Sam Site Discussion (RA)

Discussion about the game and its default mods.

Do Sam sites need a buff?

Yes
22
81%
No
5
19%
 
Total votes: 27

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Orb
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Sam Site Discussion (RA)

Post by Orb » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:07 am

I know there's been some hate on balance threads as of late, but I feel sam sites really deserve some kind of discussion. As of right now they are borderline useless and I see every Soviet player opt for flak truck spam, even if the enemy is heavily invested into air.

For purposes of balance, I'll be comparing it to the AA turret of the Allies. In this regard the Sam Site has three weaknesses.

1. Slow Projectile

The Sam Site fires a slow projectile that takes time to reach its target. This means an aircraft can accomplish its goal before being shot down, and sam sites can overkill.

2. Projectile Timeout

Once on target, the missile can time out like any other missile. This means an active player can usually save their aircraft, especially with yaks or migs.

3. Small Range

The Sam Site has 7.5 range (radius) compared to the AA gun's 10. This means as a static defense it actually covers very little ground, and requires multiple sam sites to simply cover a small portion of the base. A player with hinds can easily maneuver around sam sites and pick off targets of their choosing.

Of these three, I think the small range is really what kills the Sam Site. An AA defense should act as an aircraft deterrent over an area, which it really can't do with such short range. At best it can be plopped down right under aircraft and score a few kills, and then be useless until sold.

To fix this, I'd suggest a modest buff of increasing the range from 7.5 to 9. It would still be fairly weak, especially when compared to the AA gun, but it could at least see some use in special circumstances.

I know the discussion will probably derail into air balance discussion, but if we could keep it to Sam sites that'd be great. :shifty:

Blackened
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Post by Blackened » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:33 am

Just wanted to quickly note according to Soscareds playtest Sam Sites already have a reduced cost of 50, so make sure to factor that into any discussion!

Lorrydriver
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Post by Lorrydriver » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:08 am

The sam site vs aa gun situation is definitely awful, however I do think that if anything we should rather look into nerfing the aa gun (for example -1.5 range) instead of buffing the samsite. That would not only make the Soviets vs Allies matchup more balanced but also improve the quality of arty/hind/aa gun stalemate allies vs allies games.

OMnom
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Post by OMnom » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:15 am

Another minor source of imbalance, courtesy of Frame Limiter, is that SAM missiles get deflected by the Mobile Radar Jammer at close range.

Two of my mods have Sam sites with the same range as AA guns (10c) with faster projectiles, with an increased timeout range of 11c. My testing is currently on postponement indefinitely until RAGL is over, so my final input on this will have to wait.

I've also experimented with changing the damage to from whatever it is now to 100dmg per 70 ticks to some interesting effects.

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anjew
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Post by anjew » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:06 am

Its worth remembering that Soviets have the flak truck, the only effective anti-air ground unit in the game, even Allies doesnt have a mobile anti-air ground unit available before Tech. Im pretty sure this is why the Soviets have the flak truck. If you make the AA gun and the SAM equal then Soviets will have an advantage against air units.
OMnom wrote: Another minor source of imbalance, courtesy of Frame Limiter, is that SAM missiles get deflected by the Mobile Radar Jammer at close range.
This is a bit fucked though
Image

zinc
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Post by zinc » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:38 am

Yes they need a range buff. Did they not get one recently?

With the allies AA, I seem to remember it used to be more possible to attack artie knowing you would lose your helis but knowing you would have time to get one or two artillery pieces. They lowered the armour on the cheaper air units I think when the concern was that air was overpowered.

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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:07 pm

I agree with Lorrydriver about allied AA-gun being too strong. That is bigger problem than SAM-site. I think we should consider giving AA-gun some inaccuracy. I think it would be quite realistic.

Nerfing AA-guns would be indirect needed beef to Migs.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
-Sun Tzu

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:17 pm

Lorrydriver wrote: The sam site vs aa gun situation is definitely awful, however I do think that if anything we should rather look into nerfing the aa gun (for example -1.5 range) instead of buffing the samsite. That would not only make the Soviets vs Allies matchup more balanced but also improve the quality of arty/hind/aa gun stalemate allies vs allies games.
This is the correct way to go. As a general rule always nerf the strong static as opposed to buffing the weak static.
"Do not trust the balance tzars (Smitty, Orb). They are making the changes either for the wrong reasons, for no reason at all, or just because they can and it makes them feel good." - Alex Jones

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Orb
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Post by Orb » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:53 pm

anjew wrote: Its worth remembering that Soviets have the flak truck, the only effective anti-air ground unit in the game, even Allies doesnt have a mobile anti-air ground unit available before Tech. Im pretty sure this is why the Soviets have the flak truck. If you make the AA gun and the SAM equal then Soviets will have an advantage against air units.
That's true. However, I think SAM sites can still be buffed without pushing Soviets into too strong of a position. That's how weak it is right now. As it stands there's no reason to build a SAM site. A small buff could push it to be usable in some circumstances. Flak trucks would still be the dominant air defense for soviets, but for example if your war factory gets sniped, you could build SAMs as a temporary defense.

As far as nerfing the AA gun I agree, however that would still leave SAM sites useless.
Last edited by Orb on Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

eskimo
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Post by eskimo » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:57 pm

Hadn't noticed myself that SAMs were not as good, even being primarily a Soviet player. But that may be due to Flakks being good enough.

Still, AA gun would be welcomed :)

Blackened
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Post by Blackened » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:21 pm

The problem with just nerfing the AA gun is that it still leaves the sam horrible.


It takes 2 sam sites to hold an area as effective as 1 AA gun. Maybe drawing down AA gun range to 8c0 and increasing sam range to 8c512 would be a better compromise.

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:41 pm

In my experience SAM's are weak but I'll still use them and I've had opponents effectively use them against me. They're certainly not worthless.

The role of static anti-air defense isn't to destroy the enemy air force, it is to protect areas (usually tech) from air attack. If you convince someone not to attack your buildings because you placed a SAM, the SAM has done its job, even if it never got a missile off. If I mass air attack with hinds or migs vs one SAM, yeah I'll kill the target, but it won't be an effective trade.

Nerfing the AA gun is the way to go here. Anything that increases the chance to destroy arty trying to hide under an AA gun will open up the game. The main reason not to buff the SAM is so that it doesn't become an enabler for the same arty/AA gun base crawl tactic except with V2s or even telsas.
"Do not trust the balance tzars (Smitty, Orb). They are making the changes either for the wrong reasons, for no reason at all, or just because they can and it makes them feel good." - Alex Jones

af
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Post by af » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:35 pm

I agree that nerfing the AA gun is the most important thing to do. It's fine that it's stronger than the SAM site, but it's currently pretty OP for arty turtling.

That said, while the SAM Site isn't quite worthless, it doesn't justify its cost (monetary but also the opportunity cost of building tesla coils/IC/nuke/etc). Personally I'd like to see a slight range or ROF buff as well.

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MustaphaTR
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Post by MustaphaTR » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:44 pm

I like the fact that SAMs are not so powerful. So IMO if it will be buffed i think it should be as decreasing build time and maybe cost too. So you can pop SAM Sites to unexpecting enemy Aircraft and kill them, which is a complately different strategy when compared to what Allies has.

A slight Range Buff to SAM or Range nerf to AA Gun may also be good.


I also think we should remove the stealth detection ability from static AA Defences.

SirCake
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Post by SirCake » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:50 am

Just to throw in something realy OP, AA-Gun style ;):
Make the sam site retract into a silo and become invisible. It would then pop up and kill any aircraft venturing in range.

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