Future of PA Brainstorming: Not Major Engine Changes; But Gameplay, Roles, and Strategic Complexity

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by ledarsi, August 24, 2018.

  1. acesoyster

    acesoyster Active Member

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    I still don’t get how you come to the conclusion that unit composition has no effect on the result of engagements in PA. Even if it’s not clear in games you’ve played yourself, there is tons of media out there that shows this to not be the case. The benefits of unit composition might be subtler than in other games, but avoiding RPS balance is a thoroughly embedded design concept in PA. What’s especially intriguing about PA is that even small changes to a heavily mixed unit composition can be impactful, which is something I think many of your suggestions would sacrifice. I’m only on my phone, but if you need evidence I’m sure some of the quality players here can find some examples.
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  2. gitaxian

    gitaxian Member

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    There are three strategies that involve serious, risky investments to attack I’ve seen.
    - Boombot Rushing
    - Comm Push
    - T2 Rush
    It’s certainly possible to go with an aggressive strategy under PA’s economic model. The reason you don’t see more “normal” aggressive play during T1 is because of the commander. What all three of the aggressive strategies I’ve listed have in common is that they have a way to negate the defensive advantage of the commander. Boombots are cheap enough that the commander’s rate of fire can’t keep up, comm pushes counter the enemy comm with your own, and T2 is powerful enough to kill a commander.

    The reason you don’t need to defend your base in the early game isn’t because it’s weak, it’s because you get a free, incredibly powerful defensive unit that renders your base immune to almost forms of T1 aggression, leaving only options that invalidate that unit for aggression. You’d have to tweak the commander to be more vulnerable to T1, or tweak T1 to be more effective against commanders.
  3. flubbateios

    flubbateios Active Member

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    I'm not so sure. You can definitely win a game by crushing the opponent's economy with T1 aggression. The thing that stops this is static defence I think. Double laser + wall is very hard to deal with if you're using bots and tanks take a long time to send over. The other thing is that the opponent's T2 is a sort of ticking time bomb - if they have T2 and you don't, your base is vulnerable. So, if you want to use T1 aggression to win early, you have to be very fast (and persisent) at killing their economy and also very greedy so you can get your own T2 up in time (i.e. not much later). Most players find it easier to just go quick T2.
    Last edited: August 30, 2018
  4. gitaxian

    gitaxian Member

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    You can, but Ledarsi was saying that attacking the economy to contain your enemy doesn't count as early aggression.
  5. w33dkingca

    w33dkingca Active Member

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    The com isn't |OP its just there isn't enough force materialising before the macro 0ff tr2 and out massing to one push envelops the game. Antrexs build as an example (also an example of why hold the line can be a bad thing) it doesn't require much anything other than macro, no unit placement, no running people around their bases to create openings, just macro harder spam more and one line it through your enemy, Although I think antrex is of a good breed when it comes to his gameplan and is in no way a bad player, this way of playing just goes to show how tr2 rush has detracted from what PA was all about. He only needs macro and set his factories to spaghetti in to the opponents base to win. No real need to go out fight for a good position, out think the good position, just make sure you have the stronger force quicker then it doesn't matter what you do. Scouting gets neglected,the positional field play of PA past is reduced. Titans also seem to do this, in FFA's being aggressive and having the map control was key, now being silent and rushing out a super unit is key (mainly)... lame.
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  6. ledarsi

    ledarsi Post Master General

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    It isn't that attacking mexes isn't aggressive. It's that it is not very much aggression to send 20 Dox to mex raid while you get T2.

    Hypothetically for the price of that T2 factory you could instead manufacture 80 more Dox. So if your strategy were to make 100 Dox and your opponent made 20 and T2, you would actually have to go kill something just to avoid being strictly behind just a few minutes later after the other guy also has 100 Dox. Realistically, however, you are unlikely to do 4000 metal worth of damage (or win outright) in that amount of time, and it is safer and generally smarter to just build T2 yourself as well. Which is why practically everyone does it.
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  7. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    Hypothetically , at the halfway point, your opponent has 10 dox and half of a T2 factory while you have 50 dox.
    2 groups of 25 dox can wipe out his metal and power so that the T2 factory is going nowhere. Meanwhile, you have another 50 dox rolling out.

    But there is a lot of hypotheticals built into both cases. You need to have decent situational awareness. You both need a decent local supply of mex.

