Author Topic: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.012)  (Read 3422 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.012)
« on: July 24, 2014, 02:48:16 PM »
(Edit: updated the tables for 1.012, and added a table for bosses)


This discussion's been going for a while here: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,15723.0.html

But given the start time of the thread it might have fallen off some radars, so I wanted to try a new thread.

Basically just trying to figure out what balance changes should be tried next.  Here's the changes made in 1.011: http://arcengames.com/bionic-dues-beta-1-011-hoist-by-ones-own-pitar-released/

Here's most of the core stats for the normal bots (excluding boss bots, excluding the "special seeding" bots that are seeded entirely separately) :

(edit: btw, you can get this data yourself in 1.011+ by running the game and then opening the BalanceInfo_BotStats.csv file in your Bionic install's RuntimeData directory; running the generally won't update the csv if you've got the file open, though)

TypeCategoryEarliestDayLatestDayPITARatingBaseMaxHealthCanBeInFinalBattleVirusCostMultiplierAttackPowerAttackRangeMaxAmmoCapacityAreaOfEffect_SplashDamageDistanceAreaOfEffect_Type
DumBotNormalEnemy060450TRUE110410-1None
BombBotNormalEnemy060575FALSE12000414Radial
DumBotInvigoratedNormalEnemy060550TRUE120520-1None
BatBotNormalEnemy060575FALSE130038-1None
ThiefBotNormalEnemy060650TRUE15499-1None
HideBotNormalEnemy060630TRUE12024-1None
EagleBotNormalEnemy0608100FALSE150282Ring
BlasterBotNormalEnemy060850TRUE150201-1None
StealthBotNormalEnemy060875TRUE1255101Conical
AmmoBotNormalEnemy06012100TRUE2253992Ring
TreadBotNormalEnemy06012150TRUE1600216-1None
BlasterMasterNormalEnemy0601250TRUE1100521Diagonal
LeaderBotNormalEnemy3601650TRUE5206999-1None
NinjaBotNormalEnemy0601650TRUE150451Conical
CommandBotNormalEnemy3602050TRUE3206999-1None
CannonBotNormalEnemy06028200TRUE11005101Diagonal
BlunderBotNormalEnemy06028200TRUE1500622Radial
TigerBotNormalEnemy06028400TRUE1140499-1None
GaffeBotNormalEnemy06028200FALSE1500641Radial
MastermindBotNormalEnemy3603050TRUE1206999-1None
EMPBotNormalEnemy06035100FALSE111999-1None
HunterBotNormalEnemy06040200TRUE120125-1None
RaptorBotNormalEnemy306040500TRUE250484Ring
WyvernBotNormalEnemy306040500TRUE22007151Diagonal
DoomBotNormalEnemy56040500TRUE590720-1None
AvalancheBotNormalEnemy206040150FALSE111999-1None
SilenceBotNormalEnemy0604050TRUE1100341Ring
TeslaBotNormalEnemy36040200TRUE125203-1None
PantherBotNormalEnemy206040200TRUE1500123Radial
ThunderBotNormalEnemy06040200TRUE135840-1None


And the same for the "special seeding" bots:

TypeCategoryEarliestDayLatestDayPITARatingBaseMaxHealthCanBeInFinalBattleVirusCostMultiplierAttackPowerAttackRangeMaxAmmoCapacityAreaOfEffect_SplashDamageDistanceAreaOfEffect_Type
MantaBotSpecialSeedingEnemy060450FALSE120041-1None
GalaxyBotSpecialSeedingEnemy06016200FALSE13033-1None
BodyBotSpecialSeedingEnemy060163000FALSE1404102Diagonal
DeathBotSpecialSeedingEnemy406016800FALSE580145-1None
ShieldBotSpecialSeedingEnemy060281000FALSE211999-1None
AbsentmindedLeaderBotSpecialSeedingEnemy36028250FALSE570551Conical
SkyBotSpecialSeedingEnemy06028200FALSE35640-1None
RecoilBotSpecialSeedingEnemy04540300FALSE120410-1None
DiamondBotSpecialSeedingEnemy0454010FALSE110520-1None
SentryBotSpecialSeedingEnemy06040200FALSE110610-1None
RazorBotSpecialSeedingEnemy04040200FALSE130038-1None
RadarBotSpecialSeedingEnemy06040100FALSE111999-1None


And again for bosses:

