I'm a Titan main. Bomchelle is BAE and I absolutly LOVE the pink outfit and rocket launcher that I have equipped on her. I've got well over 30 hours of game time with Titan and I play Titan on a regular basis - before and after patch 1.4. It's my love of Titan that has me a little concerned about the current direction of the role balance changes, though.
I want to note that after a few weeks of playtime in patch 1.4, I think the overall benefit to the game is there. I like the longer fight times, the faster spawns, and the general feel of the game right now. It's intense. That's about the best word for it. Yes, there are things I want to see changed, but that's a different discussion.
Let's look at what happened to Titan in patch 1.4.
While there may not have been any official "nerf" listings in the patch notes and role balance changes for patch 1.4, the net result has seen some significant nerfs in Titan due to the lack of buffs. The net result is a weak hammerhead, a slow character with no defensive ability, and an ult that is nearly useless in keep people out of an area.
These nerfs come down to a few key areas:
- Speed of movement
- Self damage
- Damage output
- Berserk ult
Let's look at the list of nerfs in detail, first, and then I'll offer some suggestions on how to fix it.
Speed of Movement
First I want to note that I am a PS4 player only. While I think my experience crosses into PC in general, there are specific that I already know about where Titan does perform better on PC. Movement speed, for example, is better on PC than PS4 due to rocket jumps.
Rocket jumping is an incredibly difficult thing to do on PS4. I run 100 horizontal sensitivity with single zone aiming. This gives me an incredibly twitchy response in my aim, and I generally love it. But rocket jumping is still incredibly hard to do because of the way analog sticks work.
This leaves PS4 players at a severe disadvantage when it comes to movement speed.
Compare this to Juggernaut - an armored tank with more HP than anyone and a zero-skill-required speed boost and epic jump. It's gross to look at Jugg compared to Titan in damage output, speed, health, and armor / defense.
I know rocket jump is a thing, though… and if it can be done, Titan can out-move a lot of other characters. But I consistently try to practice and use it, and it's incredibly difficult - unlike many other classes that have no-skill-movement speed.
Additionally, as I'm moving through zero-g I'm often left to choose between reload after I land, or move slowly through zero g so I can reload before landing. This is a terrible choice to make - take damage or take damage. There's just not enough speed in the rocket boosted movement.
And then there's berserk mode, where you become a tree, planted in the ground. I'll save this for the section on Ult, though.
Rocket jumps, however, bring up another problem.
Titan, to the best of my knowledge, is the only class that does self damage with a primary weapon. Wraith's stinger explosion will do self damage, but I can't think of anyone else that does any real damage to self.
The worst part about Titan self damage is the lack of auto-heal when exiting the spawn zone.
Previously, you would have a few seconds in which you could rocket jump once… maybe twice, if you timed it right, and still be at 100% health.
With patch 1.4, this is no longer the case. I've heard some people say it's a bug. But I think it was by design, since health regen was added. The justification, in my mind, would be something like "you have health regen - why would you need this few seconds of invulnerability?"
With Titan, specifically, the problem comes from self damage and the need to rocket jump.
Using a blind-fire rocket jump from the door of spawn is one of the most effective ways to move quickly from spawn. But with the lack of invulnerability in place, I now have to judge whether I should be able to move fast vs have full health when I engage an enemy. And when I accidentally make the wrong call because the action in the match is constantly moving and I have no way of predicting it consistently, I am typically stuck with less HP than pre-1.4 Titan, at the end of my 2 rocket jumps.
Now I have to wait for health regen to kick in, which means I can't rocket jump straight into action. I have to rocket jump into a hiding place, waiting for regen and then engaging.
Only, when I do engage, I end up in a nerfed situation.
Titan is one of the few characters that did not get any real changes in patch 1.4, other than the health increase.
With no change to the Hammerhead, though, the effect is a massive nerf - beyond that of most other characters due to the projectile speed and high level of skill required to hit targets.
Sure, if I can get a direct hit I can do 225 damage. That's a lot. But at that direct damage, it will take 4 rockets to take down Jugg - assuming Jugg does not put up armor. In a typical engagement with Jugg, a Titan will die because Jugg is a tank with armor and incredible damage output.
The issue, beyond jugg, is the need for direct hits. It's incredibly difficult to do - more difficult than it should be considering the speeds at which Titan can't move without yet another incredible skill level.
The exception to this is the crisper, which is only viable in very close quarters… making it rather difficult since Titan can't get in, get hits, and get out fast enough.
The result is Titan often turning into a flank or defensive character when it should be a more direct damage output character.
Which brings up the next issue:
Titan's Ult Not That Useful
While Titan's ult does do a lot of damage output compared to the crisper - longer range, more damage, and a health increase, it's not a great ult for anything other than walking into a populated area from a flank.
From a defensive perspective, the Berserk ult is nearly useless. When playing defensive position in Blitzball or other modes where you need to get people out of, or keep people out of a specific area, I never use it. If I try to use Berserk to defend a blitzball goal, it's almost a guaranteed score for the enemy team because a Berserk Titan cannot knock an enemy back.
