Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 29 Jul 2016, 03:08

Per wrote:I'd be interested in hearing feedback from people testing out these changes.

Thanks for the consideration, as you know, it’s hard to get people to test things given the size of the community.

Learning how to “test” was a big part of making this so I’d like to share how I went about testing balance changes. Otherwise, people won't know what to look for when testing. I don't expect anyone to test like this but in theory, this is how it's done.

At first I was really unorganized but eventually realized that simulating a flawless research game such that all items are researched the moment they are available is the only game that needs to be measured. All other scenarios can be derived from that.

I run two instances of WZ in window mode side-by-side (muted), the EB-Sample map and the exact same map without the mod named, EB-SampleNoMod. So I compare mod vs no mod, side by side, 3.2 and 3.1.5 (sometimes).

To simulate in 3.2.x, use the EB-Sample map, T1 half base, 5v5 nexus AI on easy mode. If you do Medium difficulty, the nexus AI cheat finishes research so you will get distorted data. All other AI’s do not continuously research in 3.2. Unfortunately there are still some minor lapses of no research periods so this method is not entirely accurate but it’s well within reason. Half-base and no-base have different arrival times but for time’s sake half-base is faster to measure.

As soon as the game starts, use debug mode to set auto-game on, game speed to 100x and whale fin for infinite power. This is an objective measurement of total power produced over the course of the tech tree.

Compare side-by-side arrival times of research items at periodic intervals e.g. 5 minute mark or at key research items e.g. Mantis body or Lancer Rocket. Observe divergences, mod vs no mod.

Make saved games at certain marks but if you change the stats the save game no longer works.

Observe the speed of droid designs before-and-after engine upgrades.

Test the speed of the droid designs by drag racing them side by side, compare them mod vs no mod.

Use debug mode to simulate any structure/unit interaction with the proper upgrades relative to their arrival in the tech tree. (Would be nice if there was a way to instantly generate 135 droids of a type instead of having to click back and forth 100x times :augh: )

Use editor to quickly make adjustments as necessary (<10 secs).

Close WZ, reopen WZ, Repeat test… … 1000x times???

Testing is very time consuming, I expect it will be awhile before any solid feedback but feel free to comment on the concepts in general.
5v5 Classic NTW with extra research centers for each players.
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby NoQ » 29 Jul 2016, 13:38

Would be nice if there was a way to instantly generate 135 droids of a type instead of having to click back and forth 100x times
"clone wars"?
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby Cyp » 29 Jul 2016, 16:36

Or "clone wars!" or "clone wars!!"? 640f6c256c39fd246933fdfc040c8cc5a892d750
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 29 Jul 2016, 18:16

NoQ wrote:
Would be nice if there was a way to instantly generate 135 droids of a type instead of having to click back and forth 100x times
"clone wars"?

Cyp wrote:Or "clone wars!" or "clone wars!!"? 640f6c256c39fd246933fdfc040c8cc5a892d750

Seriously??? There's already functionality for this?!

Man... more wasted time spent clicking to place droids one by one :| . Kind of like my first post in this thread when I was manually importing the 3.1.5 stats into Excel one value at a time before I realized they were in a .csv format under a .txt extension and could be imported in bulk. A lot of learning experience gained here.

Well, I have more testing to do then. Not that I didn't test large quantities of droids before, it's just that recreating the battles was too much work to do repeatedly. Thanks guys.
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby Cyp » 29 Jul 2016, 21:03

MIH-XTC wrote:Seriously??? There's already functionality for this?!

There was already "clone wars", but the "clone wars!" and "clone wars!!" are new and were inspired by your post (and aren't in 3.2.1).
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 04 Aug 2016, 01:40

I’ve been running tests using the methodology described above and have been tweaking values based on results. Thanks to clone wars I’m able to test things that would have otherwise taken too long. Objective changes have been thoroughly tested and the mod is very stable but the ideal game play experience is still subjective so please let me know what you think. I'm done testing and working on this now.

Here's more information regarding changes that I didn't discuss before because it's too much work to explain and make these posts.