TypeCategoryEarliestDayLatestDayPITARatingBaseMaxHealthCanBeInFinalBattleVirusCostMultiplierAttackPowerAttackRangeMaxAmmoCapacityAreaOfEffect_SplashDamageDistanceAreaOfEffect_Type
TethysBotBossEnemy060501200TRUE3180750-1None
ViperBotBossEnemy060503400TRUE32005201Line
ClawBotBossEnemy060503900TRUE350799-1None
DragonBotBossEnemy060502500TRUE3507162Diagonal
ScorpionBotBossEnemy060501800TRUE31001099-1None

The PITA Rating is... well, you know what it is ;)  It's just a basic scalar approximation of how nasty that bot is compared to the other bots, and the game bases the relative frequencies of each bot type off of this (so if a normal mission rolls both DumBots and DoomBots, there will generally be 10 DumBots for every 1 DoomBot).

The rest of the fields should be fairly self-explanator, though bear in mind any bot with multiple weapons (like the BlasterMaster) just lists the stats for the weapon considered most important.  Also it doesn't note special behaviors like the DumBot missing every shot, or that the BombBot can't actually fire its weapon at all (it just automatically fires when the bot is destroyed).

In 1.011 I focused on the normal bots since they form the bulk of what you face in the game.  The special-seeding bots have stats that vary substantially more but they're considerably more rare than the normals.  I'm sure they still need balance work but wanted to wait until working on 1.012.


Anyway: so what are the outliers (too easy, too hard, too flimsy, too tanky, etc) now?  Suggestions welcome :)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 11:46:12 AM by keith.lamothe »
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 08:41:02 AM »
One thought I have been having is that the shield-multiplicator-per-level scaling (that is set as part of the difficulty) might be a tad too excessive at 1.5/2.0/3.0/4.0 for Normal/Hard/Expert/Misery. Especially for bots with a high base health this gets really tough fast and I see no way how Exo damage upgrades via parts is supposed to keep up with this. Maybe its not supposed to - just thought I should mention it.

If ammo persists to be a problem, adjusting these might be an option.
Something like 1.5/2.0/2.5/3.0 might be worth a try.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 09:50:14 AM »
I don't want to mess with the difficulty levels just yet, and when I do my first inclination is to bump the ones above Casual closer to Expert, since I've seen a lot of reports of the game essentially being a pushover on easy/normal (and even Hard, iirc).

The main things I've tried to do to solve the problem of "running out of ammo" being a more likely failure condition than "running out of shields" is to:
- make sure the nastier bots are seeded with a reasonable frequency relative to the weaker ones (this was very much not the case before, in many situations)
- tone down the health of more-insane normal bot types

Misery difficulty is basically fine unless Misery says it's too easy/hard, and last I heard he was reasonably pleased with it ;)

So Expert's the main place I'm checking for "is there simply too much bot health on this mission map?" situations.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 11:40:58 AM »
I think we both want the same then.

I share the assessment that Normal is too easy, so making the lower difficulties easier was not my intention :). Since I am mostly playing on Expert these days tweaking this specific difficulty was my primary intent.

I just felt that proposing a progression instead of just a tweak for a single value might make a more convincing case ;). Joking aside I have the impression that doubling the health with each level may be just too steep even on Expert - at least for high health bots.

I am not concerned with Misery difficulty. That is entirely Misery's call to make (and I will likely never touch it - too much pain) ;).
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Offline Misery

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2014, 07:26:04 PM »
wait, you're keeping going with updating this?  I'd had the idea that it'd be like, one quick update and such, and that'd be it...   Good to see, then.

As it is this is the perfect thing to focus on for this one though, as the wonky bot balance has been my main issue with the game since forever.   The too-high HP values of the various buff-bots being one of the biggest issues.  Heck, just those guys alone can create an abnormal amount of frustration.  On Expert/Misery, you can get a mission that generates far too many of those, to the point where you simply dont have enough ammo to deal enough damage to take them all out.... particularly when you've then got them boosting the max shields of other bots too.  And of course losing to "I RAN OUT OF NUMBERS!!!!" is frustrating in general when compared to losing because of mistakes in tactical planning and that sort of thing.  Like a stupid death in a JRPG because you didn't mindlessly grind enough.


