Balance thread for release 20190314

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Smitty
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Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by Smitty » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:05 pm

This will be a general balance thread for the current release cycle. What we're looking for from you, dear readers, is feedback on the state of balance for this release. I expect to see several opinions on hijackers and opportunity fire, but feel free to write down other ideas as well. I'll keep a running list and go from there. GET TO THEORYCRAFTING!

My personal balance list is short and nebulous. These ideas are more personal musings and not something you should 100% expect in a future playtest:

1. Have the Mobile Gap Generator 'leave' shroud against the opponent as it moves. Mobile Gap Generators are on the (Now shorter!) list of unused units in ORA. The unit is actually counter productive as it tells your opponent exactly where the MGG is. A common suggestion I've seen is to remove the shroud creation of the unit but leave the sight reduction it gives the enemy. The counter-argument to this is that shroud creation from the gap generator and MGG is heavily rooted in Red Alert lore (even in some mission videos) and removing shroud takes us too far away from the source.
The idea behind shroud leaving is that it will allow a player to cover their frozen actors and will put the burden of memory on their opponent.

2. Make shock troopers uncrushable. This was a feature of the shock trooper in the original, and might be worth looking into. With opportunity fire, tanks are more powerful than ever, and while I don't want to return shockies to melt everything status, uncrushable troops vs a large tank army would make both players think more on how they want to engage that situation.

3. Overhaul the MAD tank. I've seen plenty of ideas on this, and what I've been able to gather is that the M.A.D. must retain one core feature: Mutually Assured Destruction. While the frequently submitted EMP idea is cool, it doesn't fit the narrative. My suggestion is to A) remove the self destruct from the unit B) give the shockwave weapon repeat use on a long cooldown, and a range of 15-20 cells. C) Make the shockwave hit buildings only, but buildings of all players.
This, in theory, would make the MAD tank a vehicle you would put out in the open to siege down your enemy, especially along flanks. MAD tanks would need to be protected by a army but couldn't accompany a base crawl.

There are some feasibility issues with ideas 1 and 3 but I'd like to hear feedback before acting on them.

Anyhow, this doesn't work without feedback, so leave your ideas below! (Or discord if I'm paying attention)

Edit: Forgot to list an old idea of mine. Spies should be able to infiltrate the Soviet tech center for a production option, and thieves should be able to infiltrate the Allied tech center for a production option. I'm thinking Chrono Tank and Telsa Tank atm. I think this would need something like a InfiltrateForProductionOption trait to pull off.
___

Running idea list:

- Have the Mobile Gap Generator 'leave' shroud against the opponent as it moves.
- Make shock troopers uncrushable.
- Make MAD tank reusable, and only have it damage buildings.
- Reduce Hind health by a small amount.
- Reduce Tesla Tank health by a small amount.
- Reduce Mammoth Tank tusk missile range by at least a cell to compensate for opportunity fire.
- Increase light tank range to match the other tanks.
- Rework GPS to a pulsing support power on a timer. (We could use the never-seen sonar scan icon for this!)
- Reduce Iron Curtain duration by up to 20%
- Rework nation special units/abilities to make them more interesting.
- Add fake tent and fake refinery.
- Spies infiltrate Soviet Tech Center for plans to Tesla Tank, and Thieves infiltrate Allied Tech Center for plans to Chrono Tank.
- Give Attack Dogs slow health regeneration.
- Move Thief to Radar Dome prerequisite from Service Depot.
Last edited by Smitty on Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:51 am, edited 5 times in total.

lawANDorder
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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by lawANDorder » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:55 am

Interesting ideas! I'm always scared when playing oregardens (yes I enjoy that!) and the enemy team builds a wall of GG's and an army of MGG's and the only thing you know is that Tanya is waiting for you somewhere there in the darkness... So I don't think it's on that list of unused units but can understand it is not as effective in 1v1. Making MGGs leave permanent shroud sounds scary, but interesting. Perhaps it could leave a trail of shroud that disappears after some time?

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WhoCares
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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by WhoCares » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:16 am

If the mgg proves to be too annoying/effective after first tests with what he does, he can be balanced by reducing his shrouding radius so it takes longer to "re shroud" zones.

