2018 RA Balance

4/22/2018 Balance Update

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Sleipnir
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Sleipnir » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:46 am

You gave a pretty clear explanation for why the husk capturing is OP, and this has been long-standing complaint for many years now (especially from players who focus on team games). I understand the psychology here: adding new things is exciting, and removing things makes people sad, but a failed experiment is a failed experiment. Mechanic capturing and hijackers have never worked fairly/properly, and all evidence points to the conclusion that they fundamentally can't be fixed. Is a bit of fun really more important than having a fair and bug-free game?

Printer
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Printer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:57 pm

That would be sad but more I think about it, makes sense to remove Hijacker and husk capture from the Mechanic.

Hijackers Experiment
The games I played using Hijackers for capturing were bittersweet because they are fun but their activity was:
a. "Buggy" as in they'd teleport abit, didn't make the grab until I used an APC to stop the targeted MCV,
b. Seemed out of place (Zorro in Open RA),
c. Though faster than an MCV, can't catch one that's moving (without using something like a wall or MCV to halt them), and
d. When they did capture their targets error messages were generated and enemy teams cried "Cheating" .

Best use of Hijackers I recently saw was Chewey on Stanista. He did this to me more than once sneaking them around my base in APCs I thought were for scouting. However, when successful the error message would still pop up and give away the subterfuge (I wish I had the replay, maybe Chewey does).

Husk Capturing
IMHO that dynamic shouldn't be removed from the game. What about simply extending it to all Engineers, as it is in C&C? I think you should keep husk capturing in the game because it meets the intent of OpenRa; to modernize Red Alert with functionalities from "current" games, not possible in the 90s.

Then again, removing this would make Mammoths stronger (as easy re-capture of their husks makes Mammoths less viable) and prevent allies trading MCVs via force fire for double tech.

That all being said, I feel I am under-qualified to comment more on measures to deal with this though and will be bowing out of the conversation accordingly. The big danger is removing functionality like these threatens the creativity of players, which is the best kind of fun.

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avalach21
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by avalach21 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:52 pm

Sleipnir wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:38 pm
The simpler fix there is to remove husk reviving from the mechanic so that neither side gets it, making it fair.
Sleipnir wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:46 am
You gave a pretty clear explanation for why the husk capturing is OP, and this has been long-standing complaint for many years now (especially from players who focus on team games). I understand the psychology here: adding new things is exciting, and removing things makes people sad, but a failed experiment is a failed experiment. Mechanic capturing and hijackers have never worked fairly/properly, and all evidence points to the conclusion that they fundamentally can't be fixed. Is a bit of fun really more important than having a fair and bug-free game?
Lol I was going to suggest the same thing but I don't want to constantly be the party pooper in every thread asking to revert all of OpenRA's unique changes.. I really do think the mechanic resurrecting husks is a neat concept, even if it does deviate from the original. If this ability is something that people are passionate about leaving as part of the game, and if what Printer is suggesting is actually a balance issue, maybe a compromise would be to have force firing a friendly unit (your own or an allies) not leave a husk.. I expect it would require a bit of coding but probably not an insane amount? Just an idea..

also just want to say that because one team has a strong useful ability doesn't mean the opposing side always needs a matching/similar ability.

eskimo
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by eskimo » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:28 pm

I'd be extremely sad if the mechanic could no longer recover husks, i think it's quite situational in 1vs1s, and generally we don't see mechanics being used to support tanks. The same applies to hijackers i feel. I'm of the opinion removing or changing these units currently won't help balance. As an example, different but still applies, Sovs can IC their Abomb and Iron Curtain upon nuke launches, this has had little impact to the outcome of team games or 1vs1s as far as i can tell.

Nice to see an update on the site today, was quite unexpected, but welcomed.

Regarding the changes on the update log, i'd be happy to try a Hind switch, but really dislike the implications of it. There's going to be a LOT of work to be done if it's going to be tested. You'd have to bring the a new scout/line of sight unit to help allies at radar tech. Bringing the Longbow to radar tech could result in a big imbalance and over powering allies.

