What's with all the xeno overhauls lately?

Just wondering why xenos have been getting so many nerfs lately? Idk if it’s just in my head but it feels like a lot of cons have been piling up towards xenos recently. Just over the past 3 weeks:

-Warrior nerf
-Lurker nerf
-Queen building nerf
-Unable to build walls on resin nodes anymore, makes queen building even worse
-Number of larvas per cap reduced to 1
-Burrower unable to burrow inside the DS anymore

These are just things off the top of my head I noticed the past 3 weeks that have more or less been directly targeted towards weakening xenos.

Not sure when it was, but apparently buckshot got a massive AP boost recently too. Not a direct xeno nerf, but considering one dude with a DB shotgun can literally delete a rav with one click now, it doesn’t really help xenos much.
Also not sure if this “balanced” buff was to make up for a bunch of nerfs on marine end; don’t think so but if it was, what update have xenos gotten lately that has been in their favor to compensate for all the nerfs? (Only thing I can think of right now is tunnel tracking, which doesn’t really count…I’d rather have increased AP or slash damage tbh)

IDK where all these nerfs are coming from, or maybe if the timing is all just coincidence. But considering some of these dropped literally the day after a really good player fragged in a caste it’s hard to believe they were done for balance. If they were, they were balanced using a handful of the best players in the game (and hackers) as a baseline.
I don’t know too much about balance, but judging from what I’ve heard from more experienced players, I feel like a lot of the current balance changes to xenos weren’t done by people who actually play xeno extensively. As a result I don’t think some of them really had the desired effect either.

Just curious what the thought process behind these balance changes are, how many of them are liable to change, and if there’s gonna be any balance changes in favor of xenos in the foreseeable future?


imo, the burrower being able to burrow inside the DS doesn’t make sense… Like… Whats it gonna burrow into? The fucking plating? There’s no room for it!

same with the larba cap being reduced to 1 per cap. Just makes sense that the one cap would only produce 1 larva, It focuses on xenomorphs capturing instead of just slaughtering.

Either case, its all controversial and a good chunk of the work is done by morrow. Suppose ask him about the changes.

I can’t speak for the maintainers but from what I gather their aim is to try to get the rounds down to an average of 1.5 to 2 hours, and to try and reduce instances of the game heading into a drawn out stalemate that lasts for 3 to 4 hours.

The idea that the maintainers are intentionally nerfing the xenomorphs because some player got good and killed a T3 is laughable.

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Bro, this is the opposite of marine cope in Discord every other day.

I don’t know if I love it or hate it.


Similar to what @Steelpoint said: I am a Xeno player. I really enjoy it. These nerfs hurt . . . buuuuuuuut it’s pretty easy to see that the faction based around pulling marines into shadowy hell to get them hugged tends to stop doing that after the initial marine siege, and everything else is just a murder party. The Larva count reduction helps fix that.

Nerfs to the Warrior and Lurker also help those historically solitary castes to focus more on teamplay.

Resin nodes being fine under structures was just annoying for marines trying to clear them only to realize that a 5x5 patch of weeds would need to be individually pruned because the node was under a reinforced resin wall.

Overall, I think a lot of these changes were necessary the same way as shotgun juggling or the HPR restriction.


Damn I know xenos are good at capping but this is next level.

I do wonder if there will ever be any increased self awareness as marines say “xenodevs are nerfing only us!” and xenos say “marines main devs are nerfing only us!”

At the end of the day, if you only look for things to support the idea that you are the victim of some sort of targeting you will only find proof of it.


To tell you the truth, its gone both ways, like the SG changes and broken bones causing IB, recently proposed M2C changes, just to name a few

What’s really happening is the maintainer team is taking things to a direction that have nothing to do with bias or lack of xeno playtime, but about a greater goal to lower round times as far as I’m aware.

Whether people like it or not, there’s going to be a whole lot of ruffled feathers on both sides. All I know is a whole lot more is gonna change in the next few months, CM has gone through more profound changes in the last year or so than in a very long time. It’s really easy to say there’s bias about this or that than actually look at the greater goal being shaped.

Im still gonna mald about every change in Dchat though.

I always figured it was designed to ensure that burrower couldn’t burrow into the DS, but once they were on they could get under the floor. Like they can’t dig through the hull of the craft to get on, just worm into the lower chassis/frame of the craft once they were in, like the underside of an airplane. They can fit in pipes and narrow tunnels, it kind of made sense in my imagination. It was never an issue for years, until two good players managed to get shipside and kill everyone as burrowers a few times this past week (after several days of trial and error). The second they got good at it it was nerfed.

