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  • Balance, faction analysis and ramblings

    For my balance suggestions id like to first adress a few issues and i will make several suggestions on how i think these issues might be addressed. However i am keenly aware that if they all these solutions would be used it would break the unit/game in a whole other way. So see this more as a list of suggestions than a full desired changelog. Even when i propose stat changes i am attempting to show my thoughts on in which direction the changes should go, and should not be intrepreted as the be all end all as proper testing should always be done. The structure will be as follows. First i will introduce a issue with either a unit or a general game mechanic. I will then list the contributing factors for creating said issue. Followed by an explanation in seperate paragrahps why i think it is a problem. And finally some proposed solutions. I will in time address each faction, but i will start with the faction that which, in my opinion, is the worst by far.

    ---THE GAALSIEN---
    ''g-forces are optional'' - gaalsien carrier aft gunner

    Oh boy the gaalsien, such great tools but very limited oppurtunities of using them.

    1.) Inability to effectively deal with early turrets
    2.) Lack of build timings
    3.) predictability through inflexibility
    4.) Unit cost/value mismatch
    5.) Poor anti-air

    points 2 and 3 are interwoven to the point that they will be addressed in a single paragraph.

    On the issue of turrets:
    The problem is both simple but has many parts, the gaalsien cant punish the coalition for using turrets in the earlygame. Even when the play is spotted 1 minute in advance they cant deal with it cost effective. turrets kill skimmers in 1 volley and the skimmer sensor range is practically equal to the turret range. This nigh guarantees a dead skimmer if a turret is found. The carrier is far too slow earlygame to come over and deal with it and it takes too long to assemble a sufficient skimmer army(~7) to destroy the turret with 2 additional skimmer losses. This combines with the inherent weakness to LAVs in the earlygame to that the gaalsien player is now behind on army, economy and map control. It is a almost no risk, very high reward play which is the very essence of an inbalance in my opinion.

    On the issue of build timing and predictability:
    Build timing, or the resource curve, isnt nearly as streamlined as the coal/soban factions. In practice the gaalsien and Khaaneph do not have a economy opener because it is incredibly risky. coal/soban can go support cruiser first safely as the AAV research fits so well in the resource curve. this makes the gaalsien opener incredibly predictable, the viable options are skimmers from 1 PC or skimmers from 2 PCs with slow transitions to their very expensive heavy railgun or the expensive assault ship tech. The only choice is to attack, which is hard due to the AAV timing and LAV production time. The Khaaneph solve this by having access to the blast drone, forcing the opponent to invest in scouting and defense. Also in the late game the assault ship becomes incredibly ineffective due to its slow speed, short range and zero utility. This causes the gaalsien to 80% of the time to go for the skimmer/rails/HGC build+aa. As it the only really well rounded build they have.

    On the issue of unit cost and value
    Im fearing im really treading in shifty territory here but here is what i have found through experience. Gaalsien/khaaneph units are pound for pound superior to their coalition/soban counterparts and this should be reflected in their cost. I do think that this is sometime poorly done. As an example the heavy railgun and its counterpart the railgun. with 40 CUs more the coal and 70CUs for soban they can produce 3 railguns instead of the gaalsien 2. I chose the railgun as the regeneration ability of gaal/khaan units scales with HP and armour. Ergo, it is good in the lategame when there are a lot of upgrades. In fact regenaration is only good on cruisers and in skimmer vs skimmer/lav battles since midgame units die too quickly. Especially since unit AI in DoK targets the closest unit, instantly killing said unit and generally rendering regeneration useless. The point being is that for a marginally higher cost that fight slightly favours the coal since 1 heavy rail will instantly die, providing no value. while coal has far more HP on the field and each coal railgun does damage and thus provides value. In the soban case it is even worse. point being here is that the higher cost of the heavy railgun is not reflected in the value it provides on the battlefield. Heavy rails truly shine against cruisers and carriers due to their incredibly high damage output. But as is becoming a theme for the gaalsien, its just so hard for them to get there. I do realize there are such things to consider as maneuverability, possible upgrades and army compositions. But it doesnt seem fair to me that the way the gaalsien is supposed to get equal chances in this fight is just by better positioning/anticipation, i.e. being a better player. This is made even worse by the fact that gaal/khaan units are seperated at production, increasing vulnerability and travel time to where they are needed lacking the cover of the carrier that the soban/coal have. It really is death by a thousand cuts, longer production and higher cost on every unit means the gaal/khaan are always behind on unit count, leading to fewer flanking opportunities, and getting flanked more often. They have a huge weakness against the most basic coal/soban unit(LAV) up until the very late game where they get access to HGCs. Couple this with a almost non-existent economic opener for a strong midgame and a overall poor earlygame and it is too hard to get to the late game where the gaalsien truly shine. There is also some mismatch with research cost , in short gaalsien are usually behind on armour upgrades because they are so specialized. This is also not reflected in the cost. all armour upgrades for coal/soban cost 1200CU/825RU in 95s and 1600CU/1425RU in 160s for gaal/khaan. Being specialized does not mean EVERYTHING needs to be more expensive. I believe that if you try and counter the gaalsien with mirror matchups you should be punished incredibly hard, which is currently not the case.


