Kennel and Hives

2

I don't have any actual number suggestions for this, I'm mostly going to be arguing purely from a relativist point of view with hives and kennels.

T2 Kennels:
cost: 550 mass, 2750 e
gain: 25 BP

22 m per BP
110 e per BP

T3 Kennels:
cost: 500 mass, 2500 e
gain: 25 BP

20 m per BP
100 e per BP

Hive:
cost: 350 mass, 1750 e
gain: 25 BP

14 m per BP
70 e per BP

Kennel Average:
21 m per BP
105 e per BP

Hive Average:
14 m per BP
70 e per BP

Hive is the same as all tiers of hive are the same efficiency.

So you can spend 1050 mass on a kennel to give you 50 BP or you can spent 1050 mass on a hive to get 75 BP, the e cost is pretty much the same too.

"A kennel gets infinite range tho" Ok but this isn't really a benefit. Hives are able to switch targets to anything in their range instantly and that can basically cover everything they need with a remotely planned base. Nuke, SMD, Gateway, Air factory, and shield to protect itself. Drones need to waste travel time moving from one to another.

Beyond that, drones are interactable with the environment and can be shot down. This means the "epic sick OP" thing of using them to help with forward bases or getting reclaim isn't even a real thing since they can instantly die and take forever to rebuild.

SPEAKING OF THAT, if they get transferred to new people, the drones die and need to get rebuilt. Hives don't.

Also, recently found this out with farm, when you lose a max upgraded hive, you get full reclaim value back for the cost of all 3 sum hives. For kennels, you only get the cost of 1 upgrade, which for t3 kennel is the cheaper of the two. You only get 400 mass for reclaim. It's literally the worst thing possible in that situation.

I'm going to be generous and say that the drone mobility is a net neutral thing AND THAT'S BEING REALLY GENEROUS. In that case, kennel and hive should be at least totally identical in mass efficiency. If you take the VERY REASONABLE take that hives have massive utility with insta-transfer of bp, then you should swap the mass efficiency of kennels and hives.

1

I agree with the sentiment and would just like to add the suggestion of nerfing hives to the same level of mass efficiency as kennels.

Both fulfill the same role of "I need BP quick, here and now!" for which they are significantly better than engies.

For this they should be worse than engies in other regards, but due to assist the only factor that really matters is mass efficiency.

Kennels pay that cost, hives basically dont. Here are the stats:

Mass (m) per build rate (br) efficiency (m/br). Less is better:

  • T1/T2/T3 engie: 10.4/10.8/10.4
  • T1/T2/T3 naval fac: 15.0/12.2/14.6
  • T1/T2/T3 land fac: 12/14.5/16
  • T1/T2/T3 air fac: 10.5/12.75/12.6
  • Hive: 14.0
  • T2/T3 Kennel: 22.0/21.0

Hives are at the same level or sometimes even more efficient than many factories! And this even though hives are arguably more flexible than facs as they can assist anything in range, including facs.

It's no wonder that hives get spammed in ressource dense team games, is it?

0

Kennels are good for getting reclaim from unpathable areas (e.g. if a plane crashes somewhere your engis cant reach but in a safe area), while in team games, kennels benefit from being able to assist teammates high priority targets that would be out of range from a hive.

I also think its good that factions dont all have equally effective units (provided they each have things they're better at), so while I agree overall a hive is better than a kennel, the same goes for various other things as well (e.g. UEF has a better shield and PD than Cybran).

As such I don't think kennels should be as mass efficient as hives, although I'd be ok with a small improvement and aligning other things such as the proportional reclaim value of higher tiers if that's different.

An alternative to making them more mass efficient could also be to make them significantly quicker to build vs a hive - i.e. then they would have another niche advantage where they're better if you're about to overflow mass.

M27AI developer; Devlog and more general AI development guide:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2373/ai-development-guide-and-m27ai-v12-devlog

0

@maudlin27 said in Kennel and Hives:

Kennels are good for getting reclaim from unpathable areas (e.g. if a plane crashes somewhere your engis cant reach but in a safe area), while in team games, kennels benefit from being able to assist teammates high priority targets that would be out of range from a hive.

Nobody uses kennels to go reclaim a plane like that and I just gave like 10 reasons why mobility is at best net neutral if not net negative for kennels. Your reason does not make it worthwhile when kennel drones die when gifted, die to ints, die to arty, and die to bombs and then take 2 minutes to rebuild while you have no way to spend the mass you are now floating in storage.

Maybe you get lucky and lose 0 drones. Great. Now you only float mass for the 2 minutes it takes to get back to your base and assist your own stuff.

I also think its good that factions dont all have equally effective units (provided they each have things they're better at), so while I agree overall a hive is better than a kennel, the same goes for various other things as well (e.g. UEF has a better shield and PD than Cybran).

Cool. Hives have absurd advantages to kennel even when costing the same. Kennel being like triple inefficient to hives in aggregate is stupid. Either make kennel cost as much or give hives as many handicaps as kennels have to face.

