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Fixing the Martians

Do you think it's necessary?

  • Yes, the martians are boring!

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • The martians are boring, but this isn't the way to fix it

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • I like the Martian Madness the way it is!

    Votes: 1 14.3%

  • Total voters
    7

652Graystripe

Plantera
As it stands now, the Martian Madness is pretty dreadfully balanced. I wouldn't mind so much if it was just easy to cheese*, but it's also made so that cheesing is the only way to reliably fight that damned saucer. And don't forget the torture of RNG!

*For those who don't know, "cheese" is a way of beating a boss/event that's viewed as kind of unfair or awfully easy. Like beating the Martian Madness with a ceiling.

Saucer changes
Martian_Saucer.png

It took me a long time to figure out where to start with this thing. So:

-Lasers travel through blocks
-Much slower while firing death ray; death ray takes a short while to "warm up"
-Does not have a "second phase"; armaments have sharply increased health accordingly
-Missiles no longer home in
-Missile damage increased to 90/120
-Speed increases as turrets are removed

(I want to thank @sharkman0101 for suggesting the reduced speed/telegraph on the death ray; my previous solution was removing it entirely, which was too heavy-handed).

Also:
-Drops tweaked quite a bit (see section)
-Spawning requirements changed (see section)

These are drastic changes, I'll admit it, but I feel that they're necessary. As it stands the Saucer basically demands that you wait under blocks and use some indirect-fire weapon to take it out. That's no fun, and not what this event should be like.

With these changes, the Saucer becomes a frenetic, fast-paced, always-on-the-move boss fight in the open air.

Enemy frequency
The way it is now, the Madness is basically the Saucer with a side of mooks. This should change some; as of now, the martians themselves are just getting in the way of you fighting the saucer's drop RNG.

Gray_Grunt.png
Brain_Scrambler.png
Ray_Gunner.png

-Gray Grunt, Brain Scrambler, and Ray Gunner removed
Scutlix_%28creature%29.png

-Scutlix now occurs on its own and fires lasers like the Ray Gunner used to
-Still drops Scutlix mount
Gigazapper.png

-Gigazapper follows Butcher AI, with a considerable speed boost to make it dangerous to grounded players

-Martian Saucer now only spawns once the event is 60% complete, like the Flying Dutchman
While this would make it harder to get those precious rare drops, I've made changes to the drops that really help this. Take a look.

All other enemies remain the same.
(also, is anyone else bothered by the fact that they all have different hit sounds?)

Drop changes
Cosmic_Car_Key.png
Xeno_Staff.png
Laser_Drill.png

-Cosmic Car Key, Xeno Staff, and Laser Drill are still dropped by the Saucer as normal (33% each)
Anti-Gravity_Hook.png

-Anti-Gravity Hook is now an extra drop, 20%

All the other drops become craftable. While I considered making that widely-suggested Martian NPC to sell these, I decided shelling out ducats for a bunch of weapons was kind of a lazy way to get 'em.
Xenopopper.png

Xenopopper
-Crafted with
Martian_Conduit_Plating.png
40 Martian Conduit Plating

Laser_Machinegun.png

Laser Machinegun
-Crafted with
Martian_Conduit_Plating.png
40 Martian Conduit Plating

Electrosphere_Launcher.png

Electrosphere Launcher
-Crafted with
Martian_Conduit_Plating.png
40 Martian Conduit Plating

Charged_Blaster_Cannon.png

Charged Blaster Cannon
-Crafted with
Martian_Conduit_Plating.png
40 Martian Conduit Plating
-Also, buff it in accordance with @Baconfry 's misc rebalances thread

Influx_Waver.png

Influx Waver
-Crafted with
Martian_Conduit_Plating.png
40 Martian Conduit Plating

These recipes do feel a little bland, but I'm not willing to put in a pre-grade (e.g. the Proximity Mine Launcher or the Laser Rifle or something) because that just necessitates unnecessary grinding in places where it's no longer fun. The conduit plating will do.

Conclusion
Though I'm painting in broad strokes here, I hope you'll agree that that was what's necessary. For such an important event (given the Cosmic Car Key and the extremely potent weapons) it's really a drag to fight.