That's why berserk has become a health boost for me, on defense, and not a defensive damage output mechanism. I will not use berserk when the enemy has the ball or when I just want to keep people out of a zone. I'll stick with rockets and crisper and then if I survive, I'll ult to regenerate my health, before the enemy comes back.
If i'm playing blitzball, though, ulting to regenerate means I cannot pick up the ball because Titan is a tree, planted in the ground, during ult.
In short, it's an offensive powerhouse if you are good enough to get behind the enemy team. You can take out multiple players with it, if they are low or not looking at you. Otherwise, glhf.
Lastly for the Berserk, it receives a massive nerf in health boost.
Pre 1.4, Titan went from 500 HP to 900 HP. This is an 80% increase in health.
Wth 1.4, however, Titan goes from 600 HP to 1000 HP. This is a 66.666% increase.
Yes, Titan's HP is massive in berserk. But when you combine it with no knock-back and a general inability to move, it goes too fast.
With all of those issues out there, let's talk about solutions.
I want to note that I am not against the damage and health nerfs, in general. I believe they should be offset by other improvements in the class, though.
Speed Of Movement Increase
This is one of the primary areas where I believe Titan should be improved - the ability to move.
I don't want double jump like Enforcer or boost speed like Jugg, though. Those things don't fit the Titan class very well.
What I want to see, instead, is an increase in the impulse speed that rocket firing provides and a decrease in the pulverize cooldown.
Pulverize first - a decrease in the cooldown would allow me to have that "oh crap! I need to move!" response more frequently than I currently do. Pulverize is a great tool for this, but often leaves me stuck in the middle of many enemies as I have to wait too long for it.
An increase in the impulse of a rocket firing would help to solve the overall movement issue with Titan - whether I'm in zero g and need to get across fast, or if I'm standing too close to the enemy and need to get out of there while doing damage.
It shouldn't take 3 or 4 rockets to move across a zero-g zone. It should take no more than 2 or maybe 3, giving me more opportunity to do damage when I land. This gives me more opportunity to move and not worry about damage in air vs damage when reloading after i land.
Titan's ult also needs movement, but I'll save that for the ult section.
Self Damage Decrease
Self damage is a major source of frustration for Titan right now, because of Rocket jumps being a requirement.
Decrease the self damage from rockets. I might not say to remove it entirely, in spite of Titan being the only class to do self damage with a primary fire mode. But the oddity of dealing damage to myself with a rocket, and not my teammate right next to me, is … well… odd.
Decreasing self damage with rockets will make rocket jumps less of a high-skill move because i won't need to have a gamesager level of game sense to know where everyone is and calculate whether i can use my rocket jump and take the damage.
I don't want a direct increase in damage output per rocket. That may make things OP. But the massive skill required to do full damage is too much.
Therefore, increase the splash damage to more closely match that of direct hit at super close range, while increasing the overall radius of splash damage.
Go from 75 to 200 damage for splash, with 200 being very close to the target and 75 being maybe 10 or 15 % further out than it is right now.
For the crisper, either give it more distance for both direct damage and chain damage, or … what i really want to see…
Give the crisper the same type of slow-down effect as neutron mine, with an increase in spread for all weapons fired by the enemy being crispered. The enemies are being electrocuted… they should have some jitters to fight off because of this… slowing them down, and increase of spread would be a reasonable effect. (If something like this happens, though, don't increase the distance for the crisper.)
If crisper changes of either type are made, combined with pulverize cooldown reduction, Titan will have a much more effective crisper and ability to get in, do damage, and get out.
Berserk Knockback and Movement
Titan needs a knock-back or equivalent when in berserk mode.
Please let Titan kick during berserk. Make it a lightning kick, since berserk mode.
If kick won't be added, then add the jittery lightning damage the same as I suggested for the crisper. Slow people down a bit, and give them more spread in firing weapons, as they fight against the electrocution happening.
For movement, Titan either needs to just walk faster or still have pulverize available during berserk.
I would prefer having pulverize available. It should effectively do lightning damage in a radius since berserk lightning is going on. Increase the cooldown of pulverize during berserk, though. I shouldn't be able to do it more than twice - and even then, only if I do it immediately after going berserk, and then once right as berserk ends.
Balance Is Hard
There's no question that balance is hard.
And frankly, if all of my suggestions are implemented, Titan would be OP.
From this list of improvements, though, I desperately want better movement and knock-back in ult, and decreased self damage. If we only get that, it would be a great move in the right direction. If the other bits can be added without making Titan OP, then it would be even more awesome.
Thanks Again, BossKey
Before I go, I want to say once again, that I absolutely love this game. Please know that every complaint I have comes out of a place of love and respect, and a desire to see the game that I play more than any other right now, put into the best possible place.
To everyone at BossKey and Nexon, thanks for reading, for listening and for responding - not just to me, but to the entire community.
I know you get a lot of hate, and I hate that you do. I love what you are doing, and I believe you are moving this game in the right direction.
I hope my input will help, will encourage you, and will provide some interesting discussion points internally, for things to change and improve.
Thank you for all you do with this game, and for games in general.