Red Alert: Let's make everything worth building! + ideas etc

How to make pro players use every available structure/unit?

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
Blackened
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Post by Blackened »

I think both Destroyers and Subs need a rework.

Destroyers' range is too much. I think I would be okay with the damage remaining the same if the range was reduced.

As for subs their problem is the way that torpedo's act. Firstly, the attack can be blocked by rocks and the shore. More of a problem with position but also the torpedo's can be outrun by a lateral movement. They are devastating when they hit but other subs, destroyers, and especially gunboats can simply out maneuver them. This makes subs even more micro intensive than migs because at least migs have the speed to run from a fight.

I think this could be fixed by either, increasing the rate of fire, increasing better tracking (with reduced damage), or increasing projectile speed.

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FiveAces
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Post by FiveAces »

@Blackened: I think people play the Destroyers vs Subs matchup completely wrong.
If microed properly, they have a hard time getting some real damage done to each other, at least in smaller groups.
Personally, I'm having a fun time using navy since it's so based around hit&run tactics.

But there's one distinct advantage that subs have over destroyers: They have incredible damage vs structures.
So if you are playing Soviets and want to deny your opponent naval dominance, do not target his destroyers.
Instead, go for the naval yards. They can't dodge your torpedoes, take incredible damage from them, cost a whooping $1000 and have a fairly large build time.
If your opponent wants to retaliate by killing your sub pens, well, then you already won the trade.
Destroyers take forever to kill sub pens, enough so for your subs to return and kill them before the sub pens go down.

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty »

Smitty’s proposed changes
Combat Engineers:
-Engineers can detect and remove landmines.
-Engineers can C4 concrete walls, destroying a 3x3 section.
-Engineers can remove proposed hijacker debuff.
Hijackers:
-Hijackers can infiltrate Ore Refineries. This creates a debuff which steals the next ore truck that arrives.
-Hijackers can infiltrate War Factories. This creates a debuff which steals the next vehicle produced.
-Hijackers can infiltrate Airfields and Helipads. This creates a debuff which steals either the next aircraft produced, or the next aircraft that lands.
Helicopters:
-Hinds and Longbows can land and reload on Airfields.
Repair Tool on Vehicles:
-Using the repair tool to send a vehicle to the service depot assigns the same drag-box status as ore trucks to the vehicle. This is represented by a wrench icon, and can be reverted by using the repair tool on the vehicle again.
Supply Trucks:
-Supply trucks can reload mine layers within a one cell radius at 50% speed of the service depot reload rate.
-Supply trucks provide 100% experience gain to friendly units within a seven (spitballing here) cell radius

I know the engineer land mine detection has been proposed. I know most of these changes wouldn't be used that often, but i'm going for that moment in one of twenty games where people can watch and think, 'that was a really creative play'.
I also know about github but I'd like to see discussion here before posting anything there.

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MustaphaTR
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Post by MustaphaTR »

I like the Hijacker Idea. They are currently too UP because of bad capture logic. They also should be able to steal Planes (by infiltrating Airfields) and Ships (by infiltrating shipyard/subpens that close to shore.

OMnom
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Post by OMnom »

Change MAD tank damage from percentage based to flat damage to buildings only. Make it so that 1 mad tank can kill a field of pillboxes.

Allow supply trucks to deploy in order to increase the rate of fire of vehicles and static defense, such as V2s, artillery, tanks, pillboxes, flame turrets etc. This would ideally accompany a nerf to the artillery rate of fire and to pillbox rate of fire, or perhaps introduce a loading time. For example, have artillery capable of only firing 3 rounds every 6 seconds before having to take a 6 second reloading period. V2's would be able to retreat to a supply truck to reload quicker.

Allow sandbags and wire fence build range to be placed next to infantry.

Allow grenadiers and flamethrowers a 10% chance to kill the man inside the pillbox.





.

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MustaphaTR
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Post by MustaphaTR »

I don't think Supply Trucks need anything added to them. At least they shouldn't have modifier purposed.

Making MAD tanks some sort of Defence Clearer is a good idea IMO.

I think Mobile units can not GiveBuildableArea yet. So wire/sandbag idea shouldn"t be possible without changing code.

Maybe only Grenadiers. As both is already Soviet unit, it can be balance problem. Flamethrowers are already powerful IMO. Grenadiers are currently UP so something special for them may be good.

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anjew
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Post by anjew »

MustaphaTR wrote: Grenadiers are currently UP so something special for them may be good.
They need to stop killing everything around them. They are useless if they just explode in your composition
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Blackened wrote: I think both Destroyers and Subs need a rework.

Destroyers' range is too much. I think I would be okay with the damage remaining the same if the range was reduced.

