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gnear
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PostSubject: Balance & game philosophy   Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:46 pm

Hi first of i really like the map - moreso than Nw , red vs Blue or Nexus Wars because its closer to the real Sc2 than any of those beforementioned

However: ... i think the game has some fundamental flaws which are not likely to be solved without some rather drastic changes:

--------------
1. no Vespene Gas, i`d really like to see Vespene Gas in this game. in real Sc2 its there for a reason, while the mineral portion of a unit always represents the muscle of it ,Gas is what makes a unit trickey, especially caster.

and i dont think that you can reasonably balance units like Archons , Infestor ,Ht , Raven , Ghost etc. without limiting them to Gas ,
sure you can push Archons to 500 Minerals to ensure that it is not imbalanced vs Zerg in straight up fights but in this way you would only fight the symptoms of a flawed system.

i know that it would be a lot of work to reassign mineral and Gas costs to units but i think it would overall be worth it.



-----------------

2. Too Strong Base Defence. The Canon and the Planetary Fortress deal ridiculous amounts of dmg which results the game to become very tech / income oriented.
and after all the game is about player vs player and not player vs npc vs player.

i mean if you spend your first ~600 Minerals only on units you are barely able to deal any dmg at all, because the canon / pf damage and shield are so strong
this renders any early game strategy completly useless in opposition to income / tech player.

my suggestion to fix this problem. ( rough approximations)

reduce Pf Dmg to ~50 dmg per shot decrease Fire rate by about 300%
reduce shields by 50%, increase Hitpoints by 100%-200% add 1-2 shield and lifearmor.

The Concept of the Canon is actually nice:
slowing down the enemy.
buys time if the enemy suddenly has an suprising army.
grants a mineral bonus if destroyed - thus it slightly encourages active aggressive strategies (as opposed to reactionary play only)

but i just think the canon is overall too strong for a single unit and thus , once again encourages the player to play overly techy / passive

so i think you should split the power of this insane canon to about 10 canons, each ~200 hp 100 shield ~15 dmg per 1.0 second ~7 range grants ~50 Minerals if Killed.
in about that layout


what i expect this change to do -
more dynamic ,less passive gameplay.
encourage early game aggression to punish overly greedy and techy player
( just like in real sc2. i mean who would build 3 expansion to then go Battlecruiser without any steps in between ? - and win.)

----------------


3. Unitcap , represented as space.

in desertstrike1338 there is no supply cap, the units you can send on the field is represented by the space you can occupy with buildings.
and this is once again a game feature which does the following;

it encourages high tech, high supply units. like broodllords ultralisk, carrier , collossus , Thor etc. because they are SUPER space effecient. in a game where you cant even sell
unit-buildings.

and even so, iam sure there is a niche for Zealot / Stalker / Marine / Roach / Zergling / Baneling play , this niche cant be filled because those units cost exactly as much supply (space) as
collosus, Thor or Ultralisk , and thus they will never be able to compete in lategame situations

Suggestions to fix this:

increase the Builder space and introduce a Unitcap. make every building sellable ~50% refund.


--------------

4. Spawning and formation.

i think its unacceptable that all units spawn in exactly 1 place at the same time. 1 fungal , several collossus shots, or storm can completly demolish an army in that situation before they even
had the chance to take action. so make units spawn behind the PF in a rather large area

also you have no influence over the formation of an army , i saw that you tried to fix that by changing the speed of units but i think that this is an rather unsophisticated method

my suggestion. give all Unit-buildings an ability which determines a spawn delay of 1-4 seconds ( i think some testing is required to determine a reasonable timespan)
eg you want your banelings to be behind your zerglings ? give banelings 1 sec spawndelay (via banelingden ability toggled on.),
you want your zerglings to come in after Ultralisks ? give Zerglings a ~3-4 sec spawndelay.

i dont know how hard this is to to implement in the Sc2 galaxy editor - but it would have been a rather easy task in Wc3
(eg give every building 4 abilities, 1,2,3 and 4 sec delay. make each of them a autocast ability and depending on what ability is toggled on a spawn dealy is applied.




