The Problems With The UEF - Part 3 (The Parashield)

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@comradestryker said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 3 (The Parashield):

I would disagree, as both units share the same purpose; To cover your army/navy.

This is over simplifying, since the units the shield covers are different. This becomes especially obvious on T3. There the units covered are:

UEF: percy, titan, upgraded UEF ACU,aa

Aeon: Harb,sniper,upgraded Aeon ACU,aa

Harb+shields behaves very different from percy+shields or titans+shields, since shields perform especially well with army compositions that kite a lot or fight many small skirmishes.
And obviously sniper+shilds is completely different from percy+shields, first of all because the snipers can die in a second when not shielded.

I hope this shows that you have to compare whole army compositions of a faction, with whole army compositions from other factions to draw meaningfull conclusionson faction balance.

Forumpros doing balance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wTcguJZh3A .
When a canis player remembers to build more than 3 units https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hjp8xJHuyA .

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@kalethequick

Is it possible to have shields in shapes other than a bubble? Like would a forward facing rectangle shield be possible?

If it is possible, what changes do you propose for this?
Like, would the shield be really strong covering only the front arc and be exposed at the back?

I mean, depending on how this would change, I'd be interested to know in more detail what you recommend.

Also, could we arm the parashield? Perhaps that would boost it's utility?

Honestly, giving it the Riot Gun that the Sparky has would be quite nice. I could see this being useful.

Or making it deploy and be more efficient when not moving?

Interesting idea here, as well. Though. I'd like to hear some more detail on this, as I'm not for the deployment - unless the unit is buffed elsewhere, as well.
SHP is greatly increased, shield bubble is too, and even the unit HP. Sacrificing mobility and potential coverage for no SHP increase is gonna be detrimental to the units with the Parashield.


Thanks for your feedback!
~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@exselsior

Hey, Exselsior! Thanks for coming back.


reducing its maintenance by that much is a nontrivial buff to a unit that really doesn't need it. That's a whole t1 pgen less per parashield for its maintenance cost, might not sound like much but that adds up fast, especially in higher level play.

Oh, I'd beg to disagree. You see, it all comes down to mass, correct? To create power, you need to spend mass on pgens. So, technically, Aeon, again, is far more efficient due to the fact that it requires less power to maintain, which in turn means less mass to be dumped into pgens.

Let's look at some stats: So, the UEF's Parashield is not only just 220 mass. Including the mass costs of the 4 T1 pgens it requires adds an extra 300 mass PER Parashield. Meaning one Parashield costs a total of 520 mass! On the other hand. The Asylum, a far better unit, in my opinion, has a total cost of 388.75. (Needing 2.25 T1 pgens).

That is over a 130 mass differential between the units. On top of that, the Asylum has better stats overall making it even far superior in its mass and gameplay efficiency.

UEF T2 is already strong, it doesn't need to be stronger. Just because the parashield is worse than asylum doesn't mean it needs a buff, balance doesn't work that way since you have to look at the bigger picture.

I am trying to look at the bigger picture. Hence why I am mentioning that the Parashield can only be used on land, whilst the Asylum can be used on Sea as well. And, as you read just now, it is a far worse investment than stats show - which is why I made this post to begin with.

Hover is nice, but Aeon arguably needs hover more than UEF because Aeon frigs are trash tier,

I never mentioned that the UEF Parashield needed hover. However, though I would agree that Aeon frigates are - less effective - than other navies, I would not say they are 'trash'. After all, most navy games are dependent on how many frigates you have, and not their stats. On top of that, they have torpedo defense, too, making them. Yes, they can't directly combat subs, but they can - in numbers - ignore them.

Aeon t2 in general has a different philosophy than UEF t2. Both of which are in a pretty good place now though I'd agree with Tagada's statement that the Asylum is a bit too strong.

It is a strong unit, hence why I'm mentioning that the only thing the Parashield needs is a small reduction in maintenance costs. I offered a different suggestion as well to see if we could diverse the units a little bit more. Specializing in their respective manners. One is multi-use (land and sea) and the other is solely for land, so it should be stronger in the Shield HP sense.

UEF also gets the shield boat so they have t2 shields that are useful on the water. Cybran gets stealth and op frigs, sera gets strong t3 hover shields for late game navy on mass heavy maps, though now I'm going a bit off topic.

The UEF has a strange Shield Boat. I will post about it later in part 5 or 6. If the Parashield hovered, I would be using those instead of Shield boats as they would be far better gameplay-wise and mass-investment-wise. However, I'm getting ahead of myself.

This is already a point that UEF is strong, buffing parashield would compound that even more. I'd hate to be cybran vs that but I guess at least Aeon and Sera have snipers which are a whole other topic.

Every faction is strong in its respective manner. It's not just the UEF that is strong. There are many ways to counter each and every unit in this game.


Thanks for the feedback.
Looking forward to hearing more from you!

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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You haven't given any arguments why Parashield should be buffed besides saying that Asylum is stronger which is definitely not enough to justify a buff. UEF T2 land is perfectly fine as it is, it doesn't need any buffs.
T2 mobile shields were nerfed 1.5 year ago because they were too strong. I think that parashield is in a good spot right now. Asylum is currently a bit too strong thus it's getting nerfed.

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Do the parasheild mass cost with t2 pgens, because, well, you have t2 tech

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UEF has an almost unstoppable combo of nano and gun, extremely cheap t2 and broken t3 land at the moment, i see no reason whatsoever to buff what is already insanely strong on literally every spot in-game, shields change will lead to basically unkillable armies and monkey pushes right into your base and pds won't be able to prevent that due to drugged hp from com vet, combine that with personal shield and you get a t4 on min 12.

queuing with a newbie to show him the beauty of tmm and meeting tagada be like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLcRpdZ0Xb0&ab_channel=Tomoko

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@sprouto

Thanks for that formula - I didn't realize that there was one. I thought everything was manually balanced.

This is most interesting, though.
Thanks for sharing!


~Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@maudlin27

I see the UEF mobile shield as a strength of the faction, and it compares reasonably with the Aeon given how their fixed shields compare (i.e. Aeon is stronger but smaller for fixed shields, the same is the case for the mobile shields).

Aeon does have better and more efficient shields. However, the size difference when comparing the 2 mobile shields, is negligent. We're talking about a smidge more shield radius and in practicality, it's literally nothing.

Similar to how you said you were comparing static shields, I was trying to expand on that with the UEF mobile shields, a bit. Hence they cover more but have almost the same HP - and are far worse in efficiency.

So the only change I might be ok with is a slight reduction in energy maintenance, since comparing T2 fixed shields the UEF costs 200 vs Aeon's 150, so having the mobile shield cost say 65 (instead of 80) would be more in line with that sort of a ratio.

Of course! That is why I offered 2 suggestions.
One to reduce the maintenance cost and one to expand on the unit a little more.

Boosting the shield health to me runs counter to the faction identify on shields, while increasing the shield size to 19 makes it comparable with the T3 mobile shield size for a T2 unit.

Perhaps you are correct here, but I do want to point out that the UEF does kind of similarly match Seraphim in coverage - in the T3 stage of shields, at least. The unit is far worse, too! We're talking about having a third of the HP. I mean... it is T2 vs T3.


~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@nex

You said it yourself

Still waiting for that insight. x)

So UEF land is fine even with a bad mobile shield and people even build that bad unit.
So there's no reason to buff that unit.

Well, saying this was more of a general statement... something to get a sentence going.

And, of course we would build the unit. Not building it means you're missing out. I'd rather build a bad unit than not build it when it comes to it. I need every unit I can get.

Why wouldn't someone build it? If you don't you're just kicking yourself in the teeth, haha.


