BA sea balance

BA sea balance

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gyanbasic
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BA sea balance

Post by gyanbasic » 27 Oct 2017, 02:27

There is something brewing in BA test relating to sea gameplay.
First of all sea has never gotten much play in BA compared to land. In 1v1s it was mostly played on small maps with little to no underwater metal spots and nobody even thought about playing it on maps without any land, like comet catcher flooded or blue comet, mostly because all the exiting ships are very slow comapred to land and cant attack underwater, making the game tedious and slow without much early raids or fights over expansion.
In big team games it is sometimes played but is defiantely not a prefered arena of play.
Another issue Sea has are the submarines that can only be countered by another sub or by the very expensive destroyer.
This creates a lot of encounters on sea where one unit cannot target another(like corvettes and subs for example).
Now in Ba test atm there is an attempt to change sea somehow to make it fun to play on all types of maps including open purely sea maps.

There are two diverging offers as to how to deal with these two issues:
1)The first offer is championed by Doo and Triton.
the idea is Bring all the underwater metal extractors to the sea surface, so instead of having underwater mexes all mexes will be on the sea surface, targetablle by all ships much like mexes are on land.
This will allow the existing units to raid mexes. This addresses the first issue of allowing players to raid mexes on pure sea maps early to have a fun and exciting eary game but does not deal with the sub counter problem.
Triton made an offer here to add a slow longer ranged dephcharge ship that will couner the sub(like a samson on land but agaisnt subs).
This solution seems to also involve making the corvette lighter(in regular BA it costs around 310 metal and is essentially a medium ship) and adding a new medium plasma ship.

2)The second offered solution was offered by me(basic) and invovles only adding one ship, a light, fast and cheap ship(sort of like a sea flash/gator) that shoots torpedoes and can thus raid underwater mexes early game and also shoot at subs, thus killing two birds with one change. The idea is to have this unit be the sea flash and have the corvette stay as a medium ship and the dynamic between the two will be like the flash and stumpy on land.

As Doo has the final word on balance changes on sea, the first offer, ATM, seems like the chosen change for ba test. I wanted to present both here because i pesonally think the first offer is not the correct way to go. The reason being that I like having the uniqueness of submerged metal extractors. It makes sea feel different and adds another intresting dimension. I also think that If we can add one unit that addresses the problems sea has, its better than adding several units and changing a fundamental(at leas i think it is) thing like making metal extracotrs be on the surface(I prefer being conservative on controversial changes, changing as little as possible about what players are used to already).

I am interested to see what the community thinks about these two options. Sorry for it being so long.

TL;DR what do you prefer, adding one fast unit that can shoot uderwater to raid mexes and attack subs or bring mexes to the surface, change corvettes to be ligher and add a medium plasma ship and perhas a slow samson like torpedo ship to shoot subs.
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MasterBel2
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by MasterBel2 » 27 Oct 2017, 09:22

1)The first offer is championed by Doo and Triton.
the idea is Bring all the underwater metal extractors to the sea surface, so instead of having underwater mexes all mexes will be on the sea surface, targetablle by all ships much like mexes are on land.
Personally I think this should be a map design feature, alowing the creator of the map to decide whether they want land-based or water-based mexes. I believe that this change will strongly discourage the construction of subs as well, pushing them too far into the niche. There will be not that much point in sneaking them past enemy lines, which will suggest a merging of radar/sonar (currently being trialled).
to add a slow longer ranged dephcharge ship that will couner the sub
a light, fast and cheap ship… that shoots torpedoes and can thus raid underwater mexes… also shoot at subs… [corvette and new ship] will be like the flash and stumpy on land
Imho the corvette already fulfils the role of the flash. There is no stumpy. Then you have the destroyer which comes in almost like a bulldog – maybe just an expensive fido – which nearly matches the speed of the corvette but outranges it by miles. It also outranges all naval defence.

uhh… but what about subs?

Subs currently are a) innaccurate, b) expensive, making them a rare choice. Destroyers currently cream subs – and a cheaper destroyer would do the job just the same. So an expensive sub will be slightly too much of an investment – so bring it back a little. Not too much, but say we scale destr to 500, scale sub to 300 or something like that. And really? There's no need for gun platforms, or any of those other fancy tweaks. They're over the top.

