Of investments, energy, metal and reclaiming

Discussion in 'Balance Discussions' started by cola_colin, October 25, 2014.

  1. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    That would make it a little less bad, but the basic issue of the metal/energy balance limiting players by energy would stay. Being limited by energy means: You are limited by a resource you can build in your base and wrecks are unimportant. Those are both arguments for players not to expand and to attack without much thought. Bad for mapcontrol-play. The initial resource boost is okay if players are limited by metal.
  2. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    I think you also need to take into account that T1 offensive units were made faster relative to the T1 fabbers.
  3. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    As I said the dox became a very potent raider. However I don't think that is the main issue. The units you use to defend are just as fast as the attackers. With a radar you can defend your engineers if you have enough units of your own. But you don't have enough units, as the engineers soak up so much energy that your dox swarms will be considerably smaller than the attacking dox swarms.

    Additionally I think in the last few month there also has been a shift towards smaller maps. I don't know why. When I stopped playing in the expansion meta a few month ago I considered 600 small and 700 avg, 800-900 were fun. Back when I was the person to put in maps I even put in a 1050 planet. Yet pretty much all of the current maps for 1vs1 are ~600 in size. No idea why that happened, but it certainly also is a factor.
    Though I am sure that with economy tweaks alone this can be fixed already. Sure on a smaller planet there only is so much space to expand, but even there you'll be forced to expand to get more metal with my suggestions.
    Changes to combat units will only be required to get players to use the full unit roster. That certainly also is required, but not the point of my thoughts. I mostly care for an economy that feels good to me ;)

    EDIT:
    Basically what I am saying is that the changes to the t1 units are not the real issue that broke expansion play. The issues that t1 had a few month ago were real and the changes to t1 units mostly are fine and resulted in the desired "more t1" effects.
    However the broken t1 state that made players just rush towards t2 was hiding another issue: The t1 economy is energy limited and expansion unfriendly. Since before people never really played on t1 that did not matter as much.
    Players could "feel" how they were energy limited on t1 before reaching t2 power (I hate that feeling), but since fights mostly happened on t2 it did not really do more than that.
    Now that t1 units are "fixed" (for the most part, yes dox may be too strong or whatever, but t1 at least actually is used to fight) players are depending on t1 economy. And it turns out t1 economy isn't working very well.
    So the issue are not really the changes to t1 units, it just looks that way at first because t1 units where changed and the issue popped up after that. The real issue is that the t1 economy always was broken, but not really used before.
    Last edited: October 26, 2014
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  4. gunshin

    gunshin Well-Known Member

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    dox still shouldnt shoot at air units =_=
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  5. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Then there would need to be stingers

    Btw i still find it stupid that T1 bombers are the most effective air unit right now.
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  6. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    I agree and would like to see aa removed from dox and stingers re-added, but with different stats than aa vehicles.
    But that is another issue entirely compared to what my wall of text is about.
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  7. mayhemster

    mayhemster Well-Known Member

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    I think that this is a good idea, 1v1s will get stale regardless of unit balance changes unless the eco is improved in some way. It would be good to have something where rush and expansionist macro play can both be viable. I don't particularly like the initial thought process at the moment which is do I build 0,1,2 or 3 fabbers.
  8. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    I still think this is going about it the wrong way - because DOX ARE TOO VERSATILE.

    I didn't like the stinger change, myself - but I don't think Uber will ever go back on it because they would be admitting fault. Which they've done once, and it was by the new guy who has yet to be indoctrinated.

    Thing is, with a different unit balance, but the same economy balance, we were forced to expand. Now, with cheap raiding units and weak PD towers, it's about who raids better than the other. Not about who expands better - it's about who RAIDS better.

    :(
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  9. wstxbb

    wstxbb Member

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    Won't that highlight the issue you said last time about the best way of wining is destroying others mex rather than a better strategy? I feel people still expanding in games but now more focus on how well you re-expanding to gain the mex that destroyed by opponent.
  10. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    You are waaaaay to focused on the "DOX ARE HORRIBLE" psychosis some people have developed because it _seems_ to be that dox are at fault for the expansion break down after the t1 buff. I think people came up with that because the first thing they see is powerful dox everywhere, so they assume dox are a problem. The actual reasons for "dox are everywhere and nothing else happens" is not that dox are too powerful, it is that the players can't do "dox everywhere" and expansion/tech/whatever at the same time. That's an issue of the economy system on t1.
    While I agree dox balance -just like many other units- can be improved (I think what you do in your balance mod with them is the a good idea), it is just not the main issue that broke expansion play, as I describe in the EDIT a few posts above. The main issue is: The economy system in t1 is fundamentally broken. Instead of breaking the units to follow the broken t1 economy the t1 economy needs to be fixed instead.

