Let's Talk: Missile Defense Shoot at Air Only

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by brianpurkiss, February 13, 2014.

  1. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    I must admit I think this is a change for the worse. I don't see any need to arbitrarily limit missile units to AA only. Same goes for missile bots and tanks. I also think fighters should be able to target ground units (even if they are ineffective) and basically the principal of "if it has a gun and it can see something, it can shoot it" should apply.

    Rock, Paper, Scissors type rules have RUINED so many otherwise good RTS games. What some people call 'diversity' I think of as stupidity. Take Age of Empires- archers were the counter to knights, pikemen were the counter to archers, whilst knights countered pikemen. Problem was that if you had 100 knights, and I had 2 archers, my 2 archers WOULD WIN?! Which is obviously ludicrous. In TA, fast skirmish tanks were good counters to missile trucks (1 on 1 the missile truck would have no chance). However if you had 100 missile trucks and I had 2 skirmish tanks, the missile trucks would win. Strength in numbers does make sense. I find it irksome that in PA, 2 pounders can kill 100 spinners on the basis that for some reason the spinners have 0 anti ground capability, its crazy.

    The argument commonly made in support of this is "it makes sure all units are useful" or something along those lines. Ok, get your point, but having units that fulfil multiple roles *doesn't* mean they won't get used. If you watch games with missile towers currently, people DO make laser towers. The missile towers are good for light defence of expansion against small raiding parties. They also ward off small air raids and stop individual scouts having free run. They aren't any use at stopping large amounts of units. In this circumstance players currently pepper their base with missile towers, and protect critical locations and choke points with laser towers. This strikes me as a sensible approach and both units are being used. Stopping missile towers attacking ground only has one effect- it means I have to spend more resources building 2 types of tower instead of 1, rather than doing what I want to do with is make mobile units.
  2. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Not true. Jack of all trades etc. A versatile unit that can target more things is proportionally weaker. The missile turret works now because it does a small amount of damage which is effective against air but not so much against ground. It's a natural balance that arises on its own from these simple properties.
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  3. miturian

    miturian Member

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    brianpurkiss, I don't think your sarcasm is contributing positively to the tone of this discussion? I feel it should be possible to disagree in a friendlier manner? Especially since you appear to have the devs on your side, for now?

    Anyway, I went and dug up my old post on this argument, since I thought I put it just fine back then:

    I'd like to add that as clearly no one is spamming missile towers at the moment (or if they are, they're loosing), saying that the current version of missile defense invalidates all other defenses is clearly just not true. whether that has been the case in other games is not for me to pass judgement on, but I think it is beyond doubt that the structures, as they are right now, are not overpowered.
    related to this point, I really don't see the current state of base defenses as lacking in variety, aren't people already using the whole palette? they certainly seem to be in my matches.
  4. drz1

    drz1 Post Master General

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    This, in particular, is an opinion I share. Hopefully, given that Uber is currently trying lots of balancing, they will at least trial the idea of a "jack-of-all-trades" turret to see how it sits with specialised ones. If the majority of people try it and say it ruins the balance, then fair enough, I can accept it!
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  5. monkeyulize

    monkeyulize Active Member

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    You do know you can build more than one structure in this game right? In all these types of discussions it seems like people want to only build one unit and spam it.

    If you want a light turret then build the single cannon laser turret. If anything if the missile tower can hit ground then that invalidates the use of a light laser turret.

    If the barrier is cost (as in, I don't want to build a missile turret and a light turret for ground and AA defense) then maybe the costs need to be adjusted (and I'm sure they will be). Maybe the AA capabilities need to be buffed so it's more obviously an AA turret.
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  6. sypheara

    sypheara Member

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    Lines of missile towers are in alot of games I have played. Currently, I see no need to use a single laser tower over a missle tower at all, when it comes to TL1 defence. Even if it is weaker, it saves me multitasking to put more turrets down. I am therefore not forced to make the tactical choice of which do i neglect? what kind of defence is more important to me in this stage of the game?

    Instead i just put one tower down or a wall of towers and it magically deals with all early raiding without needing any thought from myself. For me this is much more of a shallow experience. I really don't want to see the return to early days TA missile tower spam.

    Arbitary rock paper scissor rules, like in starcraft, that run through the entire game i don't want to see in PA. Where it makes sense (different zones attacking into other zones) I am all for that.
    Last edited: February 13, 2014
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  7. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    A single laser tower is worth like 20 missile towers against ground. This is partially because it's over powered, but there's really no reason to build missile towers if you are expecting a ground attack. Missile towers make a nice supplement though.
  8. YourLocalMadSci

    YourLocalMadSci Well-Known Member

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    Lets talk about unit diversity for a moment. Suppose for the sake of example that we have 5 units called A, B, C, D, E and F. If each unit is designed to explicitly counter one and only one other unit, then there are only six combinations, where each unit is good against one other.

    Now let us suppose instead, that each unit can be good against two other units. This substantially increases the possible combinations, as there are now 15 possible units. If we say that each unit can be good against 3 units, then there are now 20 possible combinations. However, if we increase the effective units any further, then choices start to decrease. This is because "choose 2 out of 6" is the exact inverse of saying "choose 4 out of 6".

