Making Phantom viable

XSheepieXXSheepieX Posts: 47
edited September 7 in Mercenary Discussion

Okay so I'm partly doing this so that everyone doesn't get mad at me for going on about Phantom in discord....

How Phantom is at the moment, he just isn't quite there to be a viable choice. I'm not saying he isn't good and I'm not saying he's far off. He's difficult to play atm, but I think it is good like that. The only problem is that the reward for playing him isn't very- or maybe just not as high as it should be.

When I play DB I pretty much only play Phantom as it is what keeps me with this game.

So... Considering the obsidians and the updates and new mercs, isn't it about time the Phantom stain got cleaned up? I would like to hear people's opinions on what could make Phantom actually viable considering his current playstyle and why previous nerfs were made. As in... Phantom probably shouldn't be much (if any) harder to detect than his is now. I'm a phantom main and I know I'd hate that and tbh it probably wouldn't even change the fact that he isn't that good atm. Phantom doesn't need to be made easier to play, just the rewards for playing him well imo need to be higher.

Take Vasili for example. If you're a bad Vasili you are of no use, but a good Vasili can really help. A good Phantom can help also, but not to the same degree.

Personally, I think Phantom could do with 3 throwing knives as an ability on a cool down similar to Fletcher's which could be thrown while cloaked, only mildly disrupting the cloak (as if sprinting)(for counterplay). For me that works perfectly as it compliments Phantoms current harasser playstyle and also just allows Phantom to further exploit the fact that he can deal damage without being attacked back and save decloaking for the perfect moment. The only other thing I can think of that would actually make phantom viable would be some form of spotting ability, but I honestly don't think it would fit into how he plays at the moment and sacrificing his currently playstyle imo wouldn't be a good idea.

I'm happy to hear anyone's suggestions regarding what could be done because I think its quite a difficult one, but I wouldn't like to think that Phantom just can't be made viable.

Post edited by XSheepieX on
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Comments

  • Snipers since nerf are only reserved for the most dedicated players. Even I, who used to play Vassilli a lot, gave up. I like sharpshooter type classes.

    Phantom, well, his cloak is good for ambush tactic, since they did buffed it. It's less visible and completely (I think so) invisible when stationary. Still feels gimmicky though.

    Throwing knife wouldn't be far fetched, since it's a scrapped weapon, that could've been tested offline. But there's so much potential in making these throwing knives a decoy devices.
    Heartbeat sensor owns the ground, Snitch hangs on to walls and ceilings, RedEye owns the air by staring, but none of them clings to enemies, like parasites. The possibilities of spreading AIDS poisoning the enemy team with plague...

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  • GatoCommodoreGatoCommodore Posts: 3,356

    cloak was slient buffed last patch

    its definetly more invisible than usual

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  • I've heard a few people say thing similar to that I think it'd be cool also. Though I'm honestly in conflict in my head as to whether I think a spotting ability would be good for phantom. I just don't know how I would feel about it and if it would effect his playstyle. Though the more I think about it... Like a dehabititation throwing knife like the snitch... The more I start to warm to the idea. Though for me, simple knives would be just as good if it meant you could get more of them and it let you harrass undetected.

    But yeah as you said you can test it in offline. One reason why I am so set on throwing knives is because I've played around and "roleplayed" it in offline mode so I have an idea of how it would work and how it'd feel. It also seems like a logical step for phantom.

    Even though phantom isn't invisible I still feel his cloak is in a good enough place for not only Phantom but for DB. Considering making him easier to sneak around with might encourage Phantom players try to run behind enemy lines when that isn't how he should play imo. I wouldn't want him to be like Sky from Paladins for example. It would frustrate too many people considering how DB plays and how comparatively tanky he is.

    Additionally I think they'd need to buff the cloak to the point of it being unfun to play against for it to balance phantom enough.

    I wasn't aware of the silent buff...

  • Phantom can already be viable when played like a 'regular' merc. BL54, CR54, and C64 are great combat loadouts. If you can't be effective with a Crotz or Kek-10 with drilled then you've got other problems. Play him with a gun-first mentality and use his ability solely for evasive or ambush tactics. Disabling enemy equipment with the EMP should be your primary focus as well. Wiping out their equipment is extremely effective around a large cluster of enemies that are defending, say, a bomb plant on Underground.

