This opening post has been kept up to date with changes to the proposal.
Status is abandoned, for the following reasons:
- it's a big change to Aeon T1 balance, and there isn't much appetite for that
- "if you give access to a normal tank, you wouldn't make aurora anymore" - @Auricocorico
- an additional unit at the T1 land stage is unwanted complexity (also affecting things like key-bindings)
Give Aeon a new T1 unit: a heavy tank, which has the same range as other T1 tanks (18), similar DPS-per-mass-cost, the speed of the Aurora (3), while being 20-30% more expensive and having a similar HP bonus over other tanks (so 350-400; some tuning needed to get even trades in tank groups of even cost).
Given the above, rebalance Aurora a little: lower DPS, possibly a little more range, possibly a little more speed.
(Possibly also this impacts Flare balance but this is beyond me.)
Yes, Aeon is balanced reasonably well
for high-level players, though I believe it's still under-represented in tournaments. A greater problem is that Aeon is very widely hated amongst low-to-medium level players since, at the most import stage (T1 land), it plays differently. As a consequence fewer low-to-mid level players learn Aeon and further these players have less experience playing against Aeon.
Edit: given the comments below, I think this section needs expanding:
- The Aurora is good, but has some weaknesses. Specifically, defending vs other tanks in small numbers. As Turin points out below, this isn't strictly true — if the player has good micro and adequate attention. Personally I find the requirement of good micro unfair in what is first and foremost a strategy game.
- The Aurora is too good in certain situations when well microed, particularly when a "meatshield" is available (ACU or Obsidian). It has the same cost and DPS as any other tank yet 44% more range. In my opinion this is far too much DPS considering the range; however, one cannot simply decrease the DPS when the Aurora is the main T1 tank, thus a compromise: keep the Aurora as a "sniper tank" but add a new tank for the actual tank role.
- "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." - @Auricocorico
The T1 tank is a very important unit, and has multiple uses:
- defending expanding engineers against early LABs
- raiding in small numbers (as an alternative to LABs or by breaking off part of an army)
- attacking/defending a position early in small numbers
- attacking/defending as part of a larger army, often with support (an ACU, a T1 PD to fall back to, bombers, or a small number of T2 units)
Now, the Aurora has longer range than other T1 tanks for diversity, and several other differences almost directly as a consequence: lower HP to balance larger tank battles, similar cost and DPS to that it is still vaguely comparable to other tanks in groups of 5-10 (with intel but no other support), and lower speed to prevent infinite kiting.
Going back to the above list, the Aurora is not too bad vs LABs (though intel and micro play a larger role than with other tanks), is poor at raiding (low speed and low HP), is terrible vs other tanks in low numbers (e.g. 3 vs 3 Aurora vs Thaam, the Thaam only has to run in and will win easily), and is perhaps too strong in larger armies (especially with ACU support where the armies are often kiting and retreating, though bombers are a big factor).
My suggestion to address this: add a new T1 tank and reduce Aurora DPS.
The new T1 tank should trade similarly to other tanks when in similar quantity (in terms of mass cost), which I believe requires equal range to other tanks. For factional diversity and to complement the Aurora, I suggest that the new tank is heavier (maybe 30% more expensive with buffs to DPS and armour in order to trade similarly), and slower than other tanks (similar to the Aurora) in order to not make it strictly better than other T1 tanks.
This new tank should do well (balanced) when attacking/defending a position in smaller numbers (direct consequence of above balance) and when raiding (though a little worse than other tanks due to speed).
In larger armies the new tank will have a couple of weaknesses compared to other T1 tanks: greater vulnerability to T1 arty (due to slower speed) and to overcharge (due to higher mass concentration). This is where the Aurora comes in, performing roughly the role of a T1 sniper.
As such and to address the current balance vs ACUs, the Aurora should have lower DPS but perhaps also better range. The intention is that Aurora + intel still trades well vs other T1 tanks in larger numbers but that the damage output is lower, allowing more time for reaction by other players.
I suggest the following as a starting point, though likely tweaks are needed:
Bear: T1 heavy tank
HP: 450, Cost: 90m+400e+420t, vision: 20, speed 3, turn-rate: 90
Weapon: range 0-18, 40dmg / 1.2sec (33.33dps)
Aurora: T1 sniper tank
Same range: 0-26 (also range of T1 PD)
Buf speed: 3.1 (from 3)
Buf HP: 180 (from 155)
Reduce turn rate? (Currently 310 vs 90 for most tanks.)
Reduce DPS: 30dmg / 1.9sec (15.79dps) (from 40/1.7=23.53)
Flare: keep the same or nerf slightly? (It's currently the strongest LAB which is okay, but not so necessary with my other changes.)
This is all just my theorising. I'm a mid-level player (1200 1v1) so cannot speak for everyone. Considerable tuning will be needed. Players will need to adapt significantly when playing with or against Aeon.
Those comments out of the way, I could try implementing this with a mod (if someone would be so kind as to create a unit model), though I'm also not the best person for that job. I would rather hear some feedback first.