7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

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Niobium
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7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Niobium » 24 May 2011, 14:39

Given the discussion and varied responses to the balance changes, this post is going to outline the main thoughts/reasoning for each. Each of the changes was discussed amongst the entire BA team, and while sometimes there wasn't 'full agreement', none were reverted.

So without further ado, in the same order as listed in the changelog:

Reduced samson/slasher HP 30% (~1100 -> ~720)
Army compositions of 100% slasher/samson have become common in certain games, mainly because it is very strong due to slasher range, speed and hp. While this is OK it isn't very tactically interesting and it doesn't leave players in a good position to attack defences or T2 units given the low DPS of slashers and the loss of range advantage when fighting HLT/T2 units. What this resulted in was strong early pushes exploiting the range of the slasher/samson quickly reaching stalemates as defences were put up, with the slasher/samson spammers on the enemy team also unable to mount a counterattack.

The aim of reducing HP is to enable pure slasher/samson armies to be chased down and killed before they can reach safety, so that the samson/slasher user is encouraged to mix in higher HP raiders or levelers to cover any retreats, and also to put them in a better position for assaults. The HP nerf was chosen over other possible nerfs as it leaves their AA capabilities mostly untouched.

Reduced HLT HP 30% (~2400 -> ~1680)
There were two primary reasons behind this change. The first is to make defensive lines more fragile in general, especially when they lack any unit backup to provide a HP buffer. The second is to reduce the effectiveness of repair on HLTs, with 30% reduction in HP resulting in 30% reduction in repair rate. As it was it was too easy to repair an HLT with a com or nanos to the point where any enemy attacking the HLT would be dealing little to no damage.

Removed arm EMP bomber
Basically there were too many issues with the EMP bomber that a fixup wouldve changed it into a completely new unit, so instead it was removed. Note that arm still has EMP available at T2 air in the dragonfly.
- Drops 6 bombs dealing 4000 damage each for 24,000 damage total (Too high)
- Bombs have greater AoE than intimidator shells (Too high)
- Reloads in 5 seconds (Too low, especially vs stun time (15 seconds))
- Radar-invisible (Can't see -> Can't hit with AA)
- One of the fastest moving air units (-> long bomb drop distance)
- Very high flying (-> long bomb drop distance)
- Costs 162 metal, 16366 energy (Too cheap)

All fighter HP reduced to 50 (1-hit killed by all antiair)
Change was primarily to nerf the ability for fighters to be used offensively, especially late game when flakkers are present, which should reduce the amount of fighter spam lategame. This will of course greatly nerf the classic tactic of out-fighter-spamming your enemy and winning with an all in, but while that tactic was effective it was very uninteresting and had a snowball effect as the defending team also needed to spam fighters. With less fighter spam present games should have better performance, and players should have more resources to spend on more strategic and interesting options.

The reason for an HP nerf over other nerfs was that it heavily reduces the ability for them to be used offensively in a clear way while not effecting their defensive ability against enemy bombers or gunships. Some people have brought up the point that a fighter screen will die very quickly to ground AA; this is intentional, the higher effectiveness of ground AA on fighters will motivate people to attack even if they may not be able to make it to the enemy base, and puts a greater emphasis on gaining ground outside your base in order to protect your fighter screen, instead of setting up a defensive wall at the front of your base and ecoing/teching in safety.

Reduced bertha/intimidator range (6200/600 -> 4000)
Increased bertha/intimidator range increase with height

Reduces the ability for players to siege an enemies base without first gaining some ground. With 6600 range on initimidators players were able to attack the enemies base from the safety of their own on particular maps, which is not inline with the goal of having players expand and attack.

While the range reduction does reduce the defensive ability of berthas as well, it is not as severe as it appears due to the increased range boost from height (typically present when defending), and the inaccuracy of berthas pre-update at their maximum range.

Anti nukes no longer stockpile, effectively starting with unlimited missiles
Anti nuke energy costs reduced 50% (~60000 -> ~30000)

The metal:energy ratio of anti-nukes was previously very high at 1:40, going to 1:60 for mobile antis. This prevented non-techers from building an anti-nuke in any reasonable amount of time, even if they had the required metal. Reducing the metal:energy ratio brings it inline with the high-end metal:energy ratio of T2 units, which is still above the typical T1 metal:energy ratio of 1:10 which a T1 player would have their energy production configured for.

The stockpile change is primarily to help people rush anti-nukes to defend against a nuke, as they are no longer required to wait the 90 seconds for an anti-nuke to stock after completing the silo. As a secondary effect it also helps against the fairly efficient tactic of using mass nukes (typically arm) to drain the silos of your enemy and win from across the map with a few clicks.

Reduced karganeth missile velocity 50%
Sounds odd, but the intention was to reduce karganeth effectiveness vs air, as the missiles have insufficient velocity to effectively chase fighters. Personally not a fan as its a very indirect way of addressing the problem.

Removed 50% damage reduction from pitbull/viper when closed
Purely to weaken T2 porc, especially when it's being repaired (repair retains full speed while damage reduction is present). As some have mentioned, this damage reduction was very easily circumvented by using scouts or starting building frames at edge of range, so it is not as huge a change as it may seem, while helping make damage dealt more transparent and predictable. Will consider having them permanently stay up if the change remains.

T2 bombers are now precision bombers, dropping fewer bombers over a shorter distance (same single-target damage)
Primary reasoning was to reduce the extremely high effectiveness of T2 bombers against ground armies, the change keeps their single-target damage which means they are as effective as they were at fusion killing, nano killing, com killing, etc.

Teams now have base storage, commander storage now 0/0
Mainly to reduce the punishment on the victim of an enemy combomb on their commander, where the combomber would have built storage to compensate in advance while the victim is reduced to pitiful levels of storage, making it hard to quickly defend/rebuild.

Normalized idle autoheal. 1% hp/second after 30 seconds.
Mainly for convinience, 'idle' in this sense is 'hasn't taken damage in X seconds'. Gives a benefit to those who pull back their units before they die, and also increases the power of high HP units like T3 if the user micros well and retreats instead of mashing them into the enemy.

-----

That's about it for now, hopefully I've convinced a few people that these changes were carefully thought through with specific goals in mind, and should have a positive effect on gameplay. Also keep in mind that the changes aren't intended to solve every problem in BA and that a lot of the balance issues in 7.31 still continue into 7.4X.
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Masure
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Masure » 24 May 2011, 14:53

EMP Bomber

I agree with your points but not with the unfixable state. Is that a temporary change in before you find something to fix it ?


Autoheal

Working with percentage is flawed cause it makes a virtual buildpower to every unit based on its HP. I understand the will to reward micro but it totaly circumvents the builder micro to manualy repair the units after you retreat them. This took a big place in the game before.

It's the hugest change in the game IMO.
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Cheesecan
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Cheesecan » 24 May 2011, 15:19

Welcome to a whole new game.
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smoth
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by smoth » 24 May 2011, 15:28

The auto heal has me concerned as well but we'll see how that plays out. I like the fighter change in role but also find the hp change concerning.
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Wombat
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Wombat » 24 May 2011, 15:37

thank u for that.
Basically there were too many issues with the EMP bomber that a fixup wouldve changed it into a completely new unit, so instead it was removed. Note that arm still has EMP available at T2 air in the dragonfly.
first of all, it sounds like ur personal opinion that emp bomber needs any fixing. i dont remember anyone whining about EMP bomber, ppl (ok arm players) complain about drones more (fell free to remove them!).

also, after last nerf, DF is weak flying piece of crap with weak one shot emp, so.... no... doesnt make me any happier. core still stops most raids with cheap emp in a few seconds, arm cannot.
The second is to reduce the effectiveness of repair on HLTs
imo, thats the nanos fault, not hlt having too much hp. nanos are way to good at repairing (not talking about BP right now)

now, could someone explain how boats rox now ? or at least which changelog explains that.

seriously, worst changelog ever (i mean explanation)

like i said, i agree with most of these changes, but their exact values might be too brutal.

EDIT - @ viper/pitbull
Purely to weaken T2 porc
i expect the same from DDM.

EDIT2 -
Removed antibomber armorclass, boosted HP on Eradicator/Chainsaw to compensate
why ...
Last edited by Wombat on 24 May 2011, 15:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Pxtl
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Pxtl » 24 May 2011, 15:45

Although I don't necessarily like the exact method used for autoheal (2 minutes of not-taking-damage), I do like the idea of bringing in autoheal as a means for lower-micro-healing. Repairs can often be dysfunctionally tedious.
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Gota
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Gota » 24 May 2011, 15:52

I must say from a 1v1 perspective these are super nooby changes...This makes HLT and samsons useless in most if not all 1v1 maps(they were already not very good on most)...
However since there hardly are any 1v1 any more and this game has become a dsd noobfest(and is being balanced by 8v8 dsd or ffa players) i think the changes are appropriate.

I will admit that i didnt think id ever see BA balance actually change based on DSD games.
The technical changes are all great and same with the emp bomber(dont take the qq hard..just look at qq in any other game forums as soon as anything is changed...) i just wish you took it more seriously and truly looked at all units and unit roles and dumped all the unnecessary units although since it seems the balances changes are made for big matches im not sure if there is even any point in discussing balance anymore.
Now, as someone who used to love 1v1 matches, i truly see absolutely no reason to play BA again.

I also wonder what would have happened if starcraft 2 was balanced based on 4v4 matches XD

you shoudl think about why people played 8v8 dsd with the samsons and hlts as they were...because they liked the porciness...
You are trying to make overcrowded team games to be less porcy and i think you will end up with even more overcrowded games as people might feel the games are not as porcy and slow as they used to be..
Last edited by Gota on 24 May 2011, 16:10, edited 5 times in total.
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Niobium
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Niobium » 24 May 2011, 16:00

Masure wrote:EMP Bomber
I agree with your points but not with the unfixable state. Is that a temporary change in before you find something to fix it ?
Given the response by players it's likely it will be put back in after some thought about how to readjust it. It was really just a something-should-be-done -> take the easy fix of removal.
Masure wrote:Autoheal
Working with percentage is flawed cause it makes a virtual buildpower to every unit based on its HP. I understand the will to reward micro but it totaly circumvents the builder micro to manualy repair the units after you retreat them. This took a big place in the game before.
It really depends on what option players want / would play the best:
- Units idle-repair proportionate to health, scales well to large units
- Units idle-repair at fixed rate, scales poorly to large units
- Units don't idle-repair at all

Keeping in mind that manual repair with builders currently scales poorly to large units, as any large clumps of assist cons/rezers get taken out very quickly. The current idle-repair helps with pulling pack large units to repair by not requiring giant con piles, while not giving much benefit to low-hp units relative to manually repairing them.
Wombat wrote:
Basically there were too many issues with the EMP bomber that a fixup wouldve changed it into a completely new unit
first of all, it sounds like ur personal opinion that emp bomber needs any fixing. i dont remember anyone whining about EMP bomber, ppl (ok arm players) complain about drones more (fell free to remove them!).
It is an opinion I hold yes, so there is one example of someone complaining about EMP bomber. Your second point about people complaining about drones is the reason a rebalance of the EMP bomber is difficult, as many of the arguments that apply to drones also apply to a bomber that drops EMP bombs.
Wombat wrote:now, could someone explain how boats rox now ? or at least which changelog explains that.
Boats now literally rock in the water, as in pitch/roll slightly with the waves.
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BaNa
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by BaNa » 24 May 2011, 16:05

The arm EMP bomber was not at all overused in the game, I do not agree with your reasoning regarding its removal. arm t2 air now has the liche and useless as fuck flak resistant gunship while core has a better normal t2 bomber and the krow. The emp bomber gave arm a bit of a leg up in t2 air, even though core was the winner for firepower.

