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Attack Dogs & Spies

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Another topic we’d like to hear the community on. 

I’m sure there’s at least a few people who would love to see Attack Dogs get added to the game. The biggest issue I always hear is are Spies powerful enough to warrant adding them into the game?

I’d like to see some brainstorming on this topic. What could make the Spy better to allow the team to add the Attack Dog? 

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As an attack dog spies should get a sausage link that hovers over your head. 
 

The attack dog would also be a good counter to tanya in close quarters. I would argue dogs should be unable to access terminals because they don’t have thumbs but also so you can’t just eat a Tanya then disarm her C4. Terminal usage should at least be on a 30 second timer after purchasing.  
 

I would also argue that while spies don’t need a direct counter exactly, they’re uncommon enough to be a major thorn in a soviet team that doesn’t expect it. Forgotten is infamous, just yesterday I killed two technicians a sergeant and one engineer and wasted an ore dump on Volcano. Didn’t actually kill Refinery but I sure got close and suppressed repairs to the point someone panic bought an engineer not realizing dead Techs were why it wasn’t being repaired. 
 

Also, I don’t think it would throw off balance. Most maps feel allied biased already, giving them a better counter to saboteurs alone would be a nice nerf to PXD. 

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Really well thought out response. Thank you!

I do like the idea of once becoming a dog, you can’t use the terminal. It would make you think twice before picking one to kill an Engineer/Tanya, and then switching back to disarm C4. 

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I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I think dogs would work best as a passive base defense, somewhat comparable to the Gap Generator; have a Kennel in the base somewhere that spawns dogs periodically to roam around the base, destroy the Kennel(s) to prevent dogs respawning. Maybe have the dogs put an indicator (like the arrows over cloaked units near an MSA in IA,) over the heads of nearby (15-20m from a dog, maybe?) spies, or even just any nearby Allied infantry unit, to encourage people working *with* the dogs to defend the base.

Preferably, the dogs would still be vulnerable to full-sized weapons, but for their anti-infiltrator role, having them be resistant to handguns (and thus, Spy, Thief, Engineer and Tanya) might be a good idea.

Though I must also admit, GeneralCamo's purchaseable buddy dog is also a good idea.

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Copy from my thread for the idea discussion

"The Attack Dog is the most important counter against allied spies and infantry in general and we need them in game (because we have some really good spy players in APB). They are faster than all other infantry and kill a soldier in one hit, even Tanya.
"But Meta, what if the soviets destroy the allied vehicle production and the enemy comes with a lot of dogs? it's unbalanced" - People driving with Anti Inf Minelayers into the enemy base if allied Vehicle Production is dead, also allies rushing in the same case with APCs and Rangers into the Soviet base so this argument is invalid. Dogs have no Armor and can killed pretty easy by one player with good aim or 2-3 casual rifle soldiers. To give a spy a small counter against dogs, he can carry a "dog spray" (Anti Shark Bat Spray flashbacks) that paralyze or slow down the dog for 1-2 seconds so the spy can counter the dog.

Because of Dogs the Kennel would be a new target for allied players to get rid of to make room for their spies and infantry.
If Chitzkoi makes also hold in APB he would be a very pimped version of the Dog, also he would need oil to not make weird mechanical rusty sounds when he moves.

If a Dog Player sees a Spy, he should see not the soldier facette, instead see a british black suited man that run for his life."

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4 hours ago, GeneralCamo said:

Back in the day though, it was proposed that purchased dogs could roam around the base as passive defense. Rather than this, perhaps purchasing a dog means that you become a dog handler. Basically your standard infantry unit (maybe a Starshina or Kapitan could also purchase them, but I see it as a bad idea to give Volkov or Shock Troopers this ability) gets a dog that follows you around, sniffing down spies and hidden infantry units. This also prevents issues with melee weapons that this engine has, since the AI would be handling that and not a human.

I like this idea quite a bit.  Making the Kennel a simple structure where you press a button and receive doge is very appealing.  I will say that Volkov should be able to buy a Chitzkoi though, super mut that you can only have one or two of that mulches all infantry and is tanky.

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I'm not sure what more the Spy can be made to do. He shuts off power in the Power Plant, establishes a team-wide relay in the Radar Dome, sabotages the ore dump in the Refinery, reveals enemy vehicle locations in the War Factory, does the same for Barracks(?), and disables repairs in the Construction Yard.

The only idea that comes to mind is changing the Spy's effect on the Barracks/War Factory and jacking up the prices for the Soviets. A successful infiltration and the Soviets are forced to buy things at 25% markup for the next 30 seconds or instead wait it out and let the prices return to normal while they hunt down the Spy. Other than that, the Spy does a phenomenal job at creating opportunities for his team and causing confusion and stress for the enemy.

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5 hours ago, V0LK0V said:

 

I like this idea quite a bit.  Making the Kennel a simple structure where you press a button and receive doge is very appealing.  I will say that Volkov should be able to buy a Chitzkoi though, super mut that you can only have one or two of that mulches all infantry and is tanky.

nah i don't like to buy a npc buddy for the match, i wanna be the dog myself and kill this filthy spies

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Melee units don't work in this engine. Especially AI controlled melee units.