As for subs their problem is the way that torpedo's act. Firstly, the attack can be blocked by rocks and the shore. More of a problem with position but also the torpedo's can be outrun by a lateral movement. They are devastating when they hit but other subs, destroyers, and especially gunboats can simply out maneuver them. This makes subs even more micro intensive than migs because at least migs have the speed to run from a fight.

I think this could be fixed by either, increasing the rate of fire, increasing better tracking (with reduced damage), or increasing projectile speed.
@ Destroyers: I don't want to see a nerf to their engage-range nor the max travel range. The slow-moving long-range double missiles is what makes the Destroyer unique for me. I'd rather just have their vision reduced so they need support that provide vision.

@ Submarines: Right now I think it's too easy to dodge the subs' Torpedoes because you can just move your ships back. Doubling the max travel range would make it a different story, they you can't respond by simply moving your ships - you have to realize where exactly you need to move them. Even if subs still are micro-insensive as you say it would still require the enemy to micro their ships as well, to dodge them to the side. Subs should be sneaky and attack when the enemy don't expect it (in a perfect world).

Here's an idea, what if the subs doesn't surface when they fire? So you would only see them and their missiles if your ships' detection is in range? Too powerful? Would it still be too powerful if the detection range was increased a bit?

Let the thought stir a little, it would make it possible to position your subs better and play submarines more like I imagine they are in the real world (hard to find). It would also give a reason to spread out your ships more on the waters, right now ships are always packed tightly together in every game.
Smitty wrote: Smitty’s proposed changes
Combat Engineers:
-Engineers can detect and remove landmines.
-Engineers can C4 concrete walls, destroying a 3x3 section.
-Engineers can remove proposed hijacker debuff.
Hijackers:
-Hijackers can infiltrate Ore Refineries. This creates a debuff which steals the next ore truck that arrives.
-Hijackers can infiltrate War Factories. This creates a debuff which steals the next vehicle produced.
-Hijackers can infiltrate Airfields and Helipads. This creates a debuff which steals either the next aircraft produced, or the next aircraft that lands.
Helicopters:
-Hinds and Longbows can land and reload on Airfields.
Repair Tool on Vehicles:
-Using the repair tool to send a vehicle to the service depot assigns the same drag-box status as ore trucks to the vehicle. This is represented by a wrench icon, and can be reverted by using the repair tool on the vehicle again.
Supply Trucks:
-Supply trucks can reload mine layers within a one cell radius at 50% speed of the service depot reload rate.
-Supply trucks provide 100% experience gain to friendly units within a seven (spitballing here) cell radius

I know the engineer land mine detection has been proposed. I know most of these changes wouldn't be used that often, but i'm going for that moment in one of twenty games where people can watch and think, 'that was a really creative play'.
I also know about github but I'd like to see discussion here before posting anything there.
@ Engineer: I saw a playtest where the Engineers could at least detect landmines. Fun idea, not sure if anyone would make use of it though unless there was another reason to move around with that Engineer.

The C4 thing sounds fun on paper, I wonder again how many that would actually use it though. In an attack he'd probably just die on his way to the wall, big risk for 500 credits, and if there's no enemy around you might as well use tanks or rocket soldiers.

Personally I'd like Engineers to also work as the current Mechanic do and for the Mechanic to be removed completely from the game. It would give both factions the possibility to take over husks and to repair vehicles. I always saw the faction balance being Hijacker-Spy anyway in the original Red Alert (not Hijacker-Mechanic like it is now in OpenRA). Allies will still have Medic to their advantage on the field, to me it seems unfair they also can repair vehicles PLUS capture new ones after a won battle.

@ Hijackers: Good ideas, I approve of all three! Would put the Hijacker on the same level as the Spy, good for balance. As long as the current capture-moving-enemy-on-the-field logic also gets fixed.

I'd also like to see if an enemy vehicle runs over the Hijacker, instead of dying it captures the vehicle.

@ Helicopters: Haven't thought about this, sounds good in my book! Maybe an airfield is wide enough for two helicopters to land? Though that could be too good.

Unless helipads are removed from Soviet and they only construct airfields and then get all types of planes/helis from it. Could increase airfield price a little bit maybe.

@ Repair Tool on Vehicles: You mean you won't accidentally select tanks sent back to repair when doing box select involving other units? Sounds like a good thing.

@ Supply Trucks: Yeah, anything to make them worth building. Would supplement the mine layer nicely.

I was playing around with a similar idea; that they get an aura that increases attack speed of all friendly units by 25%. You know, because they supply plenty of ammunition.
OMnom wrote: Change MAD tank damage from percentage based to flat damage to buildings only. Make it so that 1 mad tank can kill a field of pillboxes.

Allow supply trucks to deploy in order to increase the rate of fire of vehicles and static defense, such as V2s, artillery, tanks, pillboxes, flame turrets etc. This would ideally accompany a nerf to the artillery rate of fire and to pillbox rate of fire, or perhaps introduce a loading time. For example, have artillery capable of only firing 3 rounds every 6 seconds before having to take a 6 second reloading period. V2's would be able to retreat to a supply truck to reload quicker.

