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Boom Owl

Tie Defender Re-Design: Its Time

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Posted (edited)

Tie Defender Re-Design

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I think its time to have an honest discussion about Tie Defenders in X-Wing. 

The ship is extremely cool looking. Possibly one of the most beloved ships in the entire game simply because of its mythology and the theme of it being a Super Powered Imperial Ship. 

It is the definition of cool.

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Unfortunately there is a problem. FFG ported over a genuinely boring and difficult to balance version of the ships design. Very little about the Defender's gameplay is as "cool" as it looks. 

I know it has fans, believe it or not despite what follows here I am one of them. I get it. But I absolutely am not a fan of its current design. 

  • For a minute lets 100% forget what the ship used to be. Let go of the White K Turn and Free Evade. For some of you this will be difficult, potentially impossible. 
  • Imagine a totally different Defender.
  • An actually fun Defender that could be cool, challenging, nuanced, and allowed to be costed in some rational way. What would it look like? 
  • The Tie Defender would benefit from a complete ground up redesign. Ignoring everything that it used to do in 1.0 entirely. 

Couple Quick Comments on Its Current Design: 

  • White K-Turns are fundamentally uninteresting
    • The literal gameplay loop of a Tie Defender lacks nuance
    • Yes I understand that there is nuance to how they are played, but end of the day the White K-Turn Holds the entire ship back from being something more. 
    • The first time you play a game of X-Wing with the core box you fly at it each other and K-Turn.
    • The Defender evokes that gameplay. It doesnt feel uniquely powerful. It feels like "Core Box K-Turn" the ship. 
    • It doesnt seem like a ship reserved for the best "pilots". Its boring. 
    • I dont care that it "flipped" in one or two scenes of a cool Cartoon. That doesnt make it its theme.
    • Just because this used to be its "trick" doesnt mean it should still be its "trick". 
    • To Quote Anakin....."Its holding the defender back" 
    • Jousty things can be fun. It can still be jousty, semi direct, without a White K...the stat line guarantees that. 
  • Full Throttle is uninteresting, unnecessary, and a balancing problem 
    • Focus/Evade for simply not getting blocked isnt fun 
    • Its not rewarding, its just a Token Stack. 
    • I like the idea of a Speed Based mechanic, but not one that simply adds tokens to your ship.
    • Token Stacks as a near universal rule are the most boring mechanics in X-Wing. They are Math. Math is boring. 
    • Full Throttle drives the defense capabilities so far out of line with "normal defense" that the rest of the ship must suffer some weakness ( primarily on Offense ) 
    • Oh and just to drive the point home, Defense is absolutely the enemy to the Free Peoples of 2.0 X-Wing. Very Good Defense leads to terrible terrible gameplay. It is priced accordingly. 
  • Stat Line
    • 3 Hull 4 Shields on 3 Agility is amazing but of all the Defenders traits its pretty much fine?  
    • Easiest part of its overall design to balance around. 
    • The Stat Line is not game warping ( though it is close to being that ). At least there is space to design around it. 
  • Actions
    • No Linked Action, but you get nearly everything else you could possibly want without Stress. 
    • Having access to both a Boost or a Roll is a huge deal. 
    • It cant use both at the same time, but thats "ok". Like Fang fighters it has to get some things right. Thats neat. 
  • Tie D Title:
    • This gets brought up a lot. Its a little better but,  Double Tap isnt really all that creative. 
    • It preys on the Ion + White K Turn which frankly is stupid as ****. Speaking of Frank. Frank, are you reading this? Hi Frank. Thanks Frank.  
    • Ignore that to. Its more interesting than Full Throttle, no question. But its the past. Its a stale ship design. 

Close Out: 

  • So what would a COMPLETELY different Tie Defender Design look like? What would the ship do? What would it be? What could it be? 
  • Personally I would prefer a simpler ship with a similar stat line and a linked action or two. A more "fundamental" ship, fewer tricks. More Subtle. Still a Power House. But less gimmicky. 
  • Id be happy with just a solid Dial, Solid Stat Line, Badass Ship Model, Sensors, Missiles, Cannons, Talent, possibly Modification, and a point cost to match.
  • A simpler solid ship design with fundamentally different gameplay, not trapped at a point cost total of its own making. 
  • You all are more creative then me though. What would your Defender 3.0 look like forgetting everything about what it used to be? Give it some tricks, just make them new tricks. 

tie-defender-elite_aefde184.jpeg?region=0,0,1559,877&width=960

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Over/Under 2 Posts Before Someone Suggests Sabine's Rebel Defender?

 

Edited by Boom Owl

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I'm 100% with you.  

For a very conservative change, if it lost Full Throttle and the white K-turn, and got a bunch of points dropped you could shave massive points off of it.

For a baseline comparison, the T70 would have a roughly similar dial, same statline excepting the agility difference, and similar action bar.  It costs 46 for the i1.  Would the Delta, with one more agility, access to barrel roll all the time, but no linked action be too little at 51?  Probably not, because the i1 T70 isn't even that good.  Similarly, the i1 Silencer is 52, still not that good, and loses one hp compared to our hypothetical ship, but has a ton of linked actions compared to our Defender.  That hypothetical 51 point Delta is still fast, tough, and hard hitting, and becomes much more interesting to play.  

