Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

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Reg312
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Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Reg312 » 09 Feb 2013, 21:13

Hello.
As we know latest change in game balance was in version 3.11.
Long time we playing beta11-balance and now balance issues can be defined exactly.
List below is list of major balance issues of version 3.1. These issues was noticed by many players, not just by me.

Major balance issues:
1) Cannons are weak in early and medium game.
In classic low-oil games cannon became useless.
2) Flamers too strong. Inferno stronger than many weapons at same time.
3) Rush tactic are stronger than research tactic (low-oil).
4) Incendiary mortar too strong (medium-oil and high-oil)

Minor issues:
1) Machineguns also too strong. Twin assault gun is end-game weapon.
Machineguns are strong because it is universal weapon. Many HP, good damage, easy upgradeable.
2) <....>

My statements can be controversial but i think most MP players will be agreed with following:
- cannons too weak in low oil;
- flamers too strong in many game conditions.

Current situation we have developers working hardly on version 3.2, and also in master-brach we are experimenting with balance (derrick setted price to 100$).
I believe we can improve 3.1 balance, try to make it more perfect than current and do not change too cardinal as it done in 3.2.
So i suggest in 3.1:
1) Make cannons stronger in early and medium stages of game.
See what happen with rush/research conception. It is hard to say what happen with early game, but impoving cannons shold be good move. It can be good new option: get cannon asap and resist rush with cannons, not sure.
2) Make flamers weaker, do it indirectly (by making research path longer and more expensive)
3) Make incendiary mortar weaken somehow.
4) Nerf machineguns a bit (by increasing price of fire-rate upgrades)

Here my attempt:
https://github.com/crabster/warzone2100 ... d4f196f35d
* to make changes visual i made patch for 3.2 version
** github show changes a bit incorrect (dont be confused with name field shown wrong for some changes)

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by raycast » 09 Feb 2013, 22:11

There are a number of things that affect balance overall, such as targeting (which has changed).

Maybe you can also try you changes with the patch from: http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/3748
which should make all low ROF weapons a bit smarter than before, but also causes high ROF weapons to be a bit more aggressive at killing. (The patch also tries to make it more attractive to make hybird defenses and battle groups, i.e. with different types of weapons).

For example, I never noticed the incidentary mortar to be overly effective since the flame damage bug was fixed. I mostly use it against cyborg attacks and when "sniping" an oil location. For example in my Crystalline map, not building an oil but using it as a trap can be quite effcitve against AI players. Usually, you'll kill a lot of constructor droids this way (but beware of the occassional counter-attack).

At one point, the AI actually overrun my main base with cannons - my twin assault guns were no match. But I was owning half of the map by then, so I could rebuild and churn out scourges as fast as possible to kill his heavy cannon tanks. But I don't think it's that simple that MGs are overall too effective. And it's IMHO okay to have them strong in early game, if they aren't able to keep up on the long run. But again, low-oil is different, too.

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Reg312 » 09 Feb 2013, 22:34

@raycast: i have to try to understand your patch.
on which warzone version i should use your patch?

Balance issues which i mentioned in this thread is not related to targeting.
note: games with AI is not target of balancing. Balance means multiplayer balance.
Rules of game in multiplaye are quite different than in AI-games.

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by aubergine » 10 Feb 2013, 02:01

Targeting will have a fairly noticeable impact on balance though, particularly if different types of weapons start getting used more. I'd give the patch a go to see how it works before dismissing it.
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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Reg312 » 10 Feb 2013, 02:16

aubergine wrote:Targeting will have a fairly noticeable impact on balance though, particularly if different types of weapons start getting used more. I'd give the patch a go to see how it works before dismissing it.
can you say how tageting can have impact on early game balance between rockets, cannons, machineguns?
i think targeting more refer to low-ROF weapons (weapons with low rate of fire, e.g. lancer).
ok, when people play with each other any small thing, any random luck become noticeable.
targeting is part of it.

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by AycT » 10 Feb 2013, 19:30

Yeah, lasers are VERY weak, but also i think Plasma canon is weak too, because of weak cannons,
in my opinion one shot from plasma shhould destroy 85-95% of 1-12 full(id dependence of close-far) researched tiger body tanks with tracks and Twin Assult canon, and also, if they are on hower/weels, they should die.
Canons or missles? This is the question.

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Iluvalar » 10 Feb 2013, 22:27

Major balance issues:
1) cannon 2) flamer : Strongly affected by accuracy. Fix the accuracy first !!
3) Rush : Direct consequence of the lack of unit preview. Can't be fixed. Part of the randomness induced in the game now.

Minor issues:
1) Machineguns : Fix the accuracy first !!
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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Reg312 » 10 Feb 2013, 22:35

Iluvalar wrote:Major balance issues:
1) cannon 2) flamer : Strongly affected by accuracy. Fix the accuracy first !!
3) Rush : Direct consequence of the lack of unit preview. Can't be fixed. Part of the randomness induced in the game now.

Minor issues:
1) Machineguns : Fix the accuracy first !!
No one wants fix accuracy, and i dont have knowledge for it. We waited year for accuracy fix, enough...
Players want play, and do not want to wait for accuracy fix infinite!

