Playtest Review Thread

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

JuiceBox wrote: I am simply stating that the argument from the Dev is that no1 is explaining in-depth why it is bad. I am simply stating that it's funny that the Devs equally do not explain intentions or motivation in depth to explain why it is good.

I think the core problem is the clear split from the community they have. When are you lot ever online mixing with the players that play on a day to day basis ??? I have played for over a year and never seen you guys or spoken to you guys????
Just chiming in on this thought pattern. I originally thought like this but after dealing with the developers and butting my head against a brick wall for a couple of years I have started to think I understand how they work and approach making OpenRA.
In my opinion, the developers look at this from a different perspective to players. To quote Graion "OpenRedAlert isn't OpenRA." OpenRA is an engine and these additions are additions to that engine. They have already discussed why these things need to be added and they have already discussed where their energy is needed. The correct places to see the reasoning for this is the IRC or github. So when someone says this sucks, they need to understand OBJECTIVELY why this sucks. The process can be sped up with more people however until more volunteer, nothing outside of what is needed, will be made

Also, as I stated, OpenRA is an engine and encompasses a lot more than the RA, TD and D2k mods. These mods are arguably finished (mechanically). TS is the next big thing. The devs dont really need to come back to RA or TD, thats why SoScared and AoAGeneral are primary for balance. This split is based on the fact that most players dont involve themselves on the IRC. The IRC and forum are considered tier 1 sources of official information. I could be wrong but I believe they have been used as long as this mod has existed. Yet the forums are dead and the IRC not populated by many players.What im trying to say is, if you want to get involved join the IRC (dont be lazy). Im not even sure if Discord is considered tier 2.

You have made a good point though
JuiceBox wrote: Lack of accounts and a decent forum that makes this game less professional. I can't believe that ORA dosnt have its own forum it's a half arsed effort and a tag on to another forum.
I could add more related, but this isn't the thread fo that.
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SoScared
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Post by SoScared »

Shelf the new auto-target change for the RA mod and move on.

Ok I said I was done on this thread but I'm supposed to stream the playtest tomorrow and I don't know what to say. Better indulge myself here rather than with an incoherent rant tomorrow.

If I read the situation correctly there is a split opinion on whether they like it or not and that in terms of actual gameplay it doesn't change a whole lot. There are about as many reasons why the change is good or bad as the count of reviewers and therefore both sides can point to the other and legitimately say there's no clear message as to why it's good or why it's bad. In another setting that could be pretty funny but for the playtest and path forward it's pretty bad news. It's one change among hundreds taking up 99% of the reviews from the players.

In turn that means PRs such as this being merged with a conclusive crossing-my-fingers emoji gets as good as no real discussion. Getting PRs merged with inconsistencies is my specialty but usually it's negligible and quick-fix stuff. This one is not.

As for the auto-target change itself, it's basically air. The discussion above makes this self-evident, IMO there's no real tangible position pro/con and at the end of the day simply adds another link in the micro chain, making the player spend more attention and mouse clicks to a gameplay feature that doesn't necessarily add to the experience. Naturally, players that invest play hours on a regular basis will react strongly if the reason for the change is simply a carte blanche statement of project goals of approaching the original C&C franchise.

It's frankly discouraging seeing the do-or-die attitude from both sides on this issue and honestly even worse seeing efforts to patch this feature with altering unit behavior or rewiring the unit stances (without wanting to point fingers on the involved, I know it's only to help) in order to try lube the change for another round.

There are so many great things in store with the next playtest/release but it's being overshadowed big time and with a community bigger than ever the devs are missing out on proper feedback on the big issues.

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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir »

SoScared wrote: and honestly even worse seeing efforts to patch this feature with altering unit behavior or rewiring the unit stances (without wanting to point fingers on the involved, I know it's only to help) in order to try lube the change for another round.
From my discussions with Happy in IRC and AoAGeneral's with folk in Discord it now seems to be clear that this change only hurts the "attack/stop-move" gameplay style that seems to have become popular and/or necessary to participate in 1v1 competitive matches. I was originally very open to fixing what I thought were bugs, but with this new insight it seems that we really are just rehashing the same subjective gameplay style arguments that we had for "powersnaking" in 2013. There are definitely going to be some changes (such as muting the keypress click sounds) to fix legitimate bugs, but "lube"y rewiring is now probably off the table.

