Some Thoughts on Development

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by .:.HeXi.:. emcalex329, May 11, 2020.

  1. .:.HeXi.:. emcalex329

    .:.HeXi.:. emcalex329 Member

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    I've been playing Empires again the past weeks, due to the quarantine, and I've some feedback on development I'd like to share.

    The devs should be applauded for their work in implementing quality of life changes to the game - things such as the new defuse bar over mines, the commander hull health displaying in numerical values in the upper left of the HUD, typing "ref", "rax", "targets", etc., in team chat alerting the comm, for instance. These sort of changes, while relatively minor, objectively improve the game overall, and I doubt anybody would be against them. Great job.

    That said, there's a large amount of "rebalancing" that's been going on in the game right now, and I'm not sure why this has been desirable. I've been commanding a decent amount the past few weeks, and I'm still pretty hazy with what's going on with the research tree in terms of balance (admittedly, I don't drive tanks much anymore, since driving with 200 ping is a pain). It feels like through every few months, or years, Empires remains fundamentally the same game - except that vehicle balance is all way off (infantry game play is so fast-paced and so cooperative that a few rebalances to infantry combat aren't too often that noticeable, e.g. direct hit mortars only doing 128 damage now).

    Take hull damage, for instance - it was designed to stop tanks battles from being devolving into complete slog fests. But was it really necessary? It seems that on balance people are much less happy with this change than they are without it - and I say this as somebody who actually likes the change overall, since, as I said above, I don't often bother with tanks.

    I'd also like to add that Xya's server balances tank combat anyway and makes it engaging and worthwhile by actually punishing people for losing them. It lends a certain dynamism and consequentiality to the game - resources and tickets are scarce. Suicide spamming tanks is rarely an option, and you don't end up with games in which both teams end up at the hour mark with 10 heavy tanks each, sitting on 10k res and 150+ tickets.

    What I would suggest is that we stick with the (balance) state of Empires as it currently (de facto) is, and that's with Xya's scripts mixed with the current vanilla balance of the game. (Since hull damage seems to be extra unpopular, maybe people could consider removing it, and lowering overall armor values. Just a thought.) Further changes to the game aren't going to please most people; they will rather only continue to piss off a vocal segment of the game. Empires isn't perfectly balanced, but then again, it never has been. Further balance changes to the game aren't going to make it more balanced (they rarely have in the past), and it certainly won't make the game "better" - it will only slightly change the way the game is played in some new but ultimately unnecessary direction, and attract the ire of more players.

    I suggest that devs stop focusing on balance changes, and instead focus on delivering more of those aforementioned quality of life adjustments - those things that make the game more playable for everybody. I saw that NJ wrote a post a few days ago suggesting that ML and MG turrets have distinct minimap markers - that would be a great idea, for example, and I seriously doubt anybody would object to it. We could also look into implementing some of the more uncontroversial comm plugin commands into the game itself (depending on how hard implementation would be) - things such as setting objectives or voting new squad leaders would be great. But I sincerely believe that we are at a point where further balance changes to the game are neither necessary nor desirable.

    P.S.- sorry VulcanStorm - if we're voting on bots, I'd like to cast my vote against them. They were an interesting novelty for a day or two, and now they feel like environmental obstacles that are unfun to kill or be killed by. Also, somebody should fix lobby balance - I've seen games go 3 v 1 or 4 v 1 or 5 v 2, which is a little silly. Then again, lobby is just a seed server, so these are minor issues.
    MegaMLGgaming likes this.

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