Ever since the blue fragment bug came and went, the discussion about Outlanders and fragments has been a bit of a hot topic. Whilst I've seen quite a few threads on the subject by now, I've only seen people scratch the surface of why they are a problem in their current implementation, and make up band-aid solutions to a bigger problem. That's all well and good, but ever since the fragment bug was fixed, I've been tinkering with a much bigger rework in my mind. I've been meaning to post this for a while, but I've been busy with life and all that.
Now, before I get to the rework itself, let me run over why the current implementation suck on so many different levels!
- First and foremost, it quickly becomes a boring chore. Whilst it may seem unique and interesting the first few times you play an Outlander, it very quickly becomes a mundane "check off the list" task.
- Not only is it a boring chore, but it's a kinda unhealthy mechanic in a co-op experience with a preparation phase. A guy is impatient and is about to start the objective, but another other guy needs to do a goo siphon for his quest and asks for assistance. What will you do? Do you go help the guy, or do you look for fragments to defend the objective? Ideally Outlanders should be able to help during preparation to the extend other classes can.
- On top of the above, when you have fragments available, you'll want to keep them for the defence, which cripples your ability to use cooldowns. Getting ambushed by a wild pack of husk? Better not put down the TEDDY! Went to help goo siphon guy? Better keep that TEDDY for the objective defence!
- When you play other classes, you're completely fine with seeing duplicates. Multiple Soldiers? Let the bullets fly! Multiple Constructors? More BASE more fun! Multiple Outlanders? GET OFF MY BLUE FRAGMENTS REEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Having your combat potential crippled by what heroes other people choose feel pretty bad.
- In addition to point 4, it sucks to see the blue fragment in the distance being picked up by Ragnarok and his noodle Shock Tower, when you're playing something like Reclaimer/Enforcer, who benefits much more from the same fragment. It's hard to blame Ragnarok though, because you can't really expect people to put that much thought into things. Maybe he doesn't even know which Outlander you play if you joined after him, and the shiny fragment on the ground called his name.
- Did you think fighting other Outlanders for the fragments were the only fight to be had? Think again! Now it's time to fight the games RNG, yaaaaay! Fragment colours are completely randomized, aren't you stoked to find 5 purple fragments in a row? I know I am!
- Last but not least, certain Outlanders are in a unique position, where they got multiple abilities fighting for your precious fragments, Reclaimer mains like myself know this one too well. So on top of the earlier point of crippled cooldowns, you often find yourself in a place where you can't justify using your Shock Tower if you got any fragments whatsoever. The best boon of the blue fragment bug, was the ability to actually use my Shock Tower.
So now that we got all the problems, what is my proposed fix then? Well first I'll cover the simple part of the fix, which should be more than enough to satisfy a lot of the current Outlanders!
- Blue Fragments are no more!
- Purple Fragments remain. There's 3 of them scattered around the map, they are now INDIVIDUAL, so multiple Outlanders on the team is no longer a downside.
- TEDDY baseline cooldown reduced from 60 second to 48 seconds.
- Shock Tower baseline cooldown reduced from 20 seconds to 16 seconds!
Those changes are enough for a lot of Outlanders. We're essentially trading an unreliable and inconsistent chance to have a somewhat reduced cooldown, with having a consistent and reliable cooldown sitting somewhere between the current base and fragment cooldowns.
We could just stop here, and most people would probably be happy, right? But what about the thematic idea that Outlanders collect something… outlandish? What about the Outlanders who LITERALLY got "fragment" integrated in their name? What about all the traits that interact with fragments, what will replace them? INTRODUCING!!!
- New passive ability across all Outlanders!
- Baseline (No traits): On death, Mist Monsters have a 20% chance to drop a purple mist-looking fragment on the ground. These fragments are completely individual to each Outlander, and remain active on the ground for 30 seconds. When you either walk over or very close to these fragments, they are automatically consumed and reduces the cooldowns on all abilities currently on cooldown by 3 seconds!
- Example: You pick up a mist fragment, your TEDDY cooldown jumps from 48 to 45 seconds! You pick up two in a row, it jumps down to 42 seconds, etc.
This removes all the problems listed, and makes the collecting of fragments more engaging. You no longer gets punished and limited by fragments, you get rewarded by taking up fights with enemies instead. It also makes for much cooler choices, do you take the risk and Phase Shift into a group of husks to grab a fragment to get your TEDDY off cooldown? The choice is yours, and now you can actually have an enjoyable preparation phase! (Yes, I took some inspiration from Demon Hunter's Sould Shards in WoW!)
Now we get to the part where I propose specific changes to current traits, which would be irrelevant after the removal of Blue Fragments. If you don't care about these specific Outlanders, you can just skip this section!
- Fragment Generation reworked
- Current: Every 60 kills grants 1 Charge Fragment
- New: Mist Fragments now got a 35% chance to drop
Notes: Reclaimer already gets buffed indirectly by having more chances to use Shock Tower, so this is just just a small replacement.
RECON SCOUT / TRAILBLASTER / TRAILBLAZER / WILD FRAGMENT
- Impossibility Matrix reworked
- Current: Increases the cooldown reduction of T.E.D.D.Y. and the Shock Tower to 50% when using a Charge Fragment.
- New: Increases the cooldown reduction of Mist Fragments of an additional 3 seconds (Now 6 seconds each).
Notes: This change should maintain their flavour.
- Shocking Embrace reworked
- Current: Increases the duration of Shock Tower by 2 seconds if placed with a Charge Fragment.
- New: Increases the duration of Shock Tower by 2 seconds
Notes: Flat out a buff, but we're not exactly seeing a whole lot of shock gunners out there anyway. It would also make his squad bonus a bit more attractive, but hardly game breaking.
- Eye on the Prize reworked
- Current: Every 15 headshot kills grants 1 Charge Fragment.
- New: Every 8 headshot kills drops a mist fragment (applies to normal husks)
Notes: Keeps her flavour of being rewarded for headshot kills.
- Look what I Found! reworked
- Current: Start missions with 3 Charge Fragments.
New: All husks now got a 5% chance to drop a Mist Fragment.
Double Down reworked
Current: 50% chance to find an additional Charge Fragment when collecting a Fragment.
New: Mist Fragments now remain on the ground for 1 minute!
Load Bearing reworked
Current: T.E.D.D.Y.’s damage is increased by 50% if placed with a Fragment.
New: T.E.D.D.Y.’s damage is increased by 50% if picking up a Mist Fragment whilst active, lasts till T.E.D.D.Y. expires.
Notes: Currently the niche of Wild Fragment is having basically no downtime on TEDDY, through his traits and squad bonuses. With this rework he'll hopefully have enough active Mist Fragments in the world at all times, so he can essentially reduce the cooldown to nothing and maintain that niche. Keep in mind that you'll still only to have one active TEDDY at a time.
That's all folks, feel free to give me some feedback and discuss, I hope you like my proposal!
TL;DR: Blue Fragments are awful – Blue Fragments removed from the game – Purple Fragments remains in smaller amounts and are now individual – Cooldown of TEDDY reduced from 60 second to 48 seconds to compensate – Cooldown of Shock Tower reduced from 20 to 16 seconds to compensate – Mist Fragments introduced: Drops from Mist Monsters at 20% base, they're individual and remain for 30 seconds, they're picked up by getting near them, they reduced active cooldowns by 3 seconds.
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