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Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 01:43
by Farmsletje
There are still quite some inbalances currently in faf. Some of them can be seen as faction diversity (Like bad t2 pd for cybran, but good mml's), while other inbalances makes some units so bad they never see any play.

You can treat this list just as an extra opinion of what i think are good changes to the game.

One final thing: These balance changes are mostly from a teamgame perspective and less from a 1v1 perspective, as well as a UEF/Sera perspective, so keep that in mind.

All factions:
- t3 Mass Fabricators: Everybody knows that t3 mass fabs are straight up garbage compared to their counterpart, t2 mass fabs. If you do some simple calculations you find out that the t3 fabs are 2.5 times as expensive in mass cost and drain 2 times as much e. First of all it is incredibly counterintuitive because it's the other way around with pgens: The higher tech level they are the more efficient they become. There are some advantages to the t3 fabs, like a shorter buildtime, more hp and that they don't ke as much space, but the cons outscale the pros by far. I know that by making mass fabs too good it would encourage turtling more which would be a bad thing, but the current state of t3 mass fabs is so bad that a buff will barely affect it at all. What i'd suggest is to change a couple of things: Increase the mass yield by a small margin (3-4 more), 5give t3 fabs a larger adjacency bonus while at the same time lowering its death weapon damage (5k dmg) by +-50%. t2 mass fabs will still be better in most situations, but i see this as a first step for making it 'just garbage' instead of 'absolute garbage'. Just like the multiple iterations the janus undertook it might take some patches for the t3 mass fab to find it's place, but i'm hoping it's place will atleast be higher than trash can level.
- t1 torp launchers: While t1 torp launchers are a good counter to subs, they perform really bad versus frigs. It's good to buff them but it wouldn't be good if they would straight up slaughter t1 subs. Both the UEF aeon and sera t1 torp launchers do 300 dmg every fire cycle (4 sec) and the lowest hp submarine, the sera one, has 400 hp, but when facing torp bombers its torp defense is able to take out 1 torpedo which basically sets its hp to 500. So by increasing the torp launcher volley from 300 dmg/volley to +-450 dmg/volley it won't affect the subs that much, but it will kill every frigate in 5 cycles instead of the previous 7. The cybran torp launcher is a bit different because it already does more dps than the other torp launchers, but you can basically do it the same way but with other numbers.

Cybran:
- ACU hp upgrade: According to faction diversity cybran should be an aggressive faction, but cybrans are the only faction without a good hp upgrade for the midgame. The cloak upgrade can't be seen as a valid hp upgrade because it has way too many downsides compared to its counterparts. Imo it's just stupid that aside from the first +-7min and some cheese later on the cybran com is absolutely useless in a straight up fight, therefore i recommend adding an extra upgrade between the stealth and cloak upgrade, purely for some extra hp. For example: Let the upgrade add 3k hp for 750 mass and remove 3k hp and the 750 mass cost from the cloak upgrade. This way the acu becomes a lot more versatile without any downsides.

Aeon:
- Obsidian: The obsidian is known as a strong but impractical unit. The main reason for this is its low range and its inability to deal with both t1 spam and acu's. After looking at its stats i recommend buffing its cannon shot from 480 to 500 dmg. What this will do is hugely improve it's performance versus UEF and sera, which are known for being the best t2 land factions by far, because of the pillar/ilshavoh hp: Image
The increased shots will barely have any other impact other than on the pillar and ilshavoh which means it will still be bad against the earlier mentioned weaknesses, but it will solidify it's position as t2 destroyer and it might give aeon another option to counter mass pillar/ilshavoh spam (instead of harb rush).
- Navy: Aeon has always been bad versus hoverspam. Not only on setons, but also on various flooded adaptive maps have i seen aeon get demolished by t1 arty spam. There are a couple of possible options i can think of. The first one is to add a deck cannon on the destroyer and in turn lower the dps from its oblivion cannon a bit. The second more easy option is to lower the dmg of the aeon cruiser cannons from 140 to +- 90 dmg, while also shortening it's reload time to keep the same dps. It won't be much, but this will help aeon atleast somewhat to deal with 170 hp fobo's.

