Gunships

Gunships

A dynamic game undergoing constant development and refinement, that attempts to balance playability with fresh and innovative features.

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Carpenter
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Gunships

Post by Carpenter » 10 Aug 2010, 22:30

Could dear CA devs do something about them? I mean CA is far away from fun when the only thing worth producing is gunships, it doesnt really help when you have 10 aa bots with your other units when the enemy attacks you with 20 gunships. God that pisses me off. Also only structure that can really take them down is Mercury/Screamer. Gunship Annihilation > Complete Annihilation.
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SirArtturi
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Re: Gunships

Post by SirArtturi » 10 Aug 2010, 22:42

This is what I've been trying to tell them but they insist to admit that they are imba. They can even shoot down fighters, which makes them actually air superiority units...
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Carpenter
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Re: Gunships

Post by Carpenter » 10 Aug 2010, 23:36

Yeah that's just retarded, no wonder why BA's playerbase is bigger. :D
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Pxtl
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Re: Gunships

Post by Pxtl » 11 Aug 2010, 00:35

I don't thing most players realize how expensive that gunship swarm is. Gunships start at 250 each, and are slower than the fighters you're using to counter them. You'd be just as buggered if the guy spent that cash on Jacks.

They used to be seriously, disastrously UP. Now they're a little OP, but not diasterously so.
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Rafal99
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Re: Gunships

Post by Rafal99 » 11 Aug 2010, 03:13

The banshee is definitely OP at the moment. It doesn't matter if they cost a lot or not, because suddenly a swarm of banshees appears, kills all your aa you had just in case and you are dead, can't even react.
They can strike at any time, at any place, they are faster then anything that counters them. They kill fighters, because fighters fly into the swarm of banshees and become lazored in half of a second, only arm dedicated fighter sort of works, but still fails to bigger swarms of banshees. The most effective thing to kill them is tank or walker aa, especially manticore, but all of this stuff is slow, and banshee can avoid them, strike undefended areas (for example mex expansion) and run. Stationary aa isn't very good, packos and razorkiss sort of work, but it is just the matter of banshee swarm size, eventually more will come and kill your aa. You will have to dedicate yourself to spamming packos everywhere to stop them, which is bad idea, since they are useless vs anything noair while banshees work vs everything and are mobile. Also it doesn't matter if AA does 5x cost vs gunships because you still have to spend more then the value of gunships to be completely safe from them.
The big advantage of banshees is that they can attack at any terrain, any place, are very fast, can run from any danger, and can be easily gathered into big force in one place.
They also work well in defence, eliminate raider swarm easily, kill other gunships etc.

Ok thats it.

Edit: 250 cost is not much, it is like ravager, while banshee has effectively almost as much hp (less hp, but can avoid shots), as good DPS, is all terrain, is faster, has perfectly accurate weapon, can kill air, and can only be killed by limited number of weapons.
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Edible
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Re: Gunships

Post by Edible » 11 Aug 2010, 09:46

Popup AA is where its at, also scouting.

In terms of unit based AA, levelers are decent, and facsthatwereformerlyt2 AA units work pretty well

Also massive defender spam whittles them well. (And is generally handy)
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Carpenter
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Re: Gunships

Post by Carpenter » 11 Aug 2010, 11:31

Try to put any sort of AA unit follow your flash tanks, it will not work. Every aa kbot/vehicle is just too slow/unefficient that it just doesnt help a shit, therefore it's impossible to make any kind of surprise attacks with faster units due to banshee's/rapier's OPness. If somebody disagrees on this, I'm very surprised. :D
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JohannesH
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Re: Gunships

Post by JohannesH » 11 Aug 2010, 12:53

So gunships shoot air? Just have your own swarm of them to counter!!
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Gunships

Post by luckywaldo7 » 11 Aug 2010, 13:42

JohannesH wrote:So gunships shoot air? Just have your own swarm of them to counter!!
:D

I think that was Carp's point, the game ends up being about which side spams more gunships ;)

Part of the problem I think, is that packo is like the most op unit in the game, and is the primary counter to banshee, so it makes for super hard rps between gunships raping or getting raped.
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Pxtl
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Re: Gunships

Post by Pxtl » 11 Aug 2010, 15:10

If you have any AA with a blast radius, that banshee swarm gets pulverized. Too many mobile AA weapons are designed for taking down bombers and heavy gunships, so they fail vs. swarms - anti-swarm AA is prohibitively expensive. The problem is that most mobile AA has no blast radius. Banishers give them a really bad day. AA Boats and Razors make mincemeat out of them too. But I agree with Lucky - it's too much of a hard-counter thing.

The fact is that gunships are always going to be hard to balance... not because of the terrain thing, but because gunship swarms can grow to an insane scale since they don't get in each other's way. This means that if you make gunships effective when used in groups of 2 or 3, then a mob of them will become an unstoppable force.... but a unit that is useless in groups of less than 20 isn't any fun to play with.

Really, more AA units need to put some large explosions into the air - that would discourage these banshee-mobs without making a small, tactical squad of banshees UP. Imho, any dedicated AA unit should have a moderately large blast-radius, including the AA fighters and the AA bots. Both of those units are very fast, so they can be used to provide cover-fire for raiders.

I do agree though, they are OP, I just think it's overstating the fact.
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Pxtl
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Re: Gunships

Post by Pxtl » 11 Aug 2010, 16:03

Thinking it over, this is probably a matter of roles. With a high-speed and a hitscan weapon, the logical role of the Banshee is fighting raiders, doing AA, and hitting undefended targets - much like a multirole fighter with a slightly bigger emphasis on anti-ground at the cost of speed. But the multirole fighter was both faster and tougher than the banshee at this role, so the banshee obviously needed a buff.

I think the CA devs really need to nail-down the role of the Banshee and then start seeing that it doens't spill outside of that role. If it's a raider, then it doesn't need to be good at surviving a fight. If it's a skirmisher, it doesn't need to be so fast or so good against raiders. If it's antiswarm... I don't even know what an antiswarm gunship would look like, but it sure as hell wouldn't be that fast. And if it's all-purpose, then yes, it's hopelessly OP.

Plus, the Arm gunship lab has a huge gaping hole in the spread. It has a raiding gunship (the banshee) and an assault gunship (the Brawler) but nothing in the middle - no skirmisher gunship. A unit with speed in-between the banshee and the brawler, with a slower, heavier weapon that would let it fight large gunships and hit ground targets hard, but still dies to air-raiders (banshee and multirole fighter) and heavier dedicated AA.

Really, the gunship labs need some loving in terms of diversification and specialization in their combat units. With 2 transports, a special-purpose ultralight, and a con... there's only 2 actual straight-up combat units. Compare vs. the Bot labs that sport so many more. Where's the artillery gunships (see Starcraft's Guardian)? The anti-air gunships? The anti-swarm gunships?

Then maybe you wouldn't have one swiss-army-knife light gunship that is impossible to keep it from being useless or OP.
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Kenku
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Re: Gunships

Post by Kenku » 12 Aug 2010, 01:19

Unfortunently with the movement to 1 fac(in which rapiers will become the skirmisher the banshee the raider), I don't think that hole will be filled anytime soon. Survivability I will agree may need to be downscaled a little although, since its very much a hit and run swarm unit.
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Edible
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Re: Gunships

Post by Edible » 12 Aug 2010, 03:03

On thinking, I am inclined to agree with pxtl about them having no clearly defined niche, I view them as opportunistic/response units, you attack weakness and avoid strength (And deal with stuff in your backfield), if someone is constantly pwning your flashswarms with them, maybe you want to move to a slower covered by AA advance, or invest in a new fac (arm veh does shit vs air). Either way, I would say jethros in a decent group would make far over cost and are fast enough to counter gunships wherever they go.
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Yogzototh
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Re: Gunships

Post by Yogzototh » 12 Aug 2010, 13:07

Stat-wise, there is nothing really wrong with banshees. 250 cost is high enough to keep em balanced. for every 3 banshees you can have 1 mobile T2 AA, Adv fighter costs 300, and they only lose to banshees when outnumbered 4 to 1, thats 1000 cost vs 300 cost.
However, there is still a problem, and that is scaling. In "perfect" situation, the strength of a unit group grows as square of its unit number, n^2. The perfect situation assumes all units in group can start shooting the moment they engage, and never miss. In actual game that is only true until a limit is reached, when the group is too large and too many units are in the rear and not able to hit the targets.
This issue doesnt exist for gunships. No matter how many you have, you are able to use their entire force at full power. The more banshees you add the faster any AA will die to their combined fire, none will stay in the back because the other banshees are blocking.
If you havent noticed, small flocks of banshees are never a problem, its only when you get their number over 15-20 they start tearing down everything.
I think the best solution would be just to give some AA units a very small splash radius so they can damage multiple air units with intersecting hitboxes. Screamer/mercury does that already, of course, but these 2 are too easy to counter due to their long ammo replenish time. The flakker/chainsaw would probably be the best candidates for that.
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Carpenter
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Re: Gunships

Post by Carpenter » 12 Aug 2010, 13:15

Edible wrote:On thinking, I am inclined to agree with pxtl about them having no clearly defined niche, I view them as opportunistic/response units, you attack weakness and avoid strength (And deal with stuff in your backfield), if someone is constantly pwning your flashswarms with them, maybe you want to move to a slower covered by AA advance, or invest in a new fac (arm veh does shit vs air). Either way, I would say jethros in a decent group would make far over cost and are fast enough to counter gunships wherever they go.
Do you know what you just said? When you stop using flashes and move to a slower unit, you automatically state that flash is a useless unit in CA. :)

Also
I would say jethros in a decent group would make far over cost and are fast enough to counter gunships wherever they go.
Decent group here means 10 - 15 jethros, and imagine if your entire team started to spam aa bots nonstop, it would be total disaster on land.
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Godde
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Gunships and NOTA

Post by Godde » 12 Aug 2010, 15:18

And this why air takes so much time and energy to build in other mods. I don't know how much you have discussed this before but buildtime and energy is a way to decide how much infrastructure/economy(builders and energy) that different units require to be built. Now gunships can only be balanced according to their abilities and not their accessebility(if you disregard the cost of gunships as accessibility). Bombers on the other hand requires time to refuel which limits their accessibility and abilites since they either have to take turns refueling or wait until all are refueled in which time the enemy have additional time to deploy counters.

Vashp ground attack planes in NOTA is quite the opposite to gunships in CA. In order to deploy ground attack planes you need to pay for an expensive aircraft plant, the extra energy and wait until the plane gets done. On the other hand even cost for cost in small numbers you can't expect mobile ground AA to defeat or even defend against Vashps but once you got enough AA(they build faster than air) the Vashps will go down. Fighters are a hard counter to vashps but they are fragile and die easily to enemy AA.
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Pxtl
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Re: Gunships

Post by Pxtl » 12 Aug 2010, 15:30

@ Yogzototh

Imho, splash damage needs to be added to _all_ dedicated AA units, not just the massively expensive ones - the AA bots are a good place to start, for example. This way air balance can be designed around small, spread-out teams instead of the mega-swarms we have today.

Wouldn't it be nice if gunships were useful in groups of 5 or so instead of being kind of pointless until you get 30 of them?

Also, you could shorten the massive firing range on the Banshee to encourage them to form tighter packs, thus making them even more vulnerable to area-effect weaponry. That would be particularly good in CA1Fac where the Banshee is more definitely in a Raider role (while the Rapier is becoming the Skirm).
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Yogzototh
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Re: Gunships

Post by Yogzototh » 12 Aug 2010, 15:53

Wouldn't it be nice if gunships were useful in groups of 5 or so instead of being kind of pointless until you get 30 of them?
Groups of 5 banshees are completely useless. They just dont have enough DPS to kill ANYTHING.
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Pxtl
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Re: Gunships

Post by Pxtl » 12 Aug 2010, 16:23

@Yog - that's exactly my point. By putting a lot more explosions into the sky, it lets you focus on balancing gunships as individuals instead of having to balance for large groups, because large groups are no longer the primary focus of gunship usage - because they're over-packed and will suffer from the extensive splash-damage in the sky.

As long as gunships are meant to be used in massive swarms, it means that gunships will have to be an all-or-nothing deal. You can't use just-a-few gunships when they're being balanced for groups of 30 or so.
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Baracus
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Re: Gunships

Post by Baracus » 12 Aug 2010, 23:29

If only the fire arc of 180 would be decreased to say 30-40. Gunships would have to face the enemy instead of fire constantly. They would be less effective against fighters. They would still have the same DPS, but less time of dealing the damage they have now.
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