Resistance to change VS What's best for the game/community

1

It generally seems like there is a very, very disproportionate level of data/evidence/persuasion/logic/etc that is required to rebalance something rather than keep the current balance... Even if you dismiss the abysmally low success rate of balance threads, there is a generally large resistance to change that heavily impacts FAF's balance.

Some examples:

  • A sparky still can't build radar despite no real good reason for that and it being a minimally used unit that is not too good. Comparatively, if a sparky could already build radar now, there is basically no chance whatsoever that that ability would be removed in the current balancing environment. Whether it is 'considered better-balanced' with that ability or without it seems to be rooted in whether or not it already has that ability moreso than whether or not it should.
  • Kennels have very bad bp/mass and are blatantly inferior to alternative bp options in the large majority of practical situations. High level players barely use them compared to their alternative sources of bp, and it's not like kennels are overpowered. If, for example, kennels cost 20% less mass than they do now, they'd still be more inefficient than their alternatives, and I think there would be basically zero chance that the balance team would then nerf them to their current levels in the current balancing environment.

The thing is, if resistance to change wasn't such a driving force in FAF's balancing, then known long-term discrepancies like those basically wouldn't exist. If something was too strong, it would be nerfed. If something was too weak, it would be buffed. Instead, it seems more like imbalanced things have to exceed a particularly high threshold level of imbalance and or be of sufficient interest to the current balance team to be rebalanced.

PS: the purpose of this thread is not about sparkies or kennels; those were just examples. The purpose of this thread is to point out and hopefully prompt change regarding the level of resistance to change versus what's best for the game/community regarding FAF's balancing environment.

PPS: The increasing use of thread locking to end civil discussions on topics trying to change the status quo is a frustrating and undesirable trend and should be reduced. I would not like this thread to, for example, be closed with the claim that it has 'served its purpose' when it has not (which has repeatedly occurred with other threads).

waiting for a mapgen-only TMM queue and Godot

1

To quote Brutus5000:

"Nerds have a really complicated relationship with change: Change is awesome when WE'RE the ones doing it. As soon as change is coming from outside of us it becomes untrustworthy and it threatens what we think of is the familiar."
– Benno Rice

Not saying that we're all nerds, but there is always a resistance to change. I do feel that in general there's too little experimentation surrounding the balance. Other games tend to be a lot more 'explosive' with their balance, some even to the extent that the previous meta no longer exists. I don't feel changing balance to that extent is viable, but we can experiment more and see where things end.

PPS: The increasing use of thread locking to end civil discussions on topics trying to change the status quo is a frustrating and undesirable trend and should be reduced. I would not like this thread to, for example, be closed with the claim that it has 'served its purpose' when it has not (which has repeatedly occurred with other threads).

If you're trying to turn this thread into 'civil discussions' and then end up being locked then you're on the right track. I prefer have a forum topic be closed the moment people feel the need for personal attacks or dive (too deep) into something that is completely unrelated to what the post is about. There's no room for the former, and you can make a new forum topic for the latter.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

1

Balance is supposed to make the game fair for everyone, it's not supposed to completely change the tactics from patch to patch. There's no reason to shake up a balanced metagame for the sake of change

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

2

You presume malice where laziness applies more. Tagada is probably 80% of the actual repo work on balance team while being like 1 of 10(?) members atm.

I don’t think anyone on balance team thinks kennels are fine where they are, doesn’t mean anybody will find the effort to propose commits beyond Tagada 4head.

This is also more of an association concern than a gen discussion thing.

3

Written on mobile in a hurry:

My opinion on the matter, in broad strokes, without majorly debating specific units is as follows:

Better to make smaller, but more thought out changes, then just throwing out a bunch of changes to see what sticks. Just because a unit is a little weak or could be improved in a small way doesn’t mean it should. (Also doesn't mean it shouldnt). It just is. And while I hate to use the clichè ‘if it aint broke, dont fix it’ I think it applies here. We want to avoid a bunch of changes without having a solid argument presented as to why it is a problem or why it is needed. Unfortunately due to the vastly differing levels of skill between players, its hard to sift through ideas that are poorly constructed, wishful thinking, unneeded, viable, or somehow blended between all. We can better evaluate game balance when we are tinkering with less variables. That, and there used to be a lot of really really bad balance ideas thrown out there without any due diligence or research conducted by the poster. The specific posting guidelines are meant to have higher quality suggestions shine through. Lets balance team focus its effort better.

80% of balance team focus is on the things that feel oppressive and painful to play against. Usually the best use of our limited time. While we would love to be able to make UEF engi drone a fair and viable upgrade, its so far back on the list that it won’t see the light of day for ages. Kennels are a unit that would be really hard to balance properly as its a niche unit that by design is supposed to be a cost ineffective use of mass, but designed to be made to fix a problem. That problem is a players poor eco scaling. If a player scaled their production properly, the unit is not really needed. Make them too good, and they become a crutch for all players. This IMO takes a backseat to issues like ‘are titans too strong’, or ‘how can we balance snipers so they are not a kiting murderball of death’, or ‘is it balanced that 5 t2 arty under a few sheilds will hard-counter a fatboy?’

Just my two cents on the matter written quickly before leaving from work.

1

Sounds like analysis paralysis, nobody says kennel needs to be 100% perfect on first go-around. It’s just an obvious imbalance when hive is better than kennel in like 3 different ways, simple fix is simply making them cost equivalent or swapping them so kennel is cheaper. Can refine the balance from there.

