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Longisquama obscurum - The Shoulder Mounted Pincushion Turret


Interface5
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Longi.thumb.jpg.79739ea9b364d2f93a4483471e1837e7.jpg

The idea, dossier, and concept included in this post were all created by me, I welcome feedback, thoughts and suggestions. (Also if you notice any glaring flaws in the dossier be sure to let me know and I'll fix 'em) Longisquama is a unique reptile that is most notable for the fossils of its frond-like feathers sticking straight out of its back. This specific depiction of longisquama is a love-letter to the inaccuracies for the sake of design seen in so many of arks other dinosaurs, in that it directly references one of the more outlandish reconstructions of longisquama, bare in mind I'm no paleontologist I'm only repeating a few things I've heard over the years.

Pitch:

● Early Game Tame, Late Game viability - Everyone loves tames accessible from the start, especially when they are able to maintain relevancy later into the game. I imagine the Longi could be tamed early on, simply get a leach attached to you and have it eat it off you to contribute about a third of the taming bar. The kicker is that to get maximum effectiveness you will have to find a diseased one (The Aberrant variant would simply use lampreys and still gain the full taming effectiveness but not contribute as much to the taming progress).

So we've established that it's easy to tame early on but requires late game or at least a lot of effort to get max effectiveness, why put such an emphasis on its potential use in this way? Well I think the benefits the longisquama provides will allow it to be useful into late game just as much as early game.

● Spear Generation: Passively generates quills in its inventory, attempting to fire without any quills in your inventory will quickly generate 10 quills at a heafty cost of stamina stacking beyond ten occurs at a lower rate without consuming stamina and would cap around 50 for a level 30 at 150 for a level 80 and around 250 for a 150 just to get a basic idea. By holding attack with an empty hand and a longi on your shoulder you reach behind you and snatch a quill off its body, this quill will now act as a spear that scales damage based on the longi's mele. Quills cannot actually be taken out of a longi's inventory. With high mele I could see this being comparable to a high quality pike, though I would love some PvP players input on this as I only have an idea of how my ideas will effect balancing from a PvE perspective.

● Low Range Turret - One of the main draws to the Longi is the fact that its essentially a machine gun, In many ways it will function similarly to a shoulder-mounted velonosaur, when manually firing you would use it much, in the same way, gaining a target reticle moving slower and expending stamina to shoot though not nearly to the degree of the velonosaur as in this case you also need to wait for the quills to appear in its inventory again. I would imagine that when it shoots its quills it does additional damage, I see its role as being a last resort type of thing, you are only given so many quills and you want to manage them carefully. (However to make this a versatile tame I think by increasing oxygen you could increase the maximum number of quills in its inventory and would change its role from last resort to a more standard attacker at the cost of some damage output)

● Last Resort  - To compound on its role as something that you want to save for dire situations the Longi could receive a decent damage boost when your health dips below a certain point, this would hopefully allow it to make that difference between life and death in deadly situations.

● Reflective armor - This ability could be two-fold: for one after shooting a target it could take some of the damage it deals *its biting and the quills are getting pushed deeper* additionally if a survivor is wearing a longisquama they could also cause damage to be reflected upon taking it from an outside source, I think this could scale with a stat such as just health.

● Watchdog: - The final role of the longi is the auto turret part of it, essentially you set its aggression level and the range before it chooses a target, and it just acts as a turret on your should, if you had a decent level one this would be good enough to give you peace of mind that your not going to be snuck up on by a raptor and killed, even in situations were you havent brought your top teir tames with you, because you already have a pretty decent one on your shoulder.

● Additional details:  I could also see the Longi providing insolation buffs and a fall damage reduction for obvious reasons. I also think that it could detect buried creatures like purlovia and reapers to add to their connection to rock drakes eluded to in the dossier and with the implication of them being the source of dna for rock drakes; however I don't think these are necessary for the concept to work, if the longi was feeling too bloated with features these would be the first I would drop, though I dont think anyone would complain from these being included. My main defense of these features being reasonable and not power creep or bloat is they don't majorly detract from other creatures' roles and instead just add a bit of depth to the longi, a dire wolf is still better for finding purlovia, a rockdrake can detect reapers and actually fight them, and archypterx / sino are better gliders.

