Making lurker more enjoyable for both sides

Partial revive of Lurker changes (!1887) · Merge requests · CM Devs / CM13 · GitLab

Hopefully makes lurkers both funnier to play as and against. Riskier gameplay due to health loss and shorter stun times, but a higher skill ceiling, floor and potential for actually making an impact on the round, since it has fallen way behind other xenos overtime.
Should be alot more enjoyable to play against aswell, since it doesn’t apply giga CC anymore and its easier to 1v1 if it fucks up a pounce.

  • Existing abilities
    Crippling strike - Slow removed, gives the lurker a 1 second 250 hp shield.
    Invisibility - Speed buff changed to a slow, roughly same speed as walking, unlimited duration, alpha from 25 to 15, cannot rest while invisible, no plasma cost, can be toggled on/off with no cooldown. Using pounce while uncloaked applies a 10s cooldown to this though.
    Pounce - stun down from 2.5s to 1.5s, cooldown down from 6s to 5s, no longer requires invisibility to stun.
    Passive Slow on slashes vs knocked down targets removed

  • Base stats
    Health from 450 to 350
    Tackle from 2-6 to 4-4 and duration from 2-3 to 3-3 (barely enough to keep a permastun as long as the lurker keeps tackling non-stop).

  • Extra
    Headbite - give it to base lurker and modify to the same behavior as warrior head pull - channeling for 10-15(more?) seconds on a crit marine makes the helmet fly off, channeling again causes a literal headbite, piercing the marine’s skull perma’ing him on the spot and updating the sprite with a hole in the marine’s head. If there’s no helmet, do it on first channel.
    The only difference between base lurker and vampire should be that vampire gets some kinda bonus off this - maybe small stacking ability buffs like abom so the strain stops being clown weak if it miraculously pulls this off a few times?

It’s so soulful it should be merged instantly. Pure kino. Lets lurkers finally perma someone again. Unsure if we’ve a sprite, worst case someone could offset the chest wound one onto head kek.
Contrary to the first thought that pops up, it wouldn’t even be particularly imbalanced - warrior has had this ability for years and most of the time it goes unused because there is neither the time due to other marines, or because the crit person simply dies way before this can finish. In my 300+ hours of woyering I’ve pulled off maybe 10-15 heads and some because of other xenos tackling for me.

MorrowForm @Morrow

  • Gameplay:
    Does it feel good to use?
    Thats the goal. Slightly less oppressive in 1v1 but more potential to wreak havoc if playing well and actually perma the marines if they keep walking in1 by 1 in 12 second intervals like its a warrior choke.
    Tackle fixes will no longer torment the player with shitty RNG, its finally both fair and reliable. Old lurker felt better to use than current and this is going for the same energy without the issues.
    Does it feel good to play against?
    It should, yes, considering the stun times and health pool are reduced it should be way easier to punish. No more superspeed in stealth is also a massive gamechanger - MDs are more useful at warning you before the lurker’s already pouncing and less freedom for them to run all over the map.
    And no more stuns into tackle. Old lurker cloak felt better to play against, now that the biggest complaint (total stunlock) is out of the way it should be a definitive improvement.
    Does it affect other systems?
    Well, combat in general. Specifically bravo/fobbits but I think its a welcome change for them - less health means even stray bravo bullets will force it back earlier. Smartscopes, sentries (sniper!) etc aswell

  • Roleplay:
    Does it increase immersion?
    Hell yeah. It’s a lurker, it’s finally lurking again. Headbite is gonna literally save CM atmosphere if allowed.
    Does it increase communication/interaction between players?
    Maybe some more value in gardener drone fruits. Other than that not any more than it already does -dont walk alone.

  • Simulation:
    Does it fit in the CM universe aesthetically?
    Yeah, no new visuals. Alpha fits other cloaks better aswell.
    Does it fit in the lore of CM?
    Hell yeah its the OG lurker, except no longer unfun to fight.
    Does it make sense “realistically”
    Yep. Lurker no longer being a sprinter does. Shield not really but I dont think its a big deal - alternatively could give it 100% evasion if thats possible. That way it’d be realistic, but would probably lead to FF with bullets going through it, which would be fun, but not very fair.

Video showcase
Cloak alpha and speed

Pounce stun and cooldown

Tackling window and duration (the last tackle near clip end is intentionally delivered with a delay to showcase whats the timer before marine gets up, should be able to infer from attack speed but you CAN deliver 4/permatackle)

Edit: Will likely have to buff ability numbers and slash speed to reduce ttk if gets approved but need to see how it performs first. I.e numbers by any means not final

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So the lurker will go from something that can effectively kill a marine in a 1v1 to being a joke? I fail to see how this makes it more fun for the lurker players, which part of it is the “lurkers will now have more fun” as I seriously fail to see it. If it’s the tackle RNG now being a 4-4 with all of the other… Changes… Then I don’t know bro I don’t think you understand the essence of a lurker.

