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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun 2015, 03:26 
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Yeah, would be nice if chemicals would at least show up for those you toggled on. So if I'm playing very competitively and have no reason to hide it from other players, my teammates can figure out if they want the chemical or not and better defend it if they notice someone trying to place something there, and a quick ping would show them the exact location instead of having them figure out where the center is once they've already reached. Makes communication a little easier without making it any less important, while in pubs you can still lead a trusted teammate there yourself for privacy.

Some additional thoughts from last match:
* Neutralizer & Insulator position on the menu should be swapped. Base is bought from base from top left, grenades are all on the left. Why is Neutralizer, the most common basic chemical, positioned to the left of Insulator instead of being at the far bottom right?

* AA is terribly unbalanced. The 200% speed boost in itself has so much applications from chasing to dodging to escaping (and you can shoot while retaining speed boost), the damage you take is already only a whopping 40% at level 1, the overheal is constant at all levels at 100%. Use AA with a shotgun(especially Spas) and you can out-DPS even the penalty that is supposed to stop you. Meanwhile, high level AA has the same amount of overheal and more protection, but without the speed boost it is much easier for the enemy to escape your DPS and the increased protection is unnecessary to the purpose of survival. In fact, a player is better off just using the 20mp 0 damage taken Force Fields to charge in instead of 25mp high level AA that gives enemy overheal and offers no faster speed than sprint. For escaping, I'd be low on mana and I would not care if the enemy overheals, but because AA costs more, FF will be my first option anyway and the decreased speed makes it harder to escape from skill damage. Cooldown is not a concern since I can easily wait it out between engagements anyway. No matter what I try, I simply couldn't find a good reason to use a higher level AA that level 1 AA already does a lot better.

EDIT:
Forgot to mention, but what if you tried to "capture" an ally's Alchemic Acid? Do you split the earnings (which I don't think is a good idea)? I know I like to put unwanted weapons into my ally's alchemy if I don't need the money or don't have my own.

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Last edited by STM1993 on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 06:12, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun 2015, 03:43 
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Qwertybeef wrote:
I was running a retarded build, and not exactly trying that hard.

Aw way to ruin my moment. :P </3

Qwertybeef wrote:
I didn't have Bionic. I literally had one base with toxic along the side of the large merc building, no other chems. I just built straight tankiness, and that's why I was unkillable.

Hm. Then in that case perhaps it was my build but it was mostly the rad/stag that killed me lol

STM1993 wrote:
AA is terribly unbalanced. The 200% speed boost in itself has so much applications from chasing to dodging to escaping (and you can shoot while retaining speed boost), the damage you take is already only a whopping 40% at level 1, the overheal is constant at all levels at 100%. Use AA with a shotgun(especially Spas) and you can out-DPS even the penalty that is supposed to stop you. Meanwhile, high level AA has the same amount of overheal and more protection, but without the speed boost it is much easier for the enemy to escape your DPS and the increased protection is unnecessary to the purpose of survival. In fact, a player is better off just using the 20mp 0 damage taken Force Fields to charge in instead of 25mp high level AA that gives enemy overheal and offers no faster speed than sprint. For escaping, I'd be low on mana and I would not care if the enemy overheals, but because AA costs more, FF will be my first option anyway and the decreased speed makes it harder to escape from skill damage. Cooldown is not a concern since I can easily wait it out between engagements anyway. No matter what I try, I simply couldn't find a good reason to use a higher level AA that level 1 AA already does a lot better.


Add in slow from BH (Which is what I use on my mental) or Stagnation and you're moving at 5X their relative speed. Imo overheal should scale, from like 200% to like 50% or something (10% per level or so) to make AA1 more of a risk and AA15 more of a real tank ability.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun 2015, 16:38 
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Good points on AA. Keep the balance suggestions coming, both for skills and chemicals. I feel that I'm getting close to finishing this first stage of graphical updates and will try release something soon. Will move on to gameplay stuff shortly (about time!).

STM1993 wrote:
Neutralizer & Insulator position on the menu should be swapped. Base is bought from base from top left, grenades are all on the left. Why is Neutralizer, the most common basic chemical, positioned to the left of Insulator instead of being at the far bottom right?


Good point. This will all be rearranged after I add in the moving and acquring chemicals anyway, but I'll keep this in mind.

STM1993 wrote:
Forgot to mention, but what if you tried to "capture" an ally's Alchemic Acid? Do you split the earnings (which I don't think is a good idea)? I know I like to put unwanted weapons into my ally's alchemy if I don't need the money or don't have my own.


I've been thinking a bit about this and I'm not sure what's best here. We'd have the same issue both for acquiring or free-sharing. Currently when a weapon expires 50% of its value is split amongst all players who have an acid there. I did this to prevent horrible cash exploits. If the reward didn't split then you could have 10 allies all build (or acquire) an acid in the exact same spot. Then one of them buys a superweapon for $10,000 and when it expires everyone gets $5000 each, for a total payout of $50000. Everyone does this once and they've all spent $10000 in total but gained $50000 in return, making $40000 out of thin air. And of course they can keep doing this over and over at this point, spamming superweapons into the acid and completely breaking the game. So this option simply cannot be allowed.

The best I can do is make the acid share go up to 100% payout and then be divided amongst all the earners. So if there are multiple players with acid in the same spot (whether they placed them separately or acquired makes no difference), the full $10000 of the superweapon is split evenly amongst all these players. But it never goes beyond 100% of the original purchase price. This prevents the exploit. So if there's just 1 player a superweapon will give them $5000. If there's 2 players they'll get $5000 each. If there's 3 players they'll get $3333 each, 4 players gets $2500 each, etc.. this is needed to prevent the exploit mentioned above.

I think this still provides an incentive to acquire an ally's acid as long as it's just the 2 of you using it. You both get $5000, whereas if you were to build your own acid separately somewhere else only one of you would get $5000 while the other gets nothing. Considering that both you AND your ally will be putting in the effort to manually drop weapons into your shared acid you stand to make more money from sharing because now you have your ally also working to help you sell guns. Twice the effort should equal roughly twice the cash return (slightly less due to passive drops). Still it pays to share in this system.

Sharing with 3 players means you'd only get $3333 for a superweapon, whereas you could get $5000 if you had an acid of your own. But you must consider that by sharing with 2 allies means that they are again helping to drop all weapons into your acid. 3x the number of active drops in your acid for $3333 still pays out more money in the long run than just you being the only player dropping the guns there for $5000. Not to mention that you save yourself $3000 from the reduced cost of acquring the chemical in the first place.

There are other benefits as well such as your allies helping to defend your chemical, making it last longer and less likely to require replacing. Furthermore with good cooperation you and your ally can take turns insulating the chemical, so you're basically getting a free $2000 whenever an ally insulates one of your chemicals for you. Probably the easiest way to do this is to share multiple chemicals with someone, and then to make each player responsible for paying the insulation cost of separate chemicals.

Also with base chemicals we have 2 interesting dynamics:
1) If the bases are upgraded it makes sense to share and coordinate with your teammate as to which upgrades you're going to get. Might as well get one of each.
2) There is the meta-strategy of acquring a backup base. Normally you would never want to buy 2 bases as the small benefit of a shop isn't worth paying an additional $10000 for. but for a mere $2000 you can aquire a backup base. This way if your base is destroyed you're not out of the game and can come back quickly by buying neutralizers and other chemicals from your backup base.


