Smitty's Fall 2017 Playtest

Now in HD

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Graion Dilach
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Post by Graion Dilach » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:35 pm

avalach21 wrote: Ranger could function like an IFV from RA2 and allow the passenger to fire from it? Allies have no mobile AA counterpart so this would allow a rocket troop inside IFV to be an option...
Now wait. At IFV, passenger was never able to fire out - it just granted a condition which allowed the IFV to switch turret, name and weapon (Note that this is completely feasible in OpenRA with Cargo->PassengerConditions). It was the YR Battle Fortress which functioned like that and then that's what Pillbox's already doing here.

Carrying over from this, you could even create specific weapons for the IFV/Ranger but then probably the second passenger slot should be axed.
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FiveAces
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Post by FiveAces » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:00 pm

avalach21 wrote: Looks like it has already been said but yes.. maybe the Ranger could function like an IFV from RA2 and allow the passenger to fire from it? Allies have no mobile AA counterpart so this would allow a rocket troop inside IFV to be an option..
This is an idea that was going through my head as well and I'd love it.
There is, however, a huge problem with that:
The garrisoning mechanics are also used to determine the weapon set of pillboxes (they spawn with a default rifle infantry garrisoned inside),
and therefore the garrison weapon set for riflemen is the vulcan chaingun.
Rangers roaming around the map at mach 2 firing vulcan bursts would obviously be a huge balance concern,
so we'd have to do a complete garrison mechanic overhaul before implementing that.

Generally speaking though, I'd love to see rangers buffed, be it via 2 transport slots for viable eco harassment or via IFV revamp,
as it would open up so many new and interesting ways to play the earlygame.
Just imagine the possibilities: Rocket/Ranger combo for reliable eco harassment, tanya/ranger rush for a swag driveby...
Damn, I'm being overcome by the urge to start coding again!

Some may say that this does stray too far away from the original, but it's changes like this that drew me to openra in the first place.

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Graion Dilach
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Post by Graion Dilach » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:26 am

I am just explaining how you're wrong in my post above yours regarding garrisons, 5A. :D

Smitty, should I provide an example testmap for a proof-of-concept IFV Ranger setup incase you end up stuck?
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Kiraye
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Post by Kiraye » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:32 am

FiveAces wrote:
avalach21 wrote: Looks like it has already been said but yes.. maybe the Ranger could function like an IFV from RA2 and allow the passenger to fire from it? Allies have no mobile AA counterpart so this would allow a rocket troop inside IFV to be an option..
This is an idea that was going through my head as well and I'd love it.
There is, however, a huge problem with that:
The garrisoning mechanics are also used to determine the weapon set of pillboxes (they spawn with a default rifle infantry garrisoned inside),
and therefore the garrison weapon set for riflemen is the vulcan chaingun.
Rangers roaming around the map at mach 2 firing vulcan bursts would obviously be a huge balance concern,
so we'd have to do a complete garrison mechanic overhaul before implementing that.

Generally speaking though, I'd love to see rangers buffed, be it via 2 transport slots for viable eco harassment or via IFV revamp,
as it would open up so many new and interesting ways to play the earlygame.
Just imagine the possibilities: Rocket/Ranger combo for reliable eco harassment, tanya/ranger rush for a swag driveby...
Damn, I'm being overcome by the urge to start coding again!

Some may say that this does stray too far away from the original, but it's changes like this that drew me to openra in the first place.

