Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Zezil

A18:about Balance of rangeds and autofocus

Recommended Posts

Hello 0ad people! I write to highlight some concerns i have about the actual autofocus (aka "how soldiers select their targets once enemy is in range, if we dont focus manually with a right click").

Our unit will now "attack the closest enemy in range"-------> this is the autofocus we have now

Problem this autofocus has is that when 2 big armies ( of rangeds units) engage a fight, many arrows or javelin will be wasted on "overtargetted" enemies.

Imagine 2 armies consisting of 5 rows of 10 soldiers facing each other: just doing 1 step forward to the enemy with a random dude of yours, and the whole enemy army will target the poor bold soldier------> 50 arrows on 1 soldier is a big waste of arrows

This is a scenario that always happens by accident, and a smart dude once found a way to draw all the enemy fire becouse of this (mr wesono's dancing trick)

Ans this is the main problem of autofocus.

Now imagine the same 2 armies, but nobody does a step forward, there's no enemy unit to draw all attention on himself.

Does the autofocus work well in this situation?

Each of the 2 armies pool of potential targets, is the enemy frontline.

So it means that if we have the 2 armies of above ,5 rows of 10 soldiers, it means that 50 projectiles will be divided between 10 enemies.

If both the armies consist of the same type of unit the autofocus , even if not perfect, will do his job well, since both the armies will have and suffer the cons of this system in the same manner, cant argue about that.

What if one army is made of skirmishers and the other is made of archers?

Just taking a look at the stats of the 2 type of units may give you an idea of the problem.

Skirmishers: 20 pierce, 1.25 rateo, 24 range, 50 health

Archers: 7 pierce, 1 rate, 72 range, 50 health

(These are the stats of the 2 units in SVN and very likely to be, in a18)

Ok, now some visual imagination again, two 5x10 armies facing each other, one made of skirmishers, one made of archers

First shot of the two armies, will target the enemy frontline, meaning that each one of the 10 dudes of the frontline will get 5 enemy arrows/ javelins

5 arrows= 35 pierce (0 pierce damage wasted each tempo/shot)

5 javelins= 100 pierce damage( 50 pierce damage wasted each tempo/shot)*

( these stats show clearly how more skirmishers wouldn't help firepower! While more archers would help: sweetspot for archers being between 7 to 8 arrows per target, for skirmishers 2 ½ arrows! It would take huge amout of microing and a tons of clicks per second to take the best out of skirmisers, splitting them and spreading their firepower, while archers kind of need no microing at all. Not to mention that while you split and position your skirmisers, they're being attacked by archers)

If we take the range variable out (each unit is in range of everyone of enemy's unit when the battle starts), skirmishers win and save almost half of the army, despite the wasted pierce damage.

If we dont take the range variable out( each unit is not in the range of any of the enemy's unit when the battle is engaged), like most of the real play situation, archers win by far.( if you try this situation in the atlas you get a similar outcome of in real plays: even tho units dont get microed, and im talking about skirmishers particularly ,in the atlas, a good skirmishers microing is easily countered with an intelligent placing of archers in engagements)

And here comes another problem: assume a bunch of skirm have to deal with a bunch of archers.

If the archers are divided in small groups, far from each other, skirmishers are hopelessly lost.

If they engage one group at the time( not splitting skirmishers) they'll have to walk miles to go from a group to another, since archers have HUGE range.

Those walks give a great advantage to archers.

What the skirm guy can do is try split his skirmishers, wich is very hard since ranged battles start and end very fast, and the archers dude can simply retreat his group of archers if enemy splitted skirms not evenly, so if you try to approach with 7 skirm one of the group of 5 archers, the archers simply fall back: archers army loses 5 soldiers, skirmishers army loses 7, trying to chase.

If the 7 skirmishers focus on something else, archers come back in battle fast , while skirmishers will have to walk to engage another group.

To solve this last problem, a new autofocus wouldnt be enough ( it helps in more straightforward battles, like 2 big formations facing each other)

(This is a problem of skirmishers in general, also skirm cav suffers similar issue, they're too weak, once they get close – by to shot, they're half dead.)

And also, trying to mix your army of skirmishers with melees is useless, since low range of skirmishers make them very bad at supporting melees (unlike archers...)

