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Re: NOTA 1.80

Posted: 22 Feb 2014, 12:50
by FLOZi
zer_ver wrote:94 will therefore offer a better gaming experience
Citation needed.

You might justifiably claim '94 will offer better end-game performance in large matches'.

You cannot reasonably claim 'a better gaming experience'.

That's like claiming windows Solitaire is the ultimate gaming experience because it runs so smoothly on your notebook with its onboard intel graphics. :regret:

Re: NOTA 1.80

Posted: 23 Feb 2014, 09:28
by AntiAllez
You´re talking about 96 as if it was an evolution in comparison to 94. But 96=94 with some experimental blingbling crap for nvidia and a folder restructuring that sucks with portable versions. And btw, since when is solitaire a engine?^^

Re: NOTA 1.80

Posted: 23 Feb 2014, 10:17
by Silentwings
96=94 with some... (#table=2)
The 94->96 changelog is 642 lines long. (I have no problem with NOTA not updating if they don't want too.) Here is a solitaire engine:

Re: NOTA 1.80

Posted: 23 Feb 2014, 12:49
by Jools
bigFluff wrote: Do I really have to go back to playing XTA ???
What's wrong with XTA? Besides, you can play *both* XTA and NOTA. We are not competing for players withing different spring games, but we are happy that spring as a whole has a decent number of players. Maybe we can get even more new people to play if many of our games work well.

Re: NOTA 1.80

Posted: 23 Feb 2014, 16:38
by raaar
Jools wrote:
bigFluff wrote: Do I really have to go back to playing XTA ???
What's wrong with XTA? Besides, you can play *both* XTA and NOTA. We are not competing for players withing different spring games, but we are happy that spring as a whole has a decent number of players. Maybe we can get even more new people to play if many of our games work well.
on one hand...
- they all share the same engine, making it more relevant
(especially if they manage to stick with the latest version instead of pressing for branches/forks)
- same official server acts as hub (games can indirectly benefit from each other's growth as players hop from one to the other and back)
- people make code, widgets, maps and sometimes even models/art that are shared across games

on the other hand...
- different games compete for players : time is a scarce resource

and xta is still somewhat fun, but there are L O T S of things wrong with it (some of them apply to other TA mods as well).

Re: NOTA 1.80

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 16:29
by PepeAmpere
Thx to all contributors commenting our decision to stay at spring 94.1 for some time. For deeper talks pls create special thread. This thread si for gameplay changes and game mechanics discussion.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 02 Jun 2014, 19:37
by PepeAmpere
NOTA 1.82 is just small step before huge leap :regret:

--------------------- CHANGELOG ---------------------

  • !! second iteration of sphere changes, partly affected by engine upgrade, party fixing small spheres of air, affected many units in ground, generaly bigger spheres of tech1 units and some tech2 ones. All hardcoded by gadget to prevent engine own interpretation of definition. :twisted:
  • ready to Spring 95, 96
  • improved spawn script, now all skirmish AIs take better spots
  • Indian turn rate increased (299 -> 375), so now between Bulldog (300) and Stumpy (450)
  • Indian turret turn rate increased +50 % (50 -> 75), so now between Bulldog (50) and Stumpy (90)
  • walking mines Invader and Roach gets +25 % move speed (1.1 -> 1.375)
  • +10 % shoot range of AA mg guns of Spitter, DCA, Grayhound and all Ships MGs (500 -> 550) and Razorback (650 -> 715)
  • x Warrior and H.A.K. back in Light armor class
  • x Splinter dmg to buildings reverted back (smaller, 690 -> 460)
  • ! generally bigger spheres of air so flaks are much more effective against air, especially bombers
  • flying fortress missiles repulsor fixed (still temporary solution)
  • + "Air ground area attack" widget! Wet dream of many players done.
  • - speed-up of healthbars widget
  • fix rocket ships rockets for both ARM/CORE - AvoidFeature = true
  • fix colors of Flash/Peewee/Brawler smg for new engine version
  • fix spawning skirmish AI towers on same spot

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 06 Jun 2014, 21:15
by MasterZH
Congrats to new and awesome widget and very nice new version of our favorite mod.

1 thing from my last game related to "Flying wings". I find them as very risky weapon as they take almost 2mins to build (1m:45s), have a metal price close to "Black Lily" and can barely make 3 to 4 (5max in very low distance) passes and really does not pay out that well. They also refuel for whole 40secs. In my last game they missed 50% of targets however most of them were small bots moving... but heya those are lasers right? They should be instant weapon and 100% accurate right? I am suggesting only some minor changes to make this "10mins for effective group of 5planes" force more usable. At least building and refuel time.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 18 Jun 2014, 21:36
by Thor
Nice changes! I look forward to playing it once we switch to 0.96. The indian changes will make them a bit more forgiving to use. Warrior and HAK change is welcome. A buff for AA mgs and flak makes sense. Air ground attack widget will be nice.

