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RA Balance changes April 2018 #15091

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Smittytron commented Apr 28, 2018

Changes:

AA Gun delay increased from 5 to 6
Sam Site Vision increased from 6c0 to 8c0
The relative strength of AA Guns and Sam Sites have been widely decried. This allows Sam Sites to shoot their maximum range, and lowers the DPS of the AA Gun.

Added 2nd seat to Ranger
This should allow more harassment play with rocket drops. Also could allow for some inventive Tanya-Medic play.

Subpens and Naval Yards have 10c0 detection range of Submarines
Closes #10287

Shock Trooper price increased from 300 to 350
Telsa Tank speed lowered from 113 to 99. (Same speed as MGG and MRJ)
The strength of Shock Troopers and Tesla Tanks make Russia a very strong faction pick, especially vs Ukraine.

Missile Sub vision increased from 6c0 to 8c0, damage vs wood increased from 40% to 80%.
Reload delay decreased to 250 from 300.
The extra vision will be even with subs now, and should provide more ambush opportunities of idling aircraft. Missile Sub damage is pretty bad so we’re looking to boost its worth as a siege weapon.

Lowered selection priority of Minelayers
Closes #14770

Artillery cost increased to 850 from 800
Artillery is widely hated, and one of the reasons we're looking into an overhaul of how Allies work in general. This is a change to alleviate the situation in the short term.

Phase Transport and Mobile Gap Generator swapped between England and France.
Inter-faction balance has been one of my focus areas for a long time. This should bring up the level of France and reduce England a bit, which will hopefully produce more players choosing Any or Allies as a faction instead of a specific country. Changed the special unit description of England from Espionage to Counterintelligence to fit better with the Mobile Gap Generator.

Phase Transport Cloaking speed reduced from 9 seconds to 6.
Chrono Tank PortableChrono time reduced to ~9 seconds (250 ticks).
Small buffs to bring these units more utility.

Biolab vision increased from 3c0 to 4c0; Vision of Airfield (was 7c0), Allied Tech Center (was 10c0), and Advanced Power Plant (was 4c0) changed to 5c0.
Mainly polish changes to bring these buildings in line with other structures. (Civ buildings sans the communications center have 4c0 and base buildings sans the radar dome 5c0.)

Sub torpedo speed increased from 85 to 100
Small buff to torpedoes, which are pretty easy to dodge atm.

Fake structures can build off of other fake structures. Vision reduced from 4c0 to 1c0
Closes #10969
I think this addresses #11444 as well.

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HappyORA commented Apr 29, 2018

Just a question. How come 2 slot rangers are being added. What other purpose than the potential of creating some more minor ways of playing? Isn't this a needless deviation from the original with no enormous flaw triggering its creating that was seen with the air balance and the movement of Hinds to Allies?

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CatGirls420-NerevarII left a comment

Although I don't agree with some of these changes, some are definitely needed.

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pchote commented Apr 30, 2018

Can you elaborate on which changes you do not agree with and why?

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CatGirls420-NerevarII commented Apr 30, 2018

Sure. I might need clarification on is considered "balance" for this game. I wonder this, because as the rules suggest (pretty much the same as default for AA Gun) an AA Gun being able to kill anywhere from 1350-13,500 roughly, and deny an entire area. Through testing I tried very small adjustments first. Over time, it lead to the current AA Gun I have in my cg420 maps. This eventually allowed me to conclude that the AA Gun needs a substantial nerf.
Yes, I took into consideration many variables and how strong air units are.

2 Seat Ranger - I'm indifferent about that one.

SYRD and SPEN sub detection - Indifferent

I've watched shock troopers become OP Spam too many times, even against air units, artillery/v2, whatever. It's mainly vs infantry but the damage they do to everything else isn't bad. Throw in some mammoth tanks and GG. Witnessed in 1v1 and Team games. At their current stats, 500 might be best.

