What would you tweak about this game?

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gamerkhang

What would you tweak about this game?

Postby gamerkhang » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:36 pm

Hi everyone! Consider this my introduction. I'm totally new to this forum, never knew it existed but I've played turn based/real time strategy/tactics games for quite awhile now and I've experimented with AW in the past, but dropped it because I really like competitive multiplayer and online was not a thing since I didn't have a DS. More recently, I've been really into Street Fighter but that's a whole 'nother thing for some other time...

Anyway, I never really got to take a good look at AWBW or AWDoR competitive multiplayer (if anything I have more experience with watching casts for Age of Empires 2 and SupCom...), so before I started digging around for info about it, I wanted to see if I could spark some new discussion about the game. When I say tweak, that could be anything from basic quality-of-life improvements to multiplayer balance changes for buffing underused units/COs to campaign stuff. I'm particularly interested in multiplayer because it seems that the competitive scene has calmed down a bit with the lack of balance patches and whatnot, so much so that there's a guide on unit composition, commanders, etc.

For example, how would you buff DoR infantry?

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Xenesis » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:05 pm

Honestly? I wouldn't. DoR infantry are good early game units that are superceded by the tech upgrade option of Mechs or Bikes depending on your CO. It feels preferable to the very strong infantry in AW2 (which block near everything) and AW3 (You suicide as many as possible to get your COP first). It reduces the overall units on the field.

That being said, I think you could cut the cost back to 1000G - too much has changed around them in the game for them to be as dominant.
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Sven

Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Sven » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:53 am

I wouldn't put them back to 1000g if I had to buff them. when i played DoR i had plenty of success just playing the exact same zzz inf/arty/tank zoning deathball as brenner that you play with in AWBW. 1000g is too cheap to be able to control a space with AW's mechanics.

http://awbw.amarriner.com/game.php?games_id=227026
http://awbw.amarriner.com/game.php?games_id=228633

pretty sure my only wins against gip are with brenner inf actually.

if i had to buff inf i'd give them the same machine gun that mechs/bikes get. the most important thing for DoR is making sure that inf are crumpets zoning tools for most of the cast, so def buffs are out of the question. being able to hit a bit harder maybe lets you build them against mechs. maybe. lol yeah right.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:02 am

OK I didn't mean that you *had* to buff inf but that's interesting stuff to hear nonetheless.

gamerkhang

Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby gamerkhang » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:23 am

I'm also curious about what units are weak, why, and how they could be buffed if necessary.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Xenesis » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:52 am

Fundamentally, naval combat is a mess (but this applies to all AW games, rather than just AW4 specifically). This is a lot to do with the fact that it's basically a poor man's land game (less units, less terrain) and interacts very, very poorly with land/air units.

It's a hard problem to solve and one that might fundamentally be answered by culling them.
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Xenesis » Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:58 pm

