Okay, I’m finally finished with this mod and would like to propose these stat changes to be the next generation of balance in 3.2 multiplayer. Please disregard all previous posts in this thread, it's basically a journal of my learning experience. After 7 months of studying, editing and testing changes to the stat files, I'm sure I understand them very well now. The thought process and logic behind these changes are based on several years worth of empirical evidence. However, I’m still not sure of the most concise way of explaining the changes other than a lengthy walk through guide of an entire game starting from T1 no base. I’ll use screenshots from the stats editor that I created to help articulate. Sorry again for the long read.1. New Droid speeds
The main component of this mod is the New Engine Upgrade and Propulsion Schema. Each design combination has a unique speed signature that becomes progressively faster and this is how WZ was originally meant to be. Every possible droid design is considerably more competitive and the engine upgrades progress all of the units at just the right speed. For example, the speed vs HP tradeoff in a bug/wheel combination is now much more competitive vs half/track cobra than it was before. I made sure that only certain body/turret/propulsion combinations receive the 1.5x speed bonus. Please try and play around with the unit designs and engine upgrades and I think you’ll find the units progress very nicely.
A specific unit design will become roughly 10 - 25% progressively faster over the course of when it is technologically relevant. I slightly lifted the max speeds to allow for engine upgrade progressions.old --> new max speed.
Wheel = 1.34
tiles per second
Half-Track = 1.14
tiles per second
Track = .98
tiles per second
Hover = 2.46
tiles per second
VTOL = 5.4
tiles per second
The HP modifier for tracks, wheel and hover have been slightly increased relative to half-track. The propulsions should be more balanced now.
Track = 300
Hover = 100
Wheeled = 100
Half-Track = 200
I made the heavy cyborgs slightly faster reducing their weight from 250 --> 230 and made each of the cyborgs have a different speed based on their weapon. Previously all light and heavy cyborgs had the same weapon weight (120) meaning they all moved at the same speed relative to their body type.
Weapon speeds relative to one another are supposed to be:
Flamer = Fastest
Rockets/Missiles = Fast
MG/Laser = Medium
Cannon/Rail = Slow
Artillery = Slowest
Black and red body armor and build times have been improved.
Retaliation should now be able to comparable with Mantis, retribution with Tiger and Vengeance beats tiger as it should. Wyvern and Dragon are nice increases in HP and thermal armor but their critical research path is dependent upon thermal armor, not vengeance. This means a team can get vengeance before their opponent but not necessarily the red bodies if they didn’t start thermal research early.
Here are screenshots of the actual changes from the stats editor (attached), green indicates a change for the better, red for the worse.2. Power/Oil schema
The amount of power per generator has been changed to:
Power Generator, Power Points 55 --> 80
Power Module; Power Points 28 --> 28 (unchanged)
The new "Medium Power" setting is now equivalent to the old "High Power" setting.
The purpose of this is to make the low, medium, high power option settings more useful. Currently, most players typically play the "high power" setting and rarely the "low power" setting. The new high power setting should make maps with only a few derricks much more interesting.
I suggest "Medium Power" be the default setting to retain 3.1.5 feel.
The cost of derrick went from 0 --> 25
The 25 power per derrick throws a slight complication into the base build for NTW players since 40 oils now costs 1,000 power. NTW base build will briefly run out of power but then quickly generate extra power.
3. Structures and Base building
Unit speed and construction rates start off noticeably nerfed in T1 no base but return to normal 2 minutes into the game after the first truck and engine upgrades. The very first engine and truck upgrades give a significant boost allowing for a new strategical dynamic in T1 no base.
1st engine upgrade increases truck speed from 1 tile per second --> 1.37 tile per second
1st truck upgrade increases truck construction from 6 points per second --> 9 points per second (was 8 --> 8.8 before)
Construction rates later in the game are much improved but not too fast IMO.
Truck Upgrade #1: 10% --> 50%
Truck Upgrade #2: 20% --> 30%
Truck Upgrade #3: 20% --> 40%
A research center is the best option in any no base game with the exception of rush games (you start close to your opponent) then a factory is better. Generally speaking, res, fac, fac, res is currently the gold standard start for arbitrary maps. There aren’t many parameters to tweak to make the base build more interesting but at the same time, changing some items just wouldn’t make sense. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to reduce the build time for res center since it’s already the best option for the first building and conversely it wouldn’t make sense to increase the build time for power generators for just the opposite reason. (only newbs build a power gen before a factory or research center). With this in mind, I slightly adjusted the build times for base structures so that the best build sequence for a given map considers much more thought.
Factory Build Time 500 --> 450
Power Generator Build Time 500 --> 400
Power Module Build Time 250 --> 400
Research Facility Build Time 500 --> 600
Research Module Build Time 250 --> 500
Laser Satellite Build Time 2500 --> 3000
Satellite Uplink Build Time 1000 --> 4000
Research Center; Research Points 14 --> 14 (no change)
Research Module; Research Points 12 --> 18 (make res mod more valuable in low oil)
The build times and HP’s for defensive structures have been re-scaled with the construction upgrade modifiers to further distinguish the contrasting advantages of each defense type while make each slightly more effective but avoiding turtle-like behavior.
Hard Point build times are doubled 400 --> 800 (early game are 700) and all Hard Point HP’s are increased from 800 --> 1100.
Bunker build times are increased 400 --> 600 and HP’s are increased from 700 --> 800 and armor 20 --> 28.
Emplacement build times are slightly reduced by ~20% and cost slightly less. (does not apply to artillery and AA emplacements)
I wanted to re-scale only the armor instead of HP’s for the bunkers but several tests indicate that structure armor seems to have little to no effect all. I tested armors 10 – 50 which had no effect on several weapons. I didn’t have time to investigate further.
Since the 450 max price for research items has been removed in 3.2, I set all research prices that were previously capped at 450 to equal the amount of research points/32. (some of these came out as decimals but I've never had any problems with them, I can fix if they need to be int's). This is how the price of all other research items were originally calculated. This means the tech tree now costs 100,670 --> 119,931
The 1st engine upgrade now appears on the research menu in T1 no base (this is the only thing I changed in rules.js) meaning there are now 4 research options in the beginning of the game. By widening the tech tree earlier, it allows for more possible combinations, more strategical thinking, and more deviation in research strategy between teams.
Since the 1st engine upgrade (1200 research points) no longer requires the 1st truck upgrade (1200 research points) I redistributed the extra 1200 points by adding 600 to the engine 1200 --> 1800 and added 600 to the power module and minipod so that all downstream arrival times after that are not affected.
I also made mortar branch off from the sensor path and arrive after the sensor tower. I think it’s more befitting than having it arrive after the factory module given mortar’s range and its relation to the sensor. The overall arrival time for mortar has been improved from 8400 --> 5200 but the 1st mortar shell upgrade was increased from 1800 --> 4000 and 2nd shell upgrade 3600 --> 4800 to maintain the ~same arrival times for the rest of the mortar path after the 2nd shell upgrade.
I hope it makes T1 no base research strategy more interesting.
I tried not to change many research prerequisites but I did change:
*Restructured Howitzer dependencies to make Hellstorm/ROF upgrades and GroundShaker/Damage upgrades diverge (widen) rather than sequential
*Restructured black body dependencies to make retalliation arrive slightly earlier and give a pause for retribution
*Changed Laser/Flashlight dependencies to derive from flamer items and make heavy laser + stormbringer arrive slightly earlier.
*Laser Satellite requires heavy laser (should be intuitive)
*Missile SAM's arrive one upgrade earlier.
*Uplink doesn't require truck upgrade MK3 (although you'll want it)
*Made pepperpot arrive 1 ROF upgrade earlier
*Thermite bomb requires HEAP bomb
*EMP arrives after needle gun
*AA Chainfeed Loader MK1 requires twin assault gun
*Nexus requires just research 8 and resistance circuits at research 9
The highlighted cells in the images below are the complete list of prerequisite changes.
5. New Laser Identity
Laser is supposed to be a late game alternative to rocket and cannon but right now it’s supplementary to both since it’s anti-personnel. I gave pulse laser and heavy laser the flamer damage profile (still upgraded by energy/laser upgrades) which means laser is now effective vs everything besides hard points. This way laser can compete vs rocket and cannon as a separate branch. The pre-req’s for flashlight are now assault gun + flamer-damage-06 (superhot flamer gel mk3) and pulse laser is flashlight + Plasmite flamer + energy accuracy 01.
A distinguishing characteristic of pulse and heavy laser is that they now do very high concentrations of incendiary damage but only for a small time in a 1 and .5 tile radius’. The resulting effect was unintended but turned out nice, the incendiary damage only effects units moving forward or coming close, not standing still or retreating. Therefore lasers are much more effective vs advancing armies but not as effective vs retreating armies.
6. VTOL’s + Artillery
Both VTOL propulsion and VTOL Factory arrive 2000 points earlier (6000 --> 4000) but cluster bomb was pushed back 5500 --> 7500. This creates a bigger window for non-bomb and light bomb VTOL’s. Right now players just wait for HEAP.
All non-bomb VTOL’s have been improved
Rocket VTOL's have improved range
Cannon VTOL's can now rotate 360 (HPV and Assault cannon, not light cannon)
MG VTOL's can now rotate 360 and increased ROF and amount of ammo.
Laser VTOL's can now rotate 360 and increased ammo
Cluster and Phosphor bombs get +25 dmg and extra speed.
Early AA (sunburst + flak cannon) are more useful in distinguishing ways. Flak cannon double fires now but has smaller range. Sunburst has improved range. Flak cannon is now very good vs large crowds of VTOL's.
*HEAP was pushed back 7200 --> 12200 or overall arrives 3000 points later but so does whirlwind.
*Incendiary bomb VTOL’s have improved incendiary damage.
*Vindicator and Avenger now do HEAT damage to improve them and also emphasize the theme of late game thermal armor importance.
*Plasmite gets two bombs @ 600 instead of 1 @ 1000 but is slightly slower because retribution is slightly better now (need retribution to fly plasmite because it’s heavy).
The VTOL body/turret weights allow for very strategic combinations of speed. Only certain bodies are designed for certain weapons. VTOL transport are now slower with more HP’s.
*All artillery upgrades take slightly longer (most increased by 2000 - 3000 research points).
*Groundshaker research points increased from 10000 --> 18000
*Howitzer direct hit and splash damage increased from 150 --> 175 and has increased window of relevancy with GS arriving later.
Build time for Groundshaker droids has been increased from 1250 --> 1500. Combine this with the fact that units move slightly faster, black bodies are stronger and artillery upgrades take slightly longer, artillery tanks should no longer be a dominating strategy.
Build time for Groundshaker emplacement has been slightly decreased from 600 --> 500 and under the new construction modifiers should build faster now.
Artillery is meant to be effective as a structure, not as a droid.
7. Summary of weapon balance
These changes are minor tweaks and mostly readjustments as a result of the new droid speeds. There's no need to adjust much here because it's the foundation of the stat system.
*General speed advantage in new engine system
*Bunker buster build time 750 --> 500
*Ripple Rocket dmg 45 --> 75 but fire pause increased from 600 --> 800. Overall slightly improved
*Small body scourge cyborg build time reduced from 1000 --> 700. (big scourge cyborg is 1000)
*Medium Cannon now unlocks medium cannon cyborg with the Cyborg Armor Upgrade MK3. In 3.1.5 it was Armor Upgrade MK4, in 3.2 there's no armor requirement at all and comes directly after medium cannon. I made it require armor upgrade MK3. Medium cannon is also slightly faster on half track now making it competitive, (I think that's why it wasn't good before).
*Both needle and rail cyborgs now penetrate, they didn't before.
*EMP cannon is now a feature of the rail/needle weapon line and arrives after needle gun. It has penetrate capability and should hopefully be relevant.
*Nothing has changed with MG. However, assault gun is now required for the much improved laser path and twin assault gun is now required for the last 3 AA flak Rate Of Fire upgrades.
*Flamer cyborgs are slightly faster than all other cyborgs and flamers might be more useful on wheels under the new engine system.
*Inferno does not get speed bonus on hover but it unlocks thermite cyborg which is the fastest combat cyborg in the game.
*Plasmite flamer gets hover speed bonus so watch out and is now required for laser.
*Arrives in game earlier
*The HEAP mortar shell damage upgrades give 35% more damage instead of the original 25%.
*Auto assignment to sensors under other changes in 3.2
*Bombard range increased from 18 --> 20 (Regular mortar is 18)
*Pepperpot arrives slightly earlier
*Discussed earlier in this post.
Well… I hope you consider using these stats as the next generation of balance. I think most players will like it and you won’t find anything that is egregiously unbalanced so I propose you should give it a try. I spent a lot of time making this and it's carefully thought out and tested. If there are any questions then please ask. Is there anything else you need from me for consideration in the next release? This concludes my attempt at modding the balance.
EDIT: Updated the attachments on 7/30 for the last time
Sorry, I have a bad habit of posting and editing afterwards but I'm continuously improving things. Some of the values in the screenshots are now outdated as a result
but the concepts still remain the same.