Accuracy straw poll

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

Which accuracy system do you want?

Random to-hit roll, no physics
0
No votes
Gaussian to-hit roll, no physics
7
28%
Physics-based only, no random roll
8
32%
Projectiles always hit (the Starcraft option)
3
12%
Do not change anything / I do not understand this poll / No opinion
7
28%
 
Total votes: 25

Cyp
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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Cyp » 28 Apr 2013, 22:01

Deus Siddis wrote:
NoQ wrote: What Per is trying to say is that enemies are never far enough (just due to limited weapon range).
It kind of makes me wonder what a mod would be like where you have Per's simulated physics combined with a much less limited range for direct fire weapons and fog of war. I imagine preferred weapons, units and tactics would be very different between the open and hilly parts of a map.

Instead of a mod with much longer range, maybe a mod with much slower projectiles, so there's time to get out of the way (similar effect, but probably easier to see in time to dodge, at normal zoom levels).

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Iluvalar
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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Iluvalar » 29 Apr 2013, 04:47

Deus Siddis wrote:
Iluvalar wrote: If that's the case, this mean he implemented the "startcraft" option instead while pretending it's the other one.
Simulated physics without accuracy is not the same as starcraft. Because those 5-10% of situations where misses both visibly should happen and actually do happen keep the player's suspension of disbelief intact. With Starcraft, weapons would do strange things fairly often, like a Yamato blast tracking and hitting a retreating Scout at three times its maximum range.
I'm not talking about suspension of disbelief. And talking about BALANCEABILITY. Not keeping the chances to hit somewhere around the actual value will cause the entire game to require a new balance.

in other word, a machine gun with an accuracy of 40% in 2.3.9 MUST HAVE an accuracy even worst at full range with a realistic engine. Otherwise, the balance is f**ked.
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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by raycast » 29 Apr 2013, 18:40

Iluvalar wrote:Not keeping the chances to hit somewhere around the actual value will cause the entire game to require a new balance.

in other word, a machine gun with an accuracy of 40% in 2.3.9 MUST HAVE an accuracy even worst at full range with a realistic engine. Otherwise, the balance is f**ked.
Then the balance has been f**ked for years already. Pretty much since 2.3.9, that is. Havn't Lancers become quite different since; for example? And heck, they even are different between single player and multi player, aren't they?

As mentioned in a couple of posts here before, there have been changes, and there will be further changes, that DO change balance. So we need to modify weapon parameters to make gameplay more fun and allow for more strategies. This is not the end of the world. This is just the end of the game being a copy of 2.3.9 balance.

But mind it, I still like to have more effective ECM weapons, and I'd love to see radar jammers at some point, too.

If you want exact 2.3.9 balance, stick with 2.3.9. That is the only thing that will guarantee 100% the same game balance.

As long as we can rebalance to keep the game fun, I'm all in for further changes. Even if this requires rebalancing. We may even end up with a better balance than 2.3.9, you know. And as a matter of fact, the game has been slightly rebalanced since 2.3.9 already AFAICT.

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by NoQ » 29 Apr 2013, 20:03

As long as we can
Please confirm that you have read and understood the first word in CAPS in the previous post.

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Cyp » 29 Apr 2013, 21:14

raycast wrote:...

If you want exact 2.3.9 balance, stick with 2.3.9. That is the only thing that will guarantee 100% the same game balance.

...
Actually, not even sticking with 2.3.9 guarantees the same balance from game to game, since the 2.3.9 (and all earlier versions) balance is majorly affected by randomly changing factors such as quality of internet connection and performance of CPU and GPU. For example, I lost some pre-3.1.0 games due to literally not being able to make tanks fast enough, because my GPU was too slow to make them. Now in 3.1.0, a player getting 2 FPS can build tanks as fast as someone getting 10000 FPS. I consider 3.1.0 (and the earlier test builds/betas) to be the first version(s) that supports(^H) multiplayer, in previous versions multiplayer was fake.

Therefore, 3.1.0 is the first version where it's even possible to meaningfully discuss whether it's balanced or not, let alone to start trying to balance it, without taking into account whether someone's computer or internet connection is fast enough. Considering it's the first version ever, it would be surprising if the balance wasn't f**ked.

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Rman Virgil » 29 Apr 2013, 23:48

raycast wrote:...

If you want exact 2.3.9 balance, stick with 2.3.9. That is the only thing that will guarantee 100% the same game balance.