And those guys, the buff bots, arent the only ones with odd issues, but they're the ones that come to mind most, if the RNG should concentrate on them as ones to level-up frequently (and it seems to like choosing them).   All in all though, that was the main issue I'd had, was shield-overload in general for enemy bots that the RNG would do sometimes.  Toning that down (in general, not just for Expert) would probably help alot, and there's likely a variety of ways to increase the difficulty in more "viable" ways to then make up for that.... I'll have to think about that a bit.


I'll fire up the game and spend some time with it later today, and give some feedback about it after that.   There's someone I know as well who might be interested to give some feedback as well, so I'll let him know about this also. 

Granted it'll take a bit of time to REALLY get feedback going with a long-ish game like that, but still, can at least give some initial stuff fairly quick here.  I'll mess with both Expert & Misery.



....and I swear, it seems like I'm the only one that ever actually messes with the Misery difficulty here, at least for this game.  I do at least see others getting into it with TLF though, so that's good, as I think the high difficulties for that game came out particularly well.   ....and then some of them then also put the strategic difficulty up to Nightmare, which then takes it beyond my own current skill level, that's for sure.    Really, someone needs to do a full playthrough of that game with both difficulties maxed.  I'd love to see that, it'd be entertaining. 
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 07:28:21 PM by Misery »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 08:55:50 PM »
The too-high HP values of the various buff-bots being one of the biggest issues.
Yea, I specifically remember you pointing that out a number of times, hence why their health was nerfed in 1.011.

But the main thing to help out was fixing the inversion of how bot frequencies were handled.  Basically it was picking the bot types for a mission reasonably, but when deciding the ratio of the bot types it was actually preferring the things that were supposed to be more rare.  And some things were in the less-rare category that really shouldn't have been, and some things just had uncomfortably high health in general, etc.

So there's been progress there.  Still more to do, I'm sure, but mainly it's a matter of seeing how these changes actually work out in practice.  I suspect the game may be too easy now, but we'll see.

The things that seem likely to me to need further changes:

1) Stats on the special-seeding bots, since I didn't really touch those yet.  They're less common than normal bots, though.

2) The actual selection of the 5 normal bot types for a normal mission (non-end-game, non-lions-den, non-assassination) is currently pretty much random.  Which is fair enough to an extent, but if it picks the 5 highest-PITAR bot types in the game it's still going to generate the same total count of bots as if it had picked the 5 lowest-PITAR bot types, because mapgen just tells it "this square gets a normal bot" and it has to put one there.  That's a pretty broad range of potential challenge.

3) The selection of what bots it upgrades the levels of, as you pointed out.  The lower difficulties already have restrictions on it not buffing bots that are already X levels above the average.  I believe we intentionally omitted that for Hard+, or possibly Expert+, I forget.  Anyway, it may be that the restrictions need to always be present, just more relaxed on the higher difficulties.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2014, 01:52:41 AM »
So, started testing on Expert mode, off to a decent start.

Not much of note just yet, except for the part where the game decided "Hey, you like HideBots?  I sure like HideBots.  HIDEBOTS FOR EVERYONE!!!" and spawned about 20 zillion of them.  Because my damn sniper had exactly TEN less attack power than necessary to pop them in one shot, I nearly ran out of ammo (because they need to be hit with heavy weapons in order to destroy them before they can fire).  StealthBots and ThiefBots were not really helping the situation much.  And a couple of HunterBots, because why not.  This was in a Destruction mission, too, and STILL nearly ran out of ammo.  Alot of tension in that mission, that's for sure.

The enemy selection overall in these first few missions has been more interesting than before.  I had one that was tons of Eagles and BodyBots in thin corridors, with Tanks and StealthBots added in too.  As opposed to it just spamming buff bots like it used to.

I'll post more as I go along.


EDIT:

Okay, so, a bit more testing done, one thing that could be fixed up a bit is varying the bot choices a bit more for basic missions;  I lost count of how many HideBots I had to shoot.  And BodyBots kept being chosen as the special ones.  Had to do some funky stuff to kill those.  Cant knock out something with 70000 HP when I can hit for about 1000, max.  Devious things, those are.  StealthBots too, it likes those.   At least it didn't choose to spam a zillion Masterminds or something this time.  For some bots the HP values may yet need more tweaking.... if you're not using both of the constant high damage exos, the sniper and brawler, it's tough to do enough damage to bring everything down, as the others cant hit very hard early on.  But it's alot more viable now than it was before.  And it also chose HunterBots a couple of times WITHOUT spawning like, 40 of them.  That's good to see, as previously it'd always spawn tons of them, now it's more like 4 or 5, so that works out very well with their high HP values.   That aspect overall is already much better.

Also, the hostage missions, those get a little weird.  Too based on luck, but not just that, the AI now seems to get all wonky in those, and will hop back and forth as it tries to decide what to do.  I coulda sworn it wasnt doing that before.

Not all that far in yet, but that's some basic feedback to start with.  Quite enjoying it, too.



Also, Ammobots, are those supposed to have like 1000 health early on?  I coulda sworn that these guys used to be low-HP enemies.... but they started out high, and are now just over 1000.   Like 1200 I think?  I coulda sworn that previously they pretty much were always on the very low end.

Also one thing that does occur to me is that the BodyBots could lead to the player getting stuck;  if they dont manage to get something right next to those, yet end up with everything else destroyed, there's no way to finish them off.   I had that almost happen at one point, with one of those that went nuts, fired all it's ammo at something, and then was powered down in a spot where I couldnt get anything over to stand next to it.   It ended up working out by sheer absurd chance because an Ammobot and a Hidebot both waddled over there to shoot at it, so it was a Hidebot with infinite ammo.  This took awhile though, and for the rest of the mission it was "Here, have some more of this" or whatever the line was every single turn.   Gotta be the most silly way I've yet seen of any bot being defeated yet. 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 08:51:56 AM by Misery »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2014, 10:02:38 AM »
Not much of note just yet, except for the part where the game decided "Hey, you like HideBots?  I sure like HideBots.  HIDEBOTS FOR EVERYONE!!!" and spawned about 20 zillion of them.
Yea, they have a very low PITAR at 5 (the DumBot is the lowest and has a 4).  I'm guessing these are more than 20% more painful than the lowly dumbot?

Quote
Because my damn sniper had exactly TEN less attack power than necessary to pop them in one shot, I nearly ran out of ammo
The HideBot's base max health is the same as the DumBot, at 50.  Sounds like Expert mode was just messing with you :)  Though perhaps the hidebot could stand a 40 or 30 base, since you generally can't engage them at range.  At least, a health drop would be good if we're going to keep these in the "super frequent footsoldier mook" category, since they are more dangerous than most mooks.


Quote
And BodyBots kept being chosen as the special ones.
Yea, I kinda wondered why they had such a high base max health (6000, the highest, with 2nd place being the ShieldBot at 1000; excluding bosses of course), but also a really low RobotRole (translated to a PITAR of 4, same as a DumBot, though the normal-seeding and special-seeding is entirely separate).  Since a really high count of BodyBots makes it much more likely that there'll be at least one really isolated one, perhaps their PITAR should be bumped up to 16 with the GalaxyBot and DeathBot.  That'll still leave the MantaBot at 4, though I forget what that one does.


Quote
Also, the hostage missions, those get a little weird.  Too based on luck, but not just that, the AI now seems to get all wonky in those, and will hop back and forth as it tries to decide what to do.  I coulda sworn it wasnt doing that before.
That's an old issue, actually.  It's intermittent, which may explain why you don't recall seeing it.

The AI's a bit of a tangle so it's not on my short list of things to deal with, but I'll bear it in mind.


Quote
Not all that far in yet, but that's some basic feedback to start with.  Quite enjoying it, too.
Enjoyment!?  *mashes the send-in-10-zillion-MastermindBots button*



Quote
Also, Ammobots, are those supposed to have like 1000 health early on?  I coulda sworn that these guys used to be low-HP enemies.... but they started out high, and are now just over 1000.   Like 1200 I think?  I coulda sworn that previously they pretty much were always on the very low end.
They used to have a base max health of 60, but in 1.011 I buffed that to 100 along with making them less frequently seeded (PITAR of 12, so if a level was just them and DumBots it would seed about 1 AmmoBot per 3 DumBots rather than roughly-equal). 


Anyway, gotta run, thanks for the feedback :)
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Offline Misery

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2014, 10:11:10 AM »
Yeah, I would agree with the idea of giving the Bodybots the same rarity/spawnrate/something as the GalaxyBots.  They can be really nasty as heck.   Particularly when they decide to spawn in the center of a group.  Might be a group of things that normally I'd want to blast with a rocket, but suddenly shouldnt do that, as if there's less bots around it there's much less chance that one will get close to it at the right time for me to pop it.  It makes for an interesting situation actually.


