Back to the roots

Suggestions to remove non-original features which don't work well

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Edi(son Coil)
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Back to the roots

Post by Edi(son Coil) » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:35 pm

Here are my suggestions for removing some features of (open)RA which were not in RA95 and don't really work well and replacing them with the old way. So, it is not just some RA/RA2 hybrid.

Faction-specific units:


This is just taken from RA2 and combined with the current T1-focused meta, it just contradicts itself.
It is unlikely to get to T3, but the faction specifics are mostly on T3.


In RA 95 (as far as I remember) the factions just had a passive bonuses, for example: war factory production speed(Russia).

This works well with the T1-focused meta, because you have a faction specific bonus from the beginning and you have access to every unit on T3 which brings you more variety like in RA95


Power down:

This is taken from RA2 ( or TS ) aswell.

You can unpower:

Buildings: Radar Dome
Defenses: AA Gun, SAM site, Tesla Coil, Gap Generator, Iron Coil, Chronosphere, Missile Silo


The Radar Dome is totally arbitrary, it doesn't work with any other building and even if you unpower it, you still can build Radar units. You only lose the minimap which you don't have on T1, so you don't miss it, and you just forget about it.

Defenses: Here, it favors soviets, because they have a base defense on T1, which you can turn off and the Gap Genearator is not used anyway.


Removing the Power Down would emphasise the power management and power sniping and slow down the soviet base crawl.


Mobile flak:

This unit is taken from RA2 and maybe there is a way to remove and just use the original unit set.

I don't know what has been tried before just taking an RA2 unit, but it creates more imbalance than solving it


Suggestion:

replace the Mobile flak with the light tank (now, it is on both sides)

Change the APC from heavy armour to light armour, so there are not two heavy armoured vehicles on T1




These are the big issues I wanted to bring up, bye.

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Graion Dilach
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by Graion Dilach » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:06 pm

Edi(son Coil) wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:35 pm
Power down:
The rest are AFAIK not really a big deal, but this one I have notes to add.

A) Powerdown didn't existed in RA2, only in TS. The YR community-patches-for-modders (NPatch/Ares) reenabled it though but in WW RA2/YR, the underlying code was incorporated into Chrono Legionairre temporal weapon logic.
B) Powerdown is able to disable prerequisites since last year or the one before (the ORA codebase allows this being set up) and TBH I think that would be a better option - I also find it problematic how players just build and then imminently depower the Soviet Tech Center. Doing so would also able to extend and add powerdown logic to every major tech building to make it less arbitrary.
C) Even with the above in mind, ORA-RA powerdown is still less stupid than RA95's stuck-prerequsites bug. - listed at the bottom @ http://ra.afraid.org/html/extra/cheats.html and also existing in TS.

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netnazgul
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by netnazgul » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:51 am

Faction percentage bonuses are impossible to balance properly between factions and just "dumbify" the gameplay as you have subtle implicit numerical differences instead of explicit faction strategies around unique units. Also there is a problem of how to deal with values when you acquire other factions' production, because either values need to be applied for all your stuff according to your starting faction, or you'd have to multiply unit and building descriptions in YAML which will be a mess then. You can also check the ra-classic mod in this regard.

Powerdown does provide some interesting tactics for Soviets as they can have lots of Tesla Coils and distribute the power among them, keeping forward ones working and unpowering others; though this is quite micro-intensive and also prone to multi-front attacks as well as more vulnerable to power snipes in general. At the same time allied defences only require 20 power and still work without it.

Mobile flak is a tricky question. It was introduced back when overall game balance wasn't even much of a question; now a major part of gameplay is built around it (same as Allied Hind) so it's not easy do anything about it without making a huge upheaval in balance overall. Making units available to both sides greatly reduces the differences between factions and makes all factions play the same which is less interesting.


In general, I don't see what is the reason for any of these changes. "Don't really work well" and "weren't in RA95" is not a valid ground for a discussion. OpenRA doesn't do the 1-to-1 clone of RA95 and makes an improved modern game out of an old classic instead, that concerns all the parts of it. So there should be a proper reasoning for changes other than "let's return to the original".

Matt
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by Matt » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:55 pm

You might want to try https://github.com/OpenRA/raclassic instead.

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Inq
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by Inq » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:37 pm

While some points here have merit, I don’t think faction stat bonuses is a good method to pursue.

In the original RA half of these bonuses didn’t even work & some were even detrimental. (The Russian bonus was a 10% price discount but it didn’t effect production time)
It also leads to difficulty balancing the factions & leads to questions what to do when you start capturing enemy structures. (As others pointed out)
I quite like faction specific units. Although it does lead to a pretty diluted unit pool because you are distributing the original game units between factions & RA didn’t have the same kind of selection as say RA2.
I would definitely say there is room for movement within the faction units for example giving Ukraine the now unused Hind & giving all factions access to the Demo Truck like in original RA. Plenty other ideas have been floating round for ages.

