Red Alert Overhaul (third Soviet faction, Uzbekistan)

A complete overhaul of the game

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:37 am

Flamethrower

1) HP down from 40 to 35.
2) 300% longer reload time.
3) 25% less flames per shot (burst from 20 to 15).
4) 40% shorter range (5 cells to 3 cells).
5) More accurate (projectile inaccuracy from 853 to 512).
6) 50% chance to explode upon death.
7) Higher damage, bigger AOE.

Motivations:

1) This makes sure they die in four Rifle Infantry attacks or four infantry explosions.

2) The flamethrower takes a long while to reload, just like in real life. It's basically meant to be a one-time unload of death, if your flames doesn't kill the target in the game the target should have a chance to kill you if it can.

3) This is because I want the unit to have started reloading shortly after the first flame hits the ground. Otherwise it can end up in a situation where the unit shoots 95% of his ammo, kills the target, stops shooting, moves to the next target and shoot the remaining 5% only to then dying while reloading due to the 5% not being enough to kill the target.

4) Flamethrowers have long range but not that long range (not as long as for example a rifle). It's more effective closer to the heat source as well so the shorter range makes sense. I mostly did it so that the defending player would have a larger time window to do something about an incoming attack though, especially now when buildings provide less vision (see "Line of sight outlines" on page 2).

5) This has to do with the bigger damage AOE, the whole attack will still cover roughly the same area.

6) Since unit explosions are reasonable now there's no harm in using them for balancing purposes. Since you rarely attack with just one lonely Flamethrower unit at least one of them in your group should explode, making life easier for the defender. I'm against big randomness in strategy but small things such as this that doesn't affect things as much (remember it takes 4 of these explosions to kill another Flamethrower unit) are okay to spice things up a little bit so each game isn't as similar to the previous ones.

7) Here's where the previous changes are justified, the Flamethrower's high damage burst capabilities are enhanced. Especially against infantry if you can get close, overhaul flamethrowers will cook any infantry in the blink of an eye while in vanilla the soldiers seem to be pretty resistant to fire.

Trivia: Flamethrower infantry in OpenRA are very different from how they were in the original Red Alert game, where they fired the same fire balls as the Flame Tower does. I'm very glad this was changed because as a kid I never liked how those fire balls looked when they came from infantry. Looks OK when from a Flame Tower but I missed the way the flames was in Tiberian Dawn. The Flamethrower attacks ended up looking even better in OpenRA's Red Alert mod than how they were in Tiberian Dawn!

I resisted the urge to rename this unit to "Flamethrower Soldier" instead of just "Flamethrower" but isn't it a little strange that it's named just that? You're not training the weapon itself after all.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:38 am

Quick Rocket Soldier-Grenadier-Flamethrower comparison (no animated gifs this time, maybe later if somebody wants them)

Destroying a War Factory:
[tab]7 Rocket Soldiers (2100 credits): 29 seconds.
[tab]13 Grenadiers (2080 credits): 8 seconds.
[tab]7 Flamethrowers (2100 credits): 1 second.
[tab]5 Rocket Soldiers (1500 credits): 40 seconds.
[tab]9 Grenadiers (1440 credits): 11 seconds.
[tab]5 Flamethrowers (1500 credits): 8 seconds.

Keep in mind that War Factory has a lot of HP. Consider the different burst capabilities of these units as well, 2 Flamethrowers will instantly destroy a regular Power Plant while you need 12 Grenadiers to do the same. 5 Flamethrowers will destroy a Ore Refinery without giving the enemy any time to react while you need 26 Grenadiers for that (though 13 is enough to finish it off on just two throws, which leaves almost no reaction time for the enemy as well).

Further comparing the Grenadier and Flamethrower: Vs light armor they do about the same damage over time (for roughly the same unit count/value in credits). Flamethrowers have much higher burst damage though so you're more likely to finish it off before it has the chance to drive away. Vs heavy armor the Grenadiers does a lot more damage, about four times higher than Flamethrower. Vs infantry blobs the Flamethrower outshines the Grenadier, although both has trouble to actually reach the blob without dying. It opens up for good flanking strategy though. Sending in a tank first to soak up damage also helps.

