Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
scythetwirler

Alpha 17 Balancing Branch

Recommended Posts

I would disagree, although the focus changes to what makes the game fun, rather than what is fair. It is more like balancing colors in a painting rather than weights on a scale. Having some imbalances wouldn't affect a casual player's strategy all that much, but could absolutely ruin a match for experienced players who aim to take advantage of every possible opportunity. Unfortunately, I've seen fun features in other games completely removed or "nerfed" to the point of extinction simply because experience players "abused" them.

I don't get it: You disagree that there is no such thing as balancing for inexperienced players, on the other hand you agree that unexperienced players are too unexperienced to exploit an imbalance...isn't that exactly what wraitii says?

Edited by zzippy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I define "balance" much more broadly than hardcore players. I tried to explain that in my post, but it seems that most here only view changes that affect fairness as balancing. I was trying to explain that having a "balanced" game isn't all about super serious competition but also casual play. Perhaps there is a better word I can use to avoid confusion, but I can't think of one at the moment.

Here's another example: Casual players want an AI to use hero units. If we limit hero units only to higher difficulties, then they get left out. That's not a fair tradoff in my opinion. Now I know that's AI and not the civ balancing that you are referring to, but it gives you an idea.

Casual players still want to be able to enjoy this game. Keep the experience balanced between doing what you need to do to make the game fair, but don't pursue fairness at all costs and make the game boring. AoK civs were mostly the same and were still hard to balance for fairness.

I'm not saying that I've seen that as an issue at this point at all, but we are embarking on some potentially serious gameplay changes. I fear that there is a possiblility that it can happen during this balancing process, so I'm making the point now rather than after the fact. I just want the full spectrum of players to be taken into account. :)

Edited by WhiteTreePaladin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is: as long as there is a possibility, a casual gamer against a "for fun" AI will use it. Even if it's utterly unpractical. The only key element is that it must not be overpowered so as to not break more competitive MP (even between amateur players, MP is much more often about winning, whereas against an AI which gives you a lot more leeway, you can go crazier). SP at lower AI difficulty can be as unbalanced as you want. And I agree that the AI should use most of the features. Just be slower or not attack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is: as long as there is a possibility, a casual gamer against a "for fun" AI will use it. Even if it's utterly unpractical. The only key element is that it must not be overpowered so as to not break more competitive MP (even between amateur players, MP is much more often about winning, whereas against an AI which gives you a lot more leeway, you can go crazier). SP at lower AI difficulty can be as unbalanced as you want. And I agree that the AI should use most of the features. Just be slower or not attack.

I agree with all of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

can we pull the argument of fun><>Balance><>fun elsewhere? and like - oh i don't know, talk about the balance branch and stuff? Yes? thank you.

Okay, my thoughts on the latest change (gather capacities)

It's great. Really, it's great. Though it's not great for the reasons you might expect. On the outside it looks like a nerf but in reality to the good planner, it's a huge buff.

Less early-mid game resource micro! Resources just Roll in! Sure, in smaller numbers than before, but much -- much faster!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to RECOMPILE again because something broke.

Scythe, i think you rolled back to the version where Gauls/britons work. :/

Edited by auron2401

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, minimum distance should be increased a little. A cata nearly cannot be taken down if positioned between 2 garrisoned fortresses.

Also the effective -but boring- fortress_forward _tactic would be a little nerfed then ..

Edited by zzippy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worth trying? Its commited to svn, so its in the game right now. "Suprise" is Mythos' commit message. Indeed, a big suprise.

After weeks of testing here in the balance branch, he (didn't he kinda leave the team?!) jumps in and changes the game "..after lengthy discussion with Enrique" and "suprises" the other devs with a complete rebalance. Sorry, but:

LOL.

Is this the way of constructive game design? If I were scythe I would be a little more than "suprised".

:fool:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the changes over on SVN are fine, but not really useful or revolutionary

Scrap that. Balance changes are... terrible.

Why change the Numidian jav + numidian spear icons? These new ones are horrible, don't fit the general.. feel? of the carthaginian theme/icons set... and just don't look good at all.

Edited by auron2401

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see an issue with it. I see it as another combination to try. If we end up liking the balance branch better than the recent changes, it won't be a big deal to add it to SVN.

This.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I don't fully agree with the "surprise" commit (it could have a forum post with a little explanation, major changes list, etc) I don't see the issue either for the same reasons as Brian.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you think its a good way to cooperate? Ah "Surprise" commit over night?

