Feeling, question, answer ?

Feeling, question, answer ?

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albator
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Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by albator » 17 Jul 2013, 00:48

I got the feeling the game became just all about eco, whatever small game, large team game, ffa (except 1v1 maybe...)

Of course that always been the case somehow, but is even more true now.

In most of the game I play now (about 1 year, but that has been more emphasized since 0.92 (and started around ba 6.82 but that is not the point anyway)) it just about spamming a few unit: banta, reaper, scout, ...
Not saying those are complete unba, it is more than that.

Janus and riot used to have much more impulse vs t1 and even t2 unit, that was somehow the only way to fight with mobility against T2 (A consequence of that is that the t2 rush has become more of a necessity but whatever.)

And paradoxically, the new pathing make units almost merge together which make most of your attack you do with a large number (either T1 or T2) far less effective because unit just stay close together and AoE effect are emphasized. Even super micro every one of them (which is a pain anyway) does not always work. I believe some player stop play 1v1 because of that pathing behavior: Johan ? (Anyway, not blaming pathing, trying to point fact for now.)

The 1st result of that is: games are much more focus on ecoing since defending has become easier against large amount of unit for the reason stated above.

The second consequence is: the more robust way to kill you opponent are units that have a lot of HP and are fast..(reaper and banta) and it does ruin the awesome game ba used to be with a lot of units needed to win.

The point is BA has become boring to me (mostly ffa) :
- I know what I need to do to win, spam a couple of unit, rest does not belong to me, my allies, or other opponents in ffa will decide the game. Skills has been leveled, a lot, by that "balance/engine" tweak. Still those guaranteed-to-win guidelines make the game boring.
- So maybe I just get bored overall, but a lot of players I talked to kind agree with me (and ofc some pips just enjoy contradict me :D), or just dont care... Unfortunately, here, almost no players replies (except johan) , or those are just playing large team games with always the same mechanics: That the reason I made this post: so a player who can win (no bawing here :D) give his point of view.

I do not want to piss off any BA devs (or maintainer) whoever there are or make them feel they do shit or not enough, but I just want to warn them BA lost a lot of what use to make it awesome to me:
- fight with less eco if you multi task a lot and use a large variety of unit
- have a lot of unit combination possibilities to win.

It is obvious to me, it is not the case anymore.
And if some of the engine changes might have been the reason, I believe there are some ways to fix it.

So my question is: Does the BA dev want to go back in that direction ? In that case I will be glad to suggest some balance changes if I am ask to. In the other case, well , I will just miss the old BA... :(

But at least, I know where to stand, what to hope, and in the case the direction is not the one I hope it is going, I wont waste time posting anymore, you wont waste time reading me: win-win :p

Looking forward to your answer, and please erase flaming and personal-oriented post. Thanks.

Alba
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scifi
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by scifi » 17 Jul 2013, 15:05

I would start sugesting specific balance changes so people can discuss them in detail. And btw i cannot find anyone that doesnt want BA to be what you described.
- fight with less eco if you multi task a lot and use a large variety of unit
- have a lot of unit combination possibilities to win.
My 2 cents, i see no problem in people rushing t2, the problem is most of the times they rush t2 for the wrong reasons, they should rush to get the units and later on to eco and then def.

The only exceptions i can recall is air and tier 2 kbots(->fatboys) very specific decisions.

I recall experimenting PA if people still recall that with triton and 8D, with the tier2 fac being cheaper and faster to get, but the adv cons themselves were way expensive. This made getting a tier 2 fac a must just for the units themselves.

You wouldnt have the eco to spam buldogs but it spiced the T1 unit variety with things like pilagers and maybe some t2 raiders.