    - Set the research power for all bodies = ((research points/32) * 2)
    - Set the research power for all weapon turrets = ((research points/32) * 1.5)
    - All other research power = research points/32 (previously discussed)

The last damage upgrade for all weapons do slightly more damage to reward players for finishing a research line before opponent and increase volatility at the end of the game to avoid stalemates.

    R-Wpn-AAGun-Damage06 25 --> 45
    R-Wpn-Howitzer-Damage06 25 --> 45
    R-Wpn-Mortar-Damage06 25 --> 45

    R-Wpn-Cannon-Damage09 25 --> 45
    R-Wpn-Rocket-Damage09 25 --> 45
    R-Wpn-Flamer-Damage09 25 --> 45 (burn time 25 --> 55)

    R-Wpn-MG-Damage08 25 --> 35

    R-Wpn-Energy-Damage03 25 --> 50
    R-Wpn-Missile-Damage03 25 --> 50
    R-Wpn-Rail-Damage03 25 --> 25 (Untouched, gauss is already dominant)

Changed VTOL bomb HP’s after using clone wars to more thoroughly test VTOL/AA interactions. Found HP's needed adjustment as a result of VTOL's flying faster. I made sure the incendiary weapons tested slightly better than their non-incendiary counter parts but fly slightly slower.

    VTOL Bomb HP’s:
      Cluster 440 --> 350
      Phosphor 320 --> 350
      HEAP 480 --> 450
      Thermite 360 --> 450
    (In other words, heavy bombs --> 450 and light bombs --> 350)

This is the body/turret combinations for optimal VTOL speeds starting early tech--> late tech:

    Cobra/Non-Bomb (early game)
    VTOL lasers and mg’s are good alternatives to bombs too and can use any of the bodies above.

* Took away hover speed bonus for HPV and gave it to assault cannon instead. Assault cannon and light cannon are the only cannons that receive hover speed bonus (3 tiles per second instead of 2).

* Slightly boosted leopard engine power to ensure leopard/assault cannon/hover gets speed bonus and so that it flies HEAP bomb faster than scorpion. Leopard research points reduced by 3000 but panther increased by 3000 to create separation and a window for leopard.

As a result of the changes in droid speeds, the rocket/cannon balance needed to be re calibrated. These changes have always been present in this mod but I never specifically discussed rocket/cannon balance because it's information overload.

    Note: that rocket and cannon arrival times always vary between half base, no base and full base starts.

    Starting from early tech --> late tech, rocket vs cannon balance changes are:
    • Mini-pod research points were slightly increased from 1200 --> 1600 since it now has speed advantage over light cannon.

    • Cannon cyborg HP increased from 80 --> 85 but weight increased from 120 --> 140 to increase relevancy and further distinguish

    • Medium cannon is now slightly faster on half-tracks meaning it’s much more competitive vs mini-pod than before.

    • Medium cannon cyborg only requires cyborg armor03 instead of 04 meaning it arrives about 2 minutes earlier. I didn’t like the fact that HPV cyborg replaced medium cannon cyborg as soon as it became available so I separated the research distance between the two to give each a window.

    • Medium cannon cyborg weight was increased from 120 -->150 (max weight before it loses 1.5x speed bonus) to make it slower but also gets slightly extra HP’s 110 --> 120.

    • Once lancer arrives, rocket vs cannon should be dead even whereas before I think rocket was slightly favored.

    • HPV arrival time was pushed back 4800 --> 5200 because medium cannon has improved speed + medium cannon cyborg arrives earlier.

    • Lancer cyborg weight went from 120 --> 105 meaning it is slightly faster and lancer tank is also faster than HPV and medium cannon by ~.15 tile per second.

    • Single assault cannon build time 800 --> 700 and research points 8000 --> 7000 but twin assault research points 9600 -->10600. Gives bigger window for single assault cannon.

    • Heavy cannon and twin assault are slower on tracks but faster on half-tracks (unintended) so I reduced tank killer research points from 10,000 --> 7200 and tank killer build points from 1250 --> 1100 (scourge is 1200 for reference). Tank killer arrives just seconds after twin assault cannon.

