Balancing medic

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:08 pm

SirCake wrote: Since we now have established that RA is basically a game of chess with all pieces being pawns (which nails it pretty hard imho) what do we do about it?

Bold experimental maps please !
Well I think currently the Inf and Tank armies are always gonna be here. But I think what could be beneficial is boosting the powers of the specialist units and how that could be achieved. What I mean is let's make Chrono Tanks and Tesla Tanks etc worth building. OMnom had a great idea of moving these units from tier 3 to tier 2. This is great because at tier 2 players will have eco that's expendable on nice gadgets, usually at the time tier 3 is out that is when eco is so scarce it's a game of minimizing asset loss and these shiny toys are not worth their weight at all at these times. In the end we will still have armies everywhere because that is just how RA goes, but these armies can be crazy with tesla tanks and chrono tanks and all specialist infantry everywhere like mechanics shockies etc etc. Tesla Tanks are pretty sweet at killing pillboxes actually, it's just a shame I dont build them because I don't have the eco for them and the timing they would come out is impractical.

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Post by OMnom » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:15 pm

anjew wrote:
OMnom wrote: The linear nature of this game is a byproduct of the ClassicProductionQueue and how Tech, Eco, and Production are all placed in a single queue. This is mitigated in TD since building a 2nd Barracks is basically the equilvalent of building 7 barracks in RA ; less time spent on investing in production means more room for tech.
This is a fallacy, if you actually watched TD games you would see that the multi queue isn't taken advantage of until much later into games so that doesn't at all explain. Also technically RA players spend a lot more on production since you build multiple production facilities, i've never seen a TD game where a player has 7 barracks.

SirCakes assumptions of pp rax ref ref pp wf sd with variations seems correct to me. Or at the most basic, pp rax ref ref/wf. How many other viable build orders are there?
The multiqueue has more of an impact than just the extra queue...i'm trying to point out that scaling is completely different in TD. Your units and structures are balanced to account for the fact that its possible to build 2 MCVs at a time or to have 2 pocket Adv Guard towers. If TD had ClassicProductionQueue, and if you rebalanced that game to accommodate for it, that game would be just as non-dynamic as RA is. By definition, being able to only build units 1 at a time, and having the game balanced around that === linear.

Obviously, I'm no TD expert, but the multiqueue is a huge part of why TD is different from RA. The eco scaling is also different, but economy only determines how quickly a game progresses , not how fast your units scales (i.e, multiplicative vs percentage-growth).

SirCake wrote: Since we now have established that RA is basically a game of chess with all pieces being pawns (which nails it pretty hard imho) what do we do about it?

Bold experimental maps please !
http://resource.openra.net/maps/19381/

This was the version I wanted to push to github, but people were tired of my constant playtesting, so I was never able to get enough feedback for this particular version. There are two other versions with a lot of "shot in the dark" balance changes being added, such as AtA migs and moving several T3 units down to T2, but the version that I linked is the that I hoped would fundamentally change the game...descriptions are in the in-game briefing. I don't want to derail the "medic" thread any further, but its probably too late for that..

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Post by anjew » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:27 am

Happy wrote: Yes I did know that I was trying to be sarcastic and a smart ass to make a point about acronyms thanks.
You should stop going down this path because you are arguing for the sake of argument. I never call them e3, despite that fact it is an 'official name.' Im sorry that you want to throw logic out of window and appropriate everything to RA terms, like stutter step. I prefer to use terms so they don't confuse other people. Like calling it fast WF. Because in no sense of the word is it a WF first. Also, what point is starting a fight over semantics? Are you really that opposed to actually listening to what I have to say, as a TD and RA player, and discussing in a civil manner?


The other mods aren't as different as you think. It's naive to say that because of different units the games are entirely different. A lot of TD units are replaceable by RA units but no vice versa eg. a recon bike is literally just 2 very fast rocketmen but TD will never have a minelayer. So basically, RA can be TD but TD can't be RA.

I'm not suggesting that all OpenRA mods should homogenise (and it should be like TD), I'm asking WHY MUST IT BE THIS WAY? Why must RA have probably 3x as many unit types while having about 3x less build order options? Why must deciding to WF first be considered cheese?

Within the first 4-5 slots of build orders, RA is completely limited to two primary build orders.. Your options are pp-rax-ref-wf-pp or pp-rax-ref-ref-pp.
In TD my options are:
pp-ref-wf-pp-rax.
pp-ref-wf-pp-comms
pp-rax-ref-pp-wf
pp-ref-ref-rax-pp
pp-ref-wf-ref-pp
These are just the builds where I want to keep playing into the later game. There is a good 3 or more cheese builds.

Maybe you might understand why this is something I don't like about RA. I like having a smorgasbord of build orders to choose from that I know are viable to play with. I like being able to make full use of the all units I can, while knowing that they wont signify the end of a game. Maybe this is the way OpenRA TD was designed or maybe its because every unit actually having a set role, widens gameplay.
OMnom wrote: The multiqueue has more of an impact than just the extra queue...i'm trying to point out that scaling is completely different in TD. Your units and structures are balanced to account for the fact that its possible to build 2 MCVs at a time or to have 2 pocket Adv Guard towers. If TD had ClassicProductionQueue, and if you rebalanced that game to accommodate for it, that game would be just as non-dynamic as RA is. By definition, being able to only build units 1 at a time, and having the game balanced around that === linear. Obviously, I'm no TD expert, but the multiqueue is a huge part of why TD is different from RA. The eco scaling is also different, but economy only determines how quickly a game progresses , not how fast your units scales (i.e, multiplicative vs percentage-growth).
This is not true at all for playing 1v1 in TD. 2 MCVs are never built in a 1v1 unless one person is ages ahead or wants to lose. It takes about a minute and ~4000 to make an MCV. This was stopped because double MCV was the thing, 3 years ago. Now in TD we run around with our original MCV, which actually stops building and defense production. TD pretty much acts as ClassicProductionQueue until about 4-6 minutes when players will build their second WF or second barracks. So basically, while the units are (in your opinion) balanced for 2 MCV's, they seem to do fine with one MCV production queue. The only true benefit of 2mcv in TD is for making refineries, then scaling does become an issue.