It could be the rare fast cannon carrier, it could provide some beef at the expense of offensive output, and it wouldn't be such a chore to play against.  7 AGI3 health is still very tough, but doesn't just ignore single attacks like the token stack does.

 

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Posted (edited)

If they were just 3/3/3/3 ships with a normal Interceptor-ey dial, focus lock boost roll, and Weapons Hardpoint+Sensor (which is what I sort of get from the theme), I'd be super in. Especially because then it would be fair to have 3 of them in a list with plenty of room for other stuff. 

Edited by Kieransi

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6 minutes ago, Kieransi said:

If they were just 3/3/3/3 ships with a normal Interceptor-ey dial, focus lock boost roll, and Weapons Hardpoint+Sensor (which is what I sort of get from the theme), I'd be super in. Especially because then it would be fair to have 3 of them in a list with plenty of room for other stuff. 

Like 3 chunky fast ships that took FCS and HLCs is pretty cool. 

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16 minutes ago, Biophysical said:

More radically, if Full Throttle gave a free boat instead of a free evade, that would be super-duper cool.

Getting a free boat is extremely radical....But I like your thinking.

I love the TIE Defender, is my favourite Star Wars ship. They don't want to have 3 in a list and you cant fit much more in if you have two named pilots. I think the white K makes them unique in a sea of ships, which is good. They don't have any linked actions, you can't boost/barrel roll to focus like a lot of the Interceptor types can. Empire dont have access to cheap coordinator like Scum do, making adding a support ship take away points from your hitters.

I would love them to have a configuration that adds the Ion cannons, but you lose the baked in ability or an agility or something, to make them more like they were in the old PC game. 

Even the Delta Pilot is more expensive than Fenn in the Fang, that doesn't seem right to me.  

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The things are SUPPOSED to be prohibitively costly. That’s why mass-production didn’t really happen. Once Thrawn wasn’t around to back them it didn’t add up to the powers that be. So from the perspective of wanting 3 in a list I’ll just say no.

However I do agree that the white K is a little boring, though boost changes that MASSIVELY, as does Advanced Sensors (which would be taken all the time if it weren’t so overpriced). Still, a red stop would be more interesting for a fighter.

I definitely wouldn’t give it an Interceptor dial. Closest I could see is something like the Lancer with blue 3-turns. Full throttle is a little lame but thematic to the title (Defender) and design (heavy shields, crazy fast).

If we dropped both of those, a 4 primary or 4 agility would be interesting to keep it at the 70+ point mark. Would render secondary weapons useless though without a 2.0-linked-battery-style ability.

My take? I LOVE it as is. It is a ship that can do anything (but not everything) and is so expensive as to be stupid except in the right hands. It needs support/coordination in order to thrive, or else it’s just the model of jousting power at a price point that doesn’t quite add up.

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5 minutes ago, svelok said:

Would this be cool? (Yes, I'm just blatantly stealing taking inspiration from Ric Olie's ability.)

S1T2YbE.png

Dial would be exactly the same as currently, but with the 2-hard as white and the 4-k as red. 

Oh yeah, keeping track of dials. I forget that's a thing.

This would make it pretty fragile though, and without more blue on the dial it would kind of suck.

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Posted (edited)

New idea!

Pilot: Vult Skerris (I5, one charge, recurring)

"After you complete an action, you may spend a charge and take [1 or 2?] strain token(s) to perform a boost or barrel roll action."

In other words, here's your arc-dodger Defender, but it's going to be very ouch if you mess it up. Ability would work in a TIE/in too.

Optional second clause:

"If you would gain one or more stress tokens, you may spend a charge to gain the same number of strain tokens instead."

Or just make that the TIE/D Elite Configuration. Oooooooooh.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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I like the current defender, but I am always up for a good brainstorm.

Canon slot? Not for me, I don't think its weapons should be customizable.

Actions ? All white no linked. In this exercise I would nit change it

Dial? Ok let's get rid of the white K turn ( to a red) and no 2 k turn

Full throttle? Ok let's forget the free evade ( I find it perfectly fluff but let's get funky)

My take? Two configuration upgrades

Tie/D: add advanced targeting computer ( for a ludicrous price)

Tie/x7: when you reveal a speed three hard or bank turn you can use the ( brand new) 4 bank template of the same direction.

What you think?

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3 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

If they get double elites, Vader should get double force.

Though I would prefer this for the Interceptor or /x1, thematically.

Hmm. Double Force or a Force and a Talent?

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1 minute ago, SabineKey said:

Hmm. Double Force or a Force and a Talent?

I thought about it, but I'd be worried about Debris Gambit. The only way to balance i6 force with tons of reposition is to at least make it possible to do damage when you get shots on it

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1 hour ago, Boom Owl said:

The ship is extremely cool looking. Possibly one of the most beloved ships in the entire game simply because of its mythology and the theme of it being a Super Powered Imperial Ship.  