Something like, ok i got my front secured with stumpys, getting that tier 2 and getting that unit(pilagers) or even mortys. But i mean getting them without blowing your com off, something like a natural transition of T1 to T2, where you are still going to need T1 most of the times.
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Johannes
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Johannes » 17 Jul 2013, 15:40

Basically the question is, what direction do the devs want to take BA? I don't really have any idea, which makes it kinda pointless to suggest changes or critique changelogs since I cannot properly judge if they reach their purpose or not, since people rarely know the reason behind them.
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liotier
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by liotier » 17 Jul 2013, 19:46

albator wrote:paradoxically, the new pathing make units almost merge together which make most of your attack you do with a large number (either T1 or T2) far less effective because unit just stay close together and AoE effect are emphasized.
Could 'swarm compacity' switch for units help ?
- Compact : current default
- Default : current default but when under fire from weapons with AoE, keep n*(unit size) space between units
- Sparse : keep n*(unit size) space between units

Or maybe just let the player use some 'move while keeping formation' method when he wants to mitigate an AoE threat ?
albator wrote:I know what I need to do to win, spam a couple of unit
Don't those units have counters ? I thought that the circular 'rock-paper-cissors' mutual predation design was rather systematic...
albator wrote:A lot of players I talked to kind agree with me (and ofc some pips just enjoy contradict me :D), or just dont care...
While experienced with TA I'm only a newbie with BA, but project management wisdom is that you can't improve what you can't measure. While subjective qualitative feedback from outspoken experienced players is better than nothing and may even point to trends not yet perceptible by the anonymous masses, statistics would enhance the picture - especially the changes in unit production and in the predation matrix over time. Of course, that means recording lots games (anonymously) - maybe even making it a habit, which may not be something the players want... But data is good, even noisy data of user behaviour whose variations may be subject to fashion as much as rational optimization.
albator wrote:[..] Does the BA dev want to go back in that direction ? In that case I will be glad to suggest some balance changes if I am ask to.
I hope they do... That is what made BA fascinating to me in the first place !
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Johannes
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Johannes » 17 Jul 2013, 20:39

There is data, someone gathered some at least, but playing games and looking at replays and thinking with your head are a hundred times more important. Stats tell something about how things are, but nothing about how they should be.



And there's already methods to keep your units apart, customformations most of all, but it just doesn't work like it used to.
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knorke
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by knorke » 17 Jul 2013, 22:13

I do not play so much BA but some things are universal across all games imo.
For example pathing.
Pathing changes now and then and mod devs do not have that much controll about it.
Of course unit movement is a very basic element of gameplay but imo not is not that dramatic somehow. One version the units clump more or spread more, get stuck in different cases etc. but after a while I have adapted and do not notice it so much anymore.
The clumping can be "played around", to me more a aesthetic problem when the units move closely packed like some sheep herd.

BA also has modoption to use classic movement from 2009.
Did anyone ever try that?

About one-unit-spam and eco being more important now:
That is too diffuse to really say anything.
For example I remember CCR 1v1 always being about one-unit-spam and eco.
Keep opponent busy with one-unit-spam (jeffy, later flash, stumpy) while trying to eco. Then use that eco to switch to air and bomb commander.
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scifi
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by scifi » 18 Jul 2013, 13:44

Yes but Pathing is something the BA devs themselves cant change, even if there is 2 options you can take. Both are still not optimal, but i dont mind it to mutch, not now at least.
About one-unit-spam and eco being more important now:
That is too diffuse to really say anything.
For example I remember CCR 1v1 always being about one-unit-spam and eco.
janus/levelers or even samsons had a place, they still do but somehow i think you reach a point that if you didnt win with stumpy/flash spam your doing it wrong. Well i was thinking we were talking about improving the game not just reverting to an old balance state.

And to finish this, i bet these balance changes should come with a BAR release, what i would sugest would be all of us download BAR start making test games, and suggest balance changes, if behe and silentwind are open to it :wink:
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Johannes
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Johannes » 18 Jul 2013, 13:54

knorke wrote: BA also has modoption to use classic movement from 2009.
Did anyone ever try that?
It's totally dysfunctional, with current engine at least.
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Silentwings
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Silentwings » 18 Jul 2013, 14:23

Iirc that modoption was added a while ago when collision handling was not so good and we made some comparisons with new and old engines. There isn't really a need for it now.
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Beherith
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Beherith » 18 Jul 2013, 14:32

knorke wrote: BA also has modoption to use classic movement from 2009.
Did anyone ever try that?
Yeah, it was non advertised BA default for two months last summer. Noone noticed the change there or back, even though I tried fishing for comments on it.
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Johannes
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Johannes » 24 Jul 2013, 14:24

So how about some maintainer answer the OP?
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Cheesecan
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Cheesecan » 24 Jul 2013, 21:29

Johannes wrote:So how about some maintainer answer the OP?
They seem to have taken some notice since they are adding back impulse to riot tanks.

