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PTB 1 Balance Adjustments Part 3 - Mid and Late Game Combat


Posted
Mar 05, 2015 at 03:29 PM UTC 
Last updated
Mar 18, 2015 at 05:27 PM UTC

Greetings!

Welcome to the third installment of the first Balance Adjustments discussion! Today, we're going to be finishing things off with situations that are most likely to occur in the middle and late stages of a match. This is part of a larger list of changes going into the newly announced PTB Build!

Table of Contents

Balance Adjustments Part 1 - Bases and Defense

Balance Adjustments Part 2 - Early Game Combat

Balance Adjustments Part 3 - Mid and Late Game Combat

Balance Adjustments Part 3 - Mid and Late Game Combat

1. “Destructors outmatch their Human and Beta tank counterparts.”

Destructors are more expensive to build than both Predators and Gladii. They do not have move while fire functionality like their Beta and Human tank counterparts, but a combination of their range, movement speed and rate of fire make this fact almost negligible. We have been experimenting with potential changes to this unit to make it more challenging to shoot on the move.

• Destructor movement speed down from 120 to 105

2. “The Destructor Goo Splash Upgrade is too effective against groups of units.”

Currently, the same damage is applied to all targets in an AoE and the Destructor has an armor penetration of 6, making it even more effective than artillery units, as it can eat all the way through siege unit level armor. We’ve split the splash damage away from the primary damage so that this upgrade can be more finely tuned. The primary damage will likely remain the same, but the splash damage will need to be lowered. The armor penetration will likely stay untouched. We want this upgrade to be more competitive with the Contagious Goo Upgrade.

• Goo Splash Upgrade has been redesigned: Target damage and splash damage have been separated, splash damage down from 42 to 15 but target damage remains the same.

3. “The Teleporter is too easy to ambush with and is hard to counter.”

We are adding a telegraph to the Teleporter. An audio queue will play for all enemies when it’s activated, letting them know something is happening, followed by a pre-warp-in visual effect in the teleport area. This should help lessen the effectiveness of a Teleporter used to ambush an army or an enemy base.

• Teleporter now has a visible 5 second charge up telegraph and an audio queue before activation

4. “Lancers are very effective against units, when they should be primarily used against structures.”

Lancers are intended to be siege weapons but they can effectively zap their way through groups of enemy units. Default Lancers have too much burst damage because they don’t ramp up gradually enough to their max DPS. Increasing the ramp up time between stages and widening the DPS values for each stage should alleviate this.

• Lancer level one DPS down from 50 to 10
• Lancer level two DPS down from 60 to 40
• Lancer damage levels one and two now last 3 seconds up from 2

5. “Aircraft and Anti-Air combat happens so quickly that players don’t have time to react.”

Aircraft and anti-air have a cruel relationship; they often exchange blows too quickly for a player to react and this can cause confusion and frustration on both sides. Lowering the DPS of aircraft, slowing the rate of fire but increasing the total ammo and damage will help slow down the combat. AA will have more time-on-target so lowered DPS is also necessary. This is a large game system so balancing this relationship will need to be measured and tested thoroughly.

Beta

• Cloudburst damage down from 10 to 5
• Stratus health down from 100 to 75
• Warbird rate of fire up from 0.5 to 1
• Warbird ammo up from 4 to 5
• Warbird cost up from 270 to 315
• Warbird armor penetration down from 6 to 0
• Nimbus ammo up from 2 to 3
• Nimbus damage down from 75 to 50
• Nimbus Napalm now lasts 5 seconds down from 5.5
• Nimbus Napalm AoE radius down from 250 to 200
• Hanger now rearms aircraft 1 ammo every sec up from 1 ammo every 2 sec