Rocket Soldiers now actually has lower DPS against Heavy armor than Grenadiers! This sounds bad but in an actual game you quickly realize it works because Grenadiers can't actually hit tanks if they are moving. The extra damage is to make them better against defense structures, which is a type of building after all. They have the same armor type as tanks. It actually adds a little incentive for late-game Grenadiers mixed into your army, something I think they need. Rocket Soldiers still have the homing factor and the whole anti-air thing going for them so they won't be replaced by Grenadiers any time soon.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:40 pm

Rifle Infantry + Ranger/APC/Spotter

1) Rifle Infantry has a little bit smaller selection box.
2) M1Carbine is now strictly single target (no AOE damage splash).
3) However M1Carbine now suppress a bigger area.
4) M1Carbine can no longer damage wood armor (non-defence buildings).
5) Reworked damage (it is still similar to how it was before).
6) The machine gun weapon of Ranger, APC and Spotter (a Uzbekistanian unit) are also affected by point 2-5.

Motivations:

1) This makes it a bit harder to order an attack on a Rifle Infantry, however it makes it a bit easier to order an attack on other units standing next to them. Usually you want to manually pick out Rocket Soldiers in an infantry blob but can easily end up selecting a Rifle Infantry instead, especially if they are on the move. This makes targeting a bit easier.

2) In vanilla the guys standing around the one being shot will get slightly damaged due to splash damage. The amount of damage doesn't really make a difference, it just creates a bunch of units with visible health bars at 99% HP. In overhaul this won't be the case.

3) Although they aren't taking damage the guys around the one being shot will still hit the deck because there are bullets whistling through the air nearby. They will prone in a bit larger area than in vanilla.

4) This makes it so that Rifle Infantry can't take out the enemy base alone, they need other units to take down the buildings. It never really was the purpose to have them deal reasonable damage against buildings anyway so now you just won't have that pesky single Rifle Infantry standing somewhere firing at your Power Plant without really damaging it. It makes attacking enemy bases more bearable as well since the Rifle Infantry won't hold up to fire at a building instead of the more vulnerable soldier next to it. It gives the illusion that the soldiers are smarter, prioritizing their targets (this combined with the scan radius changes make them seem more human, see "Larger auto-target scan radius" on page 2 for more on that).

5) Basically the damage output has been reworked to cause similar harm to infantry as they do in vanilla but less damage against anything with armor. They can't attack buildings and does just 1 damage per attack against heavy armor, 3 against light, 0 against concrete. I was tempted to make them unable to attack heavy armor as well however that would remove a strategy from the game (where you send in a tank first into an infantry blob to soak up damage) so that's a no-go. In short this makes it so that bullets are effective against no armor but sort of just bounce off armor.

6) The machine gun of these vehicles are exactly the same as the Rifle Infantry, except they fire in bursts of 5 before reloading, so they also get the reworked damage. I just noticed the yaml damage code isn't exactly the same for M60mg and M1Carbine but the damage output should still be correct. I'll clean it up if I make a new version of overhaul.

Vanilla / Overhaul Rifle Infantry attacks needed to kill a...

...Attack Dog: 1 / 1
...Engineer: 3 / 3
...Grenadier: 6 / 3
...Spy: 3 / 3
...Flamethrower: 5 / 4
...Hijacker: 4 / 4
...Medic: 11 / 5
...Mechanic: 11 / 5
...Rocket Soldier: 6 / 5
...Rifle Infantry: 6 / 6
...Shock Trooper: 8 / 8
...Sniper: 11 / 8
...Tanya: 14 / 12
...Zombie: 17 / 50
...Giant Ant: 50 / *infinite (whoops)

* = Looks like I've found another issue with the yaml, missed this during development. :P Giant Ant inherits from "^Infantry", just like Zombie, so they get the TakeCover trait. Both of them do not take cover visually but only the Zombie actually has the "TakeCover" trait removed, so Giant Ant is still affected by the damage type "Prone50Percent". Since Giant Ant has heavy armor in overhaul it takes 1 damage, which becomes 0 when halved and rounded down. I'll be sure to correct this in any succeeding versions of overhaul.

I propose this "latter of vulnerability" being reasonable because:
[tab]I've made sure to keep some key units such as Rifle Infantry, Spy, Engineer and Shock Trooper as they were.
[tab]Grenadier is more vulnerable since they now won't all die upon a unit explosion (see "Exploding infantry" on page 3).
[tab]Flamethrower has more damage in its initial attack (~double) so it dies in one less rifle attack.
[tab]Tanya is more vulnerable if enemy units can actually get near her position.
[tab]Medic and Mechanic are no longer weightlifters wearing three flak jackets.
[tab]Zombie/Giant Ant are bullet sponges since they've been reworked to be more vulnerable vs for example tanks (see "Zombie and Giant Ant" on page 6).
[tab]A Rocket Soldier now dies from a five attack burst from Ranger/APC without it having to reload, which in vanilla gave the Rocket Soldier at least one more free shot.

