Restructure air by delaying tech 3 air

4

I do agree T3 air is an issue and it needs to be delayed. Compare it to T3 Land, getting T3 land doesn't produce results as quickly as T3 air.

T2 land can still beat T3 land or stop it and ACU with OC just cancels out early T3 land most of the time. Plus it takes a looooong time for your T3 land to become useful.

T3 air can go from 0 to 100 grossly quick. 1 Strat bomber can wreck everything if opponent doesn't match with T3 air immediately. Literally the current teamgame meta is someone has to go T3 air or most of the time the game is lost due to 1 strat killing all T2 mexes it can find. This makes the game very stale.

Idk about the 20 guys that are +2k and have perfect games where T2 air is busted or something but anything below that rating (or at least in my 1.5k experience), T3 air is king. T3 navy and T3 land take normal progression to become relevant while T3 air pays off almost instantly and cancels out T2 and T1 air.

Even if nerfing T3 air makes T2 air more relevant, thats perfectly fine with me. I want to see more of t1-t2 air stage on teamgames than the classic just rush t3 air because making t2 air = lose

FAF Website Developer

1

ur nuts if u think t2 air = lose, one of the ultimate pathways of overratedness since 2014 FAF has been the perfidious teamgame corsair sniper

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MML's are currently underutilized - let their missiles track and hit air targets 🙂

4

Sadly I don't think there is an easy way to make T3 air more engaging/less oppressive.

Slightly delaying T3 air (by like a minute) and/or increasing its cost wont change the meta really, it will just delay ASFs a bit and make both side's ASF clouds a bit smaller, but you are still heavily incentivized to rush them as the only counter to your opponents ASF are your own.

Heavily delaying air (by more than like a minute) and/or increasing its cost will change the meta, but only to the much more toxic T2 bomber all-in strategy described by FTX, now being forced in every game.

(Honestly, my gut instinct is that if you had two decently competent, coordinating, try harding teams on both sides of every match with the current balance, T2 bomber strategies already should be pretty oppressive on many if not most maps. Imo the only reason that they aren't is due to the missing coordination/try-harding.)

2

Changes to the SAM seem like a worthwhile idea to test out, but I don't think they are oppressive at all.

SAMs are already one of the structures you really never want to build because 800 mass is a lot, but they are necessary sometimes as SAMs are one of the few things able to reign in the oppressive T3 air, if just a bit.

Changing the damage to 1000 is a great break point for T2 air though and from some quick looks at the unit database, still results in all strats dying in 4, all ASF in 2 salvos, same as they are now.

So how about instead of increasing the SAMs cost, decreasing it so that defending against incoming T3 air is slightly less punishing. Something like:
Build time: 1195 -> 1100
Mass cost: 800 -> 700
Damage: 1200 -> 1000
Hitpoints: 7000 -> 6000

Changing it like this would make SAMs worse against T2 air and better against T3 air, which seems all around desirable.

0

I've always thought T2 bombers should be slower than interceptors.

3

A static T1 and T2 AA projectile speed buff would also be good. That way you have at least some options if you're at T3 and have a strat doing passes.

Mobile flak's main weakness is its projectile speed. Its DPS/mass is so rediculously high compared to its static counterpart that if you buffed its projectile speed enough to reliably hit strats there would be no reason to ever build static flak.

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

I'd also argue that strats should not move faster than a tech 1 interceptor

While I'd wanted to agree on this first, ThomasHiatt's post does keep me wondering - it could be kinda awkward to have inties the 2nd fastest unit around (well, third, if we assume we can give Swift Winds same speed as ASFs). Though maybe it wouldn't be bad?

Then we could have some kind of speed hierarchy where ASF & Swift Wind > Intie > Strat > T2 bombers (land and torp) > T1 bombers

This would make it so T2 FTX is so concerned about is not as good of a counter to strat rush, while still being somewhat viable vs ASFs, albeit lack the speed to to command dominance and ability to react as quickly to threats - enticing the player to eventually make the transition to T3.

You could then play with other values which can affect air-worthiness, like turning speed and maybe engage distance. Like giving ASF a bit higher range, say 50 -> 60. I'd also give inties the highest turn-radius, say 2.2 or something - so they can be a bit more manoeuvrable and stand some ground against ASF, though still losing to them, which I think is OK given it's T1 vs T3.

The only issue this doesn't solve is the transports issue. But you could buff T1 transport HP slightly to compensate higher intie speed (so that drops are still as viable).

Another option for T2 bombers is to give them a 'transform' ability, kinda similar to Salem, where you manually toggle them between fighters and bombers - but it's not instant, rather taking a few seconds. The main difference between the two modes would be - only one type of weapon (so you either bomb, or you fight air, can't do both), and much better turning for anti-air mode. But this seems like a lot of work.

2

I completely agree with this and though I do like some suggestions, I'd like to offer my own, as well.