To me it seems as there would be no communication at all about balancing the game/gamedesign. But that might be the restricted view of a non_dev ;) ..

edit:

and, after 2 quick tests: its still a horsegame like a16. Skirm cav totally op.

Edited by zzippy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I don't fully agree with the "surprise" commit (it could have a forum post with a little explanation, major changes list, etc) I don't see the issue either for the same reasons as Brian.

Yeah, would have been nice to have a summary of changes on the forums. It's a bit rough trying to check the diff on SVN for all the units. Actually, it's still not too late for that. :)

Edited by WhiteTreePaladin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the guideline I went off of (though the final stats of what I committed may be a bit "off"). These stats assume that charging will be implemented.

Highlights:

  • Skirmish Cav (Javelin Cavalry) are countered quite well by Javelin Infantry (almost every civ has these) and Sword Cavalry (the one civ that doesn't have JavInf has SwordCav). If you've done "2 quick tests" and JavCav seem overpowered, it's because your opponent is unaware of the counter.
  • Both types of Melee Cav are now better counters against ranged units.
  • Spearmen and Pikemen are differentiated by their armor, speed, severity of their CavBonus and attack damage. Spearmen have a heavier base attack and charge, but less armor and smaller bonus against Cav in comparison to Pikemen. Because of their low attack and high bonus vs. Cavalry, Pikemen at first seem like a one-trick pony cav-counter, but because of their high armor functionally they also act as a good meatshield unit.
  • Melee Cavalry are differentiated by their base attack and charge bonuses. SwordCav = higher base attack, but smaller charge bonus. SpearCav are the opposite.
  • Like Melee Cavalry, Spear Infantry and Sword Infantry are differentiated by flip flopping their base attack and charge bonuses.
  • If you don't have a meat shield for your ranged units, you're gonna have a bad time.
  • I didn't do much in regards to Fortress, Civic Center, Defense Tower, Siege Weapon balancing.
  • You can mix and match your balancing ideas with this or discard it altogether. However, I think the counters I have set up make a lot of sense, definitely more sense than the old counters and I didn't do weird things like give Slingers crush attack.
  • In my commit I also fixed some special techs not working (Nisean War Horses, Hellenistic Metropolis, et al.) that no one has seemed to bother fixing.
  • Things could be balanced further by removing ranged cav from Phase 1 and giving every civ a Phase 1 melee cav instead. Or look at ways and unit combos in Phase 1 that keep a simple rock/paper/scissors dynamic (that does not mean give every civ the same starting units, but look at different combos that can work; some civs have historical considerations too, they are important).
=================================================CITIZEN INFANTRY STATS=================================================MELEE INFANTRYSword Infantry- Cost: 60F 40M- Health: 100- Attack: Hack, High- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Infantry and Elephants- Charge Bonus: 2x- Hack Armor: High- Pierce Armor: Low- Speed: MediumSpear Infantry- Cost: 50F 50W - Health: 100- Attack: Hack, Medium- Bonus: 2x vs. Cavalry- Charge Bonus: 2.5x- Hack Armor: Medium- Pierce Armor: Medium- Speed: MediumPike Infantry- Cost: 50F 50W- Health: 100- Attack: Hack, Low- Bonus: 4x vs. Cavalry- Charge Bonus: 2x- Hack Armor: High- Pierce Armor: Medium- Speed: Low=============================RANGED INFANTRYArcher Infantry- Cost: 40F 60W- Health: 80 - Attack: Pierce, Low- Range: High- Accuracy: Low- Rate: Medium- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Sword Infantry, 1.25x vs. Spear Infantry- Hack Armor: Low- Pierce Armor: Medium- Speed: MediumJavelin Infantry- Cost: 40F 60W- Health: 80- Attack: Pierce, Medium- Range: Medium- Accuracy: Medium- Rate: Medium- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Spear Infantry, Ranged Cavalry, and Elephants- Hack Armor: Low- Pierce Armor: Medium- Speed: HighSlinger Infantry - Cost: 50F 40S- Health: 80- Attack: Pierce, Low- Range: Medium- Accuracy: High- Rate: High- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Ranged Infantry, 1.25x vs. Sword Infantry- Hack Armor: Low- Pierce Armor: Low- Speed: High=================================================CITIZEN CAVALRY STATS- Penalty: Horse Cavalry 0.5x vs. Elephants and Camels- Penalty: Camel .80x Speed- Speed (walk/run/charge): Roughly 1.5x Infantry Counterparts=================================================MELEE CAVALRY- Bonus: 2x vs. Siege- Special: Trample Aura/Ability (assuming this will be implemented)Sword Cavalry - Cost: 80F 50M- Health: 150- Attack: Hack, High- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Ranged Infantry and Ranged Cavalry- Charge Bonus: 2.5x- Trample: Low- Hack Armor: Low- Pierce Armor: High- Speed: HighSpear Cavalry: - Cost: 80F 50W- Health: 150- Attack: Hack, Medium- Bonus: 2x vs. Ranged Infantry- Charge Bonus: 4x- Trample: Medium- Hack Armor: Medium- Pierce Armor: High- Speed: Medium=============================RANGED CAVALRYArcher Cavalry- Cost: 100F 50W - Health: 130- Attack: Pierce, Low- Range: High- Accuracy: Low- Rate: Medium- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Melee Infantry- Hack Armor: Low- Pierce Armor: Medium- Speed: HighJavelin Cavalry- Cost: 100F 40W- Health: 130- Attack: Pierce, Medium- Range: Medium- Accuracy: Low- Rate: Medium- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Support- Hack Armor: Low- Pierce Armor: Low- Speed: High=================================================OTHER MELEE UNITSMelee Elephant- Cost: 150F 100M- Health: 400- Attack: Hack, Medium; Crush, High- Bonus: 2x vs. Cavalry, 1.5x vs. Structures- Charge Bonus: 3x- Trample: High- Hack Armor: Medium- Pierce Armor: High- Speed: Low=================================================OTHER RANGED UNITSArcher Chariot- Cost: 120F 100W- Health: 200 - Attack: Pierce, Low- Range: High- Accuracy: Low- Rate: Medium- Trample: High- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Melee Infantry- Hack Armor: Medium- Pierce Armor: Medium- Speed: MediumJavelin Chariot- Cost: 120F 100W- Health: 200- Attack: Pierce, Medium- Range: Medium- Accuracy: Medium- Rate: Medium- Trample: High- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Support- Hack Armor: Medium- Pierce Armor: Medium- Speed: MediumArcher Elephant- Cost: 150F 75W- Health: 300- Attack: Pierce, Low- Range: High- Accuracy: Medium- Rate: Medium- Trample: High- Bonus: 1.5x vs. Melee Infantry- Hack Armor: High- Pierce Armor: Medium- Speed: Low