Trivia: Did you know that the attack used by Ranger/APC (and Spotter in car form) has 1 cell less range than the Rifle Infantry attack? (It's like that in both vanilla and overhaul just to be clear.)
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SoScared
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Post by SoScared » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:19 pm

Will stream next Monday (Feb. 27th) with your mod.

Is the mod .zip constantly updated or have all these documentation updates been part of the mod all along?

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MustaphaTR
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Post by MustaphaTR » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:46 pm

Is the mod .zip constantly updated or have all these documentation updates been part of the mod all along?
Clearly the latter.

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:05 am

SoScared wrote: Will stream next Monday (Feb. 27th) with your mod.

Is the mod .zip constantly updated or have all these documentation updates been part of the mod all along?
They've been there all along, I spent slightly over a month working full-time on overhaul to make sure I could release all at once. So those of you that have already installed the mod don't need to do anything.

I'm looking forward to the stream! I've been trying my best to motivate every single change but so far the lack of discussion has been a bit disheartening -- it'll be great to get feedback! :) Hopefully someone on stream has read the thread so they can vaguely quote my reasoning if needed, I don't think I'll be available myself at that time.

I still haven't covered everything yet so I'll make a few more posts throughout the week. Many of these motivations have been taking over an hour to compose, which is why I don't post so many per day.

Here's why I felt the need to release all my suggestions at the same time:

Some of the changes won't be all that effective on its own. For example the desirability of Mammoth Tank increases a bunch in overhaul compared to how it is in vanilla because the Rocket Soldier has been nerfed as well. If the Mammoth changes were implemented into vanilla but Rocket Soldier stays the same I don't expect people to think it's worth all that teching up just to make 1 Mammoth Tank for 2000 credits when you could make 6 Rocket Soldiers for 1800 credits without teching up at all. I'm not saying it's a deal-breaker, sure the Mammoth Tank would be more justifiable, but the unit would remain as something of a bonus when gaining access to the Atom Bomb or Iron Curtain (the main reasons to tech up today).

Balancing a little here and there works to some extent but some things will only click if you change several things all at once. So during the stream if something seems weird remember to think of it as being part of a whole instead of a stand-alone suggestion. Most changes will work on their own but others depends on each other to create what I believe to be better gameplay in the end. :)

Anyway, I'm happy to hear it'll be streamed. Please do at least one navy map, I haven't covered them yet in the thread but the naval units are pretty different. Overhaul started with a rework of the navy. I also hope someone tries out the new MAD Tank!

If Uzbekistan turns out to be way too wacky there's a simple way to make the faction normal: Make MCV producable and make it so you can only have 1 Architect (maybe increase it's price to 600 credits as well).

Btw: I made a workaround to get the Attack Dog's "seek" ability to work in OpenRA's engine, I hope it doesn't cause lag when making big infantry blobs! I guess we'll see... I suspect there's an issue with "IgnoresVisibility: True" in (for example) the "AttackHeli" trait, seems like you first need to discover enemy units as normal before you'll be always-aware of them, even if visibility is set to be ignored.

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JOo
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Post by JOo » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:11 am

there are quite a couple of gems in here , especially the uzbekistan faction has some sweet ideas

the architect instead of mcv , supply truck/tent and the spotter made the faction quite interesting

about the "Fixed death animations" , you can file a ticket for that on github and this will get fixed most likely pretty soon

https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:56 pm

@JOo: Cool to hear!

I know about GitHub but I'd rather focus on just the thread at the moment. Maybe someone that hangs around on GitHub can pass on some of the things I've found? I'm hoping at least one of the old devs hangs out on the forum.

Barracks and Allied Tech Center

1) Barracks health down from 800 to 400 on both factions.
2) Allied Tech Center health up from 400 to 600.

Motivations:

1) This is a copy of a planned change in the next version of OpenRA, except the official mod will lower it by 25% while overhaul halves it (since Rocket Soldiers have lower DPS). The reasoning behind this is that they work too much like cheap buffer buildings today when base creeping, even though it's basically just a tent.