I wouldn't say it needs a complete overhaul. If you use the pillbox method, the most effective way would be to make a 3rd weapon entry for all infantry and make them use that in the Ranger, most of them would be the same anyway so it essentially be copy+paste for most entries. This way you could customize the Rifles to use their basic weapon not the Vulcan. Also to note: Rocket Soldiers use thier GroundOnly missles in the Pillbox so a new rocket weapon should be added to them which fires both ground and air. I mean if the main goal of this change is to add a mobile anti air option. And you might run in to some animation issues with this method.
The IFV would be much simple in theory, you could specify which type of weapon would the Ranger use on each garrisoned unit and make weapon entries to the ranger itself. It depends which unit you want to gain experience in this case, the unit inside or the Ranger itself. Plus the Tanya in a ranger would be OP levels in theory, superfast speed, gunning down infantry at superfast rate. Some have already issues with Tanya in a Pillbox, imagine that on wheels with a fast scout unit. In the end it all comes to down what your goal is with the changes really, because stats could be tunned.

SirCake
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Post by SirCake » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:46 am

example testmap for a proof-of-concept
Allready done: https://resource.openra.net/maps/23639/

Check out Dune2k-Advanced on my moddb page!

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Graion Dilach
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Post by Graion Dilach » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:45 pm

That's not the IFV.
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Smitty
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Post by Smitty » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:39 pm

Early feedback is strong; keep it coming. Thanks to everyone taking part in these tests!
I want several weeks of this first test before I issue another. (It's also pretty time consuming to make a bunch of playtest maps, I don't know how SoScared did as many as he did.) Right now I'm aiming for late December for round two.
Graion Dilach wrote: Smitty, should I provide an example testmap for a proof-of-concept IFV Ranger setup incase you end up stuck?
Sure! If you're willing to provide the setup I'd love to test the IFV ranger.
Kiraye wrote: Snipers: since the idea of their reimplementation is divisive, I would give it to a neutral civ building (Communications Center/ Civ Tech center maybe) as an ability, so as long as someone controls it, they can use Sniper Drops. Maybe make that building undestroyable, so it can be contested all game long.
I want everyone to understand my position on snipers in OpenRA. I don't want to add snipers because I think they are cool, and I don't want them because I want to see additional units in RA. I'm testing snipers because they fit nicely into a solution of a problem I've been trying to solve.

Because snipers in OpenRA are an uphill battle, I am asking for other ideas on how to remove the $250 spy and balance the allied special units between England, France and Germany. None of the ideas I've heard so far have come close to bridging the gap, so until I hear better I'm going to keep testing and balancing the sniper drop and see if it gains traction.
"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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Kiraye
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Post by Kiraye » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:35 am

Smitty wrote: Early feedback is strong; keep it coming. Thanks to everyone taking part in these tests!
I want several weeks of this first test before I issue another. (It's also pretty time consuming to make a bunch of playtest maps, I don't know how SoScared did as many as he did.) Right now I'm aiming for late December for round two.
Graion Dilach wrote: Smitty, should I provide an example testmap for a proof-of-concept IFV Ranger setup incase you end up stuck?
Sure! If you're willing to provide the setup I'd love to test the IFV ranger.
Kiraye wrote: Snipers: since the idea of their reimplementation is divisive, I would give it to a neutral civ building (Communications Center/ Civ Tech center maybe) as an ability, so as long as someone controls it, they can use Sniper Drops. Maybe make that building undestroyable, so it can be contested all game long.
I want everyone to understand my position on snipers in OpenRA. I don't want to add snipers because I think they are cool, and I don't want them because I want to see additional units in RA. I'm testing snipers because they fit nicely into a solution of a problem I've been trying to solve.

Because snipers in OpenRA are an uphill battle, I am asking for other ideas on how to remove the $250 spy and balance the allied special units between England, France and Germany. None of the ideas I've heard so far have come close to bridging the gap, so until I hear better I'm going to keep testing and balancing the sniper drop and see if it gains traction.
There is a lot of ways you could go actually, depends what your goals is with them. Here are few examples, for now I presume you would like to adhere to the factions theme of Espionage:
1.) You can increase their vision from 5 to 8 for increase their use in scouting. (Sidenote: it might overlap with the ranger or could be an issue in infantry blobs for better line of sight.)
2.) You can make them move faster undisguised from 56 to 71 or 85 while at the same time keep them moving at regular infantry speed in disguise. This way they can get in position a lot faster while still maintaining to be able to blend in with infantry movement not arousing suspicion why a lonely riflemen sprints at jet speeds.
3.) You can give them Hijacker cloaking, so they can camp expansions and wait for a refinery, barracks etc. to pop up. This would force the enemy to scout the area first or make use of walls to cover buildings.
4.) I am working on a method so that disguised spies give vision to the enemy also, so they blend in more. The way it works with the current available coding would almost be desirable (although if the Disguse trait would give differing condition based on Ally and Enemy actors mimicked would be the most ideal for this feature to be perfect).
Currently it works as follows: Enemy units will grant a condition to the Spy in a 10-15 cell radius which will grant the base 4 cell vision most infatry has. Allied units (I mean Ally status units) grant a condition in a 10 -15 cell radius which negates this feature, so the spy wont reveal it self in your own base if you decide to disguised early or near your units to screw you up, so you could still use fake Tanyas etc as normal.
5.) You can give it finite number of ammocharges which could do: either plant a flare which gives vision in the area or 1 or 2 mines.
6.) Make it undetectable by GPS.

Anyway you could use a combination of the listed features or all of them at once.
Summary: 1 till 3 are can be implemented easy-peasy, would make it more unique and useful as a faction unit and would still satisfy the Espionage trait of the faction.
Number 4 still enchances deception but is experimental and would have a drawback if you are disguised as your own troops and out in the open alone it would give vision to enemies who come close by, although it could be argued that it could be seen as a player attention issue, but it could be seen as a more buggy behavior which the current coding has no solutions yet.
Number 5 is approaching "new unit" levels and would be seen that way and not true to original RA mechanics (from a puritan point of view).
Number 6 is only applicable in Allied vs Allied mirrors.

Note: numbers are place holders and to show an example, they can be tweaked.

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MustaphaTR
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Post by MustaphaTR » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:22 am

About spies, with the stuff added with this PR, we can make spies able to mimic speed, reveal range and some other stuff depending on what it disguised as. Mobile: is not conditional, but we can use SpeedMultipilier. RevealsShroud: is conditional, so there is not much of a problem.

https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/14059

SirCake
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Post by SirCake » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:30 am

It's also pretty time consuming to make a bunch of playtest maps
Hey Smitty, I did a script in python for that reason. It takes one master map and copies all rules and other files into any number of target maps + renames them.
I decided against publishing it here to preven mapspam, but if you pm me/email me I can send it to you. It requires Python 3 installed but explains itself to the user...

Check out Dune2k-Advanced on my moddb page!

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ZxGanon
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Post by ZxGanon » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:52 pm

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/187583397

Livestream from 04.11.17 where Barf and I tested Smittys testmaps for like 3 hours.
Feedback has been said in between and at the end of the stream.

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Graion Dilach
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Post by Graion Dilach » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:10 pm

Smitty wrote:
Graion Dilach wrote: Smitty, should I provide an example testmap for a proof-of-concept IFV Ranger setup incase you end up stuck?
Sure! If you're willing to provide the setup I'd love to test the IFV ranger.
https://resource.openra.net/maps/23761

Catch me on that Discord if there are questions.

EDIT: Oh lol, OpenRA ate my comments somewhere. See https://gist.github.com/GraionDilach/ca ... 9593d4fca0 for some details regarding the YAML setup.
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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:17 pm

Smitty wrote: Because snipers in OpenRA are an uphill battle, I am asking for other ideas on how to remove the $250 spy and balance the allied special units between England, France and Germany. None of the ideas I've heard so far have come close to bridging the gap, so until I hear better I'm going to keep testing and balancing the sniper drop and see if it gains traction.
I wouldn't bother bridging gaps at this moment. I would focus on balance problems first and getting those addressed then trying to bridge at the sametime.