Sorry about the "surprise" commit, but there needs to be discussion about multiple ways to balance, not just one "balance branch" with 3 or 4 guys playing it intermittently.

Also, this game is still in alpha. There are good gameplay items still not implemented. Balancing will become even more fun and challenging for you (and rewarding) once everything that affects combat is in (charging, formations).

Edited by Mythos_Ruler
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[edit]

As for using melee infantry to protect ranged units, I think that would work much better if we implemented some form of battalions, otherwise it might be too much effort to manage effectively. Generally I don't see anything that radical in those changes. I thought that was how it was already supposed to work based on previous discussions (unless I'm missing something)?

Edited by WhiteTreePaladin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[edit]

As for using melee infantry to protect ranged units, I think that would work much better if we implemented some form of battalions, otherwise it might be too much effort to manage effectively. Generally I don't see anything that radical in those changes. I thought that was how it was already supposed to work based on previous discussions (unless I'm missing something)?

There isn't a need per se for battalions or formations in order to form a meat shield (though battalions and formations are cool and add depth if done right). Games like Age of Mythology use the meat shield tactic just fine without them. The changes aren't "radical" because they are based on how soldiers in those times were logically used and how a player would expect them to be used, which was a problem with the old counter setup. The previous countering setup was designed way back in Summer 2003 and wasn't essentially updated until now (see: Game's Design Document, which is woefully out of date) and used some logic that was counterintuitive to most players accustomed to these types of games.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[edit]

As for using melee infantry to protect ranged units, I think that would work much better if we implemented some form of battalions, otherwise it might be too much effort to manage effectively. Generally I don't see anything that radical in those changes. I thought that was how it was already supposed to work based on previous discussions (unless I'm missing something)?

