Aeon T1 addition: heavy tank

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Old data but these trends don't really change:

2000+ global:
9c93658e-ded1-490f-8c27-1f9a091d45a5-image.png

all players global:
f7e3650f-48cf-4776-8c5c-f202f5d51c08-image.png

2000+ ladder:
3192011c-cbd7-4d17-aa7d-e879dc7f9fdf-image.png

all players ladder:
133f43d2-de18-44c4-8beb-ad29eb85fccd-image.png

You see more volatility at the top because there are fewer players and so singular preferences make a larger impact but also because those singular preferences are much more likely to be guided by balance updates. An aggregate across the whole playerbase does not give a single shit about balance and instead showcases more banal realities ie base faction preferences around things like aesthetics.

It does not show that a faction is clearly weak as a mean or anything like that because you can clearly see several months where Aeon was either the most or 2nd most popular faction at the top of the ladder.

It also refutes this narrative about "skill cap" or whatever because Seraphim is really not any higher in skill cap than UEF. UEF had tons of noob trap units until around 2019 (mongoose, titan) and Seraphim had a terrible t3 stage until 2019. That's about it really.

If you're curious, 5 is random and 6 is nomads, no idea why random doesn't get picked up for ladder.

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@ftxcommando said in Aeon T1 addition: heavy tank:

these trends don't really change:

Convenient, but the charts you showed do show changes over time

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You must have missed the part where I said top player trends change due to natural volatility from few data points as well as a higher sensitivity to balance patches. Show me where aggregate player preferences change. There are like 10-15 players at 2000+ there are 3000 unique players on ladder each month and 30,000 unique players in global each month.

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@ftxcommando Thanks for the data. The original idea that Aeon is less used seems correct, with element, that Seraphim is not much used too. Even at high rated level, Aeon still seems to be less used. Even less than Sera. This can be proof, that Aeon is weaker. Althought information is not sufficient to say with certitude, why Aeon is less used.

Personally, I never heard anyone chose nation because of aesthetics, and what I learned about players, I think even less, that they dont chose Aeon because it is too strong.

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@ftxcommando said in Aeon T1 addition: heavy tank:

no idea why random doesn't get picked up for ladder.

There are 11 different kinds of random for the ladder, depending on whether you agree to use 2, 3, or 4 factions. And (as far I could tell, although I haven't done a deep dive) the replay vault doesn't seem to track whether the person searching ladder had more than 1 faction choice selected. So if data comes from the vault, it will only show the faction they actually had in that particular match.

You could use vault data to ATTEMPT to reverse-engineer whether people are using random choices (and more specifically, which choices they made) by assuming that people don't change their faction preference very often, and counting how often they get certain factions. Or you could just have the server start tracking it going forward (if it's not already doing that; I assume not literally all data that is tracked is available through the vault) if you're interested in that sort of thing.

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This data is very old, and the balance has changed massively since then. In 2017 everyone thought Seraphim was pretty lackluster as a faction.

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

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Yeah? And Seraphim was bonkers broken in 2014 before the chicken nerf (look, it was the most popular ladder faction). Aggregate data still doesn't change much.

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@arma473 said in Aeon T1 addition: heavy tank:

@ftxcommando said in Aeon T1 addition: heavy tank:

no idea why random doesn't get picked up for ladder.

There are 11 different kinds of random for the ladder, depending on whether you agree to use 2, 3, or 4 factions. And (as far I could tell, although I haven't done a deep dive) the replay vault doesn't seem to track whether the person searching ladder had more than 1 faction choice selected. So if data comes from the vault, it will only show the faction they actually had in that particular match.

You could use vault data to ATTEMPT to reverse-engineer whether people are using random choices (and more specifically, which choices they made) by assuming that people don't change their faction preference very often, and counting how often they get certain factions. Or you could just have the server start tracking it going forward (if it's not already doing that; I assume not literally all data that is tracked is available through the vault) if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Yes, for whatever reason I assumed that the selected randomness was only added with the team matchmaker UI and forgot that was a thing for ages.

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@wikingest said in Aeon T1 addition: heavy tank:

@ftxcommando Thanks for the data. The original idea that Aeon is less used seems correct, with element, that Seraphim is not much used too. Even at high rated level, Aeon still seems to be less used. Even less than Sera. This can be proof, that Aeon is weaker. Althought information is not sufficient to say with certitude, why Aeon is less used.

Personally, I never heard anyone chose nation because of aesthetics, and what I learned about players, I think even less, that they dont chose Aeon because it is too strong.

No, Seraphim is pretty much universally considered to be the strongest of the factions at top level right now.

One thing people misconstrue about top ladder is that top level ladder is essentially casual play. People aren't abusing top tier factions for the same reason that people don't abuse BOs. Sure there are 2 or 3 that are going to do that, but most are going to random from some factions they feel like playing that select day. It isn't a tournament. Does that contradict the stuff about top level being more sensitive to balance? On a micro level sure, but usually what "bringing stuff to balance" at the top means is that people are including the faction in their list of factions to random balance with. It used to be that Cybran was always the optimal choice because mantis combined with loyalist was simply absurdly strong on most maps, but nowadays every faction has some toolkit to use with Seraphim simply having a toolkit that always performs well regardless of map.

