2019 Vehicle/Economy/Misc Unit Balance

Discussion in 'Balance Discussions' started by Killerkiwijuice, March 14, 2019 at 10:31 PM.

  1. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    This thread is for serious and organized discussion about vehicle balance. Balance can be highly subjective so solid data is encouraged but not required. This will be one of 5 threads.
    I want the threads to foster intelligent discussion about balance that people may have, and they will require people to post: (you can include multiple changes in one post, but this thread doesn't encourage large reworks)
    1. Your vision of what the unit or category of units should perform on the battlefield
    2. Exactly what you want to change about the unit or group of units
    3. Why you want to change this unit
    4. How you think your change will impact the battlefield
    5. (optional, yet highly desired) data showing exactly how the new changes affect balance
    For clarification, these and only these units may be included in proposed balance changes: (Obviously, you can still talk about other unit interactions, like how spinners are ground units but they only shoot air. But spinner changes are reserved for the ground thread) Ignore legion units.

    Vehicle units, Ground Economy, annihilation units, and non-AA defensive structures, misc units (walls, radar)

    https://palobby.com/units/table/vehicles?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/fabrication_vehicle?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/fabrication_vehicle_adv?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/vehicle_factory?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/vehicle_factory_adv?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/laser_defense?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/artillery_short?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/laser_defense_single?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/laser_defense_adv?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/tactical_missile_launcher?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/artillery_long?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/anti_nuke_launcher?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/land_barrier?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/table/annihilation?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/nuke_launcher?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/unit_cannon?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/table/economy?version=titans (Only ground economy for this thread)
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/land_barrier?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/radar?version=titans
    https://palobby.com/units/unit/radar_adv?version=titans
    Last edited: March 14, 2019 at 10:40 PM
  2. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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  3. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Laser defense changes:

    1. Laser defenses should be used as small defense structures for defending metal or for large walled-off sections to protect expansions. They should be able to be overwhelmed by mobile units, given the numbers advantage. They should each yaw-spin with different speeds: single spins fastest and triple spins slowest. They should be much more effective with the supplementation of walls.

      1. Single-laser:
        Yaw-rate: 60 -> 180
      2. Triple-laser:
        Yaw-rate: 60 -> 40
        Damage: 150 -> 175
        Max-health: 4000 -> 3200
        Build cost: 900 -> 1000
    2. I am not happy with how the turrets scale. These changes will offer some usefulness to single-barrel turrets in the mid and late game.
    3. The changes to the t1 turret will make it a better counter to fast-moving units like locusts and dox. The changes to the t3 turret will make it less tanky, and more of a strategic point defense that works best on chokepoints. The t2 turret is a mix in-between. Walls will be more useful with the t3 turret, and should slightly reduce turtle potential.
    4. Not necessary.
    xankar likes this.
  4. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Your Advanced Laser Defense Tower change seems poorly supported. You want to completely overhaul its place in the balance because... why? You say it's tanky, but it has a 266% health increase over the Laser Defense Tower, yet the DPS increase from an Ant to a Leveler is 1429%. It needs health to survive a tier which vastly increases damage. There's also a huge increase in the number of units which outrange it, not only is there still the Grenadier, but you add the Gil-E, the Bluehawk and the Sheller.

    Changing four values (!!) for a unit where I don't think you've even established a case for change, would be a massive misstep.

    I would like to see a yaw-rate increase on the Single Laser Defense Tower though, simply to stop the Laser Defense Tower being your default go-to just because it's such better value for money. With the yaw-rate change you now decide whether you want health and power, or a tower which can dependably stop bots even when they micro around it. This also makes for more interesting late game decision making when Locusts arrive, as this tower would be better at tracking them.
  5. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    I didn't realise that grenadier could out range the advanced laser defence tower. I think on that basis there is a strong case to increase range a little on the advanced tower so that you need T2 ranged units to counter it. That would also differentiate it better from the single and dual laser towers.

    I do like the idea of increasing the yaw rate on the single tower. On that basis it might even make sense to reduce the damage per shot, but increase the rate of fire for it so that it can shoot multiple light targets more quickly (whilst still having the same dps). That would make it a nice 'anti swarm' tower to help stop blobs or dox, boom bots or locusts.
    lulamae likes this.
  6. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    You think there's a strong case to counter a scenario so rare you didn't even know it existed?
  7. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Active Member

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    I strongly support the idea of having different turrets do a different job, compared to them being rapid fire high DPS fortresses that as they are right now. The proposed roles are having the weakest one be decent against cheap swarm units (it already mostly is), the second one doing ok against T1 tanks and other high HP slow units, and the third one being good at clearing soft T2 units and bullet sponges (countering Infernos and Slammers). Levelers are out of the question since their entire purpose is breaching defenses and bases.