I think one of the best points OP made is unit clumping. It is really hard to keep units from clumping. You have to draw a line that is greatly exaggerated and then the result is a coinflip.

The fact that common FFA maps have noisy terrain (think dworld) causes problems too. Unit acceleration and turn rate is realistic, but realistic doesn't necessary translate to good gameplay. It's a question of balancing on a very thin edge between unrealistic i.e. AA and too realistic where units can't be moved around in an elegant way. Like now, flash tanks turn in 45 degrees. If you break that they lose momentum. Most players don't notice this and get dgunned to shit when swooping in to grab a comm. Dgun unstall widgets also don't work well anymore. Area reclaim doesn't work out of the box either. Some FFA maps have the amphib unit bug etc.

Another thing to keep in mind is that variation in FFA dropped when sea was made acidic on several maps due to T2 eco whoring. In the current version it is completely out of question to add sea back since torpedo bombers barely work, and even if they did sea is now stronger than ever thanks to the T1 revamp. A few versions ago Liche was broken, and people stopped using it(the death of that rush tactic). I think it works again now(?) but still not back to pre-break behavior in terms of targeting.

We also have the big problem that all units tend to forget that they have a fire order while maneuvering. I don't know where this came from, or when, but I'm certain it wasn't like that before.

Also, regarding T3: They nerfed several of them repeatedly but they are still too good rush and spam units in FFA due to eco whoring/broken t1.
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Beherith
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Beherith » 24 Jul 2013, 23:46

one important thing to consider the clumping, is players should start trying to use ctrl move to hold formations while moving.

cheesecan you are right about dworld having shit pathing cquse of noise. i would be extremely grateful if you worked yout mapping magic on it. its due for a remake anyway, but that is way back on my list or priorities. all my maps are public domain a nd improvements are very welcome. the rradditio of impulse to riot and janus is great, but thape damage of fatboys, gollies etc need some revision. concrete patches with explanations of each change are welcome, and will help ba evolve faster. t1 sea rebalqnce is a bit experimental at the moment, but tfc has a very clear idea of where he wants it to go.

albator, one of the reasons for your current experience might be that learning to micro well is way harsee than learning to eco and defend well. aggressive tactics involva a lot of meta thinking and planning and situational awereness; you have to learn to think with your enemies head.
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albator
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by albator » 27 Jul 2013, 20:52

Beherith wrote:albator, one of the reasons for your current experience might be that learning to micro well is way harsee than learning to eco and defend well. aggressive tactics involve a lot of meta thinking and planning and situational awereness; you have to learn to think with your enemies head.
Completely agree, and that is exactly my point, even I suck at micro, defense and eco is the way to go to win.
I am not that much of an aggressive player, and probably the player with the less click per min of the top20 ffa, still I am 1st ffa player according SLDB leaderbord....
Meaning playing boring style is the way to go to win, I used to like to experiment new things, but now fun and win goes in opposite direction. That makes the game looks like C&C red alert

