Remove RNG from Xeno Tackles

Insane idea ahead.

My proposal is removing the concept of RNG from xeno tackles and moving towards xeno tackles being a consistent mechanic.

As it stands, tackle is based on RNG, you tackle and you either stun or you don’t stun.

My suggestion is to do away with RNG stuns and make it that each xeno caste will deal stun damage when they strike a human with a disarm (the amount of stun damage dependant on the xeno attacking), if a human accumulates enough stun damage they’ll be stunned.

The concept is each marine has an internal “stun” meter that, when filled (let’s assume its from 0 to 100), results in the Marine being stunned for a minimum duration. Once a marine is stunned the tackle meter is reset but can be reapplied even while the marine is stunned, thus chaining stuns if no one intervenes to stop the tackle source.

Every xeno would have a certain tackle strength to their disarm attacks. (So, a Drone might have a score of 10, Runners 20, Queen 80, etc, etc (these are random numbers not a statement of what they should be).

Certain armours could be made to confer slightly better protection. A Marine wearing light armour would be more vulnerable than one wearing heavy armour. Furthermore I’d set the system that marines that are at certain injury threasholds have a lowered tackle strength (at 80 hp, tackle set to 80. At 40 hp tackle set to 60, at crit tackle set to 40, ect, ect). This would encourage Marines to remain healthy and not rush into battle at low health.

Some of the advantages of this system I feel are.

  • Removes RNG from tackles. Xenos will now know exactly how many hits they need to stun a target instead of praying to RNG, and Marines can also guess how the same.
  • Incentivizes Marines to stay with buddies as they will be hyper vulnerable to being captured even more so if alone
  • Encourage marines to tend to injuries and not rush out right after hitting the oxycodone injector.
  • The system would better encourage Marines to remain with their squad leaders, and discourage solo protagonists, as well as emphasize the extreme danger of being alone.
  • Four xenos stun tackling a Marine don’t have to worry about the Marine just standing up and tossing a suicide grenade thanks to bad RNG.
  • If tackle stun strength is tied to armour, then this would be another incentive towards medium and even heavy armour.

A neutral point.

  • Once a marine is stunned then there would likely be almost no way they could escape being capped/devoured without outside help, there would still be a chance for escape if a devoured marine is not taken to an egg in time. This may be a positive or negative.

Some of the negative points I can think of.

  • Coding and maintaining. This would likely be a massive change not only to game balance, but to the games code.
  • I am unsure how Predators would fit into this system. I’d assume that a Predator quickly recovers their tackle gauge thus they would need a lot of xenos to constantly apply the tackle, having to keep half a dozen or more xenos occupied on a Predator would be somewhat fair?
  • A competent group of xenos could cause issues with small groups of marines
  • Non-combat xenos would be more consistent in getting stuns, but the lack of RNG means there is no chance they get lucky and secure a 1 or 2 hit stun off the bat. Furthermore, non-combat xenos may feel that they are useless in securing or maintaining caps and have to resort to lethal slashes.

What are your thoughts on this insane idea?

  1. Wtf is this
  2. All i can see coming from this is xenos just attacking marines to get them vulnerable enough to tackle spam and devour, accidentally killing the marine and ruining a perfectly good cap

I think all of the castes (except maybe sentinel) can already stunlock a marine solo, even devour them without outside assistance, and the RNG here would be for most castes: 2-4 minimum and maximum disarms to stun someone. I don’t think xenos ever complained about it because it’s genuinely not bad, yes it’s “RNG”, but this would serve as a nerf to xenos more than anything. The real reason for why marines sometimes get up and suicide via grenade or whatever is because xenos get on top of each other and directional assist prioritizes other xenomorphs over a marine, causing them to fail their disarm on the marine, making him get up, it has nothing to do with RNG at all.

Going through the points:

  • No one prays for RNG except to get an easy disarm, with most of the maximum disarms being at 4, once more this would be a nerf.

  • This won’t stop marines being going alone, if anything now it means they know they won’t get disarmed in two hits anymore so they can be bolder rather than meeker.

  • Marines in general tend their best to be healthy, and to begin with, even if they aren’t, xenos don’t know if someone is injured heavily or not and if they are popping oxy and going in, they are most likely at the front where xenos usually go for kills rather than caps.

  • Being alone has always been dangerous and just like point two, this changes nothing at all. Marines are made to lose any 1v1 against xenos unless they are met with a skill issue. I really don’t see how this system encourages people to stick to their SLs or stop their solo protagonist acts.

  • Just like point one, the main problem with marines getting up suddenly is the xenos failing to disarm them rather than it being RNG. There is no xenomorph (except maybe sentinel) that can’t ALONE stunlock and devour someone, and two competent xenomorphs will alternate with their disarms so one can delay theirs and start devouring while the other continues the stunlock.