We've failed with the Chameleon Spy, we've failed with AR dogs, what makes you think it will suddenly work out in APB?

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22 minutes ago, Voe said:

Melee units don't work in this engine. Especially AI controlled melee units.

We've failed with the Chameleon Spy, we've failed with AR dogs, what makes you think it will suddenly work out in APB?

I don't think it's a write off, I think it's more down to us not approaching it properly and actually carrying out prototypes for it.

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Any discussion on balancing needs to include opportunity costs (for non-AI units). As effective as a specialized unit is, what alternative unit would a Soviet player give up playing to be a dog? Same as spies. Ineffective spies can really cost Allies an valuable extra tank or mech/medic.

A good spy game-play video

Also, can someone explain how spies work in Barracks/War Factory?

 

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6 hours ago, Voe said:

Melee units don't work in this engine. Especially AI controlled melee units.

We've failed with the Chameleon Spy, we've failed with AR dogs, what makes you think it will suddenly work out in APB?

Because everything always works for APB :v

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9 hours ago, Voe said:

Melee units don't work in this engine. Especially AI controlled melee units.

We've failed with the Chameleon Spy, we've failed with AR dogs, what makes you think it will suddenly work out in APB?

I mean, the ants, -kind- of work.  This isn't going to be perfect, its an engine that is twenty years old.  We're just looking for more new things :)

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I mean proper planes were said to be impossible for a long time too, AFAIR. Also dogs in RA, does jump on enemies when it attack, so maybe it dont ahve to technically be a melee weapon, but maybe you can do some shenanigans that turn the dog into a projectile while it attacks, and bag into a character after the attack or something like that, I dunno

 

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To balance it out, we need cats.

Allies get cats, Soviets get dogs.

Simple as.

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On 6/27/2020 at 11:58 PM, Mojoman said:

To balance it out, we need cats.

Allies get cats, Soviets get dogs.

 I agree.

And about the dogs, I'm happy if we can have a Pet Dog like in ECW, where you can give commands like attack, hide, roam, hold, follow ,etc.

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Another thing why people think dogs are too op in APB is, it's a one shot infantry killer and thats true and the spy will not have a chance.

But the reality is that dogs have enough down sides.

Besides the fact dogs can see enemy spies super easy, they are the counter to the allies op infantry force. Alone the fact Medics and Mechanics can heal the allied forces everywhere (except on the big sea) is op as fuck. Dogs are not only the counter to spies also to the other unique allied infantry, even Tanya. They attack with a near-close jump (2-3m) and kill players in a instant.

Dogs are fast and deadly and are a defend- and support class on the battlefield to get rid of the heal-class infantry. But for attacking a enemy base there are basically useless, they don't damage buildings or vehicles.

Also their negative aspect is dogs have no armor and don't have much health, easy to kill. But doggos are fast runners to dodge attacks. The other downside of dogs is the kennel.The Kennel is a weak armored building thats easy to kill, one good rpg player kill that thing solo and dogs are gone. Also they can't counter more than 1 infantry player.  If the dog kills a player, they have a cooldown of 1-2 seconds and can't move (because of the bite animation) and are a easy prey for other players.

And despite the spy will get even more value with tech centres (infiltrating the air field gives allies a one time parabomb strike and in subpen the sonar signal) dogs are necessary. Imo Spy is already a pretty op unit in terms of use, much more than thiefs.

And if you want to make spies even more powerful, give them a anti-dog spray to stun dogs for a couple of seconds and don't change the team player count so nobody will notice that a spy is in the Soviet team.

oh and another note, should dogs able to communicate in the chat? the only thing that dogs should say in the chat and the commando keys should be WOOF! xD

Edited by Metaridley

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In practice, getting player controlled dogs to work well is tricky, and I feel like AI dogs might be difficult to get right for many of the same reasons; Despite low health, they're smaller than humans, generally faster, and deal a ton of damage. In many AR tests, a half-decent dog player has shut down the enemy team rather easily (I've done this with the explicit purpose of testing how powerful dogs really are).

Personally, I have an alternate solution; Leave the dogs, but introduce the Kennel. Have it be a small, low health building that starts barking whenever enemies are near- including Spies. Less of an active defense that would be frustrating to deal with, and more of a passive defense that's basically an alarm system. This would be a nice boon to Soviet defenders without doing their entire job for them. Yes, the Kennel is barking up a storm, but at what? Is it a spy sneaking around, or an enemy Tanya? Where are they hiding? How do you deal with them? That, comrade, is up to you!

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16 minutes ago, Killing_You said:

sonally, I have an alternate solution; Leave the dogs, but introduce the Kennel. Have it be a small, low health building that starts barking whenever enemies are near- including Spies. Less of an active defense that would be frustrating to deal with, and more of a passive defense that's basically an alarm system. This would be a nice boon to Soviet defenders without doing their entire job for them. Yes, the Kennel is barking up a storm, but at what? Is it a spy sneaking around, or an enemy Tanya? Where are they hiding? How do you deal with them? That, comrade, is up to you!

