An expansion/overhaul mod of epic proportions, with entirely rebalanced gameplay, expanded factions, new gametypes, graphical overhauls, and five new factions; stealth-based Confederate Revolutionaries, tower defense-inspired Atomic Kingdom of China, economy-focused Mediterranean Syndicate, DotA-esque Order of the Talon and spammy Electrical Protectorate.

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Unit Upgrades Concerns- Confederates, Syndicate, and Soviets (Mods : Red Alert 3 Paradox : Forum : Paradox Discussion : Unit Upgrades Concerns- Confederates, Syndicate, and Soviets) Locked
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Jun 18 2012, 4:54pm Anchor

The unit upgrade systems of the Soviets, Syndicate, and Confederates will all make their units* more cost-effective in battle.

*(Non-infantry units in the case of the Confederates.)

I am concerned that these systems may give some factions a heavy advantage in the late game against others, without a sufficient downside.


The Confederates, designed around weaker Mechanical Combat Units in the early game, may have sufficient reason for such a cost-effectiveness increase.

Their upgrade system seems geared towards delaying and defensive tactics to draw the game out of their weaker early game and into their stronger late-game.

However, they are far from helpless in the early game, with adequate Infantry and amazingly powerful Support vehicles to keep enemies busy while their fast-expanding Dozers work to give them an economy advantage. Earlier Siege capability also strengthens their early game offense, but their inability to hold the Seas early on limits their expansion and harrassment opportunities.

On the other hand, most factions unlock powerful new units at tier 3, and while the Confederates may have super-effective variants of other unit types, they have no raw power equivalent to units such as the Apocalypse Tank or King Oni- which might balance out the existence of these upgrades for them. Although, their Jammer Truck will likely prove to be an equalizer against such units, which may eliminate this weakness.

Overall, the Confederates seem to have an adequate early and late game- with their Support vehicles and lack of tier-3 superheavy units balancing their upgrade system in the early and late game.


The Syndicate's system is similar to the Confederates with the expection that they cost credits to purchase and that research may begin slightly later in the game: though they may research faster to compensate.

Unlike the Confederates, the units affected by these upgrades are not stated to be sub-par without them. This could potentially give the Syndicate an upper hand over other factions in the late-game without a downside in the earlier game.

While their strange economy system could make for a weaker earlier game, I believe that there are potential issues with it that I will discuss in another thread so as not to go off-topic from the subject of upgrades.

However, I do not think that any faction should be allowed to increase the cost-effectiveness of their units without some downside inherent in the faction to counter-balance and justify it.

The Syndicate's preference for long-ranged kiting seems to have more advantages than disadvantages, so I do not view their weakness in close ranges as a fitting counter-balance.

The Syndicate's weaker base-razing capabilities also seem adequately counter-balanced by their kiting warfare alone.

Overall, the Syndicate threaten to have an adequate early game and a late game stronger than those of factions without an upgrade system, but could be balanced by their economy system.


Off all the upgrade systems, the Soviet's is the most worrying by far.

Not only do they have an array of utility upgrades and the ability to directly increase the cost-effectiveness of their units by purchasing and upgrading the Battle Lab: they can also cut unit costs and production time in half!

The full potential of the Soviet system is units that are at bare minimum 30% more cost-effective than those of other factions that take half the time to produce and cost half the rescources.

(As a side note, they have an upgrade that reveals the entire map, along with other upgrades likely to break the game in their favor.)

Granted, this would require the hefty investment of a fully upgraded Battle Lab and Industrial Plant- but when buying cost-effectiveness, is such an investment really an adequate cost?

The Soviets, so far as I can tell, have absolutely no downside to compensate for this ability to absolutely stomp every other faction with a critical mass of rising cost-effectiveness.

Overall, I think that the Soviet Battle Lab and Industrial Plant tech routes need to be revisited, redesigned, and rebalanced: or the Soviets will require massive nerfs to accomodate them with some semblance of balance.

Strategies to end the game quickly and prevent the Soviets from reaching even half of their upgrade potential would likely become neccessary to defeat them were the designs for them on the wiki fully implemented.

Edited by: Galgus

open_sketchbook
open_sketchbook Your Lord and Master
Jun 18 2012, 9:23pm Anchor

Every faction gets potentially completely bonkers in the extremely late game, in situations where games drag long enough that everything gets accessed. Some do it by increasing their cost effectiveness, like the Confederates and Syndicate, some do it by the ability to acquire completely insane critical mass, like the Protectorate and China, and in a way the Talon, and some by essentially gaining a bag of tricks so deep and broad that they can dictate the flow of the game, like the Allies and Empire. The Soviets can do any of these, but it would have to be an extremely long and screwed up game for them to be able to do all or even most of them. Essentially, the only way they could do this sort of thing is in a game situation where they have already, for all intents and purposes, won, and the other guy just hasn't GG'd out yet.

Jun 18 2012, 10:06pm Anchor

I am a bit hesitant to respond after the misunderstanding with R3ven, but I disagree with you about the Soviets.

All that the Soviet player needs to do in order to reach their hyper critical mass is to draw the game out while sitting on a large economy, which requires a defensive expansive play-style, not for their enemy to be losing.

It effectively puts any match against the Soviets on a clock- if the game goes past a certain point, even if the players were evenly matched up until then, the Soviets will have an almost guaranteed victory.

This is likely to be especially problematic in larger-scale multiplayer games, which tend to drag on longer as players lean on their teammates for defense and support.

