While messing around with the Warlock I had the idea of the Warlock being able interact with charging stations throughout the map.
Currently the Warlock is useful in its ability to steal and create power ups and unlock doors. I think as an engineer-style drone, it should be able to interact with the map more and use the arena against opponents, and the ability to deactivate charging stations could fit under that category.
Here are some ideas in implementation:
- Warlock can disable charging stations permanently or for a certain amount of time.
- Warlock can reverse the charging station to create a trap (sucking energy instead of charging - particles could change color as an indicator for teammates) temporarily or permanently.
- Warlock can enable previously disabled charging stations. This could could add an interesting dynamic to new maps, permitting new zones of the map to become useful as battle progresses.
- Warlock could modify charging stations for other stats, such as fuel, shields, or hull, either temporarily or permanently. Ore could be used as a cost to do so. Adding this healing mechanic may help out some concerns over the difficulty of performing healing right now with an ore requirement while also keeping the Shamen useful as the primary, portable healer.
I think in team based play this could improve role importance. I don't know how well this would work in modes like anarchy or vs. bots but I suspect it might not be a very positive change. I'm not sure about balance. From my limited experience playing the game, I find that charging stations are more crucial in duels and dogfights than in team-based or other co-op modes. I think a good way to balance such a mechanic, if implemented, would be to vary the intensity of the effects and/or where they can actually be used. Some of the current maps are done in such a specific way that this functionality can't be put in, but in new maps it would work better (kind of like how breakable grates could only be added in some places).
What do you guys think?