Reinforced can't come quickly enough. The state of balance right now is at best very frustrating.

IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
edited August 2013 in NS2 General Discussion
I've been playing marine games all day for the past few weeks since getting my new rig and honestly though the game is fundamentally fun in its basic mechanics it's infuriating to lose game after game and have nothing to blame it on except balance.
I'm sure this has been discussed to death but I would like to implore the balance team (if one exists) to make sure the state of balance doesn't get swung so wildly out of whack before releasing.
Zomb3h
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Comments

  • GrimfangGrimfang Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13086Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 464 Fully active user
    I'm pretty sure everyone involved does their best to give you a great gaming experience with good balance. However not everyone agree on what a good balance is. But if you have the time, there is often room for more testers. It's great fun, so sign up, and help get the balance right :)
  • IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
    i define good balance close to 50:50 win ratio. Currently it is 67:33 in favor of aliens. This is literally MY ONLY criteria for good balance.
    ResKurrine
  • IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
    There's alot of things that can be tweaked. One of the biggest reasons why I feel it's so out of whack is due to the alien spawn rate being so much more robust than it was before. The increased down time due to being low on eggs or egg-locked was all that was holding aliens back before...

    But being egg-locked is an unfun mechanic. So I dunno whatever it is the team has to do. People say fades are op. I personally think gorges are too cheap and bile bomb comes too early.
    Kurrine
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,448 Advanced user
    Problem is: Aliens feel way weaker.

    Also, aliens rush way more often than marines, so your numbers are a little off, probably ;)
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
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  • IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
    My stats come from http://ns2stats.com/

    If you spent a day playing only as marines you will know what I mean (and probably quit in frustration).
  • Electr0Electr0 Join Date: 2011-10-31 Member: 130337Members Posts: 349
    edited August 2013
    I think at this point they're just not able to balance things good enough and probably never will be, something deeper about the game is wrong, the best option i think is to have a system a bit like in mario kart that helps the team that's doing rubbish, only a little bit and just for the first half of the game, that way the it's kept fun and fair within reason, then skill can take over more in the late game and whoevers best wins.
    RisingSunNordic
  • IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
    I don't really see an issue with the deeper game. Some changes I can name off the top of my head:

    * make gorges unable to get into vents, as this is has no real counters until jps, or except if a team is smart enough to boost into some of the few vents where this is possible (smart gorges will still clog and hydra

    *Nerf hydras

    *Move bile bomb back to 2 hives

    *flamethrowers drain more energy to counter early fades & lerks for eg.
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  • RadmanRadman Join Date: 2013-04-05 Member: 184656Members Posts: 126
    What's really funny is that aliens can be on par with marines in terms of kills, but then the aliens will seemingly pull ahead out of nowhere. The obvious solution is to make marines pull out more kills than aliens, but then that isn't very fun for aliens is it? It's a consequence of asymmetrical gameplay I guess. I'm interested to see how uwe deals with this problem. Whether they'll come up with an interesting solution that deepens gameplay, or whether they'll just make the game more like ns1.
  • FrozenFrozen New York, NY Join Date: 2010-07-02 Member: 72228Members, Constellation Posts: 1,477 Advanced user
    Marines need a better advantage at the start, that much needs to be done before anything else. Luckily this was done in the Summer Cup and showed success so something will happen in 252. Big changes are coming
    mattji104
  • lncabinlncabin Join Date: 2013-07-10 Member: 186024Members Posts: 25
    I dont understand how aliens are winning more games than marines. Do those wins include all the 1-min-alien-rush-wins? A coordinated marine team is basically unbeatable with an Exo-JetpackWelder-MAC train. Even then, the fundamental mechanics are easier for marine player and the marine commander to master.
  • bizbiz Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167386Members Posts: 415 Fully active user
    lncabin wrote: »
    I dont understand how aliens are winning more games than marines. Do those wins include all the 1-min-alien-rush-wins? A coordinated marine team is basically unbeatable with an Exo-JetpackWelder-MAC train. Even then, the fundamental mechanics are easier for marine player and the marine commander to master.

    skulks > marine
    gorge > marine
    lerk > marine
    fades > marine
    alien spawn rate > marine
    rushing > building

    of the 30% marine wins, marines are probably heavily stacked in 95% of those games

    the true alien win rate for fair games is probably around 98%, and it gets slightly lower in comp play
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,682 Advanced user
    Sorry to be a bummer but ns2 stats is not a good source for global statistics. It has too small of a sample size. 50/50 is one tough number to reach, especially in an asymmetrical game. There was a time when balance was 55/45 and people still complained it was so horribly unbalanced as if it was 75/25.
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
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  • CuelCuel Join Date: 2013-01-22 Member: 181295Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 123 Fully active user
    edited August 2013
    Fix veil
    -remove or fix the vent overlook/skylights, there is always a gorge camping there since he can kill 2rts with little issue and yes, I know you can boost up in overlook but it requires two marines and is not a certain win. With nano being easily taken by aliens they should not have a walk in the park killing marine rts. Most maps have rts placed safe from bile bombing gorges I mean come on. It should also not be possible to place gorge tunnels in vents. Also fix placeable tunnels above to the entrance to terminal. Marines can't reach it and barely shoot it.

