Stray thought regarding balance...

The place to discuss balance changes for future versions of the game.
(Master releases & 3.X)

Stray thought regarding balance...

Postby IblisTheMage » 20 Mar 2014, 20:56

Being a complete noob with regards to multiplayer (but with a couple of thousand skirmish games), I thought I would contribute as I best could to the balancing discussion.

Several places I read that there was need of a simulator.

"How hard can that be? There is already AI in the game..."

I thought that an evolution style tech tree balancing, where the tech tree mutates into a number of small variants, a large number of games are played by AI with different tech preferences, and only the most balanced variants of tech survive to next generation of mutations.

This would over some hundred thousand games give more balanced tech trees. And we could crowd compute the thing, like SETI some years ago.

But then I realized how big the domain is. AI choices (e.g. Early harrasment) x AI tech preference ( 10 % take cannons, 10% take mg, etc etc) ^ 2 (because there are two oponents) x minute tech tree mutations (increase weapon n ability y with 1%) x terrain situations (open terrain, closed terrain, strong defensive terrain, etc) x resource availability.

So my gut feeling was that the domain became too big to simulate, with many millions of full games necesary to get good results.

That lead me to believe that it is impossible to make truly balanced variations based on skill and flair.. The domain is simply too complex as describe above The system is prone to have imbalances introduced due to ripple effects.

So a simplification of the domain would seem to be a prerequisite to simulate, and maybe also to design balanced.
IblisTheMage
Rookie
Rookie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 19 Aug 2007, 18:24

Re: Stray thought regarding balance...

Postby Cyp » 20 Mar 2014, 22:10

The main problem isn't the size of the domain. The problem is that if making the game balanced for AIs, the result would end up only being balanced for complete newbies (or newbies that happen to have printouts of the tech tree sitting next to them). The best AI is, by far, NullBot; which is however easily beaten by its creator. Strategies that work for current AIs against each other would be hopeless against a real opponent, even in a 2v1. So any weapon requiring any kind of skill to use would end up ridiculously overpowered when auto-balancing using AIs.
Cyp
Evitcani
Evitcani
 
Posts: 677
Joined: 17 Jan 2010, 23:35

Re: Stray thought regarding balance...

Postby IblisTheMage » 21 Mar 2014, 16:01

Well that sort of invalidated my thoughts, rightly so.

The thing you mention where a specific unit requires a specific skill is very interesting. Where can I learn more?

I am somewhat intimidated by the human vs. human players, I would never feel confident in a 2 Nullbot vs 1 me :-). (I play 1.0 time or faster against AI, trying to shapen my skills enough to go up vs humans).

Nevertheless it is really interesting to learn what mention, the skills that are needed to go beyond the human vs. AI game.

Also, if such skills could be identified and classified, isn't it possible to incorporate them into the AI?

I know about Starcraft-players whom move front units backwards as they take damage, micromanaging. I assume this is one technique...

focusing on enemy units is of course always smart, but it requires that they move slow enough so that you can hit them with the cursor... :-D. It typically backfires when my DPS is too low to kill the unit, drawing my units closer to enemy fire :-).

I like the Hyper Velocity Cannon a lot, because of the range, and its anti VTOL-abilities as well as all round capabilities and decent HP. Rockets are cool also, but less versatile. I don't have that good experience with MG, but from what I can read I am doing it wrong, since it is "overpowered". Same thing with Flamers.

Personally I would like a bit more focus on terrain, from a realism point of view. A cheap recoilless cannon 30+ years old can kill a modern tank, in the right (wrong) terrain. I am not saying that WZ should be about realism (that is for other games), but Higher Ground, terrain with good cover, etc are things that spring to mind.

But I digress and ramble...
IblisTheMage
Rookie
Rookie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 19 Aug 2007, 18:24

Re: Stray thought regarding balance...

Postby NoQ » 21 Mar 2014, 17:34

Also, if such skills could be identified and classified, isn't it possible to incorporate them into the AI?
Well, i could easily identify quite a lot of skills i failed to incorporate ...
User avatar
NoQ
Special
Special
 
Posts: 6037
Joined: 24 Dec 2009, 11:35
Location: /var/zone

Re: Stray thought regarding balance...

Postby Hesterax » 22 Mar 2014, 08:26

IblisTheMage wrote:Well that sort of invalidated my thoughts, rightly so.

The thing you mention where a specific unit requires a specific skill is very interesting. Where can I learn more?

I am somewhat intimidated by the human vs. human players, I would never feel confident in a 2 Nullbot vs 1 me :-). (I play 1.0 time or faster against AI, trying to shapen my skills enough to go up vs humans).

Nevertheless it is really interesting to learn what mention, the skills that are needed to go beyond the human vs. AI game.

Also, if such skills could be identified and classified, isn't it possible to incorporate them into the AI?

I know about Starcraft-players whom move front units backwards as they take damage, micromanaging. I assume this is one technique...

focusing on enemy units is of course always smart, but it requires that they move slow enough so that you can hit them with the cursor... :-D. It typically backfires when my DPS is too low to kill the unit, drawing my units closer to enemy fire :-).

I like the Hyper Velocity Cannon a lot, because of the range, and its anti VTOL-abilities as well as all round capabilities and decent HP. Rockets are cool also, but less versatile. I don't have that good experience with MG, but from what I can read I am doing it wrong, since it is "overpowered". Same thing with Flamers.

Personally I would like a bit more focus on terrain, from a realism point of view. A cheap recoilless cannon 30+ years old can kill a modern tank, in the right (wrong) terrain. I am not saying that WZ should be about realism (that is for other games), but Higher Ground, terrain with good cover, etc are things that spring to mind.

But I digress and ramble...

Nullbot already has a few of these skills, though it would be nice if they where more resilient to early attacks (the rush tactic almost always works on them). And even though hyper velocity canons do have anti VTOL capabilities, they aren't really effective at taking them down.Terrain is also a nice place to focus on though but mostly, development is focused on debugging. :(

By the way, micromanagement is one of the main things that Warzone 2100 has been trying to avoid adding on to, which is one thing that sets it apart from Starcraft along with game mechanics. Nullbot already has a few of the micromanagement skills seen in Starcraft players though it is not as effective at them. I do not dislike the idea of a bit of extra micromanagement though, I sometimes like micromanagement intensive games though I found them hard to master especially with rapid focus switching. Plus my family members were never really fans of micromanagement. :wink:
Holocaust and Genocide, both linked to Mass Slaughter.
User avatar
Hesterax
Trained
Trained
 
Posts: 282
Joined: 11 Jan 2014, 13:32


Return to Balance