Allow sandbags and wire fence build range to be placed next to infantry.

Allow grenadiers and flamethrowers a 10% chance to kill the man inside the pillbox.
@ MAD Tank: Honestly the biggest change they need is to stop the camera from moving. It makes the game near unplayable while they do their thing...

The flat damage idea is good. I'll post my own suggestion on how to change the MAD Tank after this post.

@ Supply Truck: Aha, this is similar to what I thought with 25% increased attack speed. Making it deployable adds something new since you wouldn't be able to just move it with your army during an attack without a bit of micro.

I like it, if the AOE is large enough it'll be almost like a new defense structure. Could add a new strategy to the game where you want to "take out the ammo supply" to weaken the defenses before you attack (meaning "destroy the deployed Supply Truck next to their conn yard"). It'll also add a comeback-mechanic for a player that's behind; he can take a risk during attack and bring along a Supply Truck to increase his army value.

@ Sandbags/Wire Fence: Sounds familiar! These types of walls are still never built, this would definitely do the trick though since early game you could run and wall off certain parts of the map where you know an the enemy might want to go with an Engineer.

Shouldn't be too powerful either since micro is required and it takes up time on the build queue. I approve!

@ Grenadiers (and Flamers): Interesting idea but I don't like things that depend on pure luck. Makes things less strategy and more lottery, OpenRA has too much of that already (crates, where airstrikes come from). I'd rather just have Grenadier/Flamers do twice as much damage to defense structures as they do to other buildings.
MustaphaTR wrote: I don't think Supply Trucks need anything added to them. At least they shouldn't have modifier purposed.

Making MAD tanks some sort of Defence Clearer is a good idea IMO.

I think Mobile units can not GiveBuildableArea yet. So wire/sandbag idea shouldn"t be possible without changing code.

Maybe only Grenadiers. As both is already Soviet unit, it can be balance problem. Flamethrowers are already powerful IMO. Grenadiers are currently UP so something special for them may be good.
@ Supply Truck: They are never built by the pros though, even in team games I've noticed. The thread's theme is to give ideas to make everything worth building.

@ GiveBuildableArea: That should definitely be done if possible. Even if it's not used in any official mode it might be a deal-breaker for someone wanting to use OpenRA for their own mod someday. Needed for my earlier Master Engineer idea as well. ;)

@ Last paragraph: I think Grenadier should be moved to Allies myself, make them the answer to the Soviets' Flamer. Both Grenadier and Flamer does extra damage to buildings so it makes sense balance-wise and currently there's little point in making Grenadiers if you can make Flamers, unless you're making an early surprise attack but that's pretty much it.

Soviet Dogs would balance well against Allied Grenadiers, they would be eaten by the time the grenade hits the ground. So it would buff the Dog a bit (needed since they are not built so much) and wouldn't make the Allied infantry composition too good (with the Medic) since the Dog would be a good counter against 150 credit Grenadiers (the price for Grenadiers should be 150 and not current 160 in my opinion).
anjew wrote: They [grenadiers] need to stop killing everything around them. They are useless if they just explode in your composition
People (including me) keeps complaining about grenadiers being walking suicide bombs so it's strange that it's never fixed. Pros are making fun of them as well. These guys deserve better, let's make the Grenadier's death-explosion graphical only? It doesn't make sense that they explode when flamers or even rocket soldiers does not.

I also appreciate those moments when a bunch of Grenadiers go up in a chain reaction but the after the laughter always comes that feeling of heartbreak.

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Graion Dilach
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Post by Graion Dilach »

MustaphaTR wrote: I think Mobile units can not GiveBuildableArea yet. So wire/sandbag idea shouldn"t be possible without changing code.
I cannot read anything in the codebase confirming this - infact, the code implies the opposite, GBA should work with units as well - https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/blob/0 ... ing.cs#L99
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Graion Dilach wrote:
MustaphaTR wrote: I think Mobile units can not GiveBuildableArea yet. So wire/sandbag idea shouldn"t be possible without changing code.
I cannot read anything in the codebase confirming this - infact, the code implies the opposite, GBA should work with units as well - https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/blob/0 ... ing.cs#L99
I see, glad to hear it!

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

MAD Tank

Why is it rarely built?

+ Slow movement speed.
+ Expensive at 2000 credits.
+ Single-use (destroyed after deployment).
+ Shakes the screen.
+ Doesn't do THAT much damage...

What would maybe make it more worth building them for pros?

