Underpowered Anti-Air

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Serman
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Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by Serman » 13 Aug 2009, 07:21

Nowadays in MP, I cannot play a game without feeling guilty about VTOLs, or raging when someone uses it on me.
I disable construction of VTOL Factories and related things, for one reason. Either VTOLs are too resilient, or AA is ridiculously underpowered.
Seriously, I need rows upon rows upon rows of expensive Whirlwind AA emplacements just so they can take down a small formation of VTOLs, and merely damage large swarms. Most of the time the Whirlwinds even fail at destroying returning VTOLs which have already done their damage. It seems that Anti-air is totally impossible until you get Vindicators - and even THEN it's difficult to defend the base, plus extremely expensive.

Someone, for the next release; please power up the Anti-air to make our games fair.

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by stiv » 13 Aug 2009, 19:41

AA is nearly useless without the damage and rate of fire upgrades. Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade.

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by Deus Siddis » 13 Aug 2009, 19:52

Place the whirlwinds further out from your base, so they have more time to shoot the vtols as they fly in. Also put the shorter ranged, but faster firing, more DPM inflicting (I think) Cyclone turrets around the vtol's target sites.

And keep in mind, if you wipe out a half dozen vtols and only lose one base structure, you won! Because you are costing your opponent alot more than you are losing.


IMO the reason this debate over VTOL balancing keeps coming up is because the game relys too damn much on "Dedicated AA". Other games have moderately effective AA abilities on general purpose combat units, like the Goliaths in StarCraft or the Mammoth Tanks in Command & Conquer. Machinegun armed units and a few lancer cyborgs and pulse lasers just have no where near the AA ability they'd need to ever balance VTOLs.

Summary: If VTOLs are imbalanced, it is because you have to build dedicated AA weapons to have any effect on them, and then those dedicated AA weapons do absolutely nothing for you when the next ground force wave comes in.

Over specialization!

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by Avestron » 13 Aug 2009, 20:10

Perhaps a simple solution here would be to reset VTOL propulsion to 75% hitpoints modifier and see how that goes.

On a slightly different note my main annoyances occur when neither ground or AA forces open fire upon approaching plasmite bombers.

However its a mistake to assume that AA are generally unable to take out VTOLs. Just yesterday I seriously miscalculated the power of 8 clustered whirlwind sites (and the path my VTOLs would take) and ended up losing 4 vengance BBs out of 16.

In this same came I slaughtered a very major ground force ([boast]took out over 2000 units - lost 13[/boast]) - including the gauss dragon waves that followed - the AIV really relies on power for victory ;c)
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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by zoid » 13 Aug 2009, 20:26

Research AA flak. With a couple of upgrades, "powerless" AA will devastate the enemy.

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by Zarel » 13 Aug 2009, 21:04

Deus Siddis wrote:Place the whirlwinds further out from your base, so they have more time to shoot the vtols as they fly in. Also put the shorter ranged, but faster firing, more DPM inflicting (I think) Cyclone turrets around the vtol's target sites.
Whirlwinds have approximately 3x as much DPS as Cyclone, iirc. Either way, cyclones are pretty much useless once you get whirlwind.
Deus Siddis wrote:IMO the reason this debate over VTOL balancing keeps coming up is because the game relys too damn much on "Dedicated AA". Other games have moderately effective AA abilities on general purpose combat units, like the Goliaths in StarCraft or the Mammoth Tanks in Command & Conquer. Machinegun armed units and a few lancer cyborgs and pulse lasers just have no where near the AA ability they'd need to ever balance VTOLs.
Psh, you do realize the Goliath is a dedicated AA unit with a bit of ground ability, right? ;)

Anyway, there are a few units (lasers, MGs, cyborg rockets) that can attack air. There's plenty of versatility...

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by NEXUS » 13 Aug 2009, 22:13

As stated above, spamming with lasers can be useful against VTOL attacks later on (before Stormbringer AA Laser), upgrading a tech to the max will make the weapons/defence/whatever way better. Try picking just a few techs to focus time/power on to get better results.

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by whippersnapper » 13 Aug 2009, 23:40

.

Perhaps a better example than the Goliath would be the Brood War "Viking" unit. An equivalent in the WZ verse would not be difficult to make out of a Super Borg. But then again, modding WZ to play in any way you want just takes a little time and is not hard at all. It really only boils down to making sure everyone in an MP game has the same .wz mod installed... other than that you can readily change WZ game play in a snap if you have the will to do it. Waiting for some "approved or sanctioned" modification is mainly what they call "a dog and pony show" - not at all essential to what you want if your inclined to put a modest amount of time into making the changes yourself.. 'Course if you want others to do the small amount of work involved then you are placing yourself at the mercy of their whims and should accept that freely chosen subservient role without gripping, IMHO. O_o

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by fisk0 » 13 Aug 2009, 23:51

whippersnapper wrote:.

Perhaps a better example than the Goliath would be the Brood War "Viking" unit.
.
Viking? Do you mean the Valkyrie air-to-air ship?
I haven't played BW in many years and might have forgotten a unit, but I really can't remember any units named Viking in the game.
An equivalent of that would be interesting though, that would be something like an VTOL air-to-air only homing missile weapon that would fire off several missiles at once (kind of like the mini rocket artillery).
Would your VTOL's go for enemy VTOL's in range automatically if you made them with anti-air only weapons and assigned them to a VTOL strike tower, or would they still go for ground targets even when they can't fire at them?
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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by whippersnapper » 14 Aug 2009, 00:34

whippersnapper wrote:.

Perhaps a better example than the Goliath would be the Brood War "Viking" unit.
.
fisk0 wrote:Viking? Do you mean the Valkyrie air-to-air ship?

I haven't played BW in many years and might have forgotten a unit, but I really can't remember any units named Viking in the game.

