2018 RA Balance

4/22/2018 Balance Update

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
falter
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Post by falter » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:37 pm

This idea I really like! perhaps a 4cell radius of vision?

I'd also like to see a change with the GPS... I think if you destroy the radar/tech center, then you should have to start the timer again after you rebuild


ZxGanon wrote: Like I once said Id like to represent Naval again like last time (hope Blackened and others join the theorizing):

- giving Sub Pen and Naval Yard scouting vision so you can see submarines camping your door

SirCake
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Post by SirCake » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:05 pm

God damn it ! So sick of hearing "give spen and navyard vision of subs."

THATS TOTALLY USELESS AND CHANGES NOTHING! Fine, now I can see how the subs are in my harbor. But I can still do NOTHING about them locking down naval. Information I cannot use for nothing is useless and implemeting something to get useless information is straight up silly.
You probably also missed that revealed subs still cannot be attacked by anything except by units with anti-sub weapons.
Not to speak of that spen/syrd are probably insta-destroyed from subs firing out of their revelation range... -.-
Please let this shitty proposal die and rest in peace. No insult to anyone intended.


UOE solves this by giving migs, longbows, teslas and gun turrets anti-sub detection and weapons. Thats probably way to ambitious and awkward for release but at least it does change something effectively and is well reasoned...

Check out Dune2k-Advanced on my moddb page!

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:46 pm

How about we just kill navy. It's a nightmare to do work with. It's always going to be wasted assets unless you purposefully force people to go through it by making it a full-on navy map. It was a feature brought into the original Red Alert to spice up the campaign now let's be rid of it.

zinc
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Post by zinc » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:37 pm

Navy is fine imo. Sometimes it will win games for you. Sometimes you will get beaten on land and it makes little practical difference. (Or you lose out for not having invested in land units instead.) So it's quite dynamic in the difference it may or may not make to particular games.

As for subs locking down naval...

Firstly, if you go to subs early, it really hurts your eco, or ability to produce troops early. It's an advantage you have to sacrifice for. So that you do get an advantage out of it, is kind of fair.

Secondly, Soviet don't have any equivalent to destroyers. I have said elsewhere that actually it's too unbalanced in terms of AA, but that Soviets have an ability that Allies don't have, is kind of fair.

To actually break through a sub blockade, map design is a part of it. If you have more enclosed sections of water, you can set up teslas and turrets which will deal heavy damage to any subs that surface.

Also if you have two players working together it's obviously going to help a lot. So repeated naval yards, gunboats, and have helis flying above to target any subs. You can also have engis standing by, to pump them into the naval yards, depending on whether the map position allows that. Build your naval yards, if possible, right next to beech.

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anjew
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Post by anjew » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:27 pm

Something that is often forgotten or not mentioned when I see players discussing naval is that a spy can obtain sonar pulse for the Allied player if the subpen is placed next to the shore.

Would have been a nice addition to Blackened's naval story :p
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zinc
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Post by zinc » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:52 pm

Sonar pulse is hardly seen or used in games, and isn't very useful even if it's actually used.

It really needs to be improved, after hopefully something is done to beef up Soviet naval AA ability.

I would suggest something like sonar pulse being automatically given on a countdown when, say, you have both a radar and naval yard. You could also give extra attack abilities when the sonar pulse is used. So maybe teslas could strike them underwater, or helis could fire on them.

Blackened
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Post by Blackened » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:47 pm

mrj is mobile radar jammer for the record.

Anyways splitting naval discussion to this topic.

I looked into mines a little bit. Upping their spread to that of an arty/v2 and making them immune to their own damage (they already damage other mines in adjacent cells upping the spread tended to detonate the whole batch all at once.) makes them really fun to use. I think it should be looked into a bit more. I think giving them the infantry killing ability of arty but without the building killing/mobility of the former is a great compromise and allows more options that building just tanks or artillery.

Additionally, I looked into the chrono tank change and It really didn't feel too different but would need actual games to experiment with.

SirCake
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Post by SirCake » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:46 am

Hey, another thing you might want to consider Smitty:

The MCV build rate is 25% faster than any other non-T3 unit (infantry, aircraft, ships and vehicles alike). Think about it if this hidden buff is really neccessary. It means the MCV costs only ~1600 in production time equivalence units. (Even more so since the originals price tag was 2500$)

Also the MAD tank together with the nuke truck are the only T3 vehicles which have no 25% production time bonus. In case of nuke truck I can understand that, but MAD tank could recieve this T3 bonus no worries, eliminating an exception from the general rule.

Check out Dune2k-Advanced on my moddb page!

CatGirls420
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Post by CatGirls420 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:29 pm

AA Guns are powered. A 1,000 price tag for a static defense, denying an entire area, killing 10k-20k worth of air units, with a single gun, does not come anywhere close to being balanced. Air units are SUPPOSED to be able to penetrate defensive lines. That where strategy comes into play. Guard areas with aa guns, and have units like rocket soldiers or flaks to cover what the guns dont.

