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Problems of agent class in current state of game - Pandorium Survivor

Problems of agent class in current state of game

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IgRA
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Problems of agent class in current state of game

Post#1 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:51 am

Agent class was created in times I missed, when there were more room for solo plays in game. Agent meant to use different devices to avoid open combat, fighting less and collecting supplies more. But currently you can't just avoid fighting, and agent has many problems.
1) -large zombie population
In current game state zombies fill every narrow hall and room in 2-3 minutes. Agent can't just bypass them. Cliff climbing spots are usually dead zones for agents. Scout has surv missile and drones for checking, agent can only find other way if he knows about the danger. That's why agent needs to have reliable anti-infantry weapon.

2) Agent has weapon setup what can't really be medium and allow completing of most of his tasks. Every choice has weak spot, and it would be not an issue for most classes, but agent can only rely on himself.

Raid shotgun is pretty good for escorting classes. It's medium weight and chance to hit 3-6 enemies are useful. But solo class can't rely on random chances, he has no ally to shoot few times, and every enemy in melee range is deadly. It's not worst weapon for class, just not suited for him.

Uzi - pretty much must-have in case that you are not solo currently. Very cost unefficent, misses sometimes, but has big enough clip size to kill zombie groups. You know what you will be the first in list of supply spender when you pick it, but you will have some chances in fight against zombie groups what you can't avoid.

Silencer pistol - was good before, now can't really be a good choice in the world of hordes.

Personal pistol was a great weapon, it is not bad even now, but what use it has currently? It does similiar thing to machine gun, it's not bad vs everything, leaving other slot for utility weapon, but agent has no such weapon. If it was in primary slot, swapped with silencer, it would be understandable.

Combat pistol got buffed and fits agent not badly, weight could be lower imo for better kiting.

Hunting rifle makes you too slow, and is not good enough against special enemies to explain this choice. You need to be assisted to use this weapon's potential fully. With this weapon we are getting into next class problem.

3)Special enemies

They are just random deaths for agent. You can be great player, kite well and use 100% of Distraction ability, but if you face Webber alone, you die. Slowly with heavy armor, very soon with light. Titans in good positions make agents very poor, => same for their team. Mothers and Watchers are both agent pain bringers. To kill Watcher you need like 3 clips of HR ammo, or 5 of combat pistol's, and you need to kill constantly spawned zombies too. I won't even tell anything about Creepers, they just detect you from a far and you can't escape.

Last, but probably biggest problem, what can be only fixed with real rework of class:
4)Passive and main idea of class

Agent will always be hard to balance out in version he is currently. Reason for that is that game is getting balanced around teamplay, and agent is worst class in this aspect. You can't rely on ally, because you lose your bonus of loneless. Literally every other class encourages teamwork, and only as agent player your ability to cooperate isn't a sign of skill.

There are some ideas for rework:

Agent as Monster Hunter

Difference is that agent would collect supplies not just in regular way, but also when killing or assisting in killing special enemies, 8-10 supplies per enemy. What would it change:
Passive, what would also give Agent some buff when fighting against special enemies.
Weapons set would change
Distraction ability would get change to be more reliable, probably range and effect strength buff.
He would have ability working similiar to oxy mask to give temporary sneaking effects.
An ability to set up bio-detection traps, what work only against special enemies. They would deal high damage in area and root the enemy for few minutes, based on his strength, giving a signal to player. Another job to place few of those around core.
Supply detector would detect special enemies too, but only as spots and only in front of agent at some range.
Agent would get a side role. He would be able to have an escorter too.

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Re: Problems of agent class in current state of game

Post#2 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:59 pm

I really agree that playing agent is quite hard right now, and as Igra said, I think it mostly comes from the incredible amount of standard zombies around. It is true we can't really avoid fighting, most of the time we're continuously shooting zombies and reloading in order to run forward.

When I think of it, something seems a bit weird with enemies : when you're in stealth mode and that suddenly a zombie or any enemy detects you, it's not only this zombie that will attack you but all the enemies around. Considering that zombies walk, diverge a bit on their own, and face different direction, it's clearly impossible to pass trough a bunch of zombies without being noticed.
It's a bit like enemies have a team consciousness.
It would be more practical if only the one zombie who saw you starts running after you and not all his friends. That way agent would simply have to eliminate that enemy to keep going forward, instead of hit-and-running backward to kill 20 zombies, loosing time and distance. This would only work for Agent of course. Since he is supposed to be dead silent I think it would be pretty cool like that.
Probably rare enemies like Webbers would still cause the group reaction we currently have.