---------------



thats it for now ...
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Bottle
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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:55 am

You have some interesting ideas here. My opinions, as a frequent player, are these.

1. The beauty of DS for most people is its simplicity. You don't need to worry about balancing gas and mineral income, and apart from building geysers, you don't need to worry about income at all. This in my opinion is good. It lets people instead focus on the main aspect of the game, ie. creating a balanced army that counters the enemy armies. Furthermore, how do you propose to add gas to the equation? Make gas also a certain income rate, like minerals? All that will do is drastically reduce the number of possible combinations. Yes, it would stop builds like cruiser only, or broodlord corruptor only, or mass marines only... but why should we? All of those builds has a valid response to them for any race, they're hardly unbeatable. So you would be proposing cutting the amount of options available to the player for no other reason than "mass BC doesn't seem right". Nah. Don't fancy that much.

Alternatively you could allow players to make buildings that result in higher gas production but lower mineral production, but then you're going to end up with the same builds, just with a different way of getting to them. Nothing would actually change.

2. Did you ever play SC1 DS games? The temple on those versions had freaking 50 armor and about 100000HP, because they didn't have a building that could fire and therefore the game became a matter of "who can use specials the best". The PF needs its high-powered weapon or games would be over way too fast, even with more HP and/or armor, unless you made the PF have about 20 armor again.

The cannon idea is novel, but once again it's overcomplicating things. There are only 5 poisitions of the map of consequence in DS1338- the middle, both cannons, and both PFs. Adding layers of steadily increasing defence will not only make games excessively long and overcomplicated, it would also make siege units like tank, colossus and broodlords excessively good- unless you made the defences rubbish, and then, what's the point of having them? To punish teching? So every game will become a T1 slugfest. Well what fun.

3. I don't know how much you've played, but I think I have found myself run out of space before the rocks break down about 3 or 4 times in several hundred games. By the time you've filled all the available space, the rocks usually break- if they haven't, silly you for massing 40 roach warrens! When you start running out of space, tech up and add a few elite units to your army mix. Simple.

I have never been in a game that was long enough for me to completely run out of room on the whole island, and I only ever saw it happen once, to a zerg that really didn't know what he was doing.

I play Terran a lot, and I usually open with a LOT of marines. Minimum 12 rax, and usually more like 24 by the time I've finished unless my opponent is massing splash damage units. I then transition into some tech units and buy the upgrades and always have at least 1 column left before the rocks break. What's the problem? Do you want all-marine builds to be that effective?

If you're worried about space in the lategame, make the second area a little larger. Simple solution.

4. Unit spawning and formation is not ideal, but let's be honest, if you have colossus or tanks at your PF you're probably about to lose whether your spawn gets splashed or not. It's not just bad luck that you've been pushed back that far, you know. As for the second point, again you're overcomplicating a beautifully simple yet addictive game. The speed changes can easily make a formation that is universally accepted as being good and as the game stands there are very few problems with units arriving at the battlefiled in the wrong order (with one or two exceptions, like the viking).
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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:38 am

wow you really make make some critzm i will go though it step by step and tell you wht i think of it Smile

so first the vespine mhh i do agree it really makes it tricky to balance units cost onyl with minerals in normal sc2 is it a a realation of gas to minerals 3,5 so if a maroder cost normaly 100 min + 25 gas would meam with only minerals 100+(25*3,5)= 187,5(188 rounded) i do not know ho every thing would be balanced or not maybe i schould do some testing and tell you later how it worked or we implent gas on those guys and yust use the orignal cost of them but iam pretty sure it would be the same as a a realation of a faktor 3,5 of the orignal gas cost



