In a recent post, we hinted at some upcoming doctrine changes. Before going live with the next balance patch, we want to give you a preview of these changes, which we are currently in the middle of implementing. We looked at usage rates across different skill brackets and discussed how our changes could address the disparity we were seeing. Feel free to chime in if you have different suggestions or you don’t agree with the direction these changes are headed. We want to hear your feedback!
This doctrine wasn’t picked often, which was likely a combination of Scout Snipers being deployed slightly less often the way it actually worked. Although we recently buffed it, this didn’t have the full impact that we were going for. Instead, converting it to an activatable ability grants players more agency and allows it to be used defensively as well. The way this ability is set up, it is be compatible with Overwatch and the re-work to Cover Fire.
- Changing to an activated ability
- Hidden grants stealth and increases movement speed by 1.5 for 20 seconds
For the same reasons as the Hidden changes, the functionality of Cover Fire is also being changed. We’ve been testing a toggled ability (think Meganobz’ Rokkit) with charges that apply a slow. This allows players more agency over when they want the slow to kick in, or they can simply leave it turned on if it’s too demanding to micro.
- Changing to an toggled ability
- Cover Fire stores up to 3 charges. When active, use a charge to fire a shot that slows the target by 50% for 5 seconds
Deathstorms can be quite devastating, but we feel that their effectiveness lies in their first 5 - 10 seconds, and this doctrine doesn’t do anything to improve that. This is a bit of a radical idea (that might actually be better suited for an army upgrade), but we are testing changes that enable reinforcement around the Deathstorm drop pod (a common Space Marine complaint is their lack of infield reinforcement).
- No longer increases duration
- Now allows units to reinforce around it
There is no doubt that this increases the effectiveness of Land Speeders, but its conditions make it too hard to use - especially in team games where you don’t have any control over where your ally goes.
- No longer deactivates when close to allies (it will only deactivate when too close to your own troops)
- Radius decreased from 80 to 40
Blessing of the Omnissiah
Given that the units have to be out of combat for 20 seconds and most people just use Servitors, we felt that the rate at which you heal was not worth the doctrine pick.
- Healing per second increased from 6 to 30
- Removed +2 passive health regeneration while in combat
Devastator Marine - Heavy Bolter
- Increased cost from 450 to 460 Requisition
- Slow on hit increased to -2 movement speed, from -1 movement speed
While Heavy Bolters do see usage, the design intent is that players can use them to punish direct brute force tactics or to snare fleeing targets. Additionally, having the slowing property out of the gate was meant to offset the lower damage potential of Heavy Bolters compared to Lootas. However, because the slow on Heavy Bolters is currently weak and that there are many sources of speed to offset it, players are not really able to take advantage of it in a meaningful way.
We recognize that this is a significant buff to Heavy Bolters so we'd like to hear your thoughts/concerns.
Wraithknight’s Command - Teleport Beacon
Believe it or not, prior to beta, this doctrine was extremely dominant. We added a lot of counterplay to it, which reduced its effectiveness over time. In particular, we found that the limited time span on it made it too hard to use.
- Beacon no longer expires after a duration
- Reduced cast time on Recall from 3 seconds to 2.5 seconds
Deployable Energy Shields
Speaking of dominant doctrines that we nerfed into the ground pre-beta … we feel that this currently costs too much and is much less relevant in Tier 2. We’ll be removing the tier requirement and lowering the resource cost, but may explore reducing the health as well.
- No longer requires Tier 2
- Power cost reduced from 50 to 30
- Health decreased from 1500 to 1250
Jain Zar's Command - Swift Vengeance
There is a similar doctrine that works well for Nobz, but we feel this just doesn’t work for Wraithblades because by the time they’ve lost their shields they are much more vulnerable. Instead, we feel that they would benefit from a conditional buff to Vengeance.
- Remove existing properties
- Wraithblades will move as if they are within range of a Webway Gate when Vengeance is full, although this does not stack with Fleet of Foot.
The out of combat speed bonus is juicy enough, so we’re going to try an activated speed boost that will give it some utility in combat.
- Changed to an active ability that increases movement speed for X seconds
Macha's Command - Enhanced Battle Focus
We think this doctrine is pretty decent but just needs to drain a little bit less energy when firing and avoid having it freeze base regeneration, which made it look like unintended gameplay behaviour.