Ok, hope you got my point.( archers are OP :P)

Hope i wont write a new post once i'll have tested slingers well enough x)

I completely trust scythe's work, but maybe giving skirmishers some armor wouldnt be a bad idea( they also wear a shield, they have a free hand unlike archers, giving them more armor seems sensible and right to me).

Archers have uber range, slingers have less 24 range, but kill buildings and have some more damage, skirmishers have 48 less range, have high damage but less ratio( if they had more armor it could be an even scenario? ).

If you think i'm missing something, just let me note this, i'll be glad to be proved wrong and to give more clarification if necessary.

Mario.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And also, trying to mix your army of skirmishers with melees is useless, since low range of skirmishers make them very bad at supporting melees (unlike archers...)

Ok, hope you got my point.( archers are OP :P)

The fact than archers are really slower than skirmisher isn't enough to balance mix armies' battle ? (more easy to micro skirmisher against melee because of the speed no?)

But if infantry are even slower than archers (or as slow as), we have indeed a problem here :S

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skirmishers are more op than archers, (much faster than any other infantry - speed = gather speed, gather speed = better econ, better econ = more skirmishers)


Skirmishers are more op than archers, (much faster than any other infantry - speed = gather speed, gather speed = better econ, better econ = more skirmishers)

That said though, i have seen archers dominate in combat, even though they only do.. what.. 7 damage? With enough of them, 7 damage can destroy armies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

speed = gather speed, gather speed = better econ, better econ = more skirmishers)

That's why I think on a game like 0 A.D. making scenario for testing (like putting just 10 units vs 10 units) aren't really enough to understand the balance of this complex game.

We need real games that takes economy, strategy, and military into account in order to see if the game as a whole is balance (we can do the scenario testing to adjust after)

It's like for the cavalry skirmisher. If you go for skirm cav, you have less troops than an enemy going full infantry so again making a test 10 units vs 10 units doesn't prove that ingame it's unbalanced

Edited by Alekusu
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact than archers are really slower than skirmisher isn't enough to balance mix armies' battle ? (more easy to micro skirmisher against melee because of the speed no?)

But if infantry are even slower than archers (or as slow as), we have indeed a problem here

Melees cant get close by archers, they seem to be a little slower, so archers just fall back( and your skirmishers cant effectively attack archers falling back, couse they have low range: they lose a lot of time in chasing-attacking, in the while another group of archers 10 miles aways would kill them easy)

And also, even if 7 pierce damage might seem low, skirmishers only have 50hp and 1 pierce armor! So they die with 8 arrows: in very low numbers, skirmishrs can deal with it, once the autofocus problems kick in (big numbers) the difference of damage between skirmishers and archers gets smoothed( becouse of the reasoning in the first post about "overtargettiing and wasted damage", and also, since the armageddon of arrows, by the time you get closeby archers, your skirmishers are significantly outnumbered already.

You can't deal with archers with skirmishers in 1archers-per-1skirmishers battles, that's a fact. In scythe's mind , you should throw the melees in( to basically suck fire on them) while your skirmishers flank the archers. But what if enemy has melees to?....back to square one i fear.

Skirmishers are more op than archers, (much faster than any other infantry - speed = gather speed, gather speed = better econ, better econ = more skirmishers)

That said though, i have seen archers dominate in combat, even though they only do.. what.. 7 damage? With enough of them, 7 damage can destroy armies.

Yeah, an archer's player will have to place storehouse closer....i dont feel that's enough of a downside tho :P

The only good thing of skirmishers is their speed yeah, but exploited in combat scenario like early raiding( wich is the main role scythe imagined for them)....but yet, archers will likely be in range of your skirmishers anytime you get in enemy territory, to raid some women, or an "apparentely" outnumbered group of archers x) ( if you raid some tree workers, you either are sure that's all your opponent's got or you'll be tempested of an amount of arrows you can only guess how big is by how fast your skirmishers die x) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So against an archer civ on phase 1, maybe the best is to defend on phase 1 and wait for some cav phase 2 to flank the archers no ? (instead of inf melee + range battles, try melee cav + inf range)

Against melee cav, the long range of archers can become a disadvantage (far from the melee) I think.

if this is possible it's actually very interesting (strategically, having good points and bad points on different phase for every civ is excellent I think)

If melee cav get wrecked by archer then definitely they are OP.