  • #2
    Continued

    On the issue of Anti-air:
    This is a a specific combination of the value and flexibility problem. lets start with comparing all the coal/soban units that can shoot air(LAV/AA-turret/Missile battery/Supportcruisers/strike fighters) versus all units that shoot up for gaal/khaan(missile ship/interceptor/production cruiser/HGC AA). The production cruiser aa is pretty terrible as it is very easy to micro around, and HGC aa is even worse since it has a cooldown(hit the hgc once->time until aa activates->air can just chill in a corner for 20-30s->return to kill the HGC) that only leaves 2 viable aa options for gaal/khaan versus at least 3 great(turret/MB/SC) and 2 ok(LAV/SF) options for coal/soban. With coal/soban paying far less per aa option than gaal/khaan and the core aa (missile battery) of coal being far more resistant to raiding by virtue of having a far better ability than the gaal/khaan core aa and the shared armour upgrades with AAVs and railguns. And since air is so RU intensive it is guaranteed that spare CUs go into lavs/skims. Or in other terms, the missile ship direct fire barrage is good against single large targets(cruisers). But if you need to build aa your opponent puts his RUs into air, not cruisers so you have an ability that is good against a unit your opponent cant possibly get. While the coal/soban missile battery has an ability that counters the unit it is most likely to face. Compounding this issue is that coal/soban have access to 2 CU only aa options versus 0 for khaan/gaal making a interceptor counter ineffective. What is worse is that you need far more, more expensive, aa to effectively deter coal/soban air as they can take more hits and even if they die they lose less. This means poking with strike fighters carries less risk, and more importantly, equal reward.


    Miscellaneous:
    I would like to make is on how gaalsien(and khaaneph for that matter) are punished more for having their economy raided. Not only are you at risk of losing production, but there is a more hidden damage done in the production time of salvagers. Bottom line is gaalsien lose more mining time, thus taking more damage.

    Also the 1.3 patch note stated that it was intended to fix the habit of the gaalsien baserunner only being used as a earlygame resource boost. However since the baserunner heal heals all units it does more harm than good in early strikecraft fights, especially against LAVs. baserunners now only see play in the very lategame to support railgun armies. In fact ive heard from several new players that they didnt realize they were healing opposing units too since the tooltip clearly states ''allied units''. Fixing this would already give the gaalsien a direly needed earlygame boost and open the door for some very interesting baserunner opening plays.

    *EDIT* I forgot to mention that the higher cost per unit makes that the gaalsien cluster more resources per square meter than the coal/soban making them far more vulnerable to nukes.

    Solutions:
    1.) decrease PC refinery mode cost from 700CU to 600CU
    2.) decrease Assault Ship tech from 600CU/100RU to 450CU/100RU and from 60s to 50s
    3.) Fix baserunner heal to only heal allies(like the tooltip says)
    4.) Baserunner heal +50% effect on self OR baserunner gets +5 armour during heal
    5.) Baserunner heal disables turrets+ALMs in radius
    6.) Baserunner have a 100CU/50RU hack/capture enemy STRIKE class craft(mister steal yo blast drone) or turret/ALM ability
    7.) Increase Siege cruiser base range from 1900 to 2500
    8.) Assault ship cost decrease and/or add utility (smoke/emp/taunt/fire rate buff to nearby allies/overcharge(like the assault cruiser)/ flamethrowers/teleport/SOMETHING)
    9.) Heavy railgun cost decreased from 280CU/90RU to 250CU/75RU OR speed increase from 66 to 75 + hp increase from 670 to 800 AND
    10.) Assault railgun production time decreased from 24s to 18s
    11.) Salvager speed increased from 75 to 82
    12.) production cruiser AA accuracy+range increase upgrade(~500CU/200RU)
    13.) Ranged calibration/dart maneuver is now standard (no more upgrade needed)
    14.) Missile ship cost reduced from 400CU/80RU to 350CU/80RU
    15.) Carrier base speed increased from 10 to 40 with power scaling (55/70/95/110/125)
    16.) skimmer sensor range increased by 20%

    A final note;
    I probably have made some mistakes in spelling and statistics. Please forgive the first and correct the second. Also BBI is there a spreadsheet somewhere with accuracy/chance to hit tables? that would be some amazing info. Up next time: the faction whos people do not understand the concept of too many railguns -the Soban
    Last edited by Catharsis; 20-07-2018, 10:41 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was gathering will to make a mega-post about the Gaalsien's status vis-à-vis the other factions, but you pretty much went and touched upon every observation I've made, and described it far better than I could have hoped. I agree with you 150%, if that's even possible.

      You truly covered everything: structural hidden disadvantages, cost benefit disparities, lack of flexibility, lackluster AA (when taking cost into account), Heavy Railgun on-paper vs. real performance, Assault Ship failings, and much more.

      The only thing that's debatable from my point of view are the proposed solutions (solutions I largely agree on, but as always they can be tweaked and modified to good effect).

