Once upon a time, Warding was the indisputed champion of pheromones. Made you much, much harder to kill if a Praetorian or Queen was projecting Warding. Then it made your armor degrade slower, when we had the mechanic of stripping armor okay for a while. Lost its throne there, and was much less used.
Nowadays warding has broadly been regarded as the least useful pheromone due to the overwhelming power of sped up recovery and the semi-usefulness of moving faster (Some castes I know hate frenzy, like runner, because they move TOO fast to be useful) from frenzy. It extends the amount of damage you can take before dying in crit. By and large this is only useful for slowing bleedout of xenos off weeds. This is EXTREMELY situational and even then rarely used. If the caste in question has pheromones they can heal the xeno to get them out of crit (place weeds. Heal them. etc). Additionally, if someone is shooting you, it doesn’t raise the threshold enough to actually change the outcome of that, and thus functionally doesn’t matter.
So maybe just tack on an extra to that. Warding blanket lets xenos fight until death, and then keep the ‘increases the critical threshold before you die’ that different tiers of pheromones already have.
It would be far more useful to give xenos a chance to stagger home after a poor engagement or survive being set on fire, or keep fighting longer if they’re waiting for rescue (trapped behind barricades for example) If I had a nickel for every time I escaped my pursuer just to fall into crit and slowly burn to death I could quit my job today.
Overpowered? Eh, possibly? I feel like it would still struggle to win against recovery’s sped up healing consistently but it would give a generally unused pheromone more use in modern gameplay without being something absurd like ‘blanket damage reduction’.
Warding already increases the time between when you enter negative hp and when you actually fall unconscious, so you can run a little bit extra before you drop if you have warding. I do agree it’s currently the least useful phero though but that’s more because frenzy and recovery are both really good.
I feel like warding is fine as is. It certainly isn’t your first pick for pheromones, but with how easy it is to change pheromones with hot keys you’re able to make use of it in those situational situations. I might be wrong, but with queen level pheromones you don’t take bleed damage off weeds. Warding can also be the difference of one of your teammates pulling your crit body behind cover versus you getting gibbed.
I like playing warden, it works well with their kit because you can’t set down weeds to help crit Xenos, and you have your grab that can pull them out of death.
It’s not a first choice, but it is nice to have static when recovery and frenzy are being emitted, and if the situation comes that warding could save a xeno then it’s one button away and a few ticks away.
healer drone/warden warding lets most castes walk most of a screen before falling over from crit. I’ve watched it save lives a few times.
The extra HP is almost irrelevant though. Healer/Warden is iirc about 60hp. Whoopee, three-four bullets.
I’ve noticed the whole delayed crit, I just never realized that was actually from warding lol. Today I learned I suppose.
I still think just giving beans the same crit threshold as predators or letting them fight straight until death (Maybe for Queen strength warding only) as long as they’re under the effects of warding would be a change to make it stronger without being ridiculous. Especially during major pushes or while defending the hive.
That could be a cool strain ability for a support caste. Maybe a buffing hivelord strain, or a new resin fruit or something
I played a bit of TGMC and their ravager has an ability that lets them withstand crit for a while, functionally giving you a bigger health bar, but making you live on the edge.