Mid Chapter 6 - More thoughts from me

#1DavzzPosted 11/20/2013 12:29:35 AM(edited)
Yes, I know, everyone cares about what a random guy on the internet thinks of SRW OE.

Still slogging through OE because... masochism? I dunno. Lots of WORDS.

Halfway through Chapter 6, I have the impression that this game was extremely unplanned/"let's make it up as we go along", for one thing, it seems like someone suddenly realized that Keroro Gunso exists and thus anti-climatically gave it the final "God Keron" upgrade. And then it goes from "really lame benchwarmer" to one of the strongest units in the game (seriously, its Sub-Pilot spirit command division is like an exercise in min-maxing. I think it has just about every single support Spirit you could ever need amongst others, Bless, Daunt, Cheer, Disturbance and Trust. Add in 2 MAP attacks, an "Open Get" ability and an Attack Leadership Aura, just for kicks.) Too bad it took like 50 hours for one of the most ridiculous power jump I've ever seen in any game. Not even the classic GP01 -> GP03 took so long and leaped so far.

Which kind of reminds me, I remember complaining about forced Patlabor missions early on in OE's life. Looks like it's gone now though and they entirely stopped being relevant, how strange. Instead we get more OYW and... gah, Zoids. It wouldn't be so bad if they focused on the more interesting Zoids units like the GunSnipers (I like them, they're like Heavyarm's dinosaur ancestors) but the Shield/Blade Liger crew are boring to use. And there's so many Zoids missions!

They should probably have named this game Z3 instead (the Z3 stands for Zoids Zoids ZOIDS!)

The "3 main characters vs 3 rivals duel" between Amuro, Heero and Setsuna vs Char, Zech and Mr.Bushido is one of the more interesting missions of the game, too bad there's so little of that and too much filler. Incidentally, Mr.Bushido actually joins in his Susanowo, which I think is a first since I don't remember him being playable in the SRW Z2-2. Too bad it's a melee-centric unit in a system that doesn't really reward it.

The "final chapter boss" missions are actually kind of interestingly designed, although they also have too much HP bloat in them... guess that's better than "boring and also HP bloated" though. But in one of those cases of "whatever, we don't give a poop about pacing any more", Chapter 6 actually BEGINS with one of those with the Devil Gundam boss fight.

Chapter 6 has a boss battle mission with... Gihren Zabi in a battleship. What the heck? Is this a GC holdover thing? The amazing thing is that he had about a 80% hit rate on Eiji/Layzner, one of the best dodgers in OE due to factors like his "Genius" ability. I kind of find it funny because I don't think Gihren was ever renowned for his combat prowess. It's like if Hitler personally took out a fighter plane and sunk a handful of battleships solo.
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#2Davzz(Topic Creator)Posted 11/20/2013 12:26:18 AM
I think OE unit design has won me over on some units which I wasn't particularly impressed with their gameplay portrayal from Z2. Mostly the Votoms units, I think. In Z2 there was a bunch of them and I don't really care about them. Either you don't upgrade them and have to be a damage formula/math savant in order to use Chirico's "try to reduce to 10% HP" gimmick or you favour them with resources so that it crits all the time and doesn't get hit and I'm not particularly a fan of units that just boil down to "has good numbers."

But in OE, the Scopedogs's small size and high movement speed make them the best unit to squeeze through formation cracks and flank enemies, and their weapon property spread has a pretty good variety. Too bad surround bonuses kind of kill them but that's why you have Guard Spam and stacking Armor equipment.

Also interesting: the 2nd Votoms squad, despite having a whooping 5 pilots, has no access to Valor at all. Valor is one of those overcentralizing Spirits that I think it was an interesting decision to deny access to it like that, even if it makes them weaker in the grand scheme of things.

Though one complaint: Votoms solo deployment missions are a pain in the ass. The irony is that the Votoms squad equipped themselves with a wide variety of useful equipment specialized to take down units like Battleships or Flying units or Large bosses... except grunts from their own series! None of them bothered to pack Anti-Ground, what the heck? But for the first time in SRW history since Inspector in the classic SRW timeline, Votoms grunts brought along anti-ground weapons to counter your units.

I think OE/NEO's squad system is basically the best way to handle certain units in a non-squad focused system SRW, especially "multiple similar units with maybe some very small changes in between" like Aestavalis, Scopedogs, billions of grunts from Gundam... No one is going to field Roberto and Apolly in a non-squad based SRW but if they came packaged together with like... I dunno, Reccoa or something for 1 slot, that might actually be a gameplay decision tradeoff instead of "Well, I just want to use Roberto and Apolly because I liked them in the Anime!"