The following quotes from IRC outline why I do not want to consider reverting the changes, unless outvoted by the other devs:
[12:18:10] <SoScared> the big factor is that this increase in skill has quickly identified the most cost efficient gameplay
[12:18:24] <SoScared> way faster than the game has developed
[12:20:17] <SoScared> AoAGeneral: that's not how it works. the top players simply show where the game is played most efficiently. like it or not that will eventually find its way to the casual player base
[12:20:27] <SoScared> one way or another
[12:29:06] <SoScared> I think the core issue really is the RA mod has started coagulating around a core gameplay behaviour. altering it just gonna become harder with time
There is a lot more that I want to write on this, including a detailed explanation as to why the defend stance was changed in the first place and why my comments above might seem overtly hostile or dismissive to the concerns of the 1v1 community. Unfortunately work commitments mean I don't have time to give this the care it needs right now - given the audience in this thread, a sloppily written explanation would do more harm than good. I just wanted to get this out there to correct some outdated statements and give SoScared some food for thought before what i'm sure will be an interesting discussion on stream tomorrow (which I will unfortunately miss).

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty »

I wanted to steer clear of this thread but I'll answer Soscared's call to give feedback on the playtest sans the defense stance change.

-Building hit shapes were not a big concern of mine going in. I knew it would just be a matter of adjusting some numbers, and Soscared has already done a damn good job of that. If we do run into a weapon vs building damage value that seems off, it should be an easy fix.

-Vision buff for tanks: Love it. Tech play in particular has seen a resurgence in the competitive scene, so I don't think this is buffing the MBT blob style too much.

-Technicians have 3 cell vision range: We've gotten a pretty good 'Technicians OP!!' joke out of this, so I approve.

-The one thing I disagree with is the Camo Pillbox price reduction. The HP reduction doesn't compensate for how powerful the stealth can be. We don't need to see camo pills spammed, especially with targeting still being a bit wonky. #scouttilery.

-I'd also like to see walls need baseprovider, which I thought was a pretty common sense change. I've got more thoughts concerning my own playtest going forward, but I'll leave those for my workshop thread.
"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

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3.Lucian
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Post by 3.Lucian »

Did anyone play street fighter 5?
Vega is now a quarter circle character.

Didn't completely break the game, but it stopped me from purchasing a copy.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared »

@Sleipnir: I just don't seem to be able to connect the dots. Certainly making changes is going to be more difficult with a bigger community that challenges change but that doesn't necessary mean opposition to something indicate we're on the right track.

Re-reading the chat logs I'm also unsure if some devs/contributors believing the auto-target change is an answer to infantry spam or an answer to gameplay style issues in general. Also somewhere in between the somewhat snarky comments there was raised concerns early on on whether the community players would start hindering the aims of the developers when interests start to conflict. Further there's also more than a few indications that the competitive player base can somehow hinder improvements on the game, does not represent the player base (as opposed to who) and should not legitimately be able to stake out the direction of the game's development. Not saying that these are the views of all the devs but that view often oozes out from the chat logs.

It looks more to me that these sentiments above have added to the solidity of the problem and could also explain the tone of how the players opposed to that feature reacted the way they did. It's nothing new that there's a gap between the developers and the player base but when this gap becomes most apparent it's imo the responsibility of the developers to attempt bridge that gap so that the project can move forward.

There's also been comparisons to the MCV build range change a few years back where a good chunk of players opposed it and then left because they didn't agree with it since it broke with originality and argued that base snaking was a legitimate part of the game. The choice to add a MCV build range came out of a long and loud debate and addressed a specific foundational problem with the game, at least from the proponents side. Contrasting that, the auto-target change wants to revert functionality back toward the original, doesn't really do much and, from the perspective of the overall community, came out of nowhere.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared »

@Smitty: There's likely many uncovered loopholes still, e.g. Soviet Tech Center being mushed by the parabombs. There's always hidden issues and some just takes extra time to uncover, preferably within the playtest cycle.

The Camo.Pillbox price/health/production change is quite proportional (11,1% loss of health, 12,5% loss of price/production) so I'd be surprised if this had any effect at all but we'll keep an eye out. The reason for the change was simply to put the HP on level with the other defensive structures without altering its strength.

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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares »

Even if the way of implementing the targeting behaviour is not making everybody happy, I personally don't understand how players can be against the principle itself.

In the release you have no other choice than Amove(or Micro) an attack on a base/expention and destroy it entirely. whatever your stance is, it's nearly impossible or at least "not trade efficient" to try something else than destroy the whole thing.

In the playtest you have the possibility to :

- Destroy the base (attackanything stance, even if people don't like how its behave)
- preserve building and capture/infiltrate (defence stance)
- preserve the base and bait your opponenet army in trying to recover it (defence stance)
- preserve the base and camp the production facility as long as the opponent is using it (defence stance)


That kinda offers 4 options over 1, it definitively enhances the gameplay.

