2018 naval RA balance

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
Blackened
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2018 naval RA balance

Post by Blackened »

Splitting this off from smitty's main topic so it doesn't get flooded (no pun intended) :P

Things to discuss:
fixing the soviet t1-t2 disadvantage. priority
fixing t3 for both factions priority
adding sub detection to base defenses/cloak detection to radar/naval yards and letting base defenses target subs. exploratory
making sonar pulse useful fine tuning
making naval fighting more dynamic fine tuning
cost reductions across the board balancing
causing subs to surface on damage exploratory
adding sub detection to mig/longbow exploratory
increasing lst capacity exploratory
helicarrier? exploratory
giving destroyers 3 sea mines exploratory
allies can only target subs with depth charges exploratory

*Will go into more depth of this list when I have more time
Last edited by Blackened on Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:03 am, edited 9 times in total.

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WhoCares
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Re: 2018 naval RA balance

Post by WhoCares »

Blackened wrote: making sonar pulse useful
... and accessible, seriously, first you have to use a spy and second you have to pray for that subpen/shipyard over a beach tile and more than that; glued to it.

Only time i had pulse was in a single player mission out of a being bored and it was totally useless i had first to get rid of all the sub before getting to this subpen.

Solar pulse should a support power available with shipyard and techcenter.

Actually I wonder about 2 uses :

-allied only : force surface for all sub in a selected area for some seconds
-Both faction, actual sonar pulse revealing all naval unit on the map for X seconds with gps icons.

Blackened
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Post by Blackened »

I like that idea actually. As for getting sonar pulse a higher get rate I added it into the tech centers for both factions upon infiltration when I ran the naval playtesting. I think that is a fair option as you wouldn't get it until your opponent goes t3 or you would need to find a naval yard near the shore.

I was thinking more about reverting how subs cloak works. Currently once underwater only depth charges/torpedoes can hurt them. But I don't think this was how it was in the original. There you could force fire to damage them and that would cause them to surface. Similar to how stealth tanks worked in TD too IIRC.

So if we changed sonar pulse to your second option of revealing all ships via gps icons (and showing submerged subs when in vision) then you could target with units other than depth charges/torpedoes. This would appease SirCake as stealth detection for shipyards/base defenses wouldn't be useless anymore.

While this idea is solid this is a heavy nerf to soviets who need to be buffed first.

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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir »

I would like to see some more discussion about adding the Helicarrier from the original game as a faction-specific heli reload point for England.

zinc
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Post by zinc »

Sonar pulse to be made a support power off of building whatever, is probably the best plan.

The alternatives, are do nothing with it, and sonar pulse basically isn't really a part of the game; or give spies the ability to swim out to sea (which would be stupid imo); or allow the sonar pulse to be given after infiltrations of a different type of building like the enemy radar or tech centre. That last one is an ok option imo.

Using the sonar pulse, you could maybe allow helis to fire on submerged subs, but with substantially reduced damage; with the logic being that their submerged status gives them some protection from the attack.

Forcing them all to surface is an interesting idea also.

As for the imbalance between soviet and allies, I think the main issue is soviet lack of naval AA at tier 2. I don't think that Soviets should ever have a true equivalent of the destroyer. That unit should be an advantage for allies just as soviet naval has a couple of advantages, in providing some sneaky vision and it being easier to lock down naval in the early game.

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Inq
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Post by Inq »

You could just change it so that sonar pulse is gained from infiltrating either the conyard (or maybe radar?) or the subpen?

Perhaps drop the price of a Sub to $850? (I think the RA original Russian discount price was $855)

Blackened
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Post by Blackened »

Soviets are at a distinct disadvantage from tier 1 and that snowballs up through tier 2 and tier 3.

A sub pen costs 800 and has a build time of 20 seconds. Shipyards cost 1000 and have a build time of 24 seconds. Both have the same hp. However, Subs cost 950 and have a build time of 23 seconds while gunboats cost 500 at a build time of 12 seconds. Assuming both players have equal skill and both went for navy at the same time this means allies will always out produce at tier 1 by a factor of 2 to 1. If players placed their naval yards literally next to each other allies would have their first gunboat out a full 7 seconds before the sub. On a naval map such as hardship the advantage to allies actually becomes worse. The sub would be produced before the gunboat got to the sub pen but that sub can only defend. Sending 1 sub to attack a shipyard would likely fail. Especially if the allied player streamed in gunboats. If the lone sub got spotted in transit it would be very hard to save as well. Plus microing 1 sub against 1 gunboat can be hard enough. The sub needs to defend because microing 1 sub against 2+ gun boats is near impossible. When you consider that Gunboats are much faster than Subs and can attack things other than shipyards it becomes plain to see that allies will always out scale soviets. Additionally on a map where early navy or the majority of the combat will be naval focused soviets will fall further behind as the economy needed to pump out nearly 1000$ units is obviously double that of the allied 500$ units. This isn't a problem if soviets have a counter but they currently don't.
Soviets only real chance at winning tier 1 is a lucky snipe on a lone shipyard(assuming there is only 1) or going navy way before allies. The latter can be done on maps such as DCF where navy is secondary or even tertiary in importance. Even at best case scenario the soviet players is spending 1650$ to lock down the waters, which they won't be able to do anything with until tier 3 and getting to tier 3 isn't a guarantee and also provide some sneaky vision. I don't think it's unfair to say under normal circumstances more than 1 sub is going to be needed. For 1500$ allies can force some sort of response out of a soviet player.

