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TD balance thread
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PersianImmortal
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:17 am    Post subject: TD balance thread Reply with quote

Disclaimer: I'll be the first one to admit I know almost nothing about TD balance so i'm not posting this claiming to have any authority on what changes should be made in TD.

The reason i'm making this thread is so we can have a place to discuss what changes we believe should be made to TD balance wise. Well I was playing a few games on it today two of the better TD players, Norman and Insert name were discussing what should be done to it.
Some ideas they came up with were

Buffing Nod artillery by increasing its speed and removing the explosion since the GDI mlrs is superior in everyway and a slow artillery doesn't bode well with Nods play style

Adding more variety to the nod faction allowing them to have more options late game because as of now the GDI is the king of late game.

Some suggestions I have are...

Buffing the Nod sam site by reducing its build time and increasing damage since GDI has the AG which can shoot both ground and air and the sam site is so meh

Let the Obelisk have a charge like the tesla so it will strike three infantry before recharging



Any other suggestions feel free to post here and ill add them to the OP in addition to my own thoughts as I think of them

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:17 pm  Reply with quote

Using this name because the password retrieval system is not working for a month now. Anyways:

Nod artillery while I do agree it can reduce the 75% chance of explosion to 0% would be beneficial I don't think increasing its speed would be a good idea. Increasing its turn speed however might be handy. But not to much. A large quantity of these units is devastating because they fire faster then the MLRS and kill infantry like no tomorrow.

As for adding more units for Nod, they already have a larger selection then GDI.

GDI late game might seem like they are king but they really are not. Nod has a large arsenal to take down GDI easily in late game. Stealth Tanks for example own Mammoth tanks because of their long range and good base busters. Chem troopers are also a good answer vs mammoth tanks as well as armored structures.

The Nod Samsite is debatable. Reducing its build time might be handy but increasing its damage would defeat the purpose of aircraft. Orca's already have an extremely low HP pool as AGTs can nearly three shot them (And AGTs have AoE as well.). I would first go with reducing cost as it will also reduce the build speed. Try doing 700 instead of 750.

As for Obelisk striking infantry multiple times, this could be a little bit to strong as if you had two or three of these up it would wipe out large amounts of infantry rather easily. (Specially commandos.) The Obelisk is supposed to be weak against infantry. While the AGT is good against armored and infantry it is very weak against light armor units such as the Stealth Tanks and Recon Bikes.
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 2:34 pm  Reply with quote

Infantry is too weak. Only few vehicles can crush a huge amount of expensive infantry in an eyeblink, as can an airstrike, a well placed guard tower, flame tanks, buggies/humm-vees, apaches, etc. Just about everything is good vs infantry. I would give a careful little buff for infantry health, speed and firepower. Rocket troopers should move as fast as riflemen (p.s. realism sucks). Also a random idea I got: 3-5 men squads packed in a single tile could be uncrushable by fast vehicles such as light tank and stealth tank.

But then the RA model where rocket guys counter tanks, tanks counter artillery and artillery counters infantry results in everyone using the rockets+artillery+mcv+turrets combo. That sucks. Actually it might not be such a bad thing to have artillery and infantry be crappy. I'm not sure anymore.

Nod's SAM seems good enough. It has a very strong armor and no amount of aircraft is capable of taking it out (unlike some anti-air units).
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 8:59 am  Reply with quote

I would have to disagree that infantry are to weak. While they are capable of instantly dieing to Airstrikes they are also randomly generated. They don't always come in right away as it can take longer amounts of time to reach them. Which gives the player a chance. Further balancing on the airstrike itself is required however vs infantry.

As for crushing? Its fine. Rocket infantry got a slight damage boost in the latest patch so they do alot of damage vs vehicles. If they want to move in and crush? Go right ahead. They are going to lose alot of vehicles in the process. Specialy if you do a tank/Rocket combo.

Chem troopers were excellent vs vehicles too as well. Light tanks can however crush chem troopers more easily. The other vehicles however such as STnks and APCs die before they can even be crushed. They eat mammoth tanks for breakfast and mediums suffer alot of damage before they can even do any crushing damage.

Minigunners/Mammoth combos do extremely well. Try this when dealing with Rocket infantry. They can also be used as damage soakers for anti turrets and the obelisk.

The infantry may seem like they are weak, but they have big advantages when used right.
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 12:50 am  Reply with quote

Remove Airstrike... Remove Airstrike... Crying
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 2:42 am  Reply with quote

Yeah like AoA said I think infantry is fine. If you micro them well enough they're an amazing addition to your army. I think airstrikes do need to be rebalanced though. You should be able to select the direction the planes come in.
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 3:46 am  Reply with quote

You can do a Point A to Point B mechanic like in RA3 with the allies scout planes. Which would help in which direction to fly in at and strike the target. Either that or a reticle pointer indicating which way they fly in at.