Code: Select all

[1:33pm] Sven: man xenesis i'm trying to add more than what you've said for that unit comp stuff
[1:33pm] Sven: but you've basically summed it up
[1:33pm] Sven: lol
[1:34pm] Xenesis: Ha
[1:35pm] Sven: i want to just be like "DoR has a bunch of gimmicky crumpets written down because gippy had 10x the experience of the next player" but that's probably doing the game a disservice lol
[1:36pm] Xenesis: I mean there’s always the point that unit micromanagement is important because the units aren’t interchangeable anymore
[1:40pm] Sven: honestly the most telling point is that AWBW banned blackbombs
[1:41pm] Sven: they were almost universally hated amongst the IRC chat that was making decisions then
[1:41pm] Sven: completely ruined the dynamic they all thought AW was about
[1:43pm] Xenesis: Indeed
[1:43pm] Xenesis: AWDS is such a completely different game
[1:44pm] Sven: you have so much control over charge rate with DS
[1:44pm] Sven: like if both players don't build recons powers go off literally like two days later
[1:45pm] Sven: if you build arty and don't hit iwth them its a day later
[1:45pm] Sven: while in AWBW its almost always day 13 lol
[1:45pm] Sven: like without fail lol
[1:45pm] Xenesis: Heh.
[1:46pm] Xenesis: I am impressed how fundamentally slow in every way AWBW/sorta-AW2 is
[1:47pm] Sven: it's the way we chose our maps honestly
[1:47pm] Sven: at first pretty much all games were onesided roflstomps
[1:47pm] Sven: but no one wants to invest a month into a onesided roflstomp
[1:48pm] Sven: so pretty much all early interaction got eliminated in mapmaking
[1:49pm] Xenesis: There’s also that
[1:49pm] Linky: :/
[1:49pm] Linky: map-making shaped the game
[1:49pm] Linky: interesting
[1:49pm] Xenesis: Course it does
[1:49pm] Sven: even good players used to make unforced errors
[1:50pm] Sven: stuff like moving tanks in a way that made it obvious which front on a multifront map they were committing to
[1:50pm] Sven: or in arty wars just moving in cause they got bored
[1:50pm] Xenesis: I did that one a lot
[1:50pm] Xenesis: I got bored
[1:52pm] Xenesis: So I’d knowingly make the bad decision to confront
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gamerkhang

Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby gamerkhang » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:34 pm

Xenesis wrote:

Code: Select all

[1:50pm] Xenesis: I got bored
[1:52pm] Xenesis: So I’d knowingly make the bad decision to confront


Eugh, that just sounds depressing. It's interesting to acknowledge this here since I've pretty much seen the same thing for Starcraft 2 with how they had to expand map sizes significantly and ensure specific map features to make sure map strats weren't too limited.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Xenesis » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:42 pm

It's a problem in AW1/AW2 because of the way the push/pull dynamic plays out. Being aggressive is often a bad decision because defensive terrain, reinforcement times and repair benefit the defender plus the CO Power charge mechanic in AW1/2 will give your opponent a CO Power faster than you can claim territory. Cities in AW1/2 having a 3*/+30% defence boost for full HP units are markedly a part of this.

Dual Strike changes that dynamic by making powers charge faster but more controllably, having ways to subvert it (Black Bombs). Days of Ruin completely flips the game on its head - it eschews the comeback mechanic for the zone only giving charge, and you only get charge when you inflict damage on the opponent.

Advance Wars by Web also has the side problem of allowing you to play out your turns with essentially as much time as you want. When you can plan each turn for an hour or three it is possible to shore up obvious holes in your defence that would otherwise get exploited unless you have the quick reactions required for a 1-3 minute per turn rule that AWDoR forces in random Wifi.
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Obvious » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:44 am

"It's a problem in AW1/AW2 because of the way the push/pull dynamic plays out. Being aggressive is often a bad decision because defensive terrain, reinforcement times and repair benefit the defender plus the CO Power charge mechanic in AW1/2 will give your opponent a CO Power faster than you can claim territory. Cities in AW1/2 having a 3*/+30% defence boost for full HP units are markedly a part of this."
I agree with that stuff in general, actually, at least as far as mechanics go, so I'll just cut to the stuff I disagree with in terms of mere mechanics:
*Defensive terrain - honestly, I think the real problem is using division defense in the first place, rather than subtraction defense like Fire Emblem. I can tell you why division defense, unless WELL checked, is bad: it suffocates burst values. The most prominent example is the AA Tank VS Infantry: if there's even a moderate amount of defense, the attack boost required to make up for it will be higher than it should be.
*Terrain as an innate **** you - at the end of the day, it's still really the AA Tank dealing 105% base to Infantry that created the power creep in the series. The AA Tank is supposed to be the player's reward for keeping the enemy armor under control, as a way to shred everything not protected by ceramic plating. Having it fail to provide the reward in risk-reward is something that's not cool.

