I have tried myself quite a bit on mathecatically describing balance. I am currently at the stage: Complex system even just for direct fire units you will only get to a precision of 10% of the balance mass cost at best. There are so many unit stats that change the strenght of a unit. Easiest to start is with effecitve DPS, HP and Masscost. But then you have a lot more stats like energy cost, movementspeed, range!!, firecycle (regarding alpha damage and overkill, which also quite depends on the army composotion you are facing.), turret turn speed, hitbox size, acceleration. And I am sure there are at least twice more stats than I have named here that effect balance. So a theoretical approach via those unit stats becomes very hard to do. It can be usefull when you have to first set a baseline for balance for a mod etc. I did help Dragun with his SCTA mod a bit with this and an efficiency calculation based on lanchesters laws. But that is only a base line after that you can only improve balance via playtesting.
I am going to talk about the medusa bomber stun issue as an example. I find it quite hard to compare the stun of a medusa and the bomber. Mostly because one is an air unit and one is a land unit. So the counters to each other are quite different. Also the bombers main advantage is that it is very fast and is not restricted by terrain. So it needs to be less efficient than a medusa because it can attack way behind the front line whereas the medusa is not capable of doing so. The stun is rather a gimmick for later game use of the bomber because it is cheap and can stun high tier units. Also medusa usually gets dodged, whereas t1 bombers attacking an army usually don't get dodged.
But the biggest issue in my opinion is that you are asuming all tiers of all domains of all factions should be equally strong. That is not the case and is not desired as far as I am concerned. Quite similar balance is required because of the map diversity present in FAF. Some domains have a huge advantage over other on some maps. This results in very similar factions if you want to have interesting games between all factions on all maps. But you still have a bit of wiggle room and in my opinion it should be used. So that is the reason there isn't even an intent to make all t1 bombers equally strong (even if it was possible). They need to be comparable but I am quite certain if you made a statistial analysis of all replays and just calculate the average vet of all t1 bombers in all games it would not converge towards the same value for all bombers. And quite often you don't even have an equivalent unit in the other faction.
Balance is messy and as far as I can tell it is currently done by a couple of the top players having a discussion about their intuition of what is op and what is not. Another problem on top of that is balance is distorted on what tactic (unit composition etc.) currently is in fashion. Also ease of use has a huge impact. Most memorable example that comes to my mind is the introduction of SCAU presets.
If you are interested this is the (old) combat efficiency of selected units calculated via a partial discretization of lanchesters laws wich only takes HP, Mass and avrg DPS into account:
Just remove seraphmi, cybran and aeon from the game. All hail the uef mirror matchup. Perfect balance.
Thanks for being so committed to tracking down the issues.
There should be an advantage to not store up 20000 mass until you have your unit.
To add to @archsimcat calculations:
when you take into account what your mex is usually replacing the t3 mex suddenly becomes a lot more efficient. in the best case when you reclaim your t2 mex and have a lot of bp on building the t3 mex it has an even smaller repaytime than upgrading a t1 mex to t3. When upgrading it is still more efficient than ringing mexes.
So when someone properly enters the t3 eco stage it can be considered some kind of eco runaway. I would consider the t3 mex to have a 10% shorter repay time than capping t2 mexes in a realistic szenario where you are reclaiming your t2 mexes.
To put that into perspective: Usually a 1v1 is over when one player has a 10% total mass lead and isn't significantly behind in army size. All because of that exponential groth nature of eco scaling.
When switching to a 10% more efficient eco stage you have the 10% generated mass lead pretty quickly and the 10% total mass lead short after that.
My cunclusion is that the efficiency increase of switching to t3 eco makes the game quite unstable at the transition stage. If you aren't able to mirror your opponent in first t3 mex or deal big damage right after the transition you are screwed. The question now is if it is a bad thing to have this deciding point/phase in a game. On setons navy for instance it is meta to not invest into heavy offense before you have at least some t3 mex. I would consider that a sympton of not falling behind on the t3 eco switch.
I don't feel like I have understood the problem well enough to have an opinion on whether t3 mexes should get changed let alone what change would be good for gameplay. Maybe this theory approach helps to form a better decision.
equations behind the sheet, cause I am too lazy to explain:
I think just showing the percentage of mass going into eco and going into units would be more helpful. Since on most maps the main gameplay decision is between putting mass in to eco and spamming. But eventually you will get an intuition about how many mexes are currently upgradeing/ how much buildpower is on them.
Today I had an idea. With all the data in the replay vault you could do so many more big data shenanigans. For instance log the total mass (energy, score) acumulated at a point in time for each player. By looking at many ladder games you could first of all sort by avrg rating of the game and see how much acumulated mass at a point in time differs depending on the rating of the players. A question which also interest me is: Where is a 2k player better than a 1.5k player. I suppose the difference will rather show past the 5 min mark because most 1.5k player should be able to learn and perform a BO very similar to a 2k player. Also you should be able to see meta changes over the years on certain maps. Questions like that might be answerable with that additional data.
Now to the small hinderence of actually implementing it. If I am correct the replays would need to be re run. Also the data would need to be logged. I guess that would be done in lua game internally. But then the data would also need to be exported. Not sure if that is possible at the current stage. I suppose the replays could be analyzed in parallel (anyone got a threadripper? ^^)
I think something similar was done in that paper. Unfortunately I did not get accsess to it. Maybe someone knows who wrote it. Pretty sure the author did play quite a bit of FAF:
I just got the perfect counter example replay of it: #13347277
if desynced you can also watch me screaming in disbelief how crazy it was (Fun starts at 3:22h): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/832598185
Yes I got incredibly lucky there that my opponent misplaced his air big time. But there is a window on setons usually min 20-30 where ahwassah is incredibly strong.
