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Arguments for/against alpha 23 ranged infantry speeds


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Please put some reasons why you disliked or liked the alpha 23 ranged infantry speeds in comparison to alpha 24's ranged infantry speeds, and what should have been the course of action to equalize the overall power of different ranged infantry types, slingers being more op than the other two in alpha 23.

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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Posted (edited)

Well.. I can start I guess.

I liked that different attack strategies were used depending on the ranged unit types. Ranged units were much more dynamic and variable in a23.

  1. The damage increases for slingers and skirmishers did not come close to compensating for their inability to reach archers.
  2. Archers have neigh unlimited flexibility and they can not be over-extended easily like in a23
  3. archery accuracy and archery tradition were enough to make archers a bit op, let alone the effective buff to their speed.

 

I think a good idea would be to revert speeds for them all to a23 levels and start changes for a25 from there. Slingers could remain the same speed as in a24, with skirmishers a bit faster and archers a bit slower.

 

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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45 minutes ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

I think a good idea would be to revert speeds for them all to a23 levels and start changes for a25 from there. Slingers could remain the same speed as in a24, with skirmishers a bit faster and archers a bit slower.

I think that there is an argument for introducing a technology for skirmishers that would increase their movement rate.  They could start of with just a marginal difference in speed to not make them massively better from an economic perspective.  Archers being a wee bit slower seems fair.

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1 hour ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

I think that there is an argument for introducing a technology for skirmishers that would increase their movement rate.  They could start of with just a marginal difference in speed to not make them massively better from an economic perspective.  Archers being a wee bit slower seems fair.

It is better to start them off at the difference that make sense to balance the units and then offer speed tech. Otherwise you just make archers OP until a jav based civ can afford the tech. Units should start balanced without techs and end balanced with all techs. @ValihrAnt’s mod balanced archers well. 

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20 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

It is better to start them off at the difference that make sense to balance the units and then offer speed tech. Otherwise you just make archers OP until a jav based civ can afford the tech. Units should start balanced without techs and end balanced with all techs. @ValihrAnt’s mod balanced archers well. 

ValihrAnt  He's the only one doing patches, I think.

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In my view, in an ideal balance games shouldn't be determined mainly by ranged citizen infantry. Hence I think it is only fair to give them equal value as gatherers.

 

If games are determined mainly by the type of ranged citizen infantry you get, then I view the balance not to be ideal.

Edited by LetswaveaBook
I decided I wanted to use the word mainly instead of solely.
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7 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

In my view, in an ideal balance games shouldn't be determined mainly by ranged citizen infantry. Hence I think it is only fair to give them equal value as gatherers.

 

If games are determined mainly by the type of ranged citizen infantry you get, then I view the balance not to be ideal.

Completely agree , the game's balance should mainly revolve around the handfull of melee units we have. The same units should counter or at the very least soft counter eachother in a triangle or a square like faction. Remember this isn't Age of Empires 3 where all you get are musketeers , dragoons and skirmishers doing hit and run footsies.

One of our best models  for balance should be earlier aoe games or the aom games if one can such comparisson .

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Posted (edited)

I think everyone agrees that archers must see some kind of nerf in a25. I think they should be the least agile least maneuverable ranged unit in 0ad simply because they have the biggest range, (no complex discussion of historical accuracy, damage counters, or physics based mechanics). This just makes sense from a gameplay perspective, since it gives advantages for different units in different situations. (remember how frustrating camels were in a23?)

Some of the ideas for changes are:

  1. don't change it I love pacing back and forth along forts and towers for 45 minutes with 100+ archers.
  2. re-differentiate ranged unit run speeds ( I like this one because it kills multiple birds with one stone: turtleing, op archers, gameplay over-stabilization
  3. add some inaccuracy to archers (This is a nerf, but it does not address the concerns of wide-area turtleing and gameplay over-stabilization)
  4. damage drop off with range
  5. add a little armor to slingers and a bit more to skirms. (this will just make them die slower while chasing after archers, but they will not see an increase in chances of getting within range)
  • Crazy new burrito idea:  
  1. Add 3 meter minimum range for archers
  2. Archers move slower than slingers and even slower than skirms
  3. Archers start firing with low accuracy (maybe the same as skirmisher), but over 4 shots linearly increase to their maximum accuracy value and keep it until they either move or are told to shoot something else.
  4. After testing the above changes, adjust archer attack damage until balanced.
  5. archery tradition could adjust these values as part of a tradeoff for the tech.