Tesla Tank and Minelayer - Indifferent

Artillery needs a good nerf against infantry. It's sad watching an infantry blob worth 10x the artillery shooting it, get slaughtered into nothingness. Through extensive testing again, I found that changing it's attack stats to something that only kills infantry on a direct hit, while damaging the surrounding infantry. This allowed artillery to still be far superior to infantry, while keeping them being overpowered.

Phase Tran and Mobile Gap Swap - Indifferent

Fakes buffs were definitely needed. I've seen fakes-off-fakes abused once, and it was painful to watch. It made the base push unstoppable.

Sorry for typing so much.

The Phase Tran buff is needed. Base detection severely limited it's use.

The Chrono Tank needed the buff, because it is pretty weak.

Soviet naval is already overpowered. Idk what people are doing with them, but subs are supposed to be used for sneak/surprise attacks. That huge advantage on top of its massive damage results in heavy Allied Losses and minimal Soviet Losses. Sure, Allied can dodge torpedoes, but barely. However, seeing as Allies have the destroyer, the sub should come with a slight bonus to "Allied Navy Denial." Through extensive testing, it added to the micro-dynamic of Allied Naval.

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airetaM commented May 1, 2018

I agree what catgirls is saying about naval.
Its right you can outcome torpedos with your ships and trick subs but that will need some experience and a lot of attention.
A good soviet player will just pull his subs back then hide for a while and start attacking again.
Who will have a better chance to win this naval battle also strongly depend on the map terrain.
Maps with wide open water are perfect for subs because of the possibility to hide.
On a map with just a bit water or closely coasts soviet players will have a hard live.
But all in all soviets are clearly stronger at sea.
I think its okay they must be stronger because they have only the missile subs to attack land or airunits. Its a strong but not overpowered unit, you can try to catch them with helicopters wich will lead to the hide and seek game again.
So my meaning about the naval changes:
SYRD and SPEN sub detection - This will make it a bit easier to spot subs but due to the fact they cant be attacked (except of waterbombs) its a small advantage.
Torpedo speed increase - Please not
Missile Sub vision increased from 6c0 to 8c0 - Thats okay and will make a bit easier against helis.
Reload delay decreased to 250 from 300. - Would also be okay if only affected to the aa missile.
damage vs wood increased from 40% to 80%. - Please not i strongly disagree with @Smittytron saying here that missile sub damage is pretty bad.

"I've seen fakes-off-fakes abused once, and it was painful to watch. It made the base push unstoppable.
@CatGirls420-NerevarII is this the game you meant?
https://www.gamereplays.org/openra/replays.php?game=92&show=details&id=329521
Its a bit strange when a player starts a fakestructure spam and confuses the enemy. I'm a bit unsure if this should be added, will make the infamous basepush more annoying.

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CatGirls420-NerevarII commented May 2, 2018

@airetaM Great points. Spot on. And yes lmao that's the replay. I think the -10 power cost for each fake helped out quite a bit, as well as slowing the build time by........I think, 40%.

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KOYK commented May 3, 2018

Navy is ok as it is. It works and also allows for good micro. Makes the player actually use tactics instead of sending his units with A move and letting the numbers decide the outcome. Change this and you might as well allow tanks to swim. And no its not easy to dodge a torpedo, run away yes, But dodge no. Unless of course if your plan is to have subs act as a sea wall. But if you actually want to have a good and balanced navy battle between allies and soviets leave it as it is.

EDIT* I forgot to mention that by "dodge a torpedo" I mean dodge and also fight at the same time ;)
Other wise you just run away not fight. So if thats the case the change is usless. And subs will just be unbalanced.

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CatGirls420-NerevarII commented May 4, 2018

The problem is you need a very high level of micro that many people don't have, just to pull off an even trade-off in an Allied vs Soviet naval battle. In small engagements (maybe, 1-3 units vs 1-3 units) sure, you can micro a lot easier, but once a large naval battle ensues (maybe 10 vs 10), and especially in not-so-open waters, it becomes a lot harder to micro, sometimes even impossible, because of the torpedoes high damage and high area of effect.

