Increase T3 mex cost & reduce reclaim to reward aggressive gameplay at T2 stage


I agree that changing mex values should only be done with extreme care. It's such a fundamental building block of supreme commander that it will affect everything else. But one thing that always struck me as very strange is the lack of diminishing retuns when upgrading from T2 to T3 mexes. Consider:

Upgrading from T1 to T2 mex pays off for itself in 3min 45s
Upgrading from T2 to T3 and ringing it with mass storage pays off in 4min 17s
Cntr-k of a t2 mex, building a T3 mex and ringing it pays off in 3min 42s, faster than the T2 upgrade!

This contrasts massively with the very strong diminishing return of going from T1 to T2 mexes, or going from T3 mexes to Massfabs/RASboys. As a result, when being behind on the T3 eco upgrade, the window for punishing your opponent in the T2 phase is very slim, especially on the ever popular 20x20 team game maps.

Reclaim is a mechanic I think that has to be seriously looked at. It for sure increases the depth of the game in the T1 stage, but it is punishing the attacker increasingly as the game progresses. More often than not, a non-game ending land or navy push in the later stages of the game just ends up being a giant mass donation.



Could you please substantiate your argument? Frankly right now your posts look like nothing more than shitposts. I completely disagree that mex price is a fundamental pillar with complex interactions thats shifts it all. It literally only affects timing of aggression vs defence. All units stay the same. I think my analysis is fairly complete. TA lore isnt a reason to leave mex income and prices untouched. At the end of the day we need to ask ourselves why faf has become slow and static and wether we want that. Making eco a worse option makes units better. And i think faf should be about making units and using them right and not about making mexes and firebases.

How many games people where surprised in teamgames in the following way:

"Oh no my opponent made units. I might have a problem"

You would understand.


Then again how much is eco whoring related to cheap t3 mexes and how much is it realted to map design? I see dualgap getting 12 base mexes when t3 mexes are nerfed.
But on the other hand t3 mexes + cap are more efficient than capping t2 mexes. Probably close to t2 mexes in efficiency. Only thing that limits you from making them immidiatly is the huge upfront cost.
Combine the short repay time of t3 mex and the slow travel time of t3 units/ experimentals you get that strong defenders advantage and therefore eco whoring.

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Accusing me of not thinking about the game is not conducive to the discussion, because I can assure you I did think about the game before making my post.

I added analysis as to why I think that T3 is too good, and before saying I merely stated preferences maybe try engaging with my arguments and refuting them before throwing accusations. Currently you are just being toxic.

Hint: travel time of T2 and T3 units is too slow. If I rush a percival on 20x20 it takes more than 5 mins (>T3 mex payback time) to arrive at opponent unless I drop it, which is connected to having radar / air supriority and requires alot more apm, thought and risk taking than making a mex and then making the percival right next to the mex.


I would agree with Ftx that changing eco rather than the price of units is probably not the best move. In my games, i tend to think like that : i have t2 mex, i can upgrade one factory to t2, i have 2-3 t3 mexes, i can start to think about a monkey/gc ... etc.

Changing the price of some units is an easy change to process from the player perspective, however changing eco values would mean you have to adapt your entire gameplay.
Plus, it would completly ruin build orders for the big eco map, I'm sure people playing those would largely prefer that few units are made cheaper/more expensive, than having to think again about "should i make t3 mex now, can i afford it ?".


I can assure you that no player of competitive relevance thinks about the number of T2 facs relative to his mex count. But rather on the basis of gut feeling / reclaim control / game position overall eco state.


Bennis, its not just TA Lore. Every CT RTS: Planetary, TA and Supcom, and alongside their various derivatives, all have the same core mex income economy.

And its a fundamental part of that expectation is Mass/Metal etc production T1 is 2, and higher tech mexes is that vaguely x3.

I’m a shitty 1k Global. Any balance or gameplay suggestions should be understood or taken as such.

Project Head and current Owner/Manager of SCTA Project



Why is the efficiency of the T3 mex practically the same as the T2 mex, when the jump between T1 and T2 mexes is so large? The decision to get the first T2 mex is often a significant decision in 1v1 games because of the vast decrease in efficiency, whereas, on the other hand, the storaged T3 mex is almost as efficient as a T2 mex, which makes it a much less impactful decision and often a no-brainer to get. Couple that with the difference in build time, means that the jump from T1->T2 is approximately larger by a factor of 30 than the jump between T2->T3.

