Campaign Research and Balance

For porting of the campaign to javascript discussions
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Berserk Cyborg
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Campaign Research and Balance

Post by Berserk Cyborg » 31 May 2017, 20:33

--Research--
As you may or may not know, the Collective and Nexus miss out on quite a few research items because of research being structured for each campaign separately. You may have noticed that the enemy seems to get weaker as you go along and it is because they can not get the research bonuses from previous campaigns. Essentially, it is like fighting the New Paradigm (in terms of research) but with with better weapons. Not only is that an issue, the player experiences this should they start Beta or Gamma from the main menu as they too will have sub par research.

Now, I have interlinked research items between the campaigns (just enough to grant minimum research for that item) so that the function I included in the campaign library (camCompleteRequiredResearch) can easily update any player with the correct amount of research. The effects are really only seen in Beta and Gamma. Thus fixing part of ticket #4556.

--Balance--
I know balance is different between multiplayer and campaign, but there is a huge problem with some weaponry. Assault gun is way too OP. It shreds EVERYTHING in seconds and does a whopping 66 (19 in multiplayer) base damage... with all machine gun upgrades it is a world of pain for the enemy (ticket #4583). The weapons that Nexus uses seem a bit weaker than they should be and may need some adjustments.

I also noticed that Nexus uses (or at least was intended to use) type II propulsion (and supposed to use jump cyborgs? whatever those are). These propulsion upgrades reduce weight and increase body points and build power. Should the player be able to obtain these or leave them for a potentially new campaign?


*Still need to do heavy testing of all this. I can report that research works the same for both Alpha and Beta. Once I finish a bunch of Gamma scripts I will push these changes when ready (almost done with first Gamma script). Preview the changes.

Edit:
It seems research is not being applied to enemy players at all... instead only works for the player.

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NoQ
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Re: Campaign Research and Balance

Post by NoQ » 02 Jun 2017, 20:18

Yep, i think these balance issues have plagued the campaign for a long time, probably from the original release, but definitely at least since i made this video walkthrough thing.

Unfortunately, we're very limited at what we can do - an answer to any such question would be "to emulate how 1.10 used to behave, as closely as possible". No matter how ridiculous it would be. Sometimes we allow ourselves to fix stuff that's clearly unintended based on source code comments or common sense - eg. if the original campaign crashes we should probably fix it - but most bugs of the original campaign should be treated as features, otherwise fans of the original game would hate us :)

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Re: Campaign Research and Balance

Post by Per » 02 Jun 2017, 20:43

NoQ wrote:Yep, i think these balance issues have plagued the campaign for a long time, probably from the original release, but definitely at least since i made this video walkthrough thing.

Unfortunately, we're very limited at what we can do - an answer to any such question would be "to emulate how 1.10 used to behave, as closely as possible". No matter how ridiculous it would be. Sometimes we allow ourselves to fix stuff that's clearly unintended based on source code comments or common sense - eg. if the original campaign crashes we should probably fix it - but most bugs of the original campaign should be treated as features, otherwise fans of the original game would hate us :)
I don't think that should hold us back. The number of people who played the original game and decides to play it again is quite likely completely dwarfed by the number of people who are new to the game. It is just that the former are more vocal and likely to complain. Not sure why they would complain if we make it better, though, but whatever...

I agree we shouldn't change the story, though. That's kinda where I would draw the line.

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Re: Campaign Research and Balance

Post by Berserk Cyborg » 03 Jun 2017, 19:36

Had to receive all events in rules.js to get research working for the enemy. I will probably need to modify some of the enemy group attack times because some missions are way too difficult now.

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Hironaru
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Re: Campaign Research and Balance

Post by Hironaru » 14 Jun 2017, 08:41

Per wrote:
NoQ wrote:Yep, i think these balance issues have plagued the campaign for a long time, probably from the original release, but definitely at least since i made this video walkthrough thing.

Unfortunately, we're very limited at what we can do - an answer to any such question would be "to emulate how 1.10 used to behave, as closely as possible". No matter how ridiculous it would be. Sometimes we allow ourselves to fix stuff that's clearly unintended based on source code comments or common sense - eg. if the original campaign crashes we should probably fix it - but most bugs of the original campaign should be treated as features, otherwise fans of the original game would hate us :)
I don't think that should hold us back. The number of people who played the original game and decides to play it again is quite likely completely dwarfed by the number of people who are new to the game. It is just that the former are more vocal and likely to complain. Not sure why they would complain if we make it better, though, but whatever...

I agree we shouldn't change the story, though. That's kinda where I would draw the line.
As a veteran of gaming in general,

It should be said that the initial release of warzone2100 was dismally advertised. I personally heard about it from an underground game junkie when I was playing more mainstream titles at the time. In order to compete with modern titles in game-play balance and current player average skill levels (as opposed to the average rts skill level at the time of its release) Warzone2100 needs to be re-balanced into a seamless experience.

Even in the vanilla version, there were stark contrasts in difficulty levels per mission in the campaign. Re-balance will be important to maintain steam ratings and increase downloads and potentially sales. On the subject of sales; It is against the law to plagiarize direct copies of information. However, it is not illegal to sell additional functionality to a product in the same way that fadora/redhat linux is freely available, yet redhat linux *support* costs an additional fee.

The addition of superior textures, the hosting of multiplayer servers, revisions to code and modernization can and should be classified as new development on existing open-source architecture. Much in the same way that apples proprietary technology now runs on unix, as an example. Warzone2100 still contains many features and abilities that other rts systems don't have, and if the balancing results in having every up-gradable item have a benefit and a deficit (particularly pertaining to mobility) depending on enemy compositions, this game has the unique ability to make all researched items relevant from the beginning of the game till the end.

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Hironaru
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Re: Campaign Research and Balance

Post by Hironaru » 14 Jun 2017, 09:18

More on the subject of what I would like to see this game become (personally).

Something which does not seem to have graced the forums at first glance is the concept of a dynamic campaign experience. Not just "dynamic" in player decision making processes, but actual dynamic game-play value. Here are a few examples of values which I feel would add replay value to the campaign:

Technology
- Limited, Randomized technology drops from an appropriate "table" designated per campaign.
- Randomized tech drops from different structures/areas, with a frequency ratio based on difficulty level as opposed to hp/damage balancing for difficulty.
- A percentile chance to lose technology when a major structure is destroyed, and the ability to recover it.
- A chance for the few key/critical technologies to be "discovered" based on enemy units killed, or recovered by a static, designated structure as it is now.

Enemy AI
- Enemy adjustment of strategy based on the current player tech table and current defensive structures, based on the difficulty mode and enemy type.
- Enemy adjustment of target structure based on raid kills and losses in previous attempts, based on difficulty mode and enemy type.
- Randomized enemy resistance technologies between factions, adding additional randomized resistance technologies during campaign progression.
- The ability for the enemy to build selective resistances to the majority damage type of the players units over time on higher difficulties.

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