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Sleipnir
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Sleipnir » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:04 pm

My preferred solution for husk capturing used to be moving it to engineers, but that idea was rejected as not making sense considering RA has a specific mechanic unit. If opinions have changed on that then I agree it would be a better to move it than remove it.

The biggest issue IMO with one-sided husk capturing is that it allows Allies players in team games (with a cooperative soviet teammate) to unlock both factions technology with little risk, while soviet players have no such option. This goes a bit deeper than asymmetry, IMO. Resetting the MCV faction on capture would be inconsistent with the way that engineers work, so I don't think that works as an alternative solution.

The idea with the news post was to poll wider opinions on all of the gameplay changes, not just Hinds. Hinds are a very complicated issue, and i'm personally only mildly bothered by them (I focused on them because it is one of the biggest complaints from the wider community). My own pet peeves have always been bounties, engineers, and people asserting that OpenRA has no obligation to try and be faithful to the original games. C&C Rivals shows what is IMO the logical conclusion of that mindset, wrapping a C&C flavored skin around a very different type of "game".

Printer
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Printer » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:24 am

-Sorry- I said I was bowing out but...

I always got the sense Open RA was like a Venn Diagram linking: Modernization, Nostalgia, and Balance.

The Engineer husk capture IMO overlaps Modernization and Balance goals, not really messing with Nostalgia as there never was a unit with this function in the first place. However, Mechanics capturing Husks does mess with Nostalgia, because their actual role (Repairing Vehicles) has been nerfed in-light of their new role (Husk Reclamation).

Perhaps Allies could use Mechanics as well as engineers and they'd still have a tiny advantage (having (2) husk capture-rs), but it wouldn't be an imbalance. What I really see as good about this is the new viability of Engineers for later game use, and hope the Engineer Husk Capture will be approved.

camundahl
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by camundahl » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:41 am

I agree with taking the mechanic husk capture feature away and giving it to the engineer. I've felt that way for a while now. Either that or give both sides mechanics.

eskimo
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by eskimo » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:35 pm

Sleipnir wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:04 pm
The idea with the news post was to poll wider opinions on all of the gameplay changes, not just Hinds. Hinds are a very complicated issue, and i'm personally only mildly bothered by them (I focused on them because it is one of the biggest complaints from the wider community). My own pet peeves have always been bounties, engineers, and people asserting that OpenRA has no obligation to try and be faithful to the original games. C&C Rivals shows what is IMO the logical conclusion of that mindset, wrapping a C&C flavored skin around a very different type of "game".
Taking a pessimistic outlook, if the Hind were moved over, could we then see an outcry for Tanya and the Demo truck being made available for Soviets, faction specific bonuses coming back?

When I came back to C&C I asked on the ORA Facebook what was the difference between CNCnet and ORA, i didn't actually get a response but it doesn't matter. It was Fiveaces' casts that brought me here. At the time i literally couldn't see that much difference between ORA and RA going by my memories, but knew it was kinda different with base building area and oil derricks. I had previously played RA2 on CNCnet just before this but found it underwhelming as the competitive side didn't seem to exist anymore, games were easy. Upon playing ORA i found it really challenging and i don't recall anything standing out as weird. The loss of faction benefits i didn't really notice until later on, and the Hind never stood out until i started reading on the forums about such differences. After noticing the Hijacker, i got it in my head that the Thief was actually a Soviet unit. Floating back to Red Alert Archive i've still been taken back how different ORA and original RA really are. The only thing that i remember being a kick in the teeth was the loss of SSM in TD as TD never had a skirmish mode so being able to play with that unit again was something i was really looking forward to.

Point of the story, the nostalgia is still there and RA offers the memories that i sought to relive. TD on the other hand, not so much.