  • This would be a direct buff to marines, heavy armor users are one of the main cap candidates for xenomorphs because they are slow as fuck, now heavy armor won’t have any negatives except the speed during a fallback.

  • Marines almost never had a chance of escape once they are disarmed and dragged into the weed unless they received outside help, this changes nothing except that marines being tackled will now have it happen at a lower rate, since usually it’s one xeno trying to disarm while the others are engaging with the other marines.

  • Can’t speak about coding personally, so… Skipped.

  • Predators are a side antag anyway so who cares about them? If somehow this system came to be, a mix of trial and error can give them a “good spot”.

  • Competent group of xenos always had the upper hand against small groups of marines, this changes nothing. If anything it makes it harder to get caps because you no longer have the minimum of two disarms to get someone, either forcing the xenomorphs to focus on capping period or killing period.

  • If non-combat xenos now need more than 4 tackles to get someone, then this is a horrible idea. They already have lackluster damage and speed, why would you make it even worse? Drones, sentinels and runners especially all focus on capping in combat because their everything else fucking sucks.

Overall, the only frustration I see from RNG disarms is for the marines getting 2 hit disarmed by a funny drone and getting dragged to Brazil shortly after while spam disarmed.


Xeno tackle is already a weighted RNG. With a minimum and a maximum of tackles needed for each caste. For example the loser Sentinel always needs 4 tackles. Lurker is 2 - 6.

Marines are already vulnerable to being capped alone. Most of the xeno castes castes can solo cap, with varied effectiveness. Marines really don’t need more encouragement to not go solo, but they still do all the time.

I think the key idea of this post is “hey lets get rid of solo capping and only let marines be tackled if there are 10 xenos tackling them at the same time for 30 seconds”. But the problem is that capping kept getting nerfed for years under the guise of “you get 2 larva per cap, so the hive does not need to cap much to sustain itself”. But now the larva was nerfed to 1 per cap and xenos simply don’t have the capping ability to sustain the hive numbers through the round. It’s already an unbalanced state and any further nerfs to xeno capping would completely usher the marine speedrun era yet again.

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That’s not true, for a lot of castes it’s RNG, if you get unlucky the marine will stand up before you can devour them or tackle them down again. Sentinel is actually one of the ones that does have 100% guaranteed tackle stunlock. I know that queen, ravager, sentinel, runner, drone, hivelord and carrier have guaranteed stunlock. Burrower probably does but I don’t play it much so not 100% sure. I think spitter does but also not 100% sure. I know that defender, warrior, lurker, crusher, prae and boiler do not have guaranteed stunlock.

Personally I think for castes that don’t have guaranteed stunlock their tackle strength (aka tackle stun duration) should be increased so that they do, and castes with large tackle ranges should just have that range increased. For example lurker instead of being 2-6 range it should be like 5-6 or even 6-7 if it ends up being too easy to cap off a pounce, and then give it enough tackle strength to actually stunlock or at least devour off a tackle stun. I think it would make the game less frustrating for both sides while not requiring a total overhaul of the system.

I think there is a miscommunication on my part as to what exactly I am suggesting so I’ll edit the OP to reiterate and state it more clearer in this post

As it stands, tackle is based on RNG, you tackle and you either stun or you don’t stun.

My suggestion is to do away with RNG stuns and make it that each xeno caste will deal stun damage when they strike a human with a disarm (the amount of stun damage dependant on the xeno attacking), if a human accumulates enough stun damage they’ll be stunned.

Essentially instead of relying on RNG, you have a consistent and reliable mechanic that dictates how someone is stunned.

Heya! So I dont know if you’re unaware of how tackling works right now, but the post comes off like you’re not entirely familiar with the system as it is currently.

This isn’t exactly how tackles work. Back in the before times tackles were pure RNG, you would have a percentage chance to disarm someone every time you tackled them.
Now this system led to some wacky situations like marines getting lucky and PBing the runner that just tried to cap them because the runner was unlucky on 7 disarms along with a xeno walking up to a marine, one tap disarming them, and dragging them to brazil.

Because that was kinda clunky and unreliable for players tackles were switched to the current Min/Max tackle count system.
How this system works is that for most castes your first few tackles will have a 0% chance to stun. But when you reach your minimum tackle requirement you actually start getting a chance to tackle someone every disarm you do while in that range. Then when you reach your maximum number of disarms you will have a 100% chance to tackle them.