Offline nas1m

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2014, 10:17:56 AM »
Not much of note just yet, except for the part where the game decided "Hey, you like HideBots?  I sure like HideBots.  HIDEBOTS FOR EVERYONE!!!" and spawned about 20 zillion of them.
Yea, they have a very low PITAR at 5 (the DumBot is the lowest and has a 4).  I'm guessing these are more than 20% more painful than the lowly dumbot?
Quote
Because my damn sniper had exactly TEN less attack power than necessary to pop them in one shot, I nearly ran out of ammo
The HideBot's base max health is the same as the DumBot, at 50.  Sounds like Expert mode was just messing with you :)  Though perhaps the hidebot could stand a 40 or 30 base, since you generally can't engage them at range.  At least, a health drop would be good if we're going to keep these in the "super frequent footsoldier mook" category, since they are more dangerous than most mooks.
I would be fine with keeping these super frequent - if only for the need of some more high-frequency bots than just the DumBot ones. The proposed base health reduction would be a good change, though, in my book. Helps to differentiate them out a bit more...

Quote
And BodyBots kept being chosen as the special ones.
Yea, I kinda wondered why they had such a high base max health (6000, the highest, with 2nd place being the ShieldBot at 1000; excluding bosses of course), but also a really low RobotRole (translated to a PITAR of 4, same as a DumBot, though the normal-seeding and special-seeding is entirely separate).  Since a really high count of BodyBots makes it much more likely that there'll be at least one really isolated one, perhaps their PITAR should be bumped up to 16 with the GalaxyBot and DeathBot.  That'll still leave the MantaBot at 4, though I forget what that one does.
I think it was just to make them effectively unkillable using regular means and thus force the player to exploit its "bug". Pity, though, if this is not possible. So dropping its base health (maybe by one third?) might be a good change, at the current state - at least for as long as you are not looking at some counter-level-accumulation measures on Expert ;). I have found Virus to be another good alternative to cope with those btw.

Quote
Also, Ammobots, are those supposed to have like 1000 health early on?  I coulda sworn that these guys used to be low-HP enemies.... but they started out high, and are now just over 1000.   Like 1200 I think?  I coulda sworn that previously they pretty much were always on the very low end.
They used to have a base max health of 60, but in 1.011 I buffed that to 100 along with making them less frequently seeded (PITAR of 12, so if a level was just them and DumBots it would seed about 1 AmmoBot per 3 DumBots rather than roughly-equal). 
I think the "new" AmmoBots are quite good as they are now. I think Misery might have run into level accumulation issues (or just Expert ;)) here as well...
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Offline Misery

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 07:46:24 AM »
More feedback:


Doombots, still spawning like hordes of deranged, murderous lemmings.  With 6000 HP each.  And I'm still not too far in yet (not even to day 40).   The mission I just tried seemed to have selected them for the most common bot in the mission, with Tanks being next (4000 HP), and then CommandBots, because why not.   And a few EMPs, with about 1600.

The buff bots arent spawning in giant hordes anymore, but could probably still do with a base HP decrease.  They dont actually need all that much... chances are, by the time they're nearing firing range, they'll have already caused all the trouble they could by buffing the heck outta things.  Even if their HP were low, it is often still worth using something like a railgun shot just to keep them from having a chance to do their thing.  Same with EMP bots.... those guys dont need big HP, since their entire existence is dedicated to making you want to blow them up at extremely bad times to do so.  Though they shouldnt have a really tiny amount, either.

Ahh, there was more, but I cant remember what it was. 


Other than that, Assault Exo could do with some sort of buffing up.... not sure just how.  But it usually ends up being the one of the group that just doesnt really serve much role, as it's damage is so low, yet has nothing else special about it.  Not sure just what to suggest for this one. 


Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2014, 09:29:21 AM »
Doombots, still spawning like hordes of deranged, murderous lemmings.  With 6000 HP each.  And I'm still not too far in yet (not even to day 40).   The mission I just tried seemed to have selected them for the most common bot in the mission, with Tanks being next (4000 HP), and then CommandBots, because why not.   And a few EMPs, with about 1600.
Do you have a save from that mission?  Iirc it has the mission seed and I can use it to reproduce the bot-picking logic.

Because it's strange that the DoomBots would have more than parity with any other normal bot type, as its PITAR of 40 is tied for highest in the normal bot category.