    An extreme example to show that changing t1 units can hide the economy issues, but clearly can't really be the right way: To buff expansion you could just reduce all unit speed by 80%. That surely would make expansion more viable again. But is it fun? No. The most fun is clearly to have players expand quickly while fighting in the expansions. For that you need fast and cheap units that can attack early and powerful and the expansion mechanics need to be build in a way that allows an expansionist to expand even while attacks happen. Fighting nonstop from t1 on. No "I can expand because his units are so slow they won't reach me yet" phase.
    Rather a "I can expand during the attacks because expansion is cheap, losing an engineers isn't the end of the world and I can still build enough units to defend" is where the fun is.

    I think for that we need powerful raiders like the dox. Expansion play just needs to be cheap enough to still be viable. If you buff expansion play enough to be able to keep up with the brutal dox raiding power you'll see players be able to brutally rush dox and win and you see players expand and fend off dox rushes, depending on who is better: The dox rush player or the expansionist.

    Not trying to attack you, but what IS a better strategy? My expansion play, carefully crafted and planned out to sustain vs heavy dox attack is a perfectly fine strategy or not? Is it a valid strategy when you plan out how to destroy opponents mex in the most efficient way possible? How to prevent them from being build up in the first place? Etc?
    Really I *HATE* it when people dismiss any sort of playstyle or balance with the argument "there is no strategy in that". You might as well say "that balance is bad" and not state any further reason. Explain why there is no better strategy under certain circumstances if you want to get anybody top actually agree with you on a basis where everyone knows what is talked about. "Strategy" is a horrible overused word and everybody defines it in a different way.
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  11. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    I'm not making an assumption about dox being OP. There is conclusive proof all over the replays in PAStats.
    There are discussion threads. There have been extensive teamspeak discussions.

    And, with my new balance mod, a demonstration of what happens when you nerf dox and nerf the 2 factory start: you get variety. You get expansion. You even get T2, despite it being so expensive.

    All this without forcing players to up the micro and pre-game planning to the max. Colin, you are very, very good at this game and at being precise and efficient in your builds. However, I never felt quite so helpless as I did playing you in those two games with this mod. You were both expanding and attacking with the current dox meta without pause. I know I can't keep up with that level of detail - my mind just isn't wired for that. That's why I don't play StarCraft. Also why I don't think of Starcraft as strategy.
  12. gunshin

    gunshin Well-Known Member

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    Well, there may not truly be a need for stingers. Im certainly not against the idea of reintroducing them since the bot factory would no longer have an AA, but maybe the vehicle factory would be able to cover it with the fighters. I would kinda like the idea of the stinger being reintroduced as a T2 mobile flak cannon, or similar.

    On the issue with uber ******* up and not knowing what the unit roster should be such as T1 being a carpet bomber and T2 being some sort of mobile catapult, its not really the first situation it has happened with. I thought the T2 air was a great carpet bomber, and that the bumblebee served as a great 'precision' bomber, so i dont really understand the reason for swapping the roles =/
  13. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    @mered4
    So your argument is: "I don't want a balance that I can't keep up with it".
    While I obviously don't agree with it, that's okay.

    Though you do give up.... waaay to quickly.
    You lost a game or two in a new balance you don't know vs the person who came up with that balance and who obviously build the balance around the way he likes to play the game. Try playing somebody who has not such a big advantage out of the box with it and you might find yourself to like it ;)
    Also just because there are replays of people playing with a lot of dox does not mean the dox is the main issue. Yes the dox certainly is a little tooo versatile, but I disagree on this "the dox is the root of all evil" ideology that has spread in the last weeks. So stop arguing against my economy changes on the basis that they don't fix the dox. The dox is not the topic I am really talking about.

    Yes you get many of those bold things if you do other changes as well. But you won't get rid of this horrible "this economy is WRONG" feeling. That does not even have much to do with how many expansion stuff is required from players. What I really dislike is the feeling of "I am limited by energy" that hunts the whole t1 phase of the game.
    Basically the whole current t1 economy is build around "expansion is rather unimportant because energy limits players" Energy is the stuff you get from power generators that you build in your base. No expansion is required for that.

    Also you get all those bold things with the fixed economy as well. And on top of that you get real fun games where players actually fight in more places than one. Isn't the whole idea of PA to have huge armies fight everywhere? If you want to play "one fight and one expansion" play starcraft :p

    Starcraft btw does not have much expansion stuff imho. That's the part of sc2 I don't like: Most often it is rather one dimensional. Taking an expansion is a HUGE thing and takes rather long. Like the current dox spam meta. The real fun happens when players have 2 or 3 bases and fight in 3 or more locations at the same time. When you feel the game runs past you at a speed you can't keep up with, but you still try as hard as you can to do to be better than your opponent.