  • XSheepieXXSheepieX Posts: 47
    edited September 6

    @Wintergreen As much as Phantom's guns are good and i agree with what you are saying mostly, it doesn't make Phantom viable. I mean Phantoms guns are still SMGs so they aren't anything special. Nader uses SMGs, but she has grenades to account for that. If i had to chose abilities based on pure effectiveness, i'd take the nades over a cloak every single time. I know Phantom isn't an assault and i don't think he should be, but even if you compare him to Aimee for example, he just isn't worth it and doesn't have the same capabilities. Why have a merc that can assassinate one or two when you can have a merc that can lock down a whole area.

    I'm not saying he's useless, i think he can be very useful in certain situations, but he isn't viable as he completely relies on his team to do anything effectively. For example, he cannot flank without his team due to him being quite easy to detect. If you compare him to any other merc, it is obvious that he isn't as useful as any of them. Not by much imo. But he is still very apparently at the bottom by enough that it is noticeable. I'm not the only person who sees it this way.

  • I mean, if we had to really narrow it down, I'd concede that Phantom is among one of lowest tier mercs. Overall though, this game is pretty balanced so that's not sayin' much. I think there's a time and a place for every merc. If they tweaked Phantom's ability, they should remove that noticeable sound when he's invisible. Imo, that's his only counter in hectic situations; they've already made him harder to see and the EMP is amazing. I really don't see him as terrible as people make him sound.

  • XSheepieXXSheepieX Posts: 47
    edited September 6

    I agree with you partly. I don't think he is terrible and not useless like many people would say he is. Though i still think he is underpowered enough that something needs to be done.

    Additionally, I really don't think that Phantom actually was made harder to see and I think how his abilities are at the moment is okay. I mean nobody wants a merc who can kill you without you even knowing it's coming.

    IMO Phantom doesn't need changes to his existing ability. It's just that he needs something else to allow him to be useful in more situations IMO. To me, Phantom is like Redeye without the smoke. He has a pretty useful ability but it could use something to compliment it.

    I think the EMP was the best thing to happen to Phantom

  • woodchipwoodchip Posts: 81
    edited September 8

    I strongly feel Phantom should get some sort of recon ability. List of reasons:

    I thought about it. I no longer think phantom needs a new skill.

    Post edited by woodchip on
  • I personally think the EMP works quite well with the sort of ghost-like feel for Phantom.

    I think that Phantom needs more killing capability. I don't think a spotting ability is integral to being a recon. Though I do think being effectively able to take out targets is. Phantom is a harasser at the moment and can lock down areas similar to (but not as effectively as) other recons.

  • woodchipwoodchip Posts: 81
    edited September 6

    @XSheepieX said:
    I personally think the EMP works quite well with the sort of ghost-like feel for Phantom.

    I think that Phantom needs more killing capability. I don't think a spotting ability is integral to being a recon. Though I do think being effectively able to take out targets is. Phantom is a harasser at the moment and can lock down areas similar to (but not as effectively as) other recons.

    More killing capability would make him very dangerous to the game. Already, if he opens up on you out of stealth with better than potato aim he's very favored to win the gunfight. Maybe 65/35 or 70/30. If you push that to 75/25 or 80/20 dying to phantom starts to get really frustrating. There's no room to buff it.

    It's also hard to call him a 'harasser' when he is primarily played as an assassin. Phantom's aren't like tracers, who contribute light damage from the backline while being hard to kill. He's an all in headhunter who pulls easy kills out of his opener. Phantom gets lots of solo kills. Unlike Tracer, tho, once he reveals himself he is very vulnerable and has no form of easy escape.

    He's an all in Assassin. And his assassination ability is already very strong. He wins tons of 'free' duels by lining up an SMG headshot in stealth or by simply flanking. The problem that very strong dueling isn't strong enough to make up for his having an SMG and minimal utility. Getting 1 'free' kill every 30 seconds is as good as it gets for phantom, and as good as it can get without breaking the game, but that isn't worth giving up a firesupport or a fragger.

