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Zjorz

An attempt at a balance patch

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Red alert is a great game, and I love playing it. After playing this game for years I realise that there is a lot that can be improved. I love the core gameplay and strategies the game offers now, and this is something that can't and should never be changed. What could be improved is all the underpowered and useless units that are unviable to use, even during casual matches. I'm going to attempt to work on a "balancing" patch to make all ingame units usefull in some way. I know changing the game in any way is a really sensitive subject. I consider this a personal patch where i just share the progress for who might be interested. I understand there are many purists who like the game as it is, and thats fine.

 

The main aims for this project are as follows:

1. Preserve current build orders and strategies.

2. Buff underpowered units/buildings to make them usefull, no nerfing.

3. Tweak the tech tree for easier acces to unused units

4. Make it viable to use non tank build orders

5. Restore balance between allied and soviet side

6. Implement hidden AM units in a way that compliments the tech trees

7. Correct minor stat inconsistencies (example: light tank has lower view range than medium tank)

8. Remove useless stuff that can't be fixed (example: sandbags)

 

Progress:

Phase 1: Tweak tech tree > in progress

Phase 2: Tweak units > not started

Phase 3: Playtesting (map mod) > not started

Phase 4: Evaluate changes, back to earlier phase if needed. > not started

Phase 5:  Publish patch (possibly as a full package including the game) > not started

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2 hours ago, Zjorz said:

The main aims for this project are as follows:

1. Preserve current build orders and strategies.

2. Buff underpowered units/buildings to make them usefull, no nerfing.

3. Tweak the tech tree for easier acces to unused units

4. Make it viable to use non tank build orders

5. Restore balance between allied and soviet side

6. Implement hidden AM units in a way that compliments the tech trees

7. Correct minor stat inconsistencies (example: light tank has lower view range than medium tank)

8. Remove useless stuff that can't be fixed (example: sandbags)

I am happy that someone actually starts with this.

If I may place my suggestions:

1. Agreed with the current build orders, but also tech tree.

2. Actually, I think that nerfing should be done one the squishing. Either make all units that can squish slower, OR more expensive (speed x €##), or remove the squishing. But that last is something that most RA players don't want to see happen. Somehow, squishing has always been part of these games. And somehow, the game creators don't take the massive damage into account in the total unit costs. Every squishing unit is anti infantry, this is a fact.
I remember adding squishing in my board game. Where having the ability to squish 5 infantry on average in one turn would add €100 to the tank, no matter what speed they had because the squishing was considered a weapon there.
I see no other option than to see squishing power being based on the speed of a tank.
Nerf squishing, and all those anti infantry weapons become more useful.

3. I think that when the game is more balance, these unused units will be used more often. Which one are you thinking on exactly?

4. Again to nerf (or remove or more expensive) the squishing. Anti infantry weapons like rangers, V2, artillery and even air support will become more useful against infantry. Players build more infantry, any way seeing as how tanks will have more trouble taking care of the infantry.

5. I presume you want to make the allieds better on land and worse in the water?

6. Curious about this one. Tell me more?

7. What else do you have in mind? Range on artillery? Proper speed value's on roads and land for certain vehicles?

8. It would be a waste of potential opportunities. Make sandbags non-squishable. But also make sure you can place a lot, FAST. Like in tiberium sun, placing 5 (or even more) at once. Is it possible? It would suddenly be a better option that having silo's or mass power plants do the job of expanding. How about making it into 2 options. Vertical and Horizontal. And make them long. Another option is to do it like in EbfD. Where you draw the line. And the CY starts automatically building them. Further more, have them allow to build other structures further away. Just like in TD.

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Oh cool. You're getting right into it! Nice to see fellow modders having a crack.

Boy, I REALLY agree with what you say that a lot can be improved. This game has so much untapped potential.

Nice list, too. Good to see you state your ideas (philosophy behind the mod) before beginning.

I do agree with what X3M said about the squishing, though. But hey, have a crack at making infantry and other anti-tank weapons more useful without nerfing, first, and see how you go. It's often important to see things for yourself just for learning purposes either way.

GLHF!

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On 5/6/2018 at 2:19 PM, X3M said:

2. Actually, I think that nerfing should be done one the squishing. Either make all units that can squish slower, OR more expensive (speed x €##), or remove the squishing. But that last is something that most RA players don't want to see happen. Somehow, squishing has always been part of these games. And somehow, the game creators don't take the massive damage into account in the total unit costs. Every squishing unit is anti infantry, this is a fact.

