[Vorp!] An Analysis of the Angel Fire and Why It Needs a Buff.

15 posts

Flag Post

I don’t generally subscribe to the school of thought that stuff is OP, especially in these kinds of games where a good team can trump anyone. I do, however, believe that some things are definitely UP, and the Angel Fire is the biggest example. Let’s take a look at its loadouts. The problem should be apparent soon.

Vorpal Burners is what you expect from a ship that advertises itself as the game’s equivalent of the Pyro. Short range, damage over time…nothing fundamentally wrong with it. There’s one big issue with it, though – its energy cost. Good Lord, does it have an energy cost. It’s on par with the Ant’s Q, except that unlike the Ant’s Q, it has a ridiculous rate of fire at an anemic range. The result is that the person most likely to do the most damage to the Angel Fire is the Angel Fire itself. Given its poor range, it’s also not too hard to miss with it. The damage is low enough that you need to keep a constant stream of fire on the target to do any considerable damage. It all mixes together to result in a main attack that cannot do the damage required to keep the Angel Fire competitive, while quickly killing off the Angel Fire itself.

But surely it has more than one way to do damage, right? Well, no, not really. Ventilate is a pretty neat ability, being a short-cooldown point-blank area of effect (PBAoE) slow. It synergizes great with Vorpal Burners. There’s no issue with this, actually – it’s a cool ability that works great in its intended purpose, to trap and kill enemies. It’s just that with Vorpal Burners being in their current state, it looks bad by extension because its main goal is to amplify Vorpal Burners.

Trail Blazers is a joke, and part of the main problem with the Angel Fire. Setting your afterburner trail on fire does not generally make for a great means of damage in the thick of combat, especially when the Angel Fire’s only recourse is to charge into battle. It’s fundamentally flawed in that it works when you’re going against the Angel Fire’s main purpose as a close-range “sticky” attacker. Worse, it’s a passive. Passives are okay, but they give you less options than other ships. The Angel Fire, cursed with two passives, has no options other than “charge and die” or “run away and die”. The Undolorean does this much better, being an active that gives you a speed boost, does acceptable damage, and has a nice slow, perfect for ramming opponents or retreating. Trail Blazers is the pirated version, doing forgettable damage and requiring you to be boosting to work…which drains energy. Energy that you’ve already eaten up with your Vorpal Burners. Energy that you need to survive the joker that’s tailing you in a zig-zag pattern, avoiding the flames. See the problem yet?

Fiery Death is the single stupidest loadout in the entire game. You may enjoy the explosion causing a mutual kill, but you’re still dead at the end, with the 40 second respawn timer to go with it. If you’re playing at the peak of your abilities, you’re not dying very often, so Fiery Death is wasted. If you’re dying often, you’re screwed, as the other team’s fed and you’re not. If you’re dying even more than that, you don’t even have it maxed, so Fiery Death won’t even score kills. As a passive, it’s also taking up a space for an active that might make the Angel Fire not suicidally limited in options.

So to summarize, we have:

-A main attack that does more damage to the Angel Fire than its enemies
-A neat PBAoE slow that keeps enemies in range of the main attack
-A horrible fire trail that does zero damage in a frontal attack, which is encouraged by the main attack
-An explosion triggered by your death, which means you have failed in playing competently enough to stay alive in a fight

No other way to say it. It’s a bad kit that’s contradictory in its purpose.

So how do we fix it? Let’s take it one ability at a time.

Vorpal Burners can be fixed in one of two ways. You can either increase the damage dealt at higher levels, making the Angel Fire a high-risk, high-reward ship, or decrease the energy cost by either reducing the base number or having the cost applied at fixed intervals instead of being applied with each wave of flames, making the Angel Fire more newbie-friendly and easier to use. Either one would work – it’s a matter of what ENDGames wishes to support in their game.

Ventilate is great. Leave it.

Trail Blazers needs to be changed into something else entirely, or at least get an active. Since the Angel Fire is only going to be good in close-range, why not have it engulf the Angel Fire in flames for a time, dealing damage on collision with anything and increasing the damage dealt by Vorpal Burners for a time? It keeps the spirit of the ability while being overall more useful by allowing the Angel Fire another source of damage that’s easier to use in combat. If the trail of fire is so essential, have it on when the loadout is activated.