    Recon utility is a solve. Another potentially more dangerous solution might be to buff his regen so he can pick up his free kills more often. Recon is a safer buff.

  • If any of next merc will either have throwing knives (or decoy knives whatever) or EMP grenade. Then Phantom will forever remain a joke :|

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  • @woodchip I get what you're saying, but i think it's about implementation. That's why i think throwing knives are a good idea. Considering you use them while cloaked, and it would slightly disrupt the cloak, it would be very difficult to use. But people who can play Phantom well would not only be able to exploit the flanking that Phantom can do, but also the fact that he can soften up his targets before he strikes.

    Phantom can only get one kill generally and at high level he struggles to do that. I really feel like throwing knives would give Phantom that slight edge he needs without making him unbearable in PUBs.

    It's about counter play. Phantom should remain as difficult to play as ever, but he shouldn't be useless at high level. I think Phantom is close to being there but i just feel he needs a little something to compliment how he plays.

    @TheStrangerous If another Merc got an EMP it would make Phantom actually useless and I honestly don't think that throwing knives are a big enough of a deal to give to a new Merc. I don't even think it would suit any Merc's playstyle and there would be no reason to use them unless they were cheesiliy overpowered.

    Phantom is the only logical character that i can imagine throwing knives being useful for (because why not just use your gun?) and at the same time, he is the only character who really needs something to help him be viable. To me it just makes sense.

  • GireGire Posts: 42
    edited September 7

    Make the EMP and Cloak separate abilities, but also that you can activate both of them at the same time but consume more energy.
    Cloak consumes less energy and be completetly invisible while standing or crouching still.
    Increase his energy pool so it can handle the EMP consuming.
    Decrease cloak sounds while only using cloak mode but maybe increase it just a hinch if you are using both.

    Probably not neseccary but increase Phantoms hp by 10 to maintain his combat survivability because he is quite short ranged merc with a melee potential.

    I too am Phantom main myself, i wouldnt probably played this game so much if it wouldnt have Phantom in it.
    Phantom is so much fun against new players but he turn useless against higher skilled opponents, where they can see/hear you instantly even when standing completetly still. And his EMP gives him away too. Its just stupid that EMP goes on without your own will.

  • As much as I think that'd help Phantom, I think it'd actually be a step back for the game.

    If you consider why Phantom was nerfed, those changes would actually make Phantom's situation worse. Firstly, I don't think it'd make enough of a difference to make Phantom viable, and secondly, if it did allow for Phantom to go undetected better, it would frustrate many people.

    Whether we like it or not, I seriously doubt that Phantom's cloak and/or ability to go undetected will -or should be for that matter- be buffed. Or at least not enough to make him viable. It would be game-breaking. That's why, something like what woodchip or I suggested would probably be best imho.

    Though I don't agree with woodchip on that Phantom is an assassin. I mean yes. You can play Phantom as an assassin. But if you play against equally skilled opponents, like you said you are better off going support or assault as you aren't likely to get more than one or two kills. Phantom plays best as a harasser and an opportunist imo as he can make it so that you can constantly be putting pressure on the enemy team from unexpected angles.

    If i think about it though, even if you gave Phantom a spotting ability why choose Phantom over any other Recon?

  • Enough with Spotting abilities, it's been done to death.

    Even if decoy knife, I mentioned before, had one, it would pale compared to other current spotting abilities.

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  • GireGire Posts: 42

    Make his cloak more silent and less visible, and separate the EMP from the cloak

  • Like i said before:

    @XSheepieX said:
    Whether we like it or not, I seriously doubt that Phantom's cloak and/or ability to go undetected will -or should be for that matter- be buffed. Or at least not enough to make him viable. It would be game-breaking.

    Changes like you have suggested are the most logical to probably most people though if you dig a little deeper, it is apparent that those changes would fly in the face of everything else SD have tried to achieve in their previous changes to Phantom.

