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 Post subject: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:45 am 
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Wiki link: http://www.customwars.com/wiki/index.ph ... n_document

Narts asked me to get something done with balance and all for Ad Hoc Wars, so, uh, heya all, unfortunately for you you will have to deal with me messing around with balance again :D. Please don't shoot me.

And Yeah yeah, I know that there is a shiny Dev Discussion Forum that would be perfect for this topic, but I wanted to have an open discussion with the 8 or so people that still check this board. Once we have something more stable I will create a topic there with the results.


So, anyway, our goal here is basically to balance the old AW1 metagame, only without COs (yay). By balance, I mean to basically achieve these three goals:

    1)All units being used to some degree
    2)No unit being clearly better or clearly awful
    3)A metagame that doesn't get stally with the removal of CO boosts

(if you have something to add here, do so, please)

Also, these goals are progressive, as in, first we should make sure that units (read: missiles) are actually being used, then make sure that we won't have abnormalities like the old AW1 Cruiser (aka sea anti-air) being destroyed by a copter, and then we will make sure that the final result is...uh....playable. I am not saying to be extremely offensive, aka infantry nerf era, but in a way that we are able to finish a game in a reasonable amount of time.


With that being said, I will dump all data we will need for this step on this post and eventually add the changes we agree upon.

Fog of War

I can't really write a cohesive text, so I will just summarize stuff in some points. I'd really appreciate if someone rewrote them properly <_<;.

-Fog of War is a battle mechanic where all units and properties are covered by fog. The terrain itself is visible, but you aren't able to see if there are units on it or the color of the properties.

-On it, every unit has a certain vision stat. Said unit is capable of viewing everything on a diamond with the radius equal to the vision of it. This mean that a tank, for example, which has a 3 vision stat, can see clearly all squares up to 3 spaces from it. The vision diamond is estabilished only before the unit moves and after it waits, which means that your vision doesn't change while you are moving.

-The exception from the rule above are woods and reefs. On them, ground and sea units, respectively, can only be seen if there is an adjacent unit. Air units can't hide on those though.

-In the addition to vision, FOW also limits your capacity to attack. You can only attack an unit if there it can be viewed by other one of your units. This means, for example, that, if you have one unit adjacent to an enemy one on woods, you can't move the same unit to attack it. You will have to move another unit to attack it or view the unit on the woods. The unit that is viewing the enemy can attack it only if it is viewable whie the unit moves (remember that a moving unit has no vision), which only happens if there is another unit nearby or if you don't move at all.

-Unlike attacking, you can freely move, capture properties, launch silos (for future reference) regardless you can see the target space or not. But if you try to move through a hidden opponent unit, your unit will stop and wait immediately.

-Infantries (normal and heavy) have their vision boosted by 3 when on mountains.

I think that is all. Have I forgotten anything?

Weather

There are three different weather conditions: Clear, Rain and Snow. Please note that FOW isn't a weather, it is a gameplay mechanic.

Clear Weather is the standard one. Everything is this topic assumes that the weather is clear.

Rain Weather affects two things: Movement and Vision. On Rain conditions, the movement cost for Treads and Tires units is increased by one on plains and woods. Also, the vision for all units is decreased by 1.

Snow Weather affects only Movement, but in a much bigger scale than Rain. On Snow conditions, the movement cost for air units on all terrains is increased by 1; the movement cost for sea units (sea and transport) is also increased by one on sea and reefs (not shore); the movement cost for infantries is increased by 1 on plains and woods and by 2 on mountains; the movement cost for Heavy Infantries is increased by 1 on mountains, and movement cost for tread and tires units is increased by one on plains and woods.

Finally, there is also the option of random weather. With it you start the game on clear weather and there is a 16% chance that the weather will change to either rain or snow (8% each). This weather in question lasts one turn and immediately turns back to clear weather.

Unit Stats

--Land Units--

-Infantry-
Cost: 1000
Move: 3 (foot)
Vision: 2
Fuel: 99

-Heavy Infantry- (aka Mech)
Cost: 2500
Move: 2 (Mech)
Vision: 2
Fuel: 70


-Recon-
Cost: 4000
Move: 8 (Tires)
Vision: 5
Fuel: 80

-APC-
Cost: 5000
Move: 6 (Treads)
Vision: 1
Fuel: 70

-Anti-Air-
Cost: 8000
Move: 6 (Treads)
Vision: 2
Fuel: 60

-Tank-
Cost: 7000
Move: 6 (Treads)
Vision: 3
Fuel: 60

-Heavy Tank- (aka MdTank)
Cost: 14000
Move: 5 (Treads)
Vision: 1
Fuel: 50

-Artillery-
Cost: 6000
Move: 5 (Treads)
Vision: 1
Fuel: 50
Range: 2-3 spaces

-Rocket Launcher-
Cost: 13000
Move: 5 (Tires)
Vision: 1
Fuel: 50
Range: 3-5 spaces