By the way, I playtested a map like this on AW2:
http://s7.postimg.org/7q1j40xd7/Boxer_Forest.png
And I can tell you just how unneeded the Black Bomb is to check Grit when using something like the map's basic concept: Bomber VS Artillery BD is 105%. Yes, the Bomber. In AW2. This actually means something when you mix in relevant Roads too, because it means Grit's defense can't get ridiculous by spamming Artillery. Something will get poked and Grit will end up getting blitzed hard preventing him from destroying everything in sight with a Super Snipe counterattack. Grit can't even force a COP either, because he will just lose too many forces if he advances too quickly. The playtesting had literally NO meter charging from either side for a good number of Days because both sides simply wanted to position rather than attack.

And yes, I'm aware the map does need tweaks like preventing Recon FTA. But you can see what it intends to do if you look at the map.

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DieselPheonix

Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby DieselPheonix » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:58 pm

This discussion reminds me I completed a pair of AWBW games with infantry banned. Naturally, we all built mechs instead. However, it was interesting to note that, due to plodding movement of the unit, not building them at the right time had a more observable consequence than infantry and their 3 movement.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Xenesis » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:06 pm

Obvious wrote:*Defensive terrain - honestly, I think the real problem is using division defense in the first place, rather than subtraction defense like Fire Emblem. I can tell you why division defense, unless WELL checked, is bad: it suffocates burst values. The most prominent example is the AA Tank VS Infantry: if there's even a moderate amount of defense, the attack boost required to make up for it will be higher than it should be.

AW2/3's defence isn't division-based defence though, it's a subtractive multiplication. AWDoR uses division and higher damage from units is actually quite effective. AW1's is division and multiplier based but it's a bit weird.
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Dragonite » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:42 am

defence up until AWDS gets especially silly if you get 130+ defence, especially when skills/Kanbei are involved. Having a hefty reduction is one thing, untis being barely vulerable up until being completely invincible on certain terrain with enough HP is just silly.

Coming to think of it, the universal +10 defence a CO power is annoying in that aspect either. It just absolutely frustrates any sort of offense, and there's almost no way of piercing it.

AWDOR often feels a bit more functional to play because defense is brought back to being offences equal. Aside from that, the level up system ensures playing to defensively and sacrificing units needlessy will eventually come back to haunt you, with 20% extra offence, you'll get to strike at full force or a actual boost more often, and even moreso if you manage to destroy the enemy CO unit, and get a few exclusive strikes with boosted stats vs bland units on ordinary cover. Feels very good to just be able to wipe out pesky infantry from city spaces in one shot without needing a improbably amount of offence.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Kiltman2 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:36 am

I would give all the planes legs

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DieselPheonix

Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby DieselPheonix » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:43 am

Clearly the ships need legs.

More seriously, it is important to keep in mind how every component part affects the game. HP charging Powers instead of unit cost, plus charge only for the attacker, plus charge only within the zone, all of which then interact with unit and CO match-ups which both have their own intricacies, on top of terrain specifics of the given game, and so on.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Bonesy » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:50 am

war dogs

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby GipFace » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:37 pm

AW4 is phenomenal when it comes to unit balance. Instead of just seeing armies comprised of 70% infantry like in previous games, almost every unit serves a purpose and I wouldn't change most of them. Some of the unit tweaks were strokes of genius, such as b-copter base damage (BD) modifications, but most of the tech units simply benefited from the damage formula change.

But there were some duds. Let's look at the units that don't see much AW4 pvp play:

Recon - The biggest casualty of changed mechanics. Recons in AW2/3 could disrupt, and you didn't mind losing them because they added to your power meter. You could also build them earlier in the capture phase because infantry was G1000. In AW4, you're spending your cash on F1500 infantry and F2500 bikes. If I had to tweak this unit, I'd make it deal slightly more to indirect units. In the late game, if the map is road-heavy, a recon or two can flank indirect units and poke them.

Flare - Only used in fog. You'd have to give this another utility ability, such as black boat repair, because the tank outclasses it and you can't make it have better offensive ability than the tank. Even with something like black boat repair, I don't think I'd play this unit. My most radical suggestion would be to give it mech movement, so it can go on mountains and isn't impeded by terrain.