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The buff bots arent spawning in giant hordes anymore, but could probably still do with a base HP decrease.
Well, their base max HP was decreased in 1.011:

LeaderBot from 200 => 100
CommandBot from 175 => 125
MastermindBot from 175 => 150

I could just drop them all to 100 (for reference, DumBot has 50), but the command and mm are higher-PITAR and thus more rare and so it seemed ok for them to have somewhat higher health.


Quote
Same with EMP bots.... those guys dont need big HP, since their entire existence is dedicated to making you want to blow them up at extremely bad times to do so.  Though they shouldnt have a really tiny amount, either.
They're at 150, I could drop them to 100.


Quote
Other than that, Assault Exo could do with some sort of buffing up.... not sure just how.  But it usually ends up being the one of the group that just doesnt really serve much role, as it's damage is so low, yet has nothing else special about it.  Not sure just what to suggest for this one.
Well, is it the base exo, or the epic form, or both that seem underwhelming?  For the epic form, the volatizer definitely needs to be made more interesting (with the Pistol and the Shotgun both reinvented, the volatizer is probably the most maligned weapon).

If it's just in general, perhaps I can buff the base damage on all its weapons by 20% or something like that.  Possibly excluding the plasma rifle, dunno.

On the other hand, there are two things the Assault brings to the table that may just not be evident in your scenarios:

1) It carries more total ammo than any other exo, with a combination of high ammo weapons (light machine gun, laser rifle) and filling all 5 weapon slots in epic form.  Also, all of its weapons have a decent range unlike the Brawler (who admitted has its own niche, for sure).  I'm guessing this advantage doesn't really register in your case because it doesn't matter how many shots a weapon gets if it doesn't do high damage when the enemy bots have _that_ much health.

2) It gets +30% to all shield-related stats.  I'm guessing this doesn't really register for you because getting hit => dying on Misery.  And on Expert, I suppose.  This is perhaps symptomatic of a more core design issue with Bionic: in the really serious scenarios the concept of "player durability" really isn't there, so a goodly chunk of the stats aren't really relevant.  Is that your experience?
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2014, 09:47:29 AM »
Quote
The buff bots arent spawning in giant hordes anymore, but could probably still do with a base HP decrease.
Well, their base max HP was decreased in 1.011:

LeaderBot from 200 => 100
CommandBot from 175 => 125
MastermindBot from 175 => 150

I could just drop them all to 100 (for reference, DumBot has 50), but the command and mm are higher-PITAR and thus more rare and so it seemed ok for them to have somewhat higher health.
I think Misery has a point here. Every shot directed at (most) of the buff bots already is a turn lost with regard to the rest of the bots after all. I experienced this only to some degree and what I saw might be better fixed by better managing the levels applied to the different bot types between missions to accumulate less fast, though...

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Same with EMP bots.... those guys dont need big HP, since their entire existence is dedicated to making you want to blow them up at extremely bad times to do so.  Though they shouldnt have a really tiny amount, either.
They're at 150, I could drop them to 100.
I would second this change.

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Other than that, Assault Exo could do with some sort of buffing up.... not sure just how.  But it usually ends up being the one of the group that just doesnt really serve much role, as it's damage is so low, yet has nothing else special about it.  Not sure just what to suggest for this one.
Well, is it the base exo, or the epic form, or both that seem underwhelming?  For the epic form, the volatizer definitely needs to be made more interesting (with the Pistol and the Shotgun both reinvented, the volatizer is probably the most maligned weapon).

If it's just in general, perhaps I can buff the base damage on all its weapons by 20% or something like that.  Possibly excluding the plasma rifle, dunno.

On the other hand, there are two things the Assault brings to the table that may just not be evident in your scenarios:

1) It carries more total ammo than any other exo, with a combination of high ammo weapons (light machine gun, laser rifle) and filling all 5 weapon slots in epic form.  Also, all of its weapons have a decent range unlike the Brawler (who admitted has its own niche, for sure).  I'm guessing this advantage doesn't really register in your case because it doesn't matter how many shots a weapon gets if it doesn't do high damage when the enemy bots have _that_ much health.

