Is Naval Balanced Between Soviet and Allies?

Discussion about the game and its default mods.

Is Naval Balanced?

It's balanced no problem
4
17%
It's unfair to Soviets, but can be fixed just by tinkering with original units
6
26%
It's unfair to Soviets, and probably the only way to fix is with an extra unit
10
43%
It's unfair to Allies
3
13%
 
Total votes: 23

User avatar
MustaphaTR
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:38 am
Location: Kastamonu, Turkey

Post by MustaphaTR » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:05 pm

FiveAces wrote: , and they have a deceptively high range - 6 cells is more than most non-artillery units!
I wouldn't give MiGs AA weapon with same range of its AG weapon, nor damage, (well i didn't in my test maps). They don't perform well with high range anyway afaik. Making them literally have to enter the target i think makes them not that much powerful. Still lack of Mobile AA for Allies can be problem, i agree.

zinc
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:46 pm

Post by zinc » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:33 am

When it comes to the objection to taking the game in a non-original direction with an extra unit...

What has been done so far is to change the nature of an original unit, the Missile Sub, to give it an AA ability. As it happens, it's not that big of a change to the nature of the unit. It's got the same weapon, but it can just be targeted on air units in addition to ground units, and it all seems to make sense for the Missile Sub to be able to do. I doubt there are many people thinking, "I hate this", "It's not like the original Missile Subs in original Red Alert".

But then I don't think it fixes the balance problem, and I doubt minor tinkering will work either. You can't just give the Missile Sub a more powerful air attack with the missiles and say, "Well now naval is balanced".

If you wanted to balance the game using original units, I think you would need a greater change to their original nature; but then if you do that, why should it be thought to be a better solution than just having an extra unit? Either way you would be significantly moving away from the original game.

Actually, just sticking in an extra unit, may be less irritating to (at least) some people, than making significant changes to the nature of original units.

Let's say that the regular subs were given a dual role with an AA ability. Personally I wouldn't mind trying something like that, although it creates the issue that Soviets would have naval AA right at the start of the game; but for the cost of subs and in comparison to the ability of Destroyers, it actually wouldn't be excessive as far as I can see, ignoring the point that Soviet would be getting naval AA at a too early stage.

But if you did something like that, the same people that may want to complain about an extra non-original unit, could *just as easily* complain about a substantial change to an original unit. It might even piss them off more than just using an extra unit to fix the problem!

Part of the reason for being of OpenRA, is presumably to properly balance the game for multiplayer.

Now if there is a way to do that with only small-ish changes to units, then what I'm saying here will not apply. (Although in that case it could be asked how small-ish changes would be enough to do the job.)

But assuming you would need to make substantial changes to original units to balance the game, it can be asked-- why is that preferable to having a extra non-original unit? Is it really going to keep fans of the original any happier?

User avatar
Kiraye
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:29 pm

Post by Kiraye » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:12 am

When it comes to the objection to taking the game in a non-original direction with an extra unit...

What has been done so far is to change the nature of an original unit, the Missile Sub, to give it an AA ability. As it happens, it's not that big of a change to the nature of the unit. It's got the same weapon, but it can just be targeted on air units in addition to ground units, and it all seems to make sense for the Missile Sub to be able to do. I doubt there are many people thinking, "I hate this", "It's not like the original Missile Subs in original Red Alert".

If you wanted to balance the game using original units, I think you would need a greater change to their original nature; but then if you do that, why should it be thought to be a better solution than just having an extra unit? Either way you would be significantly moving away from the original game.

Actually, just sticking in an extra unit, may be less irritating to (at least) some people, than making significant changes to the nature of original units.
When you are balancing stuff like this there are a few methods that can be used.
a.) You can use just general number tweaking (and fixing some bugs or oversights)
b.) You can enhance a units main role which it already supposed to do.
c.) You can add an additional role for that unit.
d.) Add a new unit to fill that role instead.

As you go from A to D, it is a scale how you "want" to tie your hands from a design perspective. You will have more option and room for filling balance holes and fixing issues as you progress down from A to D but you will lose "character" of the game at a similar rate. Logically, option D should be used rarely as possible.
The next best option is C, with of course keeping some logic of the ingame-universe.

But then I don't think it fixes the balance problem, and I doubt minor tinkering will work either. You can't just give the Missile Sub a more powerful air attack with the missiles and say, "Well now naval is balanced".

