Thoughts about Balance

Moderator: JaggedAppliance

Thoughts about Balance

Postby Blackheart » 13 Sep 2016, 21:09

Hello everyone,

by now many of you have heard about "Heartler" already. For those that dont know, Heartler is a satirical version of myself that is in totalitarian control of balance. It started out as a joke. Sadly its time to turn serious.

In this post i advocate a change in the balance team. A radical one. Why? Because even as a joke i gathered great support from many top players and a vast margin of the community and because i believe that the system of putting out patches is massively inefficient and just outright bad. My points are the following:

1) A large amount of massively controversial changes, that have unpredictable impact on balance and also impact each other are thrown out together in one patch, instead of introducing one change at a time and testing it community-wide. As the past has shown FA is extremely intricate in nature, and even "small" changes like the t1 mex HP changes in the past (was like 200 HP iirc) have massive, massive impact in how the game is played. Current beta involves exactly a t1 mex HP change, and to add on that, HP changes for virtually all other eco buildings. Those changes alone are completely unpredictable - but the beta offers a massive margin of other similarly intrusive changes.

2) This point is not supposed to be a personal attack, but i have made several observations: Zock is busy with RL very often (thats ok of course), and hence the development of patches gets put on a hold for great periods of time. The currently implemented patch is a result of very very long waiting, and the results are in the opinion of most people not in a good relation to the amount of time invested. (e.g. the changes to t2 upgrades, which now suddenly get reverted. How can this happen if there was 1 year period of development?)

The next thing is that i heard from people of the balance team (to name one very prominent one: Petricpwnz) that they have virtually no power in deciding changes, and hence the final decision is always on Zocks hands, might that be good or not. I believe that many top players can do a better job than one. I also see that a good margin of people would enjoy helping more if they have actual influence.

Final note on this point: Zock has been responsible for balance for a long, long time (like 2 years or longer?). I dont think it hurts to try if another concept can do even better.

3) Many things in the patch seem to not solve balance problems, but change the gameplay to a great extent (which in turn might influence balance in a positive or negativge direction). While i see that many people might like a massive gameplay change, equally many also dont. I would put up votes on fundamental gameplay decisions and actually get the community to vote on them, e.g. by using PM bots (communication is highly neglected currently by the balance team). Why do you need to solve e.g. a cybran advantage by changing all eco building HPs when you could solve them in a method less impactful on actual gameplay?

There are other things too which might get added by other users, but those are the most important ones. My proposal is the following:

Let us make an actual balance team of ~5 members with actual equal powers - a change shall only be passed if a sufficient majority of the team agrees to it. This is to avoid that personal balance opinions massively influence the gameplay. The members could be voted by the community, or partially voted and partially be appointed. Only people with sufficient time should be made part of the team. The changes would be limited, but more frequent. Not a big patch every 6 months, but 6 (very) small ones every month or even a higher frequency. This is in my opinion the only way to deal with the massive inter-connections in the game where one tiny thing in t1 can influence many other things later. As stated earlier, massive game play changes (like a complete eco building HP overhaul) shall be decided upon the community. Those can be suggested by the members of the balance team, where they would be discussed first.

This is a rough idea of how i think things should work, and i believe that many more think this way.

Feel free to comment, hate, support, interact.
User avatar
Posts: 376
Joined: 04 Jul 2012, 13:26
Has liked: 294 times
Been liked: 299 times
FAF User Name: various

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby Myxir » 13 Sep 2016, 21:16

totally agreeing.

here the recent changelogs, to visualize what's actually going on there:
last release
new beta

major balance changes, and not targeting things that actually require changes (e.g. t3 loya/harb rush, barely used acu upgrades)
Unhappy with balance
User avatar
Posts: 791
Joined: 09 Apr 2012, 14:01
Has liked: 94 times
Been liked: 306 times
FAF User Name: Washy (irc)

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby Mad`Mozart » 13 Sep 2016, 21:23

everyone now feels responsible to rattle about balance. even 146% inactive players like BH :|

(2bad last post got killed while i thought it might be a good idea to edit it :D )
Supreme Commander
Posts: 1092
Joined: 10 Mar 2013, 19:09
Has liked: 138 times
Been liked: 431 times

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby Viba » 13 Sep 2016, 21:28

Councillor - Moderation
Posts: 746
Joined: 22 Jan 2015, 21:42
Has liked: 144 times
Been liked: 224 times
FAF User Name: !smurfcheck Viba

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby Morax » 13 Sep 2016, 21:30

The enthusiastic me wants to see this go ahead, but just to get things going let us know one example change you would make pre-beta and pre-release patches as of recent.