2) This also copies a planned change in the next version of OpenRA, now Allied and Soviet have the same HP for their tech buildings. Allied Tech Center was previously made out of paper, probably to make it easier to stop GPS, which won't be as simple in the next patch. In overhaul Soviet gets a second Spy Plane from building their Tech Center so it balances things a bit towards GPS being a bit harder to stop.
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Post by Fortnight » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:47 pm

AA Gun and SAM Site

1) They no longer detect cloaked units.
2) They have reduced vision, from 6 (AA) / 5 (SAM) to 4 cells for both.
3) AA Gun HP down 25%, from 400 to 300. SAM Site HP up 12.5%, from 400 to 450.
4) AA Gun turn rate up from 15 to 21. SAM Site turn rate down from 30 to 7.
5) SAM Site cost reduced from 750 to 700 credits.
6) Reworked SAM Site's Nike missiles.
7) Fixed initial turn direction for AA Gun.
8 ) SAM Site now has enable/disable power sounds.
9) SAM Site becomes cheaper after building a Soviet Tech Center and requires less power.

Motivations:

1) They watch the sky and not the ground. From what I've seen on streams people are surprised when their ground units are detected by anti-air. This also goes together with my strengthening of Spy, Attack Dog and Radar Dome in their roles as detectors of invisible units.

2) This is a nerf towards anti-air placed at the edge of your base and part of overhaul's general building-vision reduction. They should cover your base from a good position of your choice, not provide free vision wherever placed.

3) This is because AA Gun covers such a large area and (in overhaul at least) responds quickly to enemies entering that area. If you can get ground units close to a AA Gun you can now take it out pretty fast. This together with point 2 also make it plausible to use the lack of vision strategically if you notice there is such an issue for the enemy, you may now take out the anti-air with aircraft from a blind spot.

4) First of all I think it looks strange when the SAM rotates as quickly as it does in vanilla. I've changed it so that AA Gun is now even faster to respond to threats due to its reduced HP. SAM on the other hand has been made slower because its damage has been reworked and its HP has been increased. But primarily because I wanted the attack angle to matter, adding new strategy into the game. If you notice the SAM Site is facing a certain way it's now very possible to fly in from behind and destroy it before it manages to fire a missile, depending on the number of aircrafts you bring.

5) This makes AA Gun 100 credits more expensive than SAM instead of just 50 credits more expensive. I think the much larger area deserves a 100 credits difference, 50 is so low they might as well both cost the same. Especially in overhaul with the added attack-angle strategy vs SAM Site.

6) Nike now gets launched less often (reload delay up from 15 to 35) and move slower (speed down from 341 to 255) but deal 101 damage instead of 45 upon hit. It makes all aircrafts die in 1 hit except for Longbow and Chinook, they can take 2 hits. Vanilla: Mig/Yak = 2 hits, Hind/Chinook/Longbow = 3. The biggest difference is however the tracking distance, it has gone up from 9 to 20. This means once a missile has been launched it will most likely hit, only the Mig and Yak can escape it (and it's very hard for Yak). The missile will now also deal damage even if the aircraft lands.

In vanilla you'd often see helicopters bounce in and out of a SAM Site's reach without it being able to do anything due to the launched missiles exploding in transit. In overhaul the attack angle matters instead, if the SAM Site won't have time to turn towards your helicopter you can still bounce out of there. However if it fires there's little hope of escape.

The reduced attack rate makes the SAM Site not waste missiles either, which was a problem in vanilla. Instead of a missile being fired at a target that will soon die due a previous fired missile the next missile is launched when the previous missile hits, at least if the aircraft's movement is heading deeper inside the anti-air area. So that particular advantage the AA Gun had over SAM Site is gone in overhaul (wasted launches means the SAM is more vulnerable against big aircraft fleets in vanilla). They still have that issue if several SAM Sites lock on to the same air unit though, currently there's no way to solve that without making the SAM very similar to AA Gun (launching a bunch of small missiles). But that's how Uzbekistan's anti-air battery works in the Spotter Outpost...

7) When you build AA Gun there is a visual glitch when it finishes the make animation (it "jumps" to a different rotation). In overhaul it has the correct initial turn direction. Sidenote: A similar issue was fixed for the Construction Yard make animation.

8 ) The SAM Site's "CanPowerDown"-trait is missing any sound effect references in vanilla. Might say something about how often the structure is built when it hasn't been discovered and fixed as of yet.

9) When you have a Societ Tech Center the SAM price is reduced from 700 to 500 credits and its power consumption goes from 40 to just 10. (AA Gun is always 800 credits and -50 power.) So it's now viable to hold off buying SAM Site until the late game when they get cheaper. This is because you still need 3 SAM Sites to cover roughly the same area as 1 AA Gun and together with the fact they won't all help out each other if an enemy enters one of their airspace and that they now rotate slower I think this is a reasonable benefit. Think of it this way: If you want to double the damage of an AA Gun you can build another AA Gun right next to it. Thats 2 AA Guns. If you want to do the same for SAM Site and still cover roughly the same airspace as 1 AA Gun you would have to buy 6 SAM Sites.

In conclusion I want to bring back the usage of anti-air defense structures in overhaul. You'll see an AA Gun or two in vanilla but most of the time people just rely on Rocket Soldiers. Seeing a SAM Site is rare, especially with the mobility offered by the Mobile Flak vehicle. I think these changes in addition to the changes to Rocket Soldier as well as Mobile Flak (not yet covered in the thread) brings back the usefulness of proper anti-air defense, especially the glory of SAM Site.

In overhaul you can take out 1 SAM Site or 1 AA Gun with 2 Longbows and still keep 1 Longbow. In vanilla you can do the same against a SAM Site but 2 Longbows won't be able to take down an AA Gun. It's the lower HP of the AA Gun that equalizes this in overhaul. (2 Migs won't be able to take out any of them before dying, although they manage to bring down the AA Gun to red HP in overhaul, yellow HP in vanilla.)
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Post by Fortnight » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:49 pm

Sniper

This is a unit that is unobtainable in vanilla. In overhaul you can get it from a crate after 6 minutes.

1) Health down from 80 to 64 (same as Shock Trooper).
2) Now always prones even when idle.
3) Reload Delay up from 70 to 120. Cloak Delay up from 120 to 122.
4) Attack range increased from 10 cells to 12 cells.
5) Bullet speed up from 1c682 to 24c0.
6) Projectile is no longer blockable by walls.
7) Damage AOE is slightly smaller but nearby targets will now prone.
8 ) Increased bullet damage.
9) Can now attack barrels.
10) Renders detection circle.
11) Hard to run over with a vehicle.

Motivations:

1) Since the unit is invisible unless moving or attacking (or detected by for example Attack Dog) it doesn't need near-Tanya health. It's still pretty tough though.

2) Snipers doesn't always snipe but when they do they make sure to be ready for it by always laying down in cover. Looks better to be invisible while laying down as well.

3) It takes a while to take aim, 70 was a bit quick. This makes the Sniper more of a scouting unit that takes out high-priority targets instead of being able to take on groups. The cloak delay was increased so that the unit doesn't re-cloak between shots.

4) The sniper has a line-of-sight equal to 6 cells, I just decided his weapon should be able to reach at least twice as far. The increase in range also mitigates the longer delay between shots a little.

5) Previously the sniper could sometimes miss moving targets far away due to the travel time of the bullet. Now it will arrive almost immediately.

6) We as players can't really see it but of course any sniper worth his salt finds elevated terrain to shoot from. So the bullets goes over walls. Considering the long delay between shots it would be annoying to discover that walls in-game block the projectiles (especially with the wall changes in overhaul).

7) In vanilla you'd usually hit just one target but since infantry can overlap when they are moving I reduced the impact area a little bit more to reduce the chance that two guys get killed by one bullet. I added a 1 cell area that causes other infantry to prone however, even though they take no damage. If someone's head explodes right next to you the first instinct would be to hit the dirt.

8 ) Usually you kill any infantry with one sniper shot but if Tanya prones she could survive the first one due to halved damage. She won't make it in overhaul however.

9) The sniper can now damage both infantry and barrels instead of just infantry. Makes sense, right?

10) The sniper is one of few units that has cloak detection against invisible units (6 cells, just like Spy and Attack Dog). I've made sure all such units render their detection circle in overhaul.

11) Now has a 100% chance to get out of the way automatically when a vehicle is about to run it over. It's logical that an elite invisible unit would have the sense to get out of his hiding spot if he is in immediate danger, even if it compromises his location. I guess one could argue that he was looking in his scope and didn't see the incoming vehicle but considering how rare this unit is it would suck to see him crushed by accident.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:03 am

Shock Trooper and Tesla Tank + Tesla Coil's zap

Currently it's pretty hard to get a grasp of how Shock Trooper and Tesla Tank scales in the game. So in overhaul I've made sure that you can easily figure them out by using the Tesla Coil DPS as reference.