UEF:
- Pillar: Harbs to 300 dmg shots and pillars have 1500 hp. To encourage aeons to use obsidians instead of harb rush it could be an option to increase the pillar hp to 1505 but i'm not sure about this.

Sera:
- Zthuee: Seraphims t1 arty is one of the most powerfull/versatile tools in its arsenal. They can be mixed in lategame army compositions and still be relevant. I don't have any issues with them on the land, however i do think they are way too strong in the water. The only real answer to them is frig spam but on 10x10 maps, take flooded tabula rasa as an example, you often don't have enough room to spam enough navy facs to counter it. I'd suggest lowering the movement speed of them on the water to give them a slight debuff, while its land balance remains the same.
- Athanah: Sera is weak at t3 land because its siege tank is quite bad. Instead of buffing the tank and having more generic t3 unit x vs t3 unit y battles it would be more interesting to buff the t3 mobile shield to encourage less generic unit compositions whilest making it stronger at the same time. This could also increase the use of shield disruptors.
Image
I'd say to lower the masscost to +-450 mass and lower the buildtime to +-2.5k
- Notha: Because its bombs are easy to dodge notha's are mostly used for sniping important structures (namely t2 pgens). The UEF t2 pgen however just outlives 2 notha bombs (1175 dmg / bomb) with 150/2500 hp left. I know that UEF is supposed to be the defensive faction with more hp, but because the notha already has very limited use it should be able to 2 shot the pgen imo. Therefore i suggest buffing its dmg to 1250 / bomb.

This is all i could think of right now. Maybe i will add more later on, who knows.

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 06:50
by FtXCommando
Nice post.

The problem with the equivalency with power and mass fabs is that they don't really operate under the same rules in the game. When it comes to power, it's obvious that each successive level has to be better as you move through the game with your successive upgrades in power generators. For example, you really only make t2 pgens once you have access to them, and the same for t3 pgens.

However, you do not make t2 mass fabs once you reach t2 stage. It's well established that the balance has pushed mass fabs be a tool for the late game which means that if you make t3 mass fabs more efficient then you would never see t2 mass fabs in the game. Maybe some general increase in the output for t3 mass fabs would be best, but I can't think of any other tradeoffs for the two outside of the hp/buildspace vs better production one. You can easily run too far in the other direction and make the unviability/viability issue just reverse.

Other than that, I thought most comments were reasonable. Though, do you think that Cybran would get any additional regen on their acu with the hp upgrade?

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 10:23
by Wesmania
I'd disagree with nothas being mostly useless, I've sniped people with nothas more than once. They deal way more damage on a successful pass than corsairs, you just have to make sure they don't get scouted or block the enemy com from dodging.

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 11:59
by This_Guy
Most competent players can dodge 10+ nothas and take no hits in multiple passes...

Yes, if they do hit they can take a lot of damage, but they're really ridiculously easy to doge. No-one builds them for ACU snipes in most high level games.

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 12:01
by Blackheart
Play galance. Or fix mod vault so i get motivated to include t3 mass fab buff in bhedit. Also no pillar buffs so your 100% pillar spam strategy works even better. t1 torp launchers are in a pretty good spot, no need to make navy turtleshit, better nerf frigs. Aeon being bad vs hover is not so relevant because they can just spam hover themselves (on sentons its still annoying of course, but who cares about sentons)