Why not just reduce how effective ASF are in terms of their damage per second/shot?
Changing the unit, itself, rather than the T3 air stage, overall.

There have been other posts about how oppressive ASF are as they make all previous air stages obsolete.
It's also just an absurd play style.
How to counter an ASF swarm? Build more ASF.
This just leads to a stagnant method of air combat.
One unit to counter them all.

The reason they are so strong is because of their DPS. For example, one ASF can three-shot a T2 gunship.
Doesn't sound like a big deal, but when ASF are built in large numbers;
Well, it doesn't take long for 2 or 3 ASF to wipe out a small group of gunships.

So, why not just globally reduce the damage of ASF from 400 DPS, down to 350 or 300, or even less?
Granted, this will offset the balance of Air Experimentals and other T3 air units like Strats and Gunships;
but, it will at least allow earlier air interceptors, fighters, and all other air units to be more effective.
This way, at least T1 and T2 air would stand a slightly better chance at making an impact on a game,
barring early snipes.


In land and navy, T1 and T2 units are still a great counter to higher tech units.
We can see this in action with Frigates - they're viable throughout all tech levels of navy.

Yet, there is no T1 or T2 air unit that can counter the ASF, realistically.
Modify the oppressive unit, not the entire air stage it dominates in.


~ Stryker

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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

A static T1 and T2 AA projectile speed buff would also be good. That way you have at least some options if you're at T3 and have a strat doing passes.

Mobile flak's main weakness is its projectile speed. Its DPS/mass is so rediculously high compared to its static counterpart that if you buffed its projectile speed enough to reliably hit strats there would be no reason to ever build static flak.

T1 aa spam is one of the best solutions to fight away strats if you do not have access to sams. T2 can’t be buffed anymore or it would instantly wipe out gunships, ints, etc. I have had so many games where I accidentally fly over 1 flack and instantaneously my air advantage is gone, game over.

2

I can't immediately think of a big downside to buffing inties, but think we should consider going further than some suggestions here - e.g. if they were buffed to both be .1 speed faster than strats (which could also be done by nerfing strat speed), and to trade mass efficiently with ASFs (this could be achieved by nerfing ASF damage rather than buffing intie damage), would it be a bad thing? (It might be, I'm just speculating) - The main thing to balance them being oppressive is they have poor fuel and die really easiliy to any flak or SAMs, so I don't see them as being as oppressive as ASFs, and there's still a clear incentive to get T3 air and asfs since asfs don't die easily to ground AA.

It could therefore turn air fights from a 1 unit approach to a 2 unit approach, as well as greatly reducing the power of a team getting t3 air ahead of the other team. It introduces an alternative comeback mechanic if you lose air - i.e. you just build loads of inties and try to fight near your own AA. It also makes air staging more interesting.

While a comparison was made earlier about T3 land (e.g. titans) vs T1 land, Navy already sets a precedent for a T1 unit being useful into the T3 stage - frigates can trade mass efficiently with later tech naval units if there's enough space for them.

I'd also forgotten about the SAM semi-bug fix that buffed them so am happy with the changes proposed to that.

M27AI developer; Devlog and more general AI development guide:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2373/ai-development-guide-and-m27ai-v66-devlog

1

Buffing mobile flak does nothing because proper micro with corsair/notha/aeon gunship instakills them. Again, why are people talking about ints losing to asf when land t1 loses to land t3 harder and faster than ints lose to asf? You essentially can never kill a titan with t1 spam if you micro it properly.

Make strats slower than ints and you never make them in game again, would be a gigantic noobtrap unit which only has a purpose of sniping aa with their aoe around t4s. The idea of making ints trade mass efficiently against asf is even funnier, now you have literally zero reason to ever even go t3 air.

Some of these changes sound like you guys just want to remove air from the game, honestly.

I’d actually say buffing mobile flak speed would be the healthiest thing so that it’s possible to actually micro them and dodge some of the high alpha t2 air units and get to areas they need to be faster. I don’t really see a problem with the damage output of flak itself so much as how easy it is to kill it and force it out of position.

2

How about this as a quick proposal for people that think early strats are a problem:

  • Reduce all strat damage to variants of 2600-2800.

  • Buff t2 mex hp to 3000 for all factions (I’m fine with going so far as to revert the hp changes in general but whatever)

  • Make mass storages explosive that do 100 damage

  • Now strats one shot ringed t2 mexes and leave unringed ones alive.

  • Also teach people to shield core mexes that let strat aoe hit 2 at once

  • Faction variability comes into play based on how many storages need to be around a mex in order for it to be 1 shot (more aoe, need more storages)

All the complaints about ASF vs int and t2 bombers are baseless in game. Has anybody actually attempted to use air the way you make a land push viable in this game or do they make 1-2 factories of air spam, get killed by 1 factory of asf spam, and then complain asf are OP?

