BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

The place to discuss balance changes for future versions of the game.
(Master releases & 3.X)
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Hironaru
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BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 20 Nov 2017, 05:37

BalanceOverhaulManagementBeta
The universal project to balance the campaign game-play dynamics of Warzone 2100
. . .Image. . .

Welcome to the BOMB project. I am Hironaru, self proclaimed project manager of this effort. I will guide and focus the group efforts, and provide group direction.

**Project BOMB is a branch of The official JSCAM Thread's Bug Testing Group. Please report any bugs during testing here!**

The goal of this project is to provide a progressive and dynamic approach to balancing all aspects of every difficulty of the campaign missions to provide every play-style with a balanced and streamlined campaign experience, while also re-balancing weapons and upgrades to grant effectiveness to all weapons systems.

I will be asking players to contribute their opinions and concerns on balance though each micro section of the game, which will include both segmented and full runs through the game in order to assess the overall balance of each group of changes throughout the duration of the campaign, Which will be tracked via wiki.

**wiki link soon. so very soon. e.e**
Last edited by Hironaru on 20 Nov 2017, 16:15, edited 29 times in total.
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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 20 Nov 2017, 05:38

Any age, any level of experience. We need you!
If you want to do your part to help bring this game back to the modern world, you can! All you need to do is follow these simple instructions below, and you too can be a part of the effort. I need people to test the changes we implement, and give me a solid opinion on what they think. We will be focusing on one aspect at a time, which will first be discussed here first, implemented, then tested until the majority is satisfied. Please read the following instructions to get started:

1. Download the latest revision of the Master Game File.
2. Play through the current master campaign on the current Testing Campaign Difficulty setting.
3. Select from one of these play-styles that most accurately defines your method of play-style:
  • [Z] - Zergling Offensive . : You rush fast and hard, neutralizing bases early.
    [O] - Reactive Offensive : You pool offensive units and wait for the enemy.
    [D] - Active Defensive . . : You build defenses early, focusing on research.
    (Don't relate to any of these categories? Let us know and we will add it!)
4. Add your play-style to your forum signature using the following format: Project BOMB [X]
5. Prepare your mind for the task by understanding the following principles:
  • Experience is the enemy
    The objective of balancing mechanics requires you to have the ability to understand how to think and play from the perspective of other people. We must always ask ourselves in every situation what someone who has never played before would do in that situation, from their perspective, skill and play-style.

    Focus on the objective
    In contributing to this project, your objective is to evaluate every experience you have, and everything you do in response to the environmental variables that you are presented up to that point. Try to understand what the game is trying to teach the player when presenting players with a scenario challenge.

    Balance in all things
    When do we provide new technologies to make players want to use them? Certain technologies benefit one play-style over another. How do we highlight the unique properties of weapons while keeping the damage output the same at that time in the campaign? How difficult is the situation for new players?
Once you have completed the listed instructions, please give yourself a pat on the back and say hello to the Project BOMB community!

The topic of discussion will focus on changes to things specifically related to the game aspect focus being evaluated at that time. As the focuses change, I will update the wiki timeline and post the change here. Once we have gone through the campaign piece by piece, we will play through the entire Campaign and revisit any balancing issues that arise, until the majority of players have been satisfied with the results. Then, the next campaign. And at last, a full game test.
Last edited by Hironaru on 20 Nov 2017, 16:05, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 20 Nov 2017, 06:04

Reserved
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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Berg » 20 Nov 2017, 06:54

they already have a thread for campaign improvement viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12714

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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 20 Nov 2017, 07:03

Berg wrote:they already have a thread for campaign improvement viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12714
Excellent observation Berg.

Please note that project BOMB is a branch of that topic, and I will be working closely with Berzerk Cyborg to push changes to the master. His groups priority and focus is creating a stable, bug free environment. This groups priority will be to dynamically re-balance the campaign variables in sequence.
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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by NoQ » 20 Nov 2017, 11:22

You wouldn't be able to edit the post after a while. Please move mutable information (progress bars and such) to the wiki.

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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 20 Nov 2017, 13:48

Thanks for the heads up NoQ. I plan to use the wiki re-balance page to track the overall progress and other rogue suggestions, if I can get permission to do so from Vex or Per. :3
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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Lord_Kane » 20 Nov 2017, 14:30

Hironaru, please, PLEASE

Remember that you are doing this as a separate project there is already an effort to stabilize the campaign underway (as you are well aware). Don't expect or demand Vex or Per to port your changes into the game, I would personally move this to addons and treat it as a mod.

