Do Black Ice Prevent Firewall and Protector Regeneration?

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Hell_Diguner
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Do Black Ice Prevent Firewall and Protector Regeneration?

Postby Hell_Diguner » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:30 am

If not, that would be a nice little buff for this otherwise mediocre node. 'Course it would still need more buffs even after that.
Hell_Diguner - C12L39, Had C12L29 (world record), Shuriken main
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Luminaar
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Re: Do Black Ice Prevent Firewall and Protector Regeneration?

Postby Luminaar » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:40 pm

While it shares the animation with Blaster, it doesn't have any other other effects.

While Black ICE are really good at top levels due to the higher firewall - although I've seen some very creative uses of attack priorities to enable the Black ICE to do its thing mid-game - I would certainly like to see something that makes them more useful earlier on in the game.

Pre-loaded shots, reduced priority compared to Turrets and increased firewall would also give the node a chance to be more effective at landing some big damage hits.
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Hell_Diguner
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Re: Do Black Ice Prevent Firewall and Protector Regeneration?

Postby Hell_Diguner » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:58 am

Black Ice doesn't really have all that much more firewall than Turrets. It stays at about 16% more firewall from level 1 to level 21. Noticeable, but not amazing.

Black Ice does have higher DPS, up to 75% at level 21, but the DPS stat is misleading.

Turrets are consistently good. They start doing damage after a 0.5 second delay and continue to do constant damage over time until captured.

Black Ice don't do a single point of damage until 7.5 seconds after a neighbor is captured, which is plenty of time for attacking programs to do a lot of damage and maybe even capture a node or two. And then they only do chunks of damage every 3.5 seconds thereafter - assuming no stunning from Blasters or Shockers.

Capturing a Turret 1 second faster isn't nearly as big a difference as capturing a Black Ice 1 second faster if it prevents the last shot from being fired. This makes Black Ice inconsistent, which is a bad thing when trying to design a network. It also makes the DPS stat misleading, and the 3.5 second delay for charging the first shot further invalidates the usefulness of the DPS statistic. AND since Black Ice do damage in chunks, they inevitably waste a portion of their "DPS" when their last shot successfully captures a node, further invalidating the usefulness of the DPS statistic.

That they change targets if a neighbor is captured is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It's a bad thing if continuing to attack the same node would have captured it, and it's a good thing if you probably wouldn't recapture it. But on the other hand, the new target might already be recaptured by AV or turrets by the time the Black Ice shot reaches the node. And even it changing targets WAS a good thing, they still waste overkill damage on the last shot that captures a node.

In any case, it seems like being able to change targets is meant to encourage linking Black Ice to multiple nodes, for better or worse. BUT Black Ice have 5 program slots and 4 connection slots!! 5 program slots by itself is a HUGE disadvantage. Nothing can withstand 5 program slots. Not triple Guardan Cores, not Code gates. Nothing. And for it to be the only node with fewer connection slots than program slots is just insult to injury.

And if all that wasn't enough, upgrading Black Ice is more expensive and yields more experience than Turrets.

I was making an understatement when I said Black Ice is mediocre. If TA wants to emphasize connecting Black Ice to multiple nodes so it can change targets, it should have fewer program slots so loosing it isn't as painful. Making it 3 program slots, 3 connection slots would do wonders. 4 and 4 isn't enough, since that would just make it a Turret that's inconsistent in exchange for (sometimes) higher DPS. And if you're thinking "Woah, that's a lot of DPS from a node with a little more firewall and one less program slot than a Turret," keep in mind you can Triple Guardian Turrets, but would only be able to Double Guardian the new Black Ice.
Hell_Diguner - C12L39, Had C12L29 (world record), Shuriken main
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Luminaar
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Re: Do Black Ice Prevent Firewall and Protector Regeneration?

Postby Luminaar » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:34 am

Nicely detailed. I agree with the sentiments above.

I'm unsure of the initial design for the node itself, as to whether it's desinged to be a tanky node, a damage node, or some mix inbetween. It's also possible it got caught in the crossfire when Attack Priorities were adjusted to attack the highest firewall node.

The increased Strength that the Black ICE currently has doesn't make up for the potential strength loss from:
- capturing the node before it has a chance to fire
- over kill damage that it deals
- firing at a target that gets captured by other means

The increased Firewall that the Black ICE currently has doesn't make up for the potential firewall loss from:
- the additional damage it suffers due to projectile travel time, while delivering a "killing blow"

Being a higher firewall node on a like-for-like basis with Turret, it also gets targeted first, further reducing the potential for it to deal damage.

Potential resolutions (in no particular order):
Increase Strength - "Pre-charged" for the first shot - Reduced charge time - Reduced projectile travel time - Increase Firewall - Reduce attack priority of Black ICE - Prevents Firewall/Protector regeneration - Immunity to Shocker/Blaster stuns - Reduce available program slots
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Hell_Diguner
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Re: Do Black Ice Prevent Firewall and Protector Regeneration?

Postby Hell_Diguner » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:08 am

I forgot to write about another downside: If there's a shot in transit when a Black Ice is captured, that damage may be irrelevant if capturing the Black Ice lets a hacker progress further up the network. Which is to say, a hacker may not care if the previous node was captured, because NOW they have the Black Ice as a stronghold to attack from. So that's more of Black Ice's theoretical DPS not being useful (depending on network design).

Whether or not this was Trickster's intent, I am quite partial to the idea that Black Ice was meant to be connected to multiple nodes so it can change targets mid-attack. This nicely contrasts against Turret's more focused attack style. I believe adjusting Black Ice with this design goal in mind would create more varied, viable strategies for network design than if they merely buffed its tankiness or its (in)ability to deal its damage effectively.
Hell_Diguner - C12L39, Had C12L29 (world record), Shuriken main
DiaboliExMachina - C12L38, Worms+Maniac main
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