    And yes I agree gorges are too cheap for the massive boost they bring. Two gorges can lock down most exposed places (good example being crossroads) early game.

    Pre-250 we saw a good rt take down between the teams even in public but wall jumping skulks with celerity are a little too quick to respond to an harassed rt. Not sure what to propose. Unlimited sprint is not an equal benefit.

    It's also almost impossible to egg lock aliens now with the increased egg spawn rate, I think I've seen it 2-3 times and even then it was around 5-6 minute mark. The amount of times I've seen skulks rush the ip within 1 minute if the round and succeed is worrying

    While I don't see fade balls as the biggest issue, it is worrying that the most effective and preferred/selected counter is a2 and shotguns, a2 being extremely important, something that most public commanders are unaware of.
    soccerguy243bERt0r
  • IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
    edited August 2013
    The vent that links between skylights and overlook in ns_veil is EXTREMELY annoying and is what I had in mind when talking about Gorge nerfs. Early Gorges with bilebomb in a vent like this is simply broken. Apart from boosting in with another clued in marine, you literally have no way to counter this.

    With all the power Gorges have now in their spit attack and babblers, Hydras are now taking it over the top: you often now see a race to clog off key rooms at the very beginning of the game and these blocks are very difficult to overcome for average groups of marine players, if not impossible depending on the number of gorges involved or skulk reinforcements.

    This basically means that in the FIRST minute of the game the outcome can be largely decided by the number of Alien players who are simply savvy enough to block access to res.

    Clogging up a small entrance and placing hydras takes NO SKILL(or very little if you count the gorges jumping around spitting to complement defense), yet for the inordinate effect it has on the game it's overpowered.

    In high player count servers this effect is especially acute, since TWO gorges defending a room essentially makes it impossible to take for however long before marines get shotguns.


    However.....

    Since I love playing gorgies as much as the next guy, I have a few novel idea in mind to fix this: make ARCs recyclable, so they can be deployed early with little investment.

    I would also suggest making mines cheaper since the window of time in which they are useful is very small now with all the early game lerks and gorges.
    Post edited by Idleray on
    Kurrine
  • VittuLimaVittuLima Join Date: 2012-12-25 Member: 176227Members Posts: 74 Fully active user
    edited August 2013
    james888 wrote: »
    Sorry to be a bummer but ns2 stats is not a good source for global statistics. It has too small of a sample size. 50/50 is one tough number to reach, especially in an asymmetrical game. There was a time when balance was 55/45 and people still complained it was so horribly unbalanced as if it was 75/25.

    Some did, i didn't, game was fine then imo. Aliens were a bit strong in terms of win% but it was acceptable. But atm balance is just disgusting. in competitive games marines win about 1 round of 4. So all that bullshit about blaming the noob marine commanders etc for the imbalance in pubs is just that, bullshit, Coz the game becomes even more imbalanced higher the skill goes. Making lerks and fades cheaper was the dumbest thing ever among multiple other retarded changes.

    Yea the sample sizes aren't the best but when numbers are so disgusting as atm u don't need very big sample to tell something's wrong badly.

  • ResRes Join Date: 2003-08-27 Member: 20245Members Posts: 626
    edited August 2013
    james888 wrote: »
    Sorry to be a bummer but ns2 stats is not a good source for global statistics. It has too small of a sample size. 50/50 is one tough number to reach, especially in an asymmetrical game. There was a time when balance was 55/45 and people still complained it was so horribly unbalanced as if it was 75/25.

    The problem with balance is that you cannot just look at win/loss ratios alone, however, they can give you an overall general idea about the state of the game.

    To truly balance this game though, you have to look at win/loss ratios in regard to early game balance, mid game balance, late game balance AND you have to look at map/spawn balance and balance for different amounts of players (IE: 12 players s vs 24 players.)