Finally, I think the easiest solution for sharing and revealing is to have a simple "Reveal and Allow Acquiring Chemicals" checkbox next to each of your allies in the scoretab. By default this is off but you can click it and it will reveal the location of all of your chemicals to that ally, plus allow them to acquire them. Pretty simple stuff. This makes it nice and easy for your allies to find whatever chemicals they need and might want to acquire.

Mercenaries who wish to share with each other will be required to show eachother the location manually - but that's fine. This creates a fun cooperative mission between the 2 mercenary buddies. I really like this idea too because as a mercenary you really do have this "mutant factionsy" dynamic where you must trust eachother to reveal the location of your chemicals to eachother. And there is a very real, tangible cash benefit to sharing like this. Interesting stuff, especially in FFA games.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun 2015, 21:21 
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Before the round I spectated I played another game with a few newbies, and newbie shield, my old nemesis, came to haunt me. Giving he current stage of the game where we're not really trying to recruit people, it servers its purpose to ease people into the game and give them a fighting chance. However, once we have servers where we have 32v32 newbie games, newbie shield must be removed as it changes the entire meta and in a bad way. It prevents vets from dominating in games right now, which is fine, but when its all newbie on newbie, just get rid of it entirely. Yes ik it negates itself, but looks a bit weird for newbies and in those newbie games what if some players have used up their newbie shield time or have a positive kd and others don't?
It should be removed once you start actively advertising. Right now its fine, but later, it won't be.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun 2015, 08:50 
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Minor observation I noticed that has nothing to do with balance:
I have toggle sprint enabled. I set my character to sprint. The sprint toggle is automatically disabled if I:
1) Die, so that means I have to constantly re-enable on spawn.
2) Use Barrier, even if I don't have toggle Barrier enabled.

This is pretty annoying. I turn on toggle sprint precisely because I want my character to NOT stop sprinting all the time unless I explicitly toggle off sprint with the sprint key, and I want my character to zoom off in sprint the moment barrier is not enabled, not have to press sprint toggle again.

In addition, "sprint" toggle also works on cars, but I would greatly prefer car boost to not use the toggle since in the case of cars, holding down boost all the way is not preferable since it costs boost and makes the car more difficult to control (which can lead to crashing etc). On a side note, I've never heard of anyone ever using the cruise control (Ctrl) option for driving cars.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun 2015, 16:28 
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Really sprint should just be the default, and shift should be changed to "walk" mode or something instead. It used to make sense to have shift enable sprint because you had limited stamina. But now you have no reason to not sprint 100% of the time. Making this switch would make the controls more consistent with Counterstrike too, which is nice. Question is, if holding shift was to slow you down, why would you use it? It's main purpose would be to make it easier to jump onto certain boxes and stuff, as jumping while sprinting makes you overshoot sometimes, and jumping while barriering can prevent you from getting up onto ledges occassionally.

Or maybe we could actually add a new gameplay element that when holding shift you go into walk mode, moving at 75% speed or something (barrier is 50%, sprint is 150%, sprint delay is 100%), but it disables all footsteps. Could give the shift key a bit more of a tactical use. Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun 2015, 08:44 
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bencelot wrote:
Really sprint should just be the default, and shift should be changed to "walk" mode or something instead. It used to make sense to have shift enable sprint because you had limited stamina. But now you have no reason to not sprint 100% of the time. Making this switch would make the controls more consistent with Counterstrike too, which is nice. Question is, if holding shift was to slow you down, why would you use it? It's main purpose would be to make it easier to jump onto certain boxes and stuff, as jumping while sprinting makes you overshoot sometimes, and jumping while barriering can prevent you from getting up onto ledges occassionally.

Or maybe we could actually add a new gameplay element that when holding shift you go into walk mode, moving at 75% speed or something (barrier is 50%, sprint is 150%, sprint delay is 100%), but it disables all footsteps. Could give the shift key a bit more of a tactical use. Thoughts?

I personally prefer having walk as the default because firing would cause you to walk, it does feel weird to me if I were to run by default, slow down on firing and then suddenly speed up again after 0.4s - unlike in CS where firing doesn't actually hinder your mobility. I think therefore, choosing whether you walk or run by default via options is better (even CS does this iirc). This option should replace the current "Toggle Sprint" option.

Walking is already plenty quiet actually when the opponent is trying to hear for your footsteps, but feel free to prove me wrong and make it only audible to the player(so he can hear the kind of floor he is walking on and decide whether to sprint or walk) but not to opponents. In addition, iirc I'd also like to point out that certain textures like snow will leave footprints but if you are carrying a Barrett or heavier weapon, you don't leave footprints on walking at all.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 05:21 
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I'd like to make a case against Insulator chemicals.

Chemicals are invisible stuff you can place pretty much anywhere. In order to find them, you have to either do random neutralize checks or spot someone using/placing them. That makes positioning the chemicals vital - you should find a place that is unpredictable yet accessible and avoid putting multiple chemicals in an overlapping manner, and even then you will still feel paranoid that someone would find it out by pure luck. That's great.

Enter Insulators. Costing 2k and pouring twice as fast as the average chemical (1.5s instead of 3s, or 1s instead of 2s with QP), it shields 1 chemical from 1 neutralize attempt. The Insulator delays the inevitable destruction of the chemical since chemicals that are found aren't going to go anywhere else, allowing you to squeeze the little benefit of the chemical for just a while longer. You still have to buy a new chemical to replace the old one as long as your enemy remembers its location, it is only a matter of time. You could also just keep insulating the chemical, but it does take time to travel to the chemical and place it and eventually, the cost of insulating will exceed the cost of simply letting the enemy blow it up while you buy a new one. This is where I take issue with Insulators.


1) Insulating is too easy.
The first thing to remember is that all chemicals (except Base, and in future, Neutralizers) are only bought from the Base chemical itself. That cuts the travel time required to protect the chemical significantly, especially if the chemical is near the spawn(or warpable from spawn). In the case of the Base chemical itself, once you're there, you can protect it indefinitely. There is no real limit to how many times you can buy or place insulators on the same chemical except cash (and I wouldn't want to add an artificial limit). Meanwhile, the enemy who is neutralizing would often have his own base/spawn be far from the targeted chemical. Should this chemical be insulated, he would need to make 2 additional trips - one to go back to get another neutralizer, and one to destroy the chemical again. In that amount of time, the defending player would have easily re-insulated all his chemicals even if they were overlapping. The defending player also has the advantage in protecting his chemicals and so more likely to win the ensuing fight, thus earning the kill reward to negate the cost of insulating. Even if he lost the fight, his chemical is still insulated and he can quickly return to re-insulate it again. The only way you could reasonably destroy the targeted chemical before the defender returns is to have your own base or warp field be sitting right on top of it, and it is definitely not worth it; it costs 10k to set up a warp or base to do just this, and the defender is almost guaranteed to know where that chemical is for his own neutralize run.


2) Insulating is ultimately a lose-lose situation.
As mentioned earlier, the only real limitation to insulating is cash. Eventually, the cost of insulating is going to exceed the cost of simply letting the enemy blow it up while you build a new chemical elsewhere or even replace it there. In fact, even the 1st insulation is not worth it because that chemical is not going anywhere. The attacker going after the chemical has to become obsessed with spending cash and time for neutralizers, and both players will just keep fighting each other over that spot again and again. Both players ultimately lose out in every possible way in a game: time that could be spent doing something else, cash that could have been spent buying something else and most importantly, FUN they could have had if they did something else instead of obsess over one stupid chemical location. Don't let players fall into this trap!


