Laser turrets are too cheap/T1 land armies have vanished

Discussion in 'Balance Discussions' started by Quitch, March 9, 2014.

  1. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    Most units currently one shot each other.

    So unless you are suggesting some kind of crazy rebalance of the entire games balance away from twitch kill tanks, made of jelly, then I don't see the point.
  2. ace63

    ace63 Post Master General

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    I exactly suggested this at least 5 or 6 times, so yes - I suggest an overall increase in unit hitpoints so units feel less like made of paper. This also makes balancing alot easier ("How much damage should this unit do? How fast should it fire? How much hitpoints should it have?" as opposed to "How many units should this unit able to kill per second?") and enables more unit diversity.

    There's been a few threads on this topic already. If I remember correctly most people agree that units should be tougher.
    Last edited: March 15, 2014
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  3. stormingkiwi

    stormingkiwi Post Master General

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    Yes. I realise that. The same game would still exist. It would just take longer. Unless you sped up all the units by the same scale. In which case it would take exactly the same amount of time. Scale would be more accurate. But in a real war you're forced to deal with the scale at which happens. (infinity of boredom punctuated with moments of terror). You take whatever scale applies to you, and you just deal with it.
    You said mass and energy cannot be created from mass and energy. Every system in real life requires mass and energy to obtain mass and energy. I'm not saying the commander uses the ATP cycle, that's absurd. BUT the ATP cycle requires an input of energy to produce a net output of energy. Likewise, the economy of PA requires an input of energy and mass to produce an output of energy and mass. I presume that's what you meant when you said the commander produces mass and energy.


    The commander’s constant production of energy is utterly feasible. The commanders more efficient production of metal than metal extractors makes rather less sense - it is feasible that the commander can use nearby material to produce that mass, but then why aren't metal extractors more efficient? Why can he still produce mass in a vacuum?

    It's not even like he's self-sufficient - he requires more metal than he produces, so he has to get that metal from somewhere, and he requires more energy than he produces.

    I didn't say that realistic concepts were always a good gameplay idea. I said that stuff that made sense in a war makes sense in a simulation of a war. Magical stuff doesn't make sense in real life. That doesn’t mean it wouldn't make sense in a simulation.
    A system is a set of components that interact to from one thing.
    War is a system.
    Planetary Annihilation is a game about a war.
    A simulation reproduces the behaviour of a system.
    Planetary Annihilation is therefore a simulation of a system.

    So yes. Stuff that makes sense in the system makes sense in the simulation of the system. It's increasing accuracy of the simulation. I'll get back to this in our on topic discussion ;P
    Touchy. I wasn't the one who got political. I made a comment about what is possible with modern technology. If you prefer, I'll talk about bomb disposal robots.

    I brought up the duel of champions - risking a war on loss of one life. Quitch said that didn't make sense. I countered that the reason for it was to reduce the risk of loss of life, and brought up its modern day technological equivalent. If you can use an autonomous vehicle to do a risky job, a person doesn't need to do that job. Hence - bomb disposal robots. I'm not getting political, if you choose to interpret my comments politically that really truly is not my problem.
    Time is a resource, so yes, mobile units are finite, because only a finite amount of units can be produced in a finite amount of time. I'm talking about the actual game we play. At any given time, you have a finite amount of units on the map. Your mobile units are also a resource. At the point of time when you use your units, you only have a finite number to choose from.


    You are assuming 2 players, 2 player FFA.

    The game can support 10 player FFA. It’s not a 1v1.
    Notice the emphasised text. The static defences are also a lifeline if you made a mistake. The static defences should be being built in an area that the enemy will attack. It's better to have and not need than need and not have.

    Factories also aren't mobile. Fabbers are mobile. The fabber that you build the turret with can continue to build stuff there, and then can move elsewhere to expand economy. The tank can't fabricate, and you would have had to build the tank instead of a fabber. Because you're building turrets there, you don't need to build the units you're not building. You can devote your factory to building tanks, and your fabbers to building anti-air. Then you can move your tanks elsewhere, and devote your fabbers to building anti-ground defence and then a factory.

