New Year, New Lead Dev

New Year, New Lead Dev

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Shoxter
Posts: 25
Joined: 20 Jul 2006, 18:28

New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by Shoxter » 01 Feb 2019, 02:07

Greetings my dudes, I apologise that I have been a bit silent since taking lead of BA (real life issues and all that.) But I will be returning soon™ and hope to start work on fixing up BA and reuniting this fractured community. For any GoT fans, I guess I feel a bit like Ned Stark here, don't really want to be here doing this job, but I love this game and will do what I can to try and save it. But I will probably end up having my head cut off in the end xD

I have spoken to some in pm already, but will now outline my rough goals for the future publicly.
In no particular order:
Make BA more community driven, anything that gains popular vote on forums will be changed/implemented into the game temporarily, if it is still well received, then will be kept long term.
Address the veh/kbot balance vs 9.46 (seems ok as of 10.20, but I haven't played enough to really say for sure)
Remove reversing until initial veh balance is sorted out
Air collisions turned off for better performance, old behaviour was preferred anyway?
Combomb range nerf revert
Rezzer nerf (pretty sure this is now actually fully reverted)
Thin down the bloated widget list where possible
Organise/improve the ingame options menu
Spice up the explosions a bit, make them less boring
Correct projectile speeds

Obviously these are my own thoughts and concerns on the current state of BA10 that need addressing, but this is a COMMUNITY mod. I want to hear what you guys think to, right here, on the forums, not discord. (Unless you want to of course, but anything you want to really be seen should then be posted here too.) Previous BA devs were accused of being ignorant to the community, whether true or not, I don't want a repeat of that whilst it's my name associated with BA. Every player should be allowed to have input on the way the game moves forward. Read: EVERY player, even bad ones. Games cannot cater to "pro's" alone, pro's always make up a small percentage of a playerbase, games die without casual playerbases.

As you all know by now the 103 engine will be unsupported at some point in the future. Whilst I don't really agree with this practice for open source software, there is nothing I can do about it. 9.46 WILL come to an end on the official server. Which leaves PA (has the same OP vehicle issues) or any other *A mod still currently being developed. I hope that those who are "anti BA10" see sense and try to put your efforts into helping BA become a game you want to play again, rather than just trashing it all day.

So let's try to stay civil and constructive, but hit me with all your issues! I will be editing this post as we go to highlight every concern.
3 x

Ares
Posts: 315
Joined: 19 Mar 2011, 13:43

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by Ares » 01 Feb 2019, 02:45

Please revert all ba10 changes and start from ba 9.46 on new engine, from here incrementally make essential changes (eg adding back t2 torpedo launcher, transport fix). Don't try to turn BA10 into BA9. Revoke access to BA github repo for everyone apart from you, BA shouldn't be treated like a personal playground.

Focus on 9.46 which is what player-base wants, and take it from there. Don't sacrifice performance for graphics. Focus on delivering players as much FPS as possible late game like Techa does to keep it enjoyable in massive FFA matches etc. Gameplay first, everything else second - this is more important than pretty explosions and benefits players of all skill levels.
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MasterBel
Posts: 170
Joined: 18 Mar 2018, 07:48

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by MasterBel » 01 Feb 2019, 10:05

Organise/improve the ingame options menu
Yaaaasssss It's so much better now but really needs more work
Thin down the bloated widget list where possible
Yaaass widgets totally need what there is with options, or something.

All the others are nigh on depressing because the twice I played BA 10.19 (particularly 10.19) I totally fell in love with the balance there, dump previous versions of 10 and all versions before that, it was so awesomely perfect, but, I guess, we'll go your way.

Just? ShoX? Can you please do some research before you start assuming things about the community? I don't know what you see so far but if you have a perspective that people generally thing BA 10 is horrible and people generally dislike it, but I assure you no matter what very_bad_soldier says, that's not the case. There are definitely some people that you have to push before they admit that they don't like BA 10. But there are also people who love it. Or just like it and dislike BA 9.

