How I think sea could be improved.

How I think sea could be improved.

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Zecrus
Posts: 3
Joined: 01 May 2018, 04:28

How I think sea could be improved.

Post by Zecrus » 01 May 2018, 05:17

I think there is a lot of improvement that can be made to sea combat in Balanced Annihilation, as there are very few players who currently find sea fun to play, and very few sea maps getting played. First, I'm going to state what I think are the problems with sea, and what I think some reasonable goals are.

The problems with sea:
1. Sea games snowball way too quickly, with T1 defenses becoming obsolete once the opponent has a destroyer. Once you are behind slightly, the game is over.
1b. The main counterplay to destroyers are a swarm of short-range units, which can result in feeding if you don't send enough.
2. There isn't enough strategic use of terrain (largely due to weak defenses), so early strategy is based on what unit you build first rather than what areas you want to control
3. T2 sea is horribly imbalanced, with subs winning against everything. The only sub counters are seaplanes and T1 support ships.
4. It should be very clear which amphib units can use torpedoes against sea, as a new player would have no idea.

What I want achieved with sea:
1. I want sea to be a relevant battlefield throughout a longer portion of the game, rather than decided in the first few minutes
2. I want sea to have to use terrain as part of its strategy, to a similar degree that terrain determines land combat/expansion
3. I want T2 sea to be interesting and balanced

Some ideas I have to improve sea:
1. Defense should be easier to build, more effective, and use the map's terrain. At the very least, con ships should be able to build a guardian/punisher, and coastal torpedo launchers should be buffed. This would allow land to be a strategic consideration, where building a guardian on an island can help you secure a large area of sea. This might require increasing ship con build range, or guardian terrain tolerance
2. Add a powerful sea defense platform that can only be build on shallow sea (possibly replacing the floating HLT). This platform would be directly connected to the ground under the shallow water. This could make sea depth a useful strategic consideration.
3. The destroyer needs a large nerf, and should be a unit that supports your fleet instead of the main part of your fleet. I think a -20% damage nerf to its main cannon would be a good start. The ship will still be useful as artillery and anti-sub, but would be more easily outclassed by groups of assault corvettes or assault frigates
4. Buff assault frigates. Currently, 2 assault frigates lose to a destroyer in direct combat (similar cost), which is not acceptable. 10% health and damage buff?
5. Shark/Piranha subs are supposed to be anti-sub, but they are currently anti-everything. I think that these subs should be more specialized. I suggest an additional -30% damage against non-subs, and +20% health. The extra health is so that the sub lives longer when its part of the main fleet, making it better at its support role
6. Sea radar should be cheaper
7. Amphib to sea combat should be more intuitive. Pelicans and gimps can fight against sea, but the current description doesn't mention that.
8. Sea is not balanced for both factions, with arm usually having better ships than core. The corvette, assault frigate, piranha, battleship are a few examples. If both factions aren't going to be equally balanced, they should be specialized so that there is a reason to play both factions(arm ships faster but core ships healthier?)
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MasterBel
Posts: 90
Joined: 18 Mar 2018, 07:48

Re: How I think sea could be improved.

Post by MasterBel » 01 May 2018, 08:22

Zecrus wrote:The problems with sea:
1. Sea games snowball way too quickly, with T1 defenses becoming obsolete once the opponent has a destroyer. Once you are behind slightly, the game is over.
1b. The main counterplay to destroyers are a swarm of short-range units, which can result in feeding if you don't send enough.
2. There isn't enough strategic use of terrain (largely due to weak defenses), so early strategy is based on what unit you build first rather than what areas you want to control
3. T2 sea is horribly imbalanced, with subs winning against everything. The only sub counters are seaplanes and T1 support ships.
4. It should be very clear which amphib units can use torpedoes against sea, as a new player would have no idea.
1a) I don't really agree with "Once you are behind slightly, the game is over." I have seen a number of games that are opposite. I agree that the destroyer should not outrange all t1 defence. In fact, possible best solution to this is to remove the pship (and depthlaunchership) and nerf the destroyer to fit in their place (this imho is what should have been done instead of adding the 2 new support ships)

1b) This is just like going against stumpies on land, or rokko? I'm not sure how this is a problem. Trying to take on any stronger unit needs the right number of units and you have to do it where you won't just gift heaps to the enemy.

