What I have against armor-counters.

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Sgt.Security, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Sgt.Security

    Sgt.Security Member

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    Okay, this was originally a reply in Vulcan's "favorite armor" thread, but I think it's best to give this its own thread.

    I would like to point out why I hesitated to implement "armor counters" and I probably will not make it one of my future directions, unless sincerely convinced.

    Now let's get to the point.

    Because I think armor counters would actually make the gameplay stale, not the other way around.
    "You get this to counter that." "You don't get this to counter that and you lose."
    It makes the game single-way, you follow that way or it'd be very unlikely for you to win.

    For example, if you see A and you don't research B to counter that, you lose(or essentially drop your winrate to 20%).

    And now, this is actually the most important reason:
    In late game where everyone has multiple options, the gameplay becomes literally rock, scissor, paper with counters, you have absolutely no idea what you'll be fighting against.
    "Is the enemy going to use Homing? Guided? Bio ML? Ranged? HE?"

    Even if it's "soft-counters", you still get punished because hey, you guessed that wrong, I know you are a good player but still, you got unlucky man.

    No, that's not decision-making in RTS games, that's essentially luck.

    If we are perfect AIs, you can say : Okay, 2 of you get Compo, 2 of you get Reactive, 4 of you get Absorbant...etc
    And you guys do this XYZ formation, let Compo take the first wave of damage and then Reactive moves in, Absorbant flanks...etc

    No, that's just virtually impossible to see in Empires gameplay.
    It's fun to see those in actual RTS games because you can actually make them happen with your control skills, but no, not in Empires.

    What does our armors do now?
    They offer you different playstyles, you pick your favorite armor to work with.
    You can't say that because all armors are more or less good for any given circumstance, so they are basically the same.
    No, they are very different if you look at them closely.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
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  2. Donald Trump

    Donald Trump Member

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    Security, I feel like you are missing the point of the whole "counters" argument, and I don't mean it in a rude way.

    The gameplay already is stale. That is the argument. Almost every single person who you can talk to on the server will say the gameplay with tanks is rather stale. Right now, it seems to be that you move in a bit, trade a couple shells, then you retreat. This was not how I remember Empires in earlier versions, and a soft counter system could provide this style of gameplay again where you can take a couple extra shots.

    Empires isn't suppose to be balanced, it's suppose to be fun. Balancing the gameplay makes it stale, makes a certain meta perform above all else and it makes it unoriginal. The game needs to be balanced with fun, and counters provides this. Think of League and Dota. League has a standard meta where some champs can only perform in certain roles and champs can't usually perform in unique rolls. Take a look at Dota, they can play basically anywhere and do almost anything with no real "meta" because any hero can jungle, lane, or mid themselves (Not true for all, but it is far more true when compared to league). We need to go with the playstyle of Dota for variation.


    So let me go through your points:
    1. Tank combat is already stale. It's boring. It's unoriginal. Most people get the same research because it performs better than the others, providing no variation in actual gameplay. Your counter argument is going to be "Well I saw this researched" yea, once in a blue moon I do see some weird research. But you can't change the meta without some sort of countering system to be fair to all trees, you simply can't. When you make a change now, it will always make one more superior to another.

    2. The counter system I would propose wouldn't be a hard counter system, meaning you are guaranteed victory. It would simply be they are slightly stronger to your weapons, or that they are slightly more effective against their armor. This would reward coms who go off the beaten path, get weapons people don't normally get, and make armor's a little bit more fun. Again, not a hard counter, more of a soft counter that provides a slightly noticeable benefit, not a rock paper scissors type gameplay.

    3. Yea, it would require teamwork... something that would be good for this game. With additional teamwork, again, it wouldn't be a "rock paper scissors" gameplay, you can still perform and beat them it just wouldn't be as effective. End game would become a lot more fun when you are having to switch armors/weapons and roll tanks with different combinations to fight.

    4. We don't need to be perfect AI's. We simply need to have fun. This, again, is not a game to "balance" it is about having fun while playing. However, I do think an armor/weapon soft counter system will provide more balance than even now.