      I just wanted to add some of my personal pet peeves and rambling comments into the mix:
      • The Gaalsien Carrier's point defense weapons were upgraded to give their faction some answer to early harassment (which pretty much spelt "game over" for them), but then were somewhat downgraded on a later patch (a downgrade which I feel should be reversed). I think it's a cool trait to have their carrier be a more active combat (and defense) asset. Perhaps the Carrier and Salvager speed upgrade you propose, would allow more defensive maneuvering of the carrier at the early game (though maybe the point defense weapons could use a bit more starting range).
      • The Assault Ship was slowed down in patch, a measure that hampered their defensive responsiveness, made them the odd duck in the Gaalsien assault team, and just plain didn't match the look of the unit (they do look fast). Apparently this unit can defeat AAV's one-on-one but is seriously underperforming (cost per benefit-wise) in its intended role, which is against Gaalsien's "specialized unit" design philosophy. Not to mention it looks great yet plays boring. It sorely needs a speed-up and a tactical ability, as you mentioned.
      • This has been discussed countless times, but having the Assault Cruiser on the Coalition side sticks out like a sore thumb. I like the "reverse engineered" concept, but the appearance of the unit makes it clear it's a Gaalsien unit with a Coalition paint-job (more precisely, decal). I think switching it to the Gaalsien side, besides bringing unit parity, would give an opportunity to address some of the faction's issues (if refurbished with proper abilities and stats).
      • The Gaalsien Baserunner could be the key to provide a flexibility edge to the Gaalsien, but their best use continues to be a quick retirement to offset its faction's risky start. I feel they should have a new ability (preferably a deployable).
      • In general, the Gaalsien look great but can feel a bit boring in play because of a lack of truly viable options and cool unit abilities. With Coalition it feels you always have a trick in your sleeve - you can and DO deploy turrets, smoke screens, tactical missiles, etc. With the Gaalsien you feel very limited in what you can effectively do.
      K'Had Sajuuk Was Right

      Comment


      • #4
        Here are my thoughts.

        Point 1. Agree, but this is mostly a problem that needs to be solved from the LAV/turret side of things (and the assault ship). Cool idea with base runner disable field (but not the hacking ability. Screw that. Its not fun in any game ever) but having healing not apply on enemies would be too good. It is a LOT of healing in terms of strikecraft health pools. Perhaps increasing skimmer vision could be appropriate too.

        Point 2. Semi-agree. I think refinery mode timing is perfect. But I do agree AS costs too much, but i think the research time is good. Having it be 100 less orange means you can start it sooner.

        Point 3. Agree. I think 40 move speed would be to much though. It would also probably cause some really bad mid-game power spiking because you should shunt that extra power to weapons. As per my patch recommendations, grant AS access to dart maneuver.

        Point 4. Disagree. The ability to have units heal is so incredibly valuable. Also i think HR currently have 620hp, less than coal rails. I predict a lot of what you say is from that "death by a thousand cuts". But if you fixed the early game vulnerabilities, I bet it would be perfect the way it is. After all, none of these units-costing-to-much exist for khaaneph.

        Point 5. Vehemently Disagree. Gaal access to AA is WAY better than coal AA. If you have to rank AA "capableness" in this game, it is Interceptors, support cruiser AA (once you get upgrade) Missile Ship, Missile Battery, Production Cruiser, BR AA turret, LAV. I dont count strike fighters and HGC AA for obvious reasons. That is why LAVs can shoot air, to help compensate the otherwise difficult to set up AA net.
        Last edited by pbobbert; 15-07-2018, 05:53 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Did i say that i would talk about the soban next? yeah well i was writing about the soban and suddenly discovered that my critique of the LAV had gone slightly out of control. So im just making it its own little part to bridge the gap between gaalsien and soban.


          ---THE LAV---
          ''Ammo? What is ammo?'' - Veteran LAV pilot
          First up id like to address the LAV seperate from my general coalition/Soban analysis. The LAV is in my opinion too good a unit, as evident from the current multiplayer meta. In short i think it fulfills too many roles too well. The problem of balancing it is that is a complex compound issue and not a simple overpowered stat. Its many qualities are;

          1.) overeffective AA
          2.) low production time
          3.) Huge range(both sensors and attack)
          Last edited by Catharsis; 19-07-2018, 12:03 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            On the issue of AA
            Since soban/coal also have access to the scouting drone means that with the lav they both have the best scouting and the best scouting denial. But the aa gets bad where LAV swarms start to counter gunships, a supposed hard counter, and all other air. While still being able of providing their ground fire. I personally find this analogous to the HGC having the same aa as support cruisers(always active) and a missile battery that can effectively fight railguns.

            On the issue of production time
            This is a very sneaky strenghth of the LAV, an example: in the earlygame. 10 LAVs are produced in 80s. the gaalsien ,to fight this on 'equal' footing, produces 10 skimmers in 110s. this means that in the same amount of time the coal/soban player gains map control because the units hit the field earlier and can produce 2.5 salvagers giving an economic advantage. this is oppposite the faction design philosophy where traditionally the gaalsien should, and in practice must, pressure and attack while the coalition has more defensive tools.

            On the issue of range
            the lav scouting range enables the superior numbers(production time) to be able to choose and dictate engagements leveraging their greater range(900) against skimmers(600). Their attack range also outranges their hard counters in AAVs(800) and AS(700) and even carrier pwr1 range(800). This means there is no safezone during the earlygame against skimmers. And i try not to beat a dead horse here but this alone invalidates gaalsien in 1v1 since there is no defense. It also synergizes too well with their boost ability, giving them a huge advantage in getting to a perfect highground position to engage. Which is Or using the boost as a get out of jail free card if you messed up said positioning.

