The Problems With The UEF - Part 2 (ACU Billy Nuke Upgrade)

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I think the outer damage should be buffed or just removed??
Because it makes the area look much bigger than it actually is, which is quite confusing for newer players.

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@brannou said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 2 (ACU Billy Nuke Upgrade):

Looking at the game, billy nuke wasn't that usefull.

Took a very long time to build even with the ressources you had (beside the T1 spam at the start, you weren't fighting the bottom and building higher tier units).

Had plateau and a very good position to harrass ennemi without retaliation

Still stalled with 3 T3 pgen and air player overflowing.

Result : 4/5 T3 units (harb/sniper bot) and a few T2 shields

1 T3 land HQ with a couple of mex

1 aeon Tmd shoot

Even with those very favorable conditions it didn't impact the battlefield as much

I dont know if the hassle was worth the use

Meanwhile on top, expe and mazer go brrr

Yea i never claimed it was that usefull. Someone wanted an example of it being used.

If you think i should be able to build it on 100 mass income then idea of when you make a billy is completely different from how it actually is used.

All in all this wasn't the best time to make a billy because the t3 armies were small, and like i said the main use for a billy is to go for big t3 armies. But even then with my first 2 launches i got 20k mass killed so i'm almost even already. Then you have to take in mind the impact it can have on a battle and the fact that your opponent is now forced to spend way more mass on tmd.

You mention 1 aeon tmd countering it, but you didn't mention that the only reason it survived the t1 bombers was by some coincidental asf movement that accidentally shot down the bombers killing the tmd making it live on 50 hp. Guess what, if he wasn't lucky that could've killed that base and leave the acu on 1k hp.

Mentioning the mazer acu is funny since it got literally nothing accomplished and the acu died to a few gunships

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Can you put a cost value on the vet and better survivability your acu now has in addition to the mass killed?

Perhaps the aeon tmd effect should make the Billy land somewhere random so it can at least down some sheilds or do something funny.

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@thewheelie

Wheelie! Thanks for your feedback! I really appreciate it. I'm glad I'm getting your attention! ๐Ÿ˜ I've been running some tests, with the help of Spikey, and hopefully will be able to get you better results later on. For the moment, everything is still pretty experimental, so more tests are still required.

Anywho:


In theory yes, but in practice it's impossible. It's not like you see game enders or t3 arties ever build in one. You can't perfectly balance a unit for both teamgames and 1v1.

You are correct, here. It is extremely rare to see Game Enders in 1v1's but we're talking about the Billy Nuke here, which, I feel is a little out of place. In both 1v1's and team games.

No it doesn't. t2 shields are literally irrelevant vs a billy. It kills them including the army under it.

I double-checked this to make sure I wasn't lying just before I mentioned it, and they do in fact hold up to a Billy. We're talking about diminishing returns but - they can stop most of the damage. One or two T2 mobile shields will not work, but when you have about 3 or 4, that's when they start working well. Any more than that will ensure no damage will bleedthrough and will ensure they survive, too. You can see this in action in this short 3-minute replay: https://replay.faforever.com/17680151

The Billy will be more effective against UEF mobile shields as they have less SHP, but compared to Seraphim T3 mobile shields; Well... yeah... their 10K SHP makes the Billy practically useless against them.

People agreeing with you doesn't mean its true.

It's true for us. I mean, this is an opinion that goes both ways - "true" is really dependent on point-of-view. My side thinks the Billy Nuke has a problem, and that is why I'm here with their support. Yes, we're only a handful of players, but we are not the only ones that think this. I'm here offering my own solution to what we believe is a problem that plagues this upgrade.

Even if it's not worth it most of the time, is that bad? It's a faction specific lategame upgrade. Probably most similar to cybran going cloak/lazer, which is also rarely used. But even though they are rare upgrades i've seen enough times when they shine. I've seen billy acu's and cloak lazer acu's getting 100k mass killed.

This is part of the issue. Yes, it is a 'lategame upgrade', but, It's not effective in neither the early nor the late game! Its cost makes it unable to obtain early game - which isn't the problem - but its own stats make it almost punishing to use unless its against anything unshielded or uncovered by TMD.

The main use for billy is killing big t3 armies, not trying to wipe out a base.

Spikey has created a mod to help us visualize the changes and with their permission, I will share it later, however... I completely agree with you here.

Perhaps one of its uses is to destroy large T3 armies, however, it doesn't even do this effectively. Mobile shields just absorb too much of the damage. If it is a "late-game upgrade" as you say, it should be able to deal with "big t3 armies" with more certainty, but its damage and damage area is too small. It could miss entirely, or if it barely misses, it will 'tickle them' - wasting 3,000 mass. And if you get a direct hit, well, you better hope mobile shields or Loyalists weren't there.

