Heavy Cruiser Patch Possibilites

As it is, the Heavy Cruiser (HC) is relatively weak compared to the HW2 BCs…not exactly news! Keeping the asymmetry game concept in mind, what should be done to enhance the HC?

Giving it health/speed upgrades or more firepower = just another step towards making it identical to the BC. Instead, what could be done to keep it distinct from the HW2 factions?

Ideas:

  1. We could make it more maneuverable = faster speed + cheaper hyperspace…

  2. We could give it inherent abilities = the HC would come stock with a Hyperspace Inhibitor or maybe a Defense Field function or a Fire Control Tower (all without needing modules)…I personally kinda like the Defense Field option!

What do you guys think?

It seems to that the HC should be tankier while BCs are faster. Of course it’s worse in both was as it currently is.

Could give HCs a different active ability that’s different for each race, though I have no clue what that’d be.

Well both the BC and HC have identical roles, it’s rather difficult to make them branch out given the current superiority required of a battlecruiser, but here goes.

First lets go over what exactly IS unique for the BC/HC:

Hiig BC positive:
360 turret coverage, OP as ■■■■. I’m not positive but I think the Hiigaran BC has good accuracy also.
No vulnerabilities other than being minced in a frontal assault by Vaygr BC.
Targetable subsystems consist of 2 Ion turrets and engine. (disabling the engine is not particularly effective due to turret coverage)
2 Hardpoints for cloak/hyperspace/inhib/firecontrol.
Functions as a carrier for repairs.
Beams are pretty +++

Hiig BC negatives:
Damage can be split and isn’t instant.

Vaygr BC positives:
Frontal only with light missile batteries (no idea on coverage, but its at least 270 degrees), highest damage.
Fast regeneration (probably non-effective).
2 Hardpoints for cloak/hyperspace/inhib/firecontrol.
Functions as a carrier for repairs.

Vaygr BC negatives:
Fairly weak to any form of mobile and surprise tactical efforts.
Targetable subsystems consist of the missile battery and engine. Simply hitting the engines will turn this into a wreck fairly quickly.

The other two BC seem to be completely identical.
Solid 180 degree frontal arcs.
They’re 400 RU cheaper and build 20 seconds quicker (except I don’t think said races get build speed research).
They have 40,000 less health. (Hiig/vgr having 200k).
Weapon wise I have no idea how these guys stack up, but I have seen them kill other BCs- though always die doing it.
They also seem to have ~20% more side and rear armor, but not sporting any additional frontal armor. (would have to be 30%+ more to even matter I suspect)
They seem to be considerably faster and have a built-in hyperspace module.
Targetable only through engines (though makes them much less interesting to fight).

Negatives?
They have no hyperspace inhibitor, the ability to cloak, or to use fire control.
No upgrades put them at a severe late-game disadvantage, their speed is matched and have 120k less health?

So essentially:
Hiig BC have total fleet domination with few weakpoints. Designed to obliterate fleets of mixed craft and any BC that isn’t prepared for it, they’re capable of being SOLO.
Vaygr BC are focused in the anti-capital damage role and is fairly easy to route so long as you’re not infront of it. This thing is all about the trinity cannon anti-bc role.
Kushan/Taiidan HC have little unique qualities, not even serving as a carrier and thus the topic.

There’s a variety of effects you could use to make these unique, most of which probably don’t fit with HW technology but are just ideas:
Kushan drone BC, which churns out a constant drone armada, or a larger satellite system similar to ion cannon frigates that are unable to move from the BC. I would weaken the main cannon in favor of its satellites to give more strategy to defeating it. Perhaps giving the base BC more armor than every other BC so that just attacking the vessel itself is a suboptimal strategy for defeating it. This would enable the BC to defeat other BCs in ideal circumstances, perhaps even the Vaygr BC if it lacked support to destroy satellites before taking too much damage.

Taiidan defense shield BC, as paradoxnrt explained. This one would protect smaller fleet vessels, either a flat damage reduction or a recharging shield (preferably always activated and disabled by damage). It could possibly only reduce frontal damage that passes through the shield. (hear the developers cry)
At risk of overpowering it, perhaps it could have an EMP shockwave that hits things venturing inside its shield, or have the ability to do ranged EMP strikes (a damageable subsys). Obviously the BC would have to have inferior armor and HP.

