Hey guys, it’s Calculus.
Attached is a modded version of the 3.x balance to fine tune all of the minor details that I think need tweaking in an attempt to make improved game play. The mod is intended to “enhance” the current game play by making all of the weapons, bodies and turrets relevant for their intended purpose and time frame. Players are to continue playing as they normally would and the intended effect is that everything just kind of seems to work a little bit better for some reason.
At the core of this enhanced balance is a new turret/body weight system and a functional engine/terrain modifier system. As it currently stands right now, 90% of the weapon/body/propulsion combinations achieve the maximum speed allowed by default and therefore engine upgrades and terrain types have no effect on them. This is not how the game was intended to be. Under the enhanced balance mod, every weapon, body and propulsion type has a unique speed signature with each engine upgrade progressively giving more speed.
The mod also comes with an excel spreadsheet used to track and communicate the changes from the current balance. Screenshots of the spreadsheet are below
To use this mod:
Simply put the stats folder (see attachment) inside any map and that’s it. Warzone maps have a .wz file extension and they can be opened just like a folder (WZ maps behave just like .zip archives).
To test and observe the changes in this mod:
Play a game with the EB-Sample map (see attachment). This map is essentially 10 player Classic NTW with each player having 10 research modules. The reason for choosing this map as a sample map to demonstrate the changes is because with 10 research modules, all research items will be seamlessly researched non-stop from start to finish and this allows you to compare all of the new research arrival times assuming that a player were to flawlessly research any particular research path in a real game. This map is also ideal for testing/racing unit speeds. The map is intended to be played on T1/Half bases using a combination of Hover and Nullbot AI’s.
More specifically, to test these changes in the EB-Sample map, do the following:
- Type “cheat on” as soon as the game starts to enable debug mode.
Then type “autogame on” to make the AI take control of your player
Then use Ctrl +/- to increase the game speed to 100 and fast forward as much as you like. Sit back and watch the AI play…
To compare the changes to the existing balance, simply play the EB-SampleNoMod map side by side with the modded version in window mode.
While observing the AI gameplay, take note of the tank + cyborg speeds at various points in the game and experiment with testing different tank designs to see the new speed. Check the design again after engine upgrades have finished to see how much faster the unit has become.
Also take note of the new research arrival times. Research is seamless and flawless under this sample map however the AI does temporarily run out of power during some points. Type “whale fin” for infinite power and then you can see the hypothetical perfect research time for all items. However, infinite power doesn’t allow you to test new power production rates.
- Use Ctrl + O to place any unit or structure. This is great for instantly testing nearly anything you want in WZ.
Use Alt + A to instantly unlock all research items. Do not use this in games when testing research arrival times because all research items will become available.
Ctrl + X instantly finishes items that are currently being researched.
“biffer baker” gives units infinite HP’s.
OVERVIEW OF THE INTENDED EFFECTS OF THIS MOD:
The early – mid tech tree time era lasts longer and the later part of the research tech tree now researches faster. Some minor dependencies have been tweaked. Please reference the balance tracker spreadsheet for the full list of research changes.
Power modules now give 1.25% more power but all power module upgrades are 1.25% less effective. The intention here is to make the power upgrades not as valuable or mandatory to stay competitive without affecting the overall flow of power. The solution of making generators 1.25% more powerful gives the effect of slightly more oil in the first 20 minutes of the game but by mid game (after 3 power upgrades) the power will seem the same. I did race mod vs no mod with constant research and mod had 6,000 more power at 91,000 vs 85,000 but they were tied at 130,000 in mid game, no mod took lead at 150,000 vs 146,000 but then in late game mod starts making more power again. I think this should benefit both high and low oil games. However, the last power upgrades are slightly more effective so it’s a gamble to skip early power upgrades if the game lasts long. Also, all power upgrades take slightly longer to research with the last one arriving near the very end of the tech tree.
All mortar upgrades after Bombard now take slightly less time to research making the later mortar upgrades more effective during the mid-game battles.
All howitzer upgrades take slightly longer to research moving artillery from mid-late game time to late game. This also inherently makes mortar more effective. Incendiary howitzer has improved range and arrives before groundshaker now instead of after. It should have a small window of effectiveness similar to incendiary mortar. Groundshaker has also been slightly nerfed. Also, now that units move faster due to engine upgrades, artillery is inherently less effective. The biggest reason current games go to mobile groundshaker/arch angel stalemates is because units move too slow to get within range. Games should now definitely end in dragon/wyvern + rail/scourge/laser tank wars instead of mobile artillery. Artillery is now effective as defensive emplacements but not so much for offensive mobile artillery. Artillery structure build times have been improved in parallel with all other defensive structures.
Hovers now receive 25% more HP’s and have slightly increased max speed. Hovers are currently a little bit too weak. Hover flamers are now viable alternatives to cannons and rockets but scorpion and mantis are needed to utilize extra hover speeds.
Tracks move slightly faster and also receive 25% extra HP’s.
Wheels receive 25% extra HP’s making them not so inferior to early half tracks.
VTOL max speed has also been raised but VTOL bombs need good engine upgrades to achieve normal or faster than normal speeds.
Rockets now do slightly 10% more damage to cyborg, before it was too little but cannons also have received some favors too (too many tradeoffs to list in cannons vs rockets). I think all propulsions should now be balanced now and each has practical application in certain scenario’s.
Red + Black body tanks:
All red and black bodies (late game bodies) have improved arrival times and production times. Wyvern and dragon tanks have improved speed and now take ~40 – 50 seconds to produce depending on turret/propulsion type compared to 60 – 70 seconds before. Dragon + Wyvern also arrive much earlier now. Wyvern is now fastest body in the game and dragon has most HP’s. This is a speed vs HP tradeoff in the final stages of the game. I’m looking forward to some red body tank wars instead of tiger track mobile artillery.
Defenses: have been slightly improved in the following ways:
All bunkers and fortresses receive +2 armor, all hard points receive +100 HP, most towers receive +100 HP and improved armor and all defensive turrets have slightly improved build times. Also, truck construction upgrades are slightly improved making defense structures faster to build and slightly harder to kill. Cyborg construction engineer now builds faster as well but still slightly less than truck. Defenses in general should now be slightly stronger and take slightly less time to build. Build times for Mortars and Howitzers have also been improved.
Cyborg mechanic, light repair turret and heavy repair turret all repair 2x the amount of HP’s now. This isn’t too overpowering but makes these units effective in certain situations. Cyborg mechanic has improved speed and is useful for scouting but has 25% less HP’s. Cyborg mechanic should also be useful for repairing units in low oil games.
All VTOL bombs now take slightly longer to research but the AA upgrades have also been moved back in parallel. All VTOL bombs except for HEAP have been slightly improved to allow for each bomb to be useful in a certain time window. Plasmite bombs now fly faster with retribution and are slightly more powerful. Hurricane and whirlwind cost slightly more and take slightly longer to build. Sunburst and AA flak cannon are slightly improved. AA Flak cannon hardpoint now arrives earlier making it a viable alternative to whirlwind. Rocket line has Avenger AA as alternative to whirlwind. Stormbringer laser AA now arrives slightly earlier. All AA choices should be balanced now and each VTOL bomb should have a window of relevancy.
All cyborgs have been slightly improved in one way or another except for the basic mg cyborg. Please reference the guide to see the extra performance increase each cyborg gets.
Please consider adding feedback on anything you think can be improved.