I'm not trying to make the Billy 'Base killing', either. I'm just trying to increase it's effectiveness just a little to make its investment less of a burden if the projectile gets destroyed or doesn't hit.

I'm not saying it isn't or can't be effective, as anything can be effective if used properly... obviously. I'm just saying it is very difficult to use due to its available opportunities. These opportunities are very slim and hard to come by, and even when they offer themselves, the Billy Nuke doesn't tend to be very effective. This is why it is so rare to see.

And even then you can easily assist the billy by sniping some tmd's with air

Yes; You could also assist the Billy with a Cruiser, a Spearhead, heck, even a Mavor or a Scathis.

My point here is that if we factor in anything else in, well of course it would help.
Here, I am just comparing the Billy to its direct counter which is TMD and shields. Factoring anything else into the equation just skews the results.

On a second note, that means you need to divert more mass to destroy a target which is adding more value to the TMD and removing it from the Billy. This, again, is my point exactly. The Billy is too much of high risk to be worth it.


Thank you, again for your feedback, sir!
I hope to hear more from you.

~Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@maudlin27

I dont think the missile hp should be increased-thereโ€™s already a disproportionate difference in aeon tmd effectiveness vs billy nuke to the other tmd and that would just make it worse.

There is currently a mod (work-in-progress) from Spikey to assist us in visualizing all the changes. As for the projectile's HP, after visualizing it, I think this could be toned down to 5 hits or be left as is. With all the other changes made to the projectile, it seems to be more effective and fair to still have 4 or 5 HP.

As for Aeon TMD... I beg to differ. As I stated in my post, the flare fired from the Aeon's TMD deflects the projectile entirely - nullifying it completely. What it lacks in range & coverage, it makes up in effectiveness in countering a Billy projectile.

I also dont think the upcoming buff and nerf to tmd will impact in this as the buff part comes when tmd are faced with multiple missiles at once.

All tactical missile projectiles had their HP increased (static launchers, cruisers, ACU upgrades (with the exception of the Billy)), and TMD was buffed so it could better handle large groups of missiles, as you stated. But you may be correct. This only affects groups of missiles which likely won't be happening with the Billy. However, if all other projectiles's HP was increased, the Billy should've received the same treatment as 4 HP seems a little low and 6 seems a little high - 5 would've been perfect.

The damage boost i think would mean if they crash into t2 fixed shields of any faction they can wipe out any tmd under it (so eg 3 tmd under a t2 sera shield could all die to a billy nuke that explodes when hitting the full health shield),

I seem to have overlooked that possibility. But, again; after initial tests, I may agree with others here that the projectile's HP could be reduced. The other buffs would still compensate for this change. However, if 3 TMD are together, it would mean they only need 2 volleys to destroy the projectile - so it is likely that the projectile won't hit. Still, even with 5 or 6HP, It would be unwise to fire a Billy against 3 TMD.

Depending on how the shield and TMD are positioned, different results can be observed. If the shield is behind the TMD, the projectile will not land as it will be destroyed. If the shield is in front of the TMD, the distance between the outer shell of the shield and the TMD, plus the HP of the shield should ensure the TMD survive.

and I dont think they should be buffed to the level where they can defeat a well defended base on their own.

You are correct, this isn't a base-killing weapon. These buffs are merely so it can be more worthwile in its investment.

More of an outer ring damage would be nice though.

I agree. The damage fall-off is too great.

Another option could be to reduce the cost of the missile itself? It currently costs 12 times as much mass as a tactical missile

12x the cost and it only deals 2x the damage - with the exception of a larger AoE, of course.

Another option could be to allow both tactical missiles and the billy nukes to be built with the upgrade (I cant remember if this is the case currently) but I expect this would be a harder change/require UI changes and risk being too confusing for only a very small boost to the upgrade

At the moment, the game only lets you have one or the other, not both. Meaning you can only build Tac Missiles with the Tac upgrade or Billy's with the Tac Nuke upgrade. But honestly, having both options as isn't a bad idea.


Thanks for your feedback!

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@nex

I think the outer damage should be buffed or just removed??
Because it makes the area look much bigger than it actually is, which is quite confusing for newer players.

I agree - the AoE is very misleading - and it falls off even more so the closer you are to the edge. I've seen it do a massive 2 HP worth of damage! Nice, right?!

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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I feel like when i asked to buff gun spash for seraphim.

Too expensive for early game, too weak for late game

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@brannou

I completely agree! So many late-game upgrades that don't quite fit well.

Though I would argue that the Seraphim has the other gun upgrade that goes well with Splash. Pairing both together can really strong.

Even more so when you see that with these upgrades, a Sera Com could go face-to-face with a lot of Experimentals. Not many other factions can do that.

