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.
Increase T3 mex cost & reduce reclaim to reward aggressive gameplay at T2 stage
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
Unit balance is an entirely different subject, there is no argument that there are some built-in differences. However - to draw a line between the output of MEX - and the ability to play the game - is misleading. As prominent members of this community, we have a responsibility to those who are not, to have open and informative debate, and avoid trying to reinforce any particular position.
I'm glad you mentioned the subject of reclaim, and the impact that it can have on aggressive play. This is a much more relevant issue and one that should get more attention.
The pace of tech, and the effectiveness of units, are not related other than without tech, higher tier units are going to appear later rather than sooner. The game is not just about the units themselves, but which units you select, and how and when you employ them. If you choose to divert your income into one path versus another, and it fails, the responsibility is yours, not the output of your mass extractor.
Arguing we shouldn't fix one problem because it would make another problem worse is a bad reason to not try to fix both problems. If Cybran is currently garbage on t2, that is just another problem that needs to be solved. I can agree an extended t2 stage makes it even worse for cybran, but maybe the point is we should stop ignoring that problem too.
"all combat upgrades" need to be reviewed? How often do people get gun AFTER t3 mexes? Almost all acu upgrades besides tele and ras are well before t3 mexes, or after only a small number, and a small increase in mex cost would have a very small impact at that stage in the game.
"unit considerations do not change when you adjust mex values" I never said that. In fact, that's obviously the whole point! You will have a greater incentive to stay in the t2 stage. My point was that it doesn't make the game much more complex in deciding what KINDS of units to build in a situation, simply because that situation will last a bit longer. Earlier you claimed it was an "extremely important frame of reference" which was the point I was refuting.
"Is there never a choice between t2 mex vs more tanks" For the last time, THAT'S EXACTLY THE POINT (except t3 mex). This choice doesn't "disappear" for t3 mexes, but if it's practically a no brainer, it's more of an illusion of choice. Sure, the air slot on setons can choose to go t1 air rush too. That's a choice, right?! Obviously, a nerf to eco makes units more valuable. It almost sounds like you are agreeing with me! "This transition is reflective of your adjustment in mex output. You make teching less effective, you make units more effective. It's zero-sum." I would say going from "almost zero reason to build t2 units" to some reason is a net benefit for game quality by diversifying potential strategies.
"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?" Well, it seems like the majority of teamgame maps currently played by the majority are likely to be made better by making these changes. Hence, people complaining about the issue...
"pretty much any guide out there on FA or FAF that will now be outdated" How many guides are based on optimal late game eco? How many people do you think will think "damn, I shouldn't have skipped t2 in this teamgame and just made t3 mex, LIKE THE GUIDE SAID!" Seriously...
FTX, you continually engage with an arrogant attitude and consistently refused to actually make an argument, rather offering attacks and unsupported denials of others valid arguments, until I pointed out you weren't actually making any relevant arguments. You can do away with the hyperbole. Of course making t3 mexes slightly more expensive will have side effects throughout some relevant parts of the game, but I see them being primarily in the t2 stage, and having the exact effect that we are looking for!
Imagine upping the cost of units and structures instead of playing around with mexes. Something someting...
Cybran being worse at T2 stage isn't a problem when they have the capacity to address the weakness through a quicker tech transition or through other forms of attack. When you adjust mex values, their range of viable options/margin for error decrease. This means what was once NOT a problem is NOW a problem. It isn't some RANDOM problem that always existed.
It's almost like the game was balanced on the assumption of certain things like mex output staying consistent. Crazy right?
"FTX, you continually engage with an arrogant attitude and consistently refused to actually make an argument, rather offering attacks and unsupported denials of others valid arguments, until I pointed out you weren't actually making any relevant arguments. You can do away with the hyperbole."
Pot meet kettle, shut up dude lmao.
Just utter delusional garbage based on some experience you have in dual gap or whatever? "Illusion of choice" like there is no such thing as a t2 factory in a teamgame. No one does a t2 push in any of your teamgames? Maybe play a decent teamgame some day. We made a matchmaker just so you could experience one. Would you like me to link you some teamgames that ended at t2 stage so you could see that games don't converge to t3 mex just because player count is larger than 2?
@archsimkat its only 6, 9, 27 mass yield if you built that mex from scratch, if you upgrade it it only increases mass yield by 4 for t1 to t2 for example, while costing 900 mass, because t1 mex was already giving 2 mass/s
I am reading through this thread and I see both sides just throwing stones at each other. This discussion will never work if both sides don't agree on some frame of reference. Anyways, here is my take on this:
T3 mex nerf (be it income decrease or price increase) won't have direct effect on early t3 Land because you are supposed to get t3 land BEFORE you get t3 mexes, that's what we are trying to achieve here after all, so there is no need to worry about balance of t1, t2.