By removing crippling strike, and not just that but also the stun timer (that any marine can just shake them from), you effectively lower the DPS by a lot. That’s at least two less slashes when the slash delay is already agonizing as a lurker, down from 5 slashes with the risk of being PBed to 3. Hell, watching the vid you posted it’s 2 slashes??? What the fuck is a lurker going to do with just two slashes before the marine gets up and shoots it?

The invisibility change… Why? I didn’t play the old lurker but I can definitely say, this is ‘soul’ and nothing more. Having lower alpha doesn’t stop a marine player from shooting the shit out of you the moment you try to do anything near them if they do spot you, and if they are in a group then you’re fucked, and not just that, especially with the lurker invisibility change, you can no longer lurk anywhere near marines and without the speed bonus you will most definitely accidentally bump into marines while moving around, if the change is so you can easily hunt alone targets… What if the targets are never alone? In a 1v2 situation your only advantage is that the pounce no longer needs the invisibility to stun.

Now moving to the pounce again… One second lower cooldown for the buff, as nice as that is, you can no longer go invisible after engaging with someone, no more movement speed from the cloaking either so you can be easily chased and killed, not to mention the plasma usage? Yes this means lurkers need to play smarter but it also makes it harder for them, while also being squisher?

Now the headbite… Everyone knows warriors can’t decap anyone unless the marine is alive and unharmed, being disarm spammed by another xeno (at which point it’s better to cap them??) or two, they’re on inap and they’re only in the early stages of crit so they’re not actively dying, because the moment the warriors gets that first neck snap or whatever going, it does enough damage that the marine ends up dying before the decap fully finishes. How would this be any different? And how does a backliner with 10-15 seconds of channeling with no way to escape but spam pounce and pray you don’t get swarmed on going to use this effectively? If the marine is somewhere that’s hard to recover, they’re going to perma without the need for this ability, if the marine somehow stays in crit for 20+ seconds without someone reaching him, is he going to stay alive for the same duration with the above mentioned conundrum?

Lastly… A one second shield. Is this a joke? I REALLY hate to use this but as much as I know you play xeno a fuck ton… This makes me wonder if you even play lurker at all, except to go rav. A one second shield that if a marine doesn’t PB you with a shotgun, or hell just shoot you in general with any gun, you’re done, gone and it’s so over for you. I’m sure we’ve said a lot of these feedbacks when you first tried to merge this before over a year ago(?).

tl;dr: This makes the lurker into a pile of useless rotten tomatoes while only increasing the enjoyment of the marine side to play against. I give this a 2/10.

Edit: The disarm also means nothing if you can’t drag and disarm to cap. What’s the 4-4 going to be used for if you can’t drag someone to brazil, eat them or generally do ANYTHING with it? If it’s for teamwork then even the 2-6 was better for both 1v1 capping and 2v1 capping.

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its not removed.

Dodge. If there’s no shotgun he cant do much in the timeframe, if he has a shotgun you can shield with crip strike in anticipation of pb.

Which is what happens now, yeah. The alpha change is so that they don’t spot you without an MD. Cloak is already borderline useless on frontlines with you getting shot at by SGs before vision range so doubt it changes much in this aspect

Dunno why you’d wanna run into a group, but so what if it decloaks you? I dont see the issue.

Your advantage is that your stun doesnt have a 15 second cooldown anymore and you dont need to run because another solo guy has arrived as you were finishing off the last one. Being able to pounce between multiple people is huge.

Cloak no longer costs plasma, forgot to mention that one, gonna edit main post. But yeah fair point, will probably have to lower plasma costs for pounce or raise max plasma if it gets tm’d.
You cant go invis after engaging currently either so I dont see how this changes anything?

Hard to tell if this is true because theres barely any chance to test it recently, but the timer could be simply adjusted to allow this.
Do I really have to bother answering the rest, you’ve never seen a lone dude walk by BR dorms and then get recovered a minute or two after? Really? Funny you’d accuse me of not playing lurker.

Its not like you die in one hit from stray rifle bullets. Its meant to prevent damage in a brief window. I dunno whats the issue here?

why wouldnt you be able to drag and disarm? Im pretty sure I mentioned that im changing it so that you can do it now as opposed to current state.

But ye, numbers obviously aint final because as all number changes it has to be tested and adjusted based on how it performs. It’s just a general frame for how its meant to work.