About the flying wings, 40 seconds for refueling does sound excessive. Strategic bombers are only 24 seconds.Napalm bomber is 15 seconds. I don't think missing small bots sometimes is a big deal since the laser is a heavy anti-armor weapon. Wings are similar to vashps in that they can pick off multiple targets on an attack run which makes them scale up better in large numbers. But it's hard to get large numbers of wings. They're pretty hard to take down with only t1 air though.

Some ideas of my own: slightly increase reaper and bulldog range and maybe decrease target move error. Bulldog is an ok unit as it is for fighting goliaths (if not much else), but reaper is really hard to justify building instead of raiders because it has so many hard counters (rocket bots, air) while not really being able to do much that a raider can't. A bit longer range would differentiate it more from raiders and make it worth building, and just give core more variability in the early game. Arm get lots of fun units from the beginning - spies, snipers, panthers - while core get.. levelers. Which are really good, but it would be nice if reapers were also a somewhat useful unit.

Core missile cruiser: At 7293 metal, it's about 200 metal less than the Arm battlecruiser. It's just not worth making at this price. Even factoring in the cost and value of the ballistic missiles, it doesn't make sense why it should cost almost double the regular cruisers. Maybe a 15-20% cost decrease?

Core transport ship: I think it still needs to be fixed.

stealth fighters: cloak should probably be on by default. At -25 e it's a nobrainer to use cloak but new players won't even be aware they have cloak while experienced players will probably forget to activate it most of the time. Something like a black lily defaulting to off is one thing since it costs lots to cloak and requires some micro to use anyway, while stealth fighters build pretty fast and are usually set to patrol so having to constantly be activating cloak on them as they are produced can be annoying.

hurricane and phoenix bombers: It's a minor graphical thing, but if they're going to have 20-40 small bombs the effect of the bomb hitting the ground should be changed so it doesn't look the same as the thunder/shadow bombs when these are more like small cluster bombs.

horgue/hermes t2 AA tanks: missile flighttime should be increased a bit. It's currently 1.74/1.6, compared to 3.3 for a missile tower. It means that in practical terms these tanks don't have much more reach than t1 AA, while being more expensive and easier to kill.

Popups: decrease damage resistance when folded some since they have so much currently that it's kind of weird/exploitable

Core covert ops lab: Decrease cost to ~600 M? It currently costs as much as a t2 lab.

Skybus/Valkyrie factories: moderate cost decrease? Again, skybus factory costs almost as much as a t2 lab.

Spacebugs hive and worm autoheal seems a bit too much

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 22 Jun 2014, 19:35
by PepeAmpere
MasterZH wrote:They also refuel for whole 40secs..
Thor wrote:About the flying wings, 40 seconds for refueling does sound excessive.
Yes, its a lot.
Thor wrote:Some ideas of my own: slightly increase reaper and bulldog range and maybe decrease target move error.
Yes, we discussed it in dev doc and I agreed.
Thor wrote:Core missile cruiser: Maybe a 15-20% cost decrease?
Cost decrease possible, it really shoulnt be close to BC price. (or slightly smaller reload would compensate it + current well firing front gun)
Thor wrote:Core transport ship: I think it still needs to be fixed.
No, it deosnt need. Its engine bug - unfixable in 94.1, working in 96.0. Read game bugs table, its noticed in conclusion column.
Thor wrote:stealth fighters: cloak should probably be on by default.
Yes, i was thinking about it, too. Stealth default on for tracker, lily and stealth fighters.
Thor wrote:hurricane and phoenix bombers: bombs smaller
Yes, good point.
Thor wrote:horgue/hermes t2 AA tanks: missile flighttime
So i think you want to icrease fire range, too, not just flight time? The point why range is small (but hit dmg is big) is because we don't wanted to let this AA kill bombers. I can play with numbers a bit, add some modificator on height range to make it longer distance tool.

Current tradeoff for tech2 solution is - slightly better range, deadly dmg (to kill most of tech1 air in one hit). Slightly bigger range can be possible, but after another huge testing of current (again) changed hitspheres. (I think now they are too big and its not possible to use planes properly if few flaks guarding place, now).

Thor wrote:Popups: decrease damage resistance when folded some since they have so much currently that it's kind of weird/exploitable
Exactly, it is done to be exploited/used ;). Maybe we can decrease the resistance from 1/10 mult. to 1/8-1/6, but still those things are designed to survive a lot when underground. When underground, they cant shoot, when shooting, they are vulnerable as any other gun.

They should survive non-direct hit by nuke, they shoud survive almost every bombing, they should have ability to close in critical moment when enemy push and be fighting in moment when they are not in direct danger.

We tested it few times and i saw no disbalancing advantage to players who tried to build pop-up towers. Everytime the such guns def line was overrun, it was no problem for army surrounding it to destroy pop-ups (in few secs, if there was no repair from main tower). So we can talk about time... how much time it should take to destroy such closed gun when 20 peewees / 10 hammers directly shooting on it?
Thor wrote:Core covert ops lab: Decrease cost to ~600 M? It currently costs as much as a t2 lab.