-Missile-
Cost: 10000
Move: 5 (Tires)
Vision: 6
Fuel: 50
Range: 2-6 spaces

--Air Units--

-Helicopter- (aka T-copter)
Cost: 5000
Move: 6 (Air)
Vision: 2
Fuel: 99 + 2 per turn

-Gunship- (aka B-copter)
Cost: 9000
Move: 6 (Air)
Vision: 3
Fuel: 99 + 2 per turn

-Fighter-
Cost: 18000
Move: 9 (Air)
Vision: 2
Fuel: 99 + 5 per turn

-Bomber-
Cost: 18000
Move: 7 (Air)
Vision: 2
Fuel: 99 + 5 per turn

--Naval Units--

-Lander-
Cost: 10000
Move: 6 (Trans)
Vision: 1
Fuel: 99 + 1 per turn

-Cruiser-
Cost: 18000
Move: 6 (Ship)
Vision: 3
Fuel: 99 + 1 per turn

-Sub-
Cost: 20000
Move: 5 (Sub)
Vision: 5
Fuel: 60 + 1 per turn (5 while dived)
Special: Can only be hit by subs and cruisers when submerged. Also can only be seen if you have an unit adjacent to it.

-B(attle) Ship-
Cost: 24000
Move: 5
Vision: 2
Fuel: 99 + 1 per turn
Range: 2-6

Damage Chart

(credit goes to the WWN crew)
(1 is the primary weapon and 2 is the secondary weapon)
Code:
                                                
               Inf    Mech  Recon Tank Mdtank APC  Arty Rocket AAir Missile Fighter Bomber Bcopter Tcopter Bship Cruiser Lander Sub
Infantry (1)   55     45    12    05   1      14   15   25     5       25   --      --     7       30      --    --      --     --
Mech     (1)   --     --    70    55   15     65   70   85     65      85   --      --     --      --      --    --      --     --
Mech     (2)   65     55    18    6    1      20   32   35     6       35   --      --     9       35      --    --      --     --
Recon    (1)   75     65    35    6    1      45   45   55     4       28   --      --     10      35      --    --      --     --
Tank     (1)   --     --    85    55   15     65   70   85     65      85   --      --     --      --      1     5       10     1
Tank     (2)   85     70    40    6    1      45   45   55     5       30   --      --     10      40      --    --      --     --
Mdtank   (1)   --     --    105   85   55      95  105  105    105     105  --      --     --      --      10    30      35     10
Mdtank   (2)   105    95    45    8    1      45   45   55     7       35   --      --     12      45      --    --      --     --
Artillery(1)   90     85    80    70   45     70   75   80     75      80   --      --     --      --      35    60      55     60
Rocket   (1)   95     90    90    80   55     80   80   85     85      90   --      --     --      --      55    70      60     85
A-Air    (1)   115    105   60    25   10     50   50   55     45      55   40      50     100     100     --    --      --     --
Missile  (1)   --     --    --    --   --     --   --   --     --      --   100     100    120     120     --    --      --     --
Fighter  (1)   --     --    --    --   --     --   --   --     --      --   55      100    100     100     --    --      --     --
Bomber   (1)   110    110   105   105  95     105  105  105    95      105  --      --     --      --      75    70      95     95
Bcopter  (1)   --     --    55    55   25     60   65   65     25      65   --      --     --      --      25    25      25     25
Bcopter  (2)   75     75    30    6    1      20   25   35     6       35   --      --     65      95      --    --      --     --
Bship    (1)   95     90    90    80   55     80   80   85     85      90   --      --     --      --      50    95      95     95
Cruiser  (1)   --     --    --    --   --     --   --   --     --      --   --      --     --      --       5    25      15     90
Cruiser  (2)   --     --    --    --   --     --   --   --     --      --   70      85     110     110     --    --      --     --
Sub      (1)   --     --    --    --   --     --   --   --     --      --   --      --     --      --      65    25      95     55


Terrain Stats

-Plains-
Defense: 1 star
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 2 Tread- 1 Air- 1

-Road-
Defense: 0 stars
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 1 Tread- 1 Air- 1

-Forest-
Defense: 2 stars
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 3 Tread- 2 Air- 1
Special: In FOW, units hidden here can only be seen by adjacent units.

-Mountain-
Defense: 4 stars
Movement: Infantry- 2 Mech- 1 Air- 1
Special: Infantry units add 3 to their vision range from here.

-River-
Defense: 0 stars
Movement: Infantry- 2 Mech- 1 Air- 1

-Sea-
Defense: 0 stars
Movement: Ships- 1 Trans- 1 Air- 1

-Beach- (aka shore)
Defense: 0 stars
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 1 Tread- 1 Air- 1 Trans- 1

-Reef-
Defense: 1 star
Movement: Ships- 2 Trans- 2 Air- 1
Special: In FOW, units hidden here can only be seen by adjacent units.

-Void- (aka new terrain)
Defense: You can't come here
Movement: It can't be traversed by any unit

-City-
Defense: 3 stars
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 1 Tread- 1 Air- 1
Special: Repairs land units for 2 hp and gives 1000G income every turn.