-----

One thing that needs balance in a prime issue is light tanks vs mediums. I didn't see any patch notes about this issue https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/7549

Essentially it comes down to these two tank units in a fight. Lights get produced at an astounding rate which is fine. But they overpower the medium tanks relatively easily due to their firing rate. In the github I would suggest reducing the light tanks HP by -5 or -10. Not to much. Just a smidge. This helps ease out the balance.

The veteran units are also waaay to powerful. Two stripe ranked mammoth moves as fast as a medium tank and infantry move faster then Grenadiers. I won't even get into light tank speeds.

Bikes are also something that needs readjustment. I do agree that the bikes cost should be 600 but the build time speed should be 12 and not 15. This creates the issue of the strike fast unit composition. Although this conversation itself has wittled down in the ongoing months.

Humvees and buggies do a little bit to much damage in vs armor units. Needs to be toned down just a smidge. Again not to much. As they are useful for herassment units. But a pack of hummers and buggies can kill a few light tanks rather easily lol.

Grenadiers as mentioned in the Grenadier post for RA. The Grenadiers in everyway are perfect except for projectile speed. The grenades flying through the air needs to be a little faster. As it is they are to slow to be affective anti infantry counters. Specialy against flamers. Check CNC95 original game unit for the perfect speed.
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 3:48 pm  Reply with quote

I had always planned (but never got around to) reworking the comm-center powers.

The plan was to keep the airstrike largely as-is for GDI, but add the direction selection and a per-usage cost of ~$1000. Nod would receive a new C17 paradrop power where they get to choose (out of infantry and light vehicles) what is delivered, and pay ~$500 + cost of units.
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 7:50 pm  Reply with quote

Its a sound idea but it gives a few problems:

The paradrop for Nod would allow them to drop in units from behind. Which null and voids static defenses. It also allows them to bring units instantly anywhere and at anytime. If the paradrop was to be limited by vision then going the aircraft route is a must for Nod rather then quick strike ground assaults.

The costable airstrikes for GDI is also a good idea but presents problems:

GDI already has a large scale amount of units that is costly but powerful. Which can result in getting attacked by infantry and then not having the funds to use the airstrike because you lost all of your harvestors or/and using the airstrike would spell GG anyways because there went the 1000 that could have been used to try and catch up quickly.
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 1:47 am  Reply with quote

I have been trying to figure out how to upload some changes for TD on github. Until I can figure that out I have made the proposed changes listed here:

Ltnk: Changes
HP 350 from 360
damage vs heavy 90 from 100

Bike: Changes
Price 500 from 600

Artillery: Changes
Chance to explode 0 from 75

Chem Warrior: Changes
reload delay 65 from 70

Genadier: Changes
Grenade projectile speed 140 from 119

Hummer/Buggy: Changes
Damage vs heavy 15 from 20

Let me know what you think in the following here. I decided to remove the light tanks speed and keep it as is since the 360 to 350 hp change makes a big difference. It still has quite a bit of hp for other various units but makes them vunerable to ballistic weapons rather then more crush worthy. The heavy damage reduction actually helps balance vs mediums.

The bike price change will also help to incorporate the build speed and price itself in being able to counter mediums. As light tanks are not supposed to be the counter all vehicles vs mediums and various other units.

The chem warriors slightly faster fire rate will help vs light tanks and other crushable vehicles that move quickly being able to scorch them faster. This includes stealth tank plays.

Grenadiers have been buffed to be a good counter vs flame and chem infantry.

The buff on the artillery is because it is aggrivating to have 3-5 units only to have them instantly killed. This is also fustrating when mixed with infantry as if standing next to an arty will instantly die as well.

The hummers/buggies were nerfed vs armor to help vs the light tanks and APCs. they are not ment for counters to these types of units. They are still good herassment units for harvesters however.
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 9:54 pm  Reply with quote

All of the above sounds good.
I think flame tanks were nerfed too much in release 20141029. They aren't used anymore. The reason for the nerf was flame tanks being unstoppable. But I think the speed and health nerfs were enough to fix that.
Being able to quickly destroy a structure is supposed to be the strength of a flame tank but seems like other vehicles do it just about equally fast yet they're also more versatile and multi-purpose.
I suggest increasing flame tank damage by 10% from 75 to 83 (used to be 90 in some earlier releases).
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:11 am  Reply with quote

Flame tanks aren't widely used because armor units are being used alot more right now. Light tanks and medium tanks are hard counters to flame tanks. The flame tanks were nerfed because of their hp vs rocket infantry and were able to drive right into them and explode/torch a few.

