This is a Friendly Discussion About Armor Lock
Right off the bat, this is not a complaining thread. While I could definitely fill an entire page with how much I dislike Armor Lock, this isn’t where I’ll be doing it. Instead, this is a suggestion; No, a thought. It is pointless to even think that anything can be done, at this point, to fix Armor Lock, but allow me to give you my opinion on what I would have done if I was in charge of designing/patching Armor Lock.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
The main goal of this Armor Ability is to allow you to protect yourself from a volley of grenades, or give yourself a chance of being saved by teammates if you are in a losing battle. Compared to the other Armor Abilities, this is fairly balanced. It is also equipped with an EMP that can short out vehicles and enemy shields, in a very close proximity. Still, fairly balanced.
Jetpack provides excellent vertical movement, at the cost of being an easy target if used incorrectly.
Sprint provides great horizontal movement and escape capabilites with the only possible downside being the draw weapon time after sprinting.
Active Camo provides a near perfect camo when standing still and moving slowly, and also jams enemy radar near you. To counter this, it also jams your radar and alerts the enemy that you are nearby; not to mention cutting your audio.
Hologram provides momentary distractions and can sometimes lure less experienced players into the open, at the cost of it being the hardest Armor Ability to use correctly, in my opinion. (It’s also my personal favorite. ^^)
While I’m sure you guys didn’t need a run down on all the Armor Abilities, I want to show you that, on paper, these are all pretty -Yoink!- balanced. (Sans Hologram; still a little bitter about that. :P) But here’s where the problem comes in: Armor Lock can be used it a way it wasn’t intended. The only other Armor Ability that comes close to that claim is Active Camo, because a sniper is nigh invincible at long distances with Camo.
Armor Lock users quickly latched onto a “Lock and Pop” strategy. I used to use it as well, without even realizing it at first. Essentially, an Armor Lock user can enter invincibility with only a 0.5 second delay. What this translates into is one player being melee’d, and realizing he is about to lose the fight, and dropping into Armor Lock. Because he was able to do it so quickly, the opposing player, who was already within melee range, will melee again if he hasn’t begun to already. Well, great, now the Armor Lock user can pop out of Armor Lock and melee the other player once to kill him. Let’s take all the factors here into consideration:
-The opposing player is still stuck in his post-melee animation, and is unable to do anything.
-The opposing player is slowed from having melee’d an armor lock opponent.
-The opposing player has no shields from being near an Armor Lock player upon release.
-The Armor Lock player can “turn” in a 360 degree radius while in Armor Lock and get an easy beatdown after he leaves Armor Lock.
The worst part? On top of all of that, the Armor Lock player can do this twice, sometimes even three times before he has to let his AA recharge. And each time he releases from Armor Lock, there is a short “frosting period”, during which he takes reduced damage from, what seems to be, all sources.
So now the opposing player has been cheated out of a kill that he should have gotten, all because the EMP feature of Armor Lock is so easily abused. That doesn’t sound like a very defensive Armor Ability, as it was designed to be.
How I Would Have Designed It
First of all, Armor Lock should have no frosting period. As soon as you release that button, you should take normal damage from all sources. I don’t care if your argument is that they need time to perform their animation, they already have an advantage by having 360 degree turning in Armor Lock. Besides, if it was used for it’s designed purpose, their team should have mopped up the kills by that point anyways. Tough tater tots.
Secondly, shield recharge. I’m sure you’ve all noticed this. An enemy will enter Armor Lock with no shields, but will exit with his shields already charging or slightly charged. This is, for lack of a better word, -Yoink-. If you enter Armor Lock with no shields, not only should you leave it with the same amount of shields, but your shield recharge timer should be reset. Like I said, if your team is there to mop up kills, you shouldn’t need instant regeneration.
And lastly, the most important and most frustrating feature. The EMP. I have actually come up with a relatively simple solution. The EMP is only available if you enter Armor Lock with a fully charged Armor Ability, and even then, only after a certain amount of time is spent “Locked”. Let’s assume the Armor Lock Armor Ability timer is a clock, and fully charged is equivalent to noon. After you have been “Locked” for half of the time, or when the clock reaches 6, the icon changes to a faint green color instead of blue. This indicates that your EMP is ready. Not only would this prevent people from being punished for going in for a melee they should go for in for, but it punishes idiots that stand right behind the Armor Locking player.
And that is my opinion on Armor Lock. If it had been set up this way, it would have been balanced with the other Armor Abilities, in my opinion. I’m sure I left something out, and if I did, I will probably edit it in or post a response. Please, let me know what you think and what you would have done differently were it up to you.
TL;DR: Read it.