Antitank - If this unit is buffed defensively or less expensive, I think it'd become too good. Give it a slight ATK boost against direct vehicles and it'd see more play. As it stands, the b-copter is the best answer against tanks.

Missiles - It got buffed from AW3 and still doesn't see play. I don't know what you can do with this unit because its role is exactly as advertised. Air units are also fragile enough that they don't need missiles to be buffed. The only thing I could suggest would be to give it a weak machine gun or something so that it can beat soldiers or indirect units.

Rig - I'd reduce the cost of the rig to F4000 so that you'd consider building it over the t-copter. Or go SFW style and allow it to load 2 inf/mech.

Fighter - The problem with the fighter is that it's too frail and takes just as much of a beating as the duster. I'd boost its DEF considerably by no longer having missiles 1HKO it, change antiair vs. fighter to 50BD, and change duster vs. fighter to 35BD. With the added DEF, it could function as an annoying wall unit. Actually, it'd be cute to give this unit a KAMIKAZE ability that could hit land and sea units, but the Japanese developers would never allow it.

Sea units - Sea units and sea combat is a concept that's inherently flawed for the reasons Xenesis explained. There is no way to salvage sea combat in pvp. Only the battleship sees some use in "doughnut" maps where there's a body of water in the center.

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Sven

Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Sven » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:59 pm

aw4 great except the infantry are costed wrooooooooooooooooooooooong

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby ThunderWalker » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:41 am

In regards to sea, I think we are better off with a group of small units than the current Big Ship layout. Less expensive sea units, but a good number of smaller ones. This goes for all AW games, not only AWDoR.

AWDS Black Boat (Frail, capable of repairing land units as well as sea units, transport), Patrol boat (frail boat can carry inf, gun similar to Anti-Air) Gun Cruiser, (naval artillery with slightly longer range, than the land counterpart, can fire on the move), Cruiser (similar to current Cruiser, but missiles have 1-2 range whereas the small gun can target land units). Lander and Sub remain, but no Battleships or Aircraft Carriers outside of missions. A few amphibious tanks would be there too (though they can only move from land to sea when using either ports, rivers or shoals).
That way, land and sea would at least interact.

@GipFace: What about the Flare being Amphibious, which means it can cross both rivers and even the ocean?
Same can be done with Missiles, for that matter.

It is worth noting that both units are far more valuable in FoW than outside of it, though, and I know that you don't really like playing inside FoW (for perfectly valid reasons), though if you believe they are not exactly useful in FoW I will take your word.
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby JSRulz » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:32 am

I have a few things to add to the discussion, though since we are specifically talking about Days of Ruin. Most of the good things have been spoken.

Sea Battles

I think one of the biggest hurdles to sea battles is that there is no real reason to go out to sea in Advance Wars.

  • Sea unit battle is the most expensive thing to do in any Advance Wars game (unless they are pre-deployed)
  • Sea battle offers no speed burst in movement for land battles (instead it is just slower)
  • Sea battle offers little advantage for air superiority (Cruisers and Aircraft Carriers are the only units to interact with air, and they are worst than Anti-Air)

All in all, sea gives no advantages. There is no special buildings in sea that forces players to contest. There is no sea unit that specializes in capturing to help deal with property control. Most sea units are delegated to the ocean, which usually means that sea units can't be used to control land mass in an effective way. I feel the only unit that can help turn the tide is the Battleship, but even that unit is severely limited in how much effect it has over the battlefield because the sea can't cover the entire map.

The truth is, the only thing that sea can do better is carry two land units across a body of water. However, once a factory is captured across that body, sea has nothing else to offer. As long as an Airport exists in the map, it is a lot more cost effective just to use Helicopters to shuttle over infantry until the Factory is captured. Sea is just too situational, and just like the Missiles, has a very weakened state in the game.

What I would tweak?