An example would be a runner disarming.
The code for runner disarms is the following:
tackle_min = 4
tackle_max = 5
tackle_chance = 40
If a runner is disarming someone the stun chance would be as follows:
1st disarm: 0% chance to stun
2nd disarm: 0% chance to stun
3rd disarm: 0% chance to stun
4th disarm: 40% chance to stun
5th disarm: 100% chance to stun

The lower and upper bound for disarms are different for each caste and I dont remember them all. Somewhere on the internet there is a spreadsheet that had them all listed from when the change was introduced, so maybe someone still has that and can show the class.
Also something to add, this entire system is on a per mob basis. So you cant disarm someone 5 times and then walk up to a different marine to one tap them. It also means that 5 different xenos all doing one disarm on a mob wont disarm them at all, since all those xenos were still on their 0% chance disarms.
Something else to note is that some stuns (maybe all of them idk) reset the disarm counter on a marine. A good example is the runner pounce that will reset the disarms to zero, a lot of bald runners mess that one up by pouncing the person that you’re trying to disarm…

Personally I dont really like your suggestion for a stun meter system, since we already kinda have one but it’d turn into a shared stun meter instead of a per xeno one.
I also personally like the slight variation in disarms required. It adds a bit more randomness causing for more dynamic fights, instead of the fights being even more calculated.

Anyways yeah I personally kinda like the system the way that it is but I hope that makes it a bit clearer on how the system actually works.

Fair enough, I suppose I didn’t quite understand the intricate nature of how the mechanic works.

My suggestion is merely born out of the fact I dislike RNG mechanics and would rather make things consistent. But if the game already simulates it to a degree (even if it is a hidden mechanic) then fair enough.

All of the castes can stunlock except for the sentinel with 5-5 it ARGUEABLY can’t stunlock AND devour solo, everyone else except for the lurker who actually depends on RNG because it has 2-6 for min and max disarms can stunlock AND devour. Defender, warrior, prae and boiler DEFINITELY can also stunlock with (I believe but I’m not entirely sure) 2-4 min-max disarms.

Defender and warrior have 2-4 range but their tackle strength is 2-3. This means if you get unlucky they can stand up. If you want to grab and devour the chance for them to stand up is even higher because that’s 2 tackles you’re missing, but even just constant tackling has a chance for them to stand up. Load up a local server and test it if you don’t believe me. Prae is 2-5 tackle range with 2-3 strength, but with a 45% tackle chance so you have to be pretty unlucky to not stunlock. Boiler is 2-6 range, 3-4 strength with 25% tackle chance.
Also sentinel is 4-4 not 5-5. Also it’s a 4-4 tackle strength

It’s an idea you can discuss, but you have to always look at the practical implications first.

If we’re not using this as a way nerf xenos deep into the garbage bin with stuff like 10 tackles required on a drone and keeping mostly the same same performance with say 3-4 tackles on T3, 4 tackles on T2s and so on, how is it going to differ in practice?

Well, this is gonna encourage xenos to create those capping murderballs. Lets say I’m a sentinel. Normally I’m pretty much useless on screeches, since my skills are crap and you need to 4-4 tackle someone. But now I can just come out and assist with tackling since every tackle now counts for that stamina damage and marines get disabled for a long time. Well, you have to counter that and make marine stamina recovery near instant and make recovery instant too, thus pretty much keeping the current system with little difference.

nvm it was Carlarc


Very based, 10/10.
Post must be 20 characters…

All you have to do is change each min/max tackle into a single number instead.

Armor and health based stuff isn’t gonna work because xenos have no way of seeing how much health do you have or what armor you’re wearing aside from inspecting sprite pixels. Nor does either side have a way of seeing the “internal stun meter” so it’d just be confusing or introduce a ton of extra bars everywhere.
Similarly shared tackles between caste that someone suggested would just lead to 2 runners capping you before you can get up. Current system’s fine, just remove the silly RNG and settle on a single number.

I think this is a fantastic idea. Anywhere you can remove RNG from this game is a good thing imo. Paradise Station has a similar stamina-based combat system, and I think it’s one of the few things they do right. The numbers would have to be tailored to be fair for both sides, but this is one aspect in which I feel the server is lagging behind another. The development on CM is comparable to none, but it seems a little antiquated to have disarms and stuns be based off of RNG rather than a stamina-based system.

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Lo and behold, Ideaguys Maintainer Steelpoint strikes again

xenos in shambles after this… god I hated warrior tackle spam

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Xenos spam tackle and being able to do nothing about it as a marine is the single worst mechanic in CM

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It’s both a necessary evil and just how SS13 in general works.

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It’s not a necessary evil; you can have tackles but also implement counterplay to them as well.
The aforementioned stamina being an example of such an attempt at reconciling the issue.