What is the gameplan for the Heritor Quintessence Ark?

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For the life of me, I can not figure out what the gameplan with the Quintessence Ark is.

I will try to list what I see in this unit. I hope someone can correct me or point me in the right direciton. If there is no proper way, I might have some ideas to fix it at least.

Communion
Nominally it is a support. But at this it is really bad, as all the abilities needs Communion to actually support any target
By default communion is:
- limited to two units at the same time
- needs to be applied on one unit per turn

With the "Empowere Ark" mod it can use "Connect all in Communion":
- 3 AP action
- connects to 5 Units in the same army stack
- Once per battle

As a ability, communion is closely related to Autonoms "Initialize Connections". Except that ability:
- does not require a mod on the caster
- connects all units in the same combat, only limited to Machines (or cyborgs with a Mod)
- stacks 3 times if there are multiple casters in the combat
- a connection can be used by other connected units (like the Auto Turrets Accuracy Buff)
- feedback if one of the casters dies

Something it also has in common with "Initialize Connections", is that it acts as limiter on what units can be affected by the Ark. Now a lot of supports have a limitation on their support abilities:
- heals are often limited to a specific class (mechanical or oganic, usually with cyborgs thrown in)
- Syndicate support abilities (Cerebral Override, Impose Discipline, Reanimation Collars) are limited to one unit - or every other species T1+T2 carrying the right mod
- Even Initialize connections (and thus it's remaining abilities) affects all Mechanical or Cyborg with the right mod
The thing is, that I can build a army to be compatible to that support. I do not need to wait for a mod to the support before it starts affected more then 1/3 of the stack. Either I select the army to have the proper tags (building a pure biological/cyborg/mechanical army) or I can mod units to become compatoble (Control Collars, Autonom Network Uplink, most stuff from Celestian)

Essence need
Unlike other supports, it requires a special resource to do it's job - Essence. There are only a few sources I can see:
- the passive generation from "Essence Battery"
- it can get additional from the attack or the Defense mode - but doing so means not support the units this turn
- using the mode based abilities "Essence Transfer" or "Tithe" to steal essence from (mostly) allied units
Technically it can run with the 1 essence it generates each turn, but heaving 12 HP on a "once per battle" or giving +10% accuracy to 2 units is not exactly overwhelming. Or imrpessive. I barely even thing it is usefull

Abilities
The actuall support abilities suffer from severe variance in effect, depending on how many units are in communion and how much essence the Ark has:
Sacrament of Vitality:
- at 2 units, 12 HP each is abiliy is meh
- at 2 units, 24 HP each the ability is a bit better then normal heals (~25 HP on one unit) but lacks the ability to remove debuffs
- at 6 units, most of the healing potential will be wasted on units that barely have any damage. While at the same time, not healing the units that need healing that much

Sacrament of Decay:
It is perhaps the most boring buff of them all: From 10% ro 30% Damage
As a reminder: each offensive mod carries a +10% per tier. A damage bonus is so weak and boring, it is handed out as a secondary effect of mods. And it might not even affect units that do not have a entropic attack to begin with.
The upsides are that it can affect 2 or 6 units and be re-used rather quickly - but if anything that makes it more boring.

It is additionally the only Support I could find, that has no passive bonues in tactical or strategic combat. It can be something as boring as Biological/Mechanical recovery, but at least it is something the unit is good for even if the combat performance is not ideal.

And just a reminder - this is a Tier 3 Unit.
It has to live up to other T3 support units - stuff like the Syndicate Subjugator or Oathbound Diviner.

Edit: Actually it is T2, my bad. Still it seems weak comapred to other T2.

The type
One pecuriality is that this unit is tagged as "Mineral". Wich means a whole ton of buff and mod options simply do not apply
Basically unless it says it targets "any non-ethereal" or explicitly minerals (and I have never seen such a buff or mod), it will not work on this unit.

