Absolute Annihilation 2.3 Beta 2

Absolute Annihilation 2.3 Beta 2

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Caydr
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Absolute Annihilation 2.3 Beta 2

Post by Caydr » 26 Dec 2006, 20:53

Edit:

2.3 Beta 2 is now available:
http://downloads.sourceforge.net/ta-aa/AASpring23b2.zip


---------------------------------------------------

Original Message:

Today I've resumed development of the next version of AA. Thank goodness for Christmas holidays.

For those of you confused about Abolition, try here: http://www.caydr.com - the latest news entry has some information.

I was originally planning on the next version of AA being a simple bugfix of 2.23, but since then I've got some ideas that I want to implement.

For starters, I've decided to look at AA from a different perspective. Rather than thinking of names and descriptions, I'm looking at every unit's intended role and seeing if its real-world (virtual world?) performance lives up to my expectations.

By looking at things from this perspective, I've already identified a number of things that could stand to be worked on. For instance, I've identified redundant roles whose units should be either removed or given a new assignment.

I'm also planning on a major reorganization of many build menus for both practical and logical reasons. For instance, many units have their buildable factories on two seperate pages, which... just irritates me. Deeply. So that'll be fixed.

Since I've been out of the picture for so long, I'll need some help identifying the other things that need changing. I will examine AA's own forum as well as the AA 2.23 thread at this forum to get an idea of what needs to be worked on, but if you have any other questions or comments, please post them here so I can get to work on them right away.

Thanks for your continued support.
Last edited by Caydr on 30 Dec 2006, 22:21, edited 2 times in total.
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Caydr
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Post by Caydr » 26 Dec 2006, 21:22

That roles thing I was talking about:

AA has 364 units total

Of those, 174 are structures, and I haven't analyzed them yet.

The remaining 190 are units:

Code: Select all

----------190 MOBILE UNITS----------

-----36 Water Units-----

---8 Water Construction Units---

2 Level 1

2 Level 2

2 combat Engineers

2 Rez Units


---6 Water Support Units---

2 Transports

2 Detection Units

2 Carriers


---22 Water Combat Units---

16 Ships
-2 Scouts
-2 Corvettes
-2 Destroyers
-2 Cruisers
-2 Battleships
-2 Flagships
-2 Anti-Air
-2 Precision Rocket Artillery