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Smitty
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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by Smitty » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:37 pm

lawANDorder wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:55 am
Making MGGs leave permanent shroud sounds scary, but interesting. Perhaps it could leave a trail of shroud that disappears after some time?
It would disappear when scouted, and wouldn't be re-shrouded until the MGG covers it again.

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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by lawANDorder » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:50 pm

Smitty wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:37 pm
lawANDorder wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:55 am
Making MGGs leave permanent shroud sounds scary, but interesting. Perhaps it could leave a trail of shroud that disappears after some time?
It would disappear when scouted, and wouldn't be re-shrouded until the MGG covers it again.
Right. Let's test it and see how it works I'd say.

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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by Orb » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm

Shroud Generation: I still think this implementation would be bad game design. What does it encourage from the user?

1. Constant movement to cover your base. This is mundane, tedious, and distracts from the main game. (Mass Fabricators in Supcom 2 are also tedious for this same reason)

2. There is no feedback where you have shrouded previously.

3. There is no feedback of what shroud your opponent has scouted.

4. Doesn't solve the problem you stated of opponents knowing where the MGG is.

One problem is the MGG costs a whopping 1.2k, whereas the static Gap Generator is 800. Considering building an MGG would also take away from your army production (unlike Gap Generator), this makes it a far less attractive option. I think in general Gap Generators are effective for their costs, and it's more the MGG needs to be brought in line.

Reducing the cost to 950/1k would be a good starting point I think.

Shock Troopers: I've already touched on this on Discord, but in general this would split the role/identity of the unit (weapon is strong vs infantry, weak vs tanks, but yet is uncrushable?). I think Shock Troopers would need to be retooled into an anti-tank role for this to work (Like the Tesla Troopers in RA2).

I think this has a few benefits. This streamlines the "Tesla" weapon, by making all variants of it (Tesla Coil, Tesla Tank, Shock Troopers) more effective against tanks than infantry. It also let's us stop "tip toeing" around the Tesla Trooper issue. For example: I can not nerf Artillery/Hind too heavily without risking Allies having no recourse to Shocky spam.

To achieve this retool, I think a few things would need to be tested. One less range (6C -> 5C). This would give it the same range as Rifles/Rockets. Less rate of fire (RoF). Higher anti-heavy (or maybe just higher base damage in general).

It would still retain the iconic one shot on infantry, but with 1 less range and less RoF it would be much less effective vs them. However, the higher alpha damage would give it a much better time vs vehicles in combination of preventing crushes. It would be more of a "bruiser" unit, getting in close and shocking anything in range. It would also be fairly effective vs defenses with this in mind. It could also regain the health it lost a few patches ago.

MAD: I'm against any change that involves removing the self-destruct, as I feel that's what makes the unit unique/interesting. It'd be like removing tusk missiles from the Mammoth tank and giving it higher anti-tank damage. Sure, maybe it's balanced as a big tank, but it's not nearly as interesting. Maybe removing the ability to superweapon it would give us more wiggle room for balancing (right now we can't, for example, buff the damage/range a lot because people would just chronosphere/iron curtain it into bases in team games).

-------------------
Balance Problems with Fire on the Move:

Ranger/Flak Truck:

Have become incredibly powerful in the early game. Whocares has tried to use flak truck spam and got surprisingly good results, but still ultimately lost. As players get better at using these units it might turn into a problem. For now I think they're fine, and players still need time to adapt.

Mammoth Tank:

Casual players have already caught onto how strong these are, which probably indicates they're in a bad spot. For those who don't know, firing on the move (opportunity fire) allows mammoth tanks to shoot while retreating, making the low speed/turret rotation a much smaller disadvantage.

I've got a few ideas on how to balance this. One problem is, well, their ability to retreat. Their speed is only slightly (50 vs 59) slower than infantry, meaning infantry are killed before they can catch up. This has also caused weird behaviors such as rocket soldiers seemingly firing on the move. By reducing the tank's speed, it would make kiting less effective and commitment to battle more serious.

Another problem is their Tusk Missile. It's got a whopping 8c0 range, 3c0 higher than a rocket soldier. For comparison, a Tesla Coil has 8c512 range and tank shells have about 5c0. One way to balance it would be to reduce this range (1c0, maybe even 1c5).