    You could drop the factory first. But then what happens if you get attacked at 95% completion and your fabbers are sniped? You build the defences so that you can incrementally fortify an area and still have the ability to defend that area. The further your factories are from the area, the longer you need to reinforce it, and the more time you waste logistically.

    Back to realism - read your own posts - you're advocating removing static defences in favour of mobile troops. That situation has already occurred in modern militaries with the advent of mobile armour. Real life situation, making sense in the simulation, in your opinion.

    You know my sig? Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man?

    Why am I opposing your view with such a hypocritical signature?

    Because infantry, and tanks can be entrenched. We don't have a mechanic to entrench units in PA (i.e. make a defensive fighting position, create a machine gun nest, entrench a tank). The only possible way of doing that is to build a wall, but when you do that, you can't shoot with your "entrenched" units.

    Fortification is still a thing in modern militaries. Infantry defending an area increase their capability if they reduce the target they present to the enemy.

    Where did I say that?

    How are they restricting choice?

    Reductio ad absurdum does not help your argument.

    Tanks can do something turrets can't. They can defend a greater surface area, because they can move. Turrets do something tanks can't, they are better fortified, and more importantly when I am building them, they don't cost me more economy than building reinforcing attack troops does.

    Ideally yes, from both a realistic and a gameplay perspective, that dual functionality would be combined in one unit, which is rather difficult in a game that does not encourage that level of micro.
    You placed emphasis on an entire section of the post, which wasn't very helpful for emphasis, and there has also been a pattern of unwarranted sarcasm in your post. I assumed, I was mistaken, I apologise.
    I think I've addressed this.

    Turrets can be entrenched behind walls. Tanks cannot.
    Tanks can move to defend a greater area. Turrets cannot.

    I'm not convinced either choice is "better" in that situation.

    Turrets do cover a shortcoming in the simulation - they allow entrenchment to occur. Tanks can then be used to fortify a defensive gap until the area is refortified because fabbers cannot shoot.

    I would wholeheartedly support vehicles having a more defensive focus, because that would allow the commander's ubercannon to be nerfed, unit based rushes to come back in force, and the focus of the game being on massive battles between units again.
  4. nightbasilisk

    nightbasilisk Active Member

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    Well my rationale is that at the part of the game where "defenses veporize T1 armies" the cost to get enough energy for each turret should be enough to mean the other guy can just go T2 and always win against your defense spam if he scouts it. When I said turrets would have a constant power cost I literally meant something like 450 - 600 per turret (single, double), 1200 for triple laser ones.

    If you just have a flat increase in turrets cost then the turrets are still at full effectiveness no matter how many are destroyed, however with them linked to power, lose enough power to be under the requirement and your "magical defense grind" is no more then a expensive wall; and this happen just naturally with out the opponent even attacking your power if you dont manage your eco properly.

    (pelters and siege emplacements keep their current power drain on use)
  5. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Please fix your quotes, you're not responding to me.
  6. godde

    godde Well-Known Member

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    600 energy is the whole production from a basic energy plant which costs 450 metal. That would be quite expensive. You would basically only erect defenses in emergencies when you have few alternatives.

    Thing is. Even if the effectiveness of the defenses decreases when you stall on energy, the energy plant is the least likely units to be destroyed as they will be in the center of the base. So you can't really predict when the enemy will stall on energy or force the enemy to stall on energy which makes a lack of energy mostly your own fault.

    Then there is also the issue of what happens when you stall. Do the turrets keep functioning but with a reduced fire rate? Is the only way to remove the drain from the towers, to self-destruct them?
  7. nightbasilisk

    nightbasilisk Active Member

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    Oh trust me I'm very much aware of the values. And yes I do mean that you would have to have a power gen per turret. Also to clarify: negative power = defense turrets power down. If you have some "deny power" option there would be a cooldown for turning stuff off and back on or you would still drain some power even when they're off (or both).

    To expand, my idea of power balance is that in a completely flat map you would not bother with turrets. On the other hand on a say vulcanic map turrets would be very much as viable as they are now since you just need to cover choke points not surround your base and well they are plenty powerful now.

    With some tweaks to the map generation the player that spawns on a flat surface would have easier expand, but hard defense options. While the player that spawns on a say more chocky terrain which likely has fewer metal due to simply having a lot of terrain blockers around would have a really really defensible position.

