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I think water balance should be open season

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AUrankSnuggleBass
19 months ago
Balls to wall. I think we should be highly experimental because atm we have nothing to lose.

[Spoiler]

Relevant thread: http://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/21082?page=1&Search=&User=&grorder=&grdesc=False&grpage=1
+5 / -0

RUrankivand
19 months ago
Agree, sea is not good. As an experiment I got rid of the sonar in my spin-off, so that every radar provides both radar & sonar capabilities, same for jammers. Active stealth capability can be used in water. If needed sea can now resemble land as close as possible in ZKE. Many people, whom opinion I respect, believe this is a good base for water balance redesign.

Having that said, in order to proceed any further, someone needs to sketch how things would interact. Since I've never been a good sea player, I expected USrankRyMarq could help here, but last time I checked with him, he was quite busy. So any sane ideas would be appreciated here or on ZKE thread.
+2 / -0




AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
19 months ago
I've said it before: there is no point making sea match land. We have plenty of land maps. I think it is better to remove pure sea than to just make the pure sea maps into a copy of pure land maps. One large difference between sea and land is that sea factories are significantly less self contained. Pure Amph/Hover/Ships lategame may be as unviable as pure Gunships. This is more down to a lack of units than design but I think it could work out. Players need to take this into account more when playing.

In particular
quote:
Games get very porcy, because urchin is very powerful and some facs have difficulty dealing with them altogether. This means in order for a game to be won there almost certainly needs to be a prolonged siege.
I think this mindset needs to be forgotten when you play sea. There is some very powerful artillery in sea but not in all factories.

I think scouting in sea is different to scouting on land. Most land factories have a scout and many of the scouts do fairly similar things. Sea has many different great scouts spread across the factories; Halberd, Vulture, Skeeter. If you are 1v1 in sea you probably need to use three factories and in a teamgame you need to coordinate your factory strengths across the frontline.

I'm not exactly disagreeing with the OP but you have weird points:
quote:
Water fights are boring. Too many units do very average things. There's high unit overlap, and low unit diversity.
quote:
If I want to use a typhoon I must also have hunters and shredders along, units that are boring and overly specialised towards countering units the opponent might not even be making.
So there is too much specialization and generalization?

Are you sure Shredders suck against planes? I recall them destroying planes.

I don't think there is nothing to lose with sea. The structure is good enough that I would want to play sea games to know what to change (do you want to 1v1?). I'd say at least half the units are good and I am not sure how many need to be good. It is not clear that Scalpel and Mace need to be good at sea.

RUrankivand USrankRyMarq already did an implementation. My major changes since then are a large buff to torpedo damage because his torpedoes were so weak they felt bad to use.
+2 / -0

LVrankSenaven
19 months ago
(edited 19 months ago)

Shredders is OP vs slow moving targets like gunships (krow, brawler, rapier) but vs planes its innacurate nad perform poor except vs slow diving ravens who can be killed even by scorcers and no aa stuff.. Its hard to balance.
Amphs need artilery for sure.
Not just porcing is problem, but sight. Large problem is sonar plane critical dependency, sea sonar is too vulnarable to arthy and its not mobile. Flying sonar is too easy kill with aa. I cant kill with arthy what i cant see and most porcy sea games for me is lost not becasue porc but sonar problems. Ships easy deal with porc. They have powerfull arthy and sub sniper. I think sonar should be underwater or special mobile unit is needed on water as well.
If clymore will be nerfed then hovers need another option vs underwater. They cant counter sub and scallop balls withouth clymore.
Only solid facoty on sea who weorks overall well is ships. Amphs lack arthy but they are powerfull in masses, hovers is just glass units who have problems with porc and subs (because you need be very good player to use clymore and stay alive) while penetrator is horribly long reload range even with it ultra heavy attack. Gunships is easy killed by shredders and other sea aa porc. Planes raven suck at ship aa and when appears static aa then they are useless for most game.
Sea battle problem is that they in later game tend become just large range excanges not intense battle like serpents vs serpents where appears porc who you cant see without sonar planes evenb if you have arthy.
Also levitian is one of most useless sea unit as straider. Only fetishists use it.
I don't speak about 1vs1 sea battle. Only for team games.

+0 / -0


CHrankConnetable
19 months ago
But as you should know, ZK is not balanced around team games ^^
+0 / -0

LVrankSenaven
19 months ago
I know that Zero K is balanced about 1vs1. Also reef anyway was nerfed not for 1vs1 reasons because who build 1vs1 reefs except new players in 1 hour 1vs1 or ffa games... And pure sea games in 1vs1 is more rearely then team games.
+1 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
19 months ago
quote:
So there is too much specialization and generalization?