    Additionally there was no pregame planning for any of my games and pre game planning/micro has little to do with the whole question of how much expansion should happen. You have a ton of pre game planning and micro for small scale single base sc2 1vs1 as well.

    EDIT:
    Also @mered4: I think your fix to the energy limitation is to buff t1 pgens right? I'd like to try a game with that if you are around join the IRC and we can play a game or two with it.
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  14. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    I have a gift for seeing a bit further than others do. In this case, I got pissed off because I saw how it worked. Especially after watching the replay.

    And I did get rid of that feeling by tweaking the energy plants. Now, that's not the only option - which is why I like the initial idea of this mod. Problem is, you didn't solve the initial problem: Dox and the two factory start.

    The two factory start is the bigger problem, imho, but it isn't mentioned as much. Basically, you can have a rather large army VERY quickly with the two factory start, compared to other, more expansion-y builds. This, along with powerful, versatile, and cheap dox, makes anything but an army start much more difficult to pull off.

    FORCING expansion shouldn't be the goal - you should gently guide the play in a certain direction while still giving him options for flexibility and improv.
  15. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Ofc, I would never dare to question that. /s

    I don't think it is that BAD of a problem as you think and my changes make it actually even less than a problem.
    Also I have stated numerous times I do not try to fix those issues because I want a healthy economy first. Don't try to balance everything at once. That's bound to fail. Make the economy work good and then base units on top of that.

    Yeah, my changes try to make it so people have a big army and expansion quickly. I think I'd agree that a single factory start might be pretty good as well.

    If you don't you get boring single base play. Fighting over territory is the fun part of the game, isn't it? The only question is how fast people should be forced to expand.

    Also I still want to play that game in your own balance to see how it really feels. I first considered making t1 pgens more powerful in fact. Like I asked for that numerous times since more than a year. I've only recently changed that view. Why? Because just buffing them doesn't just buff expansion play (as hopefully metal becomes the limit of t1 economy which means you are forced to expand), it also buffs unit producion. And units we have enough already imho.
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  16. theseeker2

    theseeker2 Well-Known Member

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    Going to have to agree with cola here, the root issue is t1 economy, not dox.
  17. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    So nice post Cola. The main poblem in my opinion is the turrets. Back when people rushed t2 it was because turrets were cheap and super efficient against t1 units. You could see a group of ants on the radar and build a turret before they got to your expansions. Nobody built dox becasue hey were pointless so rushing t2 was the best way to go. This was not so fun and became tedious.

    This is not possible against dox as they are too fast and can avoid the turrets with their range, skimming around expansions and picking off mex that are not in range. The t1 turret cost has doubled and t2 turret 50% more expensive, on top of a nerf and a price decrease with t1 units.

    I think you can balance the game alone by fixing the turrets and maybe adding extra turrets that specialise in killing dox (same range as dox and less than ants) with high fire rate. Then if you invest you can protect your expansions and make investments like you have mentioned.

    Then we will see that t2 units are poorly balanced as 26 dox are much better than a sheller, before shellers had larger aoe radius which could kill large groups of t1 spam, this also was nerfed at the same time dox prices were halved.

    Less energy increases raiding potential too. Yo can build more fabbers, but also have to protect all your fabbers whereas i can build more raiding units quicker. So without an effective counter to units than more units you can't/shouldnt win.
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  18. wstxbb

    wstxbb Member

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    I am sorry if what I said piss you off, and I did not say your way is bad or anything like that. I didn't even compare your changes with current balance. I didn't deny destroy opponent's mex is a strategy, and what I want to say is the game will focus more on mex and less on opponents' base etc. The reason I use word "strategy" is because I don't know other words with similar meaning.... It is logic that mex should be the limit of eco rather than energy, and they do. If the point you reduce the input of mex is to limit the dox rush, then I have to agree with you. But I can't see any direct relation between dox rush and expanding. The dox rush do make the expanding harder, but isn't finding a way against it a planning? I think provide the option that can against dox rush is better than make the dox rush impossible.
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  19. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    wstxbb, I can't follow your last few sentences with 100% certainty, but I think I actually might agree ;)

    I agree but can't see how it relates to my texts :p
    You don't need good turrets to expand, if you can pay for enough units while expanding and for that we need some major economy changes is my point.
    Yes turrets might need a buff as well, didn't look at them much, excluded them from the price reduction in metal because I didn't want to encourage turtles.
  20. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    Ah alright I was giving you teh real details as you said you havnt played so much lately so are not sure about the change in playstyles. T1 rush spammers are extremely efficient and timings are a lot better than before with the dox speeds. Its hard to defend 2 expansions even when you t1 spam yourself so would imagine having more expansions and less units would make it a lot harder.
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