Personally against snipers at this moment, since infantry have become a huge death ball in every build. Its the reason why Tanya is considered "OP" because of instant infantry killing. Balance the infantry out and this will eliminate the problem.

Bringing in snipers will magnify this OP issue further.

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:01 pm

I've got some time off for Thanksgiving so I decided to release an updated playtest. Let's get to the changes:

Revised:
AA gun delay reduced from 9 to 7. (Current release value is 5)
- The AA gun nerf was too much so we're dialing it back. If anything, testing has shown that Allies need a significantly stronger static air defense than Soviets. At this point we're testing to see if the AA gun needs a nerf at all.

Additions:
Mechanic wrench heals 25 HP, up from 20.
Fake building build distance increased to 7. Explosion threshold set to 60.
Sub Pen and Naval Yard given sub detection for 8 cells.
MIG HP to 75 from 70.

Didn't make the cut (Removed from playtest)
Air units removed from GPS vision.
Mammoth tank turret traverse increase.
MCV infantry crushing nerf.

The short list:
This release cycle is going to be shorter than we're used to, so I'm getting a short list of balance changes together for a pull request. Because of the short time and the nature of the changes, this list will be short. I'll hold of on changing GPS, for example, because we're already getting a nerf to GPS targeting and I want to see how that pans out before going through with more. I'll rotate the ranger IFV idea into my playtest next cycle.

Here are the changes that I'm confident in so far....
-Light tank damage vs wood increased by 10%. Slight fire rate increase.
-Minimum range of artillery and V2s increased by 2.
-Pillbox and Camo pillbox use 20 power, up from 15.
-MIG damage vs Heavy increased by 15%.
- Accuracy improvements to Cruiser and Missile Sub. Buff to gunboat damage.
(Naval changes might be a bit more fluid here.)

And finally, I would like to hear more from players on a potential change to the grenadier explosion. This is something I'd really like to throw in as it also would improve campaign missions.

Updated playtest changelog and maps:

Smitty's Fall 2017 Playtest (Phase 2)
- Minimum range of Artillery and V2s increased by two cells
- GPS dots removed from infantry.
- Light tank 25mm reload delay reduced from 22 to 21, Damage vs wood increased by 10%
- Iron Curtain invulnerability reduced from 20 to 16 seconds
- AA Gun delay increased from 5 to 7
- Additional passenger seat added to ranger
- Grenadier explosion on death changed to small explosion. Chance increased to 100%
- Walls now require base provider
- Pillbox and Camo Pillbox power cost increased from 15 to 20
- MIG reload delay decreased to 20; damage vs heavy increased to 115%
- Destroyer: Anti-air Missile speed reduced from 255 to 230
- Gunboat damage increased from 25 to 40, Depth charge speed increased from 85 to 125
- Cruiser: Range increased from 16 to 20, inaccuracy decreased to 1c938
- Missile Sub inaccuracy decreased to 0c614
- Submarine vision increased by two cells
- British Spy replaced by Sniper Drop. MGG and Phase Transport swapped between England and France. Sniper fire rate reduced
*New changes*
-Mechanic wrench heals 25 HP, up from 20.
-Fake building build distance increased to 7. Explosion threshold set to 60.
-Sub Pen and Naval Yard given sub detection for 8 cells.
-MIG HP to 75 from 70.

http://resource.openra.net/maps/24047/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24048/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24049/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24050/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24051/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24052/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24053/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24054/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24055/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24056/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24057/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24058/
http://resource.openra.net/maps/24059/
"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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MustaphaTR
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Post by MustaphaTR » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:52 pm

Fake building build distance increased to 7.
I don't think that's a good change. Having a building further away from others would spoil its fakeness. You can't put that in a testmap, but considering my BuildableArea Types pr is merged, we should give a change to let fakes built around other fakes.
And finally, I would like to hear more from players on a potential change to the grenadier explosion.
I still think it should explode with small explosion but 100% of the time.

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