    • Tank Killer cyborg HP went from 90 --> 100 but assault cannon cyborg went from 110 --> 120

    • Ripple rocket dmg 45 --> 80

    • Little scourge cyborg build time went from 1000 --> 700 (big scourge is 1000). Big scourge cyborg HP went from 90 --> 100. Little scourge cyborg weight 120 --> 110

    • Little needle cyborg build time went from 800 --> 700 (equal to little scourge) and little needle cyborg also penetrates now whereas it didn’t before. Needle cyborg weight 120 --> 115

    • Needle unlocks EMP which should hopefully be useful (penetrates now but has slow ROF)

    • Rail gunner cyborg now penetrates and HP’s went from 110 --> 130 but weight went from 120 --> 140

    • Scourge tech line finishes slightly before rail tech line and also gets the 25 --> 45 bonus damage for scourge-damage03

    • Arch angel dmg 160 --> 200

    • Double Gauss dragon tracks is strong and I think is the most intuitive way for the game to end (best weapon + best body)

Lasers should be neck and neck with scourge/rail, perhaps slightly better with heavy laser arrival. However, red bodies give huge increases in thermal armor and so does the last thermal armor upgrade. It means HEAT weapons (plasmite/thermite bombs + lasers) are not as effective at the very end of the tech tree, especially vs red bodies but prior to that time HEAT/incendiary weapons should be considered superior.

Generally speaking, the tech tree researches slightly slower up until scourge. When neural research MK3 finishes in 3.1.5, MK2 is just finishing under modded balance. This means the modded balance is about ~5 minutes behind. However, neural mk3 research multiplier went from 30 --> 100 meaning the end of the tech tree is much more condensed. All of the 8 and 10 minute research items at the end of the tech tree now take about 5 minutes. Overall the tech tree still takes approximately the same time to finish but it’s slightly slower before scourge and slightly faster after that point. I think this is good but it's subjective.

I also abandoned all changes I made to the power upgrade multipliers and kept it simple by changing the power generator power points from 55 --> 80. I think players will appreciate the new medium power setting being equivalent to the old high power setting which would give players an option for a truly high power game if they desire. This would revitalize all of the low oil maps because they can be experienced with a new high power setting. This would also cut back on those ridiculous 40+ oil maps. This would eliminate the low power setting but it’s rarely used in comparison to high power.

Medium power setting = 1x power
High power setting = 1.25x power
If we want the new medium power setting to be equivalent to the old high power setting then 55 * 1.25 = 68.75… but I set it at 80.

The reason I set it at 80 instead of ~70 is because I added research points to all of the power upgrades to spread them out over the course of the tech tree which means the upgrades aren’t applied as fast. When power-upgrade06 is finished in 3.1.5, power upgrade-04 is about halfway done in modded balance.

Over the course of the entire tech tree, 55 --> 80 should be close to transitioning the high power --> medium power but still gives slightly more power in early T1 games (~4,000 power over first 20 minutes). However, some things do cost slightly more e.g. derricks 0 --> 25, some research items and some structures so it should be okay. Therefore I think 55 --> 80 is most appropriate to shift high power --> medium power even though it’s mathematically 68.75. I originally had 55 --> 100 but none of the power options were comparable to 3.1.5 so players might lose their reference point to what they were used to. But low oil maps @ 55 --> 100 high power settings could be a lot more fun.

The very last power upgrade was increased from 30 --> 40 to keep on par with costly droids, increased research costs and improved build times.
WZ Stats Editor.xlsm
The exact changes made to the stats
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Test map containing latest (and hopefully final) copy of mod for version 3.2
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 07 Aug 2016, 20:00

Well, I came up with another good idea to make the strategy more complicated…

I gave the 1st sensor turret a big multiplier bonus just like the 1st engine and truck upgrade. (Technically the sensor is a turret, not an upgrade).

The default sensor range is now only 2 tiles but returns to normal upon completion of the sensor turret. This makes the sensor turret more competitive vs truck and engine as the 1st research choice.

Here's a comparison between NEW and OLD.


Notice the smaller sensor range, the addition of the engine to the research menu and the equal costs + research times for truck, sensor and engine; 2 minutes and 100 power for each.

Beforehand they were at 1:25, 1:04 and 1:25 respectively. The longer initial research times and costs means that players are more committed to their early research decisions so choose wisely. All downstream arrival times are preserved in these changes.