Please remember that both the people who love it and the people who hate it will be heavily biased. Please also pay attention to what kind of people there are.

I don't know what the right direction for BA is, but I pray that you take it in a wise one. Possibly that's a complete revert to BA. Probably not completely ignoring those who are upset with BA 10. I'll leave finding the middle ground – whichever it is closer to or further from – up to you.
Ares wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:45
Please revert all ba10 changes and start from ba 9.46 on new engine, from here incrementally make essential changes (eg adding back t2 torpedo launcher, transport fix). Don't try to turn BA10 into BA9. Revoke access to BA github repo for everyone apart from you, BA shouldn't be treated like a personal playground.

Focus on 9.46 which is what player-base wants, and take it from there. Don't sacrifice performance for graphics. Focus on delivering players as much FPS as possible late game like Techa does to keep it enjoyable in massive FFA matches etc. Gameplay first, everything else second - this is more important than pretty explosions and benefits players of all skill levels.
Ares if you want to be listened to, I suggest
a) you show that you've considered other points of view, especially the one of the person you're talking to
b) try to be less controlling (even appealing to the playerbase agreeing with you in the way you're doing is controlling)
c) be less demanding. I.e. be polite and use less imperative tense, until you have built up the respect – which currently is something you don't have a lot of
d) talk each thing on its own merit rather than generalising.

These things would make talking with you much more productive for both you and the other person.
1 x

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very_bad_soldier
Posts: 1371
Joined: 20 Feb 2007, 01:10

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by very_bad_soldier » 01 Feb 2019, 11:03

Man i pretty much agree with everything you said.
Shoxter wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:07
Remove reversing until initial veh balance is sorted out
<3
Shoxter wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:07
Combomb range nerf revert
<3 <3
Shoxter wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:07
Rezzer nerf (pretty sure this is now actually fully reverted)
general <3 but i also think it has been done already

Shoxter wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:07
Thin down the bloated widget list where possible
I had not problems with the list yet. But I generally like the approach to have basically all sane widgets available there so players usually don't have to mess with huntning/installing/updating widgets themselfs.
Shoxter wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:07
Obviously these are my own thoughts and concerns on the current state of BA10 that need addressing, but this is a COMMUNITY mod. I want to hear what you guys think to, right here, on the forums, not discord. (Unless you want to of course, but anything you want to really be seen should then be posted here too.) Previous BA devs were accused of being ignorant to the community, whether true or not, I don't want a repeat of that whilst it's my name associated with BA.
<3 <3 <3

Hail Shox!
MasterBel wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 10:05
I don't know what you see so far but if you have a perspective that people generally thing BA 10 is horrible and people generally dislike it, but I assure you no matter what very_bad_soldier says, that's not the case
I am pretty sure that I never claimed such a thing. So please give quote (in PM) where I did or stop spreading stuff like that. Stop poisoning this thread please, even Ares managed to make a post here without accusations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
Ares wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 02:45
Please revert all ba10 changes and start from ba 9.46 on new engine, from here incrementally make essential changes (eg adding back t2 torpedo launcher, transport fix).
Man it's a bit too harsh imo. Those guys also did alot of great things with BA. Throwing all those improvements into the thrash would be bad and also unfair.
I hate to say but in general I support your approach to focus on gameplay over graphics etc.
0 x

MasterBel
Posts: 170
Joined: 18 Mar 2018, 07:48

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by MasterBel » 01 Feb 2019, 11:25

Okay, if I can take a moment to actually talk about balance, say my piece relative to that, etc etc.

Combomb radius
AFIAK this is one of the least strongly-felt-about topics, but probably one I personally feel most strongly about. This is also the one that I've noticed more that lower-skilled players care more about than higher-skilled players. Mainly the issue comes down to this: people don't like being combombed, but like combombing others' commanders.
This is because combombing enemy commanders is so a) decisive, b) (seemingly) unavoidable. This makes it something lower skilled players come to fear, and fear is not good in games.
Of course, comboming is much more of a danger for lower skilled players. But even I who is halfway up half of the leaderboards greatly dislikes it. In fact, I refuse to combomb other commanders, and have held that position for a long time. Okay, yes, I make exceptions. But for the most part I am decided – no comboming.
A larger community and greater division between higher skilled players would likely negate this problem almost completely.