You can use the "square" formation, while selecting all your group, with the melee infantry outside and ranged units inside. Then use the stance "standground" so they don't fight if the enemy unit is not in their range. Now you have basically a moving fortress. :)

One cool scenario to try this is the "We are legion" demo scenario (using Thebans).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I really want is lots of little formations that are easily mass created (either at unit creation or later). That's somewhat out of the scope of this thread I guess since it's supposed to be about the balance branch. :)

Edited by WhiteTreePaladin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those "2 quick tests" indeed were with athenians which only have slingers in phase1, so no way vs skirm cav due to speed malus. Pike/spearmen too. Fields are too weak. So the only cav rush counter is to train lots of cav too (a16ish horsegamealarm ;) ) ..

Why is crush damage "weird" for slingers? Those guys throw rocks at you. Try with your car and decide after inspecting the damage if its more pierce or crush ;)

This attempt doesn't aim the problems of a16 successfully, for my taste .. but, being a non pro player ;)

Interested in other opinions after a few more hours of testing, and thanks for that data sheet. Hopefully a good compromise will be found before a17.




			
		

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Played svn this afternoon, did some games... Seems for the moment good. Really really appreciate !

"Things could be balanced further by removing ranged cav from Phase 1 and giving every civ a Phase 1 melee cav instead. Or look at ways and unit combos in Phase 1 that keep a simple rock/paper/scissors dynamic (that does not mean give every civ the same starting units, but look at different combos that can work; some civs have historical considerations too, they are important)."

i have some ideas about the cav problem, at first age.

first, having melee cav for all civ at age1, could be a solution, but would create some problem... just see romans: actually, take macedonians, make 10 cav , and go on the roman opponent and he's done -> romans only have skirm inf and sword inf, so almost impossible to counter.

i think a good solution would be to increase the cost of the cav, more especially one of these 2 cost:

-pop cost : that is to say that 1 cav unit, count as 2 in the population. it will necessarly involve more houses, so an undirectly increased cost of these cav. By the way, the rush would be later (need more time to mass the cav), or still so soon, but with less units.

-ressources cost: something as 100food 60wood per cav could be good. same reasoning that for pop cost.

Actually, playing with the units stats to have something balanced, isnt necessarly the good thing to do, in my opinion. indeed, reduce skirm cav stats to prevent an op skirm cav rush in age1, would necessarly involve a useless skirm cav in age 2 or age3. Unless some considerable stats improvements, available in the blacksmith.

About the problem of the farm rushing, some people want to have skirm cav almost useless to destroy farms... i dont agree. indeed, in reality, a melee cav or a skirm cav, its the same: you've never seen a soldier on a cav destroying a farm with his weapon. So, i see 2 options:

- farms cant be destroyed at all. So the rush only aims to ruin the eco, more especially the units, and why not some buildings -houses...)

- farms can be destroyed, but not by skirm cav weapon, or melee cav weapon, but by the horse in itself: a cav could destroy a farm, just by passing on it. seems more realistic than using a weapon, and the problem " skirm cav can destroy a farm without being damaged.. bla bla bla" would not exists anymore, cause the skirm cav would have to act as a melee cav.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new complete balance overhaul by MythosRuler looks like a step into the right direction for 0AD Part 1, Empires Ascending (though scythewirler's thoughts are still to be considered of course as Mythos also said): spread fixed, ranged units weakened, counters made more intense + consistent, UnitMotion unified, attack values adapted, train times adapted, and much more. thanks for that!

Allow me one question: Doesn't deactivating the Looter component not for slingers only, but for all ranged units at once make more sense? Ranged units have a hard time to gather the loot immediately after their projectile took out an enemy, so deactivating the Looter for all ranged units might make sense.

About the problem of the farm rushing, some people want to have skirm cav almost useless to destroy farms... i dont agree. indeed, in reality, a melee cav or a skirm cav, its the same: you've never seen a soldier on a cav destroying a farm with his weapon. So, i see 2 options:

- farms cant be destroyed at all. So the rush only aims to ruin the eco, more especially the units, and why not some buildings -houses...)

- farms can be destroyed, but not by skirm cav weapon, or melee cav weapon, but by the horse in itself: a cav could destroy a farm, just by passing on it. seems more realistic than using a weapon, and the problem " skirm cav can destroy a farm without being damaged.. bla bla bla" would not exists anymore, cause the skirm cav would have to act as a melee cav.

This is a brilliant idea. For this to work cavalry had to be exchanged by horse + units which is not planned for 0AD. Though we already created the horses as standalone units in the experimental Aristeia Bronze Age mod. So your idea will not be lost. We will have to prevent ranged weapons to damage non-wooden structures (walls, fields, ..) then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×