2) Just like on maps like comet catcher and greenfields. if you want terrain to come into play, you need to balance sea and land and combine the two i.e. mapper's responsibility. Also giving sea constructors ability to build land defences on coastlines can bring them into play. Most often sea is just a sea, not like a series of rivers or anything, and if it is, the banks are too high for sea to interact well with land. Maps like Trefoil have a very different flow in terms of sea (but in this case, a destroyer is very much overpowered still, see 1a)

3) I agree. Imho subs should be nerfed significantly in terms of cost, and possibly make it so that they can’t go in too shallow water so that there’s a limit on them. And then have maps with varying depths so that they’re good at only what they’re good at. Unfortunately I don’t really see any other way. Make them like the snipers of the sea, almost? So low armour, too. This will give them a niche and purposeful role. And once their hp is nerfed then cruisers will have a better time against them.

4) Yes, it should. Unit descriptions!! only one amph unit can shoot torps tho, the gimp. Idk if this should change or not. Pelicans are useless so… idk.
Zecrus wrote:What I want achieved with sea:
1. I want sea to be a relevant battlefield throughout a longer portion of the game, rather than decided in the first few minutes
2. I want sea to have to use terrain as part of its strategy, to a similar degree that terrain determines land combat/expansion
3. I want T2 sea to be interesting and balanced
1) In terms of
2) Of course, sea needs to be able to make ues of terrain, but this is mainly mappers’ responsibilty to give sea terrain to make use of. Also: what about varying mindepths for boats? (especially for subs, so that they can't go on shallow water e.g. in trefoil)
Zecrus wrote:Some ideas I have to improve sea:
3. The destroyer needs a large nerf, and should be a unit that supports your fleet instead of the main part of your fleet. I think a -20% damage nerf to its main cannon would be a good start. The ship will still be useful as artillery and anti-sub, but would be more easily outclassed by groups of assault corvettes or assault frigates
4. Buff assault frigates. Currently, 2 assault frigates lose to a destroyer in direct combat (similar cost), which is not acceptable. 10% health and damage buff?
Pretty sure only #3 needs to happen to solve this problem
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gyanbasic
Posts: 21
Joined: 30 Sep 2017, 00:11

Re: How I think sea could be improved.

Post by gyanbasic » 01 May 2018, 09:04

Masterbel I think you should make a proper post that describes exactly what ships and subs and turrets you want in sea in t1 and what roles each should play.
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Zecrus
Posts: 3
Joined: 01 May 2018, 04:28

Re: How I think sea could be improved.

Post by Zecrus » 01 May 2018, 09:45

MasterBel wrote: 1b) This is just like going against stumpies on land, or rokko? I'm not sure how this is a problem. Trying to take on any stronger unit needs the right number of units and you have to do it where you won't just gift heaps to the enemy.
The reason why I think this is a problem is because the sea battle is far higher risk than the land one. If you rush a destroyer with a group of corvettes, the destroyer might survive. You destroyed nothing and fed 1000m. If you rush a group of rockos/thuds with aks, you will be able to take out a few units even if your attack fails, and only fed ~400m.
MasterBel wrote: 2) Of course, sea needs to be able to make use of terrain, but this is mainly mappers’ responsibilty to give sea terrain to make use of. Also: what about varying mindepths for boats? (especially for subs, so that they can't go on shallow water e.g. in trefoil)
I like the idea of varying mindepths. Oceans should have underwater terrain, and it would be interesting if there were regions of the map where subs movement was restricted. Our current maps don't have this, but I think it could be considered for future maps.
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MasterBel
Posts: 90
Joined: 18 Mar 2018, 07:48

Re: How I think sea could be improved.

Post by MasterBel » 01 May 2018, 09:58

gyanbasic wrote:Masterbel I think you should make a proper post that describes exactly what ships and subs and turrets you want in sea in t1 and what roles each should play.
I've suggested changes. I'm not that good at describing things and I don't have anything specific in mind. So I'd rather not. I'm just trying to make suggestions that y'all who know what you're doing can either use or ignore them :wink:
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REVENGE
Posts: 2377
Joined: 24 Aug 2006, 06:13

Re: How I think sea could be improved.