    Two points:

    1) First, very few people use the single laser tower, not because it's bad, but because the double one is very very very good. Increasing the yaw rate of the single laser turret this much would mean that flanking no longer has any merit, which only increases turtle and decreases smart tactical plays. Right now it takes exactly 10 dox to take one out frontally, after which 1 dox survives. That is already 405 metal in exchange for 225, and the defender will still probably get away with their mex alive because a single dox can only take them out so fast.

    Add a wall and that number goes up to 16 (720 metal) vs 225 + 50 +2*170

    Flanking can decrease that to around 9-10, which makes the trade metal wise favorable for the dox player for being crafty enough to scout what direction the turret is facing and go around. Defenders can also manually target where they want their turret to be shooting at, thus increasing the room for micro and decision making.

    180 yawn means thats completely gone. Flanking now makes a difference of 1 dox compared to frontal assault, which is negligible, and the turret's kill count when surrounded by an army or more walls increases exponentially to 24 units even when priority targeted (those are the cases when turn rate matters more). I am willing to test yawn of 90 which will be a marginal increase to encourage deliberately attacking from multiple directions as now the turret wastes a tiny bit less time in between targets when they are clumped/lined, but anything above that makes it too strong and autonomous.

    2) The problem is with the double laser turret.
    That thing has as much HP as a leveler, at less than half the cost, which is 4.28 times more than the single one. It has almost 2x the DPS than what the single one has at only 1.5 times the cost, and an additional 10 range.

    Put simply, it's the better choice.

    In fact, unless it's an early game emergency, it should be the only choice. It is more versatile, more durable, and more threatening than the other T1 defense. Best part? The bot fabs that construct it move at 16 speed and can put it up in 13 seconds when in a train of 3. Dox move at 18. That means that you have less than 25 seconds to scout where the fabs are headed to send a raiding party( if its at relatively the same distance, which is rarely the case early game) Watch any replay by Grenadier, Diskraip or aKiloTonAnt to see the practical implications of this. Outcome is that players massively adopt the strategy of spamming fabs and rushing turrets instead of competing with armies, which turns the game into blindfold checkers.


    Before tweaking the base one, I suggest nerfing the double laser tower. Halve it's RoF & double it's damage, decrease it's HP or make the turret turn rate really slow. Give it some sort of a weakness, so that at least one type of units can actually deal with the thing and the game can be somewhat dynamic... Ah right, and it's effectiveness scales radically when walled & supported with regular units. So full on turtle fest. Every unit & structure should have a weakness to be countered within it's own tier, and this one doesn't.


    I had written an entire 800 words rant post regarding how the double laser turret is incredibly over powered for it's cost and role in actual games, away from paper stats, and than it hit me. Not only is it too strong, it's only supposed hard counter, the grenadier, is truly **** at it's job. A radical notion, right? For evidence, AndreasG, one of the all time best players, attempted breaking a double laser turret stronghold with grenadiers yesterday. Despite the micro, they all died, barely doing any damage. A new player, or even a mid tier one is unlikely to make them work either.


    I will post about this in the bot section in a bit, but long story short, if you ever somehow manage to kill a T2 laser defense turret with grenadiers in a match you are still struggling to win, you will be the god of PA.
    Last edited: March 18, 2019 at 8:38 AM
    xankar, Quitch, lulamae and 1 other person like this.
  8. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Evidently the reason I didn't know about this is as @NikolaMX points out, the grenadier doesn't work properly so it doesn't come up.

    So I guess step 1: Fix the grenadier, then we can talk about the turrets. I maintain though that the mainstay advanced point defence shouldn't be countered by a t1 bot, that to my mind makes 0 sense.
    NikolaMX likes this.
  9. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Active Member

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    Boombot: >exists<
    All Turrets: >scream<


    edit: for the record, it takes 15 to 20 boombots to take a walled/unwalled front-facing T2 turret
    cdrkf likes this.
  10. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    I'd always assumed that attack_range_frac (fraction of attack range the unit stops at) defaulted to 1.0, but apparently it's 0.85. No idea why that is, but I'm all for lobbying for that to be changed to 1.0. I did fiddle with it for a bit and didn't find any negative side effects to doing so.

    Your feelings are irrelevant, generate some data showing gameplay implications. I don't understand why you care so much about a scenario that has never happened. You're literally theorycrafting additional balance changes based on a balance that doesn't even exist yet. Even the it doesn't make sense since counters to the T2 turret are part of a player's primary T2 force, yet someone going out of their way to make a non-primary T1 unit would be a huge issue?

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