Cyb PD has tradeoffs with UEF PD. It never misses, it doesn't overkill reclaim, and it's cheap.

Cybran shield has upgrades which allow it to abuse recharge since you spawn an upgraded shield with max hp instantly. This is part of what allows hives to abuse hard in staying alive as you can pop down tons of low level shields and instantly upgrade them with hives to keep them alive. Ever see a hive supported t2 arty base? They're very fun to break.

The hive is strictly dominant over kennel, the one advantage of mobility carries as many if not more negatives as positives.

An alternative to making them more mass efficient could also be to make them significantly quicker to build vs a hive - i.e. then they would have another niche advantage where they're better if you're about to overflow mass.

This doesn't resolve anything. You don't make BP to deal with sudden gluts of mass, you solve that by putting it into consistent resource generation. Making more BP to deal with reclaim is a noobtrap that causes you to end up with 400 engies and nothing to power them. If you just mean garbage scaling, I'd still make literally any other form of BP or just not scale like shit in the first place.

You make more BP to get MORE reclaim faster but by the stage of kennels that isn't a factor anymore. And even if it were, I’d rather not lose all my reclaimers to a random int flying by one shotting all of them.

1

@ftxcommando said in Kennel and Hives:

Nobody uses kennels to go reclaim a plane like that

Already wrong - perhaps you should rephrase to nobody you've seen...
Mass value of a strat bomber wreck = c.1.7k. mass value of a kennel = a lot less.

As for Cybran PDs being on a similar level to UEF, it's worse per mass spent defending against large numbers of T1 (no aoe), against other T2 PD (no aoe, worse DPS), and against a single powerful unit (worse DPS) - its not just worse than the UEFs, its worse than every other faction's PD! But that's ok - factions dont have to be equally good at everything. Just as the kennel doesnt have to be as good as the hive.

If your requested change was made to make it as good as the hive, it'd have a significant balance impact on high resource games that typically go late game, because you're giving a good late game unit to the UEF, making the faction as a whole notably better for such games. Hives are a very common feature of team games that get to the experimental stage.

M27AI developer; Devlog and more general AI development guide:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2373/ai-development-guide-and-m27ai-v12-devlog

0

@maudlin27 said in Kennel and Hives:

Already wrong - perhaps you should rephrase to nobody you've seen...

nobody thats good at the game that does it on a reliable basis*

@maudlin27 said in Kennel and Hives:

If your requested change was made to make it as good as the hive, it'd have a significant balance impact on high resource games that typically go late game, because you're giving a good late game unit to the UEF, making the faction as a whole notably better for such games. Hives are a very common feature of team games that get to the experimental stage.

Idk what you're talking about. All that would happen is uef players would not be asking their allies for a cybran engi to build hives and instead will build their own factions unit. You think this would have a big balance impact?

0

@thewheelie There's no guarantee you'll get an engineer (not everyone speaks the same language, not all team games have every faction's tech available on the same team, not everyone gifts engineers without asking, etc.), and convenience shouldn't be underestimated.

In the team games I've played or seen there's a high correlation between what experimentals someone builds, and what faction they started as (even in games where spawns are close together and the experimental is started fairly late in the game - i.e. scenarios where it wouldn't really delay things if they first asked for an engineer). Similarly T3 shields around bases and high value targets will usually reflect the player's faction, even though sera shields are objectively the best late game.

M27AI developer; Devlog and more general AI development guide:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2373/ai-development-guide-and-m27ai-v12-devlog

0

I'm not sure why you're talking about shields and t4's all of a sudden. At the end of the day hives are better in 99% of situations compared to kennels. The argument that factions shouldn't all have equally effective units doesnt make any sense either when you consider the scale we're working with. It's like making aeon nukes cost 30k mass and when someone complains about it you hit them with the trusted "well not all units have to be equally effective :)". Just doesn't make any sense at all.

Also as an extra argument, there is a reason why the uef acu drone upgrades are seen as one of the most useless upgrades in the game. Aside from some very niche scenario's which happens in 0.1% of the games they are more of a detriment than an improvement to your acu.

0

as a UEF stan kennels have always felt bad to use because they're weak, they're slow, they're expensive, they lag the game, people think they're op cos they fly around the map as fast as my grandma climbs the stairs, and they maul your shields when your local ASF cloud flies over

0

This becomes super clear when we compare the fact that with hives (as FtX said) you can instantly switch your priority. Just consider you lost air and group of strats is bombing you, the kennel drones would die immediatly to enemy air and then you don't have an answer. Hives? Well just throw SAMS as fast as you can afford them, then throw a shield and change between these priorities almost instantly. I never see people making kennels rather than hives, hives always take the bigger role.

FAF = Femboy Alliance Forever

1

Hives are definitely far better right now because they are so much cheaper. If you made kennels the same cost I'd think their unlimited range would make them a little better even if they are kinda slow and there are other negatives that ftx mentioned. I don't think their other aspects are net negatives, but they are currently not very useful at all.
Rather than a nerf to hives I'd rather see a buff to kennels, because pathfinding is the worst part of this game. Maybe if we started off by making kennels 18m per bp and made the drones move a lot faster they would be a lot closer in usefulness. If that's not enough of a buff, we could make them even cheaper later too. It would also be nice to solve the problem of drones dying when transferred and reclaim values being incorrect.

