Flamers!

The place to discuss balance changes for future versions of the game.
(Master releases & 3.X)

Flamers are...

underpowered !
12
22%
just right !
18
33%
overpowered !
25
45%
 
Total votes : 55

Re: Flamers!

Postby NoQ » 15 Jun 2013, 06:04

To me the fact that a game like this is possible shows that flamers are not too powerfull or I would have lost.
Can you clearly analyze the game and distinguish between balance exploits, map-specific exploits and player blunders? Are you sure your opponent used flamers well enough? Unless you clearly see such things, unless you in first 5 or 10 minutes figure out what weapons the enemy will use and when the enemy is expected to attack, balance is not something you care about; skill level difference will just outweight lack of balance; it may be still fun, but not what we're discussing here.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby Zepherian » 15 Jun 2013, 13:22

Yes. Yes.

What you are discussing here is whether flamers by themselves are overpowered to the point they negate any other strategy on a map that follows your guidelines with all other things, power levels and research, being equal. My contention is that they are not a be all and end all weopon with the current settings, although with a window of opportunity they can be devastating. But I leave out of my comments incendiary mortars, something I have not yet experimented much with.

An experienced player on a full base start knows there is a possibility of a flamer cyborg rush, for another example, and these are easier to stop the further from base they are caught. There are counters to all flamer tactics and to me that suggests balance. What gives the impression of imbalance is that if someone is caught off guard the flamers destroy units so fast that people forget they are a short range weopon that is useless on everything but non tracked units and pits and bunkers.

Another example, I have been rushed by 10 flamer cyborgs very early and all I did was set trucks to infinity build and build my own flamer bots. In a few minutes my bots killed his bots and the game went on as normal. I have had this happen to me while using flamers a lot too. Ie, the prouduction rates themselves can outweigh the offensive capacity of an early flamer rush. This is true for low oil too, same principle, lower numbers. It can be done with mg cyborgs, if care is taken to micromanage them out of the way of flamers. A rush is always a liability to the rusher if it fails, as its always done at the cost of base building and mid game research and production.

I did flamer vrs mg experiments 1v1 high oil vrs overlord, and that ended with the score being 2-2. If anything after him adapting to flamers the game is biased towards mg. No rush tactics, just standing armies. If flamers close range they win. If they don't they lose. To me this binary situation shows balance. Not to mention that unit body research and weopon types keep pushing the flamers back in effectiveness. Try using massed flamers vrs assault guns and bullet upgrades for example, it becomes next to impossible. Any high rate of fire weopon tilts the balance, as a flamer unit will tend to be light and fast, as the situations where tracked flamers are usuable are few and far between (bunker assaults under artillary fire for example, mixed in with other tracked units as cyborg flamer defense come to mind). Plasmites have another window of opportunity, but by then if the player is not doing thermal upgrades or betting on concrete it is his fault. A mantiss hover will keep distance to a plasmite, and with heavy cannons can mow them down in open ground. A tracked unit and some defense will break even. As research piles on plasmite will become obsolete. As stated before it won't work vrs rail guns. Even needle gun cyborgs can do massive damage in relatively low numbers to plasmite hovers. I have been on both sides of this situation and know what I'm talking about.

I will leave just one comment on the incendiary mortar thing, contradicting myself, sorry, which is that I have seen them be destroyed a lot by tracked units, be it heavy cannons, assault guns or even normal mortars. They are devastating to cyborg heavy armies and hovers, but I have seen them being taken down and have done it myself using these methods. By the time they appear on scene ripples are a reality and will work because they, the incendiary mortar, need to be immobile to fire, which ups the hitpoints they take. And there is always vtols... Hvc vtols can take down a surprising amount of stationary units.

A lot of players play rigid strategic approaches, that when fail they will not change. The better the player gets, the more adaptable the builds get, and the harder it is to exploit unit and weapons strength and vulnerability. Flamers have vulnerability in spades if people keep calm and carry on up the jungle.

