Noone really knows. Bot/Amphib failed and so did All terrain/Amphib. I think they're going to be in the same lab, hovers might get fixed at some stage and Amph need to be bots for slope tolerance, they also need AA.
Joined: 19 May 2007, 08:28 Location: YOU WILL REGRET THIS
How about: Give Kbots all-terrain stuff, Vehicle factory gets amphib tanks, and shipyard gets hovers. It gives the other facs some anti-sea capability, and going ships gives you some ok land attack if you need to.
I wasn't playing CA at the time - why did kbot amphibs fail? Was it just infantry kbots or were "L2" kbots included? Were they full-speed amphibs or OTA-style amphibs?
edit: the problem with Heavy's idea is that it involves keeping the problematic "tanks are amphibious, not kbots". Amphibious kbots work better because you get the same slope-tolerance for kbots as amphibs. Amphib vehicles with kbot slope tolerance is weird and non-intuitive.
The other problem with amphibs is that mixing them into the "vanilla" labs means they're never used. If you're on a naval map, you want to build naval factories. If you're on a land-map, you'll never use those handful of naval units in your land factory. I mean, did anybody ever build the Croc or the Triton in the L2 veh lab in BA? No, they always built them by a naval-eng or at the amphib complex.
The only amphib that is popular in BA that is built by a land-lab is the L1 amphib con, because it lets a land-based player cap some aquatic mexes while they reclaim their Vehicle lab to get a hovercraft lab.
This has been in intense discussion for years, and we've implimented a large range of plans with nothing really sticking. Its a really tricky issue. Personally, i would like amphs/hovers to be a fully featured factory with good unit synergy, the ability to fight on land and water (this means torpedo amphs) and of some use even on pure land and mostly water maps. This is mostly because if we are going to make a full factory with a complete unit set, having it only ever be used on mixed water maps is a bit of let down- we already have a fac like that (ships). They cannot be as good as their dedicated land/sea counterparts though, otherwise they will be all you will ever use on mixed maps. Tricky balance between those two objectives.
My origional proto-plan in pre-CA was to have amphs be AT and hovers be the fastest land units in the game with the least slope tolerance.
Hovers would lack the assault or artillery, and would have nothing but incredibly mobile units. They might also have very good skirms, but bots by necessity would have to outrange them then (which is a problem we faced with the Samson). This way, hovers would also be useful on maps like Comet and perhaps DSD, but only early on- they would suffer once defenses were up, but might have oblique ways of dealing with them (blockade running and emp, perhaps). Other abilities they might have are either instant turning for high micro or very slow turning and acceleration, so to get up to speed they need a run-up and can be outmicro'd, depending on which makes them the most different to vechs/bots.
So whats wrong with this? Firstly, all maps are made with BA hover slope of 24, higher than vehicle but lower than kbot. If you balance them for ultra-low-slope, there are all sorts of places on sea maps they cannot access that they are meant to be able to. Secondly, ships are very expensive, lack strong defenses (esp vs hovers since they're immune to torps) and and are slow to get going. A very fast raider fac might be able to rape the land before the sea player can really do anything about it. Even if we make ships much, much better than hovers (moreso than land is) the slow start and expense means coverage is difficult.
AT amphs would be useful on hilly or water maps, while would not have to have the raw power of the other factories in order to have that usefulness, because in both cases it is a terrain advantage not a stats one.
We also had Amph Jumpers/Spiders. This did not work because Can and Pyro are just much better on coasts than recluse/venom. Raiding and assaulting from point blank out of the water is very powerful, while recluse/venom are paper dragons easily destroyed by antisub weaponry or shoreline defenses. The can could attack underwater too, which was a bitch to micro but omg op when it actually hit. Might be fixed by moving gimp in and making it the antisub weapon, or giving an AA/torpedo jumper ala the Tarantula. While this avoids the issue of having to balance away the amph ability (since they are already balanced down due to their AT advantage) other objections to this included that shore cliffs are meant to be impenetrable to amphs, while this makes amphs completely all terrain.
Amph inf bots did not have amph speedup AFAIR. It failed because of several reasons. Glaive/AK was one, having them capable of popping up from any coast was deadly. 'Spam in the sea' was another, which is ironic because people are now advocating for cheaper units in the sea (esp cheap AA for core and cheap antisub for arm). The Jethro/Crasher was given a secondary weapon, a torpedo, and while it was not that effective it meant that to fight ships, you spammed jethros. The final reason was that if bots are really a fully viable land factory, and are also usable in the water, people will always start bots on mixed land/water maps. So either we balance them so that the other pure land factories have some advantage over bots (which puts them behind on pure land maps) or we accept that mixed maps are played mostly with bots. I dont know how valid this is, since mixed maps are often porcy and bots are relatively poor against heavy porc, but it will certainly make bots favoured.
The current model is combined amphs/hovers, which is probably best if we want to keep our unit count low (a complete hover and amph factory should have 6-9 units each, combining the fac halves the unit count). There are problems with it though. The first and MAJOR is that hovers are immune to torpedoes and amphs can ONLY be hit by torpedoes. They are in completely exclusive target categories, there is nothing that can hit both. This relationship doesnt even exist for AIR and land, yet here we have them in the same fac!
If the enemy goes vettes, you can go gimp/pel, if he goes sub/roy, you can go hovertank. The only choice of a ship player is to mix 50/50, and then you can just spam one type and just engage half of his force at once. Add to this that both can go on land to be totally immune to all ships, and attack land based economy, while amphs can be immune to most air by diving. This means, to be balanced, hover/amphs must be roughly half as good as ships, or less.
So this leads to what we have- a very very weak fac in power but strong in tactical flexibility, useful only on maps with many seperated bodies of water (such as hunters).
That's just stupid faction difference. Faction differences shouldn't mean one side is better than the others. It's like when Luger was removed. Hopefully Core will get a propper assault hover and the assault tanks will be balanced to be assault not skirm. Also the amphib tanks should become bots.
I think Amphibs should be good at assaulting coast lines, both ways. This means they'd be short range units to take advantage of the invulnerability that sea or land gives them from certain weapons.
Is it possible to make underwater weapons target hovercraft?
Here's the short version of my ideas on where to take the amphibs:
1) If possible, make torpedos shoot hovercraft. Then there is a single defensive class for the whole factory, just like every other factory. The absence of this feature created a balancing nightmare in BA - remember how long they were fiddling with the BA hovercraft/destroyer/corvette/torp-launcher/FHLT balance? What a mess.
2) Give some infantry kbots speed-penalty amphibiousness - mainly the constructor, the SAM kbot, and the skirmisher kbots. This means that the amphib lab is not the -only- option on maps that are amphibious in nature.
3) The amphibious units used in the amphib lab would always be more than just "robots that go underwater". That is, the ability to simply _travel_ underwater is already available to the infantry bots. Amphibots in the amphib lab should have a naval power of use when they're underwater so that they're useful units underwater in their own right. Either armed with torpedos, or good sonar spotting range, or extra armor underwater (like a blockade runner).
4) Hovercraft get vehicle slope-tolerances, but they get jump-jets. Unlike normal Logos jump-jets, they recharge quickly, but they are immobile while recharging (which is logical, since over-using the jets on a hovercraft means there's nothing holding it up anymore). As a result, hovers can get practically anywhere on the map... but using their jump ability can leave them to be sitting ducks. At the same time, they still behave like vehicles instead of being bizarre vehicle-looking kbots that drive over water.
Obviously this is just crazy spitballing, but right now the amphib lab is kind of a mess - the whole "two completely different weapons needed to defend vs. 1 lab" thing is a problem, but also it simply has very but a random mashing of OTA-style units. No magic, no sense, just "hovertank, scout, anti-air, etc". Maybe it should go back to being a hover-lab?
Last edited by Pxtl on 18 May 2009, 18:03, edited 2 times in total.
Joined: 17 Sep 2008, 03:36 Location: your imagination
Is it possible to make underwater weapons target hovercraft?
It is part of the balance that underwater weapons can't target hovers, and vise versa. FLoating hlt can't hit subs; torp and dc launcher can 't hit hovers. It brings an interesting dynamic because you can exploit holes in your opponents defense by mixing the two. It wouldn't make sense anyway, torpedoes are limited to water and hovers sit on a cushion of air above the water.
And the croc is so good because price and stats wise it is closer to a bulldog then a stumpy, but it's still so small. It's easy to bunch them together, especially with its arcing shot, to concentrate a lot of win in a small area.
The pincer on the other hand is a cheap light tank that is bad in masses because groups can't shoot over each other.
IMO change the stats on the two so that the croc is a cheap weak tank while the pincer is a more expensive more powerful tank.
Also take into consideration that the sound of 30 gauss guns shooting at once by mass pincers makes me want to break my speakers.
Torps not hitting hovers is not essential to the balance, and would probably make things easier if it were removed. Hovers would behave like regular ships while on sea. The fluff reason of 'they float above the water' doesnt count for much because A. Its fluff. B. Have you ever seen torpedoes leap out of the water like dolphins? They can build up a lot of speed in the water, its very easy for them to go out of water for the few feet that allows them to hit hovers.
This would reduce the RPS-ness of sea, but honestly most people complain that it is too full of hard counters.
We've considered making hovers jumpers or making jumpers hovers (so core jumpers turn on their jets and can hover over water, but pyro/can would be crazy good against ships).
Hrrm, since the real reason hovers need the slope is for getting to sea-island mexes, and we have ramp and level which makes getting to these areas trivial (making all cons essentially AT given some time, e and micro), we could probably lower their slope again without too much difficulty.
You gotta think about it within the context of the broader game though, it means, for example, that the huge crescent hill on SSB is no protection from hovers, that they can attack from anywhere along the coast on DSD, etc. The same for AT amphs.
Most maps are designed to have very specific hover-passable beaches, with sea cliffs being only passable to air- a sea cliff is about as close as impassable as you're meant to get in this game. Maps with fill hover passability (IE, hunters) generally suffer for it.
Let's make a chart for movement types and what they can pass.
Vehicles: nothing special
AT: hills, cliffs.
Hover: water. (note: CA hovers are vehicles)
Amphib: hills, water (note: CA amphibs will soon be just bots.)
Jumpers: hills, small cliffs, small stretches of water.
So you see each has its own pros, aside from vehicles. Jumpers and AT are comparable in that while AT can traverse any cliff, jumpers can only traverse small ones, but get the pro of being able to jump over rivers.
Combining Hover with Jumper takes away from these various interesting types, just like the experiment of combining AT and amphib.
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