...
Cyp wrote:Actually, not even sticking with 2.3.9 guarantees the same balance from game to game, since the 2.3.9 (and all earlier versions) balance is majorly affected by randomly changing factors such as quality of internet connection and performance of CPU and GPU. For example, I lost some pre-3.1.0 games due to literally not being able to make tanks fast enough, because my GPU was too slow to make them. Now in 3.1.0, a player getting 2 FPS can build tanks as fast as someone getting 10000 FPS. I consider 3.1.0 (and the earlier test builds/betas) to be the first version(s) that supports(^H) multiplayer, in previous versions multiplayer was fake.

Therefore, 3.1.0 is the first version where it's even possible to meaningfully discuss whether it's balanced or not, let alone to start trying to balance it, without taking into account whether someone's computer or internet connection is fast enough. Considering it's the first version ever, it would be surprising if the balance wasn't f**ked.
Fundamental dif, achievement & game changer, in the best sense. Well stated.

The old state was duly noted within weeks of retail release, and over 14 years, turned away a lot MPers who were good but couldn't afford the best rig and IP service in town. That too was core fracked-up, let alone any balance suppositions derived therefrom. From this changed base real progress can be made and be truely cummulative across all other legit variables.
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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Iluvalar » 30 Apr 2013, 03:58

raycast wrote:
Iluvalar wrote:Not keeping the chances to hit somewhere around the actual value will cause the entire game to require a new balance.

in other word, a machine gun with an accuracy of 40% in 2.3.9 MUST HAVE an accuracy even worst at full range with a realistic engine. Otherwise, the balance is f**ked.
Then the balance has been f**ked for years already. Pretty much since 2.3.9, that is. Havn't Lancers become quite different since; for example? And heck, they even are different between single player and multi player, aren't they?

As mentioned in a couple of posts here before, there have been changes, and there will be further changes, that DO change balance. So we need to modify weapon parameters to make gameplay more fun and allow for more strategies. This is not the end of the world. This is just the end of the game being a copy of 2.3.9 balance.

But mind it, I still like to have more effective ECM weapons, and I'd love to see radar jammers at some point, too.

If you want exact 2.3.9 balance, stick with 2.3.9. That is the only thing that will guarantee 100% the same game balance.

As long as we can rebalance to keep the game fun, I'm all in for further changes. Even if this requires rebalancing. We may even end up with a better balance than 2.3.9, you know. And as a matter of fact, the game has been slightly rebalanced since 2.3.9 already AFAICT.
I said 2.3.9 because the accuracy was working as expected there. Personnaly I don't mind into changing massively the tech tree, that's not the point. And you must face it, the last balance we have done was appliable to our experience in 2.3.9 much more than 3.1 . The changes made since then are unmonitored.

Cyp, stop exagerating.

2.3.9 as been stable for a long time. The balance as been worked on for years. And whatever we think of it, it would be stupid to even believe that the same balance while accuracy changed work better in 3.1 .

The accuracy have a 1:1 impact on the dps. It's an obvious move to try to keep the accuracy as it is in the FAQ right now. Assuming the changes would allow another balance, the balance would be easier to achieve if the stats stay close.
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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Shadow Wolf TJC » 30 Apr 2013, 08:41

@Iluvalar: Given all of your disagreements with where Warzone 2100's development is heading (regardless of whether or not they have merit, and people agree with you), I think that you should consider forking Warzone 2100, like bendib and LordApocalypse did. :shakehead:
Creator of Warzone 2100: Contingency!
Founder of Wikizone 2100: http://wikizone2100.wikia.com/wiki/Wikizone_2100

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Cyp » 30 Apr 2013, 12:02

Iluvalar wrote:...
I said 2.3.9 because the accuracy was working as expected there. Personnaly I don't mind into changing massively the tech tree, that's not the point. And you must face it, the last balance we have done was appliable to our experience in 2.3.9 much more than 3.1 . The changes made since then are unmonitored.

Cyp, stop exagerating.

...
If you expect one player to see all the shots miss, and another player to see all the same shots hit, and another to see the same tanks on opposite sides of the map, even though a fourth player killed the same tanks a long time ago, then accuracy was working as expected. Had to relearn 3.1.0 because my strategy of killing enemy tanks by running towards them, and then retreating before I see any shots fire at all, wasn't working anymore.

