Author Topic: Balance feedback request (Updated 16/09)  (Read 681 times)

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Balance feedback request (Updated 16/09)
« on: September 04, 2018, 08:49:54 PM »
So basically, I'm the one who is mainly poking at balance for AI War 2 right now. I play the game myself, but more data is always good to have, especially from people with other playstyles compared to mine.

This is essentially a place to put any concerns, questions or suggestions for it into one place, and for me to hopefully reach more people than Discord alone.

The current changes: https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.php?title=AI_War_2:_The_Era_of_Discovery#Balance_Tweaks

In general the notes for these will be like those of Starcraft 2, Overwatch, etc in that they state the specific numbers, unless it's a case of so many sweeping changes to something it'd take up a lot of room i.e a unit being revamped or a change to a group of similar units.

Thanks in advance!

What's being looked at:

Metal income.
If factions can survive the Mass Drivers lying around without being fairly stalled.
Turret strength so the AI isn't as scared all the time.

Feedback wanted:

How easy/hard is it to fight and/or defeat the Nanocaust? Own testing shows an intensity 5 infestation to be easily cut down in the first 20 minutes, due to a bug causing it to spawn adjacent to you.
Everything below.

Main Concerns:

Fortress balance.
Guard Post Balance.
Golem balance.
Dire Guard(ian)(post) balance.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 10:58:12 AM by RocketAssistedPuffin »
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Offline Malkiel

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2018, 08:02:44 AM »
Before any noteworthy balance discussion can take place, it's vital those involved seek to understand the options they presently have for dealing with their problems. I'm going to start by listing my problems and asking for advice on how to deal with them before requesting changes.

My biggest problem is AI armor ships in their core triangle. I get that they have a fast one (counterpart to V Wing), a slow dangerous one (MLRS, counterpart to concussion), and a midspeed beefy one (Armor, counterpart to bomber).

My problem is that I don't know how to deal with the MLRS because everything is stuck shooting at the armor wall (bad targeting logic) and I don't see a counter to armor ships that rips through them with any degree of speed. They're strong against Vwings (need Mk III to not floor my damage), concussions (only fleet ship in game resistant to them, okay with this), and my bombers (less so in .765 patch) I don't know what to use to get past these,  so they look like a balance problem. The only answer I have is assault starships, and at 1 shot=1 kill every 4 seconds, it takes several minutes to chew through 200 armor teams even with multiple assault starships.

You're looking at MLRS corvette durability... If others don't have a good answer for armor wall, perhaps I'm on to something here?

Offline Malkiel

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2018, 10:38:47 AM »
Warning: wall of text. TL;DR suggestions at bottom of list.

I was thinking about the space tank and how it doesn't really feellike it has a role to me when I realized it's effective health was only a shred better than a V wing. This got me to making a quick EHP list of all ships.

sentinel 7100
armor 5100
MLRS 4800
vwing 3700
tank 3700
raider 3600
concussion 3500
cutlass 3500
bomber 3100
tesla 3000
vampire 3000
raptor 2900
spider 2600
agravic 2400
ablative 1120 double cap so higher spot on list
needler 2200
grenade 2000
plane 1300
eyebot 1200
autocannon 800
sniper 600

MLRS HP deserves attention indeed... but why is sentinal frigate top of the line? It has 200 less hull points than an armor ship, and has more shield points than any other fleetship (tesla tied it)

Then I get to my second point: It's not just the armor ships.
AI triangle contains the #2, #3, and #6 highest HP fleetships in the game.
Player triangle contains the #4 (tied with tank), #7(tied with cutlass), and #9 highest healths in game.

I'll be comparing DPS as well , assuming modifiers as appropriate (multi target ships get max targets, concussion gets modifier since usually has it in fleet fights except against armor ships, etc.)
DPS: I gave the victim an armor value of 60 and took that away from damage to a limit of preventing 80% of damage. this is the mechanics from first game, I'm unaware of any changes to it in the second game. Please correct me if I'm mistaken about this. Also, I assume armor helps protect shield points as well, despite logic saying no.. is that true?
Tesla 122.22 (assumed 10 targets)
Multi Needler 100 (assumed 5 targets)
Cutlass: 96.67
Sentinel Frigate: 60
Concussion and Vampire: 46.67
Raptor: 29
Armor: 24.33
Tank 22
MLRS: 21.33 (assumed 16 targets and no low health bonus)
Raider 16
Plane 15.33
Grenade: 15 (assumed 3 targets hit by blast)
Bomber 13.75
Autocannon: 13.33
Eyebot and VWing: 5
Ablative: 3.47 (doubled DPS due to being only double cap ship right now)
spider 3.2
sniper 2
Agravic: 1.8
So.. AI triangle takes spots 8, 10, and 11, player triangle takes spots 5, 14, and 17. This is out of 22 ship types.