(Just kidding, no one likes Roberto and Apolly.)

One weakness of the setup though, is that there are a couple of squad members that really fall behind because it costs the same to upgrade 1 weaker unit in the squad than it is to upgrade 1 standalone unit. Certain characters like Michael (Macross F) and Karen (008TH MS Team) haven't got any use from me because I just don't have that money without grinding. I think there should be some kind of cross-discount for upgrading members of a squad.

e.g if you upgraded one unit's weapons to 6 bars, then every other unit in the squad gets a 50% discount for upgrading their weapons up to 6 bars.

OE seems really generous with unique pilot abilities. For normal SRW it's basically "Newtype, Newtype Variant, SP Regen or bust" but OE just throws out multiple Leadership-type auras and other special pilot abilities like candy. The Patlabor pilots actually have some seriously good ones that do things like passively reduce enemy's Morale on hit, too bad they're held back by their own units that they have to pilot. Newtype is actually one of those abilities I don't particularly care for in OE.
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#3Davzz(Topic Creator)Posted 11/20/2013 12:28:55 AM(edited)
OE weapon properties is great and needs to be brought over to regular SRW, but I do think they need some tweaks. Here's my thoughts:

Top Tier:
Anti-Terrain
Anti-Size
Defense Pierce (both variants)

Just overly dominating. Like seriously, you field Tallgeese just for the fact that he has a single Anti-Large, Defense Piercing attack! Not sure if they have to be nerfed or other properties brought up to their level, but either way, using them tends to be a no brainer.

Mid:
Escape/Guard Arm - These are the most interesting weapon properties in OE, IMO, because their significance change depending on exactly what kind of weapon they are on. On a cheap, good range weapon it gives the unit a very defensive overall feel which they can drop by taking the chance on using some other stronger weapons, while putting it on "finishers" lets units have a chance to tackle bosses without requiring them to use SP (although you should still use them).


Anti-Battleship - Battleships are generally easy to kill. There are a couple of bosses in them though.

Flame - Flame is the most common elemental property, but it's also the worse since it's basically an inferior Defense Pierce that has to rely on a percent proc! Flame damage is set so it doesn't benefit from multipliers. Most of the enemies in the game tank through HP bloat and the extra Flame damage is just laughable in terms of percentage, but if you do run into something with actual Defense values just use Defense Pierce, which is strangely much more common as far as I can tell.

The big problem with buffing it though is then all the enemies grunts with it would just kill the heck out of your Reals. Unless you create an "enemy version Flame" with a proc chance and "player version Flame" that's stronger, I suppose.

Freeze/Shock/Slow/Stun - I think the biggest problem is how under utilized they are. I can't remember anyone with Slow other than Ryu Dark Knight. Shock? On two units that I don't think make any sense: Gurren Lagann (Simon version only) and... Guncannon? What the heck? I'm certain I'm missing some but yeah, they're just so rare which is amazing considering how many units the game throws as you!

Oh, and same proc chance weakness thing going on and since they're so rare, you can't field enough of them to try to mitigate the luck factor. Stun is the only one which I think deserves to have a proc chance attached to it.

Arc - Basically this is a very map/terrain dependent weapon property, and sadly OE's map design is FE:Awakening level of "not that great" but sometimes you thank the Gods for Arc weapons.
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#4Davzz(Topic Creator)Posted 11/20/2013 12:29:11 AM
Low:
Beam - I appreciate that Beam weaponry actually have inherent advantages instead of screwing you on the rare situations of "water level", but the tiny hit increase chance doesn't matter (you're going to hit 100% on grunts, and on bosses you need to break out the Spirits anyway) and neither does the Critical damage most of the time.

Knockback - Because they can't be Supported, you almost never want to knockback enemies. Even if you knock them into other objects, the extra damage is insignificant due to the HP bloat. It actually seems like a property that works WAY better on the enemy side, because knockback damage ignores your defense, locks out your Support Defense and spamming Guard won't help you against it.

The annoying thing is, many enemies in the game have Knockback, which really reduces the viability of melee player units IMO, and also kills the heck out of your reals due to their set damage. Also I seem to recall it being better in NEO because both units took knockback damage in that game, not just one.

Lock-on: High crit damage is ok. Ignoring Support Defense... um, isn't very relevant on the player side. Enemy would probably love it, but grunts very rarely has it.

Hit and Away: Worthless unless you use Accel beforehand, still iffy after.

