10 Suggestions for adjusting Propane Sploders

FortniteBattleRoyale2 - 10 Suggestions for adjusting Propane Sploders

I was going to just reply to this excellent post here: but my reply was getting rather long, so I figured it deserved it's own post.

To sum up the thrust of that post, Propane tanks carried by Sploders have too much impact on trap box building at endgame, and actually cause team friction at endgame, as dropped tanks (and/or temporarily obstructed/confused Sploders) can cause chain-reactions that instantly annihilate a large chunk of your defences with no chance for players to respond – and making it far too easy for other players in pick-up groups to accidentally (or deliberately in some cases) sabotage the defences if they fire or do anything in/into a trap box.

Personally I feel that propane tanks being set off by exploding deathbombs and/or other propane explosions is the worst thing at the moment, guaranteed to wreck trap boxes eventually unless you kill all Sploders before they reach your trap boxes – which is not always practical when being attacked from multiple directions without a full group, and terrain/spawns do not always allow the time to kill sploders early if you have to defend against ramps or spawns up on a higher cliff-edge.

So Propane/Sploder effects on player-built structures need nerfing, but not so hard they become zero threat to either us or our structures. We don't want to eliminate all challenge from the game.

Currently Sploders are one of the few major threats to our structures (along with Smashers, Mini-bosses and Skull Lobbers), and at high level can be a threat to players/defenders as well, especially in melee (when stacked on other persistent damage like bees/lobber-affliction/acid-pools/gunslingers etc.) – though obviously not as much of a burst damage threat as massed Blasters/Gunslingers or multiple diving/charging Takers/Smashers – and when you're not defending anything Propanes almost get easier the more of them there are, as you can chain their explosions to kill other husks.

So Sploders either need to remain as much of a threat to structures as now – just with time for players to respond, rather than losing a whole trap box at once, by adding more chances/time to counter propane/Sploders with teamwork and skill-based play – OR Sploders need to become more deadly to players and objectives in exchange for becoming much less of a threat to trap boxes.

I propose a balance of these solutions to change Propane/Sploder huskies to be more dangerous to objectives and players/defenders, while being less dangerous to player-built structures. Here are my proposed changes/ideas – obviously the devs would need to decide which, if any, to implement:

1. Make propane explosions inflict fire damage, then ensure propane explosions only do their current level of total damage to wood structures – but dial down the damage (at least half, preferably lower) against brick/metal structures.

2. Change propane damage so that only 25-50% of the total amount is dealt up front as burst damage, with the remainder being dealt over-time as DoT/affliction type damage over 6-8 seconds (representing burning/collapsing/bleeding damage after the initial explosion as applicable).

a) Players/structures/defenders already under this affliction/DoT effect from a propane explosion, when hit with another propane explosion, will simply have this timer renewed to full duration (but still take the lower amount of burst damage), so they will not take full damage from subsequent overlapping propane explosion effects.

b) This partially mitigates the effect of propane chain reactions on trap boxes and it also lets players manually repairing or using Power-BASE or Banner-gadget have time to mitigate structure damage being done (teamwork-promoting feature), but when it comes to their own health bars…

3. If making propane explosions do mostly damage over time, and do less damage to player-built structures, then their total damage against players/defenders could be dialled up as a balancing feature to severely hit players who do get caught in propane explosions.

a) If this was done then I suggest a game-wide change to self-healing items/gadgets/pickups/perks/pads/campfires – both to make them more useful, and to give players a chance to mitigate the higher damage over time if they are quick enough – I propose that, as well as replenishing health (like now, although Healing Pads need a MAJOR buff to their amount healed), any source of healing immediately cancels/stops/clears all sources of affliction damage currently applied on the players/defenders being healed – this would include the above-suggested DoT-portion of damage from Propane tank explosions, but could also include the short duration affliction from Fire/Nature/Water husks too.

b) Being healed would not stop health-loss-over-time suffered while remaining standing in a location-based effect (such as bee swarms from bee husks, Lobber affliction clouds, acid pools mutator left by dead husks, volcanic miniboss aura, etc.).

c) this could provide more skill-based opportunities for teamwork (healing a teammate just in time);

d) this also makes heroes such as Warden Kyle and Alchemist Sarah potentially more useful/interesting, and the Candy Corn LMG and Ginger Blaster;

e) this also makes perks like Survivalist more useful too, not that this is really needed, so the devs could exempt this if they felt it is overpowered already (it's pretty hard to give up once you start using it in builds);

f) this also makes campfires/healing pads of more use than they are currently, where they mostly get used as a post-battle health top-up if used at all, rather than as a lifesaver (and atm just jumping off the zone-edge and respawning achieves a similar post-battle health top up, sometimes faster than a campfire, and for no materials cost, with the only disincentive being the time taken to run back, if you even care/need to run back).

4. To further balance a sizable propane explosion damage nerf against player-made structures, dial up the damage propane explosions will deal to unprotected objectives – perhaps even make it so that if a propane tank is carried into the square(s) of an objective and exploded there it is an instant defeat. This would make Sploders the single greatest threat to unprotected/open objectives if your defences are not good or compromised.

a) Sploders could use the propane tank like a weapon (swinging it overhead, so the devs could use some of the animation frames from Sploders throwing their tank) to bash it against walls blocking their access to an objective, doing more damage than usual husky husk melee damage (already substantial vs structures);


b) then once the objective is uncovered/open the Sploder would either throw the tank in, or walk in and detonate the tank;

c) maybe Sploders would also throw the tank if blocked by a low/mid wall, but able to throw the tank over it into the uncovered objective.