    5. It's not impossible, and it's not the entirety of the commander to tell them all what to use. He gets the armors and if someone feels the current armor is weak to their weapons and there is another one, then it's their responsibility to change it out. We can't keep dumbing this game down or soon we will be at COD level basics.

    6. Armors dont really offer different playstyles. For most of the armors, it's "Charge in, turn a bit, Run". Having to look at them closely shouldn't be the thing, they SHOULD be easily distinguishable and different. Saying they are slightly different doesn't mean they play much different. The only ones that play different that I can think of is regen because it regens quickly and you just circle around them until you have armor again. All other armors play the same.

    7. This game has research trees. THE WHOLE POINT of research trees is something performing better than something else. We seem to have forgotten about this basic fact of the RTS, and the more we diminish the RTS portion of this game, the less it becomes like Empires and more like Battlefield.
     
  3. flasche

    flasche Member Staff Member Moderator

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    did you consider that your memory might trick you into believing that? everything was better in the old days ...

    ... just that it wasnt.

    i still remember what you researched back when i started playing this game. it was the same research over and over. and this held true for each and every version i played. it shifted a bit (but not that much tbh) between version, but all in all it was a single research combination that was "the best" and you got called names if you didnt research it.
     
  4. Donald Trump

    Donald Trump Member

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    I remember compo being the "best" and everyone would get it because it was simply the best. However, if a soft counter system was introduced where 1 weapon countered 1 armor and 1 armor countered 1 weapon (not a hard counter, again, a soft counter), then it would open all trees up. Someone has plasma? Great, get this. Someone has Compo? Great get this.

    I do think that some of the "memba" berries have gotten to me, but I really do think a soft counter system, what a research tree is designed for, is the best system that could be implemented. The game needs to be balanced for fun, not for "balance" because balance will create a meta that will be boring, as we are seeing now kind of.
     
  5. VulcanStorm

    VulcanStorm Developer Staff Member Moderator

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    @Donald Trump I happen to agree with @Sgt.Security on this matter.

    I believe that an armour should be associated with a play style... Rather than with a "counter weapon"...


    Because we already have implicit counters...
    Theyre just not explicitly stated.

    Take for example...
    Bio weapons vs deflective armour.
    There is nothing in the scripts that states that deflective armour is weak to bio... But in practice it is. This is because of the fact that bio damage is not affected by the angle modifier.... So the bonus that deflective gets is ignored...

    This gives us the implicit counter of bio > deflective.

    See how this thinking does actually allow for counters in empires? And this is just due to how weapons and armours work, nothing to do with any hard-coded resistances or weaknesses.

    So maybe we have the best of both worlds?

    I believe that we do infact have counters already in empires. It's just that they are implicit and so are waiting to be discovered. As these counters are a result of the mechanics of the game interacting with one another, rather than being explicitly stated.
     
  6. Sgt.Security

    Sgt.Security Member

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    Yes, I kinda explained that, but I think he requests more than what we have.

    Honestly we need a better description for everything.

    Absorbant good against bio, bad against low speed projectile.

    Reactive is 120hp plain armor.

    Capacitive is good against low speed projectile, better against bio than reactive, given its high flat HP, bad against high speed projectiles.

    Deflective is bad against bio like Vulcan said.
     
  7. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    I feel the reason you and many others think the current balance, as in there is seemingly no counter system, is the reason for staleness is wrong. The reason why there is that problem of tanks being able to go in and out of combat like you said is because no one can overheat themselves, it's a major factor for why tanks are lasting much longer and combat feels pointless in a way. Some change to help prevent players exiting a fight whenever they please would make combat much more intense and fun, and help prevent the game from feeling stale. It needs to be a commitment, going to attack is pretty much expending the tank in order to secure the area, not just this slow(or fast) wall that shoots things like how it kinda is now.

    I'm not disagreeing with the notion of research's purpose, but the current research tree might make more sense if you view it like buildings in red alert or other rts, where dropping certain buildings enables different units to be produced. For empires this method actually makes sense due to the limited build space available on a lot of maps.

