I recently got back into FA after years away. I remember the days of v3599 when Restorer spam ruined every game for an idea of how long ago!
Because the balance was less refined in those days there were certain things that you just never did but that I see people do often now. I want to understand if those things have all been fixed or if I'm just watching noobs make mistakes. I'm not great at understanding how stat tweaks affect the viability of units so I'm hoping the forum can give me an overview please.
Some specific questions I've got:
Fixed T1 and T2 AA was never used because it was much less value for money than mobile. I see people using static AA quite a lot now, is it viable? Can anyone help me to understand any tradeoffs?
Similar with PD. I see quite a lot of T1 PD in 1v1s. Is this because I'm still relatively low level (I'm ranked about #2000) or have they become more affordable? I feel like I find them harder to overcome than I used to but I can't tell if that's just that my skill is much lower now than it used to be.
T2 static arty: this was hardly ever worth building, but I see them quite regularly now. Have they been made more viable?
Rhino vs Wagner: it used to be that the Rhino was a waste of time and you'd pretty much always use Wagners. I see that the Wagner has been nerfed but I don't fully understand this in context.
Engineering stations: it used to be common to see fields of UEF and Cybran engineering stations. Did the engie mod/HQ patch make this unviable? Is it now player's choice what they use to boost a factory's production (instead of just using T1 engy spam or engineering stations)?
And in general, does every unit now do what you'd expect it to do for a sensible cost? Have the 'noob traps' all been removed? Are there any particular peculiarities in unit behaviour/cost or meta that I should be aware of?
Is it correct to include the total output of the upgraded mexes when calculating their time to pay off? I had assumed you had to count the T2 output as +4 because it's already at +2 before the upgrade. In that case time to payoff would be 225s which would be 12.5x the time.
Also the cost of ringing should be 800 (cost of 4x storage). That would make 266 seconds to pay off based on +3 mass.
Assuming that is the correct way to calculate it, you then get 300 seconds to pay back a +18 T3 mex.
I started back on FA in December after about six or seven years away. Took me a while to get back into the basic groove but I think I've got it mostly now.
SInce I hit 800 in 1v1 and the map pool changed, I've been getting utterly trounced. Usually if I get beaten I can see why, but on some of these games I'm really struggling to figure out what happened. To me it looks like my opponent is turtling in their base, out-ecoing me and also managing to create enough units to keep me at bay.
This is a big change from what I'm used to. This ability to sit in base and tech up seems more like SupCom1 than FA and I really don't know how to approach it.
Here are a couple of replays where in my old-FA mindset I should have won easily on just map control, but that didn't happen.
Any advice would be gratefully received.
I think that those of us who have played the game for years underestimate how skilled we are and how difficult it is to do even basic stuff.
People host "noob" games and it's for under 1000 rating. That is not noobs. That is top 8000 in the world. Could there be some way to define and enforce what a 'noob' is, and stop 600-rated players hosting games with noob in the title? Anybody who knows a semi efficient build order is not a noob.
A friend has just started playing FAF after playing LAN FA about eight years ago. He hasn't got a clue what he's doing and I woke up to a message saying he's getting discouraged because he doesn't feel like he gets the game.
Hopefully I'll be able to help him get his head round it but most new players probably don't have that level of support.
I'll report back with how things go with my friend. Perhaps his insights will be useful at finding a way to retain players.
It's always seemed a big jump from T2 to T3 mexes to me. Tripling the output makes it snowball so fast.
Could it be possible to reduce the mass output of the T3 mex and add a T4 mex that has the same output as the current T3 one?
So it would cost the same but give you +18 instead of +27, for instance?
I'd love a mod that makes players on a team all have similar colours if possible please. So Team one would be light blue, dark blue, light green, dark green, turquoise and team 2 would be red, dark red, pink, orange, yellow for instance.
I get so confused in team games and the built-in option turns the entire team the exact same colour which creates its own problems.
In case it's relevant I use this icon mod already so please only spend time on it if they would work together. https://wiki.faforever.com/index.php?title=Advanced_Strategic_Icons
@The_Mak I unplugged one of the monitors and hey presto! Works a treat! Thank you very much.
@tatsu that's really helpful, thank you very much!
One thing that comes to mind that I've really noticed with my friend is that new players are attracted to big maps and big weapons. I'm sure we all went through that phase when we started playing and it's a terrible noob trap.
Why would I make T1 tanks when I could make a Monkeylord?
To learn to play the game you need to be able to play 5k and 10k land maps. That's the fundamental building block that allows you to progress to maps that allow experimentals and battleships.
Let's think around that, how do we convince new players that they will get the most rewarding gameplay from learning how to do T1 spam? And how do we help them get to a stage where they can comfortably make ten factories and 300 Mantis?
Think of scenarios that teach a particular skill as tutorials and it makes sense. In modern games it's absolutely expected that the first few missions will be this kind of tutorial.
Then you stitch together all the skills you've learnt and suddenly you're halfway competent. Also, each step along the way gives a dopamine hit because the player can recognise that they now understand something new.
There could even be some kind of badge that shows up in lobbies so that other players know that this new player has achieved enough training goals that they will have a basic idea of what to do, which would mitigate being kicked for zero games.
Brilliant suggestions @arma473
I'd be happy to help with training, how do I volunteer?
I'm working on a 5 minute build order for Archsimkat's Valley for my friend. It's nothing fancy but it would be useful for any new player I think so I can use that as a basis for training people.
Bit of a leftfield thought maybe, but Russians. Specifically, what is it about the game that makes it so popular with Russians? If we can figure out what it is about the Russian mindset that makes the game particularly appealing, maybe we can use that as a selling point, kind of reframing what a player can expect to get from the game.
Sorry for triple posting, can't really edit comments on my phone.
One thing I've noticed is that when noobier players feel trapped they start to make inappropriately big things to try to get out of it. I've seen a few games lately where somebody tries to make a Mavor. Obviously they're out of ideas so they go for the most extreme solution.
I started playing FA in 2008 and I have literally never seen a game where a Mavor was successfully made.
So there's some education to be made there. I'm not good enough to say exactly how we do that, but I'm thinking along the lines of a kind of logic gate flow chart that shows the various solutions to different problems. We need to teach people that the cheapest viable option is always the best.
I think I find the eco maps tough going because it's just mind numbing.
Another issue I have is not knowing who's on my team, at least not without thinking about it. That causes me big problems because I think, if only briefly, that the allied army near me is a threat. Of course you can set it to all green Vs red, but that's not ideal either because you can't tell who's who at all.
My big issue is knowing which things to focus on. Is it just a thing you have to learn per map or are there ways to help you decide what to focus on?