0

Thing is IMO, its much less of an issue when 2 factions dont even have engi stations. Falls under faction balance more then ‘faction A’s main tank is weaker’ when everyone has tanks

2

Even if I don't respond to some threads I read every single post that is made in the Balance subforum but sadly good suggestions are few and far between. Even then from the top of my head things that are on my radar (some not high priority) that come from the forums: UEF ACU bubble shield, Sparky, the Kennels, UEF Jamming (was previously denied like a year ago). Most of these just aren't a high priority so they are pushed away sometimes.

Regarding the topic of locking the threads, I am quite honestly a bit lost here. There have been like 5 threads that have been locked this year and if you are referring to the most recent one made by Arran (which I think might be the first thread I even locked) then it turned into a complete shit show and wouldn't produce anything. Taking 2 unit stats from 2 units, comparing them, and drawing a conclusion is not how you propose a balance suggestion.

2

I think that’s making a pretty ridiculous mountain out of a molehill, I can go and do the necessary lua commits in like 2 hours. In the general scheme of FAF getting biannual patches I really find it hard to imagine that the issue is that people can’t find the time to discuss engie stations and tanks and it’s an either or situation.

If balance team needs more ppl to actually do repo work then just say so, I don’t even mind doing it.

3

@ftxcommando You don't need to be a Balance team member to make a PR on the Github, go do it with some sane values and I might tweak it and merge it.

I just didn't have time to do that one as well before this patch that I didn't want to delay even further.

0

@tex said in Resistance to change VS What's best for the game/community:

Thing is IMO, its much less of an issue when 2 factions dont even have engi stations. Falls under faction balance more then ‘faction A’s main tank is weaker’ when everyone has tanks

To be fair in main game FA, that is why Sera & Aeon have higher BP T3 engies (also I'd give Sera sacrifice and rework mechanic my 2 cents) but that neither here nor there.

I’m a shitty 1k Global. Any balance or gameplay suggestions should be understood or taken as such.

Project Head and current Owner/Manager of SCTA Project

0

Thank you guys for explaining. I will probably make some balance PR's later : )

@Tagada The thread-locking concern was not specifically regarding any particular past person or thread, and btw, there have been notably more locked threads than you thought. It's a general trend I've been noticing (and sometimes experiencing first-hand) regardless of the most-recently locked thread.

I have read the balance thread guidelines multiple times, but I suspect that there is a more effective way to communicate balance suggestions/problems. @Tagada, could you describe in detail what you think are the most important things to cover when presenting a balance problem/solution, and also some useful clarifications on what type of stuff is versus isn't helpful/persuasive? Thanks.

waiting for a mapgen-only TMM queue and Godot

0

@tagada said in Resistance to change VS What's best for the game/community:

You don't need to be a Balance team member to make a PR on the Github, go do it with some sane values and I might tweak it and merge it.

Is there like a list of things that should be changed?
Or how are people not on the balance team supposed to make PRs for stuff the balance team has decided?
Or should people just make PRs based on forum posts?

1

took me some time to realise what's the thread about

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

1

@zeldafanboy said in Resistance to change VS What's best for the game/community:

Balance is supposed to make the game fair for everyone, it's not supposed to completely change the tactics from patch to patch. There's no reason to shake up a balanced metagame for the sake of change

I would have 1000x more fun with the game if there were frequent balance patches that made some significant changes to the meta. A month where t1 transports can carry ACU, a month where reclaim is reduced, a month where t3 rush is good again, etc. It would keep things fresh instead of every game following the same recipe where you can do the standard thing or try one of the very few cheese options we've all seen 1000 times. The problem is almost everyone is too casual to keep up with that pace of change, and the balance team isn't capable of providing it.

It wouldn't matter much if the changes were actually balanced. By the time the broken stuff was found it would rotate out anyway. The game would become more about looking at the unit roster and coming up with a strategy rather than who can execute the known strategies better. It would be similar to the way map gen was supposed to reduce the importance of sandboxed build orders.

1

I'm still waiting for that "community realizes beetles are actually good and starts using them" moment that was promised to me over a year ago, where is it? I was told that beetles are super good, that I don't know better and all the good players will figure it out any day now. What happened to that?

0

@thomashiatt said in Resistance to change VS What's best for the game/community:

a month where t3 rush is good again

Atm we're on a 8 year trial period for this one.

@mazornoob said in Resistance to change VS What's best for the game/community:

I'm still waiting for that "community realizes beetles are actually good and starts using them" moment that was promised to me over a year ago, where is it? I was told that beetles are super good, that I don't know better and all the good players will figure it out any day now. What happened to that?

Got put together with the "wtf billy is shit reeeeee" camp

0

@thewheelie said in Resistance to change VS What's best for the game/community:

@mazornoob said in Resistance to change VS What's best for the game/community:

I'm still waiting for that "community realizes beetles are actually good and starts using them" moment that was promised to me over a year ago, where is it? I was told that beetles are super good, that I don't know better and all the good players will figure it out any day now. What happened to that?

Got put together with the "wtf billy is shit reeeeee" camp

That's the kind of faux-smug bullshit that caused balance stagnation this thread is complaining about. Your whole idea of beetle usage is based on personal preference and that one meme game of beetles killing mexes of a turtling team without radar. Any complaints about them or other stuff is met with "lmao you don't know better I'm the BALANCE GOD here". We set high standards for posting on the balance forums to discourage stupid and lazy takes, maybe these standards should apply to the balance team as well?

0

I shouldnt need to respond to a lazy take of you with full research. Not my fault you put words in my mouth i never said and then criticize those imaginary words. Maybe if you wouldnt go in full aggro mode at every possible opportunity people would respond to you more seriously. You know, like what happened to strykers posts.

0

@penguin_ at one point there were a ton of threads of "x is op, pls nerf" on the balance forum, the current guidelines are result of that.