Slow down snipers

Slow down snipers

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NeOmega
Posts: 63
Joined: 15 Dec 2010, 11:06

Slow down snipers

Post by NeOmega »

Snipers have become the core of every arm army. They encourage spam, which I think is always a disservice. They are used until the end of the game, and are more powerful than most t3 units, because t3 units are generally too slow to reach them before being killed by snipers.

Samsons were slowed down, and now are back to niche
Morties were slowed down, and now are back to niche
Snipers need to be slowed down.

To be worthy of the name "sniper" they should be a defensive, stand-off unit, that generally takes a position and takes shots from there. In real life, snipers are rarely used as part of an offensive.

Currently in BA, they are ALWAYS used as an offensive weapon. The fact that they come out in every game should be proof enough they are overpowered. We saw it with samsons, we saw it with morties.

I would even be in favor of making them stealthy as well, but they need to be slowed down.
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Kapytii
Posts: 64
Joined: 14 Mar 2013, 08:40

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Kapytii »

Snipers have been touched once in 3 years? Made them cost more energy? A year ago or somesuch, and I havent seen much less use :) They can still ruin all fun from a battle for one or two front line players. Magic bullets making things vanish.

I think its hard to make units balanced. If snipers are used every battle and they are super powerful, its not easy to make them less powerful. Or advanced crawling bomb is never used, its not easy to make them useful.

Why cant players vote on what units could use changing? Or what is too powerful? Or what unit has no use, or very very little use?

Snipers are super magic robots surely, but they still could stop to be able to fire...
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Floris
Balanced Annihilation Developer
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Joined: 04 Jan 2011, 20:00

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Floris »

I stopped caring about reporting balance changes

.... but I'll give a

+1
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smoth
Posts: 22300
Joined: 13 Jan 2005, 00:46

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by smoth »

NeOmega wrote:To be worthy of the name "sniper" they should be a defensive, stand-off unit, that generally takes a position and takes shots from there. In real life, snipers are rarely used as part of an offensive.
I used to have a unity with a slow rate of fire and long range for defense. People would mass them and that +antiair would mean there is little you could do to penetrate their base.

A lot of players feel making something slow, weak and costly can justify damage at long range. it ends up being a recipe for a really porcy unit. Is their offensive capability because they are too accurate on the move? or what. Why would a sniper be a defensive unit? IRL they take out key targets outside of a base. DMR maybe a defensive unit but we are not talking about a designated marksman
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dansan
Server Owner & Developer
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Joined: 29 May 2010, 23:40

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by dansan »

I concur with the sniper-problem... ideas that come to mind are speed and the muzzle flare...... I just have no exp. in balancing, so I won't ask for anything.

I do however have a different opinion on advCrawlBombs. I use them from time to time to attack static def or as a defense against unmicroed attacks. Works well against popups, pyro spam etc. They are very expensive... like snipers ^.^ but unlike them single-use...
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smoth
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005, 00:46

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by smoth »

What problems do you run into dan? maybe it is a matter of what you can get for comparable cost/micro? Is it difficult to counter? There have to be a few problems you can discuss?
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dansan
Server Owner & Developer
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Joined: 29 May 2010, 23:40

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by dansan »

I have difficulties killing them with acceptable/comparable cost (in my eyes :)

Usually high-dmg units are slow and low-HP, so they must be protected. The defender can sacrifice some units to get past their protection to attack and kill them. With snipers that's usually bombers or kbots.

The problem is, that T1-bombers get killed by T2-AA-bots very quick and snipers can pull back and disperse so quickly, that the loss is to high. If they were slower, than the bombers single-run would have more success. Even if they manage to make a turn for a 2nd bomb-run, the snipers are hard to target, because they are radar-invisible (also true for 1st run btw).

I haven't compared the cost, but a not-especially-well microed sniper/zeus/aa group is far more successful than a not-especially-well microed bomber attack.

The problem for kbots is, that they are either weak against Zeus (usual sniper protection) or to slow to reach snipers before getting killed by them. I may be wrong about this. I haven't calculated the acceptable metal-ratio for pyro-spam vs. sniper.

On even ground, fast veh have a good chance to get behind Zeus and attack snipers.

With arti it can be interesting. Arti has a slight range advantage over snipers. But if the protection of your arti gets only a little ahead of your arti, it gets killed by snipers. It's hard to kill them, because of their "cloakiness", but bot-arti is cheaper... It's an interesting game.