~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@comradestryker said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 3 (The Parashield):

@sprouto

Thanks for that formula - I didn't realize that there was one. I thought everything was manually balanced.

This is what we use in LOUD, for all shields, and shielded units - we have similar formulae for firepower/range/AOE/power consumption relationships for Artillery, Teleportation, and, in fact, for a great deal of our balance work.

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@comradestryker said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 3 (The Parashield):

And, of course we would build the unit. Not building it means you're missing out

There are a lot of units that don't get build every game tho, because they might have just been bad in the situations where you could have build them, so you chose to build something else.
So you can not build certain units without missing out on "combat power", as it's not like your factories have to idle because you don't want that parashield.
And if UEF land is solid or even good (which you and a lot of others said) even though people build that unit (if no one ever builds it, it wouldn't contribute to how good that factions land is and we could assume it's bad), then that unit is not in dire needs of a buff.

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@farmseatmushroom

This is over simplifying, since the units the shield covers are different. This becomes especially obvious on T3. There the units covered are:

UEF: percy, titan, upgraded UEF ACU,aa

Aeon: Harb,sniper,upgraded Aeon ACU,aa

Aeon: + Destroyers, Cruisers, etc.
Remember... Asylum hovers. Multi-purpose.

Harb+shields behaves very different from percy+shields or titans+shields, since shields perform especially well with army compositions that kite a lot or fight many small skirmishes.
And obviously sniper+shilds is completely different from percy+shields, first of all because the snipers can die in a second when not shielded.

How exactly do they behave differently? I apologize as I'm not following your point. It's kind of the same overall, to me. Shields are meant to protect what's underneath, no?

Obviously, snipers would need mobile shields due to their low health. Harbs have their own shields, Percies shoot slow, and Titans have their own shield as well - albeit much lower HP than a mobile shield.

You mentioned :

shields perform especially well with army compositions that kite a lot or fight many small skirmishes

I would agree, hence why the Parashield's main battle units it protects are Percies and Pillars. Both of which need an accompanying mobile shield desperately as one shoots very slow and the other has low DPS.

Harbs on the other hand need shields because, well, they can't take on Percies one on one. And Sera T3 units deal high damage with a little lower hp than other units. And we're including experimentals, too.

I hope this shows that you have to compare whole army compositions of a faction, with whole army compositions from other factions to draw meaningfull conclusionson faction balance.

Trust me, I'm trying to compare everything, haha.

Thanks for the reply!
Hope to hear more from you!


~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@tagada

You haven't given any arguments why Parashield should be buffed besides saying that Asylum is stronger which is definitely not enough to justify a buff. UEF T2 land is perfectly fine as it is, it doesn't need any buffs.

The main issue I felt the Parahshield had was its energy cost. But whilst I was offering a solution to that, I realized I could also offer a suggestion that would make the unit match more of the faction's static shields.

I wasn't trying to give it just a buff - I offered 2 suggestions.
One was to reduce the maintenance cost, and the other was to expand on the unit a little bit. I was trying to expand specifically on the faction strength which has moderate HP with large shield coverage but to counterbalance this change, increased costs to the unit.


Thanks!

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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Parashields are just as critical for titans as percies. Both t2 mobile shields are essential to a competent unit mix for t2 and t3 stage for both factions.

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@veteranashe

Do the parasheild mass cost with t2 pgens, because, well, you have t2 tech

Well, at this rate, if you have T2 power, you're saving, not on mass, but on power instead. But, let's see if I can get some stats for you.

-T2 PGen:
1,200 Mass, +500 E Yield

-Parashield :
220 Mass, -80 E Yield

-Asylum:
220 Mass, -45 E Yield

So, you need 6.25 Parashields (500/80) or 11.11 Asylums (500/45) to use up all of power output of one T2 Pgen.