Removing the open/close animation because you removed closed armor bonus makes the game more 1 dimensional. Not good in this case imo. Yes the bonus could be outmicroed, but it was not mainly against land that they had a role, it was air.
I must say from a 1v1 perspective these are super nooby changes...This makes HLT and samsons useless in 1v1...
However since there hardly are any 1v1 any more and this game has become a dsd noobfest(and is being balanced by 8v8 dsd or ffa players) i think the changes are appropriate.

I will admit that i didnt think id ever see BA balance actually change based on DSD games.
+1 to basic, although I disagree about this being a good thing.

Only thing I am happy about is samson / hlt hp nerf.
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Niobium
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Niobium » 24 May 2011, 16:10

Wombat wrote:Removed antibomber armorclass, boosted HP on Eradicator/Chainsaw to compensate
why ...
Many armor classes (~30 of 40) were removed as part of an effort to remove most special damages and to clean up damages in general. In the case of the 'antibomber' class it is tidier and more transparent to the player to have appropriate HP values than to have a completely separate armor class with only a few units in it and hidden special damages on bomb-type weapons against the class.
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Gota
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Gota » 24 May 2011, 16:16

Its not the same though is it...
A special armor is not the same as more hp since the armor is only against a certain unit type as oppose to hp which is against everything.
What you did is just make these anti bomber turrets just a heavier aa weapon as oppose to anti bomber turrets...

The anti bomber special damage could have been revealed in the unit's description ala (takes 50% less damage from bombers)...

Im not saying its a bad change you reasoning was just a bit odd to me..
Id say with 3 types of AA it might be a better idea to specialize even more as oppsoe to making everything more generic...
If you ask me id remove them form the game completely or remove the half heavy t1 AA turrets so you'd only get the missile towers and the eradicators without the medium AA...
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Nixa
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Nixa » 24 May 2011, 16:18

I dunno alex, I really find it hard to believe these changes will honest to god change 1v1 at all after watching some with 8D and various people today. People will just spam another unit instead of slashers

1v1 isn't how it used to be when you were always begging me to play you on comet :(

With regards to air, each missile should be independant at this stage until multiple targetting is available. Burst kinda defeats the purpose of alot of ground AA.
Last edited by Nixa on 24 May 2011, 16:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Masure
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Masure » 24 May 2011, 16:20

Niobium wrote:
Masure wrote:EMP Bomber
I agree with your points but not with the unfixable state. Is that a temporary change in before you find something to fix it ?
Given the response by players it's likely it will be put back in after some thought about how to readjust it. It was really just a something-should-be-done -> take the easy fix of removal.
Weird that a unit needing adjustment is removed till the fix is found. you could apply this to many cases.

Given your points with EMP bomber, I don't see how it is a totaly unbalanced unit that needs to be taken out. Did you see overuse of EMP bomber ? Did you see it op in a particular situation ?

I feel you and others complained with the following arguments :

- 1 EMP bomber can take out 15 tanks -> spread them, build AA
- 1 EMP bomber can take out my expensive T3 spam -> buy a brain and build AA
- EMP bombers are too fast, too cheap, with too much AOE -> try too lower some values first
Niobium wrote:
Masure wrote:Autoheal
Working with percentage is flawed cause it makes a virtual buildpower to every unit based on its HP. I understand the will to reward micro but it totaly circumvents the builder micro to manualy repair the units after you retreat them. This took a big place in the game before.
It really depends on what option players want / would play the best:
- Units idle-repair proportionate to health, scales well to large units
- Units idle-repair at fixed rate, scales poorly to large units
- Units don't idle-repair at all

Keeping in mind that manual repair with builders currently scales poorly to large units, as any large clumps of assist cons/rezers get taken out very quickly. The current idle-repair helps with pulling pack large units to repair by not requiring giant con piles, while not giving much benefit to low-hp units relative to manually repairing them.
Beware, you make the entire build/repair/rez system flawed with that kind of reasoning.

