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Pundii

Concerns About Marauders

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Howdy, everyone who clicked on this thread from the sidebar, probably expecting drama. This is a little bit of a rant, but I just want to preface this with a few things to nip any potential arguments in the bud - I don't want arguments here, this is a discussion, and me stating my observations.

 

This isn't a complaint about changes to the Marauder rules, nor is this a complaint or attack directed at any specific individual(s), this is simply a series of observations I wanted to bring to the attention of the community as a whole.

 

So, I've only been back with the community for a short while in the grand scheme of things, but I think I have been present enough over the past weeks to build up a reasonably affable relationship with a fair few of the folks here. Additionally, folks who have seen me on the server have likely noted that I have been working pretty much overtime especially along with StevieJr and Pilotfish to improve upon the way Marauders work with the MI, and make the faction generally more utility and enjoyable for folks to engage with.

 

While I would like to say that things have been pretty successful in regards to this, there are a few things making it difficult, and perhaps entirely preventing those of us doing this work from really making significant steps with the Marauders. At the moment, I've kind of broken this down to three main points; Absentees, Miscommunication, and Lack of Leadership.

 

The first regards Absentees. For those who have been present over the past couple of weeks, it has probably been noticeable that of the current Marauder roster, only two - Lachlan Dunn (myself) and Patrick Stevenson (StevieJr) - are regularly in attendance both during passive RP and events. On occasion, there have been others, so I do not want it assumed that I am deliberately missing them, but we are the two most constant, presently. Now, according to the first post of the Marauder Applications thread:

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If you are chosen for a a Marauder and you are not active on your Marauder for one week without prior notification of LOA to @KeiAgo, you will be removed from the roster and not allowed to return to it unless it was an extenuating circumstance.  You should have every intention to be active on your Marauder if accepted into the detachment.

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This rule is perfectly reasonable, though my concern with it is that it doesn't seem to be followed. Looking at the roster as it stands, I believe that this rule at the moment currently applies to the vast majority of listed Marauders, and yet they are left to linger on the roster, despite their absentee nature – and the faction is considered to be full and not accepting applications, preventing other, potentially-active members of the community who are interested from joining. Ultimately, it just feels like this rule should either be adhered to as one would expect or removed altogether, it’s my personal opinion that removing the rule would be foolhardy, as there is no genuine reason I can consider as to why constantly-absent players should prevent new members from joining.

 

The second point I mentioned was regarding ‘miscommunication’, what I mean by this is a seeming miscommunication between Marauder leadership and both the Marauder and general player base over what the Marauder faction is. Recently, as many know, we have been trying to encourage a view of the Marauders that lies more in the Utility, utilising them not as tanks to soak damage, use heavy weapons, or lead the way, but to carry wounded, build cover using their increased strength, and all manner of support roles.

 

It seems, however, that this is not currently the view of the Marauder leadership, who through the introduction of Y-racks, I believe intends for Marauders to be focused more on their weapons, and artillery function. While I concede that yes, ultimately what Marauders are is dependent upon the leader, I feel like more regard should be put into what the community as a whole, and especially the people playing those Marauders, believe the faction should be and should represent.

 

This all brings me to my final point, lack of leadership. I want to preface again by stating that, although this point may seem like an attack against the leadership of Marauders, KeiAgo and Kris, in particular, it is in no way intended to be, I am attempting to be as objective as I can while stating my observations for discussion.

 

I have to note that among the more absent members of the Marauder faction, the leadership is most notable, I am aware that DarlingLynch has been on LOA, and Kris, the previous leader was similarly and has now stepped away, but I haven’t heard of either Kris or KeiAgo being on any such LOA, and even if they were, it feels strange to me that no temporary replacement is put up, who can be far more present. Many of the above issues I believe stem from this one, an absent leadership cannot ensure that rules are being followed or know what way the community is viewing the faction and its direction as a whole, and a blind leader is not able to lead well.

 

I apologise for the length of this, I simply wanted to get everything out in the open. I’d prefer any points, agreeing or disagreeing, go as replies here, rather than private messages, so it’s all out in the open for discussion.

