A proposal for the implication of "mega" units

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by Debosse, June 17, 2014.

  1. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    i honestly would go as far as saying that having content for variety is overrated ...
    what is far more important is that the unitpool provides the player with as much flexibility as needed ...
    having options to be flexible automaticaly provides variety and intresting matches as you aren´t stuck with just one strategy or way to approach your enemies but are able to test many more ways that could give you an advantage ...

    it is a bad idea and isn´t faithfull to SupCom, that´s why i ultimately left FAF behind
    and i realy hope such a thing to never happen with PA in any way shape or form ...
    Last edited: June 23, 2014
  2. Pendaelose

    Pendaelose Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this view. If a unit's gameplay offers nothing unique the unit offers nothing to the game's core variety. Minor balance changes do not constitute unique gameplay roles.

    A long time ago when modding I added units just because I had unused art. It was fun at first, but the end result was an obfuscated mess and I had to sub divide my armies into sub-tech trees to limit a player's access to just a couple techs at a time.

    I'm completely OK with having more overlap in the galactic war campaign because it gives us this subdivision of tech and we don't have 6 interchangeable units. If we do ever have supcom style supers galactic war is the place to put them where they can be used without worrying about role overlap.
  3. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    I have no idea how you guys foresee filling a 100+ units. even THAT would be a puny unit roster, one of the main arguments that was given for why there is a single race was because it would allow more effort on the unit roster but even 100 units is 4 times less than what faf has.
  4. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    ......seriously man? You moan about me being "misleading" and you go and post this?

    Let me explain to everyone else why this is misleading and how he is only using facts that happen to be convenient to his point and ignoring any detracting factors.

    First, lets get some core numbers out of the way.

    First off, I am going to right now define "Unit" as anything that can be built by the player and includes both Mobile units like tanks as well as Structures.

    Second, lets get some raw Stats.

    SupCom:FAF does have a lot of units, 387 units(minus the ACUs) in a Raw Count as per the FAF DB.

    But it also has 4 Factions that don't share any units at all, so we end up with something more like this;

    UEF: 99 Units
    Aeon: 98 Units
    Cybran: 104 Units
    Seraphim: 85 Units
    Average: 96.5

    Even then, SupCom has 3 tiers with a lot of duplicate stuff like factories and Economy Structures, so what happens if we combine/cull those things?

    Factories(I don't know what the "HQ Factories" are done so I just included them as separate from the "Original Factories")
    Mass Extractors
    Power Generators
    Mass Fabricators
    Radar
    Sonar
    Shields

    UEF: 77 Units
    Aeon: 77 Units
    Cybran: 78 Units
    Seraphim: 65 Units
    Average: 75.25

    I stayed away from Units because things can get very subjective there but I will say I do feel there is a lot of duplication there as well.

    Now lets go over it all again with PA using this PA DB and PA Stable Build 67523.

    In a Raw Count, PA currently has 75 units (minus the Commander) and if re apply the same list as above to combine/cull things we end up with 65 Units.

    All of the above info is also compiled in this spreadsheet.

    So now we have our data, what does it mean? Well we've confirmed that in a Raw Count, SupCom:FAF does indeed have more units than PA. But given the way SupCom's units are distributed not only across it's 3 Tier's but also across it's 4 separate Factions we can see that PA isn't really all that far behind, only by about 21 units in a Raw Factional Average Count and only about 10 units after Duplication Culling. Things look even more in PA's favor when you consider there are still some obvious gaps in the Roster as well that would at least bring it up to about even with the SupCom Culled Average if they were to magikally poof into existence right now and even without that we know the unit count for PA is only going to grow over time.

    We can see some interested correlations as well. We can see that the number of tiers present has a noticeable effect of much is "lost via the Combining/culling process but this is also somewhat offset by PA not having shields nor Sonar as of yet.

    Also worth considering is that this doesn't take mobile units into consideration for duplication/culling, it's subjective but overall regardless of specific opinions I think it's fair to say that once again PA would fare better than SupCom here as well primarily because it has more Factory Types (5 to SupCom's 3) which means that PA is putting "fewer eggs in more baskets" while SupCom is putting "more eggs in fewer baskets" where they're more likely to tread on each other's roles and risk being targeted for culling.

    In the end, I think it's already fair to say that PA already has more "Variety Potenital" than the Average SupCom faction because with fewer Tiers overall and a balance that's currently oddly halfway between huge power jumps and flat balanced(Compared to SupCom's that's firmly in the "Power Jumps" camp) you end up having a lot more potential options available to you at any given stage. SupCom, as much as I love it, limited you quite a bit in what you could do to only a handful of things within a specific unit type(Land/Air/Naval) at any given stage and as odd as it sounds, the Land T1 stage was actually my favorite stage because while LABs weren't perfect they gave you a raiding option early on and T1 still also gave access to land scouts, AA and Artillery units as well. Land T2 and T3 both have some awkwardness that basically disqualify them for me, T3 didn't have any AA and it's Artillery option, while not bad strictly speaking, was very static and didn't mesh as well with a mobile force as the T1 Artillery did. T2 had Amphibious and Shield/Stealth Gen options which were nice but for artillery you only got the Mobile Missile Launchers which were generally useless(you could only get 3 flapjacks for the price of 1 UEF T2 Shield Gen, and in comparative cost the 3 Flapjack(200Mass each) only had 350 DPS while the Shield Gen(600Mass) had 9000 Shield Hitpoints not to mention that TMD shot down MML Missiles as well) so you're left with Direct Fire, AA, Amphibious and Shield/Stealth Gens. It's funny because although it has some extra stuff as well, all the unit roles you needed to create the "perfect" cross section of unit roles are all there but split up needlessly.