How on earth can you explain that a big unit can auto repair fastest than 20 rez/nanos can repair or build it ?

Trying to prevent some bad gameplay situation with a magic uber repair that disrespect building system fundaments is really bad. I'd like people comment this change in particular, and all BA maintainers first. This looks too weird to be good to me.
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Wombat
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Wombat » 24 May 2011, 16:25

Boats now literally rock in the water, as in pitch/roll slightly with the waves.
duh...

@ bomb resistance - everything cool, but u seriously didnt notice that it makes chainsaw more resistant to ground units ? >> armor class is used to make unit more resistant to one type of attack... also 'bomb resistant' was totally transparent.
and dumped all the unnecessary units
point is, emp bomber was very useful unit and used a lot. rest of the post is so stupid it doesnt deserve commenting lol.

and u didnt answer if u are going to reduce effectivness of t2 porc ^^ (DDM)

@ emp bomber.
for me, emp bomber is not any problem, EMP is. first of all, emp last way too long, in case of drones emp time should be same as reload time. secondly, its completely stupid that 1 drone alone can keep the golly emped.

following these ^ - reduce emp time a little (since reload time is long already) and reduce AoE. there is no single reason to REMOVE it.
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Nixa
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Nixa » 24 May 2011, 16:29

Masure wrote:
Niobium wrote:
Masure wrote:EMP Bomber
I agree with your points but not with the unfixable state. Is that a temporary change in before you find something to fix it ?
Given the response by players it's likely it will be put back in after some thought about how to readjust it. It was really just a something-should-be-done -> take the easy fix of removal.
Weird that a unit needing adjustment is removed till the fix is found. you could apply this to many cases.

Given your points with EMP bomber, I don't see how it is a totaly unbalanced unit that needs to be taken out. Did you see overuse of EMP bomber ? Did you see it op in a particular situation ?
Ever used bomber control widget? If you haven't then you probably haven't noticed any AA you bring with them most likely won't even fire a shot - and then get stunned.
Beware, you make the entire build/repair/rez system flawed with that kind of reasoning.

How on earth can you explain that a big unit can auto repair fastest than 20 rez/nanos can repair or build it ?

Trying to prevent some bad gameplay situation with a magic uber repair that disrespect building system fundaments is really bad. I'd like people comment this change in particular, and all BA maintainers first. This looks too weird to be good to me.
Worked pretty well in game so far. TBH it's a change that will have little effect on the majority of the game, yet in concept is easy to understand and give those withdrawing units (and therefore microing) the advantage. It creates a new skill divide in the game which can only be a good thing (and a positive change for 1v1'rs I would think)

Can't stress how important it is to try these before you comment on them................................................
Last edited by Nixa on 24 May 2011, 16:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Wombat
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Wombat » 24 May 2011, 16:31

Did you see overuse of EMP bomber ? Did you see it op in a particular situation ?
funny thing is ive seen EMP bombers being abused only by pyb vs 1 bars ^^ (replays adune got evidence)
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[PinK]8D
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by [PinK]8D » 24 May 2011, 16:34

i feel like dude using balanced annihilation name to force people try his crazy ideas. thats sad
Last edited by [PinK]8D on 24 May 2011, 16:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Masure
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Masure » 24 May 2011, 16:36

Nixa wrote:Ever used bomber control widget? If you haven't then you probably haven't noticed any AA you bring with them most likely won't even fire a shot - and then get stunned.
Fine, tweak it a little to make it unable to bomb from a far distance. But again, this doesn't justify at all the unit removal. Someone had to be pissed of in game with EMP bombers to push the removal or I don't understand...
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Wombat
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by Wombat » 24 May 2011, 16:37

recent changes look like introduction to renaming BA to Arm Annihilation :D
Fine, tweak it a little to make it unable to bomb from a far distance
bit like t2 bomber changes
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smoth
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Re: 7.4X Balance Change Reasoning

Post by smoth » 24 May 2011, 16:44

Remove the .......... Line please nixa
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