Balance Thread Guidelines Feedback

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@Deribus said in Balance Thread Guidelines Feedback:

There are several methods to doing this and it isn't expected for someone to utilize all of them as certain methods are easier for certain things. I will rank them by their levels of respectability as an argument/rationale with the easiest/least respectable ones being first.

TL/DR: stats can sometimes be the best way to analyze things, and analyzing one, or even multiple replays might not accurately show you whether something is unbalanced anyway, so sometimes the well-supported opinions of the most knowledgeable players should be weighed more heavily than replays for balance changes.

So my problem with this is that just because something is the easiest way to explain the issue (stat review), does not necessarily mean it is the "least respectable" argument/rationale. It really depends entirely on what you are talking about. Simply talking about stats could easily be the best way to make some arguments. A perfect example would be the discussions of ras sacus vs mass fabs. Who needs to see a replay, when the numbers can tell you the entire story? You can very easily and accurately explain the pros and cons of these two economy options simply by crunching some numbers. (I do agree that for combat units the interactions are much more complex and pure stats are almost certainly insufficient.)

Of course there are some minor complications that you can't reliably calculate, like how exactly should you quantify the value of the mobility of sacus, or the extra risk due to the explosiveness of mass fabs? But I don't really think I can show a replay that gives you a more accurate, realistic explanation of how that interaction typically works in a game either. I could show you a replay where many mass fabs chain explode, and another where sacus do too. I could show you some sacus assisting a shield under fire from t3 arty and dying, and one with them assisting the shield and surviving because there are also a few t3 engies supporting. Do we need to do a meta-analysis of replays? How do we know that a sample of replays is not biased by noobs who don't know how to space out their fabs enough/don't know how to utilize the adjacency bonuses of fabs enough, etc.?

The point is that many issues are nearly impossible to prove through showing a single, or even a small number of replays (I think especially if they are something based on risk, e.g. explosiveness, acu snipes). How do we quantify a situation dependent risk (e.g. do you have air control or not? how good is your scouting? etc.), versus the cost to mitigate that risk? "Mercies aren't op because two cheap t1 maa counter them" or "you were just careless with your acu!" You really need to know how frequently the risk matters. One game can't show you that. Were you stupid for building mass fabs next to pgens for the adjacency bonus because in that game situation it was too risky of an idea, or because it is too risky generally? This can only be answered by analyzing many replays...OR we can just get a feel from people based on what they say because they will have a sense of the cost/benefit analysis based on what has happened in the games they have played, which should probably be discounted based on how noob they are. You should definitely put a lot more weight on Blodir's or Nexus' opinion than mine.

Another complication is that balance is certainly map dependent as well (wagners are good in certain situations, bad in others?), but I don't have a solution for that, just saying it to reiterate that no single game replay could conclusively show the overall balance of a unit, because it could be much stronger/weaker on other maps.

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I completely agree that the recent attempts to clean up the balance forum have been a colossal failure, and for that I apologize and accept full responsibility.

The goal has always been to encourage the balance team participate themselves, mostly by raising the bar for effort in posts.

How to best do that though has been a mystery. One of the pieces of guidance I've received is to "delete stupid balance posts" which I have refused time and time again. I cannot judge if a certain balance idea is stupid, and attempting to do so would for not only remove tons of potentially great ideas, it would in essence turn this into a "balance Deribus approves of" forum, which I do not support.

I'm attempting to get in touch with the balance team directly to get their thoughts on the matter. The guidelines aren't final and will probably continue to get many rapid changes as we continue to what the effects are. As always I appreciate the feedback and ask that you please be patient as I do my best to take it into account.

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BIG thanks for answer

As I see it first of all balance team should determine a purposes of forum.

Should it be a sort of bugtracker, place for discussion and feedback of future changes (then it will be ok to be dead most time of year), or something else

Probably there should be a member of balance team that reads forum and filter it before passing ideas to rest of balance team.

PS my butthurt was cased because there was change in rules to close one specific topic. That's really dirty play.

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I am already reading forum daily and when I see something that is interesting, has merit and is well argumented I respond, some of the other members of the balance team do the same. Generally after introduction of the guidelines and rules for balance forum the frequency of posts drastically decreased but we mostly lost all the shit posting ideas where the OP spent 3 minutes thinking about the problem and just saying X is bad Fix it, here is my solution that is bad cause I didn't consider xyz.

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Okay, third time's the charm

What are people's thoughts on this as a potential ruleset?

  1. Describe the problem and provide one or two viable methods of resolving the problem. Provide evidence if and when it is requested
  2. Do not repeat the same request if 3 or more posts has been made in the same thread
  3. Be objective and consider all game elements. Balance requests because of a single map or map type will be immediately locked
  4. Stay on topic, if you have a different balance idea make a new thread. You may link to the original thread if you believe it to be relevant
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@Deribus said in Balance Thread Guidelines Feedback:

What are people's thoughts on this as a potential ruleset?

and why are you now suddenly wanting to change it to something you wrote up in like, 5 minutes?

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The community has shown that the existing ruleset is not necessary for nor does it promote productive discussion. Too many exceptions have needed to be made for it to continue to be effective.

These new rules are intentionally much simpler and leave much more room open for interpretation. However, that's why I'm opening them to feedback first, I agree they might not cover everything.

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@Deribus said in Balance Thread Guidelines Feedback:

Okay, third time's the charm

What are people's thoughts on this as a potential ruleset?

  1. Describe the problem and provide one or two viable methods of resolving the problem. Provide evidence if and when it is requested
  2. Do not repeat the same request if 3 or more posts has been made in the same thread
  3. Be objective and consider all game elements. Balance requests because of a single map or map type will be immediately locked
  4. Stay on topic, if you have a different balance idea make a new thread. You may link to the original thread if you believe it to be relevant

Don't put the emphasis on solving the problem as this shouldn't be the primary reason for a balance post. They of course can propose a solution but it shouldn't be the main focus of a post. Most people can't suggest the best way to solve balance problems and thus shouldn't really do it, after all it's mostly the job of the balance team.

What players should focus on is finding and describing a problem they notice in a game in a well structured way with clear arguments showing and describing said problem or imbalance.

Attaching a random replay (not sandbox) is pretty useless tbh, I am never gonna watch those and game situation are in 99% way to complex to actually show case the real problem which usually is a slight imbalance or appears in certain situations. What you can do is host a sandbox and test eg. unit engagements. For example before making my post on the Cybran Frigate I calculated dps/ mass, hp/mass for every frigate and then tested it in game to actually see how much stronger cybran frigate was and how many more frigates UEF needed to equalize their disadvantage.

2, 3 and 4 are fine.

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@Deribus said in Balance Thread Guidelines Feedback:

The community has shown that the existing ruleset is not necessary for nor does it promote productive discussion.

I don't see how this is the case. The people who complained about the guidelines were, have, and always will be the people who the guidelines were created to target. Replacing them with some arbitrary stuff you made will just devolve into the same shit we had before the guidelines as people will sidestep such loose, undefinable bindings and then argue with you for 2 weeks when you do inevitably remove something.

The current "ruleset" is not a "ruleset".
It's a benchmark to raise the standard of posting else you are liable (keyword) to be removed. People complaining that you removed every post in the forum that didn't contain a replay is not the fault of the benchmark, but a failure of you as a moderator. You should have considered the quality of the post/evidence and locked/removed based on that. If people wanted all posts without a replay file gone, we could have made a bot script.

I don't care if you reword the current guidelines to ensure they're "guidelines" and not some "ruleset" (not much point if you keep posts up that don't follow them anyway............) but melting down the current thing into this sludge is not a good idea unless you intentionally want the balance team to fade away under the 400th two sentence Funckoff balance thread this week.

Tagada said in Balance Thread Guidelines Feedback:

Generally after introduction of the guidelines and rules for balance forum the frequency of posts drastically decreased but we mostly lost all the shit posting ideas where the OP spent 3 minutes thinking about the problem and just saying X is bad Fix it,

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Far as I’m concerned, players should still be held to a more stringent OP expectation as outlined in the original guidelines. If a balance team member posts something and asks for thoughts to poll the community opinion, that’s totally fine. That’s part of their job and the point of the subforum first and foremost is to let them get the feedback they need.

On that note, did you ask any balance team members about changing the rules here? Ultimately should be them deciding what’s allowed and what isn’t since they should be reviewing it.

Like we have this ML thread with no evidence of anything, not even a sandbox of bricks against an ML or anything else. There was literally that gigantic moses thread about t4 being OP that ALREADY included replays of people sandboxing ML against t3 but the dudes there couldn’t even be bothered to look ON THE FORUMS about the topic.

Maybe it’s because the replays show the ML is basically equivalent to mass-equal quantities of t3 siege bots? Who knows.

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@FtXCommando said in Balance Thread Guidelines Feedback:

There was literally that gigantic moses thread about t4 being OP that ALREADY included replays of people sandboxing ML against t3 but the dudes there couldn’t even be bothered to look ON THE FORUMS about the topic.

Where? I never saw any replays in that thread. And the ML thread is about a very specific issue with a single t4's current balance, not so much a philosophical diatribe on the proper balance of t3 and t4 generally, compared to what it used to be and whether or not that is or the current arrangement is optimal...

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The thread went through all the t4s and the only t4 that could do well against mass equivalent t3 was ML due to the fact it can kite quite well to minimize the amount of t3 units attacking it at once. Was even the only t4 that made sense to nerf after all the sandboxing, if you wanted to nerf t4s.

I sandboxed it as did Tagada.

Though maybe chicken also could do well, I wasn’t sure because my chicken micro sucks so I couldn’t check for myself.

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@FtXCommando
I still have no idea what you are talking about. It definitely cannot be the Sept. 7, 2020 post, because there is literally zero discussion of any replays, or unit testing, or specific t4s by anyone in any of the posts. And I saw nothing by moses on the old forum since his 2018 post about the scathis changes.
Contra whatever mysterious testing you are alluding to, my own tests of the ML attacking a very mildly defended area show it is in fact very terrible compared to mass equivalent t3 units and/or pd with shields, which is exactly the type of situation that whole balance post was about. No idea what "kiting" vs t3 units you are talking about since the ML's main weapon is outranged by both percies and bricks so decent defensive micro means it cannot kite them very effectively.

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“I did run a test. Unmicro'd, 10/15 bricks live.
With micro purely on the ML, I managed to kill all the bricks with a 500 hp ML left. This was because 6-8 of the bricks were walking out of range and stopped shooting.”

“Got a replay. I'm microing the Monkeylords, Tagada is microing bricks.
Might look confusing because Tagada asked that I micro his units and he micro mine. Check the discussion in the replay for details.
4 decent tests.
15 bricks versus Monkeylord -> Monkeylord wins.
20 bricks versus Monkeylord -> Bricks win with significant brick numbers left over.
16 bricks versus Monkeylord -> Monkeylord wins
On a narrow passage with little range of motion for the monkeylord vs 15 bricks -> Bricks win with something like 10 bricks remaining (check replay to be sure)
Replay ID: #13085973
I feel the test supports my position, as I'm a crap player and Tagada is... well Tagada.
Thank you Tagada for agreeing to help me test.”

There was also another dude that generally found 14 bricks (or just slightly less mass than an ML) to be around the point where an ML starts getting overtaken

This was the only t4 that was remotely able to compete with equivalent mass investments in t3 units, so I don’t understand why anyone would argue to buff it.

Micro absolutely does matter as the bricks all need to coalesce and all be shooting to take advantage of their dps, the ML is both stealthed and has decent range so it can curve and cause pathfinding issues for large t3 unit globs which cause them to be less efficient than a spreadsheet would expect.

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@FtXCommando
Would it be possible for you to provide a link or some more direction on where this post was, so nothing already discussed is rehashed?

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lol finally, thank you. now i know "points of imbalance" by ARRAN was the "moses" t4 thread.

"Don't even know why you bring up ML, it's like the easiest T4 in the world to absolutely throttle mass efficiently. Hell, get an ACU w/ gun+respective hp upgrade in a t2 transport and like 6 t3 assault bots or 6 snipers and you raped it." - FtXCoMmAnDo
I rest my case.

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Yeah, it has mass efficient counters. It is also really good at what it's intended to do. If you send it at 2 ACUs or a rambo ACU with decent backup you deserve what you get. Send it against something protected with about comparable mass to what it is and it does great. It's almost like it is neither UP or OP and is in a pretty decent spot as it is.

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@Deribus The current guidelines are fine. You don't need an exposition to meet them. Essays are purely optional.

  1. Some ethos: 2-4 sentences. <= 5 min to write.
  2. Identify problem: short paragraph. 5-10 min to write.
  3. Showcase problem: sandbox game. 1 replay link. 10-15 min to make.
  4. Find/justify solution: 2-4 sentences. 5 min to think, another 5 to write.

Total time maximum for a short topic is about 40 min, for about 2-3 paragraphs.
Any worthwhile issue, decently illustrated, should take about that amount of time and effort.

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Do you guys honestly think that the previous rule set is fine?wtf
that community is insanely small and all you do is just cut down the very least activity people are trying to offer as well as just wasting their time with unnecessary garbage like "oh no,provide the replay id,i am blind and i can't see the in-game problem".
you guys are just "living" in forums,without the realisation of the actual in-game experience of how bad and useless some untis are,those problems are knows for years,yet you are asking for replay id's.
take the example of t1 subs or t2 subs that are complete garbage in any situations,i don't think i need to state a "replay id" for this problem,or the asf's problem where you can OBVIOUSLY tell that cybran are just op due to their stealth and extreme ability to adapt.
I really don't want to jump to other rule sets that being completely ignored and the existence of 80% of them being broken.
Come on,people are not dumb,they can make their own points and it takes 5-10 minutes to read and give an explanation to what's good or bad or either provide an idea.
NONE is gonna ever go through all of the rules for a sub-forum category especially when the change that is needed to be done is just a must at that point,as to me,all of the "oh no,you didn't follow 1 of the 99 existing rules so i am not taking in consideration your post" is a complete lie for not spending your time and as mod i can tell you the extreme time i had to invest into dealing with bullshit,yet mot of "core" problems were obvious even when it didn't come to "oh no,you didn't mark the replay time so i am not gonna watch the 7minutes replay".
The ruleset from above is simple just for that very reason,to make the average player willing to even read the forum and provide his own feedback upon the problem he is facing and the moment the problem gets debated and analysed by other players,the balance team can go through it as well and judge if it's an ok action or not.
stop being too "official" in a community of 200 active players if you're really going to invest your time and power into it or just don't make problems out of nothing.
P.S. yeak ik it's gonna be remarked as "mister mod,stop being an aggressive animal and keep your status up,cause YoU aRe A moD" and no,not gonna since you're making it to complicate for someone who is willing to truly help,keep in mind that you don't have to like my opinion but that's what i am thinking about.

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