Thursday, August 9, 2012

The next phase of the balancing game

So Doug and I have been working on the new balancing system for a bit now.  This new system takes quite a few things into consideration.  The initial goal was to make the units feel more important and also have a cost that is true to their actual use.

While working on this new design Doug mentioned something about a unit being designed to do a specific job.  What I mean is that a unit should be able to either deal with units of equal or lesser teir value or they should have a specific roll in the game.

With that being said our new design looks... interesting on paper.  I say that because there were a few things that this rebalancing needed to hit for me to be happy and I'm not sure if we've done that. Normally I can see things on paper quite clearly and see how they will work in the game.  This time though it's a bit difficult.

The major issue is in the old versions of the mod a units HP and cost were determined by it's Teir.  A units weapon loadout however was a base level affair even though it had a major roll in determining a units overall cost.

The new balancing design that we're going with is focused on making units more valuable in the game.  It also focus's quite specifically with using armor ratings as the determining factor of a units survivability and using the HP as a base level of the Teir.  Each unit is broken into 3 teir categories: Weapon, Body, and Utility and then those numbers are added up and divided by 3 to determine the units overall Teir level.

The goals of this rebalancing are as follows.

Unit Types have to feel different in the game.  Mecha can't feel like Tanks on legs.
Units have to actually have usefull rolls in the game.
Battles have to end quicker.  No one likes watching a 20 minute video of 2 tanks hitting each other slowly whittling down their HP.  If a weapon can do damage it needs to DO the damage.
Economic Designs need to be more diverse.
Money needs to feel valuable.

The last 2 are my question marks.  For the EF it's obvious what their economic design is.  They can gather Tiberium AND they make money from power supplies through air drop offs.  

GDI is going to be about "cash cams".  Lighter infantry squads will have "leaders" who are equipped with "scouting cameras" for taking pictures of the enemy and relaying these photos back to centeral command allowing them to generate funds.  There is also an Orca with this camera attached to it and an APC that can be built that will do this as well as the Recon Drone that can generate funds.  The idea is simple, the more diverse your force is the more cash you make.  Heck, take a bunch of infantry and spread them out in buildings to act not only as early warning systems but to generate funds as an enemy attacks you.

NOD is going to go the "Discount" route.  This is tied in with their Doctrines.  If you pick Sector 9 for example every unit that is classified as a "Built by Sector 9" or "Designed by Sector 9" will get a major discount.  This will make it even more challenging when picking a Doctrine as it not only determines what weapons your units will use but it determines their overall cost.

Scrin still have their ability to simply generate funds by making additional Tiberium Fields wherever they wish on the map.

So between these changes to the economy and the changes to the games hp/cost/weapons systems it may turn out to be the best version yet.  Or it could turn into a huge mess with the units simply dealing too much damage per shot and a few units being able to control an entire battlefield.  Only playtesting will tell.  :p


Alan said...

Um the scrin ability to make tiberium fields hasnt worked for me. I might be taking the wrong upgrade path but I never have access to that ability

azuza001 said...

You must not be picking the right upgrade. I know it works, I use it all the time and so does the AI. I don't know what gift it is off the top of my head, I'll have to look at it.