Skybus/Valkyrie factories: moderate cost decrease? Again, skybus factory costs almost as much as a t2 lab.
Possible to lower it down somewhere between tech1 and 2, as it is propossed to be tech 1.5 (we specify as tech 1.5 in docs ;)
Thor wrote:Spacebugs hive and worm autoheal seems a bit too much
Theres almost no autoheal of those things. So wheres the bug? Theres not, its a feature! :mrgreen: Alpha montro has ability to build and repair now and as unplanned result (due all bugs moves implemented via "patrol" order) they heal anything wounded around unless there is ground enemy. I noticed it month after release of nota 1.80 and planned to fix, but after few days i get to conclusion, this behaviour for bugs has sense, because its know behaviour of some ant-spiecies that repairing/healing is their primar reaction on dmg to it (except some agression)

Even from gaming perspective it doesnt mean any problem, if you know whats behind it. You just need to plan your airstrike well (to deliver a lot dmg in short time-window) or first kill worker-bugs (small-alphas) surrounding your target.

There are some minor issues around this behaviour (healing friends in fight, speeding up queens healing by few %, a bit changed dynamics of wave attack), but i dont see it as the highest priority for us.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 23 Jun 2014, 01:25
by Thor
So i think you want to icrease fire range, too, not just flight time?
No, just flighttime. It dictates when the missile detonates. The horgue missile detonates slightly before it even reaches its max range of 960, while other missile AA have flighttimes large enough to go a bit beyond their max range. A missile tower missile can travel pretty far, which is why they're so useful. They can hit a plane that's moving away from it (say a toadfoot doing a loopback maneuver), horgue/hermes mostly can't. It wouldn't affect their ability to shoot at high altitude planes.
They should survive non-direct hit by nuke, they shoud survive almost every bombing, they should have ability to close in critical moment when enemy push and be fighting in moment when they are not in direct danger.
I agree with all this, I just feel that currently they have much more dmg resistance than is necessary for these criteria. I just tested it and it takes 20 peewees 60 seconds to kill a closed viper not being healed.

About the bugs: I didn't realize that it was the alpha bugs that were repairing it! That's pretty cool :-)

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 03 Jul 2014, 10:49
by kmar
I was asked to post my opinion of NOTA balance (and bugs) as of 3/07/2014
This is my opinion. Fell free to rage just like I do.

1) Game is too dependent on longer range units. After some point in the game, one can get away with thud spam despid his oppenent hardcountering him. I was told that snipers counter thuds, yet this must be on extreamly flat ground (thuds also get an unreasonable range bonus with height, making some maps just thud spam because nothing can approach hills this way). Leveler is even worse: they are slower and get range penalty when attacking hills. They don't even get the radar stealth bonus and are bigger then snipers, allowing thuds to massacre them before they even get some shots off.

2) Tanks fail to break infantry lines as their primary role. Penetrative attacks are somtimes possible, but only when caught off guard.

3) Light and medium artyllery has perfect accuracy, yet heavy arty doesn't share this trait. No matter how you look at it, it's an inconsistency. Either light units should become less accurate, or heavy units get 100% hit rate. The only exeption for some reason are costal guns. I guess you don't want anti-ship guns being useful as arty weapons, but you need to explain why other arty can get away with this nonsence.

4) Ground AA next to worthless. I understand the consept behind flak, but even in 20+ numbers it's use is questionable

5) T 1.5 is overpriced. There is no reason to get it unless you are trolling. Every Tracker needs a huge E supply if it wants to get out on the field, but even then it's cost is not justified. Usually I compare Trackers to snipers, but they are outmatched in Alpha, range and cost, while they only have supirior DPS (they still take 2 shots for most bots).

6) Mobile bombs have no reasonable use. I've been told that you must have a transport to even think about making them, but that means someone actually makes them. For over a year I have never seen any sign of roach use even attempted, let alone make cost. I suspect the unit has been forgotten about.

7) Fast bots (like Zipper, don't remember NOTA names too well) have no use either. Although they do get a massive advantage, their damage is even less then that of a peewee, yet they cost like a complete unit. Making them ensures you have a much weaker army then the enemy, but an even weaker raiding force then a peewee strike team. Maybe i haven't seen a good example of when these units are actually useful though.

8) Ships are too high-value targets. Despite these being the only units that has a working counter in NOTA, they are mostly all-or-nothing moves. Losing a ship is worse then an army trade, since the enemy gets to keep his ship and you don't.

9) Napalm bombers are hard to control. You can rarely get it to bomb the right place, but never in the right direction. Even Lily is more useful at this.

10) Bombers drop fuel with their bomb. No sence at all. If I want to make a rear strike, I go around the frontal AA, bomb and go around again. NOTA does not allow this. Bombers must return in a straight line because... no apparent reason.

11) Lack of high-altitude missiles. If you are going to stay with the buggy altitude system, at least make some decent answers for it. Currently I know of only 2 units with a weapon that actually does damage to bombers: CORE AA ship and bug queen. Neither is really useful with this gun since you can only make the AA ship and it can't really do much out of water.