You would think that TD ends up with more units at the end of a game due to the production ability but I'd argue that at the end of a RA game, more assests and more money has been gobbled up than in a TD game and as such, more production. Why? Because MCV's are like the plague in RA. Id argue that any game going beyond 10 minutes has 3 MCVs and most of the maps expansions taken over. This is exponentially more expansions then TD. At ten minutes, I'm usually looking to move out for my third expansion. Also, in TD, I actually have real money problems. In RA, most of my money problems stem from "How am i going to spend all this money?"

OMnom wrote: I don't want to derail the "medic" thread any further, but its probably too late for that..
It's hard to respond to things with out going off topic. I think my post might be the final nail in the medic, so good thing I'm not a mod.
This is why I preferred the way you started earlier of having one post. Balance discussion on one topic often leads to others.

Idk if posts can be moved but I'd move everything after the yak to the Balance OpenRA thread.
Last edited by anjew on Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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3.Lucian
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Post by 3.Lucian » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:05 am

I want SoScared back :(

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Post by OMnom » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:01 am

anjew wrote: This is completely and utterly based on a lack of experience playing 1v1 in TD. 2 MCVs are never built in a 1v1 unless one person is ages ahead or wants to lose. It takes about a minute and ~4000 to make an MCV. This was stopped because double MCV was the thing, 3 years ago. Now in TD we run around with our original MCV, which actually stops building and defense production. TD pretty much acts as ClassicProductionQueue until about 4-6 minutes when players will build their second WF or second barracks. So basically, while the units are (in your opinion) balanced for 2 MCV's, they seem to do fine with one MCV production queue. The only true benefit of 2mcv in TD is for making refineries, then scaling does become an issue.
You misunderstand what I am trying to say. I do not profess to know anything about the viable options in TD; I am not stating that the game is balanced based on every game having people double MCVs being built. I am saying that the possibility of building 2 units at the same time in the same queue makes TD production a much quicker option than it is in RA -- the cost of 50% reduction time in RA is ~2m of build time, whereas you can get that same value in TD somewhere around 10s. (whatever the cost of a barracks is in TD). This does not mean you need to spend ~2m on barracks production; it means you have the option to eco, tech, or expand production in that ~2m.

This is not the case in RA, where we need to spend a lot of time to bolster our production to reach a decent spending level. You're right when you say that its hard to spend money because we earn it faster than we can spend it. However, changing the way RA harvesters unload their bale is not going change the fact that we still need a great deal of time to set up our production to reach the new optimal spending level; The game will still play out the same way, just at a much slower pace. Granted, maybe the current pace in RA is too quick and each bale should be only $400 or something, but the point I'm trying to make is that no matter how fast or slow you make the RA eco, the linear progression will still generally stay the same -- infantry/tank/MCV blobs followed by arty/tech stalemates.

Our whole disagreement is whether or not if playtests should adjust RA eco to match its extremely slow scaling, or if we should adjust RA tech tree/scaling to properly account for RA's extremely fast eco. It'll probably require both to fix RA, but changing two extremely important variables at the same time is not easy to balance.
Within the first 4-5 slots of build orders, RA is completely limited to two primary build orders.. Your options are pp-rax-ref-wf-pp or pp-rax-ref-ref-pp.
...
Maybe you might understand why this is something I don't like about RA. I like having a smorgasbord of build orders to choose from that I know are viable to play with. I like being able to make full use of the all units I can, while knowing that they wont signify the end of a game. Maybe this is the way OpenRA TD was designed or maybe its because every unit actually having a set role, widens gameplay.
Let's get one thing straight here: I'm on your side. I want multiple, viable early game build orders beyond the two build orders we have right now; spy rushes, hijacker rushes, hind rushes, yak rushes, etc that do not cripple you economically. However, there are way too many conservative people in RA that want to keep the game as it is right now for a multitude of reasons (I'll let them argue with you on this).

The reason why there are only "2" different builds in RA is because of two general reasons: 1) these two builds are extremely safe and very difficult (near impossible) to punish, and 2) scaling up is much easier to do than it is to stop your opponent from scaling up. There are many more specific reasons why these two builds are the only ones that work, but they all boil down to the two aforementioned, generalized reasons. I was pushing for a tech restructuring 9 months ago, only to realize that I wasted my time trying to convince the wrong people.

If you want, you can try out the mod map that I linked in the previous post to see if there are more viable builds to your liking...i've put playtesting this version on permanent hiatus because of the amount of conservative distaste people had for it...also, it's much easier to entertain people with "+10%" changes than it is with fundamental changes.

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Post by noobmapmaker » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:52 am

Little to add, other than that I'd like to see more viable, not so cheesy, openings for OpenRA (the first 5/6 buildings). Making barracks cost 0 power is an interesting proposal in this regard.
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Post by SirCake » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:01 am

@Omnom: I think you have a point there, trying to balance RA by adjusting cost is just not possible because production time is way more important and cash is abundant (except late game).
@NMM: How about adding 30 power to the Construction Yard instead?

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Post by noobmapmaker » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:55 pm

Better solution!
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