Dat Air

Discussion in 'Balance Discussions' started by elodea, May 25, 2015.

  1. zihuatanejo

    zihuatanejo Well-Known Member

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    Was that changed recently? Could have sworn it used to be 10%, i.e. air was 9/1000. They must have increased energy draw recently.
  2. stuart98

    stuart98 Post Master General

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  3. crizmess

    crizmess Well-Known Member

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    I think @pjkon1 has a valid point here.
    There is a dependency of area when you compare units on mobility and it goes somewhere between linear and square, depending on the type of movement and topology. Usually we only look at damage per second, but when it comes to mobility the question is where do you want to put your dps at.
    Imagine two players with the same amount of metal, one only defending bombers by anti air turrets, the other on investing only in bombers. As long as the area the defending player has to protect is relatively small the player is in a good shape, since the dps per area of the AA turrets is high enough to trade against bombers. But here is the catch, if this area grows the turrets need to be spaced farther away from each other, this will lower the dps per area. On the other hand, bombers can move freely, there is no dependency on area for the attacking play, the dps he can deliver to an area stays constant. So there is a point where the area is so large that the dps per area from the turrets can not any longer efficiently trade against bombers.
    And this is just the simple example, the same mechanic applies for moving anti air tanks, or even to bots versus tanks or any other moving units with different move speeds or mobility constraints through map terrain. pikon1 mentioned the strength of laser turrets in commander boxing, which is a very nice example of the same mechanic only on the lower scale of area.

    So, for air and anti air turrets, we have a constant dps per area against a dps per area that is dependent on the size of the controlled area, on this example that means doubling the metal cost for bombers, just moves this tipping point up by a factor of 1.44 (aka square root of 2). This might be enough to push this out of the current 1000 radius planet scale, but don't be surprised if it comes back when you hit 1500 or 2000 radius planets.

    I don't have any elegant solution for this, but there are some floating around:
    * Refuelling was already mentioned, this effectively bounds the area dps of the bomber to the area it can traverse.
    * Decreasing the air speed of bombers may have a positive effect on the interaction between anti air tanks and bombers, but won't touch the anti air turrets.
    * The same is valid for increasing the speed of the aa tank
    * Scaling the costs will only move the tipping point by the square root of the factor
    * Introduction of movement constraints on the air layer (like mountains, that are to high to fly above) will allow strategic placement of turrets on passages, basically the same like tanks versus turrets.
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  4. coldboot

    coldboot Active Member

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    This wasn't true. Rapid expansion with air was the same problem in TA on larger maps.
  5. coldboot

    coldboot Active Member

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    Then the winner is the guy who builds T1 AA with their air fabbers all over the map.
  6. Greendolph

    Greendolph Active Member

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    I like the idea in theory - but imo t1 aa would have to be more expensive in order to provide an outplay mechanic (scout well and kill the fabbers before the aa goes up),
    Also AA with greater range than air vision could be frustrating to the air player. At the same time I like the idea of AA pairing well with radar.
  7. crizmess

    crizmess Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the late addition to this post, but there is actually another good example for the relations I mentioned above.
    The nuke play on it's building phase, is heavily influenced by this. The nuke itself is a attack weapon that can put it's damage anywhere in the game, where as the anti nuke can only cover a finite amount of area.
    So the situation of one anti nuke against a nuke is very simple, and it is highly cost effective for the defender. But when you have to defend a whole planet against a nuke the amount of anti nukes is dependent on the area you have to cover. So there is a fixed ratio, say 1:x, between nuke and anti nuke on a given scenario, where x depends on the area you have to protect (and is not bound by a limit). You see from that there is a planet size/ area size, where defending will get a worse trade because the amount of metal the defender has to invest for defending another nuke is larger than the amount of metal the attacker spends on building another nuke.
    The interesting thing is that this only count for the build up of the nuke/anti nuke play. Nuke and anti nuke in the paragraph above stands for the whole structure, this is the silo and the missiles in them. But once the structures, the launch silos, where build, and an actual attack happens, you only trade a nuke missile against a anti nuke missile, and usually (if PA don't glitch) on a 1:1 basis. Since both launch silos remain, the trade is now again in favour of the defender.
    The conclusion of this whole wall of text on nuke/anti nuke play is that not the actual nuke kills the defender, it is the threat of getting nuked, which is in favour of the attacker.
  8. elodea

    elodea Post Master General

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    That's actually not true and is a common miconception!

    The question really is "how many cost efficient targets are there to nuke"? This doesn't readily increase with planet size. Keep all your infrastructure grouped up in a base and you will only need 1 or 2 anti nuke.

    If someone nukes 7 metal spots on the far side of your planet, then it's their loss. 50k metal vs 1k. Go figure :p.

    Current nuke/anti-nuke 'balance' is heavily skewed towards defender. Nuke is not as viable or accessible as it could be.