12) Rocket towers are spammable and useful in numbers, Sabot towers are not. I'm probably missing something here, but I've never encountered Sabot spam yet quite often had to deal with Rocket spam. Either this means CORE sucks, or they have an alternative answer to this.


1) AA unpredictability. Even when on hills some AA units fail to even target low-altitude aircraft, resulting in the bombing of said AA. This is probably due to too much hax on the engine to seperate bombers, fighters and other air by altitude.

2) Wreck gives 100% cover for units. I'm not saying the hiding unit can't be damaged - I'm saying it can't be targeted. Units behind wrecks don't apper to be seen by enemy AI, despite the wreck usually being 50% the size of the hideing unit

This is all I could recall from the top of my head. If I remember anything new, I might come back here. But even so, I doubt this will be fixed within several years even, if ever.

EDIT: rememberd more odd things:

1) Tank rear armor is not just slightly less, but significantly less then side armor. This is usually really rare and mostly seen in extreamly long range tanks. NOTA tanks all seem to be fitted as such.

2) Lack of configurable unit states. Although most units don't need custom states, more valuable units like trackers, levelers, costal guns... will really benefit from a user-side setting of initial states (although trakers can just inherit them from fac, so the state can be slapped on there)

3) Exessive use of armor types. Using more then 1 armor type will generally make it harder to determine what counters what.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 04 Jul 2014, 19:07
by Thor
Nice list of balance complaints. I think your factual statements (such as "tanks fail to break infantry lines") are mostly true. But whether it's a bad thing or not is more subjective, and sometimes fixing a perceived unit balance issue can be more damaging to the actual gameplay, which is not first and foremost about unit vs unit counters. I think some rts games suffer from a preoccupation with unit vs unit balance. About some units being useless- yes it's true that there are some units (tracker, ground flak, crawling bomb) that are mostly or totally useless. Is that a good thing? No, but the fact that they exist doesn't really hurt the core gameplay except by being noobtraps. And Pepe's done a great job the last couple of years of giving previously useless units some use (zeus for example).

1) Game too dependent on longer range units - You're not the first to have that opinion about nota, though long range units have been toned down a bit over the years. The general theme in nota is that longer range units beat shorter range ones, but at the price of decreased mobility and more vulnerability to air. So it's map and situation dependent. The more quickly frontlines become gridlocked, the more of a role will be played by long range units. Snipers do win against thuds in an even situation, but not if the thuds are on a hill (as you discovered). Terrain is more important than army composition in nota. You usually need to either wear them down first with mobile arty/air, or outnumber them enough to make storming the hill feasible- spy bot emps are useful in these situations as well.

2) tanks against infantry lines - Yeah, I think it is true that in the mid-game, once there are large infantry lines, tanks tend to become secondary. In the early game med tanks and panthers are really useful because of their speed and ability to take hits and flank, but the only tank that really is effective against large kbot lines is the goliath. It might be interesting if medium tanks were slowed down somewhat while being buffed in some combination of weapon firepower/aoe/range to scale up better in the midgame against bots, while light tanks could be adjusted to take over part of the current early game role of medium tanks. At the same time, I think the current balance is pretty good, even if tanks do become a bit obsolete in the midgame, and it's a tricky thing to mess with.

3) artillery accuracy - Yeah, that is a sort of inconsistency that I guess is sort of a carry over from OTA. Thuds, morties, plasma batteries, oddities/galas have excellent accuracy, while mobile arty, ship guns, vehicle t2 rocket arty do not. Nevertheless, that's how the game is balanced and it makes different arty useful for different things. Mobile arty and t2 rocket arty are inherently offensive in nature, for wearing down armies/defensive positions, while the plasma battery style weapon needs its precision to be useful for stopping mobile arty creep.

4) Agreed that ground flak is useless in current version. Pepe is buffing them in next version though. Slashers/Samsons are very good though. Kbot t1 AA aren't great because of limitd range, but they do good dmg/cost. Razorbacks are pretty good.

5) T 1.5 overpriced - Yeah, it's true that these units aren't worth building in a serious game.

6) Mobile bombs - They're mostly useless, but not entirely. 1) mobile mine (they burrow/cloak when stationary) 2) load on transports and self destruct transports over an enemy building/shipyard or something. Also, Pepe buffed their speed for next version.

7) Fast bots - There are a few rare situations where I've found them useful, for example, fighting hovercraft artillery on land (which can skirmish pretty well) or raiding lightly defended mexes on open maps when the enemy doesn't have precise ground attack planes (vashps or toads). They're an exception to the general rule that kbots are slow but cost effective, which means they can't be too good or the rule wouldn't exist anymore.