Fiery Death needs to go. Any loadout that requires you to die to be useful is inherently flawed and encourages bad gameplay. I would replace it with something that opens up more options in combat for the Angel Fire. A vacuum wave that sucks in enemies is one idea, as is a fireball that detonates at the cursor’s location, spewing flames everywhere. You could have flames that damage the enemy ship’s weapons systems, reducing enemy damage dealt – that would increase the Angel Fire’s survivability and give it more utility in a team. You could take it a step further and have the flames completely shut down the enemy’s loadouts, preventing them from attacking for a few seconds. Anything that gives the Angel Fire another approach in combat would be appreciated.

Is the Angel Fire, in its current state, bad? Yeah. Does it have to be bad? Not really. It’s a cool idea – who doesn’t like fire? – and it can be fixed fairly easily. Any comments, suggestions, or agreements?

 
Flag Post

Angel fire was made to have pure attack loadouts. Don’t complain about fiery death, at least u can kill ur killer and give them the same “40 second fate” as u. There is enough energy to solo 1 person but after that, run to the depot. Trail blazers is great since it somewhat slows ur chaser down since they have to avoid it. It also does decent and much needed damage in a dog fight where everyone is spinning in circles trying to hit each other and avoid at the same time.

Angel fire is good, it’s only problem is the energy cost. It has 3000 energy max upgraded (pretty tank) but burns it all up faster than the iron wolf could. Its regeneration is pretty good though at 61/sec maxed but that’s only if u don’t use AB or vorpal burners.

All that needs to be changed is the energy consumption which should be lowered just slightly.

 
Flag Post

Yeah, I’m agreeing with skull. Reduce the energy cost of vorpal burners. =)

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by TAO_Arecibo:

Yeah, I’m agreeing with skull. Reduce the energy cost of vorpal burners. =)

Been testing that out as well, appears to take 8 (at lvl 3), but seems to take more.

 
Flag Post

Based on metrics for the last 2 weeks:
While the Angel Fire wasn’t free, it averaged a 1.56 KD with 5.7 Kills per match (ranking middle of the pilot roster).
While it has been free, it averaged 0.55 KD with 2.8 Kills per match (ranking bottom of the pilot roster).

As with all ships, clearly players who have bought it tend to have mastered it and play better with it. In Angel Fire’s case, it is definitely not noob friendly due to its usages of energy.

Having said that, I’ve actually got a long wish list of improvements we’d like to make to Angel Fire (and every ship for that matter). We would like to make Firey Death become an activated skill with a small duration that if you die during that time, your respawn is very quick, you don’t grant ATOMs, and you don’t lose a death stat for it. Unfortunately changes like that take tech time which is a very limited commodity with a team of our small size.

I also tend to agree that the energy cost of the Vorpal Burners is a bit high. However, one aspect of them that is usually overlooked is they are one of the highest DPS loadouts in the game. The trick is their damage decreases with distance… but stay right on top of a target and they will melt. The best pilots also use them in almost 2 distinct modes: 1) just a light tap to get DoTs on targets to soften them up at distance, 2) when in close, laying on the fire in precision bursts for highest DPS.

Thanks to all for the thoughtful discussion on this.

 
Flag Post

Having said that, I’ve actually got a long wish list of improvements we’d like to make to Angel Fire (and every ship for that matter).

I just mentioned this in a different post, but seeing you talk about it here I’ll comment on it some more.
Knowing things that your working on, or even thinking about will keep me motivated. I’m not talking about dates, or things you commit to, but just a basic list of stuff that you want to work on. A sticky post that you edit would be good.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by ENDGamesRyan:

Based on metrics for the last 2 weeks:
While the Angel Fire wasn’t free, it averaged a 1.56 KD with 5.7 Kills per match (ranking middle of the pilot roster).
While it has been free, it averaged 0.55 KD with 2.8 Kills per match (ranking bottom of the pilot roster).