And lets not forget the elephant in the living room of all balance discussions which is the unit transfer button... Most people play team games and now we come to situations where teamplay is fundamental. Most people that transfer try and do it in a way that is disguised to the other team, so as to hide vulnerability. Much of the perceived imbalance is the numbers game that unit transfer alters so radically and other teams not noticing that 100 units at 8 minutes had to be a transfer so its safe to leave base and help teammate. Many of the balance issues would go away if there were objective multiplayer tutorial availables to the noob and intermediate player, so that they realize what is possible. I used to have a pdf somewhere with the tech tree made with actual in game graphics, which is something that would help immensly too. An accurate 3.2 tech tree schematic, either in game or as a pdf file with the installer would focus players a lot, eliminating a lot of the unbalance complaints, especially if people realize that in some games its possible to open research research research factory factory...

I'm probably repeating myself already so I will consider my opinion given now :)
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Re: Flamers!

Postby NoQ » 15 Jun 2013, 14:42

I think you underestimate slow flamers. Python flamer halftracks can do quite well: they approach inevitably and you just cannot kill them quickly enough, specially with machineguns. Even worse if you missed the second group and got surrounded, or they got on the path to your repair facilities. Flamers are about tactics, not just run straight towards the enemy and burn him till he dies. It actually takes some skill to use them. And while slow flamers cannot be used straightforwardly against a fast opponent, they can provide a huge boost when more advanced combat tactics are used.

I recall that when flamer startegies were just being developed, some players used light/medium cannon halftracked tanks to absorb damage from machineguns, until around infernos; with enough tactics, you could not attack this mix with machineguns, as flamer cyborgs would shoot from behind (!) tanks (with a possibility of running forward and finishing off the enemy if it seems sensible). In high oil 1x1 it allowed to stay alive until more powerful flamer stuff is available. Cannons also helped getting rid of enemy walls. You didn't need to upgrade them though; the opponent is already scared enough.

You are saying that assault cannon vtols work well, yet inferno (aka thermite) vtols work certainly much better (:

Also, you are comparing flamers with machineguns, yet machineguns are another common balance problem, probably even bigger than flamers. They also lack functional weaknesses: even pure tank killer tiger tracked armies are often defeated by mass assault gun halftracks (even without ag cyborgs). Most players seem to agree that neither pure machineguns nor pure flamers should be able to win the game, that is, good balance should promote combined arms.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby Zepherian » 15 Jun 2013, 16:39

Funny you should say that about machineguns. I just came out of game, defeated by my own wireless, when I was doing pure machinegun and was being defeated (on the terrain, not yet overall game) by missiles and ripples after a failed assault. The problem with a combined armed army using flamers is that they lose the ranged battles, so its basically the same thing as pure flamers, with lower killrates close up but with added structure destruction capacity. And a lot more research. Making a pure focused army can work if its the right pure focused army at the right time. Mine wasn't last game. Mantiss dual assault guns vrs Tiger tank killers and scourge was an uphill battle. Had I thrown some assault gun cyborgs first my ratios would have been better. Which makes me state the following: No single weopon should win the game all the time. But all have windows. If a player is a pure turtle, and there are some about, a pure minirocket launcher army will work. It is all paper rock scissors.

