Omnom's Experimental Balance Changes

these are separate changes from SoS's playtest

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
OMnom
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Omnom's Experimental Balance Changes

Post by OMnom »

Before you comment on anything, please try to take some time to play a few games with these changes.

The nature of these changes causes a shitstorm of theorycrafting to occur, and as such, it's more helpful to me if we all have some common ground to talk about.

These are experimental changes that I am doing separately from everyone else's balance changes. I've made changes on a limited 1v1 map pool to test the validity of these changes. Yes, my changes tend to be rather dramatic, and everyone I know of is very conservative with what they want changed to this game. If SoS is trying to fix the problems in this game with a tweezer, I'm going to try to fix it with a hammer. Tackling problems from multiple angles with multiple tools will lead us to the correct solution quicker.

My general philosophy behind balancing is that the players should not be restricted to one option to counter one strategy. I can list the number of viable beginning build orders on one hand, I can list the most common army compositions on 3 fingers, and I can show you hundreds of replays that look exactly the same. It's no surprise that the best way to deal with artillery/hind is to get artillery/hind yourself, or that the best way to deal with basepushing is to counter-basepush -- in my honest opinion, there are simply not enough viable options for player to choose from.

The motivation behind the Ground/Air changes is to create more options for players to use against infantry, static defenses, and MCVs. The goal of this experiment is 1) to root out any new problems that arises from these changes, and 2) to see which changes are worth considering for future playtests. I don't expect immediate results from these changes because of how good people are at basepushing and using tank/infantry blobs; these changes are adding an additional element to the preexisting game and it will take some time getting used to them.

The motivation behind the Navy changes is to make them more worthwhile to get in a 1v1 situation. Clearly, there are a lot of problems that comes with my changes, but if Blackened is taking the bottom-up approach, I'll take the top-down approach and we can meet in the middle.

The maps can be found attached to this OP or on the resource site.
__________________________________________________________

Navy changes

-Ship queue scaling changed from normal to 150/100/75/50.

-Shipyard and Sub Pen armor changed to wood. RevealsShroud and DetectCloaked
range increased to 10c0.

-Attack Subs Dmg to Buildings decreased from 270 to 216. Attack Subs armor changed to Heavy.

-Missile Subs price increased from $2000 to $2400

-Shipyard HP increased from 1000 to 1400

-Transports can now carry 20 in weight. Infantry = 1, Vehicles = 5, Heavy tank = 6, Mammoth tank = 10, MAD Tank = 15, and MCV = 20. Speed decrease by 50% when loaded.

-Gunboat costs $800 (+$300). RevealsShroud Increased to 12c0 from 7c0. DetectCloaked decreased from 4c0 to 2c0. Damage increased to 30, 100% against light.

-Destroyers speed decreased to 71 (Attack Sub speed). DetectCloaked range increased from 4c0 to 8c0.

-Attack Subs now only cloak on deploy. When surfaced, speed is 71 and RevealsShroud is 10c0. When submerged, speed is 42 (60% of max speed) and RevealsShroud is 4c0. Attack sub does not surface on attack. Submarine will surface on any damage recieved.

-Missile subs and Cruisers can no longer use attack move. Must use force fire instead. Stance locked to ReturnFire.

-Missile sub attack range increased to 32c0 from 16c0 with a min range of 5c0. Damage increased from 25dmg, 40N/100W/30L/30H, 1000/368/135/50/18/7/0 falloff to 150 dmg, 40N/75W/100L/100H, 100/50/30/20/6/5/0 falloff. Inaccuracy reduced from 3c0 to 0c306. AttackFrontal changed to AttackOmni. Will not automatically track target; force fire must already be within range. Removed AA for lint purposes.

