Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

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Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Postby Exotic_Retard » 06 Jan 2017, 14:06

As you know, feedback is very important to us, but there are a number of things that stand out more about Equilibrium, and people often end up asking the same questions. So that you don't have to, we are going to fill this thread with pre-prepared answers to your questions, and hopefully our evidence backing our answers is enough to explain the reasoning.
I made the terrible mistake of voting for Tokyto_
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Re: Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Postby Exotic_Retard » 06 Jan 2017, 15:21

Question: Why did you change all the unit stats in the game just to round all the numbers?
So this is one that comes up quite often, some people think its just being finicky and making a useless change, others think its unknowingly changing the balance of the game - prioritizing nice numbers over performance.
Answer:
Spoiler: show
To answer this question we need to go back to the very primordial beginnings of Equilibrium and how it developed from there. The very first thing that was done, was only a handful of changes fixing the most broken stuff at the time. That's right, EQ started out as a mod with ~4-5 units changed! But it became quickly apparent that work would not stop at just that, and it was decided to create a model and rebuild the game from there. So while EQ did start out and evolved iteratively, this decision does mean that EQ does not have a direct relationship to a specific balance from which it can be traced.

In other words: the way Equilibrium arrived at the stats it currently has are not to do with rounding at all. We used a set of algorithms to calculate every unit stat in the game so that it would be roughly balanced, created a base unit for every type, and then modified them to make each one both unique and resemble the ones in the normal game for the sake of familiarity. EQ was started when a little before 3650 was out, and we used that as a reference point.

That sounds like a mouthful, but in essence this was needed because in EQ the difference between T1/2/3 units is decreased, so the higher tiers dont make the lower ones obsolete as quickly. In order to achieve that, T1 and T3 units needed to be redesigned.

In short, very few units in this game are just rounded numbers. They all contain some sort of balance change.

In the case of ground units, the reason they all do end up with rounded numbers is specifically due to the algorithms used. For example they function in multiples of 80 mass for t2 units, and ranges of 18/23/28/33 (5 difference each). This separates the balancing of units into two layers - the first is basic stats which grounds them into the overall balance context, and the second is tweaks to all those things like rof, firing patterns, muzzle vel, ect to influence its relationship with individual units. This separation gives us more freedom in doing our job, and is our way of isolating variables.

This leads to a few advantages:
1. it becomes feasible to balance the whole game to an ok-ish standard in a short period of time (since then EQ has had >1000 test games to raise it from that ok-ish balance)
2. having round numbers is easier to perform calculations both for us and for anyone playing the game and just looking at the numbers.
3. In the case of mods its possible to add a whole range of new units to the game, and be able to put them in a correct role very quickly.

Of course, this only explains the stats for the ground units, but EQ changes a lot more than that. However, the principle we applied is the same for air and navy too. The algorithms are different for each one, but contain similarities which lets us not only unify each theatre, but also ensure that they work with each other comprehensively.

The next thing is to have a unified buildpower and factory drain model. Our unit stats were balanced with algorithms, so it made sense to apply that to everything else too.
A lot of our units have exactly the same drains, unless they are specifically different in which case its obvious. This leads to no confusion for the player and again, and easier job for us, leading to a better experience for you.

You can see a nice example of this where we actually unround a few numbers because thats what our algorithms predict, and it fits our unified drain model.
Look out for MMLs, Spearheads, Mobile Shields, Decievers. In short support units drain less mass. in a T3 factory that's 14 and not 20/s


Lastly, this has the nice side effect of being easier to understand as a player - everyone knows that mantis cost 50 mass right? wrong! they cost 52 mass and 273 energy.
But no one really cares, they just assume 50m and 270 e and it works out, because its easier to remember than the exact numbers. So now you get a more accurate picture as well. Its a minor effect but something that needed to be explained.