            To conclude
            The LAV in 1v1 straight up invalidates the Gaalsien. When properly micro'd the LAV will bleed skimmers due to their range, damage and positioning(due to sensor range) advantage, and since they start the engagement with superior numbers due to their far lower production time it becomes an unwinnable fight. I cant stress enough how this breaks the matchup. As gaalsien you can go railguns(which are countered by LAVs) or go the extremely slow and expensive assault ship route which will make you unable to produce skimmers thus losing everything and are then immediately countered by railguns.

            Solutions;
            All the above issues compound to a unit that is far superior in the earlygame and provides utility and continued value in the lategame. Ways i propose this can be solved are as follows:
            1.) Increase production time from 8s to 10s.
            2.) Remove AA
            3.) AA does 1 damage but gets 15 bonus damage vs scouting drones
            4.) Decrease range from 900 to 750
            5.) Decrease accuracy to match skimmers, or otherwise equalize damage output

            i'd like to reiterate what i said in my introduction to the gaalsien analysis. What i propose as changes should not be taken as a definitive change list but as a direction in which i believe the game should move. I do not do the math and simply pick values which sound reasonable to me. I simply provide my analysis and suggestions on what should change and in which direction. So...... guess ill go back to scrutinizing the Soban.
            Last edited by Catharsis; 19-07-2018, 12:05 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              PirroEpirote
              Im glad that you agree, and you have some nice suggestion. One of them may make an appearance in the soban analysis which is nearly done

              pbobbert
              id like to respond to your critique on point 5. First of if you say access is better for gaalsien you are sorely mistaken as coal can drop an aa turret within 1 min of playtime(baserunner inventory research then build baserunner) which is way way way faster than any option the gaalsien have. access means availability and options, which the gaalsien dont have. Also with an economic opener the coal/soban player can produce double the amount of strike fighters to interceptors, and 6 strike fighters on average beat 3 interceptors with 3 strike fighters remaining. Also to rank the aa turret that low is madness, it is 0 production time CU only stationary strong aa, that costs no population. your ranking completely disregards cost, deployment time, availability(ints/SF need to rearm) and versatility(can i point out that we both completely ignore assault cruiser aa because it is the worst by far). To simply look at damage output lacks nuance and disregards actual gameplay. Taking everything into account my ranking would be Support cruiser aa, interceptors, missile battery, missile ship, aa turret, LAV, strike fighters, production cruiser aa. All other aa does not impact gameplay(baserunners and assault cruisers). I urge you to test microing of strike fighters and interceptors against production cruiser aa to see how ridiculously bad it is.

              Comment


              • #8
                Catharsis: thanks, I'll enjoy reading the other faction's analysis.

                The more I think about it, the more I realize quite a few of the Gaalsien (and general) cost-effectiveness disparities and unfavorable oportunity-costs are a result of some balance adjustments made in former patches. In effect, check out the following:
                • Assault Ship is slow, unspecialized (good against AAVs but poor against strikecraft) and lacks cost effectiveness:
                Patch 1.2

                Assault Ship

                1400 HP
                Damage reduced from 25 to 24
                Cooldown increased from 0.5 to 0.6
                Regen reduced from 30 per sec to 20 per sec

                Patch 1.0.2

                Assault Ship

                Maximum Speed has decreased from 85 to 70.
                Price has increased from 220/35 to 220/40
                Turn Acceleration has increased from 5 to 10.
                Weapon Rate of Fire has increased from 2 to 5.
                Max Range has increased from 600 to 700m.
                Minimum Burst Time length has decreased from 1 to 0.8 seconds.
                Reload Time has decreased from 2 to 1.25 seconds
                • The AA options for the Gaalsien are limited and expensive. Soft Gaalsien AA is too soft, hard AA too expensive or cost-ineffective (it's deadly, but it'll cripple Gaalsien economy, making air always worthwhile against them). In particular, Honorguard AA was pretty much castrated when transformed into an active ability.
                Patch 1.1

                Production Cruiser
                We want to soften the Production Cruiser’s anti air capability to allow players a chance to mitigate the damage with good micro.
                Production Cruiser has reduced accuracy against Coalition Probe
                Damage increased from 15 to 20
                Rate of fire reduced from 25 to 15
                Accuracy changed from 65/55/45 to 55/40/25


                Honor Guard Cruiser
                We’ve updated the Honor Guard Cruiser to focus on its intended role of ground based line breaker.
                Anti-air passive ability changed to an active, duration ability which disables the main Railgun and lasts for 25 seconds
                Point defense weapons now active by default
                Railgun AOE falloff changed from linear to none
                Railgun AOE range reduced from 250 to 200
                K'Had Sajuuk Was Right

                Comment


                • #9
                  (Continued).
                  • LAVs are much more effective than their Gaalsien counterparts (lighting fast production, excellent scouting, convenient source of soft AA).
                  Patch 1.1

                  Light Attack Vehicles
                  We want to increase the LAV’s ability to both engage and disengage from combat to make them a better match for the Gaalsien Sandskimmers.
                  Boost ability cooldown reduced from 60 to 30 seconds
                  Boost speed increased from 160 to 176
                  LAV weapon cooldown reduced from 0.95 to 0.8
                  LAV accuracy changed from 65/75/85 to 56/83/94

                  Sandskimmer
                  We want to bring Gaalsien Sandskimmer health more in line with LAVs.
                  Sandskimmer health reduced from 700 to 650
                  Patch 1.0.2

                  Sandskimmer
                  To compensate for the fact that Gaalsien players can easily use their production cruisers offensively, specifically in the early game, some adjustments were made to the Sandskimmer’s build time and self-repair ability.
                  Build time has increased from 8 to 11 seconds.
                  Out of Combat timer has increased from 1 second to 3.5 seconds on its self-repair ability.
                  • Heavy Railguns are oportunity-cost ineffective compared to their Coalition counterparts (fragility, high cost and slow production isn't offset by range in most practical engagements).