-Headquarters-
Defense: 4 stars
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 1 Tread- 1 Air- 1
Special: Repairs land units for 2 hp and gives 1000G income every turn. Also, you lose if this is captured. On Multiplayer games the players that captures a HQ gets all that army's properties.

-Base-
Defense: 3 stars
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 1 Tread- 1 Air- 1
Special: Deploys Land units, repairs them for 2 hp and gives 1000G income every turn.

-Port-
Defense: 3 stars
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 1 Tread- 1 Air- 1
Special: Deploys Sea units, repairs them for 2 hp and gives 1000G income every turn.

-Airport-
Defense: 3 stars
Movement: Infantry- 1 Mech- 1 Tires- 1 Tread- 1 Air- 1
Special: Deploys Air units, repairs them for 2 hp and gives 1000G income every turn.

Damage Formula

(Simplified version of the one on WWN. Kudos to them again)

Damage = ( BD * AH) * (( 100 - TC * DH ) / 100) )

BD = Base Damage, as in, the damage listed on the damage chart
AH = Attacking Unit HP/10
TC = Terrain Cover. Add 10 per terrain star.
DH= Defense Unit HP/10

Luck Formula

(Credit goes to Terr's topic of Formulae)

Luck is the percent that will be included on the damage output regardless of the unit you are using/facing. It ranges from 0% to the maximum luck damage, calculated by the formula below.

M = LHD - 1

M = Actual Maximum luck damage, which is the max damage you will add to the damage output
L = Ideal Maximum Luck Damage. It is 10% by definition....because IS wanted it to. The exception goes for luck COs, but you don't have them here right now.
H = HP/10. 9HP is 0.9, 3hp is 0.3, etc.
D = Defense Factor of the opposing unit. At this stage it is basically 100 - Terrain Cover x Hp/10

Total Possible Damage

Damage + M (Actual Maximum Luck Damage)

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Last edited by CO_Frosty on Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:06 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:41 am 
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If I remember correctly, luck just adds a random amount of damage between 0% and 10% to the final damage. Some of the COs have different luck ranges (like Flak or Nell), but it's still just randomly chosen in a uniform distribution over that range.

So, something like ( BD * AH) * (( 100 - TC * DH ) / 100) ) + luck

By the way, speaking of unit balance, I like what DoR did with the prices of mechs and infantry.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:20 am 
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Hvy inf can be brought down to 2500 all right but I don't think the inf cost nerf is necessary. Infantry in DoR generally is just barely useful with bikes and mech stealing the show.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:08 am 
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@Urusan: The 0-10% part I remember. Actually it is more like 0-9.9%, since luck never reaches 10%. But there are some other factors. For example, I remember that the maximum luck is multiplied by the hp, so a 4hp tank can deal up to 4% extra damage, and I believe it is also multiplied by 200 - Defense Value, so a 10hp tank can deal up to 8% extra damage to another 10hp tank on a forest. But I am not sure of the order and if there is any another factor, so I will need to do some research <_<;.

As for the Heavy Infantry and Infantry thinge, I was thinking on making the HvInfantry more viable, in a way that it could be the infantry type to be used on the frontlines and keep the regular infantry was a resource-collector. Err...in other words the I am all for a price reduction for the HInfantry and maybe a movement boost and a small power nerf to compensate. As for the regular infantry...I have no idea...maybe a tiny little def nerf to compensate the lack of power boosts (5% at most) or...I don't know.

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:45 pm 
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K, uh, sorry for the delay. Yesterday was a busy day of sorts.

So, here are some ideas. I would present more, but I would need my old balance topic and I can't seem to find it <_<:

DISCLAIMER: Comment please.

Sea:

The main reason you use sea units are to support your land units in two ways: transportation and indirect support, aka Landers and Bships (I know cruisers can copters...but that isn't by far it's primary function). In other words, if you create a situation where the player will actually deploy landers and battleships, you are game, since both attract subs, which attracts cruisers and everybody is happy.

So that will be our focus for sea units. Keep it in mind, k?

Anyway, back to the units, let's start with the obvious stuff:

Landers

There is not much you can do about Landers, except for the usual price drop. So let's go with that.

12000G->10000G

Bship

The two main problems about the Bship are it's huge price and the fact that eventually it WILL be beaten by land indirects. Since it needs to be close to the shore to actually deal some damage to the land units that actually matter (read: that aren't lost infantries you forgot to move), artilleries are usually able to attack it and if you use 2 artilleries you will be able to either scare it away or take out a chunk of its health in one turn after the Bship attacks (5hp minimum) and even win in the end if the opponent keeps the bship there.

So, I am going to address said problems. It may be a bit more than necessary, but it is easier to test that way.

28000G->24000G

DoR reduced to 25000G, but I wanted to be different :D. Actually it makes deploying 2 artilleries (12000G) to take out 5hp of a Bship (12000G) not as good of a strategy (but still quite good).