2. if a team stands in front of the enemy pf they have pretty much won because they are so far in the enemys half that those guy will have a very hardtime to come back in time to not get many looses having no mid controll+ the enemy has get a bounty for killing cannon
ok the pf is too strong but i do not agree that the cannon are to strong if you play good you will get it down in 8 mins if not mosty your own cannon is down Wink and since you get bouns you will be in a nice position to beat a teched up player because the will lack the bouns of the cannon+ mid controll
as suggestion maybe the mid controll bouns should rasing after a time of steady control of one side so if you play agressiv and good you will be in mid controll for the first 15 mins of the game may be 1% more for each min of steady control( maybwe better a limited effekt for the first 15 mins of the game so more guys would play agressiv/early because they get some extra mins
i think to split the cannon is a bad idea if units steady stop/go at this map and only to face a weak split cannoin they will get massiv mass up like in nexus and after some time time it get unstopable for any enemy to stop even with cannon support


3. unit cap normaly a ds match are about 30 mins max so you mostly never get enough ress to really fuill up all space at all even with zerglings/zealost/marines. but normaly your enmy will force you to build more expensive stuff. as far as i know slyon and ark are working on sell able buildings

4. Ds schould be an anti micro map you are not suposed to have any influent on the formation at all Cool well some upgrades make it possible Razz as for the fungal prob i do not know why it is so hard to chance that but i guess the editor are not realy make it easy dor ark and sylon to change it
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gnear
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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:59 am

well ... all your responses boil down to one premisse : The Game should not get deeper (deeper not complicated) but the player should adapt to existig imbalances and cookie cutter build orders "a la flavour of the weak - which comp is imbalanced this week ?!" of course everyone can adjust to every restraint and thats what players currently do -they play utterly ridiculous stuff like mass carrier with archon (Archons are super good at killing vikings / corrupter /voidray because these clump up super tight .... unlike carrier ....)

but just because you offer so many "choices" it does not mean that it is balanced in desert strike you build your strategy around imbalances and flawed features like high army densety (thus making all ae spells completly ridiculous)


also - simplicity ....

as opposed to real Sc2 you dont have to micro at at all in desert strike - so i dont think it is to much to ask for some brain when it comes to unit composition




the layer of defence i suggested would only pusnish greedy player - i mean in my suggestion there might be 10 towers which might seem to be alot - but each of these towers has only 300 hp and only 15 dps - that means that "rushing" player can immediatly score points for his team by taking it down and winning the 50 Minerals -in addition to center control

in the current build on the other hand you need to invest atleast 1000 minerals to tear down the canon and that only if you have no opposing forces - i fail to see how this is not an improvement ?

if you want each game to boil down to high tech battles , why do we have to tech tiers at all ? just give everybody everything ...

also - what is the problem with games being short ? i mean its not like they are generally short - they are just short if team 1 plays fucking greedy and team 2 plays rush -
and even in this case . team 1 would have to completly ignore the rush effort of team 2 to instantly lose in this case.
i mean i would also always lose if i thought that it is a valid smart idea to expand 3 times before i build attacking units in real sc2




- vespene gas ... well in real sc2 the equation is 4 : 1 , but you also have to build infrastructure in Sc2 so i think it would be reasonabl to set it to 3:1 or 5:2

and btw limiting choices is not a bad thing . it makes you consider your ressources and not just , herpa derp i gonna build only carrier !!!!


-supply: you dont see the problemt dont you ? well you can build 40 roaches , but you know what a terran can easily stop 40 roaches with about 5 Thors and ~6 Tanks , and you know what ? those 5 thors and 6 Tanks will only take up 11 supply as opposed to 40 supply you think this is a fair match up ? you could completly solve problems of tha kind by introducing a supply cap which you could increase after a certain time ,


this is it for now ...

i'd like you to consider my points and how they could improve the game - I dont want suggestions how i should play those avoid those flaws in logic and lack of ai. i know how to win ds by exploiting logic gaps - but thats is not what iam here for - i dont want to bash on you - iam here because i care
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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:32 am

Pleas dont get aggro on each other and consider that all oppinions may help in some way Wink
I will comment some suggestions soon

hf Sylon

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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:04 am

Well, I read through this wall of text.