                  Patch 1.3
                  Heavy Railgun
                  Heavy Railgun unit cost increase from 85 RU to 90

                  To be honest, reversing some of these changes would make the cost-effectiveness relationships make more sense.
                  Last edited by PirroEpirote; 21-07-2018, 05:46 AM.
                  K'Had Sajuuk Was Right

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    (Continued).
                    (Sorry for the formatting. My post was flagged as spam when trying to edit and get the server to accept it, so I removed the formatting).
                    • LAVs are much more effective than their Gaalsien counterparts (lighting fast production, excellent scouting, convenient source of soft AA).
                    Patch 1.1

                    Light Attack Vehicles
                    We want to increase the LAV’s ability to both engage and disengage from combat to make them a better match for the Gaalsien Sandskimmers.
                    Boost ability cooldown reduced from 60 to 30 seconds
                    Boost speed increased from 160 to 176
                    LAV weapon cooldown reduced from 0.95 to 0.8
                    LAV accuracy changed from 65/75/85 to 56/83/94

                    Sandskimmer
                    We want to bring Gaalsien Sandskimmer health more in line with LAVs.
                    Sandskimmer health reduced from 700 to 650

                    Patch 1.0.2

                    Sandskimmer
                    To compensate for the fact that Gaalsien players can easily use their production cruisers offensively, specifically in the early game, some adjustments were made to the Sandskimmer’s build time and self-repair ability.
                    Build time has increased from 8 to 11 seconds.
                    Out of Combat timer has increased from 1 second to 3.5 seconds on its self-repair ability.
                    • Heavy Railguns are oportunity-cost ineffective compared to their Coalition counterparts (fragility, high cost and slow production isn't offset by range in most practical engagements).
                    Patch 1.3

                    Heavy Railgun
                    Heavy Railgun unit cost increase from 85 RU to 90

                    To be honest, reversing some of these changes would make the cost-effectiveness relationships make more sense.
                    K'Had Sajuuk Was Right

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ---THE SOBAN---
                      ''THIS IS MY RAILGUN! THERE ARE MANY LIKE IT, BUT THIS ONE IS MINE!'' - Unknown soban soldier's diary

                      With the gaalsien dealt with, we now enter the more balanced factions. Talking about these is a lot harder as its strenghts and weaknesses are far more balanced. As i try to approach balance as the situation where most unit combinations are effective but counterable through attentive play in 1v1. Since the Soban are pretty balanced overall I will talk about less fundemental issues and more about specific units and situations. While writing this part i realized that the Soban have a lot of slight inconviences/advantages in stead of the more fundemental problems the gaalsien have. In fact i think i want to change very little about them balance wise. So what do i want changed?

                      1.) Carrier weapons are generally useless
                      2.) LAVs
                      3.) light aircraft/heavy aircraft inbalance
                      4.) Overperforming core units(railgun/aav combo)

                      On the issue of carrier effectiveness;
                      The soban carrier is practically a movable production facility of both units and ALMs. If the soban carrier has to fire its railguns the battle usually is already lost. It was adressed in the most recent(1.3) patch but the carrier railguns are still a joke compared to the damage output of all other carriers. And then there is the nuke, it is available far earlier than the other factions and this is its most overlooked strenghta although the research is a bit expensive(500CU/250RU) since no discount on power level 5 research. The microwave emitter is just hilariously ineffective versus gaalsien and Khaaneph since their units are mobile, regenerate and the microwave emitter rarely kills outright. I am tired of people stating that it is a bad nuke, it isnt. Its supposed to set up an engagement forcing opponents to move and putting on damage before your advance. Not just a delete army button(im looking at you coalition). That being said it is slightly too expensive for what it does and the impact damage could be a bit better.

                      On the issue of LAVs;
                      I exhausted this issue in its own section, please refer to said section.

                      On The issue of aircraft;
                      To get right to the point strike fighters are too good and bombers/gunships are pretty terrible. So i will split this in three parts talking about each in turn.

                      -Strike Fighters
                      My problem with strike fighters is low cost, low production time, high(burst) damage and high hitpoints. As i already touched upon in my analysis of the gaalsien anti air the strike fighter takes too much anti air to kill. Strike fighters trade speed and damage for survivability and accuracy. And this would be a fine trade-off if not for the fact that they cost 100CU/20RU less. This means that if you go air as coal/soban you will have resources to spare and build a ground army where khaan/gaal cant. The fact they can take 3 normal aa hits also means that they can poke in on aa far more safely. if properly micro'd strike fighters can swing in and retreat before any aa unit can fire a second missile. This means aa isnt nearly as threatning as it should be as it is balanced with 0 micro in mind, where the aa unit can continously fire and the slow turn rate of the strike fighter limits its damage output. Since micro is a thing air unit vastly outperform aa currently as someone who knows how to can keep getting damage with 0 losses.