The bigger problem looks like the armor ship now that I see it.  The only player ship that's in the top half for dps needs it's bonus to be there. The armor ship is the one fleet ship in the game to specifically deny it that bonus, which puts it at 1.33, or worst in the game. (using 0.765 stats)

TL;DR suggestions section based off current ship stats comparisons:

For balance reasons, Tesla, multi needler, and sentinel frigate should probably become lower cap ships. As tesla and needler HP isn't that great, they should receive buffs to make the health of a full cap remain roughly the same while reducing the "kill all the things" capacity of these designs. Sentinel health is fine for a 50% reduction in cap.

Ships below 5 dps on the chart should probably become high cap ships. The ships at 5 gain a lot of ground if you compare at Mk II, the ones below it don't. This is due to the assumed armor of the target being just wrong for those ships.
Ablative Gatling should probably be "very high" cap, something like 180 squads. It's hyper situational ability means it's basically always damage floored by armor (until Mk IV), so at least gimme a lot of them.

V Wings and eyebots, having literally the same attack stats, go to 25 DPS at rank 2. they're just trash at rank 1 for having the exact wrong damage per shot for the armor value I assumed in the test is all. For comparison, a multi needler has 55 dps (single target) at rank 2, Armor has 58.67 at rank 2 and a bomber has 32.5. I'd consider leaving both alone for the time being.

As armor ship is a basic AI triangle ship, I'd prefer to leave it's cap alone. This means it either needs a reduction in health, DPS, or some combination thereof. Seeing as it's purpose is to tank, I'd say a DPS cut is advisable. Right now it shoots twice as fast as a bomber for 90% the damage of a bomber. It's one of the hardest hitting ships out there, shockingly. I'd say try cutting it's shot damage by around 30% and see how it feels? This is assuming the MLRS (#3 for health and #10 for DPS at rank 1, with great scaling.. [it's around #5 DPS at rank 2 due to armor value used making it look falsely weak at rank 1]) gets a reduction in survivability.

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2018, 10:43:04 AM »
The AI has a basic  triangle? I thought they just got random ships in each game.

Offline Ovalcircle1

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2018, 11:24:31 AM »
The AI has a basic  triangle? I thought they just got random ships in each game.

Yeah. From Version .759 Break The Sky: The basic fleetships for the AI are now the Raider (in place of the Fighter), Armor Ship (in place of the Bomber), and the MLRS Frigate (in place of the Missile Frigate).
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Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2018, 12:30:10 PM »
That's a lot of useful info, thanks! Though er, the "Armor" stat does not work at all like it does in the first game. There's no such mechanic here - it functions just as a "does this thing affect me?" sorta deal, like Concussion Corvettes do to things with lower armor.

I seem to function on this topic much better at night, so I'll get cracking at it then. I did have a CNC delivered, so that'll preoccupy some of the other time anyway.

And yeah, Sentinel Frigate is a tad absurd. I'll add that to the list, as well as Armors, and general Human ship boosting.
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Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2018, 01:03:07 PM »
Could the problem simply be summed up as the Humans just don't have the toolset available, guaranteed, to properly fight even just the AIs own triangle? Human ships aren't used by the AI at all (Mercenaries spawn them, but they're on your side), so balancing them is much simpler.
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Offline HeartHunter

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2018, 05:30:55 PM »
Are you sure about armor ships "op"(nerf)?
He seems usless for me, then i see this ship I'm just laughing under AI, what a waste of science(ah, he doesnot have science). Thats just tank with 0(206) dmg and 0(600) speed, he is just funny guy with 6 sec attack reload and 206 dmg, no more. If you want, you can nerf speed for more epic easy fight. Or you can nerf dmg ok, bug give something good ability for him, like overpower space tank.
How to counter him? like all in this game with low attack range and low speed. Kite, kite them all. Turn off autodrive, spread your army on minimum 4 armies+, you can bind every army with 1,2,3,4,5 and make ez win. Use any units with more big attack range. Do u think Concussion corvette doesnot counter him? its true, but he still kills him. Ofcouse, its long, but still counter. Better look on other op ships like MLRS, tesla, etc, they just destroy this slow turtle with 0 dmg and without abilityes
Another variant, its using counter armor ship. Assault ship or other one of the epic anty armor ships - Space Tank. Its just artyllery+tank in one unit. Just get this unit in early and you will destroy ez all armor ships, especially armor tank.