Defensive Damage:
Artillery: 40%->35%

small change actually, but it has a reason. With that small change you have a better chance (about 66%) of being left out with 6hp instead of 5 after the attack of a 10hp and a 2hp (a Bship attack takes out 80%) artilleries.

Submarine: 55%->65%

Since the entire point of subs is to fight off Bships, it only makes sense that it deals damage enough to cripple it after the first attack, with or without reef cover (and considering that cruisers will deal a hefty 95% damage next turn, one attack is all you'll get sometimes).

Subs

For the most part, Subs don't really have a problem, except for the big price common to all sea units and the annoying 50% chance of leaving a lander alive and being promptly destroyed by a nearby cruiser. BUT I feel that an OHKO on Landers would cause more harm than good, so...er...not many changes.

20000G->18000G

Offence Damage:

Battleship: 65%


Cruiser

I think we all know that the AW1 cruiser is a bit too fragile against air units, so I will just copy and paste here the changes Xen made a long time ago.

Defending Damage:
- Heavy Tank (mdtank): 50 to 30%
- Arty: 65 to 60%
- Rocket: 85 to 75%
- Bomber: 85% to 70%
- Gunship (bcopter): 50 to 25%
- Cruiser: 0% to 25%

Offence Damage:
- Battleship: 0% to 5%
- Cruiser: 0% to 25%
- Lander: 0% to 15%
- Fighter: 55% to 70%
- Bomber: 65% to 85%
- Gunship (Bcopter): 115% to 110%
- Helicopter (Tcopter): 115% to 110%

That seems to be good enough.


I will edit in/post the air changes later today. There aren't much (mostly price tweak on the planes and some damage tweaking maybe on the bcopter).

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:15 am 
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OBVIOUS CRAP GOES HERE

Missles 2-5/6 range 10000G
Rocket 14000G
Increase damage to inf.
Heavy inf. 2500G
Heavy tank 14000G
Lander 9000G

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:50 am 
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i liked the destroyer, not that I used it
cause no one plays sea maps

crazy suggestions here:
lander 5,000
cruiser 10,000
sub 11,000
bship 20,000

I'd make battleships even lower but I also don't want to deal with them. meh


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:46 pm 
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FYI I have added a design document page for Ad Hoc Wars on the wiki: http://www.customwars.com/wiki/index.ph ... n_document

I believe this is better than having the design split between multiple topics that only one person can edit.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:36 am 
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FYI i'm the one who put the information into tidy tables because people seem to think you can just copy-paste something into a wiki and have it neatly formatted automatically

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:41 am 
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Thanks, I was intending to figure out myself how to format it later but now that you did it I don't need to! ^__^


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:46 am 
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if there's one thing I learned from CW, it's that we should balance around maps, or at least heavily consider them

the goal shouldn't be to make "awbw, but balanced" in my mind, because I assume the hope is that the game won't be using just all awbw maps, or all x0 maps, or all IS maps, in the long run. For a time, there were two tier lists for AWDoR because the actually accessible metagame (random wifi) was quite a bit different from ladder play (which generally used awbw maps). x0 maps also changed the dynamic a lot in CW from what I recall, and made a lot of our balance changes irrelevant or flat out terrible.

if anything, the goal should be "make units/COs that are balanced and allow for a variety of playstyles over a variety of maps." awbw can be a stally piece of trash on some maps, but relatively entertaining on others, which eventually became the standard; those same standard awbw-style maps are, as I recall, not particularly balanced when it comes to DoR play for some reason or another.

I'm not saying I know how to do it, but for unit and CO balance to support a number of different map "styles" that could accumulate over time is probably a direction we should be looking to go in, as map variety is as good a way as any to improve metagame variety. that said, it'd probably be a lot of work to be thorough about it, but at least taking it into consideration would probably be a good idea if you ask me

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:25 pm 
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@rifton: I will probably do something along those lines.

@kiwi: I prefer to be more conservative at the begining <_<;. But if it doesn't work out, I will heavily consider going radical.

@IBVG:

You remember me of the arguments I had with UltraStorm back when I asked AWBW for opinions.

I admit that you are probably right. Balance, at some point, needs take in heavy consideration the different kinds of maps we play on. Maybe by using the good ones as examples we can something more solid than the mess I did last time :D. BUT, for that we need one thing: testing on different maps. At this point we are trying to create a....errr....alfa version of balance to be tested, refined and then included on the official release of Ad Hoc Wars which is an attempt to create a workable engine..or something like that, which means that further testing and improving will happen and new plugins will be added and tested. Long story short, I agree with you that maps should be taken in consideration when we balance, and a truly balanced metagame should be balanced on most kinds of maps, but not at this initial point, me think. Probably after we launch Ad Hoc Wars or after at least we start the more practical testing we can move on to this kind of analysis. But only then, otherwise we will be drowning ourselves in theorymon (I mean theorycraft! god damn it stop you poke addiction).

