Fixing ASF lag/swarm.

Re: Balance Test Mod.

Postby FunkOff » 02 Mar 2013, 03:33

Xenopod wrote:What if SAM's did not waste shots? Just an Idea.

Would it be possible for the SAM to engage more than one target at a time? Lets say 5 at time.


It depends on how the unit's weapon load-out is programmed: If a SAM launcher is programmed to have only one weapon, as is the case now, it can only engage one target at a time... but potentially can be programmed to chose targets intelligently. If the SAM is given additional weapons (would look the same, cosmetically), it could choose to favor different targets for each weapon. Although, if you played supcom 2 early on, the Kraken was like this and it made the unit utterly terrible, so it tends to be most effective to concentrate fire. Slow projectiles (SAM missiles...) vs fast targets (ASFs...) just happens to be about the only exception to that rule.

I mean, it's not like SAMs kill ASFs slowly or even inefficiently... SAMs has a fast time to kill on ASFs, it's just that ASFs are so fast, they can escape before many die.
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Re: Balance Test Mod.

Postby HEAVY » 02 Mar 2013, 03:39

Making each SAM target a different unit sure was popular in the survey, but it doesn't mean the change is good.

SAMs are cheap, and if the ratio is 1 SAM v 1 target, strat bombing raids could be denied completely and easily.

Also, with a high number of SAMs and ASFs, I'm sure the targeting logic would cause noticeable added lag.
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Re: Balance Test Mod.

Postby BRNKoINSANITY » 02 Mar 2013, 03:58

I have no idea about the unit profiles on this game, but don't some of the projectiles have "combat" profiles with speed, health, etc? (tac missiles) Perhaps this would be possible...

Don't the SAM projectiles already vanish when the unit they are chasing dies? Why not change the "vanish" to a flack style death weapon that follows the last trajectory of the shot?

Again, I have no idea how hard something like this would be to code, but it would help with overkill and vs a swarm. If the unit pursued dies, the volley of SAM projectiles (1200 damage total) changes to a straight-flying scatter shot with the spread of flack that has no more than 1200 damage potential distributed over an area.

If they are firing at a strat bomber, t4, or what have you, the SAMs will pursue like normal.
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Re: Balance Test Mod.

Postby MushrooMars » 02 Mar 2013, 04:09

Whelp, I'm on my way to figuring out how to make SAM projectiles redirect.

SetNewTarget()

Very useful function.

Edit: Pretty much everything about targeting is stored in the source code. What a shame.

I know there's a way to hack the projectiles so they'll pick a new target, the way I would do it is make it so the missiles release invisible flares that detect air units. When it finds an enemy unit, it sends the unit's ID back to the missile and the missile changes it's target. However, I have other things I need to do that I understand a whole lot better than that. So I'll leave it to a more experienced modder.
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Re: Balance Test Mod.

Postby Firestarter » 02 Mar 2013, 09:58

Regarding fixing SAM overkill

What I am saying is that if we change the fire cycle (specific example below) we will get almost all the benefits of any 'special behaviour change mod' without needing to do anything more than change a couple values in the BP.

(Also Sheppard you slightly misunderstood what I meant in the other thread - sorry I'll try to explain with an example.)

Current fire cycle: 4 missile burst over 0.6s, then a 3.6 second reload. Total 4 shots every 4.2sec.
Effect: If 10 SAMs fire at ASFs they often all target the same one. Missiles take more than 0.6s to hit so most of the total 40 shots are wasted.

Proposed fire cycle: one single missile every 1.05 seconds. This still totals 4 shots every 4.2 seconds.
Effect: if 10 SAMs fire at one target, it will often be destroyed by the first 10 shots. Depending on distance, either the second or the third shot onwards will be fired at a new target. Ie instead of wasting 40 shots, 10 are spent killing target 1, then the other 20 or 30 find another target (or several if that dies quickly as well).
Remember this does not alter the dps so the difference in behaviour vs experimentals would be almost nothing. And it would work fine with or without any other ASF twaeks we may use or not use. And no extra lag that might be generated by complex re-targetting behaviour.
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Re: Fixing ASF lag/swarm.

Postby Rocksteady » 02 Mar 2013, 14:30

A Sam should be doing at least 900 dps, T1 and T2 AA have a dps that's around 1/4th of equivalent in t1 , t2 bomber HP but sam's current DPS is only 1/12th of strat bomber HP. t2 flak is a little lower but the AoE balances that out. Cruisers currently have 1.5 to 2.5 times more dps than T3 sam and much closer to 900 dps/t3 AA

So why not just remove sam's from the game and give each faction a stationary cruiser equivalent for static defense, i.e

T3 Olaris AA Artillery Cannon
T3 Flayer SAM Launcher
T3 Nanodart Launcher
T3 Zealot AA Missile

Keep differences between cruisers the same, but balance the static versions to have equal DPS, they'll just have different visuals for faction flavour. I'll even help create all the new AA-PD models for them if needed.

Can have a smaller mounted version to sit on the back of a T3 mobile unit aswell
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Re: Fixing ASF lag/swarm.