3) Meta with future Acquiring/Move chemical.
There are plans to add an Acquiring/Move chemical for this game. Acquiring lets you outright steal an enemy's chemical for your own use (or share with an ally, as Bencelot would like to do). However,
* If you can insulate or re-insulate a chemical from being acquired, then it won't be any different from the neutralizer situation.
* If insulating makes a chemical acquirable in one drop while non-insulating makes it acquire in two drops, it gets confusing.
* If acquiring always works in one drop, then the obvious solution is to neutralize first and then acquire unless you are 100% sure of the location (where you should just acquire) - money if its not protected, guaranteed chemical denial if its protected. The defender's only reasonable option is to just move the chemical away.
* Acquiring by itself is a silly idea. You stole the chemical from the enemy and he immediately knows where it is already. It is going to be quickly re-acquired or neutralized, again causing the obsession as seen in the neutralizer situation anyway.
* Not so important, but I think you'd like to keep the HUD in its nice 2 neat rows of 5. Adding just 1-2 chemicals together with insulator won't look good on the HUD.

Therefore, what I propose is to remove Insulator from the game entirely, and replace it with the Acquire chemical. This Acquire chemical will also double as the Move chemical. How this will impact the game:
A) No insulator fully enforces that once a chemical is discovered, it is gone. This makes players more careful of where they place their chemicals, and also allow only the sensible choice of moving on and buying a new chemical instead of obsessing over it.
B) Paranoia! Is my chemical discovered? My chemical is very expensive, maybe I could move it elsewhere instead of buy a new one or even move it every few minutes... but if the enemy sees me they'd know and they can kill me while I'm carrying the packed chemical!
C) Aside from simplicity, it also makes acquiring enemy chemicals more practical. If you simply convert an enemy chemical, the enemy knows the exact location while you need to run back to base to get a chemical to pick it up. If acquiring also means that you pick up the chemical and move it elsewhere, then that prevents the enemy from automatically knowing the chemical location and both parties from obsessing over it, and also allowing the enemy the chance to at least deny a little something.
D) Better for the attacking player. He gets to decide whether he wants raw cash or to steal a chemical to deny the enemy rather than it being an obvious "acquire if enemy insulates or location is 100% guaranteed". He'd also feel better and more clever on a successful neutralize.


Reasons to use Acquirer/Neutralizer against enemy chemicals:
Acquirer lets you steal one more expensive chemical instead of buying your own and having your enemy keep theirs.
Neutralizer gives you raw cash(albeit 50% of the cost) which you can spend on something other than chemicals.
Neutralizer will destroy all overlapping chemicals, but Acquirer only grabs one of the chemicals there, the one whose center that player is closest to. Imagine if you tried to pick up a Base, only to find that you picked up the Sonar nearby! By the time you return, the enemy has moved his base elsewhere! So, are you sure you have the most accurate location?

For balance reasons, Acquirer should be more expensive than the Neutralizer. It should cost 3-4k considering that you are denying the enemy his chemical instead of merely adding a new one to the battlefield. Yes, it is also the move chemical, but in that case you're moving to deny the enemy from neutralizing/acquiring it, which might be worth it, and you wouldn't really be moving your sonar cells.
For now, pouring time for both Acquirer and Neutralizer should be the standard 3s.
Acquirer can benefit from Quick Pouring, but a chemical that has been picked up by an Acquirer will always have a visible backpack and take non-QP time to replace.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 06:54 
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Interesting post, and I do like how your analysis ultimately boils down to trying to find the most FUN incentives. I do think insulator can have some role to play in the game, but I wouldn't mind temporarily disabling it from the buy menu for a few versions and putting the acquiring chemical in it's place. Then I could reintroduce insulator, maybe along with some other chemicals that let it work in interesting new ways. Also I can start buffering up "new" content for the Steam release, which would be nice. So I quite like the idea of replacing the insulator for the time being.

I think we have a misunderstanding of what I originally suggested the acquring chemical would do though. You're saying that using it on an enemy chemical would convert it, so that the enemy no longer has that chemical. I suggested that it would behave the same to enemies and allies, and simply share access to it. Meaning that the enemy still has the chemical, just you do too. Neither of you would want to destroy it. That's what I meant by this line I wrote a while ago:

bencelot wrote:
Financial gain relative to your enemy:
Neutralizer wins. Why? Because as shown above you gain $1500, but now you enemy also loses $5000 for a total swing of $6500. In comparison with acquiring you gain $3000 but your enemy remains untouched for a total swing of $3000.


The reason I suggested this approach was:
1) Keeps it consistent with allies, so you can use the same chemical on an allies chemical or an enemies chemical and it behaves in the exact same way.
2) Allow mercenaries to cooperate in a "mutant factionsy" / "mercenary buddies" kinda way where IF they can trust eachother and share chemical locations with eachother they'd both stand to make a financial gain. Would provide very interesting meta tactics in FFA games because if 2 mercs DO cooperate with eachother they'd both gain an objective financial gain relative to the rest of their competition. It's the prisoners dilemma actually, which I find to be a fascinating dynamic.
3) I think it would be an interesting dynamic to be sharing a chemical with an enemy. No idea how it would work in practice of course, but good to try out I think.
4) Based on the analysis I did before comparing the aquiring chemical ($2000) vs the neutralizer ($1000), I think there are pros and cons for both and it's quite a nuanced and interesting decision if you should neutralize or acquire. Note that I had planned insulator to block acquiring in the same manner as Neutralizer.

Annnnnywhoo, so I would be happy to take Insulator out and replace it with an acquring chemical. But we need to discuss what it does. I like it to be consistent and think it would be very interesting the way I originally proposed. I like the idea of your merged acquring/moving chemical, but then how would it work when used on allies? It'd have to behave differently which I think is a bit confusing. Also it removes the ability for mercs to cooperate by trusting/communication and sharing their chemicals by pointing out the locations to eachother and aquiring for mutual gain.

So maybe it's better to just have aquire do the acquring iand a separate chemical for moving. That way acquring can behave consistently across allies and enemies, where it doesn't remove from the other player, but simply gains you access to a new chemical. From the analysis I've already done in this thread this will save allies about $3000 per chemical they can acquire from eachother, and when used against enemies the breakdown vs neutralizers can be shown above to be interesting and nuanced too.

We then need to rethink how a moving chemical would work. I DO agree with your analysis that once an insulated chemical is discovered it's doomed eventually anyway. And I would prefer players to be able to just move it away as a means of "evasion" instead of insulating it as a means of "defense". Because as you say once you move it it's safe again and you don't have to stress/obsess about it. I have found insulators to be fun in some situations, but yes in general it's probably better to not have the option to continually save it, as you FEEL like you should be saving it, but it's ultimately a lost cause. Logically you could abandon it, but that doesn't FEEL fun.

Still I do wonder.. do we even need a moving chemical? I remember you convinced me of this before, but now I've forgotten why we need this :p It is an interesting concept definitely, but maybe the mere existence of a moving chemical would suffer from the same issues we get when insulators exist. You don't value the placement of your chemicals that much because hey.. you can just move it later (or insulate it indefinitely). Having neither insulators NOR movers means you REALLY need to place that chemical perfectly the first time. And really need to use it cautiously and sneakily afterwards. And once it's discovered then it's just gone, better luck next time.