These changes would make lurker a lot less powerful, I don’t think it’d be enjoyable for the xeno side. For one, by reducing the pounce stun duration/cooldown means you’re basically straying lurker from a king of one v one duels, to a beefier runner with a on hit shield ability. In the case of a 1v2, just being able to pounce repeatedly doesn’t ensure that the caste is always capable, for example runner can lock down two people with pounces but it requires two very bad marines which makes it very negligible. Also the window of time to ensure that a marine you pounce will actually die compared to the other combat t2 (warrior) is very pitiful coupled with the slows being removed, will just worsen the fun that comes with being able to ensure that the marine you caught stays down. If anything this would just be fun for marines as lurker is no longer a powerful backliner, and more like a runner.

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Okay I misread that, but still the point stands on the lowered slashes.

Most marines have shotguns though? You should know this, and if they don’t then there’s an 80% chance the buddy near them does. And what if he anticipated that you’ll shield the moment you get close? I didn’t know we’re switching the lurker from RNG disarms into a rock paper scissors match with shotgunners.

Lower alpha makes it harder to stop, I think 15 is the current scout alpha? And they’re easy to notice a lot of times so you’d just get merced, frontline or not.

Because they ran into you while you’re slowed while you’re stalking around? Then you don’t have the speed to either dodge or run away.

Fighting as a lurker has never been about the stuns, it’s about taking one guy out, use them as cover while they’re almost in crit then go for the other guy or run away if they have a shotgun, this doesn’t change that except that the guy you’re trying to take down is most likely going to stand up, PB you or just shoot you in general while being barely damaged, and not even slowed anymore.

The plasma usage is a general statement here not specifically for cloak, should’ve mentioned that. If you have to pounce more and as a lurker you don’t stay near weed most of the time, then you’re most likely going to run out of plasma and you can’t go invis to reach safety anymore.

Dorms is an active area almost always near a frontline, it barely counts as a backline area and more of a harassment one. And yes, it happens, so you kill whoever is recovering them as well. Dead people make good bait to kill more people or shift the frontline’s focus to another area, if they’re perma then no one will go there to try and recover, especially alone. As you’ve played lurker, you’ve definitely seen this right?

The brief window is too short? One second means nothing? That’s barely one burst and the guy isn’t slowed so he can chase you while shooting you, and if you have to ANTICIPATE being shot that means there’s a good chance the shield is going to be very ineffective. I wonder what’s the cooldown on it is too…

In the current state you can do it if you get the disarm in, even if it’s 2-6 as long as the guy gets stunned once you have a good chance to eat him, with this if you can barely stay down in a 4-4, you can’t disarm 4 times, drag then disarm 4 times again because the guy will get up after the 3rd disarm? You can’t even disarm, grab, start eating then continue disarming.

Last but not least, ask the lurker players about the changes they want to see rather than overhauling the entire damn caste into your own fantasy version of it like goddam that’s the least you can do. If you tell me right now you’ve asked the lurker players and this is the conclusion you’ve reached, I’ll take back everything I said but I genuinely don’t see the lurkers I know suggesting any of those changes… Except maybe the headbite.

We already have a strain with higher skill floor — vampire lurker. Do we really need more glass canons being punished by slight mistakes (actually, not necessarily mistakes since you can miss pounce even on sprite click)? Runner already exists.

Slow from CS is barely relevant because with the current kit you can land 4 slashes and that’s enough to slowdown marine due to pain from wounds and bonebreaks. Now I am not sure you will be able to land even 3 without risk of getting PBed. Imagine marine just standing up after pounce and just running away from the lurker (lurker is too slow to chase, it’s xover). One second shield is funny, but I don’t see actual usage. Ok you can probably use crippling strike as third slash and eat the PB safely enough. But you’re still slowed and stunned from impact and need to survive some more time to regain ability to pounce.

I like invisibility change tho. It makes ambush caste actually ambush again. Current invis is very sad, you have to make rushed decisions, otherwise you literally waste 45 seconds for nothing.

Headbite is… Interesting. Punishes poor PVTs a bit too much, but gives lurker a way to perma marines. I have mixed feelings, but I think it’s cool. Sounds very hard to pull off tho. I don’t think we really need a separate timer for helmet, or it should be shorter.

I think if lurker had at least 400 hp and CS still had slow this kit would actually work.

Most of my lurker deaths are from lucky stray bullets from the edge of my screen while I am trying to disengage after getting some damage. With 350 HP I can see it being more common.

then he gets slashed for free, you step away and re-pounce him?

Scout is lower I think, but yeah, thats why I lowered it, so they aint easy to spot.

but you do… you outrun marines off weeds, especially with pounce. Or you could just stop and let them pass by since they likely wont spot you with the alpha buff.

make sure you familiarize yourself with lurker kit before discussing it. Its literally a “single stun: the kit”.
Im pretty sure the situation you describe is easier to pull off with the kit im proposing.

