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Nyx MC: Specters vs Minions


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Maybe there is some way to use Mind Control effectively that I haven't discovered yet, but so far I got hyped up, I tried it, and I was disappointed.

Let's make a comparison. We have pizzas, we all like them. They're essentially a craftable, deployable, weaker version of Trinity's Blessing for the cases where you don't have access to one.

Similarly, we can look at Specters and Mind Control. Both should provide a combat-capable ally - but as it stands, the balance is backwards. My budget Trinity Vapor Specter with basic Tigris outperforms buffed 'minions' across the board. Let's look at the 'why's:


First, 'Minions' are slow. From 'they can barely keep up with my run' slow of light units to 'I can outrun them while crouching' slow of Napalm-alikes. Specters can at least keep pace with a running frame. 

Second, 'Minions' can't teleport - Mind Control becomes pretty useless outside of extremely static defensive situations. Specters can teleport, thus making them compatible with the usual parkour movement style of attack missions.

Teleportation and a scaling speed buff, capped between x1.5 at 100% PowerStr to x3 at 200% PowerStr will probably alleviate that issue. Yeah, bonus starts at x1.5 because right now Ospreys are probably the only units that maybe kinda can move fast enough. AFAIK, that should also increase the ROF and thus damage output, which would be really handy too.


Mind-controlled AI, despite being seemingly invulnerable, is still subject to crowd-control from status effects and damage. A bunch of enemy fire or a single Napalm round to the face, and the 'minion' gets stuck in stagger animation, nullifying its already mediocre damage output.

It's an inverse of how it should be, really. Instead of 'minion' supporting us, we have to support it by taking out various CC units around it. A stagger/status immunity would go a long way to improving Mind Control.


AI does a lot of stuff that's fun to look at through crosshairs of your rifle before a trigger pull but is absolutely maddening when said AI is supposed to help you. All the back-and-forth movements, taking cover, walk-strafing into some corner with no LOS to enemies, etc etc.

What makes Specters decent are their simple AIs. Follow the player; stand; shoot; occasionally cast abilities. If it's behaving erratically, you can manually order it to hold position, at which point it becomes a turret, dumb but effective.

It's exactly what we need from 'minion' AI too. It's invulnerable, so it doesn't need cover. It's inherently dumb, so it shouldn't try any maneuvers if it already has LOS to target.

In a perfect world, I envision a system where we can press 1 again to mark a point where we want our 'minion' to stand - it will run there as fast as possible and then just execute the stand-and-shoot drill without any other actions (Releasing mind control, thus, becomes done by holding 1). A player would always choose smarter positions than AI. The added agency would even allow for some fancy positioning tricks, I'm sure - but at very least 'minions' will become handy in Interceptions and the like.

But in our less-than-perfect world where implementing such a control scheme can be out of the question at this stage of rework, perhaps there is some way to hack away unnecessary AI routines from 'minions'? 



Last, but not least. Sure, it's one of the biggest problems, but I put it last because I think that without abovementioned changes - at least some of them - Mind Control will never produce a reliable source of additional damage, even with +Infinity% bonuses.

In test runs and simulacrum, 900%-buffed Heavy Gunner was barely able to finish off a Lancer in a 1s long burst. Something tougher than a basic Lancer and it takes several seconds of uninterrupted fire to kill a single enemy. It's firepower of unforma'd Karak 😕 - and we're talking starchart-level content here, levels 20-30. That 900% buff isn't especially easy to achieve too - had to take 4-forma Vaykor Hek out of cold storage for that.

Vapor Specter with Tigris more or less reliably one-shots enemies across half the tile. Kills-per-second is no match for a semi-decent mid-MR player, yes, but at least Specters actually kill something from time to time. 

While potential 1000% dmg buff sounds crazy, it's anything but. Feels like it's entirely possible to switch to 'x1-x1000' format for buff display and thus allow a 10000% increase in damage and that would basically make them level with various meta-ish weapons and good damage abilities of other frames.

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