3.0.3 Competitive Balance

tankefugltankefugl One Script To Rule Them All... Join Date: 2002-11-14 Member: 8641Posts: 2,368Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
What does it look like?
There has been two weeks since the 3.0.3 release, and it's time to take a look at the changes made. CAL has been running for these two weeks, and that will hopefully have given some of you some insight to how it has played out.

So go ahead, give us your thoughts on the current balance and whether the changes actually had an effect or not.

Please note that any balance changes before 3.1 will most likely only be number changes, just like the 3.0.2 and 3.0.3 server side patch, so keep any large scale suggestions out of this thread. Also keep in mind that we're more interested in what is wrong than how it can be fixed.
image
"Quotes do not imply truth." - Quoted for truth.
«1345

Comments

  • DirmDirm Join Date: 2004-08-30 Member: 31025Posts: 113Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    Disclaimer: my clan has traditionally been considered to have a much stronger alien than marine round (or, depending on your opinion, you might say "much weaker marine than alien round" smile-fix.gif), so my views on the subject of balance are likely skewed.

    QUOTE
    There has been two weeks since the 3.0.3 release, and it's time to take a look at the changes made. CAL has been running for these two weeks, and that will hopefully have given some of you some insight to how it has played out.

    So go ahead, give us your thoughts on the current balance and whether the changes actually had an effect or not.


    The changes have had effect, but not terribly much of one. Alien wins are still terribly common.

    The extra 5 armor helps marines a fair bit in the early game if the aliens fail to parasite. I think that most marines that get anywhere useful without being parasited now are mostly the result of aliens, for some reason, not realizing how much more useful it is in 3.0.3.

    As Mustang said in another thread, the extra 5 armor will, in many cases, hurt marines, as it will cause them to be parasited when they wouldn't have been in previous versions.

    The main effect of the extra 5 armor seems to be that it is now far harder for skulks to attack base in the early game, for obvious reasons.

    The extra armor only helps marines in the early game. The aliens are still far stronger in mid-to-late game. Where before marines would have to deal with something like a fade or two, maybe a lerk and a few leaping skulks, now the leaping skulks have silence and focus. If the marines managed to kill some of the higher lifeforms, they still have to deal with a large number of quickly-spawning leaping two-upgrade skulks. Two-hive aliens can generally hold off a lot of marine pressure without lifeforms. If the marines want to pressure a hive, they basically have to put up with a constant stream of leaping focus skulks, plus whatever lifeforms they haven't gotten lucky and killed. If they don't pressure the hive, then they're leaving alien res up, and just asking to fight more fades and onoses later.

    The other problem is that the two-upgrade skulks are far more efficient at dealing with marine RTs. A lone recapper stands little chance against a silence/focus/leaping skulk, so marines can have trouble keeping their res flow unless they send two people on capping duty, which is practically half their team. Previously, the aliens would generally at least have to tear their fade away from battle to deal with a recapper. In addition, skulks can get adren/SoF or silence/focus, bite RTs forever, without having to wait for energy to replenish, and easily deal with anyone that comes to stop them.

    The primary cause of the imbalance is, in my opinion, the free and quick upgrades. Getting upgrades every life as skulk used to have the potential to cost much time and res. Now skulks can suicide leap with two upgrades on the marines outside your hive dozens of times without a worry. Two-hive two-upgrade skulks are sort of difficult for marines to deal with, and the aliens have an endless supply of them.

    You say you don't want a solution, but I just thought I'd mention that skulks are much more fun with upgrades. The balance is just less than optimal.

    I've been discussing the two-hive skulks. Obviously, once the marines get proto tech, things change a bit, but they still have a very hard fight, unless they've had good res control all game. I think that marines already had an overly-difficult time dealing with two hives in b5, and 3.0f has made that far worse. I don't know if you want to get into a discussion of how two hives make (and made, in 3.0b5) aliens 14x stronger, though smile-fix.gif

    The extra siege damage helps, but it is not clear how much. The extra damage can be made up for with only one extra siege (unless you've got more than 7 of them smile-fix.gif), so you've really just reduced the cost of a siege from somewhere around 85/70 to somewhere around 70/55 (plus 15 if you want to count the pg, and I don't think two-cannon sieges are very popular). Useful and all, but not huge (there is also a slight decrease in the time to set the siege up, too).

    As with b5, the aliens are extremely difficult to deal with at two hives, so the obvious marine strategy to try is to stop them from getting two hives. This was often difficult to do in beta 5. As has been stated elsewhere, the way this is done is exactly the same as in beta 5, except now the marines have 5 extra armor for the first 1:30, 10 extra res somewhere in the early game, a couple of extra pings, and a rather slower phasing rate. Aliens now all have free upgrades, which are very useful, innate regen (which, besides the obvious benefit, means that skulks always take at least one extra bullet to kill), siege immunity (this is huge), effective OCs, and the extremely powerful flashlight.

