, and even if they do the water will slow them down, and since they're in a pushed position they'll tend to try and run when instantly critted instead of trying to chase anyway.

So the Praetorian is really circumstantial, but can be insane if used properly. If, in these situations, if it's left unchecked it can very easily wipe out an entire squad.

Another way I've found it to be useful is in flanking harassment on marine defensive positions. Just spit acid at them from the dark, and although you're slow and your range is just your screen, the marine barricades tend to block them from immediately chasing along with someone already being critted that they need to tend to. Rinse and repeat, and if you have backup like a hunter or two or a ravager? Then good luck to the marines that TRY to chase you. As the crit globs fly at them and after weakened and in range they're pounced/charged from the dark.

After Crusher, Prae is definitely my favorite T3. v.v
The only problem is that spitters can do the EXACT same thing but are much more agile. Yes an ELITE prea can instantly CRIT but most never reach elite
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Toroic » 06 Sep 2016, 18:48

To reach elite prae, you basically need to have evolved immediately at roundstart and be 2 hours into the round.

Xenos rarely get more than 1-2 elite T3
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by ParadoxalObserver » 06 Sep 2016, 22:43

Casany wrote: The only problem is that spitters can do the EXACT same thing but are much more agile. Yes an ELITE prea can instantly CRIT but most never reach elite
Except the Prae's glob damage is far higher. I've withstood 3-4 acid globs from an elite spitter before going down. Maybe even five. Fact is, after that first glob that marine is going to run for the hills. You're not getting that second shot. The Prae has an easier time actually picking off marines since he has far higher damage.
Toroic wrote:To reach elite prae, you basically need to have evolved immediately at roundstart and be 2 hours into the round.

Xenos rarely get more than 1-2 elite T3
You could make that point with any T3...?

Ravager is squishy as young - needs buffs.
Crusher doesn't deflect every shot at young - needs buffs

It's only when a T3 reaches mature that it becomes a true threat and at elite it is a mean bastard. At mature prae is instantly redding you, meaning that if you're not at full HP you'll likely go into crit and if you don't immediately limp away that second shot will have you down. And as discussed, at Elite you only need one single glob. And I wouldn't be surprised if at ancient it instantly killed you. No different than, for example, a ravager's charge which at Elite can instantly crit you but before that simply does high damage. Not to mention that Prae has better armor than Ravager so it has that going for it.

I think the issue is people just don't like playing defensively. It's clear by how commonly runners get killed running off who knows where and on the marine side it's the same. People don't like playing defensively but that's what Prae does best. So I don't think Prae is as weak as everyone claims, it might be slightly weaker, but the main issue, I feel, is people just play Praetorian incorrectly. And the complaint isn't actually; "Prae is horrible" but instead "Why can't I play Praetorian like the Ravager, Crusher, and any other offensive alium and just run around killing people?" But be not tricked, when the marines are on the offensive, a good prae is terrifying.

EDIT: Another fair thing to remember is, if on the defensive, the Prae will likely have weeds so having some guard pheromones to increase survivability for him and allies isn't out of the question and can be hugely helpful.

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Toroic » 06 Sep 2016, 23:08

ParadoxalObserver wrote: Except the Prae's glob damage is far higher. I've withstood 3-4 acid globs from an elite spitter before going down. Maybe even five. Fact is, after that first glob that marine is going to run for the hills. You're not getting that second shot. The Prae has an easier time actually picking off marines since he has far higher damage.
You could make that point with any T3...?

Ravager is squishy as young - needs buffs.
Crusher doesn't deflect every shot at young - needs buffs

It's only when a T3 reaches mature that it becomes a true threat and at elite it is a mean bastard. At mature prae is instantly redding you, meaning that if you're not at full HP you'll likely go into crit and if you don't immediately limp away that second shot will have you down. And as discussed, at Elite you only need one single glob. And I wouldn't be surprised if at ancient it instantly killed you. No different than, for example, a ravager's charge which at Elite can instantly crit you but before that simply does high damage. Not to mention that Prae has better armor than Ravager so it has that going for it.

I think the issue is people just don't like playing defensively. It's clear by how commonly runners get killed running off who knows where and on the marine side it's the same. People don't like playing defensively but that's what Prae does best. So I don't think Prae is as weak as everyone claims, it might be slightly weaker, but the main issue, I feel, is people just play Praetorian incorrectly. And the complaint isn't actually; "Prae is horrible" but instead "Why can't I play Praetorian like the Ravager, Crusher, and any other offensive alium and just run around killing people?" But be not tricked, when the marines are on the offensive, a good prae is terrifying.

EDIT: Another fair thing to remember is, if on the defensive, the Prae will likely have weeds so having some guard pheromones to increase survivability for him and allies isn't out of the question and can be hugely helpful.
I'd like to see a more effective prae playstyle in action, because what I typically see is 0 pheromones, overextending, and dying.
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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by GarlicBread » 07 Sep 2016, 03:07

I really want to like a prae but as previously stated it doesn't quite have the utility of the other T3s, consider;

Boiler with bombardment for breaking marine shells

Rav with monstrous offensive abilities that pounce and shred marines in melee

Crusher that is a mobile ballistic shield with an AOE stun

The prae itself is a slow defensive/support unit, slight health increase over the spitter and slightly buffed acid so perhaps for picking off marines with crusher/meatshield support

Tbh I'd be okay with the slow movement capabilities if the armor and health received a bigger boost and it could probably serve a pseudo sniper role.

Plus I'd like to see maybe a 'blinding' spit (drops a marines sight to one tile for 5-10 seconds does no other damage, recharge delay) as maybe a secondary ability to help the lumbering thing escape and support attacks, defends by neutralising possible specialists

But I'm just rambling

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Re: Praetorian Balance Discussion

Post by Renomaki » 07 Sep 2016, 11:37

If I read correctly on a wiki, Praes are supposed to be the queen's royal guard.

Considering how many queens have been getting killed lately, maybe making a habit of acting the role you are chosen and BEING that bodyguard for the queen, keeping to her side and watching her every second of the match is what Praes are made for.

After all, they are too slow to go on the offensive, but too big and slow to be stealthy, but they gotta be good for something, and since the queen is often vulnerable when alone, might as well keep her company and support her when the other xenos are busy doing their own thing.

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