What I think right now:
1. 10 weak cannons make the game become more boring. The reason there is 1 strong cannon is to keep the fight in the middle of the field. In the beginning you got only few units and when you build for the second wave (your second wave) you got nearly 2 times the resources you had for the first one. So if you were pushing with the first wave and are now being counterpushed from far away, your units wont matter because your opponent stacked them up.
I DO think that one additional cannon is reasonable and might implement one. A slight advantage if the difference between the early spawns is too big seems good.

2. You cannot control your units so a lot of units are losing a lot of their worth, the other way around some are gaining a lot. Having a SC2 => DS1338 converter for prices is totally impossible. We have to ballance everything. And adding gas would only change the way you aquire your units, spend more minerals and get more gas for that. It would also lower the possibility of players being able to counter, if they go for gas and suddenly need more minerals they are goners.

3. You call it flaws, I call it ballance. This game contains a Rock-Paper-Scissors type of gameplay. You have strenghts and weaknesses.
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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:14 am

i tried before make the thead a one base build as zerg with 24 worker at minerals and 6 at gas the peaks where 840 min/min and 240gas/min im math are that 840/240 = 3,5 but thats not so important. you want improve the early game scratch

maybe a vote for an short mode in ds one normal mode where all things are like now and one short mode where the pf + cannon is much weaker so the game goes faster and "deeper"
i thimk and sylon are always open for new ideas but for the units they need some suggestion how it maybe better and not called all imbalanced and be pissed. it doesn't help much Smile

as for the mirco it is crutical at this types of a maps because if you can freely controll all units you yust have to run back and wait for you mate to spawn and massing up you both armys and crush the next two enemys realy easy thats why you can not mirco is super power full.


i personaly do not build units just to tear down cannons i build them to counter the enemys units the destruction of the cannon will yust happen along the way Wink if he build nothing i wait and see (but like i notice you do not like that kinda play) and counter but is not always nmust be t3 units like bc i counter mass marines with reaper yust because they are good against marines not because they kill buildings fast ^^

well supply cap wouldn't help much only helps the zerg not get beaten yust he have no space left in the very late game( 45min+ games buts that rare)

they can still can play greedy like in your example the terra can not let the zerg build up 40 roahes and do nothing the pf would fall after 3 goes
the first thor would come after 13- 15 roahes the zerg have now instat stop building roahes go for t3 and do brutelords asnd 13 rohes do a realy nice job one a lone thor.

So not a matter of supply rarer than matter of a bad combo

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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:46 am

Arkless wrote:
Well, I read through this wall of text.

What I think right now:
1. 10 weak cannons make the game become more boring. The reason there is 1 strong cannon is to keep the fight in the middle of the field. In the beginning you got only few units and when you build for the second wave (your second wave) you got nearly 2 times the resources you had for the first one. So if you were pushing with the first wave and are now being counterpushed from far away, your units wont matter because your opponent stacked them up.
I DO think that one additional cannon is reasonable and might implement one. A slight advantage if the difference between the early spawns is too big seems good.

2. You cannot control your units so a lot of units are losing a lot of their worth, the other way around some are gaining a lot. Having a SC2 => DS1338 converter for prices is totally impossible. We have to ballance everything. And adding gas would only change the way you aquire your units, spend more minerals and get more gas for that. It would also lower the possibility of players being able to counter, if they go for gas and suddenly need more minerals they are goners.

3. You call it flaws, I call it ballance. This game contains a Rock-Paper-Scissors type of gameplay. You have strenghts and weaknesses.