Regarding Powerdown, I do feel it should affect prerequisites & perhaps even the ability should be removed from tech centres. I do agree that the ability benefits Soviets much more than Allies, due to the power drawn from Tesla coils.

The Flak Truck is a bit of a relic of OpenRA now & it’s removal would effect how the game is currently balanced, As the unit has become pretty ingrained in how the game plays.
I wouldn’t be adverse to it’s removal but it would require a major overhaul of game balance & most players are currently against this. (Same goes for the Soviet hind/hawk & the fact the longbow was bumped up to T3)

eskimo
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by eskimo » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:58 pm

What do you prefer about OoenRA over CnCnet out of curiosity?

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IronScion
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by IronScion » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:22 pm

Umm you can't power down a tech centre can you?

abcdefg30
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by abcdefg30 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:25 pm

No, that is not possible in RA.

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Inq
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by Inq » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:57 pm

My bad then, I thought it was possible. Just being confused with being affected by low power.

abcdefg30
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by abcdefg30 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:21 pm

Don't worry, it was already wrong in GDs post. ^^

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Graion Dilach
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by Graion Dilach » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:46 am

Yeah, apparently I mixed it with radar domes - which makes it more arbitrary than I had expected.

Powerdown in TS was a tool against power sniping - via temporally powering down high tier structures until you can rebuild your own power and switching one penalty (low power slowdown) for another (losing high-tier/defenses). It can't be used for such over here if high-tier can't be powered down. If only a selected few buildings can be powered down, then these arbitrary restrictions just make the feature worthless niché from a gameplay design POV.

Edi(son Coil)
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by Edi(son Coil) » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:40 pm

First of all, I don't care about RA95, but I thought, you do. I just care for balanced gameplay.

From "Balance thread for release 20190314"
netnazgul wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:32 pm
Edi(son Coil) wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:45 pm
What in particular is out of line with this "spirit", so I can improve my perception?
Well, the core idea of working on RA1 is to try and preserve the original unit integrity where possible and not make it into a RA2 backwards clone, unless changes are an absolute nesessity. Flak truck did fit it quite naturally though. And there are coming attempts to restore the units disposition, for example reimplementing Hind as a Soviet unit is in the works.

Same goes for game features. We can tweak and repurpose units to have the factions balanced, but "MGG shroud kills air units" just sounds out of place.
Faction-specifc units and power down are both not an absolute nesessity.

netnazgul wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:51 am
Faction percentage bonuses are impossible to balance properly between factions and just "dumbify" the gameplay as you have subtle implicit numerical differences instead of explicit faction strategies around unique units. Also there is a problem of how to deal with values when you acquire other factions' production, because either values need to be applied for all your stuff according to your starting faction, or you'd have to multiply unit and building descriptions in YAML which will be a mess then. You can also check the ra-classic mod in this regard.
Yes, the balancing would be difficult but that's just playtesting and if the current RA2 system would be perfectly balanced, I would not mind it either, but it is not. Since, I dont really care about being true to the original, I would just remove all subfactions, they were not well implemented in the original and the "stolen RA2" system is just forced upon the old without bringing new units to the party( and nobody would notice the removal).

netnazgul wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:51 am

Powerdown does provide some interesting tactics for Soviets as they can have lots of Tesla Coils and distribute the power among them, keeping forward ones working and unpowering others; though this is quite micro-intensive and also prone to multi-front attacks as well as more vulnerable to power snipes in general. At the same time allied defences only require 20 power and still work without it.
Exactly, it favors soviets, you can snipe power plants of the soviet to turn off the SAM-sites with aircraft, but he can just turn off the tesla coils, which he doesn't need to power the SAM-sites again with no cooldown and no cost. Allied defenses will still put you in low power and even it is only -1 power, it is still low power and if you don't have AA-Guns (not as likely as tesla coils), you have so sell the defense to get out of low power.

netnazgul wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:51 am
Mobile flak is a tricky question. It was introduced back when overall game balance wasn't even much of a question; now a major part of gameplay is built around it (same as Allied Hind) so it's not easy do anything about it without making a huge upheaval in balance overall. Making units available to both sides greatly reduces the differences between factions and makes all factions play the same which is less interesting.
Yes, removing or changing anything will force other changes, that is how it is.
The question is whether you want to try staying in the original unit set or not.
You can add units from RA2, TS, SC2 and WC3 and work with them to make it more interesting, or you don't.

Thewreck
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Re: Back to the roots

Post by Thewreck » Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:21 am

As a new player to openra, but an old player of the c&c series, the power down in openra feels like a micro heavy solution to a not so bad problem. I feel a bit bummed knowing im supposed to be messing with powering structures up and down in these situations (at no penalty other than APM) - doesnt feel like an interesting decision to me.

If the goal is to lessen the effect of power sniping - perhaps instead of disabling all power needing structures when low power, start by disabling the structures furthest away from your powerplants and continue until you have sufficient power.

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