Thermite vtols, indeed all medium vtols, work because of the aformentioned hole in the research, which is that it is possible to amass a medium vtol airforce quicker than it is possible to make an effective aa shield against it. Maybe sunbursts if you're on the missile path. Maybe, but I would throw 50 vtols at 50 sunbursts to kill a base. Imho vtols, regardless of weopon type, need some tweaking but I won't go into specifics because frankly I haven't thought it out enough, I just know that vtols feel wrong. The community backs me up which is why the no vtol cry is so common. It's not noobness, it's people knowing that no effective defense is possible and if they can't stop them building them they also can't stop them hitting home. Vtols are their own thread and there is probably one up already, haven't looked. The test would be to take a map like face off or tinny war, a truce till vtol, and one guy does only aa (but in moderate quantites viable in a normal game) and the other guy does vtols (in full quantities viable with a production switch on a normal game in a defensive stance). This would simulate a real world situation and the results would be interesting. I predict one strike taking out all factories and most of the trucks, which is usually a game ender. I have got over this a few times by switching to mobile aa before the emplacements are done research, but it's still a tough job, and a lot of the time there is always the doubt on whether the player has vtols or not, because in a standoff you can't go and look. It takes skill to use vtols well and have them survive. It takes little skill to amass vtol and strike a base. The latter is why people don't like them. This and the soon to be resolved transport gun issue is why most of the games I host are vtol off. And laser sattelite too, because that's just a cheap shot and very very annoying.

I think machineguns are balanced, because pure machineguns tracks vrs pure tracked armies with antitank does not work. When it does work it's because one player researched more than the other or/and because of micromanagement during battles. I've done the assault gun thing a lot, its one of my favorite weopons for versatility, but if with a choice I would rather have a needle gun vrs tracks than a double assault gun with depleted uranium. One will work, the other won't. If you wan't an unbalanced weopon try using the needle gun, mantiss tracks and cyborg mix asap. Now there's a superiority weopon if ever I saw one. The assault gun is handy for those tight games where people are building in each others defenses and at the same time using combined armies with lots of cyborgs. Ie, your typical high oil thing. In those situations a good all rounder can win by atrition.

I have used python halftracked infernos in select ocasions, it's good in a tight spot vrs hovers. I still consider halftracks a speed unit though. Fulltrack on flamers is the hard one to pull off, that needs a really tight spot. I'm not really saying anything new, just answering your points with what has been my personal experience playing this game.

The length of my replies suggests to me I may be playing too much :D
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Re: Flamers!

Postby NoQ » 15 Jun 2013, 16:56

And now consider the cost of research. Weight of this aspect varies greatly depending on amount of oil and number of players in a team. In bigger games anti-tank stuff starts to make sense. In fact, team-shared research also breaks balance; that's why such mode was added on 3.2.

When cost of research actually matters (in 1x1 games when you are limited to 5 labs, or in low oil when research price starts to take effect), you will never be able to compare needle guns with twin assault guns that easily. For if you research straight to railguns, you will simply die against machinegun cyborgs in the early game (and against assault gun cyborgs later). The fact is, in order to have needle guns, you need to research machineguns anyway. Yet even researching needle guns alone (7 cannon damage upgrades!) is already quite hard.

community backs me up which is why the no vtol cry is so common
The community doesn't matter, for reasons explained above. People simply don't know how to play against them. For example:
Maybe sunbursts if you're on the missile path.
Don't underestimate air-to-air sunbursts. They do huge damage to bombers (much more than ground AA, since VTOL weapons are stronger than ground counterparts, and the ground AA still cannot make more than one shot) and don't take any damage themselves in the process.

It is all paper rock scissors.
The game should not work like that. Warzone should not boil down to rock-paper-scissors. Otherwise every game will be decided on the 5th minute: "i choose rockets, enemy chooses machineguns, paper beats rock, i win", or "if i choose flamers i win 75% of the time, so i'd choose them and win 75% games, even though they have obvious weaknesses that will kill me in 25% cases". We need to force players to use at least two branches at a time and constantly thoughtfully scout and adapt by using either one branch or another.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby Zepherian » 15 Jun 2013, 19:00

Never tried air to air sunbursts, but thats still countering vtols with vtols, which would be a balance issue anyway if it were to be required to stand a chance. It is however something I will try, looks like a fun idea to introduce pure fighter vtols to high oil aerial combat. problem is targeting, as keeping sensors up is actually pretty hard, they tend to get hit first. And air to air units have the irritating habit of pursueing their target into enemy aa, which is another pain. And consider the research cost for all that, and the time it takes, if you get jumped by vtols when you only have basic tier one aa and it does nothing. The only way I have ever stopped bombers before they did damage was massing bug sunbursts, because I was on that research path. And even that was touch and go vrs a mediocre player.