    Actually I wanted to know, what is the current meta for research?
     
  8. Donald Trump

    Donald Trump Member

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    I agree, maybe it is the whole overheating thing. Something NEEDS to be done because combat is stale when in a tank.

    Current Meta for BE -> Compo/Deflective -> Fission engine -> ER Cannon -> Bio MG -> Heavies. This is the best combo right now, it would seem, for BE tanks.

    Current Meta for NF -> Abs(to counter BE bio)/Regen -> 3 Phase -> Guided -> Bio MG -> Heavies. Usually Bio cannon as well, but that is just an added flair at the end.

    These are the research paths I see the most in the game for both factions. Not much deviation off the path or you lose.


    Edit: I think there should be more "Soft" counters added like Bio being weak against Abs. I think every armor should be slightly strong/weak to something to make the game a tad more interesting, and it should be in the description of all the weapons/armors about what they are slightly better/worse against.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  9. Paradox

    Paradox I am a gigantic asshole who loses people's hard wo

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    Just replying to OP since I didnt read the rest.
    I dont think we need hard counters like you describe, but what we could get is soft counters, BIo dealing 10 percent more damage to X this doing slightly more to that so that the comm has a sence of direction and because your comm is experienced and knows these things you can increase your winning odds by like 1.1 or something just cause your commander isnt stupid. I think thats more important then -> It doesnt matter what my comm researches, its the skill of the tank drivers. RESEARCH IS IMPORTANT, thats why it should influence winning odds, not by much but it should.

    What I do think needs to change in tank fights is -> If you are 2v1 you're dead, if you are 3v2 atleast 1 tank needs to die.
    Right now I can go in a fight 2v1 with my heavy, potentially kill 1 and get out.
    How do you change this? Either lower the armor overall. Buff all weapons damages. This will increase the pace of tank battles.
    I am more fan of the first, lowering armor overall ( hp ) this way rpgs will do more damage aswell. Infantry will be noticed by tank drivers.


    A lot of times noone has the balls to rush cause noone knows what will happen if you do, one side might lose, one side might win with less tanks.
    Theres not a lot of tactic involved in tank driving. It doesnt matter if you outflank your opponent since he can just stationary turn faster than you can drive around him.

    We need to make changes so tank driving get's more skill than I can predict where you can drive, and my aim is better.
    It should include I outflanked your tank group I win. Or I just my 3 heavies into your 2 and you die.

    This way tank combat wont be stale.
     
  10. Sgt.Security

    Sgt.Security Member

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    Read reply #6.

    We do need a better description.
     
  11. Ranger

    Ranger Member

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    ive never played without counters in my head.
     
  12. Paradox

    Paradox I am a gigantic asshole who loses people's hard wo

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    I think that's kinda your problem
     
  13. Ranger

    Ranger Member

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    I'm a lunatic. I meant they've always been in the game. If they weren't you wouldn't give a shitty shit about research
     
  14. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    I like how I have yet to see someone actually get exactly that meta mr trump. Sure I see the weapons or armors getting researched, but never that same progression you say. They tend to swap out bio mg for du or hemg, or grab he cannon(I see a lot of he cannon). If people are swapping out this and and that it should mean the meta is less stale then you think. You have to remember at the moment we only have 3 2slot cannons now(it used to be just 2 for quite some time) and I see every single one being used quite extensively at the moment. Missile tend to have a fair share, the only thing I don't see too much of is uml and homing, nukes bio ml guided all get researched quite often. And vehicle mgs are gotten entirely on what tree the person is currently in. Rails don't see the day of light because it's not 2 slot, and no one gets 3 slot anything til heavies, plasma being in a similar spot. So with the weapons I just listed that get researched often, that's only 9 possible weapons we actively see. In reality we don't have a ton of choices in regards to research, just the order really. Security adding 2 slot versions of some things should help the 3 slots stuff get researched which will only increase the variety of weapons seen. I say just wait til that drops because I highly doubt a more counterish system is going to increase research as much as that.