Personally, I would have a special property that only sea units can obtain that can drastically help land and air performance. This will force sea to be important, and even if it is dragged out, it'll at least force people to either build the sea units, or give their opponents a significant advantage. At the current moment, sea battle isn't really forced because it doesn't do anything to support the land battle. Instead, it helps them travel at a slower rate than they would if you were to just build land and air by themselves.

As for helping the Missiles out, the main problem with them is that they are just way too specialized. If your unit's best use is babysitting one airport, you are not going to get built. Anti-air does that and the kitchen sink, for 3/4 the price. I always fancied that the Missiles should be a poor man Rockets. I would give them the ability to hit ground units, but with drastically reduced damage (like 20% of what a Rocket would do if hitting a land target). At least, it would allow the Missile unit to be utilized, but the Rocket will still outclass it when speaking raw numbers.

It still is ugly though. No matter what, some units will always not have a use. I think it is okay that Advance Wars has units that are hard to be utilized, otherwise we'd keep getting repeats of AW1. Not fun. The game has to stop overpopulating and bloating the unit count (and the CO count). The tank, anti-air, copter combo is still very tightly done, and the best part of the game is just keeping the balance between those units.

JSRulz

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Linkman » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:10 am

If you think about real warfare, the reasons armies have a navy is (and please excuse the incredibly gross simplification of military strategy):

- Ferrying of land troops/supplies
- Control of enemy supply and trade routes
- Carrier support so aircrafts can land for fuel/repairs

This third one is where Advance Wars totally flakes (:P), because somehow all air units can fly without refueling for eons and navy ships sink like a rock if they're out of fuel.

An easy first fix is making so that ships only consume fuel if they move, and they don't sink when they're out of fuel; even subs, if they're diving and they run out of fuel what should happen is that they surface and can't move, and that's it.

Weakening the airforce so they *need* sea support is probably too big a change for Advance Wars, but a second change would be making that ships take a lot less damage from aircraft. Because that's kinda what happens in real life too! Sinking a battlecruiser or an aircraft carrier is not an easy task by any means.

Sea units will always be relegated to a support role if maps are built with ground/air warfare in mind, but I think it's possible to make sea/air maps actually fun. If I think about Civ IV/V, you get pretty much the same issues.
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby ThunderWalker » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:20 pm

There are plenty of known examples in which aircraft carriers have been sunk by a single bomb or torpedo. For battleships, these examples are much rarer, though a few examples with armor-piercing bombs in the magazines exist, but those were based on pure luck.
However, AW's Bombers are loaded with standard bombs to be effective against ground targets and use carpet bombing strategies - and good luck hitting a carrier with that. Or even as much as scratching the thick armor of a battleship.

For a gunfire example, there were several thousand shells pumped into the Bismarck and it still took 5 more torpedoes to finish it off. The Bismarck also had already taken two aerial torpedoes from earlier engagements.

If we keep Battleships for the next AW game, I would make them consist of three stages;

The operational state it comes out at if built, and the stage we know now. Firepower does not reduce if taking damage in this stage.
The damaged state; its firepower reduces throughout this stage and its movement reduced by one.
The crippled state; It can no longer open fire and its movement is reduced by three.

They would be priced accordingly. How bulky each individual stage would be, I do not know.
Another funny note is that it has essentially 30 HP - it'll take a while to repair :p .
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Dragonite » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:54 am

Isn't a real life advantage of a battleship/carrier that it's basically a versatile floating base of sorts? Besides hosting fighters(which AW also simplifies), they are also used for long-range missile systems and such. My knowledge is limited, but a large US carrier probably is capable of both anti-air and anti-ground warfare. The raw firepower of a naval force is something to be feared at least.