The accuracy may have been working how you expected, but it certainly wasn't working how I expected (at least not how I expected until after seeing the code).

I think it's hard to exaggerate the issue.

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Iluvalar » 01 May 2013, 00:31

Shadow Wolf TJC wrote:@Iluvalar: Given all of your disagreements with where Warzone 2100's development is heading (regardless of whether or not they have merit, and people agree with you), I think that you should consider forking Warzone 2100, like bendib and LordApocalypse did. :shakehead:
Sure https://github.com/Iluvalar/warzone2100 next time I have a bit of time I launch the beta.
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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by raycast » 01 May 2013, 04:36

Too bad that you are only complaining about the game not being the same as 2.3.9; you apparently didn't see my suggestion of having two types of accuracy. Aiming accuracy and chance-to-damage-on-impact.

"Balanceability" is bullshit, sorry. We don't have an unstable balance either. It's not as if we change one part and then balance goes all over the place. For example flamers: if we notice that flamers are too strong due to e.g. earlier overcompensation of the flame damage bug. Then we'll most likely just change the base damage or upgrades of flamers. All that this affects is that it makes flamers less powerful. It doesn't affect the rockets vs. MG balance, but it's a very local change.
This will not completely screw balance. Worst case, we demote flamers too much, so we'll need to go back up again a bit.

Plus, again, this hasn't changed or will not change: if it now isn't balanceable anymore, then it never was balanceable ever. And even more, we still have a need to revisit our current balance anyway.

So I'm all with CYP. Stop glorifying 2.3.9 and it's balance, it was at least as broken as our current state is.

If accuracy is just a roll-to-hit value, we might as well drop it altogether and just substitute "damage = damage * accuracy" everywhere. If accuracy is as strict as you call, then it would be nothing but a correction factor of the damage. It should be more than that. Gameplay should be that e.g. your artillery becomes more focused and less random at long range. It should actually be your rockets hitting the enemy or the wall next to it; but realisticly, not as before with that random direction 1 tile off rule.

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by NoQ » 01 May 2013, 05:15

Then we'll most likely just change the base damage or upgrades of flamers. All that this affects is that it makes flamers less powerful. It doesn't affect the rockets vs. MG balance, but it's a very local change.
Please don't post in this subforum if the things below were not obvious for you.

Of the most obvious stuff, it affects the usability of MG+Flamers or Rockets+Flamers strategies, both of which are considerable; using flamers as a complementary part to pure rockets in FFA matches to compensate the gap between MRA and Seraph when you need to deal with assault gun cyborgs is not oncommon, so this gets screwed as well. It also affects plasma cannons and incendiary artillery and bombs (whether you will be able to actually use flamers before getting this, or only pay for researching a useless weapon and use machineguns as AP anyway), affecting the whole cannon line (and thus the fundamental cannon vs. rocket balance), and the artillery line, and the whole VTOL technology, for which incendiary bombs are one of the most useful weapon, but chances to invent these before dying is heavily based on whether you will be able to survive before discovering them, and slightly changing flamers varies these chances dramatically. Since flamers are particularly weak against defenses, a change of flamers affects the usability of defenses and structure upgrades. Another reason why it affects cannons vs. rockets is that rockets are having easier time dealing with flamers due to increased range and faster speed (which does not have this much effect on other weapons as ranges are roughly equal).

Of the less obvious stuff, pure flamers are hardly used; so there is no place to localize your hypothetical change. Instead, there are multiple factions, chosen at start of the game and never morphing into each other and composed of multiple weapon lines chosen for particular functions; some of which use flamers, while some of them don't; some of which use flamers as AP, some of them use flamers as AT; some of them beat flamers more easily than the others. Thus, a change in flamers blows up the faction balance, affecting pretty much all of them. Even if you say that MG/Rockets vs. MG/Cannons are not affected, this would be false as well: these factions will modify their early openings depending on whether they need to counter flamers before they know that the enemy is not using them.
or example flamers: if we notice that flamers are too strong due to e.g. earlier overcompensation of the flame damage bug. Then we'll most likely just change the base damage or upgrades of flamers.
And this will solve nothing. Due to lack of weapon modifiers, we will either end up with having unusable flamers or overpowered flamers; we will never be able to make flamers suitable for a particular purpose and not usable for every other purpose without rebalancing everything. That's why we were so happy to see this bug fixed for 3.2.