Paper rock scissors is for the unit matchup. Of course tactics matter and can compensate. I once won a game because a guy was holding the flanks of the map with his superior units and I ran into his base through the center with the most basic machinegunner cyborgs. There is always the killer instinct aspect to combat. Players will play as players will play. This is one aspect of game development im not fond of, the idea that the gameplay will be set in stone. My opinion is that if the paper rock scissors aspect of the RTS is sound, if everything has a counter, then players will play as players will play. And some will win over superior research due to better tactics, micro and, here's a word apt for multiplayer, cunning. Sometimes this will mean maxing out just one weopon and using that window of opportunity. And if you try and close that window you will realize it's impossible, as all games will have it. I've seen the darndest things over the years. I've even seen players fortress rush and win in a t3 game.

The way you view warzone multiplayer is heavily biased by what the single player experience is, I think. But multiplayer adds other dimensions which need to be factored in, like speed, as players always try to go for that mythical optimal performance benchmark, and agression, as players will often go all in if they see a window of opportunity. And these things can't be programmed out of the game, it's how players play. The various game hosting options are where the warzone game experience is defined, but within those people will go for what works. Even scouting can be a liability. One of the funny thing about multiplayer games is that out of sight is out of mind, and a lot of players try to keep as low a profile as possible, until they are ready. This means unit transfers and playing possum. Some times a quick and agressive player is a bit like a bull, he will attack the first thing he sees and keep going untill when and if he is stopped. I play like that sometimes, for the sole reason of gaining early advantage. This means the first attack is the last one, it starts and only finishes at the end of the game. In a team setting many people won't even scout because experience tells them there will be an army coming right after those sensor vipers get killed.

What I'm trying to say is offline gaming is more strategical, but online gaming is a more brutal mix of tactics and ruthlessness over a smaller strategic core. As long as you're quicker than the other guy, as long as you can hold his focus so he dosen't see where he can beat you, the actual game mechanics are secondary. You seem to wish the game was slower so people have time to counter, but it isn't, sometimes the time is not given. This is the case of vtols, the first guy to get them in numbers has a very good chance of a devastating first strike(s). And up to a point this is necessary, for to have balance is to have unbalance. Somebody has to win, there has to be a chance. There is Zen in all this. Warzone as it is now is one of the most balanced rts I have ever played when it comes to weopons vrs weopons. And because it dosen't have a faction aspect, because, and this is really brilliant, the factions in single player meld into one huge tech tree for multiplayer, the game will always tend to balance, because just as long as the silly stuff is taken care of, like transport guns, the game will tend to be always fine.

Embrace the chaos dude, it's fun.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby NoQ » 15 Jun 2013, 19:52

problem is targeting
Alt+click.
The way you view warzone multiplayer is heavily biased by what the single player experience is, I think.
No idea what made you think that, in fact it's just the opposite: i'm, for ages, trying to eliminate campaign and skirmish players from this subforum. I'd gladly duel you whenever i have some time to stay online.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby Zepherian » 15 Jun 2013, 20:09

Problem is targeting an incoming group of medium vtols going fast as heck in a swarm of dozens. The vtol attack tower is good for this situation but as stated it tends to get destroyed. And another thing is that with pure AA vtols you lose unit cap on offense, unless the enemy happens to have vtols in the air, so it's very much a defense bias weopon. And defense bias is a good way to lose games online.

I'm easy to find as I play a fair bit, and I will play anyone 1v1, win or lose is not a concern as long as the game is fun.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby NoQ » 15 Jun 2013, 20:18

I repeat, you don't need to click on enemy VTOLs.
Just alt+click around and see what happens.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby _scavfan_ » 23 Jun 2013, 09:53

I think they are overpowered in skirmish and mp because upgrades are too cheap for them and they can be researched faster than MG or rocket upgrades (or I am doing something wrong when I research?).
In campaign they seem just right to me (prices and research times are different, and AI don't use too much of them).
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Re: Flamers!

Postby anonim17465 » 19 Dec 2013, 10:10

Overpowered. Make them slow! the rest will be fine. They should be a defenders, not an attackers. Or, in last case they should be for destroing enemies line of defence. But they should be useless in a open place. In my offer - because of speed. (think of heavy gunpowder-powered-pistons to throw flame for at least 100m. and each meter after it will cost a lot of weight.)

No more crazy hovers with a flamethrovers that can chase any other unit.

Already done.

Sorry, NoQ, probably one of my old post, first 5 post has to be checked by moderator, and that takes about 1-2 days. Some of them still are not checked. That post from your "variety targets" topic is one of the old messages too.
Last edited by anonim17465 on 20 Dec 2013, 19:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby NoQ » 20 Dec 2013, 19:20

anonim17465: did you read the changelog? It is already done, i repeat.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby Charca » 29 Dec 2013, 06:26

Yes, flamers are clearly overpowered (for open battles). Bunkers in chokepoints can be defeated very fast only with some flamer vehicles. But why flamer are so under-ranged? :? . Not all flamer bunker in chokepoints can do serious damage to enemy unit, because enemy unit can be picked up by defenses with other weapon. I think the existence of flamer bunkers almost useless except in chokepoints. So I would advise, it is necessary to lengthen the flamer weapon range only in bunkers? :hmm: . I mean just in flamer bunker, the flamer in vehicles could make even worse if their range is increased and the enemy is flamer spammer nullbot.

Typically, popular visual media depict the flamethrower as short-ranged and only effective for a few meters (in movies, is due to the common use of propane gas as the fuel in flamethrowers, for the safety of the actors). Contemporary flamethrowers can incinerate a target to 50–80 meters (165–270 feet) from the gunner.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby MIH-XTC » 03 Feb 2016, 02:03

lol @ this thread. I find flamers to be under powered and were surprised by the poll results. There are very few scenarios that flamers are relevant in multiplayer and most of them involve T1 Full base no scavs (flamer rush). Other than that, we can simply disregard flamers by the logic that they are not the best weapon at any point in the game. It's very clear that an army of rockets or cannons with one factory making twin or heavy mg's will beat any flamer army while moving backwards. Players just need to get in the habit of approaching enemies slowly and maintaining distance to realize flamers are not really applicable.

On the other hand, I think increasing flamer damage, range or rate of fire by even slight amounts could throw off the balance too much in favor of flamer.

What about decreasing the speed of a unit that's on fire? Does that already happen? It kinda seems so for some reason....

I would suggest decreasing the speed of a unit that's on fire by a miniscule amount of 10% to improve the balance of flamers.

I'll add this to my wz to-do list that's already overbooked for the next year.
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Re: Flamers!

Postby crab_ » 03 Feb 2016, 11:59

This thread are 2 year old and flamers were nerfed one or two times in balance patches.
https://github.com/Warzone2100/warzone2 ... cd1c3cf408
https://github.com/Warzone2100/warzone2 ... e8d258935a

MIH-XTC wrote:lol @ this thread. I find flamers to be under powered and were surprised by the poll results.


You are new player, and seems you do not remember times when flamers was strong :|
All flamer stuff were 2x times stronger.

Keep in mind: balance was tuned for low-oil games. High-oil maps are not officially supported.
In low-oil games flamers are still usable in early game. In late game flamers lead to inc.mortarts and thermal bomb.

I agree, flamers are underpowered in late game, especially in flat high-oil games.
Warzone2100 Guide - http://betaguide.wz2100.net/
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