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June 23, 2021

Inhumane

New mutator: Inhumane
New custom mutator
Inhumane

Inhumane is the latest addition to custom mutators available on my [MM] maps on all servers. Its fantasy is massive paratrooper drops – drawing from World War II and Raynor and Mengsk strategies centered around massing infantry units while losing significant numbers. Some Raynor players don't even bother with Medics, how inhumane.

With this mutator, paratroopers periodically drop on your army position. Later in the game, a drop targeting bases will occasionally happen as well but with a warning beforehand. While destroying a horde of paratroopers might be fun, they put on quite a bit of fight, and players have to adjust their tactics and strategy accordingly.

Paratrooper drop near a player's base

Gameplay notes

The mutator rewards commanders and units that can deal with a lot of small units. Unlike Alien Incubation or Walking Infested mutators, paratroopers are significantly more dangerous.

Paratroopers use a weaker weapon (C-12 Light Gauss Rifle) compared to a standard Marine rifle (C-14 Gauss Rifle). Its damage is reduced from 6 to 4. This is for balance reasons, and it also encourages getting armor upgrades, which are often overlooked in Co-op.

When a drop hits, players might have to disengage if they are in combat, or risk fighting both the enemy and paratroopers together. That's one small tactical decision created by this mutator.

★ ★ ★

Strong mutator synergies:

  • Self Destruction & Fireworks
  • Barrier & Just Die!
  • Alien Incubation & Walking Infested
  • Polarity
  • Fatal Attraction
  • Black Death
Fenix's army dealing with paratroopers

Development

Originally, I had a lot more attack waves targeting bases, but dealing with them was too annoying (as expected). Eventually, I made drops on bases rare, starting at around 16 minutes, and give a warning beforehand to players so they can reposition and prepare. These changes made them more manageable and not breaking the game flow as much.

As mentioned before, paratroopers use weaker Gauss rifles dealing less damage. This encourages players to get armor upgrades, but it was done primarily for a balance reason. It lets me reduce the mutator difficulty while preserving its fantasy – a big number of paratroopers descending on your army. A smaller number of more powerful paratroopers wouldn't deliver the same fantasy.

On the visual side, parachutes are taken from Nova's Griffin Airstrike, and Medivac shadows are a re-textured splat model. The sound of the opening parachute is taken form an old game, and I wonder if someone will recognize the game.

Despite the mutator's simplicity, a lot of tweaking was required for the mutator. As usual, I targeted the difficulty where it's challenging but doable for me to consistently solo missions on Brutal with this mutator. That makes the mutator difficult, but easy enough so it can be combined with other mutators when two players are playing.

★ ★ ★

A few screenshots:

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