Their damage was reduced not only because of the structures but because of lighter units as well. Scorching bikes and hummers relatively quickly. Even some APCs. However with the proposed light tank hp reduction their napalm explosion might actually do alot of damage to them. Will have to test this now.

The flame tank actually might need a very slight HP increase to help compensate for more plays. But right now they aren't used because of heavy armor plays. Otherwise they are units that are viable just not widely used. IE:

I use them in 1v1 games for quick rushes. Take out an airstrip/factory asap and any power plants left astray. Maybe even the construction yard. These units can be produced at about 3:00

Pros to this build:

This build can easily spell gg in the start of the game.
Kills defensive infantry.
Destroys structures.
Bypass early defense for a quick communications snipe.

Cons to this build:

Expensive to pull off. 2-3 flame tanks max for quick strike.
Easily destroyed by groups of rocket infantry or a few armor units.
If strike fails you may end up losing really fast.

We will see once this patch goes through. These changes are for the major and big problems that causes issues for GDI play.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:34 am  Reply with quote

I'm going to start this off by saying I love that you're all working so hard on bringing Tiberium Dawn back. It used to be a staple game in my high school days when my friends and I would spend hundreds of hours on it. I'm not sure how close you want to bring this version to the original version given how different it played from Red Alert and the existing game engine. Most of the vehicles and defenses had significantly longer attack ranges, slower projectile speeds, and had projectile collision detection, allowing them to completely miss a target. Many of the unit balances were not based solely on numbers, but also on chances to hit and how well a unit could evade enemy fire. Given these differences, I'll try to offer suggestions based on how Tiberium Dawn played to some of the concerns I see here.

Obelisks should -not- shoot three infantry at a time. This was one of the major reasons for having flame tanks and flame infantry as NOD, to defend your base against enemy infantry hordes. The two factions' defenses were very polarized: NOD defenses were amazing against heavy armor/most vehicles and stunk against infantry, while GDI defenses were amazing against infantry and light armor while being almost useless against heavy armor. Their units balanced out the flaws in their defenses. This meant NOD didn't have guard towers and GDI didn't have turrets. Instead NOD had turrets and flame using units, while GDI had guard towers and very scary tanks.

As a side note about flame tanks, AoA is right about their use. They're not particularly great as a main force and are best used for rushing gaps in the enemy's defenses and wiping out infantry. They were also immensely more useful when most anti-armor attacks could miss them at medium/long range while they sped into attack range or into the enemy base.

I've also noticed the "rocket" type attack is missing entirely (another difference between RA and TD). Unlike missiles, rockets were highly inaccurate and dealt massive damage to infantry and lightly armored targets while dealing almost no damage to heavy armor. This is what the Advanced Guard Tower and MRLS used to use instead of the attack used now which destroys everything.

In multiplayer, neither side gained any form of airstrike or air unit drop by default. These were gained as a random reward from picking up crates, which would then give the player -one- use of that special command until they receive the reward again from another crate. This required a command center to charge and use with a typical charge time around five minutes. I would greatly prefer this system over the existing, super annoying one. Especially since napalm airstrike is somehow wiping out heavy armor units with one use. What's up with that? There were also several other shiny specials in the crates, such as the extremely rare and highly prized instant kill nuke, which would automatically kill everything in range of where it landed similar to the nuke in the singleplayer campaign, the commando air drop (opposed to the much more common rifleman and rocket soldier drop), and other goodies I can't recall at the moment.

NOD was never supposed to be great at open combat, especially at end game. They were all about harassment, rushes, and stealth strikes aiming to knock out key structures in the enemy base while greatly rewarding micro management skills. One of their best harassment units I've noticed missing in multiplayer is the SSM launcher which had incredible range with its fire damage missiles. It was fantastic for forcing enemy units to patrol the middle area, which allowed NOD to do their hit and run magic against them, and it gave NOD a response against turtle players with enough defenses to detect and stop stealth strikes. It required a temple of nod to build, cost $800, had a ludicrously slow attack speed, and was pretty flimsy. But if a group of them got close enough to launch their missiles, they could wipe out most unarmored structures in a single volley.

I am also curious if there are any plans or if it is even possible in the OpenRA engine to bring back the hit and miss chances and projectile collision detection. As an example in Tiberium Dawn, most armor piercing attacks, like the medium tank's cannon, could one shot standing infantry, but almost always missed if the infantry was laying prone on the ground. The cannon attack was also less accurate if the tank was moving while firing and would have a difficult time hitting a quickly moving, small target. This was actually how light tanks would counter medium tanks in the old days when a medium tank could take on two light tanks at once if they all sat still ('dat NOD micro again).

Thanks for reading to the end! I hope some of these suggestions are useful.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:35 pm  Reply with quote

Aye I feel the same way about this project too. Its why I spent alot of time learning how to make changes to fix some of the issues. Because I can't stop playing it lol.