I haven’t played marine recently, which is why I asked if there were any significant nerfs that have affected them. All I’ve heard from a few experienced players who play both sides are complaints about xeno nerfs interspersed with marine buffs.

If that’s the case I guess it makes sense, again I just wasn’t aware of what’s happening on marine end.

Watching warrior nerf drop a few hours after DP gets a 50 bomb with warrior, then watching burrower get nerfed after DP and WAR successfully get shipside a few times, then watching lurker capping and larva numbers get nerfed after BOO goes on a few capping sprees…after so many nerfs I don’t wanna say it feels targeted, it just made me wonder if a few isolated players doing good was the motivation for the nerfs that followed. Maybe it wasn’t, maybe these nerfs were all just coincidentally timed, it’s just the fact that they came one after the other in such a short period of time that caught my attention.

I’m not saying things don’t need rebalancing, I’m just saying if you want to nerf things
-don’t use the few most skilled players in a caste as a baseline of measurement, they’re outliers not the standard. If none of these nerfs were based on isolated events over these past weeks then I guess this point doesn’t really matter.
-maybe try to consult people who play the castes or have extensive experience playing with whatever it is you wanna nerf, so you can accurately gauge the full impacts it will have on gameplay. Again idk maybe you’ve already done this but just from what I gleaned from experienced players I got the impression balance changes could be in a better place.

Otherwise balance changes may not necessarily get the desired effect; for example:

-Warrior nerf just encourages door/cornercamping, which is what marines despised the most. At least before there was a chance a warrior would take a risky cross-screen lunge into 20 men
-Lurker is a historically solitary caste, althought backliners do often tend to work together; also I thought the whole point of lurker was to punish lone marines. Wouldn’t this just discourage marines from focusing on teamplay?

same ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

not what I said

I miss the good old fashioned, hard-fought, tooth-and-nail struggle to survive 4 hour rounds. Where did they go? When can we get another actually good game of CM where marines don’t evac at 40 mins when they could win planetside? When xenos aren’t just out to speedrun victory by instantly pushing marines back after they land, wasting the hour of work I put into fortifying the caves into a labyrinth of nightmares?
Why are we playing? What are we doing here? What’s the point of playing the game if the only reason you’re doing it is to hijack in 35 minutes, just to waste another half hour waiting for shuttle to take you shipside, and then wait 20 minutes between games for the server to reset just to do it again? What the fuck is the rush? Why can’t y’all just chill and hold back for a bit, let the round take its course. Just wanna have some fun goddamn it

Seriously tho now with reduced larva, even if a round is whittled down to 1 hour, its like playing hardcore xeno (which doesn’t really make sense for the lower-number, non-revivable faction). If you die roundstart, there’s a decent chance you spend the whole hour as a ghost. Happened to me earlier today; now say “skill issue” and de-validate all my legitimate points

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-Warrior nerf just encourages door/cornercamping, which is what marines despised the most. At least before there was a chance a warrior would take a risky cross-screen lunge into 20 men
-Lurker is a historically solitary caste, althought backliners do often tend to work together; also I thought the whole point of lurker was to punish lone marines. Wouldn’t this just discourage marines from focusing on teamplay?

I think that Warriors should take advantage of their environment, marines shouldn’t wander into murderhallways, and that my ass getting grabbed from outside the range of my gun’s damage falloff was lame. At least praes have a cue.

The game is worse the more any single role can play by itself. I don’t like protagonists. Instead of skirting around defenses to slash a cade twice, get shot, run off screen to heal for a minute and a half, and repeat: I’m in favor of all backliners teaming-up to handle more threats. A lurker can handle tackles and sentinels can drop their pursuers, a defender can soak shots while a drone builds and spreads weeds, a runner can capitalize on a burrower’s tremor. All of those are infinitely more dynamic, engaging, and exciting that getting merc’d by a single emo dinosaur.

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Also xenos now have fewer roundstart numbers because they only have 1 larva per 12(!) shipside roles (used to be per 6).

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no fucking shot…
So now 1/2 the chance to get roundstart xeno
and if you don’t get roundstart or die early on, there’s a good chance you’re ghost most of if not whole round ( ͡ʘ ͜ʖ ͡ʘ)

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If I had to take a serious crack at this, I kinda don’t want to. I’m a marine main player and hear much whining on our side, too. But here’s a kind of point.

The game is changing on both sides. Some things will be more popular than others, and at the very least, I DO trust Morrow to be paying close attention to what his changes mean.