My main problem against snipers is, that if attacked by them I must immediately change everything that I'm doing at that moment to focus on one specific tactic against them. Existing units may be completely useless. Usually if caught by a surprise attack, I can use my existing units, even if they are not perfect for the task. That is what makes defending against snipers so expensive. And because of them usually appearing rather near, you don't have much time...
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Jools
XTA Developer
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Joined: 23 Feb 2009, 16:29

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Jools »

Here's an old truth in how to handle sniper:

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Kapytii
Posts: 64
Joined: 14 Mar 2013, 08:40

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Kapytii »

Jools: sniper vs sumo, sniper wins 99% of times. Sumo can take about 5-6(?) hits from sniper. If sumo once was like that in the old truth, I'd like that sumo now :)

You cant really beat good and well used sniper-jammer-radar/spy-zeus-t2aa ball at early/mid-ish(15-20mins) game if you arent ready for it BEFORE THEY RUIN THE GAME FOR FRONT LINE PLAYERS. Roughly meaning you has a) bombers ready and a good pilot b) helluva amount of t1 tanks/scouts you can rush in all at once c) spies of your own to paralyze snipers d) catapult(unlikely at early game)

Unit spam aint very effective unless you get 3+ players worth of eco doing it(again I mean 15-20 minutes of game). And lets say someone pumps out a sniperball and goes to front with it: enemy 3+ players needs to stop everything they be doing and start t1 spam with no eco growing. Meanwhile sniper dudes 3+ friends can eco up and make something little to stop all that t1 leftover trash that is maybe coming in 5 minutes.

Big effect from one unit. Make sniper have greatly reduced range and reloading time while moving? Anything, something... make them able to mount and shoot from bantha too, that useless sad expesive t3 unit needs a boost badly.

Ive played core 99,9% of my games. A year ago I changed to arm, week later sniper was made worse :) Maybe I should change faction again. Eheh. Eheh.
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Kapytii
Posts: 64
Joined: 14 Mar 2013, 08:40

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Kapytii »

Hell, make a cloaked adv crawly bomb radar invisible while in sniper range :) Sure core engineers woulda thought of that by now. Too bad they couldnt make it juno resistant while cloaked...

Effect: more use for unused unit, less effectiveness for overly powerful unit... and I personally find it that every battle needs more juno sounds.
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klapmongool
Posts: 843
Joined: 13 Aug 2007, 13:19

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by klapmongool »

Here is the last discussion about them, 7 months ago:
http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.ph ... rs#p553448
klapmongool wrote:Snipers are certainly good. I wouldn't change range though, that would make them a too easy target for fatboys. Perhaps increasing reload time a bit would be a better idea.
Here is the balance change, 6 months ago:
http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.ph ... BA#p555162
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Kapytii
Posts: 64
Joined: 14 Mar 2013, 08:40

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Kapytii »

My year seems awfully fast :o But that, cost and build time increase, didnt have much impact on sniper usage. Still we shiners whine...
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Silentwings
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Joined: 25 Oct 2008, 00:23

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Silentwings »

Well - there seems to be a broad consensus here. I personally don't have a problem fighting snipers; but I completely agree with the comment above that as soon as you see them coming you have to react (which, mostly, means send scouts to slow them while you mass an army of small/fast units to swarm them with). It is good to have a few things that require a near instant countering response.

I certainly agree that snipers are the core of arm t2 kbot attacks, except in the cases where spiders/fidos/mavs/fatboys find their niche use. It's the only case where a factory is, to some extent, centered around a single unit and for this reason, since its also a very fun unit to use, I regard this setup as something unique and worth protecting. Looking just at the unit cost/dmg ratios is not especially helpful here since snipers typically require an entourage of other units with them (zeus, mobile radar, aa) and are quite micro-intensive. They are already quite slow, with very low health & a long (10s) reload time, to the extent I think making them weaker in these respects risks making them less fun to use; they are on a fine line between being slow to respond to move/fire orders yet still wanting near-constant attention. I think there would possibly be some room to reduce their max speed without harming their fun properties too much; with health/reload time I am not sure that there is much/any room to do so.

Of course the saving grace of snipers is their awesome weapon combined with cloak/stealth. These "highly charged" units, that have some very strong properties and other very weak properties, are difficult to balance well, both intrinsically and because their usefulness is highly dependent on what other strategies are currently in fashion. In this case there are further complications; as said above, they need to be quite powerful but typically require several supporting units with them (and these supporting units have independent roles as well, etc etc).

As klap linked, there was a minor increase in their cost quite recently. There was another minor change (which has gone unnoticed so far in this thread), in that sniper bullets were not previously blocked by (t2) walls and they now are. I don't think there is anything to be gained in further change to their cost.
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Beherith
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Joined: 26 Oct 2007, 16:21

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Beherith »

Kapytii wrote:Hell, make a cloaked adv crawly bomb radar invisible while in sniper range :) Sure core engineers woulda thought of that by now. Too bad they couldnt make it juno resistant while cloaked...

Effect: more use for unused unit, less effectiveness for overly powerful unit... and I personally find it that every battle needs more juno sounds.
Did you know that radar jammers jam for all players? Players often use jammers with snipers, so if a skuttle can get from your jammer to their jammer...
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Kapytii
Posts: 64
Joined: 14 Mar 2013, 08:40

Re: Slow down snipers

Post by Kapytii »

Aye jammers jam. All we need is cloakable jammer :) Wait, doesnt arm have one, but its stationary... Need to build and cloak those on the field, everywhere, and then the crawlies. Then hope for their lack of junos and scouts to not ruin the anti-sniper funnn :/
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