    I think the phase rate is more important than it is given credit for. It was very, very common in b5 for a pg outside a building second hive to be saved via a beacon followed by all five marines simultaneously phasing. If all five come through at once, then aliens on the pg have a lot more work to do. Now that they come through one at a time, it is much easier to camp the pg and deal with them. This happens all the time in assaults on the second hive, and very often made the difference in whether the second hive went down or not.

    That said, I do not think allowing a whole team to phase simultaneously is necessarily a desirable gameplay feature. I just think that it needs to be considered important when discussing balance.

    That's a strange place to end this post, but I can't think of where to go from here but suggestions, so I guess that's it.
    IPB ImageNAPT
    #obs-ns #nspickup #findnsscrim
  • NadagastNadagast Join Date: 2002-11-04 Member: 6884Posts: 823Members
    edited May 2005
    QUOTE (milosis @ May 9 2005, 10:40 AM)
    that +5 armor boost DID help early game marines a tad and sort of balanced early gameplay, BUT i still believe aliens are a bit overpowered once that second hive goes up. if 2 teams of eqaul skill face off against each other and that 2nd hive goes up, its gg right there. 2nd hive aliens are just way too powerful. hell u practically dont even need fades.

    i think once the 2nd hive goes up, upgrades should no longer be free. the fact that a silence leaping focus skulk is not what bothers me. its the fact that that skulk, when he dies, can just respawn and get his ups back free of charge. i remember playing a scrim against a fairly decent team near otu skill level and we didnt use fades. but we won because we have an infinite amount of leaping silenced focus skulks with a lerk sporing the hell out of them.

    so thats my suggestion. once the second hive goes up, upgrades should cost res.

    It's not free upgrades that do this. Unupgraded leap skulks do the exact same thing and can take down pretty much anything. Of course upgrades help, but I think the real problem lies with Leap... as much as I love Leap it's just way too powerful. Leap is more powerful than all of the rest of Hive2 weapons and stronger than all the Hive 3 weapons except Web and Xeno... and maybe AR.

    It's Leap plus respawning a skulk every 3.5 seconds (with 2 hives) that makes 2 hive aliens near invincible. Marines get worn down by the gas + skulks (even without fades) it makes it very very hard to siege, and you can't shoot down hives because of umbra.

    So... Umbra on the Hive means you can't shoot it down, and you can't siege because of constant leap skulks and gas. It's been this way for a long time =\


    I'd like to see a version of NS where aliens had a decent/good shot at getting the second hive up, but where it didn't make them as uberpowerful as it does now.



    Edit: To Dirm, I don't really think it's free upgrades that are doing this. NS has been this way for a long time... Leap Skulks without upgrades are still *ridiculously* powerful.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • PreciousPrecious Join Date: 2003-03-18 Member: 14652Posts: 173Members
    edited May 2005
    lol I was just thinking about this.

    Anyways my thoughts are the fade enters the game too early for marines to counter effectively. Just about every scrim/match I have played ended in an alien tie. I don't think the fades are too strong but more like the marines tech up too slow. This is solely based on cometitive play and not from a pub veiw.

    In more than one game the marine manage to take control of 2 hive before we had fades. However 1 min after fades appeard they were free again. Or we would drop the hive/mc and teleport to unbuilt hive. MC has help the aliens out alot.

    The increase in armor has help prevent early 1-2 skulk rush on base and spawn camping. Its just enough for the marine to do something before dieing. Other than that I havn't notice a difference.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • phunktionphunktion Join Date: 2003-11-14 Member: 22883Posts: 125Members, NS1 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver
    its true that unless marines have prototech it is very hard to withstand 2hive aliens. marines pour so much res into trying to kill the second hive before it goes up that they usually forgo proto and its too late by the time the second hive goes up. if the hive goes up the only option for rines then is to try to get some kind of lockdown and hold about 5 nodes to get enough res for some teched push on a second hive and it doesnt often work and just become a war of attrittion.

    so some ideas for fixes. a 2:00-2:30reseach/25res advanced armory, and 30-35 res protolab

    i dont think nerfing aliens is a good idea cuz currently they are very fun to play. free upgardes is the best thing to happen too skulks. i was always curious on how a slightly cheaper and weaker fade( 40 res and -50 armor) would affect gameplay and it might be a good option too balance better skulks
  • TheAdjTheAdj He demanded a cool forum title of some type. Join Date: 2004-05-03 Member: 28436Posts: 961Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    Hive2 has always been the turning point of the game, now it's simply the point of no return for marines unless they already have proto tech working and a good resflow. It's really hard to regain rooms against hive2 aliens because of leap skulks, and once you get into an area to threaten the hive, the lerks make it impossible to stay and hold it. Accelerating the mid-high level marine tech will even out the imbalance without having to do any alien nerfing.
    [NAPT]
  • SaltzBadSaltzBad Join Date: 2004-02-23 Member: 26833Posts: 1,276Members
    Quantified balance is an odd thing anyway - especially on the marine side. A good alien team is easy to spot. They survive the first 2 minutes somehow, then they exploit their ability to chose their battles and spread their manpower intelligently and pretty much win the game. If something is unbalanced, then its that a good alien round, while not simple to coordinate - is pretty intuitive. Not to mention that skillset refinement hardly matters to win an average round - bite accuracy and good bunnyhopping are nice, but provided you don't play too stupidly they hardly make a difference. Its at times pretty perplexing to see horrid skulks do just as well as experienced ones - and thats why. Bitegun hardly cares about aim, and closing the distance with a walking Celerity Skulk isn't that tough.