*Rush and unit preview? how related? in current 3.1.0 games you can be sure you will be rushed, you do not need preview for it!
**if make flamers inaccurate i think it can make them stronger in some cases..

Iluvalar, first you have to upgrade your hardware, install 3.1 and play several games with human players.

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Iluvalar » 10 Feb 2013, 23:27

Reg312 wrote: No one wants fix accuracy, and i dont have knowledge for it. We waited year for accuracy fix, enough...
Players want play, and do not want to wait for accuracy fix infinite!
I understand. It's sad but you can't balance a game without a comprehensive model. I demonstrated that the actual accuracy system have thresholds effect. A weapon with 60% accuracy could be 1.5 time stronger than a 55% accuracy weapon given the same target. As long as nothing is done, you can only balance the game on ONE body at one particular time in the accuracy upgrades.

Since the game in 2.3.9 was somewhat balanced, laws of probability make it so you probably have the best balance you can get. Sometime you lose, sometime you win... If you try to balance the game on early game experience (viper), the game will become more unstable that it is later. As soon as people build cobra or python the whole balance change. Some more weapons will get a sudden 50% power boost. And of course you can't "balance" on such behavior. Specially if it's undocumented.
Reg312 wrote: *Rush and unit preview? how related? in current 3.1.0 games you can be sure you will be rushed, you do not need preview for it!
You are unaware of the opponent strategy for 3-4 more minutes than you were before. Just like while someone is attacking you, you leave the computer and go take a coffee before you react. The game was just not meant to give you that extra 4 minutes of reaction time. It's a REAL TIME strategy game. As a result, you will randomly win matches because your opponent had the wrong opening. Before he can make a move to counter you, it's too late.

There should be a new cycle in 3.1 : rush > tech > counter-rush > rush. While in older games you were starting with small disadvantage if you did the wrong opening, now you will end up with near certitude to lose. A full rush will win a large fraction of the game. I guess people favor the rush strategies because it's quicker. You play more matches, so you win more often.
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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Reg312 » 10 Feb 2013, 23:48

Iluvalar wrote: I understand. It's sad but you can't balance a game without a comprehensive model.
Agreed. But we do not need a perfect balanced game right now.
Also i think 'comprehensive model' for warzone can be very complex.
So when we see something in game underpowered - next we make it a bit stronger.
Problem with 'comprehensive model' - you need rewrite total game stats to make such model working.

You should understand, even with good working model, you cannot see all possibilities, only after months of playing new tatctic schemes become discovered and used. As i see in many commercial projects balance issues appears over and over.
Well i did not played SC, but i think SC is very simplified game comparing to WZ.
Iluvalar wrote: I demonstrated that the actual accuracy system have thresholds effect. A weapon with 60% accuracy could be 1.5 time stronger than a 55% accuracy weapon given the same target.
I dont see such effect in current warzone version 3.1.
can you give me link on video or something, how reproduce 150% damage increase with +5% accuracy?
Iluvalar wrote: As long as nothing is done, you can only balance the game on ONE body at one particular time in the accuracy upgrades.
i do not need to take accuracy into account at all.
If we see cannons underpowered, we can improve it and see what happen.
Iluvalar wrote: You are unaware of the opponent strategy for 3-4 more minutes than you were before. Just like while someone is attacking you, you leave the computer and go take a coffee before you react. The game was just not meant to give you that extra 4 minutes of reaction time. It's a REAL TIME strategy game. As a result, you will randomly win matches because your opponent had the wrong opening. Before he can make a move to counter you, it's too late.

There should be a new cycle in 3.1 : rush > tech > counter-rush > rush. While in older games you were starting with small disadvantage if you did the wrong opening, now you will end up with near certitude to lose. A full rush will win a large fraction of the game. I guess people favor the rush strategies because it's quicker. You play more matches, so you win more often.
Again, how you can resist to my rush?? i do rush, you just cannot resist it with any other strategy exept rush!
Now sure if i understood your statements.
Can you cleary say what will change in 'rush' if we bring back unit preview?
I make 16 mg viper wheels at 5:00. what to do to resist?


[update]:
in my opinion, balance is ok when player have a choice of several possibilities

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Shadow Wolf TJC » 11 Feb 2013, 00:24

Reg312 wrote:You should understand, even with good working model, you cannot see all possibilities, only after months of playing new tatctic schemes become discovered and used. As i see in many commercial projects balance issues appears over and over.
I tried to make the same point when developing Contingency, even as I was planning out what kind of balance system to start with. :3
Reg312 wrote:Well i did not played SC, but i think SC is very simplified game comparing to WZ.
If you think that StarCraft is simplified, wait until you see Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn. :lol2:
Iluvalar wrote: I demonstrated that the actual accuracy system have thresholds effect. A weapon with 60% accuracy could be 1.5 time stronger than a 55% accuracy weapon given the same target.
Actually, isn't it just a 9% increase in damage-per-second, since .6 divided by .55 is about 1.09? Bear in mind that this is just for 1-on-1 fights... :geek:
Reg312 wrote:
Iluvalar wrote: As long as nothing is done, you can only balance the game on ONE body at one particular time in the accuracy upgrades.
i do not need to take accuracy into account at all.
If we see cannons underpowered, we can improve it and see what happen.
While accuracy may matter in a 1-on-1 fight, it may matter less in an epic firefight between 2 large groups of units, as missed shots could instead hit other nearby units. :lecture:
Reg312 wrote:
Iluvalar wrote: You are unaware of the opponent strategy for 3-4 more minutes than you were before. Just like while someone is attacking you, you leave the computer and go take a coffee before you react. The game was just not meant to give you that extra 4 minutes of reaction time. It's a REAL TIME strategy game. As a result, you will randomly win matches because your opponent had the wrong opening. Before he can make a move to counter you, it's too late.