    We need to think outside the box like SD did when they gave the EMP to Phantom. We need to consider how Phantom is underpowered and what could make him useful to the team without making him unfun to play against. All of this needs to be done considering how Phantom plays currently and how any changes would effect how Phantom plays in the future. Counterplay is always key. It is counterplay that irritates so many people about Javelin though that's off the point. :/

  • LifeupOmegaLifeupOmega Posts: 1,964
    edited September 7

    @TheStrangerous said:
    Snipers since nerf are only reserved for the most dedicated players. Even I, who used to play Vassilli a lot, gave up. I like sharpshooter type classes.

    Ah yes, the big nerf of "can't two shot bodyshot Fragger, but can still two shot bodyshot any other merc you could previously."

    You don't need to learn how to aim in Dirty Bomb if you just use Bursts, Shotguns or Sniper Rifles.
  • XSheepieXXSheepieX Posts: 47
    edited September 8

    Well... getting back to Phantom. I will put my suggestion on what i think would improve him and why.

    Firstly, Phantom's main ability is the ability to strike at opponents from unexpected angles and flank. The EMP compliments this in that it means that when he does strike, he often doesn't need to worry about deployables. Phantom can help his team by using his EMP and has a slight edge on enemies in that he can get the first shot.

    The one big issues I have is that many times I find myself in a situation where I would like to assist my team by softening up enemies that I can see moving into position as often I'm in a good position to. But at the same time, I know it isn't worth wasting my cloak for it. This to me feels like a major flaw for Phantom and a huge gap in his potential usefulness.

    Phantom is close to being good I think, but the main issue as I see it is that the only thing for Phantom to do while cloaked is try to be in the best position for when he uncloaks. And honestly, though it is nice that Phantom can get the first shot it doesn't always mean that much against a good player with an assault rifle or burst rifle. Sure, if you can aim you'll get the kill, but people don't stay still and if you don't get the kill straight away, you are suddenly very vulnerable and likely to die. This is why i think Phantom plays better as a harasser.

    However if we go with Phantom playing as a harasser, constantly being a pain for the enemy,
    but he currently isn't able to put enough pressure on enemies imo on his own. He relies on his team to capitalise on his EMP and when his cloak is finished he no longer is a big deal. I don't think the fix to this is to simply split the two aspects of the ability as I feel like it was deliberately done the way it has been done.

    So.. back to my suggestion... I think Phantom needs some way of dealing a conservative amount of damage while cloaked so that he can keep up the pressure at all times. I initially wished the pistol could be used while cloaked... I can understand some people may instantly hate that idea but let me explain fully...

    My suggestion is that Phantom, like I mentioned before, gets 3 throwing knives on a 5 sec cooldown. They would do around roughly 20-30 damage standard and double on headshots (i think that's how it works). This means that the if you aren't cloaked there realistically is no reason to use the knives.

    It might look something like this in practise:

    http://imgur.com/octFNgC

    When Phantom throws one of the knives, my suggestion would be that it makes Phantom as visible is if he was sprinting/walking for a fraction of a second and there should be a very slight noise and perhaps a small chunk of the armour's charge taken away.

    That way, throwing knives shouldn't actually make Phantom suddenly very easy to play in Pubs and it would still require careful judgement and positioning to be effective. It adds another layer of skill to Phantom and allows him to actually be cloaked and stay cloaked while still assisting the team and doing damage, without him being any more annoying to play against than he already is.

    To me this is the best way forwards for Phantom as it compliments his existing abilities and fixes some of the areas that Phantom is lacking in as well as allowing Phantom to be more useful to the team more often. This is also a change that wouldn't be as difficult as creating a totally new mechanic for Phantom and I feel like it is the most suited to Phantom out of all of the ideas I've seen, searching through forums about suggestions for Phantom.

    I've yet to see anyone else whose suggested a change to Phantom that would be really good for both Phantom and Dirty Bomb so I'd really like to hear it if someone has an idea about this.

    Post edited by XSheepieX on
  • woodchipwoodchip Posts: 81
    edited September 8

    @XSheepieX said:
    Well... getting back to Phantom. I will put my suggestion on what i think would improve him and why.