Post by REVENGE » 12 May 2018, 01:59

Interesting. In my (early) memory, you were one of the first players who I considered a dominant sea player back in the days of AA.
Zecrus wrote: The problems with sea:
1. Sea games snowball way too quickly, with T1 defenses becoming obsolete once the opponent has a destroyer. Once you are behind slightly, the game is over.
1b. The main counterplay to destroyers are a swarm of short-range units, which can result in feeding if you don't send enough.
You could restrict the range on T1 sea and delete the current Destroyer platform. I don't really like the current setup of the gunboats either, so maybe delete both in favor of more Skirmishing units?
2. There isn't enough strategic use of terrain (largely due to weak defenses), so early strategy is based on what unit you build first rather than what areas you want to control
I think the lack of strategic use of terrain should continue to be a deliberate feature of sea.
3. T2 sea is horribly imbalanced, with subs winning against everything. The only sub counters are seaplanes and T1 support ships.
Have hovercraft become completely ineffective? Then again, I've always been in favor of adding T2 hovercraft. I made a whole set back when I was modding BA.
4. It should be very clear which amphib units can use torpedoes against sea, as a new player would have no idea.
Unit explanations are basically garbage throughout BA. Nothing is new player friendly, and this aspect should be improved throughout the game.
What I want achieved with sea:
1. I want sea to be a relevant battlefield throughout a longer portion of the game, rather than decided in the first few minutes
Part of this comes down to map design as well. If you have a small set of mex spots spread over huge distances, it makes for shorter decisive battles.
2. I want sea to have to use terrain as part of its strategy, to a similar degree that terrain determines land combat/expansion
Would it really still be "sea" based combat if this change were made?
3. I want T2 sea to be interesting and balanced
Propose a new set of units.
Some ideas I have to improve sea:
1. Defense should be easier to build, more effective, and use the map's terrain. At the very least, con ships should be able to build a guardian/punisher, and coastal torpedo launchers should be buffed. This would allow land to be a strategic consideration, where building a guardian on an island can help you secure a large area of sea. This might require increasing ship con build range, or guardian terrain tolerance
We should just revert to TA Guardian / Punisher balance, period. Plasma batteries have been relegated to Jebaiting noobs into wasting their metal and being called out as the laughingstock of the town.
2. Add a powerful sea defense platform that can only be build on shallow sea (possibly replacing the floating HLT). This platform would be directly connected to the ground under the shallow water. This could make sea depth a useful strategic consideration.
I agree with maybe adding some more sea defense structures but am opposed to making them too reliant on terrain (a philosophical disagreement).
3. The destroyer needs a large nerf, and should be a unit that supports your fleet instead of the main part of your fleet. I think a -20% damage nerf to its main cannon would be a good start. The ship will still be useful as artillery and anti-sub, but would be more easily outclassed by groups of assault corvettes or assault frigates
Delete Destroyers.
5. Shark/Piranha subs are supposed to be anti-sub, but they are currently anti-everything. I think that these subs should be more specialized. I suggest an additional -30% damage against non-subs, and +20% health. The extra health is so that the sub lives longer when its part of the main fleet, making it better at its support role
I'm in favor of doing a big sub redesign.
6. Sea radar should be cheaper
Or make it slightly longer range? Maybe combine sea radar and sonar? Or make sonar completely underwater?
7. Amphib to sea combat should be more intuitive. Pelicans and gimps can fight against sea, but the current description doesn't mention that.
Overhaul and add new tech tiers to amphib / hover.
8. Sea is not balanced for both factions, with arm usually having better ships than core. The corvette, assault frigate, piranha, battleship are a few examples. If both factions aren't going to be equally balanced, they should be specialized so that there is a reason to play both factions(arm ships faster but core ships healthier?)
Back when I played, neither faction was strictly "better" than the other, but rather each had its own strengths. ARM was generally better at sieging (more plasma cannons), while CORE was generally better at unit-to-unit combat (more lasers). Maybe this has changed.
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MasterBel2
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Re: How I think sea could be improved.

Post by MasterBel2 » 12 May 2018, 05:21

REVENGE wrote:Interesting. In my (early) memory, you were one of the first players who I considered a dominant sea player back in the days of AA.
6. Sea radar should be cheaper
Or make it slightly longer range? Maybe combine sea radar and sonar? Or make sonar completely underwater?
Sea radar's range is equal to land radar, and most of its expensiveness is due to the combination of radar and sonar.
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Zecrus
Posts: 3
Joined: 01 May 2018, 04:28

Re: How I think sea could be improved.