    It's true about there still being counters, abs doesn't just resist bio it resists cannons by like 30-40%(I can't remember the exact number it's been awhile), reactive doesn't resist anything but thanks to the high hp it does a better job withstanding antitank mgs and bio damage. Reflect has something of a resist to du strangely enough thanks to numbers getting truncated(that 10% resist is more like 20-30 depending on range and weapon).

    It's just until you get to heavies most people are running around with 2-3 different weapons, so even if one thing is being resisted the other is not so much. That's why it might not seem like armors are really resisting anything, the variety of weapons a person can have really helps their overall damage output against you.
     
  15. Paradox

    Paradox I am a gigantic asshole who loses people's hard wo

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    I still quite often research UMLS, how come people dont want to research UML anymore? It's really good for just firing down the line in chokepoints.
    Killing buildings is easy peasy aswell, line up 3 heavies all equiped with dual umls and fire away. And with coolant youll never overheat.
     
  16. Ranger

    Ranger Member

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    UML is pretty versatile too considering you can make shotgun and sniper tanks. For NF at least. It is indeed not researched often. I had forgotten how good it actually is, or at least how much it fits my style. No armour can withstand the powah of a full shotgun NF heavy shot. Like, only reactive with armour upgrade leaves enough armour. That's why I've always considered reactive as the anti uml armor. It's a good thing that its weight has been reduced to 18. It helps BE significantly. Would be good if it had, say 0.1 resistance against rockets. I believe it used to have that resistance against missiles... (?)
     
  17. flasche

    flasche Member Staff Member Moderator

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    not that long ago, maybe 2 month, i commanded a game of slaugthered had UML researched and got called out by someone why we didnt have guided. i was like "u wot m8?".
    maybe thats also the problem with research in general. people just have no idea what is good (including me, i lost touch ages ago, why care if you only casually play anymore) the game is really holding back on information about items.
    it really could do with comprehensive easily compairable stats and pictograms what everything does. here you guys who want to rate players could rate something, rate items. it would also make the game more accessible, because lets be honest, its really not. and ofc it would be nice if all that would be accessible before its researched, because it doesnt help if you wasted 4 minutes of research only to find out something wasnt a smart move.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  18. Xyaminou

    Xyaminou Member

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    Why are you people having this discussion again? Do I need to explain once more how counters work? and why they are a working gameplay element in RTS games despite what some of you might believe?

    Have you ever played an RTS online? Because if you have you should know it's not essentially luck, granted everything in this world has its amount of randomness in it but that's a debate for another time.
    In Real Time Strategy games an important element of the gameplay is visibility, map awareness, scouting, whatever you want to call it. By scouting your enemy you (should be able too, if the game isn't designed by morons) acquire informations about the technological path (or research in our case) they have chosen. Using that knowledge and a constant feed of information from your scouts you should be able to make an educated guess as to what your opponent is going to do.
    So no, this is not blind luck, it is much like poker in some respects. But you could also compare it to other strategically based board games, even chess.

    Now can you guess why we cannot have counters in Empires as it is?
    It is not a matter of gameplay balance, or the how fun it would be to play against the wrong weapons and armor.
    Imagine playing chess if you could not see your opponent's pieces.

    Having counters in a game brings out the psychological part of the strategies. Know your enemy.

    Implement spying, scouting, bring a whole new "minigame" to Empires and then we can talk about research counters.
    Until then, close this useless thread...
     
  19. Sgt.Security

    Sgt.Security Member

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    What I meant is : Soft-counters in Empires wouldn't be the same as those decision-making in RTS games.

    So yes, that's exactly what you wrote.
    In Empires we don't have that much ways to "scout", and even if we have the ways to scout, you still can't predict what your enemy will be using, it's all luck.

    Like I said, in late-game there exist many options for your enemy to use ( 6 armors and 3~4 weapons * 3 weapon types..etc).
    If all weapons are more or less effective, then how do you pick your armor? No, there's absolutely no reliable way for you to decide.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  20. Paradox

    Paradox I am a gigantic asshole who loses people's hard wo

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    Ive suggested this before, when you sab the enemy radar you get to see the research they have gotten till then
     

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