Red Alert Overhaul (third Soviet faction, Uzbekistan)

A complete overhaul of the game

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:40 pm

Fortnight here, stopping by to say that I'm pleased to see a few of my suggestions making it into the game! And it's nice that some things are still experimented with.

If there was just one change alone that I'd wish you took a second look at it would be to nerf the Rocket Soldier. I know everybody is used to the way it is now but the unit is still overpowered for pretty much the same reasons I posted earlier in the thread (page 4). As long as the Rocket Soldier remains as strong as it is most other units will suffer less usage, especially those at the highest tech level.

Keep up the Red Alert spirit!
  • I made an image that should make it pretty clear why I think Rocket Soldier is overpowered.
  • Created using OpenRA release-20171014.
Image

Note that the image doesn't tell the full story though, since for example Cruiser need Destroyers as support units to not be very vulnerable against air/sub attacks, while Rocket Soldiers also works as anti-air and only need cheap Rifle Soldiers as support. And while it's true that Cruiser has long range they tend to miss a lot at that range. Rocket Soldiers also can be transported quickly in an APC or Chinook, or be put inside a Pillbox, which adds much to their strategic value compared to tanks.
Attachments
rocket_vs_medium_vs_mammoth_vs_cruiser.zip
This is a backup of the same image that I embed in my post, if you see the gif there's no need to download this zip archive.
(3.74 MiB) Downloaded 28 times

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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:02 pm

The gif is quite demonstrative.

I would like myself to play some game where the tanks damage output match the rocket damage output in same value proportion. Just to see how that would shake the game.

I don't have the yaml skill but if you would make a modified version with "new tank damage rules" of those 2 maps :

https://resource.openra.net/maps/25497/
https://resource.openra.net/maps/25496/

I would gladly give it a run to see how it feels.

noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:53 am

Those rocket soldiers cleaning their weapons and chilling adds insult to injury.
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netnazgul
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Post by netnazgul » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:05 pm

if tanks do as much damage as rockets, soviets won't need rocket soldiers at all - a dozen of heavy tanks will level half of your base before you realize what is happening.

Also rocket soldiers die to artillery/v2 and hind/yak fire much faster.

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avalach21
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Post by avalach21 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:21 pm

netnazgul wrote: if tanks do as much damage as rockets, soviets won't need rocket soldiers at all - a dozen of heavy tanks will level half of your base before you realize what is happening.

Also rocket soldiers die to artillery/v2 and hind/yak fire much faster.
+ rifle fire, + tanya.. + cruiser fire etc. It's a trade off to their vulnerability

camundahl
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Post by camundahl » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:10 pm

Yeah i agree. I think 4 rockets even in RL would do more damage to a building than two 120mm tank rounds. And for game reasons, it makes sense that they are cheaper because they are so easy to kill.

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Post by camundahl » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:11 pm

Maybe the rockets should just have a bit longer reload

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:01 am

The gif image doesn't tell the whole story.

Build queues count towards balance. The infantry queue is very inexpensive to block compared to the vechicle queue. It's true that you could make a bunch of Rangers or APCs to counter an infantry blob. But you have to make several since otherwise they melt as soon as they get close to the enemy infantry blob. However doing so blocks your vehicle build queue, which you want to use for MCV or Artillery/V2. If you make a bunch of Rangers you'll take out the Rocket Soldiers but you probably won't win the match.

There's also player attention. You can queue up many Rifle Infantry and Rocket Soldiers and just kind of let it do its thing while you play the rest of the game. Meanwhile if you want to make a Mammoth Tank or Chrono Tank a lot more attention is needed from the player just to be able to queue them up. You have to manage the vehicle queue, build structures, make decisions on what is the best next action. All while defending, attacking and expanding. Meanwhile your Rocket Soldiers just spawn without any effort.

Rocket Soldiers:

+ Low tech investment.
+ Low game time investment.
+ Low cost per unit.
+ Doesn't block critical units from being built (infantry queue).
+ Doesn't require much player attention to be obtained (queue and forget).
+ Have very high DPS against all armor types.
+ Can attack both land and air units.
+ Can be transported quickly in APC or Chinook.
+ Quickly destroys many hard-to-obtain late game units.
+ Attacks over concrete walls.

I want is to bring Rocket Soldier down to a reasonable level, not to buff tanks. It's just that nerfing Rocket Soldier indirectly increases the versatility of plenty other units in the game.

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:05 am

WhoCares wrote: The gif is quite demonstrative.

I would like myself to play some game where the tanks damage output match the rocket damage output in same value proportion. Just to see how that would shake the game.

I don't have the yaml skill but if you would make a modified version with "new tank damage rules" of those 2 maps :

https://resource.openra.net/maps/25497/
https://resource.openra.net/maps/25496/

I would gladly give it a run to see how it feels.
I could throw together some maps, have asked SoScared if he has time to feature them on stream as well.
Will include a few ideas on the navy side of OpenRA as well for good measure while I'm at it.
Those two links seems to be 404 now though.

