Large games vs small games
I noticed something peculiar today while playing on one of the larger servers (30 people). The marines were consistently
winning. At first I attributed this to the skill of my commander, but then I tried playing as aliens and soon found out that even when the aliens were somewhat coordinated, they still lost. I found an explanation for this in the way that resources work. I know the NS team did a very good job at balancing how
resources are produced, however there was a side effect that they probably had not anticipated.
The way that resources are distributed causes small games to favor the aliens team, while large games will favor the marines.
Look at how resources are generated: (I read this somewhere or other, if I'm wrong, just correct me, I think this is how it goes)
On the marines side, all the resources go into a "pot" that the commander can use at a rate of:
On the aliens side, all the resources go into a "pot" then are divided up equally among the team with gorges getting 3x the amount other units do at a rate of:
This is then divided by [(#Gorges)x3 + (#other units)x1] to obtain the resources that each unit recieves. Gorges will recieve 3x this amount.
For now, let us assume that the teams are equal to keep things simple.
For the case of a smaller game (say 6v6) we can see that the resources will flow in at the rate
( let N = controlled nodes )
(N)x(.23)x(6)x(6/6) = 1.38N
This will be true for both teams, however we can safely assume that if the aliens are compotent they will only have one gorge running around, so the gorge will receive resources at the rate of:
1.38N/((1)x3 + 5) x 3 = .5175
So here we have the ratio of Commander resources to Gorge resources at 2.667:1
In a large game (15v15) the resources will flow in at the rate
(N)x(.23)x(15)x(15/15) = 3.45N
Meaning that if the aliens only have one gorge, the gorge will recieve resources at the rate of:
3.45N/((1)x3 + 14) x 3 = .6088N
This presents a problem for the aliens team, because now the ratio between Commander Resources and Gorge resources is: 5.667:1
The table of the ratios
#v# Ratio (marine pot:gorge)
1v1 -- 1:1
2v2 -- 1.333:1
3v3 -- 1.667:1
4v4 -- 2:1
5v5 -- 2.333:1
6v6 -- 2.667:1
7v7 -- 3:1
8v8 -- 3.333:1
9v9 -- 3.667:1
Well, what does this all mean?
It pretty much says that in a larger game, the aliens will not be able to build things as fast as the marines because of the resource distribution method. This means that they won't be able to build as fast, and likewise getting chambers/resource extractors/hives will take much longer relative to how fast the marines build structures. This gives the marines an advantage over the aliens as the size of the game grows larger and larger.
I will also state that the advantage that the marines obtain from this fades after every member of the aliens team other than the gorge reaches the maximum number of resources; however, this does not happen for several minutes. Once each member of the aliens team reaches maximum resource capacity, the ratio becomes 1:1 again, but this will occur after the critical first few minutes of a game, giving the marines enough time to move out secure an easy victory for the most part (either by moving phasegates into 2 hive locations or just expanding to enough resource nozzles).
The main point I'm trying to get across here is the fact that as the game gets larger and larger, the aliens initial construction rate becomes slower and slower relative to the marines. This becomes exponentially worse as the marines are able to secure/tap resource nozzles at a faster rate than the aliens, giving them an even greater advantage.
Give all Gorge units a fixed percentage of all resources produced (divided among gorges), then divide up whatever is left among other units. This would eliminate the alien advantage in small games while reducing the marine advantage in large games.
Formula used to make table: (.23P)/((.23P)/(3+(P-1))x3)