Postby Sunny » 02 Mar 2013, 15:16

Rocksteady wrote: Sam should be doing at least 900 dps, T1 and T2 AA have a dps that's around 1/4th of equivalent in t1 , t2 bomber HP but sam's current DPS is only 1/12th of strat bomber HP. t2 flak is a little lower but the AoE balances that out. Cruisers currently have 1.5 to 2.5 times more dps than T3 sam and much closer to 900 dps/t3 AA


Agreed. SAM is hard counter to air, it cannot more, it cannot reckon, it cannot attacka air or land outside it's tiny circle, it will not help you kill enemy's comm when you will need to siege his base (reclaim should be nerfed, if you understand, what I'm about). It shold not just considerably effectively kill air, it should totally murder it.

We actually have 2 problems.
1. Make SAMs more effective vs inties, so that they could fly over bases, denying air for long and denying ASFs production too (to kil bombers and gunships).
Besides from upping dps, a good and simple way to do it is to make SAMs' missiles faster and flred not in such huge bursts with long reload time.
2. Make SAMs more effective vs stratbombers. This is why they burst-fire, btw. So, if we make them fire smoother, this will buff stratbombers. So we need to buff the dps too.

So, the straight solution seem to be clear for me.

1. Buff SAMs' dps.
2. Make them fire with more often cycles.
3. Make projectiles' speed faster.

Make SAMs more fragile, so that you could still overpower them with gunships and bombers, if they are not shielded.
But anyway, with TML(cybran)/TMD balance that broken, as it's now, we have not real turtle siege problem. Build 10 cybran TML to have "I kill what I want" tool in your disposal.

Also balance effect can be reached with making SAMs' range like 20% longer. But this might become tricky about map control.

I'd like to draw you attention to current ASFs' changes, implemented in the balance mod (they'll go to patch).
I dislike them, because, they are drastic. Well, making SAMs' range 50% longer wouldn't be that drastic.
Current relative ASFs' stats.
new Cost = 200 (lolwut?!, it's a t3 unit) = (1/2) old Cost
new HP = 1/2 old HP
new DPS = 1/2 old DPS

So we see rough 50% nerf. Well, I need to know the sort of the weed.
Also, this limits maximum amount of AA firepower a player can have.
People say, Zep asked not to compare them to Restorers and Swiftwinds for now.

I personally think, that higher tech units should be costy and more diverse. Percival is the best example of such a unit, you can kill it with T1 (bring arties mostly and block it), it murders other T3 and T4. T2 bot is such a unit. We have a bunch of these in game.

I would make T3 inties cost like 2 or 3 times more (800 or 1200 or even 1600, so that a player would consider building one vs gunships and bombers) and would give them longer range (needs to be carefully tested), thus making them sort of Hoplite vs T1 tanks fighters. They will be able to give you actual air superiority over time, not giving you also insane DPS and HP early. They will totally dominate mass for mass low-tier fighters from some number because of range anyway.

And they shouldn't be able to fiy for 20 minutes.
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Re: Fixing ASF lag/swarm.

Postby Rocksteady » 02 Mar 2013, 16:04

Still leaves the problem of naval and ground units though, without a decent mobile AA unit for them ASF are still a must to stop bombers/gunships/torpedos wrecking your mobile forces.

T3 Carriers should get an AA option equal to a buffed t3 sam with around ~900 dps or buff cruiser AA. T3 Air rapes navy

Land needs a t3 mobile AA land unit that also has ~900 dps, Air units have 2500-6000 HP and the only land mobile AA we have to deal with them has 150 dps, you can't even leave your base at T3 unless you have ASF if your opponent has t3 gunships/bombers
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Re: Fixing ASF lag/swarm.

Postby Sunny » 02 Mar 2013, 17:14

Rocksteady wrote:Still leaves the problem of naval and ground units though, without a decent mobile AA unit for them ASF are still a must to stop bombers/gunships/torpedos wrecking your mobile forces.

T3 Carriers should get an AA option equal to a buffed t3 sam with around ~900 dps or buff cruiser AA. T3 Air rapes navy

Land needs a t3 mobile AA land unit that also has ~900 dps, Air units have 2500-6000 HP and the only land mobile AA we have to deal with them has 150 dps, you can't even leave your base at T3 unless you have ASF if your opponent has t3 gunships/bombers


Completely agree.

On navy. Naval T(number) units are actually T(number + 1) units by design in terms of cost and abilities. Frigates ~ T2 land, T2 Navy ~ T3 land T3 navy units are exps.
Now T3 air units seems to be pretty much equal to T2 naval units mass for mass. This is broken, because
1. Air units fly in the sky, and are not limited to water lakes.
2. Air units fly fast.
3. Air units kill structures, ground units, air units, comm anywhere on the map and give you unmatched map control.

Balance vs Navy should be not better, that 50-60% mass to kill antinavy air. Naval units have their roles too and you can't produce Cruisers exclusively. T3 gunships now do okay vs cruisers, actually seem to be even more mass effective unmicroed, and lose a little bit microed.

And yes, you can't show a nose out of you base, not having ASFs from some stage.
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Re: Balance Test Mod.

Postby Badsearcher » 03 Mar 2013, 00:02

"Proposed fire cycle: one single missile every 1.05 seconds. This still totals 4 shots every 4.2 seconds."

I'm definitely in favor of this.

In a certain sense, it's ONLY a nerf against experimentals if a battery of sams was going to be able to down an experimental in one salvo, if it wasn't, then in a purely practical sense it has changed very little.

The only problem I can see (and this can be mitigated by a range increase) is with the seraphim t4 fast bomber which can fly over a base relatively quickly before an sam shoots all four of its missiles.
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