Finally, you can always just adjust the cost. If we want this to be just an "Epic Tank" with insane stats, we can adjust the cost to compensate. For example, moving the cost to 2.5k.

Tesla Tanks:

I'll eat my words, I said opportunity fire wouldn't effect this unit much. And honestly, I don't think it has. BUT, flak trucks got a massive buff, which makes assaulting these units with air (their main counter) significantly harder.

One problem is that one aircraft (hind/yak) does not have enough ammo to kill 1 tesla tank. This means, often times you will wound rather than kill Tesla tanks, allowing them to escape and repair.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... 000464.png

This would only require a very small health reduction, maybe 5-10%.


---------------
Future Ideas:

For general improvement that may not work, and not in response to any specific issues introduced by this patch.

Hind Health Reduction: Hinds just barely survive after 4 rocket shots. This makes them surprisingly resistant to rocket soldiers. Slightly reducing the health (5-10%) would make them less dominant in Allies mirrors, while not affecting their effectiveness vs Soviets much. We could roll back the cost increase if this was put through, for example.

Light Tank Range Increase: Smitty put forth this idea recently, and I think it has some merit. At the time, I didn't realize Light Tanks had LESS range than a normal tank. This might be deliberate, and important in keeping the light vehicle balance in check, but for now with the dominance of flak trucks/rangers it might be worth looking into.

Allies Subfactions: Cheaper Spies, and to a lesser extent German Chronosphere, are (sorry) kind of lazy abilities that could be better. Ideas are open on what to replace these with. Some I've heard: Snipers, Chrono-Vortex ability

GPS: GPS is a weird thing where it's OP in team games and non-existent in 1vs1's because games never last that long. I still propose it'd be move to a sort of "super spy plane" ability, being on a shorter cooldown but only lasts for a short amount of time (think Detention Center in CnC Generals, or Satellite Hack in Zero:Hour).

Iron Curtain: As I believe Smitty has proposed before, IC kind of lasts a bit too long, making it sort of a no brainer. If put on a shorter duration, it would require more planning when to use (rather than just triggering it and running in),and require more danger close use cases. Since the Chronosphere duration was reduced by 20% this patch anyway, these abilities could match again by reducing the IC duration by 20%.
Last edited by Orb on Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ZxGanon
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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by ZxGanon » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:18 pm

We already got a small collection of nice ideas here but Id also like to partake.

FiveAces and I (with his streaming community) were discussing possible new changes that would be benefitial for RA1.
As Orb said the rework of the Subfactions (mainly Allies) seems to be necessary atm. Most faction specific "specials" ar ejust lame and lazy so and are so weak that these faction became unviable for competitive play.

I will make it short and just write down the changes for Allies we had in mind:

Allies in General:
- All Allies getting the German Chronosphere (13 cells of teleportation value) to compensate against the fearsome Iron Curtain and also to wield and awesome and strong tool in lategame
- Reducing the cost of Longbows a bit from 2000$ to 1750$ to again buff Allies lategame potential and also unlocking more options against heavy armored vehicles

England:
- England removing the special spy and providing the with the normal spy all Allies share but giving them the ability to either build snipers or unlock that old ability that drops 2 snipers via Radar Dome
- England reducing the cost of the MGG since he is not worth 1350$ at all

Germany:
- Germany receiving the Chrono-Vortex as an ability (either unlocked with Tech Center or Chronosphere) that locks down a certain area dealing (small) damage over time and maybe even slowing units

France:
- France is actually (in my opinion) the best subfaction choice and they are fine as they are

Also I like the idea of making Tesla Troopers uncrushable. It would really provide them with a neat feature no infantry unit has atm.

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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by eskimo » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:58 pm

Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
Shock Troopers:
I think Shockies being anti heavy would be a nice test. Uncrushable becomes very sensitive balance wise though. The Phase is already pretty derpy thanks to previous buffs to anti stealth.
Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
MAD: I'm against any change that involves removing the self-destruct,
That, but also:
MADs being a support unit to a blob could be interesting, and an alternative to winning an engagement through the use of IC. Have the MAD as a 1 only on battlefield and doesn't effect friendlies, and it reduces vehicles/buildings by a percentage. With range or detonation timing tweaking to accommodate.
The iconic screen shake needs to stay imo. People liked the chrono vortex, i feel this is the same.

Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
Balance Problems with Fire on the Move:
Mammoth Tank:
Finally, you can always just adjust the cost. If we want this to be just an "Epic Tank" with insane stats, we can adjust the cost to compensate. For example, moving the cost to 2.5k.
I feel that a Mammoth cost increase would be justified as the tank is a nice support unit, and performs well currently as is. The kiting is a insane though. The bigger the tank, the better the outcome was for Opportunity Fire. When the Mammoth is nice as is, a price increase is the most sensible option that shouldn't effect other balances around it. A higher Mammoth cost may cause a welcomed indirect buff to the Phase as mentioned above.
Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
Tesla Tanks:
This would only require a very small health reduction, maybe 5-10%.
I've never personally seen anyone mop up Tesla Tanks with ease, even when using the so called counter of air. So health nerfs to these again justified imo, and not changing speed or fire rate still allows high micro players to put this tank to good use.

Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
Hind Health Reduction: Hinds just barely survive after 4 rocket shots. This makes them surprisingly resistant to rocket soldiers. Slightly reducing the health (5-10%) would make them less dominant in Allies mirrors, while not affecting their effectiveness vs Soviets much. We could roll back the cost increase if this was put through, for example.
I think that's the wrong direction. Anything that kills them well (which is everything but rockets), will carry on doing so with more efficiency. Which reduces Allies' viable options.
Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
Light Tank Range Increase: Smitty put forth this idea recently, and I think it has some merit. At the time, I didn't realize Light Tanks had LESS range than a normal tank. This might be deliberate, and important in keeping the light vehicle balance in check, but for now with the dominance of flak trucks/rangers it might be worth looking into.
This is the best suggestion i've heard about the light tank put forward. I can't think of any repercussions from this right now, so definitely worth a shot. I'm inclined to think that it might not even make any difference to play.
Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
Allies Subfactions: Cheaper Spies, and to a lesser extent German Chronosphere, are (sorry) kind of lazy abilities that could be better. Ideas are open on what to replace these with. Some I've heard: Snipers, Chrono-Vortex ability
YES, this. Allies need to have some fan support. Who picks Allies thinking, "damn i'm going to do some Longbow, MGG, Chrono" antics, they don't. People like Allies i think due to the ranger, med tank, and hind. Oh and player the arty spam game ofcourse. I made a post in discord about the sniper before. The Sniper can be an anti tanya, anti thief, a scout (cloaked), some other things i forgot what i wrote. I have no idea what chrono vortex is, but sounds better than waiting 9mins until a GPS pops so i can chrono shift your things my way. (or vehicles into water?!!!!1111, like OG)
Bringing MGG, MRJ (with balance change) into T2 would help allies be more fun and add variety.
Scenario: if allies has 2x MGGs, which one has the army under it? You don't know cause i went T2 and you didn't sucka.
Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
GPS: GPS is a weird thing where it's OP in team games and non-existent in 1vs1's because games never last that long. I still propose it'd be move to a sort of "super spy plane" ability, being on a shorter cooldown but only lasts for a short amount of time (think Detention Center in CnC Generals, or Satellite Hack in Zero:Hour).
If the GPS wasn't so strong the timer could be reduced. It isn't just strong because it shows everything on the map, it's strong because you can't go kill the thing when there's more than one. AA guns protecting this thing are insane. If you could kill that timer off realistically things may be more dynamic. I'm suggesting an AA fix here inline with fixing Allies overall. Shorter timer, easier to kill TC, single TC only per player (france indirect buff here). This can also be streamlined with MGG usage.
Orb wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:35 pm
Iron Curtain: As I believe Smitty has proposed before, IC kind of lasts a bit too long, making it sort of a no brainer. If put on a shorter duration, it would require more planning when to use (rather than just triggering it and running in),and require more danger close use cases. Since the Chronosphere duration was reduced by 20% this patch anyway, these abilities could match again by reducing the IC duration by 20%.
I think the fact that IC requires planning to use due to the IC on moving vehicle is bugged to hell, it limits the positive variety and tactical usage of the IC and Chrono. If you could hotkey your T3 weapon correctly you'd see more impressive usage out of the things. But right now i think it's not very dynamic, but share your opinion on time changes. The MAD as mentioned above could be a sideliner to the IC also.