And, if you're micro-ing well with Allies, but happen to be up against a soviet player with an equal level of skill in micro, the Soviet naval will always come out on top.

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KOYK commented May 4, 2018

"very high level of micro" no "that many people don't have" Yes lets spoon feed them. cg man, really now dude, This is rts.

@pchote pchote added this to the Next release milestone May 4, 2018

@Smittytron Smittytron force-pushed the Smittytron:RA-balance-April18 branch from 5b09ea7 to 10a2341 May 5, 2018

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Smittytron commented May 5, 2018

@HappyORA The original ranger had no infantry slots at all. To me changing a number that is already a deviation doesn't make it more of a deviation than we already have.

@airetaM There seems to be a disconnect over naval play between competitive and non-competitive players on the respective strengths of allied and soviet navies. Allies are hands-down the better naval faction in my experience.

That said, naval gameplay is much more prevalent in the non-competitive scene, so in the interest of delivering the best experience to the most amount of people, I'm willing to step back a bit on sub buffs. Also I doubt any changes to naval will satisfy the competitive side without adding something like the Sea Scorpion.

I do have to stick by the need for a buff of the missile sub vs wood though. I timed a missile sub vs an artillery for how long it takes to destroy a repairing war factory. The arty took 90 seconds while the missile sub took 150 seconds. This is laughably bad damage for a $2000 siege weapon. I'll take out the faster fire speed, but the msub really needs some raw damage vs buildings.

Updated, took out torpedo buff and missile sub fire speed buff.

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ghost commented May 5, 2018

Changes:
AA Gun delay increased from 5 to 6 -> Slowing AA guns down will make them less useful, and allies already have virtually zero mobile AA to compensate until tier 3 (expensive longbows?). In addition, allies are already taxed by power (30 power, as much as a refinery), and they die to ground attacks/V2s/Artillery easily. Its not clear that the AA gun should really be modified. We need to define what the threshold for “acceptable” fire rate is here. More input is needed on what exact units are being hindered improperly by the current AA gun. Suggest leaving as it is.

Sam Site Vision increased from 6c0 to 8c0
This is going to give a lot of line more line of sight, which may give the structure more use. In reality, most 1v1 players just use flak trucks, and team games use SAM sites more. What is the rationale for this change without also increasing the vision of AA guns? Soviets already have multiple mobile AA units. Why does the soviet AA need to be changed and the allied AA not? Suggest leaving as it is.

Added 2nd seat to Ranger
Or you can just make two rangers. I can see a lot of plays using this. One example is a double engineer, where one engineer blocks the MCV build, and the other blocks a barracks from building for example. This would probably never work. Another example is where somebody can just bring a Tanya-engineer into a base and blow through everything. But this wont happen probably because Allies need to produce tier 3 tech. At that point, phase transports will be more effective. I don’t think either of these will be used much

Subpens and Naval Yards have 10c0 detection range of Submarines
There is a serious problem with doing this. The primary way that soviets will secure areas of water (such as in Doubles, Isle of Man) is to create early submarines. The advantage that soviet naval has over allies is that they have the ability to be submerged. By giving more submarine detection abilities to naval buildings, you are removing the stealth ability of soviet naval. This can “show the hand” of the soviet naval player, allowing the opponent to quickly counter the soviet naval with air units. Suggest removing this.

Shock Trooper price increased from 300 to 350
Telsa Tank speed lowered from 113 to 99. (Same speed as MGG and MRJ)

I have also lost a lot of things to Tesla tank iron curtain squishes, but in reality, people can do the same with APCs. The iron curtain tesla tank attacks, when combined with the AA power of mamoths/flaks can make a soviet player unstoppable. (AND THAT IS OK). It means the opposing player needs to find a way to stop that attack type from happening before it happens. Suggest leaving it alone.

Missile Sub vision increased from 6c0 to 8c0, damage vs wood increased from 40% to 80%.