Goo

• Tempest damage down from 25 to 15

Human

• Longbow speed down from 130 to 110
• Longbow damage down from 7 to 4
• Scimitar damage down from 125 to 30
• Scimitar ammo up from 1 to 4
• Scimitar rate of fire up from 1 to 1.5
• Scimitar health up from 85 to 115
• Scimitar cost up from 300 to 350
• Monitor health down from 75 to 60
• Scythe speed down from 400 to 375
• Scythe cost up from 520 to 585
• Scythe armor penetration down from 6 to 0
• Scythe AoE radius down from 75 to 50
• Scythe damage up from 13 to 20
• Scythe rate of fire up from 0.5 to 1.5
• Aircraft Repair Upgrade now repairs 8% every sec up from 5% every sec
• Air Pad now rearms aircraft 1 ammo every sec up from 1 ammo every 2 sec
• Anti-Air Sentinel damage down from 8 to 4

-GG from the Dev Team


Posted
Mar 05, 2015 at 08:56 PM UTC 
Last updated
Mar 05, 2015 at 09:09 PM UTC

edit nvm


ingame: KHOMETMIBRO


Posted
Mar 06, 2015 at 01:10 AM UTC 

Seems good.


Posted
Mar 06, 2015 at 10:56 AM UTC 

nerfs... nerfs everywhere...


Posted
Mar 06, 2015 at 07:23 PM UTC 
Last updated
Mar 06, 2015 at 07:25 PM UTC

Final post in my saga of annoying criticisms. Find the exciting previous chapters here:

https://www.greybox.com/greygoo/en/forum/topic/2140/?page=5#post-19907
https://www.greybox.com/greygoo/en/forum/topic/2154/?page=2#post-20027

Again, I must raise my concern that proposed changes seem to pay no mind to retaining (or increasing!) unit conceptual distinctiveness. This, in a game that was criticized for units being "too similar" (a claim I don't agree with), is not wise. You're on the path of making this phony complaint a valid one.

This always tends to happen in RTS games as updates are handled by game systems designers with an increasingly abstract, high-level perspective, without input from the general team, and the game's charm, uniqueness and conceptual framework falls by the wayside. Please, don't fall into this trap.

My specific comments below.

Zangzadam#9409 posted (#post-19931)

[...]

1. “Destructors outmatch their Human and Beta tank counterparts.”

Destructors are more expensive to build than both Predators and Gladii. They do not have move while fire functionality like their Beta and Human tank counterparts, but a combination of their range, movement speed and rate of fire make this fact almost negligible. We have been experimenting with potential changes to this unit to make it more challenging to shoot on the move.

• Destructor movement speed down from 120 to 105

This may be a good solution to the problem, as it doesn't alter basic functionality but hinders micro driven dominance of the unit.

2. “The Destructor Goo Splash Upgrade is too effective against groups of units.”

Currently, the same damage is applied to all targets in an AoE and the Destructor has an armor penetration of 6, making it even more effective than artillery units, as it can eat all the way through siege unit level armor. We’ve split the splash damage away from the primary damage so that this upgrade can be more finely tuned. The primary damage will likely remain the same, but the splash damage will need to be lowered. The armor penetration will likely stay untouched. We want this upgrade to be more competitive with the Contagious Goo Upgrade.

• Goo Splash Upgrade has been redesigned: Target damage and splash damage have been separated, splash damage down from 42 to 15 but target damage remains the same.

I'm OK with this. The splash damage was a bit too much. Maybe the tweak is too drastic and the upgrade is now not worthwhile, but I'd have to see this in action.

3. “The Teleporter is too easy to ambush with and is hard to counter.”

We are adding a telegraph to the Teleporter. An audio queue will play for all enemies when it’s activated, letting them know something is happening, followed by a pre-warp-in visual effect in the teleport area. This should help lessen the effectiveness of a Teleporter used to ambush an army or an enemy base.

• Teleporter now has a visible 5 second charge up telegraph and an audio queue before activation

Pretty good. But I think this in combination with the massive price increase (found in the PTB's patch notes) is overkill.

4. “Lancers are very effective against units, when they should be primarily used against structures.”

Lancers are intended to be siege weapons but they can effectively zap their way through groups of enemy units. Default Lancers have too much burst damage because they don’t ramp up gradually enough to their max DPS. Increasing the ramp up time between stages and widening the DPS values for each stage should alleviate this.

• Lancer level one DPS down from 50 to 10
• Lancer level two DPS down from 60 to 40
• Lancer damage levels one and two now last 3 seconds up from 2

Perfect for me. The stronger the damage ramp up effect feels, the more distinctive the unit is. You could maybe make the next damage level stronger or add an additional one to compensate.