5. Additional to 4., Sploder AI could be changed so that once they are within 6/8 squares of an objective they ONLY path to the objective and will not get distracted chasing players/defenders.

a) This would make Sploders a single-minded threat to objectives – just like how Takers/Gunslingers/Pitchers/Blasters don't care about objectives and only care about killing players/defenders/survivors, but there is currently no husk that is the reverse and cares only about objective but not players/defenders/survivors (somewhat like how kobold runners in Orcs Must Die! are objective-obsessed and leave players/guardians alone, making them an absolute priority if they get through trap boxes even though they are not that dangerous to you personally – not even the mini-boss in STW acts like that, as they smash structures, sometimes chase players, but cannot harm objectives).

6. Maybe the biggest change I am suggesting – change it so that propane tanks, whether carried by Sploders or on the ground, CANNOT be triggered/detonated/penetrated AT ALL by:

a) any/all husk abilities and mutators (lobber skulls, exploding deathbombs and Sploder propane explosions themselves are the main ones now that cause other propane tanks to explode);

b) any/all blast area weapons (launchers, tiny instrument, boom bow, zapper, etc.);

c) any/all player ability/perk effects;

d) any/all traps (not much of an issue now, I think only Ceiling Drop Traps trigger propane sometimes now, but it has been an issue in the past, so it is worth stating);

d) all melee/pickaxe hits (covered in detail in point 7 below);

e) ranged hits with ANY weapons using energy cell ammo;

f) ranged hits with ANY Shotgun-type weapons (buckshot/pellet type) – maybe also including Dragon's Breath pistol and Super-Shredder sniper as they shoot pellets like a shotgun;

Note: After this change only direct hits on the tank itself with small/medium/heavy bullets (or by an obviously penetrative weapon using shotgun ammo, such as the Hydra and Rat King, which obviously fire slugs and not pellets) would penetrate the tank and explode the propane early (whether carried by a Sploder or on the ground), or of course the Sploder could detonate (or throw and detonate) a propane tank he is carrying when his AI says to. This is both a pro and a con in different situations compared to current behaviour (no more using boom bow, tiny instrument or launchers to mass detonate Sploders, or using Sploder detonations to detonate other Sploders, but no more accidental detonations in trap boxes failing missions either). It's possibly less fun in many situations, but I feel it promotes skill-based play re: firing accuracy, if you want to individually detonate tanks early to kill husks.

7. Further to 6. above I don't think melee/pickaxe hits should EVER detonate a propane tank – a tank on the ground hit by a melee weapon or pick-axe should be moved further than currently occurs – at least three to five times further distance than now, imho – and in a long slow arc. This would give players the time to switch to a ranged bullet-based weapon and use it to detonate the tank in mid-air (maybe for bonus "airburst" damage against husks) before it hit the ground – or maybe just shoot it on the ground after it lands, while it is far enough away from you that you won't be hurt by the explosion. Again, this promotes skill based play and would be pretty cool to pull off an airburst detonation.

Note: And definitely keep the current skill-based feature where you can hit back a tank thrown by a Sploder when using a pick-axe, maybe even keep the detonation in that case (as the Sploder has already "lit" the tank when they do this), but extend this functionality to melee weapons as well if you time your swing well enough.

8. Stunned/knocked-down Sploders should always drop their propane tanks on the ground, same as dancing sploders do, but staggered Sploders should be allowed to retain their tanks like they always do now (and propane explosions themselves should continue to stagger any husks they do not kill). This again allows for skill-based play to strip propane tanks from their Sploder.

9. Sploders who have dropped/lost their propane tank should still be able to detonate their bodies (like the Boomers in Left4Dead) so that they don't just become a Husky Husk wearing a red jersey if stripped off their tank. They would only detonate themselves if in melee range of a player/defender, and it would be a much smaller explosion than their propane would have caused. Their personal explosion could still cause a lot of damage to open/unprotected objectives (just say they are filled with corrosive acid) and it could either cause an affliction cloud/effect (like gas lobber projectiles) or just cause applied damage-over-time (like a melee/gunslinger hit from an elemental husk) or like I propose for the propane itself (part burst damage, part over time damage, though not as strong in this case).

10. The other suggestion that vies for being the biggest change I am proposing: Allow players to collect Sploder-dropped propane tanks from the ground, exactly like we pick up spawned bluglo, as a similar stackable inventory item that also vanishes on mission completion. Then have two repeatable quests, one to collect 50 propane tanks in exchange for perk-up rewards (choose 150 epic or 75 legendary) and one to detonate 50 propane tanks with accurate direct hits from small/medium/heavy bullet weapons (for 300 reperk), so that players in pick up groups have a selfish reason to want to collect tanks (or detonate them early, hopefully). The reason to have rewards for both is to not totally disincentivize players from using propane tank explosions against husks where it would be handy and opportune to do so, as using propane against the Sploder husks that carry it is fun and promotes tactical skill-based play.

Maybe applying all of these suggestions would be too much, so what do you think?

Which are your favourites?

Which ones do you dislike?

Am I just an idiot for suggesting any of this?

Can you come up with better ideas?

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