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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    Exactly which is why I suggest to make expansions cheaper, so the defender can spent more on army to defend.
    Thanks for your insight into the backgrounds of the unit balance that happend, makes sense now.
  2. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    Yeah but eco is not the limiting factor, it's time. There is a limit of how many units you can produce while spamming fabbers. and these units will be spread thin defnding all expansions. Even on larger planets, I would just spam air, and kill your expansions that way quicker. We can continue this on IRC if you prefer :D
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  3. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    Teamspeak is so much faster, boys.
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  4. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    I like to actually think twice before I post, can't do that while talking directly.
    And that is the limit that needs to be pushed towards "enough units to defend. If that limit is in the right position a careful expander should be able to expand, but a good attacker should also have a chance to win with heavy attacks ;)
    If you go all out t1 rush then expanding in multiple places is definitely a bad idea, though I say expanding in one place should be possible if played carefully.

    Time and economy are the same really :p
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  5. klovian

    klovian Member

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    I'd like to argue that if you have "enough units to defend" then you have "more units to attack" (if you are the attacker). So that balance is forever out of reach because more units on one side is more units on the other.

    I think the basic problem is that the Commander produces so much eco idly and units (dox) are so cheap, you can already produce an abundance of units, and the better guy at MICRO, even at 2 minutes in the game, wins by a snowball effect.

    I think the game should allow (as you said with some energy changes) for someone who is good at timing and macro, have a chance to keep up with unit count and his eco by playing a solid game and out "strategising".

    The balance mod that mered has put together allows for only 1 factory, and forces you to claim more metal/map control to continue to expand. ALSO, if you use all of your starting metal to rush, you will have an undefended base, so there is more repercussion for a rush strategy than, "i'll just build more units and zig zag them better"

    I do like clopse's idea about bettering the turrets. I think that will help someone play "economy styled" gameplay at the start, but there is always the problem with turtles. If we either increased tank range, or decreased turret range, that would be great for breaking the turtle. Also, to prevent people from spamming turrets... JUST make so that airplanes can't build point defense.. It is a little ridiculous that they can totally take over an area in a matter of seconds for someone who is unprepared. Vehicles should have a fighting/racing chance to do some damage without planes putting up defense in front of them constantly. Also, how does an airplane anchor a turret (physically speaking ;))

    And you can almost never go t2 (has been said 1000 times) but in this context, since we are "not expanding" like cola colin says, the amount of eco necessary is never reached. There should be an eco'ing up phase, and a DECISION by the player on his strategy of that game. At that point the advantages they gain by commiting to something cause disadvantages in other facets STRATEGIC PLAY. That's what i think is inherently wrong, and it has a bit to do with everything you guys have said, but i think with a little stronger emphasis on starting metal/energy eco that allows players to create units without any risk.

    TLDR: Less starting energy/metal more starting storage. You can still rush if you like, but you must use valuable metal in a risk v reward scenario. Turrets can help people to build up there bases by defending the backside/front side attack. Slowly building eco allows for "specializing" and "teching up". We get to use more units, and one very cheap unit can't just out micro you and kill your fabricators which = gg in 3 minutes because of snowball.
  6. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    In my text I try to explain that the expansion just has to be cheap enough. So if you i.e. have only 8 dox to defend + your expansion you can still win vs 10 attacking dox if the expansion is closer to your base, so your reinforcements are faster to arrive and you can plan better. The defender advantage has to make up for the units you have less. Judging where the defenders advantage is enough is the task of a good player. If you missjudge and try to overextended you die to the rusher.
    And yeah to slow it all down a little a bit less starting resources probably is a good way to go. 2 factories first is pretty extreme.
  7. theseeker2

    theseeker2 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't played in a bloody age, so I really need to play more before I can offer my own opinions, but I still believe that cola is correct here.
  8. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Well let's not forget that units were a lot slower then too, so you had a lot more time to put up that turret than you do now.
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  9. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    :p you prob should read the next paragraph of that thread of mine you quoted :p
  10. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    I don't have time to read the posts I'm responding to!

    Anyway, I wanted to clarify the differences between the situation in March/April and now. Dox are fast, but they weren't when turrets were OP. It might be an important difference.
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  11. nlgenesis

    nlgenesis Member

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    First off, I would like to say "Thank you" to cola_colin for his effort trying to make PA gameplay more fun. (Also to mered for his work on balance.)

    With that out of the way, I would like to bring in another point into the discussion.

