Radical Balance Ideas

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Radical Balance Ideas

Postby Crazy Cossack » 28 Oct 2018, 04:03

Will further radical balance ideas ever be considered? After all, engy mod itself was a radical re-balance in some senses; or at least it made a radical change to some in-game playing decisions.

New Ideas:

(a) Hover should only be available from T2. Same with amphibious which is the case now anyway I think (except for engies and ACU of course).
(Therefore Aurora and Sera T1 arty would lose hover ability. This would necessitate further balance changes of course.)

(b) Reduce Aurora range by a couple of points so it has just less range than T1 PD, BUT add enough health points to Aurora to buff it back to balance.

(c) Aeon T1 navy would need some buffing after this. I think people are saying even now that Aeon T1 navy needs a buff .

(d) Give Sera and Aeon some more T3 land unit options. Sera needs a heavy T3 bot and Aeon needs a heavy T3 tank (like Obsidian's big brother).

(e) If point (a) is not accepted then light sea transports are perhaps necessary for Cybran and UEF. It would be nice to be able to land T1 units by sea.
(If point (a) accepted then give light sea transports to all factions.)

(f) Permit T1 fighters to strafe ground units. This would be a fairly light-effect weapon.

(g) Make T1 bombers more expensive (by 50% perhaps) but beef up their bomb damage accordingly.

(h) T1 radar towers have 10 health points, They need at least a hundred and would still be very easy to knock down.

This is for starters. I wonder if any of these ideas could get any traction?
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby FtXCommando » 28 Oct 2018, 04:41

Ever think that perhaps you should try to justify why any of these would remotely be necessary?

I can say with 99% certainty that no new units will find their way into base FAF.
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby moses_the_red » 28 Oct 2018, 05:38

I've thought about making a FAF mod before, as I have a bunch of radical ideas that I know would never even be considered by the balance team (and really they shouldn't be considered, change the game too much and suddenly its not FA anymore).

I'd like to see a mod that does the following (note, this is just a sketch changes this extreme would require a LOT of modifications and I certainly haven't thought through all of them):

1. Drastically nerf the amount of time it takes for aircraft to run out of fuel. I mean like a 5x or 10x reduction. Air is now a luxury unit that absolutely requires a nearby fueling station.

2. Drastically increase the capabilities (say 3x) and price (5x) of all aircraft at all tiers except T4. The idea is to essentially move every air unit up a tier. Aircraft are now very high tier units that are produced in very limited quantities. You'd expect players to build air to land at something like a 1:20 ratio, meaning one aircraft for every 20 land units. Air is very expensive (as it is in real life).

3. Drastically increase the price of all anti air units. These units in real life are not cheap, so why should they be in the game? This should include anti-air naval units like cruisers.

4. Drastically increase the cost of refueling stations, or make air factories function as refueling stations and drastically increase their cost.

5. Range of units correspond to their type. Bombers have the highest range, followed by fighters, gunships have the least range. and cannot go far from their refueling stations. On medium style maps, gunships and fighters should require a support chain of refueling stations to reach the enemy bombers should require fewer such stations. Killing a station behind aircraft would be a major tactical victory as the aircraft would be stranded in a forward position

6. Aircraft that run out of fuel fall to the ground and become wreckage with the exception of gunships.

7. Engineers can transfer small amounts of fuel to aircraft that are landed (gunships).

8. Some T4 (perhaps all T4) now functions as a mobile air refueling station. Obviously the czar and Atlantis should do this, but perhaps the fatboy, megalith and tempest should as well. Perhaps every T4 should.

The goal here is to make people really fear air. A single gunship should devastate a land army. The most expensive unit type in every tier should be the air and anti-air units. T1 mobile AA should cost as much as T2 tanks. T2 flak should cost as much as bricks. These units are lynchpins for your force. If they go down, you get obliterated by t1 or t2 gunships and bombers(or god forbid T3).

How is this fun?

First it creates a new snipe target for people's bases, the refueling station. If you hit that, you can knock out their air, and their air will likely be their primary means of defense.

Secondly, it makes Naval much more interesting because the aircraft carrier is suddenly really useful. Hyper powerful air that is mostly balanced by its fuel range means that aircraft carriers can function similarly to T4. Sinking an aircraft carrier full of aircraft, or even sinking one where the aircraft won't be able to make it back to a refueling station is a huge win. Without refueling limitations and significant penalties to allowing your aircraft to run out of fuel, the aircraft carrier is essentially useless.
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby Crazy Cossack » 28 Oct 2018, 06:27

FtXCommando wrote:Ever think that perhaps you should try to justify why any of these would remotely be necessary?

