As you might have noticed I was quite active in the balancing forums in the last couple of months as this was the only way for me to stay in touch with the game as I was traveling.
Many meaningful points were raised in the last couple on months, I don't want to go into detail. When looking at the most recent balance patch I am, quite frankly, a bit puzzled. As someone who thinks quite a bit about the game, and who really has an open mind when it comes to changes as long as they can be explained, I still believe that the balancing team has not really done a good job.
Here is my criticism:
of all the potential issues on the plate, I feel like in terms of prioritisation the changes are not important. Take the mex changes: it's a needless change, without any meaningful justification (tradeoff between reclaim and mex assist better? Are you kidding me? That sounds like complete bullshit and only increases eco gameplay because it effectively becomes cheaper to eco than before, which is definitely not what the eco heavy meta needs)
the shard change comes extremely late. Every since I play faf (3-4 years) the shard is absolutely useless, and it apparently took 3-4 years and longer ( I assume it has always been useless) to make a change here.
changes like the bomber change, the lab change, the mex changes, come totally out of the blue without any sort of public debate. I don't say that people like funkoff should have any say in balance changes, but at least present it to the public and have a debate about the changes, and don't just present the community with facts. And in my books faf beta is not a debate. It should be a forum debate, or another form of engagement with the community. Especially when it comes to choosing priorities for future balance patches
sometimes the balance forum comes up with legitimate points of imbalance or improvement opportunities for the game, and currently except for the occasional condescending statement I see no engagement by the balance team with these issues. It almost seems to me as if for a lack of counterargument some issues are just left on the table, mix in a little bit of favouritism and pride. This has to change, a well formulated balance suggestions with well formulated support by top players stands as an open issue, and the balance team should have the responsibility to engage with it. Otherwise we might as well close the balance forums. Surely a lot of complete bullshit is raised here by people who just don't know any better, but at the same time many very good points are raised, and it is the duty of the balance team to weed out and isolate the good ideas.
It's even a source for inspiration, let the community do the work of identifying improvement opportunities for you, and just pick them up and work from there. The way this is handled currently seems like a waste of resources, and it's even disrespectful to the community members who try to help and improve the game.
Anyway, this is not intended to be a rant, but rather it is a request to the balance team to take the forum more seriously, and engage with the attitude of a councillor or a person of responsibility with the information presented here. At the end of the day it's going to make the balancing process more transparent, more resourceful and will feel more rewarding for community members who care.
Maybe sandbox streams of the balancing team once every fortnight could be a nice idea, but anything really to involve the cloud.
I think map gen in ladder pool is great and I'm sure it would greatly increase ladder acitivity much like TMM brought back people to the game.
I think its something fresh and new and thats what video games need to stay alive.
Therefore I recommend easing your usual selection criteria for ladder pool in favour of map gen. Try it out, you wont be dissappointed. And if its shit and people complain: ooohh kkaaaayy remove it the next cycle.
It's not that you can find a random quote by ftx to make him look bad. The problem is that 10 per cent of what he writes can serve as such quote. From the top of my head I can quote him at least 10 times. Ftx does not have the attitude of a councillor, that's why he was originally excluded from running for the position. Being in the position has proved the council's concerns true: during his tenure he kept displaying arrogance and toxicity towards players while trying to make friends with top players or people with decision making powers. And this even got worse as he felt more secure in his position. Call it what you want, but I call it unfit for the job..
Ftx is always online and well connected to some top players: great he can help faf elsewhere, he does not need to be the voice of the player base and representing all of fafs players and interests. Because as it is currently that sounds like a joke to me.
Behaviour needs to have consequences. Feather has been banned for it, I have been banned for it, we both have changed our behaviour. Now it's time for ftx to be taught a lesson and to make some adjustments.
Some Sort of Ethos
I dont need to be a 2k ladder god to be the bennis
Identify a Problem
In teamgames T3 mex is the winning play, most of the time. Setons meta, dual gap meta (the most played maps) degrode into T3 mex simulator. Canis, Wonders, all these maps are T3 mex simulator. Even in 2v2, after initial skirmishes, gameplay degrades into T3 mex and try to get somewhat useful ways to spend mass style.
RAS COM is just another symptom of the problem: you can get away with T3 mex gameplay because it pays back too fast and unit speed is too slow for the aggressor to be able to convert his early investment into substancial damage before defendant has enough BP and mass accumulated to formulate an effective defence.
This is further amplified by reclaim values being very high at 83% which makes it even harder to aggress.