I dunno, I plan to eventually add a shitload more chemicals (and an equal number of vehicles to keep the buy menu symmetrical). So I'll probably have both movers and insulators and a whole bunch of other things that all tie together perfectly. But for now maybe we could just take out insulator and put in acquirer for a version and see how that plays? I'd be interested to see a version where there is absolutely no way to protect your chemicals besides a good initial placement. Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 07:04 
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Also, for v1.09 I'd like to give you guys SOME new gameplay content and not just graphical stuff, so a new acquring chemical would be perfect for this. This single chemical has the potential to change the chemical gameplay so much. You'd have team strategies to coordinate and cooperate for faster/cheaper base building. You'd have mercs cooperating with eachother in all sorts of cool ways. You'd have to make interesting decisions between neutralizing or acquring.. AND we'd be able to experience gameplay where both you and your enemy are using the same chemical, so you'd both want to defend it from your own teams. Very interesting dynamics to explore! This would be a quick and easy change so I could include it in v1.09, then for v1.1 I'll finish up the graphics and probably add 2 new chemicals and 2 new vehicles to make a 3x4 grid on either side of the buy menu. Fun new content to kickstart the marketing ;)

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 08:58 
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bencelot wrote:
I think we have a misunderstanding of what I originally suggested the acquiring chemical would do though. You're saying that using it on an enemy chemical would convert it, so that the enemy no longer has that chemical. I suggested that it would behave the same to enemies and allies, and simply share access to it. Meaning that the enemy still has the chemical, just you do too. Neither of you would want to destroy it.
...
The reason I suggested this approach was:
1) Keeps it consistent with allies, so you can use the same chemical on an allies chemical or an enemies chemical and it behaves in the exact same way.
2) Allow mercenaries to cooperate in a "mutant factionsy" / "mercenary buddies" kinda way where IF they can trust eachother and share chemical locations with eachother they'd both stand to make a financial gain. Would provide very interesting meta tactics in FFA games because if 2 mercs DO cooperate with eachother they'd both gain an objective financial gain relative to the rest of their competition. It's the prisoners dilemma actually, which I find to be a fascinating dynamic.
3) I think it would be an interesting dynamic to be sharing a chemical with an enemy. No idea how it would work in practice of course, but good to try out I think.

Ah, so its sharing rather than stealing. I think it is interesting when it allows mercenaries to share, but I do have one particular major concern about this: What happens if you try to neutralize the shared chemical? Let's assume player A and player B(enemies), and assume a chemical is owned by player A.

  • Because A is the original owner, he cannot neutralize his own chemical, but on the flip side, B can neutralize it for cash anytime he wants. Not very fair is it? Even if A is the only one who can move it, B will still be able to easily find the new location. And if moving removes sharing, then what's the point of acquiring an enemy chemical?
  • Suppose A can neutralize his own chemicals. Does this mean all chemicals, only all shared chemicals, or chemicals shared with B? Which shared chemical is A's or A's friend's or B's? Did B's teammate share A's chemical and so neutralizing it be a bad idea? What happens if one of them switches teams? This is actually even more confusing and inconsistent.
  • "Scorched Earth" tactic. Gonna steal/neutralize my chemical? Screw you, I'll neutralize my own chemical! No money for you, and I get a 50% refund! (and remember how easy it is for someone to insulate their own chemicals, it would be even easier to neutralize your own chemicals because you can see your own overlaps)
  • What if both players co-owned the chemical and thus only a 3rd party can neutralize it? Who is the 3rd party if this is a non-merc game? Does that mean no one can ever neutralize this chemical? It goes back to point 2.
  • Wouldn't it be absolutely terrible if A realized that B's cheap but vitally placed 3k Sonar cell or 5k Warp Field is right on top of A's 20k Bionic Gas?
  • Does A know if his chemical is being acquired? It kind of defeats the purpose of acquiring a chemical far away if A knows about it, since A knows to either avoid it(Sonar) or watch it extra closely for B(Warp Field). At the same time, A would want to know if his ally acquired his chemical - I would be utterly confused if I let an alchemy melt a weapon and find out I only received 25% of the cash instead of 50%.
  • And of course, there's always the argument of "Why should I buy my own chemical when I can steal it off others?", which also goes back to point 1.

I'm not too concerned about the mercenary thing to be honest, if anything it would be more interesting to see how mercenaries may choose to work together despite their chemicals not being shared. Hey, I'll buy you a toxic gun if you drop a gun at this spot where my alchemy is. Hey, I think a guy is going to your Warp Field based on my sonar knowledge. And all of this kinda needs a prerequisite system of privately messaging to a specific player first.

On the other hand the steal + move property has 3 clear scenarios (or 2, technically). If that chemical is an enemy's, it becomes yours and you can replace it. If the chemical is yours, you obviously don't steal it since its already yours, but you do move it around anyway. If that chemical is your friend's, it also "becomes yours" in a way but you can't move it. The only extra work is to just make a slight graphical distinction between a chemical that is your own and a chemical that belongs to an ally, since enemy chemicals are invisible anyway! No messy confusing situation with neutralize.

bencelot wrote:
4) ...Note that I had planned insulator to block acquiring in the same manner as Neutralizer.

Yeah, which I addressed would cause the same trouble of obsession.

bencelot wrote:
Still I do wonder.. do we even need a moving chemical? I remember you convinced me of this before, but now I've forgotten why we need this

The ability to move a chemical acts as a buffer for many things that could go wrong.
* I accidentally placed it in a bad location. I can move it away, but it will cost me since I made the mistake in the first place. Fair enough.
* I don't want this "friend" to know where my chemical is, because he's spying on me or whatever reason. He may have seen my previous chemical location and would try to neutralize it after his cooldown(or ask his real allies to do it). I can just pack up and move it away.
* There's also the mercenary trust actually - mind games. You could tell your mercenary friend a real chemical location... and then turn it into a lie if you anticipate things will go sour or want it to go sour.
* Earlier in this post I mentioned the self-neutralize issue. The ability to move a chemical actually solves the issue slightly - you either move your enemy's chemical away and use it as your own or you move your own Bionic out of range and then neutralize the chemical later.
* In the first page, I mentioned the moving ability with regards to Neutralizing & Insulating. Found a chemical? Move your base next to it and drop 2 quick neutralizes. However, I don't consider this particular reason worth keeping insulation for all its lose-lose situation, but the idea that you can move your chemical ahead as your team advances is nevertheless interesting, especially when you consider Bases.

Remember that unlike insulating, even if I obsessed over the chemical, the thing that stops me is that even if I successfully picked it up, I still need to carry a highly visible backpack(can't tp/invis either!) and replace the chemical without the QP benefit, during which if I die, I still lose the chemical compared to if I just left the chemical alone. Not to mention there is no telling if someone is watching you move the chemical elsewhere so that he can acquire/neutralize it too! And that possibly 3k I spent on the move chemical? I could have just used it to buy a new other chemical and I'd have the benefits of 2 chemicals instead of 1. So I don't see it as really something you can abuse or truly obsess over in a bad way.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 20:40 
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Yup ok, moving chemicals is a cool dynamic. It does slightly diminish the importance of your original placement, but seeing as you have to pay extra to move it AND have the risk of being seen with the backpack it's all good. Still worthwhile to place chemicals right the first time.

For the acquring chemical I see 3 fundamentally different ways it can work. I would like it to behave the same against allies and enemies for consistency, though it's not strictly necessary.

1) It steals the chemical, removing it from the other player. Obviously not good against allies (assuming it behaves consistently), and I believe too OP against enemies. Why ever Neutralize when you're denying your enemy equally anyway, but now you're also gaining a full chemical's worth instead of only half a chemical? Letting the enemy keep their chemical creates a more interesting and nuanced decision between the 2 as I mentioned with the pros and cons list a few weeks ago.