    The maximum amount of diversity is to not impose any limits at all on the number of units a given unit can be effective against. This gives us a whole 64 possible units. This is an oversimplified analogy, but I hope it illustrates the point. It's why this point:

    is reducio ad absurdum. Nobody is suggesting that we have one unit that does everything. What people are suggesting is that there is room for both specialists (which are really good at one thing), as well as generalists (which are ok at multiple things). Greater diversity is achieved by allowing some things to be multi-functional as opposed to having each and every single unit be good at one and precisely one thing.

    With that in mind, I'm not a fan of the idea of making the missile tower only able to fire at air only. We've had a lot of discussion about the idea that basic units should be generalists while advanced should be specialist. We have a specialised advanced air turret in the form of the flak cannon. It makes much more sense for the basic missile tower to be able to (slightly ineffectively) fire at ground units. If the goal of this is to make the basic laser tower get used more, then it would have been more interesting to see the basic laser tower made cheaper. Personally, I'm hoping that this is Scathis just playing around with the numbers in order to experiment a little, rather than this being a lasting change. This is without playing the game yet, so I'm happy to be proven wrong.
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  9. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    They are changing it so the AA tower only shoots at air.
  10. brianpurkiss

    brianpurkiss Post Master General

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    It is far from arbitrary. I explained why earlier in this thread. I'm on mobile otherwise I'd link/quote it.


    It's not sarcasm. It's a simple conclusion.
  11. iron420

    iron420 Well-Known Member

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    Is the opposite fun gameplay for you? In an FFA is being required to put a separate type of defense for each of the 5 layers + nuke defense around every inch of your base and expansions fun for you?
  12. drz1

    drz1 Post Master General

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    TBH I see where you are coming from. However, I would hope that a JoaT turret would be balanced sufficiently for it to be risky to rely on just spamming that turret early game. I'm not sure how, perhaps with the JoaT having a smaller range, or being worse at tracking, or just dealing less damage for the cost?
    Ideally, if you knew a big land army was knocking about near your MEX expansions, then you would stick down some laser towers. However, if unsure, you could safely rely on small blobs of Doxen getting defeated by a few JoaT turrets, but with the threshold for being overrun being much lower than if you spammed laser towers.
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  13. iron420

    iron420 Well-Known Member

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  14. Pendaelose

    Pendaelose Well-Known Member

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    Brian, you beat me to it. This is exactly what I came to say.

    In real life missiles are strongly role driven. An AA missile is not only ineffective vs armor, it can't even target armor because they use targeting metrics that don't match a ground unit. Even if you did force it to target the tank, or dumb fired it, AA missiles don't "hit" the target, they explode near it and shotgun it full of shrapnel. This warhead wouldn't do anything to the armor on a tank.

    At the same time, anti-tank missiles would never actually hit a jet. They travel fast, but they are no where near as maneuverable, and they are designed for direct impact and armor penetration. Jets are really hard to hit... this is why AA missiles use a flak style warhead. If you did manage to hit a jet with an anti-tank missile it would punch right through and would do far less damage than the shower of small projectiles from an AA missile. It's very similar to an AP round hitting a person vs a Frag round hitting a person. The AP round goes through clean and does a tiny fraction the damage.



    This distinction is anything other than arbitrary. It is well founded in real life and even makes sense from a game play perspective. I really REALLY want my AA to save their missiles for incoming bombers. My lasers can destroy the Dox. Let each turret do it's own job. This is not a new standard. Most RTS have dedicated roles on their defenses and players understand that.
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  15. matizpl

    matizpl Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of all-purpose decent tower that stops air and land relatively cost effectively. It's just more convinient and its just more pleasant to use than making 2 towers of 2 types, this is just much more micro.
    Although commander will not have ability to make t1 anti-ground turrets so this kinda sucks. This would make commander rushes much stronger.
    Ultimately, it's good right now because it's indirect buff to ground play which is underpowered right now so it's fine.
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  16. brianpurkiss

    brianpurkiss Post Master General

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    In the future the Commander will be able to build single laser defense towers. This was verified in a previous Playtest.
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  17. Slamz

    Slamz Well-Known Member

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    I like it. It will allow air towers to become meaner against air without also automatically becoming amazing Dox-murderers.
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  18. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if I got the wrong build or something but my com can build laser towers right now.
  19. YourLocalMadSci

    YourLocalMadSci Well-Known Member

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    However, these are magical space robots from the future. I have absolutely no problem in believing that they may have designed missiles that can be used against both ground units and air units. However, basic engineering constraints may suggest that such a general purpose missile would be less effective at both air and ground units compared to a specialised missile which would do a better job at one or the other.

    In other words, there should be room for both specialists and generalists, which is the whole point that some people are trying to make here. Saying that every unit should be a specialist is extremely limiting.
  20. iron71

    iron71 Member

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    Personally I like this change. It adds more strategy into the way you place your defenses. I don't like the idea of having a beats all type unit, as it doesn't promote unit diversity in my opinion.
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