This also devalidates T2 stage in teamgames entirely. In 1v1 this is less of a problem as most fighting occurs in T1 and T2 stage, but a T3 mex nerf wouldnt hurt 1v1 either as it will just extend T2 stage further which is probably a nice thing.
Its a problem because it limits the meta. Problem should be evident and doesnt need showcasing.
Find a Solution
*priority Make Eco options past T2 mex with storages more expensive. Increase T3 mex cost by 25%. Increase Ras cost, sacu ras cost and fab cost by 25%.
Decrease reclaim values to a flat 50%, everywhere (water air land )
Justify the Solution
Obviously, if T3 mex is more expensive it increases the duration of the window for the aggressor to deal damage. It also adds a small challenge for the T3-mexist to defend his precious mex against units, he cant just rely on travel time of units to be too high to be any threat. Thats why air is so strong: the mass investment immidiately pays off as units dont need to walk across the map. unit travel time is airs benefit, not its balance of strenght relative to AA options. (nvm T3 MAA is still mostly useless)
I think the recent bomber and lab changes have highlighted what faf needs: more options that reward aggressive gameplay. These changes have been a welcoming touch to 1v1. But for anything with more players this doesnt cut it. Mass enters the game too fast, and the reason is the many efficiently teched up mass extractors that pay off too quickly. One eco noob with T3 mex can wipe a wonders with fast T3 mex rush + GC, Chicken, Megalith when the rest of the players go full out aggression and naturally dont eco. Because all he needs to do is survive for 10 minutes.
What I noticed was very powerful was to pet new players, take them under your wing, personally approach them. If you throw them into the cold water with lobbies such as "500+ NO GREYS" where a new player who managed to win his first two games get called out as a smurf by garytheubernoob and his cronies can be very disheartening.
It might sound rediculous - but I think there are enough people up for the job - a sort of mentoring program could be a powerful tool to retain people. If you are new, then you should be approached by a mentor who gives guidance, explains rating system, how to find good games, basic game mechanics etc. I did that to a few people and some of them still stick around. Maybe add an add to the opening page of the client: "YOU ARE NEW: GET HELP HERE" and then a list of people to approach. Maybe put new players in a special IRC channel #new players where mentors sit and ask questions. I know that from games like eve online. I think approaching people personally is the best way to get someone involved, to feel acknowledged and it takes away the frustrations from not knowing anything in the beginning.
I think fafs biggest asset is the dedicated community members it has, people willing to put in work and explain stuff - connecting these ressouces to new players is a task that im sure will boost new player retention.
For once I have to agree with thau. Math in its simplest form has finally defeated psions.
Replay: I don’t have one because the ML is useless and nobody makes it anymore.
Now why do I think it’s underpowered:
I think the role the ML fits with his relatively low hp and high dps is the role of a surprise glass cannon cheese weapon. You build it fast and hope it’s unscouted, use it’s stealth field to creep up and then kill acu, or a base or something critical.
ML strategies are most of the time all-in, because getting t3 acu, T3 Power (to be able to spend mass quick enough for the ml to matter) and then the mass for ML (before T3 MeX, because this is the time frame where the map isn’t littered with t3 units, bp concentrations that can spam pd or air build power that can make gunships, corsairs or even t1 bombers that can easily counter the ml and reduce it to a nice mass donation. If you give up t3 MeX or units or air in favor of a ML that’s so easily countered you are almost always behind, the ML just isn’t worth it, doesn’t really have a nieche anymore.
Now why do I think the ML has become worse?
The build power nerf totally killed it. Before you could make a ML with t3 acu only in a reasonable amount of time, which not only saved mass, but also made it harder to scout a ML in the making, because acu could make it underwater. Engi clusters are more easily scouted by radar, it’s just much harder to make a sneaky ml because of a combination of the need for more engis (mostly t1 engis because this is the bp you got in the relevant timing window of the ml) and the increased time it takes to make it.
Now I could go on how the game matured and cheese options are harder to get away with because people know how to deal with it better, scout more and know how to make hives that that straight up reclaim and approaching ML, but that’s Another discussion.
I would propose to reduce the build power required to make a ML back to the old levels, or maybe at least reduce it by 33% to see if it gives some strength back to the ML as a surprise mechanism that has an actual timing window on team game maps like Canis, setons, wonders etc.
The arguments for the experimental bt nerf were to make them less of a late game mass sink: I think people will not start spamming MLs now, because of their relative inefficiency in terms of hp per mass, and if they do: great, sounds like fun games.