(Especially in a free for all if the Soviet player's enemies cannot come to an agreement to shut them down early.)

If I can ask a few questions, what bag of tricks do the Allies and Empire acquire to stand against such snowball potential, and what exactly is the late-game critical mass of the Protectorate and China?

Balance testing will tell all, but I do not see the late-game scaling of each faction as even remotely equal to that of the Soviets, because where other factions stop getting stronger, the Soviets continue to snowball.

open_sketchbook
open_sketchbook Your Lord and Master
Jun 18 2012, 10:33pm Anchor

I agree about those sort of things, but I'm just going to point out it's a lot harder to both play defensively and expand nowadays. Our test games have shown that map control is a much larger element in our test games; the key seems to be to bottle an enemy and start picking apart their isolated elements. Furthermore, there are a lot of weapons that exist to reach into enemy bases and kill enemy units before they can be employed. Unless you are China or the Confederates, you simply can't turtle up and hope to expand, you need to be constantly spending money on units to assert map control and prevent being bottled. Both MCVs and expanding units are more vulnerable than ever before, and infantry are powerful enough that you can fairly easily place cheap but robust assets on defense points.

So, basically, the only way a Soviet play would be able to afford to get all the upgrades would be to somehow expand all over the place while also being ignored completely for a very long time. It simply isn't likely, especially because players are aware of this capability, and if it does happen, it's pretty much your own damn fault for not having their collectors under constant artillery barrage while they turtled up.

If things do turn out to not work that way, we have balance contingencies.

Jun 18 2012, 10:40pm Anchor

Galgus, how about making Battle Lab Upgrade 2 requiring 2 Battle Labs and Battle Lab Upgrade 3 3 Battle Labs?

Wiki.paradoxmod.com

Jun 18 2012, 10:47pm Anchor

@ HerKrakmann:

My concern is really the effect of the Soviet cost-efficiency upgrades being stacked, not how long it takes to do that.

@ Open_Sketchbook:

Balance testing will tell for their critical mass.

I'm still concerned about letting the Soviets always see all of the map- perhaps a low cool-down Radar Scan style ability could replace the upgrade?

Jun 18 2012, 10:50pm Anchor

Half, no, Quarter the defense and attack bonuses from Battle Lab Upgrades?

Jun 18 2012, 11:03pm Anchor

Eh, the Industrial Plant is at least half of the problem- honestly, the half cost units have me more spooked than the 130% effectiveness units.

EDIT: Although, perhaps the Battle Labs should cap at making Soviet units 20% cooler.

Edited by: Galgus

R3ven
R3ven Paradox Leader
Jun 18 2012, 11:07pm Anchor

I agree with the cooldown on the map ability, only makes sense.

EDIT: Galgus added on while I was posting. The IP and BL upgrades won't be fast, and they won't cost 0 credits either. But balance will tell.

@Herrkrakmann

That's a bit of an outrageous proposal when we haven't even started testing a faction and its balance.

Edited by: R3ven

Jun 18 2012, 11:08pm Anchor

Make the Industrial Plant reduce Income from Ore at each level? Reduce Industrial Plant Bonuses?

R3ven
R3ven Paradox Leader
Jun 18 2012, 11:09pm Anchor

Woh woh woh buddy, you can't balance things with cost(which is what reducing income does), nor can you code that anyways.

Jun 18 2012, 11:09pm Anchor

Reducing income from Ore just plain wouldn't make sense.

Reducing the bonuses, maybe, but as R3ven said, this stuff will have to get balance tested in game.

Jun 18 2012, 11:17pm Anchor

Make the Industrial Plant consume more power with each upgrade?

Jun 19 2012, 12:27am Anchor

Maybe make it so that upgrades are tied to their individual battle lab: if that battle lab gets destroyed, the upgrade is lost until another battle lab re-researches it? That guarantees that even if the Soviets do somehow get every upgrade possible, there is still a weak point to take down.

Blood-Russia-Mk2
Blood-Russia-Mk2 Children-Eater
Jun 19 2012, 5:53am Anchor

It really boils down to "Don't let your opponent get a ridiculous leg-up on you." If they have all of their upgrades, it's because you weren't pressuring them enough not to.

--

Yours faithfully,

That guy who does hammy stuff on a regular basis.

Jun 19 2012, 1:02pm Anchor

Its all still a just a matter of time- a stalemate will increasingly become one-sided for a Soviet player.

R3ven
R3ven Paradox Leader
Jun 19 2012, 1:15pm Anchor

If you're spending on upgrades, you're not using money on units(or you're spending less on units) so you're at a disadvantage. You will have a deficiency on units.

go123452
go123452 You don't wanna know
Jun 21 2012, 2:38am Anchor

Sadly it is easier to defend than attack.

The Soviets have a lot of stalemate inducing units, like the Myeche (which can bog down a push for artillery to annihilate them), the Perun, and possibly the Apocalypse (the primary way to kill an Apoc is to flank him, and flanking is a nigh impossibility when he has a base and defenses guarding his back)

Admittingly we do have to wait for the testing to come out, but I am with Galgus on this one.

Unless the upgrades cost like 10000 each or something, it could be potentially game breaking. Even with a $10000 price tag, Building 2 apocs, 5 hammers and their supporting units effectively negates the cost entirely. Effectively, two major battles in, even if they were marginal defeats for the soviets, the Soviets would still have won in terms of net resources lost.

--

>.<

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