Game isn't imbalanced, current balance just isn't fun.

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by squishypon3, November 5, 2014.

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  1. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    Complaining saying the game isn't balanced is a bit false, the game is entirely balanced. Saying the game is imbalanced is similar to saying a symmetrical map is imbalanced.

    Not opting to use the current meta correctly is not the same as playing an imbalanced game.

    This does not however mean the balance is perfect, put down you pitch forks... The balance is not fun. That's the real issue, semantics maybe.

    Uber please make the balance more fun. Listen to us, gain ideas from our mods. We're not as evil and silly as we may seem. ;)

    Maybe! :D
  2. cwarner7264

    cwarner7264 Moderator Alumni

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    I heard about this mod once. Sta... Stra... S...omething - the name escapes me. Apparently it fixes everything. Uber should just use that.

    ;)
  3. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    Obviously!

    Unless we want an amazingly terrible mix of all balance mods in one.

    Hmmm.. Uber does have a tendency to over do it at times..

    Scratch that Uber, don't use balance mods for reference! XD /s
  4. zaphodx

    zaphodx Post Master General

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    That depends on your definition of balanced. Clearly both teams have the same units so it is balanced but many units are never or very infrequently used which implies the unit roster as a whole is not very balanced. There are still a lot of other factors affecting balance in a game like planet size, type and metal distribution.
  5. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    I can see that, and honestly had thought of that argument as I was writing the post. Semantics really, but I can understand the other point of view.
  6. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    We just need more units -_- (ok not "just"...numbers and mechanics need tweaking, but more units = more options to deal with other units)
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  7. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    ...

    Where do I even start?

    You do realise that there's a difference between the balance between various factions (like starcraft, dawn of war, etc) which PA doesn't have to worry about due to only having one, and the internal balance between units within the same faction. Just because everyone has access to the same units, doesn't mean the units are balanced in any way, shape or form when compared to other units.

    Yes the balance paradigm isn't fun, many of us will agree with you there. But then again, many of us have been saying that for over a year. It's not exactly news.

    However, please don't spread such wildly inaccurate statements as "everything is entirely balanced." just because everyone has access to the same units, because that is simply and provably false.
    Last edited: November 5, 2014
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  8. emraldis

    emraldis Post Master General

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    I agree with this. I think the different unit trees are for the most part balanced, but there are still many units that are next to useless in the current meta. That and there are still not too many opening builds to choose from. Because of this, the current meta isn't fun. You can't go tanks first, or really do to much with naval right away, and expanding is pretty hard. The most FUN way to play would be to have each different opening build be equally viable, and have no useless units. Personally, I'm even OK with upgrades in some cases, as long as it doesn't invalidate anything, or render units useless at some point.
    stuart98 and Nicb1 like this.
  9. philoscience

    philoscience Post Master General

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    I agree. The game is fairly well balanced, but it is not very fun. Gamma balance with proxies and more t1/t2 mix was more fun. Somewhere right in between insane air dominance and them cutting the knees off of proxies and airdrops, the game was extremely fun to both watch and play. Now it is not at all fun to watch and only kinda fun to play.
    squishypon3 and emraldis like this.
  10. elodea

    elodea Post Master General

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    He's entirely aware of this, and so is anyone with half a brain. The point squishy is trying to make was pretty obvious to me.

    Instead of going around yammering about unit x needs balance and yada yada lalalaala, he's very succintly pointing out that design is always the biggest driver. What if uber wanted the dox to play out the way it is currently? What if they really did want only a few t1 units to be dominant?

    Talking about balance and nothing else is like a blind person driving a car. Grasping at shadows and never looking more than two feet ahead.