First I'll mention that the Tesla Coil's TeslaZap has been reworked a bit:

[tab]+ Now deals 500 damage with 100%/12%/20%/20%/1% output vs none/wood/light/heavy/concrete armor instead of dealing 100 damage with 1000%/60%/100%/100%/100% vs the same armor types. The only difference here is that TeslaZap is no longer effective against concrete, otherwise it's exactly the same. Well, infantry takes 500 damage instead of 1000 damage but it still means instant death.

[tab]+ Removed Prone50Percent as a DamageType, laying down on the ground shouldn't protect against such a shock (even though it does in vanilla it still kills them).

[tab]+ Reduced the damage spread from 42 to 4. Since the zap has no projectile it will still never miss and although 42 should mean single target there is a chance it will hit several targets when they are moving due to possible overlap. The risk is still there with 4 spread but it's ~90% more unlikely.


1) A zap deals the same amount of damage regardless which unit that produces it, with one exception: Shock Trooper has halved damage vs wood armor.
2) Shock Trooper and Tesla Tank has the same attack cycle as Tesla Coil. If all three zaps at the same time: When the Tesla Coil makes its 4:th zap the Tesla Tank and Shock Trooper will execute their second attack.
3) Tesla Tank no longer zaps just once, it has two zaps.
4) Tesla Tank now has an initial charge-up (same audio and delay as the Tesla Coil).
5) Tesla Tank armor changed from Light to Heavy.

Reasoning:

In vanilla the Tesla Trooper has 45 damage while Tesla Coil/Tesla Tank has 100 damage. They all deal 1000% damage to infantry and 100% damage everything else, except for Tesla Coil that deals 60% damage to wood armor (the others deal 100% against wood armor as well).

The reload delay of Shock Trooper is 70, Tesla Tank 120 and Tesla Coil roughly 148 (Tesla Coil uses a different attack method so it's a bit harder to calculate).

Instead of having the DPS all over the place I propose having it so that players immediately understand what they are dealing with. Either 33.333% of a Tesla Coil (Shock Trooper) or 66.666% of a Tesla Coil (Tesla Tank). The reduced building damage for Shock Troopers is in order to reduce their burst when attacking base structures, due to there being no charge time required.

By these changes Shock Troopers appear buffed vs vehicles but due to the longer reload the difference is very marginal over time (single zaps to bypassing vehicles are stronger though). They are nerfed a little vs infantry due to the much longer reload but Rifle Infantry still countered mass Shock Trooper in vanilla, just now slightly more so for smaller blobs. It's against buildings things have actually changed the most, in vanilla it takes 42 sec for a single Shock Trooper to destroy an Advanaced Power Plant, in overhaul the time becomes 136 sec.

Tesla Tank is buffed vs infantry since they now can take out two of them per burst. They are actually buffed a little against everything, except buildings due to Tesla Coil's reduced effectiveness vs wood armor. The increased armor increases survivability a bit. The initial charge-up delay leaves a little window for them to be taken out before firing.

I think the most telling thing about Tesla Tank needing a buff is because despite the fact that they are faster and aren't as vulnerable as infantry most players still seem to prefer Shock Troopers over them. This buff isn't too over the top either, 1 Tesla Tank vs 1 Medium Tank or 1 Heavy Tank still has the same result as in vanilla.

[tab]So 1 zap is 1 zap in overhaul, there's no different types of zaps (just different lengths).

Mass Shock Trooper blobs can still sweep around like storm clouds on the map, now they just have won't level whole bases without stopping for a whole, and enemies gets a little window between zaps where they can move in for the kill.

In the end Tesla Tank has roughly the same damage output against most things, though overall it has become more worth considering buying 1 Tesla Tank instead of 3 Shock Troopers. Both still have their benefits and drawbacks, if you're up against several tanks you'd for example still go for shockies since tanks have a hard time killing infantry. But Tesla Tank's speed and increased survivability might be a good choice otherwise, especially now when they can take out 2 infantries per charge.