Basically:
The Kushan BC would be capable of engaging multiple frigates and jostling with the Hiigaran BC, so long as the satellites/drones are not destroyed. This makes it ideal in larger fleet battles where the satellites can’t be easily removed.
The Taiidan BC would be a hit-and-run hyperspace fleet BC, or protector of frigates and such in fleet engagements. A Skirmish BC that would ideally take a small contingent of frigates with it.
Neither would function as a carrier, mostly because it would require model editing and the Taiidan BC would probably be very OP.

I’d like to see both BC receiving module support also and stripped of their instant hyperspace abilities, perhaps it’s too thematically out there but BC are already too fast to deploy.

Sky is the limit here guys, let’s hear some abilities for these HC!

  • Infection beam 8D

Seriously though, if we are going to break from some of the HW1 “purity” by considering the possibility of upgrades, it would not hurt to have a quick glance at the examples that Homeworld: Cataclysm introduced:

  • Advanced Destroyer Drive (increased capital ship speeds)
  • Energy Cannon (mass drivers are upgraded to energy projectiles which deal more damage and are more accurate)
  • Armor Level 1/2/3 (increased HP)

Just give them higher unitcaps. @innociv HC should not be tankier, it’s tiny in comparison with BC.

The problem with these cata upgrades is that they don’t really give the HC something unique, though I do agree with looking at cataclysm for ideas (sadly I’ve never played it!).
I mean it’d still be an improvement over the current HC (anything would be), we could have a fast HC and a DPS HC but I dunno; it doesn’t feel very asymmetric or provide interesting gameplay.
These HC really are just sluggers and have absolutely no identity, that might work for HW1’s symmetrical combat but it falls a bit short in HW2. If one of the BC was at least a missile HC it’d wouldn’t be so bad for variety.

Once the HC stats are bought up to par, both of them are basically going to be a crappy version of the Hiigaran BC. Or they’ll be expensive destroyers (if we go for numerical advantage instead of equal stats).
Right now I’d settle for stats but it’d be nice if they could be expanded on somehow, particularly keeping in line with the asymmetrical combat theme of HW2.

Just add 1-3 drone frigs’ worth of drones to the Kushan HC, maybe without a timer/have it bee on permanent? This will give it decent anti SC ability. No idea how easy this would be to do. Can a mod currently do something like this?

I think incorporating a single DFF worth of shields into the Taiidan HC would be cool too but could be a bit OP. Same activated time and recharge to start with and change it from there if necessary. Another option is to add 5 or so defense fighters worth of anti missile lasers to it. It’d make the Taiidan a bit stronger against Vaygr but would help somewhat against missile destroyers and hig torp frigs and destroyer torps without giving it an invul field.

Could give HCs a different active ability that’s different for each race, though I have no clue what that’d be.

Perhaps an active “tank” mode. It’d give the hc a visible sphere around the hull (like hw2 def. field frigs), and pull all projectiles (non-laser) which travel through the sphere into the hc itself. It could gain x% damage resistance during the effect.
It’d be perfect to hide frigates behind.

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I could see handing it a special attack performed with its mass driver cannons - sort of situational special ammunition that wouldn’t be too gimmicky and could add versatility. A flak burst similar to the Heavy Corvettes’ could take out smaller ships in an AoE effect, but wouldn’t help with other BCs. A variant of the EMP burst, maybe? Temporary stun against a target or AoE?

Expanding on this, maybe a 5/10/20/whatever second ‘use flack ammo’ so rather than a single burst like heavy vettes have the guns switch from solid shot to flack for a fixed time?

I don’t really agree with this line of thought at all. To add things to the HC other than tweaks to cost or production time takes away from both what makes HW1 and HW2 unique. Nearly everything a BC can argument itself through modules and upgrades the HC can match via existing support units. If I want more tank, then I use support frigates, if I need more firepower, I mix in destroyers or Ions, if I need fighter coverage, bring defenders, an MD, or Gravwell. HW1 should remain about fleet composition, not single super units capable of handling multiple situations. If we strat from this core difference between the two race groups then we lose the identity of both.