3 Dec 2018: Rebalanced the Martian Saucer in accordance with several commenters, especially @Lord Garak and @sharkman0101
 
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Lord Garak

Retinazer
The Saucer is extremely beatable in open air, it's just very precise movement and quite monotonous. I was expecting you to address the imbalances in the drops themselves; besides the mount being too hard to get I don't think the event itself needs this much change.
 

sharkman0101

Spazmatism
^^^
I do respect that you feel the drops of the Saucer need a bit of rethinking, but the fight itself shouldn't need much changes. You can easily avoid the laser attack by maintaining high vertical movement, switching to high horizontal movement to dodge the missles, then a quick speed burst(ex: hook, dash) to avoid the laser. In the second phase, you must maintain high speed and reflexes to stay alive. Of course, fighting it in open air is still quite difficult, so using the terrarain is still an option. It may be "cheesing", but you still have the other enemies to deal with, which gives an incentive to get away into the open air. Basically, ground and terrain is covered by the regular enemies and the air is guarded by the difficult Saucer, giving rewards if you manage to defeat it. This, I feel, is a good way to handle an event and how it plays out. But, you can easily cheese it using the thin roof method and for which I don't have much of an idea to change the Martian Saucer battle into the right direction. One idea could just be a slower beam attack in the 2nd phase, and an easier to predict beam in the 1st phase to give it a better feel of a fair boss fight(to compensate, the beam could go through walls). I guess Expert Mode could keep the Saucer as is, to stay a challenge for those who wish to take it on out in the open. I know that this may not be the best idea for balancing, but I'm not a fan of the overhaul of the battle you suggested here. However, your crafting option is something I agree with entirely.
 

652Graystripe

Plantera
By imbalances, you mean that some of the weapons are good and some... aren't?
Honestly, I agree with both of you here; one of my main fears creating this thread was that I might just be a coward/pragmatist who hides under blocks to fight the saucer. My reasoning here is very much based off of the experiences of a guy who almost solely plays Expert Mode; if I were more familiar with the normal mode saucer you're talking about, I'd probably be able to beat it in a straight fight too.

Would definitely agree with lowering the speed and telegraphing the beam attack though. That damage is just... whoa.
 

sharkman0101

Spazmatism
By imbalances, you mean that some of the weapons are good and some... aren't?

Honestly, I agree with both of you here; one of my main fears creating this thread was that I might just be a coward/pragmatist who hides under blocks to fight the saucer. My reasoning here is very much based off of the experiences of a guy who almost solely plays Expert Mode; if I were more familiar with the normal mode saucer you're talking about, I'd probably be able to beat it in a straight fight too.

Would definitely agree with lowering the speed and telegraphing the beam attack though. That damage is just... whoa.
I wholly agree with the fact that fighting the Martian Saucer is extremly difficult in open air on Expert. I have attempted to do so on my Melee run but got hit by the laser just ONCE and it knocked me down far enough to be taken out by the other tesla turrets and Martian Walkers around the area. I don't blame you or myself for having to use a roof to help fight the saucer. The 1st phase has a steady pattern that can be taken out with somewhat ease. However, the 2nd phase I can't quite deal with on Expert, and just barely on normal mode. I would definitely say that a slowdown on the laser in the 2nd phase or even a damage reduction would be a nice compromise.
 

Lord Garak

Retinazer
By imbalances, you mean that some of the weapons are good and some... aren't?

Honestly, I agree with both of you here; one of my main fears creating this thread was that I might just be a coward/pragmatist who hides under blocks to fight the saucer. My reasoning here is very much based off of the experiences of a guy who almost solely plays Expert Mode; if I were more familiar with the normal mode saucer you're talking about, I'd probably be able to beat it in a straight fight too.

Would definitely agree with lowering the speed and telegraphing the beam attack though. That damage is just... whoa.
More so that almost all of them aren't good. I believe they're mechanically broken from the onset and needs massive changes to be up to scratch with other available gear.
 

652Graystripe

Plantera
More so that almost all of them aren't good. I believe they're mechanically broken from the onset and needs massive changes to be up to scratch with other available gear.
I've never really had a problem with any of them save the Charged Blaster Cannon, but I'm curious when you say they're mechanically broken, because 2/3 of them have unique mechanics that aren't seen anywhere else (the exceptions being the Xeno Staff and Influx Waver, I guess). What do you mean?
 

Lord Garak

Retinazer
I've never really had a problem with any of them save the Charged Blaster Cannon, but I'm curious when you say they're mechanically broken, because 2/3 of them have unique mechanics that aren't seen anywhere else (the exceptions being the Xeno Staff and Influx Waver, I guess). What do you mean?
I'll write up a report next Friday. Remind me.
 
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