So, uh, I will try to wipe out a model that is....uh....similar to what you can consider "AWBW, only balanced". After it is implemented somewhere, we will test on different enviroments and make the proper changes. I assume that you will help us out and play some games, right? :D.



Anyway, back to the model, I guess.

Air

Air's role in the game, like sea, is to support land units. The difference here is that ii provides the exact opposite type of support of sea. While the latter provides an indirect support and transport support with durable, slow and reliable units that have some movement issues, the former provides support with swift and fragile transports with great movement type and glass cannons that hit hard and die just as hard (the exception being the fighter, that is the anti-metagame unit of air and all). By definition a glass cannon (and a fragile transport) is an unit you are willing to sacrifice and if you are willing to sacrifice an unit, you can bet your entire china collection that it is affordable. The copters are affordable, but the bomber and the fighter aren't, so I am going to get an axe and chop chop chop.

Bomber:
22000G->18000G

Fighter:
20000G->18000G

Not as much as the radical in me would want, but a journey starts with the first step, right? 18000G was the chosen value here because it is twice the cost of a copter. A bomber has the potential to cause as much havoc as two copters on bigger land units, using up one less airport and unit, but it is unable to hit air units and is more vulnerable to traps. In theory it seems a fair trade if you got money to spare (yeah right). So yeah.

Oh and the fighter has the same price 'cause I don't think it is good for the bomber to have a sure-fire counter that is faster, OHKOes and is cheaper.

I won't suggest modifications for the copters. Like tanks, they are very often used, so any modification on them may have a bigger impact than you would want to. Also, I can't think on any specific problem of them.


Sorry, but no ground for now. I haven't forgotten about this. But there are so many things going on that I had to slow down here. Anyway, I will try to add my planned ground changes as soon as I finish them. This will take more time because I will actually have to try to do the impossible and do something about infantries >_>. The only thing I know is that most changes I'll suggest will happen to the heavy infantry, not the infantry (which will probably only receive a small defense nerf...no extra OHKOs, just tanks dealing 6hp of damage on cities instead of 5 and stuff like that). Also Mdtanks will have its cost reduced, missiles will be boosted, rockets will be adjusted and I will try to do something about the APCs. But I need time (and opinions) for these particular changes.

See ya then.

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:55 am 
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We should keep this relatively conservative for the simple reason we aren't planning to spend ages on balancing Ad Hoc Wars. We'll want to make a "real successor to CW1" at some point and we may very well take a different approach on that.

I would consider nerfing AA damage vs planes to somewhere around SFW level (25% or so). This would make bombers less fragile and consequentially help missiles and fighters as well (because you would pretty much have to answer with either one if the opponent deploys a bomber) AA would still be useful as an anti-copter/anti-infantry unit.

I don't really see why anything should be done about infantry, I never saw it as a real problem. DoR did plenty about this though, so much in fact that infantry is hardly used in high level play.

About the maps, the best way to balance the game for a variety of maps is to simply play on a variety of maps, as surprising as it may sound.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:01 am 
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Can we stick these stats onto the wiki for reference and start that game bible?


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:55 am 
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chom_chom wrote:
Can we stick these stats onto the wiki for reference and start that game bible?


They already are.
Narts added the page, then i reformatted it, as was mentioned in earlier posts in the topic.

@Frosty - suggestion: add a link to the wiki page in the first post for easy finding


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:49 am 
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@Narts: Regarding the AA vs planes suggestion, I was actually thinking on decreasing the damage done to about 50% or so. Maybe 60%. The problem with 25% is that you will pretty much have to own an airport to effectively counter a bomber or work your way out with an indirect unit. The first option is bad, because you can't guarantee that there will be two airports, one for each player, and that both will be easily acessible (thus not making possible for a more expansive player to get both of them). The second is a bit better, but not much, since you will have to rely entirely (and only, I must add) on an indirect to counter a behemoth with terrific 7 movement that flies, and we all know how unreliable an indirect can be on some maps.

Anyway you are right when you say that a damage decrease will help fighters and missiles. More the former, actually, since I can only see missiles being very useful if you are playing FOW conditions and only after it is boosted. BUT, making them better counters is one thing (probably good), but making them the ONLY counters is another thing (probably bad).


So yeah, 50% against the bomber seems like a good option in my opinion. That coupled with a small boost on the damage the bomber deals to AAs (around 105%, so it can deal 5hp of damage on plains with some luck) can lead you to a situation where, after one turn, you will lose an AA (8000G) in exchange for half a bomber (9000G), which is not that good considering that you had the first strike.


As far as infantries as concerned it is more a matter of making the heavy infantry more useful than making the infantry less useful. I mean, the only nerfs I intend to do with the common infantry are boosting recon damage from 70 to 75%, so it deals a clean 5hp damage on cities 100% of the time (52.5-59.5% I believe), while with 70% it has the annoying 1/7 chance of dealing 49% damage and not being able to stop a capture effectively; tank damage to 80-85%, so it can deal 6hp of damage with some luck (avoiding easy captures by joining infantries), and maybe a small boost to AAs as well to guarantee the OHKO on plains (110% damage will do), but that should be it. In other words, the infantry itself will be left almost unchanged, with only some small tweaks to make it not that good on the frontline (thus making the heavy infantry more useful on those situation, which is nice).

