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Range units are really OP in any gameplay on A22 and probably on following alphas if they don’t change their mechanics. IMO one solution is to put more realistic behavior. 

1. Spread damage to all units on the target area both friendly and enemy. 

2. They have to be reloaded by means of resupply (cost resources) else they have to do melee. 

3. They can’t release projectile if not on proper stance and minimum range (should frontal face the target). I haven’t noticed yet on A23  

Balancing is a big issue to many but imo (fair enough that the game is decently playable in many aspects) doesn’t get noticed when playing MP nor does it really matter playing SP. Not everyone has the same skill level. A player or team who lose a game are just result of misplay or just the opponent played well or the randomness of the situation (this balancing is needed:eg resources seeding but cannot be an excuse).

I agree sieges are OP and unrealistic. Counters to it are unrealistic too but fun. Rams should not attack organic units and should be easily demobilized if not guarded or manned same as siege towers. Make it like Stronghold, if the manning units get killed they are immobilized. If the catapults have no stones they can’t fire. Though their range arrow sieges have infinite projectiles. 

IMO the game is really really pretty despite the ramblings of those so called pros. It only needs to get out of the sense of mirroring AoE, AoK or any fantasy medieval games. 

I can’t imagine how heroes bring so much aura and fantastic ability to like boosting too much armor, attack, HP and healing. And being able to train champions magically. But the things give fun though. For as long as the game don’t drift towards “funtasy” it should be fine.  But it could be much better if it is “funrealisticplay”. 

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25 minutes ago, Nescio said:

No hard feelings, great, we are on the same page then. Which means we can continue discussing :)

Sure :) 

25 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Actually my opinion is that no approach is intrinsically better than any other, which is why I can be dismissive about favouring any specific approach. An “approach” implies a starting point. Balancing by trial-and-error would be an approach, but not necessarily the best. To me, lots of AI vs AI playtesting is not an approach; it's a critical (later) stage in development, the most reliable way of testing if a game is balanced. And yes, I still believe the specific approach chosen is irrelevant.

Don't take anything I type exactly literally, but preferably in context. My english are far from perfect so at times I might cause confusion. Especially when discussing technical terms for strategy games/design it can get even more complex, cause many definitions depend on things like personal preference or community backgrounds (you'll find different terms for the same thing in AOE or SC communities, and not always precisely accurate ones at that). I accept corrections in terminology or use of english, though I might fail to follow them in the future :P

Let's phrase it differently then; for reasons I'd rather not repeat (read a few posts above), AI vs AI testing is not useless, but is far lesser than multiplayer for testing if a game is balanced at a critical (later) stage of development. Overall approach/way/plan of balancing is not irrelevant, it's another thing worth discussing, because while there are many different possibilities, some will be better than others.

27 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Yes, I agree, interesting discussions can be enjoyable. However, as I stated earlier, I think the way to get there is actually unimportant. I tend to consider “balance at a game level” as an equilibrium. I had wanted to avoid that term, because it's quite technical, however, it's also precise, which is why I decide to introduce it now nonetheless. As you perhaps already know, an equilibrium is “a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced”. Also, your distinction between “acceptable balance” and “perfect balance” is understandable but artificial; something is either in balance or it is not; one equilibrium is not more perfect than another. Furthermore, it's perfectly possible to have a balanced situation from asymmetrical influences and unbalanced forces, because unequal things can still cancel each other out.

Acceptable balance in game result terms would be, for example, a 48% vs 52% win ratio between two civs and similar numbers as a whole between all civs. Perfect balance would be 50/50 among any civ combinations. I'm talking the way it's (mostly) used in RTS communities, not precise lexicon meaning (btw even that can be debatable for some words at times).

Theoritically you can have perfect balance from asymmetrical influences and unbalanced forces, but in RTS game reality it's pretty hard to achieve, to my knowledge doing that would be a world first.

