The Problems With The UEF - Part 7 (The Ravager)

7

THE PROBLEMS WITH THE UEF - Part 7 (The Ravager)


Hey, everyone. It's been a while.

I wanted to take a quick break so I didn't spam the forums with my posts, and to give you all some time to look over previous posts.
But, after 2 weeks, I will now post my next iteration. The Ravager.

Contrary to the title, this post is more of a suggestion rather than a problem & solution. However, I already had this written, and it felt wrong to leave it out of the series - Hence why it shares the same title and format as my previous posts.

Anywho, on to it!


-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.


Problem: The Ravager (UEF T3 Point Defense), detailed version:

Many of you may not know what I'm about to show you, as the game itself nor the client database ever mentions this; there's not so much as even a hint of it but, here you go: The Ravager requires energy to reload.

Not to fire, only to reload. It imitates artillery structures, needing 50 Energy to replenish the next volley.

0c2e05fe-13c8-4efd-b54f-f7438728bdbc-image.png

Image shows the Energy consumption of a Ravager.

Granted, it only uses 50 Energy to reload, but the cost is there, nonetheless. This also means it will not fire, or take longer to fire if you are power stalling.
No, this does not mean you can cap the structure with power generators to make it shoot faster.

With this information in mind, we can continue:


This idea was suggested to me by @Jip, so credit goes to them. We both shared similar views and agreed that things could be altered to better represent the Ravager.

The following is their idea but with my offering of a slight twist.


For quite some time, we've felt that the UEF's T3 PD is lacking in its ability to whittle down enemies. Not in the sense of its damage output, but in its fire rate. It's a minigun that only shoots for 4 seconds?!

The idea here was to change the Ravager so, that instead of firing a short burst, it would fire continuously - even when changing targets. However, only for a portion of the damage. Essentially keeping the damage (per second) it would normally deal the same, but instead, being able to keep the barrage ongoing for longer.

To help balance this change, @Jip also recommended that the Ravager should have a longer spin-up time. This way it won't shoot as soon as it currently does.

Having the structure fire continuously may make some of you skeptical at first, but here is my twist on this: Instead of having the structure use energy to reload - it should cost energy to fire. This way, it becomes more taxing the longer the Ravager fires.

To help in further balancing this, I recommend having the Ravager's fire stream be more inaccurate. Implying a stronger recoil effect which causes its projectiles to have a chance to miss.


However, I believe the reason it feels like it doesn't whittle enemies, is because of its awkward firing cycle and animation. The Ravager's animation has it firing 75 energy projectiles in its short 4-second fire cycle. Only 15 of those projectiles actually deal damage (every 5th projectile).

40e68584-961e-4e3b-8a0d-82ba17167923-image.png

Image shows Ravager animation and projectile fire cycle.

To help mitigate this, the projectile count should be increased. So, instead of 15 projectiles dealing the damage, every other shot could be simulated to deal damage, increasing it from 15 to 25, or even more, projectiles fired.

I reckon that with all the amazing work the FAF team has done and put into this game to optimize its performance, a few more projectiles shouldn't be a problem.

With it still shooting the actual projectiles so far apart, there is still a chance for a unit to dodge the projectiles that deal the damage. Not just the one projectile, but the following projectiles that have been fired, too - as the Ravager hasn't updated its projectile arc to hit the target. So, it could still be outmicro'd.

However, the reason the current projectile count is an issue, is that a unit could avoid the damaging projectile but still be hit by the animation projectiles. They would collide with it yet it would not take damage.


How it would affect gameplay:

The Ravager shooting continuously would now mimic the Seraphim's T2 PD. Basically a beam of energy bullets rather than a static beam. Only differences being that the Ravager would be slightly more inaccurate and it would still have projectile travel time - meaning the projectiles could still be dodged.

Having more inaccuracy would also benefit your opponent as the Ravager will not be as precise but, increasing the projectile amount would help the Ravager instead - so a middle ground could be useful here.

