The Problems With The UEF - Part 4 (The Ambassador & Blackbird)

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THE PROBLEMS WITH THE UEF - Part 4 (The Ambassador & Blackbird)


Welp, it's Monday, and as I promised, here is part 4.


-Disclaimer-

These are just some problems I wanted to bring attention to. I am offering my own solutions to these problems, however, I am not a balance team member, nor do I have a large data pool to back up my suggestions; Hence, the balances will likely need some adjustment. There may also be some better ideas to fix these issues, out there - so I encourage you guys to suggest your own ideas as well.


-Air-

Problem: Ambassador & SR90 BlackBird (T3 Strat & T3 Spy Plane), detailed version:

Similar to other factions, the UEF has a solid arsenal in its class. The problem I feel this game has is the unbalanced Air situation - as Cybran is highly favored for this position.

I'll get straight to the point - since Cybran T3 air has a strong ability, and since the UEF lack Air Strength compared to other factions; the idea here was to grant the Spy Plane and Strategic Bomber with the Jamming Ability. This way, we could improve UEF's lack of air strength when it comes to T3 and T4 air as well.

I understand that some people will say that Jamming on a Strat may be 'OP', not needed or useless. However, I would argue that having Jamming on a Strat would not be anywhere as 'OP' as having Stealth. Something you CAN'T SEE (on radar) is far more dangerous than a few more radar blips. Plus, with the current way jamming works, it wouldn't be difficult to know which of the icons is the main unit - it's always the middle one.

The Aeon Strat has an awesome ability, a stun effect; The Cybran Strat has a strong ability, Stealth; Why can't the UEF have Jamming? Having the Spy Plane with the Jamming ability would appeal to a similar case.

I believe in the world of T3 Spy Planes and only T3 Spy planes, it is without a doubt that the Cybran Spy Plane is considered the best; due to the stealth capability, it has, no doubt. The fact that it does not draw power to maintain its stealth adds even more strength to an already strong ability. It offers a much higher survivability chance - even in the face of a powerstall! Radar will never pick up an enemy T3 Spy Plane.

The same goes for the Cybran Strats as well, though yes, these do draw power. You literally will not see it coming until it's already too late.

Sure, some Strats deal more damage, and some have a larger AoE, but none of that really matters when you have Stealth. Stealth is really strong as it can turn the tide of a battle in seconds. All Cybran T3 air can hide within the boundaries of your radar without you ever noticing.

With Jamming, at least your units and defenses can still fire and, with any luck, will hit the main unit. With Stealth, your defenses and units won't even fire - in fact, most of the time they won't even have a chance to do so. Even if you get line-of-sight for a second, they will forget the target exists once it leaves your vision.

Having these two planes use Jamming, even with a small maintenance cost, would not only bring some competition but, I'd say would be of benefit to the game as well. A benefit in the sense that we would see more of these amazing faction abilities. It would diversify the factions just a little bit more, showing the strengths and advantages they have over other factions. Not only would it offer more diversity and more competition, but it would give the UEF a slightly more appealing factor as it is already the least picked faction when it comes to Air roles.

As for the gameplay side of things, both Jamming blips and Stealth are removed when passing over vision. Here, Jamming would be much alike Stealth. However, after they pass through, even with radar, the Cybran Strat and Spy Plane all disappear, again. Stealth increases their survivability, their damage opportunity, and their tactical ability ten-fold. As for Jamming, not only would you see the Strat or Spy Plane coming from a mile away and thus always have vision on it (unless you lose radar), but the Jamming blips would disappear after they pass through vision.

In short, the Jamming ability would not be as strong as Stealth, but it would still help the planes themselves be able to compete against it - especially in larger maps where Omni or vision can't reach every corner.


This change is already live in SpikeyNoob's mod titled "UEFRebalance" - for those who wish to see this change for themselves.

After about a week of testing, dozens of games, and many runs completed by many peers and myself (Many tests were conducted - from proper matches as well as controlled ones.); I have received a lot of positive feedback for this change and so, I believe these can be favorable changes. Jamming just feels natural on these units. It's not too strong to where you can't deal with it, and it's not too weak to where it feels out of place. It feels... perfect.


Problem:

When it comes to air, UEF seems to be less favored. Especially when comparing them to other factions and their available units (Stealth, Soulripper, Ahwassa, Czar, etc.).

To help with this, I propose that the T3 Strategic Bomber, as well as the T3 Spy Plane, be granted Jamming.

Proposed Solution:

Add Jamming to both T3 Strategic Bomber and T3 Spy Plane.
Blackbird: -50 or Free? power maintenance cost.
Ambassador: -150 power maintenance cost.