Igra suggests to buff Distraction and I also agree with that. It's rarely useful. The effect isn't large/long enough, even if you can distract a bunch of enemies and bypass them you're likely to run into other zombies right after that. Those zombies may see you and call their little friends you just distracted behind. And you end up in a big trouble.
Also using distraction when enemies are already chasing you doesn't have any effect; it could be great to allow agent to escape faster when enemies are after him.

The idea of an active ability to activate a perfect cloak making agent undetectable for a few seconds is also interesting.

Well in one sentence, it's really hard to feel safe when you haven't backup your road by killing enemies and just tried to dodge through them.


Now I don't think there is anything particularly bad with Agent's weapons. I usually run with both Silent and Personal Pistols + Knife and it's pretty effective (and fast) as long as I don't face large enemies.
I don't know if I really like the idea of making Agent more capable of tracking and killing rare enemies, mostly because imo Scout is better for that.
But on the other hand it could be great, as it gives agent some secondary role, enhancing his gameplay which would be a good thing.
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Post#3 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:13 pm

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Re: Problems of agent class in current state of game

Post#4 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:02 am

So once again the all mighty solution to all our problems is claimed to be "more backpack"...

What you say is that Agent is weak, and to solve that you suggest to make him even weaker... Great logic.
You're not really playing Agent yourself, so for the love of Pandorium stop pushing everyone to take Backpack, especially when you're not able to measure the kind of impact it has.

The more non-Agent players will collect supplies the less Agent will be able to get supplies. That means more inequalities. You don't know where the Agent is when you collect supplies, maybe he was about to come to where you are and in that case you're just eating supplies under his nose and make him ineffective.

If you ever play on KR server you will see they make a big deal that Agents and ONLY Agents are the ones collecting supplies. There is a reason for that, it's not hard to understand.
Play agent and see how it feels when anywhere you go someone eats your supplies.
When the only solution left for you is to risk into highly infested areas because there is no supplies left where other players are.
When you die too much and then you're called bad. It's nothing more than a vicious circle...

Agent is a dedicated class to supplies. Detection, gathering and sharing ; 3 things. Backpack doesn't help you detecting supplies, and it doesn't help you at sharing them equally with the entire team. Agent is much stronger for that and no backpack will ever get any close to this potential.

Furthermore isn't it a bit sad to waste your equipment just to get more money when this task is dedicated to a specific class ? You're like totally wiping the other equipments with this strategy. Oxygen Mask, Welder, Hacking, Motion Scanner..?
What if instead of collecting more supplies for your own use you actually try to use LESS supplies ? And gain the ability to repair filters and reload turrets for free ? Making roaming engie stronger at the same time ? That's what Toolkit does.

And finally why, why do you need 100 supplies in your pocket ?

Now if someone has some serious arguments for taking backpack, and can show me it is more than a selfish way of thinking and a lack of faith towards Agent players, I will be glad to hear.
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Re: Problems of agent class in current state of game

Post#5 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:08 am

I actually got on reason why gunner can take backpack:
Since half of the time gunner is with seomone else in a team, he is "one of those guys" the Agent has not to care about to much. If the gunner is with someone in the team, that's usually -2 people for the Agent to take care. The Agent can be the main source for supplies for someone, but also a secondary "emergency" source of supplies.

What effect is there when everyone is almost full and the agent is full as well?
The answer: The Agent did a good job and can stay on stand-by until someone uses supply again. That time can be used to simply sit at mc or whatever and give the boxes time again to refill themselves. Making even more supplies possible then the Agent can throw around.

Oh, and about the "why would you need 100 supply"?
Well, you sometimes feed as gunner not only yourself but your teammate as well. And sometimes a Agent simply has a bad game or box-spawning or ...whatever the reason could be...

I still say agent is weak. He, as class bonus, should get something like an additional +5/10/15 supplies depending on what supply he took ---> Small supply give additional +5, the medium supply drops give +10 and the boxes give +15.
Small supplies do 5, medium give 20, agent's box does 30 and a map-box does 40.
With backpack, you add 10 to every number.
With his new class bonus, you add additional +5 for small supplies, +10 for medium and +15 for both boxes.
Which results in: Small = 20 supply, Medium = 40 supply, Agent's Storage Box = 55 supply, Map-Box = 65 supply.

Now I know that's alot and looks very OP, alright! But it makes the class superior compared to anyone else in collecting supplies. And if the Agent can collect so much more than anyone else, you also "slowly" lose the reason for a gunner to take bp instead of something else.

