The Titan problem.

Discussion in 'Balance Discussions' started by mjshorty, January 11, 2021.

  1. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    With the exception of the Helios as it has an entirely different and balanced role, the Ares+Atlas+Zues dynamic is not in the right spot for the game in how they compete with eachother and how they compete with other units.

    The problem

    The Ares is so dominant that it obsoletes most other land units and other titans and it devolves into a game of who has more Ares in team games and high-eco games. Its all about who accidentally makes a mistake exposing their Ares. The entire game at that point is centered entirely around the Ares and its a problem.

    Due to the costs of 30,000 metal for each titan, and the way you tech towards each titan is similar, they directly compete with each other for your time and resources, and the Ares is so efficient and reliable that it reduces the zues's impact and almost entirely obsoletes the atlas. The Ares also has a huge range so it is more difficult to catch an out of position ares and them repositioning to a different part of the map is easier than the atlas do to how much surface area they can already cover

    The atlas has low health, high impact, if you get into their lines, they are screwed. The issue is that when you are at that stage to be able to afford an atlas, your opponent(s) can afford the armies and counters to kill them before they reach their affective range.

    The Zues is the glass cannon of titans. It can still be affective in certain situations as its able to stack with air and quickly move to different points on the map and easily reposition unlike the ares and titan. However if the zues gets caught out a reasonable air force, it quickly dies. It also cant charge more than 10 galatas or a spread out spinner force without taking significant enough damage to be destroyed.

    Short term solutions easy number changes to help alleviate some problems.

    Ares
    -Reduce health from 80,000 to 60,000
    -Remove Ground AOE (it has a short range aoe that 'crushes' things, and it removes the option of using short range units like infernos/vanguards and boombots from killing out of position ares as a tactic)

    Atlas
    -increase health from 40,000 to 60,000

    Long terms solutions redesigns that make the titans more fun and dynamic rather than 1-dimensional

    Atlas - Midrange assault bot: can tank and take risks to kill high hp targets.
    -Redesign the aoe shockwave to be smaller, more focused at one point with a longer cooldown, allows counters of atlas to get in close while giving atlas a focus on killing high hp targets (buildings/titans/vanguards)
    -add 2 secondary shoulder mounted guns, mid-range, small aoe, medium damage
    -increase health further.

    Ares- Long-range bombard tank: low hp, middling damage, extreme range.
    -decrease hp further
    -decrease damage/aoe of main gun.
    -increase secondary guns range to 350-400 to match main gun's range.
    -Possibly add light anti-air/orbital guns

    Zues- Strike-gunship: (unsure the approach here as an air titan plays out differently from the other 2 titans)
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  2. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Active Member

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    The ground AoE on the Ares helps it not get stuck in wreckage. PA devs have mentioned that noobs are happy/find Atlas OP as it is so they are unlikely to change it :'( but I second HP changes to the two ground bois
  3. bthirteen

    bthirteen Member

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    It's not that simple, each titan (should have) has its role. They should not be made balanced compared to each other, they have to be balanced towards their usage and counters. But the other two are way off\not defined well that I do agree with you.

    Ares has to be a powerhouse compared to others because he's breaking hard turtles. Try to push double walls, 3-5 Holkings, and 1 always ready up nuke. (You can watch my game vs smurf and tell me how to break his defenses without Titan)

    I've never actually build Atlas in my life and I'm pretty sure his current state is like dox, here but yea. This guy should have an increase of hps compared to Ares so it can actually push something. Same logic like ant and inferno, you trade hps, speed and damage for range. Or fix price point metal per hps value (needs testing for sure).

    When it comes to questioning Zeus, it should be an air powerhouse to clean everything when there is a lack of AA in defenses\army. The current balance makes air units inferior to ground units, only advantage is in the short term which is impactful only if there is a mistake from other player (sniping first round of fabbers on double tank opener) or T2 air transition that takes out all eco on the map. Both is considerable risk and really low reward for it, that's why we don't see bombers early anymore or any T2 air. The key issue why Zeus is not used comes from the same Air problem balance we all called for since Season 1 which still is not resolved and now it's more masked because spinners are so strong. Back to Titan. The strong point of Zeus is his flying compatibility and speed, so how do we improve this? We can increase his attack range (to 140-145, just 10-5 off Galata so it should take some dmg when shooting defensive structures but not lose 20-30% of its hps to 450 metal investment and reduce firing range to compensate for that change) so he becomes more obsolete, I don't think he needs more hps buffs because is how the hell do you bring that guy down? It is basically Hornet (you know that T2 air unit that nobody ever built) Titan. You keep him safe with your own air units and slowly push in holes of defenses and that forces the opponent to transition to air (reduced pressure on your ground) or force push (all in) (same thing as Ares just more micro and in the air) And we can fix the price point accordingly (needs testing again).