    Good marining however is infinitely harder to produce, because it relys on 6 people being able to perform several speciality tasks to perfection - movement, positioning, reading the situation and your teammates, communicating calmly under pressure (YES DIRM AND CONFUSION, THATS YOU), ressource management, individual decision making and just all around alot of fine-tuning is needed for a consistent marine round.

    All you need to win an alien round really is a Fade, a Lerk and 4 ****. A marine round requires 1 comm and 5 topnotch marines - preferrably the commander should be a reasonable marine for base defense and judgement purposes too. Preferrably the marines should be decent commanders too, because it really helps with making field decisions and flipping Dirm keeps lagging out.

    The problem now pops up, what if you do have 5 good 'rines? Then you get a huge boost in marine power, whereas all the same improvements on an alien round would lead to just slightly better play. So its pretty much an asymmetric learning curve at a high level, and thats why nobody can ever decide if its aliens or marines that are overpowered, so we just keep pendeling back and forth between versions.

    If you ask me, the alien earlygame could use some fundamental restructuring to make it less insanely fragile - then marine midgame could be boosted without overpowering them. But I don't know, maybe NS would be really trite without the dramatic back and forth and the rapid slippery slope. I mean I kinda like it, but then I said the same about whips and chains.
    If I had a million resnodes...

    "The atom bomb will never go off - and I speak as an expert in explosives."
    - U.S. Admiral William Leahy in 1945.
  • PreciousPrecious Join Date: 2003-03-18 Member: 14652Posts: 173Members
    Then the question is why are aliens always able to get that second hive up before mairnes get proto? Most games hive is completed between 7-9min mark. They get fades at 5-6min mark.

    I agree that the aliens are fun to play in current version.
  • DirmDirm Join Date: 2004-08-30 Member: 31025Posts: 113Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    QUOTE (Nadagast @ May 9 2005, 09:51 AM)
    Edit: To Dirm, I don't really think it's free upgrades that are doing this. NS has been this way for a long time... Leap Skulks without upgrades are still *ridiculously* powerful.

    Yeah, I think I said that two hives were too powerful even before 3.0f. Before, though, marines still stood a marginal chance of overcoming two hives. Now they must have an even larger advantage (either through skill or strong early game or whatever) to compete with the two-hive aliens. Yes, leaping skulks made things nasty, but leaping silence focus skulks are just silly. Free and cheap upgrades took a rather annoying part of NS and made it far worse. In addition, they made it rather more difficult to stop the second hive from showing up in the first place.
    IPB ImageNAPT
    #obs-ns #nspickup #findnsscrim
  • Router_BoxRouter_Box Join Date: 2004-09-07 Member: 31483Posts: 638Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    When Dirm was talking about the beast of a two hive skulk, he mentioned that the upgrades were free and quick. Free is what people have been focusing on, but I also think the upgrade **TIME** is important too.

    Mc's have become the most popular chamber because they are the chamber that assures more than any other that the second hive will go up in the face of a marine attack on it. Skulks taking mc's to the combat at the second hive is so important because it throws so much more resistance in bulk at the marines, than if the skulks had to run to the second hive. The number of skulks you have to fight goes way up when you consider mc's.

    If the time it took to gestate skulk abilities was longer like it was in 3.0b5 what actually happens is you either see a fewer number of skulk appearances at the second hive conflict, or the skulks you do see have less upgrades.

    This is already a factor in gameplay. If i'm a skulk coming from my one hive which is sat comm to try to save acidic, and think it will go down in the next couple of seconds, i'm not going to waste those seconds getting celerity or silence. Maybe a lot of people would, I don't know. what i do know is that if 3 marines were shooting acidic, i definately would not spend 5-7 seconds gestating to have a celerity boost.

    After the second hive goes up, people are concerned about the power of the two hive skulk, which usually has focus. I think that the major reason this skulk is so scary is because no matter what armor upgrade level you have you are so succeptible to focus. The armor upgrade numbers are broken at level 3 and perhaps level 2. As a competitive commander, i'll upgrade w3 before a2, which is ridiculous. A marine with armor 3 should be very formidable, and right now they are as rare as hand grenades.
    IPB Image
  • digzdigz be still, maggot Join Date: 2002-05-07 Member: 588Posts: 871Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    Marines have tech that is utterly useless in competitive play. How often, if ever, do you see electrified nodes, hand grenades, or strategic use of turrets? These are luxury items, not game winning lines of tech. Tweaking this tech to be cheaper, stronger, and/or research faster would certainly increase how or when this tech is used => marine flexibility.
    NS Forum Moderator. Feel free to Message me.
    It only takes 2 bites [insert parasite] to get to the center of a meatpop.
  • Router_BoxRouter_Box Join Date: 2004-09-07 Member: 31483Posts: 638Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    Thats a fantastic point.