Let's say that the regular subs were given a dual role with an AA ability. Personally I wouldn't mind trying something like that, although it creates the issue that Soviets would have naval AA right at the start of the game; but for the cost of subs and in comparison to the ability of Destroyers, it actually wouldn't be excessive as far as I can see, ignoring the point that Soviet would be getting naval AA at a too early stage.
There are more issues with Naval, as WhoCares pointed out, there is almost no incentive to produce them, with the exception of T3 Siege ships (Missile Sub, Cruiser) that can threaten ground targets to a moderate degree. The issue of Air units usually not big of a deal for Soviets until Missile Subs role out since if you have Submarines only which recloak faster and only resurface to fire (and only than can they be damaged by Air anyway) even if they are detected by boats, Air cannot harm them, so this issue is mostly irrelevant until the Missile Subs role out, so having AA on water for Soviets is not a priority till that point anyway. Well if you don't factor in Hinds raping your Sub Pen.
There are also some issues in mirror matchups.

Part of the reason for being of OpenRA, is presumably to properly balance the game for multiplayer.

Now if there is a way to do that with only small-ish changes to units, then what I'm saying here will not apply. (Although in that case it could be asked how small-ish changes would be enough to do the job.)

But assuming you would need to make substantial changes to original units to balance the game, it can be asked-- why is that preferable to having a extra non-original unit? Is it really going to keep fans of the original any happier?
Well there are a lots variables you can tweak, not just damage, at the end of the day it comes down to what are your exact goals are and how the changes will affect other aspects of the game and what other outside changes can affect this particular issue.

For example:
Instead tinkering with damage values, you increase the AA Missile range to match the AG Missile range which is 16 cells currently. (So AA missile range will go up from 8 to 16 cells)
This will make it relatively the same anti AA performance-wise, however it will give you the option to effectively use it at range to deter enemy Helis (around 10-12ish range), since they will be unable to close the distance in time(so it will fix survivability issues vs Helis), so they have to take caution and pull back without Ships to support them.
In this case you still can't use the Missile Subs in a brain dead fashion since engaging Air units below 8 cell range will get it killed. Also the Missile Sub will need some scouting support to make use of its range.
Also it will make it able to support somewhat ground troops with AA (although its up for debate that Soviets need any of that, but it can be used in certain situations only) , but do note that targeting Air units above 12 cell range will only scare them away since the missiles have moderate speed and can be evaded at those ranges easily.
This change will also slightly improve AA against Soviet Aircraft in general.

SirCake
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:40 pm

Post by SirCake » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:38 pm

@Kiraye: So I build two or more of your missile subs, put them into 2 groups and position the groups ~10 cells apart. Once I have locked down naval with my regular subs now I can remove air threats over the seas by shooting group A and if the player moves their air fleet there, I fire group B. The subs will recloak faster than anyone can react (and they can reposition stealthed) so the other palyer loses aircraft over time quickly and I have the seas locked down with no way of the other player coming back to it.
It will take a lot of time and micro to do and really I would have intended to use the missile sub for bombarding the shore instead and now the game forces me to use it for AA abuse.
Additionaly I now have a 16 range anti-air artilellry unit at the shoreline.

Im sorry but this doesn't seem to me that this is the way to go.

It does exactly what zinc warned about: It alienates the role of the original unit too much.
Even now players simply don't expect the missile sub to have any AA capabilities.

Check out Dune2k-Advanced on my moddb page!

User avatar
Kiraye
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:29 pm

Post by Kiraye » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:04 pm

SirCake wrote: @Kiraye: So I build two or more of your missile subs, put them into 2 groups and position the groups ~10 cells apart. Once I have locked down naval with my regular subs now I can remove air threats over the seas by shooting group A and if the player moves their air fleet there, I fire group B. The subs will recloak faster than anyone can react (and they can reposition stealthed) so the other palyer loses aircraft over time quickly and I have the seas locked down with no way of the other player coming back to it.
It will take a lot of time and micro to do and really I would have intended to use the missile sub for bombarding the shore instead and now the game forces me to use it for AA abuse.
Additionaly I now have a 16 range anti-air artilellry unit at the shoreline.

Im sorry but this doesn't seem to me that this is the way to go.

It does exactly what zinc warned about: It alienates the role of the original unit too much.
Even now players simply don't expect the missile sub to have any AA capabilities.


The situation you described WILL happen if Soviets have an effective AA platform to support navy units whether it is:
1.) A Missile Sub with a better AA
2.) A flak sub
3. )A flak boat
4.) or to a certain extent even a Mig that can attack Air.

