[RA Balance] Radar Dome + Allied Radar Jammer

Allied late-game

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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SoScared
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[RA Balance] Radar Dome + Allied Radar Jammer

Post by SoScared » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:47 am

Allied Radar Jammer

Cost: $800

Health: 220HP, Heavy Armor

Speed: 85 (Same as Medium Tank)

Unarmed

Visibiliy range: 6 cells

Requires Tech Center

Abilities:
Jams enemy radar domes (range: 15 cells)
Deflects enemy missiles (range: 4 cells)
Can detect cloaked units (range: 6 cells)



This so called "late game" unit is rarely seen. With few exceptions (holding off Destroyer missiles) the unit is pretty much useless and lacks distinction.

Radar jamming, losing the minimap for a few seconds is nothing more than a nuiscanse. With a 720p, 1080p screen you're not losing that much oversight, if using the minimap at all.

Deflecting enemy missiles at range 4 isn't really working if you want to use it together with a standard army you can bet it'll be targeted quick by enemy tanks - you always pull in your tanks past your infantry. For the Radar Jammer to have an impact it's gonna have to pull in closer towards the enemy rocket soldiers who are positioned with tanks with their 4/4,75 ranged turrets. The radar jammer has health on par with the light tank and it's not gonna take long for enemy air and armor to pick it off. The lack of Allies' field AA doesn't help.

Cloak at range 6: Meh. By the time you have a tech center up you likely have much of your critical structures protected by defensive structures with 6/8 cloak detect range and the Radar Dome wih 10 range which together is quite the detection grid.


So let's amp it up a little bit:

Cloak detection 6 -> 8 and let's push that missile deflection range up 4 -> 5.

But that's probably not enough to make it fun or attractive right? So let's mess around a bit with its' jamming ability vs the Radar Dome. To make it more interesting let's envision the Radar Dome does more than simply unlock your tech tree:


Radar dome...

...unlocks cloak detection ability for your defensive structures (destroyed or powered down Radar Dome does not remove the cloak detection ability for existing defensive structures but new ones won't have the ability until the Radar Dome is rebuilt or comes back online).

...drops vision range by 2 for air units when powered down or destroyed.

So at this point the Radar Dome is more of a liability against spies and general power downs for both for Allies and Soviet. Granting cloak detection ability through the Radar Dome allows the Phase Transport a window of opportunity in the event the opponent skips Radar Dome tech altogether, possibly making Phase Transport Rush a thing.


Ok whatever. Now, let's give the Radar Jammer the ability to disrupt this new Radar Dome by 1) disabling defensive structures' cloak detection ability (by sending false signals through the Radar Dome if you wish) and 2) losing the minimap. As a counter measure one would have to destroy the Radar Jammer(s), chase it out of disruption range and/or power down the Radar Dome to regain cloak detection ability, temporarily trading in 2 vision range for your air units. A true tringle affair.

An issue is the range of the radar jam ability which at range 15 might sound like a lot but depending on the map the Radar Dome is easily packed behind lots of structures making it hard for the Radar Jammer to get in range and do its' jam. The disruption range is adjustable.

Otherwise, perhaps up the Radar Jammer price ($900-$1100) and HP (260-320) a little and add a CustomTimeValue so that it doesn't take longer to build than, say, a Medium Tank. Perhaps this piece of clunk can start working for us.


I'll admit, it's a tall order but it's just thought experiment. If we truly want an Allied late-game that means something then it might be neccessary to think a little more outside the box.


Thoughts? Other suggestions?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsj9ZVh0WWA

lucassss
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Post by lucassss » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:23 pm

Here's a suggestion that I have for radar dome that will also affect this. Until radar dome is built, limit people to a viewport of 640x480 or 800x600, even if it means most of their screen is black (they can always zoom in if they want). Building radar dome unlocks full view port.

If radar jammer disables radar dome, or if it has no power, not only does minimap disappear, but viewport is reduced as well.

LemurFromTheId
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Post by LemurFromTheId » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:36 pm

lucassss wrote: Here's a suggestion that I have for radar dome that will also affect this. Until radar dome is built, limit people to a viewport of 640x480 or 800x600, even if it means most of their screen is black (they can always zoom in if they want). Building radar dome unlocks full view port.

If radar jammer disables radar dome, or if it has no power, not only does minimap disappear, but viewport is reduced as well.
Other similar ideas on how to punish players without an active radar dome:
  1. Add 0.3 second input lag
  2. Drop framerate to 15 fps
  3. Randomly shift the viewport 1-5 cells every 1-5 seconds
  4. Units have 30% chance of ignoring any command
In all seriousness, I think that balancing by making the UI suck will only drive people away from the game.

I really like SoScared's ideas, especially radar dome's connection to air units' vision range. That's just... elegant.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:55 pm

@LemurFromTheId: You had me through all 4. Had my face buried deep in palm.

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FRenzy
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Post by FRenzy » Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:44 pm

Your idea seems interesting SoScared !

However, it might become a "yet-another-disadvantage-for-soviets". (IMHO Allies are a bit OP in this game but regardless :p ) Allies already have so much vision advantage with GPS, stealth for England's Phase. So crippling even more the vision (esp. for Soviets) might become a bit too much ^_^
Surely needs some playtesting to figure it out :)

Also, if cloak detection is related to the radar, then all units should lose that ability on jamming ? (dogs, spies, etc ...) Why only def structures ?


------------------------
Your suggestion made me think about another idea.

As its name suggest, a radar dome is supposed to detect units on a large range (for instance : twice a Conyard's radius). That could be similar to the GPS, except it would only show dots, without knowing the unit type.
A Soviet player could then build multiple radar domes, to cover a large part of the map.

Then, a radar jammer could blind the radar dome from a long distance. (And even maybe the GPS, if close to the Tech Center ?).

Or, second option (more realistic and interesting IMO), it could act like a Gap Generator, hiding the "green dots" in a certain range. To shut down the radar for a certain period, you would need a spy. (longer than a power-down ? Cause a power-down also causes the radar to go offline ... )

Image

LemurFromTheId
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Post by LemurFromTheId » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:25 am

FRenzy wrote: Your idea seems interesting SoScared !
Also, if cloak detection is related to the radar, then all units should lose that ability on jamming ? (dogs, spies, etc ...) Why only def structures ?
I don't see anyone claiming that all cloak detection comes from the radar dome (dogs certainly can't use radar). If that were the case, shouldn't every unit be able to detect stealth? I think it's a solid concept that the defensive structures are interoperable with the radar dome.

But then again, I'm a nobody and there's no reason anyone should listen to my opinions. :P
FRenzy wrote: As its name suggest, a radar dome is supposed to detect units on a large range (for instance : twice a Conyard's radius). That could be similar to the GPS, except it would only show dots, without knowing the unit type.
A Soviet player could then build multiple radar domes, to cover a large part of the map.
I like this idea a lot as well, giving the radar dome some functionality in the frontlines immediately adds some tactical depth to the game. As an added twist, maybe it wouldn't be able to detect infantry at all...?

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FRenzy
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Post by FRenzy » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:05 pm

I like this idea a lot as well, giving the radar dome some functionality in the frontlines immediately adds some tactical depth to the game.
Absolutely !
I see some new players dangerously putting their radar dome on the frontlines for the vision.

If the "radar detection" ability was enabled, and had a bigger radius, the radar could be built more safely inside the base, and still have a better tactical usage, as you say.
As an added twist, maybe it wouldn't be able to detect infantry at all...?
That crossed my mind too ... actually I think IRL military radars only detect aircraft and missiles ???

(But who cares about reality in this game :p)

lucassss
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Post by lucassss » Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:19 pm

Another option, maybe radar can give some information on what the enemy is doing, a la old spy?

Examples:
- What support powers are currently being prepared
- How much money does the enemy make per minute
- How much money does the enemy currently have
- How much power does the enemy currently have

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FRenzy
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Post by FRenzy » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:42 pm

lucassss wrote: Another option, maybe radar can give some information on what the enemy is doing, a la old spy?
Hmm, the vanilla usage of spy. Interesting ...

So you see it like a "listening outpost", intercepting and uncrypting enemy radio communications. Could be, interesting concept ... although it's not the usual function of a real radar dome, so that would be kinda confusing maybe.

And what should be in range of my radar dome, in order to intercept the communications ? An enemy Conyard ? An enemy radar dome ?


I would see this job more fitting for the spy, who could temporarily reveal some infos for a few seconds (but spies are already quite efficient, let's not make them OP ^_^).

zinc
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Re: [RA Balance] Radar Dome + Allied Radar Jammer

Post by zinc » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:53 pm

Does it already block GPS? If not, then block GPS?

Or block gap generator also?

Concret
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Post by Concret » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:02 am

This is a really strong suggestion tbh. (see quote) Make the radar work more realistically AND useful. So when a radar is built, it pops-up the mini-map. The radar shows unit-movement on the minimap. Multiple radars in multiple bases to extend the range. Plus Stealth units (not subs) show up on the minimaps-radar, but not in game.

This actually reminds me of the way radars and jammers were used in Total Annihilation.

So the radar doesn't clear out fog or shroud, but it does reveal enemy tanks / planes or non-submarines on the minimap.

Maybe infantry don't show up on the radar / mini-map screen.

Frenzy:
Your suggestion made me think about another idea.

As its name suggest, a radar dome is supposed to detect units on a large range (for instance : twice a Conyard's radius). That could be similar to the GPS, except it would only show dots, without knowing the unit type.
A Soviet player could then build multiple radar domes, to cover a large part of the map.

Then, a radar jammer could blind the radar dome from a long distance. (And even maybe the GPS, if close to the Tech Center ?).

Or, second option (more realistic and interesting IMO), it could act like a Gap Generator, hiding the "green dots" in a certain range. To shut down the radar for a certain period, you would need a spy. (longer than a power-down ? Cause a power-down also causes the radar to go offline ... )

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FRenzy
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Post by FRenzy » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:52 am

Concret wrote: So when a radar is built, it pops-up the mini-map. The radar shows unit-movement on the minimap.
Ah, on the mini-map ?
Actually, I was more thinking of something like that :
Image

The green dots are the air / vehicle (?) units (could also have a sweeping ray for the visual effect ^_^ ), detected on twice the direct vision radius, for instance.

For the radar jammer, could generate the red circle, were units (red dots) are hidden (due to unreadable signal).
Or could deactivate the radar itself. Dunno.

But show on the mini-map, why not ...
I'm just afraid it won't be visible enough ^_^ It's quite small, and I don't often look at the mini-map tbh :p
(unless it's blinking like flashing lights :D maybe then I'll see it :p )

lucassss
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Post by lucassss » Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:12 pm

Doesn't this seriously nerf the value of GPS? At least on small maps.

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FRenzy
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Post by FRenzy » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:01 pm

lucassss wrote: Doesn't this seriously nerf the value of GPS? At least on small maps.
Maybe on very small maps, like Ore Lord.
But even though : on Ore Lord, you rarely see players going to Tech + GPS. The radar wouldn't reduce its usage, as it's not even used ^_^. So at least, the radar could have a bigger tactical impact on the game.

But on bigger maps like Sidestep (~100 cells ²), you would need many radars, to cover all the map, or at least the main routes.
Also, players rarely build more than 1 radar. It's a consequent investment (time + money), so building more would be risky, but rewarded by a slightly better vision.
Also, you'd have to choose where to place your main / first radar : west / east ? ...

But again, I don't think such a radius is too big, compared to the full GPS vision.

klaas
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Post by klaas » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:43 am

I like this idea.

The only problem I can think of is the Radardome being used for basewalking. However, since it is kinda expensive, I think it will be OK. Maybe a small HP nerf will further deter placing it in the front-lines.

Radardomes replacing GPS on small maps is not a big problem IMHO, usually games on small maps end before GPS is up anyway.

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