Since 3 Shock Troopers (1200 credits) outputs the same damage as 1 Tesla Coil (1200 credits) without any charge-up needed I was thinking about increasing their cost to 450 credits/unit instead of the current 400. They are mobile after all and doesn't require power to operate. 3*450 = 1350 credits as well, which is the same cost as 1 Tesla Tank. I've kept them at 400 for now though, but it's something worth thinking about.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:42 pm

Chrono Tank

Have changed the weapon from "APTusk" to a new "ChronoZooka". APTusk (also used by Phase Transport) looks like a Rocket Soldier missile but isn't, it deals its own amount of damage and can't target aircraft. This new weapon is the same as what the Rocket Soldier has, just with faster fire rate, so aircraft can now be targeted.

I changed this because I wanted the missiles in the game to have their own look-and-feel (unique audio and how the attack looks when executed) and making it be like Rocket Soldier allows people to understand what it can do more quickly (the unit description mentions that it is based upon the Rocket Soldier's attack). It gives the unit more usability other than destroying buildings or crushing infantry and the unique audio makes the defender know what he is being attacked by even when looking off-screen.
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Fortnight
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:09 pm

Post by Fortnight » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:52 pm

Phase Transport

This unit has also ditched APTusk in order to get its own unique weapon. The new one doesn't look at all like the Rocket Soldier's attack because it doesn't work like it. The new Phase Transport fires two bursts of missiles after each other, each burst containing two missiles. They have unique audio so that off-screen enemies can know what's going on from audio cues.

Phase Transport can now attack aircraft (APTusk was ground-only) so you can now use the vehicle to try and pick off air units. However the missiles are very slow so if the aircrafts are not idle they should be able to dodge the missiles easily.

The missiles are also only good against light armor, meaning the use is limited against buildings and tanks. I've made cloak detection of stealthed units a bit harder in overhaul, which is a buff to Phase Transport, but I wanted to make sure it's used for transporting units into the enemy base in order to do damage there (or capture stuff), not that Phase Transports should be able to do much damage in the enemy base on their own.
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klaas
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Post by klaas » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:33 pm

I think a lot of your changes are really good, and worth considering for OpenRA balance itself.

I can't say I'm a big fan of some of the newly added units, for example the architect. The may be interesting, but kinda throw the balance overboard. Not bad per se, but it makes it impossible toevaluate the balance changes you made with respect to OpenRA.

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:06 pm

@klaas (regarding Architect): It's pretty different, I can't really say whether it's a game breaker or not without some playtests though. "If Uzbekistan turns out to be way too wacky there's a simple way to make the faction normal: Make MCV producable and make it so you can only have 1 Architect (maybe increase it's price to 600 credits as well)."

I guess it could then be removed completely but I figure the faction needs it in order to be able to easily seek out water for a Sub Pen so it can gain access to the Nuke Sub, even on non-naval maps. It's also nice with something different in how a faction plays, makes the game more variable. But if people think it's too far from how they want Red Alert to be I understand.

Mobile Flak

1) Armor from light to heavy, HP from 150 to 115.
2) Anti-air range up from 8 to 9 cells. More reliable damage even vs fast aircraft.
3) Anti-ground range fown from 6 to 5.5 cells.
4) Splash damage added vs infantry. Damage vs light armor halved.
5) Walls now block the anti-ground projectile.

Motivations:

1) This makes the vehicle able to tank damage from Rifle Infantry but very vulnerable against everything that can pierce heavy armor. Looking at the unit's icon and model it appears to be heavily armored yet fragile behind the armor. It makes the unit easier to pick off, even with aircrafts, which makes Sam Site more worth buying instead of having one or two Mobile Flak that can cover the whole base instead. But now a Ranger won't be able to harass Mobile Flak.

2) This is so it can perform its main purpose better, since it's easier to pick off now due to the lower health it needs a bit more time to fire before aircraft can reach its position. Also thanks to travel time it would sometimes damage aircraft with variable results, especially fast planes. In overhaul the damage is constant instead.

3) Rocket Soldier has 5.5 range in overhaul (5 in vanilla). This makes it so that if a Mobile Flak want to pick them off they need to get within their range.

4) The splash makes the Mobile Flak better against infantry blobs so that it can do some kind of harm before running out of health (unless it is facing Rifle Infantry, which is less of a problem). Damage vs light armor (ground only, air damage unaffacted) was halved because it was pretty high before, especially now when Ranger can't do much against Mobile Flak due to its armor change.

5) The anti-air projectile still passes over walls but when attacking ground targets the projectile is now blocked by walls.
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Last edited by Fortnight on Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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