I'm just concerned you could potentially loose your team gamers player base which is the majority by changing up things that currently work fine, for the sake of a less than 10 people shouting the loudest. I also would the M.A.D tank to be better :D

eskimo
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by eskimo » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:42 pm

Sleipnir wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:04 pm
The biggest issue IMO with one-sided husk capturing is that it allows Allies players in team games (with a cooperative soviet teammate) to unlock both factions technology with little risk, while soviet players have no such option. This goes a bit deeper than asymmetry, IMO. Resetting the MCV faction on capture would be inconsistent with the way that engineers work, so I don't think that works as an alternative solution.
I forgot to comment on this. I feel this tends to be in isolated games where 2 IRL friends plan a strat on a chokey map vs 2 random players. The better skilled regular allying team players tend to choose opposing factions to benefit themselves for chrono+IC shenanigans rather than not. I rarely if ever see these players even going for the strategy you stated. The even higher skilled players tend to just go Any faction as they can often outplay the opponents cheese strats through map presence. The people who really want to play double tech have altered maps to start with a neutral con yard near the spawns to offer this.

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Sleipnir
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Sleipnir » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:58 pm

eskimo wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:35 pm
Taking a pessimistic outlook, if the Hind were moved over, could we then see an outcry for Tanya and the Demo truck being made available for Soviets, faction specific bonuses coming back?
Evidence to date strongly points to no. In all my years I can’t remember any specific complaints about these, let alone anything near the level of complaints that has simmered over the years regarding hinds.
eskimo wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:35 pm
The only thing that i remember being a kick in the teeth was the loss of SSM in TD as TD never had a skirmish mode so being able to play with that unit again was something i was really looking forward to.
Evidence suggests that there are a lot of players who see hinds as the kick in the teeth that breaks their nostalgia, while they may be happy with or not notice the other changes.

Anyway... who cares about the SSM? It was only available later campaign missions, and it overlapped too much with artillery. It’s new role is central to TDs gameplay, and it would be stupid to change it back and ruin all of the work that has gone into the meta. Learn how to play, and you will understand and enjoy the change. <- reading this, can you maybe empathise with how those people might feel when reading comments saying how we should immediately drop any discussion about changing hinds?

eskimo
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by eskimo » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:47 pm

Well this kinda spells it out really, you've got people with various views who all differ, and my story is only but one.

I play TD occassionally, but RA is my preference and understand it works hence not rocking the boat about the SSM or multi build tabs.

You've just said it yourself regarding the biggest issue (but towards TD), the game works so why throw away that balance. I feel RA is in the same boat, but feel RA should work towards improving on what's already there, ie, naval.

As i said before, i'll playtest a Hind move if it comes into official fuition.

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Sleipnir
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Sleipnir » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:02 pm

For the record, my comments about the SSM were made up, to reflect the tone of discussion I see regarding hinds. They don't reflect my feelings on the topic — while its true that it doesn't bother me, but I want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy OpenRA, and think that there is no excuse for belittling their opinions or pretending that the current way is the only way.

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anjew
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by anjew » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:14 pm

There is basically 3 options to fix the husk capture imbalance.
1. Give capturing to engineer only
2. Give mechanic to all sides
3. Completely remove it
eskimo wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:42 pm
I feel this tends to be in isolated games where 2 IRL friends plan a strat on a chokey map vs 2 random players. The better skilled regular allying team players tend to choose opposing factions to benefit themselves for chrono+IC shenanigans rather than not. I rarely if ever see these players even going for the strategy you stated.
And its true its hardly ever used but if a 2v2 game heads into late game territory, having 1 player on double tech is massive advantage. Id put my money on the team that has 2 iron curtains vs 1 iron curtain

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Inq
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Inq » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:42 am

4. Give capturing to engineer & mechanic

In my mod I made all husks crushable with tanks, that way you can deny captures. (Not sure if offical oRA still only has the Mammoth being able to crush them.)

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Materianer
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Re: 2018 RA Balance

Post by Materianer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:12 am

5. Remove bugged Hijacker and add Thief unit from original game wich can rubber husks and steal money like the spy. He could also get a cloak and maybe a pistol.
That way you could hit several birds with one stone.
This would also reduce the imbalance a spy is causing with moneystealing in big ffa games.

Moneystealing would be harder with the thief because he has no disguise-ability and maybe his speed should be reduced a bit to make it not so easy to steal.
Inq wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:42 am
4. Give capturing to engineer & mechanic

In my mod I made all husks crushable with tanks, that way you can deny captures. (Not sure if offical oRA still only has the Mammoth being able to crush them.)
Thats also a nice idea.

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