After meming about the new balance patch on discord yesterday I learned about Balthazars mod that creates a random balance each game by changing the costs of units within a certain threshhold. I want to "develop" this concept a bit further. Lets imagine a mod that changes balance in a way that the game is still balanced but differently and has near infinite ways of doing so. So for each balance different meta is viable.
An Idea of achieving this would be if you had a decent mathematical description of the efectiveness of a unit. Basically a function that takes all unitstats you can think of and outputs a score. That function should roughly output the same score for every unit for the current balance. So you could start changing some of the stats of one unit and adjust the other stats of the unit accordingly to match the score requirement. Depending of the complexity the optimization would likely have to be done numerically.
Now we come to the most difficult, possibly impossible part: How to develop such a function. The classic approach would be to make assumptions on how a unit stat should influence the score. For instance the score should be monothon in regards to most unitstats because for most (dps, hp, range, speed...) more means better. The issue here is that the different stats are influencing each other. For instance when unit turn speed<turret turn speed, micro becomes a lot more demanding. This means the function will not be a trivial sum of simple only single unit stat dependent subfunction with a few constants. The problem is there is a limit of how many constants can be introduced to the function because the plan would be to get the value of those constants by fitting the function to the current database. Under the assumption that the current balance is balanced. You cannot have more constants than datapoints (in this case units in the database). This issue is refered to as overfitting and it makes the function unsuitable for even interpolation.
Another approach to finding such a balance function would be to train a neural network that takes all the unitstats as input and outputs a score. The neural network would be trained on the current database with the score just being a constant for each unit. Biggest hurdle is again that the training dataset aka the databaase is very small.
In summary it is very unlikely that a balancing function could even get close to the balance quality currently present in FAF. But a balance only needs to better than the players playing it. What I mean by that is if players don't know how to abuse the balance it is not imablanced. So by just switching the balance faster than players can get "good" at it means it is balanced. The competitive aspect of this game mode would not being good at the game itself but rather being good at understanding balance and abusing it. Which can be quite ejoyable as I experienced with se7ven in the SCTA tournament where we won a lot of games due to superior knowledge of the weaknesses of the balance at that time. Looking at you engineering drones and windgenerators.
Fck faction diversity, fck map diversity this game mode has balance diversity. Biggest IQ game mode you can imagine (Kappa).
Static flak is also quite effective against strat bombers. Against t2 bombers t1 mobile aa might actually be more mass efficient than t2 mobile flak. Also gunships can dodge a lot of the t2 mobile flak damage if microed a bit.
pretty sure asf are quite a bit more mass efficient than if you account for the hp discretization advantage. They are pretty much on par with inties when you look at hp*dps/mass².
one nice thing about swifties is that they are quite cheap in power. About the level of inties if you look at combat strength.
@Arran for those efficiency calculations maybe you want to read this:
Unfortunately I did never finish it and it isn't a nice read and I still have an error in with the variables from point 2.5 on. Which is probably for you the more interesting equation because it takes the advantage a unit has due to its higher overall strength into account. Also I am quite sure these calculations have been done before but I didn't read anything up so therefore no references.
But as stated it is not really possible to count smth imba just because of doing some calculations with stats if gameplay testing claimes it is balanced.
These balance calculations only help with getting a good initial base line for balance and isn't really good enough for finding errors within.
It is comparable with walking into the engine developement section of mercedes benz and start talking about the ideal gas equation.
Would be nice if that could happen asap. I am running dry
sign me up
I am quite sure you have the famous FA soundbug. Usually restarting the pc helps. But sometimes even that doesn't help. Try to disable your Motherboard soundchip in the bios, start into windows, run FA and then restart again do enable the soundchip again. That fixed it for me a couple of times. Also make sure your sounddevice is running in stereo and not 5.1 or 7.1.
sign me up pls.
I like armas approach. Also I think jips rainmaker survival is already a great look at what tutorials missions for ladder could look like. Also I think the league system offers a great opportunity for rewarting people who finished their tutorial missions. They could just receive a certain rank level for completing them. And probably will also be able to play at that level when they finished the missions.
My low efford suggestion to making good tutorial missions would be to remove pd and stationary aa from coop missions. Not sure if that will help with player retention. But definetly better ladder newbies.
Then again how much is eco whoring related to cheap t3 mexes and how much is it realted to map design? I see dualgap getting 12 base mexes when t3 mexes are nerfed.
But on the other hand t3 mexes + cap are more efficient than capping t2 mexes. Probably close to t2 mexes in efficiency. Only thing that limits you from making them immidiatly is the huge upfront cost.
Combine the short repay time of t3 mex and the slow travel time of t3 units/ experimentals you get that strong defenders advantage and therefore eco whoring.
@Fearghal said in Rainbow Cup III ~ 3 v 3 ~ $1.2K:
It is common mod for multiplayer games.
It is common mod for multiplayer games.
I suppose you refer to cancer games. I know signups are closed but I am up to sub as well (probably subbing for a sub then).
harzer99; Global 1661; Ladder 1630
I think 1k ladder is about as high as you can get with good turtling. To win as a turtle it requires you to be fed a lot by your opponent. And around 1k ladder people stop attacking every t2 pd they see. (it is like a lamp to the lowerrated mosquitos). Don't feed the tutles! the turtles must starve!