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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Maybe vs a monkey or if you get in range of a fatboy but no, a sera commander still get destryed by experimentals

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@brannou

Of course - experimentals are experimentals. You'd be out of your mind if you try to take one head-on, But it really does depend on the situation, too. A weakened Ythotha or GC would be a good target.

Though I think This is where Billy does Shine - The range is quite useful.
Fire from afar without risking your Commander.

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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I agree with Stryker, billy lame many times ๐Ÿ™‚

The embodiment of depression...

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@brannou said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 2 (ACU Billy Nuke Upgrade):

I feel like when i asked to buff gun spash for seraphim.

Too expensive for early game, too weak for late game

IMHO that's just balance for these things. Look at Cybran: mazer is expensive enough for your opponent to have T3 air by the time you're done. If it wasn't, it'd be OP. Same with cloak+mazer versus omni. If splash was viable before T3 land, it'd be unstoppable.

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Here's a Billy Buff suggestion; increase the maximum speed of the projectile. Maybe quite significantly.

The increase in usefulness is two-fold:

  1. targeting will be easier. Instead of reducing the damage fall-off, or increasing the max-damage radius, just make it a bit easier to put a missile where you want it.

  2. a quicker projectile will spend less time within the firing radius of TMD. If not passing directly through the centre, a faster projectile might have a better chance of passing two TMD's with some health remaining.

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@barry_whiter

increase the maximum speed of the projectile.

I honestly didn't think of that. That is actually quite smart.

Though, I believe we would still have issues with the damage AoE.
The fall-off damage is still quite high, in my opinion.

Originally, I had it at 10,000 but after seeing some tests, I think this could be toned down to 5,000 or less. This way, it would still damage units on the outside ring.

Still need to conduct more tests to have a more balanced option.

But, yeah, An increase in speed would be quite useful actually.
Thanks for the feedback. I really do like that idea.

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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Alright. I gotta point this out as it's been happening quite often when I use this upgrade...

The projectile HP of the Billy, since it has such low HP, (literally 4 HP), there is a chance that random fire will destroy it before it hits its target. I've seen a PD randomly shoot and accidentally destroy it, I've seen ASF randomly shoot and destroy it, I've seen the beam of a Monkeylord and GC kill it, and I've seen Harbs' & Brick fire kill it. Heck, I've even seen a torpedo kill it, too!

Wouldn't it be of benefit to increase the HP of the projectile drastically and increase the damage of the TMD to match?

Example:
TMD would deal 50 damage and standard missiles would have 50 hp, the damage from the TMD kills the missile in one shot - no change here.
If the Billy has 151 HP, it would still tank 3 shots with the 4th killing it.

This change would mirror the Nuke Missile HP change that was made a while back - to prevent it from being shot down by random fire as it is fired or as it is landing.


~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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The projectile HP of the Billy, since it has such low HP, (literally 4 HP), there is a chance that random fire will destroy it before it hits its target. I've seen a PD randomly shoot and accidentally destroy it, I've seen ASF randomly shoot and destroy it, I've seen the beam of a Monkeylord and GC kill it, and I've seen Harbs' & Brick fire kill it. Heck, I've even seen a torpedo kill it, too!

This is happening because of an issue with patch 3741.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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@jip

This is happening because of an issue with patch 3741.

Ah, I was not aware that it is an issue.
But, could've sworn it has been happening to me since the beginning of time. Hmm.


~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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Yes, it can happen if it hits a unit somehow. But not arbitrary projectiles.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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@barry_whiter said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 2 (ACU Billy Nuke Upgrade):

Here's a Billy Buff suggestion; increase the maximum speed of the projectile. Maybe quite significantly.

The increase in usefulness is two-fold:

  1. targeting will be easier. Instead of reducing the damage fall-off, or increasing the max-damage radius, just make it a bit easier to put a missile where you want it.

  2. a quicker projectile will spend less time within the firing radius of TMD. If not passing directly through the centre, a faster projectile might have a better chance of passing two TMD's with some health remaining.


I was rereading some posts and recalled this one, so, I wanted to bring more attention to this post and this specific suggestion, as this could be a meaningful change without making the projectile too strong.

At the moment, the Billy's main strength comes from the First projectile the ACU fires, as that's when the enemy doesn't expect it. Any projectiles after that have diminishing returns as the opponent has already started building more counters.
With increased speed, subsequent projectiles would be a little more viable, especially the projectiles fired from a longer range.

Though, I still want to point out some other issues, as well. Specifically the missile HP in terms of random projectiles hitting it and destroying it, fall off damage in terms of minimal damage, and the projectile cost/upgrade cost.

Any thoughts on this?


~Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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I will look into changing the billy for the next balance patch (not the one coming soon tm) so probably in ~3 weeks