Come on he wrote such a big post show some respect to the Democratic movement
Biass the snake supporting his fellow reptile ftx. Texbook cronism.
Could you please substantiate your argument? Frankly right now your posts look like nothing more than shitposts. I completely disagree that mex price is a fundamental pillar with complex interactions thats shifts it all. It literally only affects timing of aggression vs defence. All units stay the same. I think my analysis is fairly complete. TA lore isnt a reason to leave mex income and prices untouched. At the end of the day we need to ask ourselves why faf has become slow and static and wether we want that. Making eco a worse option makes units better. And i think faf should be about making units and using them right and not about making mexes and firebases.
How many games people where surprised in teamgames in the following way:
"Oh no my opponent made units. I might have a problem"
You would understand.
Ftx stop smoking truck tires. You type way to much and say way to little. Global rating is a system that works. You are creating a problem that doesn't exist, I would say most people are happy with global rating. And the alternatives you offer sound half baked and are even more speculative than your characterisation of the problem. Can we maybe focus on getting one queue to work (tmm) instead of trying to implement 2 more queues? Clearly there is a problem with the queue system.
Resetting tmm rating hasn't exactly helped much has it.
It's called unintented laff like most of this thread
Not a problem, g@p can be included as well. Even if they call it gaijyp or shayit
No you can just write a function that adds up the statistics of every map with the words astro and crater into a single number. Likewise with dual and gap. It not going to be perfect, but it's going to be good enough.
Like it's just additional info for a nice overview about a player. It's not going to change much. It's better to have that than not to having it. Arma can probably do it in a weekend.
Removing global rating is just pure insanity. As Excelsior said: rating is a main driver why people play. It's like an entire ladder system and competitive logic condensed in a single number. It's the reason why people care about the outcome of a game. It's like the money at stake in poker. It's like the oxygen in every breath we take.
Excelsior mentioned a few completely logical and vital elements to rating as well: how to balance lobbies? Will optimal balance still work as intended?
There have been numerous suggestions how to fix some the flaws in global rating:
Have a map specific rating, have a win rate per map stat displayed, have a number of times a map is played stat etc etc etc.
When I brainstorm right now I can even imagine something like a "view player info" tab in the lobby that when you right click on a players name opens a little stat window with circle charts of most played maps (percent of astro, Seton's, gap) and or a list of the top 10 maps with specific win percentages to better make it able to understand a players skill, or for example a map specific global rating. I'm sure this can be computed with the data of astro, gap and Seton's and a number for all the other maps.
If I was pc I would tinker with that, I love that because I'm good at it. I've worked with quantitative analysis and have some data base coding skills.
However what ftx proposes is insane and will hurt faf, so please act like smart people and don't do it. Thanks.
See I have done a great deal of things for faf: I have hosted at least 1000 lobbies, I have streamed a total of 1000 hours and invested a few hundred of dollers in tourney funds and streaming donations and subscriptions and I have coached people and tried to be helpful wherever I can and so on.
Yet on the other hand noone would ever consider me for the pc role, because I can be or quite frankly am sometimes a brat.
See how much perspective I have on things and using all my perspective I have to say that ftx is an ever bigger brat than I ever was and ever could be and that even by a magnitude.
Merit is one thing. Ftx has overstepped boundaries for too long and has helped creating and sustaining a toxic culture of extreme edginess that festers in our little community and he has pissed of way to many people in the process.
All the good things aside, I never questioned any of them, yes he is a huge asset to the community and man: thanks ftx for all the hard work!! I love faf too!!
But for the same reasons Francias, Suzuji and I are not worthy of being a councillor, for these reasons and even more so for these reasons ftx is not worthy of being a faf councillor.
If he behaves well and shows that the countless criticisms in his behaviour that have been raised inside and outside of this thread have had an effect on him, and that he takes peoples well formulated concern in his ways serious : sure he can be pc again.
But currently he is showing people the middle finger, never admits to any misconduct and for that alone he should not be pc.
So stop listing his achievements, or his ideas, we are all well aware of them. It's time for ftx to to show some remorse and good will and then we can see.
I think it's kinda useful but then again it's just another word for avatar and or discord role?
Morax Just root for the penguin and then the two of you split pc roles. You both have good ideas and should work together and not fight and divide. Togetherness is what we need, don't let ftx divide and conquer. This thread leads nowhere.
That feature is not supported by my setup
I run the Intel 11950xt founders edition game.pref mod at 75 score