The agent neither can help you alot in battle nor can he escape when being attacked by a webber or horde, so he should be superior than others in at least something...


p.s. And I know Evo... Sorry for using 300 words...
I remember back in 2015 when the Agent was op... Rest in supplies, my friend.

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Post#6 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:27 pm

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Post#7 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:26 pm

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Re: Problems of agent class in current state of game

Post#8 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:11 am

Builds with which we try to fix things, what are't doing well when playing as we used to are interesting part of the game. I personally try to think of all the combinations whenever I chose equipment, during lobby gathering I think about strategy and what I am going to do in my free time.

Supplies are important, but there are not many things in Pandorium what aren't, and each one affects others. We already have many equipment types to take some of work of other classes. Not all are balanced to be efficient choice yet, we should report more often. I think backpack is a bit more worthy choice than most of others rn, but we take it too often, usually when I pick it i have permament 110-120, and everyone around have full too, but agents keep dieing. We could save many of them by placing enforcer turrets, hacking cameras, welding vents. and they would do their job better. It s ok to have 3-4 of BP in this update i think. I mean what we all want to be useful in game, and Backpack increases your ability to support others with money, but at cost of usefullness of agent. Toolkit or Welder are not so useful directly, but you don't make other classes worse with active usage of them. Preventing fighting allows to keep more money, it sometimes a question who has more efficient supply usage at the end.

Im still with my topic, agent is bad at combat, but using backpack on half of team is costy solution. Even if every other feeder uses his equipment well, when playing agent you just need to walk not that far and pick less supply to feed less players, when you can't stay alive and do all what you can in same time this isn't problem completely solved. What we need now is more testing, more looking for new effective setups.

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Re: Problems of agent class in current state of game

Post#9 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:07 pm

you guys throwing politics in lobby and now in forum again? really sick of all this. i might as well take a long break again if this keep continuing.

i simply prefer to be with the company from Toy Story rather than Avengers

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StelarSiX
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Re: Problems of agent class in current state of game

Post#10 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:02 pm

The reason I don't talk about that in SC2 chat is that it is usually a big mess, and there is little chance that I can make ppl understand what I mean.
Talking of that I wonder sometimes if I'll ever be able to make things clear out of my head.

In short, I'm just saying that it is not a good idea to go with "all gunner backpack" because that means half the players (or more) will have the same equipments. And that equipment weakens Agent for the reason I explained above.
I don't have a problem with Backpack itself, I have a problem with too many players using Backpack.
I also have a problem with players taking any supplies they find when Agent is alive and operating. It used to be something we mind on Europe.


Now I won't respond to your entire post Evo because you're pulling in way too many things and you do not seem to really argue about what I've said nor to understand it.
You're calling me pathetic but that's also sad you always act so proudly and never try to take a look at what other ppl do. Koreans are great and I think it's interesting to see how they play the game. If you want to be Mr.PandoriumStrategy EU that's fine but don't call others pathetic when we are just curious about what players from others region do...

And also stop being an excessively self-satisfied steamroller thinking you're the only one "making the meta". The meta is about everyone working together and sharing ideas, not having a single guru telling the others what to do.
I don't see how you can claim being the one who "invented" such things as using sniper against invaders, this is just good sense and many players can figure this out on their own.
Furthermore I doubt anyone beside you cares about "X created Y technic" or "X was the first to do blablabla".

I'm not saying you're not doing anything, you did and still do a lot of thinking about the game (which is great) but sometimes you're making something to big out of it.

---

Now back to the Agent, if I'm reading this thread correctly everyone agrees agent is weak in combat, or at least weaker than before. For me it is a consequence of Agent being slower than before and the fact the standard zombie population has been increased.
I see 3 things we could try :


1)We play without Agent but with many backpack players (70%?), everyone collects and share supplies. Ping when you need.

2)We still play with 1 Agent, but he won't feed a lot. He just deploys Supply boxes everywhere and everyone is allowed to collect them. Still many backpack players.
When Agent has made enough Supply Cache, we'll have to find him another role (gathering survivors with Communicator ? Repairing Mechas and Tank with Toolkit ?)

3)We strongly rely on Agent and no one else should be collecting supplies. Unless Agent died or if you're really starving. We let Agent place his Cache in safer areas and manage them. Basically, no one should mind supplies, only Agents.
Depending on how many players / Agents we have we may still use 1 or 2 backpack players, to reduce the amount of players Agent has to feed. Those players can collect supplies (mostly small pickups if possible).


For now playing Agent as we were used to with that many backpack players is not something I wish.

What we are attempting right now sounds like 1) and 3) at the same time.
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