AW naval units are onedimensional, especially for their price (it was even worse when the cruiser wasn't able to attack ships at all). Battleship is a okay unit, but still suffers from a lot of weaknesses, and is expensive. AW4 cruiser is basically a mess offensively and defensively. I would like to give the carrier increased defense in general, especially air, and maybe both indirect and direct attack(with direct not being so poor). Battleship also could be a little less frail from the air. However, you'll need to mess with AW's core rules to really fix more. I would like it if the most expensive ships didn't lose attack power upon damage, so that with the increased defense those expensive units are a threat unless sunk. And perhaps give the carrier some weak indirect land/ships to make it more versatile(with the battleship being able to deal heavy-duty land/naval damage).Right now they feel lukewarm at best.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby HPD » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:03 am

Eh, I'm not so sure. One of AW's main selling points has always been its intuitive simplicity where the mechanics were concerned. Adding 'unit stages', complex fuel economics or other things would probably just make things more convoluted. Even if it did help balance, it probably wouldn't be beneficial to overall gameplay.

Maybe introduce a coastal raider unit that can go on sea, shoals and river tiles to cap coastal properties or props connected to rivers? I think the main issue with navy seeing lack of play is because there are hardly any contested properties on water. And if there are, they're on hard-to-reach islands which are logistically more trouble than they're worth. A cheap coastal raider could speed for those properties and basically force a player to retaliate.

Basically: cheap (~4k to 6k), high movement, low att/def and can cap anything connected to sea, shoal or river (including bridges). Maybe with fair damage vs copters so B-copters don't counter them outright.
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby gamerkhang » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:35 am

Oh my gosh it's excellent to see that my thread is still inspiring discussion today. Thanks for all the chatter guys! :V

Now if only we had a group of godlike programmers who could make us a mod engine for AW...

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JSRulz

Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby JSRulz » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:55 pm

gamerkhang wrote:Now if only we had a group of godlike programmers who could make us a mod engine for AW...


Ummm, yeah, if only...
Oh wait, he said godlike programmers, nevermind... :arrr:

Anyway, I agree with the fact that simplicity is the root of AW's success. If sea is going to be fixed, it will have to be done by either playing with the statistics, or adding a property/unit that will make sea more viable. Drastically changing the way AW works will only make the game more complicated and turn a lot of people off.

As it stands, Air > Land > Sea in terms of power, versatility, and control over a battlefield.

Sea just doesn't have a chance. Every single one of the ships in AW since its inception has always been weak to one of the weakest air units in Advance Wars, the Bomber. We just have to face the fact that sea will always be obsolete unless we are playing in a full ocean map. I think even with the proposed changes, sea will never be able to boost past the "support" role. Even air, without infantry, can take charge and win a map. However, you can pile up 50 Battleships near the coast and still can't hit an enemy infantry in the corner of the map.

Sea was doomed from the start. It was meant to play as "support", and it doesn't even do that properly. Air units do everything that sea does 100000x better. Even land units can outpace sea in terms of map control. Sea just can't compete.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby ThunderWalker » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:46 pm

HPD wrote:Eh, I'm not so sure. One of AW's main selling points has always been its intuitive simplicity where the mechanics were concerned. Adding 'unit stages', complex fuel economics or other things would probably just make things more convoluted. Even if it did help balance, it probably wouldn't be beneficial to overall gameplay.

It'd only really go for Battleships though, which would receive a Tutorial mission of their own (assuming AW1-style Tutorials). Battleships are historically known as nearly unsinkable fortresses, and that should be reflected ingame. Only luck could sink one.

And yeah, coastal raiders and amphibious vehicles would be helpful a lot, especially if their match-up versus ships is bad enough (enough for a single Cruiser to tear into them).

And probably special properties, like a Fortress (city with 4 terrain stars) or cities that provide more funds than the standard city could make islands more interesting.
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby GipFace » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:26 pm

I think the implementation in AW4 pvp maps is as good as we're gonna get. Seaports are usually placed nearer to the center of the map with a narrow sea body so that they can be used as a wallbreaker option. Either the sea body is a lake that effectively splits the battlefield, or it's narrow enough that land units can actually threaten it. F25k to threaten a keep a COU away? Yes please.