    If the marines had more tools that actually worked we might see them applied in ingenious ways. So far people have been focusing on getting the stuff that does work to work better. Maybe if all the garbage that didn't work was fixed it would make things a lot better.

    You'll notice that there are few luxury items on the alien side. Redemption is stupid, but thats not the same. Just about everything on the alien side is used in one strat or another. Seems like just a little more than half of the marine options are used in competitive strats.
    IPB Image
  • AlbinoAlbino Join Date: 2003-08-17 Member: 19841Posts: 193Members, NS1 Playtester
    I agree with pretty much everyone in this thread. It's really focussed on second hive aliens. As Router said the upgrade time should be looked at. Now that upgrades are free and fast to be taken there is a very small trade off for getting an upgrade. Increasing the gestating time will give getting upgrades a sufficient tradeoff. Also I agree that leap is very strong, but unlike Nada I think the upgrades make the difference. How often did you see leaping focus skulks in b5. Not very often. Now you have leaping skulks all with focus speeding around and one biting marines. Perhaps a change to the amount of energy each leap takes could keep skulks from being able to leap around like crazy with their upgrades.
    ALBINO | ONIBLA NAPT user posted image
    ALBINO^Amped
    #reflect, #amped on gamesurge
    Reflect website
    www.ampednews.com
  • WyzcrakWyzcrak Pot Pie Aficionado Join Date: 2002-12-04 Member: 10447Posts: 517Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    As a player who is not competitive, but could be, I would be more interested in competitive play if my applying those parts of the marine tech tree to the gameplay as a commander wasn't such an improbable and arguably-laughable proposition.

    Great point, digz.

    Router, love your thoughts. Great read.

    My weakness, since the 1.0 chair, has been pushing hives. I'm great at micromanaging marines, but I too often lose sight of the big picture. I've always paid a price for that, but I'm getting reemed in this build, and it's because you sign your death certificate when you let that second hive finish building.

    I also agree that aliens are a fine wine at the moment. If something is going to change, I'd love to see what the devs can do with marines. It seems like there's exciting potential there. I think the baby steps of the last few releases are the right way to go, and I'd love to see a few more baby steps with marine tech.
    TGNS | Spectate full games, anytime (and choose voicecomms)
    IronHorse wrote: »
    TG's win or lose mod that replaces the concede function is the best of both worlds and should be official.
  • DirmDirm Join Date: 2004-08-30 Member: 31025Posts: 113Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    Some more rambling:

    I forgot to discuss bile bomb much in my first post. In my opinion, it was already too powerful in b5. Now it is just silly. While before a gorge would at least have to expose himself a little to totally own all marine structures and destroy 40 res of mines, now biling things is trivial. The area the marines have to cover to prevent a gorge from getting in bile range is extremely large now, which just makes dealing with two hives even harder than it was before.

    QUOTE
    Then the question is why are aliens always able to get that second hive up before mairnes get proto? Most games hive is completed between 7-9min mark. They get fades at 5-6min mark.


    I am not sure this question belongs here, but I'll give it a go:

    Fades are more generally up around 3:30-4:30, depending on the marine early game and how much rfk the aliens in question get.

    The second hive is usually finished somewhere between 7:00 and 8:00.

    In order to get proto tech before the second hive finishes, the marines have to sink 30 of their early res into an AA. This causes a bit of delay in upgrades. Then, at around the 3:30-4:00 mark, they need to dump 75-80 res into a proto and researching either jp or ha. It's hard to have HA tech before around the 6:00 mark, as it takes 1:40 to research. JPs you can have 50 seconds earlier. Either way, you've spent a ton of res to get the proto tech. Now, to make it useful against the second hive, you need to spend 30-35 res per marine and send them to the second hive. Generally, if you only have one or two JP or HA, the fades will take them down pretty easily, for the simple reason that it they can keep hitting the same target, and it is harder to weld (one person welding cuts your firepower and cover by 50%). With larger groups of protopeople, welding takes away less of your punch, and aliens have a much harder time getting the guy that's already damaged. Since you've already spent 75-80 res just to get the proto tech, and you had to delay upgrades in order to do your AA, so your RT building/pressure won't have been as good as normal, it is rather difficult to get any decent number of protopeople to the second hive before it is finished. Even if you do manage to get them there, they have an extremely small amount of time left to actually take it down. The fades have been rather bored all round, as you haven't been able to afford guns and upgrades to put decent pressure on anything, since you've been saving for a proto rush, so they are just waiting for you to try to attack the second hive, and it is normally not too hard for an alien team to hold a few marines off for a minute or so. Once the hive goes up, the fades heal practically instantly, the lerks can umbra, the skulks can leap, and they all have focus. Also, when a hive is first dropped, it has 3500 health. When it is almost done, it has closer to 7000. Delaying your second-hive push increases the amount of damage you have to do.

    As has been discussed, once the second hive goes up, marines are generally in a lot of trouble. The best chance of success seems to come from stopping the second hive from finishing. Proto tech is just a res hole that rarely pays off before the second hive is finished and the marines are in a lot of trouble anyway. That 80 res can go a long way in helping a more traditional attack on the second hive.

    Obviously, clans do do proto rushes sometimes, and sometimes they work. In general, though, the second hive is so scary that clans want to put everything they can into stopping the hive from going up, rather than investing for the future. I would guess that marine win rate against two active hives is less than 5% (as in my previous post, this is biased by my experience, which is from a clan that has a stronger alien game than marine). For games in which the second hive doesn't go up, though, the marine win rate is substantially higher.

    Coming up with marine win rates for games in which aliens were stuck with one hive, or finished their second hive might be interesting, but they would not tell the whole story.

    Taking down two hives is harder than taking down one hive. If a marine team would have been good enough to win against two hives, they will most likely be able to stop the second hive from ever going up. If the marines cannot even cope with the one-hive aliens, they do not stand much chance against two hives.

    (In the next paragraph, I'm making some sweeping generalizations about gameplay. Obviously games do not always go like this, but I think that this describes a large number of them.)

    While this might make sense (I mean, of course two hives should be more powerful than one!), it can make for rather boring gameplay. In the vast majority of cases where the second hive finishes, the aliens will win. The game, however, does not end the moment the second hive completes. It goes on and on. Two-hive aliens have enough power to deal with most attacks at either of their two hives, so it is hard for them to lose their power or the game, but they have a hard time taking marine start. The result is that marines run around frustrated against two hives for 15 minutes while the aliens amass enough power to end it. On the other side of the fence, almost all marine victories come from taking out a hive before the second one finishes. This means that the game always goes like this: both teams spend the first few minutes on some skirmishes, trying to hold and take res, and then the marines have to attack a hive, and the aliens have to defend it. Attempting to take down the hive costs a ton of res (guns, mines, phase tech, possibly sieges) and time. If the marines have their whole team attacking the hive, by the time the attack is finished they will have no res in the bank, and one skulk will have taken out all of their RTs. If the marines send one person to hold their RTs, he stands a good chance of getting owned by silence or cloaking. If the marines send two people to hold their res, they only have three guys to actually attack the hive, which isn't likely to go well against two fades and a lerk. In addition, if the marines did not have a strong early game, the aliens still have RTs up and are getting mass rfk the whole time, from repeated beacon/phases.

    If the marines actually succeed in getting the hive down before it finishes, the aliens have just gained a lot of res, and the marines have lost most of theirs. The aliens keep pressuring the marines at the hive, the marines can barely afford to keep meds and guns and rts and upgrades flowing, and the aliens are still pumping out lifeforms and can drop another hive.

    If the marines fail in getting the hive down, then, well, they did what they had to do in attempting to get the second hive down, but they now still have the problem of no res, and they have to fight two-hive aliens.

    Making the building second hive easier to take down isn't necessarily the answer, though, as that results in the aliens being stuck at the same tech level for most of the game, which can be rather boring.

    Some poll-ish-type questions (I hope you take answers to these as "views on what's wrong", rather than suggestions, however you interpret the difference between those two smile-fix.gif):

    With reasonably evenly-matched teams, what percent of games would you guess marines win after the second hive finishes?

    Do you think marines can even compete with two-hive aliens without very, very strong res control (taking out most of the alien RTs early in the game, and the aliens being silly and not pressuring marine RTs for most of the game)

    Would you like to see the second hive left as it is, weakened, delayed, or what?

    Is taking down the building second hive too easy, too hard, or just right?
    IPB ImageNAPT
    #obs-ns #nspickup #findnsscrim
  • MrBenMrBen ns_eclipse, ns_veil caretaker Join Date: 2002-11-14 Member: 8575Posts: 1,119Members
    edited May 2005
    I can't help but feel something as simple as a slight % decrease on celerity would make a world of difference. Great points so far guys. Personally, i'd like to see it so that proto tech could be deployed earliar but who knows about the balance implications of this. My clan's general track record with HA vs 2 hive sieges goes in favour of marine coming out on top. It is the most fun i've had in NS recently though, just a shame that there's usually 5 minutes of turtling before hand, or it's in some sort of half assed rush where you pray you held enough RTs and hope you pull it off in the 3 minutes before it's GG.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    nL-Benjamin - Periodic map contributor, forum troll, retired arrogant clanner and commanding guru.

