B13's Balance prepositions

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by bthirteen, January 23, 2019.

  1. bthirteen

    bthirteen New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I've seen a lot of discussions on balance of this game and today I would like to give my view for the balance team so today I will talk about:
    1. Air gameplay balance
    2. T2 bots balance
    1. Air gameplay balance​
    There are a few things I want to put attention on before I start talking about air gameplay and how I see it fit for our game. When reading a lot of your problems with it I see that you mostly take examples from Nik's or Nimzo's games. My problem is that most of those games situation is that Ubers like those two players who are the best at air game at the moment, they will always pull more value out of their units with their micro and they play 98% of their time against players who are gold and platinum who aren't bad just they haven't mastered game and countering that good players on their main strategy is really difficult. For example, I've rarely heard or seen that somebody in the gold league has air problems in their games.

    Air game early is just tool of controlling map and punishing the opponent for making a mass expansion at the start without any defenses or fabber defenses, at the mid-game it becomes a tool of defending and raiding weak points and expansions. From mid to late part of a game it becomes a tool that punishes bad unit compositions which don't have enough AA OR air support. You can never play the game efficiently with negating air at 100%, it's a key component of gameplay (same as naval gameplay).
    Air is strong and extremely risky but it isn't the supreme way of playing this game or only way of doing it!
    Heavy air is countered easily with multiprone attacks, combat stitches with spinners or just some of your own air producing only Hummingbirds compared to enemies where they need to spend the time to build Bumblebees (you don't have to kill all his air just bombers). Just process of doing is some sort slow and tricky to pull off.
    On maps, I will say that bigger maps should have more air for control but again you don't have to finish with air only, that's why we have transitions.

    After we have cleared that I'll talk about the reasons why air is so strong and others "feel weak".
    The reason is simple. SPEED. Air moves faster compared to other units and with that in mind it kinda "builds faster", "does damage faster". I'm pretty sure if you take the same amount (metal value) of Spinners and Bumblebee toe to toe and micro them both well, spinners will win most engagements if you add up combat fabbers you will win 100% of trades. But spinners need a lot of time to travel to another place and you can't add them from reinforcement once your blob goes that's all you have, while air has time to build more units which can easily travel to bombing spot and bomb with numbers advantage and then bleed slowly all other units that can't shoot up in that situation value of bombers goes up exponentially. On top of that value, they can't be really out of position if there aren't multi prone attacks compared to your spinners which can't cover more than one expansions cause of their speed. The process of getting spinners in your army mix is risky because you could get overrun with doxes if not careful with timings but in general, spinners are a good counter to air just they can't catch them if they aren't in a good place or they aren't putting pressure at key points.
    If you plan to get Galata turret it takes good planning (with time) to get them up on time, because of speed even if you have 3 fabbers Bumblebees can snipe fabbers down before they finish it. But when they are done Galata turrets are a good counter to air.
    From that story, I would recommend the next changes:
    1. Hummingbird, Bumblebee, Kestrel and Phoenix speed decreased. (But they still have to be valid at their job)
    When talking about T2 Air counters, spinners with combat fabbers will get the job done BUT getting those combat fabbers will decrease the amount of cannon fodder/DPS units in the group so there should be a valid, more efficient counter from other T2 factories, so let's open talk on Storm. Storm by itself does a good job vs Bumblebee's but Kestrel can kill them easily with their kiting ability. So my recommendation is:
    1. Rework of Storm. (So it can turn its cannons?)
    Next on the line are Pelican, manly pelican drops. There isn't anything special to talk about them or how they work. I'm a fan of pelican T2 tanks drops strat killing Commander when you are slowly losing your game but if you can do that on top of Flak Cannon it just doesn't feel right. I'm ok if you can drop 5 tanks little around of Flak Cannon and kill commander if he isn't defended just not instant lose even if you have prepared for that kind of play. Putting Pelican speed slower or faster depending on which cargo they have it would change power of drop but not negate it completely. So one recommendation:
    1. Pelican speed decreased compared to which cargo it has.
    2. T2 Bots Balance​
    Just after latest patch(s) that allowed Gil-E ability to Intercepts missiles, they became a good tool for pushing into big catapult defenses but aswell full counter to Bluehawks main attacks. Nowadays players don't build Bluehaws cause Gil-E does the same thing as they and counter rockets. Gil-E became an aggressive approach to a game while Bluehawks became more defensive vs Kaijus or orbital gameplay. I think that Gil-E shouldn't have better accuracy vs air. But still after all that I would like to see more Bluehawks in gameplay. So my recommended changes would be:
    1. Give Bluehawks more range OR make Gil-E rotate their gun slower (not sure if they have to rotate gun to counter rockets from Bluehawks). The idea is putting Bluehawks on another side than the main fire would pull a gun from Gil-E and negate their sniping ability to some extent.
    Next on the line is Locust. I like how you nerfed them in the last patch but they still need something more as seen from last tourney game (somebody vs Clopse), they should be in my opinion comeback unit, not try to kill the enemy if I'm not lazy units. I would like to make them more metal-eating oriented units. If you are behind from some good push and you lost some T2 metal spots they would work by every point of damage they do to the enemy they multiply that damage with 1.5x and give that amount back to your metal deposit, forcing you to build some metal storage and fill your storage massive in short amount of time. My recommendation would be:
    1. Locust rework. (Less damage but add a modifier that refills your metal storage | or if they eat power they fill power storage?)
    P.S.
    I don't know how these changes would impact team games. This is only from my 1vs1 ranked view.
    I'm open for changes if you prove your valid point.
    matizpl, NikolaMX and Quitch like this.
  2. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    While I agree that air speed is an area needing attention, I recently floated something I think is also an issue, that is the difficulty of getting back into air if you lose it.