The lack of a significant efficiency decrease from T2->T3 is especially difficult to countenance, given that T3 mexes actually have quite a few advantages over T2 mexes. T3 mexes have far more HP than T2 ones. The UEF T3 mex has a whopping 9k HP, compared to the 2.5k on the T2 mex. This means it is far more resistant to eco snipe options like strat bombers (if a strat hits a storaged T2, you lose it all and some reclaim from overkill. If a strat hits a T3, you just lose the storages and the mex can tank a few more strat hits). I think this advantage alone already makes it much more desirable than upgrading T2 mexes/storaging them in a lot of situations. There are even more advantages: e.g., investment required to defend them is often smaller, since it is more eco packed into in a small location, etc..

IMO I do agree with Bennis that T3 mex could use some nerf. I know FtX is against changing the base input/output value, since most other balance issues are built upon the foundation set by the mexes, and I do see the validity in that argument. Here are some other ideas to nerf the T3 mex:

  • reducing the HP to <6k so all mexes only survives 2 strat bombs from bombers of any faction.
  • increasing the build time by ~3x (it would need to be increased by 5x to be proportional from the jump from T1->T2).

Is it correct to include the total output of the upgraded mexes when calculating their time to pay off? I had assumed you had to count the T2 output as +4 because it's already at +2 before the upgrade. In that case time to payoff would be 225s which would be 12.5x the time.

Also the cost of ringing should be 800 (cost of 4x storage). That would make 266 seconds to pay off based on +3 mass.

Assuming that is the correct way to calculate it, you then get 300 seconds to pay back a +18 T3 mex.


The thing that bothers me about T3 mexes is how big of a jump there is between a ringed T2 mex and a ringed T3 mex. You get +18 net income from upgrading a ringed T2 mex to T3. Compared to the +4 and +3 from upgrading a T1 mex to T2 and ringing it. This is because the ringing of the mex is performing double duty in the upgrade cycle. Ringing a T2 mex is cheap enough to be worth it all on its own, but this same investment then gives another +9 mass once the mex is upgraded to T3. Unringed T3 mexes are almost never built. This is about the same as always skipping the T3 mex and going straight to T4 mex (ringed T3 mex), which seems like bad and unintuitive balance to me. The 800 mass invested in storages gives +3 mass then another +9 mass, so you get +12 mass just from and 800 mass investment. Extremely OP.

I guess the way to fix this is to nerf mass storages or the mass storage adjacency bonus in some way.


It's a completely unsupported assertion to say that the only way you can or should change the game to allow more aggression is changing units, and not adjusting eco buildings. You simply assert it isn't good to adjust t3 mexes, because they are an "extremely important frame of reference." All that means is a change to it would be very IMPACTFUL. It provides absolutely ZERO argument why a nerf or buff would be GOOD OR BAD. And further, if you are not making any RELATIVE changes to unit costs, I frankly disagree with the point. Weighing the cost benefit analysis of which units to make in various situations changes MORE when you nerf or buff a certain unit, not when you make EVERYTHING either cheaper or more expensive. At most, your argument just says we shouldn't make DRASTIC changes. You act as if increasing t3 mex cost by 2% would completely ruin the game: "disaster of old balances...shitfest of GPG." There is absolutely no logical reason to support that. I think that we should be very careful about making changes to eco buildings, but it's completely unnecessary and frankly illogical to treat them as sacrosanct. If we can't assume that Forged Alliance unit balance perfect upon release (has FAF not made any improvements?), why would you ever assume the eco balance was PERFECT?

Bennis, on the other hand provides a number of solid arguments in favor of his position. T3 mexes payoff fast enough that aggression investments have a hard time punishing them, so t3 mexes are very often optimal.

I do however think his suggestion of a 25% cost increase is very big and probably too way much. I would start with a 5% to 10% cost increase and see how that works.

Personally I think the reason most teamgames are very eco heavy is more because of map layouts, and how rambo acus with overcharge are still pretty overpowered in the t2 stage. I think a very small t3 mex nerf might help a bit as well though.