    IPB ImageIPB ImageIPB Image
  • NadagastNadagast Join Date: 2002-11-04 Member: 6884Posts: 823Members
    edited May 2005
    QUOTE (digz @ May 9 2005, 12:33 PM)
    Marines have tech that is utterly useless in competitive play.  How often, if ever, do you see electrified nodes, hand grenades, or strategic use of turrets?  These are luxury items, not game winning lines of tech.  Tweaking this tech to be cheaper, stronger, and/or research faster would certainly increase how or when this tech is used => marine flexibility.

    How many people want to play against turrets or electrification? Not me...

    Hand Grenades should be improved though (why not make them like TFC nades? you can prime and throw them without changing weapons or stopping firing), but even if they are I don't expect them to take priority over AA... so... Maybe make them researchable at a comm chair or something. I also like the idea of a cheap upgrade that gives welders to all your marines when they spawn.


    Albino: Yeah skulks didn't usually get upgrades before, but Hive 2 was still GG. Leap Skulks were still insanely powerful...

    I don't think making it take 5-7 seconds to get an upgrade is a good solution, it would make alien early game so much more fragile... IE. if you lose your first wave of upgraded skulks you have to make a rushed attempt to save your node with unupgraded skulks..
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Router_BoxRouter_Box Join Date: 2004-09-07 Member: 31483Posts: 638Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    edited May 2005
    Dirm,

    When talking about the flow and theory of the game I think its pretty much in the right place. Aliens obviously start small and expand, while marines start small and must quell the expansion. From the first moment of the game, Marines should probably be a little stronger than aliens, but not by much. As they lose skirmishes and battles, the balance should slowly slowly start to favor the aliens as they expand.

    By adding the idea of hives, you create 2 alien events that substantially boost alien power. The idea being that if they get the 3rd hive up, they should have more than enough power to push the marines back and squash them, because they are fully expanded. The second hive should give them quite a considerable boost in their prospects as well, and rightly it does.

    The problem is that the concept of marine expansion has been ignored, or its not significant enough. If marines can hold 4 nodes the whole game, with a commander that is smart and good enough to tech with great effictiveness as a result of excellant res control, then they should be in the game more than they are at the current 2 hive mark. Aliens should still have balance on their side, but marines shouldn't be dead in the water yet. Right now they only prayer they have is a lucky shotgun rush or their risky proto rush paying off when a fade gets pro-blocked.

    EDIT: Nada, what if elec was a lot cheaper but a lot weaker. to toss arbitrary numbers out there, lets say 10-15 res to upgrade and a skulk can kill the node if he heals fully once or twice. It makes it so that one skulk can still take it out but he might need a gorge buddy near by.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    IPB Image
  • juicejuice Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12886Posts: 1,044Members, Constellation
    QUOTE (digz @ May 9 2005, 12:33 PM)
    Marines have tech that is utterly useless in competitive play. How often, if ever, do you see electrified nodes, hand grenades, or strategic use of turrets? These are luxury items, not game winning lines of tech. Tweaking this tech to be cheaper, stronger, and/or research faster would certainly increase how or when this tech is used => marine flexibility.

    Utterly useless in competitive play, yes absolutely. and yes this is the competitive forum. But I believe that those items and their form are essential due to the fact that Flayra has stated he wants one NS, balanced for both public and competitive. Turrets and electicity are the pub commander's best friend.(aside from a competitive player for a marine)

    Those are the items that are necessary for these two realms to both be balanced, although obviously it isn't sufficient. Change them and balance will suffer in other areas, because these items are necessary in pubs but currently affect competitive very little. So I have to disagree with Digz' suggestion to beef up these boring(for experienced players) and useless marine tech. Of course additional marine tech is needed, but it should be skill-based, not based on turret ai or zapzap-"zzz..." electricity. There are other, better ways to improve competitive balance.

    That said, this thread has a ton of great insight and suggestions on hive 2 overpower, like:

    -> leap nerf, in the form of higher energy cost

    -> more gestate time for upgrades

    -> better grenades, welder access

    -> no more ICBB(intercontinental bile bomb)

    -> some sort of hive build nerf/delay

    And these are mostly easily implementable.
  • tankefugltankefugl One Script To Rule Them All... Join Date: 2002-11-14 Member: 8641Posts: 2,368Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    Very good feedback so far. Lots of good stuff.
    image
    "Quotes do not imply truth." - Quoted for truth.
  • DrFuriousDrFurious Join Date: 2002-12-04 Member: 10445Posts: 88Members
    edited May 2005
    2nd hive aliens are close to unbeatable now, with the main problem being the skulk. A leaping skulk with upgrades can now deliver the same offensive punch as a fade in most cases due to their speed and damage capabilities, and yet are completely expendable and renewable. Before you could kill a fade and get some respite, now the leaping skulks just keep coming. The bump that 2 hive skulks got, moving them from utility/node eating to a legitemate offensive unit, has closed off the majority of marine options to the point where you need heavy armor to have a chance, and even then it's touch and go.

    Right now as a commander my plan of attack has changed dramatically from b5, such that it's absolutely necessary to kill or block the second hive, before it goes up if the alien team is very good. On top of that marines still have to control res nodes, so it's a daunting task. I've played with trying to end the game before the second hive, but it's very risky and a good lerk can counter any hive rushes completely. Right now the only options for marines are attack early, block the second hive, or tech to heavy armor to try to outlast them, and none of these options are particularly easy.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    ANSL CHAMPION
    Sig images must be no more than 400 pixels wide x 75 pixels high, and they must also be no more than 22KB in size. --Comprox
  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Posts: 3,213NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    While I agree with the general feeling in this thread; I would hate for the balance to be achieved through simply playing with the numbers. I feel the focus should instead be on refining the marine tech tree so that the commander has paths available to him that have actually been designed to counter 2 hive abilities.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • tankefugltankefugl One Script To Rule Them All... Join Date: 2002-11-14 Member: 8641Posts: 2,368Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    Just so you guys understand what we're doing: The sole reason for just doing number changes prior to 3.1 is the overhead associated with the technical implementation and testing. It's tedious and takes valuable time to work on two different code branches. The major code changes is best left for 3.x versions.
    image
    "Quotes do not imply truth." - Quoted for truth.
  • LumpLump Join Date: 2003-04-16 Member: 15558Posts: 341Members
    edited May 2005
    In my opinion the "early game" was not far off balanced as marines did have an advantage over no chamber aliens.

    later on when most alien teams would get movement chambers is when the imbalance was most noticable as celerity was very hard to battle against.

    after a while getting to mid game when marines should be on level 1 tech with shotguns they could generally start a push back for lost ground against the celerity aliens.

    But as soon as celerity fade went down and the new hive increasing the mobility speed and strength of aliens. The marines needed to be in a strong upper hand holding atleast 4 res towers to have a chance, either jp rushing or having the backbone res to siege with hmg cover.

    That is where most rounds where decided with aliens winning the 2nd hive battle in most cases and getting SC to clean up with focus and sof scouting.



    So personally. I think the extra armour has not helped correctly, it has helped marines a small amount where the game was already in correct balance but this just forced aliens to parasite more than they might of in the past and infact increasing their chances to counter marines aswell as removing the extra bite. But its in the right direction and does help marines to gain the advantage more easily before the aliens become overpowering.

    In my opinion the celerity speed boost needs to be reduced to around 80% of what it is now for all lifeforms. This would help the marines to defend against the super speed fades and lerks that can dominate the game so easily.

    Improve the effect of armour 2 and armour 3 to be more efficient in countering focus. As it is a focus fade will never need to swipe a marine more than twice to kill him no matter what armour level he has or the amount of medpacks he gets (unless he's welded of course). THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. Armour 2 perhaps giving the extra focus-bite after a med and Armour 3 giving the extra focus-swipe after meds.

    Another change i'd like is removing the hand grenade upgrade and replace with a welders upgrade. This would possibly need to cost more than the current hand grenade upgrade to counter inbalance. But would be highly used as apose to the barely used hand grenade upgrade.

    Motion Tracking would be a very strong counter to MC's also but is not used often because it costs a significant amount of res which will not become useful for another 100 seconds which by then, you are either too late with phase tech or have lost out on a upgrade which will benefit you more, sooner. I think Motion Tracking should be made more viable with a research time decreas to 60 seconds, while keeping the same cost to avoid being too strong.

    SC's are a very strong defensive chamber and when played with correctly are MASSIVE inbalance. Personally id have them removed as it isnt fun to play against someone who u cant see and can kill you with focus before you can react. But i know this wont happen. So i think SC's need a weakening, making them only cloak aliens and structers in the same room or in their line of fire would be good for a start giving the marines a chance to destroy the chamber more easily. Then them not cloaking themselves would help even more so... the same effect is easily achieved with mass scanning i know, but comms like to be doing other things than scanning every 15 seconds sad-fix.gif. Also remove focus or cloak, replace with an upgrade that can maybe, giving you a set rfk from each kill but dispurse it more between everyone on your team more, ei you get 3 rfk and another 3 gets boosted into the alien res pool. Just an idea off the top of my head that seems less bland than either focus or cloak. (1 benefit from focus is that it is a nice counter for fades to use against HA/jp's).

    all i can think of for now - made the main points red
    but plz read all of it
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    IPB Image lump` aka TomT EU(NOT PT ANYMORE) ~ QuakeNet
    #ENSL http://ensl.zanith.nl/ <- rocks!
    Velvet Coat Squad NS Clan Leader ~ #velvet.ns

    - All hatred stems from ignorance.
  • LumpLump Join Date: 2003-04-16 Member: 15558Posts: 341Members
    edited May 2005
    oh oh oh and give aliens (except lerk) quake style jumping (ie. they bounce when you click and hold to jump before landing) This would just be so much better for everyone than the whole scripting thing AND make newer players more able to learn bunnyhopping techniques without rebinding jump to mousewheel/accurate timing or the use of scripts.

    So im told it would only need 1 line of code and would make things OH SO much happier.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    IPB Image lump` aka TomT EU(NOT PT ANYMORE) ~ QuakeNet
    #ENSL http://ensl.zanith.nl/ <- rocks!
    Velvet Coat Squad NS Clan Leader ~ #velvet.ns

    - All hatred stems from ignorance.
  • ZammaZamma Join Date: 2004-05-04 Member: 28458Posts: 256Members, Constellation
    or we dont so that people have to learn how to bhop...
    GibbZ a.k.a Zamma`
    sprogga ~ GibbZ
    TeamUK 07
    Constellation Member
    Clan Leader of The Sproggalots - #sproggalots on Quakenet
    Head-Admin of European Natural Selection League - ENSL - #ensl on Quakenet

    ________________________

    Happy Fragging
  • LumpLump Join Date: 2003-04-16 Member: 15558Posts: 341Members
    edited May 2005
    they still learn how to bhop. only removing the element of timing. It puts everyone in the same positition and removes the need for scripts if people want to use space bar etc. Please give reasons behind your logic in future.




    and Zamma: put this pic in your signature user posted image (right click on it/properties and copy the address)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    IPB Image lump` aka TomT EU(NOT PT ANYMORE) ~ QuakeNet
    #ENSL http://ensl.zanith.nl/ <- rocks!
    Velvet Coat Squad NS Clan Leader ~ #velvet.ns

    - All hatred stems from ignorance.
  • obuhobuh Not Quite Smart at NS Join Date: 2003-03-31 Member: 15072Posts: 701Members, Constellation
    QUOTE (Lump @ May 9 2005, 05:23 PM)
    oh oh oh and give aliens (except lerk) quake style jumping (ie. they bounce when you click to jump and hold before landing) This would just be so much better for everyone than the whole scripting thing AND make newer players more able to learn bunnyhopping techniques without rebinding jump to mousewheel/accurate timing or the use of scripts.

    So im told it would only need 1 line of code and would make things OH SO much happier.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this, even though it probably isn't in 3.0.x's scope.
    Psalm 121
    1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
    2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth
    .
    Psalm 145
    18The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
    19He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them
    .
  • LumpLump Join Date: 2003-04-16 Member: 15558Posts: 341Members
    edited May 2005
    I think the quake style jumping system would effect the competative (hence not derailed) play as it would improve the standard of lower level clans in their bunnyhopping so they can concentrate on the movement instead of timing introducing more clans to help the scene :]
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    IPB Image lump` aka TomT EU(NOT PT ANYMORE) ~ QuakeNet
    #ENSL http://ensl.zanith.nl/ <- rocks!
    Velvet Coat Squad NS Clan Leader ~ #velvet.ns

    - All hatred stems from ignorance.
  • digzdigz be still, maggot Join Date: 2002-05-07 Member: 588Posts: 871Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    Lump, lets focus on the current build balance status and not derail this thread into I&S any further.
    NS Forum Moderator. Feel free to Message me.
    It only takes 2 bites [insert parasite] to get to the center of a meatpop.
  • Router_BoxRouter_Box Join Date: 2004-09-07 Member: 31483Posts: 638Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    edited May 2005
    QUOTE (juice @ May 9 2005, 02:24 PM)
    QUOTE (digz @ May 9 2005, 12:33 PM)
    Marines have tech that is utterly useless in competitive play.  How often, if ever, do you see electrified nodes, hand grenades, or strategic use of turrets?  These are luxury items, not game winning lines of tech.  Tweaking this tech to be cheaper, stronger, and/or research faster would certainly increase how or when this tech is used => marine flexibility.

    Utterly useless in competitive play, yes absolutely. and yes this is the competitive forum. But I believe that those items and their form are essential due to the fact that Flayra has stated he wants one NS, balanced for both public and competitive. Turrets and electicity are the pub commander's best friend.(aside from a competitive player for a marine)

    Those are the items that are necessary for these two realms to both be balanced, although obviously it isn't sufficient. Change them and balance will suffer in other areas, because these items are necessary in pubs but currently affect competitive very little. So I have to disagree with Digz' suggestion to beef up these boring(for experienced players) and useless marine tech. Of course additional marine tech is needed, but it should be skill-based, not based on turret ai or zapzap-"zzz..." electricity. There are other, better ways to improve competitive balance.

    The only difference between pub strats and competitve strats is that pub strats suck.

    Making something good for competitive play will make it good for pub play. The only reason those things are "a pub comm's" best friend is because they require 0 skill to use. The reasons pub comms suck is because it requires just a shred more skill to beat those things, which is why you never see pub strats used in a match.

    If turrets were made more viable in competitive play, they would also be better in pub play. But the first clanner dc fade that joins the server will rock them and the noob comm will still blame his team for not defending the lock down on the third hive.

    EDIT: The comm would prolly blame his team MORE because with the turret buff he expects his a1/w0 lmg marines to defend the third hive from a two hive regen/focus Nadagast.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    IPB Image
«1345
This discussion has been closed.