                      -Gunships
                      Eyyy its the most buffed still bad unit in the game. To be effective it needs a few changes. First things first, as i will undoubtably talk about in my LAV analysis the gunship should be practically immune to LAV aa as it is supposed to hard counter them. The few occasions where i have seen a gunship go down to lav aa without killing a single one saddens and infuriates me. But overall The gunship is a bad unit simply because its movement patterns, even a battlecruiser rounds a corner more easily than a gunship. The circle strafing looks really cool, but it is exact the reason why it is bad. Its slow and it seems like actively trying to get in aa missile lock range in all directions around the target. If only the gunship was microable it would be a good unit.

                      -Bombers
                      Bombers arent actually bad units. They arent ineffective because any stats but thanks to where they fall on the tech tree. This also true for the gaal/khaan bomber by the way. Simply because the light air(SF/Ints) tech is required first and both are amazingly good units the game will simply be won by the time bombers can be built. Or your opponent will have enough aa on the field to shut down air play and make bombers a poor unit choice. Im afraid that i really dont know how to solve this except making them far cheaper. But i dont want bomber spam to be invincible either


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        On the issue of the Soban core army;
                        As the very clearly railgun faction the soban have the best railgun by a huge margin. It combines the cheapness of the coalition railgun with the incredibly high damage output of the heavy railgun through the mark target ability. Couple this unit with the AAV, the most hp per resource spent(yes i did the math ~5% more HP than battlecruisers before upgrades) and possesing the most powerful ability in the entire game: smoke. And it gets even crazier as they share armour upgrades. The smoke ability also provides too much of a safety margin on opening support cruiser first as rushing aavs after will enable the saving said cruiser by putting smoke on it. It also enables the AAV to straigt up win the fight vs early railguns since it can close due to superior speed, smoke and lack of railgun armour. Which is too effective for its low cost(180CU/30RU).


                        Other
                        Guess i'll also have to talk about the assault cruiser. Many people rightfully state that its aesthetic doesnt fit the coalition and that it is allround a terrible unit. With only 65 base speed and 2700 hp it just goes down hilariously easy. With a cost of 500CU/250RU it is just not worth the investment. Its aa is the worst in the game and not even worth mentioning(LAVs have better aa for crying out loud). Its job is strikecraft annhilation and in that at least it is very proficient. Just too bad that 3 AAVs will do the same job cheaper and provide utility with smoke. Its missile ability is very strong but with the aforementioned slow speed and low hp it is doomed to die if it tries to close in to fire it. Why it was ever removed from the Gaalsien roster i dont know as it now the gaalsien have no frontline. So i propose to make the Assault cruiser a Gaalsien unique unit(Khaaneph has the siege cruiser as a frontline light battlecruiser). It would still need a slight hp and speed buff and a fire rate decrease.




                        In Conclusion;
                        yeah the soban are a strange beast to me. They have the most brutal midgame railgun/AAV build and LAVs/ALMs to get them there. What stops them from being absolutely top tier is their carrier as it is nothing more than a mobile ALM factory. They have amazing battlecruisers to carry them through the lategame, and an underappreciated but nonetheless underwhelming nuke. The Soban are a good faction with a solid set of options at any stage of the game.


                        1.) Increase Strike Fighter cost from 150CU/100RU to 200CU/120RU
                        2.) AAV smoke ability requires upgrade(150CU/50RU)(50s) AND speed decrease from 80 to 75
                        3.) LAV changes proposed in LAV section apply
                        4.) aa turret cooldown decreased
                        5.) Carrier pwr lvl4/5 railguns gain the ALM stun effect
                        6.) Carrier pwr lvl 3/4/5 gain increased sunder(-12 armour)
                        7.) Railgun cost increase (210CU/60RU) to (230CU/70RU)
                        8.) Missile battery Range increase from 1400 to 1700
                        9.) Missile battery cost changed from 350CU/80RU to 300CU/150RU(to account for ability effectiveness)
                        10.) OR Mortar ability gains target indicator and 1s startup delay
                        11.) AA turret cost change from 350CU to 300CU/50RU
                        12.) Targeting jammer cost decrease from 150CU to 75CU
                        13.) Gunship speed increased from 375 to 400
                        14.) Gunship Turning radius decreased by 50%
                        15.) Gunship minimum range removed
                        16.) Gunship ammo decreased from 5 salvos to 4
                        17.) Tactical Bomber speed increased from 370 to 425
                        18.) Tactical Bomber Cost decrease from 550CU/250RU to 300CU/250RU
                        19.) Tactical Bomber Production time increase from 32s to 35s
                        20.) AAV research cost increased from 350CU/80RU to 350CU/100RU
                        21.) Power level 5 Research cost decreased from 1100CU/600RU to 600CU/350RU(to account for microwave emitter)
                        22.) Microwave emitter cost decreased from 500CU to 400CU
                        23.) Microwave emitter impact damage increased from 300 to 500
                        24.) OR Microwave emitter no longer has target indicator until impact but sound cue is still there and red alert in left event sidebar
                        25.) Assault cruiser moved to Gaalsien roster with 3350hp, 70 speed, autorepair, aa research removed, missile ability damage decrease, missile ability range +80%, Missile ability target indicator added, overcharge either removed or effectiveness decreased and production time decreased to 55s.