I don't disagree with you Mario, just trying to find a way to counter archer before saying they are OP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So against an archer civ on phase 1, maybe the best is to defend on phase 1 and wait for some cav phase 2 to flank the archers no ? (instead of inf melee + range battles, try melee cav + inf range)

Against melee cav, the long range of archers can become a disadvantage (far from the melee) I think.

if this is possible it's actually very interesting (strategically, having good points and bad points on different phase for every civ is excellent I think)

If melee cav get wrecked by archer then definitely they are OP.

I don't disagree with you Mario, just trying to find a way to counter archer before saying they are OP.

Putting skirmishers in a defensive stance age 1 is weird to me...they could defend effectively with towers,but they should be an offensive unit since their low range and high dynamism ( also historically they were used as scouts and raiders i believe).

And even if we accept this kind of gameplay with skirmishers, archers have active role, they'd have the initiative and could decide wich trail the game should have( im just writing as i think this concepts, i might be wrong maybe, only playing can tell. Not just this , but EVERYTHING :P)

I believe that you dont necesserely have to send your melees to battle, you can simply place them in front of your archers in passive stance and they'll suck damage, (wich is very very sad, but is the only thing they can do against rangeds) and be ready to block cav.

I did some tests in the atlas: 15 sword cav kill 25 archers,saving 4 cav( wich is not enough in my opinion, cav should tear apart support units, but again this is just my opinion, game is playable as it is now too), but get destroyed by 30 archers. This is becouse rangeds have very high damage compared to all melees, so a few more archers increase the firepower a lot( the balance is achieved with armor stats, wich is high for melees and low for rangeds: a downside of this is that melees vs melees last ages without rangeds to support. I have to say i dont really like how balance has been achieved, maybe there were a more simple way, without loooong only melees battles and supershort only rangeds battles. Also, now melees can basically only tank in battle, while rangeds do dps: so melees do few damage by close-by and have high resistence, while rangeds do high damage from long distance; rangeds win 2 qualities to 1)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fear it might be too late, leper was already reluctant to commit new stuff yesterday ,since a18 is already being packaged and soon to be released (my technical language is very poor , i hope i didnt say any bs x) )

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't deal with archers with skirmishers in 1archers-per-1skirmishers battles, that's a fact. In scythe's mind , you should throw the melees in( to basically suck fire on them) while your skirmishers flank the archers. But what if enemy has melees to?....back to square one i fear.

In that case, you can just have the skirmishers target the melee (which they are quite good at).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In that case, you can just have the skirmishers target the melee (which they are quite good at).

Scythe i did many tests in the atlas : in low numbers (10rangeds+10 melees) you are right (autofocus problems dont start to kick in) skirmishers work better then without melees , the battle 10 arch+10spear vs 10 arch+10spear ended with the likes of 1 or 2 survivor onn one of the 2 sides( again i do repetitions couse of accuracy). I was putting the archers in such a way that their range advantage was exploited the most possible.

In bigger battles(when autofocus is in favour of archers, the way i already explained) archers win ,even tho their melees companion die first. I went up to testing 75 archers + 45 melees vs 45 melees + 75 skirmishers (again with positioning) archers win saving half of the archers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scythe, honestly speaking we did some test with Mario, infantry melee being too slow it's really hard to fight against these archers...
And the fact that they outreach towers and CC make archers good for both offensive and defensive (imo skirmishers should be good for offense/harass but archers more for defensive style)

We didn't try in a real game yet but the range + rate of fire of these archers make them very easy to micro (compared to skirmisher actually)

I think the solution is the charging feature for melee infantry when attacking range. So I don't know if making these archers weaker now will help because once the charge will be available (in the next alpha ? :P) we'll need to rebalance again.

Edited by Alekusu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, they seem a little bit weak against archers in massive battles. I'm thinking of nerfing ranged damage (archers, slingers, and skirmishers) a bit (15%-20%) next alpha.

For the moment though, skirmishers will be tricky to play; they'll get the advantage if the sneak up upon archers and they have a better eco functionality. Their performance is decent early game.

We'll see. It may be a double-edged sword.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, as I said we didn't try in real game, actually all games we did together with Mario were balanced (1 v 1 on both a17 and SVN) so the game is already playable and enjoyable imo.