The more...radical changes will happen to the Hv Infantry, in order to make it less of a last resort defensive unit that you spam when you are desperate and more of a...frontline infantry. Consider it me testing out some alternative options for it. If it ends up not being as good as I thought on our preliminar testings, I will be more than happy to revert them to the way they were only adding the price cut.

Either way I will think about it and adjust my suggestions accordingly as soon as I find the time to do so.

@St.Johnson

Done.

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:02 am 
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A minor note on the wiki, under the "Terrain Stats" category, it shows Plains as giving 3 terrain stars. Is that intentional, or a simple mistake?

Regarding Missle units, I think it needs an overhall. All one has to do is stop his/her air unit outside of it's range on one turn, then go into it's minimum range and attack it the next. The only way I could ever get any use out of it prior, outside of Fog of War, was by keeping an Anti-air unit nearby on guard duty. With the reduced cost of Air units, that now costs more then the units it counters.

I've heard of a hack that gave them a very weak attack against land units in addition to it's anti-air abilities, and I wonder if that could be implemented, if only to give it value.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:16 am 
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UserShadow7989 wrote:
A minor note on the wiki, under the "Terrain Stats" category, it shows Plains as giving 3 terrain stars. Is that intentional, or a simple mistake?


A simple mistake.

Good job noticing it though!


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:10 pm 
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UserShadow7989 wrote:
Regarding Missle units, I think it needs an overhall. All one has to do is stop his/her air unit outside of it's range on one turn, then go into it's minimum range and attack it the next. The only way I could ever get any use out of it prior, outside of Fog of War, was by keeping an Anti-air unit nearby on guard duty. With the reduced cost of Air units, that now costs more then the units it counters.

If you surround the missile with other units such as infantry it's suddenly quite a bit more difficult to get at. I would rather not give the missile ground attack ability, this didn't seem to help much in CW1 and if this is the only way to make this unit workable I would rather remove it entirely. Ad Hoc Wars is not a clone of AW, if we think a unit is pointless we don't need to change it to something else just to include it for sake of completion.

However I do believe a good start is to nerf the anti-plane damage to somewhere around 50 (edit: for antiair) like frosty said and lowering the cost and increasing the range to 6. Additionally we might consider also bringing the minimum range down to 2. Another idea I had was making this a move+fire unit like the dor bship.


Last edited by Narts on Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:51 pm 
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I agree with everything Narts has said. Hitting ground units is fine and all, but it didn't help much in the past and, honestly, it is very hard to explain. It would be much better (and cleaner) to either remove Missiles entirely or make sure it gets the job done (which is to defeat air units and function damn well on FOW conditions) and, IMO, Narts's suggestions seem to be more than enough for now. To be more specific, the idea of giving it AWDS BShip range + general movement boost + cost decrease + stuff seems easier to work with, but if that doesn't work, the DoR Bship idea seems more than enough to make it great against air units, with the huge range and the fact that it won't put itself in a dangerous situation when attacking (unlike the AA).

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:24 pm 
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i think Narts's idea is much better then mine. On the subject of Battleships, do think it's better to have it similar to the first three AW games, or to give it the Move & Fire capabilities it had in DoR?


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:20 am 
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I would be more worried about maps then I would about units.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:55 am 
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@Sven

Hi Sven! Long time no see! >_>.

Could you be more specific? Do you worry about getting some maps makers to add new maps for Ad Hoc Wars? balancing the maps we have? Focus our balance more on the most common maps instead of focusing on the units as something considered by itself (theorycraft and all)?

To be honest, I worry about all three myself (mainly 1 and 3), but right now, I am not sure if I can do something about it personally. The third thing I've mentioned will probably be our focus when playtesting, but for that we need slighty better stats to work with (which is the point of this thread, to devise our initial stats). The other two are beyond my reach, since I have awful awful map skills.

So, uh, please be specific. For you to come here and post, I'd assume it is something important you are trying to say, so I'd like to know exactly what you mean.


Anyway, let's wrap this up before I lose interest again and leave yet another unfinished job <_<;.

Ground:

Ground is the core of an AW game. It is ground units which will get you resources (infantries and cities), bases and will be on most battles. Because of this, Ground should be capable of "surviving" by itself, with air and sea only providing support to make it work in an even better way than without then. The only exception to the rule are island maps, where you will see either sea or air support to win a match. In the end, this means that ground should have a viable counter (viable, not great or the best) to any unit built by the opponent.

That being said, let's move on the the remaining units (top to bottom):

Heavy Tank

16000G->14000G
Damage to APCs: 105%->95%

I was playing around with the idea of making it something similar to DoR Mdtank, with a big nerf and cost reduction, but after realizing that I have no experience with it and that Ad Hoc wouldn't have any powerhouse ground unit I prefered to use the safer route.

