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Bulwarks: A Hunter's Natural Enemy?

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I'm finding Bulwarks very bi-modal. Early in the game, they're really tough, because no one hit can kill them, so it always takes multiple turns to take them down. I've often been wiped by a 6 bulwark level with a squad of level 1-3 3 x Hunter + 1 x Caberjack + 1 x Alchemist.

But later in the game, they're almost trivial. Once a Hunter with followup can kill them in one attack, they become a non-problem. And later still I had level 7+ hunters relics that can kill advanced Bulwarks in one 100+ HP hit.

I was also thinking about Brad's comment that "Hunters have no natural enemy", and the relative uselessness of early game Caberjacks and Alchemists.

Here's a mix-and-match set of ideas:

1. Basic Bulwarks only shell up if they're hit with ranged weapons, but don't with melee attacks; it would also happen on the first hit, so a followup is much less effective. This means that Hunters become less effective against them, and it makes it worth bringing a Caberjack up to kill them. However, the Caberjacks are vulnerable to the Bulwark's piercing attack when they're bunched around.

2. Advanced Bulwarks would have two levels of shell: 1 for any hit (same level of shielding as a basic Bulwark), and a second level of shield for ranged attacks. Not quite sure what the second shield would do, but it would be interesting if it made them resistant to stunning, so they're less vulnerable to "ranged attack, stun" pair.

3. Alchemists get a researchable potion to throw which dissolves the Bulwark shell. This means that an Alchemist can actively contribute to a Bulwark fight. A second tier potion would dissolve an advance Bulwark's shell.

I think this would have the combined effect of making Hunters less effective against Bulwarks, while making Caberjacks and Alchemists more useful.

Of course, this is a very point thing around Bulwarks; I'm not sure how much of this would apply to other Cadence enemies.

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I think having Bulwarks shell-up between first shot and followup would make a big difference. It may be technically difficult though, depending on how the combat system works under the covers.

Alchemist bombs removing the shell is a really cool idea that could improve balance and really fit the flavor of the class. How satisfying would it be to hit a couple bulwarks with a free-throw, watch them shell-up, then drop an acid bomb to remove those shells for the rest of the team to have a go?

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I think this is definitely one approach.

I'd actually go a different way, meself. It always struck me that a possible candidate could be those seeds, and the big seed shooters whose name I've forgotten.

While these aren't much of a threat at the start of the game, they become much more so later, and they are interesting in that they do that thing of burrowing underground, currently as a way of re-emerging as the large variant.

But what if seeds could burrow underground and re-emerge on the next turn right next to a character regardless of whether they were cloaked or not? And what if the larger variant had a sort of torpedo attack designed to seek out hidden characters? Something like that could be interesting.

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I think this is definitely one approach.

I'd actually go a different way, meself. It always struck me that a possible candidate could be those seeds, and the big seed shooters whose name I've forgotten.

(Cradles)

While these aren't much of a threat at the start of the game, they become much more so later, and they are interesting in that they do that thing of burrowing underground, currently as a way of re-emerging as the large variant.

It would be interesting if the burrowed then remained underground for a turn or two, moving about...

But what if seeds could burrow underground and re-emerge on the next turn right next to a character regardless of whether they were cloaked or not? And what if the larger variant had a sort of torpedo attack designed to seek out hidden characters? Something like that could be interesting.

Well, a Seed is pretty much that; if a Cradle drops a Seed near a cloaked Hunter, then it can either directly reveal it, or at least prevent it from uncloaking and then moving cloaked. But in practice it doesn't seem like that much of a problem. But if a Seed did (some) AOE damage on death...

I'm not quite sure how a moving cloaked works. I know that a Hunter can't *become* cloaked if an enemy has it in view, but can it *remain* cloaked if an enemy is nearby (ie, could see it if it weren't cloaked)?

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Oh, I was also thinking an Advanced Bulwark shell could provide an area shielding effect for nearby enemies, like the Caberjack ability. That would raise the stakes of allowing a Bulwark to shell up.

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ya late game the only time a bulwark will shell up is if you get a glanceing blow... which blows.

really bulwarks are built to couter caber/alchemists. the bulwark range gives them an advantage. the peirceing stops you charging many guys at one and the shell punishes glancing blows and bombs.

but again late game bulwarks can easily be one shot with a decent relic caber OR a decent relic thrower in melee. basicly late game anyone can 1 shot a bulwark, which is why in the last lvl there are dozens of them.

as for what should counter a hunter... i think seeds are a good bet. cabers are barely hurt by them. alchemists can deal with dozens of seeds at a time if they have reactive Armour and a leech seed. but hunters have no crowd control. maybe make seeds super doggy and give them a damage bonus vs low Armour. then just have cradles favor launching seeds at hunters. the new hunter stealth means that if a seed is nearby and can see them then the hunter cant stealth. so there is your counter. the vision counters stealth, the numbers counter the 1 shot kill stratagy of the hunter, and the seeds are launched so the hunter cant just pick them off at range.

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