What such change WILL impact:
Increase the importance and length of early - mid t3 stage (harder to transition towards more eco) which would be problematic if you don't adjust reclaim since it will deepen the issue of importance of reclaim during t3 stage.
Slow the game down after early t3 stage
For team games:
Force people to actually make some units during t2 stage or rush t3 to defend vs t2 armies (Before making t3 mexes)
Make reclaim more important past t3 stage and slow the game down (people will need to make some units leading to a stand offs with slow eco'ing (bcs of bad map design))
It's nearly impossible to change the game so that Team games become dynamic, the map design promotes more passive and turtly gameplay, and people play those games meaning they want such gameplay. I think that making a slight adjustment to slow the t3 eco switch a little bit would be good and healthy if properly implemented but you can't change the fact that still most team games will be passive and turtly.
Some points I would like to add to the post:
If we can rebalance the entirety of the T3 land stage, I don't see how it would be a problem to look at t3 mex's cost. Arguing that its too big a change and needs years of testing seems pointless considering the scope of balance changes we have done over the years. IIRC T2 land HQ is like 50% more cost then 2012, T3 land HQ is also significantly more expensive, T3 land units are much weaker (except for the campy sniperbots!), T4's have been changed as well with greater buildtime cost. T3 mex has stayed the same. Perhaps its possible that by systematically nerfing land across the board for years, this is making mex is stronger in relation?? Anyone?? Also, Mex adjacency on factories has been buffed since then as well. Another reason to eco.
Level of gameplay has improved significantly. Generally speaking, we can eco smarter and harder, and take advantage of mistakes more. Everyone has dozens of engis roaming the map for reclaim. The most effective use of reclaim after a battle is to dump it right into mex upgrades, then scale production/eco appropriately. Pushing into a base is hard because engis can spam walled PD instantly, then reclaim the carnage for more eco. I had a game the other day where I had to pull back 15 loyalists and 30 medusa from raiding a bunch of t2/t3 mex because there were enough engis there to spam T1 PD forcing away loyalists. That sickens me. 2500 Hp on a t3 unit designed to raid can not raid because of instantly spammed PD.
The ratio of cost per benefit of the t2 mex upgrade -> storages -> T3 mex is nearly the same, the only difference is how much you need to invest before payout. On a lot of wide open 1v1/2v2 maps its often a smarter move to force a t3 mex in your base then to keep upgrading t1 mex to t2 if it is outside of your base where it can be raided. I do not think that this should be the case that a wrapped t2 -> t3 mex is nearly as cost efficient as t1 -> t2 or t2 -> storages.
My opinion to the main argument brought up by Bennis is that reclaim values should be scaled down, and t3 mex cost increased. Both by a small margin, say, reclaim down 15-20% and t3 mex up by 10-15%. Start from there. See what happens.
edit - I also like everything tagada said above. Very good points.
second edit - Upon giving this some more thought, since FAF released, we have made significant changes to the following: T3 Land, T3 Air, T4's, RAS, T2 Land, Adjacency, Overcharge, Vet, SCU's, and are trying to make changes to SCU-RAS. There is really nothing else left to change at the T3 stage besides T3 mex. I think this is all the more reason that T3 mex should be reviewed due to how much the game has changed, and what the game might need currently to bring it to a better state.
To add to @archsimcat calculations:
when you take into account what your mex is usually replacing the t3 mex suddenly becomes a lot more efficient. in the best case when you reclaim your t2 mex and have a lot of bp on building the t3 mex it has an even smaller repaytime than upgrading a t1 mex to t3. When upgrading it is still more efficient than ringing mexes.
So when someone properly enters the t3 eco stage it can be considered some kind of eco runaway. I would consider the t3 mex to have a 10% shorter repay time than capping t2 mexes in a realistic szenario where you are reclaiming your t2 mexes.
To put that into perspective: Usually a 1v1 is over when one player has a 10% total mass lead and isn't significantly behind in army size. All because of that exponential groth nature of eco scaling.
When switching to a 10% more efficient eco stage you have the 10% generated mass lead pretty quickly and the 10% total mass lead short after that.
My cunclusion is that the efficiency increase of switching to t3 eco makes the game quite unstable at the transition stage. If you aren't able to mirror your opponent in first t3 mex or deal big damage right after the transition you are screwed. The question now is if it is a bad thing to have this deciding point/phase in a game. On setons navy for instance it is meta to not invest into heavy offense before you have at least some t3 mex. I would consider that a sympton of not falling behind on the t3 eco switch.
I don't feel like I have understood the problem well enough to have an opinion on whether t3 mexes should get changed let alone what change would be good for gameplay. Maybe this theory approach helps to form a better decision.
equations behind the sheet, cause I am too lazy to explain: