ZOE: The Placebo Effect

Discussion in 'MAX' started by Evil Monkey, May 26, 2013.

  1. Evil Monkey

    Disclaimer: I use all MAX classes. At the moment, I am using VS MAX the least as I am experimenting with a slug Mattock.

    On chat I see constant whining about ZOE. Or VS boasting about how good ZOE is. I feel this is 90% hyperbole and 10% B.S.

    ZOE is more a placebo than anything else.

    Here's some samples I see in chat:

    VS MAXes sucked and now they are OP!
    Actually VS MAXes were always good. The old Cosmos was a Mercy with free extended mags - the "new" Blueshift is exceptionally accurate. Comets were (and are) better than Pounders and comparable with Falcons; and make possibly the best default hybrid AI/AV setup.

    ZOE MAXes are OP!!!
    I suspect barely 1 in 10 of ZOE MAXes have spent the 2200+ certs to max it. Most would be level #1.
    People rush to try new ability.
    People discover how effective VS MAX is (and always WAS)
    People continue to use weapon which nets them a high kdr and 13k+ SPM
    People see them used a lot; (and hear on chat) about how awesome glowy MAX is; try for themselves
    MAX is always glowy due to perma-run function
    People then try glowy MAX themselves
    People die to memorable glowy VS MAXes
    People see lots of memorable glowy VS MAXes when VS MAXes were previously rare
    People say glowy MAXes are OP

    Arguably, VS got the new ability with the least drawbacks (or advantages that negate their drawbacks).
    But I'd argue the blueshift sale did more to make them good in a practical sense.
    The irony is, even if ZOE did nothing besides a purple glow and people THOUGHT they did 20% more dps.... you'd still have the same sequence of events...

    ZOE MAXes strafe ADADADAD it makes them OP
    I've been making a point of hunting ZOE MAXes lately. I've fought dozens.... and only one (1) was effectively using ADAD strafing. Perhaps all the VS on Briggs are idiots (quite plausible) and I agree this IS a dodgy (pun intended) mechanic. But I'm hardly seeing the widespread abuse of this I expected....

    I got killed by them all night, ZOE is OP
    No, the reason people are getting killed by them is because there is a LOT of them.
    In the past VS MAXes (due to some weird (and wrong) perception they were "bad") were seldom played.
    People seldom died to them.
    Now lots of people play them.
    Now people die to them all the time.

    I saw a spreadsheet a week ago that indicated BEFORE ZOE the VS MAX was most effective in SPM and 2nd (behind NC MAX) in terms on kills.

    In addition, the lattice is forcing more people into zerg fights in and around spawns/buildings - where AI MAXes shine. The new walled bases which excluded vehicles make MAXes "king of the base."

    Personally I hate this, as before people would run into the open to duel my purple high-heeled MAX 1v1 (regardless of my 1.5x fiepower and 4x HP)... ...now they run, grab C4, set ambushes with AT mines.... and you trip over 8 other random MAXes in every base, all who want to use your pocket engineer....

    ZOE MAX is insta-gib!
    Actually, it's - what - one less bullet? 20% more damage when (rarely) maxed with 2200+ certs?
    I bet you could stealth nerf that damage boost to 0 and people would still claim this.
    FACT: Dual AI chainguns will quickly kill anyone at close ranges, ZOE or not. Gimped as they are, two AI weapons are still ~1.3x or so better than a single gun - and the MAX has 4x or more HP than a "squishy"

    ZOE is the best ability
    I think this IS true. The other two have major drawbacks:

    Lockdown. You completely sacrifice mobility, in addition to your "get out of jail free" (Charge) card. For a bit more firepower, you're pretty much a sitting duck for your natural enemies - C4 LA, HA rockets, etc - and in addition, locked into a 180d arc.

    Shield. You sacrifice your "get out of jail free card" (Charge) which also doubles as a way to get into shotgun range. So this hits NC twice as hard. In addition, the shield is directional and doesn't help against those LA dropping C4 on your head...

    You sacrifice "armour" for the ability to move faster, strafe faster, dodge more incoming fire.
    You sacrifice your "get out of jail free card" (charge) for the ability to run faster..... which can be used permanently instead of once every 30-40 seconds, and switched on and off at will. Neither of these are really a "sacrifice" at all. In fact the main ZOE drawback is that the glowy lights make it an attractive target.

    However, the "ZOE MAX stole my baby" cries are a bit over the top.
    There's simply a lot of VS MAXes, and using their cool new ability, which, whilst not "OP" in itself, has no major drawback - so they will use it. And, ZOE or not, sadly a lot of VS have now discovered their MAX is good. (As it always was)
    • Up x 24
  2. Jkar

    Before ZOE I would run K/D ratios of 15 and higher with my VS MAX through several hours played, with ZOE I still have to replicate that because I'm still learning when best to use it and when to leave it off or go with charge instead. But in essence, VS MAX was always good especially since they fixed the weapons to match their descriptions. They're nearly carbon copies of TR MAX units and I certainly do know how much they hurt on the receiving end.
  3. The King

    I agree, they were always good, just that, many VS didn't bother buying another weapon since it felt like 1 AI + Comet sucked..
    1 Comet sucked vs tanks and 1 AI pretty much sucked against infantry.

    I have never bothered with em and never upgraded em. They die so fast...
    With ZOE, I actually upgraded it a few (still level 1 ZOE) but I added kinetic armor and nanite repair, since many times, there will be engineers but none repairing.

    ZOE makes me die faster... a lot faster. However I am able to mow down some infantry pretty easy.. However, when I turn it off, it has the SAME affect, actually I live longer. Except for when heavies already have a rocket launcher out ready to shoot. I haven't seen many of those, everyone will start shooting right away. They all die anyways, I usually have more health too. Many of the enemies are medics and engineers.. I aim at the head and the MAX seem to always die way before me, unless they're fracture MAXes or the shotgun ones..
    ZOE does make it more fun because you feel thunderstruck..

    But the MAX was always fine.. I don't have blueshift though..
    I like being able to run to the next location, since many sunderer drivers just leave everyone behind. I am not as ticked off now.
    I always heard my brother raging that the sunderer driver just left when he was nearly next to it...
    Now, he doesn't care. lol.
  4. FnkyTwn

    I started out as VS and when I went TR i was surprised by
    how many more Maxes they tended to field than VS did.

    Then I tried NC.

    From 2-3 VS Maxes, to 8-9 TR Maxes to 15-16 NC Maxes.
    For the past 6 months it's been like night and day between
    the factions and Max usage. But now VS is fielding just as
    many Maxes as everybody else and people are freaking out.
    • Up x 7
  5. Liberty

    You sir (OP) hit the nail on the head. For the longest time people simply claimed that the VS Max was underpowered when compared to the TR MAXes despite the numbers being right there to show they functioned nearly identical to one another.

    With the ZOE you see many many more being pulled and people are starting to realize just how effective the weapons are, the fact that they can take 1 bullet less to kill is just icing on the cake.

    Don't get me wrong, I think ZOE is very unbalanced versus the other two new MAX abilities, but not because of ADAD warping or 1 bullet less to kill but in that it has no "real" weakness OR drawbacks. Now we all know it has a drawback : 20% less armor. BUT that is effectively mitigated by giving it faster than infantry strafe speeds. Strafing mitigates damage, its as simple as that. Faster strafing tends to mitigate more damage. People can cry its a L2P issue all they want but its simply the way of things. Its why better players almost always ADADA when in a face to face 1 v 1.

    MAX'es traditionally trade mobility for firepower and armor. ZOE MAXes now gain firepower and a significant increase in mobility for 20% armor reduction. They are still much more armored with much higher effective HP than regular infantry. And they get to do this instantaneously and permanently.

    NC MAXes lose mobility with the shield (can't sprint) and can't charge. They lose firepower (can't fire at all) but gain a hefty defense. Also it is about a 1 second activation time on the ability that runs out after it sustains enough damage.

    TR MAXes lose ALL mobility and gain firepower / accuracy (through projectile speed, but not "true" accuracy). Additionally they now have a limited field of fire / can't turn. If that wasn't enough, Lockdown is by far the longest to engage / disengage of all three abilities.

    The other two factions have some positives and negatives and are both situational. This isn't the case at all with the ZOE as its fast activation coupled with its upside negating its downside leaves it the clear winner of the three. I'll also add the NC shield I feel was a poor choice for MAX abilities as it leaves the NC in the dust when it comes to AV/AA compared to the other two MAXes. Ideally it'd have been nice if all three factions got an offensive ability (of sorts) and later all three got a defensive ability.
    • Up x 3
  6. Blitzkrieg

    Well done OP, nail on the head. I've always been a Max suit fan even back in PS1. And i'm some one who's placed a lot of certs into my Max, 49% at the moment.

    I had a bit of a funny run in on the day ZOE was released. I actually didn't purchase ZOE until 2 days later. On the day on release I hopped into my Max and did what I usually did. Which I killed a group of 6 guys, within that I had either yells or whispers berating me about OP ZOE is and it shouldn't even be in the game. Which I sat there just laughing due to the fact I didn't even have it. Later on I smashed a TR max 1 on 1 into the floor, again I got a message about how OP ZOE was. When in matter of fact this guy was about BR 24 on his TR character and the guy was using a Heavy Cycler + Pounder which he obviously hadn't put any certs into his Max, which was against my Max which i've finished 49% of the tree.
    Most classes, certs won't make a massive difference in a fire fight if the two people have the same skill level, unfortunately the Max is the only 'infantry' class which having more certs placed into it makes you exponentially more powerful, especially with the likes of kinetic armour and better weaponry.
    While it is a good ability, from my experiences, i'd back up what the OP said. People hear from all their outfit mates and every one on their faction how good ZOE is, so it creates a psychological effect that it's completely overpowered. So you get a knock on effect of more VS Max's appearing reinforcing the illusion it's a lot stronger than it actually is. For example the tools claiming I was using it when I didn't even have it. Simply because they heard it's really good and any VS Max that slays them must be OP and using ZOE. In fact i've seen the psychological effect the rumours create to be so bad, people just make things up about them. For example; i've actually seen people on this forum claim ZOE increases the RoF and the projectile speed as well as being able to have pin point accuracy....Really...
    Well if you're going to complain about something OP, bugger it, you may as well make **** up while you're at it!

    What a lot of people don't realize the damage increase isn't actually that impressive, while it is a damage increase on the level against infantry it's nothing, using Vortex's and Comets will lay down the law, however it's not an overwhelming damage. The only place i've found the damage increase to actually be overpowered is not just down to ZOE, it's down to the weapons. Lockdown also falls into this category, it's the Bursters that are by far the most overwhelming. The damage increase on Bursters is actually incredible with the results of how short the TTK is, which lockdown yields the same results in sheer RoF and projectile speed, it allows a weapon which is already boarder line overpowered to go absolutely banana's. This is something which I also said before they released them, that ZOE and Lockdown should not effect non Empire Specific weapons aka bursters, as it would make them unbelievably powerful.

    One thing that seems to allude most players, either because they are blind to it or refuse to acknowledge it, is the damage increase the Max's take while ZOE is active. It was something I definitely took on board while using it. While most players say it damage increase they take is nothing, well 1 rocket removing about 3/4 of my health in one hit is definitely not nothing.

    Personally, I still say remove ZOE and bring back Jump Jets over ZOE as it stands for what the VS are about. While I know loads of people would still complain because lets face it, most people on the forum make mountains out of mole hills.
    It's also a far more limiting ability and only shines in situations rather than all the time, which is the main problem for ZOE in terms of balance with their NC and TR counter parts when you think about it.
    Lock down, it's mainly used in longer range situations like locking down on a Tower/Hill side to bombard enemy vehicles and defences into submission or used as very defensive fire platform in choke points. Apart from that, you can't use Lockdown that effectively.
    Aegis shield can only be used as a personal defence shield to deflect incoming fire or for its main purpose as a team tool to protect your self and the rest of your squad as you push into enemy positions making your self a full blown battering ram. Apart from that, there isn't much room for it. Which is where ZOE gains a full advantage, every situation you put ZOE in, it will be useful.
    If you think about why Jump Jets would be far more balanced, yes it would make VS max's extremely good at flanking, getting into positions only reachable by Light Assaults, however they are mainly around buildings and facilities. In the open what would Jump Jets be able to achieve, or inside a confined room. It loses its complete power. Also you can balance them relitivitly easily, for example they can't shoot/have extremely poor accuracy while flying as well as far longer recharge time on them.

    Pretty much OP is correct, most of it is a placebo and a knock on effect. Most people perceive the VS max to be useless so only a few use it, get to know it and actually get good with it, ZOE comes out, people hear it's OP. So more people use it, not figuring out it's actually the Max is already decent. While this occurs the people who constantly played the old Max got even better. Which eventually every one ties to ZOE, when in matter of fact all it is really is the fact more people are using the VS Max.
    It works totally vice versa as well. For example, coming across the odd NC Max, you can deal with, you then stick them in a Biolab and you realize ok, they are tough but I can deal with the odd one or two. But as soon as most NC players sit behind a wall of Scatter max's in a Biolab, you will get punished so hard you will eventually just call them overpowered, when it's really just the sheer numbers of them.
    • Up x 4
  7. Naithe

