- NOTE: i'm using unicode subscript and superscript characters in this message, sorry if you still use some windows xp with ie6 (this website doesn't work on such systems anyway, last time i tried ...)
NOTE: this thread is NOT about balance in warzone. I do not right now want to discuss whether machineguns are overpowered or not in the current game, though it may give some clue.
Just wanted to point this out, i had a certain misconception in my head, probably many others had it too. In fact, the whole NullBot balancing mechanism is based on that misconception
- If your enemy uses pure tracks, should you make pure rockets?
Consider the following abstract example. Suppose the enemy uses only lancer python tracks, and you can choose between lancer python tracks and heavy machinegun python tracks (and nothing else). Research was equal on both sides. For simplicity, let's think that any lancer tank deals 16x more damage per second ("DPS") to tracks, costs 2 times more than a mg tank and has 2 times less hit points ("HP") than a mg tank.
- NOTE: these numbers aren't related to the real balance, and are given as example only; i hope nobody starts saying things like "NoQ said that lancer is 16 times more powerful than heavy machinegun".
Will you produce any mg tanks at all in this situation?
Consider the generic strength of a unit template defined as follows:
That is, if you double up a unit's HP, you also double up the price to compensate it. If you double DPS, you also double up the price. Probably Iluvalar
will come up with a more accurate model that considers factors like unit repair and micromanagement and other stuff, but we will try to keep it simple right now to make things clear (in fact, we're getting closer to some "high oil game" situation with large armies and little combat tactics). This formula is sort of obvious, i suppose you will trust me on that. If you don't:
With that formula, we can calculate that rockets are "2 times better" than machineguns in our example. That is, an army of lancer tanks will doubtlessly easily win against an army of mg tanks of the same price.
Now consider an army that includes N
% mg tanks. Then it will also have ((100-N
)/2)% lancer tanks to have the same price. For which N we get the strongest army? The misconception is that it's for N=0. But by now you can easily see that it's wrong.
For simplicity let x
/100. have (16-18x
+1) average DPS, (3x
+1) average HP and 2/(x
+1) average price. Even
if we still keep forgetting about micromanagement effects, such as making sure mg tanks take damage first, we have the average army effectiveness
represented by the following graph:
4.0 here is the strength of lancer tanks (an army with x
=0 mg tanks), and 2.0 is the strength of mg tanks. This means that the strongest army you can make will be composed of ~40% mg tanks and ~60% lancer tanks, and it will be ~1.5x stronger than a pure lancer army! Moreover, even with around 80% mg tanks in your army, you will still not be weaker than a pure lancer army. That is, there's no point in having an army with ridiculously huge firepower and little health, it is always better to keep the two more or less balanced.
Of course, in a real warzone game these values will be quite different. Yet i believe this "combined arms effect" is highly underestimated by many players. For a rocket player it is not only necessary to build machineguns to counter cyborgs, but also to provide the army with necessary hit points, probably even if it means spending more on research.