Obelisk: I agree here as mentioned above.
---

Turrets/Guard towers: This is also true and something I looked back on. Keeping in mind right now however it is hard for GDI to produce medium tanks to fend off some bike plays. While rocket infantry are good for countering bikes, buggies can also come into play and destroy them. Turrets are used to fend off both right now. But this has been something ive kept aware of myself since I started playing.
---

Flame Tanks: Agreed on this. Their speed was slightly increased by psydev I believe from CNC95 to make them more strike worthy. Also moving close to infantry and exploding to cause more damage.
---

Rockets and missiles: This is true. I do disagree about AGT (Advanced Guart Towers) doing massive damage. They do massive damage over all. If an AGT continues to hit the same target its damage over all is incredible. If it dies in five seconds then it didn't do any damage at all. The counter to these towers is lightly armored units or infantry. bikes destroy them in one example and so do rocket infantry. This opens up to more unit usage such as having a few artillery on stand by or even some flame tanks. Their attack speed was also reduced compared to CNC95. The MLRS also fires differently then CNC95. It used to fire a series of two rockets constantly. While OpenRA is a barrage. Its barrage still does damage to infantry (Although not as much) It does do massive damage to clustered light units. These units make perfect Stealth Tank counters. As for rockets missing this happened in CNC95 using bikes as well. Barely able to do so with hummers. The difference in OpenRA is the units move faster (Light tanks IE move faster then CNC95) which makes it appear rockets miss alot more.
---

Multiplayer: Agreed on the crates. Once I figure out how to edit crate parameters this will be changed to reflect CNC95. As for airstrikes, this is being looked at. Some situations the airstriked comes in nearly instantly and other times taking nearly 15 seconds to approach. This issue is due to the location they come from. However, entirely removing the airstrike will need to be tested. As it is a good source of quick defense/attack to get a second wind in situations.
---

Nod: Agreed on open combat. However, even in CNC95 using mix of units for open combat is very handy. Bike/buggy combos for example in CNC95 is extremely good. Specially in early plays. Infantry with artillery for ground holding is another one. Even holding tiberium lawns with light tanks or even chem troopers.
---

SSM: This unit I haven't forgotten about. Indeed very handy for base busting and holding grounds. But in CNC95 artillery and MLRS also had much much much MUCH shorter ranges then they do now in OpenRA. Artillery practically being useless in CNC95 now has more use in OpenRA. More so once their buff goes through. But the idea of having these units come back is on my mind.
---

Canon fire: This is also true. What has currently happened though is unit speeds have been utilized instead. Light tanks moving faster can still dodge tank fire. But I do agree on the infantry aspect. Having some shots miss and others landing to do damage on infantry. Units moving while shooting could cause some problems vs light tanks and APCs as your chasing a target the shots never landing. (The speeds are also used to fight against mammoth tanks. Watch the turret turn rates with mammoths, mediums, light tanks.)
---

Infantry prone: A hidden mechanic that existed in both CNC95 and RA98 that alot of people don't know about and im looking to perhaps get help on doing. You could actually quickly double click to move and they would stand up. Ignore the prone until they stopped moving. This was a bug in both games but it turned out to be a good strategy. Of course if you don't go prone you lose out on the extra armor. However, you also move much faster. IE: Flame infantry rushes. Stand them up and move in close quarters to scorch. Infantry running. Stand them up and just run.
---

I like alot of the suggestions in here. I hope this helps clear up some of the questions though. I played alot of CNC95 in my youth as well and the changes here I agree and disagree on myself. But its best to take these slow as major changes can throw out the balance. Game play and how we think has changed alot then back in the day. Specially in OpenRA. People figure out new things. New ways of attacks and how to use a unit. Its what changes games and how a game is played.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:24 am  Reply with quote

Turrets/Guard Towers: Your explanation baffles me since light armor shouldn't be holding up better against guard towers than turrets, especially since they share the same range now. I do understand the need for an additional choice of counter against early light armor rushes though if guard towers don't do well against buggies and bikes for some reason.

AGT's: What you say is true. They are very easily overpowered if rushed quickly. The problem arises when they only cost $1000 and a relatively small amount of power for the amount of sustained damage they can deal to more expensive vehicles. It is way too easy to build clusters of three of them which, with some unit support (especially MRLS for handling infantry and enemy artillery), can wipe out most attacking forces before they even come within range to fire back.

Airstrikes: I wouldn't mind them so much if they weren't so dang effective at wiping out every unit in the area they're used every -two minutes-. It's painfully difficult to build and use a sizable force when the majority of it can be wiped out or severely damaged with a single airstrike. By the time I can build five tanks per production structure, the enemy's airstrike is ready again. It is quite frustrating.
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