Restructure air by delaying tech 3 air

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Random thought I had during a game this morning:

What if we swap SAMs and T2 flak? Give us access to T2 SAMs so that T2 stationary AA can better deal with strat rushes, and T3 flak can do a better job against clouds of ASF/T3 gunships.

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Let me illustrate air vs navy for u.

Whenever there's an air fight over someone's navy, you'd expect the team with the navy to come out on top. However what ends up happening is that anything that flies dies so fast to asf that cruisers get very few shots off before the air fight is already over such that the cruisers almost might as well not have existed.

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Sounds like 500 v 500 asfs, cruisers definitely matter when there's 100 or less asf

and if the cruiser mass is a tenth of that asf mass, they still would matter

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@thomashiatt said in Restructure air by delaying tech 3 air:

There should be a scripted map that can automate balance testing by pitting different groups of units against each other with rudimentary scripted micro or formations, then instead of spending hours testing by hand you can do it in a few minutes.

I'd love such a map, and thought about making a small proof of concept a couple times before.

I think there is some potential in a testing map, especially for "mirror" units, like comparing the frigates of all factions.
You don't even need any micro there, you'd just need to ram them into each other and see what happens.

That still doesn't give you the full picture of frig balance of course, but you could automate a couple hundred test runs and then (I assume?) output it to a win percentage into a spreadsheet using some mod/debugger/logging functions.

For anything more complex, a map/script like this can't work though imo.

How'd you accurately measure the impact of e.g. an intie speed increase? The mirror results won't change, but it will make catching bombers and transports easier.
But by how much though? Does it even matter in a real game? Does it only matter on some maps and not on others? Does it only matter if you control the inties well and is irrelevant in the lower ranks? Idk.

This is such a simple change, and yet the only thing you can reasonably figure out with automated testing in a case like this is trivial stuff like "If you make inties slower than T2 transports, they won't catch them".

So is there potential in an automated balance testing map? Probably.

Will such a map make balance testing take minutes instead of hours? Probably not.

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I apologise if someone already mentioned that idea or if it was discussed already (or if it's simple clown level 1000). I'm not going to read through 100 posts in order to comment exactly one idea 4head

Thought experiment I had:
What exactly speaks against nerfing the T3 MAA by a lot but putting them on the t2 stage? Main problem (for me) is that flak won't kill strats obvsly due to slow projectile speed so a low dmg AA with high projectile speed might be an idea to play with.
(Note: Talking about the early t3 air phase, I don't have problems with lategame t3 air)

Aight, that was my comment for this whole thing, byeeee

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Regarding T2 bombers being too strong, I did some tests recently, and you need something like 80% the mass cost in either T1 or T2 (static) AA to counter a group of (microd) corsairs. T1 MAA trades better if spread out, probably because of massive overkill. Also Corsairs miss a lot on return runs; I think they'd be more effective if the attack run was longer so they properly lined up before firing.

Why is T1 and T2 static AA the same mass-cost-effectiveness? Flak is designed to murder grouped T2 gunships (also massed T1 bombers). It is somewhat crappy vs T2 bombers, especially considering you often need to protect multiple locations. Suggestion: give flak slightly higher damage and higher muzzle velocity but less area of effect. Because T1 AA to T2 flak is a "meh" upgrade (except vs mass groups of air), while T2 flak to T3 SAM is a huge upgrade.

Another point: shields are a more important defence upgrade vs power snipes than T2 AA, but also shields are power-hungry making comebacks hard.

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I think a good start would be to prevent T3 Air before X amount of time (maybe 15 to 17 min mark?), under 10 min T3 bomber is a bit too fast. By moving T3 Air to the 15 -17 min mark will give T1 and T2 air a bit more time to be useful. So now if a player tries to rush T3 Air they can be punished by a player investing in T1 or T2 air.

Rushing T3 Air needs to be more risky rather than the go to strategy and an extra 5 to 7 mins slowdown to T3 Air at the start could achene this without affecting late game air fights.

Never Fear, A Geek is Here!

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@thecore said in Restructure air by delaying tech 3 air:

will give T1 and T2 air a bit more time to be useful. So now if a player tries to rush T3 Air they can be punished by a player investing in T1 or T2 air.

Did you just skip over the 10 replays I posted?

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@ftxcommando I still think getting to T3 Air from start of the game needs to be slowed down by a few mins (getting to T3 air by the 12 to 17 min range game time).

Or maybe the meta needs to change, instead of letting the main air slot get to T3 Air at 9/10 mins mark scout to check if they are going T3 and push them hard with T2 Air.

Never Fear, A Geek is Here!

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@thecore said in Restructure air by delaying tech 3 air:

Or maybe the meta needs to change, instead of letting the main air slot get to T3 Air at 9/10 mins mark scout to check if they are going T3 and push them hard with T2 Air.

yes that is quite literally the counter to t3 air rush meta, it's just that 99% of players are either bad or lazy

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