8 ) Ships too high-value - Well, that's what naval combat should be about, in my opinion. In contrast to the land game where the key to winning is taking and holding territory, in the navy game the key is building up and not losing your navy power, particularly your big ships. I enjoy the tension it creates, like walking a tightrope where you have to balance caution with the ability to recognize and take advantage of a favorable situation, making decisions that can win or lose you the game oftentimes with limited information odue to the prevalence of jammers and heavy AA that makes scouting harder. It feels the way a naval strategy game should, in my opinion. However, I do think the naval game is hurt by a lack of good, sufficiently open maps- the only one that I really like for the naval game is expanded tropics. On small seas like the one on tempest, I agree that the all-or-nothing nature of the sea game doesn't play well.

9) Napalm bombers - I had a bit of trouble too the last time I used these. They sometimes have trouble bombing with hilly terrain because they fly so low and fast.

10) Bomber fuel - Fuel in nota is an abstract conglomeration of actual fuel and ordnance. I think it would make things unneccessarily complicated to have both seperately.

11) not enough high-alt missiles - well, if you really want a high alt missile on land you can always build a krogoth :P

12) Rocket box better than sabot - yes, rocket box is better overall, thought they don't really fill the same role. why should every unit be the same as its counterpart in the other faction?

1b) AA unpredictability - Flak units have a slight limitation on their firing angle so that they can't shoot really low flying (napalm bombers, gunships) or parked aircraft at a distance, or damage ground units. It does make them unable to shoot planes below them when placed on a tall hill.

2b) can't shoot units in wrecks - units were given avoidfeature tag many years ago because of frequrent problems with lasers and other weapons stupidly shooting at a unit they couldn't hit behind map features etc while ignoring units they could hit. Neither alternative was ideal, but it seemed the lesser of two evils.

1c) tank rear armor - If you're talking about real tanks, the panzer iv h had 80 mm front glacis armor, 50 mm front turret armor, 30 mm side armor, 20 mm rear armor. 30 to 20 is a pretty significant difference. In the game, the big penalty for rear armor makes retreat micro bad. If you're not careful in early tank fights you can really get behind if you get in a bad fight and can't get out of it without exposing rear armor and putting yourself at an even greater disadvantage. Maybe that's bad in some ways in that it makes things more unforgiving and hurts the player who's already losing.

2c) configurable unit states - that would be convenient and nice to have

3c) armor types - It's actually really simple and pretty consistent, it's just not visible to the player anywhere which it probably should have been. The thing to understand is that "armor type" has NOTHING to do with the armor flanking bonus/penalty that tanks get- they're completely unrelated. The majority of units are all in the same "light" armor type. The others (all tanks, zeus, large t2 kbots, t3) are in medium or heavy armor. Medium and heavy both give good dmg resistance to light weapons (red lasers, emgs) and moderate dmg resistance to non-armor piercing weapon types. Armor piercing weapons are rockets, gauss, bombs, annihilator type lasers, and high-damage, low aoe shots (reaper, bulldog, indian). They do full damage to all units, regardless of armor type. Heavy armor is just a more extreme version of medium, and takes very little damage from light weapons. Protip: the color of terrain of a unit's buildpicture indicates whether the unit is armored ( either medium or heavy) or not. If it's on desert terrain, it's armored, if it's on grass, it's light. Again, this is not related to the flanking armor bonus that tanks get.

Looking at your complaints as a whole, you seem pretty focused on unit counters, which isn't really what nota is about so much. Games aren't ususally won by producing unit x when opponent makes unit y. Yes, army composition does matter and can make a difference, but as long as both players are doing something reasonable (ie not something stupid like leveler only spam), the game will usually be decided by other factors. What you build does matter, but as much in relation to what terrain they end up fighting on and the status of the frontlines where they're fighting (open vs gridlocked), as the type of unit they're fighting against. nota is less about rock/paper/scissors balance and more about army positioning, allocation of forces to different fronts, and finding a balance between the different branches of your forces (kbot vs tank vs air) that will win against what the enemy is doing.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 06 Jul 2014, 20:01
by kmar
re: 1b) the only post were I wish to correct what I ment: the AA in question were jethros. They fired some missiles aat random directions far too late then expected. The missiles later fell to the ground harmlessly (maybe hitting a solar)

The krog AA missile is not what I ment: there is no alternative to high-alt AA then the useless-even-in-high-numbers flak. Some t2 missile that's maybe worth as much as 20 flaks could be an option, but then again more units is definatly not what NOTA needs (untill it can incorperate the old ones at least)

I am conserned about unit-x-unit relations because far too often I've seen games in NOTA reach such a silly standoff point with massive arty spam from both sides resulting in a snowball favoring the one with 0.1% more eco then the other. Since such arty is favorable, the lines cannot be broken (usually tank role, but peewee/A.K. works better for some reason) for a reasonable cost.
The standoffs become bigger as the counter for light artillery in NOTA is slightly bigger artillery. Air should work, but either the foe has some reasonable counter on the ground, or a reasonable counter in the air, making it yet another standoff situation.
As you see, the standoffs are by far the most repulsing aspect i've experienced in-game. I find more unstable situations with unprofitable defence positions much more appealing.

Can't check up on my old post, so sorry in advance if I'm repeating myself:
Seaplanes. No point in the whole tech at all. they cost as much as normal air, are harder to get, do almost nothing and get shot out of the sky by everything. Why keep something so redundant at all?