    For the Locust I've also come up with a different approach to fixing it, rather than just continually increasing cost.

    Storm does need to be able to tilt, I agree. Model supports tilting on one axis, which is supported in the Very Boring and Conservative Balance mod.

    Note that Gil-E missile interception has been in place since the release of TITANS.

    Hummingbird & Phoenix
    Issue
    When you lose air control it’s very hard to get back because fighters are very good at tanking AA. Better than bombers are. This means you need air to take air.

    Fix
    Reduce Hummingbird health from 150 to 100 and Phoenix health from 300 to 245

    Why
    These numbers mean air fights play out exactly the same as before (assuming air is spread, splash changes the equation), but it means ground AA can kill fighters much faster. This allows ground AA to play more of a role in helping a player regain air control.

    Skill
    Air is nowhere near as powerful at lower levels and this change is unlikely to be noticed because it doesn’t impact how air fights air. At higher levels it could make a significant difference to retaking the air, and making the loss of air less of a spiral.

    Locust & Single Laser Defense Turret
    Issue
    Locusts are cheap and fast, they’re a feast or famine unit. They can wreck a player’s eco in seconds, yet a failed attack doesn’t cost a player much. They’re the fastest land unit in the game and very hard to counter.

    The Single Laser Defense Tower has minimal purpose after the first minutes of a game as the Laser Defense Tower’s additional health makes it vastly more cost effective.

    Fix
    Halve health to 40. Double turn speed of Single Laser Defense Tower turret

    Why
    Halving the health makes scouting ahead of Locusts more important as taking a hit is something they won’t survive so easily. This is 2 seconds for one Dox to kill instead of 4. 1 Single/Dual Laser Defense Turret hit instead of 2.

    Turrets are helpless against Locusts because the turn too slowly and so die before getting off a shot. By increasing the single’s turn speed we both make it better against bots, and in doing so make it better against Locusts, while not completely eliminating the importance of facing. It would make turret building a more interesting decision making process. Do you go single, which is better against Dox/Booms but lower health and easier to bomb/tank, or do you go dual which is better for cost but slow to turn and easier to flank. Right now you just go dual unless it's maybe really early and you need to lock down a spot you're rushing

    Skill
    Locusts are a much lesser factor at low levels, this is a change designed to balance at the plat & uber levels. The single turret turn speed will aid at lower levels where players don’t factor facing into their builds, but without a power boost it will still be trashed by tanks.
    Last edited: January 24, 2019
  3. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Active Member

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    some credit for the fighter hp nerf plz
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  4. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    I vaguely recall you agreeing with my superb and 100% original ideas.
    bthirteen and flubbateios like this.
  5. netpyxa

    netpyxa Active Member

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    I think no amount of fighter hp reduction will change air games. Fighters are by no means required to go and suicide on galata turrets. They just fly by and attack elsewhere focusing on the engineers. The whole air meta is a 100% result of large map sizes and its not going anywhere. It just seems that the original game devs could not forsee what a large map would mean. They thought a large map is 700 radius. It actually is anything 450 and more for 1v1.
  6. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    I feel like you're rather missing the point. As the balance change says, it's about aiding a comeback mechanic for the air layer because currently "you need air to take air.", it has nothing to do with whether air spam is or is not a thing.
  7. netpyxa