PS:

Mario 3 - 3 Alekusu (or italian pasta 3 - 3 french cheese)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, they seem a little bit weak against archers in massive battles. I'm thinking of nerfing ranged damage (archers, slingers, and skirmishers) a bit (15%-20%) next alpha.

For the moment though, skirmishers will be tricky to play; they'll get the advantage if the sneak up upon archers and they have a better eco functionality. Their performance is decent early game.

We'll see. It may be a double-edged sword.

Sounds nice.

Do you have any ideas about reducing their HP to them more fragile as units? Or do you feel they're already fragile enough?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hum Incog I think we should do it step by step no ? Firstly reduce damage, if it's not enough maybe HP too but after tests.
If we modify too many parameters every time, the balance will take a while..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In big numbers not even skirm cav counters archers, 40 skirm cav vs 45 archers....archers win(atlas).

And battles between slingers and skirmishers are even more clear,30 slingers vs 30 skirmishers, slingers save around 22 units.

Ok hope you got my point, skirmishers are much weaker then archers and slingers. Anyway looks like we'll have a whole alpha to test it out x)

I hope it wont kill the whole alpha gameplay, wich is really nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some tests in the atlas: 15 sword cav kill 25 archers,saving 4 cav( wich is not enough in my opinion, cav should tear apart support units, but again this is just my opinion, game is playable as it is now too), but get destroyed by 30 archers.

Melee cav shouldn't really beat archers in a straight up head to head battle. Just barely winning is okay, but they shouldn't like, be arrow proof or something.

The strength of cavalry is their speed, which gives the ability to raid the opponents town, kill reinforcements and generally wittle an opponent down around the edges. A good general strategy with cavalry is to split them into two (or more, depending on your micro) groups - starting with groups of 5 or so - and ruthlessly harass the opponents town - it's really important to try and save at least some badly injured cav and send them back to the civic center to heal - typically it's possible to do this because of the speed of cav.

Because of your split harass the opponent will be forced to split their army up. Once you've got them splitting up their forces, you should try to maneuver all your cavalry together and mob half their army with your whole army, preferably with a pincer attack so that your cavalry don't get in each other's way. Once the other half of the enemy army arrives, run away and heal (but letting the healthy cavalry stay and harrass some more). Note that the greater the extent to which the opponent keeps their army together, the greater the ease you'll be able to disrupt their woodcutting and prevent them training more archers. Basically, they are in a lose lose, if they keep their army together, they will have their resource gathering badly disrupted and lose economically. If they split up their forces to better protect their territory, they run the risk of getting pincered.

This is the strength of fast melee units, that you can cause an opponent to disintegrate by not giving them a moment's peace from harassment and exploiting any mistake they make in deployment of their forces. Their strength should not, and must not, be in straight up battles and they should require a significant numerical superiority (or cost superiority) in order to decisively win a battle.

Also I by no means claim it's an unbeatable strategy. A player who gets archers and skirmishers has the option of gathering resources with their army when it is not actively defending, while the player who gets sword cavalry in large numbers simply cannot use them in any role other than combat and if they fail to be effective in that, they lose economically big time. This is why sword cavalry harassment must be ruthless and constant, not giving a moment's respite and if possible housing-blocking the opponent by killing houses thus preventing them getting countering units. The effective defense involves trying to gather resources while fending off the harassment, which would likely involve a mix of spear and ranged infantry. Spear cavalry also present a more or less hard counter but suffer from the burden of uselessness for other roles.

Edited by Panando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree about the harassing role of the sword cav.

Spear cav though, should be the "army flanking" unit. A well-timed charge with spear cav into a bunch of archers should destroy them.

With this we would have two really different roles for these units and therefore each civ will have to adapt more to their unit available

Edited by Alekusu
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont understand why you think that cav shouldnt kill support units, even melees footmen should annhilate rangeds if not protected by melees, a sword cav is an armored dude running to you straight at 40 km/h with a sword, hitting you from 1 meter up your head, and still in the game it takes them the 10 hits to kill an archer, wich is basically just a dude with a bow and arrows.

Of course you can use cav speed to harass, but that's only possible if they counter support units hard. Otherwise the defender can simply harvest and once cav is in sight, press H.

Spearmen have 3x damage against cav for a reason.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...