Missile subs are already powerful enough. They completely wreck structures easily, and it takes a lot of micro of helicopters/yaks to destroy. The soviet missile subs are just fine as they are. The allied cruiser range on the other hand, not so much.

Artillery cost increased to 850 from 800
“Artillery is widely hated” -> Need to explain why, need more data. I hate demo trucks, does that mean that we should change them?
“one of the reasons we're looking into an overhaul of how Allies work in general.”-> Why and how? Why do allies need to be changed, what exactly is the problem? How do you plan to change them? Make them “stronger”? Against what, and again…why? Need more data.
“This is a change to alleviate the situation in the short term.” -> What situation?
This change needs more documentation of the rationale. Is the price being increased to reduce the rate of production? To penalize the player more for building artillery? Need to explain this more.

Phase Transport and Mobile Gap Generator swapped between England and France.
Inter-faction balance has been one of my focus areas for a long time. This should bring up the level of France and reduce England a bit, which will hopefully produce more players choosing Any or Allies as a faction instead of a specific country. Changed the special unit description of England from Espionage to Counterintelligence to fit better with the Mobile Gap Generator.

This nerfs england big time. Now they only have cheap spies. Nobody uses a mobile gap generator unless they have already won the game. The MGG is really only for preventing people from chronoing into your blob, or to scare the opponent. Meanwhile, I can just make a meta blob and win the game without all that nonsense.

Phase Transport Cloaking speed reduced from 9 seconds to 6.
Chrono Tank PortableChrono time reduced to ~9 seconds (250 ticks).

Phase transports are already extremely powerful especially against other allies players or low tech soviets that are attacking in the field. The presence of phase transports forces an allies player to constantly make spies and soviet players to make dogs to prevent phase transports from running over their units, and to prevent a tanya phase transport from sneaking into an allied base. Its harder for the unit to be targeted by air units as well.
Chrono tank portable chrono is fine as it is now. They can already obliterate an entire army due to their speed and portable chrono weapon. We do not need super fast tank units to also be able to teleport around the map even more. I know that people have fun with them, but the change needs to be studied more to measure the effectiveness of the use of PortableChrono prior to giving it any further advantage.

Biolab vision increased from 3c0 to 4c0; Vision of Airfield (was 7c0), Allied Tech Center (was 10c0), and Advanced Power Plant (was 4c0) changed to 5c0.
I think we need a better rationale than “polish.” Could there be some utility for these structures to have more vision, considering that soviets have mobile and static high vision air units? Or is that sufficiently countered by high vision units like longbows? Need to specify why.
Fake structures can build off of other fake structures. Vision reduced from 4c0 to 1c0
First: what is the rationale for the change? Fake structures are rarely used ever. This seems as a way to basically to repurpose fake structures as tanking entities as opposed to decoys. I do not think that allies need a stronger base push ability. Its fine as it is, and while its weaker than a soviet base push, its balanced by the ability to use artillery. And 1 cell of vision is just going to look weird to the average player. Why cant France have the vision as an advantage? Isn’t the premise of these changes to have france to be more viable?

Other:
Are we sure that these are all the changes that you are proposing? (e.g MCV production bonus?) I think there are some others that have been discussed or included in the test maps that aren’t mentioned here. In addition, I have not seen any of these changes on test maps in the past several weeks. Why have the changes not been more accessible for people to test using the maps as you normally do?

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KOYK commented May 5, 2018

Yes it will be a good idea to link some maps so we can test them.

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CatGirls420-NerevarII commented May 5, 2018

If you want a solution to AA Guns, CG420 maps already got that figured out. CG420 maps also have a lot of everything else figured out too, with hundreds of matches for testing and more feedback than I could ever need.
If you wanna see why people enjoy CG420 maps so much and the way it balances things, check it out:

Faceoff: https://resource.openra.net/maps/27017/

Ascent: https://resource.openra.net/maps/27014/

Pool Party: https://resource.openra.net/maps/27009/

The problem with artillery, is that when people spam it, it because a noob-level no-skill-required OP tactic. Especially against infantry. Sure, you can beat artillery spam in many ways, but it's just too ridiculous.