    So in the end, PA might currently have fewer units, but "pound for pound" those units accomplish a lot more than SupCom's do.

    Mike
    Last edited: June 25, 2014
  5. DalekDan

    DalekDan Active Member

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    Interesting read, but I think what Tatsujb was getting at is this, just about every unit, theme, idea for unit is shot down immediately and completely by elements of this community, these ideas/themes/units are even referenced in this latest (interesting and informative) essay in the not in as yet category; Shields, radar jammers, stealth -- not even touching on megabots which do not have to be all powerful juggernauts or replace anything but are assumed to be hence the immediate and thorough dismissal-- each of these has had at least three threads, including changes thought to make them more palatable to the naysayers and each and every time those elements of the community have shut it down or it has degenerated into a series of personal attacks and been shut down. The question is valid: How do we fill up the roster when ideas are are frankly craped all over with, 'Variety' 'OP' and 'Useless/Role Overlap' and reworded arguments that say precisely the same thing are constantly posted by the usual suspects to shut down the idea?

    Yes there are alot of other potential ideas for more units that do not fit into those categories, some more orbital stuff perhaps, but a lot of potential new ideas are and will conflict with the what you see is what you get unit/game philosophy that games that do not have are able to introduce, which could lead invariably to even new and unique ideas being similarly shot down.
    Last edited: June 26, 2014
  6. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    I don't see how you can draw that conclusion, everything about his post clearly implies he is talking about the number of units present.

    It sounds like you have some thoughts of the subject of "Universal" idea panning and if you want to talk about you should just make a thread for it specifically because I'd be happy to weigh in given my unique insights/position on the matter but this isn't the place to try and shoe-horn it in.

    Mike
    Last edited: June 26, 2014
  7. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    Yeah, if anything, Mike is more qualified then most.
  8. nehekaras

    nehekaras Member

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    Could someone post a list of things a megaunit would actually break? I, and I am sure many others, dont want to wade through hundreds of pages of discussion in order to find all the relevant arguments. I would do it myself but I simply have no oversight of the discussion in generall so someone with more experience would be better suited then me.
  9. Pendaelose

    Pendaelose Well-Known Member

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    Many people here are quoting from their experience as gamers, I'm approaching it from the perspective of a modder who added many experimental units to an RTS that previously didn't have them. My view is from lessons learned about what worked and what did not.

    My (and many other's) concern is:

    If a mega unit is a heavy ground unit that crushes bots, vehicles, and base defenses then...

    1) If the mega unit is too cheap, why would you waste resources building bots, vehicles, and base defenses when the maga units will just rofl over you?

    2) If the mega unit is too expensive, why would you waste resources building mega units when bots and vehicles do the same job but better and cheaper?

    3) If the cost/performance of the mega bot is perfectly balanced to the bots and vehicles, why do you have 2 units that do the exact same thing at the same cost/performance ratio while providing the same service? Why waste your time building a mixed force when one super unit is a safer bet because it covers all the needed roles?


    Moving away from role duplication I have other concerns...

    If this unit is too large to teleport or transport, how will we make it more viable to assault than defense? Planetary defense is already heavily biased in favor of the defender, if you have to build the mega unit on the ground then only the defender will have them at the beginning of the assault.

    How can we differentiate the roles of these units (mega and standard) so that each have a uniquely viable role that cannot be interchanged for the other? How can they be setup to play very differently with each other so that they have distinct counters and the game encourages the use of both?


    It is my opinion that our current ground balance does not offer enough distinction between bots and tanks and that most anti-ground weapons are universally effective because of this. For a new class of heavy unit to be meaningful I believe we need to make a stronger distinction between light and medium units first, and then we can make weapons that are more effective vs each class.
    nehekaras, igncom1 and emraldis like this.
  10. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    Part of the problem IMO is that the label of "Super Units" or "Experimental" Or "Mega_____" simply because on it's own it doesn't mean anything.

    I mean, if you look at the Vanguard, it's basically fits into most people's vague idea of what a "SuperMegaExperimental" should be yet rarely is it labeled as that.

    The thing we need to do at this stage is not so much dispute the validity of a SuperMegaExperimental but actually point out how the label itself is worthless and show people that there are options out there for things like units that need to be large. In the end you can still get almost everything you wanted aside from the "worthless" Label.

    To use my favorite easy example, A Transport that carries 40 units would simply be large because good design is consistent and this to be able to carry 40 units it should be large and it doesn't need a fancy label for that, it's role is enough.

    We need to focus on Unit Design instead of the labels we stick on things afterwards.

    Mike
  11. Pendaelose

    Pendaelose Well-Known Member

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    For that same reason I prefer the label "heavy". It's a bit more ubiquitous and doesn't have the same exaggerated overtones as "mega". Alternatively I often call the proposed unit a "Super Mega Heavy Experimental Tier 4!" because it's fitting to exaggerate to help the reader understand what they are really asking for. I love heavy units, but dispise the later.

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