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  • Balance Mod Discussion

    Hey guys,

    So I'm just starting this new thread so we can have some place to post thoughts on the new Balance Mod update!

    I just finished my 5th round on the Balance Test Mod,

    First thing I noticed is VERY LONG ROUNDS! This mod practically eliminates the chance for an all in base rush, aliens replenish eggs almost immediately and only a limited amount are dropped down. Marines are damn near impossible to kill early on as an young skulk. Once biomass is upgraded on the hive every alien unit gets more health, which can help when trying to solo multiple marines.

    The one thing that is inherently broken is the new and improved jet packs, as a Marine you gotta love 'em. As an alien a celerity Lerk you can barely out run them, this leads to it being very frusturating to catch and kill marines.

    All-in-all I think that the radical amount of changes that have been mode to the game are something to be encouraged and embraced, its a more complex way to look at the game. It encourages more teamwork and if your team doesnt listen or work together the entire way through, you're screwed. But that's the entire mantra of the TG server.

    The late game requires alot of focus from the teams, and if the aliens arent able to take and hold their hive locations, their later life forms are laughable.

    For marines, the early game seems to be more important being super aggressive.

    For Aliens, the early game seems to be more about being defensive and spreading out across the map and holding said locations. Later on when the aliens are big and strong then they can flip to the offensive and start slapping those silly Marines around.
    DO AS I COMMAND - Megatron possibly the hardest working commander ever known.

  • #2
    Re: Balance Mod Discussion

    Here are my thoughts on balance:
    I don't like that the armory doesn't repair armor(kinda ironic). In my opinion dual railguns are a bit overpowered. I am not a big fan of Bio Mass, however I do like that you can change upgrades (between carapace and regeneration for example. It doesn't feel like the same game to me, too many changes in my opinion.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Balance Mod Discussion

      I havent played it yet but why is it harder to kill a marine early, its still 2 bites and a parasite isnt it?
      Kalost_tpf/twitch.tv

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Balance Mod Discussion

        Originally posted by OscarTheCouch View Post
        I havent played it yet but why is it harder to kill a marine early, its still 2 bites and a parasite isnt it?
        It's actually easier because there are no glancing blows and so it ALWAYS is 2 bites and a para. It can feel harder if you aren't used to the movement, as well as because the movement is more predictable to the marine and thus easier to shoot. If you utilize bouncing off of walls and stuff while in combat to get more mobility and less predictable movement, skulks can tear through early marines.

        You can bunny hop and wall jump to gain speed to traverse the map faster and enter combat faster, but again the movement can be very predictable so even though you can be moving at high speed the skulks collect more bullets. I think one of the things that make people think the mod favors marines is that aim is not a new skill, and so doing something to make it easier to aim (more predictable movement) will automatically help the marines. Adding in new movement mechanics on the other hand requires practice to build up a new skill, everyone starts at a lower bar (although those that are more familiar with bhopping can probably pick this new movement up pretty quickly).
        remi.D

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Balance Mod Discussion

          Both teams have buffs and nerfs, it's complicated. I think the alien team has considerably more difficult changes to adapt to than the marines. Particularly the alien comm - if a comm doesn't realize that all his structures are building at a snail's place without a drifter/Gorge, or that he needs to drop three chambers for upgrades, the team is doomed.

          I think if we're going to stick with the mod it should be reserved for peak hours when there are a lot of regulars to explain it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Balance Mod Discussion

            Originally posted by Zek View Post
            Both teams have buffs and nerfs, it's complicated. I think the alien team has considerably more difficult changes to adapt to than the marines. Particularly the alien comm - if a comm doesn't realize that all his structures are building at a snail's place without a drifter/Gorge, or that he needs to drop three chambers for upgrades, the team is doomed.