    It basically pushes map balance importance up. How does that sound to you?
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  8. stormingkiwi

    stormingkiwi Post Master General

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    Is that a forum bug? It happens a lot, but seems really weird people would not just delete from bracket to bracket.
    I watched someone surround their base in turrets.

    Their opponent found a back door and sent 600 bots in through it. They gutted inside of base unopposed. And waltzed on out again.

    Then there was that time I simply punched through such a shell, did my thing, walked out again.

    Favorite way to deal with such shells Is still to microwave them with a nuke, irradiate the inside and leave them as a monument.

    It's not really necessary. The person on the open plain is more open to being attacked. His ability to defend himself doesn't need to be penalised further.
  9. godde

    godde Well-Known Member

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    Well I think it could work but the simple solution is to just increase the cost of the turrets themselves.

    The whole "cooldown" to turn stuff on and off might provide excessive micro as you only want turrets to be turned on when the enemy is going near the turrets while they should be off in all other cases. How long would such a "cooldown" be? 10 seconds? 30 seconds? 1 minute? If it is one minute then you are probably just gonna make defenses as the enemy approaches unless the weapons take 1 minute to activate after being built as well.

    I think it could work well on powerful units that aren't so common or if you have a way to manage it without having to select each and every turret and reactivate them.
  10. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    I know one that would : bubble shields.

    According to your argument things should be in the game because we could realistically expect them to be there.

    (generalizations are bad in general oh hey there's another one!)

    So by logic, shields should be in the game too.

    explain to me why you're against shields but think turrets being OP is okay.

    PS: yes this, of course invalidates the turtle argument preemptively since both are pushing the turtle forward. In this case much more than SupCom ever did with the shield.
    that's why I always laughed when people said it was the CAUSE of turtling.

    that's idiotic : turtleing or no is a factor of balance not a factor of what one particular unit is supposed to do.

    (supposed to do being different from what it is actually used for in-game. and in the case of the turret, yes people definitely use it for turtling ...and are being successful at it, that's the worst part.)

    Are we to dig up that thread where we advise newbies to not turtle because it will be their doom and say sorry we were wrong, now you have to turtle, tehee, mistakes happen?
    Last edited: March 15, 2014
  11. stormingkiwi

    stormingkiwi Post Master General

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    Bubble shields are not in PA, nor are they in a real life war. Because for all extents and purposes, they are utterly impossible?
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  12. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    You may want to read my signature before saying things like that.

    Also this and this.
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  13. godde

    godde Well-Known Member

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    Arguably defenses are quite mobile. They are about as mobile as fabbers. :D
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  14. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    Friendly tanks can shoot through walls can they not?
  15. stormingkiwi

    stormingkiwi Post Master General

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    Yes.

    But that is not a bubble shield. That is a shield to prevent radiation from penetrating it. That is another thing entirely, and I'm in favour of such a system, because it's actually feasible and is proven in other games (e.g. Earth2150) to be good for gameplay. The reason why it's "good for gameplay" is because it only provides protection against radiation based weaponry, so it can be quite easily countered by using non-radiation based weaponry.


    But a bubble shield that prevents solid projectiles is an impossibility. It is absolutely impossible to make it in such a way that you can shoot out of the forcefield while simultaneously using the forcefield as a shield. Because the same effect that keeps incoming projectiles out of the shield will keep your outgoing projectiles within the shield.

    Here's the practicality of it for you.

    There are 4 forces to work with - electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear, and gravitational. The latter 3 are all not going to be useful for your purposes.

    The best force is electromagetism. Opposite charges attract. Like charges repel.

    You know that electrons do not orbit atoms, right? Their spatial location is described in its simplest form by a probability distribution from the centre of the atom within certain limits.

    Now according to Pauli's exclusion principal, it is impossible (not bullsh!t Arthur C Clark science fiction writer impossible, but actually scientifically proven physically impossible) for two electrons to occupy the same quantum state simultaneously.