~MasterBel2
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Silentwings
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by Silentwings » 27 Oct 2017, 11:32

I think its a mistake to try and model sea play on land play, BA already has loads of good stuff on land and further duplication won't increase the overall appeal. As a result, I don't think either option will do much. If you want to change sea, imo better to be ambitious and build in some distinctive new gameplay feature(s).

(E.g. super cheap labs & expensive cons,
or wide range of ship movement speeds/turning/accel/brake,
or slightly mobile sealabs + sea-eco [maybe even including unarmed but slightly mobile uw mexes],
or more tech levels with less big jumps between them + labs that are not so "categorized" and each build a combination of interacting seaplanes/ships/subs/amphibs, ...)

The original features that distinguished sea play from land (greater graduation between unit costs, higher eco/cost values, the "omgsubs" surprise, etc) were gradually eroded/un-played over the years due to their (genuine) incompatibility with newbies and FFA. I don't think this erosion was a mistake, speaking as someone who caused part of it, but it does leave sea badly needing some character of its own. Without one, the only people it will interest will be the re-balance junkies.
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sprunk
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by sprunk » 27 Oct 2017, 11:41

a map design feature, alowing the creator of the map to decide whether they want land-based or water-based mexes
Do you mean underwater- and surface-? In this case you still need a modside default for existing sea maps.

Back when CA had the first sea revamp the changes were roughly:
* regular mexes float on the surface
* underwater mexes exist but they are much more expensive
* Core Searcher (the scout boat) got its weapons replaced by a weak torpedo and Enforcer (destroyer) lost the depth charges. (Arm was not changed, to keep factions different.)
It seemed to work pretty well so maybe there's some insight BA can gain from it.
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jamerlan
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by jamerlan » 27 Oct 2017, 14:08

just my opinion: metal spots are underwater.. so underwater mexes are natural way to extract metal
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gyanbasic
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by gyanbasic » 27 Oct 2017, 19:06

Silentwings wrote:I think its a mistake to try and model sea play on land play, BA already has loads of good stuff on land and further duplication won't increase the overall appeal. If you want to change sea, imo better to be ambitious and build in some distinctive new gameplay feature(s).

(E.g. super cheap labs & expensive cons,
or very wide range of ship movement speeds/turning/accel/brake,
or slightly mobile sealabs + sea-eco [maybe even including unarmed but slightly mobile uw mexes],
or more tech levels with less big jumps between them + labs that are not so "categorized" and each build a combination of interacting seaplanes/ships/subs/amphibs, ...)

The original features that distinguished sea play from land (greater graduation between unit costs, higher eco/cost values, the "omgsubs" surprise) were gradually eroded/un-played over the years due to their (genuine) incompatibility with newbies and FFA. I don't think this erosion was a mistake, but it does leave sea badly needing some character of its own. Without one, its not going to interest people.
There is no reason for BA sea to be somehow distinctly different to the rest of the game just because It is NOW being looked at and patched.
The game needs to feel wholesome, guided by the same fundamental game flow and rules throughout its entirety like any other good game.
Just because we are used to BA's gameplay and feature set is not a good enough excuse to start fundamentally changing it. Nobody is calling out for a new game and sea in BA is not a separate entity but plays together and interacts with land hovers and air.
If the game is to be called BA it has to preserve itself and change slowly and gradually over time. Cutting out sea and replacing it with some radical ideas might feel like cutting a big piece of a persons's brain and implanting a new one, hes just not gonna be himself anymore.
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Silentwings
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by Silentwings » 27 Oct 2017, 19:21

Sea was already cut out, it attracts no interest, and has been so for several years.

Also, as clearly said in viewtopic.php?f=44&t=36514&p=583989#p583984, the whole "we may not move the sacred pillars for it was always thus" is a load of balls, in this case. I might consent to a "for lo, we are not worthy, oh glorious tradition of our mighty fathers", but that's a rather different claim.
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PtaQ
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by PtaQ » 28 Oct 2017, 10:23

I believe it all depends on the time reference we are talking about. In long terms, I would say that BA asks desperately for radical changes, like the ones proposed by Silentwings. There is no doubt that current state of sea gameplay is boring/uninteresting anymore after few games played. However, as we felt on our own skin introducing any new units or features like buildable platforms bring a shitton of rebalancing issues and things to tweak. This way we can easily get lost in a rebalancing hell as we have seen over and over again during this rework attempt. By drawing conclusions from the last couple of months of doo's work and our discussions, my proposition is to limit radical changes to minimum (i.e. one at the time) and first try to balance the current state (from 9.46) as far as we are able to (at least for the upcoming release). The fact is that the BA version we are testing right now is almost ready for stable release in all other areas.