I kind of like this idea. I wonder, would there also be a team chat alert for the Soviets? What's the distance you can hear the sound from?

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Personally, I wouldn't display it in team chat, but I'd probably have the sound distance cover a decent chunk of the base. The distance for the sound and the range at which the Kennel would start barking would have to be played with quite a bit. Ideally, they'd be wide enough to alert the team and point them in the general direction, while allowing for a big enough "search area" for the Allied player to hide and/or escape without the Soviets immediately zeroing in on their position. It'd be a bit tricky to get right, but not to the extent that playable/AI dogs would.

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1 hour ago, Killing_You said:

In practice, getting player controlled dogs to work well is tricky, and I feel like AI dogs might be difficult to get right for many of the same reasons; Despite low health, they're smaller than humans, generally faster, and deal a ton of damage. In many AR tests, a half-decent dog player has shut down the enemy team rather easily (I've done this with the explicit purpose of testing how powerful dogs really are).

Personally, I have an alternate solution; Leave the dogs, but introduce the Kennel. Have it be a small, low health building that starts barking whenever enemies are near- including Spies. Less of an active defense that would be frustrating to deal with, and more of a passive defense that's basically an alarm system. This would be a nice boon to Soviet defenders without doing their entire job for them. Yes, the Kennel is barking up a storm, but at what? Is it a spy sneaking around, or an enemy Tanya? Where are they hiding? How do you deal with them? That, comrade, is up to you!

Nah, don't make it like a defense building. But not all is wrong with your argument.

Unlike AR where dogs weakspot is the enitre barrack building in APB it's just the Kennel. Get rid of the weak armored kennel and dogs are no more.Why people targeting Service Depots? To get rid of annoying mines. Simple as that. Dogs aren't op in APB, there op in AR because their weakspot building is much better armored.

The best way to test the dog and kennel things is just to test them how they work in APB Test matches. Back in the day the Cruiser was impossible to implement and now it's just 3x artillery on water but it get destroyed by hinds, migs, subs and especially V2s...

honestly if W3D Hub will make more renegade mods, i guess not even matches with 3 factions or even epic units from kanes wrath, red alert 3 or the cabal core defender are impossible...

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On 6/25/2020 at 7:46 PM, FRAYDO said:

I'm not sure what more the Spy can be made to do. He shuts off power in the Power Plant, establishes a team-wide relay in the Radar Dome, sabotages the ore dump in the Refinery, reveals enemy vehicle locations in the War Factory, does the same for Barracks(?), and disables repairs in the Construction Yard.

Other than that, the Spy does a phenomenal job at creating opportunities for his team and causing confusion and stress for the enemy.

You missed planting nuke flares, delaying enemy silos, sonar ping, and stealing subs/ vehicles (would be cool if they could sabotage helipads, airfields, and SDs in some way)

but add a new power for only the best of the best of spies. A zone next to the kennel to temporarily disable the purchasing of dogs.

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I honestly feel the Spy right now is only situationally useful, and is biased against newer players. And this is something that only the Soviets need to worry about; buying a vehicle far from the war factory isn't punishing as an allied player like it is as a Soviet player, and honestly if the Spy does it to a new player, they will learn not to do that and then the spy isn't very useful.

 

There's a lot I feel that would need to happen for the spy to be both useful without being broken. But two things that I feel should happen:

- Get rid of the discount hijacking, as this is only useful in rare circumstances, mainly involving a new player. I do not feel that this adds to the gameplay as much as actual abilities for the spy would.

 

- Don't switch the spy's team. This makes it immediately obvious that someone is spying (plus it can confuse moderators and players who think that the teams are unbalanced, rather than just a lot of spies on the team). Instead, spoof an existing player on the enemy team. This does provides a risk of you being detected by the player you are spoofing, but it's made up for by the loss of an obvious spy that was just shooting at you a minute ago.

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i think dogs could work out in apb,  so where's my furry pen so I can launch an army of cosplaying dog furries at the allied base in apb

In all seriousness though, I think dogs could bring a good balance to the table if done right, if it has been done with ants then surely it can be done with dogs on a smaller scale probably.

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22 hours ago, GeneralCamo said:

I honestly feel the Spy right now is only situationally useful, and is biased against newer players. And this is something that only the Soviets need to worry about; buying a vehicle far from the war factory isn't punishing as an allied player like it is as a Soviet player, and honestly if the Spy does it to a new player, they will learn not to do that and then the spy isn't very useful.

Also when a spy steals my Mammoth Tank, the Soviet team mostly destroys it almost immediately right? So is the end result not a point advantage to the Soviets in almost all cases of the spy stealing a vehicle?

Granted, you've made another player pay for a tank that you used. But that's not always that much of a problem.

Aside from that though, I really like the option to steal enemy vehicles just for the sake of it, and would not like to see it removed.

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