6 Subs
-2 Submarines
-2 Advanced Submarines
-1 Artillery Submarine
-1 Assault Submarine



190 Mobile Units

-----42 Air units-----

---6 Air Construction Units---

2 Level 1

2 Level 2

2 Seaplane


---10 Air Support Units---

4 Transports

4 AWACS

2 Basic Scouts


---26 Air Combat Units---

10 Bombers
-2 Light Bombers
-4 Heavy Bombers
-4 Torpedo Bombers
-1 EMP Bomber
-1 Atomic Bomber

8 Gunships
-4 Medium Gunships
-1 Light Gunship
-1 Heavy Gunship
-1 Flak-Resistant Gunship
-1 EMP Gunship

6 Fighters
-2 Standard Fighters
-2 Stealth Fighters
-2 Swarm Fighters



-----112 Ground Units-----

---25 Ground Constrution Units---

8 Standard Ground-Only Construction Units

2 Hovercraft Construction Units

2 Amphibious Construction Units

2 Mobile Anti-Nukes

2 Minelayers

2 Combat Engineers

2 Rez Units

2 Commanders

2 Decoy Commanders

1 Fast Assist Unit


---9 Support Units---

2 Radar Jammers

2 Radar

2 Spies

1 Amphibious Heavy Transport

2 Hovercraft Transports


---87 Ground Combat Units---

51 Standard Ground-Only Combat Units
-2 Light Long-Range Plasma Artillery
-2 Heavy Long-Range Plasma Artillery
-6 Anti-Air
-3 Short-Range Heavy Assault
-3 Scouts
-2 Medium Assault Tanks
-2 Long-Range All-Purpose Missile Tanks
-2 Precision Long-Range Rocket Artillery
-2 Infantry
-2 Light Tanks
-2 Main Battle Tanks
-2 "Rolling Front Line" Heavy Laser Platform
-2 Light Rocket
-2 Light Plasma
-1 Long-Range All-Purpose Heavy Rocket
-1 Medium Infantry
-1 Advanced Raider
-1 Mobile Annihilator
-1 Ultraheavy Riot
-1 Riot
-1 Skirmish
-1 Advanced All-Purpose
-1 Convertible Land/Sea All-Purpose
-1 Heavy Assault Tank
-1 Stealth Tank
-1 Precision Mid-range Plasma Artillery
-1 Capture
-1 Super Crawling Bomb
-1 Sniper
-1 Extremely Heavy Long-Range Plasma Artillery

8 Amphibious Standard Combat Units
-2 Crawling Bombs
-5 Tanks
-1 All-Purpose

10 Hovercraft combat units
-2 Plasma
-2 Rocket Artillery
-2 Scouts
-2 Anti-Air

3 All-Terrain combat units
-2 Attack Spiders
-1 EMP Spider

9 Super Units
-2 Amphibious
-2 Artillery
-2 All-Purpose
-1 Krogoth
-1 Bantha
-1 Juggernaut
What's interesting is that, by reading any of the above descriptions, you can probably say exactly what units are being talked about. There's no "...well... he might mean this one... or this one.... possibly one of those...". A riot tank? That's the leveler. Very heavy riot platform? That could only be the fatboy. 3 scouts? Jeffy, Weasel, Flea.

This is something you won't find in something like TAUCP, TAUIP, or any other simple "unit compilation". Every unit has a defined role. Any confusion that's caused by the above list will be from unit role changes (ie, banshee light gunship to banshee stealth gunship), or from units being removed in favor of other units with similar abilities (ie, remove dominator, give high-trajectory toggle to morty).
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Peekaboom
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Post by Peekaboom » 26 Dec 2006, 22:03

Please look at the changes that have been made in Balanced Annihilation as well. It is a very playable mod at the moment.
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CautionToTheWind
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Post by CautionToTheWind » 26 Dec 2006, 22:49

Lack of mention of BA hints at troubled times ahead.
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NOiZE
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Post by NOiZE » 26 Dec 2006, 22:55

So basicly you want to change everything again?
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Forboding Angel
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Post by Forboding Angel » 27 Dec 2006, 00:32

NOiZE wrote:So basicly you want to change everything again?
Essentially

Pretty much all he does is change numbers arbitrarily and call it a new version.

I'll be sticking with BA or BOTA when I want to play a TA variant kthxbye.
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Neddie
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Post by Neddie » 27 Dec 2006, 00:36

Please, F_A, stop doing that.

Caydr, might you going to consider focusing on your other projects, particularly GEM, and letting DayWalker work on AA/BA as a united project? As it is, the original AA player base is split between the two with a decided skill differential between the groups, and reunification seems the most logical course of action.
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Caydr
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Post by Caydr » 27 Dec 2006, 00:42

Where'd I say I was going to change "everything"? I'm fixing bugs and making neccessary, logical changes. A lot of build menus will probably be pretty different though, maybe that's what you meant... If that's the case, consider how tedious it is to go through hundreds of build menu entries by hand and reorganize them. I've done it before, and it ain't pretty. But I have such confidence that it will be a positive change that I'm willing to invest those many hours into it again.

AA's still my project and I enjoy working on it. Doesn't really matter to me if people play AA or BA. Heck, I've been constantly telling people to play BA since about a week after it came out... a little creative difference is a very good thing. When everything's dominated by just one mod, that's no fun at all.

Forboding, the mere fact that you disagree with my course of action gives me confidence that it is the right one.
Last edited by Caydr on 27 Dec 2006, 00:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Dragon45
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Post by Dragon45 » 27 Dec 2006, 00:43

Caydr, no one is stopping you from making all the changes you want.