Thanks for your time!
I encourage you all to offer your own suggestions.
I appreciate the feedback.

I will be posting the next part on Friday.
Sneak peek at part 5: The Bulwark

See you on the battlefield!

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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I strongly encourage you guys to test out the change before offering feedback.
This way you guys can see for yourself the ability in-game.
Thanks for understanding!

~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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Seems like a small change that wont have much impact, but i could be wrong

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Lets buff Seraphim t3 air too because I dont have t3 gunship or t3 transport so I need my ASF to have 1k more health okay?

Dude this logic of "X faction has good unit, so UEF should have an equally good unit" is just bad game design. If you want to start throwing buffs everywhere cuz some faction has a speciality, then I want my Seraphim t2 shield okay? I need to protect my chickens from OC and its unfair Sera lacks shield when UEF and Aeon have t2 shield...

Straight up some clowntown idea to think UEF strat AND spyplane should have jamming. Then Aeon needs shielded ASF because Aeons uses alot of shielded units and Sera needs like t3.5 ASF because they tend to have really pricey but good units. Remember Seraphim and Aeon exist too when you see the game in UEF/Cybran lenses only.

FAF = Femboy Alliance Forever
Come check the draft of the FAF website 4.0! https://www.test.faforever.com/

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@spikeynoob only going to give me cancer when there are 1000 blips in the map and idk if they are strats, spy planes or enemy ASF cloud. Yaaaayy fun game design! Love having my interface become a shit show

FAF = Femboy Alliance Forever
Come check the draft of the FAF website 4.0! https://www.test.faforever.com/

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Javi showcasing what would happen if someone attempted to suggest something as crazy and OP as Cybran getting stealth ASF, strat, and spy plane.

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@javi I think you're being a bit drastic. You don't have to respond. You don't have to read it. And nothing has to get changed. Stryker is just sharing his thoughts.

I'd like to add one detail with regards to adding jamming: it means that the first volley of anti air will likely always miss unless you already have them in vision range. Especially with the automatic jamming reset happening on FAF Develop.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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I'm not seeing the problem. You focus on special abilities and seem to conclude Aeon strat is better than UEF. However, Aeon strat can be dodged by an ACU consistently. A UEF strat is much harder (e.g. virtually impossible for an AI to dodge, and difficult for a human to) due to its slightly better aoe. I'd much rather have the better aoe than the stun effect.

So on the strat comparison, yes ambassador is worse than Cybran strat, but I don't see it as being the worst strat available (although I preferred it when it had the 2nd best aoe).

You also dont say what the problem is with the spy plane.

I.e. you seem to be saying the problem is that 'UEF T3 air isn't as strong as Cybran T3 air', but there are 4 factions in the game not 2, so we shouldn't be trying to balance everything by comparing a faction to the best one for that particular unit.

UEF also gets T3 gunship (Seraphim doesnt), and T3 transport (which no other faction gets).

UEF's main deficiency on the air is when you get to the experimental stage, because it has no air experimental. However it gets the novax which is a unique alternative to air that no other faction gets. In some scenarios it's better, others its worse.

M27AI developer; Devlog and more general AI development guide:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2373/ai-development-guide-and-m27ai-v56-devlog

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@comradestryker said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 4 (Ambassador & Blackbird):

Cybran is highly favored for this position

cyb needs some strenght in air, due to their weaknesses in T2 and T3 land.

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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I understand the point on the first 2 threads on acu upgrades but the last 2 threads are just sad memes arguing to have the best shit and killing balance /

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Adding Jamming to more UEF units would be nice to increase faction diversity, but the stats should be adjusted, because just adding jamming would make those units kinda op. All Cybran units have less hp for a reason and the cybran strat even deals 250 damage less than the others (UEF strat also deals 100 damage more than others)

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Jamming on the strat would mean you can see a strat coming without knowing what the radar is, I don't think this is a good idea at all and would be be very disappointed if this would make it in.

Irc the uef strat is armed, weakly.

Jamming on the spy plane might work and be funny, but it still would get shot down the same.

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@veteranashe said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 4 (Ambassador & Blackbird):

Irc the uef strat is armed, weakly.

Jamming on the spy plane might work and be funny, but it still would get shot down the same.

It will still get shot down but most likely it will manage to get deeper into enemy territory due to the first volley of sam missiles missing, as they were targeting the blip. So I wouldn't really mind it getting jamming for the diversity quota.