Also, exactly. Fakes are rarely used, because as they are, they are pretty useless. The changes I made in my maps (which includes building fakes off of fakes) has shown a huge increase in fakes usage.

I mean, hundreds of matches, tons of feedback.......why wouldn't you want to test my maps out? It already does some of what Smitty has done, same as Orb, and everyone else, and it did it all before any of them did these changes.

We're wasting time at this point. I already did the work and tested things, why do we need to do it all over again when I already know my changes work, and wonderfully so.

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pchote commented May 5, 2018

I get the impression that @Smittytron has already received a lot of feedback on his test maps, and that this PR consists of the changes that he felt were strong enough to propose for integration in the main release. Its not clear to me that there is any value in him releasing a "playtest edition" set of maps: maps based on the previous release do not provide an accurate picture of the next release because they are based on old game code and don't account for any new features or changes that impact the gameplay (either intentionally or not). What really needs to happen is for the player base to play on the playtests and give properly informed feedback at that stage where it really matters.

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pchote commented May 5, 2018

A couple of thoughts on the specifics here:

Re submarines: The picture I have gathered from the sidelines is that there is a real problem with players being permanently locked out of naval once an enemy has taken area control with submarines.

Attempting to fix this by adding detection to the naval structures and then compensating for that nerf by buffing submarines in other ways seems like a good approach to me. Arguing against each of these changes individually, without accounting for the others, seems a bit disingenuous. The numbers may not be perfect (10 cells seems really big IMO), but this is something that would be better tweaked during the playtests when the combined effect of all of the changes can be properly evaluated together.

Re France/England: France is getting a big buff with the fake structure changes, getting the phase transport, and the phase transport buffs. Are you sure that this isn't going too far?

Re artillery / AA gun: The OPness of these has been a long-running joke/complaints in the wider community. You can argue (and many have) about whether this opinion has merit, but again it feels disingenuous to say that people don't think this. Just go back over the history of website news comments, subreddit posts/comments and all of the arguments on the forum and GitHub.

@Smittytron Smittytron force-pushed the Smittytron:RA-balance-April18 branch from 10a2341 to 1e63176 May 5, 2018

@Smittytron Smittytron force-pushed the Smittytron:RA-balance-April18 branch from 1e63176 to bdfc55f May 5, 2018

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Smittytron commented May 5, 2018

@pchote I'll keep an eye on the spen/syrd detection range when the playtest comes out.

Re: England/France - My goal here is to make sure that each faction has at least one useful offensive weapon. England will have cheap spies, France the phase transport, and Germany the chronotank. I'm hoping that after these changes, we'll see more players choose 'Any' or 'Allied' instead of England.

Spies aren't combat units, but they still have to go to the enemy to do their work. Judging by the amount of complaints I hear about spies, (#12228) I think they can still anchor England's power against other factions.

Fake buildings being somewhat useful is new, but it's hard for me to see it making France strong. If you're building fakes, that's time spent where you aren't building pillboxes. I also removed the vision from fakes to avoid exploits there.

This leaves the MGG as the last faction unit that doesn't contribute as much as I'd like. I have ideas there (i.e. leave shroud where they go) but they'll take some plumbing work. Finding a good way to give the MGG a bit more value is on my (somewhat bloated) to-do list.

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ghost commented May 5, 2018

If you want a solution to AA Guns, CG420 maps already got that figured out. CG420 maps also have a lot of everything else figured out too, with hundreds of matches for testing and more feedback than I could ever need.

This is totally off topic, create an issue or a PR to propose your changes as per the process.

and it did it all before any of them did these changes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_discovery
http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_whoradio.html

CG420: “Sure, you can beat artillery spam in many ways, but it's just too ridiculous.”
pchote: “Re artillery / AA gun: The OPness of these has been a long-running joke/complaints in the wider community.”