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I still have my char on the roster and to be honest I've lost my passion to play as marauder due to the time zone not able to meet and play with most of players,and after my main marauder char died of course. I understand that I'm the only asian boi here on the server so is gonna be tough. Thing is.. there's no real rewards to work your asses off and climb through the ranks rather than new weapons et cetera. I'd love to see something new to the marauders..and more active leaderships (same goes to every factions) or perhaps something to make it worth climbing through the ranks? This is just my opinion though. By the way I have one question if you want to remove your char from the marauders does the character stay on the ship or they would be sented off (PK)? 

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On regards as to what Marauders are, should be and what they're trying to be, while I can understand wanting to perhaps change them into more of a utility and support role, both logistically and firepower-wise, I personally find it difficult to.. Justify I suppose, Marauders losing their armor and becoming basically Fallout 4 Power Armor frames without any pieces attached.

 

Most of the playerbase's experience with the Marauders has for the longest time been that of a heavy trooper who holds the front line against the enemy, doing so because their mobility frame allows them to pack on a thick layer of armor -as well- as significantly increased strength and integrated weapons systems. From a logical standpoint, and a lore standpoint, it makes little sense to have such a powerful frame easily capable of packing on armor that could stop a hail of 7.62 NATO with no sweat (not that metal can sweat), and simply deciding not to do so.

Perhaps if some form of argument was made to justify why armor should be left off a Marauder, an argument that was convincing, I'd see this as less of an issue of believability.

 

Or perhaps that's a miscommunication in it's own right, and ICly Marauders still have the same armor as they've always had? In which case it baffles me that the choice was made to remove their health and armor buffs entirely, since at that point the IC and OOC no longer correlate; ICly they still wield the same armor as always, capable of stopping most of the common small-arms fire and arguably best suited to be on the front line to hold off bugs with their increased survivability and significantly higher firepower. However OOCly, they're about just as squishy as your normal Trooper, so while this armor and toughness may be present ICly, the gameplay completely contradicts this if their armor and health buffs are removed.

And gameplay certainly plays a role too, even if this is a primarily roleplay-oriented server, because at the end of the day the health of the bugs and our own health displayed in the corner of our screens is not an RP element and is not controlled by the RP environment we create. It is entirely gameplay related, and yet what happens to said health bar directly ties into what happens in the RP environment; if we die in the gameplay, we roll, and then we either get a close call, an injury or we die in the RP environment.

 

That is the main concern I have about Marauders at the moment. In short, how to justify their lack of gameplay toughness if their IC toughness is supposed to be the same or, how to justify the sudden lack of IC toughness if they -aren't- as tough anymore.

I recognize I've never been a part of the Marauders nor particularly close with their workings, so perhaps these are things already set in stone and I've merely missed them or misinterpreted them, but I'd like some light shone onto this.

 

Edit:

I'm not saying I dislike the change or idea that Marauders shouldn't be armored shields for the MI that soaks damage, just trying to express how it might not make much sense, and hoping to get some insight and elaboration on the hows and whys and general thoughts that went into making these changes.

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45 minutes ago, saiphun987 said:

By the way I have one question if you want to remove your char from the marauders does the character stay on the ship or they would be sented off (PK)? 

 

But speaking as a person who left marauders under Niki. You stay on ship and you retain your training, and your suit is put in storage

You don't get to use it mind unless you rejoin or you're given explicit approval per occasion from the lead, but that would be so unique it'd basically never happen 

Or at least that's what I got under the prior leadership.

 

I want to paraphrase much like Pundii. I can only speak as a former Marauder/ Current Outsider who has seen both eras, and I do not mean offense to anyone, except maybe myself if I am self deprecatory. 