As with all ships, clearly players who have bought it tend to have mastered it and play better with it. In Angel Fire’s case, it is definitely not noob friendly due to its usages of energy.

Having said that, I’ve actually got a long wish list of improvements we’d like to make to Angel Fire (and every ship for that matter). We would like to make Firey Death become an activated skill with a small duration that if you die during that time, your respawn is very quick, you don’t grant ATOMs, and you don’t lose a death stat for it. Unfortunately changes like that take tech time which is a very limited commodity with a team of our small size.

I also tend to agree that the energy cost of the Vorpal Burners is a bit high. However, one aspect of them that is usually overlooked is they are one of the highest DPS loadouts in the game. The trick is their damage decreases with distance… but stay right on top of a target and they will melt. The best pilots also use them in almost 2 distinct modes: 1) just a light tap to get DoTs on targets to soften them up at distance, 2) when in close, laying on the fire in precision bursts for highest DPS.

Thanks to all for the thoughtful discussion on this.

The KD is still quite low considering it was made to destroy (having pure weaponry loadouts). Also not great for destroying turrets and often ends with u having only a quarter energy of ur max left which gets u killed easily. I also noticed that the angel fire has no chance in a 1v2 unless they were extremely nooby and had no aim or didn’t even try to kill u. Even after a 1v1 it will leave most angel fire pilots no choice but to run to the depot, look for health packs or find a ss venture or iron wolf to repair before engaging another player.

 
Flag Post

If you make Firey Death like that, I’ll be completely flabbergasted. It’s bad enough as it is, but in that form you’re basically taking away all the impact of a player killing you. It’s the epitome of anti-fun – proper gameplay is to kill the enemy, but if you kill the Angel Fire at JUST THE WRONG TIME (which can be defined as any time you have an ongoing attack, which is pretty much all the time), you’re punished by not getting any compensation for the energy spent and having assisted your foe in fully healing.

I’m serious. Get rid of it. It’s the single worst loadout you have in the game. Explosion-esque stuff works better in Pokemon than in MOBAs. There’s plenty of other things you can add, which are less tech-intensive and more conducive to good gameplay. Try that stuff out and see what happens, but please get rid of Firey Death. There’s no skill behind it, no positive benefit to gameplay, no fairness. It’s just penalizing the other guy for playing properly and killing you.

You might use other examples in different games to defend the inclusion of Firey Death, such as League of Legends and Kog’Maw, Karthus, and Zyra. The difference there is that the impending damage is delayed – Kog’Maw needs four seconds to explode, enough time for canny foes to escape, Karthus can only attack a certain area if his ultimate is down, and Zyra has a very narrow range of attack and only one shot. Firey Death is automatic, instantaneous, and generally unavoidable at the knife-fight ranges most ships engage in. Not like the other examples at all.

All said, I’m glad you’re listening to posts like these. It’s very encouraging to players to see the devs get involved in discussion over balance. Keep working at it, this has a lot of potential.

 
Flag Post

For me the Angel Fire its good, The ship has its own style, but now it is balanced, makes it a double-edged ship, like many others.
About the Firey Death, it’s just a skill somewhat annoying but dangerous, because if it is the only skill with which a noob can kill me to be too close to him, so I would not see as a disadvantage, but as a “payback”.
In these terms we can say that the ship Angel Fire is a “kamikaze” ship….

 
Flag Post

Trail blazers doenst seem bad for me,they could still do damage on upfront enemies when u need more damage than vorpal burners.what i do is i sprint at turets/batteries with vorpal burners which cause dual damage,same goes for Undolorean when you can do future rip drive even at turrets,they will sometimes accidentaly catch the wake damage.then,in case i di with the battery/turret in half health,ill explode and the turret/battery dies.
So preety much its a bit of kamekaze.but sometimes i use it to support a bit of allies then run away…

 
Flag Post

Trail Blazer is fine as-is. It lasts a while and makes it annoying for someone to get in that final kill-shot with minimal effort.
Ventilate is fine. I would appreciate maybe some visual queue that its working.
Fiery death is probably fine. A more obvious graphic to understand the range of the explosion would be appreciated.
Vorpal Burners eat up WAY too much energy to use the ship casually. You need to really dedicate yourself to learning this ship to use it effectively.