    netpyxa Active Member

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    I missed the part where it would help one come back from losing air. If you are going to come back using your own air then this fighter nerf will bite you as well. because uh your fighters are weaker.
  8. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Yes.. But if you are on the defensive you can keep your fighters in your base, under the protection of the now much more capable aa turrets. Currently the stronger air player can just ignore the aa and keep killing off your air before you cab rebuild a sufficient force to challenge for air control again.
  9. netpyxa

    netpyxa Active Member

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    This might provide you with some imaginary confort above your own base but that only gives you 200 metal income and the opponent gets the remaining 800.
  10. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    When coming back your fighters aren't leaving the base, so won't be encountering enemy ground AA.

    The idea is comeback, so you've lost the air and instead push the ground until you can rebuild. You don't lose the air and give up the game. The problem is at the moment that once you lost the air it's very hard to get back into it, this is designed to ease that process by providing more instances where the enemy can lose fighters.
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  11. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Drifter

    Issue: Very narrow range of use cases. It’s the only hover unit at T1, so you use it if you want something that can hover, and only because you have no other choice. Its speed alone does not justify the higher cost, while its rate of fire means Ants win confrontations even excluding metal cost from the calculation.

    Fix: Reduce its cost from 225 metal to 150 metal.

    Why: It would cost the same as an Ant, while being worse at trading with both Ants and Dox, and worse at kiting (slowly turret turn), yet its speed would give vehicles a way to raid and its gun takes down MEX slightly faster than an Ant. A player would have a reason to consider both Ant and Drifter on a standard land map. Increased viability also provides an alternative to contesting the sea on mixed maps.

    Skill: Should not impact lower levels of play as this is just widening player options rather than impacting current play.
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  12. stuart98

    stuart98 Post Master General

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    Would probably help lower level players in fact by making their mistake to build drifters in the wrong situations less punishing for them.
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  13. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    What if spinners were made cheaper? This would probably happen: they would be even more dead-weight for ground-vs-ground engages and they would deter air much more easily. Currently the dilemma about building so many spinners is that the only value they add to ground-vs-ground engages is a meat shield effect (a poor one too) while they are too expensive to spam to effectively take out air.

    Really the issue lies in the effectiveness of ground AA. Air takes out air and ground. While ground only takes out ground, because storms are nearly useless and you need a lot of spinners to kill bombers before they can make a run and kill everything in a single pass.
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  14. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Also to add off of quitch, a cheaper spinner and a cheaper hover tank means vehicle factories would be the main counter to early-game and mid-game air. The hover tanks would act like dox, and spinners would protect the slower expansion of vehicle fabbers. I think this is a simple and effective change in the right direction to make air weaker.
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  15. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Storm

    Issue: Stops mass bombers, but absolutely hopeless against Kestrel blobs. While you could argue “bring Spinners”, air already has enough advantages in picking its fights that having the T2 vehicle only be a T1 air counter is not a good fit.

    Fix: Add pitch rate and range equal to that of the Flak turret. Considering increasing splash damage to 60.

    Why: The unit’s turret is setup such that pitch works OK on it. By allowing it to tilt it can place its shots in a Kestrel horde, allowing it to do more than fringe damage to them and thus being more useful. It would remain vulnerable to being flanked since it’s only tilting forward and back (changing that would need model work). The splash damage increase is to make it more effective at its supposed role: stopping air blobs. In conjunction with a Hornet fix you get a more interesting air to ground dynamic, where a ground player can stop air, but has to defend key assets to make it work, and an air player can also spend time to make their air work more effectively for them.

    Skill: Helps lower levels by having a T2 unit do what they expect it to do: beat air better than a Spinner. At higher levels it again mixes up the land/air dynamic. I think this changes goes hand-in-hand with a Hornet fix.
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  16. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Hornet

    Issue: In theory Hornets outrange AA. Due to a flaw in attack behaviour it will move into range of AA, causing it to die without effect. As it costs more while having less HP and movement speed than a Kestrel, it's effectively redundant as a unit.

    Fix: Either fix the engine so air engages according to its range, or increase the Hornet’s range to 200 to compensate for the engine.

    Why: It increases the possibility space in the game as an air player can do more than just blob. You can look at expanding the power of ground AA without forcing everyone to play a ground game to counter. It brings a unit with no role currently back into the game.

    Skill: Will heavily help players in Bronze by giving them a T2 air unit that can fight turtling. At higher levels I expect it to help mix up the air/ground dynamic.
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