V-MAX: Technically this is only used on one unit (Layzner), but most of the unique weapon abilities are actually pretty good such as the level-scaling one on the Exert. V-Max on the other hand is Escape and Guard Arm fused into one ability with much lower numbers.

Ok, I guess there's some usage here because each weapon can only have 2 properties... wait, V-Max doesn't come with another property. And certain units actually have both Escape/GA on the same weapon such as Infinite Justice's finisher which ends up having better numbers. What the heck?
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#5matthewcarter50Posted 11/20/2013 6:17:05 PM
I've been enjoying the game, though it no DOUBT has flaws. I agree with quite a bit of what you're saying. I really like how "fun" the units feel. The balance isn't perfect, but almost every unit has something going for it. I'm actually at the very last level of the game, now.

Some units are far better then I thought they were. Puru is actually quite good - her funnels are strong, and you don't need EVERY unit you deploy to have valor, you can use hers on daunt instead.

Ryu Wizard is also good, because its basically immortal. Paffy can spend all her SP on healing, and all her SUBPILOTS sp on healing, it really makes her feel super unique, which is a really neat feeling that I don't think normal robot wars gets often enough.

The best Patlabor unit is the third one, as her final attack is quite strong and can be used at low morale. But they aren't much help against bosses, really. Their combo attack needed piercing, or more power, to really keep up.

Couple comments on weapon properties, because I like them a lot, too.

Piercing and the Anti's are definitely way too strong. Genobreaker, who you get in Chapter 8, is ridiculously, absurdly overpowered, without a doubt the strongest unit in the game, though I don't mind seeing as how you get him 200 hours in, as his finisher has piercing and anti-large, and he has a subpilot with Guts.

Agree with your comments on the elemental ones. The more basic ones probably shouldn't have proc rates.

Stun also feels way more effective on the enemy side.

Hit & Away's best use is if you want to use it then run back to your battleship. It's not huge but it is occasionally helpful.

I dunno, I've been enjoying the game, It really has some good decisions, and it has some really fun boss fights now and again. It's just that there's a lot inbetween.that is... less good. I've also been playing with equal upgrades on everyone - equal to the latest character that joined, so that I can try everyone equally.

Overall, OE is fun and has some good ideas, but is probably too long for its own good and needed a *bit* more balancing to be perfect.
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#6Davzz(Topic Creator)Posted 11/20/2013 8:51:23 PM
matthewcarter50 posted...
Ryu Wizard is also good, because its basically immortal. Paffy can spend all her SP on healing, and all her SUBPILOTS sp on healing, it really makes her feel super unique, which is a really neat feeling that I don't think normal robot wars gets often enough.

I feel like she sort of falls off at a certain point. A lot of multi-pilot Supers can Iron Wall themselves and also have a sub-pilot with Trust which works out around the same.

Does have Freeze as a niche (is there anyone else with it?) but doesn't seem to help much after a certain point.

The best Patlabor unit is the third one, as her final attack is quite strong and can be used at low morale. But they aren't much help against bosses, really. Their combo attack needed piercing, or more power, to really keep up.

I would say they're more useful against bosses, actually. Unit 1's wire attack is basically an uber version of Freeze with no failure chance, and a small chance of proc-ing a ridiculous enemy Morale drop.

The big problem is actually trying to level them up for that, which is like pulling teeth because their damage numbers are so low, can't use Combo Attacks on counterattack and no MAP attacks.

There was really no point to having their base damage be so bad and I think this is one of those "unplanned" things with unit design. Every other "support" bot, including those with repair and resupply has much higher base damage than the Patlabor units.

I think the Griffon is actually the best unit from the series, which is kind of funny. Good against air units larger than it (which is most of them, since Griffon is small) and has a pretty strong finisher with a unique ability. Not top tier by any means but just one tier below in mid-high.

Stun also feels way more effective on the enemy side.

The funny thing is that I swear the stupid red enemies from Patlabor with stun has NEVER failed to proc on my units. Like, not even a single time. Which is interesting because it makes you want to use evasion-tanks in a game that really favours HP-tanks, but then they don't show up after a certain point...

Hit & Away's best use is if you want to use it then run back to your battleship. It's not huge but it is occasionally helpful.

Yeah, that's basically the only thing I use it for. On the other hand, in the long scheme of things, since H&A almost never shows up on strong weapons, it really doesn't matter in a long run - you deal a bit of damage to a grunt unit, then you're back in the ship, shrug.

Overall, OE is fun and has some good ideas, but is probably too long for its own good and needed a *bit* more balancing to be perfect.