+ Reuseable! Can deploy, repack, move, deploy again etc.
+ No camera shake at all for anybody.
+ Damage all non-air and non-water units in a 8 cell AOE. Also damages friendly units!
+ Flat damage rate that is dealt every second, forever (while deployed).
+ 100% damage to buildings, 50% to vehicles, 25% to infantry.
+ Reduce attack rate of non-air and non-water units in a 6 cell AOE. Also affects friendly units!
+ 25% reduced attack rate for buildings (base defenses), 50% reduced attack rate to vehicles and 75% reduced attack rate to infantry.
+ 0% damage/attack rate change to other MAD Tanks (both friendly and enemy ones). They are built to take it.
+ Causes all infantry to lay down on the ground.
+ Faster move speed and a bit more health. Same heavy armor while packed and when deployed. It's 2000 credits after all...

There we have it, anti-structure in terms of damage and anti-infantry in terms of attack rate reduction. Useful both for sneaky base destruction and for offensive head-on pushes. I welcome a way to deal with pesky infantry blobs, sometimes it feels like OpenRA has too much focus on infantry blobs (I still love them though, don't get me wrong).

Motivation for the percentages: The MAD Tank causes the ground to shake. Cracks slowly crumble the foundation of buildings but those are still solid enough to allow for steady aim and reloading. People just bend their knees and move along with the ground, so infantry aren't damaged as much. But the vibrations cause them more trouble with aiming and reloading.

Meanwhile vehicles are in the middle, solid/complex enough for the vibrations to cause some harm yet rigid enough for them to not affect aiming and reloading too much for the people inside the vehicle. It's important to remember that the MAD Tank doesn't affect vehicle movement speed so it's not right in the middle of the scale here - vehicles can simply maneuver outside the AOE.

Since the camera is no longer moving when the MAD Tank is active the ground needs to get cracks in it to indicate what tiles that are being damaged, as well as some kind of audio queue to remind people of what's going on. If 0% damage towards other MAD Tanks is too good maybe make it 5% damage, so that a group of MAD Tanks can't roll in and take out the whole base in a manner of seconds. The flat damage output needs to be low enough to give the enemy some room to react but not so weak that it isn't worth the effort to try something like it.

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

(gameplay idea) Here's what I logged in to write today:

It's pretty clear that the Allied pillbox is being nerfed in the next patch. It's built too much and is generally too strong. The current nerf ideas (judging from the playtests on Twitch) involves raised prices and/or reduced range. None seems to help, it's still being built as much as before. Let's think outside the (pill)box!

What if the pillbox itself didn't shoot? You need to put a unit inside of it, else it just sits there doing nothing. Any (humanoid) infantry could be used, even those without an attack - they are just operating the mounted gun inside. Easy enough that a child could do it!

An empty camo pillbox would also be visible until you put a unit inside it (lore-wise think of it as if the unit fixes the tarnished camouflage of the abandoned pillbox). That adds strategic value to scouting, you'll see the camo pillbox right when its being deployed. Also, if you see a rifle man standing around one moment and then the next he is gone you might assume that there's a camo pillbox around there.

This would nerf in three ways:
1) More expensive, counting the cost of the unit you put in there.
2) More micro-intense, taking the time to put a unit inside means the player spends a wee bit less attention to other things on the map for a short while.
3) You can no longer pop the pillbox as a quick panic defense, you need actual boots on the ground before you pop.

The setup time (number 3) is the biggest nerf, bigger than any cost increase. No more instant infantry defense. I think it's fair though since you can put Tanya inside a pillbox - the Soviet lacks this possibility and it's a pretty big balance issue that this change would make up for.

I'd love to see this change for some infantry to stand guard around Allied bases from now on, in case a pillbox needs to be popped. The Allies have Medics to help out with this sort of guard-business as well. More pre-built infantry defenses that are planned ahead of time would also be nice to see.

This change would indirectly increase the value of Soviet Dogs as well since there would be more lonely infantry around. Dogs are still not used much, especially late game, and I think that's ruff.

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

(gameplay idea) If what I wrote in the previous post is not implemented I think Flame Tower need a buff, maybe 100 credits cheaper? The motivation here is to balance the fact that you can put Tanya inside a pillbox, meanwhile you can't do that with Flame Towers and you don't have cheap anti-tank turrets on Soviet.

While on the subject of pillboxes, why does it detect spies? Only dogs and other spies should be able to do that (or a spy inside a pillbox). Or does Spy become too strong in Allies vs Allies without this pillbox detection?

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MustaphaTR
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Post by MustaphaTR »

@ Last paragraph: I think Grenadier should be moved to Allies myself, make them the answer to the Soviets' Flamer. Both Grenadier and Flamer does extra damage to buildings so it makes sense balance-wise and currently there's little point in making Grenadiers if you can make Flamers, unless you're making an early surprise attack but that's pretty much it.
Actually me too, i even already did that for my modmaps but as a counterpart to flamers not dogs.

zinc
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Post by zinc »

The "3" side of it is interesting... You may see more early game rushing however and then maybe people complain about that. But good idea.

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