Based on the game settings and map, players will have to decide if they should research the truck, engine or sensor first. Or do they try to rush with MG?

Each route gives a significant upgrade boost and unlocks a base structure + weapon:
Engine = mini pod + power module
Truck = flamer + cyborg factory
Sensor = mortar + research center
MG = MG + cannon + MG Tower

    Engine is the critical path for factory module and gives a 30% speed bonus to units. The engine upgrades do not affect current units, only units produced after the upgrades. Mini pod AND power module sounds like a very tempting choice.

    Sensor increases sensor range by 300% from 2 tiles to 8 tiles and is the critical path for the research module. Mortar arrives after the sensor tower. This research route is thinking about the long game ahead.

    Truck gets 50% increase to construction rates and I made the combat engineer initially superior to truck (moves faster) so combat engineer has a window in the initial construction of a base. This route also gets flamers.

Added enableTemplate("Cyb-ComEng"); to rules.js so that combat engineer is available in cyborg factory without needing the command center.

The first 2 minutes of T1 no base might seem a little slow or tedious but things quickly return to normal with the 1st upgrades. Strategies will require much more thought and allow for greater variation between players.
Try playing this T1 no base to see if you like
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 13 Aug 2016, 15:53

One more idea...

I created another instance of the turrets/weapons for the structures so that defensive structure turrets can be modified independently of the droid counterpart. Using the excel editor, it was just a matter of copy and pasting the weapons and then appending the following prefix naming convention to the weapon IDs:


Structure Towers
Structure Emplacements
Structure Bunker
Structure Hard Points

I then gave:

Hardpoints get +2 tile range
Towers get +1.5 tile range and +10% dmg
Bunkers get +1 tile range and +20% dmg
Emplacements get +1 tile range and +30% dmg

With the exception of:
*Does not apply to AA, mortar or howitzers emplacements

*MG bunker doesn't see any difference because I set its weapon from heavy MG back to normal MG which cancels out the 20% dmg bonus it would see.

This is in addition to rescaling the build times and HP's for defensive structures. So I think defense should work better now?
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 14 Aug 2016, 00:44

It was just brought to my attention of how to properly make a mod...

I didn't know mods were supposed to be .wz files located in the /path/to/warzone/mods/global folder

Then WZ is supposed to be started with --mod=NameOfMod.wz

For example:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Warzone 2100-3.2.1\warzone2100.exe" --mod=EB.wz

So attached is EB.wz
EB Mod
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 16 Aug 2016, 21:36

errrr... another idea.

I was reading all of the old previous balance threads in the addons and balance sections from years ago and liked the idea of derricks getting an mg turret so I created new structure "Guarded oil derrick" which is automatically made available on the build menu after Guarded MG tower has been researched.

Originally I wanted to obsolete the unguarded derrick and have it replaced but that causes problems, namely the cursor icon turns to an X when hovering over an oil.

Instead I kept both and players can choose which they want to build from the build menu, the unguarded derrick is still the default when clicking on an oil.

Guarded derrick costs 50 compared to 25 unguarded.
Sensor tower and MG tower cost 60 and 100 for comparison.

Build time for guarded derrick is 150 compared to 100 unguarded.

The guarded oil derrick turret is the droid version of single MG.

Remember that MG tower and MG bunker get the structure version of MG now (increased range/dmg) so guarded oil derrick is still inferior to them.

Reduced unguarded oil derrick HP from 600 --> 500


I just added this into the add-on that is pending approval. Please approve the add-on so I can finally stop revising this :)
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 19 Aug 2016, 00:58

Thanks for approving this mod as an add-on: http://addons.wz2100.net/299

After 6 months I can finally stop working on this mod and move on to other things in life. I haven't been able to focus on much else until this was done.

Attached is the stats editor which shows the modified stats for the add-on. This is essentially the changelog.

2 out of the past 6 months were spent programming the editor which I considered overhead at the time but realize now that there's no way to manage the complexity or time required without it. For anyone doing any future stats work, the editor is a must use if you want to do things efficiently.

The VBA code for Excel --> .json export is below. I'm posting it here because when I initially researched this, I found many other people were looking for this code but I couldn't get anything that was posted on the Internet to work.