    Firstly, Phantom's main ability is the ability to strike at opponents from unexpected angles and flank. The EMP compliments this in that it means that when he does strike, he often doesn't need to worry about deployables. Phantom can help his team by using his EMP and has a slight edge on enemies in that he can get the first shot.

    The one big issues I have is that many times I find myself in a situation where I would like to assist my team by softening up enemies that I can see moving into position as often I'm in a good position to. But at the same time, I know it isn't worth wasting my cloak for it. This to me feels like a major flaw for Phantom and a huge gap in his potential usefulness.

    Phantom is close to being good I think, but the main issue as I see it is that the only thing for Phantom to do while cloaked is try to be in the best position for when he uncloaks. And honestly, though it is nice that Phantom can get the first shot it doesn't always mean that much against a good player with an assault rifle or burst rifle. Sure, if you can aim you'll get the kill, but people don't stay still and if you don't get the kill straight away, you are suddenly very vulnerable and likely to die. This is why i think Phantom plays better as a harasser.

    "a slight edge on enemies in that he can get the first shot."
    ...
    " Sure, if you can aim you'll get the kill..."

    I take it you are a phantom main? When phantom opens on people he has them almost dead to rights. His SMGs (Crotzni, Kek) do AR level DPS at close range and kill a 120 HP merc in half a second of headshots.

    The ambush gunfight advantage is way more than 1 bullet. Say we're generous and the AR wielding victim has the extraordinarily fast reaction-aim time of .4 seconds. So he can react and accurately aim at the ambushing phantom in .4 seconds. .2 seconds for pure reaction and .2 seconds after to aim at phantom, plus or minus lag.

    .4 seconds of Crotzni is over 50 dmg with pure bodyshots. If you were able to lineup on the head you can easily do 80 damage or more before the enemy can realistically start to fight back.

    So with bad aim the phantom does about 40 damage in his opener. With good aim he does around 60+. And again, phantoms guns are as strong as ARs at close range. Whenever the phantom does more than 20(!) damage in the 'opener' the gunfight is phantom favored.

    The phantom ambush is about as strong as it can be without being a virtual autokill in skilled hands. This is a seperate discussion from how hard it is to get that ambush (phantom being pretty visible to experienced players). When phantom gets the cold jump on you its almost over. That's powerful. And absolutely should not be further buffed.

    You're right that phantom isn't good at harassing people from range because he needs to spend time cloaked to get in a good ambush position. You're wrong to say the ambush isn't strong. Some phantoms can aim, consistently. It's hard to pull off a true ambush, but if you do its quite good.

    If you don't believe me I play as Not All Uruk-hai. We can test.

    The problem with phantom isn't in his killing power. He's already dangerous. It's that getting 1 "free"ish kill after 10 seconds of manuevering isn't enough to justify a merc that gives little else to his team except an awkward Aura counter. His cooldown and positioning dependence cap his killing contribution level at somewhere around firesupport tier, but he doesn't give ammo or kill objectives.

    I don't know what to do to fix that. His cloak is already overloaded and confusing as it is, and adding a new ability doesn't make much sense either.

    One thing that could be useful in reducing his downtime would be an augment that increases his cloak recharge. A gen 3 card with that + tough for health regen could be good. Or maybe buff his nonsprint stealth invisibility just a touch. He's not THAT far away from decent. An increase to his EMP range might also help his general usefulness while reducing the degree to which he gives away his position. Maybe. Phantom is a hard problem to solve.

    Post edited by woodchip on
  • GatoCommodoreGatoCommodore Posts: 3,356

    phantom is good because you feel like you actually need to use your head to play that merc.
    i only use the katana for 80hp mercs and even that when the merc is alone in the back.

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  • XSheepieXXSheepieX Posts: 47
    edited September 8

    I understand what you are saying, but trust me, if you play against an good group of players you can't just get free kills with Phantom. Instead you have to kind of.. snipe with an smg and wait for the perfect moment a lot more. I have good aim and I know that I can't just try to get behind the enemy like that because it just doesn't work without backup.