-Cruiser attack range increased to 24c0 from 16c0 with a min range of 2c0. Damage increased from 25dmg, 60N/75W/60L/25H, with 1000/368/135/50/18/7/0 falloff to 100dmg, 60N/50W/100L/50H, with 100/50/30/20/6/5/0 falloff. Will track target
__________________________________________________

Ground/Air Changes

-Added an Expansion Refinery to the Defense Tab. Does not come with a free harvester and cannot store resources. Costs $600 and has 450hp.

-Radar Jammer moved to T2 for England

-British Spy cost from $350 -> $500

-MGG now reduces vision of all infantry to 2c50, vehicles to 4c0, and buildings to 2c0

-MGG, Chronotank, and Tesla Tank moved down to T2 for their respective factions

-Ukraine Radar Dome grants an extra Spy plane and Paratrooper

-Spyplane Charge reduced to 2m from 3m.

-Harvester HP reduced to 450 from 600 and cost decreased to $850 from $1150

-War Factory cost decreased from $2000 -> $1650

-MCV cost increased from $2000 -> $2500

-Pillbox fire changed to 4 28tick bursts with a 56 tick reload delay (4 shots/168 ticks versus 5 shots/150 ticks)

-Flame turret burst delay increased from 20 to 35 ticks, reload delay of 70 ticks added. SpreadDamage increased from 213 to 256

-Pillboxes and Flame turrets cost 40 energy.

-Heavy Tank damage dealt to heavy increased by 20%*2. Medium Tank damage increased by 20%

-Mammoth Tank damage dealt to heavy/wood/light increased to 150/100/100 from 100/75/75

-MiGs can now attack air. Missiles do 5 extra damage to kill a harvester in 3 strafes

-Service Depot can now rearm aircraft

-Tanks and husks can block projectiles.

_________________________________________

Some comments on some specific, major changes:

-Tanks and husks with BlocksProjectiles


In combination with the damage boost for Tank Damage to heavy units, this adds an extra dimension to the friendly fire aspect of the game. My hopes for this change is to have people use their tanks in different ways, other than just moving them through an infantry blob. By giving them BlocksProjectiles, they can be used as moving concrete walls to block static defenses or as protection for your flanks; the trade off is that A-moving tanks will most likely result in some friendly fire. Currently, it's kind of buggy if the tank is moving forward and the tank shoots forward, but overall, the changes work as intended.

Preliminary results: Tanks are more difficult to use, but it is not game breaking due to how immobile and difficult it is to maneuver theme effectively. There is a certain amount of skill needed to use them effectively.

-Moving half of the current T3 to T2 / adding new T2 for Ukraine and England.

The current balance scheme when T2 is out on the field is primarily predicated on vision, artillery, and the scaling of static defenses. In combination with the "T1" balance scheme between MCVs, Tanks, Infantry, and static defenses, the T2 additions tend to turn game into a waiting game of sorts, where each player is looking for / trying to create a hole. This is a process that can take anywhere from 10 seconds to 10 minutes.

During this time, the scaling (aka spamming) of static defenses and artillery units can go out of control; I'm sure i'm not the only player who has had frustrations dealing with 15 pillboxes or microing tanks/aircraft through balls of rocket soldiers to snipe V2/artillery. The idea behind moving some T3 units to T2 is to introduce another, earlier option to control the scaling of artillery and static defenses, before the scaling gets out of control. Of course, some options are going to be better than others (Early Tesla Tanks are great, while MGGs are just really annoying now), and some might make the problem worse, but the whole idea is to experiment and see what works and what does not.

So far, the games with these changes have definitely been more interesting and strategical; players have units and tools to scout and to harass with. Artillery units and V2s are much more vulnerable and easier to deal with, especially if one is playing as Russia or Germany. Unfortunately, no one has yet come up with a way to control the MCV with these extra tools. The best I could do was to use the extra vision from Ukraine to punish my opponent when he was spamming pillboxes in one location.