2) It shares the chemical, where you are both owners of it. Works fine against allies, although it does introduce issues when the moving chemical is added. I don't like the concept of an original owner of the chemical. Your chemicals are your chemicals, and so both players should be able to move the chemical. BUt this might get annoying. Against enemies it balances well against Neutralizer but it depends on how the rules for Neutralizer work. The way I intended I don't think you mentioned, but it would be that neither of the owners could neutralize the chemical, but other players could. This would create a fun dynamic where both enemies know that they're sharing the chemical but neither could destroy it. However your ALLIES could destroy it, meaning they would destroy your chemical too. This could be annoying, but it could also be seen as a risk of acquring chemicals from enemies rather than Neutralizing or simply buying one outright. You wouldn't have to tell your allies where this shared chemical is located of course. Ultimately though I see this leading to arguments amongst teammates. The alternative is that no one can ever destroy the chemical as it's allied to everyone. Could be interesting too, knowing that such a permanent chemical exists and that your enemy can use it, but you can't destroy it. You could then have battles where you move the chemical around instead, trying to steal it off of eachother. Could be fun.

3) Anyway none of that matters for I have had an awesome idea: it could duplicate the chemical, where it would create a separate chemical that belongs to you directly on top of the other players chemical. This is probably the most intuitive and simple option as there's no sharing and everyone owns their own chemicals. Your chemicals are your own chemicals, but you simply created one via duplication instead of placing it manually. The other player keeps their own chemical like nothing happened. Now for allies this works best I believe, because you still are rewarded for teamwork and coordination as you can build cheaper bases, but now after duplicating you can pay an additional $2000 or something to move YOUR chemical away and leave your allies one intact. Or you can just leave it there if you don't think it's much risk (a Sonar Cell for example).

Now against enemies we have an interesting situation. You duplicate the chemical and now have one in the exact same location. His original one still exists however and you know exactly where it is and can go Neutralize it too. So not only do you gain a new chemical for cheap (gaining $5000 warp for only $2000 duplication = $3000 profit), but you also know exactly where his chemical is and can Neutralize it too for another $1500 profit ($2500 - $1000). $4500 profit AND you destroy your enemies $5000 chemical for a $9500 swing! Holy moly that's hugely OP right??? WRONG!! Because there is a catch. While you know where his chemical is... he will also get alerted the instant you duplicate his chemical and know where YOUR chemical is too! So if you run on back to base to buy a Neutralizer, he can do the exact same thing and destroy your freshly duplicated chemical. So instead what you might need to do is run on back to base and buy a moving chemical instead, so you can move it before he Neutralizes it. Of course he can do the exact same thing.

We end up with this really interesting race dynamic, but unlike with Insulators it's an isolated event and is resolved once both chemicals are moved or destroyed. It doesn't go on and on forever. So suppose you're just chilling out and then get a message saying "Your Warp Field was duplicated!". You have just been given a WARNING that your enemy discovered the location of one of your chemicals. You now have 2 choices.. the exact same 2 choices your enemy has. Do you buy a neutralizer to destroy his chemical? Or do you buy a mover to save your own? What is he going to do? Who can get their fastest? Getting their first is a huge advantage, because you can save/destroy before your enemy can. Suppose you buy a mover and he buys a Neutralizer but you get their first. You move it to safety just before he comes along and Neutralizes the empty ground. Dammit he says!! Wasted not only his Neutralizer but more importantly time! Because now that you've saved your own chemical you're going to see if you can destroy his one too. Does he camp the spot to try kill you? Or race back to move it in time.

The beauty of this whole race system is that it really rewards putting your base in a central location as well. We've been thinking of how to get people to put bases out of the spawn, and this is it! Most alchemic acids, sonar cells and warp fields are placed in central, high combat areas. If your centrally located Acid is duplicated then from that second both you and your enemy are racing to move/destroy the enemies chemical. If your Base chemicals is hidden in a sneaky shadow near the center only 10 seconds away then you're going to win every one of these races compared to your enemy who has put his base back in his spawn. Huge incentive to actually put your Base somewhere central.

Also I just love the race this creates. It's so intense! As soon as you get the message (or trigger the message) you both suddenly in an instant become aware of the exact location of an enemy chemical, and you also know that they have become aware of the exact location of YOUR chemical. Drop everything!! Save the chemical!! Destroy the enemies! Go go go! Every second counts. If you fool around for just 10 seconds then they're going to get back to their base and back to the chemical again before you and guarantee saving/destroying. It sounds like so much fun!

Now let's look at a best/worst case scenario as a duplicator. Best case is that you duplicate, neutralize and move your chemical before the enemy does anything (or you kill him at the combat site). This costs you $2000 for a duplicator, $1000 for a Neutralizer and maybe $2000 for a mover. So all up it costs you $5000. But against a Warp Field you gain $5000 for the warp and $2500 from the Neutralizer for $7500. $2500 profit AND you destroy your enemies Warp setting him back $5000 for a $7500 swing. Not too bad!! But it only works if you can move fast, have a Base nearby and not die. You take risks carrying all these chemicals around. Still pull it off and you've got a $2500 profit and a $7500 swing which is amazing. Compare this to if you just Neutralized outright and then you've paid $1000 and gained $2500 for only a $1500 profit and a $6500 swing. So the duplication route is ultimately more profitable, but more risky too. However when you start looking at Base Chemicals the gap grows. A duplicate/neutralize/move combo against an enemy Base costs you $5000 but gains you $15000 for $10000 profit and a $20,000 swing. Massive! Neutralizing alone costs you $1000 but only gains you $5000 for $4000 profit and a $14000 swing.

In fact against a base duplication is the obvious answer, because as soon as you duplicate you can buy from your NEW base and instantly Neutralize/move before the enemy can do anything. This is why it's so extremely important to keep your bases safe. So basically if you discover the location of an enemy base, make sure to duplicate first, then neutralize/move. If you discover a $5000 chemical, it's a risk/reward decision with higher payout and higher risk if you choose to duplicate instead of Neutralize. Then again with the Base dupliation you might not NEED another base, and you do risk getting killed while moving it elsewhere. If this happens then you lose $5000 and gain $5000 for the Neutralization and break even, but if you'd just Neutralized in the first place you'd make a $4000 profit. So there's always extra risk with duplication, but the potential for reward is huge IF the situation is good.

What if it goes wrong though? What if you duplicate but your enemy has a Base just around the corner and while you're running back to buy your Neutralizer/mover he Neutralizes and moves already? Then you've potentially paid the $2000+$1000+$2000 only to discover that your enemy has already moved his chemical to safety AND neutralized your fresh duplicate. So you end up just wasting $5000 outright, while your enemy has spend $2000 on a mover and $1000 on a Neutralizer, but has gained back $2500 on your fresh Warp Field. A $500 loss but seeing as you're now down $5000 it's a $4500 swing. A $500 loss sounds bad, but consider that the location of his chemical was known, but instead of losing it for $5000 he was able to save it. Ultimately he shouldn't have revealed the location of his chemical in the first place, but by winning the race he managed save his $5000 doomed chemical and earn $2500 from Neutralzing the duplicate for a total $7500 gain which only cost him $3000. $4500 personal gain PLUS the other player just wasted $5000 for a $9500 swing. Again, when dealing with Bases or upgraded Bases winning the race becomes all the more important.