- Energy drain reduced from 60 per shot to 50 per shot
- No longer drains 2 energy per second while active
The older version of this doctrine was not considered useful enough to compete with many other doctrine choices. We decided to rework this doctrine to grant Reapers the ability to better punish brute force tactics, under the condition that they are within the radius of a Webway Gate.
- Old effects removed.
- While under the effects of Fleet of Foot, Dark Reaper ranged attacks will slow enemies by -2 movement speed
We don’t think this doctrine offers enough difference in strategy, so we’re going to add something that increases its value - a damage boost. This should have some good interaction with their other doctrines (Stealth Warp, Ronahn’s presence that spawns stealth cover, and Vigor).
- Now increases damage by 25% for X seconds
Warp Spiders Command - Temporal Mine
This doctrine had a few issues, including the fact that if you wanted to use it in the same situations as the regular ability - it was actually inferior. Now it will function exactly the same if there is an enemy nearby, but planting the mine itself will not only be faster but activate much more swiftly.
- If there is an enemy within 5m, it works the same as the original ability
- Reduced casting time from 2 seconds to instant
- Reduced activation time of mine from 2.5 seconds to instant
- Increased activation radius by 60%
This doctrine provided stunned at the end of the Temporal Bomb / Mine which after testing was very unlikely to happen in practice. We’ve changed it so that it happens as soon as the slow field activates (3 seconds after dropping the mine). Since Vypers already have to get up close to units in order to use this effectively, putting themselves at great risk, we think it feels fair. It’s true that this can be mitigated with the other Vyper doctrines we’ve improved, however, that would likely telegraph your strategy very strongly.
- Stun now occurs when mine first explodes (3 seconds after activating the ability)
- Stun duration decreased from 3 seconds to 2 seconds
We feel this doctrine isn’t particularly valuable because often times the Vyper is dead before it can take advantage of the benefits. We’re testing a change that improves its hit and run capabilities by triggering a speed burst and defensive bonus when it is attacked.
- No longer grants a burst of speed when its shields are destroyed
- When attacked, gain 50% movement speed for 5 seconds and reduce damage received by 50%
- Can trigger again after 20 seconds
Trying to use this ability at anything less than max range often yielded little benefits due to having to setup your weapon again. As a result we’ve implemented a change that should make this doctrine more useful for both offense and defense.
- Decreased cooldown from 60 seconds to 40 seconds
- For 10 seconds, Lootas are under the effect of Magnetik Boost - which allows them to instantly setup and teardown
- Fixed a bug where Lootas would often try and run back to their original position
Thump from Da Sky
This doctrine has a weird history. It actually used to produce scrap and kill the Orks, which was too good for fast teching. That is part of the reason it has a global cooldown. We’re going to remove the global cooldown and rework its damage, such that it functions much more like the Waaaagh! Shout which is great at faking out your opponents.
- Orks now channel, gaining a charge every 1.25 seconds up to a maximum of 3. At the end of the ability, if the unit is not dead or disrupted it will deal 20 damage in a 6m radius and knock back enemies
- Channel time reduced from 4.25 seconds to 3.875 seconds
- Reduced knockback distance by 63%
- Removed global cooldown
- Can be interrupted during initial channeling
This ability didn’t appear to be working correctly. In our tests it seems like it often triggered too early. We also think giving it some damage will make it more viable.
- Fixed the radius at which this triggers
- Damage increased by 300
Players aren’t finding any value in the Stealth cover that this doctrine grants. Instead, it will be much more useful if it also reduces incoming damage.
- Grants 35% damage reduction to allied units in the Smoke Shells
Deff Dread - Bigga Scrap Shield
This ability didn’t appear to be working correctly and it has now been fixed. To give it more impact, we’re going to add a heal over time component.
- Fixed a bug where it did not always block ranged damage
- Now heals up to 1000 health over 10 seconds
- Increased cooldown from 45 seconds to 60 seconds
Scrap Sight - Re-named to Scrap Shielda
This doctrine had the lowest usage stats. Though we know that vision is extremely valuable, the lack of agency and the availability of cheap, stealthy Gretchins made this doctrine a little outclassed. We think this doctrine can help give Orks a bit more sustainability in late game when they start taking heavier losses. Instead, when your own vehicles and structures are destroyed, this will grant temporary shields to allies in an area around them.
- Removed old properties and no longer triggers on enemies, allies or squads
- Now grants a 125-health shield in a 10m radius around your own destroyed vehicles and structures
Alright, that was a LOT of information. Let us know your thoughts, and feel free to ask us questions about these changes!