  1. What is ridiculous about it exactly? Here is a list of things that counter artillery:
    Make your own artillery
    Base-crawl with base defenses to kill the artillery.
    Strategic MCV retreat/re-position away from the artillery fire range
    Hinds (if no AA gun)
    Yaks (if no AA gun)
    Power Plants with base defenses base push/crawl
    Make a spy, power down enemy, kill arty with air units
    Attack the main base to power down AA or kill economy
    Taking an army and going around the artillery to kill something else
    Flak Trucks with iron curtain
    Flak Trucks without iron curtain
    Allied Cruisers
    Missile Subs
    Light Tanks
    Medium Tanks
    Walls
    Mammoth Tanks (if there is no army protecting them)
    Attack the behind the artillery
    GPS Artillery
    A mig and some V2s

Artillery and V2s are one of the things (In addition to having your own sizable army) that provide an easy to use counter against gigantic armies. From a 1v1 perspective, It means that you can still win the game even if the other player overinvests in gigantic armies and does not advance their technology investment. What exactly is wrong with that option?

  1. Many people complain about artillery, many people complain about a lot of things as well. Have you considered the possibility that this is a meme, or worse, and excuse from people who chose to play the game a certain way?

People demand RA2 and Tiberian Sun through the same channels, does that mean that we are obligated to give it to them? Some people don’t like infantry spam. Does that mean we need to balance infantry?

These comments are probably coming from an area that have not been made aware of other strategies (and that’s fine). Is that a problem with the game, or is it a problem with the community (read: not the development team) not being helpful to players or making tutorials/education? Is there a need for the broader community to be responsible for its ability to play the game, as opposed to laying the responsibility on rule changes under the mainstream desire for improvements? Why is the fix automatically a technical fix to the game rules and why have other communications-based alternatives not been looked at by the broader community rather than messing with a game that works fine.

Its not clear to me that there is any value in him releasing a "playtest edition" set of maps: maps based on the previous release do not provide an accurate picture of the next release
Its an easy way to get an existing player base to try things without them having to download the playtest. It is the process that Smitty has been using previously. My question is, why have these changes been the exception to that?

Re submarines: The picture I have gathered from the sidelines is that there is a real problem with players being permanently locked out of naval once an enemy has taken area control with submarines.

That is exactly why you do NOT want people to be able to see submarines from a static building. The advantage of soviet naval is its ability to be stealth, so that the other player does not know how invested the player is in naval. For example, any player that overinvests in submarines to lock down water, is going to be diverting economy into production of naval as opposed to land or air. Allowing players to see exactly how much the other player is invested in naval will provide an indication of their commitment and eco spend in naval for the simple cost of a naval building.

If soviets do not take water early, they will be blown away by allied naval and air units if the allied player choses to do so. This early advantage is an important part of the decision to go naval or not, and is the one of the important advantages that soviet naval has.

In addition, this can partially already be achieved since naval structures are blocked by submerged submarines anyways.

If soviets overinvest in early naval, but dont scale it, they will be countered by destroyers later on, or they will lose in the land or air battle. Every choice in the game as the commander has an impact on opportunity cost. You forego economy for one area to focus on another

Arguing against each of these changes individually, without accounting for the others, seems a bit disingenuous.

Then why are the changes presented individually? Why are we presuming that the commenters have not considered the changes as a whole? I have asked to understand overall hypothesis on the changes previously and I have no idea what this is. I am presented instead with individual changes, and therefore I comment on the individual changes. Please do not presume that intent. I am following the format of the PR poster. This is an unfair dig/mischaracterization of people who are following the process.

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ghost commented May 5, 2018

Additional comments on @Smittytron 's post:

I'll keep an eye on the spen/syrd detection range when the playtest comes out.
Why are we presuming that this is going to just make in right into the playtest?