There should be a new cycle in 3.1 : rush > tech > counter-rush > rush. While in older games you were starting with small disadvantage if you did the wrong opening, now you will end up with near certitude to lose. A full rush will win a large fraction of the game. I guess people favor the rush strategies because it's quicker. You play more matches, so you win more often.
Again, how you can resist to my rush?? i do rush, you just cannot resist it with any other strategy exept rush!
Now sure if i understood your statements.
Can you cleary say what will change in 'rush' if we bring back unit preview?
I make 16 mg viper wheels at 5:00. what to do to resist?


[update]:
in my opinion, balance is ok when player have a choice of several possibilities
In my opinion, sending a single scout (which could just be a truck instead of a Machinegun Viper Wheels) can make the difference between deciding to rush, counter-rush, tech up, or capture and secure all the oil on the map. :3
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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Iluvalar » 11 Feb 2013, 01:58

Reg312 wrote: Agreed. But we do not need a perfect balanced game right now.
No but you need a balanceable game :lecture: .
Reg312 wrote: I dont see such effect in current warzone version 3.1.
can you give me link on video or something, how reproduce 150% damage increase with +5% accuracy?
Download this file : https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9FqMMo ... sp=sharing
and open it into your own SVG reader (google one is bad)

There you can read (for exemple) that machine guns gain 33% more strenght vs python than they have vs cobra because python is "bigger". While the cannons don't see any difference until they upgrade 1 accuracy.

StrataDrake told me the effect still a bit random, but it's there...
Reg312 wrote: i do not need to take accuracy into account at all.
If we see cannons underpowered, we can improve it and see what happen.
As said just above : They are underpowered without upgrade, but as soon as they get one, they become as good as mg vs python bodies. If you buff them at start, they'll be OP after the first upgrade or vs structures.
Reg312 wrote: Again, how you can resist to my rush?? i do rush, you just cannot resist it with any other strategy exept rush!
Now sure if i understood your statements.
Can you cleary say what will change in 'rush' if we bring back unit preview?
I make 16 mg viper wheels at 5:00. what to do to resist?
In theory, I could push the htrack and cannon research ASAP when I see you produce viper units extra early.

But let's assume you are right on that and that the MG, because they are 33% more efficient than they should vs structures are actually a problem for rush.
Shadow Wolf TJC wrote: Actually, isn't it just a 9% increase in damage-per-second, since .6 divided by .55 is about 1.09? Bear in mind that this is just for 1-on-1 fights... :geek:
That SHOULD be what happen, but that accuracy bug will suddenly make that 60% act as a 100% against some targets. while the 55% will stay at the same point.

So while it should be 1.09 of ratio, it suddenly jump to 1.82 of ratio. inversly, sometime the 55% acc. will also jump to 100%. And the accuracy will have no effect at all.
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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by Reg312 » 11 Feb 2013, 10:24

@Iluvalar i remember games with cannons and never noticed effect of first accuracy upgrare.
You forcing me to test it :)
(will respond later)

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by raycast » 12 Feb 2013, 00:57

Reg312 wrote:@raycast: i have to try to understand your patch.
on which warzone version i should use your patch?
It's for git-master.

Balancing of weapons depends on a lot of stuff. Accuracy, but also targeting.

It's not hard to explain: if you have slow projectiles, and every unit prefers to target the weakest enemy, chances are that all will empty their ammunition on the first/weakest target, then reload. With a more advanced targeting, they'll realize the enemy is probably dead when 5 projectiles arrive, and the 6th won't fire, but choose another target. Therefore, targeting changes can make in particular slow projectiles and high reload weapons change their efficiency.

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Re: Balance 3.1. Is possibly to fix before 3.2?

Post by crab_ » 24 Aug 2013, 02:50

Up this thread.

I ask project administration. Guys, do you allow fix game balance as bugfix for 3.1 ?
We play current balance (since beta11) more than year. We did much playtesting. Please allow us to implement results of playtesting as balance fixes.
I'm asking because i see version 3.2 is not ready for release and need long time to make 3.2 released and balanced.

I think, playtesting is good way to make game balanced. Why not use it?
Сomprehensive models of balance is just additional way to implement balance, but the main way is playtesting.
NoQ said SC was balanced by playtesting. So this way is right way :)

I plan add patch to track later. I did much playtesting of 3.1 :wink:
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