    Saying the first shot was a bit of an understatement, however 40-50 damage might sound good, but in most situations it means nothing. If you compare it to any other assault or recon, what they can do before someone has time to react (think Fragger) is much more. Being able to win a duel every 10 secs is nice, but really there shouldn't really be situations where there are 1v1s generally if the teams are working well together

    Phantoms ability is being able to ambush. The skill is in the preparation. You can't make Phantom viable without increasing his combat effectiveness in some way. Currently Nader does everything Phantom can do better than he can. In practice Phantom's cloak simply isn't an auto-kill. It just doesn't work that we'll, people move fast enough for that not to be the case.

    There is no getting round the fact that the EMP is good but it is complimentary to being able to attack in some way. If all you can do is EMP it isn't really worth it at all.

    When you compare Phantom to any of the other recons, it is apparent that his killing capability is considerably worse. This would be okay if he could lock down areas, but he can't do that effectively either due to the fact that there are large gaps in his ability to do damage meaning medics can quick nullify any damage he does.

    I feel like your aversion comes from a fear of Phantom becoming too potent and being annoying to play against. But what I've suggested would only marginally effect Phantoms killing potential and bring it into the realms of viability without making him easy to play.

    And I really disagree with Phantom needing to use certain loadouts to be viable. Phantom shouldn't need his katana to be viable. He shouldn't need to have certain perks to be just useful.

    I'm open to other people's ideas, but considering I've made my suggestion what do you like/not like about it?

    (Yes I am a Phantom main)

    @GatoCommodore Yes you do have to use your head. I do the same. My issue is that even if you do use your head, the reward for how well you play is comparatively minuscule if you compared it with other Mercs. All the Mercs are amazing if you can play very well with them except from Phantom who instead is pretty decent/okay.

  • woodchipwoodchip Posts: 81
    edited September 8

    @XSheepleX I think any mechanic that involves being able to do damage while staying stealthed is hugely dangerous. Like if it was done slightly wrong it could end up making a lot of people quit the game.

    And I just don't think phantom is so inherently weak or broken right now to justify taking such a big risk. We agree that his ambush is good. I don't think its an autokill. Realistically he does between 40-70 damage in his 'opening'. Of course you can do even less than that if you open on a target already staring in your direction or, more common, a target who already knows you're there. But in any case phantoms 'ambush damage' is strong.

    In practice, it's an 'autokill' (80%+ phantom favored) if you open on someone from behind. It's strongly phantom favored if you open from the side at close. It's slightly phantom favored if you open at the side from medium. And it's 'even'ish if you open on an AR player facing you from medium range.

    I think all of that is actually great. It plays out exactly how I would want it to.

    I do think, though, that pulling off these ambushes is a little too difficult. Because once you flank the enemy and start to approach at a walk in cloak, half the time someone sees you and ruins your opener. Obviously, this happens more often with more experienced players and almost never with newer ones. But in any case it feels bad and really limits how much phantom can contribute to his team when even 'well executed' flanks lead to random deaths from getting spotted so often. Those random deaths are especially a problem if you are trying to carry your team.

    I would probably be in favor of improving phantom's cloak concealment while walking slightly. Either by tuning the value some small% or by increasing his invisibility to distant targets specifically.

    But my honest sense from playing with him is Phantom's not far from balanced. His anti-aura thing might be janky, but it's strong. Adding a couple stronger loadouts and boosting his cloak a touch could easily get him in a good place.

    Post edited by woodchip on
  • I still don't understand how so many people overlook the guns and loadouts he and other "bad" mercs have. While abilities are important and the personality of DB, they should only be used to compliment a playstyle. I've said it above and I'll say it again 'cause I'm speaking broadly here, if you cannot be effective with a gun-first mentality then you'll never be a viable player. Unless, of course, you're a medic.

    A bad Nader will pull out her launcher in close combat or around every corner like a safety blanket.
    A bad Bush will panic drop his turret while in a gun fight.
    A bad Kira won't pull her primary back out to finish off a kill or protect herself while guiding the laser.
    A bad Phoenix will either fully charge their healing pulse every single time or not charge it at all.
    A bad Redeye will pop smoke whenever he deems it necessary with no regard to his team.
    A bad Stoker will use his molotov to get a last minute kill rather than protect a bomb plant.
    A bad Skyhammer and Arty will waste an airstrike to kill a Proxy that nearly has the EV repaired rather than waiting to disable it.

