Removing kill bounties from RA

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:16 am

Happy wrote: My thoughts, I think this entire discussion is stupid that bounties make absolute zero difference they're just a side addition the effects you're bigging it up to be making is so small. Anjew you said lorry made 10k off you but you made 8.7k thats lorry gaining 1.3 k on you that is 13 rifles it is so small it makes no difference and in the current macro meta eco is number one priority its just another small digit on top of the float, you cant make those 13 riflemen any faster your just gonna run out of money 10 seconds later. We're talking here as if it's game breaking with bounties but in reality its slight more eco to afford like 12 riflemen like what is the problem? :?
13 riflemen.

1 rifle infantry = 100$

13 = 1300$

Pillbox = 600. (can build two)

Tesla = 1200$. (Can build one.)

This means you can get defenses on a continuous build which as mentioned in RA it currently has a base crawling mechanic. In which if you lose less units and kill more then you gain more to keep base creeping.

More kills = more defenses to kill armies with. Shell with artillery to gain the upper advantage to snipe kills for more income. Base creep closer.

Bounty kills may seem small but it puts base creeping as a core mechanic to prevent losses while at the sametime become better then tanks due to repairs and higher damage output.

Pillbox = one shots infantry. (exception of medics unless there is two pillboxes)

Tesla = one shots infantry. (Does a lot of damage vs tanks and behind walls deadly.)

Gun turrets = 7 cell range. (This means it currently out ranges any tank in the game. Tanks are 4c7 cell range.) Gun turrets also cost 800.

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The tests that I watched and have played on Kyrylo's map that has bounties removed allowed a lot more aggressive plays with units without the fear of "I better make sure I don't lose my units" mentality to "I better hold this position and prevent him from getting it".

While the map itself has several other balance changes on it that I agree/disagree with I would go simply as far as to say:

Remove bounties only. See what happens. Change nothing else.

The removal of the bounties also enabled tech up builds. Because you needed higher tech units to deal with units you came across. IE:

Barf went with the base crawling in Kyrylo's map and had a hard time against mammoth tanks. As Kyrylo pointed out Barf doesn't go tech he goes the base crawling method. Barf also had the GPS up and didn't use much in artillery. Adding to this, he also could have gone Radar Jammers to counter the mammoth tanks. But none of these units were used due to the mentality of base crawling = more money and wins games. (Also didn't use phase transports for back door sneaks. He played as England.)

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:45 am

It doesn't work like that he got 1.3k ahead from engagements over the entire game not just every single engagement. Through careful micro and effective engagements Lorrydriver ended the match being 1.3k richer so if all the eco disappeared he could afford another two pillboxes before no more money. This doesn't even matter anyway cause good player will prioritize eco and always have a steady income till the late late game. And for gaining bounties anyway if you won an engagement killing 10k of units and you lost 3k that's a pretty epic and rare engagement you now have 700 more credits than the opponent so the 5k float that is uber common is now 5700. Getting these bounties doesn't mean you make anything quicker and it's not as if people couldn't afford pillbox and structures without bounties, I make about 12 on my border before I've even sighted the opponent.

That being said because it's such a small mechanic go ahead and remove it all I will be upset about is what who cares said not seeing the numbers pop up when i go Roadkill with APC's or too have numbers to confirm i'm actually doing damage to him.

I know plenty of people including myself that prioritize being aggressive than saving units I think the best example is Lorrydriver. And it isn't as if nobody ever goes for aggressive plays cause you'll donate a credit to the opponent. I've been shafted plenty of times by a gren rush or a flamer drop or gatekeeper going at my harvesters with an early army. And it doesn't matter about the costs if you put an opponent in low power early on or snipe a war factory then they're pretty fucked. The best example is when Juicebox suicided his army to kill 5 of my harvs. I had the whole army advantage and bounty but without the harvs he just outproduced me again, even with this "unfair bounty".

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:12 am

Not entirely sure what you are explaining here. You said "worth 13 riflemen." Im explaining 13 rifle men is worth 1300 in cost which is enough to get base crawling going. In which this case bounties do add a lot for the base crawling mechanic.

If you care about numbers can use Ganon's example of adding experience numbers gained for the unit rather then money numbers. Above all and anything its a test and a test worth trying.

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:18 am

AoAGeneral1 wrote: Not entirely sure what you are explaining here. You said "worth 13 riflemen." Im explaining 13 rifle men is worth 1300 in cost which is enough to get base crawling going..
What i'm saying is that is from start to finish of the entire game Lorrydriver is 1.3k up. Not that he got an engagement and can use it to base push. Over every engagement he got a profit of like 200 credits and its all added up in the end to 1.3k at the end of the game.

I agree test it we should test everything i'm just really spooked why everyone thinks bounties are so terrible and blaming things on bounties that are not the case like lack of aggression.

But with that xp system it could give a way for a overhaul for the veterancy or leave it as it is and having numbers showing to progress to veterancy. Now that gets Happy approval :D

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:25 am

The bounties is the case though. As mentioned they cause base crawling to be extremely strong. Prevention of loss in units means you give nothing to the opponent.

Its also another reason why expensive tech units is a cause problem for bounties as well. Losing a single mammoth nets 200$ instantly. Another possible reason why teching is rare and the use of tech based units.

Why make a mammoth at 2000$ when you can base crawl with tesla coils and possibly earn a lot more. If the tesla dies you don't give much to your opponent compared to the mammoth.

It also comes down to killing the structure vs losing units. You traded a loss of several infantry and possibly a tank to kill a Tesla. In which case losing a medium tank is already worth 850 and compared to the tesla at its worth is 1200. Which means if you lost two tanks thats 1700. Two units. Just two. Thats a net gain higher then losing a tesla.