When it comes to purely high-skilled gameplay, I loved the freedom of the smaller comboming radius to be significantly more involved on the front line. I didn't find that it completely removed the threat of comboming. A damaged com would still die to a combomb. And I observed that the lesser skilled players seemed to enjoy it more, too.

(To be honest, comboming feels almost like a form of bullying against lower-skilled players. It's not something I object to nearly as much in higher-skilled match-ups, because then the players can really do something about it. I don't like it when lower-skilled players combomb each other either (and they don't either.) I know of at least one player who left claiming combombing as the reason they didn't enjoy playing anymore.)

Vehicles
When on a perfectly flat map you have Cartouche blaming starting vehicles for him not doing better in every game he starts vehicles (and him losing or nearly losing a lot of them), when it's general consensus that vehicles are terrible, when none of the top 20 skilled players regularly start vehicles on any map, except to tech…
Something's wrong. They neeeeed a buff. Imho BA 10.19 was very near perfect, and I heard a few other people express the same, so if you decide like me that veh need a buff – I'd reccomend you play a few dozen test games on that version and see how things work? With a few other skilled players from both camps, if possible? So you can see if the veh/kbot balance there is something the community could go for.

Re reversing – yeah, probably. Reversing is way cool, but given the situation, it probably should wait… :(


Kbots
As a massive fan of the PW, I'm a bit saddened that they're a little more prone to dying now. But in 10.19 that felt like a good thing – it was a challenge to fend off stumpies with pw. It wasn't like, oh yeah, I'll just spam pw and nothing but leveller will get through. (Because no one ever, ever, ever kills me with leveller……………)

I have a feeling people like kbots because they're slow and cheap and generally you can just porc and tech. One of the biggest complaints about veh was that porc didn't stop them. I.e. people don't like attacking/being attacked, they only like bombing the enemy to smithereens in one decisive blow. Or strats like that. Mando likes rushing a Krogoth, or rushing sumos etc. The point is, they essentially like fighting to be redundant, even on wide open maps like comet. Personally, porc makes games unbearably boring for me, and there are others who feel the same. I like that vehicles are good at taking on porc. It's good that they have more of a use than… well…
Think about it this way. Something has to be sufficiently better than something else at something to be worth building something else. Say – zeus vs piro – you would hardly build zeus against anything else, though, because they just die, because they can't shoot back because of their range. piro, however, excell at taking down piro/morty/ranged units…

Someone explain rock-paper-scissors to me, because either you have rock-paper-scissors or you have rock-scissors. Why then, would you ever build the scissors? Surely, if r-p-s is supposedly bad, I've missed something somewhere. I'm guessing it's something about making rock somewhat effective against paper, so that it doesn't just die, and scissors somewhat effective against rock so it doesn't just die, etc…
Is that what it's about?

Reclaiming
Honestly, I don't quite see what the fuss is about, but I was never a big reclaimer, so I'm really not one to be commenting. However, in front line battles, I found the game far more interesting and back-and-forth when reclaiming was slower. Reclaiming cons had to be protected. They cost something and took a little more time than usual to pay off. They had to stay in the firing line for longer. I thought this was really awesome. The only cost is that reclaiming-based-economies suffer, and it's much less of a payoff on maps with trees/rocks to reclaim. I'm not sure where the balance is, but I think this could be investigated a little more as a point of interest. Yeah, there's a case of if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

But if no one was trying to improve the already amazing computers in the 2000s, well, just consider where computers would be now.