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@ftxcommando So on tournament, they all use Seraphim?

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No because tournaments now use a faction ban system because generally speaking maps tend to have some faction that has a solid advantage. For example, Theta is a solid Aeon map. Crossfire is a solid Seraphim map. If you ban the objectively dominant faction the other 3 are typically closer to one another.

You see Seraphim banned quite a lot, but even when it isn't it is often picked.

Here is a thread with some analysis of the faction veto system:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/283/legendofthestars-end-of-the-year-2020-championship/55

Here is the thread recognizing the problem:
https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=19324

"First, to recognize that this is in fact a problem, I took a look at the tournament games during the two days of LotS, and what I found was that only 18% of the games in the entire two-day span had nonmirrored games. That's 17 nonmirrored matches out of 82. Once you refine the range to only look at the RO8 games, it falls to 5%. The semifinal and final? 0%. That's a problem."

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Aside from the fact that this discussion is pointless anyway because you won't convince any relevant people to add more units to the game (and for good reason), why do you want to balance the play rates at low level anyway?
Paying attention to low play rates for faction generally makes sense, because it could be that nobody picks them, because they are weak. We have already established that they are not at high level and it seems that you argue that even at low levels they are not percieved as too weak but rather too much effort to play.

So why is that a problem? If one factions playstyle appeals to a rather small set of players, why do we need to change that? I really don't see the issue. To me this seems like trying to get the play rates up for the sake of "this is how things should be" while it is very plausible that you wouldn't solve this problem by making changes to the unit roster at all, as FtX pointed out.

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@blackyps said in Aeon T1 addition: heavy tank:

Aside from the fact that this discussion is pointless anyway because you won't convince any relevant people to add more units to the game

I agree by now; large changes could do significant harm to the player-base and another unit for T1 land is a significant complication.

Also, the whole suggestion amounts to "give Aeon a normal-ish T1 tank + a bonus unit to keep it special", which kind of defeats the point of the Aurora being a unique tank in the first place.

because they are weak

Why does this keep coming up? I don't remember ever saying that Aeon are weak (or that the Aurora is in general).

too much effort to play

I feel this may be true to some extent, but perhaps not worth changing, especially in light of the first point.

If one factions playstyle appeals to a rather small set of players, why do we need to change that? I really don't see the issue.

There is a minor issue, and it's more that average players get less exposure playing against Aeon. But it's not a big issue.

To me this seems like trying to get the play rates up for the sake of "this is how things should be"

The motivation is simpler actually: addressing the reason I don't like to play Aeon (while assuming that quite a few others feel similarly).

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@ftxcommando I like this data. Is there an API I can get this raw. Data from?

You must deceive the enemy, sometimes your allies, but you must always deceive yourself!

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@cyborg16 just force yourself to play Aeon until the Stockholm syndrome kicks in, like me 😄

You must deceive the enemy, sometimes your allies, but you must always deceive yourself!

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Just reading the OP (i did not go through the 80 following posts), my feeling is : if you give access to a normal tank, you wouldn't make aurora anymore, or a small ratio of it, like other faction make 1 arty for 3-4 tanks.

Also the whole thread seems to focus heavily on micro, when i my experience the most frustrating thing about aurora isn't the micro it requires (it's unforgiving, but when you put some small effort in it it's also rewarding, which is a motivation to use this unit, just like snipers).

No i think it's all about their weakness to air, and all the situation that comes with it being very easy to kill : one aurora can die to one micro'd lab, it can't raid or counter ennemy raids, you can't shift-g or overrun an ACU with them, and since you have to rely on your ACU to tank the damage, you're very at risk of being overrun.

All those drawbacks are, in my view, heavier reasons to dislike aurora than the simple "they need heavy micro".

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@Auricocorico can I summarize that Aeon has no T1 unit that can handle itself?

I stopped playing Aeon for a while to do more with many T1 tank & arty drops, went wrong with Aeon too often.

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Thanks for your input @Auricocorico. Yes, the OP is sufficiently up-to-date (except I mostly gave up by now).

if you give access to a normal tank, you wouldn't make aurora anymore

Yeah, I get that feeling.

No i think it's all about their weakness to air, and all the situation that comes with it being very easy to kill

All those drawbacks are, in my view, heavier reasons to dislike aurora than the simple "they need heavy micro".

Interesting, and much harder to fix without giving Aeon a "normal tank".

A different possibility for adjusting balance did occur to me: increase Aurora HP slightly at the cost of DPS. However, it's probably not a worthwhile change: (1) without a huge increase to HP the Aurora still wouldn't survive T1 bombers and (2) reducing DPS has big implications for all-in vs ACU and for raiding mexes etc.

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Nothing needs to be changed. It doesn't matter if Aeon is less popular than other factions.