    When you think about balance on your way, that just makes stuff more complicated. They are not the same units, they don't have the same usage, and should not have the same values overral. If you remove hps from Ares and AoE dmg he can't push anything, he can easily die to 10-20 Levelers with some fodder, Atlas needs buffs only to hps and/or price reduction so he can just soak up dmg, his dmg is insane (HAVEN'T YOU PLAYED TUTORIAL???? (jk)) and Zeus is explained in the upper section.
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  4. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    Hm, thats true, perhaps it could be changed so that the ground aoe just affects wreckage and buildings because I do want to see melee range unit counters.
    Last edited: January 16, 2021
  5. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that aspect is important, you may have missed that I said 'how they compete with other units'. The issue why I mostly talk about how they play with eachother is that they all cost the same amount of metal with similar tech routes to reach those titans. The issue I find isn't so much that Zues's+atlas+Ares are fighting eachother, its how they interact with the rest of the roster. Zues gets killed instantly if you overwhelm with air fighters or defend properly with AA, Atlas gets kited and killed easily, and Ares is safe and hard to kill.


    The Ares is better at breaking turtles than nukes+atlas+zues but I want to add some more power to the atlas for it to be a line-breaker (I would also say T1 grenadiers with T2 vehicle support is highly dangerous)

    Currently the Atlas CAN break lines if your opponent doesn't expect it. It does it very quickly....to quickly in fact. I find that the Atlas is far to punishing for those unprepared and for those that are prepared it does not do anything.

    Right now the health fixes are suggestions for the short term, however long term these units need a redesign. The atlas I say could use more ways to attack an opponent (such as adding 2 midrange shouler mounted guns), and reduce its AOE by its damage+radius+cooldown, so it can be a mid-range assault bot and you can put 8-12k health on it so it can tank for the frontlines, but not overwhelm an enemy if it gets in close.

    The Ares health change is in order for players to be able to kill them more easily, however their significant range still matters, and I would add even more by enhancing their secondary weapons so they play to that role. That way you can make active decisions to keep them at mid-range to tank and deal moderate damage or take the risk and push in deep for a kill on a specific target

    I'm not exactly sure what to do with the Zues, because yes it does have a place in the meta and I was hesitant to recommend any short term changes or even get specific with long term ones but I feel it needs a redesign so that the unit can be more dynamic and interesting. I'm hoping for more ideas to be spinned around and see if there is another way to adjust the Zues.

    Some ideas that ive been playing around with are things like making the laser a projectile with an actual range, but with less damage+aoe to compensate, then add other weapons to add to the Zues for more capabilities and approaches.




    How I approach balance is unit viability and representation. At the moment I would say the Ares is overrepresented compared to other units and especially other titans. This does not mean that every unit has to be present in every single match, we don't want the same regularity of Manhattens as we do Grenediers, nor do we want an overwhelming presence of orbital units on single-planet maps, but we do want to see moderate representation across the board for what the units are worth.
  6. bthirteen

    bthirteen Member

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    I'm with you on 90% stuff, but titans, let's be real aren't actually in-game because T2 eco isn't a viable option for gameplay, T2 general balance is off so that makes big (T3) investments like Titan units even worse (same as nukes, and we need an anti-nuke unit that can move with anti-nuke before we make any changes to that)

    IMO we need a cheaper nuke with way less blast radius and only half planet range for usage vs armies and a standard big one for strategic bombing before invasion or something :)

    And yea surely we need to change values to fabbers building capabilities to induce different play styles.
  7. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    Generally you want balance focused at the top 1v1 skill echelon as changes affect them the most and their metas tend to trickle down (AndreasG spamming T1 drifters and commwalking kind of induced the new meta many play now) however if you see 1 unit being absolutely overwhelming in low skilled 1v1s or teamgames then you need to make changes for those, such as the prevalence of grenadiers or the overwhelming presence the Ares has in team game. I would still say that Ares is the most ideal choice of the titans if 1v1 games get to late stages, which you can see on big maps like Snowball.

    As for those ideas on nukes and fabbers, those seem to be separate discussions (unless it involves any T2 fabber being able to build any Titan rather than their specific Titan which I'm generally for)
    Last edited: January 17, 2021
  8. bthirteen