TLDR:
EQ does not round numbers for the sake of rounding, so the key assumption here is wrong.
1.The rounded numbers exist because Equilibrium was built from the ground up using patch 3650 as a reference, and not starting with 3650 and changing it from there.
2. The current changes are all stem from the compression of tech levels, which required a redesign of T1 and T3 land
3. Therefore, very few units end up with changes that are just rounded numbers, a lot contain balance changes too.
4. Due to it being easier to incorporate features into pre-existing order, the unit stats let us do our job a lot faster, which leads to a better experience for you.
5. The rounded numbers make it easier for the player to get an accurate picture of whats going on in the game.


And that's it, hopefully this explains why it is the way it is!
If you are not satisfied with the reasons given or dont understand or something doesnt make sense, please let us know!
Spoiler: show
Oh and lastly a technical point that's not really relevant - the act of rounding makes very little impact - lets have an example:
T3 pgen: 3240m 9640HP 8000dmg → 3200m 8000HP 7500dmg explosion
if we... well well just have to ignore the HP and explosion radius changes since they are purposeful balance changes, but the mass is pretty much rounding, right?
Well lets see how much difference that makes, assuming everything else would have been the same.
so we changed price by 40mass, which is a ... 1.23% buff. incredible. pretty sure this wont ruin the game.
we can do more examples if its really needed.
Deceiver: 5% increase in price (so at most thats 80 mass difference over the course of insane deceiver spam)
Sera T3 mob shield: 4% decrease in mass price (so thats 300 mass difference for 15 of them)
Note that we ignore a bunch of the other changes to these units, and assume they were just rounded for the sake of rounding, which isnt true.
In any case a 5% change like that is not substantial because things like micro and.. well, just pure luck even influence the game a lot more than this.
I made the terrible mistake of voting for Tokyto_
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Re: Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Postby Exotic_Retard » 08 Jan 2017, 02:56

Question: Why did you nerf ASF?
This is one that is seen quite often, especially from air players. The idea goes that since EQ nerfs ASF a lot, and buffs AA on exps, it means that exps are too strong now and just cant be stopped really.

Answer:
Spoiler: show
Well, this should be pretty straightforward to answer. How many asf to we expect we need to kill something?
Lets take the soul ripper as an example:
1. Its price was decreased from 34k to 30k mass
2. Its aa was buffed at lot - from 240 to 400 dps
3. Its hp was decreased to 80k from 90k hp
4. Its build time was increased by a lot - from 20 to 37.5k bt

So as we can see it has some nerfs and buffs, but we can agree that its overall a buff and since ASF were nerfed a lot in EQ we expect the SR to be strong against them right?

First, lets make a prediction on how many asf we will need to kill one. Keep that number in mind as you watch the replay.
Second, lets think how much we want that number to be in an ideal situation. 10% 20% 50% 100% of the soul rippers cost in asf?

These predictions are quite subjective, but it helps when we know what we want and what we expect.
So, heres a quick test replay where we pit the soul ripper against varying numbers of ASF and see what happens:
http://content.faforever.com/faf/vault/ ... id=5634853

For those that are lazy, its killed by 15 asf, or 25% of its own mass cost, or 70% of its energy cost.

We think thats acceptable, considering that the SR is also vulnerable to SAMs and other AA.

Why does this happen? well what people usually forget is that the veterancy system means that the SR will no longer get huge HP boosts after a certain critical point. For reasons like this its not suitable to directly compare with normal faf, or rather it is only suitable to compare when you don't miss anything else!

Another thing to mention is that T1 interceptors are even better at this job! For just 6.25% mass cost we can put the Soul Ripper into the ground! Out of 80 Inties, 50 survive and kill a soul ripper. However due to their fragile nature they are weaker against MAA flak, and of course ASF, so they can be used but are not an obviously good choice, which we feel is how things should be.

TLDR:
ASF were so strong its completely astounding that they were left like this. We managed to nerf them into the ground and still keep them as the best thing for killing EVERYTHING in the air. no really, try it!
1.Remember that there is no more instant heal on vet so exps cant feed on ASF
2.ASF have less dps but are easier to switch to from all land production
I made the terrible mistake of voting for Tokyto_
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