Additional preliminary results: Ukraine could have a special version of the MAD tank as a T2 unit? Worth looking into. The extra Spy plane/Paratroopers is kind of lame, and having 2 spy planes is OP in some cases. The Tesla Tank is borderline OP, but the other units are rather fun to use. Chronotank could be OP, but its much weaker than the Tesla Tank due to its inability to kite infantry units. They're very difficult to kill though, which may present a problem.

-Expansion Refinery in the Defense Tab

The only way people have ever contemplated addressing the pillbox spam was by making it more costly (money, power, time, etc) to use. The sole purpose of the Defense tab is to make pillboxes -- one way to fix this is to allow people to build other things in the defense tab. The idea with this expansion refinery is to allow players the ability to quickly secure their economy with the risk of getting caught by early vehicles/armies. My hopes for this change is that it will create a different way to play the game that will provide more options for the players.

Yes, no matter what buildings I add to the defense tab, people will eventually have nothing else to build except for pillboxes. However, my goal with adding something else in the defense tab is to delay the scaling of pillboxes to a point where players will actually have the tools to deal with massed static defenses. Again, the whole motivation behind this experiment is to give players more options, not to fine-tune the current balance. I leave that aspect of balancing to SoS.

Preliminary results: It's pretty hard to use these effectively versus constant pressure builds, but it's almost too effective in "sit back and mass units" situations. Regardless, this change has sped up several games by at least 2-3 minutes worth of refinery spamming -- in those games, there were not very many static defenses at all.

Other side effects: with all the units being insanely strong and viable, it's now very difficult to end the game normally....see my game vs Han for one example.
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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday »

Oh wow. I'm super excited about a lot of these changes. Testing hype!

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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares »

Looks great, as a not so old player i'm open as much changes as possible and look forward to test that right away.

One connection occured in my brain so. With the power consuption increased on defenses, did you considere to unlock adv-pp either on dome and sd or is it thought that way so people going sd need radar to generate the power to defend easyer the expentions ? (Just want to know your thought about it)




edit : tested 2 game so far, tesla tank with dome is pretty fun, as those are first games on it, opponent is not prepared for mass tesla tank so early. I kinda look forward to see how people will adapt and what strategy will prevail. other game,
Last edited by WhoCares on Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared »

This is great but I'm a bit confused about the use of the map preview border colors. Currently the latest experiment 1.1 maps are using the RAGL (red), v1.6b (black) and Smitty mods (orange) border tags. The colors originally intended to point to a specific modification to help with map distribution and quick identification. People don't remember name tags but they do colors. At least you should stick to one else they all become meaningless in time.

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Graion Dilach
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Re: Omnom's Experimental Balance Changes

Post by Graion Dilach »

OMnom wrote: -Missile sub [...] AttackFrontal changed to AttackOmni.
I'm gonna ignore your bolded request because of this. Use AttackTurreted with a dummy turret instead. Refer to the Tesla Tank for an example setup. Atleast last time I had this setup, the unit didn't moved in range when it was told to attack an out-of-range target, asin https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/9 ... f-44858120.
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OMnom
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Re: Omnom's Experimental Balance Changes

Post by OMnom »

Graion Dilach wrote:
OMnom wrote: -Missile sub [...] AttackFrontal changed to AttackOmni.
I'm gonna ignore your bolded request because of this. Use AttackTurreted with a dummy turret instead. Refer to the Tesla Tank for an example setup. Atleast last time I had this setup, the unit didn't moved in range when it was told to attack an out-of-range target, asin https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/9 ... f-44858120.
That explains why the missile sub doesn't track a unit if its outside of its attack range..I'll be sure to change this for a future release.

