Hey folks. Here we are with another year of the spaceship game. We're constantly trying to keep the game adapting without changing too much of the core gameplay ... a delicate balance. I have some pub ideas I want to float past you. First is the Levi.
It's been about a year now since Levis have had L3 bombs, at the cost of 1/3 of their energy. I think most people agree that they're still deadly in the right hands, though, and that they can pose a serious threat to the livelihood of pub if players don't actively try to hunt them. Even hunting them can cause a flag game to dwindle, though, and arguably the flag game's at the core of pub.
Then vs Now
In the past, Levis had a much harder time greening because pub was in general more active in the spawn area. It was not easy to get to a safe, and even if you did, sometimes a weasel would be waiting for you to ruin your day in a highly comical fashion. Now LT teams are much more sophisticated, often with years of experience under their belts. Getting to safe rarely takes more than 1 or 2 deaths, and as we all know, once you make it to safe, you're nearly as good as attached. In the past, spawnkilling was a significant enough mitigating factor of Levi destruction. That's not the case anymore, especially when there are few players online, and a skilled LT can cause much of the arena to ragequit/spec.
To compensate, we can go in a few directions. I have a few ideas to rework the Levi further into the Glass Cannon/squishy model (high damage + high risk of death if an error is made -- essentially, gearing toward it being a high skill cap/high learning curve ship).
#1) -Energy, -recharge, -bomb fire cost, -bullet fire cost
I'd like to try them with half the energy and recharge they have now, but also half the fire cost for bombs and bullets. Essentially, everything would be miniaturized in proportion to energy. It would feel exactly the same as it does now in terms of how often you can fire and how long it takes to recharge from 0 to full. This means Levis could be 1-shot by Lancs, and if not at absolute 100% energy, 1-shot even by Spiders and Terrs. It would also make Javs a much greater risk for them, as well as TKs from other Levis on an LT. This does provide a disadvantage for solo Levs, of course. But keep in mind that no disadvantage was so great as having L2 bombs! And that most ships are still able to basically 1-shot Levs already, so that it's more what's in their bag of tricks (reps, rocket, port, well-timed bullets/bombs) that can keep them alive anyhow. Mainly this change would help Spiders and Terrs... And they're underplayed as it is, so incentivizing them isn't a bad thing.
#2) Shared Greens/Attach Limit
The other move is to either reduce shared greens or to raise the attach limit. We could place shared greens at 10, 5, or even 0 (few people eat their greens for Levis' sake anymore, anyhow, as many are just TK factories). Or we could raise the attach limit to 25 or even 30. Both have roughly the same effect, which is to make it more difficult for a Levi to be able to attach. Raising the attach limit mostly means more grinding killing your friendly freq-switched terr after you make it to safe, whereas lowering the shared greens also means you won't receive as many tool refreshes or random full charges, and might not be as annoying overall for LTs. Shared green lowering does disadvantage solo Levis, but only those on public freqs. However, these are some of the worst and most annoying offenders for TKs. It may not be a bad thing to make it harder for them to survive long enough to get to the top of lower base, where they can then fire bombs at the base entrance while their freq is attacking.
#3) Bomb speed
Lastly, we can reduce bomb speed very slightly. This has the advantage of making it easier to guess when a bomb is about to pop the base, and means fewer TKs as well. Terrs can compensate for lack of speed by making moving shots. This has the effect of deincentivizing standing shots, which are currently the most common Levi shots, and require skill on the part of the Terr to set up but not much on the part of the Levi.
Final point: L3 vs L2
L3 bombs are difficult to balance in this day and age. We could go back to L2, but that seems to completely destroy the idea of what the Levi is. While not out of the question, I'd like to do everything we can to avoid having to go back down that road.