Sea
Again, this feels like a thing of an almost bullying-style gameplay. I've played a bit of BA 10 sea, but not recently enough to be able to discuss its merits. I'd be interested in seeing a discussion between Zecrus (supporting BA 10) and Grumpy (supporting BA 9) – both players around 30 ts – and see what they can come up with. But from a personal standpoint, sea in BA 10 is fun. Sea in BA 9, ha. Catch me playing that and having fun and you deserve a reward.

And I think the final big thing that changed was…
Anti-air?
I've not heard many people talk about this, and I'm wondering what happened to the changes. Were they reverted before they could make it into any version? I'll go dig up the changes about that…
0 x

MasterBel
Posts: 170
Joined: 18 Mar 2018, 07:48

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by MasterBel » 01 Feb 2019, 11:34

very_bad_soldier wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 11:03
MasterBel wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 10:05
I don't know what you see so far but if you have a perspective that people generally thing BA 10 is horrible and people generally dislike it, but I assure you no matter what very_bad_soldier says, that's not the case
I am pretty sure that I never claimed such a thing. So please give quote (in PM) where I did or stop spreading stuff like that. Stop poisoning this thread please, even Ares managed to make a post here without accusations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
Sorry, that wasn't meant to be an accusation. I can see how I made it seem like one, and that was a mistake. I'm still not sure how to word it to make it look like an accusation – my point was that some people are receiving the impression that people generally dislike BA 10, and some things you say can support that view. Specifically this comes through when you talk about how the BA devs have ignored the community feedback. I don't have any hard feelings against you – I just think you're (not through malice, and maybe not even through intent) misrepresenting how things are, and I just want ShoX to be aware of how things are.

I hope you can see how I was trying to say this, and how I very clearly messed up. Suggestions on how to fix the wording would be appreciated. (I feel I messed up this post to, so apologies in advance.)
1 x

Flaka
Posts: 66
Joined: 23 Jan 2018, 18:34

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by Flaka » 02 Feb 2019, 00:35

btw i like BA 10. And it would be a loss if the advantages not only technical but also for some units would be reversed completely and everything start from the scratch. Only few things were BA10>BA9 imo:

+ pathfinding (thats a mess in BA9)
+ way more options in the menu
+ skin
+ playable AI (DAI)
+ nano turrets beam instead of particle (looks cooler and remains also in late game visible because less cpu/gpu intense)
+ changes that where made to Ambusher, Toaster, Maverick, Rocket Launching Vehs, Bulldog
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PicassoCT
Journeywar Developer & Mapper
Posts: 10239
Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 21:12

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by PicassoCT » 03 Feb 2019, 11:38

I think voting rights should be determinate by loc contributed or hs played.
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Silentwings
Moderator
Posts: 3597
Joined: 25 Oct 2008, 00:23

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by Silentwings » 30 Mar 2019, 09:01

I've done a few code/feature removals following Shox's post above, including
- no more reversing vehicles
- no more air collision avoidance (except for gunships & air transports, to stop clustering and dying together)
- no more unba coms (the code is still there, but made it inaccessible, apparently "its imba")
- no more discord ads
- no more restrictions on nanoblocking
- no more modoption to change comwreck metal
- some small perf hogs removed
For details see commit messages: https://github.com/Balanced-Annihilatio ... its/master

Happy to take suggestions / arguments for other stuff that can be similarly removed or turned off by default. I don't want to make balance changes, this part is up to Shox, nor do I want to add/change any non-trivial code (i.e. straight up removals only).

Also for the interested, I did a quick check of BAs lua performance, see the ba discord dev channel for the results.
Ares wrote:revert all ba10 changes and start from ba 9.46 on new engine
For the lua side, this approach would create a lot more work than simply removing/reverting.

BAs codebase is generally well organized so removals/reverts are not hard to do, but it would be too time consuming to backport lots of (good) GUI work and engine-required stuff, amongst other things.
0 x

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PicassoCT
Journeywar Developer & Mapper
Posts: 10239
Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 21:12

Re: New Year, New Lead Dev

Post by PicassoCT » 30 Mar 2019, 11:28

Two allocations, the pointers are nowhere saved, every years - this should lead to a dev mem leak very soon.
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