    Every atom consists of a positive nucleus and a negative field of electrons. The field of electrons always surrounds the nucleus. So yes, you can create a "bubble shield", of negative electrons. Negative electrons which are constrained, so they won't move when you fire a negatively charged object at them.

    If you're at all in touch with physics you'll know what I'm about to write.

    Go and pick up an helium cannon. A helium cannon fires balls of solid helium at a target.

    Fire your helium cannon at your little sister. The solid ball of helium will bounce off your little sister. Why? Because the helium and your sister are both protected by a forcefield of negative electrons.

    Modern armour always has a forcefield by default.

    If you put something with more mass in your cannon, you'll eventually reach a point where the projectile will simply fly straight through your sister's forcefield. Which is pretty much why armour keeps getting penetrated by stuff.

    Yes, you can use capacitors to create armour that discharges a large negative charge when ever an object approaches it. But after the discharge your capacitors will need to charge up again.
  16. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    Well you're just no fun at all. In science fiction there's a "close enough" factor. If your tech can be reasonabley explained in a fair amount of detail, but not so much that the fact it doesn't actually work becomes apparent it is "close enough".
  17. stormingkiwi

    stormingkiwi Post Master General

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    Actually that post was why it is feasible. The only thing that needs to be overcome is the inverse square law.

    The reason why it's practically impossible?

    How can you shoot out of the shield while you can't shoot into the shield? How come planes (friendly and enemy)/friendly ammunition can fly through the shield but enemy ammunition can not?

    That leads to a gameplay imbalance and logical inconsistencies in the "science" of the universe. (Which is why I consider tanks shooting through friendly structures a bug that will one day be fixed - it's not "shooting through a small hole, so that return fire has to be very accurate", it's wall hacking, and your enemy can't wallhack back)
    There doesn't just have to be "lore" which explains that, there also has to be a way in the game to exploit the reason.

    And the simplest explanation is energy shields stop energy weapons, mass based weapons penetrate shields and are stopped by armour (or vice versa)

    I don't care about whether or not the science is real, and that is not my argument. I don't care if there is a certain level of magic in the world, especially if that magic (teleportation) is good for gameplay.But it has to have limits and it has to adhere to its own rules
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  18. lilbthebasedlord

    lilbthebasedlord Active Member

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    Stormingkiwi will not listen to you if you take this route, he's clearly not arguing for the sake of arguing. He probably thought this through very far. You need to convince him of what I claimed earlier. Things that are realistic are not good for gameplay by default. I did my best and he claimed that he never said that, when I directly quoted him.
    Last edited: March 17, 2014
  19. stormingkiwi

    stormingkiwi Post Master General

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    Pay attention and read properly, word for word, twice, and feel free to clarify meaning. Your problem is that you completely misunderstood the initial statement and choose not to be reeducated as to my meaning. You choose not to actually read my posts. Is English your first language? Honest question.

    The quote is things that make sense in a real war make sense in the gameplay of a game about a war by default. Take careful note of the word choice I used.

    I then went on to say that you should not discount the realism argument just because you were bigotted towards realism arguments, because often a point could be argued from a gameplay or realism point of view.

    At no point did I say that the game should be a complete and true reproduction of reality. I said, and say again, that concepts which exist in a real war make sense in a game about a war. Read my next most recent post on this page.

    Look back to Quitchs post he made in response to the other user.

    The other user effectively said it was realistic for a man to stand in the middle of an open field, without cover, to defend against mobile men who outnumber him.

    Is that even slightly realistic?

    Is that good gameplay?

    You can't argue yes and no or no and yes. To start with, stationary troops create a defensive fighting position by taking cover or otherwise limiting their surface area. So it is utterly unrealistic to begin with. A stationary target is a sitting duck.

    To follow, ZaphodX already proved several months ago that if stationary defences were as effective at defending as mobile units, there really wasn't any point building them.

    Essentially Baselord, you have to disprove that concepts like 'taking cover behind objects' do not make sense for good gameplay. Not that concepts like 'the scale is wrong' are good for gameplay.
  20. woutske

    woutske New Member

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    I used to use turrets as an assault. When you have 10 T1-fabbers you construct a tower in three seconds and you can just walk into the hostile base. Yes, it is that unbalanced. Just like the Stingray.

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