Author Topic: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.  (Read 12098 times)

Offline x4000

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2010, 09:20:10 am »
I'm beating a dead horse here, but did you ever try angling Golems as short term but ultimately unfeasible superweapons? For example, making them fairly beastly but saddled with a decently high global wave multiplier and a very long repair time so that there'd really only be a short window of opportunity for them to wreak havoc?

Not that specifically, but I can't see players really being overly enthused.
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2010, 10:12:50 am »
I'm beating a dead horse here, but did you ever try angling Golems as short term but ultimately unfeasible superweapons? For example, making them fairly beastly but saddled with a decently high global wave multiplier and a very long repair time so that there'd really only be a short window of opportunity for them to wreak havoc?

Not that specifically, but I can't see players really being overly enthused.
Not really, I've never been a big fan of "great power temporarily".  The biggest reason I stopped playing Bioshock was because the developers actually let you take over the "big daddy" units (giant mech like robots that kicked ass), but only for about a minute, and only in rare cases.  It was actually more heartbreaking to have such a powerful ally temporarily and then have him turn against you again, than it would have been to just never have the ability to "convert" him to your side at all.  It's probably the reason I stopped playing that game.

I was also a big fan of Supreme Commander 1 and 2 (as well as Total Annihilation, the developer's original RTS game) and I can't imagine how much it would ruin the games if your "experimentals" were short-lived units that were only meant to be used once.

Some other places I've seen the kind of "short lived power units" are Dungeon Siege (not very successful as RPGs go) and World of Warcraft with the Warlock Infernal and Doom Guard, which were eventually both made into simple player spells after enough people complained.

In general, though it may be a good balancing technique, it tends to be a very frustrating mechanic for players.

I'm interested to see if a moderate energy cost (~150,000-200,000) and a small AIP Boost would give players an incentive to take them without feeling they were way too much of a risk.  It being a new game mode and all, the pressure is a lot less on Chris to make the "perfect solution", and there's a lot more room for balance error since if people are unsatisfied with it, they can simply turn it off.
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Offline RCIX

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2010, 03:02:58 pm »
As a player, i really liked SC's experimentals, but as a game designer, I really hate them. It's impossible to give players a weapon of great power without it degenerating into a race to get that weapon, and if you make it not so great or more of a support unit (like SupCom2 did with it's experimentals) then the players whine about how it's not powerful enough :P
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2010, 04:02:54 pm »
I actually think Experimentals in SupCom 2 were balanced pretty damn well.  You can call them a "support" unit, but in many cases, they were the main DPS force of an army, using smaller units as a "shield" to protect them from taking all the hits.  In this scenario, the smaller units were the "support" and the Experimentals were the main source of damage.  Megaliths were known for this purpose, especially in a 2v2+ situation where one person could rush them (I had a friend who could have 2 of them by 6 minutes and 30 seconds, which is nearly unstoppable if you aren't prepared for it).

In some situations they were weak, granted, but in some situations they were also extremely strong.  I definitely wouldn't just write them off as support 100% of the time, as many of them did more than enough damage to take out entire armies alone.
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Offline Kron

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2010, 01:40:20 am »
Hmmm... This is a really interesting discussion. I'm sorry I missed it.

Altogether, I find myself agreeing with Wingflier's initial points. Setting up the system so that you can enable Golems in game (which simultaneously enables tougher AI forces), doesn't really seem to fix the "economy of choice" issue I was bellyaching about.

You don't pick between Golems or not; you have to either decide to play without Golems, or play with Golems and grab as many as you can.

... However, at the same time, I do like the concept of building separate 'versions' of the game tailored for each class of superweapon. It's a neat way to isolate out the different balances.


So I suppose my hope is this: that with the new superweapons-as-minor-factions mechanic, the game balance in that subset of AI War games is tweaked so that Golems are still somehow optional and not an objectively great thing to grab?
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Offline Vinraith

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #50 on: November 25, 2010, 02:21:27 am »

So I suppose my hope is this: that with the new superweapons-as-minor-factions mechanic, the game balance in that subset of AI War games is tweaked so that Golems are still somehow optional and not an objectively great thing to grab?

Have a look at the latest patch. What you're describing is what the "moderate" option is for.

Offline Wingflier

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #51 on: November 25, 2010, 02:32:33 am »
Quote
So I suppose my hope is this: that with the new superweapons-as-minor-factions mechanic, the game balance in that subset of AI War games is tweaked so that Golems are still somehow optional and not an objectively great thing to grab?
Quote
Three new minor factions have been added to The Zenith Remnant (nearly a year after the expansion's release -- crazy, right?). The purpose of these is to provide a more satisfactory range of experiences with golems to match player tastes, rather than the old "there are always three there" method. The three minor factions are:

    * Broken Golems (Easy)
          o Massive broken golems can be found around the galaxy, ready for humanity to capture and repair them. Once repaired, they represent enormous power to use against the AI.
          o The EASY version of this minor faction simply gives you the golems with nothing in the way of benefit to the AI. Consequently, your adjusted score is also halved.
    * Broken Golems (Moderate)
          o Massive broken golems can be found around the galaxy, ready for humanity to capture and repair them. Once repaired, they represent enormous power to use against the AI.
          o The MODERATE version of this minor faction gives you the golems at a moderate energy cost and with a small AI Progress increase upon repairing them from their broken states. Consequently, your adjusted score is also reduced by 1/3.
          o Using the moderate version will automatically disable the easy version if the easy version is also selected.
    * Broken Golems (Hard)
          o Massive broken golems can be found around the galaxy, ready for humanity to capture and repair them. Once repaired, they represent enormous power to use against the AI.
          o The HARD version of this minor faction simply gives you the golems with nothing in the way of benefit to the AI. However, whether or not you choose to capture any golems, the AI will be launching periodic large waves with golems of their own -- so you're highly advised to get some golems in order to survive.
          o Using the hard version will automatically disable the easy and moderate versions if either of them is also selected.
          o Important: So far the hard version just works like Easy, it doesn't actually spawn the waves yet. That will come in a future version.
The "tweaks" you are referring to will really only affect the "moderate" game mechanics, since the other 2 options are not meant to "punish" players for taking a golem.  I think Chris has come up with a good solution though, and I'm excited to see how it works!
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Offline orzelek

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #52 on: November 25, 2010, 03:31:00 am »
It maybe quite nice with small drawback that that nice golems will also kick our ass now harder ;)

I'll see if it gets me to actually care about golems and consider them something worth having around :D

Offline zebramatt

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Re: What's coming for spirecraft and golem balance.
« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2010, 05:16:30 am »
Not that I give a monkey's about the score, but I'm not sure the moderate difficulty of Golems need carry a 1/3 reduction.

Essentially what you would have is:

Easy = Score penalty
Moderate = Energy cost & AIP penalty
Hard = Wave size/frequency penalty

 

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