All the good work done by doo won't be lost, we've learned a lot from that and we should try adding this new features in next versions, but for now I say, let's keep it as it is with only few balance tweaks on existing units and maybe some small changes which make sea gameplay smoother, like the hover con in t1 shipyard.

What makes sea games uninteresting is not only connected to the lack of new stuff, but simply to unba units. If you can make one destroyer and win the game, then there is a lot of stuff to balance here.

Let's just write down all the fundamental issues that make players hate current sea meta and deal with them one at the time. When the gameplay is at least balanced to start with, we may think about adding "new fancy stuff".

I also agree with Silentwings, that sea shouldn't really be based on the land game. I believe that few players realize that the most fundamental problem with sea is that on most played maps it is designed to be played 1 on 1. As you know 90% of 1v1s on land also end within the first 10 minutes. Forcing in mex raiding and more effective early skirmishing may even make this case worse. I remember one day, when I encouraged people to try playing 100% sea maps on 9.46 in teams and I was surprised how balanced and interesting these games were. All had lots of back and forth battles and lasted till late t2.
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gyanbasic
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by gyanbasic » 28 Oct 2017, 14:53

PtaQ wrote:I believe it all depends on the time reference we are talking about. In long terms, I would say that BA asks desperately for radical changes, like the ones proposed by Silentwings. There is no doubt that current state of sea gameplay is boring/uninteresting anymore after few games played. However, as we felt on our own skin introducing any new units or features like buildable platforms bring a shitton of rebalancing issues and things to tweak. This way we can easily get lost in a rebalancing hell as we have seen over and over again during this rework attempt. By drawing conclusions from the last couple of months of doo's work and our discussions, my proposition is to limit radical changes to minimum (i.e. one at the time) and first try to balance the current state (from 9.46) as far as we are able to (at least for the upcoming release). The fact is that the BA version we are testing right now is almost ready for stable release in all other areas.

All the good work done by doo won't be lost, we've learned a lot from that and we should try adding this new features in next versions, but for now I say, let's keep it as it is with only few balance tweaks on existing units and maybe some small changes which make sea gameplay smoother, like the hover con in t1 shipyard.

What makes sea games uninteresting is not only connected to the lack of new stuff, but simply to unba units. If you can make one destroyer and win the game, then there is a lot of stuff to balance here.

Let's just write down all the fundamental issues that make players hate current sea meta and deal with them one at the time. When the gameplay is at least balanced to start with, we may think about adding "new fancy stuff".

I also agree with Silentwings, that sea shouldn't really be based on the land game. I believe that few players realize that the most fundamental problem with sea is that on most played maps it is designed to be played 1 on 1. As you know 90% of 1v1s on land also end within the first 10 minutes. Forcing in mex raiding and more effective early skirmishing may even make this case worse. I remember one day, when I encouraged people to try playing 100% sea maps on 9.46 in teams and I was surprised how balanced and interesting these games were. All had lots of back and forth battles and lasted till late t2.
Well i definitely agree that adding ONLY hover cons and doing nothing else would be better than the current state of having floating mexes and 2 extra ships so im totally in favor of this.
We do have to think about if we want to have interesting 1v1 games on sea...If this is the case than i think a fast raider is a must have. Just imagine people playing 1v1 or 2v2 on comet catcher without flash/gator. If we dont want people playing 1v1s on sea or in general dedicated sea games, like for example with air then Yeah, sea doesnt need fast raiders.
But what do yo think Ptaq? I mean Try playing a 1v1 on 2v2 on flooded comet without any chnages to BA sea(even if numbers are tweaked a bit so all units are useful)...The game is really slow cause there is no way to stop players from quickly expanding everywhere and the game quickly progresses into mid game. Is that interesting? I mean when it comes down to it, unlike air, Sea is very similar to land in every way except when it comes to underwater units and structures so I am really not sure about sea needing some extreme changes. As far as i see it, sea is fine except when it comes to maps with a lot of underwater mexes, open spaces and the use of subs.
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gyanbasic
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by gyanbasic » 28 Oct 2017, 15:08

Silentwings wrote:Sea was already cut out, it attracts no interest, and has been so for several years.