1.) We will need raw numbers to analyze this scenario.
1 Missile Sub still not able to kill 1 Heli in 1 burst, so 2 group with 1 Missile Sub each will not be effective in killing (Allied) Air units unless you will order the other group to fire on the same Heli, in which case you will reveal it, and it takes only 1 Hind to kill a Missile Sub so it would be a bad trade.
So lets go with the assumption that you have 2 Missile Sub per group. This way you can kill 1 Heli the way you described every 12 seconds (thats the Missile Subs reload time).
So if we add you had to lock down naval with regular subs to this to work effectively we hovering around well over 10k assets on water, depending on the amount of subs you needed to wrestle control on water, this number might be much higher (15k-20k).
Since we have finite resources available at times, that amount of assets is going to be missing from the ground, and in an even game you may have naval control but your ass is gonna be whipped on the ground front.
Anyway lets be generous again and assume you are ahead by a similar amount.
Why not invest in ground and air troops and end the game right there and then, instead of investing in navy and prolong the inevitable at that point. Also some variables depend on map, for example you could easily place a Naval Yard or Sub pen on big Navy maps such as Pool Party and start producing navy before you are discovered(and you are not locked in you main island,but if you are, you probably lost at that point anyway), unless you have a vast number of subs sitting everywhere which will result in even more assets on water.
On maps that have connected landmasses with some kind of lake, you would be just steamrolled by ground troops.
Also in Soviet mirror it could be a bit different since their Air units are a lot faster (Missile Subs rockets speed is 234 and the MIGs speed is 223 and a Yak is a bit slower with 178) so the MIG at the very least is very hard to catch and can easily reposition itself, but can die in 1 volley and cannot burst down Subs as Helis, but over time it could provide more stable dps since it can attack them before they submerge at very long distances and can outrun the AA missiles.
Subs have sight range of 6 so if you have no planes to scout for them, they can be flanked easily.

2.) and 3.)
In this case, it will result in the same issue in the situation you described. You could extract 1 Missile sub (2k) and replace it with Flak Subs or ships.
I will assume for effectiveness sake they will be similar in performance and pricing as the Flak Truck. No micro or attention is needed in this case, just blob them, Missile Subs will bombard the ground, AA ships will make short work of any Air units, unless you want them to be somewhat ineffective against Air. You already secured naval as you said so nothing will prevent the Flak based naval units from doing their job.
If they will be somewhat inneffective to address this issue, they will be probably cheap, so you can spam them and they will be effective in numbers. If they are expensive they should be effective, the outcome is going to be the same.
Only if they are a bit expensive and ineffective at the same then this hipotetical scenario will be somewhat addressed. But in this case we are back to where we started before we added them.

4.)
This will affect ground combat anyway you slice it, and you still have Longbows (or other Migs) that will ruin your day. Assuming you want them to be effective mainly against Hinds, but than the other player would invest in Longbows instead, resulting in naval Air dominance once again.

Also this example you gave me could be used against new Flak based water units moreso, by the time you secured naval, you also kind of secured naval AA at the same time (I assume the Flak subs and boats don't have high tech requirements), since you can roll out Flak AA without the need to tech up as much as you need to Missile Subs.
Which leads us to an important part:

Proggression

The progression to that point also very important. The way to the Missile Sub is time and resource consuming. I doubt you could pull that type of scenario in a competitve match, since the opposition wouldn't let you to have it that easy. In practice the range change would make it useable to a certain degree, but you still need to invest time and resources to get that point and I highly doubt it you could just mass them unpunished.
The Flak Subs or Boats would be a bigger issue as I mentioned, since in theory Soviets need AA on water mostly for supporting the Missile Sub attacks vs ground units, and having it before you get to the Missile Sub would make the example you mentioned much more commonplace since less time and resources are needed to achive complete naval based air dominance.
After that point even if you have to pay and wait a bit more for Missile Subs to arrive (since you invested some for Flak Subs or Boats) the way is already paved for the Missile Subs, and you will need much less of them to make the enemy suffer.


But I doubt this was an issue on your map, or am I wrong? If you didn't encounter this problem yourself, in practice the Missile Subs range increase will less likely to cause something like that.
That was an illustrative hipotetical suggestion anyways, that you can play with other variables not just flat damage values.

User avatar
avalach21
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:01 pm

Post by avalach21 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:54 pm

I'm not sure there really is that much of an issue with the current naval balance.. If Allies are investing that much into Navy and you can't keep up, then just relocate your base away from the shore and beat them on the ground. Or put up some static defense on the shorelines..