E.G. the loyalist/harb rush and how t2 can be a featured phase of the game again
Maps and Modifications Councilor

M&M Discord Channel

Come join us and help create content with the artists of FAF.
User avatar
Councillor - Maps and Mods
Posts: 2865
Joined: 25 Jul 2014, 18:00
Has liked: 1167 times
Been liked: 662 times
FAF User Name: Morax

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby theeggroll » 13 Sep 2016, 21:36

I personally haven't really been upset with the balance changes, but I fully support this idea, well stated BH.
Can someone tell us what has to be done for this to actually be enacted? Or are we just going to let yet another good idea be suggested without being able to act on it because the people who can make that decision are too lazy to do so.
GMT - 6
When in doubt, Blame Gorton
User avatar
Posts: 442
Joined: 22 Dec 2014, 23:57
Has liked: 228 times
Been liked: 98 times
FAF User Name: theeggroll

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby Petricpwnz » 13 Sep 2016, 21:53

Totally agree with the policy of frequent small patches and a reliable balance team with equal rights of ~5 members. This system is flexible and even if it doesn't do good it can change everything on the fly and more importantly it will bring the feel of "development" happening in at least some aspect of faf (balance).
Blackheart wrote:actually i love lolis and want petry to be my waifu

Scientifically proving that Blackheart is a weeb - |

Best meme of 2017 -
User avatar
Posts: 464
Joined: 30 Aug 2012, 01:48
Has liked: 442 times
Been liked: 473 times
FAF User Name: Fremy_Speeddraw

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby JaggedAppliance » 13 Sep 2016, 22:06

From my point of view, it would be great to have more people in the balance team, the problem will be getting 5 people willing to work imo. It's pretty much me and zock and icedreamer doing everything, icedreamer isn't strictly in the balance team though, more so he makes the balance work possible. Zlo also gives input on many changes and exotic_retard has made some code contributions.

Will anyone put themselves forward for this? Otherwise I don't see what can come from it. I'd put myself forward ofc seen as I'm already doing it.

Another problem is the council is half empty so getting a decision on this out of them will be very difficult imo.
"and remember, u are a noob, u don’t have any rights to disagree" - Destructor

My Youtube channel with casts >
My Twitch >
Councillor - Balance
Posts: 641
Joined: 08 Apr 2015, 14:45
Has liked: 734 times
Been liked: 313 times
FAF User Name: JaggedAppliance

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby Morax » 13 Sep 2016, 22:12

I hosted 100+ balance test games and a lot of my feedback was agreed upon by the people who want to see BH's balance vision.

I'd be perfectly fine joining in an putting in the work.
Maps and Modifications Councilor

M&M Discord Channel

Come join us and help create content with the artists of FAF.
User avatar
Councillor - Maps and Mods
Posts: 2865
Joined: 25 Jul 2014, 18:00
Has liked: 1167 times
Been liked: 662 times
FAF User Name: Morax

Re: Thoughts about Balance

Postby Downlord » 13 Sep 2016, 22:29

Update: If it's true what Blackheart says...

Pretty much same problem as in former development; Single person in charge, very few communication, long development time, big changes.
It had/has to be changed for client/server development and it has to be changed for balancing. You have my support.

Disclaimer: I'm so bad at this game that I haven't even noticed a single change in balance.
Last edited by Downlord on 13 Sep 2016, 23:22, edited 1 time in total.
Working on FAF is my passion. Most of you know me for the feature-rich Downlord's FAF Client, but I also program and maintain the FAF server. Visit my Patreon page to get some insights on my work.
Councillor - DevOps
Posts: 226
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 14:55
Has liked: 161 times
Been liked: 213 times
FAF User Name: Downlord


Return to Balance Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest