but what if we buffed tanks?

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by billthebluebot, August 29, 2018.

  1. billthebluebot

    billthebluebot Active Member

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    Increase projectile speed for ant and fix leveler missing problem. Increase range of tank fab.

    Imagine a world where investing the metal and time to position ants around expanding fabs and fresh metal was rewarded with the ability to defend from 2 dox

    Imagine a world where levelers could regularly hit things

    Imagine a world where tank fabs could take advantage of their currently needlessly high health to reclaim a single dox

    Imagine a better world
    NikolaMX likes this.
  2. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    Hey, we can dream, right?
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  3. ledarsi

    ledarsi Post Master General

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    A "tank" should be a fundamentally different concept from a bot not just another vanilla combat unit with slightly different stats.

    One approach would be to make tanks a heavier weight class than bots, costing more and having more HP and heavier weapons. Currently there is a 3:1 difference between the Dox (45m) and Ant (150m) but this could be made larger. Potentially a lot larger depending on how far you wanted to push the design difference. Giving a tank a big, slow-firing cannon with a small amount of splash and some dispersion would be a quite different overall package from the quick-firing, versatile Dox.

    Tanks having poor handling compared to bots would also be a subtle but significant change. Such as having a high top speed but poor acceleration and turn rate, compared to bots having high acceleration in any direction and high turn speed. Bots would be more tactically flexible, with tanks having superior strategic mobility over long distances but not as maneuverable in battle.

    Tank turrets having a slow turret traverse speed would also be a subtle but interesting tweak. At a distance targeting would require less change in angle, where a target up close will take longer to aim at. Bots might generally be able to quickly aim in any direction, very useful up close, where tanks prefer to fight at range.
  4. Corgiarmy

    Corgiarmy Active Member

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    Tanks need some kind of buff. IMO here are the changes:

    1.) Levelers need to turn faster so they can compete with slammers. I would decrease the speed of the levelers to compensate.
    2.) Ants need to have a slight increase in their speed.

    This would stop slammers from running roughshod over tanks.
  5. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    All tanks must shoot nukes and be impervious to explosions.


    (...That way they don't suffer AoE2's Siege Onager problem...)
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  6. gitaxian

    gitaxian Member

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    Handling and turn speed are already relevant differences. A dox can run around a leveler in circles without being hit. The differences in movement speed, damage, and HP already do more than enough to differentiate them and they fulfill completely different niches.

    The problem is that tanks are too weak to effectively fulfill the niches they're supposed to. They should be core army units that beat out bots in engagements, and in isolated equal-metal blobs they will, but in practice bots are usually better. That leaves only countering static defenses to tanks, and static defenses are themselves too weak to be worth building much of and thus are not worth countering with tanks.
  7. ledarsi

    ledarsi Post Master General

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    That is one approach. Tanks are more specialized of course, as Dox are amphibious and can shoot air, so that is a quite reasonable method.

    I think it might be more interesting to have combined arms be the expectation. For example if tanks were very effective primary combatants at a much greater distance than Dox, but vulnerable to being swarmed in close quarters. A Dox army which is also equipped with one tank (or a small tank force) would be tremendously more powerful than an all-Dox force, able to focus its Dox on defending the tanks while the cannons fire away with relative impunity at the enemy Dox. But if you went straight tanks you should probably not trade well unless you so egregiously outnumber the enemy you can completely annihilate the enemy force before it closes to range.

    A slow rate of fire tank cannon with some splash damage and small dispersion, which has very poor handling and turn rate, would be very effective at its optimal engagement range. But up close it would lose badly. This could be achieved by the Dox player either by brute force of numbers, or by cleverly ambushing from the water or from behind an obstacle.

    This is distinct from artillery which would be indirect fire on a high ballistic trajectory and with strategic range and large dispersion. Whereas the tank is a direct fire cannon shooting at a specific enemy unit even though it will occasionally miss, possibly hitting a neighbor unit if they are a large group.