I can say with 99% certainty that no new units will find their way into base FAF.



Justifications point by point:

(a) Having 2 factions with T1 hover and two without T1 hover is artificial scissor-paper-rock balancing. It's better to have scissor-paper-rock balancing follow logical weapon relationships. T3 assault units and T3 artillery units with their different capabilities are examples of logical weapon relationship scissor-paper-rock balancing. Do we seriously think Cybran and UEF would not (in the FA universe) research and implement T1 hover? Plus, Sera T1 arty is OP, it's well known.

(b)It goes against balance to have Aurora so long ranged and yet so paper thin on armor. Nerf the range slightly and buff the helth points slightly. You know it makes sense. :)

(c) As I said, Aeon T1 navy could use some buffing after this. I think people are saying even now that Aeon T1 navy needs a buff. It's not a lone opinion.

(d) Give Sera and Aeon some more T3 land unit options. Sera needs a heavy T3 bot and Aeon needs a heavy T3 tank (like Obsidian's big brother).
The T3 mobile AA is new. Why not a few new units? Got to keep it fresh. And Aeon and Sera T3 cupboards are a bit bare.

(e) Again, why not a sea transport unit?

(f) Permit T1 fighters to strafe ground units. This would be a fairly light-effect weapon. Would mostly be useful against labs, nothing heavier. It looks silly when a T1 fighter can hit an air unit on the ground but not a ground unit on the ground. How does this make sense?

(g) Make T1 bombers more expensive (by 50% perhaps) but beef up their bomb damage accordingly. T1 bombers are too cheap compared to fighters. The higher cost would be balanced by better bomb load. Would make T1 bombers of less tactical effect very early game but more tactical effect later. A balance change the game needs IMO.

(h) T1 radar towers 10 health points is pointless. Give it a 100 at least.
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby Crazy Cossack » 28 Oct 2018, 06:52

Moses the Red,

Yes, costs need to be a bit more reflective of real costs. Of course, this will only happen in a mod. Navies and air-forces are notoriously expensive compared to basic land armies. Expense in the real world of physics and economics (even futuristic civs are going to face physics and economics issues) is matter of resource requirements and complexity / technical level. But waterways and seaways are great conduits for logistics; cheaper than land transport, so that is also worth bearing in mind.

If all physical and economic cost sense is sacrificed on the altar of artificial game balance then unit relationships make no intuitive or real-world sense. Instead, one must learn a thousand artificial game relationships.

Making supply (logistics) requirements stricter and interdict-able makes sense strategically. However, it would have to be done in a way that does not increase micro management on the supply side. The T2 landing pads are a great example of logistics done right. They work automatically for air units on patrol. They could be enhanced to supply munitions as well as fuel. All air units would need to have fuel and munition capacities which need replenishing. Establish the right capacities by mod testing. Add fuel and munition needs to land units too. Then a fuel/munitions dump (a building) supplies forward by auto-creating say 10 tanker/munition trucks per dump and you set the patrol of this to your forward base.

So, the idea is (a) create land logistic tails that are interdict-able (in the tactical and strategic senses) but create them in such a way that the player can automate the supply chain. This automated supply chain and forward supply base(s) still then need military protection (micro of military units and formations).

When it comes to supply, I also believe factories should be supplied. Factories should be directly connected to mexes and pgens by having these chained (by storages for mass) or even by a new mass conduit "unit" and an energy conduit "unit": pipes if you like. This then gets around the nonsense (IMHO) of factories in the middle of nowhere with no supply chain still being able to make units. Where engies get mass and energy from is a more difficult issue. I would probably still let them build stuff anywher. If someone wants to build an un-supplied factory in the middle of nowhere (which won't work in such a mod) then that would be their business. ;)
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby FtXCommando » 28 Oct 2018, 07:02

New units do not keep things “fresh” but they certainly destroy the entire point of the FAF project. How exactly are we keeping “forged alliance” alive if a dude that played the game in 2008 installs FAF and is greeted by “Seraphim T3.6 Transgender Rhetorical Sniper Annihilator v3.2 BETA (omega boom fix)” because dudes that think balance is solved by adding a new unit tend to feel imbalances causes by that new unit will also be solved by a new unit.

New units are for mods, end of.

Before someone cites T3 MAA; I advise taking a look at the 35ish page forum thread debating whether to add the unit, the fact the unit really did absolutely nothing to change anything in the meta, and the fact quite a lot of people still consider it a bad addition to FAF (if not for the unit, because it gives credit to the idea that new units are welcome in base FAF).