All that's going to happen is if these insane changes (weasels come to mind) continue, then im simply not going to touch AA again. I don't even play it now. Although I am more than capable of figuring out winning strategies for each new overhaul, I simply don't have the time or energy anymore to invest. I want something fun, relatively balanced, but most of all - stable. AA doesn't fit the bill. BA, is made by a player that myself and the community, consider very competent. I'll stick to that.

Again, no one is stopping you, but please be aware that there is absolutely no reason for a number of players, including myself, to touch AA seriously again.
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Post by DemO » 27 Dec 2006, 00:43

If you want to drive Caydr away from working further on AA, this is the way to go about it.

I guess you people feel like you can just dismiss caydr and forget about anything he ever did for spring now that you've got BA to fall back on. Not cool really. I know you have reasons to be annoyed at Caydr Forboding so I can understand your comment, but remember this is a public board. Most of the other people wont, and it just gives a bad impression.

Let Caydr do his thing, be it that it makes the mod worse or better, we'll find out once he's finished. Until then, I would suggest not throwing flamebait at him - the most you can achieve is making him change his mind about continuing with AA, and who's that gonna benefit? Constructive critisism fair enough:

Ask Caydr to play his own mod or seek advice from experienced players that know a lot about the mod and how it plays, instead of changing numbers "for the sake of it", but no need for useless flamebait
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Caydr
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Post by Caydr » 27 Dec 2006, 00:48

I never change numbers randomly or for the sake of it. Stupid mistakes like weasels are the exception, not the rule, if you examine the mod as a whole.
Peekaboom wrote:Please look at the changes that have been made in Balanced Annihilation as well. It is a very playable mod at the moment.
I take enough flak for just using people's units, if I take their ideas, even with their permission, god knows there'll be another group of idiots saying I steal everything and never do any work of my own.
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Post by DemO » 27 Dec 2006, 01:07

People come to this conclusion because you're never seen actually playing your own mod, so people think you just change numbers on a trial and error basis hoping that the changes work. With BA, Daywalker and NoiZe are active, experienced/skilled players that play the mod they are developing, so they have a generally respected basis around which their changes can be justified.

Thus the change to BA of the majority of experienced players in the community - those who know Daywalker/NoiZe and those who can see how the changes are positive, where AA has the majority of less active, less experienced players.

Having played a game of AA yesterday for the first time since BA was released, i noticed how much more balanced BA feels compared to AA 2.23 across the board with the changes in units/structures. As dragon said, he wants a stable mod and BA feels much more stable. I think this is because Daywalker/NoiZe have an objective view on the mod from the perspective of someone that plays the mod.

Your perspective is obviously from that of the developer - you probably know the exact statistics of each unit (in terms of the numbers) better than most, although there is another element to the mod that has to be explored - from the players perspective. You essentially need to understand how games play out and not just the barebone information on each unit to balance the mod.
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Neddie
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Post by Neddie » 27 Dec 2006, 01:08

So, conceptually, the unit list and variation therein seem to be pretty solid. Of all the surface construction units, you'll find the hover constructor to be the most efficent for cost, and the minelayer may need some help.

Also, you may want to look closely at the air repair pads, L2 fighters, and the efficency of Nanoturrets.
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Post by Tim-the-maniac » 27 Dec 2006, 01:17

neddiedrow wrote:As it is, the original AA player base is split between the two with a decided skill differential between the groups, and reunification seems the most logical course of action.
I actually quite like the fact that many noobs stayed with AA, dont see whats wrong with that ;)

also to cadyr:
who cares what idiots say? BA is spot on in terms of balance and I would love to see an official release with those changes. Maybe hire daywalker as the balancer guy? :)
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Post by BvDorp » 27 Dec 2006, 01:23

Can we just agree by saying that Caydr has done an amazing job, setting up AA, and trust him to ... let him do the creative way he wants it? After all, this mod is about fun, and Caydr having fun making it, and ppl actually playing it.. well.. I can imagine it's not that top priority.

So, let's agree on using BA as a stable mod, where AA develops the way Caydr wants it. I like! 8)
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Caydr
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Post by Caydr » 27 Dec 2006, 02:05

It's true that I don't play as often as I probably, but I certainly never play as "Caydr". I notice that when I play as "Caydr", people seem to play quite differently. Sometimes an entire team will attack me and leave my allies alone, sometimes they ignore me out of some misguided attempt not to hurt my pride, etc...

Since I play with other aliases, usually behind a proxy, you might be playing me more often than you think :P

The important difference between BA and AA is that I have to balance based on my own experience and the mathematic formulae I use, wheareas BA's developer, I'd guess, has many closed beta tests.

I could do the beta thing too, but I don't... for the same reason I don't want help modeling/texturing, even though I know others could do a better job. I'm trying to gain as much experience spotting things without needing help.

I've come a long way, and there's certainly a lot more I can learn. What's important is that I have the experience now that, given the chance to actually work on the mod and not do a rush job (I think I did 2.23 in about three hours or something, from start to release, including updating the web site and posting it in the news), I can see ways to improve things that others don't.

I haven't played BA, but given the high praise from knowledgeable individuals, it's obvious that I'll have to start doing more than a few minutes of testing before each release. 2.3 will be good.
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Post by LordMatt » 27 Dec 2006, 02:18

I like BA because there is a large diversity of strategies you can use to win a game, and it requires using more units, just spamming one thing will lose you the game against a good player. For example, most land maps are now equally playable with both vehicles and kbots and neither arm nor core has a significant advantage. Spamming weasels, flash, gators, panthers, etc. will not win you a game against a good player. Different units must be used at different times in the game.

If you want to get the experienced players back from BA, I suggest using the BA changes as a base for the next version of AA. No doubt there are plenty of improvments to be made still, but those made in BA so far have had a very positive impact on the game at the highest level. I personally think there is no substitute for real ingame experience for balancing a mod. You have so much more of an idea of what is actually feasable, strategy wise, and what changes will be beneficial and which will be game breaking. I don't think single player testing will ever be able to replicate ingame experience at a high level. Experienced players will always be suspicous of balance changes made by someone who they consider a novice at playing the game.
Caydr wrote:I'm also planning on a major reorganization of many build menus for both practical and logical reasons. For instance, many units have their buildable factories on two seperate pages, which... just irritates me. Deeply. So that'll be fixed.
Take a look at the following GUI made mostly by trepan and Chojin (Napkin) with a minor bugfix by me: GUI.ZIP. Included in this file are keybinds for every AA unit and structure (some are commented out, or are set to ?). The keybinds are the work of trepan, noize, quantum, and me. I highly recommend you include this GUI with AA because it is a major improvement over the current one. Screenshots are located here and here. For my screen resolution, almost all of the build menu buttons and orders are on a single page.
I take enough flak for just using people's units, if I take their ideas, even with their permission, god knows there'll be another group of idiots saying I steal everything and never do any work of my own.
That would be a pretty ignorant group of idiots. Day and co. merely finetuned your original mod, with great success. I don't think any serious person can question that the work is mostly yours.
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Caydr
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Post by Caydr » 27 Dec 2006, 02:40

FLIP AND SIZZLE! HOW'D YOU MAKE THAT??! Is that mod-based or user-based?
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Neddie
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Post by Neddie » 27 Dec 2006, 02:59

Unless I'm much mistaken it is user based. I use a three column one on my machine when I play.
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LordMatt
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Post by LordMatt » 27 Dec 2006, 03:00

Caydr wrote:FLIP AND SIZZLE! HOW'D YOU MAKE THAT??! Is that mod-based or user-based?
I didn't make most of it :P, but it is user based. Those files need to be installed in the main spring directory. I understand how to do the binds, but napkin/chojin and trepan are the ones I know who know how to make the GUI atm.
Caydr wrote:The important difference between BA and AA is that I have to balance based on my own experience and the mathematic formulae I use, wheareas BA's developer, I'd guess, has many closed beta tests.
I would say his 1000+ hours of playing also have a lot to do with it. :shock:
Last edited by LordMatt on 27 Dec 2006, 03:03, edited 2 times in total.
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