I'll point out just to make sure: this is my opinion.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 06 Jul 2014, 20:22
by PepeAmpere
Thx Thor for answering all kmar's questions in such brilliant way as true Founding Father. I agree with all. Just few marks:

Ground VS Air fight confusion: in last many years there was not much REAL changes in balance, we are just trying to get NOTA balance back, which was lost in cruel ENGINE changes. Imagine that with every new engine balance here is totaly lost, planes fly in different altitude, they have hitshperes of different sizes and shapes, dispersion of aim random function is changed... etc. Horrible hours of testing to just have game worse then before each iteration :evil:

Tech 1.5 will go down in price for sure.

Seaplanes drop flares, did you noticed from v1.80? And subs hunt is cool, HPs too.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 08 Jul 2014, 08:02
by Thor
You have my sympathies Pepe regarding Spring engine changes. It's discouraging when you realize that the number of playable mods on Spring has probably gone down over the years instead of up.

jethro missiles missing - t1 bots have smaller missiles than vehicles or missile towers. They are reliable for hitting low-flying aircraft like vashps or hellfish. But for hitting faster and higher flying planes such as skirmishing toads, less reliable. Missiles have limited turn rates and flight times, so they're not guaranteed to hit every time, especially if the plane is moving away at high speed. That's the great thing about TA and Spring - all that stuff is simulated instead of automatically hitting. So which type of AA you want to go for will depend on what sort of threat you're facing. If you're facing an uneven situation where your armies are dealing with ground attack planes in numbers, bots are good because they're cheap, do good dmg for cost, and are harder to focus fire from the air than the more expensive vehicle AA. But in an equal situation where both sides have roughly equivalent air forces, the vehicle AA is usually preferable for its better coverage, which can help out your airforce by more reliably taking out enemy fighters when you tangle with them.

High-alt AA - I'd rather just see flak made better. If there were another high alt missile available, it would take away the uniqueness of those few Core units that get one.
The standoffs become bigger as the counter for light artillery in NOTA is slightly bigger artillery. Air should work, but either the foe has some reasonable counter on the ground, or a reasonable counter in the air, making it yet another standoff situation.
As you see, the standoffs are by far the most repulsing aspect i've experienced in-game. I find more unstable situations with unprofitable defence positions much more appealing.
This sounds like a good description of how nota played a few years ago, maybe around 1.60, but I just haven't seen much of this kind of arty war in a long time.. These days, it's not really that common to see much mobile artillery even. I guess you're talking about thud, morties, and snipers? I think snipers are arguably just slightly op - mainly for how hard it is to run them down even with aks- but only slightly.

Or by standoff do you simply mean any of the situations where there are two armies positioned opposing each other in a stable situation? A lot of it is map dependent - if you want unstable, unprofitable defense positions, that one big moon map (can't remember the name) is exactly that. Also the one map with all the trenches where you usually see only ak/peewee spam for first 20 min or more. But having areas of defensibility and open areas on the same map is more interesting imo - there's a reason valles marineris is played so much. Having areas of stability (usually caused by hills, but also eventually by unit numbers) gives the player more options- the player can choose to try to break the standoff through many various means like arty or emp, or the player can choose to minimize investment in further units for that front, knowing that because it's a stable position he or she has more latitude to divert those resources elsewhere, and focus on a more fluid frontline or invest in air or tech or eco. A totally fluid game might have more going on mechanically at a given moment, but the player actually has fewer viable choices. Admittedly this is a partly a matter of personal preference. But the fact that stable positions arise in nota is intentional.

About the game favoring the player with the 0.1% eco advantage: nota is a macro oriented game. I understand if that's not your cup of tea. It is possible to win from an eco disadvantage, but you better have some other advantage over your opponent. That could be tech, it could be air power. It could be a hidden nuke. It could be navy power, which happens most often I think, where the eco advantage is easy to nullify with subs and all it takes is one decisive victory to turn things back in your favor. But whatever it is, you want to eliminate the eco gap asap.

I imagine seaplanes could be alright if you happened to be playing a wide open ocean map with lots of resources. Seaplane fighters are ok now they have flares I think. Seaplane torpedo bombers are absolutely god-awful against ships, but they're so fast and impossible to stop it would be lame if it were otherwise. But as Pepe mentioned they're pretty good for killing subs. Normally not a consideration but in really large navy games where both sides are fielding multiple capital ships, sub packs can become a problem.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 12 Jul 2014, 01:29
by Thor
I did some messing around with 1.82 in Spring 0.96. Bad news first - seems that Spring 0.96 found a bunch of creative new ways to break airplane behavior. Torpedo bombers are broken in two different ways. They can't land on airpads 90% of the time. Brawlers seem to have the same problem. It seems to only happen to planes that fly at a cruise altitude of ~100 or below. Increasing the cruise altitude of torpedo bombers to 150 was the only way I found to fix it. Then torpedo bombers torpedos don't work anymore - this is before changing their cruise altitude - the torps just hit ocean bottom almost every time (tested on expanded tropics in open ocean - it should be plenty deep enough). Only way I could find to fix that was to dramatically turn up turnrate. Which makes them impossible to dodge even for fast ships like the mandau blade. So that sucks. Napalm bombers are buggy too, but that seems to be the case in current version as well. Half the time they refuse to attack and the other half they attack something other than their target. Not sure why. Also, strat bombers after dropping their bombs now continue in a straight line out of player control for about ~1500 distance, which could make them infuriating to use. I think it's if there's no free airpads. But they don't return to base to wait near the airpad like in Spring 0.94, at least not without flying out of control halfway across the map first. It makes me wonder if it's worth switching to 0.96.