    Interestingly enough, NS2stats DOES give all those stats mentioned, but almost no one references them.
  • DraptorDraptor Join Date: 2013-03-05 Member: 183721Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 124
    How many servers actually run NS2stats? It says I've only played NS2 for a grand total of 2 hours, a few hundred short. I'm just curious because if the sample size (number of servers) isn't big enough, it may not be the best resource.
  • AyanomooseAyanomoose Join Date: 2013-05-06 Member: 185153Members Posts: 30
    lncabin wrote: »
    I dont understand how aliens are winning more games than marines. Do those wins include all the 1-min-alien-rush-wins? A coordinated marine team is basically unbeatable with an Exo-JetpackWelder-MAC train. Even then, the fundamental mechanics are easier for marine player and the marine commander to master.

    Well there's the problem, marines require coordination and that's already asking a lot.
  • sotanahtsotanaht Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Members Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    Too bad "Reinforced" doesn't sound like a balance patch. In fact it doesn't sound like a content patch either. The only major confirmed features I know of are linux, a new map, and the female marine, none of which change the gameplay on existing maps.
  • bizbiz Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167386Members Posts: 415 Fully active user
    you can only look at win/loss ratios of games that didn't have stacked teams (and you have 0 access to this data outside of some general estimates from competitive rounds and anecdotal evidence)

    even if the balance in a game is horrible, team-stacking will still result in a win

    if you observe 100 games and measure 55 alien wins and 45 marine wins, it doesn't mean the balance is 55-45

    80 of those games probably had stacked teams that resulted in 40 alien wins & 40 marine wins.

    In that case, the observations of unstacked games would be more like 15 alien wins and 5 marine wins

    for a game like NS2 where the vast majority of games have stacked teams, even a 52-48 ratio is absolutely horrible from a balance perspective
    DraptorKurrine
  • RaZDaZRaZDaZ Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167331Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 465 Fully active user
    edited August 2013
    @biz I imagine that over a much larger sample base, it would even out overall. Using < 10000 games results in unreliable data from my PoV in this case that is most likely non-significant since the data count is too small to make an accurate judgement. Standard deviation will even the team stacking over a larger sample size so it basically becomes a non-issue unless that one side, marines or aliens is significantly and consistently more team stacked but I and I bet most people have no honest consistent experience of where aliens for example was more team stacked than marines.

    The significance of the data would be much easier to read over a much larger sample which I imagine UWE has at their disposal whereas we do not. The only time I would consider team stacking a statistical confounding variable would be during the steam sales where "pros" like to crush "noobs" but that is a time where balance is also not taken seriously since most people have no clue on how to play the respective sides properly.

    This of course, answers to the balance percentages but it doesn't attribute to actual balance. I don't see most games being team stacked tbh, just one or two players just dominating as fade or really good marine play. You did imply that balance percentages are very difficult to measure and that is true in NS2's case on a large scale. NS2 is too difficult to reliably consider using balance percentages as an indication of a balance issue but that doesn't mean it's not possible to use percentages.

    Aliens have a 70% win rate atm, that is definitely an indicator of a balance issue though, something like 55-45, not so much.
    NS2 ID: RaZDaZ
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  • CrushaKCrushaK Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167195Members, NS2 Playtester Posts: 1,182 Advanced user
    edited August 2013
    sotanaht wrote: »
    Too bad "Reinforced" doesn't sound like a balance patch. In fact it doesn't sound like a content patch either. The only major confirmed features I know of are linux, a new map, and the female marine, none of which change the gameplay on existing maps.

    I would expect some marine buffs from that name, basically "reinforcing" them. It's more of a mechanical term, so it hints more at marines than aliens (IIRC "Gorgeous" was focusing more on aliens than marines in terms of new features (Babblers, Gorge Tunnels, Camouflage shader update), so the name was kinda fitting).

    You could argue that they are just getting reinforced by the female marines, but I doubt that they would name a whole update after just that.
    (Based on Hugh's blog posts thus far, I dare to say that he and UWE in general are not the guys who would do such a thing. It wouldn't fit their style, they like to have things fit together in a bigger picture and so these update names are preferably ambiguous to multiple contents of the update, so Hugh can point that out in a blog post that he's likely going to write about it.)



    Plus the blog post about the update also said:
    Lots of other hinted but secret stuff is also going in.