If ORA wants to overhaul allies, i think Hind + Chinook to Soviet could work, but until then the arty spam is going to stay, maps being stagnant, and naval a rude word.


Everyone having access to German chrono is a nice bandaid (imo) fix until the above bugs got fixed. A lot of team players religiously go Germany for the ADV chrono.

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WhoCares
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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by WhoCares » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:09 am

I have read each detailed post so I'll just state with what i agree and commentate the rest.

Running idea list:
- Have the Mobile Gap Generator 'leave' shroud against the opponent as it moves.
- Make MAD tank reusable, and only have it damage buildings.
- Reduce Hind health by a small amount.
- Reduce Tesla Tank health by a small amount.
- Reduce Mammoth Tank tusk missile range by at least a cell to compensate for opportunity fire.
- Increase light tank range to match the other tanks.

I'm ok/look forward all those

- Rework GPS to a pulsing support power on a timer. (We could use the never-seen sonar scan icon for this!)

yes but :
[*]Personal Building timer before the satellite is launched from tech center and before support power becomes available for the first time. Possibility to tech tier 3 secretly !
[*]Public timer before each use or global sounds when used.

- Rework nation special units/abilities to make them more interesting.
[*] german chrono for everybody YES !

- Reduce Iron Curtain duration by up to 20%
There is a "small possibility" of a rework of how unit are selected by chrono/IC for the next release. to make it short just gather the vehicle in a circle, no more need for the tedious cross formation. If so, I'm for a reduction of timing. If not, i would like to keep the time as it is. Lots of time you are forced to do the formation out of siege weapon range means you have to travel that distance before your IC starts to be useful.

- Make shock troopers uncrushable.
As discussed on discord, an uncrushable unit, block an entire cell. put 4 other infantry in that cell they become uncrushable as the tank will avoid that cell. Mix them smartly in an army and you have an army that has no need to scatter and will mess with path finding for tanks. Shookie will be built even rushed to make your army uncrushable and with lighting effect as a bonus.

My own proposal for shock trooper is a total different approach. can be playtested and discarded if not appreciated :
- Raising price and stats to make a "super infantry" unit type
- Uncrushable but can't stack more than one per cell. So they don't make other unit uncrushable and can't be mixed so easily with armies. can't stack them in few space to have a deadly concentration of power.

Other point, PChote raised one solution acceptable for "hind to soviet". :
the idea was to replace the hind on allies with a new helicopter that has exactly the same stats but new artwork and a new name
and then the Hind would go back to Soviets as a transport built from the airfield with a token gun
I personally don't care about who has the hind but any new feature/unit appeals me so without going through the whole idea, could we test the transport hind to soviet without changing anything else ?

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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by Edi(son Coil) » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:22 pm

I just want to share my suggestion to improve naval gameplay.

Main issue:

The main problem with navel is the defence of naval yard/sub pen because you can't use other units or base defenses effectively.

Idea:

Create a building zone of the width of a sam site surrounding the naval yard/sub pen which also is accessable by units, but attackable by submarines (only unit which can only attack naval structures and units).


Things that would have to change:

Submarines must be able to attack the new area.

The spawn point of the naval structure has to be rearranged, so it doesn't get blocked by units or base defenses.

________
I hope, there is anything useful in this idea.
Last edited by Edi(son Coil) on Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by FiveAces » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:29 pm

Great timing for another balance thread! I've been musing about some changes both on and off stream, and here's what I came up with:

Identifying RA's issues:

The current iteration of OpenRA has definitely been a great leap forward for balance.
The way I see it, there are only four core issues left:

1. Several units are underutilized due to them either underperforming or not fulfilling a useful role in the game.

2. Some Faction choices are underwhelming due to some faction traits being generic and others being outright useless.

3. Soviet versus Allies balance is slightly skewed in favour of Soviets at the moment; especially the strength of the IC factors in here.

