hi guys.. it's that time of year again. I'm back to share an important message: the hind should be returned to the soviets, along with a transport copter! I wish people would have an open minded discussion of a proper way to bring this iconic unit back to its rightful place. The OpenRA community has overcome many challenges and I think it's silly to just accept it is impossible to balance this sort of change.
Lol anyways, moving on, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on the topics brought up by Smitty & others:
I can't remember who first came up with this idea (it wasn't me) as I read it here like a year or two ago, but I thought it was a simple, effective solution that is also quite true to the original game. Apparently Upps says Orb came up with this idea but anyways:
The MGG should simply be able to deactivate and reactivate its shrouding with the press of the deploy key. When the deploy key is pressed, the black blob will turn off and the little magnet will stop spinning. If you want to turn it back on, simply press the deploy key again, the magnet spins, and the black blob reappears. This way you can bring an attack against your enemy without exposing that you are moving across the map, but then turn it on right before the attack begins to annoy them and cover up your army. You could also use it to create distractions & make your enemy believe your army is in one place when it really is at another. It should definitely be a bit cheaper though.. perhaps even make it a unique german faction unit to replace advanced chrono shift
Chronosphere/Chrono Vortex -
Which yes I agree with everyone, advanced chronoshift should become the norm. IC is OP vs Chrono IMO, especially the non-advanced version. It's also a super lazy/boring unique faction trait. I am against the idea of having a separate Chrono Vortex ability or whatever... The chrono vortex should be just as it was in the original, a random blob that appears when the chronosphere is used excessively. I would raise the % chance it appears drastically if someone chronos MCVs and leaves them deployed as they are seriously abusing the chronosphere's power. Pchote already implemented this to an extent with a guaranteed 50% penalty to the Con Yard when left deployed, but I'd like to see this idea go even further into creating a loose chrono vortex that roams around for a bit.
Shock Troopers -
If anyone is familiar with my general viewpoints, I am generally a "purist" and want to see OpenRA try to reflect the original source material as much as possible (i.e. Hind going to Soviets) but a rare instance where I will deviate is on Shock troopers being uncrushable... To me I always thought that was weird... how does that make any sense? What is so special about strapping a battery backpack on and carrying a trident that you suddenly can't be run over? I would love if anyone had any sort of logical explanation of why this was ever the case, but based on how it makes no sense and also the implications it would have on balance, I am against this.
MAD Tank -
I'm a little confused by Smitty's stance on this as he says that the MAD tank MUST retain its core feature... "Mutually Assured Destruction" yet then goes on to say that it's self destruct trait should be removed... Am I missing something or did you just directly contradict yourself? I agree with your first stance... it should definitely be true to its name and also its original function as much as possible, but I strongly disagree that it shouldn't assure it's own destruction as well (it is mutual after all).
Five Aces idea for MAD tank sounds amazing to be honest:
This is the big one. No other unit in OpenRA deserves a complete rework more than this abomination. The idea I had 2 years ago but lacked the coding skills to properly implement was as follows: Keep the base idea of a self-damaging earthquake tank, but make it a unit that takes skill to use. How so? First off, it can now deploy and undeploy. A deployed MAD tank will start pumping out shockwaves, but be damaged in the process (around 3% health per second). Shockwaves will affect all actors, foe and friend alike (keeping in line with the theme of mutually assured destruction), in a ~9 cell range: Buildings will take continuous damage; vehicles will be slowed and infantry will go prone. To counteract self-destruction, one would have to unsiege the MAD before it blows up. An undeployed tank would start regenerating health out of combat (again, around 3% per second). This would turn it into a siege unit that can singlehandedly push down bases when supported and used properly. One more interesting trait would be that it can't be used in conjunction with basepushes (since it will, well, level your own base), which promotes army-centric gameplay.
I'm def not 100% sold on it repairing itself... I think I'm on board with it being able to undeploy but also not sure about that either. I def like the vehicles being slowed and infantry going prone tho.. really nice touch.
The only other thing I might suggest about MAD tanks is perhaps on top of Five Ace's recommend changes.. put a build cap on them. Maybe only allow 1 at a time as they are INSANELY powerful in team games. Even if it means giving them a solid buff, I think you'd see them used more, even with a limit. You can chrono and IC a couple MAD tanks into someones base and there is pretty much 0 way to counter ur entire base getting leveled.
Alright first things first... the GPS countdown timer should absolutely not be publically advertised. We see people complaining that too much low tech spam play, cookie cutter strats, no one uses advanced tech units etc etc. I agree that it's kind of sad we see an overabundance of one-dimensional spammy low tech play, so I don't understand why we just raw-dawg punish people who dare to tech by advertising it to their opponent and totally give it away. You are getting outright punished for Teching and I think the GPS countdown should be visible to yourself/teammates only.
I'm also not super big on drastically nerfing or changing the GPS... it has always been a powerful tool. RA2 only re-enforces that Allies should have a very powerful map exposing tool in their arsenal with the spy sat uplink. I don't like the suggestions of having it be a timed thing as its pretty much just turning it into a glorified spyplane... The whole point is that it is a passive intelligence buff for the Allies with minimal/no micro required.
If people really think it needs a nerf or change, here is my suggestion:
Instead of revealing the entire map, have it reveal however many tiles ~1 screen's worth (@1080p with no pixel doubling or scaling, or whatever size you guys think is fair) permanently with no countdown or timed exposure or anything. What I then would suggest is allowing periodic "re-positioning" of the satellite, so you could then chose a different ~1 screen's worth of area to expose, and the satellite would have to slowly drift over to expose that area. I'm not even sure the re-positioning action would require a cooldown.. you could just reposition it at will whenever you want, but you'd still only have a limited area exposed, and it would still take time for the satellite to drift to its new location. Another option would be to have it instantly switch positions to a new location with no "drift" but it would have to be on a cooldown timer as to when you could re position it (maybe every couple minutes?)
I agree that the Advanced Chronoshift and British Spy are lame as hell and boring. I already touched above that Advanced Chronoshift should be available to all Allied players. Perhaps a buffed mobile gap generator can become the german unique unit as it would fall in line with their high/experimental tech trait. My thought for the British spy has always been to have it take on functions more similar to the Spy from RA1.. giving you intel on the opposing player (current power level, current funds/income, currently queued units, current countdown timers etc). Perhaps instead of being cheaper, it should be more expensive but have these added functions on top of his current ones. A British sniper sounds cool and all, and at least it has some basis in RA2, but to some extent it seems like it may be a bit too much of a departure from the original game and could introduce a lot of balance implications. I'm open minded to it but a bit hesitant in my expectations that it would work out.