At tier 2 both factions should be able to comfortably produce the 1000$ units. However the same problems as before persist. Destroyers are both faster and more versatile than subs. Unchecked subs at tier 2 are still only going to deny the water and act as stealth scouts. Unchecked destroyers on the other hand are a serious problem. Tesla coils, v2, rocket infantry, are only soft counters to Destroyers. Sub flocks do counter destroyers as torpedoes tend to aoe destroyers and both suffer from turning to run away. Even then though, subs often need to be produced at a 1 to 1 ratio of destroyers to break even and you need some sort of control over the water to even start that. You might get away with 4 subs against 5 destroyers but the execution would need to be perfect. This means that allies could force soviets to put in the same value to navy as they did which is not the same the other way around. Additionally at tier 2 hinds can come into play which absolutely devastate subs. 1 hind can kill a sub and bring a second down to just above red hp with a full ammo count. Yaks don't dare go near destroyers.

At tier 3 soviets finally gain a little traction. Cruisers and missile subs both suck but at least at current release missile subs' accuracy is enough to actually do consistent damage. Migs hard counter destroyers even if they require a lot of micro. But all is not lost for allies. Longbows can deter migs from harassing destroyers. Cruisers are still a shaky investment. Subs can easily pick them off as well as yaks/migs. But if they do get to the battle they can still annoy a soviet player enough to cause a reaction. At least at tier 3 soviets can force an allied player to go tier 3 to protect their navy as well.

If the soviet player can control the water than missile subs are okay at dealing damage to buildings. However if the water is contested they are a complete waste. They are too slow to run away and Hinds are still a major problem. 1 hind can't kill a single missile sub but 1 missile sub can't burst kill a hind. This allows a hind to inflict at least partial damage against a missile sub before it either retreats or the missile sub is able to kill it. For both factions it means that missile subs/cruisers are fire and forget weapons. You use them until they are picked off because trying to save them means you have to first get them to their attack spot and then slowly bring them all the way back for repairs. Missile subs/cruisers currently traverse a cell in a little under a second in a straight line. If it needs to turn around or turns mid route it is even longer. A Mammoth is slightly faster. This makes them frustratingly slow as they often need to traverse large distances just to get a chance to attack. Additionally, because of their expense cruisers/missile subs are not really worth the cost. 2000 or 2400$ can disappear in the blink of an eye.

So to summarize:
tier 1 soviet advantages: stealthed units can be hard to find. provides sneaky vision. Superior sub pen/ shipyard damage.
tier 1 soviet disadvantages: will get out produced by allies, can't force a response out of opponent, 0 out of water harassment, slow, expensive.
tier 2 soviet advantages: stealthed units can be hard to find. provides sneaky vision. Superior sub pen/ shipyard damage.
tier 2 soviet disadvantages: still countered by tier 1 allies. can't force a response out of opponent. 0 out of water harassment, slow, countered by hinds.
tier 3 soviet advantages: stealthed units can be hard to find. provides sneaky vision. Superior sub pen/ shipyard damage. Missile subs provide better t3 harassment than allies tier 3, Migs hard counter destroyers. *Iron Curtain use can be effective but requires waters be contested. Ukraine has access to demo truck for transport nukes.
tier 3 soviet disadvantages: still countered by tier 1 allies. still outproduced by allies slow, still countered by hinds, migs require intense micro to counter destroyers. migs countered by longbows. missile subs very hard to use effectively, expensive. Allies have chronosphere

Soviets have 3 advantages at tier 1 and 5 disadvantages. At tier 2 those advantages remain unchanged while their disadvantages increase by 1 and the previous disadvantages get worse. At tier 3 they get 2 more real advantage(migs>destroyers) and iron curtain. 1 theoretical (missile subs damage > cruiser damage) and 1 faction specific (nuke truck) while their disadvantage list grows even larger and more severe.