 

Implementation:

So how does the Longi feel in game? I imagine it would be common to forested areas rich in bugs as well as swamps. I think Longisquama would work really well on other maps such as Abberation and Scorched earth, and Extinction's sunken forest, I would love to see these maps get some love. I personally think Aberration especially could benefit from the longisquama, I referenced the rock drake a lot while making the dossier and I can even see the longisquama being a source for the rock drake. Longisquama would be a great source of keratin if you can manage to kill one, which shouldn't be too difficult if you shoot it with arrows after bolaing it, just be sure you don't use a mele weapon. To add a greater threat to messing with this creature i could see it doing a quill burst when attacked at close range, this could also be an ability used by mounted longisquma. Feel free to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments, especially if you want to offer a perspective to PvP balancing because I have no idea how to start on that. 

As for my suggestions towards ensuring this is balanced, It would probably be good to investigate the spawn rate of diseased leaches, to ensure taming one of these at max efficiency is possible. Additionally, I would like to use this post to soapbox about velonosaur receiving a buff to cement its position at the turret mvp as the longisquama is intrinsically meant to be lighter weight and more multifaceted so therefor not quite as good as the dino that is literally genetically engineered by element to be a turret.

Edited by Interface5
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Awesome suggestion!

I can't put into words how much i like the longi. I love the design, the utility, the taming...

The only thing i would change is making it able to fire as long as you dont have a ranged weapon on your hand instead of requiring you to have an empty hand.

Maybe it could sit on your head to have no blind spots when on the turret mode?

Overall a great suggestion and I hope it gets the support it deserves.

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Here's a transcription of the dossier since its a bit hard to read with the compression, (I have one at the standard dossier resolution but it was too much to upload).

Though I wouldn't recommend it longi are capable of incredible feats of strength in life of death moments. This coupled with their quills lodging in their victims making fighting more painful makes longi a force to be reckoned with. 

Domesticated
Possessing a remarkable defensive adaptation, these pincushions can be a survivors best friend by giving themselves a much needed peace of mind. By using porcupine like quills they can dispatch threats before a distracted survivor meets and untimely demise. While normally only using their spines defensively some survivors have trained their companions to switch to the offensive using them like a living machine gun.

Longi quills can also be yanked out to use as spears in a pinch.

Like the mysterious rock drake, longisquama has a talent for detecting hidden buried creatures such as reapers to take advantage of this quirk be sure to pay close attention to your companion's crest.

 

Wild

Longisquama obscurum resmbles a curious combination of creatures, its got the body typical of squamates yet it seems to have idependedtly developed feathers and even quills reminiscent of porcupines. And this isn't even considereing its garish colors that would make you think you've found yourself in a tropical paridise. Longi certainly tests my understanding of the ARK and its abilities in constructing its organisisms. In Fact, much like some of the mythical creatures I've encountered this creature seems to have more in common with a certain infamous reconstruction that I seem to remember from my own time. Finally, I would Like to discourage any daring survivors from provoking longi, that is unless you're willing to recive a facefull of quills, though if you must provoke a longi I've heard stories of survivors quelling their aggression by feeding them leaches.

While the unique feathers of longi might not be suitable for flying they work well enough to soften the falls of both the longi and its survivor partner.

 

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1 hour ago, SirMiettinen said:

When i said "blind spots" i meant angles from where it cant shoot (if your head is in the way)

Ah in that case thats not an issue, I suppose I never mentioned it but the majority of the quills would just be shot from the tip of tail, the player would reach to grab it for precise aiming and just point the tail like a gun, and in auto mode the longisquama would just wrap its tail around the survivor to get a pretty good range of angles for it to shoot from

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10 minutes ago, SirMiettinen said:

Awesome suggestion!

I can't put into words how much i like the longi. I love the design, the utility, the taming...

The only thing i would change is making it able to fire as long as you dont have a ranged weapon on your hand instead of requiring you to have an empty hand.

Maybe it could sit on your head to have no blind spots when on the turret mode?

Overall a great suggestion and I hope it gets the support it deserves.

Good points, with how well ark has gotten on managing the Ui for some of the newer creatures I have no doubt they could come up with an unobtrusive way to fire so I think it could work just fine without requiring an empty hand. And as for the change in posture in turret mode thats exactly how I imagined that, in normal more defensive use it could sit lower on your body with its quills mostly relaxed and of course it would have a more upright posture to show how alert it is in turret mode.

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35 minutes ago, Interface5 said:

Good points, with how well ark has gotten on managing the Ui for some of the newer creatures I have no doubt they could come up with an unobtrusive way to fire so I think it could work just fine without requiring an empty hand. And as for the change in posture in turret mode thats exactly how I imagined that, in normal more defensive use it could sit lower on your body with its quills mostly relaxed and of course it would have a more upright posture to show how alert it is in turret mode.

When i said "blind spots" i meant angles from where it cant shoot (if your head is in the way)

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