Also, as clearly said in viewtopic.php?f=44&t=36514&p=583989#p583984, the whole "we may not move the sacred pillars for it was always thus" is a load of balls, in this case. I might consent to a "for lo, we are not worthy, oh glorious tradition of our mighty fathers", but that's a rather different claim.
My claim is that Balance and game design decisions need to be based on some rules one way or another and "tradition" is a good one in this case.
Its hard to judge what is fun theoretically because it relies on so many factors including engine specifics and map rotation and even lua widgets that change handling of units, but we can know what players find fun from the things that are popular in BA right now and have been for a long time.
BA is not a new game and we all are not tasked with designing gameplay or balance for a new game, we are merely patching things to improve elements that dont work as well, and introduce more of the things that do work well.
Sea wasnt exactly cut out, its more that SEA was not tweaked enough after missile units and defences that shot both land and air were split into units that only shot land or air and the addition of underwater mexes.

Im sure that what you proposed can work great and be playable and fun but Imo so can current sea with some minor changes, perhaps you disagree on that. If you dont than the question arises why change much if changing little can achieve the same goal.
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triton
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by triton » 28 Oct 2017, 17:39

Big sea test session today. Join us now!
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MasterBel2
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by MasterBel2 » 29 Oct 2017, 06:25

Okay, This:
Silentwings wrote:I think its a mistake to try and model sea play on land play, … imo better to be ambitious and build in some distinctive new gameplay feature(s). … sea badly [needs] some character of its own.
This:
PtaQ wrote:In long terms, I would say that BA asks desperately for radical changes, like the ones proposed by Silentwings… What makes sea games uninteresting is not only connected to the lack of new stuff, but simply to unba units. If you can make one destroyer and win the game, then there is a lot of stuff to balance here.

Let's just write down all the fundamental issues that make players hate current sea meta and deal with them one at the time. When the gameplay is at least balanced to start with, we may think about adding "new fancy stuff".

I also agree with Silentwings, that sea shouldn't really be based on the land game.
This gives me the courage to suggest something – what if we made commanders land-only? Commanders are essentially defenceless underwater, giving a dynamic where pretty much their best function its to try to bomb the other's commander and lab. (especially in maps such as SSB, Folsom Dam Deluxe/flooded).

Is this something that could be tested for a time? Potentially?

Also:
gyanbasic wrote: We do have to think about if we want to have interesting 1v1 games on sea...If this is the case than i think a fast raider is a must have. Just imagine people playing 1v1 or 2v2 on comet catcher without flash/gator. If we dont want people playing 1v1s on sea or in general dedicated sea games, like for example with air then Yeah, sea doesnt need fast raiders.
But what do yo think Ptaq? I mean Try playing a 1v1 on 2v2 on flooded comet without any chnages to BA sea(even if numbers are tweaked a bit so all units are useful)...The game is really slow cause there is no way to stop players from quickly expanding everywhere and the game quickly progresses into mid game. Is that interesting? I mean when it comes down to it, unlike air, Sea is very similar to land in every way except when it comes to underwater units and structures so I am really not sure about sea needing some extreme changes. As far as i see it, sea is fine except when it comes to maps with a lot of underwater mexes, open spaces and the use of subs.
Maybe this is the different gameplay dynamic we want? That we need to just refine so it becomes something viable?

And finally:
The original features that distinguished sea play from land (greater graduation between unit costs, higher eco/cost values, the "omgsubs" surprise, etc) were gradually eroded/un-played over the years due to their (genuine) incompatibility with newbies and FFA.
This suggests that we need to also test some alternative gameplay modes, other than sea: what about playing some large FFAs on Throne where the water level is increased to cover the lowest layer? I wonder how that would work out.
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dansan
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by dansan » 29 Oct 2017, 21:17

My personal player experience - maybe it helps some of you to improve BA:

I was long afraid to play sea, because the difference between an experience player and an inexperience player at sea is even worse than on land.
But after some time I was encouraged by some nice players to just learn and thus gain experience. Obviously I lost a lot at the beginning, but with time I became better and I actually enjoy sea play because micro pays off: eating wreks and healing ships is fundamental to t1 sea play.

While at the beginning the difference in winning chance between an experience player and a weak-to-medium strength player are bigger than on land, I'd say that the difference in winning chance faster becomes smaller than on land. Sea game is slower and there are less units to micro. So even a medium strength player can keep up the micro vs a stronger opponent.