Maybe you should play a few ffa to understand, the point is the (really) good players are gone (except kix, maybe i miss some) or not playing anymore, so balance is kinda going in random direction since there is not enough feedback. And anyway, when you give feedback, you are told some good players tested the balance and it is fine... I am still waiting those good player to show me that you can kill every unit with significantly less eco, I don't observe that is ffa....
This kind of answer makes you not wanted to give feedback.Thus my question about BA direction: I had no answer, meaning dev actually don't care about feedback, or just don't know (yet?) in what direction they are going
Both case, that does not encourage players to give feedback.
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liotier
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by liotier » 27 Jul 2013, 21:52

albator wrote:Meaning playing boring style is the way to go to win, I used to like to experiment new things, but now fun and win goes in opposite direction. That makes the game looks like C&C red alert. Maybe you should play a few ffa to understand
I never play FFA - chaos is not my cup of hydraulic fluid... Maybe that's why I have never played on a public server yet (I am certainly the most inexperienced BA player here - my analysis may be 100% rubbish...). I have always played two-sided battles, even when each side had several players - I'm a traditionalist with much more experience in historic games than in fantasy universes. Has that style gone out of fashion ? Could the difference between FFA and two-teams battles explain some of the divergences in perception ? Do those two styles require different balancing ? Omnidirectional defense against entirely unpredictable threats and the problem of attacking one player while defending against another are certainly unique to FFA.
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REVENGE
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by REVENGE » 28 Jul 2013, 02:50

One comment about impulse: there were a lot of changes made to the way impulse and collision damage are handled at the engine level starting in the 9X revisions, and BA has not implemented corrections at the game mechanics level to account for those changes.

At one point, I had written a gadget for Behe to partially rectify the situation, but it does not appear to have been used. At this point, any unit which had previously relied on impulse and collision to do damage has been significantly nerfed.
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Silentwings
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Silentwings » 29 Jul 2013, 11:24

@revenge: I read your gadget a while ago and it looked to me as thought it doesn't actually add impulse, but attempts to guess the damage that would have been caused by impulse and just adds that?

The reason that gadget is disabled is because of bugs e.g. didnt test it recently but iirc it caused units to explode inside of labs.

The way the engine handles impulse/collisions/falls has changed (much improved!) alot in recent versions & imo the best way to approach this is to alter the two impulse tags directly in unitdefs, where it matters. It's not straightforward because the formulas they feed into use multiple other tags too. It's been done for leveller & janus, as a test.
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REVENGE
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by REVENGE » 06 Aug 2013, 09:49

@Silent: It doesn't guess at the damage so much as implement the original damage algorithm on the fall event. The bugs are known issues, I did not finish testing. If that is the issue that precludes it from making release, I will do more debugging / testing.

The impulse mechanics are good, the lack of fall damage is not. High impulse weapons relied on the "flawed" mechanics to do damage to certain types of units in certain situations (e.g. tightly grouped t1 or low mass units, Liche and Com, etc.).
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Silentwings
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by Silentwings » 06 Aug 2013, 14:47

I'm not sure that it does reimplement the 'old' engine behaviour behaviour - the gadget deals only with the multiplier when my memory is that there are other changes involved as well.

Some of the impulse tags, even in units that rely on impulse, are matched to old impulse mechanics and to get something like old impulse-related behaviour those tags need to change. But it's tied into more than just the 10x multiplier (e.g. the number of unit-unit collisions, friction with ground, the length of time a hit unit flails in the air, whether angles are considered in collisions, etc etc). After so many changes I can't see a way to do this other than by hand.

I haven't tested the gadget, but it might be better (and might help with the bugs) to just look at unit-ground collisions?
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REVENGE
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Re: Feeling, question, answer ?

Post by REVENGE » 07 Aug 2013, 10:24

Silentwings wrote:I'm not sure that it does reimplement the 'old' engine behaviour behaviour - the gadget deals only with the multiplier when my memory is that there are other changes involved as well.

Some of the impulse tags, even in units that rely on impulse, are matched to old impulse mechanics and to get something like old impulse-related behaviour those tags need to change. But it's tied into more than just the 10x multiplier (e.g. the number of unit-unit collisions, friction with ground, the length of time a hit unit flails in the air, whether angles are considered in collisions, etc etc). After so many changes I can't see a way to do this other than by hand.

I haven't tested the gadget, but it might be better (and might help with the bugs) to just look at unit-ground collisions?
I mean, none of the impulse changes really matter if you don't have any fall or collision damage. All you really need is the damage multiplier, everything else can be calibrated around that.
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