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 Â£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.