    You have described, cola_colin, that these changes will allow people to also keep building units while expanding. And that together with the defender's advantage, which is increased by reclaiming wreckage, this gives players a fighting chance to defend their expansion.

    I feel however that there is another aspect which is not taken into account, which is unit positioning / Metal distribution. You have to find a balance between spreading out your units (to be able to react in time to raids), or keeping them clumped up (increasing the chance of defeating the raids). It will be clear that the Metal distribution map also plays a large role in this, specifically the "bunching" of Metal setting. For example, on a map on which there are few (7) bunches of (4) Metal spots, expansions are much easier defended compared to to map on which the (28) Metal spots are homogeneously distributed along. It will start to make sense to build defensive structures and use tanks for defense, as they will cover more Metal spots. This will extend "expansion" beyond a flurry of Dox destroying and Fabbers rebuilding Metal Extractors. (Furthermore, it creates natural locations to make forward bases with Radars and such.)

    What is your vision on this, cola_colin? How important do you think this aspect is? How should we (or who?) control this balance?

    Thank you for reading. :)
    mered4, cola_colin and klovian like this.
  12. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Well in a perfect world that would be a decision of the person making the map. So a map maker should be able to make a map that has more rush chances or more expansion chances.
    I've not considered this aspect a lot so far though, as we don't really have a good map editor this and most maps are kinda an average map without any significant features in any direction.
  13. crizmess

    crizmess Well-Known Member

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    I say this upfront: I never played 1vs1 online, since my connection isn't the best.
    But there is a interesting point here: If someone is attacking your base, the time the attacker needs to move its tanks/dox to your base is the advantage you have to build more units - or in other words this is the slim window an expandist has to defend against someone who is rushing.
    Since usually you can change unit speeds (unless you are re-balancing an rts), the time is determined by the distance between the opponents which usually relates to map size. So usually we should see more expansion based strategies on larger maps, where smaller maps should flavor direct combat.

    Cheers,
    criz.
  14. nlgenesis

    nlgenesis Member

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    The same effect (of increasing defensibility by clumping up Metal) can be gotten by having maps with more chokepoints. Water doesn't really help with this tough, because Dox can just walk through it. Furthermore, this leave you more vulnerable to Air and Teleporters.
  15. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Yeah but additionally you have to consider what it costs to make the expansion. If the expansion cost is 0 you can expand and have the same amount of units as the attacker anyway. Ofc 0 is too low, but it shows distance is not tthe only factor. It works together with the price of an expansion.
  16. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    @cola_colin what's the situation with the current balance. personally I still believe expantions and longer lasting 1v1s never occur.
  17. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    The current balance?
    Well nothing changed since I wrote the post. Yes the dox changed... so what. I think I made it clear that I never considered the dox to be the main issue.
    Additionally now we have tiny tiny planets as ranked maps as well.

    Waiting for the december patch, which is supposed to include balance stuff I hope. It's about time for that.
  18. thetrophysystem

    thetrophysystem Post Master General

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    What I found as I made a recent mod to capitalize on reclaim and a more collection-feeling economy, is that being able to actually store, really helps reclaim usefulness.

    Which brings up these regularly requested changes:
    -decrease starting economy generation a wee bit, just enough so, if your running a commander and bot factory, no other things, that you run 80% efficiency.
    -Increase starting storage, where you could build 2 bot factories without running out while the 1st bot factory is running.
    -Make combat fabbers cheaper, since they use no energy they are reclaim candidates and also because they are with the army that is around enemy wrecks.
    -Make regular fabbers take slightly less energy, even if to balance you must adjust factory energy use as well. Energy is too hard to maintain, needing a constant building of them to sustain anything, and expansion is too hard in light of it.

    Changing these would likely shift us ever so slightly enough off of a whole game generated around a starting hoarde of factories and army-rushes without expanding at all. I mean, turret buff slightly would help too, but we are honestly getting there.
  19. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Today I played like 10 games 1vs1.
    I think I lost some games because I expanded vs "single base one tank army push every few minutes" strategies.

    this is such an important issue. There is just no fun in playing when the best thing to do is to make at most one careful "expansion" (read: mex not in your base) along your "I am gonna send all my tanks that way to attack"-path.

    small maps have made the issue even worse than it was when I wrote my original essay. Changes to the dox, as I expected :p, had no effect as the issue is much deeper than a single unit, as I desciribed.

    PA 1vs1 is not enough fun to play more than a game or two once in a while like this :(
  20. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    Defensive turrets on the direct path?

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