4. Naval gameplay is still imbalanced - this is imo outside of the scope for this balance thread and I won't touch on it here.


Issues number 1,2 and 3 feed into each other. There have been lots of fruitful balance discussions here and on the discord,
so I'll try and illustrate my opinions on how we could tackle these issues, one unit at a time:

Light tank:
With some infantry support, they are easily outclassed by Flak trucks and get pinged from outside their range. As Orb has correctly stated, their low range makes it extremely hard to catch up to Flaks without going full Melee; I wholeheartedly agree with a 1 cell range buff.

GPS Satellite:
Right now, this is a completely binary support power: It does absolutely nothing for seven minutes (besides painting a giant target on your tech center), then flips a switch and turns into a gamebreaking global passive. In higher levels of play, you have usually either lost or won the game by the time your GPS is up; in low level teamgames, this makes Allies a must-pick because scouting is a capital offense.
I'd suggest a complete rework: Drop the globally visible cooldown to make Allied T3 rushes possible without alerting everyone within a 3-server range to your intentions (don't worry, Tanya's global taunt is going to give it away in time!); turn it into an activateable support power that does the same thing the current GPS does on a 3-minute cooldown, make it last for 30 seconds. This turns it into a strategical tool in your arsenal that can be used to spot pushes or set up your own flanks/Chronoshifts onto unguarded infrastructure.

Chronosphere:
Right now, the Chronosphere just feels weaker than its Soviet counterpart. Catching moving enemy vehicles fails more often than not, and your own units won't shift if the landing zone is obstructed. My suggestion is to give the German Chronosphere to all factions. Yes, up to 13 tanks shifting in all at once is a scary proposition, but so is the thought of five invincible Tesla Tanks crushing a platoon's worth of infantry while zapping all your artilleries to pieces. Establishing the Chrono as a force to be reckoned with should be the prime directive here. This would take a faction trait away from Germany, but more on that later.

Mobile Gap Generator:
Let's face it, the only reason anyone would build them is to conceal the fact that they chose a terrible faction in a thick cloud of smoke. Some years ago, I proposed reworking it into a mobile stealth generator, but that was too outlandish for most players and didn't garner the best feedback. Recently though, Pchote brought up that concealing units via gap should be possible. I think we should explore this idea: Make the fog emitted by the MGG completely cover units unless they open fire or an enemy is in an adjacent cell. This would open some interesting gameplay options with either mixing in support units (radar jammers would be amazing, they could stay super safe unless they get out of position and end up next to an enemy unit) or putting an army on Hold Fire stance for an ambush. I dislike the idea of making it reshroud the map, it's just busywork with no tangible benefit that doesn't create any real gameplay.

Shock Trooper:
Their main problem is less the balancing and more how bland they are. As others have pointed out, making them uncrushable would introduce a plethora of problems from creating uncrushable armies due to the infantry stacking mechanic to making them a hardcounter to Chrohoshifts and Ctanks (an obstructed landing cell will make the unit not shift, and a shift failing due to a Shockie is very unintuitive). The original RA had them as low range "bruisers" with high health. I'd like to see this playtested in OpenRA: Cost up to $500, upping their health considerably and range down; traded off for a big base damage increase. This would make them scary units that can take and dish out some punishment, but at the cost of their ridiculous snowballing against infantry.

Tesla Tank:
They are one of the most mobile units in the game and can zap anything from outside its range; I'll go out on a limb and state they don't need a high health pool to complement that. Health down by 10-15%.

Mammooth Tank:
In the wake of the (very welcome) opportunity fire changes, some tanks got buffed more than others; needless to say Mammies profited the most. Rather than tackling their combat stats, I'd just tone their mobility down a notch - Speed down by 10%, turret rotation down by 20% to offset opportunity fire. Also, while we're at it we might consider removing the arbitrary stealth detection trait.

