Naval Balance Survey

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@valki Aeon and UEF T2 PD can kill subs with groudfire, also T2 arty of any kind can also, oh also T1 bombers with ground fire can also work against subs (aeon bomber has a trail in the water when bombing also) oh and T1 cybran mobile arty as well as zuthees can do the same as well

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also should T2 and 3 units be reduced in cost as well?

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@annihilator1066 said in Naval Balance Survey:

@valki Aeon and UEF T2 PD can kill subs with groudfire, also T2 arty of any kind can also, oh also T1 bombers with ground fire can also work against subs (aeon bomber has a trail in the water when bombing also) oh and T1 cybran mobile arty as well as zuthees can do the same as well

Only with a lot of micro, lower 50% of players don't know or don't do this.

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The ground fire is my main issue, just take it out alltogether. Also cybran frigates should be weaker with all the t2 stealth trickery invovled.

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The main reason cybran navy can be said to be good is due to it being piggybacked by it's beast of a frig. Nerf the frig and you will suddenly have to deal with buffed t2 stage considering that the consensus is that it's weaker than it's counterparts.

Sure the stealth is annoying but other factions have better tools, and the moment you start losing just a little bit you are gonna get snowballed on hard as you can't even properly retreat.

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Cruiser AA just feels way too powerful in terms of raw DPS.
However, nerf it too much and you can end up in a situation where naval superiority is useless if you don't have air superiority.
So, what if cruiser AA had way less DPS, but even more range? That way it's not gonna be able to melt waves of bombers, but the sheer range of the AA would allow you to maintain an air presence you otherwise couldn't have, which in turn would be what protects the fleet from large waves of bombers.
It'd couple really well with aircraft carriers, since you could keep ASFs far away from them making it much more safe to strike from and return to the carrier.

For the UEF cruiser AA is currently a range of 75 and a DPS of 500 (Cybran and Aeon have same range and similar DPS, Seraphim are weird).
I'm thinking something like a range of 100 and DPS of 300, or even 120 and 200.

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So any results of that survey ?

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@bellatrix cruisers are the most inefficent dedicated mobile AA there is. One passing them with torpedo bombers is mass efficient.

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If a small ship is so important to navy meta, why not add corvettes as small T3 units?

Then you can go back to T1 < T2 < T3 also for navy and nerf frigates to hearts content.
(and make only T3 subs immune to ground fire)

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Adding units is off the table as far as I'm aware.

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Buff dps of T1 subs so they are worth building to counter mass frigates

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What about a DPS boost to subs coupled with a health nerf, so they're more effective at punishing an opponent who just does frigate spam, without increasing their overall power level to a point where it switches from frigate spam to sub (and some sort of AA) spam.

E.g. increase their DPS by 1/3, decrease their health by 25% (which proportionately should offset the DPS boost)?

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@randomwheelchair said in Naval Balance Survey:

Adding units is off the table as far as I'm aware.

I shoot that notion down with T3 MAA and watch from my HQ.

But seriously, when were the last units added and (when) was it decided that no new units would be added?

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@Valki It has been a long time since they were added though I don't remember exactly how long. Years at least. I don't think it's actually decided that no new units will be added so much as that will take a massive amount of work and debate to add and test new units against FAF balance and I highly doubt anything like that would even be considered until after higher priority things like the SACU rework are done. At least, that's what I assume is the biggest thing in the pipeline from what I've heard.

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Technically, the RAS SACU presets could be considered "new" units. I don't know if those predate or postdate the HQ/t3 maa.

I don't think it's so much a formal policy against adding units, as it is that there are big barriers to adding units
1 - they would need a properly-animated 3D model
2 - they need to not ruin game balance. if they don't improve the balance, why add them? So that takes a lot of testing. The way people use units can evolve over time and as people discover how to use units better, they need to be rebalanced again.
3 - you might need to add 1 for each faction just to maintain balance, so quadruple that workload. And that means you need 3D modelers who can make designs that are consistent with all 4 faction styles.
4 - it could affect or break a lot of mods and AI projects. If you add new features to the game for the new units, that can break things. So you may end up creating a lot of work for a lot of people.
5 - Players coming from outside of FAF then have more to learn in order to play the game.

The disruption to the game is generally a negative thing. You need a very compelling situation to justify adding a unit. I think people in general don't want to work on making new units for the game if the units probably won't be used. Even an unpopular map will get some play but if you make a new unit, there's like a 99.5% chance it will never be used in a serious game. At best it gets added to a modpack. So people don't even try.

If there was an active modding community that made 10 new professional-looking units every month that were carefully considered to fit within the game balance, we probably would see more change-up in the unit lineups with units being added/removed, models replaced with better-looking models, etc. But where would we get the kind of energy necessary for that? It might take 100 people cooperating to crank out 10 units a month. Imagine if there was an active modpack scene where the new units in the modpack were actually well-balanced for FAF games. If that existed, over time there would probably be a lot more crossover between the modpacks and the official FAF unit list.

Also, the mindset for a competitive RTS gamer generally should be learning how to work with the units you got. You can try to figure out ways to use units more creatively, but you don't get to change the game to bend it to your desires. You have to work with the game's mechanics/balance to try to improve yourself. You don't change the game, you blame yourself, watching some replays, practice, and try again. So most high-rated players aren't even interested in spending their time to expand the game, or at least they won't develop that interest until they've played 4000+ ranked games. So the people making the units would largely be guys with about 600 ladder rating. Which means they probably don't have great instincts in terms of making units that fit within the game's overall balance.

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@arma473 Thank you for taking the time to give such a detailed answer. Very valid points, it would only work if people actively came forward to do the work right?

Only would like to comment on 5 and disruption, it is a trade-off between the negativity you mentioned and a "meta upset" that people need to prevent the game becoming stale. In that regard I think "Corvettes" are generally appealing in most settings, so might come out ahead in this area.

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T3 maa is still a controversial addition and one I would still personally argue didn’t need to happen.

The one and only reasonable argument for a new navy unit is basically giving Seraphim some sort of torpedo-boat like unit so that it actually has an answer to t2 subs besides torp bombers. But even that I’d rather just uh not and instead have it as an intentional Seraphim weakness. Not like they need a buff as it is anyway.

The last unit addition was T3 MAA which was around 2014 or 2015.

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@harzer99 Cruisers may have much lower AA DPS relative to mass than T2 MAA, but their range and accuracy is far higher, so it more or less balances out.
Plus, on top of that, cruisers aren't a dedicated AA unit.
All of them have TMD.
UEF has decent long-range missiles, and a fairly weak direct fire weapon.
Cybran has long-range proton cannons nearly as powerful as those on their destroyers.
Aeon... Well, that's actually a dedicated AA unit, and an insanely powerful one.
Seraphim has really powerful long-range missiles.

So ignoring the AA and TMD, UEF and Seraphim cruisers add an additional ability to the fleet, and Cybran cruisers are great in ship-to-ship battles.
So I think it'd be perfectly fine to make cruisers no longer an AA monster and instead have the AA as more of a long-range utility.

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@bellatrix Cybran cruisers are expensive and trash vs torps compared to other cruisers. Sure uef and sera have their missiles but uef cruisers are pretty wrecked by torps. Micro’d sera cruisers are a bit better because of flak but still vulnerable. If you don’t have air control and you’re not a faction with hover flak torps are extremely good.

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Why aren't the flak and AA systems found on the naval vessels similar to those found in the land units ?

It seems rather fundamental to grasping the use of, and balancing of - the entire class. There's no validity in supporting AA weaponry that's better - either in damage or range - than what you might find either in a mobile unit or a static emplacement. They should be almost identical in capability.