The cost reduction is pretty straightforward. 14000G is the cost of 2 tanks, so the players has the option or more versality with the tanks or more power with the Heavy Tank.

Oh, and the nerf against APCs is to make it not suck that hard.

Rockets

15000G->13000G

OK, I am not all that confident about this change in particular, but it is quite simple in theory. Rockets were a bit too expensive on our extremely offensive and fast metagame, so I had to decrease the price to make it more viable. But it shouldn't be too much to make it easily deployable, since mass rockets = more stall (the bigger range and the extra blind spot means that it is supposed to move less than the artillery and it is less able of being used in an offensive manner). So I just reduced as much as the Mdtank.

Missiles

Movement: 4->5
12000G->10000G
Range: 3-5 -> 2-6 (Bship range)
Vision: 5->6 (this reminds me, I need to add stuff about FOW and Weather to the First Post)

No. No Ground attacking stuff. Since the game is new, I don't think it would be nice to stretch that much (although the void is proving me wrong here :D).

So yeah, I did what I said I would. Bship range + cost reduction, so maybe it will be more used. If it doesn't work, I will make it move and attack like Narts suggested, but I don't think it will be necessary, mainly due to the AA nerf below.

Anti-Air

Damage to:
Infantries: 105%->115%
Copters (Helicopter and Gunship): 120%->100%
Bombers: 75%->50%
Fighters: 55%->40%

Basically what I said I would do. The boost against infantries enables the OHKO on roads and plains and, if my calculations/knownledge about luck is correct it shouldn't be able to OHKO on woods (damage done is 92% and luck adds up to 7.9 extra damage to it, so the maximum damage to 99.9...but I am not 100% sure if luck works that way, so correct me if I am wrong). The nerf aganist copters is to make them not as good if crippled, thus giving a fighting chance to the missiles (and yet, it is still DAMN good against them if it has full health). Last but not least, the nerf against planes (as suggested by Narts) makes the Bomber win even if the AA gets first strike, unless it has great terrain cover, and the fighter is still capable of crippling air units even after one attack. Hopefully those changes will make missiles more common (and won't break the metagame :D).

Tank

Damage to Infantries: 75%->85%
Damage to APCs: 75%->65%

Unlike the last generations, we don't have COs with damage boosts and all, so OHKOing the infantry is impossible. Keep it in mind, though, that we may have to go back to 75% once plugins are programmed, so we avoid the OHKO on roads by 120% power tanks.

Anyway, the boost is to make the attack on cities deal 6hp of damage with a little luck, so it is capable of stopping a capture by joining infantries. I don't know, it seemed important, heh.

And the APC boost is to make it impossible to OHKO it with a Tank + Infantry attack. I find it incredibly disappointing for an Armored Personal Carrier to be KOed by the attacks of the two most common units of this game.

Artillery

Nothing here <_<;. It seems fine as is.

APC

Damage from:
Tanks: 75%->65%
HvInfantry: 75%->65%
HvTank: 105%->95%

Oh God.

Here is a change: map makers, make bigger maps, k? >_>.

Anyway, the changes are to make it impossible to KO an APC with a HvInfantry and an Infantry or a tank and an Infantry and to make it less easy to KO it with a HvTank.

I was also considering boosting capacity to 2 like Xen did at some point and decreasing the cost, but I am not sure. Opinions please?

Recon

Damage to Infantries: 70%->75%
Damage from HvInfantries: 85%->70%

The nerf against infantries is to make it deal 5hp of damage on cities 100% of the time instead of the 86% odds it had previously. Also it has no chance of dealing 6hp of damage, so no worries, little will change.

The reduced damage dealt by HvInfantry is to make it stop capturing the city in order to deal with the recon.

HvInfantry

3000G->2500G

Damage to Recons: 85%->70%
Damage to APCs: 75%->65%

Remember how I said I would drastically change the HvInfantry? Well, I changed my mind. We don't have the time to try out my crazy theories and I am not sure if it would indeed benefit the metagame. So, I will put it away for now and bring it back if necessary.

Anyway, the changes here were explained before, so let's move on.

Infantry

Damage from tanks: 75%->85%
Damage from Recons: 70%->75%
Damage from AAs: 105%->115%

All explained before. Little changed.




And that should be all about the units. So, to sum it up, here are all the changes I am proposing. I will add them to the First Post as soon as we adjust the stuff and I get the OK from people here.