                        In summary, i want light air to be less spammable, heavy air to be more fun to use, the carrier to be an effective support platform, slight buffs to anti air to avoid interceptor domination, toning down the AAV and railgun combo, an lav that is not broken and giving the assault cruiser a chance at being used.

                        And with that i think i will be moving on to my favourite faction, so be wary of bias in my next piece. Explosions galore as i try to be fair about the Khaaneph.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          On the issue of the Soban core army;
                          As the very clearly railgun faction the soban have the best railgun by a huge margin. It combines the cheapness of the coalition railgun with the incredibly high damage output of the heavy railgun through the mark target ability. Couple this unit with the AAV, the most hp per resource spent(yes i did the math ~5% more HP than battlecruisers before upgrades) and possesing the most powerful ability in the entire game: smoke. And it gets even crazier as they share armour upgrades. The smoke ability also provides too much of a safety margin on opening support cruiser first as rushing aavs after will enable the saving said cruiser by putting smoke on it. It also enables the AAV to straigt up win the fight vs early railguns since it can close due to superior speed, smoke and lack of railgun armour. Which is too effective for its low cost(180CU/30RU).


                          Other
                          Guess i'll also have to talk about the assault cruiser. Many people rightfully state that its aesthetic doesnt fit the coalition and that it is allround a terrible unit. With only 65 base speed and 2700 hp it just goes down hilariously easy. With a cost of 500CU/250RU it is just not worth the investment. Its aa is the worst in the game and not even worth mentioning(LAVs have better aa for crying out loud). Its job is strikecraft annhilation and in that at least it is very proficient. Just too bad that 3 AAVs will do the same job cheaper and provide utility with smoke. Its missile ability is very strong but with the aforementioned slow speed and low hp it is doomed to die if it tries to close in to fire it. Why it was ever removed from the Gaalsien roster i dont know as it now the gaalsien have no frontline. So i propose to make the Assault cruiser a Gaalsien unique unit(Khaaneph has the siege cruiser as a frontline light battlecruiser). It would still need a slight hp and speed buff and a fire rate decrease.




                          In Conclusion;
                          yeah the soban are a strange beast to me. They have the most brutal midgame railgun/AAV build and LAVs/ALMs to get them there. What stops them from being absolutely top tier is their carrier as it is nothing more than a mobile ALM factory. They have amazing battlecruisers to carry them through the lategame, and an underappreciated but nonetheless underwhelming nuke. The Soban are a good faction with a solid set of options at any stage of the game.


                          1.) Increase Strike Fighter cost from 150CU/100RU to 200CU/120RU
                          2.) AAV smoke ability requires upgrade(150CU/50RU)(50s)
                          3.) LAV changes proposed in LAV section apply
                          4.) aa turret cooldown decreased
                          5.) Carrier pwr lvl4/5 railguns gain the ALM stun effect
                          6.) Carrier pwr lvl 3/4/5 gain increased sunder(-12 armour)
                          7.) Railgun cost increase (210CU/60RU) to (230CU/70RU)
                          8.) Missile battery Range increase from 1400 to 1700
                          9.) Missile battery cost changed from 350CU/80RU to 300CU/150RU(to account for ability effectiveness)
                          10.) OR Mortar ability gains target indicator and 1s startup delay
                          11.) AA turret cost change from 350CU to 300CU/50RU
                          12.) Targeting jammer cost decrease from 150CU to 75CU
                          13.) Gunship speed increased from 375 to 400
                          14.) Gunship Turning radius decreased by 50%
                          15.) Gunship minimum range removed
                          16.) Gunship ammo decreased from 5 salvos to 4
                          17.) Tactical Bomber speed increased from 370 to 425
                          18.) Tactical Bomber Cost decrease from 550CU/250RU to 300CU/250RU
                          19.) Tactical Bomber Production time increase from 32s to 35s
                          20.) AAV research cost increased from 350CU/80RU to 350CU/100RU
                          21.) Power level 5 Research cost decreased from 1100CU/600RU to 600CU/350RU(to account for microwave emitter)
                          22.) Microwave emitter cost decreased from 500CU to 400CU
                          23.) Microwave emitter impact damage increased from 300 to 500
                          24.) OR Microwave emitter no longer has target indicator until impact but sound cue is still there and red alert in left event sidebar
                          25.) Assault cruiser moved to Gaalsien roster with 3350hp, 70 speed, autorepair, aa research removed, missile ability damage decrease, missile ability range +80%, Missile ability target indicator added, overcharge either removed or effectiveness decreased and production time decreased to 55s.

                          In summary, i want light air to be less spammable, heavy air to be more fun to use, the carrier to be an effective support platform, slight buffs to anti air to avoid interceptor domination, toning down the AAV and railgun combo, an lav that is not broken and giving the assault cruiser a chance at being used.

                          And with that i think i will be moving on to my favourite faction, so be wary of bias in my next piece. Explosions galore as i try to be fair about the Khaaneph.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Earlier access to bombers would make them to powerful without HUGE nurfs. A tac bomber or precision bomber is capable of killing every salvager at a bulk head in a single attack run. If you could get bomber before strike fighter and interceptor research, it would mean an unstoppable way to eliminate your opponents resourcing. The best thing to do for the tac bomber is to make it more durable, so that if you can find a weakness in your opponents anti air net you can use them.

