T1 bombers are too good at hunting down expanding engineers

We could always buff t1 land scouts again so it'll be even worse when people still refuse to build them.

T1 bombers can:

  • very efficiently snipe expanding engineers, outcome can be brutal, game-deciding (especially on transport maps)
  • bomb pgens depending on faction matchup
  • suicide bomb into t1 radars and be worth it, let alone t2
  • suicide bomb into t1 armies and still be worth it most of the time with just one pass (hard to prevent)
  • in 1v1, be spammed on large high-mass maps not only to drain opponent apm but can also quite easily kill its own mass cost in engineers, mexes and radars due to opponent reaction speed & intie travel time
  • be spammed late-game to deal with (t4) land pushes somewhat efficiently

I think most of these t1 bomber strong points can be somewhat alleviated by increasing its costs. doing so won't interfere with any other unit interactions. it doesn't address the main problem as well as other solutions could, but I personally don't think that was the only issue with t1 bombers to begin with.

the best idea i can come up with to actually address early-game bombers without ruining them is to decrease their reload speed and/or maybe their flight speed (or remove their radar because why do they have a radar while inties dont?)

Has radar on t1 MAA been considered? Just an idea. Maybe like 5e for radar that covers the range of the AA.

That does nothing to stop bombers.

Just addressing some things in random order:

Aside from first bomber sniping too many crucial engineers or maybe a quick 2nd air bomber sniping too many i see no big issues at all with bombers. They're strong yes, but they require micro and create quite some interactive gameplay in the early phases of the game. There is some rng involved with some bombers and the way they drop, but generally against someone who reacts well and prepares a few land scouts to spot raids the bomber can quite easily end up not doing much and you only put yourself behind.

I think a bomber not being able to 1 shot engineers will completely cripple it and make it terrible. Yes, ofcourse you can adjust its stats differently, but this is such a game changing decision that will impact the entire t1 stage balance. If you send a bomber to snipe an expandin engi, you send it to an engi where you have no other units to kill the engi. Leaving the engi on low hp is worthless. You either kill it or it has no impact. Finishing the engi off with a lab or tank basically means you didn't need the bomber regardless. Need 2 passes for the bomber to kill the engi? Basically halves the dps of the bomber and gives the engi an infinitely higher chance of survival because you got tons of extra time to dodge the second pass. This is also the reason why uef/cybran bombers are worse than aeon/sera (if you don't get rng). The engi dodges some of the damage so it doesnt die so you need twice the passes.

drops being 1 shot by bombers shouldn't happen. Don't be greedy and split. Sure they can still brutally rape your drop with multiple passes, but i think that's completely fine. You made the drop while your opponent went for some ints and a bomber to punish it.

bombers being efficient at sniping t1/t2 radars is a no issue imo. I think this is a pretty good interaction. Also literally anything is efficient to snipe these.

first bomber being overly efficient in large teamgames is i think an almost unsolvable issue since it is the same problem (to a smaller degree) as with nukes and smd's. You force all opponents to make the counter. I also don't think any bomber change aside from ruining first bomber bo or not making them 1 shot engineers will fix this, and those changes are terrible for bombers and i don't think they should be implemented.

All in all i think the best way to make early bombers slightly weaker is to slightly decrease their RoF so that you don't snowball succesfull drops at the start when they're being microed.

idea sounds interesting but increasing engie hp might make labs absolutely useless

Remember: Losing is Fun!

I get that the change is really hard to imagine and it's impossible to exactly predict how it would play out. But look at it like this. As farms said, the current interaction between engineer and bomber is binary: you either kill an engi or the bomber is worthless (well technically you can make the engi waste time by forcing it to dodge, but let's disregard that). By lowering the stakes on both sides (bombers are cheap, but require 2 shots to kill) as well as introducing other choices (hoverbomb some mexes/pgens) we create many more interesting scenarios (explicitly talking about 2nd air first bomber here):

  • bomber kills and engineer (devastating, but highly unlikely)
  • bomber forces an engineer to dodge for a long time. To evaluate the situation you compare the lost time of the engineer to the new reduced cost of the bomber. If the bomber is cheap enough it will always be worth forcing enemy to dodge - or if it's too expensive it will never be worth. Perhaps a good balance can be found in this interaction? Also I'd like to compare this to aoe2 where feudal archers behind treeline force you to vacate that treeline even though they don't kill anything and sc2 where oracle stasis trap disables workers in mineral line for some time without damaging them. Both of these examples are more healthy imo, because there's a lot more granularity than the live/die binary of the engi.
  • Bomber destroys 1-2 mexes (depending on bomber micro and enemy reaction time). Again depending on the adjusted cost of the bomber this may be made worth doing
  • Bomber goes after pgens. Effectiveness depends on pgen splits
  • Bomber goes after factory build platform to cancel factory production
  • You simply make a second bomber with the reduced cost/buildtime and do all of the above. Note that it being 2 bombers instead of 1 bomber again creates way more possible scenarios than the binary engikill or not of the current bomber making the interaction less volatile in the process.

