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

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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.

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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.

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@FtXCommando
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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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Please have an actual discussion with defenses of your points instead of pointing fingers at each other and saying "you're strawmanning" "no you are"

If this continues I'll have no choice but to lock the thread

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Another thing, how do you plan on accounting for the fact that we have about a decade worth of maps that have balanced themselves around the expectation of how mass income scales up? How many of these maps will now be garbage? Are you fine with just throwing out some random % of maps without checking to see what maps are now trash? If not, who is going to be going around to check this out?

How about pretty much any guide out there on FA or FAF that will now be outdated because of the fact such a central axiom of the game has been changed? I guess every youtube video and written guide is just going to get a written addendum explaining this very basic game aspect is now adjusted. Do you plan on making new ones? Or is it also just an "eh whatever" sorta thing?

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It's honestly frightening how many people in this thread are (ironically?) posting that unit considerations do not change when you adjust mex values. Where do you guys think the mass income comes from to make units? Do you just hit minute 10 and go "ok it's pillar time"? Do you see yourself hit 70% map control and say "ok now I go t3"?

Is there never a choice between t2 mex vs more tanks or more pgens or more air? Does this change somehow disappear once the consideration is t3 mex?

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I don't really consider any of those things. I consider the amount of eco I have relative to my opponent when deciding to make more eco. I consider the number of units and tech my opponent has when deciding to make units or tech. I don't really take my mass income or number of T2/T3 mexes into account when deciding on tech transitions or units. In the last month or so I started thinking about it a little bit, but mostly just play by feel and keep these things separate. I'm supposedly a top player or something and I don't think about this stuff so I doubt many other people do either. This is really bad of course, but that's that state of FAF gameplay.

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They don't. There is no relationship between the units themselves - and the output of MEX. The units are relative to each other - not the underlying economy. This is why the game can work on any map. You could even taken the absolute extreme, and have a map where each player gets only 1 - it won't be an interesting game - but it will work. Conversely, and I do think this was the point of the OP, you could absolutely glut a map with mass, and there would be no point in ever leaving your starting point until you exhaust or exceed what you can reach immediately.

Those two extreme examples point out rather clearly the true relationship between the availability of mass (regardless of how much they output) and - this is the key point - the tech pacing. It has no impact whatsoever on the speed of the game itself - but it does have a direct impact on just when more advanced units will begin to appear - and associating one with the other is disingenuous.

There certainly is room for a discussion about the impact such a change might have on game flow, but a change to mass output , in of itself, won't change the gameplay - the economy is a level playing field, no matter what is done to it.

5

Yeah, I was also writing a post about how units are balanced relative to each other and not mexes. And how the value of eco structures is totally different on every map because they have different amounts of mexes and reclaim. There is no intricate balance there. It is just random numbers. The same as the 81% reclaim value that nobody seemed opposed to modifying.

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Agreed - I don't see any value to changing MEX output, but the reclaim % is another issue. At present, the incentive to turtle up (figuratively) and boost yourself with reclaimed units, is perhaps, overly powerful.

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the problem with teamgames is the maplayout aka 10 ACUs on a 10x10 without any space to raid. because of the map being clumped that way agression is limited to (heavily/all in) pushing or ecoing/turteling. No mex change wil change that. It will just be a continious forward/backward on the same lane. fixing that would require sth like nerfing ACU and pd into utter oblivion. Only in teamgames you have the abomination of ppl possibly building multiple T3 mexes before T3 land on a regular basis.
There is no point ruining 1v1 balance for that, especially since the usual team isnt able to properly coordinate more than 2 players either

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I fail to see how it's disingenuous. Later tech units are more destructive and they hold more mass. This means that as games go longer and longer, the margin for error decreases as a push failing leaves more and more mass behind. At some point, you will simply lose the game due to one bad push due to the mass invested into it, and this is what allows games to conclude. If the game gets to the point that there is no room for massive pushes because both players are averse to the possibility of donating mass, then the game goes to game enders. You making later tech units appear later means we spend more time with higher margin for error, therefore increasing the length of the game.

This transition is reflective of your adjustment in mex output. You make teching less effective, you make units more effective. It's zero-sum.

As an example, if I make a t2 mex cost 90k mass to upgrade, do you think that this has no consideration in unit balance? How effective do you think Aeon gun com is going to be on maps where you will never be able to get beyond 30 mass income?

Do you think on "mass glut" maps that certain factions did not have an advantage? Why did UEF and Cybran get picked all the time on Ditch, especially before t3 nerf? Was it perhaps a combination of units that make them incredibly strong on high mass maps aka the amphibious siege bot and drones? Do you think these considerations matter as much when I make a t2 mex 90k mass on Ditch?