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:46 pm

I feel there is a gross misunderstanding of the power and the limitations of the rocket soldier and I would like to address it before a bandwagon starts.

Firstly the rocket soldier is not OP. It is certainly good at its job but it is not OP.

A rocket soldier is a unit for dealing with buildings, base defenses, armored vehicles and
air units. The rocket soldier provides great dps on these units and is vital in any army. They're a good defending unit because a detachment of rockets and pillboxes can hold off a flank army reasonably well. Rockets are great at killing defensive structures. Nerfing rocket soldiers will increase the strength of defensive structures. I'm sure everybody loves powerfull pillboxes :) Currently, the hard counter to Maginot line style defense spam is to wall the front of it and kill the defensive structures with the rocket launchers because of .of their ability to shoot over walls. Nerfing this ability of the rocket soldier will make defensive spam even more amazing and remove the really only universal hard counter (soviets can use Tesla coils/V2).

However, rocket soldiers have weaknesses. They're strictly unusable vs infantry. an alone rifleman could probably kill a lot of rockets on its own. They have poor vision and lean on other units providing it. They're very weak units and can be massacred by pillboxes or artillery. They can be crushed easily as once they shoot it requires some time before they can shoot again. They aren't even reliable AA anymore. In the recent release, air units will shred rockets for reasons I don't even know. Currently, soviets are required to build flak trucks (which incidentally showed how good flak trucks actually are) and allies will have to bring an MCV to place an AAgun to make sure their offensive arty/Tanya etc do not die.

Rockets are only good when used in tandem with rifles and tanks with correct army micro. A commander who keeps his rockets in front of his army when attacking will always have a bad time. Army micro is a skill. It is needed to maximize the efficiency of the rocket trooper.

And now onto tanks. You have to look closely at what units functions actually are. Tanks have 2 functions in RA - soak rifle/pillbox fire and mini backline attacks by exploiting the faster than infantry movement speed. Heavy tanks are better at rifle soaks and medium tanks are better at backline attacks. This is due to Heavy tanks being slower than inf, however, alone heavy tank unnoticed can cause havoc in an ore patch. In fact, heavy tanks have seen a huge resurgence in play as being beasts - they are not even close to underpowered. Comparing tanks vs rocket trade is like comparing a trade between rifles and rockets - they have two distinctly different purposes and the experiment is not using them in tandem with correct units to maximise their strengths. In army vs army if the second army outnumbers the first army with tanks 2-1 they will always win. Once the tank shield is dead is the rifle soldiers job to clean up the infantry. In fact its a hard choice between a low rocket and high rocket ratio army. High rocket ratio armies kill the tank shield faster but don't have as many rifles to mop up the remaining inf. Low rocket ratios will lose tanks first but once they finally kill the tank shield its open field for the rifles to murder the rifle soldiers. Personally, as a playstyle, I will use many high rocket ratio armies to hurt important structures and attack ore-fields but avoid open field army vs army fights at all costs because high rifle army blobs trade better.

Next comparing units on their cost and investment is a lost cause. RA is a macro dominant game. It does not matter if you have the best micro in the game if you cannot keep up with the macro you will lose. High tier macro will always generate you more money than you need. This is why nerfing things by increasing cost does not work. Increasing the cost of something will not affect it because its the equivalent of having to add an extra £5 on an oil barons tax bill. The only time this actually starts affecting gameplay is the late game when all the high tier units are hyper expensive and all the ores dried up but that is not a problem that can be blamed on the rocket soldier.

The problem with tier 3 in this game is not the rocket soldier however its the fact 3/4 of the tier 3 units are garbage. The only allies tier 3 units I would ever consider are longbows Tanya and phase transport because they have an actual use at that stage of the game. OMnoms idea of moving these tier 3 units to tier 2 was good but I feel they would need to be balanced due to them being thrown into an entirely different portion of the game.

This is the end of the Rocket soldier portion next some other stuff I read.


Fortnight wrote: Build queues count towards balance. The infantry queue is very inexpensive to block compared to the vechicle queue. It's true that you could make a bunch of Rangers or APCs to counter an infantry blob. But you have to make several since otherwise they melt as soon as they get close to the enemy infantry blob. However doing so blocks your vehicle build queue, which you want to use for MCV or Artillery/V2. If you make a bunch of Rangers you'll take out the Rocket Soldiers but you probably won't win the match.
This is not how RA works. Firstly do not ever counter infantry with rangers. Rangers have a purpose, scout unit, and engineer sniping. To counter infantry you build infantry. RA is not like TD where specific units counter specific units. RA is more of an "everyone has the same stuff now its how well you use that stuff". If you're not building inf armies then your going to lose. Only tanks vs infantry are going to lose. Only rangers vs infantry are going to lose. Only APC's vs infantry is going to lose. Infantry is your main damage dealer and the backbone of everything. The only direct infantry counter that is not infantry is artillery and v2's but an army of just artillery and v2's is equally bad. Also, hinds are good crowd control and also Tanya but equally these on their own will suck.