Crazy Cossack wrote:
Justifications point by point:

(a) Having 2 factions with T1 hover and two without T1 hover is artificial scissor-paper-rock balancing. It's better to have scissor-paper-rock balancing follow logical weapon relationships. T3 assault units and T3 artillery units with their different capabilities are examples of logical weapon relationship scissor-paper-rock balancing. Do we seriously think Cybran and UEF would not (in the FA universe) research and implement T1 hover? Plus, Sera T1 arty is OP, it's well known.

(b)It goes against balance to have Aurora so long ranged and yet so paper thin on armor. Nerf the range slightly and buff the helth points slightly. You know it makes sense. :)

(c) As I said, Aeon T1 navy could use some buffing after this. I think people are saying even now that Aeon T1 navy needs a buff. It's not a lone opinion.

(d) Give Sera and Aeon some more T3 land unit options. Sera needs a heavy T3 bot and Aeon needs a heavy T3 tank (like Obsidian's big brother).
The T3 mobile AA is new. Why not a few new units? Got to keep it fresh. And Aeon and Sera T3 cupboards are a bit bare.

(e) Again, why not a sea transport unit?

(f) Permit T1 fighters to strafe ground units. This would be a fairly light-effect weapon. Would mostly be useful against labs, nothing heavier. It looks silly when a T1 fighter can hit an air unit on the ground but not a ground unit on the ground. How does this make sense?

(g) Make T1 bombers more expensive (by 50% perhaps) but beef up their bomb damage accordingly. T1 bombers are too cheap compared to fighters. The higher cost would be balanced by better bomb load. Would make T1 bombers of less tactical effect very early game but more tactical effect later. A balance change the game needs IMO.

(h) T1 radar towers 10 health points is pointless. Give it a 100 at least.


A) It’s faction diversity. You play to faction strengths and try to circumvent weaknesses. Why be mad about zthuee but be totally fine with parashield/asylum? Why not throw a fit about Aeon range ACU? Pointless to pick this issue out when, like all other factional imbalances, tools exist to counteract the faction strength. A proper way to go around the hover issue would be advocating for a t2 land hq cost nerf, not this.

B) Makes about as much sense as the rest of this. Aurora is fine, if you got an issue with aurora you’d be better off advocating for t2 hq cost nerf.

C) Not really a radical opinion, but just saying “buff it” doesn’t say much. Look to Yolo’s thread about aeon navy for some possible ideas.

D) No

E) Because it’s a new unit.

F) Because that entirely changes the balance for no discernible reason. It rewards lazy gameplay of stocking up interceptors and not switching to bombers once you have air control. It also makes air something you will rarely ever win once you lose because the other dude can just keep making asfs/ints. Bad design.

G) Destroys any usage of early bombers because now you made them cost absurd mass and e. You know later in the game you can make t2 and t3 bombers/gunships right? Why wouldn’t t1 units be uhhhhhhhh balanced to beat mmmmmmmmmmm t1 units? You also state no reasons for why this change even would need to exist. What is the problem? That they exist? That you lost to a first bomber? What?

H) It’s a change that just doesn’t do anything for the game. It still dies nearly immediately to everything. Actually just realized you said “at least 100.” It’s supposed to be easily killed in a raid. It’s a radar not a wall segment.
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby moonbearonmeth » 28 Oct 2018, 09:43

I guess I'll also add some radical ideas.

1. Paragons should have an offensive weapon.
They're already expensive as f*** and having to build defenses around it eats into your population cap which basically nerfs the paragon. We should give it a GC laser that shoots out of the little ball at the top so it can dab on all the haters

2. Governors should be submersible
UEF doesn't have an underwater T2 unit and that is really imbalanced so why not?

3. Give Firebeetles cloak
Emphasis on just the cloak bit, not stealth, you should still be able to see them from radar.
Anyway you already nerfed their damage a ton so you gotta give them something right?
And don't give me this 'but muh stealth generator' shit no one actually does this except some uber try hard pros and why should we balance the game around like 7 guys?

4. More TML diversity
As it stands only Cybran has anything cool in this regard. We should give UEF like a high AOE lower damage one, Sera gets a higher damage lower AOE one and Aeon should get like homing missiles or something because Aeon are super high tech.

5. Seraphim T4
Either give Seraphim some kind of naval experimental or make Ythothas able to produce units. All the other factions get a T4 that builds stuff but not Seraphim, it's not fair.