But to watch a single AA Gun destroy 7 yaks....thats just ridiculous.

I mean, I strongly recommend you take a look at my maps. Take a look at the changes I made, and if you have any questions, just ask. I promise theres good reason for everything so if you need clarification I'll happily clarify for you.

From playing these maps with other people, the balance seems much better, and allows more diverse tactics/strategies to be used and allows more creativity.

Here's a link to everyones favorite: Pitfight.
https://resource.openra.net/maps/26372/

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:25 am

Balance update 4/22/18

After hearing some of the feedback over the last few weeks I feel the need to post more frequently to keep people in the loop. I don't know if I'll make this a weekly thing but I'll at post when I have something to talk about.
Lorrydriver wrote: IMO, there's only one problem that makes this game unbearable sometimes. Slow mid-late games including allies. We need to change how artilleries, pillboxes and aa guns work, before we do anything else.
I hear ya.

There are a handful of reasons I've gone with small scale changes to alleviate the situation instead of attempt to do a thorough overhaul of how allies work.

- The pillbox price change was a gigantic change to game balance, and that single change actually brought Allies and Soviets into a happy place in terms of balance vs each other. I fear that changing the core of how Allies works will shatter that balance, probably in the favor of Soviets.

- Overhauls take a heckuva lot of time to prepare and test.

- Overhauls are likely to be pretty controversial

- I've always been a fan of small scale changes

That said, I don't mind the testing of an overhaul that restructures Allies away from the arty/AAgun/Hind/pillbox core that attempts to shoot the moon and fix everthing.
I've enlisted help for making such a playtest, and I believe he'll begin testing soon. If this test....

a) fixes the problems of stale play with AvA,
b) Keeps it to where Allies aren't being steamrolled by Soviets,
c) Isn't so controversial that I can't get it through review,

.... I can see myself agreeing with and implementing an overhaul.



A couple side projects I'm working on...

Per-unit Veterancy Perks

An idea I've been toying with to make veterancy add more flavor to the game (especially to non-infantry units) is to give units abilities on certain ranks that go beyond the standard extra damage and speed. Using conditions, units can be given abilities on certain ranks. For example, the ranger can be given an extra cell of vision on each rank, and the artillery can be given a range boost on elite rank only.

There's quite a lot of possibilities here but it's also important to not get carried away. The main thing about this is that it'll probably require it's own playtest, and every combat unit needs a proper perk for it to make sense. I'll write an update when I get to that point.

ENGI HUSK SALVAGE

Lets talk about the engineer. The engineer currently has two abilities:

1) He touches the side of a building to slowly convert it to your religion (can we get wololo in the engi voice?)

2) He enters a damaged structure where he is promptly sacrificed to the Aztec goddess Chalchiuhtlicue, who then honors the sacrifice by restoring the building to full health and provides bountiful rains for the next year.

After an engineer has completed his primary task of capturing oil derricks, players will either send him on a likely suicide mission to try to sneak capture an important enemy building, or, put him somewhere and completely forget about him for the rest of the game.

I think the engineer could use more tools in his tools box. In this case; a blowtorch.
Engi husk salvage (scrapping) is an idea I've wanted to use for a long time. The idea is simple; using the ExternalCapture trait, the engineer 'captures' the husk of a destroyed vehicle, where it is instead removed from the battlefield and converted into credits.

The two variables for implementation are capture time and amount of credits per husk. I've gone with 5 seconds and 40% of the destroyed vehicle's value (i.e. 800 for a mammoth tank, 280 for a light tank) These values can be altered as needed.

The sad thing about all this is, don't get your hopes up; there's still a major blocker in the way of this being doable. It's currently impossible to use CatureTypes with GivesCashOnCapture, which makes the mechanic husk restore also award the player with money. (I wrote up the engineer part of the post when I thought I might have a shot at fixing the blocker myself. I left it in because I tend to laugh at my own jokes. :lol: )
"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

CatGirls420
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Post by CatGirls420 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:52 am

lol CG420 maps do what a lot of you are talking about, and have been for quite some time (1-2 years)?

If you test the latest (v41) im sure you wont regret it. People especially love the naval balance, aa migs, and other things.

AMHOL
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Post by AMHOL » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:22 am

Blackened wrote: mrj is mobile radar jammer for the record.

Anyways splitting naval discussion to this topic.

I looked into mines a little bit. Upping their spread to that of an arty/v2 and making them immune to their own damage (they already damage other mines in adjacent cells upping the spread tended to detonate the whole batch all at once.) makes them really fun to use. I think it should be looked into a bit more. I think giving them the infantry killing ability of arty but without the building killing/mobility of the former is a great compromise and allows more options that building just tanks or artillery.