    Again, it depends in large part on the design of the map. If players only have 2 metal in their spawn point and the rest of the metal is widely scattered, the game is going to play out much differently. I've played games where there was zero metal at the spawn points. The game is much different indeed.
  8. ledarsi

    ledarsi Post Master General

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    Actual games are never as simple as abstract cases, but an abstract case can make a point that applies in practice. In this case it is that T2 gets you a lot of economic and military power for relatively little risk. If you went T2 too quickly without enough resources to complete it quickly you will have more exposure for longer, naturally.

    But the amount of time that needs to pass before you can feasibly start T2, and the amount of time it takes to complete it, are both short enough that truly aggressive strategies (which ordinarily have a superlative speed advantage) enjoy only a brief window before they are overtaken in net worth. Slowing down the macro scaling up will buy more time for aggressive units to work, potentially buying them time to blow up more things and force the macro player to buy more troops and defenses, further slowing them down. An aggressive opener isn't necessarily a cheese intended to kill immediately; applying pressure can force the enemy to make a larger reaction than you invested in aggression, putting you modestly ahead by the difference, and also giving you map control.

    Making the map smaller or having fewer metal spots both make the game more aggressive, absolutely agreed. But they do so by shrinking the scale rather than having a larger scale with a larger window. If you start right next to your opponent and there are few mexes on the map you will obviously play extremely aggressively. But that's not really the kind of gameplay anyone really wants.

    Let us start with the assumption of a large map. As presently designed there is very little reason not to macro and T2 with minimal (but nonzero) military investment for the first 5-10 minutes, depending on your strategy you will curtail this macro sooner or later.

    Suppose instead that you needed many more mexes and land area to reach the same income; this is both more time-consuming to build and more difficult to defend. Quickly accumulating the income to hurry T2 will take longer, and you will be more exposed to raiding with both a greater number of exposed mexes and greater investment in the macro and tech and not in troops and defenses.

    Starting with the big map assumption we might also introduce additional mechanics for early-game player interaction. One idea would be a T1 unit cannon launching one unit anywhere on its planet, possibly usable either for expansion (constructor) or harassment (raider unit). The fact that this structure supports both greed and raiding also makes aggression easier. This is far from the only way to open up early game aggression but it conveys the idea. Buying more of these would also be a sizable early game aggressive investment rather than macro/T2 economic constructions. Using them aggressively will also force the enemy to buy troops and defenses, slowing down their macro from applying pressure and threat, in addition to blowing things up.
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  9. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    [​IMG]
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  10. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    Me after playing PA from pre-alpha 'till now :
    [​IMG]
  11. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    PA´s issue is one of logistic, that´s because of lack of multiunittransports that help support both expanding and getting groundunits to your opponent early to midgame instead of having to rely on helios and unitcannons lategame ..

    i mentioned myself during the alpha and betaphase of the game that aircraft like interceptors could have been better with the ability to switch between the airlayer and orbital like the austreustransport OR have their own layer were they can both interact with the airlayer and orbital layer at the same time .. expensive orbital supcomstyle carriers (not dronecarriers) could have brought airunits to other planets were interceptors/airsuperiorityfighters could have acted as support for your carriers and spacegunboads .. preferably you would want cheaper transports but with a fairly big cappacity for groundunits to transport to other planets ... the ground game as it is imho is ok ...

    one problem is orbital with it being filled with orbital fighters late game and air being filled with its swarms of fighters .. and i honestly don´'t think it would be too big a problem to remove the avenger and have it replaced by the hummingbird and phoenix .... preferably i would like to have these a bit more expensive but also stronger to lessen the ammount of units the game has to deal with ...
    also yea orbital radar needs to be changed to only have orbital transition be visible by default (as blips) and have orbital radar (be it on ground or orbit) function per planet but again as blibs ..

    another issue is PURE orbital play (primarily gasgiants) .. and that one simply needs more (but not many) units and structures ..
    also we need naval and orbital teleporters, a dedicated hovercraft factory would help to bridge the gap between naval and groundplay .. multiunithovercrafttransports could help bringing units through lavastreams while avoiding air as a additional transportation option ..
    hoverassaultunits could make use of orbital multiunttransports to push or support a naval attackforce on another planet f.e. ...


    fact is if you want to slow down the overall pace than the afformentionet logistic options AND more flexible unittypes like hovercraft are EVEN more neccesary to still keep a fair pace for moving large combat groups ... with the current pace they still would offer a lot of options to the existing game ... also providing these would help make mixed terrain maps or indeed extreme terrain (pure naval or lavaplanets with islands) more accessible to play on intead of having hard borders between say ground and naval f.e.
    Last edited: September 11, 2018
  12. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    zero-k imo for one has too many weapontypes .. especialy if you want to translate these into PA´s scale it gets redicolous quickly .. do we realy need EMP/stun and damage over time type of weapons ?
    beamweapons are problematic for PA reagarding surfaceplay as the planetcurvature limits its range the same way it does for directfire weapons like automatic energyweapons (dox and piranha) .. which also was the reason the gil-e's weapon was changed to be ballistic .. other than that .. well we do have infernos .. otherwise you need taller models ...