I remember adding squishing in my board game. Where having the ability to squish 5 infantry on average in one turn would add €100 to the tank, no matter what speed they had because the squishing was considered a weapon there.
I see no other option than to see squishing power being based on the speed of a tank.
Nerf squishing, and all those anti infantry weapons become more useful.

 Good suggestion. Problem is that RA has been like this since the start, and its a big part of the current gameplay. I don't want to do huge changes like this, it would change the game too much. My thought currently is to change infantry to get a more important role while keeping core gameplay the same. For soviet i'm thinking of makeing flamethrower infantry and tesla troopers "heavy" infantry that cant be crushed and has more hp. The tesla trooper already has this function, so it will just be making it more suitable for this. For allied players I'm thinking about buffing the rof and range of rocket soldiers, and maybe reduce the price a bit. This way these units become more viable to use.

On 5/6/2018 at 2:19 PM, X3M said:

3. I think that when the game is more balance, these unused units will be used more often. Which one are you thinking on exactly?

For example: the shock trooper en tesla tank requires a tesla coil to be build, forcing a player to build this outside the normal tech steps. Same for the demo truck requiring the missle silo. I'm considering to move them to the normal war factory + tech center requirement to make them easier to acces. Same for a few other units and buildings.

On 5/6/2018 at 2:19 PM, X3M said:

6. Curious about this one. Tell me more?

Well the helicarrier, phase transport and supply truck can easily be added to the game since they are fully coded etc. Only thing is that in its current form the heli carrier is useless. Its super expensive and requires the tech center. By this time you also have cruisers, so why bother with it. I'm thinking about making it like a mobile early game helipad. Convoy truck could be a usefull light apc for soviet if priced right. Using directly copied stats wont work for it.

On 5/6/2018 at 2:19 PM, X3M said:

7. What else do you have in mind? Range on artillery? Proper speed value's on roads and land for certain vehicles?

Well mostly minor stuff. Like some buildings having more view range than others without a clear reason, some buildings using light /heavy armor while others use wood/concrete etc.

On 5/6/2018 at 2:19 PM, X3M said:

8. It would be a waste of potential opportunities. Make sandbags non-squishable. But also make sure you can place a lot, FAST. Like in tiberium sun, placing 5 (or even more) at once. Is it possible? It would suddenly be a better option that having silo's or mass power plants do the job of expanding. How about making it into 2 options. Vertical and Horizontal. And make them long. Another option is to do it like in EbfD. Where you draw the line. And the CY starts automatically building them. Further more, have them allow to build other structures further away. Just like in TD.

These features would be nice, but I'm not sure if thats something I shoudl do. I want to keep the game as much to the original as possible. I would like to fix things, not change the game. I will keep you comment on removing stuff in mind. Maybe there are some uses to be found for the stuff I'm thinking about removing. If you have suggestiosn let me know. Stuff I considere useless is: Fake buildings, sandbags, barbed wire and anti infantry mines.

1 hour ago, AchromicWhite said:

Oh cool. You're getting right into it! Nice to see fellow modders having a crack.

Boy, I REALLY agree with what you say that a lot can be improved. This game has so much untapped potential.

Nice list, too. Good to see you state your ideas (philosophy behind the mod) before beginning.

I do agree with what X3M said about the squishing, though. But hey, have a crack at making infantry and other anti-tank weapons more useful without nerfing, first, and see how you go. It's often important to see things for yourself just for learning purposes either way.

GLHF!

I will be posting the proposed changes to the rules step by step, so you will be able to see and comment on them. I'm almost done with the tech tree tweaking, so that will get posted soon

Anyway thanks for the feedback!

Edited by Zjorz

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Fake buildings saved me on low money games.

But with fast money games. I think that the build time should be similar to that of a wall. You only build them in the beginning. Or later on under the coverage of a magnet. Since the armor type is different then a concrete wall. The damage effects by other weapons than explosives will have effect. This is the reason why a fake building has relatively more durability against cannon fire than normal walls.

Only the access to these should become easier.

The anti infantry mines. Might I suggest having them 5 times stronger then the anti tank mines? Seeing as how tanks are roughly 5 times more expensive. How? How about you lay the mines, but you actually lay a field of 5 mines at once in a cross field. This way, the anti infantry mine layer will lay down 25 mines in total before refilling.

If you disagree, then I might as well say that both minelayers are useless in money map games. Which is 95% of time, if not more.