To the rest i either kinda agree or suggest bhedit

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 12:08
by Plasma_Wolf
Farmsletje wrote:Aeon:
- Obsidian: The obsidian is known as a strong but impractical unit. The main reason for this is its low range and its inability to deal with both t1 spam and acu's. After looking at its stats i recommend buffing its cannon shot from 480 to 500 dmg. What this will do is hugely improve it's performance versus UEF and sera, which are known for being the best t2 land factions by far, because of the pillar/ilshavoh hp: Image
The increased shots will barely have any other impact other than on the pillar and ilshavoh which means it will still be bad against the earlier mentioned weaknesses, but it will solidify it's position as t2 destroyer and it might give aeon another option to counter mass pillar/ilshavoh spam (instead of harb rush).
UEF:
- Pillar: Harbs to 300 dmg shots and pillars have 1500 hp. To encourage aeons to use obsidians instead of harb rush it could be an option to increase the pillar hp to 1505 but i'm not sure about this.



Doing the pillar change completely defeats the point of the Obsidian change. It'll still need 4 shots to kill a Pillar instead of 3.

Also, the Harbinger problem is two-fold. A Harb rush is killing to T2 and T1 but if the Harb rush is over, Aeon again has a bad main combat unit at T3 land. It'll be outclassed by bricks and Percivals. Yes you've got sniper bots and Absolvers, but Mobile arty outranges both.

I'm not against Aeon losing a bit in power on the Harb Rush, or working out a way to make the Obsidian a better unit but their lategame options are not impressive and if the Harb rush no longer pays off for that it's a problem.

The same pretty much goes for the seraphim I think, but there the T3 mobile shield is a unique unit that may help a lot.

As for massfabs, the first thing I thought of was to make the T2 fabs less energy efficient but also far less explosive. I.e. the volatility of a T3 massfab can have a bigger AoE but in return you make it produce more mass.

The figures now are:
T2: 1 mass for 150 Energy
T3: 12 mass for 3500 Energy ~ 1 mass for 291. Make it 17 or 18 for 2500. The people who go to spam it will still go for a T3 Pgen per mass fab.

The build costs are:
T2: 1 mass/s for 100 mass
T3: 12 mass/s for 3000 mass ~ 1 mass/s for 250 mass. This is 2.5 times as inefficient. If we would go for 18, then it'd be 1 mass/s for 167 mass. Still 67% more inefficient. This is also a wrong thing. Decrease the mass cost for the T3 mass fab to 1800 mass? That'd be outrageous because a mex upgrade to T3 (assuming it's capped already, as we should) gives +18 mass/s for 4600 mass. I.e. 1 mass/s for 255 mass (more than the current T3 mass fab cost for a mass/s but less than that of the T2 mass fab). The redeeming part of such a high price is that you don't have to build a T3 PGen first.

The downside here is that a lower mass cost and a lower energy cost to power them will make them far more spammable. This is bad for the mass fab balance compared to mexes and SCUs. So if the T3 mass fab is going to be better in even one way (either cost or energy upkeep), it can't be much better because then you're back to sim city as you were in SupCom vanilla.

Another thing we can mess with is the death damage. Currently the following setup will explode immediately if the T3 mass fab explodes:

Code: Select all
   PPPPMMM
MMMPPPPMMM
MMMPPPPMMM
MMMPPPPPPPP
PPPPSSSPPPP
PPPPSSSPPPP
PPPPSSSPPPP
PPPPPPPPMMM
.MMMPPPPMMM
.MMMPPPPMMM
.MMMPPPP


Make that worse so that you have to really space out T3 mass fabs in order to make not much stuff explode if one dies. That way if you go sim city, it's more sim "build the entire map and watch it all explode the moment you've built a mass fab in the range of one single TML.

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 16:00
by Farmsletje
FtXCommando wrote:Nice post.

The problem with the equivalency with power and mass fabs is that they don't really operate under the same rules in the game. When it comes to power, it's obvious that each successive level has to be better as you move through the game with your successive upgrades in power generators. For example, you really only make t2 pgens once you have access to them, and the same for t3 pgens.

