AOE against air

Numerous FAF games tend towards relatively dense ASF battles that often lag a lot and frequently decide the fate of games. If some units are buffed to have better AOE against air, then that could change the dynamic a bit, as those units could be used to punish dense air clusters. Perhaps more AA AOE damage/radius should be added to T3 gunships or T3 maa, or perhaps a new air unit should be added that is focused on AOE against air. Thoughts?

pfp credit to gieb

To me the air balance in FAF is quite off in general. As soon as someone has ASF then your only response is to have ASF at the same time, or you get strat bombed. I think they nailed it at LOUD, where every tech has (almost) equal value.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

ASF are by far the strongest units in the game at their role, but I don't necessarily think that's a balance problem because all of the faction's ASF have basically the same effectiveness. At some point, you reach the highest tech level, and the specialized fighter of that tech level is going to be the best at killing other air units. There's no terrain in the air, and ASF move so quickly that they can pick their fights. Therefore it comes down to numbers and having good turn micro. I'm pretty sure making gunships counter a clump of units designed to counter them is counterintuitive, and iirc adding new units is something that is heavily discouraged. Maybe give T2 Flak a firing mode that lowers their ROF but gives them more projectile velocity so they can actually hit ASF swarms better?

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

I don’t see how LOUD changes anything, problem with air comes down to:

  1. extreme speed
  2. no collisions
  3. snowball mechanic inherent in combat

Having t1 or t2 “more relevant” does 0 to address any of these and doesn’t make the game more healthy. Ladder is prone to 400 ints fighting 400 ints just as teamgames are prone to 400 asf fighting 400 asf. Making a smoother spike in capability does nothing, especially since it isn’t like you can’t fight ASF with ints or t2 fighters like janus if you lean into it already.

If collisions don’t get added to air, we don’t mKe it way slower (like land unit speed), and the fundamental way airfights happen don’t get changed, the only solution left revolves around discouraging buildup which is only gonna be possible through AoE mechanics.

IMO flak is already a decent enough AoE tool for ints but idk if you would want t3 maa to be an AoE tool against ASF. I’d rather make air gameplay more interactive by introducing a new unit so you have a decision to make on when to transition and weigh tradeoffs. Currently only tradeoffs air slots consider are eco vs grid related and when to stop making ASF to spam out sams.

The problem with making t3 maa an aoe tool is that it causes the snowball mechanic to be a tool that ASF or air in general fundamentally cannot interact with. This causes the game to stagnate and ruins late game interaction since if you don’t engage early you’re going to waste mass in ASF. Meta will swap to making like 50-150 ASF depending on map and then transitioning to other game ender stuff. This isn’t as big of a deal with flak because t3 air exists as a response to disregard flak since it’s too fast for flak to be that good of a tool to respond against.

If you make a new unit you could have small groups of ASFs come to snipe aoe tools which could cost a lot or be a necessity to win big conglomerate battles, encouraging diff types of fights rather than -14 sim shitfests.

T3 MAA generally feel really weak, especially in comparison to T2 MAA. What about giving them a slight buff, by increasing their speed by 0.3 and increasing their aoe by 0.5, so they're both slightly more likely to be able to help in a big air fight, and are more effective against large swarms?

Also looking at the stats on the Unit DB made realise just how much Cybran T3 MAA sucks - half the DPS of the other MAA, and it has a really slow projectile speed.

I ran some rudimentary tests a few months ago and found the range and projectile speed of T3 MAA (UEF) to make it the best at point defense against strats, though they do struggle against massed lower tiers due to overkill. Looking at the stats for the Cybran t3 MAA I agree they are terrible and wonder what's going on there.

t2 MAA is also about 1/3 the cost of its static equivalent for a ~35% reduction in DPS, while t3 is slightly more expensive (and much slower to build) for an equivalent DPS reduction (though, as previously mentioned, it's capable of stopping strats from getting a bomb on target at a much greater radius--SAMs simply won't make their first hit until the bomber is almost directly over them).

I think some key questions are:

  • How feasible should an all-ground AA defense be? (not very, I'm thinking, and it isn't now)
  • If the answer to the above is no, what use cases should ground AA be effective (in terms of cost, maneuverability, and the value of what it's protecting)? Ex: T2 MAA, and T3 MAA especially, currently do a pretty decent job at fending off gunship attacks on massed units, and that seems like a role that should be preserved.

My suggestion: reducing ASF fuel from the current 16 minutes(!) to something much lower would require splitting up the deathball or risk getting caught flat footed when they all gas out at the same time.

tl;dr: fuel is an underutilized mechanic that could solve this problem without throwing AA out of balance

How about when they low in fuel instead of being slow down they actually crash ?

Or nerfing the agility so you can have a very fast attack unit but hardly turn and more fragile or a slower but more resistant, turn better and is more for base/area denial

This post is deleted!