Clearly there is a HUGE swing potential for winning/losing this race. But sometimes it will be in the middle. You might both buy movers first and so in a sense you both win. You spent $2000 to duplicate and $2000 to move for $4000 but you gained a $5000 chemical. $1000 profit. The defender spent $2000 to move his chemical, meaning that he was warned and only lost $2000 instead of $5000. Or you might both buy Neutralizers first in which case you spent $2000 + $1000 to gain $2500 for a $500 loss, and he spends $1000 to gain $2500 for a $1500 gain, but also loses his $5000 chemical for a total loss of $3500. There are also considerations like what happens if you die before even placing the duplicator/mover/neutralizer.

As we can see there are a lot of factors to consider here and we can have fun with numbers forever.. but 90% of the time these details won't matter. The vast majority of the time you'll be using duplicators on allied chemicals because you already know where they are and there's no risk from your ally destroying your freshly duplicated chemical's location. This is the primary purpose of duplicators. You start the game, share vision with your allies and start coordinating who is going to place what where. I'll place the acid in the center, STM places the warp behind the enemy base, Nightfall another warp, and Qwerty a couple Sonar Cells. Then once the base team structure is in place, we all purchase the nice cheap $2000 duplicators and go through all the chemicals our allies have placed and build up our base, saving $3000 every time. Occasionally we might want to pay for another $2000 to move our duplicate somewhere else to avoid Alchemic Acid stacking or to simply mitigate the risk of an enemy coming along and destroying an entire stack of Warp Fields all in the exact same location (biG MONEY!!). Sonar Cells you wouldn't bother moving, as it'd be cheaper to just buy a new one outright. Bases you can duplicate immediately to get a backup incase your base in destroyed, or wait till it's upgraded to duplicate the upgrade too. Also as a team you should be placing bases all over the map now, not just in spawn. Before you only ever needed one base, but now that these race conditions can occur against enemies you WANT to spread your bases out so you're always right next to one incase you need to drop everything and win a race. Spread your bases out, share them with your allies and you'll win every race that occurs! Ultimately though teams who work together can build bases faster and cheaper with duplicators. Hooray!

But every so often you might take a risk... you might roll the dice. You might stare death (or your cash supply) in the face and say DAMMIT MAN!! I'm going for gold here. I'm going for that extra high profit! You might discover an enemy chemical RIGHT NEXT to one of your many bases and calculate that you can duplicate, move and destroy your enemies chemical before he even knows what hit him. If you pull it off, well done. If you try this against a chemical all the way on the other side of the map away from your bases then you're in trouble. He's going to beat you to it and you'll waste your money. In that case you should have just Neutralized instead. But when it happens and you get that flashing warning message, you better hurry, cause the race is on!

Another fun thing we could do is if 2 enemies have a chemical in the EXACT same location (as in it's been duplicated but not moved yet), then they would both receive the warning message. They'd all need to go buy their own separate moving chemicals to save their own chemicals, but they could also coordinate with eachother to defend the shared location. So STM could stay put and watch over the area to make sure the attacker can't neutralize the stack, while Qwerty runs off to buy a mover. If the bad guy approaches before Qwerty gets there then STM should be waiting and kill him. Then once Qwerty's chemical is safe he stands guard while STM moves his.

This duplicator system does so many good things:
1) On the surface level it is very simple to understand. It simply duplicates a chemical. There's no sharing to worry about, there are no special cases or exceptions and the chemical behaves the same against enemies and allies. It's simply as if you placed a chemical there yourself, except it only costs you $2000 instead of $5000. Simple to understand.
2) Going a bit deeper you realize that this rewards teamwork, as once players realize they can save money from duplicating allied chemicals, it's obvious that you should work together and duplicate as much as possible, saving money every time. Communicate and coordinate a base structure and you and your team will dominate.
3) Going further still, you realise how this can be used in comparision with Neutralizers and movers. What seems to be such a simple concept at first has so much depth and mastery to it as shown by the shit tonne of maths I posted above. When should you duplicate and when should you neutralize? What will your enemy do? How far away is your base? How far away is HIS base? Is the risk worth the reward? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. In a competitive game these nuanced and complex decisions separate the good from the best.
4) It introduces an incredibly organic and intense race condition as soon as the warning is sent. This just sounds like a shitload of fun to me. Deciding to move or Neutralize first, guessing what your enemy will do, knowing that he's going to be coming back to the site at any second. Do you camp? Do you run back to base? Get your ally to Neutralize for you? So intense!
5) Finally it gives us a very real reason to use Bases, lots of bases, and bases spread out across the map. Not all bunched up in spawn. This is a problem we were trying to solve before and this does it great. Due to the extreme time pressure from point 4 having bases next to all of your chemicals is very valuable as you can defend them easier. Having a good warp field network is valuable as you can warp back to your base and take your moving/neutralizing chemical to the hotspot ASAP.

Again, all of this depth coming from the addition of 2 very simple chemicals. Next version is going to be verrry interesting!

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 23:33 
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Been thinking about this a bit more and I think it's good but needs a slight tweak similar to what you suggested. If you duplicate an allies chemical then you'll get a duplicate right there on the ground. But if you duplicate an enemies chemical then I think it needs to load it up into your backpack for free instantly. Two reasons:

1) As a mercenary duplicating and moving an enemy Warp Field ($2000 + $2000) is cheaper than buying one your own ($5000). However despite saving $1000 by doing this, it's just not really worth it. Placing a Warp on your own is a single trip. Duplicating and moving is FOUR trips which has a lot more risk. You have to go from base to their chemical, then back to base, then back to the chemical, then move it somewhere. All of this is vulnerable time where you can either lose a chemical in your backpack or the freshly placed one on the ground. Not worth it to save $1000. You should be rewarded more for discovering an enemy chemical. Giving you free pickup does this because now instead of saving $1000 with 4 trips, you're saving $3000 with only 2 trips. Definitely worthwhile for mercenaries to duplicate enemy chemicals that they find.

1) As a sci there wouldn't even be a point to duplicating an enemy chemical. Seeing as you're going to have to pay $2000 to duplicate and then $2000 to move it anyway, why not simply pay this same $4000 to duplicate and move from an allied chemical instead. Same cost, same result, but you don't risk losing your fresh duplicate while going back to spawn because your ally won't destroy it. By giving you the free pickup off an enemies chemical we now have an incentive to duplicate off enemy chemicals. You either pay $5000 to buy and place a warp by yourself. $4000 to duplicate and move off an ally saving $1000 but with a bit more work (little risk though). Or only $2000 to duplicate and move off an enemy because you get the free pickup. Now team players have a reason to duplicate an enemy chemical because it's a better deal than duplicating an allies. You save more money and only have to make 2 trips instead of 4. Of course it's more risky and you actually need to FIND the enemy chemical in the first place, so you'll still be duplicating off allies most of the time, especially as it only costs $2000 if you don't intend on moving them.

So giving this free pickup makes sure players have an actual incentive to duplicate enemy chemicals. There are still many situations where Neutralizing outright is better however. All of these still apply:

bencelot wrote:
Financial loss if you miss the location:
Neutralizer wins. Why? Because you only waste $1000, not $2000.

Financial gain if you hit the location:
Duplicator wins. With duplicating you spend $2000, but then gain $5000 worth of Warp Field. In total you gain the equivalent of $3000. With Neutralizer you spend $1000 and then gain $2500 in cash for a total profit of $1500. So you get more from duplicating the enemy Warp Field.

