Are walled T1 PD useless now?

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See Duellists YouTube vid:
https://youtu.be/AIe_160lwVY
Which indicates they are useless now.

Intended behaviour seems to be otherwise:
https://github.com/FAForever/fa/pull/3415
Where Tagada says
'All of the PD's will now be similar in effectiveness to old Cybran/UEF ones.'

Haven't tested it myself so what's the deal?

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the pd's were equalised that vid was old before it even got posted

Vault Admin / Creative Team / Map Guru

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This is yesterday's video, and it says walls are equally useless now) So yet they a re balanced but now they are a trap of wasting mass and doing nothing)

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Well I guess all the non Seraphim players can also experience the joy of being overrun by nothing but tanks or having to put their PDs behind factories

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Don’t have time to watch the video but if this is true then this should be fixed ASAP

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

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It's very random but overall, it's pretty closely balanced. Unless we get a way to automate the tests then I can't provide anything better.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1x9X8dVM0Wwlu34uCgFpyjB08yBs-wFa2A8-Lc0pAIyo/edit?usp=sharing

To clarify:
The UEF and Cybran PD should behave in the same way as before
The Sera PD got a buff
The Aeon PD got a nerf

Now all of the PD's are exactly the same in terms of stats, any differences come from the fact that the engine is inconsistent when it comes to hitboxes.
Relevant Github PR:
https://github.com/FAForever/fa/pull/3415/files

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@tagada What's the result with no walls at all?

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The walls and PDs are, as far as I can tell, equal now. The weird findings from the duelist are the result of him testing the walls on completely flat ground.

He mentions that walls do nothing to protect t1 pds (on completely flat ground):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIe_160lwVY

I can reproduce his findings quite easily too:
https://youtu.be/y60-_oqdyFk

Interestingly though, on even slightly bumpy ground, walls are quite effective at protecting the pd:
https://youtu.be/fsAQEd7KQz4

So for all normal maps, walls and pds interact basically as you'd expect while on crazyrush etc. walls are completely useless at protecting a pd.

I'm assuming that was a weird accident, and not something done intentionally, @Tagada ?

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That's how the PDs have always worked. The UEF PD was unchanged while the Cybran one was even slightly buffed. The main changes are making the sera one actually use walls and the Aeon one hittable at all.
My tests have also been made on flat ground and there is about 20-25% chance of the walle blocking some- significant amount of damage.

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@tagada: I did a bit more testing and it seems walls on completely flat ground block basically no shots if the tank is at near maximum range, and basically all shots if the tank gets close enough to the pd. (See 15952938)

The exception seems to be the aurora, which always shoots over walls on flat ground, regardless of distance. (See 15952973)

Again, this doesn't matter on most (non-flat) maps where walls behave quite simply as you'd naively expect.

On completely flat maps, this highly range dependent behavior gives some neat strategic options. I like it, honestly.

Summary (for now?):

  • On normal, non-pancake maps walling your PDs is good and works as you'd expect.
  • On flat maps walling your PDs blocks shots of tanks getting close to it, so it's probably(?) still a good idea.Unless your opponent makes auroras, in which case walls do nothing.
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Look at the linked sheets with the tests performed on completely flat ground, Usually, the walls don't block shots but not always.

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I looked at the sheets and while the data is useful, they don't mention how exactly the tests were perfomed. That does seem to matter here though.

If my findings from the last post are correct, you'd always want to fight against pds on flat maps from as far away as possible, e.g. via using attack move, as walls only black shots from up close

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The tests were performed on flat ground using an attack order targetting the PDs so the shots can be blocked by walls from far away.

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While I have found angles where a wall on flat ground can block a tank shot fired from a distance, at least in my testing those are very rare.

Compare this test, where not one tank shot got blocked by a wall:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y60-_oqdyFk

or this one, where I drive around the pd in different distances:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03kWKjv8gxk

Note that in the latter test, some shots from far away are blocked by a wall, depending on the shooting angle. The vast majority are not though, unless you drive in closer, when all shots are blocked.

My only explanation is that we must be doing something slightly different afterall. I don't know what though. Ideas:

  • Is "flat" ground not actually flat?
  • Do tanks, or their turrets, sometimes spawn very slightly higher or lower?
  • Has there been some, ostensibly, unrelated change somewhere else in the code that changed the tank-wall interaction?
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I used Flat 1 mex map and it is flat
They shouldn't
Not that I am aware of, the only changes that were made to either tank or PD or wall files were the ones I made.

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It was never consistent before and it still isn't consistent now. At least now it is equally inconsistent across factions. Mass cost and buildtime are pretty negligible for normal amounts of PD so you should still build them.

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What's the aim here? Do we want walled PD which block all T1 tank shots or which are slightly porous (to a random degree). Has anyone looked at hit boxes of walls as well as PD?

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Yes it was looked at thoroughly and the desired outcome is close to the one we have right now, the Walls block some but not all shots, and all of the PDs behave (roughly) in the same way.

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@tagada

I can't ever recall Cybran/UEF walled PD templates ever acting like this, if this is what the PD are being normalized to. It seems like at max range the walls block absolutely 0% of shots, not some percentage.

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

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If game calculates shell mouvement useing ballistic trajectory, or something similar. Then there are some logic in fact that shells/projectiles coming from far away get better over walls. Coming from far, shells draw much higher "arc", and at the moment of impact they are descending much more than when fired from close, with smaller "arc" and less drop.

Drawing higher wall (hitbox) should block all shots. Eventually, after that, drawin narrower/irregular wall (hitbox), with "openings" in wall/between walls, could allow some of shots from different distances to pass. Maybe.

Not saying that it is better in one or other way.