 

The main issue I see to the changes, has been that rather than a slow change back to how it was, it was done overnight. I personally don't see that as a bad thing, with systemic changes being needed. Quoting the Fact Sheet, of which all Marauders are "required" to read (Hah as if I know how to read) 

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Support Role

Although a Marauder unit can be equipped with a large arsenal of heavy weapons, often used as sentry guns to hold the line and deliver firepower, at the end of the day they are primarily a support faction for the standard MI trooper

And 

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Armour :
While the Aegis Mark II suit is well-armoured, and can virtually brush off light-to-medium fire, heavy weapons (i.e emplacements or anti-material) will dent and eventually pierce the suit's plates with sustained fire. Likewise, the Aegis Mark II can survive light anti-personnel grenades and mines, but heavier anti-armour weapons can and will damage it. The same occurs when facing arachnids; while Cliffmites and Blasters will dent the armour, an Elite's acid and a Tanker's flames will damage the suit and endanger the operator. No amount of armour the Aegis Mark II posesses will stop an arachnid's talons if they are allowed to get close enough.

 

From reading this, it is quite clear that Marauders categorically should never have been ran as tanks, and so Pundii you're actually pretty amazing in that respect if you got more than 1 person to listen to you. From what I gathered at the Admin meeting where most of this was established, the changing of HP/AP and readdition of Y-racks, which were only removed because the former leader decided that when Marauders had 2000hp, that the Mini M55 was the issue, are to explicitly make it obvious to everyone that they shouldn't be tanks. Engineers have tanks (when they're not breaking the server.) Despite this, I would strongly oppose the view that if a Marauder dies and rolls a 4, that they should auto die. 1 maybe, but they're still inside metal armour, a limb removal would prospectively make more sense. 

 

A lot of the main issues I see which come with Miscommunication, is because a Hands off approach is to be done with Divisions, in that the lead is basically allowed free reign as long as it doesn't conflict with the MI. I do believe that in hindsight, as with most changes, some forms of communication should've been made accessible in advance, so it wasn't a cliffs edge approach, though I also feel that doing so would've resulted in the many issues people seem to have with the changes irregardless, and people would be upset/ disappointed for a longer period of time. 

 

I personally have the wait and see approach. If the benefits of the changes back to a time before Power creep in the marauders meant that there was no longer any danger in missions beyond spawning 300 bugs at a time and crashing the server occur as they were stated, I will be content and happy to rejoin Marauders. If they don't arrive or there's significant negatives which are ignored, then I'm sure it would just be demanded by upon high that it is reverted or they're disbanded. One of my favorite things about Progenitors back when I was a Marauder is that initially they actually were a danger to Marauders in their TPAC Suit of 10k hp and one shot capabilities. Now, somehow it's gotten to a point even a Progenitor hitting you as a Marauder is a "Ooh that tickles." which lacks fun. It turns Marauders into a L Click Mousefest, which again, is why I believe if you're getting extra roleplay out of that in the present circumstances, good on you for somehow managing that. 

 

I know I covered a lot in what I posted above, but just to put an actual response to you Jun :)

 

The main chestplate of the armour, which is by far the most armoured, would likely not be penetrated by 7.62 rounds. However, due to momentum, it would pack a massive punch. Example being that the Flail and Warhammer was invented to deal with Plate armour, and instead of trying to stab into it, they just smash enough force to dent it in or cause blunt force trauma. 

However, the Joints have always been weak, or else they wouldn't be able to move. This can be shown on the F04 Concept Art. If you were to sustain fire at those limbs, you would certainly dent it enough to stop working as effectively, if at all. 

latest?cb=20160107123649

 

And as mentioned (and joked about) prior. The reason Marauders have been appearing as these nigh unkillable beasts, is because a prior faction leader would steadily power creep them, then claim it was in the Fact Sheet so correct, without updating the Fact Sheet. The Fact sheet has always reflected that a Marauder should never be close enough to a bug that it can swipe at it, and that the Standard rifle will, if you and your mates decide they dislike the Iron Man wannabe (Fair enough response tbf), be enough to give the Marauder at the very least internal issues from being spiked in the chest a few times by the dented-in armour. 

 

 

If my roundabout of a post didn't make sense. Feel free to laugh at me and respond querying anything. 

