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Changing Unit Costs

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Changing Unit Costs

Postby Watchful_Eye » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:05 pm

Some years ago, I was a really active (but never better than decent) player in Starcraft:Broodwar. As many of you may know, it is considered to be the best RTS Game ever. To me, this always just seems to be partly correct: Yes, the balance between the races is awesome, but the balance between the units is not. I somehow understood that Blizzard feared that their perfect balancing gets wonky, but it just never felt right to me that ghosts, queens or scouts we're almost never useful in the game, even though their abilities were really cool. I still think it would be possible to balance them in a way they would be used more regularly.

Now, there is the same thing in AWBW. It is hardly useful to build any unit that costs more then 10000 funds, unless the amount of cities is very high. I think it would be easily possible to improve the playing experience by completely reforming the unit costs.

Another motivation to make a new cost chart is to make the game more simple in a rock-paper-scissors kind of way:
- If you got 7000 funds and 2 Bases, it is usually an easy choice to build an infrantry and an artillery. So I tried to put some similarly good units in the same "cost class". If an artillery and a tank both cost 6000 funds, you got more tough choices and the relations between the unit costs are more obvious.
- The the cost of expensive units got really out of bounds. The thing is that Nintendo obviously balanced this game for the campaign in the first place, to the player should feel awesome if he got lots of Neotanks. That doesnt work in multiplayer though. That is why I tend to reduce the costs to make the game more clearly arranged.



However. This is my chart:

a) Footsoldiers

1000 Infrantry
The infrantry is the standard unit, obviously. In the last DS game, they raised the cost on 1500, but I dont like that. Since the costs of the other units are lower, infrantry are slightly nerfed but still the "awesome spam unit" of the game.

2000 Mech
Since the big units are better now and Mechs are not useful for those, I think it does make sense to reduce their costs for 50%. They still get countered by infrantry, so that should be fine.


b) Supportive Vehicles

3000 APC
Transport units motivate a tactical kind of play which should be supported. They are usually not as useful as Black Boats and T-Copters, since they cannot fly or move over water.

3000 Recon
Only a slight buff since the most units are going to be cheaper. They should not cost less because of fog of war.


c) Specialized transport vehicles

5000 Black Boat
The similar unit on water. Is slight faster and can carry 2 units, but depends on water.

5000 T-Copter
I think those should still cost 5000, since they are so easy to use.


d) Light Vehicles

6000 Anti-Air

6000 Artillery
Yes, Artilleries still got the same price. That does make sense since a lot of units which are countered by the artillery are buffed. Another reason is that the Artillery is the basic unit of every stalemate, since they can guard each other in masses. It think is good for the game if they are used slightly less.

6000 Tank

6000 Missiles
A quite radical change, but to me it just makes sense. If he flak is the "tank" vs air units, the Missiles the "Artillery". Of course, the range is more comparable to the rocket, but air units still got way more abilities to get out of it. Missiles are vulnerable against *any* ground unit. Most air units got cheaper, so it does make sense to give the player a new viable tool to counter them.


e) "Supportive Non-Vehicles"

8000 Lander
Still a mentionable price difference to the Black Boat, but now it should be more viable.

8000 B-Copter


f) Upper Class Weapons (they all needed a buff)

12000 Cruiser

12000 Fighter
Now more viable, especially against stealths.

12000 Md. Tank

12000 Rockets


g) High Class Weapons (a lot more pricy, but so are their counters)

14000 Bomber

14000 Sub

14000 Neotank

14000 Piperunner

14000 Carrier


h) Super Weapons (really hard to counter if the player knows what he/she is doing)

20000 B-Ship

20000 Stealth

20000 Mega Tank


_____

What do you think about it?
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Re: Changing Unit Costs

Postby Mr--Clean » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:57 pm

With so many units cheaper it would definitely make controlling cities more valuable and victory would always go to the person who is able to take more in the capturing phase

anyways I like your apc reprising but I dont know about the changes with the tank/AA/copter.
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Re: Changing Unit Costs

Postby zaaps1 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:18 pm

The missiles, as they are now, are certainly overpriced at 12000, imo. I don't know about making them 6000 unless all your other recommended changes are implemented.
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Re: Changing Unit Costs

Postby hetchel » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:53 am

Watchful_Eye wrote:I think it would be easily possible to improve the playing experience by completely reforming the unit costs.

- The the cost of expensive units got really out of bounds. The thing is that Nintendo obviously balanced this game for the campaign in the first place, to the player should feel awesome if he got lots of Neotanks. That doesnt work in multiplayer though. That is why I tend to reduce the costs to make the game more clearly arranged.

I think it's a great idea. Right now most league games are decided without buying any 10k+ units. Having more than 5 useful units can only be an enhancement to gameplay.
High funds is an attempt to reach the same goal. But changing the costs is better because it allows for a finer tuning of unit balance. The original games were not designed for multiplayer competition, so it isn't shocking that those adjustments can increase gameplay. Your proposed costs seem good. That's too bad AWBW doesn't support custom unit costs.
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Re: Changing Unit Costs

Postby Watchful_Eye » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:21 pm

Mr--Clean wrote:With so many units cheaper it would definitely make controlling cities more valuable and victory would always go to the person who is able to take more in the capturing phase

anyways I like your apc reprising but I dont know about the changes with the tank/AA/copter.


The price reduction in real gameplay is not too drastic I think, because the costs of regularly used units are not or only slightly reduced.

I tried to reduce the unit costs in relation to each other. Tanks are countered by bigger tanks, while the artillery works against all of them. When you reduce the costs of big tanks, the artillery is more useful than before.

zaaps1 wrote:The missiles, as they are now, are certainly overpriced at 12000, imo. I don't know about making them 6000 unless all your other recommended changes are implemented.


I agree. It would probably become worse if only parts of the cost changes would be implemented.
Generally, I would not even say that my changes are "perfect", they would still take some playtesting. This is just a concept which should be tested and improved in detail.

Glad you like the changes @ Hetchel.
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