5. “Aircraft and Anti-Air combat happens so quickly that players don’t have time to react.”

Aircraft and anti-air have a cruel relationship; they often exchange blows too quickly for a player to react and this can cause confusion and frustration on both sides. Lowering the DPS of aircraft, slowing the rate of fire but increasing the total ammo and damage will help slow down the combat. AA will have more time-on-target so lowered DPS is also necessary. This is a large game system so balancing this relationship will need to be measured and tested thoroughly.

Beta

• Cloudburst damage down from 10 to 5
• Stratus health down from 100 to 75
• Warbird rate of fire up from 0.5 to 1
• Warbird ammo up from 4 to 5
• Warbird cost up from 270 to 315
• Warbird armor penetration down from 6 to 0
• Nimbus ammo up from 2 to 3
• Nimbus damage down from 75 to 50
• Nimbus Napalm now lasts 5 seconds down from 5.5
• Nimbus Napalm AoE radius down from 250 to 200
• Hanger now rearms aircraft 1 ammo every sec up from 1 ammo every 2 sec

Goo

• Tempest damage down from 25 to 15

Human

• Longbow speed down from 130 to 110
• Longbow damage down from 7 to 4
• Scimitar damage down from 125 to 30
• Scimitar ammo up from 1 to 4
• Scimitar rate of fire up from 1 to 1.5
• Scimitar health up from 85 to 115
• Scimitar cost up from 300 to 350
• Monitor health down from 75 to 60
• Scythe speed down from 400 to 375
• Scythe cost up from 520 to 585
• Scythe armor penetration down from 6 to 0
• Scythe AoE radius down from 75 to 50
• Scythe damage up from 13 to 20
• Scythe rate of fire up from 0.5 to 1.5
• Aircraft Repair Upgrade now repairs 8% every sec up from 5% every sec
• Air Pad now rearms aircraft 1 ammo every sec up from 1 ammo every 2 sec
• Anti-Air Sentinel damage down from 8 to 4

I agree with the general philosophy of the changes. Air battles were too fast for players to react. However, I have some specific concerns:

  • The changes are too many and too far reaching, so extensive internal and external testing is a must.
  • The changes excessively homogenize the air units amongst factions (they share units with the same ammo model, the same damage patterns, the same resistance mechanics, the same cost distributions, etc.).
  • The Warbird (and to a lesser extent, the Nimbus) has been severely downgraded for no reason that I know of.
  • Scimitar having 4 ammo removes the unit's distinctiveness. This was supposed to be a bomber carrying a single, destructive payload that you HAD to stop at all costs. Now it's too similar to the rest of the air units, the Nimbus in particular. Actually I would have preferred for it to remain with one bomb and increase its damage considerably, while keeping the health down.

Posted
Mar 06, 2015 at 07:35 PM UTC 

PirroEpirote#7998 posted (#post-20031)

  • Scimitar having 4 ammo removes the unit's distinctiveness. This was supposed to be a bomber carrying a single, destructive payload that you HAD to stop at all costs. Now it's too similar to the rest of the air units, the Nimbus in particular. Actually I would have preferred for it to remain with one bomb and increase its damage considerably, while keeping the health down.

The damage was distributed to diminish the amount of overkill that was happening, especially with a squadron of Scimitars. They retain their effectiveness against structures and still do not have AoE (without the upgrade) like the Nimbus does. They are now more useful to take out key armored targets when compared with the Scythe that now has no armor pen.


Posted
Mar 07, 2015 at 10:05 AM UTC 
Last updated
Mar 07, 2015 at 10:19 AM UTC

What about micro?
I was using scimitars vs goo, pretty much the only viable air unit vs goo since you could split your scimitars up and 1 hit their aa (and then heal back home with airpad upgrade)... so as long as you out micro them it worked.

Now with 4 shots you are a sitting duck, and not like you don't have to micro now cause if you clump up they all die at once to goo AA.

Also I think this game already suffers from bland units, these air changes only make that more so imo.
Sure one has aoe without upgrade and the other with - and one armor pen and the other doesn't.
But right now one is the all purpose more expensive aircraft and the other the fragile (but highly cost effective with good micro) 1 hit bomber.
Should have kept tweaking em like that imo.

It's like trident/revolver... they start to look more and more the same.

Zangzadam#9409 posted (#post-20032)

PirroEpirote#7998 posted (#post-20031)

  • Scimitar having 4 ammo removes the unit's distinctiveness. This was supposed to be a bomber carrying a single, destructive payload that you HAD to stop at all costs. Now it's too similar to the rest of the air units, the Nimbus in particular. Actually I would have preferred for it to remain with one bomb and increase its damage considerably, while keeping the health down.

The damage was distributed to diminish the amount of overkill that was happening, especially with a squadron of Scimitars. They retain their effectiveness against structures and still do not have AoE (without the upgrade) like the Nimbus does. They are now more useful to take out key armored targets when compared with the Scythe that now has no armor pen.


Posted
Mar 07, 2015 at 08:07 PM UTC 

So when does it become available? Later today? Or a bit later?


Posted
Mar 07, 2015 at 09:41 PM UTC 
Last updated
Mar 07, 2015 at 09:42 PM UTC

1. “Destructors outmatch their Human and Beta tank counterparts.”

2. “The Destructor Goo Splash Upgrade is too effective against groups of units.”

Your taking a lot of power away from the Destructor and the Crescent. Both needed to be toned down. What about dwellers and bastions? There so niche compared to other factions unit options in the same category and in alot of contexts simply worthless. How are you going to increase the viability of these two units compared to LOL MASS DESTRUCTOR which is still the most viable option especially given the astronomical drops in Crescent DPS.

Whats the radius on the destructor splash upgrade? I like the idea of the bounce being good vs massed heavies and the splash being good vs massed lights. Right now the two feel too much alike in terms of upgrades with one being a clear "better option"

That being said what about all the Goo upgrades? They are just...lackluster compared to the options Beta and Human get. Two of the categories right now are absolute no brainers: destructor splash and crescent endurance. The other I usually don't end up bothering with especially since half of them are focused on dwellers and radiants.

3. “The Teleporter is too easy to ambush with and is hard to counter.”

Someone else mentioned a huge cost and build time increase as well. I think that may be needed but the important part was to increase counterplay, this maybe overboard all melded together.

4. “Lancers are very effective against units, when they should be primarily used against structures.”

This.

5. “Aircraft and Anti-Air combat happens so quickly that players don’t have time to react.”

I like the general philosophy of these changes. Can't wait to see how these pan out.

Warning: nerfing the longbow damage is indirectly nerfing an interesting counter to destructors which was to use longbows with the ground attack upgrade to outrange and kill them. It actually caused me to switch tactics in a game!


'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' - Bhagavad-Gita


Posted
Mar 08, 2015 at 12:41 PM UTC 

Zangzadam#9409 posted (#post-20032)

PirroEpirote#7998 posted (#post-20031)

  • Scimitar having 4 ammo removes the unit's distinctiveness. This was supposed to be a bomber carrying a single, destructive payload that you HAD to stop at all costs. Now it's too similar to the rest of the air units, the Nimbus in particular. Actually I would have preferred for it to remain with one bomb and increase its damage considerably, while keeping the health down.

The damage was distributed to diminish the amount of overkill that was happening, especially with a squadron of Scimitars. They retain their effectiveness against structures and still do not have AoE (without the upgrade) like the Nimbus does. They are now more useful to take out key armored targets when compared with the Scythe that now has no armor pen.

I'm sure the modified Scimitar is functional. My concern as stated above is unit distinctiveness and "flavor". Units are getting too bland, too alike (for instance, the role and behavior of Nimbus and Scimitar is overlapping too much now).

The Scimitar's overkill was actually an interesting mechanic. If anything, I would have deliberately increased it by augmenting its damage. Not all units need to handle the same. Good and excellent players would be separated by their attention to small details such as these (i.e.. good players would know what to use Scimitars against, excellent players would also know how to use their Scimitars to minimize overkill).

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