Monday, January 13, 2014

Suit Tuning: The Scout

With all of the exciting new dropsuit changes being introduced into Dust 514, the scout may be the most in need of some worthy additions. Most players were excited after seeing some of the proposed new changes to classes. While most of what we saw was great news, the new scout information seemed focused on the cloak. While we hope the cloak is a wonderful new piece of content [and balanced by not allowing firing or even aiming from a cloaked state, dont do it CCP!] it simply cant be relied on to make scouts a relevant class with a legitimate role to play on the battlefield.

We have a number of suggestions that are aimed at making sure that the scouts low health, number of slots and CPU/PG are also balanced by traits that make it viable. Scouts need a number of things to become relevant again, but within reason. We all remember how their speed played havoc with hit detection in the past and poor balance resulting in them tanking shields and armor. Neither of which are abilities the scout should possess. Here are some of the things we feel are essential.

1. Low scan profile - Since it seems like all scouts no longer have a class bonus with stealth in mind, its important that the base stats reflect their ability to be stealthy and escape detection.

2. High scan radius - The ability to detect all enemies in their vicinity over a certain scan profile should be a scout trait as well. Most reasonable people would agree a 20m base is probably a good base number.

3. Speedier - Given the games shaky history with hit detection this is easily the suggestion we debated the most and that has to be the most careful addition. An increase from anywhere to .3 to a full 1m would allow scouts a better counter to their extremely low HP and differentiate them from the other suits more movement wise.

4. Cloak > Scanner - One of the suggestions we feel the strongest about. In shooters the ability to see the enemy positions is not the norm. Most shooters require you to find the enemy through skill and pure battlefield awareness. As such, we feel like the cloak must be the direct counter to the too-powerful [in its current state] scanner. When active it should not relay any information to scanners, proto or not.

5. Scout Suit > Scanner - While the Active Scanner is still in need of massive amounts of tuning regarding its cooldown, we hope that the scout suit is another counter to its abilities as a whole. Krom Ganesh of the Holdfast Syndicate came up with one of the best suggestions we've ever seen regarding the scanner/scout interactions, but sadly it was deep within the scout registry. Here goes:

Scouts base profile allows them to avoid ADV and STD scanners out of the box.
PRO scanners should cost a lot more, have better stats, and can catch non-dampened scouts
GA Logi using PRO scanners catch scouts without a complex dampener
Make the focused impossible to beat (It placates the mediums and is terrible anyways)

Mediums can avoid adv scanners using damps

Mediums can also avoid the proto scanners by fitting 3-4 cmp damps
Mediums can't avoid the gal logi proto scanner

Special twist - Bias the STD scanner so it can only detect Heavies but have high detection times. Why? Because CCP intends to make heavies tough SOBs and knowing where the Heavy is can be a hell of a lot of help. This makes the STD scanner have a use aside from being that thing that is immediately passed up since ADV scanners are fairly cheap SP wise.

6. Spotting System - Kane Spero mentioned allowing scouts to relay the positions of spotted targets to the entire team like they did previously. This is a solid suggestion and really increases the value that snipers and scouts behind enemy lines have to the team. Allowing them to actually 'scout' is a good thing.

7. Stamina & Recovery - This one is simple. The scout is in a light suit designed for movement and mobility. Giving the class more stamina and faster recovery fits in line with the role that they are intended to play.

 8. Prone - Here is another ability we think that all mercs should possess, but as its used both to hide and get in the best firing position for accuracy it may be something that separates the scout better from the other suits. Worried about dolphin diving and drop shotting? Slow the animation down so its useless as an instant reaction in a firefight. This would be very useful for snipers lowering their targeting profiles and lessening scope sway.

9. Fall Damage - If Heavies can survive falls from the MCC, the most agile suit in the game should certainly not take damage from leaping [stylishly we might add] from a rooftop or stairs from heights of 30m or less. The scout suit is the weapon of choice for assassins throughout the galaxy. Can you imagine Cometus dying from leaping to escape after fulfilling a contract?

10. Target Painting - We'd really like to see the ability to paint targets [with L2, require grenades to be equipped and then thrown with R1] for all mercs but here again the scout role has priority. Using the same icon as the squad leaders highlight is a solid idea. Perhaps targets painted by the scout can instead be bathed in yellow for an extended period for our allies.

11. Hacking Speed - This is another ability that fits into the scout role. We're certainly not asking for them to instahack everything, simply a higher base value than the assault, logi, commando and sentinel suits.

12. Ladder Climbing - This great suggestion is from Foo Fighting of the Forsaken Immortals. It makes you wonder why were just now thinking of it. Scouts should definitely climb at twice the speed of other dropsuits.

13. Flux Mines, Infantry Prox Explosives, Miasma and Flash Grenades and Detectors - An alternative to Active Scanners, Detectors would be a great addition to Dust as a device you drop that highlights anyone who gets within 15m of it. This would be a great tool to alert mercs when the enemy has breached their perimeter in specific locations. Flux and Prox Explosives for infantry are another great equipment option for scouts who often fit the sniper role or simply want to place traps for the enemy or protect their static positions. Lastly, any type of grenade that obstructs the vision of the enemy for a quick getaway or to allow scoutsuits to flank the enemy would be extremely useful.

13. Map Changes - We like the changes made to maps that now cater to different playstyles and offer open areas, verticality and close quarters. At the same time we'd like to see more locales with good sniper spots in them. The problem before was that these areas were on the outskirts of the map and very often behind the redline. This rewarded people for avoidance style gameplay where they could ignore the objective of the game and attack at great distance with little to no risk for themselves. A change might have elevated positions in the middle of maps and force players into the busy chokepoints if they want good sniper positions.

14. Sniper Rifle Headshots - While the SR isn't specific to the scout per se, scout suits certainly fill the sniper role well. It makes us scratch our heads that both the scrambler pistol [totally embarassing] and scrambler rifle both do more damage with headshots. Should any weapon be able to say this? We say no, the Sniper rifle should be the standard for dealing large amounts of damage with shots to the head. After the scrambler pistol's ridiculous 450% multiplier is lowered, we hope to see the SR tuned to a higher amount, possibly in the 200% range.

15. Slot Counts - We understand that the scout will have a smaller amount of modules they can equip and be further limited by low CPU/PG, but their current slot counts are simply too low. One high slot for a Gallente Scout? [It should have 2 and 4 lows] The Minmatar should have 3-3 and the Caldari 4-2. Finally, the Amarr should follow its pattern of the highest total health with the lowest slot count 2-3.

As always, we'll continue to attempt to help promote and publish ideas that help establish, enhance and grow the Dust 514 community as much as we can. Have any ideas that need sharing? Would you like to join our staff as a writer? Be sure to contact us at


  1. finally! someone sees the light.

  2. Can't agree with Item 15.

    The Min scout having 3-3 slots? That should be the Caldari layout, considering that the Cal med is 4-3 and Min med suit is a 5-2 layout.

  3. we took into account that it doesnt look like the minmatar will have a 2nd equipment slot.

  4. We'd really like to see the ability to paint targets [with L2, require grenades to be equipped and then thrown with R1] for all mercs but here again the scout role has priority. Using the same icon as the squad leaders highlight is a solid idea. Perhaps targets painted by the scout can instead be bathed in yellow for an extended period for our allies.
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