Some points I would like to add to the post:
If we can rebalance the entirety of the T3 land stage, I don't see how it would be a problem to look at t3 mex's cost. Arguing that its too big a change and needs years of testing seems pointless considering the scope of balance changes we have done over the years. IIRC T2 land HQ is like 50% more cost then 2012, T3 land HQ is also significantly more expensive, T3 land units are much weaker (except for the campy sniperbots!), T4's have been changed as well with greater buildtime cost. T3 mex has stayed the same. Perhaps its possible that by systematically nerfing land across the board for years, this is making mex is stronger in relation?? Anyone?? Also, Mex adjacency on factories has been buffed since then as well. Another reason to eco.
Level of gameplay has improved significantly. Generally speaking, we can eco smarter and harder, and take advantage of mistakes more. Everyone has dozens of engis roaming the map for reclaim. The most effective use of reclaim after a battle is to dump it right into mex upgrades, then scale production/eco appropriately. Pushing into a base is hard because engis can spam walled PD instantly, then reclaim the carnage for more eco. I had a game the other day where I had to pull back 15 loyalists and 30 medusa from raiding a bunch of t2/t3 mex because there were enough engis there to spam T1 PD forcing away loyalists. That sickens me. 2500 Hp on a t3 unit designed to raid can not raid because of instantly spammed PD.
The ratio of cost per benefit of the t2 mex upgrade -> storages -> T3 mex is nearly the same, the only difference is how much you need to invest before payout. On a lot of wide open 1v1/2v2 maps its often a smarter move to force a t3 mex in your base then to keep upgrading t1 mex to t2 if it is outside of your base where it can be raided. I do not think that this should be the case that a wrapped t2 -> t3 mex is nearly as cost efficient as t1 -> t2 or t2 -> storages.
My opinion to the main argument brought up by Bennis is that reclaim values should be scaled down, and t3 mex cost increased. Both by a small margin, say, reclaim down 15-20% and t3 mex up by 10-15%. Start from there. See what happens.
edit - I also like everything tagada said above. Very good points.
second edit - Upon giving this some more thought, since FAF released, we have made significant changes to the following: T3 Land, T3 Air, T4's, RAS, T2 Land, Adjacency, Overcharge, Vet, SCU's, and are trying to make changes to SCU-RAS. There is really nothing else left to change at the T3 stage besides T3 mex. I think this is all the more reason that T3 mex should be reviewed due to how much the game has changed, and what the game might need currently to bring it to a better state.
Not sure if previously stated, I just think the problem is this:
A standard t1 army comp almost always has a few t1 arty in it. This is because t1 arty is good at both PD killing and as a combat unit. This means you almost always have t1 mobile arty available to kill PD that spring up. Its cheap and it works, and it helps to kill army units as well.
A standard t2 army comp usually does NOT include MML, as they are terrible combat units outside if niche situations. 99/100 times, you would rather have a few more t2 tanks to bolster up your forces. This means that once you see a firebase, you need to pause land facility, build 2-5 MML's, haul their ass too the front line, kill the PD, and then advance. By then, whatever reason the enemy built those T2 PD for already fulfilled their task (cover for an upgrade, secure reclaim field, buy time for t3 land). Now you are left with a dead firebase that already fulfilled its purpose, while you have a few MML's that will now do fuck all for your army.
I to fix your problem, I see two solutions: Make MML more of a combat unit (splash increase?) to have it be a standard part of a t2 army. This way you can counter t2 PD quicker/more effectively. Problem is this would wreck havoc with the meta and cause a few problems. Not sure if we want the game to go this way.
Make the missile damage significantly higher. This will mean you could kill t1/t2 PD much faster, with less units. Having a single MML in your army might be useful as a utility piece. Or rushing a pair of MML's out in a transport could actually break a firebase fairly quickly. Also this way, its interaction with TMD will remain unchanged.
Food for thought.
I just want to sign up already so that I can sign out that much sooner
People sometimes forget to consider in their paper napkin calculations for mass cost/mass generated benefit, that this is a unit that can also build shit, and in a pinch, fight. IMO that's part of the reason it works AND its difficult to punish if implemented well. You are scaling eco and buildpower at the same time, and have a unit that can be upgraded in a pinch to serve as a fairly mass efficient combat unit. So in reality, it pays for itself WAY sooner then you think it does, if you also factor in the ~2k mass of combat unit, 800 mass of build power, just out of the gate.
That and its stupid convenient to spam on repeat.
I think I remember a few years back Icy made a mass fab/gateway template and the mass cost for a RAS SCU can be stupid low if you pack enough mass fab/mex adjacency on it. Problem is spamming multiple gateways and producing unassisted. Takes too long to pay for itself, but was cool in concept.
I just want to go and say that as soon as I read aeon SCU's will be getting a chrono effect I felt my heart skip a beat. Plz plz plz reconsider. Its not a fun gameplay mechanic whatsoever, and its really strong.
I can write up a giant post separately if it needs to meet forum guidelines, but in the meantime I want to offer another viewpoint.
I think we are going about this the wrong way. I do not think the answer to sniperbots being oppressive due to their damage and kiting is to make another unit that can counter them with damage, splash damage, and kiting. I think we are going backwards, and this will lead to more problems. Even more so if you have stealth trebuchet armies firing on the move. shudder
I think the root problem is the overtuned strength of mobile shields, absolvers, sniperbots, and a gun ACU with absurd range OC's and chrono/sheild. Fix this problem and the sniperbots will be much easier to deal with. Sniperbots really only work well with good support, and aeon has the best support options in the game to allow the sniperbot abuse.
@arma473 Oh, cool! Thanks for letting me know. I know little about the mechanics behind this game, just how to build units and attack with them. Was just trying to think through my initial ideas is all. Long story short I just want less mass to be left over after a battle. I was thinking if units destroyed by weapons fire might take proportionately more damage then before, and leave a wreck worth less $. Not so much that wrecks were more fragile.
@Deribus That is a good point too, I was only thinking about initial overkill from units like percies.
I favor (through whatever means necessary to implement), a slight reduction on mass gathered through reclaim, as I am a fan of aggressive gameplay and would like to see mass donations not be game ending and/or not having the giant reclaim fights where you are stuck fighting all or nothing over a reclaim field. As much as I want to say gut it hard, I'll instead just say a 'small' adjustment of 5-10% be tested.
Reducing wreck HP sounds interesting, as destroyed units would lose more $ based on overkill. Giant fights in reclaim fields would do more damage to surrounding wrecks. Higher tier units have more damage, and thus, more overkill potential. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but if tuned too heavily, it might get annoying seeing percies leave no wrecks due to 1600, 1450, (whatever the value is at these days) alpha strike damage, opposed to a bricks measly 150. Also if there is a way to make ACU Overcharge not leave perfect wrecks behind, that would be good. But idk how to do that without breaking OC's energy draw values...
Or just not have fullshare...
edit to actually be constructive and provide argument
IMO having fullshare promotes more turtle/eco style gameplay. You can eco harder and if you lose your ACU, your partner still inherits all your eco. Most of the time your deathnuke kills the enemy army, your team comes out ahead. Granted, then 1 person has to do twice the work, but having 2x eco does have tremendous advantages.
No fullshare doesn't always mean a death sentence, as reclaiming and rebuilding teammates base is still strong. And to those who say "but you are at a huge disadvantage, and its harder to win", well, your teammate just got killed. That's kind of the point of the game, not to lose ACU. There should be consequences.
That, and always having an opportunity to mount a comeback via a desperate ACU snipe is one of the best parts of this game. Its practically non-existent if sniping ACU just means their teammate auto-inherits wealth.