The Warriors can be freaking crazy, especially as a T2. Before the Nerf, even I played it and managed to take out 9-10 marines before I admittedly got overly cocky, and I think Matt or Talon was nearby someone I made the funny lunge to, leading to my death. The fact that it wasn’t that difficult to stack bodies with to the point that even I COULD do it, let alone someone good with the caste, showed me at least some nerf might be needed. I don’t think Morrow is done with warriors, and granted, while I don’t fall under the group of people who NEVER play Xeno, I can’t comment on it now. But I wouldn’t expect it to return to what it was.

I can’t speak on the Lurker changes. It’s never really a caste that interests me.

Burrowers being able to burrow on the DS is dumb as hell. At least runners and Lurkers must depend on the FOB crew screwing up to subvert their defenses. Burrowers, on the other hand, get a very short cooldown teleport. As someone who ground out engineering a lot for his synth app, I spent most of my time hunting the funny burrowers. While I did stack a decent kill count on PIG and a couple of others, it doesn’t change that many of my kills on this one involved them doing something stupid that I could exploit. It’s a caste that can teleport in. Pop tremor, and teleport out. Again here, too. I also love playing burrower when I get the chance. But maybe, just maybe, the magical teleporting Xenomorph probably shouldn’t be able to teleport into a dropship. The amount of chaos they can do by just hitting two buttons is high as hell, and I can’t think making them take the risk to get on a dropship where they can make an ungodly amount of chaos is bad for the game.

The fact that the queen could build on top of a resin node was straight-up stupid.

But that said, for the rest, I’ll go with what I said for Lurker. Unlike Warrior and Burrower, I haven’t had time to make much of an opinion on it, and I do respect you as you are a Xenomain who’s usually a pretty good dude. I won’t even waste your time pretending to have a complete understanding of a subject that I don’t yet!

Also not sure if this “balanced” buff was to make up for a bunch of nerfs on marine end; don’t think so but if it was, what update have xenos gotten lately that has been in their favor to compensate for all the nerfs? (Only thing I can think of right now is tunnel tracking, which doesn’t really count…I’d rather have increased AP or slash damage tbh)

We’re not owed compensation. Again, here the game is changing.
As of late
Lost Bicardine OD and now have surgery to fix IB and keep splinted to avoid massive blood loss on the battlefield.
Following the IB changes certain chems became nerf’d, especially in regards to blood loss countering chems forcing medics to carry blood bags which take MUCH longer to refill a grape marine.
A couple of guns become rarer (HPR becoming the most recent one with it becoming just a req-only item)
Smart guns now use a dedicated battery forcing significantly more attrition onto them, making it quite a bit harder to maintain their DPS over an operation.
M2C is supposedly getting a rework and or leaving the arsenal too.

There are more, but in general, if you want a better idea, just look on discord and look for people bitching who aren’t Swarmer. (They bitch about EVERYTHING it’s crazy.)

But back to my point. The game is changing. You might like some changes more than others. That’s perfectly okay to do! But it would help if you always remembered that you’re not the only side being changed; we’re all not really owed any real compensation. I wouldn’t even walk into any encounter expecting that historically in CM, that’s NEVER worked. We’re not victims here. We’re playing a funny 2D game that’s constantly changing.


Aces raises a good point worth considering. We’re in the middle of a very large scale balance change that is still very much in flux and not finished.

This is essentially the biggest series of shakeups to CM’s meta in a very long time. We’re on the level of when the game changed the core of hugger combat away from everyone carrying pocket facehuggers and Marines knifing the hugger off of them.

I don’t have any reason to believe the maintainers are approaching this from a negative angle, but in fact are doing this out of love of the game and a desire to improve on it. Personally I’d give them all the leeway they need to see it though.

Sadly, this does mean we are going to get rough patches of the game’s balance being out of whack at times as changes are tested and bugs are ironed out (see that brief time where aliens were getting 50 aliens at the start of a round against 60 marines).

Maybe if the game were fun I wouldn’t have as many complaints


Currently marines have a somewhat high new to veteran player ratio and they just tend to really struggle against the more veteran dominated xenos. So the dev team seems to be trying to balance it out a bit.

That said, I don’t like changes breaking the long standing and well tested mechanics especially when they happen on a promise that someday in the future maybe it’s gonna all make sense:
– Breaking the warrior kit on the idea that someday\maybe there’s going to be a rework that would make it fun again. Which of course means that currently a popular caste is just ruined.
– Giving marines nuke again on the promise that someday\maybe xenos would get a special assault caste of their own to balance it out. Which led to marines going full AFK cadehug mode on LV with 100+ for an hour after deployment and then just nuking it.

