I’m going to be mostly addressing this from a non-pvp standpoint, as I feel like once the core of the class is properly built, pvp balance can be found fairly easily. Also, ground pvp more or less doesn’t exist right now, so it doesn’t seem like as high a priority as getting the “feel’ of this class correct.
I have Engineer as my second class, and I think that class FEELS great. Just awesome as shit. It has a few weird things like gadgets that say they’re worn, but you can’t wear them. Otherwise, overall, the theme of a future field engineer dude is there and it’s awesome as hell.
BEAST feels like a soldier to me, not a mech suit pilot. It kinda boils down to a few issues, but I’ll be going over basically all of the skills in each skillset, and offering suggestions I feel would improve the overall aesthetic. Going to add a new resource suggestion at the bottom.
Let’s start with SuitTech:
-This skillset makes me feel like for some reason this class started as a brawler. There are two takes on this. A) Mechs going into hand to hand combat is cool! (I feel like it’s a waste of everything but whatever, hulk on.) and From an Rp standpoint, none of the other classes should be able to withstand being in a melee brawl with a powered mech suit. So, unrealistic beyond the norm.
-Much of it also seems like it was balanced around limb damage, which was taken out at the start of beta with basically nothing given back in return. More or less making the entire tree feel gimmicky and bad.
Jumpjets: Basic flight ability, everyone has one.
Examine: This is described as a HUD readout. It pales in comparison to the Engineer’s HUD readout by a metric ton. I’m not saying they have to be the same, but improvements could be made here.
Support: Heal, everyone has one. I’ve been told this heals less than anyone else’s, but I’m not sure why that’d be. Heavy Armor is the one excuse I hear a lot, but armor doesn’t appear to DO anything right now. I can clear an area my level with zero armor on and it’s the same as with a full set.
Hotswap: This is a big issue with the class. We have SIX weapon slots. These weapons take longer to alternate through than ANY OTHER CLASS requires to wield/unwield a weapon. I’m not sure why the current idea is ‘you have more, so they need to take longer to use’. It’s not like this anywhere else, and the bonus to having these guns doesn’t exist to be worth punishing.
--Suggestion: Leave the system as it is, but make Hotswap a passive. Once you learn it, you’ve become good at operating your mech and can seamlessly alternate between weapons as you need it.
--Suggestion: If the malus HAS to exist, give a bonus to switching weapons to make the negative worth it.
Radar: Good skill, thematically accurate.
Propel: I’d be curious how many BEASTS use this more than once or twice when they first get it. It seems like an escape...except it can be simply interrupted. One of WAY TO MANY channels that do nothing but give your opponent free time to punish you.
--Suggestion: Remove the open skies requirement, remove the channel. Add a cooldown. Mech suits firing afterburners to dodge away is a thing, so it can stay.
Routing: Again, thematically cool. In practice? Meh. Most people will set it to one weapon set and forget about it forever.
--Suggestion: Not sure. Maybe add a small bonus to weapons other than damage? Give it a short cooldown, and have it proc on the first successful attack after a hot-swap. Give the pilot a reason to be juggling weapons.
Overclock: This is a bloody terrible skill. It was mildly...something before the change. Now it’s just...well it’s dumb. It could be in the middle of the tree somewhere as a throw-away rarely useful option. As nearly a capstone skill? Trash.
--Suggestion: A toggled ability. Reduces balance cost of attacks, but builds up EM damage and eventually starts hurting the pilot. Depending on the power, a cooldown after the skill is deactivated.
--Suggestion: Tie this into the new resource system. While active, attacks do extra plasma damage(Muscular), burning off some excess heat in the process.
--Suggestion: While active, there is no heat cap in the new resource system. Heat can continue to build, scaling related skill's damage as well as the damage you're taking. Lasts X seconds.
Ramset: I still don’t understand if this skill actually does anything.
Steady: Is fine, should include a damage resistance buff maybe, but is fine.
Jamming: This is fine as well, although I’d like to see the action lines updated to be a cool mech feature, not a drunk marching band.
Contingency: It makes a lot of sense to program your mech to step in if the pilot gets overwhelmed. Later in levels, it’s okay. Requiring the sky is again frustrating and doesn’t make a ton of sense when you could be thrown sideways as well. My biggest issue is that at lower levels you often get hit above the threshold, and die. It should perhaps stop incoming damage at 1, and then fire.
Watch: Fine as is.
I’m going to suggest we revamp this part the most. Move away from a hand to hand combatant, and move more to be a battle mech pilot. That is, using your Mech’s power core to unleash blasts, of a mostly utility nature. These attacks should help vent heat from the new resource system.
Backhand: Turn into Backblast. This would take on the SHIELD SMASH mechanic from MWP. Vents heat.
Boot: Replace with Vicegrip: Allow you to pick up a prop and carry it. It requires both hands empty. Lets you drop the prop as well.
Armvice: Turn into Disarm. A blast of energy to remove a wielded item.
Legclamp: Replace with Crush. Let’s you slam a held prop into the ground, or a target. Doing lots of damage, and destroying the prop.
Grapple: Turn into EmBlast(or a better name). Fire a beam of energy focused on overloading flight systems, causing the target to lose control and crash, doing massive damage (to Internal). Vents heat.