    ... and so on.

    I think it's also worth noting that most Phantom players are trash, just like snipers. These types of sneaky assassin characters and snipers seem to attract bad players in every game simply because of the 'cool and edgy' factors. So, yeah, keep that in mind I guess.

    There are times where I would rather have Phantom's ability than another and having a Kek-10 or Blish on my Nader would be ridiculously strong. I personally like the SMG-9, but the Crotz, Kek, and Blish are the 3 best smgs. Yes, a lot of top-level players use the Blish because it's more ranged and an absolute headshot machine with easily manageable recoil and predictable spread. Phantom was already an efficient killer that had no definitive role until recently with the EMP stuff and I concur with everyone else saying his problem is that he's simply too niche of a character that isn't beneficial in every scenario. There are a lot of mercs like this in the game, but that doesn't mean they're weak or ineffective. I main one of said mercs.

    Phantom, in my opinion, is no different than Kira, Nader, Stoker, and Redeye.

    Why choose Nader over Javelin? To flush out groups of enemies and area denial. She is not weak because she doesn't have a primary objective or team support.

    Why choose Kira over a 'better' assault merc with a Dreiss, Stark, or BR like Fragger or Arty? Because of her speed and the utility of the laser.

    Why choose Redeye over a 'better' sniper like Vassili? Because his smoke is a utility that can be used to hold choke points and he's more of a frontline aggressor than the other recons.

    I think my point is clear here so I'll stop ranting now. If Phantom were to be changed, it would have to be a very subtle tweak. He does not need more killing power. Throwing knives sound interesting and I don't think I'd be opposed to that, but I strongly oppose any form of recon spotting as we already have enough of that as is. They can play with the EMP some more if they'd like or tweak his cloak again. I don't really care. Anything beyond that is too much if you ask me, though. Phantom is not weak.

  • PtilouiPtiloui Posts: 169

    @woodchip said:
    One thing that could be useful in reducing his downtime would be an augment that increases his cloak recharge. A gen 3 card with that + tough for health regen could be good. Or maybe buff his nonsprint stealth invisibility just a touch. He's not THAT far away from decent. An increase to his EMP range might also help his general usefulness while reducing the degree to which he gives away his position. Maybe. Phantom is a hard problem to solve.

    I find the cooldown on the refractive armor already good and don't need to be lower. Usually, while you uncloak, kill your target and reatreat, the ability is already usable again.
    A spotting ability, like spotting deployables that you have disabled would be a great addition, but i would still be happy with an augment that grants an AOE buff.

  • @woodchip I get why you say that, but that is why i've thought so carefully about the amount of damage Phantom would be able to deal, and the way that it would actually make Phantom even easier to spot. I know the importance of counterplay.

    Yes, you are correct in that Phantom is hard to play and flank with, but my two points are that:

    1. I, and i think many others, really don't want to see Phantom become easier to play. It is possible to play him decently, just very hard. In the way that you feel being able to attack while cloaked is dangerous, I feel like an improvement of the concealment of Phantom would be very dangerous, as that is what got Phantom where he is now in the first place.
    2. Secondly, even if Phantom was able to pull off flanks easier and more consistently, Phantom's flanks simply aren't useful enough high level for him to do any real damage and make any real impact. He would be able to deal some decent damage but then would likely die or at the very least need to retreat.

    As much as yes Phantom is in a good place at the moment and he is close to being decent with a good player. But there is no getting away from the fact that he just isn't good enough. His EMP isn't as good as a well placed Nade, and his cloak doesn't do anything other than partially hide him so that he can get into a good position. You can get very good with Phantom, but I honestly think that no amount of good loadouts will change the fact that he can't compete. Besides i have my loadout that I've been using for over a year now. There is no other merc that relies on their loadout to be viable.

    I'm not talking about Phantom being a fun Merc to play in PUBs. I'm talking about him being the only Merc who is completely just not worth it when trying to win.