Also, the bolded request was intended for people who wished to provide their input on the effect that the changes had, not the actual code behind the changes. I always defer to your help regarding any type of code =)
That being said, there are two problems that I'm currently trying to work around right now that have prevented me from making a large release..i'll ask these questions in the Mapping/Mod forum.
SoScared wrote: This is great but I'm a bit confused about the use of the map preview border colors. Currently the latest experiment 1.1 maps are using the RAGL (red), v1.6b (black) and Smitty mods (orange) border tags. The colors originally intended to point to a specific modification to help with map distribution and quick identification. People don't remember name tags but they do colors. At least you should stick to one else they all become meaningless in time.
I'll do this, along with Graion's code change for the next release. I just stole maps that were already in my downloaded maps folder rather than going through and making new copies of preexisting maps, so they still have your guy's .png file...sorry for the confusion.
WhoCares wrote: Looks great, as a not so old player i'm open as much changes as possible and look forward to test that right away.

One connection occured in my brain so. With the power consumption increased on defenses, did you considere to unlock adv-pp either on dome and sd or is it thought that way so people going sd need radar to generate the power to defend easyer the expentions ? (Just want to know your thought about it)

edit : tested 2 game so far, tesla tank with dome is pretty fun, as those are first games on it, opponent is not prepared for mass tesla tank so early. I kinda look forward to see how people will adapt and what strategy will prevail. other game,
I didn't think about moving the advanced power plant down the tech tree. It's definitely worth considering in the future, especially if I see people being forced to build more power plants than they would like to.

That being said, the idea behind increasing the power consumption of defense structures (credit: AMHOL) is supposed to force you to build more power plants if you wish to spam static defenses, thus taking time away from building other, more important buildings. In addition, it should create a risk/reward of skipping static defense spam for faster tech/larger army and vice versa. Moving the Adv power plant down the tech tree, at this point in the testing, would make it more difficult to visually see if either one of these effects actually happens.

Glad to see you're enjoying using the new T2 tools. I'm hoping that a lot of these fun strats, such as the early tesla tanks, can help create a new meta that is completely different from the meta we have right now.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared »

One cheap quick fix to reset the map preview is to open the map in the editor and save it (no changes) and the editor will generate the standard map preview.

Btw I'll gladly help with tweaking these maps previews for you(after next week-end), it's kind of fun.

zoidyberg
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Post by zoidyberg »

One day OpenRA will include a second evolutionary branch, OMnomRA. It's kinda catchy! :)

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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares »

I give you a replay of my third game on it :

I'm playing against a smurf of a player that usually beats me.

On the replay you can see him play the classic meta way, mass infantry, expention, ect.

I played on purpose an early flak/tesla build in order to have a mobile force to kite with the objective to see if poking there and there would be effective.

So the replay is not to brag about a victory but to display the impact of a simple strategy getting advantage of the changes over someone who wasn't expeting it.

In order to playtest your changes you will need players that agree to put on the side their knowledge about the current meta and accept to get out of their confort zone to reinvent some strat and counters. I love it but i fear to not find a lot of people with the same enthusiasm amongst the community. Wait and see !
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OMnom
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Post by OMnom »

WhoCares wrote: I give you a replay of my third game on it :

I'm playing against a smurf of a player that usually beats me.

On the replay you can see him play the classic meta way, mass infantry, expention, ect.

I played on purpose an early flak/tesla build in order to have a mobile force to kite with the objective to see if poking there and there would be effective.

So the replay is not to brag about a victory but to display the impact of a simple strategy getting advantage of the changes over someone who wasn't expeting it.

In order to playtest your changes you will need players that agree to put on the side their knowledge about the current meta and accept to get out of their confort zone to reinvent some strat and counters. I love it but i fear to not find a lot of people with the same enthusiasm amongst the community. Wait and see !
Took a look at the replay.

+Loved your usage of the Expansion Refinery, transferring your harvesters, and using that opportunity to continue teching and producing an extra WF. I think these types of builds could create a need for players to scout more thoroughly, add more build orders to the game, and creates strategic openings that can be exploited (for instance, I could time my attack to when you transfer your harvesters). I also especially liked how you used your mobile army and vision for map control and used that to replace your need for spamming static defenses.

+The increased power consumption of static defenses, in combination with the extra T2 tech, makes it seem like spamming them en masse is not always 100% the smartest decision, since it would require more usage of the Buildings tab for power plants, hence delaying your production and tech.

