Covenant leader - Drone Queen
Starts of as a light infantry commander who has about 30% more health than the prophet, but has no shields and consequently is the weakest t1 leader and not much use in a rush unless upgraded. She has dual plasma pistols and at first deals out about the same damage as 3 grunt squads, so she is a bit of a glass cannon against infantry and leaders, but not very useful against anything else. At first she has a special ‘y’ mode in which she flies in the air and gains anti-air weaknesses while retaining her weakness to jackals, however she becomes immune to all attacks other aircraft are immune to and she gains a anti-vehicle and building corrosive ball attack which does approximately the same damage as a RPG from a marine over a period of 5 seconds, this attack has a natural cooldown of around 5 seconds and the special mode is extremely expensive so would be poorly used in t1.
Her t1 400 upgrade grants her additional damage against infantry as she now gains two needlers instead of plasma pistols. Her base damage increases from 3 grunt squads to 5 against infantry and she also now does 30% extra damage against aircraft. This upgrade also gives a invisible 15% damage and health boost.
Her t2 600 upgrade grants the typical 15% damage and health boost. It also causes her to spawn two t1 (no upgrades) drone squads for free every thirty seconds and gives her a minor health regeneration of around 0.25% every second (compare this to the prophets shield regeneration that occurs every 30 seconds), furthermore this effect doesn’t occur while in ‘flight mode’.
Her final t3 900 upgrade gives a 10% damage boost and a 10% health boost and also increases her health regeneration rate to 0.5%, primarily though this upgrade creates a small swarm of dronelings (baby drones :D) around the drone queen which protect her and nearby allies (think a circle of radius about two scorpions all around the queen) from ranged damage, reduces it by 25%, this effect is retained while the queen is in flight mode.
Her t1 300 special upgrade is merely a cost reduction and a flight speed increase: 25% cost reduction while in flight mode, 25% movement speed increase. She flew at 75% speed compared to hornets and the like before anyway, so she won’t be too quick.
Her t2 500 special upgrade causes a large damage boost and a further reduction in the price of her special.Her special now costs 50% less and her corrosive ball attack now deals damage equal to 3 marines RPG’s over 5 seconds.
Her final t3 700 special upgrade will increase the damage from the coroosive ball to the damage of 5 marines RPG’s over 5 seconds and will also give the queen a passive snare attack while in flight mode which will actually happen 20% of the time when she attacks vehicles. This attack will snare vehicles, damaging them slightly with a DoT attack, however it will also slow vehicles by 50% for 6 seconds and the attack itself is a horizontal line attack which can hit multiple vehicles at once.
This special in combination with hunters would be a good way to force vehicles off of the battlefield, but not too overpowered as the queen still dies very easily to AA and jackals, jackals being able to kill all the hunters and the queen. The combination of the queen with her final special upgrade, hunters and vampires would be interesting however it could be countered by a marine spam, or flamethrower spam which is extremely interesting as it could give use to the currently defunct infantry unit type.
Special unit: Drone swarm
The drone swarm is a t1 built from the base unique unit for the Drone Queen. It is a anti infantry light air unit. A drone swarm only has the same health as a marine squad (without new blood), but costs 100 just like a marine squad. Drone swarms have all the weaknesses that air units have but ARE NOT WEAK TO JACKALS as they can dodge their attacks with ease. One drone swarm does less damage to infantry than a pair of jackals, however it does more damage than a grunt squad.
T1 upgrade - Passive 15% damage+health boost. Decrease cost from 100 to 75.
t2 upgrade - passive 10% damage+health boost. Give the drones in the swarm plasma rifles rather than pistols, effectively increasing their damage against infantry by 25% and their damage to aircraft by 10%
t3 upgrade -Passive 10% damage+health boost. Add a drone leader to the squad. This guy has double the health of a normal drone and deals three times the damage with his needler cannon ( think plasma cannon but it’s a freaking needler!) against both infantry and aircraft than his ordinary counterparts do. Turns the drone swarms into a effective anti-aircraft counter.
So, due to warthogs and turrets I imagine this leader is going to be very ineffective against UNSC. So this covenant leader is mainly a covenant counter. A fully upgraded drone swarm with hunters and fully upgraded drone queen support is a force to be reckoned with and can only really be took down by a large amount of upgraded tanks and even then there will be high attrition. could this encourage wraith rushes by covenant, or force vampires even, if they were planning on going shees but realise you have way too many drone swarms?
Obviously this leader would never be implemented into the game, but tell me what you think nonetheless!