Judging by the amount of complaints I hear about spies, (#12228) I think they can still anchor England's power against other factions.
You are seriously suggesting that because AMHOL said that he doesn’t like spies, that we need to remove phase transports from England? Do you expect me to believe that you didn’t just go search “spies” in github to find a citation to use to suit your argument after the fact? Can you please explain how are these two concepts related to one another? How did we even get on the topic of spies??? Has the success rate of spies been studied or are we just going to cherry pick some ancient (2 years ago) post from AMHOL.

How can you seriously agree with the premise that spies are overpowered. AS you know, Smitty, there are plenty of ways to counter spies. The problem could be that people don’t know how they work, and how they can be countered. Here are some examples of how to counter spies:

Make one dog
Make one spy and put it on Attack Everything stance
Open your eyes and watch your base and use literally any unit that kills infantry
Sell the building the spy is about to run into
Destroy the enemy radar dome

With all of these ways to counter spies, and no phase transport, England is going to get nailed in terms of its usefulness in competitive play.

Fake buildings being somewhat useful is new, but it's hard for me to see it making France strong.

They will be used as tanks in a base push, alternating the build of fake structures and base defenses. If im a new player in a team game and france rolls into my base and spams fake nukes and power plants and pill boxes, Im going to think, gee, that was a horrible experience, I'm going to play something else. Or it can be used to congest a base to make infantry crushes more reliable (an army erasing tactic). At least when the base pushing player base pushes today, they are penalized by the cost and build time of barracks and power plants. This erases that burden.

MGG as the last faction unit that doesn't contribute as much as I'd like.
It already covers a tons of cells. You want to give it more purpose, but for what reason, and why is the MGG the focus of giving purpose? Why does that unit need to “contribute” more anyways?

In general, I understand the need to have special units in each faction. We already have that. And yes of course, people prefer to use england, but it may not be for the reasons you suggest.

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CatGirls420-NerevarII commented May 5, 2018

Was kind of on topic - balance.

Anyway:
What is ridiculous about it exactly? Here is a list of things that counter artillery:

Make your own artillery - but what if they cant
Base-crawl with base defenses to kill the artillery. -easier said than done
Strategic MCV retreat/re-position away from the artillery fire range -not relevant
Hinds (if no AA gun) - if there isn't any type of anti air anything, then yeah
A mig and some V2s - same as above, and also, for both, what if the player cant get air units?
Power Plants with base defenses base push/crawl - ....
Make a spy, power down enemy, kill arty with air units - ok and what if the spy cant get in?
Attack the main base to power down AA or kill economy - what if thats not possible
Taking an army and going around the artillery to kill something else - ok
Flak Trucks with iron curtain - that's late game
Flak Trucks without iron curtain - wow, finally someone else who knows flaks are good counters
Allied Cruisers - thats late game dude, also, what if they cant
Missile Subs - same as above
Light Tanks - finally, someone else who knows about this
Medium Tanks - ....
Walls - lmao what?
Mammoth Tanks (if there is no army protecting them) - ....
Attack the behind the artillery - ....
GPS Artillery - ....
A mig and some V2s - ....

No offense, but your game sense is lacking. Do you play often? Your response makes me think you don't, which is okay.
Artillery is ridiculous because watching it slaughter a massive infantry blob, with only 3 artillery, is too large of a balance gap, especially the cost of losses. It doesn't matter what you do either, unless you have some good micro to spread your forces out, but if you're against someone like me, who manually fires their artillery, and is good at it, you're not stopping it.

The rest of the stuff you're saying seems ok to me. At least, nothing I want to comment on.

Except........spies are fine as they are but, they do steal way too much money. All you need is one lucky spy and half the enemies cash is yours.

Also, dogs need a wider detection range, it seems like they only detect spies within 1-2 cells.

As for Fakes, you're right, and materia linked a replay that shows that issue. There's an easy fix though: either raise the cost of fakes, increase the build time, or add a power requirement, or any combination of those 3 things. I found a power cost of 10 for each fake, 100% slower build time for the structures that build in 1-3 seconds, i think 35-50% slower build time for the ones that take 4-6 seconds to build, and 33% cost increase.