1. explain how it makes it more boring ? to the contrairy it rewards agressive play in a very direct faishon - and why is it a good thing if the fight is kept in the middle ? if you make such statements you should atleast explain yourself in a plausible faishon. i mean everyone starts of exactly the same , and the fact that this kind of layered defence grows progressively stronger makes outright wins in the first ~15 mins still impossible , however game pace changes in which strategy and forsight gets rewarded
currently you can go : uhm i only go carrier and tech straight to carrier because the canon and the pf will take care of anything until i reached that tech.

and if there are 10 canons which all grant 50 minerals you are able to progressively gain up to 500 minerals i think that this mechanic is very good analogy to harrassement & and scv/drone/probe sniping in real sc2 - because if you expand and tech in the most direct way without investing in units (very popular and effective way to play ds) - you should also get exposed to economic dmg
but this is currently barely the case , because the canon is pretty hard to take down ( not impossible i never claimed that) and only grants 200 minerals - and at the point you are able to claim those 200 minerals for yourself - they are only a small portion of your overall investment in units and tech.

2. well it would not just change how you aquire them ; iam talking about a fixxed ratio my current guess is 3:1
for every 300 minerals you get 100 vespene : for that matter you adjust the current prices of ds to that of real sc2.
this change would influence the army compostion of every race , and it would diminish cheesy tactics

maybe 3:1 is not optimal maybe its 5:2 maybe still something different, and maybe you have to adjust the gas price of some units to account for the fact that they are not meant for straight battles (Mutalisk comes to mind), but it would atleast be a start to prevent players from exploiting cheesy units / tactics (units and tactics = which would be equally broken in sc2 if there was no gas - i just want to point out that you created this kind of balance problem for yourself when you took vespene out of the game.)


3.well if you deny that there are cookie cutter solution for each kind of matchup you are either not very advanced in strategy or you are often at the merce of your enemie.

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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:07 am

Hi guys thx for writing so much useable comments ^^
I'll try to make some to Wink


1. Limiting choices is not a bad thing

Thats right, u must limit choices and we made a lot of steps to do so already.
The Problem is that we try to make a pretty balanced map witch can be won in
under 20 min easyly atm (wich is very short btw).

I am a fan of this stepping development:
1.Adding opptions
2.Balance
3.Considering user oppinions
4.Removing options
5. -> 1.
That way i can keep track of what is wiched, what is needed and what might be a good change.
But it need time.

2. Balancing with gas

A thing to think about, but very complicated to do.
How u may have noticed some poeple want it more simple.
But its also a strategy game and it may be a good step for further balance.
I'll think about it, but i cant give u good feedback atm.

3. The Battlefield (cannons/controll)

There are still some big issues indeed.

1.I reccomend the idea of adding cannons.
Its a good idea to make some parts of the game more interresting + more fluently balanced.
(but maby about 2-4 on each side not 10 Wink)

2. There was a suggestions before to make 2 extra controlllines behind the cannons
wich give an extra +5% income.
That is also in consideration wich would make spawing units at beggining more effectife
(cause u get your own line very fast) and would reward pushing a bit more.

4. Supply cap

Sry but i must admit that i also dont want to introduce it atm.
We lately implemented the sell abillity wich may effect this in some way.
But we may consider to introduce some kind of the supply cap in the later stages of the game.

5. Spawning and formation.

I also thought of this 1 time, but i am not the Coder.
Arkless told me that it would be a very complicated thing to do.
Atm we dont have the time to realise such a thing.
But we may consider it in the later stages of the game aigain.



Next week me and arkless will take a big session to discuss our further plans for the game.
We will consider these suggestions.
Thx for all your comments Wink

hf Sylon





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PostSubject: Re: Balance & game philosophy   Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:03 am

Sylon wrote:
I also thought of this 1 time, but i am not the Coder.
Arkless told me that it would be a very complicated thing to do.
Atm we dont have the time to realise such a thing.
But we may consider it in the later stages of the game aigain.

Well, it's not a problem of difficulty, it's just that I need some time for it. I am studying and am currently in my exam time for this semester.
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