Ideas for countering dode/diamond spam

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posted on July 21st, 2011, 6:42 pm
So after numerous threads about how the balance should be changed, and many long thoughts about how maps should be balanced, I think it's time to pay more attention to how players play the maps.

For a while there, we had very few new maps but lately lots of people are stepping up and creating new ones.  The hardest part of balancing these new maps is figuring out when our test players have actually found a flaw, or if they just don't know how to play the map yet.  You can't fix the problems with the map until people are comfortable playing on it.

As the player base gets more and more skilled, we can study the game balance with a better perspective.  I was recently showed how a Cehlaer rush can be executed properly against Romulans or Borg, even if it's not an option against Feds or Dominion.  Not sure about klingons...

But the most pressing issues right now are with the borg.  I just started doing replays, and in a couple days I'll upload a fantastic game where a small group of diamonds, B8 and small klingon ships defeated an enemy force twice its size with the use of nanites.  They then proceeded to kill a cube with little difficulty.  I think the community is starting to feel like dodes and diamonds are overpowered, when really it's more an issue of not knowing how to deal with them.  So, how DO you deal with them?

The main problem is that dodes are very good against small ships (+70 damage vs small) and have a disable that works against small number of ships, while diamonds are good against large (~150 damage torpedo volleys) and have a disable that works against large numbers of ships.  A combined force of the two can kite and decimate anything that comes at it without insane micromanagement.

But there ARE counters out there that we aren't used to using.  Boggz recently showed us that Neghvar can do the trick if you are able to reach them, as they are immune to the dode disable and deal extra damage to both long range ships.  Players have gotten unused to teching up for specific counters, but against the borg it is finally worth it.  Taqroja klingons have a harder time reaching neghvar, but proper use of veqlaragh could do the trick.  You need to wait until the enemy ship is heading toward you, then decloak and hit it so that one of them will drift toward your fleet while the rest are trying to retreat.  The chargh is simply not a good option with its FTC that takes extra damage.

The Federation can use monsoons sparingly, as they are immune to the dode disable and can tank for your other ships even if they die.  However, in the late game there comes another ability that people need to start looking at: Point Defense.  Combat diamonds and dodes alike deal over 90% of their damage in torps.  So while PD is weaker overall than the old ECM ability, in certain situations it can be used to much greater effect.  Looking back, 2 remores sitting next to that cube would have kept it from dying.

The Dominion have S2, of course.  It seems it's impossible to play as Dominion unless you know how to use S2, as the Escort Cruiser is your sole counter to several situations including dode and diamond spam.  It can be difficult because the small hulls will take extra damage from adapted photons but if you can keep trading ships with the enemy you'll be able to get a few of yours into the repair yard, something the borg cannot do.  In the late game, they have C-17 with the pink beam of death, which is the borg counter of choice.

Romulans have it a bit tough: the rhienn is able to tank dode fire like the monsoon, just not as well.  Cehlaer are an excellent choice if you chose mijurial and can tech up, but that just isn't always the case.  If you can reach it, a Norexan is immune to both the disable and the damage of dode attacks.  Until then you just need to focus on a fleet mentality instead of a raiding mentality.  Generix and Griffins should use their weapon disables at the key moments, leahvals can autorepair the subsystem disables and snipe dodes if you're careful.  No other race has more trouble with nanites than Romulans though.  I think the only answer is to open hard against them: decloak right on top, get a weapon disable, and then focus it down before the weapons come back online.  Basically the same thing we should do in every situation.  :thumbsup:

Recently the Romulans lost both their torp counter and their plasma bolt, which makes this a tough situation.  I expect the devs will have something for us with the 3rd generix refit though.
posted on July 21st, 2011, 6:56 pm
For the feds defiants are great.  40 percent extra damage to long range, combined with the fact that they are fast, so they can run down dodes and diamond.  Add in the weapon disabling and damaging critical shot, and you got a great little counter.
posted on August 25th, 2011, 3:43 am
The problem there ray is Defiants are more end tech, as unless you've got a rom/klin ally they take a while to reach.

But yeah, that wep disable can be a game changer if used right, combine it with point defence, or prehaps point defence and the magic missle of weapon disabling, along with some norways to recharge them.

Actually, the Norway is greatly under rated, get a few of them, group them with the repair ships and keep them out of the fight, and you can get your ships special energy up a lot faster.
posted on August 28th, 2011, 1:36 am
If you are refering to this video...
4 - GBL vs OTS 7-20-2011 Part 5/5
- YouTube

... then i would say that was misscommunication.
The nasty klingon kinda distracted both enemy fleets, while the cube kept going on alone with a single sphere vs 4(!) diamonds and a bunch of big dom ships. At minute 4 you can see the fed standing around for a whole minute while the cube gets killed by a superior force.
4 diamonds are way more expensive than a single cube, and even with the dom vessels helping they needed quite a while to get it down.

And in a few replays you can see, acheron for an example, just split their main fleet, or as Boggz already explained: decloak right on top of them. If the Borg has a lot of micro'ing to do, why shouldn't the player whos chasing?
Still, i think the Diamond should get a slight increase in ressource cost, for their strength they're just too cheap, besides the nodes, but if you reached a high nodes level anyways, you can basically spam em.

Meh, i just don't know...  :D

Tryptic wrote:So after numerous threads about how the balance should be changed, and many long thoughts about how maps should be balanced, I think it's time to pay more attention to how players play the maps...

Agreed. People shouldn't forget that different maps benefit different playstyles.
posted on August 28th, 2011, 3:17 am
Agree on the diamonds, did a FFA the other night, 5 people on an 8player map, and there were FLEETS of diamonds, Dom was the only Cube builder and he got raepd out of the game first.
posted on September 12th, 2011, 9:04 am
Hope to see more balancing on the next patch or release.....Borg early rush seems very strong and fast
posted on September 14th, 2011, 1:32 pm
Diamonds are ok... I mean a cube against a fleet of diamonds? Are we seriously questioning that? How about 1 intrepid against 5 monsoons? If u want to beat diamonds... As soon as you see that the Borg are building them, everyone focus on destroying Borg base so that he can't build anymore. Also get some long ranged ships yourself to shell against the diamonds. Dominion should have immediately S2 spammed. B5 are expensive and limited. I lost a game to this once because my ally's told me to go with them after the Diamonds whe I had insisted to just go kill his base. We owned most of the map, but sure enough, telling me to go closer, my fleet got caught in the nannies cloaked, and I lost 30 ranked up ships. That was against three diamonds. If we had destroyed his base we could have stopped 3 more from building. We eventually lost

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