    Also i have no idea why this thread is about nukes now.
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  9. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Nukes clearly fly, so they are air units.

    ??? :D
  10. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    We should make a mod where you have bomber that drops nukes. That would be cool
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  11. pjkon1

    pjkon1 Member

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    You are of course right about this, but you are correct only because of the reason that you point out (i.e. because even a successful nuke loses metal net). With air, which this thread is about and to which nukes are being used as analogy here, successfully bombing an undefended area never loses metal net.

    Also, there is, in the current game, a circumstance in which the metal trade truely doesn't matter, in which the defender is actually obligated to build antinukes everywhere thereby over stretching his defenses in exactly the manner described. That circumstance is the defense of hades against a more developed Cerberus in the Styx system. The player on hades has to have antinukes everywhere or else the attacker can put a hole in his umbrellas with a nuke and invade. Of course this is why people don't defend Styx with umbrellas (primarily) they use air because it is omnipresent on the planet (exactly as we have been discussing) and can therefore bring annihilating force against any invasion before it establishes a beachhead essentially regardless of the attacking army's defenses because of the initial metal disparity of a new invasion. This Styx scenario is actually the best description of how these omnipresence versus combat power calculations can blow up.

    If you want interplanetary invasions to be easier let unit cannons fire flack guns ;)

    I agree with you 100% about nuke balance right now though. They're stupidly expensive and it you're winning with them either it's a snipe or you could have won by other means. We should cut the cost of both the nuke and antinukes if we want to make that part of the game see more then occasional use by good players.
  12. pjkon1

    pjkon1 Member

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    Wouldn't the nuke kill the bomber that dropped it? Okay these are robots so that's fine, but something that dies delivering its payload would be a missile not a bomber and....

    Edit: Sorry, I realize you don't mean it as a serious improvement to the game just as a fun trick. I shouldn't analyze the fun out of it.
  13. elodea

    elodea Post Master General

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    haha no he's just referring to the mod i made (battleship) that did exactly that. Nuke won't kill the bomber if you set the explosion on a delay. Or you can just disable the relevant friendly fire damages.
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  14. crizmess

    crizmess Well-Known Member

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    Then let the ratio between nukes and anti nukes scale against the area of strategical points you have to defend. It doesn't change anything of the things said above: If you have more strategical area to defend the trade becomes increasingly worse for you until it will be better for an attacker. (To anticipate an upcoming objection: I never said that we will encounter this turning point in a real game situation. Most likely, usual games will be in the range where a good trade becomes a not-so-good trade. As @pjkon1 mentioned, it may show up in situations where someone fortifies a whole planet with static defences. But that is not the point here, the turning point is not necessary to make this dependency on area work in small scale.)
    The underlying scheme of all this is that when you look at the cost efficiency of unit trades you should consider mobility as a factor because in some trades cost scales with respect to some area dependency up to the point where the trade flips over.

    I have no idea why you think that after an example given, a thread should change its topic?
  15. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    "Does"... I hope.
  16. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    illuminati confirmed?
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  17. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    so either buff all ground aa dps or nerf aircraft hp? ... ... or both

    personaly i like the fabricators as they are .. decreasing their buildpower in favor of hp gain would reduce the overall pace of the game which i am not ok with ... high risk high reward is what makes the game intresting ... so realy what you rather like to have are units cabable of defending your stuff ...
    i still like bombers to stay effective depending on metalinvestment ...
  18. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    The problem is because of how snowbally the air game is air fabbers are extremely low risk if you have air control. Lose all your fighters in an air war. Enemy could have 10 extra, maybe one more factory than you. Then you need to build 2 more factories or assist factories just to catch up with his numbers and hopefully you win the air game before it's not too late. It's most likely too late.
  19. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    isn´t that rather map dependand then?
    if vehicles and bots have access to territory as air does (moons for instance) then all ground aa needs to do is being effective at stopping aircraft .. no need for snowballfear ... maps however that have lots of lava or water pools or are extremely clutched with terrain you would have to go air either way to be flexible ... lets take lavaplanets with lavaozeans and some mexxislands for instance were you can´t compensate with naval aa
    you would be in a possition were you have to go air anyway to be able to expand so that snowball would be still there i think ..
    so what do you wan´t to do ? reducing airfabberbuildcapacity? that may turn them just useless and people go back to pelicanfabberdrops .. get airdominance and you got still the same issue ... extrametalinvestment for pelicans or not ... ... another option would be orbital domination ...
    Last edited: June 9, 2015
  20. rivii

    rivii Well-Known Member

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    The Spinner must go (gives too much versatility to vehicles) and the Stinger must replace it. The Stinger is faster, cheaper and should do the same or a bit more dmg than the Spinner now. With that you can easily swarm them and get rid of them air.

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