Other than that, there's no point trying to design maps around an inherently flawed concept. Many other games have tried to implement sea combat only to drop it in the next game. Warcraft 2 had sea, War3 didn't. Age of Wonders had sea, AOW2 didn't.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Terragent » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:07 pm

AW is too broad-strokes to make naval combat work, really. The only games I've seen that really make navies a solid option are Supreme Commander and Total Annihilation, and they're way on the simulation end of the simulation-vs-arcade scale. You can make battleships and absolutely wreck entire armies with them, but that only works because they're literally a hundred times more expensive than top-tier land units and take ten minutes to build. AW simply doesn't have the scale you'd need to make that kind of asymmetric unit composition work - plus since terrain and bases are all static and immutable, the whole idea of long-distance fire support to smash down fortifications doesn't feature in the game anyway.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby ThunderWalker » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:18 pm

Which is why I think that reducing Naval combat to a few amphibious units and patrol boats isn't a bad idea.

That way, you don't really have to scale them up because the biggest ship (outside of campaign mode) is only a few hundred tons and not much more expensive than an expirimental tank (the Neotank is the only AW comparison to draw here).
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby scraggypunk » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:35 am

the aesthetics of the game sucked
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Dragonite » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:47 pm

Something I also noticed about the game, is that on larger maps(guilty pleasure), air gets a bit silly. Fighters are meh at their job, but they also get the standard 55% against other fighters. That gets out of control if the amount of funds is to high. Then again, the metagame seems to focus on small to medium sized 1v1 maps for good reason, and the AI I'm stuck with has a air fetish as soon as they have the income. Air gameplay needs to support land to be anything deep.

Would fighters work better as a slighty more expensive tech unit that also can attack other unit types like the seaplane? VS Bombers their current damage is rather low, as Gip stated. If it was a bit higher, and the fighter more expensive to increase the risk of attacking, it might work better.

Broad strokes strikes again, pretty much. Air has to be balanced being reasonable effective against land, be reasonably countered by land, and have all the units work well within the air system itself(the latter what AW4 sacrificed to do very well on the first two points.)

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby GipFace » Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:42 pm

The fighter is rarely used because it's an answer, not a threat, and you've got at least two bases that can pump out actual tech threats like rockets or md tanks. The duster is a threat because it can pick off multiple soldiers if the opponent isn't careful. The only use a fighter has over a duster is that when it's used by the air COs Waylon (130A) and Tasha (150A), it 1HKOs dusters:

130A fighter vs. 100D duster = 104% (Waylon beats non-zone dusters)
150A fighter vs. 110D duster = 109% (Tasha beats zone dusters from non-air COs)

However, in practice, Waylon and Tasha have other options. Waylon would much rather use the money on bombers. Tasha's zone duster is a superior tactical unit. It 1HKOs b-copters, picks off soldiers, and very rarely will you need to 1HKO a duster to launch an offensive. Crippling it is good enough:

150A duster vs. 110D b-copter = 101%
150A duster vs. 110D duster = 74%; counterattack: 3HP 110A vs. 130D = 13%, 2HP 110A vs. 130D = 9% (Tasha wins 9-3, 9-2, or 10-2)

The fighter is in a tough spot because it's an air-to-air unit. Air COs need their air units to get an advantage on land COs. They can't afford to waste money on fighters. But if land COs use fighters against the air COs, their zone dusters wreck fighters. If the fighter is buffed to the point where land COs can effectively use them, air COs become worse, and they're already disadvantaged with bland land units.

---

You're right about medium maps being typical in 1v1 games. There isn't much of a point in making larger maps because I'd rather pay multiple games on medium maps than one game on a large map. AWBWers believe the map size limit is bad. I disagree; restriction breeds creativity. Be aware that even small adjustments in dimensions greatly affects the area of the map. The smallest I'd play on is 14x14 (196 sq. tiles), and I'll play up to 20x20 (400 sq. tiles). 30x30 (900 sq. tiles) is the map size limit but that's too much. I don't see AW3's 30x20 (600 sq. tiles) map size limit as a problem either.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Dragonite » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:59 am

As far as tweaks go, a minor gripe with the game that I have is that materials can't be refilled within the normal rules. Rigs and carriers should get them restored at factories and ports.. Makes sense with flavor and balance since the building spots would provide the first batch to begin with, and needing duplicate rigs gets silly.