When I want a t2 land push to work, I have 6-8 factories of t2 spam. I do the same with janus spam. I would have 10-12 factories of int spam to do the same, just as t1 spam.

Have people ever watched a ladder game? People don’t get 5 asf and charge it in, because 100-200 ints are on the map and they will instantly kill any asf group below 15 at least.

0

My first dumb thought was "if you delay t3 air too long, the air slot would be bored from having nothing to do". But nvm that.

Decreasing the amount of asf on the field would help land anti air, and also sim speed amusingly. It also helps air exps a bit I think. Sounds reasonable. Build time change seems the easiest to justify. Power adjacency is really obese too. Hq change also slows rush down.

If t3 air rush is slower, the time delay for t3 land aa is less. Having a choice to sacrifice some advantage to get quicker t3 land for maa could help land slots have more agency. Not sure what type of time delay you want between t3 air and quick t3 land. Or they can just make t1 aa, idk. Point is, t3 land isn't so bad unlike t1 aa spam since it also helps their offence with t3 tanks.

On the other hand, if land slots went into t1/t2 air more often, the problem with t3 air wouldn't be so bad. Often there isn't even another air factory other than in air base.

If the meta was for air slot to go t2/t1 air instead of t3, I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. Sounds like land slots would have more chance to get in on the air action. Transports would also be much better since they aren't just flying targets like they usually are at t3 air stage. Of course, t3 air still has to be good.

@FtXCommando
Survivability depending on storage is interesting, but it breaks muh immersion. Make mex volatile too so they all blow up on crazy rush.

Alternative is t3 bomber + t2 bomber one shots mex, so you need another player to support you to make the rush work. Or t3 air player goes t2 bombers instead for their higher efficiency damage per mass.

1

Anyone using crazyrush for a balance discussion loses their brain privileges. We’d be moving janus to t3 stage if we cared about crazyrush. Having to use t2 bombers (or t3 gunship or another strat) to finish up a loose mex either delays the strat rush itself or gives a slower target for ints to prioritize.

It also gives interaction capability and makes punishing an eco greed gremlin actually be their fault as they shouldn’t be ringing mexes without some margin of safety.

The more people post the more I think we’re playing different games. It would be good to help air t4s be viable? It would be good to make drops easier? What? These are absolutely insane parts of the air gameplay as it is and the former is getting a ridiculously large nerf because of how insane they are. The latter has always danced around the cusp of being oppressive because of their speed, hp, and damage potential.

0

ASF are incredibly tanky for their mass cost and have very strong dps. One or both should obviously be reduced. However they are the only strong counter to strat bombers aside from static SAMs and the only real counter to T4 air. So maybe buff T3 MAA (which always seemed a bit weak to me) too. Obviously a fighter plane should be the best form of AA but maybe shift its power a bit more elsewhere.

First strat rushes honestly can be countered if they are scouted in advance even without Tech 3 anything. Make like 4-5 T1 AA turrets and position 15~ interceptors accordingly and you can cause their considerable investment to be totally wasted. Harder to do with stealthed Cybran strat but still doable.

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

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@ftxcommando yeah let me go for corsair snipe, cool I killed 1 ACU!

oh wait one opponent has 2x eco and went t3 air, there's a strat sniping my teammate and all my corsairs either died on the first snipe or enemy ASF are eating them alive.

Yeah going t2 air was the key to winning, sniping is a super good strategy on teamgames and not absolute garbage that makes some other dude have more eco and better units. But if you kill 1 ACU, you did your job no? xdxd

FAF Website Developer

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Is this an attempt to say t2 air is not viable in teamgames?

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

The idea of making ints trade mass efficiently against asf is even funnier, now you have literally zero reason to ever even go t3 air.

Even if I ignore all other T3 air units that can be built and just look at asfs, inties trade mass efficiently with swifties yet swifties are still built - being faster, more durable and taking longer to run out of fuel are significant advantages even if mass for mass in a fight they're worse than inties. Are you trying to argue there is zero reason for people to build swifties because inties trade mass efficiently with them?

M27AI developer; Devlog and more general AI development guide:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2373/ai-development-guide-and-m27ai-v66-devlog

0

Much of the value of swift wind comes from the fact you have an HQ you made to spam aeon gunships. You now have an HQ that can make ints or swifties. Between the two, you are able to put more mass into air faster by spamming swifties and since air is a heavily timing focused part of the game, that spike in mass in air means you can win an early air fight and snowball an advantage before an int airgrid can scale into matching your mass investment. This is the same principle as janus or notha air wins.

So what's your point there? ASF are only decent for that 2-3 minute period after getting early t3 air and then once the more efficient int scale catches up (easy with the t3 pgen + t3 air hq investment you must pay while enemy can just ask for a t3 engie from land/navy player) you lose forever?