 

57 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Now, let's return to 0 A.D. It is often claimed javelinists are “overpowered” in A22. This can be considered as problematic at a low level (if you can win by exclusively training cavalry javelinists, then why would you want to train anything else?). However, it is not that important at a game level; although not every faction has a cavalry javelinist, every one has a javelinist (cavalry or infantry) and a cavalry (javelinist or not) unit available in the village phase.

Units play differently. Having the second strongest unit (or equally strong with other attributes) won't neccesarily make up for the lack of the most favored one. 0 A.D. unit roles and techtree layout are largely problematic but let's not get me started on that again :P 

1 hour ago, Nescio said:

A far greater problem is that 0 A.D.'s battering rams are not only good at razing structures, they are also capable of massacring large numbers of soldiers. An easy way to cripple an opponent is by sending in half a dozen or more rams, unescorted, against the enemy centre. Once it's destroyed all other structures will be lost as well, because they are no longer connected to a territory root (snowball effect).

Rams have a very high pierce armour and most attacks are pierce, allowing them to survive quite long; swordsmen have a high hack attack. Not all factions can train rams, which is problematic, and not everyone has access to swordsmen; factions which have both (e.g. iber) are clearly advantaged vs factions which have neither.

A way to solve this would be as follows:

  • enable rams for all factions
  • prevent rams from killing humans by inserting into its melee attack: 
          <RestrictedClasses datatype="tokens">Soldier Support</RestrictedClasses>
  • give fortresses a territory root to prevent losing your entire base when your centre is lost (adapana, Ishtar gate, monuments, pillars, and wonders already have a territory root)
  • enable constructing city walls in neutral territory for all factions (including spart)
  • On rams for all factions I'm 100% in. It's realistic anyway, simplest siege weapon ever.
  • I think rams attacking units was decided from a technical/unit function/pathing perspective. If I remember correctly, a middle ground solution would be rams having an attack bonus vs structures or debonus vs troops. Else as you suggested.
  • That or even better remove capturing, saving the trouble with other issues as well.
  • I've got no strong opinion on this.

 

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7 hours ago, Nescio said:

 

Balancing factions is similar to balancing units, in either case if some are too strong you don't use others, which reduces your options in the game. With units especially but somewhat with factions adding a counter can be a more interesting solution than weakening the strong unit or faction. Jav  cav attack rate should be slowed some, but mainly giving skirmishers more pierce armor would solve the problem by making it a counter unit to the jav cav. Rams should have low attack with a big bonus against buildings, also if there was an axeman unit it would be a good counter to rams.

I'm ok with some factions being weaker overall if they are especially good at using or countering a particular strategy.

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These are what I would consider "balance goals."

  • Variety of strategies within each civilization:  each civilization should allow several equally powerful unit compositions at different stages of the game.  Players shouldn't be thinking, "OK, I'm Seleucid, therefore I will always mass horse archers."  There should be suspense about what your opponent is doing.
  • Variety of civilizations:  different civilizations should have meaningfully different unit compositions and strategies.
  • Balance between civilizations:  all civilizations should be roughly equal strength.
  • There shouldn't be any unit that's so powerful the dominant strategy is to just mass large amounts of that unit.  Armies should be most cost-effective when they have a mix of units.
  • There shouldn't be any unit that's so weak or expensive that it's not worth building.  Every unit should have a use in some situations.
  • Reward player skill:  an easy-to-play strategy should not defeat a strategy that takes a lot of effort and micro
  • The game should be true to history to the extent possible while still having a fun game.  Good unit compositions should be the kind of unit compositions that those historic civilizations used.
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1 hour ago, Adeimantos said:

Rams should have low attack with a big bonus against buildings, also if there was an axeman unit it would be a good counter to rams.

At regard, if sieges wouldn't be allowed to attack organic units, crush armor on organic units could be used to balance in more details crush damage dealers like slingers. I am pretty sure that units attacked by a ram ( which is heavy an slow ) could easily dodge any of its attacks.