Additionally, I looked into the chrono tank change and It really didn't feel too different but would need actual games to experiment with.
I'd use mine layers a lot more if there was some way to mass-lay mines without automatically returning to the service depot once the "ammo" is depleted.

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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:36 am

Smitty wrote: The sad thing about all this is, don't get your hopes up; there's still a major blocker in the way of this being doable.
Feel free to restore hopes: #15072.

Naigel
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Naigel » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:16 pm

Hi guys, I was a long time player who stopped playing OpenRA for some months, so I've skipped some updates. Now that I'm back, I first want to congratulate with the devs for the current faction balance, I see a lot more variety of units used with different play styles, so... thumb up!

There is anyway a change I don't really like. The first post states
Smitty wrote: ...The stance change didn’t ruin the game...
In the few games I've played now (all in multi-player), it seems to me this change has badly affected newbies and average players.
My understanding is that this change should avoid units and defensive structures to be "distracted" by standard structures, so they can focus on counter-attack when necessary. The bad point is that I see a lot of units and defensive structures idling instead of attacking, while players are not entirely aware of this. Especially when a newbie is defending against a player building near his base, it's common to see a barracks never been destroyed despite having the necessary firepower, making easier for the attacking player t recover in peace (or temporary focus on something else), then going on with the attack with the same advantage of a having a structure close to the enemy's base.
Does any other player have noticed this?

Generally I think the balance between faction is already good (despite there is always room for improvements), but I'm suggesting to focus more in the future on making the game more accessible to newbies. OpenRA is a niche game, but this doesn't mean it's not important to make newbie's life easier, otherwise a lots of potential players would drop while trying to improve. There are so many things to handle to became a good player, maybe automatize some mechanism could really help newbies, despite not being the best thing for pro players who generally prefer to control every single aspect of the game (there are anyways other solutions, like a specific setting to define the standard behavior for units and defensive buildings).
What do you think?

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avalach21
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by avalach21 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:13 pm

Naigel wrote: Hi guys, I was a long time player who stopped playing OpenRA for some months, so I've skipped some updates. Now that I'm back, I first want to congratulate with the devs for the current faction balance, I see a lot more variety of units used with different play styles, so... thumb up!

There is anyway a change I don't really like. The first post states
Smitty wrote: ...The stance change didn’t ruin the game...
In the few games I've played now (all in multi-player), it seems to me this change has badly affected newbies and average players.
My understanding is that this change should avoid units and defensive structures to be "distracted" by standard structures, so they can focus on counter-attack when necessary. The bad point is that I see a lot of units and defensive structures idling instead of attacking, while players are not entirely aware of this. Especially when a newbie is defending against a player building near his base, it's common to see a barracks never been destroyed despite having the necessary firepower, making easier for the attacking player t recover in peace (or temporary focus on something else), then going on with the attack with the same advantage of a having a structure close to the enemy's base.
Does any other player have noticed this?

Generally I think the balance between faction is already good (despite there is always room for improvements), but I'm suggesting to focus more in the future on making the game more accessible to newbies. OpenRA is a niche game, but this doesn't mean it's not important to make newbie's life easier, otherwise a lots of potential players would drop while trying to improve. There are so many things to handle to became a good player, maybe automatize some mechanism could really help newbies, despite not being the best thing for pro players who generally prefer to control every single aspect of the game (there are anyways other solutions, like a specific setting to define the standard behavior for units and defensive buildings).
What do you think?
I disagree with your perspective on the auto-attack stance changes. Capturing buildings is an important game mechanic and it shouldn't be assumed that you would want to destroy a non-threatening structure rather than capturing it for your own use. I don't think "dumbing down" some of the most critical game mechanics to make the game play itself for newbies (and play itself in ways that more advanced players who want to try more advanced tactics/strategies may not want) is the best or right way to approach the problem. I think a newbie will quickly see that the non combat enemy structures are not being attacked and will learn that they have to micro their stuff properly in those situations.

I agree that we can always come up with ways to be more accommodating to new players, but I think we should look more into having match making systems or stat-keeping/ranking systems in place rather than altering game mechanics to be noob friendly. Ideally a matchmaking system would have somewhat balanced matchups and if that is something too complex to implement in the somewhat near future, then maybe a simple amount of stat tracking would help so that people can enter into matches with someone who has played a similar amount of games/has a similar win:loss ratio and avoid someone who clearly is way better/way worse than them (or in team games, balance them out so it's 1 good player and 1 noob per team etc.). Also in regards to team games, currently without any sort of matchmaking/stat keeping, maybe some of the better players should make more of an effort not to stack the teams so all their other pro friends are on their team and all the noobs are on the other team, because that is ultimately just a waste of time for everyone and really isn't even that much fun IMO (wow you beat a team of newbs, congrats).

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