MAD tank:
This is the big one. No other unit in OpenRA deserves a complete rework more than this abomination. The idea I had 2 years ago but lacked the coding skills to properly implement was as follows: Keep the base idea of a self-damaging earthquake tank, but make it a unit that takes skill to use. How so? First off, it can now deploy and undeploy. A deployed MAD tank will start pumping out shockwaves, but be damaged in the process (around 3% health per second). Shockwaves will affect all actors, foe and friend alike (keeping in line with the theme of mutually assured destruction), in a ~9 cell range: Buildings will take continuous damage; vehicles will be slowed and infantry will go prone. To counteract self-destruction, one would have to unsiege the MAD before it blows up. An undeployed tank would start regenerating health out of combat (again, around 3% per second). This would turn it into a siege unit that can singlehandedly push down bases when supported and used properly. One more interesting trait would be that it can't be used in conjunction with basepushes (since it will, well, level your own base), which promotes army-centric gameplay.

Chrono Vortex:
The German Chronosphere should in my opinion be given to all Allied factions; in lieu of that I propose a new support power. The Vortex would require a tech center, have a 5 minute cooldown and act as a zone denial tool. It could be placed anywhere on the map and would spawn an anomaly that slowly damages all actors in a ~5 cell radius. Infantry would have around 5-6 seconds to get out of the way lest they perish, tanks would last around 15 seconds and buildings survive (powerplants would go down to 1/3 health). Rather than Ukraine's instant bruteforce support, this would be used for crowd control and to force an opponent into a bad engagement to get out of the zone.

Faction changes:

Right now, some factions (Sorry, England!) require an overhaul. Here's my proposal on how to rework the faction traits:

France:
-Phase Transport: Great unit, no changes required.
-Fake structures: Pretty decent now that they can chain off each other, no change required.

Germany:
-Chronotank: Best unit in the game hands down, no change required.
-Advanced Chronosphere: Given to all Allied factions; as a replacement I propose the Chrono Vortex.

England:
-Mobile Gap Generator: Reworked, see above.
-British Spy: This is the most generic of faction traits, and I don't like it one bit. I'd replace it with the Sniper drop.

Ukraine:
-Parabombs: Someone has mentioned a PR on directional superweapons - I'll pray for its completion.
-Demo Truck: Demo Truck best truck. No change required.

Russia:
-Shock Troopers: Reworked, see above.
-Tesla Tanks: Health nerfed, see above.


Thanks for reading through this wall of text; let me know what you think of it!

If time allows it, I'll hack together a map pack with all these playtest changes.
Last edited by FiveAces on Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Smitty
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:33 am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by Smitty » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:24 pm

Lots of love for the sniper drop so far; I'm not the one you need to convince though. I abandoned the idea due to a likely veto on the matter.

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WhoCares
Posts: 287
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:28 pm

Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by WhoCares » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:20 pm

I forgot a point, we need fake rax and fake ref.

In 1V1, misleading your opponent by covering your real build order can be a true weapon. As the game essentially rely on macro, misleading scouts by having a fake rax can protect a risky build order. Misleading a scout by having fake ref can be a nice trick too.

I Strongly want fake rax and fake ref implemented, they are for me even more important than other fake structures.
Last edited by WhoCares on Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Punsho
Posts: 39
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Location: Lithuania

Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by Punsho » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:18 pm

Just testing out ideas, made some balance maps maps
Here's the notes and custom maps

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_Il ... sp=sharing
Last edited by Punsho on Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:51 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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Orb
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:05 pm

Re: Balance thread for release 20190314

Post by Orb » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:24 pm

Glad there's a lot of support for the temporary GPS idea.

I had a discussion with Pchote and we think it would work best like this:

Tech Center is built, hidden countdown on satellite. Satellite is launched (global sound). Then, an ability is granted on the radar dome that lets you activate the GPS ability temporarily. After satellite launch, if you have a radar dome, this ability would be fully charged for the first use. Since the ability is tied to the radar dome you no longer need a tech center to use GPS after satellite launch.

I tested temporary GPS in the past with Allies Overhaul, and the numbers I found that worked best were 4:30 minute cooldown, and 16s active time.
In this instance, probably best just to have the satellite construction time and ability cooldown the same time (4:30).

Optional: A global countdown on the radar dome attached ability. This would let opponent's know when it's up or not (and whether they should flank attack). There's also some discussion on re-purposing an unused soundbite to indicate activation.

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