-It does seem like I've replaced the Artillery snowball problem with a Tesla Tank problem; I can see games going out of control when the Tesla Tank count gets too high. Chronotanks may have a similar problem, being so agile and difficult to kill, with not that many options to kill them. I'll reserve judgement on this after I've gathered a larger sample size.

-I'm wondering if the new T2 options make it so that building MT/HT just doesn't make sense anymore. My gut says that people are more inclined to play with the new toys rather than using improved ones, but I also think there are a lot of opportunities that are opened up with BlockProjectiles tanks that we just haven't seen yet. Tank husks also can block projectiles, so you could suicide a tank in front of a pillbox to prolong the lifespan of your infantry.

I'm very appreciative that you took the time to play some games on it and to send me the replay here. These data points are crucial to having a productive discussion, which is something that has been lacking in many other threads.
zoidyberg wrote: One day OpenRA will include a second evolutionary branch, OMnomRA. It's kinda catchy! :)
One day, if I ever learn how to properly mod lol.
SoScared wrote: One cheap quick fix to reset the map preview is to open the map in the editor and save it (no changes) and the editor will generate the standard map preview.

Btw I'll gladly help with tweaking these maps previews for you(after next week-end), it's kind of fun.
I'll be sure to reset the maps and update the mappack sometime this week with the fixed .png previews...I may or may not ask for your help adding borders to the next round of playtests, pending laziness lol.

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Materianer
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Post by Materianer »

Hey, i wanted to test this too but there are only 1on1 maps.

Would be nice if you add a tournament island version, i usually use it for balance tests.

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

Had a quick look at it. Will look into some games later on. Few suggestions:

Expansion refinery power should be -15 instead of -30. Since it has lower HP and no ore support.

Pillbox attack ticks won't matter when it gains veterancy. It will shoot faster and overcompensate this difference quickly.

The power -40 on flame turrets. Is this a nerf to get flame infantry to do early flamer drops?

Increased power over all on defences I don't see having much change since Tesla Coils are -100 and Soviets are just as capable to do so. (Regular power builds extremely quick.)

These are speculations without gameplay. Fully aware this list can be incorrect. Merely theory and assumptions on glance/quick debug play.

OMnom
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Post by OMnom »

Materianer wrote: Hey, i wanted to test this too but there are only 1on1 maps.

Would be nice if you add a tournament island version, i usually use it for balance tests.
I get lazy adding these changes to multiple maps, especially since I wouldn't really consider this a final release (multiple upload to the resource site would be cool x.x). I've added Tourney Island, Asymmetric Battle, Doubles, and X-Lake to this post.
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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares »

And i realized that as i diden't plan to spam infantry, i ended up flaoting with 6 harvesters very early. My game would have been more proefiscient if i used your expention ref a second ref to grab the second base ore patch and rush the dome and sd instead of building it, (or simply build less ore truck and start p^roducing tesla tank sooner) . Means i could scale the eco smoother and have more early tesla tank (or whatever other vehicule).

I will test that next game but i feel like 2 medium tanks and a england jammers could be an unbreakable combo (and with mecha behind, an horror) . Jammer protecting tank from rocket, tank frontline blocking all projectile that intend to kill the jammer and mecha safelly behind healing the tank taking few damage from other tanks and rifle. Ok definitivly my next game on your playtest will be england to see that potential game breaker.

edit, tested a game, not that gamebreaker, very hard to use the tank as mobile concrete, the fight evolve too much and they are not so fast to reposition and the jammer alwais go in the fucking wrong place, not covering the tank and dying alone. Need more practice to master that.

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Post by eskimo »

I played some more games with Whocares just now. I need more games to judge, but have gone random faction every time.

Sniping the defence refs was easy which was interesting.A cool concept.

Rearming air on the SD is nice.

And as always i like the cheaper WF. It does help with WF opener a lot.

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