The numerical changes I actually support on principle, because they don’t do much harm to the basic interactions and the since xeno side is generally more experienced player dominated, it does not have that much of a problem embracing the challenge.

Though most recently xenos are in fact probably a bit overnerfed numerically and would probably get steamrolled in the immediate future, but that’s one area where I have some faith in the dev team to mitigate some of the nerfs when that happens.

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Xenos have, for ages, had a lot of finnicky easily fixable balance issues. Wonder of wonders some of them are actually being fixed.

If you were to ask me the biggest ‘balance’ (and imo its more like “this isn’t fun”) problems with xenos:

  • Acid runners should plant in place with a timer and balance their speed/health/timer duration around that
  • Queen neuro/screech need to go, and be replaced with abilities with more counterplay
  • Burrowers need a longer cooldown on their burrow ability
  • Health gain from abilities needs to be toned down or base hp reduced for xenos that have it
  • Tackling people should require people being injured first
  • Stuns and slows should be short so the targeted player still has some agency and counterplay

The nature of competitive games like this is that any time you make a change that affects balance, there is a swarm of people who think it’s unfair and you’re out destroy all their fun, but I think so long as changes are made to try and keep things enjoyable for both sides the exact balance situation won’t matter as much - that’s why I focus on things that feel severely ‘unfun’ to experience over trying to figure out how to get the perfect win/lose ratio.

The state of balance and fun has come a long way since the era of 1 tap tackle carrier instant hugger spam or xeno mutations that made everything as fast as runners. It’s just a slow road to getting to a good place.

The cap gameplay nerfs is just going to cause xenos to be less aggressive as a single fuck up will absolutely disable the xenos for the round unless the queen can manage to get enough caps to fix the mistake that they suffered. Considering that now xenos get even less roundstart xenos this is just a case of ‘encouraging cavehugging till marines get bored and push’.

Personally I can see the advantages of doing such thing as when I operate as marine command if the xenos get just 10 caps it absolutely nails the operation in the foot unless marines can get enough kills to counteract it and it makes it so the xenos cannot get excessive amount of xenos in a short period of time. But numbers is what xenos rely on to operate effectively.

Though it can be agreed that veteran xenos have a way higher advantage over veteran marines as one long term xeno player can annihilate or heavily damage the marines by themselves if they play smart but it also punishes the new xenos who are trying to learn the game better and are technically now forced to wait till the xenos get 20 caps just to replenish their already lost force.
Like others said this is just the dev team trying to ‘balance’ this entire thing out

Now my main issues would likely be
-Xenos becoming more like cowards knowing they cannot be replenished easily
-Xenos being unable to even siege the FOB
Xenos sieging a FOB requires alot of xenomorph manpower to conduct successfully. even more if the defenses are not terrible and the defenders are smart. This feels like it could cause alot more 6 hour rounds if certain conditions are met. But thats just me rambling on


The big issue lately is that the side with less numbers and no way of reviving dead is now also crippled in numbers.
Xenos are meant to win through attrition, now they get hemorrhaged by it.
We’re literally playing hardcore mode as xenos.
We can’t respawn.
If you die early in the round (assuming you’re lucky enough to spawn roundstart at all) you literally just spend rest of the round as a ghost.
I’ve seen people ghost roundstart waiting for a burrowed larva and sitting there for an hour before they finally get to spawn.

luv shortsighted balance changes by new devs with no xeno playtime.
Its hard to tell whats the intended goal of these changes to begin with, seems random and as people mention - targeted. BOO capped marines? Time to nerf the first thing that looks off, 0 thought involved.
Stuff like lurker losing its ability to double pat on fire/double tackle - it doesn’t impact its ability to RNG a capture with 0 counterplay which is the thing that should have gotten curbed. All it does is reduce skill ceiling because you cant pull fancy moves like fishing tackle in a 2v1 before pouncing the other guy.
More incentives for marines to cadehug and more incentives for xenos to rush with other changes mentioned, which weirdly enough doesnt seem to be what the devs or staff even wanted, just thoughtless PR spam that misses the issues its aimed at and causes new ones or worsens the game.


the big effect i’ve noticed with the new changes is xenos are far far far more timid, and if they don’t win the first engagement with the marines it’s just a slow bleedout unless they get some really fortunate caps.

Xenos historically got stronger the longer the round went, either via caps or whatever else, encouraging the marines to be aggressive. However nowadays the Marines get stronger the longer the round is, with Research, Defcon and so on. The thing is that xenos don’t have the early game potential to make that new asymmetry really work yet

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