2) It gets +30% to all shield-related stats.  I'm guessing this doesn't really register for you because getting hit => dying on Misery.  And on Expert, I suppose.  This is perhaps symptomatic of a more core design issue with Bionic: in the really serious scenarios the concept of "player durability" really isn't there, so a goodly chunk of the stats aren't really relevant.  Is that your experience?
I think the ammo related upside still holds on Expert. Maybe buffing the Shield boost somewhat is a good idea to differentiate it further. Heck, even if it has a boost of 100% it will not marginalize Expert+ in any way, I guess. Don't know what this would do to the lower difficulties, though...
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Offline Misery

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2014, 11:38:44 AM »
For the Doombots, I didn't have a save of that exact mission, no.

So I went and tried generating one over and over to see if I couldnt get a similar situation.

I didn't get quite the silly number of them, but I did find one that still has.... alot of them, way more than it should, AND then some added special bots too.   I went and snuck through this one just to light everything up, so should be easy to see how many there are.   

I mighta gotten a more useful setup, but the game decided that it just loved the heck outta BombBots and a specific group that goes with those.  But hopefully the save might help anyway.


As for the Assault, yeah, it's pretty underwhelming in an overall sense, at least on these difficulties.  The other types all hold up through the difficulty increases for the most part, but that guy doesnt.   Him having alot of ammo ends up not mattering much when he needs 5 or 6 shots to do the same amount of damage that any ofthe others can do in 1 or 2 turns with fairly common attacks (like the sniper shot or the dissolver, or whatever).   Assault is pretty much underwhelming in both forms, too.   The others tend to be useful in both, though obviously get a huge boost after the Bahamut mission for them.

The bit with the shields, it IS possible to take hits and not die even on Misery, so the stat does have relevance, though not as much (not every bot will hit for 203458 damage, after all) but.... if the Assault guy is tanking, that's usually not too helpful, as he's likely in a position that will make it difficult to switch safely to one of the others.   And one way or another, while it's possible to get hit and not die if your shields are high, chances are you cant take MANY hits.  But yeah, there's a huge focus with those 2 modes on the idea oif trying to NEVER get hit at all, as just a couple of hits might destroy a critical Exo that you needed for that fight.    Regen remains quite useful though even if shielding is diminished somewhat.


So yeah, that's all of that stuff.

I will say though that the "8 billion doombots" type of situation is not appearing NEARLY as often as it had been before.   The core problem in many missions is simply that certain bot types just have base HP too high. 

The buff bots, I would say, even dropping these guys to 1/3rd of what they are now, wouldnt be bad.  It makes sense if they're kinda easy to kill.... they're more of a support role, and specifically a support role that's really, really dangerous to the player, to the point where using extreme measures (and thus, rare ammo) to take them down ASAP is often good.  And of course they're also still very worth capturing with a virus if you can;  that part is fine.   And heck, they also make the act of pulling bots via whistles alot more difficult just by existing.  That alone adds even more challenge, as sometimes there are points when you really want to pull some very specific and dangerous thing out of a room without all of it's buddies following.... but one of the buff bots is sitting next to it in such a way that you cant whistle at one of them without the other.  That one happens pretty commonly, and can be pretty nasty.   Especially if it's a Mastermind, hah.

The special "Absentminded" one can probably be left alone.... that's a pretty rare spawn, and since it's movement is very all over the place, it'll be more random as to wether it helps it's allies much, or acts just useless.


EDIT:  Oh, something else I noticed while playing earlier, is that the MurderBot doesnt actually deactivate when the computer that controls it is destroyed;  just keeps coming.  Dunno wether this is intended or not.... mostly it means the player cannot backtrack and get items and such in that mission type.   Figured I'd mention it.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 11:41:27 AM by Misery »

Offline nas1m

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Re: Bot Balance next steps (as of 1.011)
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2014, 04:20:40 PM »
Regarding GalaxyBot:

This one might be reasonable to revisit, although with a slightly different motivation.
Currently its base damage effectively negates its special ability (tracking player Exos) by being likely to kill any Exo they shoot at on the first shot - many times over if they have got at least some level-ups by the RNG.



Not as interesting as it could be :-\.

Tuning down the bots base damage might be a good change to actually let its special ability come into effects. Maybe moving it from 120 to 40 -  which is the same as the BodyBot, which is reasonably threatening in my book, or even lower -  like 20?

Mantised here.

PS: AmmoBot base damage could probably be scaled down as well. ThiefBot has 5 this one has 25. Maybe 15 for soem diversity? But I guess this depends on whether a buff/debuff bot is supposedto be able to kill you or not ;)...
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 04:37:30 PM by nas1m »
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