Now on to the good stuff - the mod changes - I think the new air hitboxes are a great change - mobile flak will actually be useful and they will help with the problem in current version where AA is almost irrelevant in defending from an enemy fighter sweep. I did some tests with mobile flak and they're significantly better for killing fighters and things.

I like the flying fortress missile repulsor - will make these units actually scary.

Area attack widget seemed to work well - awesome work Pepe.

What follows is some balance thoughts about flak after doing some tests in 1.80/0.94 and 1.82/0.96. I think stationary flak still needs a boost. I ran some tests and with current stats there's just no reason to buid it over mobile flak. Decreasing targetmoveerror from 1.0 to 0.4 gave good results. For a large scale test, 40 thunders attacked a target located behind 25 flaks in three versions of the game. in 1.80/94, over 30 of the 40 thunders will survive long enough to drop bombs on the target. But only a couple survive to make it home. In 1.82/0.96, the results were almost identical - just over 30 thunders will drop bombs. The larger hitbox seems to have not made a difference with thunders/stationary flak in large numbers. With targetmoveerror reduced to 0.4 for the flak, only ~22 thunders will drop, with a couple thunders still surviving. In small scale it makes an even bigger difference. 1 flak shooting at the same 4 thunders in 3 sequential raids. In 1.80/94, the flak failed to kill any and barely damaged any either. In 1.82/96, it did kill 2 thunders out of the 3 raids. With targetmoveerror at 0.4, the flak killed 1 in first raid, 2 in 2nd, 1 in 3rd raid for 4 total. So in short, decreasing targetmoveerror makes a pretty significant difference in large numbers, but an even bigger difference in small numbers, compared to current behavior. I think this is a good thing because in current version it is stupidly easy to maintain air supremacy by doing regular fighter sweeps and continually bombing airplants because AA fire is so impotent. Building flak costs a lot of metal and even with much improved flak it will still primarily be a measure of last resort, but at least that option will exist and your enemy getting 4-8 bombers won't be an automatic GG as it usually is currently in 1v1's.

Some other balance thoughts:

Coastal gun accuracy - several years ago ships were given hitboxes that were a lot smaller than what they had before. In my opinion, coastals haven't really been able to work as effective deterrents since then except in very late game scenarios where they're shooting at battlecruisers/battleships that are large enough to hit. A modest accuracy boost (maybe 20%?) would help.

Snipers - Personally I find them incredibly difficult to deal with whether using kbots or vehicles. Arm mirror matches usually seem to turn into sniper wars. When playing Core against snipers, raider/leveler armies work alright, with the raiders physically blocking the direct fire shots of the snipers to protect the levelers. The difficulty is it takes near perfect micro, and if you lose your mobile radar it's impossible to fight back. And your raiders still take a lot of attrition from the sniper shots. WIth kbots, morties are actually a good response to snipers, with the catch that again you need a mobile radar or you'll be helpless. The problem with morties is they're not that great early on while snipers are very good due to their better mobility and stealth which helps Arm dominate even more on open maps. Swarming snipers is usually ineffective even if they're not guarded by other units because they move as fast as hammers and so take a long time to chase down. The requirement of having a mobile radar to deal with snipers from a distance means that it's very difficult in early-mid game to deal with them without ceding map control since the only units that can even fight them (levelrs or morties) are slower and require protection. pw/ak spam is ineffective since snipers can easily kite away behind rocko/hammer/zeus. So how to balance them? I would say decrease their mobility to be like morties (maxvelocity from 1.1 to 0.9) and/or further decrease their damage to med/heavy armor (and maybe buildings too) which would make sense anyway since they have a red laser type.

edit: looked up the damages and it does 66% to medium and 38% to heavy. LLT's do 50% medium and 18% to heavy. So there is some room to lower it somewhat but on the other hand it makes sense that a higher-powered laser would be better against armor. Maybe it would be a bit more consistent if it were more like 25% to heavy. But overall I think lowering sniper speed is the best way to balance it.