These changes would make archers more powerful in pitched battles and building defense and would make protecting them important, because the changes make them more vulnerable to melee units, skirmishers, and cavalry out in the open. However, those same units would suffer if the archers are well positioned. 

To be honest, the problems with a23 ranged infantry balance were simple: slingers a bit op... please reduce damage slightly. Now we have a very complex balancing conundrum. The surest way to proceed would be to revert all ranged unit stats to a23 and then proceed from there, I think all you would need to do would be a slight buff to archers and a slightly bigger nerf to slingers.

 

 

 

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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I support the uniformity of citizen soldier movement stats as a balance testing expedience, for the time being. It is much harder to evaluate which unit types are over or under performing in real games if you also have to account for variations in economic strength as a confounding variable. Would we have realized just how powerful the archer unit archetype is if slingers and skirmishers had retained their mobility driven economic bonuses?

Once the project is in mid-to-late beta I will definitely be disappointed if variations in unit mobility are not reintroduced (along with plenty of other civ specific economic bonuses), but for now I think standardization is necessary to keep the project moving forward.

On 14/05/2021 at 11:12 AM, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

Completely agree , the game's balance should mainly revolve around the handfull of melee units we have. The same units should counter or at the very least soft counter eachother in a triangle or a square like faction. Remember this isn't Age of Empires 3 where all you get are musketeers , dragoons and skirmishers doing hit and run footsies.

One of our best models  for balance should be earlier aoe games or the aom games if one can such comparisson .

I second this sentiment. Given the time period, the gameplay focus should absolutely be on melee infantry. 

3 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

Some of the ideas for changes:

The first thing we should try is (3) adding some inaccuracy to archers. It's what's already been patched in for A25 unless I'm much mistaken. Let's see how it works.
If it falls short I think the next best suggestion is (4) damage drop off with range. As of today I've now got the code for this all working, although I'd like to brood on it one more day just to be sure there are no well hidden bugs.
I don't like the idea of adding pierce armor to skims or slingers because it doesn't fit their game art and it's dubiously historical.

3 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

3. Archers start firing with low accuracy (maybe the same as skirmisher), but over 4 shots linearly increase to their maximum accuracy value and keep it until they either move or are told to shoot something else.

I actually really like this concept. Unfortunately I can also imagine it being a huge PITA for code maintenance, so probably not something likely to win approval.

Edited by ChronA
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2 hours ago, ChronA said:

I actually really like this concept. Unfortunately I can also imagine it being a huge PITA for code maintenance, so probably not something likely to win approval.

Standing still and trying to hit the same target would increase accuracy, but only if that target is stationary, right? Or are you talking about getting calm after walking? For I guess the prepare time is doing that job?

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@ChronA

If I am getting it right you are saying that the main problem with ranged infantry having different speeds is the resulting gather rate differences. 

I think we could just have all the ranged units go the same speed of the archer while on a "gather res" order. This way, the mechanic can't be abused to speed any ranged unit up, and there is only a tiny eco advantage to making skirms (they run slightly faster to go to gathering place= negligible).

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3 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

I think we could just have all the ranged units go the same speed of the archer while on a "gather res" order. This way, the mechanic can't be abused to speed any ranged unit up, and there is only a tiny eco advantage to making skirms (they run slightly faster to go to gathering place= negligible).

If economic parity is adopted as a permanent fixture of the balance design, then yes, adding this feature to the code base would be a good investment of effort. However, my expectation is that this will only be a temporary condition. I'm hopeful (perhaps delusional is the better word) that in another 12 months or so--around release 28 or 29--the core archetypes and balance philosophy will have been refined to the point that they are broadly accepted as finalized. At that point balance discussion can productively move on to civ balancing and economic diversification. And then the skirmishers and the slingers can finally get their speed buffs (with compensatory eco and combat nerfs as necessary) and all will be well with the world again.;)

Of course, besides my insane optimism about the 0AD's future development rate, this plan assumes that finding our desired role definitions for skirms and slingers is not predicated on them having some mobility advantages over archers. I think this is the heart of your concern... and you may very well be right. However I am not yet convinced enough to invest into a major coding project over it.

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