Edited by Admyral Joe
Added info, hopefully Work doesn't kill me.
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I'm about to head to bed since it's late as fuck where I am but just wanted to jump in again and thank everyone so far for their contributions and add something from my own perspective again that I should have mentioned in the initial post.

 

Personally, I don't remotely care about the changes to the Marauder faction - I believe ICly it doesn't make that much sense for them not to have much armour, but that's not what I'm looking to address in this post. Honestly, Marauders could just be standard MI in an exoskeleton with no armour whatsoever, for all I care.

 

Honestly, my main point and concern in this post is the lack of activity in the Marauder faction, and the clear disconnect there seems to be between the leadership and the people actually present on the server as Marauders, which I believe to be the root of the problem.

 

Heading to bed as I said, but I'll chime in again when I've read through any more responses that come after this one.

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Throwing my opinion on this after lengthy hours of talking with @KeiAgo on the Marauder changes. 

 

The Health and armour of a Marauder on spawn is 100HP and 100AP. (Or 200HP apparently, someone can go ahead and fact check that)

The AR2 and SMG (The weapons of our Combine/Sep NPCs) does 3-5 damage per shot, even LESS damage when you have armour. This means that a Marauder can, OOCly, survive roughly 50-60 bullets. Now, I'm no weapons expert, but if someone were to unload 60-70 .308 rounds into something, no matter how "bullet proof" it is, that armour is going to be shredded. If not, the person inside is still going to be very sore. 

So, the health of 100/100 is an accurate representation of how much damage a Marauder can take from Seperatists. But how about bugs? 

 

1 hour ago, Admyral Joe said:

No amount of armour the Aegis Mark II posesses will stop an arachnid's talons if they are allowed to get close enough.

So, the Marauders can be shredded by Arachnids no matter what. As of how it was, Marauders could stand tall as they were swarmed by 30 Warrior NPCs and still come out alive. That is not accurate. However, with the armour and health now, they could survive a good 5-10 hits. This is far more accurate to what the armour SHOULD be. 

So, the HP/AP represents the defense against Arachnids perfectly, if not still being generous to the player. 

 

However, OOC HP/AP isn't everything. 

MI have 100HP and 30AP, yet the very SKIN of the Infantry isn't almost as good as a Marauder suit. Obviously. We all know this. Stats are not everything. 

We should also take into account the difference between how MI are wounded, and how Marauders should be wounded. 

If a Marauder dies and rolls, say, a 20. Their suit is completely immobilized. However, they have a chance to get out of the suit and keep fighting. They get an extra life. 

If MI roll a 20, they're fucked. MedEvac at the very least. Death at worse. 

 

One final point, I, as well as many other admins, are guilty of upping the difficulty of missions to account for Marauders. Since, if we're honest, the HL2 NPCs can NOT kill Marauders for shit. They have way, WAY too much health and armour. Therefore, Drop leads, logically, send the Marauders off 10 feet ahead to kill everything so no one dies. However, with the Marauders being on a more even playing field, I can guarantee difficulty won't be bumped 10 fold to account for a Marauder, because they're no longer the same threat. I for one am glad that 20 MI don't have to suffer 5x the bugs to account for 3 Marauders. 

 

TL;DR, I'm of the opinion that the new armour stats, 100HP and 100AP(Or 200, idk) is more accurate to the effectiveness of Marauders. 

Also, I imagine drops won't be made harder to account for Marauders anymore, which is a bonus for everyone. 

Spoiler warning, I won't be replying to posts on this because if I have to talk about it anymore I will literally brain myself. Just throwing in my stance. 

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All in all I think the past 2-3 weeks have been the best the marauders have been since their inception. Any old players are welcome to try and change my mind. 

 

Not a single admin I've helped, or has helped me has expressed any form of concern about their hp levels or armor. If anything it serves as a gameplay gimmick to keep players from being run over by the 'bog swam' in a mission with lots of arachnids. If they do something stupid, me, Tony, Orwell and plenty of other admins are not afraid to event them getting injured - and I myself am not afraid to outright kill them for doing something ludicrous.