The rebalance would move power from the "hunting engineers" role to all the other possible use cases of the bomber. I totally agree that bombers make the game more exciting, and I also don't think they are overpowered at all. In hindsight I should've titled the thread in a way that doesn't suggest that I'm complaining about the bombers being op... mby something like "T1 bombers need a redistribution of power within the set of their use cases" would have been more apt.

@blodir said in T1 bombers are too good at hunting down expanding engineers:

T1 engis should live with low hp from one bomber pass. Some combination of the following:

  • increase engineer hp
  • decrease bomber damage

another problem here is that if engineer will not dodge on 1rst bomber pass, it will dodge on second one potentially meaning that bomber will do absolutely nothing

maybe make all bombers do damage over time equal to engineer HP xD
so if it is an expanding engineer it will die, if it is a group of engineers in base - they will survive if they repair each other...

Personally i also would like to see people be less greedy. (even tho i am often greedy myself)
Would be cool if land scouts could be made even faster out of the factory so you could use them to spot bombers, just get a ring of scouts around your base, tho even that is not possible on many maps due to terrain or water or just map being huge

another part of the problem for me is that engineer might be staying still so it needs to accelerate 1rst before it can dodge, and that is annoying (especially with 500ms delay)
Maybe let t1 engineers make land scouts without a factory? xD

I think it is very cool when someone makes land scout to counter 1rst bomber 😄
Or when people split pgens or make preemptive mobile aa... tho preemptive mobile aa is actually feels quite weak move

also it might be weird but what i hate the most is that i don't hear bomb release sound when bomber is coming out of the fog of war, cause of that there is no chance to dodge (add 500ms delay to that as well)... maybe i would not have chance to dodge anyway, but not hearing that bomb sound makes is much more annoying cause i often hear it when second engineer is already getting bombed

TA4Life: "At the very least we are not slaves to the UI" | http://www.youtube.com/user/dimatularus | http://www.twitch.tv/zlo_rd

okay i read more of this thread... didn't read the "bomber becomes cheaper" part.
i think it all may work, tho i have few concerns:
•bombing inties in factory might be painful, with aeon or sera you can bomb factory and pgens around it at the same time.
•also inties costing much more than bombers feels weird
•You can spam bombers all over the map even harder
•bomber gets cheaper but becomes better vs pgens and mexes... i don't have problem with that... but not sure if lower rated players will like this

TA4Life: "At the very least we are not slaves to the UI" | http://www.youtube.com/user/dimatularus | http://www.twitch.tv/zlo_rd

Give engineers an auto dodge to help out decrypted old players with 0 awareness and 0 APM like me.

Also why not buff t1 maa range and damage to make it effective to build one to guard a key expansion area?

I don't know if it's a good idea, but engineers could get a 'hunker' ability so that they could survive a single bomb or last a little longer against a lab. That way if they are being defended they will likely survive, but if undefended they will still die. Removes the RNG of dodging while still requiring attention and defending, without modifying bombers or labs.

Let engies repair themselves - a quick order could prevent them dying to single bomb if some of the damage is changed to dot

make them a little slower maybe

@blodir If you make it cheaper it will hugely impact all maps by simply amassing them. Making them absolutely uncathable so lowering cost a no go. Imaging catching 5 random bombers would turn into catching 20.

"Good luck and a safe landing commanders!"

Just make a mod and test this stuff

Me personally I think bombers are a tad strong, but in a good place overall.

My major grip with them is their inconsistency with dropping and the semi-skill semi-rng ground fire&engi dodge mechanic we currently have. Micro is important, but for the same reason I hate a lab outmicroing a tank to kill an engi afterwards, I hate having an engi perma dodge a bomber for 30 seconds until an inti arrives. Having to guess groundfire locations is stupid and unpredictable. IMO the early game should not be prone to as much randomness as it currently has with unit interactions.

I would love for some consistent interaction with how bombers do damage. Can further balance afterwards.


…also javi calling out blodir for skill issue is peak faf forum entertainment.

@tex Isn’t Blodir like 2300?

Just some ideas:
If bombers had a second larger aoe ring, e.g. doing 75 damage, they'd be able to kill all engies in at most two passes. The inner circle ring size could also be nerfed try and keep balance vs large armies. Now, if a bomber drops 4 bombs, it either gets 2-4 kills instead of 0-4. It's more consistent but not 100% predictable.

Another change, instead of increasing second ring size, is to shrink the inner aoe size and adding partial tracking to bombs, so they always hit with at least the weak aoe against engies. Bombers would be a bit worse against groups from the smaller inner ring, but hit more consistently.

One of these could also be combined with engies having larger turning circles to be worse at dodging, then maybe aoe wouldn't need to be changed to hit.

Keeping an inner damage ring with the same damage as current bombers would help to maintain current balance against larger, stationary, or unmicroed targets.

With tracking, T1 bombers would be undodgeable ACU-killing machines? Even if you needed twice as many of them, if they can't be dodged they would be very strong.