On another note, this would make it far more devastating against spam (T1 / T2), but the swivel time could be toned down to help counter-balance. However, I believe the change to the damage of the Ravager would already suffice. It wouldn't hit nearly as hard as it currently does, instead tickling down the enemy units - again, dealing the same damage it would normally deal, just over a longer period of time and spread out over more projectiles.


Problem: (The Ravager TL:DR)

Improving the Ravager whilst still keeping it balanced.

Proposed Solution:

Lower the damage of each projectile

Increase firing time to be continuous, keeping the overall DPS the same.

Increase the number of projectiles fired (to match or closely resemble its firing animation.)
Projectiles fired per volley: 15 -> 25 (or more).

Increase spin-up time:
2 seconds - > 3 seconds?

Remove reload energy cost.

Add energy cost to fire:
12.5 energy per second to run.
(This way it still matches the current in-game cost.
It fires for 4 seconds for a cost of 50 E. 50/4 = 12.5)


Thank you for your time in reading this.
I encourage you all to offer your suggestions.
I appreciate the feedback.
Sneak Peek at Part 8: Static Shields

For now, see you on the battlefield!


~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

1

Now this is a change I actually approve of and makes a lot of sense from the user experience (Gatling shoots for long time in most media / games) without (from my ignorance about T3 PD) doing some major gameplay changes.

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

1

Oh yeah, this'll do well.
The Gatling gun really does feel underwhelming. Doesn't the cerberus 'tickle gun' shoot faster?

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I'm not sure - ravagers already feel like a niche unit that is mostly for chokepoints on certain maps (astro/dual gap) and given your changes would reduce both strike damage, overall dps (through the increased spin up time) and effective dps (through reduced accuracy) this sounds like a significant nerf to a unit that's already relatively weak

I like the 'costs e to fire' instead of 'costs e to reload' change, and the visual change re which shots hit (I didnt even know only 1 in 4 would have an effect), but the other 3 changes (increased spin up time, decreased accuracy, less upfront damage) should be compensated by an overall DPS boost compared to what it is now.

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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Its tricky. I like the OP's suggestion to make the Ravager feel more like a gatling gun with continuous fire. But like other posters I'm worried about change. However I don't share their concerns that this will be a deliberate nerf/buff. Unless I'm misunderstanding the OP's intentions, this is intended as a shift of function, not a change in effectiveness.
It can be summed up (correct me if I have misconstrued you ComradeStryker) as an increase in ubiquitous effectiveness against a wider range of units, to a slight hit to performance via energy cost, spin up time and inaccuracy vs small units, while retaining its ability to shred EXP's with high dps.

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Looking forward to this - brings a lot of 'feeling' to the game. We may even be able to turn the barrel red the longer it fires 😃

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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That would be a very cool change (red barrel).
A completely imbalanced suggestion that would be cool: Make the Ravager fire rate increase the longer it fires with proportionally higher E costs 😛

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Could get a similar result by making power adjacency reduce the cooldown

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The fire rate should be continuous as noted and a change in dmg to keep the dps intact.

All of your other suggestions are nerfs to the ravager, and I don't agree with. If anything the e cost to fire should be taken away as this is supcom, and not ta.

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I'd rather like to see e cost to fire on all Pds instead of removing it from the ravager.
If the mass/e costs get reduced to compensate it wouldn't even make a difference for the one building it, but it would give you another option of breaking firebases.

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I think this is a good proposal, I didn't even know 4/5 ravager bullets were fake lol

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

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I came in here fired up and ready to see what shit you were throwing at us this time Stryker but gotta say, I actually like this one. Always thought it was weird the Ravager was burst fire. Can't say if the proposed changes would be an overall nerf or not, but I say do it and tweak the changes later if necessary.

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The proposal wouldn’t do anything, nobody makes ravager because it’s insane expensive and difficult to spam up in an emergency. It also carries massive opportunity cost. Why would I spend an additional upfront 2-4k mass for t3 upgrade/engies for ravager when I could just make 3 t2 arties with more range anyway on a lower tech which can’t be countered by t3 mobile arty. This is just a visual change for survival and ai game players.