 

It's taken them 2 years to finally have a place in the server and now we're trying to change that. I think it's best to leave it alone in this case and keep things the same way they've been going. As both a player in the marauders and one of the most frequent mission runners in the past month, that's my two cents from my own first hand experience. 

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Okay that is a LOT to read so i'm not going to lie and say I read every post, but I have skimmed through and read the initial post. 

 

I haven't been on yet, and sure that is something I need to answer. The reason is work, and since I've been lead to believe that Kris has a handle on the server side, I have focused on cramming getting document revamps done in the time I have at home. My site closes on the 19th. From this point on, I will have the time to put into being on server as well as getting the text done. I don't want to nip on for an hour here and there because it feels fleeting, and I will be cutting RP with people short all the time. Likewise, Missions have not coincided well with my schedule and as such I haven't managed to catch one yet. 

 

When it comes to the inactivity on the roster, I literally haven't done anything but change who they have to go to if they're absent. That's it. It was a rule before, this hasn't changed. I've been talking with the necessary people to try and work out if  can get hold of the data on who logs on and when, and how long for so I can keep up with the inactivity around the roster. I'm working on it, It will be followed to the best of my ability, but you have to remember, Scar was GMT, and I am GMT. I don't ever want to just assume someone hasn't been on because I  personally didn't see them, given most of the players are different time zones. 

 

Niki changed the way the marauders were supposed to function because she was butt hurt over whatever it was she was butt hurt over at that time. The armour and health changes don't stop you doing any of the tasks listed. You can still build cover etc. This hasn't changed, and i'm more than happy for you to do it. The ONLY stipulation I have on Marauders is not to take RP away from other divisions. E.G Let an Engineer breach if there's one on. 

 

I may not have been on much recently, but I do speak to people on the server ALL the time, and I do my absolute best to get as clear a picture as I can on what people are doing and thinking. Even before taking over, and even now, i'm good friends with Scar, I do know what was happening and what has been happening. 

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2 hours ago, Admyral Joe said:

From reading this, it is quite clear that Marauders categorically should never have been ran as tanks

 

2 hours ago, Admyral Joe said:

While the Aegis Mark II suit is well-armoured, and can virtually brush off light-to-medium fire, heavy weapons (i.e emplacements or anti-material) will dent and eventually pierce the suit's plates with sustained fire.

 

2 hours ago, Admyral Joe said:

Likewise, the Aegis Mark II can survive light anti-personnel grenades and mines, but heavier anti-armour weapons can and will damage it.

 

35 minutes ago, OpTiCFaZeSoCkzZz said:

Now, I'm no weapons expert, but if someone were to unload 60-70 .308 rounds into something, no matter how "bullet proof" it is, that armour is going to be shredded. If not, the person inside is still going to be very sore. 

 

36 minutes ago, OpTiCFaZeSoCkzZz said:

. Since, if we're honest, the HL2 NPCs can NOT kill Marauders for shit. They have way, WAY too much health and armour.

 

36 minutes ago, OpTiCFaZeSoCkzZz said:

 

TL;DR, I'm of the opinion that the new armour stats, 100HP and 100AP(Or 200, idk) is more accurate to the effectiveness of Marauders. 

 

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On another note; I would like to turn everyone's attention to Pundii's post. He deliberately went out of his way to address real concerns about the faction, yet here we are, debating the armor and health. Something we've been debating for the better part of two years. Do some thinking, please.

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39 minutes ago, OpTiCFaZeSoCkzZz said:

Now, I'm no weapons expert, but if someone were to unload 60-70 .308 rounds into something, no matter how "bullet proof" it is, that armour is going to be shredded.

60-70 Rounds of .308, even if it's black tip, isnt going through a decent 2in quality steel plate. If you don't know weapons, then why comment on the effectiveness them?

Ultimately, I feel as though these changes to the marauders are fairly pointless. I feel like you'd be better off focusing on activity within the division rather than re-balancing things that don't need to be re-balanced. Marauders fill a good niche, by nerfing/buffing them, you're drastically changing the dynamic -- not just for them, but for the other divisions as well.