-Parashield:
220 * 6.25 = 1,375 mass

-Asylum:
220 * 11.11 = 2,444.2 mass

This means that as Aeon, you can spend an extra 1,069.2 mass (2,444.2 - 1,375) by using one T2 pgen's power on more Asylums. However, this does not include the extra Asylum units. Let's adjust for that.

Aeon has an extra 5.23 units (11.11 - 5.88). This means the extra units cost you 1,150.6 mass (5.23 * 220). So, basically, the mass you could spend on another Pgen as UEF, you can spend into units as Aeon. Aeon ends up spending a whopping 81.4 mass (1,150.6 - 1,069.2) to use the same power.


If that didn't make sense, let me explain it another way - in gameplay terms
10 mobile shields on each side vs the power they need to run. I will be using T1 as well as T2 power.

d0d49f49-1691-49c8-9bca-538fedf87170-image.png

UEF requires an extra 15 T1 pgens to even out with a +0 power cost.
Aeon requires no extra pgens, but instead still has a +50 networth in power.
So, again, Aeon saves 1,125 mass (15 T1 pgen for 75 mass each).

(And not to mention each Asylum has 500 more HP than the Parashield. (And Hover.))

Hope this made sense.

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@sprouto

This is what we use in LOUD, for all shields, and shielded units - we have similar formulae for firepower/range/AOE/power consumption relationships for Artillery, Teleportation, and, in fact, for a great deal of our balance work.

I hope I don't regret asking but, what exactly is "LOUD"?

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@comradestryker Something like FAF: A Modding Project
But instead of focusing on 1v1 and maps up to 20x20 loud maps rather start there and get bigger.
So the focus lies on very large/long teamgames and the balance is made accordingly
I believe these are the sites where you can get it/more info on it.
https://www.moddb.com/mods/loud-ai-supreme-commander-forged-alliance
https://github.com/LOUD-Project/Git-LOUD

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@nex

There are a lot of units that don't get build every game tho, because they might have just been bad in the situations where you could have build them, so you chose to build something else.

Well, of course. This is part of the learning process of the game. A Mercy vs AA tends to be a mass dump. You can't use every unit in every situation - so of course you can build something else.

So you can not build certain units without missing out on "combat power", as it's not like your factories have to idle because you don't want that parashield.

True, but in almost what situation would a mobile shield not help? Even if you're powerstalling, it is another unit among the others - at that point, it's a lackluster meatshield but, still helps, I guess. And as UEF, Aeon, and Seraphim, you should be mixing them in with your forces - regardless of how inefficient they may be.

And if UEF land is solid or even good (which you and a lot of others said) even though people build that unit (if no one ever builds it, it wouldn't contribute to how good that factions land is and we could assume it's bad), then that unit is not in dire needs of a buff.

Again, that was just a generic statement. Plus, it literally can be said for every other Faction as well.

And just because someone doesn't build the unit often, doesn't mean it doesn't need to be adjusted. As you can see by the post above this one, the Parashield is really inefficient causing you to build more Power which costs you mass.

Common unit or not, it should still be balanced.


Thanks for the comment.
~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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@comradestryker said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 3 (The Parashield):

Common unit or not, it should still be balanced.

The point is, the unit is balanced by the different unit roster between the two factions.
having a bad mobile shield just means, that you include more other units in you composition. UEF has the mongoose for example, which has more dps/mass than any aeon t2 land unit while also having more range and It's also faster than obsidians.
One of the downsides is it's low hp (as with every other non-heavy bot), which can be offset by a shield. but having a good mobile shield and a great dps unit with high range, that only misses some hp is probably pretty strong. So a weaker shield is more balanced for the whole roster.
This kind of balancing is the same for a lot of other units as well. For example all frigates have a different value, while aeon is just the worst frigate, cybran is the best.
But Aeon has a lot stronger destros so the whole roster is still balanced.
It's just part of the faction to play around the weaker units and try to use your strong units.

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Isn't one of the lore points of Aeon that they have really good shields, since they originally copied the Seraphim?