                            Consider that Gaal and Khaan start the game with a production cruiser, you are wrong on that point. But also an AA turret can be ignored and flown around because they have short range and cannot move.

                            Strike fighters will lose to 3 interceptors. Interceptors do 450 damage per volley where strike fighters do 240. Interceptors also have longer range, their missiles are faster, they fire faster and they have more splash damage. But more significantly they are WAY faster moving. The player with the interceptors gets to choose where they fights is gonna happen, and they are going to certainly not do it near an AA turret. More than likely they could even wait for you to try to engage and then fight over the production cruiser. They also rearm almost twice as fast as strike fighters. All in all, there is absolutely no way that strike fighters are better than interceptors.

                            When I was ranking AA i put them in order of capableness, not time to acquire. 3 interceptors 1 shot a bomber or gunship. Support cruiser comes second because firing two missiles means it always kills an interceptor.

                            Sand skimmer build time was made longer than LAV because 2 PC rush was way to strong.

                            Assault ships were made slower than salvagers and AAV because there would be no stopping them if they were consistently faster.

                            I would also like to address this out of left field thing about the heavy railguns suddenly being this terrible underperforming unit. It is the most powerful railgun unit by a long shot, having 60% more dpm than the coalition railgun. Also its hover technology means it doesn't need tp spend like 4 seconds turning around, so it is really easy to kite and poke with them. And Range Calibration is scary good. And because you guys seem to like to ignore this one, they can heal. Which is so insanely valuable on a long range poking unit.

                            LAVs need to outrage AAV or else there would be zero chance for an ALV opener. Skimmers have perfect accuracy, LAV do not. But they do shoot 50% faster. As it stands, LAV win 1v1 fights with no micro around 95% of the time, with some variance due to computer pathing. If both units are ordered to hold still, the LAV wins every single time. Giving the Skimmer 2 extra armour flips this, with the Skimmer winning every fight by a good margin. That s why I propose a damage reduction of 1 as a good starting point for a patch.


                            Also, posting previous patch notes is the opposite of trying to prove a point. Clearly those decisions were made for a reason (see skimmer build time and assault ship move changes)



                            --------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Cool ideas: 4. 5. 6. 9. 13. 21. 25.

                            Bad ideas: 2. 10. 16. 17. 20. 24.

                            morter sucks enough already, doesnt need a nerf.

                            AAV does NOT need a nerf, it needs a buff. There is a reason the top player never builds them.

                            MWE impact damage is 200, and only applies to inner 2/3 of target marker with fall-off

                            I think even a CU decrease with no RU increase could be argued for Missile Ships and batteries.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              first i did not advocate for any earlier access to bombers, i gave my analysis why the unit is underused. In fact my suggestions lower the cost but increase the build time to make them(on average) cost effective after 2 runs instead of 3 while not being spammable and maintaining their spot on the tech tree.

                              On the issue of aa, the fire (not vision) range of an aa turret is about twice or more that of a PC with 100% accuracy and moving a PC is economic damage.

                              On the 6 SF vs 3 ints fight you once more disregard actual gameplay where the 3 ints burst down only a single SF and the SF burst down a single int. so the ints lose 1/3 of their damage output and the SF 1/6, since ints do not kill SF in one volley they will lose the dogfight as they simple cant reduce the SF damage output fast enough. I have had this happen in multiple games.

                              Again while analysing the above 2 points you do not take all factors that contribute to the outcome into account.

                              On your statements that the mortar suck and the AAV is apperantly never built by this elusive top player id really like an argument as to why, or a counterargument to my reasoning. all top players i know of build aavs

                              On the argument that lavs need to outrange AAVs you state there would be zero chance of an lav opener after which you give examples of skimmers.

                              on the lav/skimmer point. Per faction philosophy the coalition/soban rely on combined arms therefore their weakness should be that they lose equal resources mirror matchups (lav/skimmers AS/AAV etc.). Couple this with the gaal/khaan being specialized and the design of needing to be offensive, skimmers SHOULD win the equal numbers(resources) fight against lavs every time. Turrets were(i think) meant to be able to defend and make up for this weakness. 1 damage reduction wont reduce the early lav domination as with boost the skimmers cant catch the lavs and they bleed units. In short in my opinion is when a group of unsupported lavs run into a group of unsupported skimmers the skimmers should win, not by much but surely. This is also why the lavs have greater vision and boost since this is their way of avoiding this engagement in exchange for map control.

                              I have explained in detail why the heavy railgun underperforms in my opinion, if it makes it any clearer. Heavy rails are superior in every way once you get upgrades, that means nothing if they continously lose the fight and you get overrun before you can research them. As they might have more dpm, the opponent has far more hitpoints to chew through due to greater numbers. and a loss is a greater loss of power. Even if you do not get overrun you still aren't cost effective early and to maintain the fight the resources must be put into more rails, not upgrades or you are back to being overrun.

                              Finally i do agree the old patch changes were made with good reason, As pirrot clearly stated reverting SOME changes might be better. The idea of the patch was good only it was too much. Prime exaple the HGC AA, yes having it on the entire time is a too powerful, but cooldown and main gun disabled is too much. As i explained earlier it is like just turning the HGC off.
                              Last edited by Catharsis; 31-07-2018, 06:57 AM.

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