Rumble: Fine with this
Pound: Rename, retheme, the same function. Or Remove. It would need to not rely on prone to make this functional.
Discharge: This seems powerful, but I don’t understand it’s purpose currently. Other changes could make this fine as is. Would vent heat.
Sunder: Rename Disintegration Beam. Re-theme it. Requires high heat to fire, does damage based on heat level. Vents heat. Instantly kills if the target's internals are below 25%.
Shield: Currently MWP shield has no purpose for existing. You can even get drops and get higher power shields, but there’s no point in upgrading the power. Remove them entirely, and make it a part of SuitTech.
Shield: A passive buff that boosts defenses once activated.
Protect: Reduce your personal shield, and extend it to an ally in the room. Passive once activated. Taken from MWP
Block: Taken from MWP. Have an option between keeping out (channeled) and keeping in (passive).
Deflect: Taken from MWP. Another channel that’s stupid. Channel to...hurt your allies? Come on now. Remove the channel, make it drop if you move rooms.
Next up, Plasmacasting:
-Not gonna lie, this fits the ‘firebat’ idea pretty well. The main issue would be the not super great flow of things. Also, it feels like a skill set that is from another class in relation to the other two. They don’t really cross over very well. Few suggestions.First, work this into the described new resource system below. Then make this one of the primary ways to expand use of that system. Several skills to improve heat cap, and the other skills would scale very well with suit heat, as well as build it quickly. This would provide a high reward system, at the cost of lots of self-harm and a possible suit explosion.
Plasmawreathe: Another in the long list of why is this a channeled ability that does nothing but takes me out of the fight for my opponent to land free skills. You can’t even be weird and hunt with this, because basically all NPC attacks are considered ranged and this only triggers on melee.
--Suggestion: Remove channeled. Requires shield skill to be deactivated to work. Works on any attack, 2-second cooldown. Expands Heat Cap.
Plasmashield: Why is there such a dumb duration? There is like, one cold attack out there. This should just be a buff. Have it reduce plasma max if you want. Expands Heat Cap.
Plasmablade: Again with the duration. There are already enough negatives to having this active to make it a choice. Duration isn’t needed. While active, related attacks vent heat.
Clearsight: Uh, okay? This could be a passive buff and still be basically useless. Which is fine, filler skills exist. Just make it a passive buff.
And then, MWP:
-This skill kills me. We’re in space. In the future. The tech is hella advanced, tons of npcs use advanced energy weapons, ships use advanced weapons. We have nanites everywhere. Why the fuck are we firing bullets, ultra shitty missiles, and NETS at people? Are we god damn Ewoks?
Shield removed to SuitTech.
Netlauncher now a small weapon (wrist mounted). Now themed around being a nano-fiber electrified net.
Railgun now a medium weapon.
New weapon: Void Cannon, Large weapon.
Tether: Can this please be fixed to work on npcs that aren’t guards? I was told it should be working but hasn’t in a long time.
All net launcher attacks should apply split damage or be straight EM damage.
-Holy crap, can ALL missile launchers use the keyword: Missile, please? Prolly Missiles as well.
-Everything about missiles sucks. Everything. I don’t know why I just know that I feel like I’d do better picking up a rock and hurling it at someone using Suit strength.
Countermeasures: Should work as a defense that is passive, but only when the missile launcher is the SECONDARY large weapon.
Incendiary: Should probably add scorched. Could be plasma coated for muscular damage as well.
Missiles need to do WAY more damage overall. Especially to props.
Thematic: This needs to be plasma rounds. It would tie into the plasmacaster theme, and make way more sense then you just randomly having endless bullets. And make you feel like a part of the times.
-Mostly fine, just an issue with focusfire. This should do way, way more damage to props. Spending 30-60 seconds of a fight trying to get rid of a prop someone’s behind is just stupid.
-Vantage: Mostly positive this is utterly useless.
-Could allow us to pick special rounds. Thermal, Gravitic, Em. Give an option to use this gun to focus on particular subsystems.
-This should be the ‘sniper’ rifle, and as such, should be able to bypass cover at range. Or at the very least, have a good chance to bypass it.
New Skill: Aim - Take careful aim at a target, giving you an increased chance to hit even targets behind cover.
Thematic: Change this. Like, a lot. Make the weapon a hilt that focuses our plasma energies. Have it flare out in different shapes for different attacks. Make it a huge rocket hammer. Anything actually cool and futuristic. Not a stupid metal shank.
Skills: Alter to support new thematic, and have this weapon be a way to vent excess heat.
Thematic: Let’s go to own and use some Gravitic rounds. Let’s have fun with it!
Vortex: Create a micro-singularity within the room that pulses and draws all adjacent enemies in.
Voidpulse: Attempt to open a micro-singularity within your target, inflicting internal damage.
Gravitate: Play havoc with local gravity, launching everyone into the air.
Singularity: Create a larger singularity than normal, which will harm everyone in the room when it collapses.
Blackhole: Create a void around your target, increasing all balance costs until removed. Fully absorbs the next healing skill the target uses, which cures of them of the void.
--Can have fun creating anything here really. So long as it stands to reason it would require a big mech suit to deploy the weapon.