In this regard bounties do cause the problem to promote base crawling.

OMnom
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Post by OMnom » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:34 am

Well....the moment I get some spare time, I'll log on to see how the bounty affects basepushing the game. Both Happy and AoA bring up good points, but the the true test lies in actual playtesting.

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anjew
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Post by anjew » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:44 am

If you are saying that it doesn't influence games at all then why defend it so much?
You state that it can be perceived as an imbalance, yet doesn't effect gameplay, so by this logic its useless and only causes confusion so we should keep it for the pretty numbers?
I personally find those numbers to be clutter and when its numbers over infantry blobs I have a hard time distinguishing the type of infantry.
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bnemer
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Post by bnemer » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:54 am

You can estimate the total earned money around 100k per player in a competitive 1v1.

Over the course of a game, 1,3k / 100k is nothing.

I agree with Happy it's a pointless debate

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Post by SoScared » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:29 pm

I think some people are over-complicating the bounty issue. In essence it does one thing and that is to boost the progression of the game. If it hurts the game it has to do with the game balance itself. The bounty simply amplifies the differences, so if the game has a problem with base pushing and the defender's advantage, that's where the bounty will hurt. *On the other hand if the balance favor more aggressive and creative play, the bounty system will reward that.

The bounty system has been ingrained in the RA eco system, it pushes the game progression. Pulling it out cold would simply slow down the game but more importantly IMO make the RA mod less distinguishable, less fun.
Last edited by SoScared on Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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anjew
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Post by anjew » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:29 pm

bnemer wrote: You can estimate the total earned money around 100k per player in a competitive 1v1.

Over the course of a game, 1,3k / 100k is nothing.

I agree with Happy it's a pointless debate
Thats 1.3k when i quit as i started losing, If i had stayed in that game, its possible the lead would have snowballed even more.
In a completely equal game, especially on smaller eco maps such as Forest Path, 1.3k is enough to make a difference. In unfair matchups where a player is effectively using their units, the difference can be much bigger and in a shorter amount of time which just enables the better player to dominate even more than they already are.

Sure in some cases cash bounties work out to be roughly equal, this is generally between equal players. However there is still room for it to be exploited and the possibility that it can have even a minuscule effect is enough to create an imbalance in competitive play. This is one of the reason I can't take RA seriously. It doesn't exist in any other competitive RTS game unless its to supplement a factions lack of income (like the GLA in CnC: Generals).

This will be my last post on the subject since I just seem to be repeating myself, hopefully testing will prove what I and others are trying to suggest.
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ZxGanon
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Post by ZxGanon » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:59 pm

I already had my claws on some of the current RAGL S3 maps and just added "without bounty kills" so the maps stay same with their competitive environment. The other maps I will add later.

Desert Rats: http://resource.openra.net/maps/20622/

Rocky Ravine: http://resource.openra.net/maps/20621/

Winter Storm 2: http://resource.openra.net/maps/20620/

Behind the Veil: http://resource.openra.net/maps/20619/

no RAGL maps:

Almost Arid (1v1): http://resource.openra.net/maps/20618/

The Battle of Toxicity (2v2): http://resource.openra.net/maps/20617/

crlf
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Post by crlf » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:46 pm

Cash bounty will be more significant in FFA, where it compensates players who take engagements with each other. Without cash bounty there's more of an incentive to turtle and wait for an opponent to be weakened before cleaning them up. With cash bounty, that player may have an out-of-position main army, but they have been earning money faster than you.

Cash bounty is similar to veterancy in that it compounds over time - but different in that veterancy tends to make long-lived blobs unstoppable (but the advantage is tied to the mobility and usefulness of the units that got the kills) whereas you can use a cash bounty to help transition or cement an advantage, but the advantage is initially tied to wherever your production structures are (and obviously is only really immediately useful if you have more production capacity than income).

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Post by Sleipnir » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:20 pm

I have split this thread from the General Discussion / Simple Questions, Simple Answers thread, starting at the initial suggestion and ending when the posts started to turn nasty. Please remember to be civil.

OMnom
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Post by OMnom » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:21 pm

At risk of starting another war, I'd like to continue this conversation.

One thing I think that people have overlooked is what SoS has pointed out:
SoScared wrote: The bounty simply amplifies the differences, so if the game has a problem with base pushing and the defender's advantage, that's where the bounty will hurt. *On the other hand if the balance favor more aggressive and creative play, the bounty system will reward that.
If we look at it this way, the bounty is a type of tax that players have to pay in order to use a certain unit. Every time i build a rifleman, I'm basically giving my opponent $10. In that case, wouldn't it make more sense to repurpose the bounty system rather than remove it all together? Lower the bounty of T2/T3 units from 10% to 5%, increase the bounty on all buildings from 10% to 50%, or something like that?

Another thing that's been overlooked is how the bounty system interacts with the veterancy system. When a unit ranks up, its base value increases as well. A rank 5 V2 is actually worth $4500, which means it has killed 5x its base value. So when I kill this rank 5 V2 with a hind, I'm getting 5 V2's worth of bounty money -- in a way, the bounty system restores the balance of resources with the veterancy system. If we were to remove the bounties all together, without touching the veterancy system, vet'd units would become insanely cost-efficient with no downside. Removing the bounty system in the name of fairness would cause the veterancy system to become another source of imbalance (general pillboxes are already imbalanced).

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Post by Blackened » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:03 am

OMnom wrote: vet'd units would become insanely cost-efficient with no downside
I mean that's kinda how it should be no? Except that vetted units should give additional xp upon death(I'm actually not sure if they do this currently). It takes considerable effort to get anything besides rifle infantry above vet2. Plus it still isn't hard to kill general units.

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