    Also, everything IS perfectly balanced when you're correctly setting your goal as fairness of play between two opposing players. When talking about pure balance, that is the only outcome that matters.
    Last edited: November 5, 2014
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  11. arsene

    arsene Active Member

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    https://www.idlethumbs.net/designernotes/episodes/rob-pardo-part-1

    You might want to listen to that, it's an interview of the balance designer of Starcraft & Warcraft 3. It's fun to listen to if nothing else, but he also goes into his balance philosophy. The Blizzard RTS series are a bit different from the TA family but there probably still is a lot of overlap.

    Among other things, Rob Pardo discusses how he thinks offense should be stronger than defense in competitive gameplay; how he wants to keep rush strategies in the game; how he won't remove annoying strategies if he can help it because he thinks the game is better off with more options.
  12. emraldis

    emraldis Post Master General

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    yes, but in SC2 if your rush fails, you are more likely to lose. Since they will have more resource income. In PA, you rush dox, then other things, and are guaranteed a victory unless your opponent does the same.
  13. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    I don't believe that's true anymore, the meta is actually changing last I heard.

    Don't quote me on that. :p
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  14. emraldis

    emraldis Post Master General

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    It might not be, but then it's been a while since I've played.
  15. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    I think @squishypon3 makes a valid point. I'd also say that the current balance between units isn't *as bad* as many make out. That's not to say it's perfect, but the changes needed to it to make more starts viable for example is actually quite small.

    At the moment bot factory first is *slightly better* than anything else. That said we are now seeing good players start vehicles first (requires a much more defensive play style but tanks grouped up *with buildings* is almost impervious to dox early game so it can and does work as proven by @clopse and @foerest ).

    We are also seeing much wider use of air (hard dox can be countered by air quite well, which requires the dox player to either get air or switch to tanks).

    Where we do have issues:
    The grenadier and combat fabbers aren't really viable for anything (combat fabs *should* provide a boost to metal on planets with trees, but cost to much and are too vulnerable to do so, and their ability to repair units isn't really useful at t1 as units are all quite short lived).

    Skitters don't really serve a purpose, personally I would be all for them getting a light gun back- that way they could potentially fill a similar role to dox for sniping unguarded expanding fabbers (though due to very low dps anything else would be better served by dox / tanks).

    Units that are somewhere in between: Infernos and boom bots. These are both useful in niche situations- and I'm personally ok with that. To buff the inferno to the point it would be useful in a general engagement would probably make it too good, the same with booms.

    I actually think most of t2 is quite viable (t2 combat fabs suffering the same problems as their t1 counterparts, I liked the suggestion in another thread to make them necro bots + bringing back wreckage though, that worked *really really* well for Balanced annihilation in Spring). Otherwise though, all the combat units do have a use, again things like vanguards are more 'niche' situations but they are good.
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  16. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    Necro bots were also in TA, on the Core side. I think it was after Core Contingency though. :p
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  17. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Yeah I know- though I don't think I can remember ever using them in TA as they were a little too expensive / out of reach in most games.

    What they did in Balanced Annihilation- they made them t1. and critically they *don't require any metal to revive a unit just energy* (I guess based on the fact the metal is already in the wreck).

    What this creates is an interesting trade off- if you go vehicles you use normal fabbers to reclaim the metal, pumping it back into production of new units at your base.

    If you go bots, you can use resurrection fabbers to bring back units to life in situ, however you have no control over what you get. They're very effective at helping keep a front moving forward, and created a nice differentiation between bots and vehicles.
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  18. nixtempestas

    nixtempestas Post Master General

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    I really want to see the devs play some anti-popcorn games to see what their balance could be with just a few simple tweeks. less squishy units and viable com fabs add so much to the game I find (I admit I'm biased here :) )
  19. Gorbles

    Gorbles Post Master General

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    Going to go out on a limb and point out, in fact, that nobody said what you're asserting.

    Perhaps come down off of that throne, nano, your preaching is a bit outdated :p
  20. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    Maybe you should re-read the first post. It's in the first sentence.

    Trust me, I'd get down off my throne if there was anyone else worthy of sitting in it.
    Last edited: November 6, 2014
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