Yes. Somehow. Hunter and typhoon are the same unit with jigged numbers. They're a relatively mobile riot with similar weight class. They differ only in power/cost vs. generalisability. One isn't hard countered by subs, but in turn has thoroughly unexciting prospects for playmaking. Being forced to use three units together that all move at similar speeds and do basically the same things to different domains is not healthy diversity.

quote:
Are you sure Shredders suck against planes? I recall them destroying planes.

I've seen wyverns make successful runs against their cost in shredders, repair, and continue to whittle down shredder numbers with subsequent runs. Literally going toe to toe with their dedicated counter and winning. It's possible that the shredders may have needed better positioning so they all start firing at the same time, but the ratios aren't favourable enough to produce a dedicated counter that only provides adequate protection with considerable density. To stop a wyvern making cost on a typical large water map would require upwards of 10 shredders, otherwise all your boats are sunk. It's not doable.

To be fair, while it is a salient memory, it was a while ago. Maybe tests should be done.

Yeah I'm happy to play some games. I'm rusty and haven't really played much sea since scallop changes, but I was already outmatched so what's the harm ^-^

quote:
I think this mindset needs to be forgotten when you play sea. There is some very powerful artillery in sea but not in all factories.


The urchin is powerful, and it leads to sieges, which only hover/ship can do. Yes the artillery is powerful, but it's also an inevitable situation a lot of the time. Compare to LV, who can siege people down, but often win with scorchers or ravagers.

As for comparison to land, I agree. I don't think there's a point to having an entire second game that is exactly like the first. If we want water to be a thing it needs to work differently to land. I think it also needs to interact well with what land there is.

I'll also rephrase, I don't think there's nothing to lose, but changes are reversible, and there isn't any active sea game scene to disrupt by experimenting with changes.

+1 / -0

ITrankOldGhostStalker
19 months ago
Grizzlies have the longest range between assault if I recall. And they stay submerged while not firing
+0 / -0

USrankCapricis
19 months ago
(edited 19 months ago)

I know we're talking about broad changes, but can I ask about this minor thing: Why is sonar so expensive? Costs 450. Pre-amphib, I can see it might be because there were very few things you need to detect with sonar. But now this entire fac needs sonar to deal with. I don't have a lot of experience in sea maps, but the difference in sonar vs radar cost / range seems strange with the existence of amphib.
+0 / -0


PLrankRafalpluk
19 months ago
(edited 19 months ago)

quote:
Not just porcing is problem, but sight. Large problem is sonar plane critical dependency, sea sonar is too vulnarable to arthy and its not mobile. Flying sonar is too easy kill with aa. I cant kill with arthy what i cant see and most porcy sea games for me is lost not becasue porc but sonar problems. Ships easy deal with porc. They have powerfull arthy and sub sniper. I think sonar should be underwater or special mobile unit is needed on water as well.

I totally agree Sonar is too critical now. For example there was a game where I fought against single enemy player in a sea lane, ships vs ships. My air player made me a sonar plane before enemy did and I could harass enemy with my subs and make cost every time. Then my enemy made a sonar, and the fight suddenly became equal. Later enemy Swiftball came and shot down my sonar plane, and suddenly I started losing badly. I tried building static sonar, but by that time enemy achieved air superiority, and the fragile sonar was dying to swifts every time...
This example shows how critical sonar is. At the same time it forces sea player to be dependent on air player, or to make expensive and fragile static sonar. Static sonar which survival of depends mostly on luck, because it can die every moment to random swifts, a shot from crusader or to a single halberd.



quote:
quote:
Are you sure Shredders suck against planes? I recall them destroying planes.

I've seen wyverns make successful runs against their cost in shredders, repair, and continue to whittle down shredder numbers with subsequent runs. Literally going toe to toe with their dedicated counter and winning. It's possible that the shredders may have needed better positioning so they all start firing at the same time, but the ratios aren't favourable enough to produce a dedicated counter that only provides adequate protection with considerable density. To stop a wyvern making cost on a typical large water map would require upwards of 10 shredders, otherwise all your boats are sunk. It's not doable.

I can confirm this. It is too hard to counter Wyvern with Shredders alone. They are inaccurate at range, especially versus quickly turning Wyvern, and even more inaccurate when out of LOS. Wyvern can instagib a Shredder then turn back and come out of LOS, before receiving much damage. Then repair, come back and gib another Shredder etc. It became a bigger problem recently since Wyvern is the most often built bomber these days, because others simply suck.
+0 / -0

USrank_Shaman
19 months ago
(edited 19 months ago)

Sonar must die in a burning vat of molten hatred in the deepest pit of hell. What would be nice:

- [Sonar Standardization] Unarmed units (Such as Cons) and support units (Reef,Surfboard) get 1.5x their LOS as sonar. These could act as sort of a peer into the fog just a little bit, but not a lot. Armed units sonar is set to their LOS. Fragile sonar (static/plane) becomes less mandatory as a force comp and become actual support units.
- [Surfboard Buff] Surfboard becomes more usable and can support heavier units. Health becomes 1500-1750 and can support cata/dante/funnel/goli/tremor/griz. Surfboard can also pick up UW allied units now. Surfboard also gains a dgun that forcibly ejects its occupant, tossing it into the air in a forward direction. This will allow a lot more varied strategies at sea which will solve part of the surface problem. Some potential applications: Tossing roaches at amphclusters, skuttling reefs, tossing amphibs over enemy porculons, allowign heavy land arty to bombard sea porc.
- [Sonar repurpose] Sonar becomes a buildable unit from cons. It's a 40-60m underwater scout named the "Squid" or something. It's a moderately fast unit that is meant to be a sort of forward warning / early game scout / ?.
+2 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
19 months ago
Even if the squid maintained the price of sonar, but became mobile/submergable. It's very frustrating to spend so much on a sonar just to have it lost as soon as the inevitable siege happens. If I spend that much on a unit that doesn't fight, I shouldn't be able to have it so easily blind countered. Building sonar both facilitates and forces opponents moving to siege, while you need to porc up to protect it (since you lost effective army size in making it). It's walking into a trap every time.

I also like the cheap 'weaver' sonar idea, so that you can decide to make do with frugal con placement etc.

Surfboards are a dangerous can of worms to open, they'll almost certainly degrade games with noobers trying to be overly clever with them. Do we really need another way to throw roaches? That said, it would create more interaction between sea and land units, which I think is good. Might need to introduce a way of fishing your units from the bottom of the sea, because frequent surfboard use would lead to a lot of stuff being sent there. It'd be like reclaim but for idle units :P
+2 / -0

USrank_Shaman
19 months ago
(edited 19 months ago)

I also stated in my idea that surfboard could pick up units. Ideally my dgun idea would not be just another roach launcher but also a way to lob units onto land (emergency eject/island assault? Especially with Pyros or something) or jump past defenses (with amph/hovers). Even claymore could be combined with it to allow it to get the drop on amphballs or something. This would in turn allow a "go around" solution in sea if AA was present. Allowing heavier units to get on surfboards would also allow better siege units (think: catapult) to enter the sea domain, allowing more unit variety.

Side effect: heavier artillery entering the sea domain would disallow shielded scallop death balls from gaining prominence.

On the other hand, yes, it would degrade the current state a little bit while current players attempt to figure out how to use it effectively, but at the same time, you later on allow amazing high skill creative play with it which would be cool and maybe make sea a little more interesting. As is, the surfboard isn't very interesting. There's like no units (out side of pillager or impaler) that I could think of that I want in the sea domain that it can carry. If it could carry dante, dante could basically brutalize every boat unless there's an enforcer/crusader somewhere in the mix. If it could carry funnelwebs, you could see some interesting things done with the shields. If it could carry ultis, you could do some drive-bys (if only it was faster). If it could carry heavy tanks, you could see goliaths in sea which may theoretically be pretty good against ships.

That said, a second thing would need to be added: a way to relay orders from the surfboard to the unit aboard it.
+1 / -0


AUrankSnuggleBass
19 months ago
My bad.
+0 / -0


NOrankAdminAnarchid
19 months ago
(edited 19 months ago)

Any concept that tries to preserve sonar as a separate sensor type has to consider how to make it visible.

Sonar no longer existing as a separate sensor type does not strictly make sea ZK same as land ZK, but it makes the difference softer.

Sea-only maps should not exist.
+3 / -0


PLrankRafalpluk
19 months ago
My idea for sonar would be like this:
- underwater units that are not cloaked are always visible as long as they are in LOS
- sonar is only needed to see cloaked underwater units
- sonar could be implemented using seismic pings
- cloaked underwater units would include Snake which would get cloak and would be sort of sea-Scythe, able to hunt down isolated units using wolf-pack hit-and-run tactics
- other cloaked underwater units would include comms, ulti and anything covered by cloaker field
- sonar would not be a separate building but will be included into some other utility units/buildings, such us Radar Plane, (stationary) Radar and Adv. Radar
+1 / -0

CHrankFlipstip
19 months ago
Radar decloaking seems to make cloak pretty useless..
+0 / -0


PLrankRafalpluk
19 months ago
(edited 19 months ago)

I did not mean radar coverage decloaking all units within the range, but Radar building having a (very) small seismic detector range in addition to the radar.
+0 / -0


NOrankAdminAnarchid
19 months ago
The decloaker ability only functioning when detectee is in water will feel weird, but maybe it is a workable alternative to having capped-cylinder decloak.

Seismic pings are bad. They are not targetable on their own, and also iirc they only work on ground units. There's nothing wrong with using radar blobs.
+0 / -0


CHrankConnetable
19 months ago
"Surfboard also gains a dgun that forcibly ejects its occupant, tossing it into the air in a forward direction"

That would be cool
+0 / -0
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