edit2: One last balance idea: What if getting to t2 were a bit cheaper? Currently it feels like you're locked into almost the same build most every game - kbot or tank fac, then kbot or air fac, then usually another air fac or two... there's some variation in the order, but you're almost guaranteed to have at least 2 land facs and 2 air facs before even thinking about going t2. Now I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I think maybe it's worth thinking about whether a more accessible t2 might not allow for more varied strategies and more varied gameplay? I'm not sure that it would play better but I think it's at least worth thinking about. Teching currently costs a minimum of 2850 m excluding the moho builder (1650 for tower and >1200 for fac). If the tower M cost was reduced 33% and t2 fac m cost reduced by say 300 M (while keeping E and buildtime the same for both), that would lower the investment to 2000 M - which might make a little bit earlier teching a viable option. Why might this be good for gameplay? Well, it currently feels like the only viable response for a team that's slightly losing (say they control 40% of map) is to double down on t1, usually air, and hope that they can take back the center of the map. More accessible t2 might allow another avenue for a team in that situation to have a chance at a comeback. It would also allow t2 units to influence the outcome of the game more since currently 90% of the time the outcome of the game is already decided by the time they're built. Thirdly, it might spice up the game more in terms of unit interactions - you would see more different types of units being built and used against each other which keeps things fresh.

One last thing along the same lines: what if base expansion towers were also lowered in M price? They're currently 1200 M which is prohibitively expensive for anything other than building guardians on top of vital hills where the outcome of the game hinges on the control of that hill. Might it not be more interesting if they were more like 800 M? Maybe it would make them a more viable choice for setting up bases on islands or building factories near the frontlines on the larger maps. The big danger here is it would make the game more porcy and make guardian-centered play more powerful, which would not be a good thing. But if it's guardians that are the problem they could always be increased in price a bit, and guardians are rendered partially obsolete by tech 2 anyway so that would be less of a concern if tech 2 were more accessible. Again, I'm not sure it's a good idea but it's at least worth thinking about.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 16 Jul 2014, 00:11
by kmar
It's me again and sorry for returning after promising not to, but... fleas

I never encountered such abuse of fleas but I can safely say it's way overpowered in the early stages in the game. When massed it utterly rapes any bot CORE has to offer against it:
AK - outranged, outrunned
Thud - way-outrunned, can't hit
Storm - outrunned, obviously can't hit (has trouble with most units)
Pyro - outrunned, can't hit (for most bots pyro is a bad solution)
SpeedBot(a.k.a. crapbot a.k.a Splintorus) - suprisingly well, but considering it fails to damaged anything other the fleas, it's just a trap. But still: outrunned(barely), I think outranged, but hard to say. Outpreformed still (due to smaller colvol, fleas hit more often (way more often)
Morty - same as thud, but worse.
Bombs? not even gonna think about it.

What does work is an llt, but this forces you to give away everything but spawnpoint, ensuring a slow and painful death.

This time I have very little knowlage of what this is, but battles were one-sided enough for me to write again. From what I've been told, the counter to fleas is yet to be found.

Re: NOTA 1.82

Posted: 16 Jul 2014, 00:45
by PepeAmpere
Thx Thor and Kmar for valuable comments.

Just fast answers (no-time):

Snipers: speed decrease is possible (not sure, but not strictly against). Btw O remember there was time when noone was using them and there was written epos about how bad unit it is :mrgreen: . After 12-18 months i was excesivelly using snipers now is the time for OP songs.

t2 cheaper: hm, i know players who turtle first mins to get asap tech2 (right pow and Marco? :mrgreen: ) which make tech accessable around 12th-15th minute of game (not around 20th-25th) as usuall. Such tactic works, but it has to be planed from start.

I understand (and like) the idea of enhancing different units counters (more variability), but generally lowering the metal barrier would be bad thing. The reason why pro players tech so fast (especailly in team games combining resources) is eco rush (yes, in NOTA, those bastards). They are able to ignore 1st tech level (if map allows it) and just jump to tech2.

If I would like to make tech2 accessable and still keep eco balance in old manners, i would put the metal we save from tech2 tower price to moho builder then. Price of advanced eco remains the same, moho builder target priority rise again and demand of faster access to advanced units is satisfied.

yes, adv. factories can be cheaper without compensation, we can bundle it with tech1.5 factories price change

expansion towers - ok, but my plan was to rethink them more, to be really field-bases (FOBs). It can mean new model, some light defs, changed buildlist, repair drones,...

flea: dont underestimate tanks and zippers/sprinterus, they can end flea fun kind of fast


or all OP cries we have this NOTA TACTICS DOC for a long time

Re: NOTA MEDIA materials - screens, videos, ideas

Posted: 05 Nov 2014, 14:28
by _JI_
Hi, guys! I have a suggestions:

1) Need to increase speed of building, because people don't want to play in so slow game. All units must to be made min 1.5x faster. So, amount of units on middle game must to be min 200 per player (increase speed of building, m+, e+)

2) Need to make laser to reach target immerdately like in real life

3) Airplanes must be able to change it's velocity if needed

4) Addition of big walls would be great

5) Some increasing of line of sight for airplanes is needed, because they don't see their way far enought. Some land units needs it too

It's most important for now, but realising of just first idea would be great. So, what do you think about it? :wink:

- moved from thread by PepeAmpere (6:20 am CET, 06/11/2014)