I mainly play Aeon and build spreadsheets to analyse the fairness across units/factions. My opinions are only that, opinions, yet I shall when relevant or possible attempt to corroborate them with facts or figures. Now for my thoughts about your post @FunkOff . By the way, thank you for numbering your points.
- Aurora dying to air is a weakness but their counteracting strength is their hover. This principle also holds true for Zthuee's as they hover and die to bombers in one shot. In regards to the Aurora speed, being slow is necessary otherwise (assuming perfect micro and unit control) the Aurora will kill all T1 + ACU without ever taking damage. I said all T1 full knowing T1 mobile artillery outranges the Aurora. Typically by microing forwards and backwards at the edge of the T1 mobile artillery range you can avoid their shots. I however understand as players performing that level of micro is hard and we often lose many Aurora to a few T1 mobile artillery. Each T1 mobile artillery has at minimum 45 damage per shot (Zthuee). Zthuee fires 5 shots. 3 hits will reduce Aurora to 135 hp. 4 shots will kill the Aurora with 40 overkill. Increasing Aurora HP by 15 will not solve the "problem". Medusa does 200 damage per shot. Aurora HP would need to be >200 to survive. I am mostly sure this level of HP increase is imbalanced.
- Fervor is great at killing point defence or other structures and terrible against units. This is by design. Aeon are the best at doing one job, but try and make their units do anything other than that one job and they become the worst. Fervor has 22.4 more damage per second than the next most damaging T1 mobile artillery and this reflects the Aeon design philosophy nicely.
- The Beacon frigate. I'm still analysing that unit so I'll forgo commenting on it except to say it has a very complex role in the Aeon navy as it is distinctly different from the other faction's frigates.
- The shard. Currently has 45 muzzle velocity, the same as the Thistle and 15 greater than frigate anti air. Thinking simply, the shard is an overpriced water travelling Thistle that moves quicker. Both the Thistle and Shard are inferior (vastly) to air interceptors. If required I can post statistical proof later. If you want air cover, build interceptors as the other T1 alternatives can't compete. However if you are desperate you can build ground or naval anti air. Next is where it gets complicated. Assuming you are still reading at this point you may notice several things. Down the bottom is an example naval fleet consisting of 5 Beacon Class frigates, 2 Shards and 6 Thunderhead class frigates. The Aeon fleet is almost equal to the UEF fleet but has 1870 less HP but 5 anti-torpedo launchers. Is this balanced? Is having one less frigate worth 5 anti-torpedoes? You decide. Is the Shard balanced as part of navy? Yes. Is it useful? No. Should it hit more often? Yes because there are less of them compared to frigates and quality is required to counteract quantity.
- Shimmer stun time is a point of potential imbalance. I shall now point out a myriad of different factors to consider when deciding if the Shimmer is indeed imbalanced. Shimmer stuns for 2 seconds. Medusa stuns for 3.5 seconds. These values were measured in-game not taken from the unit database. With stun duration, we have to factor in stun frequency and stun area. Medusa has 2 radius while Shimmer has 4. Medusa hits target every 6 seconds while Shimmer without micro (meaning without hover bomb) hits every 10 seconds. The Shimmer in the unit data has a fire cycle of 5 seconds but a flight path of 10 seconds, resulting in a 10 second fire cycle. Compounding this data the Medusa stuns for 1.75x longer, fires 1.67x faster and hits 0.25x more area (<-simple geometry). Assuming simple multiplication can deduce effectiveness, the Medusa is 0.73x more effective than the Shimmer at stunning if units can't die. But units die, thus reducing their effectiveness. HP per mass the Medusa is 2x more efficient, has 0.683x more HP and T1 interceptors deal 1.8x the damage of T1 tanks for 0.935x the mass cost on average. Additionally the Medusa costs 0.34x more mass and 0.0735x more energy. To calculate an adjusted effectiveness rating the standard effectiveness should be multiplied by survivability (HP ratio) and divided by cost (using mass ratio for simplicity's sake). This yields the formula: 1.75 x 1.67 x 0.25 x 0.683 / 0.34 = 1.467. At this point I expect the reader is drowning in values and simple calculations if they are still reading at all! To summarise, the Medusa is 1.467 times stronger at stunning stuff than the Shimmer. Perhaps the balance team could consider increasing the 2 second Shimmer stun too 2 x 1.467. Or 2.5 seconds!