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What's the dps/mass between the Rav and the clink?

When I used to play Astro with firebases I tended to build ravs instead of t2 arty, always seemed to work better.

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there is no point in comparison between ravs and arties since those have completely different roles, morever they completely different stats

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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They really don’t have completely different roles, they’re both primarily there for basebreaking. The efficiency of ravager against giant t3 armies or t4s is so bad that it doesn’t make sense to plop a few down so things run into them. Their utility is aggressive basewars which t2 arty already does better and earlier.

My options are:
6 t2 pd, a shield (540 mass and 600 mass each)
2 ravagers (2000 mass each)
2 t2 arty (1800 mass each)

This is before you factor in ravagers require 2500 more mass in an acu upgrade which is another t2 arty + shield + idle acu for at least 2 minutes. Or 5000 mass in a t3 land HQ which is 2 t2 arty and 2 t2 shields. Or 4 more t2 pd or 9 more t2 pd. In essentially any situation I would take the t2 pd or the t2 arty.

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I like some of these ideas but this will for sure be low priority as A) this is mostly cosmetic B) Revenger is a very niche unit

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In that case - allow me to 🙂

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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Just to help out, I have gone ahead and done some of the math to show how the change would work - so we all have a better idea of what to expect.

This info is from what I can gather from the Database as well as in-game.


Current Ravager:

The Ravager, as it currently works in FAF has a rough 2-second spin-up time, then it fires for about 4 seconds, and then it needs a 3-second cooldown before it spins up again. So, one complete fire cycle is roughly 9 seconds long. This could also be seen as a fire cycle of 4 seconds with a 5-second cooldown.
(I'm rounding a bit as the actual timings are in decimal points. Database shows a fire cycle of 8 seconds, but in-game, it seems more like 9 seconds.)

During these 9 seconds, the Ravager fires 15 Projectiles that deal 175 damage each for a total output of 2,625 per volley.

2,625 damage over 9 seconds gives you 291.66. (2,625/9 = 291.66)
So, a Ravager has a DPS of 291.66. (Database shows DPS of 272.87)

Using this info we can now get an idea of how it would work if the Ravager would fire continuously - Shedding out almost 300 Damage Per Second.


Improved Ravager (Increased Projectile Count):

Base Projectile Count: 15 (1 in 5)
Damage Per Projectile: 175

Projectile Count: 18.75 (1 in 4)
Damage Per Projectile is: 140

Projectile Count: 25 (1 in 3)
Damage Per Projectile is: 105

Projectile Count: 37.5 (1 in 2)
Damage Per Projectile is: 70

Projectile Count: 75 (1 in 1)
Damage Per Projectile is: 35

I recommend the middle option, 1 in 3, which grants up 25 projectiles for the entire 4-second volley. This is a 66% increase in projectiles!

Remember, this is just increasing the projectile count of the current Ravager whilst keeping the damage per volley the exact same.

Keeping this Projectile count, we can move on to see how it would act in a continuous stream:


Suggested Ravager (25 Projectiles & Continous Stream):

So, a volley would now have 25 Projectiles; and the fire cycle will now be lacking the cooldown and consequent spinup times (except the beginning spin-up time) - It would be difficult to know how long the Ravager would fire, so for this equation, we will not include the beginning 3-second spin up time. The Ravager also still needs to keep its original DPS meaning it needs to deal 2,625 damage in 9 seconds.

Again, the original timings are a 4-second fire stream and a 5-second cooldown.

With this new Ravager, it would be 9 seconds of fire stream with no cooldown.
So, that is a 225% increase in fire time. That means, 25 projectiles in 4 seconds, multiplied by 2.25, gives you 56.25 Projectiles fired in 9 seconds. But for simplicity's sake, let's round to the nearest whole number - 56.

These 56 projectiles must dish out the original damage of 2,625.
So, each projectile should be applying ~47 damage.


Hope this helps you all see how the Ravager would work with these changes!

Thanks!


~ Stryker

Can you send me some mass?

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Does the ravager spin up before a unit is in range? Like a turret points at units out of range.