The stats show that this is a middle-of-the-road ship. I would argue that a few exceptional players brought this number up because they had already purchased the ship and wanted to get some use out of it.

 
Flag Post

K/D ratios are hardly a perfect way to measure a ship’s effectiveness, especially when more than half of the players in a typical round are unskilled. If a ship gets few kills but is a great team supporter, with healing, damage amplification and torpedos that work wonders in team fights and against structures, it’s hardly a poor ship; on the other hand, if a ship is excellent for killing newbies but can fulfil no other role, it’s useless in top level play and should receive some help.

Even in its sad, nerfed state, the Angel is still one of the best ships for racking up streaks if the enemy team is clueless. New players fire up Vorp for the first time, see this war painted ship rushing towards them, firing a flamethrower and leaving behind a wall of fire, and decide they better get the hell out of there as fast as they can. So they hightail it to the nearest depot, which of course is exactly what the Angel wants them to do. He uses his superior speed and ventilate to close in and melts them at point blank range. The problem is, this will never work if the opponent knows what he’s doing. Any player with a modicum of skill knows how to abuse Angel’s terrible rotation instead of running away from it in a straight line, and will win 1v1 100% of the time unless he starts the fight very low.

Let me go over the loadouts:

Vorpal Burners – can kill enemies fast if they’re stupid enough to hug you, otherwise they can deal more damage to the Angel than to its target. Also has a DoT, which might in theory be used in conjunction with the massive energy regen to win protracted fights. A gimmick at best, because there’s little chance you’ll get to fight an enemy for 20-30 secs without a player from either team intervening, and against opponents of a similar skill level you’ll probably lose anyway. Angel simply doesn’t do enough sustained damage against anyone who knows how to dodge.

Ventilate – a decent loadout. The charge system brought some skill into it, and it’s the only nerf that I wouldn’t revert.

Fiery death – mostly useless as of now. The change Ryan proposed would make it much stronger, but it’d turn Angel into a kamikaze ship instead of the high-risk-high-reward dogfighter it’s supposed to be now. I’d loathe that.

Trail Blazer – the one redeeming grace of Angel in 1v1, it allows you to stop the enemy from circling you endlessly and making paths that he has to follow. If used cleverly, you can force the opponent to choose between getting burnt by the wall of fire or getting burnt by the flamethrower. Of course, it eats a lot of energy, and using it in bursts is out of the question since every activation docks you 50 energy. So you can either use it constantly and burn through your energy, or not use it at all and have your opponent circle you.

So, what can the Angel actually do? Chase newbies and low level enemies? Sure, but Undu or Shino pull that off better. Win the occasional long battle? Chances are it’ll lose; Hirudo is much better at that. Destroy structures? Not at all, it does 50% damage to them. Sure, it can sneak past enemy lines and kill the core pretty fast, so that’s something. Shame the xxfkgjkljgkr thing can do that too, and it’s much better than the Angel at just about everything else.

I’d definitely say it needs a buff, to give it a fighting chance. Either revert the vorpal burner damage to 22/30/38, to actually reward you for closing in (and maybe increase energy cost a little), or make it cost less energy. I’d much prefer the former, it’d encourage a more daring style, but that’s just me.

 
Flag Post

The Fiery Death Ryan proposed would only work if there was a visual clue for the opponent to see, and how long the cool-downs were. You’d want 2 cool-downs, a longer one if you do blow up, and a shorter one if activated and you don’t die.

 
Flag Post

Angel seems terribly underwhelming. Even when I outlevel enemies I just feel like I’m almost doing just as much damage to myself as I am doing to them. I know about the being closer for vorpal burners=more damage but it still feels under powered. The run and dot formula is just broken now with vent damage completely removed. I use to main Angel and after several nerfs, I do better with ships I just pick up. IMO angel could use some serious upgrades… but maybe I’m just a baddie, but I’d like to think otherwise.

Plus it would be really nice if you killed someone with fiery death that you would actually get a kill added to you kill score.

 
Flag Post

Angel isn’t too far gone. Can we just trade fiery death for something more useful?