    bthirteen Member

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    The thing is you don't want to kill that type of gameplay, you want to balance it out in a way you have a soft and hard counter. Grenadiers are currently so op because there isn't any fast unit that can dodge their attacks and snipe them off when they are retreating behind their fodder units. You simple solve this issue without killing the value of grenadiers by making dox moving speed to value what Stykers had when they were fast and you reduce firing rate of ants (so dox in numbers become relevant) but increase shoot dmg and maybe give 10% more range (needs testing I'm just going with my feel) that will force players to use strykers, ants, grenadiers AND dox in good ratios and open up different playstyles without killing current meta. You can do it still do stryker\grenadier spam but a good player can now actually counter you with Lob and by that I mean overwhelm that strategy with many cheap units. Commwalk can be countered if @Nik figures out how to make boom bots better at A moving and I would maybe consider reducing comm AA abilities (needs testing but that's is one of the possible ways). Ares is in a good position, he doesn't need any nerfs but other Titans need buffs (strategies for execution which they can follow\be part of). I'm pretty sure if you build ANY titan in 1v1 you would win with that 100%. That is just such extreme metal spending which could be in any T2 units used to end the game. Don't destroy gameplay styles you don't like\prefer for sake of balance. I'm first on who doesn't like G's ability to do well macro and execute perfect map control but that is a viable part of the game (freaking dude is an absolute monster when it comes to that playstyle same as Kiwi used to (or is, haven't seen his gameplay in a while)), the problem is in the value of walls and was in pelters. And those "pesky" grenadiers being powerful as they are now hard counter that gameplay so you don't see it too often. Trust me WE DO NOT WANT GO BACK TO TURTLE META.
  9. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    But...thats what im doing... the Ares is killing tons of other types of gameplay at the moment, and you don't just buff all those other types to compensate because you are pulling so many levers to do it, you just nerf the Ares so it isn't so oppressive, because its not just obsoleting other titans, its obsoleting other units because its investment is so worthwhile compared to those.
  10. bthirteen

    bthirteen Member

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    I haven't seen Ares getting built for approx in 6 months. The problem with "Ares" is actually allowing players to get it up. If he has Ares what do you have for that exact eco and time value? If you invested for example all Ares mex value in boombots I'm pretty sure you could snipe it and still have enough boombots to kill comm :) OR make a nuke. You can't say that nuke doesn't have more value than Ares :p
  11. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    I think we are talking in circles because the issue with the Ares is mostly in teamgames and high eco games, the meta with current 1v1 ranked games generally doesn't allow enough time or depth where your economy and infrastructure is so developed that you can go into an Ares, but if you do get into that stage, it will be pumped into an Ares, not an Atlas or Zues. As for killing Ares with boombots, well your 600+ boombots might just not work if they cover their Ares, and you also have to contend with the Ares having a short range aoe around them which makes boombots inconsistent and shreds infernos, vanguards usually fare better...if they get close.
  12. bthirteen

    bthirteen Member

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    In the end, it all comes to player skill, Ares isn't a problem in the game. If you can't win the game where 1 player is getting Titan in a fair 1v1 situation your skill lack some execution. Making balance around team games is the next level of stupidity. I'll stop with this: if you lose to Ares in a 1v1 situation you should lose.
  13. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    probably has been said already, but the atlas is meant to be a close in cleaner it wipes armies that dare get too close
    and once it is close enough to a base .. bye bye base ... it can stay like that, but yea it NEEDS a HP buff .. in fact i often thought the HP values of the ares and atlas should be exchanged were the atlas has 80k hp and the ares 60k .. the ares should not become a glasscannon ...

    in fact i personally would love it were each titan can complement the other ... the ares covers the atlas with its range the atlas kills anything that gets close and the zeus covers airprotection ... right now the atlas just doesn´t have any standingpower ... i seriously wonder if it ever did ... and increasing its speed for its low hp would not feel right imo ... MAYBE stealth similar to supcom´s monkeylord? ... but then again i rather would have it be just a big ol ultralisk equivalent than something that needs to be sneaky ..

    ... now the zeus .. kinda hard to say with how much air ballance may have changed, then again haven´'t played much multiplayer and in general in a long while .. i would not turn it into a tough gunship though ...
    maybe add stealth to it .. i don´t think it´s too powerful to become a commandersniping threat ...
    Last edited: January 30, 2021
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  14. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    80k Atlas might be to much, as a long term solution I feel like you can go to 100-140k though if the unit was redesigned since I feel like there will never be a balance where it will be good at all gamemodes and level of play, it will be overpowered in one area and underpowered in another to an extreme degree.
  15. gitaxian

    gitaxian Member

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    The Ares isn't that hard to kill, with equal eco you can easily build a T2 army that will stomp it, especially with some cheap T1 units in the front to absorb the shots while you get close. A big enough force of Levellers will demolish an Ares once they're in range.

    The issue is that by the time you're building Titans in high eco/team games everyone's turtled up, and the Ares is the best tool for breaking turtles on the ground. There has to be a unit that can push into any tier of static defense effectively to prevent miserable stalemates, and that's what the Ares is for. Even if the Atlas gets a more useful role, the Ares will still see a ton of use because too many people turtle instead of building the units to counter it.

    The core of the issue is that the Atlas and Ares don't really have distinct roles. They both have the same cost, are vulnerable to air or large T2 armies, and will end the game in short order if unanswered. I'm pretty sure the intent is for the Atlas to be a better counter to armies while the Ares counters static defenses, but I'm not sure if boosting its effectiveness against units is possible without making it just able to completely overrun everything. Maybe make them cost different amounts so the Atlas can come online earlier to make up for being worse?
  16. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    the Atlas does have a role, what it lacks are the stats for it .. a cost reduction maybe more of an incentive to build it but imo it still needs that healthbuff ...

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