Then there is no backline in CM anymore because this is the most backline spot in the game aside from hydro road.

Cant exactly do that if your stun’s on cd, unless the dude lets you melee him to death just like that. The issue is they dont perma because they get recovered earlier by a duo or the time between singles arriving is lower than your cd.

Right now you need to roll tackle on 2 off pounce else the guy’s just gonna walk away till another pounce.
I intentionally stopped tackling for a moment in the video to showcase how long the stun is… bro… You can fit a 4th tackle there, watch the attack speed.

Yeah bro im gonna go PM every single lurker player. lmao Everyone whos played lurker long enough knows the value of old kit not being restricted in pounces. People can give opinions itt anyways, as is happening rn.

I think its stronger than people seem to think, but yeah im also aware lurker has the worst TTK amongst t2s, equal to a defender (worse if fendie wallbounces people). But with the current kit there’s not much you can do to fix it, hence the rework idea. Imo worst case its a good base that does away with the cloak/pounce restrictions and invis cheese, the numbers can always be editted to reach a fitting state so long as the base kit is fun and not reliant on one single stun.
Could just raise slash speed closer to the old value, raise tackle accordingly etc.
Also runner dies in a hit, deals no damage, has no shield and the stun time’s even lower so idk if comparable.

Should be able to chase without issue. Regarding the time to re-pounce after a PB these things are hard to gauge without actually seeing it in-game. Could probably add boxer stun immunity to the duration, but extending it’s risky since hedge has 2.5 seconds and that already feels like ages.

Could play around with inap injections on first channel to allow the 2nd and apply a long cooldown (5 minutes?) on each successfull kill.

Well, its true that this was PR’d in the chungus era and I didnt touch crip shield nor health for this thread, pointless to waste too much time b4 I get approval. Im aware the damage has shifted to HPR and offscreen SG overtime, so the hp proposition might be antiquated or might require a speed buff.

acid roony is fine, base runner should be phased away and for enthusiasts only, vamp lurker is an abomination, 300 apm moba button mashing to solo a bravo pvt.

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I hate how accurate this is with a passion.

I personaly didnt like the fact that lurker could pounce you while invis and kill you easily without anything else to do then wait, after the innitial attack is over it was a decision if you want to med yourself and potentialy get capped, die from the damage or get pounced again and die. it was very hard to get the lurker off you in that situation.

Your changes make the lurker a bit too weak as a xeno made specificly to kill lone marines, it came down to the skill of the marine in question if he would survive or not and if some marine ran in you would 100% die. That is why we could bring a tiny little bit of runner mechanics over to this change. Firstly i think it should be way easier to disengage, reduce the timer of invis down to around 4 seconds so the marine could get the damage in if he could same with others but if some others ran in your cooldown would be off and you could invis out. Secondly bring back the speed boost if you want him to do less damage.
If lurker would still be too weak to survice we could just not lower his hp at all so he cant be killed by the one rine he attacked.

With these changes the lurker would be played a bit more like a runner with pouncing someone dealing damage and going back to the shadows, that would make the skill you get from runner actualy go over to his evolution which currently is nowhere near to simularity. You would have to make him kill his targets in 2 pounces though as it would not even be realy better than a runner at that point.

While the invisibility should allow lurker to disengage when he wants to and not put him into a fight and not let him get out.

NVGs and MDs would make him less effective with these changes but we could allways get his hp higher.

I mostly wanted to avoid situations where you pounce behind a corner and pop invisibility to disengage since that seems extremely hard to punish even with motion detectors if you just stand still. I cant see that being fun to play against - its already unfun when it happens with scouts sometimes, even if xenos can see them through walls.
They should be incentivized to taking risks so anything that helps them escape should also be directly linked to combat. Hence would rather give it more speed or mess around with pounce cooldowns/range if it struggles with disengaging.
The way I see runner evo progression is it goes from that hit and run scout into a more sustain-fighter (if vamp sustains by healing damage taken, base lurker would want to avoid taking it through smart shield and stun usage) thats a mix of the glassy runner speed and the kill potential of rav. Making it based on quick hit and runs might fit in with runner but it’d then be unnatural with rav.

Well, I am admittedly playing it safe, I don’t want to go too much into testing before I get dev approval for the general idea, but the goal remains for it to have a 1v1 advantage and not be completely helpless (as it is now) if it comes down to a 2v1, even if disadvantaged.
Im thinking the time for marine to crit should be roughly around 3rd pounce so there’s 2 windows to fight back a bit, but I dunno yet whether that would be achieved through attack speed raising, lowering crippling strike cooldown or messing around with the pounce stun timer.