With regards to bots.

Discussion in 'Balance Discussions' started by bmb, October 1, 2017.

  1. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Bots never sat right with me. Not in TA, not in supcom and not in PA. I understand they were supposed to be the TA equivalent of C&C's infantry. But robots because Chris Taylor did not want a lot of dead humans on the screen. But compared to C&C they always felt wrong. Stronger but somehow less useful. They were always given a lot of special abilities to try and justify their existence, climbing mountains in TA. Fast speed for raiding in supcom, and amphibious movement and anti-air in PA. Even with these things they don't feel substantially different from vehicles. Replace the model with a tracked one and I wouldn't know the difference. Starting with a bot factory or a vehicle factory feels like a moot choice. Slightly different options like a vehicle scout or the bomb bot.

    In the various livestreams they've talked about how they did indeed want bots to feel different, and specifically chose designs that were more infantry like. Such as the now-defunct AA "stinger" bot.

    Looking back at C&C, even before garrisons were introduced in RA2 (or was it tiberan sun I don't recall) infantry always felt useful despite being weak and slow. Especially larger groups could tear through a tank pretty good. The cheaper conscripts come to mind. What accounts for this difference?

    Looking at the numbers for Red Alert 1 all becomes clear. A standard tank costs $800 and a rifleman costs $100. If I recall correctly in one of them the conscript cost $75. Maybe that was a country bonus. But an 8:1 cost difference definitely never existed in TA or PA. They also would build in less than a second and come out of the barracks almost as fast as you could click the button. This made them very useful as a cheap defense unit. In this case there is no need for a fast speed, high damage, and special abilities to justify anything. Being cheap and weak is their role.

    It is also worth noting that in TA style games, simple net cost is not a good measure of expense. The real cost of a unit is the drain its factory puts on your economy. So the amount of metal per second over a period of time. Bot factories currently drain as much as a vehicle factory. And the build times aren't much different either. One or both of these would have to go down to truly make bots cheaper.

    Given that Scathis came from a C&C background, I do wonder how he was able to mess this up. To my knowledge these general cost differences between armor and infantry persisted throughout the series.
  2. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Imagining bots as cheap and disposable also brings the roles of other units into clearer focus. The single laser tower isn't much use against anything really, and the only reason you'd even build it is because the commander can't build anything else. But in this light of bots, it becomes a clear anti-bot tower. Like the T1 tower in supcom, you'd want a faster rate of fire but lower damage to just chew through massed dox. Whereas the double tower would find its home much better as a slower, higher damage anti-tank defense.

    The confusing inferno also becomes clear. Currently it's difficult to justify not building this thing at all times. Since it's really just a "tankier tank". The balance between speed and range that was talked about doesn't make a lot of sense since engagement ranges are so short that even ants can close the distance before being destroyed. In the context of disposable bots the inferno becomes a much clearer crowd control vehicle, and the flame theme reinforces an idea of "anti-infantry". It having such a high DPS never made sense. And the combination of DPS and HP makes it the #1 early game com-killer. Nearly unbeatable. Lowering DPS to be more appropriate for crowd control only suddenly differentiates it completely as a speciality anti-spam unit.
  3. romeosov

    romeosov Member

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    OMG you got a really strong knowledge.... thats alot.. you just come there a blow up my brain xD, okey the thing is... than... emm... bots... are not so useful? thats what are you saying? yeah they re not so useful and they are at the same time cause you gonna need something to attack early and fast.... thats where the Dox comes... but you gonna need something stronger and kinda slower to attack a fortress or idk a ¿commander? or you saying than they are so used? or emm? :L okey i need some tacos gonna go to the PanPin thats a ¨Taqueria¨ xD


    IDk just use them as you think xD
  4. gitaxian

    gitaxian Member

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    Most of what you want is already the case, at least for Dox. They build three times as fast and as cheap as Ants, and are definitely disposable. Single laser turrets do see use as a defense against raiding Dox forces, because double turrets won't finish building before the Dox arrive. The main thing that distinguishes them from other units isn't their abilities, but their speed. Even if you took away those abilities they'd still be one of the best units in the game. However, those abilities perfectly complement their role as disposable raiders - amphibious travel allows them to outflank static defenses, and their anti-air ability is necessary to kill air fabs but not accurate enough to hit other air units.

    The real problem is with the other bots, specifically Grenadiers, Sparks, Bluehawks, and GIL-Es.

    If you're building all infernos, you're not playing well. They aren't fast enough to catch kiting units, so a good player will easily destroy your armies. If you think they're "nearly unbeatable" you're playing wrong.
  5. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Most of what I'm saying is NOT already the case. Please read before replying where I address everything you say in the OP already.

    You don't kite with infernos. You just send them into the middle of their base which isn't going anywhere. Not even a defending commander spamming uber cannon can defend against them. It has 1000 HP and 400 dps. A tier one unit has this. The advantage of ants over it is pretty small due to the engagement range and movement speeds. And they'll generally lose.
  6. eyhey34

    eyhey34 Member

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    Yes, if your opponent does not see them coming then it's too late when they get close, it takes quite a long time before they get there and even a simple radar can give you enough warning against them. But on the other hand it means that your opponent cannot do anything with his inferno's other then go for your base, he cannot attack other units or raid with them because they are too slow, don't have enough range and are pretty expensive. They are certainly not the titan you think they are.
  7. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Which is more useful: raiding or winning?
  8. eyhey34

    eyhey34 Member

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    it can easily be countered, so it's not really an option between winning and raiding. It's a one-shot tactic in the way boom bots are, you have one chance which is by no means 100% certain to win and if it fails you're almost always too far behind to stand a chance.
    mwreynolds likes this.
  9. gitaxian

    gitaxian Member

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    You haven't "addressed" anything. You've just made an unsupported claim that infernos are "unbeatable." You keep saying the engagement range is so short the distance is easily closed, but that's only true if the Ants are simply sitting still waiting for the Infernos to kill them. You shouldn't be waiting until they're right outside your base to fight, you should be scouting for attacking forces and using your army to engage them where you do have space to kite.
    How are you going to win with no metal?
  10. romeosov

    romeosov Member

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    #BoomBot Comm RUsh made by noobAdvisor
    Thats how win with no metal at the first 4 minutes xD
    It didnt worked with me cause i make a wall and too many Bots :p

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