    speaking about unittypediversaty .. PA does have a fair ammount .. you seem however to focus on the obvious stuff while ignoring the specialist units .. we do have amphibius units, we have hovercraft, we have gunships, we have bombers we have supportunits ... the only thing we don't have are spidertypeallterrainunits but in this case PA does not have terrain like in Supcom or zero-k, as such these aren't neccesary .. adding more unittypes or heck individual factories for these types like zero-k does only further raises the learning curve .. your unitpool needs to focus on the basic needs, there is no need to flud the player with unittypechoices ...

    honestly i have to disagree with zero-k to advance the TAlike rtsgenre .. it surely added some further QoL options that PA does make use of .. but regarding combat and production it made things more complex than neccesary ..
    also the fact of how many units can attack units in other planes was too much in that game ..


    i also feel you are missing one thing .. at least regarding 1v1 planetsmashing and use of titans doesn't happen as often as you think ..
    before PA supcom also was about getting to build those humongous experimentals cause that was awesome! .. so neither PA nor Supcom aimed to be like TA instead they were their own thing .. especialy when it comes to larger maps or in PA's case multiplanet matches what units get produced and how far players go down the techtree is often dictated on the setup of your battlefield ..
    Last edited: September 11, 2018
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  13. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    so either make t2 more expensive and/or allow mexxes to be upgadeable before having a t2 factory like in supcom to further invest into t1 spam ..
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  14. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    overdrive in zero-k is the single most confusing thing and leads to weird base layouts .. you either connect rows of pgnens from mex to mex and/or souround them .. or you have to build volatile powerpylons ..
    it seems to work only if you overflow power but even then it is not clear when overdrive is actualy in effect or not ...
    i had my mexxes within the powergrid and overproduced power but some mexxes still only produced the baseammount of metal ...

    rather go for simple ways of expanding metalproduction outside of territorycontrol ..

    the purpose of a transport is to not require an exit ... a teleporter can only go to two points at a time
    a transporter can unload units anywere and pick them up again to have them unload somewhere else .. so two things the teleporter, the helios (requires an entrypoint) and the unitcannon (can only send units somewhere once, imagine if it could load in units like a transport instead of building them) are lacking in flexibility ..
    Last edited: September 11, 2018
  15. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    You can move large numbers of units using large numbers of transports and an area load command.
  16. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    and you saw how many people do that in a multiplanetmatch or on a larger planet with current airtransports?

    you may built a handfull of transports for a handful infernos but who ever would build 50 transports for 50 dox?
  17. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Because teleporters are better.
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  18. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    well duh when we don´t have multiunittransports ..
    why don´t you make it short and just staight out say you don´t want them ..
    i say multiunittransports have their use along with teleports both have their advantages, there is no need to "force" a player when you provide the options of how he wants to transport units across ..
  19. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    I can already mass transport units via orbital and air transports and the reason people don't isn't because the UI doesn't support it, it does, it's because there's no reason to. I don't see how a multi-unit-transport changes that equation.
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  20. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    i realy don´t understand you ..

    WHY is there no reason to? and please don´t just answer "because teleports"

    the point of multiunit transports is to bring in many units to another place with few units ...
    using current transports would mean i would have to build a transport for each unit i would want to send over
    weither that is for contructing a landingbase (which obviously follows up with a teleport) or for a strike at a keylocation (currently done with unitcanno or hellios which are super expensive) ...
    i think that bringing over 50 units with 50 transports may take longer to prepare than using 4 or 5 orbital multiunittransports from likely the orbital factory ..

    the difference between a teleporter and transport is that a teleporter always needs to be build on the desired landingzone as well .. a transport while requiring a longer travel time and has limited capacity at a time of transit than a established teleportlink has the intendet troops were you want them to be ... establishing a groundteleporter means you have to build the the gate first while being vulnarable to attack meaning to fail establishing said teleporterconnection ..
    orbital transports are vulnerable "only" during entering orbit and landing but getting troops even if limited to the desired place is more likely ... you do that anyway weither you bring in over a small group with fabricators or if you

    orbital fabricators building teleporters are not the only option to get troops over to a planet ..
    and multiunittransports imo are definetively a alternative to unitcannons ..
    Last edited: September 12, 2018

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