    @Ptiloui Phantom has Bomb Squad so it wouldn't be useful at all for me as most of the cards i use have bomb squad anyway.

    You both have said it. Phantom can get one kill and then he needs to retreat. But the issue isn't that how easy it is to do this as infact it can be quite difficult. The issue is that this is Phantom's max capability realistically when playing against people of a similar skill level. And when playing against people who know how to play against Phantom they won't let you retreat as easily.

    A spotting ability might help Phantom, but if you think about it, would it really make any difference at all. I mean... Why not just chose Vasili if you want a spotting ability.

    Where does Phantom actually lack? What is his major flaw? If you ask me, it's the fact that he actually can't really kill very well, or control areas like any other recon can.

  • PtilouiPtiloui Posts: 169

    @XSheepieX said:
    @Ptiloui Phantom has Bomb Squad so it wouldn't be useful at all for me as most of the cards i use have bomb squad anyway.

    You both have said it. Phantom can get one kill and then he needs to retreat. But the issue isn't that how easy it is to do this as infact it can be quite difficult. The issue is that this is Phantom's max capability realistically when playing against people of a similar skill level. And when playing against people who know how to play against Phantom they won't let you retreat as easily.

    A spotting ability might help Phantom, but if you think about it, would it really make any difference at all. I mean... Why not just chose Vasili if you want a spotting ability.

    Where does Phantom actually lack? What is his major flaw? If you ask me, it's the fact that he actually can't really kill very well, or control areas like any other recon can.

    Bomb squad spots only for you and only if you have a direct line of sight, not through wall and your teammates are not aware.

    I feel that everybody think Phantom is less useful because they're mostly playing him as a lonewolf. Coordinate your flank and deployables disabling with your teammates push, i can assure you the ennemy will be wipe out.

  • @Ptiloui It's funny... I literally just came out of a discussion on discord about how I don't think Phantom is a lonewolf.

    To be completely honest, Bomb squad is kinda weird and sometimes give you wall hacks on proxy mines and stuff. effectively. Though granted the rest of the team can't see them. How would spotting deployable make phantom viable? I mean sure phantom is good at destroying deployables, but to me, the EMP was always there to allow for phantom to effectively harrass and enable pushes and have an impact on the enemy by disrupting heal stations and stopping sticky bombs, and turrets (as well as helping others locate him). However other mercs aren't effected by this, so focusing overly on deployables would just make phantom too specialised in a role that isn't even needed imo.

    Coordinating flanks with phantom is definitely how phantom should be played, you're right. But if you play against a similarly organised team, it can end up leaving Phantom useless and it isn't hard to make Phantom waste his cloak. It only takes one alert player to completely negate his ability and force him to retreat.

    Phantom is far too situational at the moment. I don't think anyone can seriously think that he is viable competitively. I've spent since phantom was launched trying to find a way to play phantom competitively and it is horrifically difficult. Phantoms ability atm is gimmicky as there is nothing he can actually do with it. It works okay in pubs but in ranked it doesn't so well other than the EMP. The EMP was part buff, and part nerf. And it's the only thing useful about phantom!

    Again, he isn't far off, but he needs something to help him actually be a threat in some way.

  • GatoCommodoreGatoCommodore Posts: 3,356

    what if i told you that phantom can survive 140 dmg?
    because he get away with that...

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  • @GatoCommodore said:
    what if i told you that phantom can survive 140 dmg?
    because he get away with that...

    @GatoCommodore I'm not sure what exactly what you're getting at...

    Phantom has probably has the best survivability in the game. But he can't do anything with it. And if you're spotted while getting into position or if someone predicts where you are from your noises, you will be gunned down usually by more than one person and 140 effective HP isn't going to stop the fact that you will die.

    Phantom is forced to play in one way to be effective. You must flank at extreme angles though this simply isn't always possible and it leaves you in a vulnerable position. I know from experience, that unless you play quite conservatively and attack from safety, a good group of players you will kill you over and over even if you try to stay hidden.

    How i see Phantom, he should be able to fluidly move to different locations stay still, deal damage, and then move to another location before decloaking and finally committing to the fight at the right moment.

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