Fortnight wrote: There's also player attention. You can queue up many Rifle Infantry and Rocket Soldiers and just kind of let it do its thing while you play the rest of the game. Meanwhile, if you want to make a Mammoth Tank or Chrono Tank a lot more attention is needed from the player just to be able to queue them up. You have to manage the vehicle queue, build structures, make decisions on what is the best next action. All while defending, attacking and expanding. Meanwhile, your Rocket Soldiers just spawn without any effort.
Infantry queueing falls under the subsection of macro. Queueing units is an essential part of the game and is also very easy however a lot of people fail at it. If you want to queue specific units click the tab they fall under, press ctrl+mousebuttonclick to cancel the queue of tanks you will always have that you learned from RA school and then queue your unit. Good players with excellent macro have every queue automated as easily as the infantry queue. It's your job to get faster if you cannot keep up with it.

In conclusion, nerfing rocket soldiers is a bad idea. It inadvertently boosts other things such as the power of defense building spam and making allies have to base push with AA gun to protect themselves - both outcomes unliked. The real solution to making tier 3 more viable is actually make the units useful which is what is being discussed in Smitty's balance thread.

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:04 pm

Happy wrote: [...] before a bandwagon starts [...]
I've based all of my suggestions on observing player behavior and after watching hundreds of high-tier games the Rocket Soldier simply diminishes the role of many other units. Teching up is nice but it's not something that's exactly needed and even if you do you'll keep pumping out Rocket Soldiers forever instead of putting all those credits on late game units. There will be some tanks in the front but they work mostly as damage sponges.

If the gif and the list I posted above (on Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:01 am) doesn't convince anyone that Rocket Soldier needs a nerf in order to make it more desirable to reach late game units I don't know what else I can say. If players want the game to work like it does right now, where Rocket Soldier is the pillar that the whole game rotates around, then there's really not a problem.

I'll make my balance suggestion soon with a couple of modified maps. Rest assured it won't take away the Rocket Soldier's role as anti-vechicle or anti-air. I don't intend to over-nerf. It will however make it more worthwhile to build units that requires some kind of tech level. Rocket Soldiers will still be viable throughout the whole game.

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Post by lawANDorder » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:04 pm

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netnazgul
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Post by netnazgul » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:09 pm

Teching up is nice but it's not something that's exactly needed and even if you do you'll keep pumping out Rocket Soldiers forever instead of putting all those credits on late game units.
You base your theory on the assumption that higher tier units must REPLACE low tier rather than APPEND the army composition as they are now.

It's true that some higher tier units are a bit inferior to their price/tier, mainly it concerns stuff like MGG, MRJ, Migs and so on. But generally you are required to tech if your opponent techs because you get tools that are not easily counterable on lower tier.
Some examples:
- your opponent goes air tech and you are allies. You absolutely need to tech as well because hinds/yaks will destroy you if you don't have AA guns.
- your opponent goes to allied Tier3 and you are soviet. You absolutely need to tech as well because countering the all-seeing eye of Allies is almost impossible without Iron Curtain attacks.

The only thing that I agree on here is that you cannot have an army completely without rocket soldiers. Shock-flak was a thing before but is nerfed against building damage, And allied options are even more limited because low damage rate and requirement of refilling of their only only mobile AA Longbow severely diminishes army mobility and threat reaction speed.

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:41 pm

I'll go ahead and go on record so folks can know what to expect. I've seen nothing to suggest that nerfing rocket solders would be good for fun and engaging gameplay. I especially disagree with nerfing their anti base potential as we are trying to avoid going back to the pre-stance change days of MCVs being the be-all-end-all of competitive play.

You can lose a heckuva lot of $ worth of rockets in a matter of seconds in this game. Pillboxes, flametowers, arty, v2s, and even well micro'd hinds are all very good against them. And the most important part: Everyone gets to build them.

As always, I encourage you to go ahead and test what you believe in. My mind can be changed by hard evidence.
netnazgul wrote: Shock-flak was a thing before but is nerfed against building damage
Shock-flak is for sure still a thing, and even more scary than before with the lower price tag. They still melt wood and heavy without any problems.
"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

SirCake
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Post by SirCake » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:30 pm

FYI Pillboxes etc have heavy armor, so reducing damage to wood (other buildings) would not be going back to MCV-push pre-stance days.

Imo Telsa toopers are a letdown for a tier 3 unit, they dont have that amazing feel to melt everything anymore. Could as well make more rocket soldiers which fare better vs heavy armor (defenses+tanks).
Tanya as a comparison is an amazing t3 unit who can melt infinite ammounts of infantry.

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