The campaign is loaded into the editor, waiting for someone to edit it. I don't have any interest in doing that after mp.
WZ Stats Editor for 3.2.x.zip
Requires MS Excel 2010 or newer. Shows which stats were modified in the EB add-on
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 21 Aug 2016, 04:23

Well, the notion of range upgrades was brought up in IRC today and I came up with the idea of ballistic upgrades01 - 09 that improve range and projectile flight speed. They are unlocked by first research upgrade:

Augmented ballistic system
Augmented ballistic system MK2
Augmented ballistic system MK3
Modular ballistic system
Modular ballistic system MK2
Modular ballistic system MK3

Each gives:
MG = 1% range
Flamer = 2% range
Cannon = 3% range
Rocket = 4% range
mortar = 5% range

Exothermic ballistic system
Exothermic ballistic system MK2
Exothermic ballistic system MK3

Each gives:
Laser = 1% range
Rail = 2% range
Missile = 4% range

Mortars get:
High-Explosive Ballistics; arrives after HEAP mortar shells MK1:
+3 tiles mortar range

Cannons get:
Triple Primed Firing Mechanism; arrives after Cannon Laser Designator:
+5% cannon range

Rockets get:

Ballistic Array Launcher (arrives after MRA)
Sets MRA from direct to indirect and gives 15% range bonus (starts with lower range)

Heavy Array Launcher (arrives after Ripple)
Gives 20% range bonus to ripple rocket (starts with lower range)

Ballistic Missile Array (arrives after Seraph)
Sets Seraph from direct to indirect and gives 15% range bonus (starts with lower range)

Long Range Ballistic Missiles (arrives after Arch Angel)
Gives 20% range bonus to Arch Angel (starts with lower range)

Ballistic Upgrade01, 04 and 07 unlock Flight Speed upgrades:

Reduced friction turret system
Liquid chilled turret system
Superconducting turret system

Each gives:
10% flight speed

Ballistic system research points = 90% of equivalent research upgrade

The increases in range scale nicely. Weapons with ranges 7 - 10 get approximately +.33 tiles in range per upgrade. The upgrades are worthwhile but not overpowering.

Only thing I'm missing are icons and graphic files for this stuff...
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 22 Aug 2016, 00:09

Enabled helicopters and balanced them into the mix.... I won't explain the stats here, I hope you trust my judgment by now. Sample map is attached, helicopters are a must add for next release.
Sample map with helicopters enabled.
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 28 Aug 2016, 21:37

Finished tweaking and implementing range upgrades. See screenshot for new upgrade names and range upgrade multipliers (4 - 8%).


Attached is latest version of mod
Latest Version
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Re: Enhanced Balance Mod for 3.x

Postby MIH-XTC » 30 Aug 2016, 00:24

Just flipping through the reported bugs for the first time ever and found two interesting reports regarding the stats:

http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/4489 reported for helicopters and VTOL's having the wrong graphic effects for "still" and "moving".

The "still" and "moving" parameters need to be swapped in body.json for helicopters. Right now the "moving" parameter has stationary.pie values and the "still" parameter has fx.pie values, should be the other way around

For VTOL's, the "still" parameter just needs to be renamed to "moving".

https://github.com/Warzone2100/warzone2 ... .json#L110

http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/4331 Reported for existing flamer cyborgs automatically being promoted to thermite cyborgs once available.

I overlooked the subtle difference between redComponents and replaceComponents. replaceComponents means items can be instantly upgraded on the spot. This reminds me that in 1.10 ripples used to automatically become arch angel, I forgot all about that.

The only other research items that make use of replaceComponents is scourge and HPV cannon which:

Medium Cannon cyborg automatically becomes HPV
Lancer cyborg automatically becomes scourge cyborg

https://github.com/Warzone2100/warzone2 ... .json#L268

I removed all replaceComponents except for ZNULLRepair:Autorepair, unless you think this is desirable behavior (I don't)

The only usage of replaceComponents that I can think of is Avenger automatically becoming Vindicator since nobody uses Avenger (give it some love) and maybe single mg bunker automatically becoming twin???
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