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13 hours ago, causative said:

These are what I would consider "balance goals."

  • Variety of strategies within each civilization:  each civilization should allow several equally powerful unit compositions at different stages of the game.  Players shouldn't be thinking, "OK, I'm Seleucid, therefore I will always mass horse archers."  There should be suspense about what your opponent is doing.
  • Variety of civilizations:  different civilizations should have meaningfully different unit compositions and strategies.
  • Balance between civilizations:  all civilizations should be roughly equal strength.
  • There shouldn't be any unit that's so powerful the dominant strategy is to just mass large amounts of that unit.  Armies should be most cost-effective when they have a mix of units.
  • There shouldn't be any unit that's so weak or expensive that it's not worth building.  Every unit should have a use in some situations.
  • Reward player skill:  an easy-to-play strategy should not defeat a strategy that takes a lot of effort and micro
  • The game should be true to history to the extent possible while still having a fun game.  Good unit compositions should be the kind of unit compositions that those historic civilizations used.

Good ones. Imo a/the game needs to:

  • Start from getting a clear core and list of fitting features.
  • Then go to something like what you suggest here to flesh out the civs, while seeking the best possible ways to achieve it.
  • Finally enter balance playtesting process.

Up to now 0 A.D. gameplay frequently goes steps forwards and backwards in those phases instead of progressing in a more sensible, largely forwards way. So here we are again discussing everything from unit roles/stats, to civ attributes, tech-tree layout, final balancing e.t.c., largely off-topic, all in the same thread.

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On 07/03/2018 at 10:05 PM, Grugnas said:

At regard, if sieges wouldn't be allowed to attack organic units, crush armor on organic units could be used to balance in more details crush damage dealers like slingers. I am pretty sure that units attacked by a ram ( which is heavy an slow ) could easily dodge any of its attacks.

Exactly. If rams can no longer attack humans, then they no longer need a ridiculously high crush armour. This will allow to make e.g. macemen an effective counter vs swordsmen without using bonus attacks by merely assigning the former a somewhat higher hack armour and the latter a somewhat lower crush armour. E.g. maceman a crush attack and a h/p/c armour of 6/4/5 and swordsman a hack attack and a h/p/c/ armour of 6/5/4.

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Rams are really op in my mind, especially in comparison with elephants, which can be better counterd.

Maybe rams should be:

  1. ...able to be captured.
  2. ...way slower.
  3. ...improved in speed and résistance by garrson.
  4. ...not able to attack infantry and cavalry. 
  5. ...able to attack structures through one unit to prevent blocking and improve way-finding.

Also there should be different types of rams. Small spam-able rams for Celtic nations, larger ones for Hellenics and a giant one for Rome. That would also change the play-style. 

well, I am no expert and new in that game, but rams + massive cavalry hords are way to effective. ^^

 

Edited by Widerstreit
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56 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

I believe that each unit should be oriented to have a role.

I think this is very true. Right now the bulk of damage is done by ranged units and all melee units are just equal as target dummies/damage sponges, except pikemen who are the superior damage sponges. Ranged units are so dominant that people compare mostly how ranged units fare against each other, whereas they do not consider that skirmishers are far better if there is a meat shield.

Most units have similar pierce and hack armor. Why have two different types if the armor is mostly the same for most units? I think we should think a little about that and give spearmen/pikemen -2 hack armor to make them vulnerable to sword infantry.

Edited by LetswaveaBook
There is allready a vulnerability of spearmen/pikemen against sword infantry, but I would like to exaggerate it a little more. In AoE2 10 sword infantry can take on 20 spearmen, whereas in 0ad 10 sword infantry are outmatched by 13 spearmen
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in AoE some units are effective only in large groups, for example archers.

YAnd with those numbers they are easy to micromanage against projectile units, heavy infantry units (as long as they run away from these).

 

If a unit is OP it is because or it has bad stats and/or there is no unit or class of units, to counter them, to take care of them(kill them).

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