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"I understand there are many purists who like the game as it is, and thats fine. "

Obviously its not fine if you intend to try and change the game that they like.

Cncnet generally has a long history of avoiding balance changes because it deforms the blood, sweat, tears and spirit of its creators.

I am not saying that your mod wont be popular, maybe even more popular then the vanilla game, its just that we generally recognise the slippery slope that is user changes. Also the fact that it takes a rare kind of genuis to make them successful in the first place. Alot of people make promises about how impactful the changes will be and end up not really attracting any real attention due to unrational/misunderstood design. Coming here saying you will make something special and popular (which you hope for) doesnt really lead to anything constructive. The design requirements of kickstarter vs indigogo is a good indicator of things starting off smartly: kickstarter requires a working prototype while indiegogo doesnt need anything other then a bit of writing on paper. To create a proper (working + popular mod) you need to either spend a really long time in the design stage or a few years of tinkering with already working designs.

Maybe someone who has made a successful mod here can chime in and give you some advice. That would really be the best starting point.

Not sure what else to say.

 

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3 hours ago, Myg said:

"I understand there are many purists who like the game as it is, and thats fine. "

Obviously its not fine if you intend to try and change the game that they like.

Cncnet generally has a long history of avoiding balance changes because it deforms the blood, sweat, tears and spirit of its creators.

I am not saying that your mod wont be popular, maybe even more popular then the vanilla game, its just that we generally recognise the slippery slope that is user changes. Also the fact that it takes a rare kind of genuis to make them successful in the first place. Alot of people make promises about how impactful the changes will be and end up not really attracting any real attention due to unrational/misunderstood design. Coming here saying you will make something special and popular (which you hope for) doesnt really lead to anything constructive. The design requirements of kickstarter vs indigogo is a good indicator of things starting off smartly: kickstarter requires a working prototype while indiegogo doesnt need anything other then a bit of writing on paper. To create a proper (working + popular mod) you need to either spend a really long time in the design stage or a few years of tinkering with already working designs.

Maybe someone who has made a successful mod here can chime in and give you some advice. That would really be the best starting point.

Not sure what else to say.

I'm not really sure what you are trying to say. Do you think something is wrong with posting about this personal project?

Edited by Zjorz

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Not really saying anything but you might do well if you could muster 2-10 people to assist you. As well a thorough ground up assessment of redesigns at the same time. You will have more success if you commit to doing more backend work instead if plainly asking what people want. The factor that will decide your success will be your knowledge of what people want and sticking to it. Not the kind of wishy washy poll style knowledge but the interior recognition of shared key elements in peoples minds. That element of satisfaction! I also recommend looking to the guy who made MO (mental omega) and asking him for some tips/advice on making a mod. 

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Allied Artillery has a very limited range for its purpose. If it has the sane range as a V2 you can useas a soviet uses his V2s in a tesla fight: leting them parked for stop the coils advance. This greatly balances the game IMO, making the Artillery very usefull. What do you think about it?

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Since the build range is 1 space in between. And comfort attack range in fast games is at least plus 2. I would say that the artillery needs 3 range more then the tesla. The same goes for the v2. But this one could have plus 2 on top of the artillery.

 

Tower rush becomes harder. So towers will then be more of a defensive type as intended.

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mmmmm.... but Tower rush IS one of the strategies of the game, for bad or good, so we still need them. I think that if Artillery has the same range than the V2 its pretty much ok (im considering that V2 has more healt points and Artillery has more damage).

Another sugestion: This is kinda of extreme, but... Can the Medic be replaced by a Sniper? or can they fully heal target unit with one sigle "shoot"? Medic are also one the most LOST units of the game, but the concept behind them is quite good.

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Most games combine an army with tower rush. To pick of those artillery types that are attacking or defending. It requires skill though.

Medics are waaay to expensive. That is a fact. 800 for healing is ridiculous.

That 950 for the mechanic is also high. But a tank is very expensive in comparison.

Expensive and slow. That are 2 points that make them obsolete in most games. Only a camping game with slow income will truly benefit from them. While being slow is realistic for RA. I think that the costs should be reduced a lot. Compare their benefits to that of the thief of 500. I think that the medic could be somewhere around 300. And the mechanic around 400. At least cut the costs in half. And make the medic 50% faster in healing, not stronger, but faster in healing. And re judge them.

As a focus point. Medics in starcraft are roughly only 200% that of a marine. They "equal" the flamethrower.

Just pitching in idea's though.

 

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