But two things never changed (and it is true for the best sea players):
* Once you loose a sea fight, you can rarely recover sea.
* If your opponent has some help at the start from team mates, your winning chance plummets to 1:5 or worse. But maybe that's true for land too.

Playing 2v2 instead of 1v1 in sea (e.g. Tempest) dampens the effect of those two points enough to secure a long and interesting game.

I only ever got sea back - after being pushed out of it - when a team mate put all his eco and time to hovers, and my opponent hadn't had time to strengthen his eco+def after his win.

If a sea-winner has time to get t2-eco rolling, winning back sea with land units is almost impossible. Hovers just don't stand a chance against t2 ships. While land air is good against t1 ship, it does not stand a chance against t2-aa-ships.

I think sea would be less feared, if
a) it would be easier to win it back and
b) when you loose (everything) at least your com would not also be shot down by a destroyer, as you flee sea.

a) could maybe be remedied with t2 hovers or weaker t2-aa-ships
b) with a com-resistance-to-destroyer-plasma (this sounds very flawed ^.^)

Anyway - I have no idea of balancing, so maybe just ignore my ideas. But maybe the experience at the beginning are interesting.
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REVENGE
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by REVENGE » 02 Nov 2017, 01:33

Is sea not played because people play DSD, or is DSD played because people don't want to play sea?

:thinking:
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Ares
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by Ares » 03 Nov 2017, 23:40

Sad to see iconic parts of BA being changed because some people won't put time into learning the game.
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triton
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by triton » 04 Nov 2017, 05:13

Ares wrote:Sad to see iconic parts of BA being changed because some people won't put time into learning the game.
I dont know how you can say so many bullshits in such a small sentence. xD

Ba 9.46 balance is a big joke anyway, I wont waste time discussing this on forum for now. If u want to discuss next Ba version, join us on discord.

https://discord.gg/9NfPSyc
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very_bad_soldier
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by very_bad_soldier » 04 Nov 2017, 10:14

triton wrote: Ba 9.46 balance is a big joke anyway, I wont waste time discussing this on forum for now. If u want to discuss next Ba version, join us on discord.
Sad to hear that you see current BA balance as a joke. Me (and many others) quite like it. I think it is not right, that people who disagree so much with BA are in charge of changing it to their liking :(
Also please use BA subforum here for proper discussions. Discord is just a chat room and not suited well for true discussions (e.g. it does not even support threads?).
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Kapytii
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by Kapytii » 04 Nov 2017, 16:13

100% support for what the very bad soldier said.

How is the 9.46 balance a joke? "Waste time to discuss it on forum", seriously? So very wrong.
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triton
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by triton » 04 Nov 2017, 19:30

I dont disagree with BA, I strongly disagree with BA 9.46.

Games are static and boring, I never saw such a weird simcity version.
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PtaQ
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Re: BA sea balance

Post by PtaQ » 04 Nov 2017, 21:26

very_bad_soldier wrote: Sad to hear that you see current BA balance as a joke. Me (and many others) quite like it. I think it is not right, that people who disagree so much with BA are in charge of changing it to their liking :(
Also please use BA subforum here for proper discussions. Discord is just a chat room and not suited well for true discussions (e.g. it does not even support threads?).
I appreciate and understand the sentiment you and Kapytii have for 9.46 balance as I kind of share it. Still, take into account the fact that noone is changing BA 9.46 balance. Ba 9.46 is BA 9.46. Also, noone is changing it "to their liking", there wouldn't be this post if there was no concern of what the community thinks of it.

Sadly ppl that complain the most about doo and flows work don't bother discussing their points in a proper, constructive way. It's always just a few lines of sarcastic criticism and nothing good comes from it. If it is too much effort for you guys to participate in the discussion don't expect devs to take your concerns into account. If you want better BA, try making it better instead of just complaining about every change without even testing it out. If you don't want better BA, you are very welcome to play 9.46 for the rest of your lives. I will be glad to visit you for an occasional DSD.

Personally, I don't consider 9.46 balance a joke, but I may be biased as I got used to it. I don't think it is unbalanced. I think it is balanced in an improper way that renders some parts of the game uninteresting, like sea and t1 veh gameplay most of the times. For me BA 9.46 is fine, but it just slowly becomes more and more boring as time goes by and you master the little range of possible strategies you can use against a player with a brain. That's my reason to move on.

And by the way let us not escalate things here like we always do until admins close the thread. This is a thread about BA sea rework, not the whole concept of BA.
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