Sea
Lander
12000G->10000G
BShip
28000G->24000G
Defensive Damage:
Artillery: 40%->35%
Submarine: 55%->65%
Subs
20000G->18000G
Offense Damage:
Battleship: 55->65%
Cruiser
Defending Damage:
- Heavy Tank (mdtank): 50 to 30%
- Arty: 65 to 60%
- Rocket: 85 to 75%
- Bomber: 85% to 70%
- Gunship (bcopter): 50 to 25%
- Cruiser: 0% to 25%
Offence Damage:
- Battleship: 0% to 5%
- Cruiser: 0% to 25%
- Lander: 0% to 15%
- Fighter: 55% to 70%
- Bomber: 65% to 85%
- Gunship (Bcopter): 115% to 110%
- Helicopter (Tcopter): 115% to 110%
Air
Bomber
22000->18000G
Defensive Damage:
AA: 75%->50%
Fighter
20000->18000G
Defensive Damage:
AA: 55%->40%
Copters (both)
Defensive Damage:
AA: 120->100%
Ground
Heavy Tank
16000G->14000G
Damage to APCs: 105%->95%
Rockets
15000G->13000G
Missiles
Movement: 4->5
12000G->10000G
Range: 3-5 -> 2-6 (Bship range)
Vision: 5->6
Anti-Air
Damage to:
Infantries: 105%->115%
Copters (Helicopter and Gunship): 120%->100%
Bombers: 75%->50%
Fighters: 55%->40%
Tank
Damage to Infantries: 75%->85%
Damage to APCs: 75%->65%
APC
Damage from:
Tanks: 75%->65%
HvInfantry: 75%->65%
HvTank: 105%->95%
Recon
Damage to Infantries: 70%->75%
Damage from HvInfantries: 85%->70%
HvInfantry
3000G->2500G
Damage to Recons: 85%->70%
Damage to APCs: 75%->65%
Infantry
Damage from tanks: 75%->85%
Damage from Recons: 70%->75%
Damage from AAs: 105%->115%

*yawn* I am tired. So, people, what do you think? did I forget anything? Where did I mess up?

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:49 am 
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Feel free to add the changes to the wiki article. That should be considered the official design document.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:28 am 
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Wiki updated, i'll keep the wiki up to date with the contents of frosty's most recent posts (unless someone gets there before me)


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:01 am 
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http://awbw.amarriner.com/prevmaps.php?maps_id=14555
http://awbw.amarriner.com/prevmaps.php?maps_id=10419
http://awbw.amarriner.com/prevmaps.php?maps_id=26098
http://awbw.amarriner.com/prevmaps.php?maps_id=25087

Mapmakers seem to find starting you with nothing and watching you expand from there incredibly appealing. Unfortunately there's basically no point to this - we all know that 99% of the time there is one optimal way to expand, and that anyone worth facing already knows it. Is the "two base one hq give other dude an inf counter" system what you want to encourage with your new game? A simple way to trounce new players while forcing good ones to wait 5+ days before any real conflict?

Anyway - the land war has been tested to death, I don't think you're going to need to worry about it. It takes absolutely massive changes to fuck it up to the point where it's unrecognizable.

All I'm saying is that remember to devote the proper amount of time to testing and playing on maps that you'd actually like to see played - whether they be x0, generic AWBW, IS, or pre-2006 AWN style.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:29 am 
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The object of this project (Ad Hoc Wars) is to produce an AW style game based on original content, with the least amount of time and effort possible. This means, we are most likely to just balance it for the current selection of CW maps after which we probably move on to make a different game based on more grandiose premises. AHW is essentially a “placeholder”, we're still trying to make it a good game, but we're not going to spend months after months on perfecting it.

Otherwise you are making a good point about the needlessness of the capture phase in a typical game of AW. I have been long of the opinion that it is better to give the players a good amount of starting properties and predeployed units and only leave neutral properties to be something you fight over to throw the balance in your favour, not something you need to desperately grab just to be able to raise an army.


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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:25 am 
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I updated the first post with the changes, stuff related to FOW, to weather and the luck formula (many thanks to Terr and his topic of formulae at WWN).

As far as I am concerned I am finished here. I don't intend to change FOW this time...not until I have a better reasoning other than "making it like DoR is a good way to play people play it, since it is closer to clear". In other words I could use more testing of it.



@Sven: In theory a player should be able to harass the other player's capture. This is the reason why we have recons and why we can see the other player's capture in the first place. If it weren't that way, we could just play in FOW conditions, do our predefined capture phase and then start the battle at that turn when capture phase is finished (and since the optimal process is known to both players, both of them will know when the battle will start). What I am trying to say is that if harassing isn't a good strategy, the map makers aren't blame (at least not only them), it is also the fault of the current unit system. In other words, if we believe that this is indeed a problem (I am not saying I do or don't...I have no opinion right now) then we should consider the possibility of revamping things here and there to fix it.

As for the "test on different maps" part, Narts is correct. At this point we have absolutely no great map makers active on this project (we have people who make good maps, but I'm afraid none are...errr...for the lack of a better word "professionals"), so we will use pretty much only the maps we have right now. Fortunately there are several different kinds of maps on it (thanks x0) so we should be able to conduct tests in a satisfactory manner.

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 Post subject: Re: Ad Hoc Wars Balance Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:07 am 
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Good job, thanks

With this information we could get a prototype build duct-taped together, does anyone want to do it? I might look into it, but I'm kinda occupied atm


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