    Lighter tanks would be beaten badly by heavier tanks, but against a Dox group the superior maneuverability and handling is more of an advantage than an even bigger cannon and thicker armor. Heavy tanks might also lose their splash damage and instead just hit a single target, ideal for killing tanks, but actually very ineffective against a large group of bots.
  8. gitaxian

    gitaxian Member

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    Legion does exactly what you’re describing, both in terms of encouraging combined arms and the specific example of giving tanks splash damage, and it works pretty well. Giving Ants some small splash damage would go a long way to making them viable.
  9. billthebluebot

    billthebluebot Active Member

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    my main objective here is to have a more diverse unit pool for early game business at higher levels of play. the micro potential for bots vs tanks means that 2 players with high apms would be foolish to build and position ants when dox easily beat them in small numbers anyways. It is this reporters opinion that that was probably not uber's intention when balancing out unit cost/speed dynamics

    there are 2 kinds of missing.
    1-where the unit misses
    2-where the unit repeatedly shoots over the head of their targets
    I think it should be quite apparent which kind of missing I am asking to be removed.

    of course levelers are good late game, and of course 100 ants will beat 100 dox. neither was the point.
  10. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Active Member

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    in the current meta, tanks struggle to fulfill their role as a heavy hitter front-line assault class.

    1) They are outclassed by T1 bots:
    a) in the early game when it comes to initial expansion, Dox and boom bots render Ants and infernos useless, as the latter very poor at protecting expanding fabs in the first 2 minutes of the game -> no one in their right mind starts with tanks
    b)By the time a critical mass (capable of dealing with dox via kiting and all) is reached, Turrets can already be in place in key locations, brought up by T1 bot fabber trains. Ants and infernos can be stopped by double lazer turrets and walls quite effectively.
    c) AA is limited in how effective it is at dealing with bombers: Spinenrs will win engagements on average, but in general bombers will often manage to drop their loads on the tanks, slowing down pushes a lot. Bots, on the other hand, are faster, and therefore exposed to bombing opportunity for much less, but also can avoid bombs via micro and area patrol

    2) T1 tanks cannot fulfill their role of pushing bases. They are weak against a skilled commander defense. Uber cannon, walls, and the enormous HP pool of commanders means that its very hard to kill them with just T1 units, be it tanks or bots. Add defender's advantage to that list, and any skilled player can deflect such an attack without major losses. This means that tanks in the first place cant do any significant damage to a base and should only be used for pushing strategic points (which as already established, they arent fast enough to do in many of the cases)

    3) They are outclassed by any T2 rush.
    the T1 tanks only become viable once a very large mass is created, which can only happen at the cost of a late T2. All T2 units wreck havoc against T2 tanks, especially slammer/dox combos that cant be kited.
    4) T2 tanks as a first factory are outclassed by all other T2s.

    a) The leveler is too expensive to reach any resemblance of critical mass, and against a dox/slammer composition is much worse at dealing with bulletsponge dox than slammers are. furthermore, as first T2 encounters are very micro heavy, and levelers have that very low turning speed, and the affinity to overshoot shots, they are too unreliable. Not to mention how dangerous locusts are to a tank player
    b) T2 air has no reliable counter in T2 tanks. Storms are only good against bombers, and Kestrels, which are now cheaper than levelers, can chew through a huge number of spinners. This means that there needs to be a really heavy investment in spinner AA, which thins out existing land forces and makes them more vulnerable to T1 bots and defenses.
    c) T2 tanks are the only T2 that relinquishes map control. Due to reasons a) and b), the only viable way to play T2 tanks is to expand along the lane that is being pushed. This can be a reliable strategy only if T2 tanks are guaranteed to pose such a threat to the opponent's base, that they need to shift resources from expansion to defenses, which is not the case due to reasons a) and b)


    In my mind, the correct way to fix tanks would be as follows:
    Goal is to make tanks (T1 AND T2) better at pushing bases, therefore better at killing commanders and buildings.