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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 20 Nov 2017, 15:34

Lord_Kane wrote:Hironaru, please, PLEASE

Remember that you are doing this as a separate project there is already an effort to stabilize the campaign underway (as you are well aware). Don't expect or demand Vex or Per to port your changes into the game, I would personally move this to addons and treat it as a mod.
It is my mission to focus the intention in the parent thread between two threads; One focusing on bugs, and this thread focusing on balancing the game.

So far the entirety of changes that I have seen recently have been either by very small groups of people, or individuals relying on their own opinion of how mechanics should operate. I would like to have those people post it for discussion and assessment here, where it can be voted on and discussed. This will ensure that the community can achieve consensus before changes are made, and prevent them from adversely affecting earlier portions of the campaign.

By using a progressing timeline that marches from start to finish through the entire campaign, you eliminate the backwash that happens without structure.
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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Lord_Kane » 20 Nov 2017, 15:38

fair enough, but you are self voting yourself the overlord of campaign balance and certain people in charge have not even said yay or nay to it.

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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 20 Nov 2017, 15:43

Lord_Kane wrote:fair enough, but you are self voting yourself the overlord of campaign balance and certain people in charge have not even said yay or nay to it.
That's very true. I kind of need everyone behind me on this, and I know that people have been working at this issue for a very long time. That's why I'm going to try to convince vex and per to let me focus all of that energy, vision and experience from the community to accomplish a comprehensive balance for everyone. :3

The ability to manage and the ability to engineer are two different skill sets. The function of a manager is to provide direction and motivation to a team, maintain sight of the organizations objective and ensure that everyone else sees that objective clearly. The function of an engineer is to turn that vision into reality. If nobody believes in the vision, then that's all it will ever be. The vision I have is a game that challenges every demographic evenly, while still feeling polished.

Pro, Newb, Defensive, Offensive, etc. This game has the potential in it from the original design to make people question their play-style and evolve.
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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Lord_Kane » 20 Nov 2017, 15:48

Hironaru wrote:
Lord_Kane wrote:fair enough, but you are self voting yourself the overlord of campaign balance and certain people in charge have not even said yay or nay to it.
That's very true. I kind of need everyone behind me on this, and I know that people have been working at this issue for a very long time. That's why I'm going to try to convince vex and per to let me focus all of that energy, vision and experience from the community to accomplish a comprehensive balance for everyone. :3
The problem is you will be seeking a consensus and there will never be consensus about balance, everyone has their own style of play, and you can not just lock it down to three different playstyles.

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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 20 Nov 2017, 15:56

Lord_Kane wrote:
Hironaru wrote:
Lord_Kane wrote:fair enough, but you are self voting yourself the overlord of campaign balance and certain people in charge have not even said yay or nay to it.
That's very true. I kind of need everyone behind me on this, and I know that people have been working at this issue for a very long time. That's why I'm going to try to convince vex and per to let me focus all of that energy, vision and experience from the community to accomplish a comprehensive balance for everyone. :3
The problem is you will be seeking a consensus and there will never be consensus about balance, everyone has their own style of play, and you can not just lock it down to three different playstyles.
You can't please everyone, but a majority is still a better perspective than any one persons opinion. The more people and player types there are the better!

I'm absolutely open to adding play-styles that are not represented by the three demographics I've listed. What are your opinions on popular play-styles?
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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Bethrezen » 21 Nov 2017, 06:29

This is just my opinion so take it with a pinch of salt but for what it's worth here is my take on things. As far as balance goes there are one or two weapons which are a bit too strong but the majority are simply too weak.

For example I almost never user Cannons, Mini Rockers, Flamers, Bunker Busters why because they are simply less effective then Lancers, Heavy Machineguns, and Mortars as to why that depends on what weapon you are talking about

Cannons for example have a rate of fire comparable to lancers yet do only a fraction of the damage, so given that what incentive to I have to use cannons? the answer is none what so ever, the extra armour is nice an all but the reality of the situation is you don’t need armour when you can kill your opponent in a matter of seconds, you know how it is the whole the best defence is a good offence thing, so either the damage needs to be increased or the rate of fire needs to be increased because cannons are currently useless.

Next we have Mini Rockets now in theory they should actually be better than Heavy Machineguns because they have a higher rate of fire and the per shot damage is also higher despite that however they are not better than Heavy Machine guns and I think part of that might be due to poorer accuracy when compared to Heavy Machine guns it could also be that Mini Rockets are more geared towards destroying vehicles where Heavy Machine guns are a more general purpose which simply makes Heavy Machine guns a better choice in general.

Then we have flamers these are just badly implemented period they lack range, there rate of fire is to slow, the damage per shot is poor, the burn damage is insufficient and is applied to slowly, and even against there preferred target bunkers they are still outperformed by Machine guns. For example On alpha 2 decide to give flamers a go so I built a squad of 18 and they got completely squashed they didn’t even make it past the first enemy base before they where in pieces and I just reloaded and went back to using Machine guns instead.