MLRS. Its op, but kite can help you win this ship. Use one of the triangle ship - Concussion corvette. A few armyes, turn off  auto drive, move 9 sec, stop, move 9 sec, stop, etc. Kite in the all rts or moba games same.

If you see armor ship+MLRS. Just kite enemy armor ships, if you need, kite them until your other planet. When you kill close range AI ships, just select all Concussion ships, turn ON auto drove, and look how they kills all.

Raider. One of the usless ship right now, more usless, than armor ship. I love this unit for speed, evasive etc. But he is bad. Just fast unit. If enemy using only Raiders ships, just make again Concussin ships and Turn ON auto drive. Its will ez fight.

If you see 2+ types of ships, use a few armyes+ kite. Oh, do you remember about towers defence or something(tractors, needle towers with bonus etc)?
I afraid for these ships, and after rework FocusFire priorties(Big thank to Chris, i waited it), armor ships will just zero. And its doesnot helps to Raiders too. Kite and focusfire priorityes will work more ez and right. I think, it will interesting. We will test it.

Hi : D
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 06:42:01 PM by HeartHunter »

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2018, 06:27:54 PM »
Think wait for next update, possibly tonight, I don't know. I'll try a full proper 7/7/7 game and see these in action myself. Then you two and anyone else can also have new feedback on it, and go from that.

Armor Ships may get a trait once a suitable one apppears. Same with Raiders. Maybe Raiders can work on things with slow speed...don't think anything has that oddly. Not sure, not liking it much.
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Offline HeartHunter

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2018, 02:15:27 PM »
Melee ships seems again good for me.
When AI spams 500+ vorticular or something ships, its destroy the kite, and looks enough effective against enemy(Human) fleet. So, melee ok unit.
LRMS. Nice nerf. AI cant win every fight with just "A-click". This unit need micro and control, you cant just spam one ship.
Tesla. Will see.
Armor ship. I still think he doesnot good. He is big, fat, not most slow unit, but still turtle without dmg, kite him, dont look on him in the 3500 attack range. Anyway, this new dmg can be enough good, becouse he will get ability anyway, and its buff.
Carrier. Good spam machine unit.
Siege starship. Nice unit, he can oneshot with big attack range a few units with paper-medium hull
Grenady launcher. Works like power good unit.

Looks like spam one unit for the win not so effective. You need something more, you cant ez win enemy with one type of ships on difficult 7+. Thats good.
I want see too game tests or experience from other players.

Offline RabidSanity

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2018, 05:41:08 PM »
I found the armored golem to be rather underwhelming with its single strong shot.  I think the armored golem in classic had 5 shots.  Can we do the same here?

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Balance feedback request
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2018, 06:14:05 PM »
I believe it may have had something like 40. Golems...I fixed the range on two, and upgraded the Spire Frigate as a spur of the moment...

Yeah I'll add that to the list. They didn't feel super important but apparently with...the timeline right now, those are probably needed.
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Offline HeartHunter

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Re: Balance feedback request (Updated 08/09)
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2018, 01:18:36 PM »
Bombers seems bad. 80+mark3 bombers cant oneshot Riotmark2.
In the real fight with big AI army and 20+Riot shields, we cant wait, when Bomber fleet will finish every Riot ship for give main army do damage. 1/5 bombers will die, until they get target.
I think, that Fusion Bombers need more dmg and survive.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Balance feedback request (Updated 08/09)
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 02:42:04 PM »
Will see what Chris thinks of an overall game wide damage boost before such a decision.
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Offline Toranth

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Re: Balance feedback request (Updated 08/09)
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2018, 09:28:07 PM »
I think there may be a bug with force fields right now.  It looks to me like if two forcefield sources cover each other, then the Bomer's "Shield penetration" damage doesn't go through.

I, too, had issues with multiple Riots, as well as multiple FFs (and some AI worlds had waaaaay to many FFs).  In one case, it took 30+ minutes to reduce FF generators to no longer cover each other, then 30 seconds to actually kill them.