As for the strat? Imo give it better DPS(preferably by giving it higher rof, B17 machine guns go Brrrrrrr) and a little bit higher AA range so that it can feel more like flying fortress when going up against t1 and t2 air. Kinda playing into the "UEF BULKY AND STRONG" meme. Which imo wouldn't make the strat too overbearing but would still make it more diverse compared to other strats.

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@nex said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 4 (Ambassador & Blackbird):

Adding Jamming to more UEF units would be nice to increase faction diversity, but the stats should be adjusted, because just adding jamming would make those units kinda op. All Cybran units have less hp for a reason and the cybran strat even deals 250 damage less than the others (UEF strat also deals 100 damage more than others)

Cyb strat does less damage because it has the most aoe, stealth has no functional impact on cyb air stats beyond making air units cost e to run the ability.

The difference in asf hp is also irrelevant since asf do not shoot continuously and the hp differences don’t make any asf take additional volleys to die. ASF shoot in spurts of 200 or 400 damage depending on the faction and all ASF are between 1700 and 1800 hp.

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Not all factions have to be equally strong in all areas. They just have to be equally strong overall. Now, with air units there is more leeway for this kind of argument because the unit rosters are more similar than naval or land, and in many cases the units are roughly identical (T1 interceptors, T1 bombers, ASF). Jamming would make strat bombers much better against SAMs which is one of their important counters. Since jamming is going to be buffed to reapply after you lose vision, you have to take that into account. Currently jamming sucks so I wouldn’t mind it but since it’s going to be buffed applying it to a strategic bomber, one of the most effective units in the game to rush, is dicey.

For the spy plane it would be ok. Maybe also the Broadsword. Probably not the ASF though

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

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Idk why you guys are acting like jamming is going to brainblast the game and destroy the balance. It’s just as useful as stealth in some situations and worse in others.

If you gave ASF jamming you would have to do proper play with spyplanes along with your asf group which decent players already do so you don’t miss the first turn volley. With stealth, if you don’t have spy planes you could fly into invisible ASF and your ASF fail to shoot their first volley. Conclusion: same impact.

With stealth, you can’t accurately count enemy ASF. With jamming, you can’t accurately count enemy ASF. Conclusion: same impact.

With stealth strats, you can sneak and get suicide drops far away from enemy air that can respond. With jamming, you can tank more sams outside of omni radius (aka you can’t suicide on anything game winning most of the time). Conclusion: varying but similar utility.

Jamming on spy planes is the same deal, you might be able to get through a sam location and keep scouting. Meanwhile Cybran spy planes are harder to actively intercept. Conclusion: varying but similar utility.

And omni counters both. Conclusion: same impact.

Literally incoherent for anyone here to say jamming is OP and then not actively demand Cybran lose their whole stealthed t3 stage. Only dude with a coherent point is turin saying Cybran gets more t3 air tools because of a weaker land stage but that just sounds like post hoc explanation because it isn’t like stealth ASF bring comfort to a worse land situation.

The real reason is that nobody has any idea how to give Sera and Aeon anything cool to use so UEF won’t get their counterintel unit flavor and Cybran only has it due to inheriting it from GPG era.

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@zeldafanboy said in The Problems With The UEF - Part 4 (Ambassador & Blackbird):

Maybe also the Broadsword. Probably not the ASF though

It already has jamming. Really great tell on how OP that jamming must be!

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@ftxcommando I would never say jamming was op or even particularly strong, but it's not useless either and neither is stealth.
My point was that assuming current balance is fine, simply adding jamming would make those units stronger. So to preserve balance you would need to lower other stats a little.

Adding jamming to ASF is probably a bad idea as jamming blips are sim objects (as they can be targeted). So making each ASF into 5 units might slow down the sim a bit much.

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Under what rationale do you need to lower stats when Cybran t3 air would maintain faction parity without stealth?

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@ftxcommando

You keep saying that jamming is always equal or worse to stealth in most scenarios— I completely agree. If you gave UEF T3 air counter intel parity with Cybran it would be roughly as good as Cybran air. Right now it’s noticeably not as good.

My whole point was that if UEF T3 air was as good as Cybran it would make UEF unbalanced. It already has the best T3 naval (Neptunes are anti meta because they are good against frig spam) and the best T3 land that synergistically fills in the weakness of its siege T4 land unit. The game balance is supposed to be holistic, every faction isn’t supposed to be equally powerful in every arena at every tech level…

Furthermore, I’m saying all this with the context of Jip saying jamming will be buffed soon. Jamming as is is a different beast entirely because it gets owned the first time vision goes over it.

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u