recently I tried testing which PD + wall template is the "best" one and, to my complete surprise, I found that their effectiveness varies hugely between the factions.
In short: Aeon PDs become immortal to t1 tanks when surrounded by walls, Cybran and UEF PDs get a slight HP boost, and Sera PDs don't seem to benefit at all from walls.
Links to a couple clips I made during testing:
For testing, I surrounded the PDs with an assortment of t1 tanks of all factions on the Seton Landbridge. The tanks are shielded so that the tank, PD and wall positions are exactly the same for each test. (Testing replay ID: 14204602 (very long))
Additionally, it seems that it's not just the PD or the wall hitboxes that result in those highly variable results:
Surrounding a Sera PD with Aeon walls still doesn't help the Sera PD survive at all.
An Aeon PD with Sera walls does benefit from the walls, but doesn't survive nearly as long as with Aeon walls.
What's going on here? Is this well known? Intended? Should one just never build walls around Sera PDs??
Solution idea to conform to the guidelines: I think we should change this behavior and make the effectiveness of PDs behind walls at least similar for all factions by adjusting the hitboxes of walls, PDs or both.
It really doesn't have anything to do with the 'hitbox' - but the hitbone - and where on the model it's located. If it's located at the base of the unit, the walls will likely intercept any shots aimed at the PD. If the hitbone is located on the upper portion of the model, then the walls won't likely help at all. Some units have multiple hitbones and shots will randomly be aimed at one or the other.
Well that's interesting, It would be a valid place to add some faction diversity perhaps? I like the idea of some factions having better pd defenses than others.
Faction diversity is probably a good thing, the way it is right now feels really weird to me though:
Why is Aeon the faction with the, by far, most survivable PD? Just flavorwise, shouldn't it be the UEF with the sturdiest defenses?
Why (in my limited testing scenario) do Seraphim walls literally not block bullets?
I can understand them being weaker or more permeable than other walls, but 100% bullet penetration is too high imo. It's supposed to still be a wall after all. For protecting a PD of direct fire units, Seraphim have the equivalent of a 0 health shield here: A completely useless unit that you would never use for this purpose.
I did test walls for aeon a long time ago and i got result that diagonal walls actually can be passed with aurora's/flare shots, depends on the exact angle mostly. So they are not exactly immortal, but require some weird positioning. Doesn't matter in real game probably cause you should use t1 arty vs pd's anyway.
Also you test on exactly flat terrain, a lot of maps don't have that. Sometimes it can be better not to finish t1 aeon pd(leave at 200-300 hp), because hitbox will be underground on hilly maps. So all shots will hit terrain instead of unfinished building)
The land bridge of Setons is decidedly not flat terrain. You can see that by either zooming and changing the camera angle or by just observing that both Sera and Cybran T2 PDs have the unfortunate habit of shooting the ground depending on their placement.
I agree of course that you should kill PDs with arties and not tanks. Regardless, it does happen that you have to kill a PD with only few or maybe no arties, e.g. when raiding. In that case it is super weird that you can't kill the Aeon PD, and only the Aeon PD, with tanks.
And what benefit does this strange behavior have? I'd hardly call it faction diversification if almost no one even knows it exists.
I suspect this relationship between walls and PD was deliberately balanced in Aeons favour because of the aurora.
T1 Tank vs PD interaction. All factions but Aeon have T1 tanks with about 290 hp. Aurora are 155. No T1 tank out ranges PD. Therefore higher HP is required to kill PD. Aurora worst tank to kill PD. Aeon best PD to survive tank. Balance restored.
I reckon this is just an accident caused by poor bone placement and we might look at it.
@Tagada I have looked at the unit bp's the aeon one and sera have defined target bones of the turret and barrel where as the uef and cybran one's don't they just use the default centre so this should be an easy fix