- Transports are a factional thing that are designed to give the faction uniqueness and compensate for general imbalance due to factional gimmicks.
- The Aeon T3 bomber is imbalanced (weak). Here are the facts explaining why. Currently the ratio between damage and payload radius is: Damage = 4500-(Radius*250). I shall assume this ratio has been tested to be “balanced”. Each T3 bomber follows this rule except Aeon, why? Subsequent question. Why are the AA ‘goodies’ on the UEF T3 bomber stronger than the Cybran T3 bomber? If the answer is because Cybran has stealth, why don’t Aeon or Seraphim have AA? What ‘buff’ counteracts this imbalance? Next topic. Each T3 bomber has a different set of stats which makes them more or less suited to fulfilling a particular role. First a table indicating the relationship between Mass Extractors and T3 bombers. Next the radius for each bomber. Cybran=7, UEF=6, Seraphim=5, Aeon=4. The Aeon bomber is just as good at killing Mass Extractors as the Seraphim Bomber yet has 1 less radius. Imbalance. You may say “the Aeon bomber has more damage to compensate for this” and this is wrong. The Aeon bomber only has 200 not 250 extra damage over the Seraphim bomber and doesn’t follow the “balanced” ratio! Imbalance. Solution is to add 50 damage to the Aeon Bomber. Just do it.
Now onto the goodies (T3 bomber anti-air). Seraphim and Aeon don’t have goodies like UEF (their anti-air) or Cybran (anti-air + Stealth). Aeon is the closest to Cybran with only 100 more hp. Does having 100 more HP justify no anti-air or Stealth? No. People may say “but Aeon deals a whopping 700 more damage” but they also forgot that it has 3 less radius. Remember we are assuming the ratio for radius too damage is correct, so clearly the Aeon bomber is underpowered (provided the ratio is balanced). Now for Seraphim. They have 200 more HP than Cybran and 100 less than UEF and STILL don’t have anti-air! How can you justify giving the UEF T3 bomber AA and not the Seraphim bomber! UEF favouritism I see… However if the Aeon T3 bomber was to get tracking on their bomb, I would expect the bomber price to increase drastically, or the tracking to be negligible/non-existent.
- Ah, the Aeon T2 Shield Generator. I'll start by putting forth the premise that the most efficient/best shield will have the best shield density per mass ratio. To save my readers brain cells I'll just tell you what these ratios are, but you can work them out yourself. Side note: Shields are a factional distinction, just like building HP. I've also included the HP of the Shield structure into my calculations as technically it counts as damage absorption, which is the purpose of a shield. Best T2: Cybran > Aeon > UEF > Seraphim.
Best T3: Aeon > Cybran > UEF > Seraphim.
Additional side note: UEF T3 Shield Generator recharge time is faster than everything except Cybran ED1: T2 Shield Generator. Also the Seraphim have the largest+strongest shield, but least efficient.
- Galactic Colossus. A reasonable unit with a software error in it's tractor claws. The Galactic Colossus tractor arm in-game only activates once per 12ish seconds when tested (GC idle against Percival’s moving towards it). In the unit data (https://github.com/FAForever/fa/blob/develop/units/UAL0401/UAL0401_unit.bp), each of the two claws is supposed to have a fire rate of 0.15shots/second which is about 6.6 seconds per activation per claw. Why the major discrepancy between what actually happens and what is supposed to happen? Conclusion, a software error. Can this please be fixed to make the Galactic Colossus more consistent?