    Well I remember when I played my VS alt, and told peoplethere, I did as well with my Dual Cosmos, as I did with Dual mercy on TR. (pre-GU9), I was basically invited to a massive rant about how much better TR maxes where, and how biased I was and god knows what. =)

    Now if we can just get NC to realise that their vanguard isn't trash, they might start using them...
  8. Posse

    What I found out from using it:

    The first 2 days it was a complete massacre, I got a 30 kill streak in my 2nd try in less than 5 minutes and in almost every MAX run I got at least 15 kills before dying.
    Since then, people are getting used to it, they are getting more effective at fighting the ZOE MAXes, I'm still getting more kills in average per MAX life than before ZOE, but not that much more.

    What does make the ZOE MAX really effective is having a good engineer backing you up, in that situation it's scary as hell (every MAX is though).
  9. Dkamanus

    Just one thing to say:

    It had been proven already that a VS MAX is effective at its effective range. MONTHS AGO! ZOE just adds to that effectiveness.
  10. Ztiller

    So, a machinegun beats a shotgun at long range? Wow, revolutionary, none of us knew that before. Especially not when the exact same test was made with the Nc and TR MAX.

    Sure, the ZOE adds to the effectiveness. Just like the Lockdown adds to TR and the Shield adds to NC. What's your point? It's not as if VS are the only ones who got new weapons and new abilities.
  11. Ganelon

    It's not a placebo, it's OP.
    • Up x 3
  12. Evil Monkey

    Well, we made it for 9 constructive/sensible posts and replies before the inevitable.
    (A VS or TR whine)

    I think Planetside forums are losing their mojo! :confused:
    • Up x 1
  13. Dkamanus

    I'm saying that VS has finally woken up to the fact that the usefulness of their MAX has always been there. It was ALWAYS useful, the problem is they wanted to be compared to the NC MAX, which a totally different ball game. Guess what, I'm still owning TR/VS MAXes at short range with my dual grinders with extended mags, despite the nerfs and the new shield. The difference? VS learned how to ******* use their MAXes. It's about freaking time.

    Hopefully they'll buff NC MAXes a little since we are still weaksauce at range. AS WE WERE ALWAYS COMPARED TO THE VS/TR MAXes.
  14. RobinTheRude

    I agree with the OP on most counts. VS MAX units were a rare sight before the update, and the Vanu in general were less conscious of their own MAX units compared to the NC, or even the TR. The crabman is just not a very imposing fellow.

    Now that Flavour Of The Month (TM) has spawned a horde of VS MAXes, they're having the effect they were supposed to have on the infantry game, and everyone is running scared. It doesn't help that this surge in population was accompanied by ZOE, which is hands-down the best of the three new MAX abilities for general infantry combat.
  15. curly

    Interesting idea but the vs max had it's up surge before the patch when soe buffed the weapons. as someone who uses all three maxes I'm of the opinion that the Zoe is the best ability hands down and is overpowered (compared to the tr/nc and in general). Let me explain.

    Both the tr and nc abilities are situational. The Zoe is not.
    Both the tr and nc abilities come at the cost of mobility, the Zoe does not.
    90% of the maxes I've fought since the patch have zoe running.
    I went on a 6+ kill streak with Zoe including killing 2 av maxes with ai guns. it felt good but that shouldn't be possible.

    When infantry runs into a max they have 2 options:
    1. Fight, and generally will lose unless the Max is low on health or they are lucky to have an av option in hand.
    2. Flee, and hopefully escape to set a trap. this option is only possible because a Max is slow.
    Zoe negates option 2, you can't escape because the Max has buffed speed and damage. Option 1 is OK if you're a heavy with his rocket out, all others (in my experience) can't respond in time and die.

    I hate to call for nerfs but that's my thoughts on the issue.
    • Up x 1
  16. BarxBaron

    I'm sorry but SoE IS OP.

    It nearly negates all its "disadvantages" from the movespeed. They can take away the dmg boost and it still would be OP.

    Why do you think they didn't give TR max capacitor move-speed in PS1? (it had it originally and was taken out because it was OP) I'm not sure what the devs were thinking with this one.

    In hindsight I can deal with it if aegis was made up to par and lockdown was scrapped for something actually worth certing and using besides when you are bored.
    • Up x 1
  17. Naithe

    You know I'd properly have less against the ZOE, if not every vs/nc I know, was trying to tell me how OP and awesome lockdown is.