Cutting it to like 5 chapters would probably be the first thing to do if I could time travel.
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#7joekagePosted 11/20/2013 10:02:55 PM
matthewcarter50 posted...
Genobreaker, who you get in Chapter 8, is ridiculously, absurdly overpowered, without a doubt the strongest unit in the game, though I don't mind seeing as how you get him 200 hours in, as his finisher has piercing and anti-large, and he has a subpilot with Guts.


Davzz posted...
I think the Griffon is actually the best unit from the series, which is kind of funny. Good against air units larger than it (which is most of them, since Griffon is small) and has a pretty strong finisher with a unique ability. Not top tier by any means but just one tier below in mid-high.


All are wrong. The best unit is actually the original Exart. It might starts not really good, but later when Seishirou get level up it starts to shine as the most magnificent unit in the game. 3 pilots as good as supers, 2 attacks have -40 defense and the final move get power up by levels ridiculously strong at lv 100+, not to mention it has both breakthrough and MAP weapons. It is just perfect.
#8Davzz(Topic Creator)Posted 11/20/2013 10:23:51 PM
I said "from the series", as in taking units only from Patlabor.

If I was talking top tier amongst every unit in the game, then yes, Exert would have been a candidate.
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#9matthewcarter50Posted 11/20/2013 10:59:47 PM
The Exart is excellent, but the Genobreaker is just unstoppable. It's immortal, and its finisher is twice as strong as everyone elses with equal upgrades (As in, no favoritism)

I just finished the game, against the last boss (Every unit had 6 upgrades in everything)

Exart and Shin Getter would be equal, doing about 28K damage, along with most other "strong" units like Great Ganburager.

Genobreaker would do 60000 damage. With its beam. That requires 120 Morale. It's incredibly useful when you have to fight the RED Mucus in the lategame levels, with no grunts to build up off and they have 60K health each, having guys like him and Tallgeese help a lot.

And he has 10K health! And a good map attack! And a subpilot with an awesome spirit set! He sure puts the Blade Liger to shame.

I didn't deploy Dancougar in that level, but he could probably deal comparable damage. But the only person who could keep pace was Chirico, who did about 55K at 10% health.

But realistically its not THAT great seeing as how late it joins, and the Exart is with you the whole game. So it probably contributes more, overall.

I do agree that the Griffon is strong. And that the Patlabor mechs are tough to keep up. That's why I liked the third mech, as it's best attack easily does 10K, as the Patlabor pilots police ability at high levels multiplies all damage by 1.4 or so, so they kinda keep up even if their numbers are low. Actually, any unit with a good MAP attack can be leveled up easily if you're patient. Start a level, move them up, MAP a squad with double EXP, and retire. It's the fastest way for sure, but guys with no MAP or Piercing can't do it.

I did this to try to keep everyone equally leveled, I was usually two or so levels below the recommended.
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#10joekagePosted 11/20/2013 11:16:06 PM
matthewcarter50 posted...
The Exart is excellent, but the Genobreaker is just unstoppable. It's immortal, and its finisher is twice as strong as everyone elses with equal upgrades (As in, no favoritism)

I just finished the game, against the last boss (Every unit had 6 upgrades in everything)

Exart and Shin Getter would be equal, doing about 28K damage, along with most other "strong" units like Great Ganburager.

Genobreaker would do 60000 damage. With its beam. That requires 120 Morale. It's incredibly useful when you have to fight the RED Mucus in the lategame levels, with no grunts to build up off and they have 60K health each, having guys like him and Tallgeese help a lot.

And he has 10K health! And a good map attack! And a subpilot with an awesome spirit set! He sure puts the Blade Liger to shame.

I didn't deploy Dancougar in that level, but he could probably deal comparable damage. But the only person who could keep pace was Chirico, who did about 55K at 10% health.

But realistically its not THAT great seeing as how late it joins, and the Exart is with you the whole game. So it probably contributes more, overall.


Exart can easily do 22000-26000 damage with its shooting without Valor to grunts and you rate it equal to Shin Getter? No, and its final blade move is FAR stronger than Stoner Sunshine when Seishirou get level up, as I've said. Equip it with a Kero Ball, a +50 morale thing and one High Power Drive which is ridiculous easy to make, cast Valor and it can easily exceed 100000-120000 damage even to bosses. Stoner Sunshine only do around 90000 damage at the same rate.

Dancouga is a solid unit that is almost equal to Exart, but it is only effective when use against bosses like LL size. It is still one of the best Supers but it lost its comparable to Cybuster...