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Also. If we're really in the business of getting rid of the word tank - A word so cursed that it makes even the most veteran marauder shudder - Then stop comparing it to Fallout's power armor. Here's why.

70d0a27088.png

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36 minutes ago, Tony said:

Also. If we're really in the business of getting rid of the word tank - A word so cursed that it makes even the most veteran marauder shudder - Then stop comparing it to Fallout's power armor. Here's why.

70d0a27088.png

The marauders info thread literally has a power armor frame picture.

 

Edit; Why doesn't small arms pierce modern day armored fighting vehicles? It's bulletproof. You need heavy weapons. The marauders thread explicitly says small arms will not work and you need anti material rifles or rockets.

 

Armour :
While the Aegis Mark II suit is well-armoured, and can virtually brush off light-to-medium fire, heavy weapons (i.e emplacements or anti-material) will dent and eventually pierce the suit's plates with sustained fire. Likewise, the Aegis Mark II can survive light anti-personnel grenades and mines, but heavier anti-armour weapons can and will damage it.

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First as a response to Joe, a 7.62x51mm NATO round doesn't pack quite enough punch to penetrate what the Marauder's armor is supposed to be, and even then there are people who've taken 7.62x54R (the russian 7.62 round) to their chestplates without penetration, and surely they get winded and knocked about a bit, but they don't go flying. They get a nasty bruise from the few thousand joules that was just punched into their chest, but that's about it.

Meanwhile, I suspect a Marauder armor -isn't- directly connected to the Marauder pilot like a chest-plate is, but rather sits on the suit's exoskeleton, meaning if and when they get shot by something like a 7.62 round, most if not all of the felt energy goes into the exoskeleton. I reckon they'd feel a light thud or vibration from wherever their body connects to the exoskeleton directly, but that's about as much as they'd feel, realistically. Even if the chest plate is fit directly against the users chest, as long as it's held in place by the exoskeleton rather than the person's body, the felt force is significantly reduced.

 

Also unlike a flail, the felt recoil of shooting a 7.62 is ~ equal to the amount of energy put into the round itself. As mentioned in PMs, a ~10gram 7.62 round carries about ~3.4kJ.

The same amount of force required to propel this 10gram piece of mixed metals is exerted back into the gun and the wearer in some way, only the pressure is something the weapon is created to withstand, and the felt recoil is dispersed over your entire torso, a few dozen kilograms of weight at least, as opposed to the mere 10 grams of the bullet.

Point being that in the end, it's the same ~3.4kJ that's exerted into the armor as was exerted into the person who shot said round.

 

36081031610_33216a073e_b.jpg

That's a Churchill, I reckon that might be from some larger caliber weapon btw, not just a 7.92mm MG42 or similar. But I can't confirm either way, maybe it really was just small-arms fire.

Edit: Source says it was used as target practice by the Canadians after it broke down and was deemed unrepairable. Doesn't mention what weapons were used on it for target practice.

Certainly with enough rounds, they'd start to chip away slowly at the integrity of the armor piece, hence why they aren't invincible (with enough rounds you could -eventually- defeat a Tiger 1 from the front with just 7.62 but, good luck), but it really does require a substantial amount of small-arms fire to begin to erode the integrity of what's probably equivalent to some modern APCs' armor values.

 

My point isn't so much to argue against Marauders becoming more squishy, but rather hoping that some sort of IC, RP justification is given for the gameplay change. After all, RP and gameplay are intertwined, and a change in one will inevitably cause a change in the other as well. A change I'd like justified or explained on both ends.

Marauders will inevitably play differently now that they're not as tough; they'll play more conservatively and their thought process and how they go about doing things will change due to this reduction in toughness. Something that wouldn't make sense if ICly nothing has changed. We wouldn't suddenly start using different tactics if the ones we used previously worked with the same equipment against the same foes. Why change something that works, from an IC perspective? That's all I'm hoping to get some closure on on this topic.

 

 

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