    And when they say "lots", then I am sure they mean it. And the fact that the name of the update doesn't fit that well with the content revealed thus far makes me just even more confident about the unrevealed stuff.
    Suggestions:
    Tech Path of Hive actually upgrades the Hive itself
    Give Gorges telepathic control over their Bait Ball for Overlord-style commanding of Babblers

    And please allow to turn rooms into emergency-lit or dark versions if infestations grows over an unbuilt or damaged power node socket.
  • sotanahtsotanaht Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Members Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    We'll see, but try not to get your hopes up. I feel like if they had something big they would be using it for the hype, and if they had any small-but-effective balance tweaks they would have put them in a lesser patch already.
  • CrushaKCrushaK Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167195Members, NS2 Playtester Posts: 1,182 Advanced user
    edited August 2013
    Actually not. They once said that they preferred to gather things up for large updates instead of putting smaller ones out because a large update leads to a larger media coverage from all the gaming sites out there, which is more beneficial for their game sales. Small updates are only really made for urgent hotfixes.
    Suggestions:
    Tech Path of Hive actually upgrades the Hive itself
    Give Gorges telepathic control over their Bait Ball for Overlord-style commanding of Babblers

    And please allow to turn rooms into emergency-lit or dark versions if infestations grows over an unbuilt or damaged power node socket.
  • ritualsacrificeritualsacrifice Join Date: 2012-11-14 Member: 171148Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 709 Advanced user
    sotanaht wrote: »
    We'll see, but try not to get your hopes up. I feel like if they had something big they would be using it for the hype, and if they had any small-but-effective balance tweaks they would have put them in a lesser patch already.

    Yeah, it's getting to the point where we'll likely be seeing fewer and fewer small patches. Effective balance tweaks would also be a pretty huge update on their own right now.. it's not like you can go from 30/70 to 50/50 by just changing some damage values or something. The weapons and lifeforms are for the most part balanced against eachother, the reason for the imbalance is that Marines require much more coordination, and right now in pubs aliens can basically all go fade and rambo and they will still win.

  • Zomb3hZomb3h Join Date: 2011-01-27 Member: 79241Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 373
    Here's a kicker. When is this game gonna be balanced for 24+ players?

    There's not a damn server in this game that runs 6v6 aside from private pugs.

    1CC Protolab. Mass Exo trains. Shit Fades and lifeforms in general with little to no effective ability of crowd controlling that many players and MACS/turrets defending those Marines, LET ALONE EXOS. Flamethrowers completely rendering hive structures and Gorge structures useless within seconds.

    I'm starting to realize why a game like COD no longer allows people to host servers anymore due to people creating servers with rules the game didn't originally intend (*cough*, 24slot ns2 *cough*)

    Abilities like Focus bite/swipe in NS1 made even crowd-controlling in 32 slot servers tolerable, with acid rocket and xenocide being the ultimate turtle breakers being splash-damaged based abilities.

    WHAT IS UWE (sewlek) DOING TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? 6v6 is not the reality here. Go open NS2 right now and look at all the 24 slots. Don't even get me started on that ridiculous 32 slot server. I dont want to resort to 6v6 pugs to play what the actual game intended, and neither should regular pubbers.

    Yet people wonder why this game loses players on occasion. Maybe because it's not FUN.

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  • IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
    THIS.

    I don't care how much people stress this game is balanced for 6v6 or 8v8 or whatever.
    I like my NS big and crowded and rowdy. And that means at least 9v9 and preferably 12v12. 'Sides here in Aus the best server to play on is the Monash 24 player server anyways so....
    RisingSun
  • MelancorMelancor Join Date: 2003-12-15 Member: 24415Members Posts: 201 Fully active user
    Natural Selection does not need flattening. Watch NSL recordings if you don't believe me. If it's no fun, go play something else.
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  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,682 Advanced user
    Res wrote: »
    james888 wrote: »
    Sorry to be a bummer but ns2 stats is not a good source for global statistics. It has too small of a sample size. 50/50 is one tough number to reach, especially in an asymmetrical game. There was a time when balance was 55/45 and people still complained it was so horribly unbalanced as if it was 75/25.

    The problem with balance is that you cannot just look at win/loss ratios alone, however, they can give you an overall general idea about the state of the game.

    To truly balance this game though, you have to look at win/loss ratios in regard to early game balance, mid game balance, late game balance AND you have to look at map/spawn balance and balance for different amounts of players (IE: 12 players s vs 24 players.)


    Interestingly enough, NS2stats DOES give all those stats mentioned, but almost no one references them.
    1. I know win/loss ratio are not good indicators of state of the game. The OP said this though, and is part of why I was sorry to be a bummer.
    Idleray wrote: »
    i define good balance close to 50:50 win ratio. Currently it is 67:33 in favor of aliens. This is literally MY ONLY criteria for good balance.

    2. As others have confirmed, ns2stats does not have enough of a sample size.

    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
    Balmark
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