At the very least, I think t2 air should be more of a thing. I personally hate the whole rush to t3 air in 10 minutes or your team probably loses to a strat rush meta. Making t2 air more viable by introducing t2 fighters to the other factions would make it easier for the main air or team members to respond to quick t3 rush.

Getting to T3 air in under 10 mins feels a bit too fast. Once strats are on the map your ACU can be sniped quite quickly.

Never Fear, A Geek is Here!

People about to make the most unfun AIR unit in the existence with all this fuel ideas. And then they will come back to bitching how reclaiming is too tedious reeeeeeeeeeeee!

Don't touch fuel, the reality is that you can't make any good and fun gameplay with it anyway considering the game we are playing. Not to mention, refueling them takes no time and costs nothing as long as you remember how to build air staging. It's just fucking tedious and unfun mechanic to focus on in this game. And before you actually go and say how other games do with it just fine, yeah they do but they are more micro focused and offer different playing field. One that puts way more emphasis on micro compared to supcom. Not to mention different game mechanics compared to what we are left with.

The time to refuel is the time it takes for units to fly to air staging and return to where they are needed, and the cost is the opportunity cost between having your units where you need them (with less time on target) and having them staged in the rear (but fully fueled). Superimposed on those decisions is the location of air staging facilities, which can be far from the action (safe, but longer sorties) or near (dangerous, but quicker turnaround time). All of which are macro elements.

the reality is that you can't make any good and fun gameplay with it anyway considering the game we are playing

Could you expand on this?

Also "air units crash when out of fuel" is a hard no from me. That information (fuel range and time) is presented to the player with low resolution, and heavily punishing for misjudging it turns what should be a tactical opportunity for your opponent into a banana peel.

I literally won all asf fights with janus until min 40 in one game, idk what you guys are talking about with t2 fighters, do you expect 4 corsairs to win air against 2 asf or what?

All these ASF nerf ideas are gonna result in is converting every current air slot in teamgames into a min 15 nuke rush slot.

What if we'd make ASF take up more space in the formation, automatically forcing them to spread more? Similar to how one experimental causes your land army to spread out too.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

No idea how that would impact anything. Thing is that once ASF go above like 200 for each side it’s more efficient to do stop micro rather than circle micro so it more than likely wouldn’t address the worst case scenarios unless the spacing is ginormous in which case you’re likely going to morph micro into some sort of shift+g into stop micro.

@ftxcommando said in AOE against air:

All these ASF nerf ideas are gonna result in is converting every current air slot in teamgames into a min 15 nuke rush slot.

This doesn't follow. ASF are a fundamentally defensive weapon; if they were nerfed (or disappeared entirely) you'd see gunships, strats, etc. (the sharp end of air) become that much harder to counter and that much more useful.

Low asf = sams decide air = investing in air is pointless beyond 25 to snipe strats = make sams and nuke rush

Well it seems that more people are comfortable with adding a new unit than I previously thought.

People have to understand that T3 air being so strong is one of the few counterbalances to extremely defensive and turtley strategies on large team maps. If you can’t effectively dominate air to make a path for your strats to strike (a SAM or 3 can’t stop a dozen strats from making a first pass) then you are indirectly buffing nukes, ecoing, and game enders.

So if we’re going to introduce a unit to counter ASF it should be expensive and only cost effective against ASF and not other air units. Maybe something like an aerial Fire Beetle that explodes and leaves a large but lower damage AOE cloud.

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

@ftxcommando said in AOE against air:

Low asf = sams decide air = investing in air is pointless beyond 25 to snipe strats = make sams and nuke rush

I'm not buying the logic that nerfing a counter (ASF) to something (other air units) would make that something less useful.

@zeldafanboy said in AOE against air:

Well it seems that more people are comfortable with adding a new unit than I previously thought.

I think other options should be explored first. Any AA unit that's good against fast, tough, high altitude aircraft is going to be good against anything. T3 MAA has a bit of an "aftermarket" feel to it, as it is (at least at first, I got used to it).

If men with batons came to my house and said "you need to add an AA unit to FAF to counter ASF swarms or we're going to beat the bricks off you" I'd say the solution would be an anti-air nuke, small yield, built and launched like a tactical missile (with homing). Keeping the rate of fire low is the only way to prevent it from blowing out Czars/Soul Rippers, etc, AND it would potentially (depending on damage) give you the opportunity to retreat and repair heavier planes.

I think that if anything we need to find some way to allow something non t3 to counter strats. As far as late game asf fights, czars and washers help a ton with countering asf spam since when a washer is going in u either need to submit air dominance to kill the washer or u need to allow the washer to do damage and win air. This means that, assuming the player with the washer is competent, the player with the washer is in the lead dispite haveing less asf.