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by raycast » 01 May 2013, 16:27

Actually, incidendary bombs, plasma cannons etc. *can* be changed independently of the pure flamers.
It's not as if there is a fixed 1:1 relationship here. We can reduce the strength of flamer weapons by 5%, and this will neither make a rocket+flamer strategy useless, and it's actually fairly easy to at the same time increase incidendiary bombs by 5% so they remain unchanged.

wrt. to MG+flamer and Rocket+Flamer strategies, it is the whole point of balancing to offer a variety of strategies. Ideally, Rocket+MG and Rocket+Cannon would be as attractive as Rocket+Flamer.

It's the whole point of the "weapons.ini" file to be able to change such parameters easily, without even having to recompile warzone. We can make a *single* weapon more expensive, slower to build. The "damage" is local to a single weapon, it does not spill over from flamer weapons to incidendiary mortar as you claimed.

We just need a good plan for doing such changes. We probably need some heavy players that try out a number of variations first. Then we can have a wider audience test them, and if we see e.g. a "faction" (i.e. a particular weapon strategy) disappear then we need to rebalance that part of the tree. If we see a new weapon combination emerge because it has become a viable option, then we've been doing a good job. We need a way to gather such statistics (i.e. track which units/designs are used how often) and a way to comare this trend over time across different types of players. And we need a good way to push such changes to a wider audience.

Current online games have a huge infrastucture for such things. Blizzard can actually change such parameters for every game you play online, because it's on their servers. We currenty do not have this. So IMHO we really need to add a dedicated server mode, and we need some people sponsor some dedicated servers that we can use for tracking such statistics. An alternative would be to allow users to submit such statistics to a central repository (maybe we could use Googles AppEngine to host this?).
The first phase will definitely be to collect such statistics; once we have some experience with that data we can use this to adjust settings.

As for commercial games, I'm pretty sure they start with an experience driven initial balance, but then do e.g. gradient descent based parameter optimization during their beta testing cycle. A lot of games will be played, while they are improving their maps, designing the units, finding and searching bugs. That is a good moment to gather such statistics and auto-adjust the initial balance. And, with the more recent MMO games, you can actually continue this process over the lifetime of a game.

[quote=Blizzard]
Overlord movement speed increased to 0.586, up from 0.4687. Upgraded overlord movement speed unchanged.
[/quote]
You can imagine that this is not a number that some random developer came up with... also probably not from an equation, but from some numerical optimization in playtesting.
[quote=Blizzard]
Queen starting energy increased to 50, up from 25.
Observer build time decreased to 30, down from 40.
[/quote]
These numbers are probably hand chosen. You don't need to optimize all of them (or they may converge to be all the same). If you want to have certain units to have certain characteristics, you need to fix some parameters.

Blizzard is playing this quite good (well, they have a sh*tload of experience). We should try to do it similarly. We could use a way to quickly push out slight balance changes to everybody. And I like the strategy of testing larger changes (such as the one discussed above) e.g. in the form of map-mods. This would be a good way to have a group of users test a larger balance change.

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by NoQ » 01 May 2013, 16:47

Facepalm, facepalm, facepalm. Pity to see a clever person so much unable to understand how much of a noob he is in a certain specialized field. You are a complete noob in balancing, just silence please, instead of saying crap like "NoQ doesn't know what weapons.ini is for".

For instance, Blizzard have made A HELLA LOT OF decisions before even creating the first unit for the game. You are completely disregarding it. They only are able to tweak minor stuff now because they have made sure it is mathematically possible to achieve balance by doing it. Not because it is possible with any game design you can imagine.

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Re: Accuracy straw poll

Post by Iluvalar » 02 May 2013, 04:05

NoQ wrote: They only are able to tweak minor stuff now because they have made sure it is mathematically possible to achieve balance by doing it. Not because it is possible with any game design you can imagine.
QFT
raycast wrote:if we notice that flamers are too strong due to e.g. earlier overcompensation
Ok, now imagine we notice that cannons are too strong. But only if more than 5 tile away and only if mounted on a cobra and fighting a smg viper. But at the same time we notice that THEY ARE WAY TOO WEAK and need a buff, when vs the same units, they are closer that 4 tile.

How would you solve that ?

Now imagine we also notice all at the same time that any body/weapon combination vs any other body/weapon combination have such threshold. And that such threshold very often flip upside down. (say we also notice that a viper cannon vs a smg cobra is too strong from close but too weak from far).

How would you solve that mess with balance ?
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