The problem with Bunker Busters is that there rate of fire is to slow and they are useless against anything other then bunkers while 1 or 2 hits will take out a bunker it takes 4 or 5 or more hits to take down a tower or building, which might not sound like a problem but it is when there rate of fire is so low and they are forever auto firing at targets they can't damage and ultimately if its going to take like 5 or more hits to take out a tower or building and they are going to be forever auto firing at enemy units instead of enemy structures I might as well just use lancers while they also take 5 or more hits the difference is that lancers can defend them selves when attacked bunker busters can't.

Where a lancers will wipe out enemy units stupid enough to attack in a matter of seconds it would take bunker busters about 20 minute to take out a singe enemy unit, the other problem with bunker busters is that at the present time warzone simply doesn't give me enough control over what my units are shooting at and as a consequence bunker busters are forever auto firing at targets they can't damage now personally I'd like the ability to tell my bunker buster units to only auto fire at structures since they can't damage units but at the present I can't do that about the best I can do is to tell them to hold fire and then have them manually attack every target but that is less then ideal, and as if that wasn’t bad enough the changed logic which makes it hard to all direct fire units to hit targets in elevated locations coupled with the slow rate of fire and the retarded auto fire basically renders bunker busters more or less useless unless they are attached to a vtol attached to vtols bunker busters are extremely dangerous, although you still have to manually target everything because they will just auto fire on units instead of structures if you set them to patrol/circle over an enemy based which is annoying and why I hardly ever use bunker busters even when attached to vtols.

The ironic thing is all of that is just from the weapons on the Alpha campaign it gets worse as you gain access to more weapons, take the flashlight/pulse laser you may as well not bother because assault guns are just as if not more effective against cyborgs and again due to the fact that the flashlight/pulse laser are anti cyborg weapons it makes them more or less useless against anything else where the assault gun being a general purpose weapon is useful/effective against everything so again what reason do I have to use flashlight/pulse laser when a machine gun will do the same just as well if not better without any major down sides due to the fact that machine guns are general purpose weapons.

To be perfectly honest I'm really not sure how to tackle a problem like this adjusting the damage of weapons is all fine and well but what's the point if they will never be used because a general purpose weapon such as a machine gun renders more specialised weapons like the flashlight/pulse laser defunct you could nurf the general purposes weapons but then you end up making them useless which is not really what you want.

To be honest I'd be tempted to remove the anti cyborg weapons and simply have people just use machine guns instead because if you look at every other RTS out there the anti infantry weapon is nearly always machine guns, and then I'd have the directed energy weapons replace the older inferior projectile weapons, i mean who needs missiles and cannons when you have start trek style directed energy beam & pulse weapons. Although if you where going to do that it would definitely be better done as a mod at least to begin with.

Unfortunately I don’t think this whole tick tack toe design that pumpkin where going for in warzone was well thought out and as a consequence it has several glaring and obvious flaws I guess it's one of them ideas that sound good in theory but doesn't really pan out in practice because its just to difficult to get it right.

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Re: BOMB - Balance Overhaul Management Beta

Post by Hironaru » 21 Nov 2017, 10:21

Beth, I completely agree. Even the original had glaring flaws in many of the weapon systems balancing issues, and the first intention of the project is going to definitely be to balance all systems and then scale them accordingly. Also, the order in which technologies within each mission subgroup are presented to the player also needs to be considered when looking at the game-play from multiple angles.

One little change can make all the difference:

For example, presenting the machine gun guardtower upgrade at the first base in cam1a instead of the third base, will take the edge off of D type players who initially have no defensive structures to start with, while also preventing skirmish attacks from the enemy when amateur O or Z type players underestimate their unit strength after encountering the scav guard towers and lose their initial 4 tanks.

If the first and third upgrades were switched, people wouldn't get the mg bullets upgrade and its two subsequent upgrades until after they get flamer at the second base, encouraging them to try flamers to test their effectiveness. Currently, the mg upgrades are the first presented in normal, and can be upgraded 2 more times, which kind of breaks the mission flow.

By focusing on each segment step by step in chronological order, we can easily not only obtain a general balance, but even highlight the intended aspects of weapons; making them unique in various situations. One change at a time, under a steady march with general consensus from the community can easily reveal the correct and most appropriate solutions, while also enhancing the feel of polish for the game overall.

Also, IIRC, busters could not target non building units in the original. I feel like that's more of a bug, and it should be brought to the attention of the bug group.

----

Also, perhaps making temporary mods for the group to try before pushing a finalized recommendation for each segment is a good idea. It would certainly eliminate overhead in the ticketing process, and improve the light in which this project is cast. After all, changes must be tested thoroughly throughout each section, before we progress to the next segment.
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