    Actually leaving OP or not aside. (it really comes down to what you think is supposed to be possible for a max).

    I'd just like to see lockdown, and shield made into more interesting abilities.

    Currently with lockdown the only way I can see that, is if it was so awesome, that it would really BE op, letting me mow down everyone who happens to be within my 180 degree vision... =/

    For shield Its even harder, since ironically I find it synergises poorly with shotguns. As it allows you to be kited too easily, I've had "some" success with AV weapons, but buttom line that damn thing is lacking badly in "coolness" factor, or you could say it doesn't really evoke any feeling of "man this thing is badass," Giving me a bunch of ideas, on what I'd like to try using it for.

    Well to be fair I play NC the least. (sorry smurfs I hate your guts. =P) So I could be wrong, on the finer details.
  18. l3ob

    Well I guess I'll try to add my 2 cents on the topic to bring this back to a good discussion.

    Similar to the other VS guy a bit further up. I've spent a lot of time invested in the VS max, even before the update. To call this ability OP we're going to need to compare it to the other abilities. The one I'm mainly thinking of is the charge ability that the maxes originally had.

    The 20-25% penalty in vulnerability gets balanced by the 20-30% increase in damage at max rank, so it balances out for the most part. However, because damage output changes based on level, at level 1 and at earlier levels the user is disadvantaged by not being able to dish out the same dps as received compared to not using the ZOE.

    So, let's focus on the speed buff given by ZOE. Sprinting, you have roughly the same speed as a normal infantry. It's only slightly faster than the default max sprint which was a bit slower than infantry. But, you don't have the "accelerating" time that regular maxes have to reach maximum sprint speed. In fact sprinting is barely faster, somewhere between 25 and 50% unlike the 100% for infantry and maybe default maxes, than walking with ZOE which brings us to the hotly debated topic of ZOE's walking speed.

    Walking, you move noticeably faster than walking infantry. This allows you to strafe at speeds similar to infantry while still being able to shoot them. And warping is bad enough with strafing infantry. Since I don't play against VS very often, I'm not quite sure what that does to ZOE maxes, but I think this is the major issue that causes players to complain about the ZOE speed. The thing is, default maxes are much slower walking than infantry, and to be honest, I feel that ZOE practically doubles walking speed of the max.

    So the speed is the direct upgrade to having ZOE compared to the basic max, but remember, the charge ability is also a direct upgrade to the basic max. With ZOE, you give up the charge ability which is FREE, just to point out, to gain a passive increase in speed rather than a huge burst of speed for a short period of time.

    So is the ZOE much more useful than charge? Well, in my opinion it does feel a lot more liberating the to the clunky slowness of a regular max, but notice how I said FEEL. But now that I think about it, charge can be used actively rather than passively to take the most out of a situation by allowing a great method of escaping when you're about to die or to surprise an enemy that may even be expecting you to come from your direction. I'm not going to give much more of an opinion than this, but were trying to keep a discussion here right?
  19. l3ob

    And if anyone wants to know how to kill a ZOE max:
    Since they aren't moving as slow as a snail now, they aren't going to notice proximity mines very easily. Without flak armor I've taken some bad hit from them, so I run flak in most of my ZOE loadouts.
    AV turrets can almost one-shot maxes, even with flak, I've been left with 2 health "ticks" from the full 40.
    Just because they can dodge rockets more effectively doesn't mean that you won't run into teammate rockets. Trust me, it's happened a couple times.
    Concussion grenades still work on ZOE maxes, and that means they won't have charge.
    AV grenades work well with stunned ZOE max, but that can be negated by flak.
    They're still a massive pink glowing target that will die if you shoot it.
  20. War10k

    I play TR mainly, but i also play as a tank driver for NC and VS. For me personally i couldn't give a rats @ss about your new MAX abilities you are just more desirable kill targets you kill infantry i kill you with my tank all the more XP for me.

    As an infantry man before GU9 all i feared was NC max with dual hacksaws it was so scary it took attention away from everything else VS max specifically. Now that NC maxes got all new fancy rocket launchers and shields and shi7 they don't seem that scary anymore because Hacksaws got nerffed and there are less people using them because it not the only viable thing there is.

    I would say the infantry play-ground got more mellow, all MAX unit are now split up into even more categories, if it was AA and AI before now its AA AI AV.

    I don't really feel the overall OP impact of one unit on my entire battlefield, the only thing i feel is that thinxs got a little bit more disco with neon blue and pink colors.

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