6. ASF should be able to shoot Nukes
Nukes are OP, enough said

7. Faction start resources
Again because faction diversity
Aeon are like the air faction so they should start with more E and less mass
UEF is like the opposite so they should start with more mass but less E
Seraphim should be the control and not change
Cybran should start with less mass and less E but get a higher population cap (because they're like the zerg faction)

8. EQ Navy
Just port over the navy balance from Equilibrium.
It's actually really well done.

9. Shot gun mode for arty.
You should add a toggle to all artillery that switches it between artillery mode (where it fires at a 45-90 degree angle) and shotgun mode where it reduces the range but now it shoots like a direct fire weapon.
Clearly adding a toggleable switch to a certain unit type is a great way to add strategic depth to the game and it will make for a fine addition to FAF.
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby Plasma_Wolf » 28 Oct 2018, 12:51

moonbearonmeth wrote:6. ASF should be able to shoot Nukes


There used to be an ASF nuke mod on the old GPGNet but I think that mod got lost at some point. I can't find it in the vault anymore. Shouldn't be too hard to make again and it would be hilarious to use for Seton's.
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby moses_the_red » 28 Oct 2018, 18:35

Crazy Cossack wrote:Moses the Red,

Yes, costs need to be a bit more reflective of real costs. Of course, this will only happen in a mod. Navies and air-forces are notoriously expensive compared to basic land armies. Expense in the real world of physics and economics (even futuristic civs are going to face physics and economics issues) is matter of resource requirements and complexity / technical level. But waterways and seaways are great conduits for logistics; cheaper than land transport, so that is also worth bearing in mind.

If all physical and economic cost sense is sacrificed on the altar of artificial game balance then unit relationships make no intuitive or real-world sense. Instead, one must learn a thousand artificial game relationships.

Making supply (logistics) requirements stricter and interdict-able makes sense strategically. However, it would have to be done in a way that does not increase micro management on the supply side. The T2 landing pads are a great example of logistics done right. They work automatically for air units on patrol. They could be enhanced to supply munitions as well as fuel. All air units would need to have fuel and munition capacities which need replenishing. Establish the right capacities by mod testing. Add fuel and munition needs to land units too. Then a fuel/munitions dump (a building) supplies forward by auto-creating say 10 tanker/munition trucks per dump and you set the patrol of this to your forward base.

So, the idea is (a) create land logistic tails that are interdict-able (in the tactical and strategic senses) but create them in such a way that the player can automate the supply chain. This automated supply chain and forward supply base(s) still then need military protection (micro of military units and formations).

When it comes to supply, I also believe factories should be supplied. Factories should be directly connected to mexes and pgens by having these chained (by storages for mass) or even by a new mass conduit "unit" and an energy conduit "unit": pipes if you like. This then gets around the nonsense (IMHO) of factories in the middle of nowhere with no supply chain still being able to make units. Where engies get mass and energy from is a more difficult issue. I would probably still let them build stuff anywher. If someone wants to build an un-supplied factory in the middle of nowhere (which won't work in such a mod) then that would be their business. ;)


I like this, you took the logistics/supply chain aspects of the air overhaul I want and really ran with it.

Never thought about connecting factories to mass and power stations. This would give fabricators a lot more use. I imagine that GPG wanted to go in this direction originally, it explains the funky adjacency mechanic. I'm guessing they did it and decided it wasn't as fun or was too hardcore. Maybe even more learning curve couldn't be justified. Maybe they play tested it and their play-testers just couldn't handle that much upfront learning. Maybe they couldn't automate it well enough... although it seems like a simple patrol should work well enough...

Aircraft carriers would have to be their own mass fabs/power plants, which kind of makes sense. T4 could as well if part of its function is production.

This would give a huge buff to the fatboy, megalith and all aircraft carriers (including the T4 ones), if external basing required mass and power to be sourced locally and those units largely solved that problem... That would probably be worthwhile.

Then you'd have to decide if having a connection to ANY fab means that you have access to all resources being produced or just the resources being produced in one localized area.
Last edited by moses_the_red on 28 Oct 2018, 18:55, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Radical Balance Ideas

Postby moses_the_red » 28 Oct 2018, 18:51

Crazy Cossack wrote:
(e) Again, why not a sea transport unit?


I either disagree with, or have no opinion on I (i play mostly cybran) most of these suggestions but sea transport makes a lot of sense. Really, this should be the aircraft carrier. No new unit required. In real life amphibious assault ships are used for this purpose anyway. If feels really wrong for aircraft carriers in this game to be nothing more than T3 AA boats. This change would go a long way towards making them the naval flagships they deserve to be.

Should have significantly more capacity than air based transports. Maybe 3x what the UEF transport can hold.

It would give land more purpose on naval maps, but also delay land's utility until late game.

I understand why new units are something that people don't want to deal with or implement, but this should at least exist in a minimalist mod, and if the mod were to become popular maybe it can eventually be introduced after its been thoroughly vetted.
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