However, you do not make t2 mass fabs once you reach t2 stage. It's well established that the balance has pushed mass fabs be a tool for the late game which means that if you make t3 mass fabs more efficient then you would never see t2 mass fabs in the game. Maybe some general increase in the output for t3 mass fabs would be best, but I can't think of any other tradeoffs for the two outside of the hp/buildspace vs better production one. You can easily run too far in the other direction and make the unviability/viability issue just reverse.

I know, it's very tricky to balance, but that's why i wanted to focus a bit more on things like its death weapon and the adjacency. Also even with these buffs it'll still be a lot worse than t2 fabs. It's just making the t3 fabs 'less shit' instead of 'horribly shit'.

FtXCommando wrote:]Other than that, I thought most comments were reasonable. Though, do you think that Cybran would get any additional regen on their acu with the hp upgrade?

No

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Doing the pillar change completely defeats the point of the Obsidian change. It'll still need 4 shots to kill a Pillar instead of 3.

Whoops my bad. Can just lower harb dmg from 300 to 299 then :D

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Also, the Harbinger problem is two-fold. A Harb rush is killing to T2 and T1 but if the Harb rush is over, Aeon again has a bad main combat unit at T3 land. It'll be outclassed by bricks and Percivals. Yes you've got sniper bots and Absolvers, but Mobile arty outranges both.

I'm not against Aeon losing a bit in power on the Harb Rush, or working out a way to make the Obsidian a better unit but their lategame options are not impressive and if the Harb rush no longer pays off for that it's a problem.

You have to understand 1 thing: I can't solve every balance problem. There were more units i wanted to change, like the titan, harb, aeon late t3 stage, etc etc, but i didn't have good ideas to suggest for them. Also you're focussing too much on this pillar/harb change. It was the only thing i said i wasn't sure about.

Plasma_Wolf wrote:..stuff about massfabs..

I'm not sure what you're talking about here. It looks like you're having an argument with yourself.

I think i clearly explained my intentions for t3 mass fabs.

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 16:27
by Steel_Panther
Definitely agree t3 mass fabs need to be improved, and possibly a nerf to t2 would be fine also. Maybe increase t2 fab cost to 150 mass. It is very counterintuitive that the higher tech unit is unambiguously worse, in all situations. And if saving land space is their sole advantage, they are still bad compared to ras sacus, which give mobile buildpower. They should be roughly equal to t2. I don't know if "going too far in the other direction" is really a big concern, but I would just make them equally efficient. t2 could be preferred simply for "diversifying" your fabs by not having as much invested in one building.

I agree with the cybran stealth hp idea, also think maybe a little regen would be ok for it too (maybe then increase the cost a bit more too?).

Obsidians probably could use a small buff. I feel like their short range is the biggest problem for them, but maybe higher dps is fine. It would not be a "completely useless" buff if pillar hp is increased, since it still helps vs sera, OR if there are ANY auroras/blazes mixed in with the obsidians.

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 17:34
by IceDreamer
These are all very good suggestions. Well done. With regard to the T2/T3 fab dynamic, I've long thought the trick to making both viable in different situations is to have them split with T2 being lower mass/space, less explosive, and with lower adjacency, and the T3 ones being much higher density mass/space, more explosive, with much, much better adjacency. Roughly equal in immediate build cost/mass. The idea is that you have a choice between slightly adjacent T2 arrays, spread out with loads of space taken up, relatively safe, and with high on-going power drain per mass, or a very dense, extremely efficient T3 array that pays for its efficiency by being much more vulnerable.

Re: Balance suggestions

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 18:27
by Yolo-
t1 torp launchers are fine, they don't need a buff

for cybran acu, do it like gala in his balance mod:
Cybran stealth 350/5250 -> 800/12000 (like gun but 50% e, since it has e drain too) new hp +3000 build time 500-> 800 (like gun)

The aim was to give Cybran a better option for a t2 stage combat acu, as the health was really a limiting factor for mid pushes. Also good for combination with torp in the sea.