    0)Nerf the commander's ability do single-handedly destroy tanks. HP nerf/ Uber cannon reload time increase are 2 ways to go about this. Ideally there should be another way to go about this, but the only other solutions that i see affect changing all t2 factories or T2 econ to discourage T2 rushes
    1) buff the ant's RoF, or preferably decrease it's cost to increase it's advantage against dox. Dox are only soft countered by ants in frontal combat, with a decent amount of micro involved. They should be able to totally discourage Dox counterplay. If thats possible, now map control via tanks becomes a thing.
    2)Buff the drifter's alpha damage to make it.. good at something? the current drifter is in limbo, too expensive to be good vs ants, and too weak to be good vs navy. they way to solve that IMHO is to place it as the low RoF higher damage dealer taht it was intended to be. It's DPS per metal should still remain lower than that of the ant, but higher alpha (at the expense of RoF) will make it better at dealing with turrets, while still weak against dox.
    3)Buff the skitter's speed and view range a bit (compared to the air socut, it is more expensive, slower, has less vision, and is a land unit (limited movement)) the only thing it has going is mine detection.
    4) Buff the spinner's rocket speed to make it slightly better at killing air. Improve its rotation, acceleration and breaking speed to make it microable against small numbers of bombers

    T2:
    1) Make the leveler cheaper. The unit saw much more use back when it was 600 metal, but now its practically useless in engagements with dox and slammers. This causes a lot of the entire shift in meta towards air spam, as tanks are no longer viable, but with the return of a strong leveler, the danger of a T2 tank push and teleporter strats is real

    2) Buff the effective range of the Storm, as well as it's HP. One solution that Quitch introduced was the turret being able to lean forwards and backwards. if a spinning turret is impossible, an increase of the full damage radius, as well as an increase of the total damage radius can halp a bit. Right now Kestrels can not only outrange the splash of storms, but even if they didnt, the storm does so little damage, and has such low health, that Kestrels can simply tank it out(they have the same HP, only the kestrel has almost tripple the DPS and costs 150 less. not to mention the fact that its an air unit. Kestrels need to be countered at least to some extent by storms, which requires a very serious buff

    3) Decrease the metal cost of the vanguard. Right now its better off to build infernos for higher DPS and health/metal than vanguards. They are obsolete due to the DPS of T2 units as a whole, even if they have a niche in comm snipes. Vanguards rarely get to take a shot, and arent worth it as mobile walls

    Having said all of that, here is a replay that shows the untapped potential of T1 tanks (game is between a me (top tier Uber) and a platinum player, so its not exactly fair, but it shows some underused tactics
    Last edited: September 3, 2018
  11. emarkus

    emarkus Active Member

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    TL;DR

    I am fine with current Bot vs Tank balancing.
    And I loved the change that made Leverage weapon moving slower.
  12. ledarsi

    ledarsi Post Master General

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    I think instead of making tanks cheaper they would be more different if they were more costly and had strongly divergent functionality from bots.

    They can totally lose to massed bots in a straight up fight and still be a powerful unit. If they have a direct fire cannon that outranges laser turrets, for example, then even one tank is a very significant addition to a primarily Dox army. Especially if it has splash for shooting at Dox from far away while the rest of the army defends it. Perhaps also give the tank short vision range so it has to rely on other units standing in front of it to maximize its effectiveness. The general concept would be a mixed army of Dox and tanks, with the Dox standing in front and doing a lot of dying with the tanks in the rear.

    Lighter vehicles could also serve that kind of role, but a tank should probably be a quite tough individual unit and likely to be rather expensive. Even a 600 metal tank is only 12 times more costly than one Dox- tanks could be made more expensive and more functionally specific and potent at that specific job. A very durable tank design could still lose to massed Dox up close, but would mean if you had a large group of tanks on the charge it would be extremely difficult to defend against, although expensive to assemble.
  13. w33dkingca

    w33dkingca Active Member

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    Wheres this replay Nik? Some good points, but how much of this bot v tanks involves modded hold the line? if bots weren't spread in to thin lines would they still counter tr1 tanks so effectively? even tr2 tanks so effectively? People couldn't do 500 APS to micro bots like they can now with hold the line. Can we consider modded PA a factor to balance off of? Not great for new comers if the game is balanced around stuff they have no clue about. Cant argue with the other points.
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  14. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Active Member

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    I forgot to link the replay:
    https://flubbateios.com/stats/match.html?match=11718282056266921150

    While cover the line does help to a large extent, the problem with bots killing tanks is that they can overwhelm them due to the low RoF and high cost of single units. This is indisputably true about early game, but holds in mid game as well,, where the problem is the biggest.

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