0

@corvathranoob said in Kennel and Hives:

.. made the drones move a lot faster..

Suggest against making drones faster due to potential shenanigans in low ranked games where players don't cover air well:

  • large build power proxy bases
  • fast reclaim of dead teammate bases
  • fast reclaim of enemy bases
  • fast scouting with drones
0

Suggest against making drones faster due to potential shenanigans in low ranked games where players don't cover air well:

  • large build power proxy bases
  • fast reclaim of dead teammate bases
  • fast reclaim of enemy bases
  • fast scouting with drones

I'm pretty sure your "fast" and his "fast" drones are quite different in speed if you think it would become possible to do fast scouting with drones. Drones are immensely slow right now and even doubling their speed would not make them do any of the things you mentioned.

Also considering the fact that most low rated players tend to overbuild static defenses and that drones are still pretty expensive it would never be possible for them to reclaim a valuable base before dying cost efficiently. A single random t1 aa will kill 5k mass worth of drones before they can do anything.

0

I really like their flying reclaim ability. It's useful in a pinch as even though they are fragile they can scoop a good bit of mass before they need to be rebuilt. I like it so much I'd want some gunship/flying engineers or reclaimers for other factions, but not auto ones, units from a factory.

@captainklutz Perhaps we should take a look at doing stuff to reduce lag from them, like we did to Hives? The problem seems to be huge spamming numbers, so perhaps increasing possible upgrade levels, and having it just make a bigger drone? Tweaking the numbers so you would want to upgrade for more BP first before building another kennel?

Also if we could get them actually hidden while docked, and the capability to actually turn them off that would be cool. Stuff like an ASF cloud swinging by and obliterating your shields with AA fire because of a low air unit is one of the reasons why I started the thread on cutting all air HP and DPS to 10%.

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

0

The ASF can't shoot drones.

0

@corvathranoob said in Kennel and Hives:

Rather than a nerf to hives I'd rather see a buff to kennels, because pathfinding is the worst part of this game. Maybe if we started off by making kennels 18m per bp and made the drones move a lot faster they would be a lot closer in usefulness. If that's not enough of a buff, we could make them even cheaper later too. It would also be nice to solve the problem of drones dying when transferred and reclaim values being incorrect.

It isn't really just the cheap factor that makes hives better. I am absolutely certain that if you made hives and kennels the exact same cost you would still in the vast majority of scenarios make hives because it is simply too much utility to be able to instantly transfer bp to whatever project you deem necessary. Simply giving kennel a slight buff in cheapness will make them more useful obviously, but it's still not really a contest for which one you want to make.

For people to actually consider whether hives or kennels are better you would need kennels to be cheaper than hives, the ability to interact with drones simply carries massive downsides and that should be accounted for in the cost difference between the two engie stations.

Also to be clear I don't mind drones having the downside of having to travel and being able to be interacted with. To me, that is the faction diversity and it is good. Making kennels garbage in efficiency relative to hives on top of the naturally terrible tradeoffs for their mobility benefits is just ridiculous and not defensible with the "faction diversity" argument.

3

Dont forget, we need to perfectly balance them with the aeon and seraphim equivalent of hives/kennels for total fairness in faction balance.

0

What's the logic of the shitpost? That you cannot compare cross faction unless all factions have a functionally identical unit or what? Does Cybran have some unique late game that necessitates a more mass efficient and higher utility engie station relative to UEF? Feel free to expand shitposting moderator/balance team dude.

Or is this a certified classic "WHO CARES LMAO" argumentation, which would also be funny to hear from a balance team dude

0

I agree that kennels are very underwhelming, and I'm rarely interested in building them even in big teamgames. I have an idea for a redesigned kennel that should give it an interesting use case in both 1v1s and teamgames.

This is a bit of a wild idea, but I am in favor of giving the kennel drones a build suite same as the UEF ACU drone. This is a complete role change—instead of being used for build power, they functionally become a flying engineer. That way, they can go around the map, build forward factories, radar, pd, and grab reclaim. I think they would need a much higher energy cost to produce in order to balance them. I think it would be good to also require the kennel to actually produce the first drone instead of getting it for free (each kennel can hold one drone, and if it is killed it must be rebuilt).

I can imagine this drone having a use case even in 1v1s; you might build a single kennel to produce a rover drone once you hit t2 to contest plateaus or grab reclaim in hard to reach places (e.g. badlands plateau, regor plateau, open palms tree reclaim etc.). It's balanced by the fact that you need to first produce a t2 engineer, then produce a kennel building, and then produce a drone—and also the fact that it can be shot down easily with interceptors. In later game you might want to use kennels to grab reclaim around the map, but it's energy cost should be prohibitive to the point where it's always cheaper to build transports + normal engineers than kennel drones.

0

You can get a t3 drone on a sacu, I don't see anyone using it