I was the first to bring up MiG Air to Air in this thread and of course it wouldn't simply be a flip the switch and call it a day thing. You would need to fine tune its air to air attack separately from its air to ground attack.

Also, the only main issue I can see is that Soviets aren't able to protect their Sub Pen from Hinds which can keep them locked out of the sea at Tier 2 with no means to kill the Hinds. Another idea is maybe letting SAM sites be built on water a la Red Alert 3, as long as it is within the ConYards build radius. Pretty awful idea to be honest but figured I throw it out there.

zinc
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:46 pm

Post by zinc » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:41 pm

Kiraye wrote:
When you are balancing stuff like this there are a few methods that can be used.
a.) You can use just general number tweaking (and fixing some bugs or oversights)
b.) You can enhance a units main role which it already supposed to do.
c.) You can add an additional role for that unit.
d.) Add a new unit to fill that role instead.

As you go from A to D, it is a scale how you "want" to tie your hands from a design perspective. You will have more option and room for filling balance holes and fixing issues as you progress down from A to D but you will lose "character" of the game at a similar rate. Logically, option D should be used rarely as possible.
The next best option is C, with of course keeping some logic of the ingame-universe.
This is exactly what I was denying, or questioning at least. I agree with the general drift of what you are saying; but when it comes down to a choice between making a substantial change to an original unit, or just having an extra unit, it's *not clear to me* that you will do more damage to the character of the original game by going for an extra unit. If you make substantial change to an original unit, people could easily feel that the original unit is being undermined or lost in a sense. It's going to depend on the case of course, but I don't think an extra unit has always to be a more intrusive solution.

There are more issues with Naval, as WhoCares pointed out, there is almost no incentive to produce them, with the exception of T3 Siege ships (Missile Sub, Cruiser) that can threaten ground targets to a moderate degree.
Destroyers can actually be pretty useful and do quite a bit of damage to ground targets if you build up a pack of them. Actually they were recently nerfed I think, but they are still quite good.
The issue of Air units usually not big of a deal for Soviets until Missile Subs role out since if you have Submarines only which recloak faster and only resurface to fire (and only than can they be damaged by Air anyway) even if they are detected by boats, Air cannot harm them, so this issue is mostly irrelevant until the Missile Subs role out
I wouldn't really agree with that. Firsly, if you are trying to fire on an enemy naval yard, then the helis can just pick you off when you surface without any counter available. Secondly, boats can force subs into a fight. So you can combine boats with helis when the subs start firing back.
so having AA on water for Soviets is not a priority till that point anyway. Well if you don't factor in Hinds raping your Sub Pen.
Well yes there is that. And I think you are downplaying other issues as just mentioned.

But in addition, Missile Subs take a long time to build, and just having one of them is pretty rubbish as an AA weapon when they can be killed so fast by air themselves. You need to get to tier 3 tech, and then start producing multiple units which each takes a relatively long time to build. Even then, if you build 3 of them say, and have them attacking ground targets, (their main job), rather than watching for enemy air, you can lose them very fast.

Compare that to Cruisers. When you have built 1 Cruiser, you probably already have a few Destroyers around that can very effectively protect it from air attacks.

zinc
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:46 pm

Post by zinc » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:03 pm

avalach21 wrote:
I was the first to bring up MiG Air to Air in this thread and of course it wouldn't simply be a flip the switch and call it a day thing. You would need to fine tune its air to air attack separately from its air to ground attack.
It would still presumably be something you need to micro, and be paying attention to the sea, to have any impact at all. As I said, you can lose a Missile Sub to a group of Yaks in a split second. I don't see how MiGs could protect them that well.
Also, the only main issue I can see is that Soviets aren't able to protect their Sub Pen from Hinds
I think it's more than that single issue as I explained in my post just above.

SirCake
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:40 pm

Post by SirCake » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:14 pm

Hey Kiraye, did you play my playtest map yet? I propose to try it out and see if it is fun or not:
https://resource.openra.net/maps/23600/
https://resource.openra.net/maps/23538/
Cheers

Check out Dune2k-Advanced on my moddb page!