Post by Zecrus » 14 May 2018, 03:49

REVENGE wrote:Interesting. In my (early) memory, you were one of the first players who I considered a dominant sea player back in the days of AA.
Zecrus wrote: The problems with sea:
1. Sea games snowball way too quickly, with T1 defenses becoming obsolete once the opponent has a destroyer. Once you are behind slightly, the game is over.
1b. The main counterplay to destroyers are a swarm of short-range units, which can result in feeding if you don't send enough.
You could restrict the range on T1 sea and delete the current Destroyer platform. I don't really like the current setup of the gunboats either, so maybe delete both in favor of more Skirmishing units?
It looks like this is being addressed right now. In the latest test version, the destroyer's depthcharge no longer targets floating ships, so the destroyer is easier to take down with skirmisher units. With the current support ship setup being tested (depthcharge and 600 range samson missiles), the destroyer doesn't seem necessary in T1 sea. It might make sense to put the old overpowered destroyer in the T2 sea lab.

As for the claim that I was a dominant sea player back in AA, I don't think I was actually very good at sea vs sea battles, but I was good at sea vs land. I think I tried to take sea whenever I could in small team games
2. There isn't enough strategic use of terrain (largely due to weak defenses), so early strategy is based on what unit you build first rather than what areas you want to control
I think the lack of strategic use of terrain should continue to be a deliberate feature of sea.
I think the importance of terrain is that it rewards players for coming up with an early strategy involving which areas to secure and can result in varied gameplay based on what strategies each player chooses. Maps like Comet Catcher Redux have almost no terrain, and games on that map are decided by unit tactics and who is more competent at the game's base mechanics instead of strategy. While I think CCR is fun to play occasionally, I don't want every sea battle be like that.
Overhaul and add new tech tiers to amphib / hover.
I liked the T2 amphib lab that was tested recently, where the lab could build T2 subs and the T2 sub con, and all amphib units had torpedoes. I'm hoping it gets further tested and implemented into the game.
3. I want T2 sea to be interesting and balanced
Propose a new set of units.
I think the old destroyer should be moved from T1 to T2, and be T2's main combat unit. This gives T2 a more affordable unit It can build at earlier stages, and a way to deal with T2 subs (the depthcharge would probably be buffed a bit). The cruiser becomes redundant, so it would have to be changed to fit a new role. I think it should lose the depthcharge, have more health, and have a shorter range (400 instead of 785), and probably get a small cost reduction. This could make it great for a brute force attack, for rushing opposing long-range ships, and for defending against hovers.

As for T2 subs, if the t2 amphib lab isn't implemented, I don't really think that the shark/piranha are necessary, and would remove them (T1 subs fit their role fine). With a redesigned sea, surface ships should have good enough tools to deal with subs without having to rely on the shark/piranha. Leviathan/serpent would get a longer reload time (3s instead of 1.5s?), but otherwise stay the same.

the battleship's health would be reduced, so that it could reasonably be taken out by fast short-range ships while still keeping its power as an artillery unit.
We should just revert to TA Guardian / Punisher balance, period. Plasma batteries have been relegated to Jebaiting noobs into wasting their metal and being called out as the laughingstock of the town.
I'm not familiar with the OTA guardian balance (was that when guardians costed 2000+m?). Guardians now cost 1250m and deal double damage to sea units, so they are much less of a noob-trap than they used to be
6. Sea radar should be cheaper
Or make it slightly longer range? Maybe combine sea radar and sonar? Or make sonar completely underwater?
Sea radar currently has sonar included, and costs 130m1000e, compared to land radar's cost of 60m 700e. I don't really know what the gameplay purpose of sonar is supposed to be, and it seems like an outdated mechanic that can be removed. Radar planes include sonar, so both sea and land already have no problems naturally having sonar coverage. I think that the sea radar should be cheaper because its absolutely vital for sea gameplay. On land maps, the terrain will usually limit or hinder some of the directions of attack, making attacks easier to predict. land units are cheaper, so its easier to have a line at the front that provides full vision. Land can manage without radar coverage, while sea cannot.
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