An equivalent of that would be interesting though, that would be something like an VTOL air-to-air only homing missile weapon that would fire off several missiles at once (kind of like the mini rocket artillery).

Would your VTOL's go for enemy VTOL's in range automatically if you made them with anti-air only weapons and assigned them to a VTOL strike tower, or would they still go for ground targets even when they can't fire at them?
My bad.... I should have been clearer. It derives from Blizzard's "Brood War" back story and was designed for play in "StarCraft II" and to supersede the "Goliath"

The Viking Unit is based on the transformation design of the Siege Tank, and is supposed to be the ultimate anti-air and ground-support weapon system in one unit. The "Viking" has 2 modes: Ground and Air.

In Ground Mode it is armed with twin Gatling cannons.

In Air Mode it is armed with anti-air attack MT50 Lanzer Torpedoes.

In early builds the "Viking" could attack BOTH air and ground in the same mode. For balance reasons this has been changed and the latest is that it can only deal punishment as per mode - air only in air mode.... ground only in ground mode... but remember it is still 1 unit ..... albeit, a transforming one.. And, btw, Pumpkin already wrote code for structure / weap transformations, even released it but later turned it off.... around v.1.05 - v.1.07, I think.

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by Deus Siddis » 14 Aug 2009, 05:47

Zarel wrote:Whirlwinds have approximately 3x as much DPS as Cyclone, iirc. Either way, cyclones are pretty much useless once you get whirlwind.
Hmm, maybe I've got the names confused, or maybe I've lost track in all the rebalances.

I had thought, that after the hurricane, you got two actually effective AA batteries, one with long range and splash damage and the other with such a high fire rate that it did more DPS.
Psh, you do realize the Goliath is a dedicated AA unit with a bit of ground ability, right? ;)
No the Goliath is an excellent ground vs ground unit. Before broodwar introduced medics, I used it in place of marines for all offensive missions (any role not involving shooting from the safety of a bunker). And if there is any danger of High Templar or Guardians, Goliaths are still the far superior choice.
Anyway, there are a few units (lasers, MGs, cyborg rockets) that can attack air. There's plenty of versatility...
That's not nearly enough of the massive weapon tree to make a difference, but even more importantly those aren't damaging enough against VTOLs to make any difference. They just have too much (totally unrealistic, btw) damage reduction versus air.

That leaves AA as the only way to stop or hinder VTOLs, but people don't like having to invest enough into that to make a difference because it is completely useless against ground threats.

The saddest part is the best solution would be to invest in VTOL technology to counter VTOLs whilst being equally effective against ground forces except that the games interface makes it too hard to manage ordering VTOLs to counter other VTOLs that are in-flight!

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by whippersnapper » 14 Aug 2009, 06:44

Zarel wrote:Anyway, there are a few units (lasers, MGs, cyborg rockets) that can attack air. There's plenty of versatility...
Deus Siddis wrote:That's not nearly enough of the massive weapon tree to make a difference, but even more importantly those aren't damaging enough against VTOLs to make any difference. They just have too much (totally unrealistic, btw) damage reduction versus air.

That leaves AA as the only way to stop or hinder VTOLs, but people don't like having to invest enough into that to make a difference because it is completely useless against ground threats.
Hmmm.... interesting. I can think of a few ways of addressing that and none terribly difficult. I'll start experimenting this weekend to the end of including in my mod something beyond the status quo in this area.
Deus Siddis wrote:The saddest part is the best solution would be to invest in VTOL technology to counter VTOLs whilst being equally effective against ground forces except that the games interface makes it too hard to manage ordering VTOLs to counter other VTOLs that are in-flight!
Agreed. True aerial dog fighting would be a ton of fun. But I believe it is yet an other thing in my personal laundry list of changes that must await the dev fruition of "Betawidget" - assuming that will happen sometime down the road.

Regards, whip :ninja:
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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by Haku » 14 Aug 2009, 08:54

Deus Siddis wrote:Hmm, maybe I've got the names confused, or maybe I've lost track in all the rebalances.

I had thought, that after the hurricane, you got two actually effective AA batteries, one with long range and splash damage and the other with such a high fire rate that it did more DPS.
The Hurricane AA is pretty decent at first in groups but quickly becomes obsolete w/enemy armor and engine upgrades making it tougher to drop an enemy VTOL. The Cyclone has splash damage and it deals the same amount of damage round for round to a target as the Whirlwind. However the Whirlwind's rate of fire is three times higher then the Cyclone yielding a higher DPS and both have the same range. The Cyclone AA is also cheaper to produce iirc then the whirlwind.

AA really isn't too underpowered since you get the Avenger and Vindicator SAM's down the road along with the Stormbringer. The enemy VTOL usually gets by them and hits the target but with a few missles (1-4) in tow from the Vindicator it's guaranteed death for that unit. Iirc one or both of the missile fortresses can also fire on VTOL's and they have pretty potent damage. I wouldn't put the Cyclone as obsolete since they can still deal pretty good damage fully upgraded but not a good investment vs the stronger (more expensive) AA's that can be used.

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by stiv » 14 Aug 2009, 18:16

It is worth noting that squads of lancer cyborgs are useful against VTOLS even though they are not dedicated AA.

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Re: Underpowered Anti-Air

Post by Haku » 14 Aug 2009, 18:39

Deus Siddis wrote:That leaves AA as the only way to stop or hinder VTOLs, but people don't like having to invest enough into that to make a difference because it is completely useless against ground threats.
Irl there was a similar AA weapon like the Cyclone that would be used against ground troops in particular vs foot soldiers. I can't remember at the moment which army did this but it had devestating effects to ground troops using high explosive flak. It would be cool if the Cyclone could be changed to open fire on ground units as a second priority target w/VTOL being first priority.

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