Financial gain relative to your enemy:
Neutralizer wins. Why? Because as shown above you gain $1500, but now you enemy also loses $5000 for a total swing of $6500. In comparison with duplicating you gain $3000 but your enemy remains untouched for a total swing of $3000.

Financial gain relative to the entire enemy team:
Depends on the number of enemies, but as the scale gets bigger Duplicating wins. Why? Because you gain a $3000 advantage relative to EVERY enemy player. Whereas with Neutralizing you gain your $6500 swing against just the dude who you screwed over. Against everyone else your relative gain is merely $1500, and the more players in the server the less significant the loss of that 1 enemy becomes.

Form of financial gain:
Neutralizer wins. Why? Because the financial gain you get from the Neutralizer is in cold hard cash. Even though it's not as much as the $3000 from duplicating the warp field, the money is liquidated and can be spent on whatever you want. Maybe you don't need another warp field but desperately need extra cash towards your final Compounder. The liquid cash Neutralizer gives is more versatile in this situation.

Potential for tactical gain:
Duplicator wins. This is only POTENTIAL for tactical gain mind you, but duplicator CAN be better here because it lets your place chemicals in locations that you simply couldn't get to otherwise. Say a warp field behind the enemies base. If you manage to duplicate one of these it might be worth significantly more than the $3000 financial gain you got out of it, because of the unique tactical position it's in. It might simply not be possible to transport your own Warp Field all the way behind enemy lines, but by using a Duplicator (which won't display the green smoke) you might be able to get a chemical in a highly valuable position. Buying the Warp Field from base will show the green smoke as you travel it across the entire map, which makes you vulnernable. With a duplicator you have no green smoke and can walk right into the enemy base, then dupilicate it and quickly place it 5m over, and so it's only showing on you for a few seconds. Less likely to be spotted overall.


All of these old arguments for the acquirer still apply to this new Duplicator. I can now add 2 more to the list:

Risk avoidance:
Neutralizer wins. There is no risk with Neutralizing. Once you do it you get the money and it's all over. With Duplicator you risk losing the chemical as you're moving and placing it in a new location. In which case instead of gaining $5000 for the cost of $2000, you're simply dying and losing $2000. Neutralizer has no risk here and guarantees a $1500 profit.

Potential for extra finaniclal gain:
Dupicator wins. Because while it has a higher risk, it also has a higher reward. Because there is a chance that you'll not only make your $3000 profit by duplicating, but you still know where the enemy chemical is located and can then go on and Neutralize that one too (or hell, maybe even try duplicating off it again!!). Your enemy will be racing to stop you with this but the potential is there. This potential isn't there for Neutralizer however as once it's destroyed then it's gone for good.


So there are still PLENTY of decisions to be made and I've got 4 points for Neutralizer and 4 points for Duplicator. Evenly balanced!

Finally the fun race dynamic still exists. It's not as drastic as before, but it's still there and still rewards players who act fast and have positioned Bases nearby. If you're just chilling and then you get the message "an enemy has duplicated your Warp Field" you both know in that instant that it's been discovered and it's a race to see who can move/destroy it first. As a defender you know that someone has just discovered your chemical and is going to destroy it any second. So you rush to buy a mover and move it before they arrive with a Neutralizer, saving yourself $3000. As the duplicator you know your victim has just been warned and will be moving that chemical ASAP, so you must rush to buy a Neutralizer and get back to the chemical to destroy it before it gets moved, earning you an extra $1500 profit.

Remember when you look at it in terms of swings it's even more important to win this race. If the attacker manages to Neutralize then he gains $1500 profit but also destroys $5000 for a $6500 swing. The defender might even waste $2000 on a moving chemical for nothing. So the attacker gets there first he will go up $1500, and the defender will go down $7000 for an $8500 swing. That's huge and definitely worth fighting for. Likewise if the defender gets there first he not only saves himself $3000, but he denies the attacker $2500 reward. Again the attacker might have already purchased a $1000 Neutralizer. So the defender goes down $2000 instead of $5000, and the attacker goes down $1000 instead of going up $1500. $5500 swing. Big monies! These swings are huge and all come down to this race. So having a base nearby (or being able to defend the chemical area well) are critical.

So now we have a dynamic where:
1) You can use teamwork to benefit from duplicators and movers, but you can benefit even more by spying on enemies and duplicating their chemicals instead.
2) There are plenty of factors and risks to consider between duplicating or outright neutralzing an enemy chemical.
3) The race condition still exists as both parties become made aware of the chemical location at the exact same time, and must rush to move/destroy before the other can destroy/move. Having bases nearby will help you win these races more often. If you have one base hidden way back in spawn, then you can Neutralize, or you can duplicate.. but you won't have time to do both. It'll get moved before you can Neutralize. But if you place your base in an offensive location then you can get away with doing both, as you'll be able to travel to your base and back fast enough to squeeze the Neutralizer in before.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 00:51 
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As spoken on chatbox:

* 2k Duplicator is awesome!
* Duplicator should also double as mover. Already moves a newly duplicated enemy chemical and not going to allow players to duplicate their own bases, so why not go all the way? (For Allies, you will duplicate at that location only. You need to buy a 2nd duplicator to move your newly formed ally chemical.)
* Base upgrades act as an insulator - neutralize 1st time and the upgrade is removed with 5k reward. Neutralize 2nd time and its another 5k with the base destroyed.
* Base upgrade insulation does not protect against duplication. Duplicator used on 20k upgraded bases should not duplicate the upgrade, only the 10k base.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 03:51 
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tbh I feel like this is a confusing system. What if two chems are on top of each other and then do you get both duplicated? And it'll be tough to know who on your team has duplicated your chems if they're literally on top of each other...
Like to me as a vet and to those of us who get the game it makes sense, but for a newbie, it would seem super confusing. Plus you want to limit the shear number of chems on a map and this is kind of the easiest way to make everyone have a metric shitton of chemicals.
Food for thought, for vets it makes sense, for newbies it doesn't imo.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 04:07 
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I don't think it's that confusing. We can come up with a simple description for the chemical. All that happens when you place a duplicator down is that you create a chemical of your own in that location. Hell even just the name "duplicator" explains what it does. It literally duplicates a chemical. If 2 chems are on top of eachother it just duplicates the one closest to you in the exact same way insulator works. As for knowing who on your team has chemicals there, allied chemicals will be displayed differently from your own, with more of a focus on the outline so you'll see it there.

As for having too many chemicals on the map I was only concerned about that when you guys were talking about the free scaling system. Like when the number of chemicals you could use simply increased with the server size, even in a 32 v 32 server. THAT is how you get a metric shit tonne of chemicals :p It was completely unbound and just scales up as more people join the server. This duplication system wouldn't produce anything near that amount though because it's limited by cash. The very fact you need to pay for the chemicals means they'll be limited, because after a certain point in time you have enough chemicals that you won't need any more. Even if they're cheap your money will be better spent on superweapons, vehicles or compounders instead.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 04:56 
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Nightfall wrote:
tbh I feel like this is a confusing system. What if two chems are on top of each other and then do you get both duplicated? And it'll be tough to know who on your team has duplicated your chems if they're literally on top of each other...
Like to me as a vet and to those of us who get the game it makes sense, but for a newbie, it would seem super confusing. Plus you want to limit the shear number of chems on a map and this is kind of the easiest way to make everyone have a metric shitton of chemicals.

It'd work more similarly to an Insulator and I'm certain there'd be a priority based on how close you are to the chem's center (and Bence can decide the priority of which ones to pick if they all have the same center, and prioritizing moving your own chemical over duplicating another one from your ally), so you'd only duplicate one.

You pretty much know if your chemical is duplicated the same way you get a warning when your chemical is de-insulated or destroyed. You can't really tell whose chemical is whose on sight, but all that matters is that you can differentiate your own and an ally's, don't need names and you can always ask if you forgot.

Newbies already don't understand a tonne of things, but I'm less concerned about Duplicator being hard to understand because it is not a vital basic gameplay element unlike say, learning how to use skills or understanding how to buy guns.

Having lots of chemicals just by duplication is a valid concern, but there are already some limitations in place:
1) It costs 2k to duplicate. Keep in mind: Sonars are 3k, most other chemicals are 5k, bases are 10k.
2) If you duplicated it off your ally, you have a chemical in the exact same spot as he does.
3) Generally you'd rather have two chemicals not overlap. You'd need to make another trip and spend another 2k to move your copy.
4) So it costs 4k to duplicate off allies(and you cannot dupe off yourself), you save 1k but is it worth the time? (it would be gamebreakingly worth the time if its 2k and 1 trip, hence the ally limitation)
5) So you duplicate a Base(you cannot duplicate the upgrade), saving you 6k in costs and you can move it in 1 trip instead of 2. But bases are merely spots to buy more chemicals or refill ammo, and it would still cost you 10k to make it QP/TB/Bionic. Furthermore, having so many bases lying around for the sake of it is a bad idea since it makes random neutralizes become super rewarding for the enemy.
6) So you duplicate a chemical off your enemy. If you guessed the location accurately, you can get a chemical for just 2k and already be holding it to place elsewhere. It is not the game's fault if your enemy is an idiot to not move away the chemical despite all the warnings, allowing you to repeatedly dupe it to save cash or neutralize it for good so that he stops gaining benefits from it.
7) If your enemy has overlapped all his chemicals in one spot, a neutralizer would be far more rewarding than attempting to duplicate anyway.
8) And of course, all your money is invested in purely chemicals. If you neutralized or just saved up instead, you could buy better guns and cars and stuff. At some point you're more or less going to stop placing new chemicals and concentrate on fighting or blowing up the enemy's chemicals rather than duplicate new ones. The one chemical you'd want to continue placing everywhere, Sonars, is dirt cheap either way.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 06:01 
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Yup, as always the best game mechanics are things which are basic on the surface "simply makes a duplicate of the chemical", but have actually got plenty of depth and complexity once you start analysing them. All the maths I posted above is room for mastery for good players, and stuff no new player is going to think about. But they don't need to think about it just yet. As long as they understand the simple concept of duplication then it's all good. As time goes on they'll start to realise they can use this duplication in combination with movers and good teamwork to build their base faster. A afte that they'll start to think about all the crazy maths I posted above comparing duplication vs neutralization and do even better still. So much room for mastery, yet simple to understand. Like chess :)

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Tue 30 Jun 2015, 22:10 
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Played some chemical warfare games, it was really intense. Bencelot, Maximilian, Grwbs and Lucas were there, Speculation & Nightfall joined briefly. I mostly participated in one match in Canal - starting off as Rebel and then changing team to Scientist for team balance - I ened up with just 2 QP bases and 1 alchemy (one of them was in Rebel base from my Rebel time, it got deinsulated but I don't know why not fully neutralized). Won. Second match was non-recapture in Contaminant, I joined at the last half/third of the game and then Maximilian left. I was fighting a losing situation to be honest, but nevertheless reached a stalemate at 9/10 for a while. Forgot to insulate my base, and that cost me the game eventually when Grwbs & Bencelot later worked together to capture their last compound by placing a car barrier.

Anyway, thoughts from the last few matches that got reinforced:
* Ruger is an awesome weapon, but perhaps it fires a bit too fast (100rpm instead?). Mind you, its quite a tough weapon to use and barrier enemies will make it take forever to kill, but it really can pick people off.
* Barrett might be overnerfed. It is obviously still devastating if there is a team of Barrett users, but individually it just isn't effective anymore. Perhaps it shoots too slow right now.
* M3 Super kills everything at close range, arguably far harder than even Spas and beats SMGs at their effective range. It should fire much slower than its current 120rpm (same as Ruger), perhaps 90rpm instead.
* Rifles don't see much action to be honest. For most of the Asylum game, the Rebel side had to deal with MG Frenziers with a tonne of Bloody Gains and Assault Armor 1 to rush. The rifles lack in DPS too severely in this case and are easily outmatched by accurate Ruger use. AK-47 requires barrier to even be reasonably useful even at close range, which really limits its competitiveness. M4A1's 20 ammo is a liability against tougher opponents, requiring Frenzy to compensate.

* Teleport + Chemical can be quite overpowered. It basically lets you instantly place a chemical at the desired location by waiting for the downtime at a safer location. This even works for compounders, provided you teleport from one uncaptured compounder to another. If I had used this tactic in Contaminant instead, I could have won because I could get rid of the last most difficult compound early and save an easier one for last.
* Phasic Bullets shouldn't deal 70% on rebound. It should instead deal 70% on pierce or on hitting the same person a 2nd time. Right now, trickshots with Phasic are incredibly difficult and unrewarding because of this, not to mention the damage is already limited by the phasic counter system (eg: every alternate bullet at level 5 is phasic, not all are phasic). Phasic was nerfed because it was incredibly powerful if you fired perpendicular to a wall for massive damage, especially if it rebounded again. There was no limit to piercing and rebounding, but now it does, and the 70% damage on rebound nerf is really meant to tone down this particular tactic in the first place.
* Plasma Ball has been really weak.
* Bullet Time's seeking has been overnerfed.

* Insulator really is stupid.
* Maximilian found a bug with Hitman having the same target multiple times in a row, and Bence, you confirmed this is so.
* Lucas found a way to crash servers. The 2 US servers that were crashed are still down.
* Players really spawn too fast and the spawnshield(which doesn't let you shoot out of) lasts too longer - couldn't catch a break in Canal. Spawnkilling with Frenzy was rampant in Asylum via the rightmost route.

EDIT: Maximilian said the chemical icons look the same. I agree; I pretty much buy chemicals from looking at the text and not the icon unlike when I'm buying guns or cars or from outright memorizing where I must click.

Nothing else I really recall for now.

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Last edited by STM1993 on Thu 02 Jul 2015, 07:40, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Tue 30 Jun 2015, 23:05 
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Observations from playing for fifteen minutes.
Ruger isn't as shit as I thought it was for the past year and a half. It's only seemed that way because we haven't had an 8 person game in the last eighteen months. ;p It's not the best solo weapon, but on a team where you have a frontline, it's great and you can take out priority targets easily.
Don't buff Barrett. Firerate should be the same, damage is fine. Tbh it's annoying to play against, and I feel like shit whenever I kill someone from off their screen. ;p Sure, I made a nice shot, but where's the counterplay?
M3. Omg. Pls. It needs to be more risky. Nerf ammo to 8 to start off. Nerf firerate. (Buff damage??? No, probably not. ;p) Nerf range, like it shouldn't do damage at the ranges that it does...
AK and M4A1 could use small buffs. So many people running tanky builds mean they just can't break through with their low dps and low burst. AK, just a small damage buff, M4A1... 40 bullet clip? Idk. Bringing it back to 30 would make it usable, but ik you want diversity among those weapons. Or a nerf to BG would make both viable.
And yeah bt sucks. :P Unusable. Lasic needs rework. Again. ;p Still no reason not to level 15 it.

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