Lastly, about MGG.....well, if theres a unit, that nobody really uses, because it has little usefulness, then obviously, it needs to be worked into something useful, that people will use more often. The generating fog instead of shroud idea seems like the perfect thing.

I do agree that Phase should stay with England though, and MGG with France.

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ghost commented May 5, 2018

No offense, but your game sense is lacking. Do you play often? Your response makes me think you don't, which is okay.
I played competitively and also play a lot of team games.

Artillery is ridiculous because watching it slaughter a massive infantry blob, with only 3 artillery, is too large of a balance gap, especially the cost of losses. It doesn't matter what you do either, unless you have some good micro to spread your forces out, but if you're against someone like me, who manually fires their artillery, and is good at it, you're not stopping it.
Then don’t run the army into the artillery. Go the other way. If you have no other way to go, then you already lost (which may or may not be your fault, depends on the map, the game settings, but also the player’s strategic choices). Dont play maps with choke points or ones that limit the strategic options.

Except........spies are fine as they are but, they do steal way too much money. All you need is one lucky spy and half the enemies cash is yours.
Don’t float (spend the money). Use the production bonus of production buildings. Watch your refineries more.

Lastly, about MGG.....well, if theres a unit, that nobody really uses, because it has little usefulness, then obviously, it needs to be worked into something useful, that people will use more often. The generating fog instead of shroud idea seems like the perfect thing.

Changing to fog vs. shroud would be bad. One of the utilities of having an MGG is to stop your army from being erased by chronoshifts/chronotank crushes. You cant chrono into gap/shroud, but you can chrono into fog, which also does not block GPS. Mobile Gap Generator can also help against GPS, or as a distraction. What else do they need to have to be useful? Should they give an eco bonus too? People still will play England anyways.

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CatGirls420-NerevarII commented May 5, 2018

Then don’t run the army into the artillery. Go the other way. If you have no other way to go, then you already lost (which may or may not be your fault, depends on the map, the game settings, but also the player’s strategic choices). Dont play maps with choke points or ones that limit the strategic options.

That limits the already limited gameplay.

Good point on MGG, and to that I say increase the shrouds range a bit.

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pchote commented May 5, 2018

I think that @oraservers has made some good points which have a reasonable chance of turning out to be true. I also think that we recruited @Smittytron to help bridge the gap with the active MP community, and trust his attitude and willingness to tackle some of the long standing controversial issues in the RA mod. This PR came out of that process and attitude, and so I'm making the choice to merge as-is despite the lack of consensus, knowing that this isn't going to be particularly popular with some folk.

This PR is only part of the picture for the next playtest/release, and there is still time to tweak or revert things if testing shows that they aren't as great as first proposed.

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pchote approved these changes May 5, 2018

@pchote pchote merged commit b585f46 into OpenRA:bleed May 5, 2018

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@Smittytron Smittytron deleted the Smittytron:RA-balance-April18 branch May 5, 2018

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anjew175 commented May 6, 2018

I get the impression that Smittytron has already received a lot of feedback on his test maps, and that this PR consists of the changes that he felt were strong enough to propose for integration in the main release.

so I'm making the choice to merge as-is despite the lack of consensus, knowing that this isn't going to be particularly popular with some folk.

From my position I have seen more dissent of this PR than I have seen agreement to its changes. Perhaps the higher echelon of players agree with the changes (I havent seen it if they have) but other than that, I have seen no consensus at all amongst players with many being vocal opponents of certain changes.

I agree that banging things out in the playtest is the best course of action but @oraservers has pointed out some of the obvious objections to these changes

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shpookys commented May 8, 2018

why is phase tank getting buffed? its good as is

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shpookys commented May 8, 2018

also why are we giving the naval yards/subpens sub detection?
also why is the chrono tank getting a faster port time recharge? i don't think that's going in the right direction

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