So what can be done to fix this? Well it's important to remember that changes made effect other areas of game play. Giving yaks aa capability would help, but that screws up the balance on non naval maps. With that in mind I think the best thing we can try to do is make tier 1 an even footing for both factions. as this is similar to infantry and similar to tanks. Cost reductions in both production facilities and the units themselves are a good start. 800/1000 down to 400. All units including the transport having a cost reduction as well (but that needs more in depth thought) In addition naval gameplay needs to feel better. It just feels so clunky currently. Upping unit speed/turn rates may help with that. Both of these I think are good starts. Reducing the price of sub pen and shipyard to 400 reduces the build time to ~10 seconds as well. It takes a sub ~20 seconds to kill a building at max range and ~16 and minimum range. 10 second build time means soviets can't insta lock down the sea anymore. But that takes away on of the soviet advantages! True but what happens when gunboats are 300$ @ 8 seconds and subs are 500$ @ 12 seconds as well? Now allies still can outproduce soviets but not at 2:1. now it's 3:2. Plus soviets also lost the disadvantage of expensive units. So now the advantages and disadvantages sit closer to 2 and 2.

In doing this allied tier 2 becomes less of a problem for soviets but tier 2 is still a solid allied hold. If we buffed the missile sub a little bit we could see a swing where soviet tier 3 became the better compared to allied tier 3/2 and then we get to see that faction imperfectness that makes the game fun!
Last edited by Blackened on Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

SirCake
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Post by SirCake »

Hey, something to add to the
T3 soviet advantages: iron curtain attack subs is quite powerful / only way to attack superrior allies Hind-destroyer combo. Nuke trucks in transports are quite good as well.
I agree to most of your explanations. Not sure about your resolve though, must be tested =)

And Migs are not a hard counter to destroyer blobs. If you use more than one mig you are likely to lose a mig on one aborted strafe. Destroyers have too high burst AA damage, thats why I changed the AA weapon in UOE to a flac with the same dps but lower burst damage.

Also I like the Idea a lot that revealed subs can be attacked by everything. Sonar pulse would be transformed to a very useful power to have. Reducing the detection range on ships would counteract imbalances a bit and could reduce the "problem" of "missing depth charges".

Check out Dune2k-Advanced on my moddb page!

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anjew
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Post by anjew »

SirCake wrote: Nuke trucks in transports
This is actually so good. Especially with iron curtain, like you mentioned. It effectively iron curtains the nuke truck on certain naval maps
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avalach21
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Post by avalach21 »

anjew wrote:
SirCake wrote: Nuke trucks in transports
This is actually so good. Especially with iron curtain, like you mentioned. It effectively iron curtains the nuke truck on certain naval maps
lmao u can do this with a demo truck? and when the transport blows up the nuke goes off?

Can you iron curtain a demo truck outside of a transport? I know you can't chronoshift one..

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anjew
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Post by anjew »

avalach21 wrote: lmao u can do this with a demo truck? and when the transport blows up the nuke goes off?
Can you iron curtain a demo truck outside of a transport? I know you can't chronoshift one..
Nah you iron curtain the transport and drop the nuke truck in their base and you end up keeping the transport because its iron curtained.

And if you try to iron curtain a demo truck itself, it will blow up in your face
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Blackened
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Post by Blackened »

Migs definitely can deal with destroyers but the micro and the chance of something going wrong is very high. Hence why that was also a disadvantage.

demo truck cannot be iron curtained. It will detonate just like chrono.

Giving destroyers 3 sea mines that can't by refilled could be a fun idea too but that doesn't fix the current issues. :P

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anjew
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Post by anjew »

Blackened wrote: Giving destroyers 3 sea mines that can't by refilled could be a fun idea too but that doesn't fix the current issues. :P
Tbh the subs could do with the mines. Like people have said, subs are kind of useless against destroyers because of the easy to dodge torpedo. Adding mines to subs or a mining ship could actually make some interesting plays by limiting the movement of the destroyers, basically increasing the skill cap of, the already easy to use, destroyers.
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Smitty
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Post by Smitty »

To me, an issue with subs is the way they are targeted. IIRC, destroyers and gun boats in the original would use depth charges vs subs while surfaced as well as submerged. With destroyers able to use their missiles vs subs in ORA, a sub is almost within their range as soon as they surface to fire.

Personally, I'd ditch the water target logic and use vs unit type specific weapons; depth charges only by gun boats and destroyers vs subs. To compensate a bit, subs should take damage by anything while submerged so that a player could 'fish' for units they know are there.
"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

Blackened
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Post by Blackened »

^ That was actually one of the things I was looking into when I contacted you on discord the other day. This is certainly an avenue we can explore.


did a little research. In the original gunboats/destroyers only used depth charges on subs. Destroyers got 2 while gun boats had 1. Subs fired torpedoes at the same speed as a destroyers missiles but did not track. Subs also surfaced whenever they received any damage.

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