And my girlfriend call it "triceratops"

Not sure if this help, but I felt that I HAD to share it with you

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2 minutes ago, Kieransi said:

I thought about it, but I'd be worried about Debris Gambit. The only way to balance i6 force with tons of reposition is to at least make it possible to do damage when you get shots on it

Fair point. I hadn’t noticed that draft didn’t have an evade, so wasn’t considering that combo. 

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I think I'm with folks on the White K-Turn.  End it.  However, as I think about the TIE Defender, it's very much Gotta Go Fast.

tenor.gif?itemid=8643505

That's the big theme from Rebels.  Yes, strong shields, but specifically the dang thing is really fast.  How does Gotta Go Fast get interesting?  Empire has Ailerons and Autothrusters already, so I don't think it'd be exciting to keep

But something along @ClassicalMoser 's concept of using strain seems cool.  Hrm.

New Ship Ability: Advanced Thrusters: After you perform an action, you may gain 1 strain to perform a White Boost action.  So you'd have stress-free boosts, but at the cost of strain.  Lowering the agility of a moderately expensive ship is a pretty big risk, but there's a solid payoff in that it keeps your dial open.  I kinda like that.

So... putting that together:

  • Statline: 3/3/3/4.  This feels right.  TIE Interceptor with a metric ****tonne of shields.
  • Dial: Similar to now.  Loses 2K, 4K becomes red, gains red 2 Tallon Rolls.  1 2 3 Hard.  1 2 3 Bank.  2 3 4 5 straight.  Blues get a bit faster and easier.
  • Action Bar: Focus, Evade, Lock, Barrel Roll, Boost.  No links.
  • Upgrades: I think these are right.  I could almost see adding the Modification slot back, but I'm not entirely in favor of it.
    • I kind of don't hate the idea of a 5-ish point configuration which would allow them to gain an extra die on a missile attack if they spend an extra charge off the missile.
  • Ship Ability: Advanced Thrusters: After you perform an action, you may gain 1 strain to perform a White Boost action.
  • Cost: I'd imagine a fair cost for a low generic would be in the low-to-mid 50s, like an E-Wing or TIE Silencer, but that's more of a guess at what I kinda think would be balanced.  It'd need to get run through whatever methods the points-pricers use to get something fair.

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17 minutes ago, SabineKey said:

Hmm. Double Force or a Force and a Talent?

**** no to Force Talent and regular Talent.

I think any force user gaining access to the Talent slot is fundamentally wrong, if only because force charges are essentially already the best Talent upgrade in the game.

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10 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

**** no to Force Talent and regular Talent.

I think any force user gaining access to the Talent slot is fundamentally wrong, if only because force charges are essentially already the best Talent upgrade in the game.

Fair enough.

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3 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

 

I think I'm with folks on the White K-Turn

 

Do you also want to completely get rid of Leia then? Because, of not, then my opinion on the matter would be unfit to post.

It makes the ship unique. Every suggestion I’ve seen is to strip out any unique feature from the craft, which I vehemently oppose.

Let me ask, what is people’s objective here, what is their objection to the defender as is? Do you think it is too strong, too expensive, too boring? Do you want to be able to fly 3 in a list? What is the fundamental goal people have with these proposed changes?

What about IG-88, a ship that is probably most similar in profile. One more health, same agility and attack. Good dial, ship ability, sensor slot, evade, etc. Some differences, for sure, but in terms of overall toughness they match up. Yet I see no such cries for major change. And it is a ship you can get three ability and token sharing ships on. With double taps. Why is the defender a problem, yet the Aggressor not?

Part genuine curiosity, part I find many of the suggestions here (remove evade action completely, red K, and reducing health) extremely objectionable.

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Redesign of a Defender should be the TIE Hunter. Here's why:

- The defender exists in its unique form. The N1 will forever be known as a diet defender. Leia will be known as the rechargeable crew defender. The Phantom currently exists as a strafing and camping defender. It defines much of these other effects.

- The hunter is a super ship, but not as deluxe or expensive.

- Flappy hunter wings and imperial servomotors would be sexy af.

- cannon, sensor, and torpedo slot would make it unique amongst the advanced TIEs

- Rogue Squad 3 for Gamecube.

- Can emphasize them torp and cannon slots by having a pw of only 2 to cut cost.

- Give it full throttle, but no turnaround maneuvers, and SLAM but no shoot and SLAM in any permutation for the lols. With disarm meaning disarm full stop, you could even give it an I6! With that wonky maneuvering, you might need it!

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The Defender is literally my favorite Imperial ship, sad that the xwing 2.0 version is so lackluster.  I'm all in on them being super expensive ships, but they just don't hit very hard for a ship with 8 heavy laser cannons that eats up half your list.  Hopefully in 3 years when FFG gets around to doing new Imperial content we can get a Defender Elite config that makes them more interesting.

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I think the Defender is fine as-is. Full Throttle seems to represent the ship being so fast its hard to hurt, and it means it needs to be flown in a unique way. Maybe get rid of the 1 blue banks and make it cheaper? The problem is the ship is sooo tanky and expensive but can't shoot down its cost in points. Excepts for maybe Rexy.

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