Stop the pointless strawman. No, you should not change it at all, regardless of the degree of severity.

You do not change it because the game is incredibly intricate and tons of changes are built upon the assumption of the game scaling up at a certain pace. You will need to adjust tons of navy, tons of late game tech, tons of structures, even ACU upgrades when you adjust mex output. I really don't think any of you quite comprehend the breadth of impact that such a change would have on the balance. Such a thing would require several years of testing, even if there was any actual support for such a change. It is just such a terrible waste of resources for a negligible impact. What is this for? To slow down the game for tech 2? The game progresses at a decent enough pace as is. It doesn't need any slow down, it's already a slow RTS.

If anything, the game needs to be sped up.

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This isn't a strawman argument, it's one that you apparently have no true counterargument for. Of course, "the Forged Alliance economy was perfect the day it was released." Sigh. "should not change it at all, regardless of severity." How can you possibly justify that? Please explain how a 1% t3 mex cost increase will drastically change the t1 and t2 stages of the game.
For the breadth of the "problem," just how many ACU upgrades do you think will be impacted by the TECH THREE MEX cost being slightly increased? Which structures will be severely impacted? How much do we really need to worry about the costs of ANY tech 1 units or structures? You are just saying obviously incorrect things without any support whatsoever.
How can you so vehemently resist even considering any changes, and still claim they would have "a negligible impact?" That is completely contradictory.
Finally, you mistakenly claim the "pace" of the game is too slow, focusing solely on how quickly you progress through the tech structure. Are you not hearing that the game scaling up at a certain pace is the PROBLEM? Because really it's about how much ACTION there is at each stage of the game. Would you actually claim that 1v1s on a 5km map are "slow paced" because you do not reach the t4 stage very quickly (if ever)? I would say a game that has plenty of viable strategies at each tech stage is a lot more interesting, strategic and enjoyable than "skip t2 and build t3 mex every single teamgame."

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LOL. Refusing to consider a 1% change implies they must be perfect. That is basic logic.
Seriously, I listed many of the ways that the game will not be severely impacted. There are not 10000 side effects. Basically all of t1 land and air (edit): are unaffected. T2 might become slightly more useful since it's harder to skip to t3. You literally haven't explained HOW ANYTHING could change negatively. The relative costs of all units are still the same! What changes is how easily you can skip the t2 stage because of t3 eco.


I also don't get this scale up argument at all. I've had zero problems having games end at t2 stage in teamgames.

What ACU upgrades? All combat upgrades will need to be reviewed to see how a nerf to mass income generation could result in them becoming unintentionally powerful. So chrono, double gun, shield+gun. Then we will need to look at t3 suite, or at least t3 structures that could be used offensively (and t2 arty), and determine if these are now underpowered. If they are underpowered, how does this change the relation to how factions can counter a fatty? How about countering snipers?

There you go, one situation.

Like do I really need to explain to you that every tradeoff situation in this game where you determine to eco up beyond t2 mexes vs make units or structures of any sort will need to be reviewed? Are you shocked that a unit being adjusted will impact direct decisions relative to that unit, let alone indirect ones?

Like now that we have made the t2 stage last quite a bit longer, how do we deal with the fact that UEF and Aeon have a huge advantage on this tech level that Cybran just has no real way of managing?

It's almost like adjusting mexes reverts us back to an unstable balance that existed in the past and that we have attempted to move well beyond.

By the way, I can refuse to give you cancer medicine that gives you a 1% chance of not dying because the cost of the medicine is the annual GDP of the USA. Believe it or not, that does not result in the conclusion that I believe you having cancer is some "perfect" state. I do not believe there even is some perfect eco value, like what the fuck does that even mean. You can change the whole game to make any eco value "perfect". You could also change eco values to make game balance better. The former however, is massively easier to do. Especially when you've been doing it for 7-8 years and have the ability to change it sequentially to see the result of small changes.


In my opinion changing mass income from mass extractors at this stage and age would be too drastic of a change even if balance team adjust it even a little, this is where you turn one knob bit to the left and 800 other knobs turn left and right all around.

What i saying changing that would possibly create more problems then it would solve them. Lets look for solution to this nugget elsewhere... t2 units and t2 structures; t3 units and t3 structures...

Analyze, Adapt, Overcome...

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