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I think these big ships will need to be balanced depending on how the rest of the fleets will be. Are we going back to HW1’s balance with all ships being soft counters to each other, or is it bigger is always best as in HW2?

I’d be okay with the Heavy Cruisers being less effective than Battlecruisers as they really can’t be disabled easily. The Avatar or Qwaar-Jet can have their engines shot out but are still fairly effective, if stationary, ships. With the potential for support frigates to have their beams restored, this may be enough.

But I do think the HW1 races could use some upgrades. What if they gain one “hidden” module slot? They come with a hyperspace module already, so maybe they can build something else internally. A Fire Control Tower, Cloak, etc.

Well you know, it’s wrong to compare how they don’t have inhibs and blah blah.

HW1 races get their inhibs for half the cost and can place them independantly of their caps.

You can say lots about how HCs are worse. In some ways, yes they are too much worse. But in more ways, HW1 has the better support ships.

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Fair enough! I’ve personally found that Support Frigates can actually make HCs on par (or even superior) to upgraded BCs in a head to head fight…so when whole fleets are taken into consideration, the HC isn’t so underpowered.

Sigh, I realise now that starting this topic was a mistake! I’ve made the error of comparing ‘Unit vs Unit’ without looking at the broader picture!

My Bad!

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I hope that we get to a point where we get to as a community develop new units for each race. Then discussions like this will be hella fun. For now I just hope the community can focus on balance and mechanics. We need to keep our eye on the goal of a finished, polished product we can all be proud of being a part of.

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Well said.

Clarify. You mean to push/inspire Gearbox into introducing new units, or modding?

Push, inspire through ideas. After we’ve all fought for a while, we’ll have some great ideas of things that are just missing from each race or the game in general that Gearbox could tap us for for either HW3 ideas or new units to introduce into HWR. Use a poll system or an idea contest or something. Maybe even add entire races via DLC that anyone can play against but only purchasers can play. Or even DLC single unit additions (as long as they don’t becone a P2W feature). Developers gotta eat also.

The mod community has shown us what is possible over the last 15 years. Imagine if some of those ideas could be picked up, licensed, and sold officially. Why the B5, BSG, Star Wars and Star Trek franchises never tapped HW IP owners to make them an official mod of HW and split the profit is beyond me. Now maybe that there is not the whimps that were Sierra and the idiot punks that were THC are out of the way we can really see this take off.

But so much of this is going to depend on this merry band of beta testers in concert with the developers polishing this remastered release right. It’s both exciting and scary.

I was imagining that, from my perspective… If only.

HW1 Heavy Cruisers should be able to dance rings around their HW2 alter-egos, with proper micro.

HW1 bombers should have imp bomb upgrades available.

HW2 Higgy BC needs its ion cannon turrets smacked with a nerf bat.

HW2 Vaygr BC needs a pitch/roll/yaw buff.

ALL primary weapon ranges need to be tweaked/equalized.

ALL primary weapon damage need to be hit with the nerf bat equally. No more zzzzt…pfft… dead destroyer.

I want it to be about the commander’s skills, not who built the longest-range ship with the biggest tank/dps and yolo’d it in, whilst building two more…

Watching the Heavies in action, especially the Higgy BC, should NOT be like experiencing the act of an angry pagan god.

In HW1C, a Heavy Cruiser on the field was an expression of confidence. It said “We got this one… GG”, before the game was over in most situations. It got to gnaw on the MS as a tasty end-game treat.

One certainly did not send it out alone. Salvettes and supported frig walls… I still get the chills.

So the BC/HC issues are inter-connected with other issues, including all the way down to HW1 bombers and general frig-to-BC dps/HP issues.

Keeping the availability times different is fine by me. Play team games and take at least one of each race… or expect to die, in our new world order. :fist:

It is HW Remastered. Not port and balance to the least common denominator. I want to embrace the differences, not try to spackle over them. Fix the bugs of course. But, let’s not get carried away in the epic quest for a HW1/2 1v1 balance that would most likely detract from a lot of great team experiences.

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