So, does anybody have any idea how to use it effeectively?
Anyone else having any ideas to make usefull?
 
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Zaskow

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You missed 1 important thing - this unit is t2 actually and it's extremely cheap. It's not particularly useful as siphoner but low price compensates a bit.
Also Sacrament of Decay is very exotic ability coz it opens new dmg channel on unit - entropy.
 
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The Founder

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You missed 1 important thing - this unit is t2 actually and it's extremely cheap. It's not particularly useful as siphoner but low price compensates a bit.
Also Sacrament of Decay is very exotic ability coz it opens new dmg channel on unit - entropy.
Okay, my bad on the Tier. I fixed it in the post.

However I do not quite see what is so special about adding 10% Entropy vs 10% "whatever you already have".
Entropy Damages only advantage is that nobody has any resistance against it (but no weakness either, unless explicitly applied). Even the RPR units are simply immune against the Energy Drain Secondary effect, not Entropic Damage itself. And AFAIK Energy Drain is not imparted by the Arks Buff.
As it is not around passively, it will not enable any "Attacks with Essence Damage" mods.

I did notice that it has the "Entropic Decay" Debuff (Entropic DoT+Entropic Resistance debuff) on top of hte Normal Energy drain on it's attacks. This is kinda unique, as all Heritors only got Drain and even the Forgotten only have one or the other on their attacks.
But if that is it's purpose, it mean the gameplan is to use it more like a Ranged Skirmisher with Debuff then as a Support? Despite it being a Large Target?
 

HousePet

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I find it okayish once I've got Empowered Ark on it.
Then I link everything in Communion and alternate between attacking (for the extra essence charge) and Sacrament of Decay.
When paired with a charged Siphoner it can drop some semi decent mass healing.
 

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I find it okayish once I've got Empowered Ark on it.
Then I link everything in Communion and alternate between attacking (for the extra essence charge) and Sacrament of Decay.
When paired with a charged Siphoner it can drop some semi decent mass healing.
If it needs a mod to even be "okay-ish", I guess that means I am not the only one thinking it is weak?
 

HousePet

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I've tried using it before Empowered Ark, but you basically can't use Sacrament of Decay and the healing one.
You either use the Communion links on good damaging units and boost them, or you have the Ark attack and then link when you need to drop some healing.
Not being able to use the unit properly until you get that midgame mod makes it suck.
 

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I've tried using it before Empowered Ark, but you basically can't use Sacrament of Decay and the healing one.
You either use the Communion links on good damaging units and boost them, or you have the Ark attack and then link when you need to drop some healing.
Not being able to use the unit properly until you get that midgame mod makes it suck.
Yeah, pretty much the problem:
It only can work on 2 units at a time. And I have to select one of the units in the previous turn - so good luck predicting who will have been shot the next turn. Guess it is time to look for some improovents?

The Communion is the big one and one that would instantly make the unit more competitive.
- The simple solution would be to make "Connect all in Comunion" the default.
- But if they want it to be harder/more interesting, it could be "link to all Units that can carry essence in the stack". Or maybe it links to Heritor Units in the stack by default, but non-heritor units need a "Ark Uplink" mod (similar to how "Initialize Connections" can expand it's target range) to be affected?
That way I could at least still build stacks for it (Heritor units or units with that mod).
- even just removing the cooldown from the default link (while keeping the 2 unit limit) would be a massive improovement

For passives, some ideas are:
- Mechanical and Biological Restoration (it can heal both equally, a rarity among Supports).
- Or how about Essence Equilibrium: "Excess Healing from unit is transferd onto the heaviest damaged ones". It redistributes excess healing (in effect Essence) to the units most needy (heaviest damaged). Naturally stuff like Regeneration would have to be excluded for this.
- just make a Sacrament of Decay a flat, +10% Damage to the whole stack and add another ability. Or just leave the 2nd ability out, as it has a pretty decent attack itself.