And it gives the defender more options in term of selling or trying to fast take it back

So, if I personally thing that would have created less "trouble" and be more "user friendly" implemented as a separate option (autotarget building on/off, see my other reply), I'm still in favor and beleive it will benefit the game for more variety of gameplays.

Anf for the "top" players who are openly against or very cold about it, whatever your train of thaught, I trust you to come out in time with amazing new strategies that will shape the new meta and make the game richer.

At last; even if there are bugs to correct, I like the hitshape and the 30% repair speed.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared »

Alternative: Simply tack the 'ignore buildings' on to the ReturnFire and HoldFire stances exclusively. Basically:

AttackEverything, a-move: kill buildings
Defensive, a-move: kill buildings
ReturnFire, a-move: ignore buildings
HoldFire, a-move: ignore buildings

Adds it as a feature for two stances not really used too much in OpenRA and avoids pushing the feature down peoples' throats. You could still a-move sterilize an opponents base and camp it if wanted.

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork »

SoScared wrote: Alternative: Simply tack the 'ignore buildings' on to the ReturnFire and HoldFire stances exclusively. Basically:

AttackEverything, a-move: kill buildings
Defensive, a-move: kill buildings
ReturnFire, a-move: ignore buildings
HoldFire, a-move: ignore buildings

Adds it as a feature for two stances not really used too much in OpenRA and avoids pushing the feature down peoples' throats. You could still a-move sterilize an opponents base and camp it if wanted.
Easiest solution and the best compromise. I think the the two stances that will be used might need some edits to accommodate it though.

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3.Lucian
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Post by 3.Lucian »

have your cake and eat it too!
please leave the default stance and a-move characteristics alone.

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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares »

Soscared, the only stance that intersting for new strategie is the defense stance with ignore building. I certainly don't want my units in hold fire or return fire in the middle of an ennemy base,even if i amove there, i will need to switch stance as soon as they stop or done amove otherwise.

Basically, the main stance that is used in openra is the defence stance, return fire and hold fire are used only for specific sneaky cases and attackanything makes units too wild and people prefere the safe behaviour of the defence stance (regardless the targeting).

If you revert the defence stance, it will be doable but lamer to manage cleaning bases avoiding killing building. A push on a base is a combination of amove, stop and focus fire. and the "return fire" and "hold fire" stance will not be appropriated in case of "stop" and/or after a focused target being terminated.

So what devides people here : EVERYBODY wants the defense stance for his own taste ,the "pro-targeting" and the "cons-targeting". Let it like it is and you deplease some, revert and you desplease the others. Make it togable you make everyone happy.
Last edited by WhoCares on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared »

#playtest_discussion 7/30/2017
[5:16 PM] SoScared: one thing to keep track of is once your units' a-move with ReturnFire/HoldFire completes they're standing idle with those exact stances
[5:17 PM] SoScared: so if you wanna play sim city with your opponents base you need to look after your units
[5:18 PM] SoScared: once they're on base guard duty

*edit
[5:54 PM] Smitty: An example would be player A is able to switch between stances with ease, player B cannot. They are both in the proposed defense stance where it targets buildings as in current release, but player A can confidently switch to returnfire with A-move and back, while player B cannont. This gives player A an advantage.

Just a heads-up in relation to the above.

@Happy: What sort of edits are you referring to?
Last edited by SoScared on Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir »

WhoCares wrote: In the playtest you have the possibility to :

[...]

That kinda offers 4 options over 1, it definitively enhances the gameplay.
This list is missing an important fifth case that everybody seems to be ignoring:
- Destroy the base (defence stance plus commanding your units)

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork »

Sleipnir wrote:
WhoCares wrote: In the playtest you have the possibility to :

[...]

That kinda offers 4 options over 1, it definitively enhances the gameplay.
This list is missing an important fifth case that everybody seems to be ignoring:
- Destroy the base (defence stance plus commanding your units)
The problem is this it will require so much attention to kill one expansion with meaning that plays such as two prong or multiple army attacks etc will be impossible to manage because so much attention is on apming rockets to do meaningfull damage on an attack. You'll have more micro in the game but now there is less multitasking available. My uber aggressive playstyle relys on constant aggressive attacks at different points simultaneously but I cannot achieve that if I need to keep switching between like 4 different fronts just to micro units and get nothing meaningfull done on the 4 fronts than when I could leave them on auto piolet and switch between all with control groups and issue stop micro when necessary not switching stances or messing around with focus fire.

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