Something I noticed as far as Gips explainations go is that he usually focuses on the specific setup that has been proven to be balanced.(Limited bases to restrict the unit count, at least one airport,the occasional port in a support position.I don't know about chokepoints/vs openness) However, the game has a lot more variables then that. Some maps provide a lot more starting bases, com towers exist, and you can set a permanent weather and alter income.

Do you focus on on that standard because one is needed for balanced theory, or does altering map design and rules break the balance altogether? I've read the unit guide a couple times, so I do suspect the game balance is indeed fragile.

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby GipFace » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:59 am

Com towers generally aren't played anymore. If both players get one com tower, the effect is canceled out, except that luck for both sides is slightly reduced because DEF is higher. People hate losing the luck roll at 97%, a common % because it shows up at 150A 65BD/130A 75BD, so why encourage more of it? Maps requiring central properties that don't repair land units use radars instead of com towers.

What happens in a 3-base map over a 2-base map is that there's less incentive to tech and mechs become more important. Air is weaker and air COs must sacrifice unit count to get up an early COU b-copter. Interestingly, more bases on larger maps doesn't mean you'll mech spam; if the mechs can't make it to the center of the map, you'll leave the bases empty. A bunch of the larger pack-in maps played well enough on random wi-fi despite having 3 starting bases.

The AW4 metagame was developed quite well, mostly out of necessity because everyone was picking Tabitha and smashing people in with Tabitanks. There was actually a time when airports weren't standard! You can thank AWBW for that!

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Dragonite » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:18 am

Regarding CO's. a pet idea of mine for uh.. carter(can't remember the correct USA spelling), always was to reduce co zone to 3, but give him a regular CO power: all units get granted a level up. I have no idea if it would be useless, average, or broken, but it's more novel then a underwhelming wide range boost, and it fits him.

Suppose Caulder could've been less dramatically broken too. His campaign mission deals more with the Owls nest then his abilities(usually a easily contained duster), so why did they bother? crumpets and giggles? I suppose he's still strong enough to let any decent player trounce gip. Was he ever seriously tested?

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby ThunderWalker » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:26 pm

GipFace wrote:Com towers generally aren't played anymore. If both players get one com tower, the effect is canceled out, except that luck for both sides is slightly reduced because DEF is higher. People hate losing the luck roll at 97%, a common % because it shows up at 150A 65BD/130A 75BD, so why encourage more of it? Maps requiring central properties that don't repair land units use radars instead of com towers.


Isn't it better that if you decide to use Com Towers in mapmaking, that you will place them (or more likely, just one) at a spot where they will have to be fought over, one way or another?
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Xenesis » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:00 pm

Dragonite wrote:Suppose Caulder could've been less dramatically broken too. His campaign mission deals more with the Owls nest then his abilities(usually a easily contained duster), so why did they bother? crumpets and giggles? I suppose he's still strong enough to let any decent player trounce gip. Was he ever seriously tested?


We actually tried a nerfed Caulder in a hack ages ago who has no stat boosts and just 2 HP healing. Just that was easily enough for one of us to roll over the other. Healing everyday is so awesome.
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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Dragonite » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:54 am

Yes, especially when it's a major amount,with defenses meaning you rarely get damaged below 5 HP, and if you are, the crazy offenses let 7-9 HP units or so take on healthy ones if they really need it...It's been 7 years and I still am processing the silly. If I understand Gip's theory right, he also makes high unit count his plaything(along normal unit matchups. And well, everything.)

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Re: What would you tweak about this game?

Postby Linkman » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:42 am

This is some vintage WWN theorytarding right here.
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