UEF T2 Navy & Some Other Changes

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UEF T2 Navy stage currently suffers from "Pre-2018 Seraphim T3 Land Syndrome." Mainly, it requires completely optimal unit mix/unit micro gameplay in order to just barely edge out a decent trade against factions that are rallying a single unit (exodus, phim destro, trident, barracudas) at you. And even then, you don't win against half those units.

To adjust that I propose the following doctrine for both UEF navy and Seraphim navy to make it way more intuitive to use and interactive without ruining the ability for any faction to play in the pre late game navy.

Cooper
Range: 50 -> 80
Speed: 6 -> 5

The intent here is to make the Cooper the UEF variant of a sniper bot, except it's more focused on baiting poor engagements than high alpha strike. The idea is that Coopers are weak, they need bulwarks and cruisers to keep them safe. They are also quite slow. I made them the same speed as Exodus and Salem as frigates exist at speed 6 and I figure this would encourage Aeon to do something besides Exodus spam in order to catch coopers out of position. However, neither has a range advantage over the other so Exodus is still perfectly capable of stagnating map control as is Salem, but that plays into the UEF desire to tech switch into early T3 navy if the enemy allows it.

I'm willing to see the unit nerfed in damage output as well, but I have no idea what good values would be for that.

Valiant
Mass: 2250 -> 2000

This one I'm not sure about. With the upcoming buff to Valiant, I do not know if it would need any further buff to fill the role it would operate in here. Mainly, it's the teeth that puncture anything trying to touch the Coopers. They do not need extra hp from Bulwarks because they are meant to cut off units trying to push into you while the Bulwarks retreat to protect the Coopers and Governors. The purpose here is quite reminiscent to pillars and so I propose a small mass cost decrease in other to make it easier for UEF to actually get their unit mix synergy going while also making Valiant just a touch more viable against their mass in frigates.

Uashavoh
Speed: 5 -> 5.5
HP: 6900 -> 7200

The above changes makes UEF actually interact well with Aeon and Cybran and force all these factions to adjust their unit mixes during naval combat. However, the problem is that Seraphim is left out to dry.

In order to rectify this I propose buffing the speed of the Seraphim destro, which will also apply underwater, and therefore make it viable to snipe coopers by catching up to them and surfacing. Once the coopers are dead, the Seraphim destroyers have free reign to handle the Valiants due to their terrible torpedoes and can even retreat to choose the next point of engagement. I included an HP buff in the case that the speed buff would not be enough, but I did not want to go too crazy with it since the central thing is tanking the initial Cooper volleys.

This also has the side benefit of giving Seraphim a response to the higher range destros since they can actually catch them now without a frigate swarm.

All in all, frigates are still faster and can catch all these destros, but differentiating the destros further while also making the UEF actually equal more than the sum of their parts will greatly improve the pre T3 navy stage.

I did not speak much of Aeon and Cybran because I think it's self evident what their navies want to do. I hoped to encourage Aeon to make frigates more with this idea, but beyond that I do not have a huge problem with the doctrine of either of those factions.

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@ftxcommando said in UEF T2 Navy & Some Other Changes:

Cooper
Range: 50 -> 80
Speed: 6 -> 5

Cooper is in a bit of a pickle...
They are strong... and weak at the same time. 5 or 6 of them can take on an Atlantis and fair quite well. Winning most of the time, in my experiences.

But they also suffer from their reliance on other vessels to, as you said, "keep them safe".

I believe their range is in need of an increase, though I would also argue that it's range isn't the direct change it needs. If anything, this unit should be more "Spammable". Cheaper, less range, less damage, less hp, and whatnot, but just being able to mix more of these in with your fleet.

Though, I digress... the change in range is still preferable.


Valiant
Mass: 2250 -> 2000

Even with the upcoming HP increase to the Valiant, it still lacks presence. It's tankier, yes.. but that change is proving that it's just a better frigate.
Its role as a destroyer still suffers, so a mass change could very well be what it needs as well, but this may offset the global "destroyer balance."

It should be a tanky brawler, not extra cannon fodder.


Uashavoh
Speed: 5 -> 5.5
HP: 6900 -> 7200

These changes seem reasonable. The Sera destroyer could use an HP increase. It's supposed to be aggressive - especially with its submerge ability. These changes further expand on that.


~ Stryker

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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To me, this all seems like very reasonable suggestions. I also like that this woudn't make uef navy more like other factions, but embraces the oddity of the uef navy while just making the underused t2 ships stronger.

My only fear here would be that a strong uef t2 navy stage leading to an even stronger early t3 stage might be a bit too much.

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UEF's already getting a boost to the Valiant so I think it should be given a bit of time to see where the navy situation is before boosting it even more - these changes combined with the upcoming balance patch would mean the UEF destroyer being given approximately a 25% boost to how it currently is and risk giving the UEF the best destroyer of all factions, while leading to less unit variety if people just spam them. If UEF ends up switching to the strongest T2 Navy in addition to having the strongest T3 navy, then it'd also create less faction variety in games (essentially you'd be deciding whether to pick Cybran to win with T1 navy or UEF to win with T2+ navy on naval focused maps)

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UEF isn't the strongest t3 navy and the upcoming destro buff doesn't make UEF t2 navy viable. There is still zero way to interact with Exodus in the whole UEF navy roster until Battlecruiser and Trident spam will still swarm Valiants if they try to close distance against Salems. For Valiants to be viable they need to be able to force a bad initial engagements from frigates or force Exodus to actually have a reason to move in.

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Yeah, UEF navy right now has exactly one strength that matters: The short time after you get your first (rushed) BC out.

Technically, UEF navy is also the strongest in the super-lategame, where you have 15 BS and a million shield boats, but even if games go to that stage, you probably should have spend the mass on something more useful anyway.

And yes, just giving the uef destro more health is a good start, but also really doesnt matter if you just get outmicro'd by the other 3 factions.

That being said, giving the uef destro a "25% boost" may not be enough to make it viable against opponents that micro well, but may straight up make it op at the lower ranks at the same time, so it will need some fine tuning for sure

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@cheeseberry said in UEF T2 Navy & Some Other Changes:

That being said, giving the uef destro a "25% boost" may not be enough to make it viable against opponents that micro well, but may straight up make it op at the lower ranks at the same time, so it will need some fine tuning for sure

If it's agreed that UEF needs to leverage a Cooper/Bulwark mix to push Valiants into viability, then that would require a mix of say 4 Valiants to have the supplement of 3 Coopers and a Bulwark which is almost 2 destroyers in support units they are down. This mix costs 13,000 mass. I'm ignoring the costs to keep jamming/shields running.

With no adjustments that means you could be facing this force with:
6 Exodus
(13500 mass)

3 Salems
25 Tridents
(13000 mass)

6 Phim Destros
(13500 mass)

4 Phim Destros
15 Phim Frigs
(13050 mass)

Personally I think all of those forces would crush that army. If you adjust the cost of Valiant down to 2000, then the mix would only cost 12000 mass.

5 Exodus
3 Beacons (torp defense kappa)
(12120 mass)

3 Salems
21 Tridents
(12000 mass)

5 Phim Destros
3 Phim Frigs
(12060 mass)

4 Phim Destros
11 Phim Frigs
(11970 mass)

I see the latter as being a more competitive fight.

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Why not rework the Valiant instead?
Increase the range and damage of the Valiant to mimic that of the Summit.
High alpha damage, long-range, very high HP, and low fire rate. 85 range perhaps?
Just an idea - This way the Valiant has the capability to actually combat other destroyers.
With its alpha damage, it would also retain its brawler effectiveness.

Though, on second thought, this may not solve the issue.

A 2nd idea is to increase the range a little bit. 60 -> 70?
This way it isn't massively overshadowed by the other factions and their range, but increasing the range would grant it a better chance at engaging from distance, as well.


~ Stryker

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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That would be the worst thing possible because UEF has a frig worse than every faction but Aeon, so UEF is forced to go t2 for a destroyer that sucks until you have 8 of them. You would just continue ignoring T2 navy and just go BC for an actually useful unit.

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If the destroyer problem has a root with the frigate... why not change both of these units to work better in tandem?


Would a range increase not help either? Isn't that part of the problem?
Since it doesn't have enough range to brawl... it dies before it even gets into combat half the time.


~ Stryker

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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Because Seraphim already has the identity of being the faction that has a decent frig to abuse in tandem with a destroyer that is decent at handling Cybran frigate spam. UEF has a T2 stage that will always require a Cooper and a Valiant because Valiants die automatically to submerged Sera destros and barracudas or vespers. If you always require them, you might as well as lean into the "sum is greater than its parts" doctrine as UEF will always be making 3 to 4 navy units while other factions get away with 1 or 2.

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Why not give the Valiant an ability, then?
Toggle "sniper mode" for lower fire rate, alpha, and range.
Toggle "combat mode" for whatever it has right now.
Being able to swap between the two modes would help it engage more effectively.


Or, why not make it mirror the Pillar?
Sucks at literally everything but its strength comes from numbers.
(I guess that's what the mass reduction is for that you suggested.)


I dunno, man. I'm running out of ideas to try and offer, haha.


~ Stryker

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

1

Well it's similar to pillar to the extent that it's cheaper, but that's about it. The main concern here is that you want UEF combo to be more expensive, but when the mix is proper, it actually beats sheer navy brute force. For that to happen, you need to toy with the costs. By making the Valiant slightly cheaper you make it easier to induce a faster T2 transition for UEF navy as you will want to make a Valiant or two before anything else. Then, the cheaper destroyer helps cover some of the mass put into support units so that the brute force navies the UEF would face don't stomp them. Ideally you implement Coopers into the mix once the opponent swaps into T2 and you need the range/torp damage to compete. Bulwarks exist more to increase the margin of mismicro for Coopers but it can help out Valiants too if you're facing a Cybran extremely stubborn about using Tridents.

Instead, since UEF has the technically complicated unit mix, you want to encourage sniping the weak points of the mix to THEN let the brute force navies roll it over. The best ways to encourage that is by making the Coopers a snipe target due to their low HP and if radar was actually transferred over to t1 subs, then it would make them a target to ruin the efficiency of Coopers too.

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I see. Well, as I said before... I'm in for these changes you suggested.
Seems like they would work well.


Would a decrease in build time be a good change, as well?
Mirroring the Pillar, as before... cheap, and quick to get out.


~ Stryker

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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Such Cooper would make t2 subs even more useless. With 80 range Coopers would annihilate t3 subs. What's even the point to make OP anti-sub unit even more OP?

If anything needs to be done is UEF having proper t2 destroyer.

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More useless? UEF can’t even properly push into a barracuda spamming player because their stealth makes it pretty much impossible for the coopers to take a good engagement. Barracudas have slightly less range but slightly more speed so they can pick off coopers and retreat. I couldn’t tell you much about vespers because nobody makes them since Exodus is insane. T3 subs don’t have a problem with coopers either.

To make UEF have a proper destro you need to then make cooper a noobtrap unit. As long as cooper exists, UEF destro needs terrible torps. If it has terrible torps, it can’t be uses as a destro because it can’t counter subs so it cannot compete with phim destro ever. That means Phim has both a better frig and destro. Likewise, barracudas will always snack on the destros meaning UEF has less destro mass (especially since you absolutely need shields for the terrible range of coopers) so a valiant needs to equate to 1.5 exodus or so in total value in this mix to be considered a “proper destro.”

Honestly I don’t even care if subs get an additional buff to compensate, I still want them to be the intel ship of navy rather than frigs, but T2 subs still have the usage of being frig spam killers and coopers are heavily punished by said frig spam. Coopers also die to destros in a few volleys. They also die to torps just as quickly as T2 subs while being infinitely easier to spot. With these adjustments, they’ll also be significantly slower than T2 subs so they can’t be proactive about responding to every sub going around raiding the map.

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Than why can't UEF destroyer have proper torpedoes than? The problem with UEF t2 navy is not the Cooper, but the Valiant.

Give Valiant (let's say) 120-150 DPS for torpedoes, but remove torpedo defence from it entirely. One on one UEF destroyer would match Sera destroyer underwater. Meanwhile UEF destroyer wouldn't break through torp defence of 2 t2 subs meaning you'd have to rely on adding Coopers into mix not only for shooting more torps to break torp defence, but also for defending from torps.

I wanted to use this concept for Nomad t2 navy, but sadly won't happen.

Honestly torp-torp defence balance never took a good look by balance team for years. There were cases with some units shooting torp defence in opposite direction for years and nobody noticed that. Torps, depth charges, torp defence need to be rebalanced from scratch.

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Because now you ruined phim destro and UEF still needs to make an inefficient destro that loses to barracudas or exodus while still being forced to make coopers and bulwarks to deal with either.

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Double Valiant's DPS so that frig spam doesn't work and they have to be engaged at range?

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@ftxcommando said in UEF T2 Navy & Some Other Changes:

@cheeseberry said in UEF T2 Navy & Some Other Changes:

That being said, giving the uef destro a "25% boost" may not be enough to make it viable against opponents that micro well, but may straight up make it op at the lower ranks at the same time, so it will need some fine tuning for sure

If it's agreed that UEF needs to leverage a Cooper/Bulwark mix to push Valiants into viability

If we buff the valiant enough, at some point the support units wont be needed anymore. But yeah, your examples make it clear that even a 8k hp, 2k mass cost valiant probably isn't there yet.