User avatar
Kiraye
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:29 pm

Post by Kiraye » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:04 am

zinc wrote:
If you make substantial change to an original unit, people could easily feel that the original unit is being undermined or lost in a sense. It's going to depend on the case of course, but I don't think an extra unit has always to be a more intrusive solution.
Well I did some digging, research, a little trip down memory lane and I found some interesting things. In the yeee oldy times (Original Red Alert Aftermath), the Missile Sub WAS actually able to attack Air units (within its base range, 14 cells).
Source:
http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Missile_submarine
(Although the best source would be an actual ingame test, but I am a bit lazy to install it)

Hm, even I was under the impression that AA role would be something "new" to the unit, but it turns out, it was capable of AA back in the day also, so its nothing new to the Missile Sub :eek:

About the regular Subs vs Air.
I might have used wrong words to express myself, I did not intend to downplay that issue, I am aware of it (and many other naval based issues as a matter of fact).

SirCake wrote: Hey Kiraye, did you play my playtest map yet? I propose to try it out and see if it is fun or not:
https://resource.openra.net/maps/23600/
https://resource.openra.net/maps/23538/
Cheers
I examined it, not played it yet. But I have to be honest.
I am not against new units personally, but we must be real here. Even I am aware what the devs stance are on new units at this point in time. And I am quite a newcomer to OpenRA (found out about it like 2 months ago).

Even if you find the Holy Grail in the form of a new unit, that brings balance, enjoyment and world peace, it will not be considered, chances are close 0%.
Not that any other change, suggestion or theorycraft backed with detailed analysis has a sure chance to making it in a live playtest anyway, but it is sure is more likely than a new unit.
I do understand the reasons behind the dev's stance, while at the same time finding merit in ideas of a new unit and what that brings to the table.
But if I have to choose, I would choose the dev(il)'s side ( :P :P :P )
(I'll shut up now......)

zinc
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:46 pm

Post by zinc » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:53 pm

Kiraye wrote:
zinc wrote:
If you make substantial change to an original unit, people could easily feel that the original unit is being undermined or lost in a sense. It's going to depend on the case of course, but I don't think an extra unit has always to be a more intrusive solution.
Well I did some digging, research, a little trip down memory lane and I found some interesting things. In the yeee oldy times (Original Red Alert Aftermath), the Missile Sub WAS actually able to attack Air units (within its base range, 14 cells).
Source:
http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Missile_submarine
(Although the best source would be an actual ingame test, but I am a bit lazy to install it)

That is kind of a change of subject but...

Maybe if it was set to guard? I read that it would attack extra things if set to guard, but that was just some comment I found on a forum.

The source you gave speaks of it "Can attack aircraft", but it only lists:

"Ground attack 400 (HE)"

Compare that to Destroyer where it says:

"Ground attack 80 (AP)"
"Air attack 30 (AP)"

"Attack range 9 (air) 5 (ground)"


http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Destroyer_(Red_Alert_1)

User avatar
Kiraye
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:29 pm

Post by Kiraye » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:16 pm

zinc wrote:
That is kind of a change of subject but...

Maybe if it was set to guard? I read that it would attack extra things if set to guard, but that was just some comment I found on a forum.

The source you gave speaks of it "Can attack aircraft", but it only lists:

"Ground attack 400 (HE)"

Compare that to Destroyer where it says:

"Ground attack 80 (AP)"
"Air attack 30 (AP)"

"Attack range 9 (air) 5 (ground)"


http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Destroyer_(Red_Alert_1)
I downloaded the original, and I can confirm with certainty that the Missile Sub is indeed capable of attacking Air.

It is just an evidence of having it AA capabilities as a default feature, and dismisses of claims that is a substantial change from its original nature, so it is no way an intrusive approach.
Infact having AA support by other sources (being it MIG, Flak Subs etc.) is by their nature more alienating than having it on the Missile Sub.

Which makes tweaking its AA capabilities a pretty reasonable way of fixing the Soviet AA issues on water.

zinc
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:46 pm

Post by zinc » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:51 pm

Even if it's an original ability, you would still need to take account of things like-- The original was never properly balanced in the first place, and there have been major changes (improvements) to air units in OpenRA which may change balance requirements anyway.

If trying to fix the problem with missile subs you have the issue that they can only be produced at tier 3 and take a relatively long time to produce, so aren't really going to address things like having no AA in the mid game if you attack a naval yard, or having no AA for sub pens until a late stage. (Although I guess it would be possible to make them available at tier 2 in theory.) As for protecting the missile subs themselves with a longer range weapon, you would still need to produce multiple units to do much with them presumably. Also, to make use of longer range AA you would need the vision and to micro them. Whether the gameplay would work is a different question to authenticity of unit behaviour.

camundahl
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:36 am
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas

Post by camundahl » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:58 pm

I think a tier 0 flak boat for soviets would work well. Weak and loses to allies attack boat but give them some naval aa.

Post Reply