            I think if we're going to stick with the mod it should be reserved for peak hours when there are a lot of regulars to explain it.
            Considering I am on the west coast now and so my peak hours are different, I'm opposed to that... But I do agree that having people explain what's changed is really important. When I was playing I was telling my team about changes to parasite that means they should parasite RTs, about how it only takes 2 bites and 1 para to kill them early game, and about how jumping off the walls can give you boosts of speed. Really seemed to be helping.
            remi.D

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Balance Mod Discussion

              Aghhh. I'm not going to be able to play tonight. :(

              I sure hope we host the bt again some more nights this week or next weekend, I haven't had enough!
              remi.D

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Balance Mod Discussion

                I've extended our trial of Balance Test until 6/4: http://www.tacticalgamer.com/natural...-test-mod.html
                Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Balance Mod Discussion

                  Ok I have new opinions on the new Balance mod, I vote for it to be off the server until it is integrated into the main game. Some of the changes are Awesome

                  Aliens:

                  Camo working only mostly, slight shimmer instead of completely invisible. LOVE IT!

                  Gorge healing faster and Onos being slightly weaker. LOVE IT.

                  Skulks moving faster on creep, and a bigger boost from celerity. LOVE IT.

                  Marines:

                  Shotguns do less dmg, modified spread (long distance kills) personally I think this should be a choice upgrade from the armory when buying a shotgun eg. Slug shotgun (concentrate pelts) Buckshot shotgun (normal spread) either way I enjoy it.

                  Need robot-factory for Exos. Makes sense!

                  Mines researched when robot-factory is built. Cool!

                  Armory gives both Flame and Grenade launches as 1 expensive upgrade. LOVE IT! (I hate choosing as a commander)

                  Exo's are weaker and REQUIRE the welding of team mates, 1 Exo can still not solo an Onos (nor should it be able to)

                  Welders are immediately researched (even though they still require 4 pres)

                  Where the mod goes wrong and breaks the balance.

                  Aliens:

                  All structures build at 50% rate (aliens are already at a detriment when building as marines can build almost instantly where as aliens need to wait for the structures to build (this is perfectly balances as aliens don't need anyone to build) now drifters are needed to build all structures at a normal (still slower pace))

                  Fade no double jump puts the fade at gun level (bleh), Shadow Step no longer gives momentum =slower fade = dead fade. Shadow step is now the equivalent of listing lazily to the left. Not hard to track a fade like that. New fade = dead fade unless they are in a big group of fades and not up against a JP shot gunner!

                  Skulks jumping mechanics, as said above they are changed, therefore lowering the skill level of alot of people, I consistently find my self grabbing off of walls and ceilings when I expect to be dropping on a Marines head. (This may just require some more practice. Personally I think why fix whats not broken.)

                  BioMass for aliens: vs. TechMass for Marines
                  OK this is gonna be a long one, so please bear with me!

                  I'll start with Marines because its shorter, Marines barely need TechMass it allows more structures to be built (yay) and allows Marines to purchase more Exo's and Jetpack's (that is an entirely different thing). When a Com Chair gets destroyed no biggie, Armor, Health and dmg are unaffected. Big whoop you can't buy Jetpacks or Exos because the com and still drop them for you without fail.

                  ALIENS!!! So in order for the aliens to get upgrades you need to drop multiple structures, neat. Thumbs UP! But in order for Aliens to deal with their upgraded opponents they have to have more health, ALSO NEAT! In order to get more health you need BioMass, in order to get BioMass you need to upgrade the hive (very expensive but defintily worth it) increased BioMass = healthier Aliens = longer lifespan = more kills! NEAT!

                  Now why this is broken. Again I feel that whats not broken should not be fixed.

                  in the normal game, Aliens lose a hive they lose upgrades. Marines lose a hive they lose exos and JP's Awesome! Asymmetrical warfare! AGAIN AWESOME!!!

                  This Balance Mod, Aliens lose a hive they lose upgrades due to BioMass and BioMass = health = etc. etc. You get the idea. Once the Aliens get put on their backfoot it is next to impossible to recover. Lose a hive lose the game, you get weaker and they keep getting stronger. Marines lose a hive, who cares?! No tech is revoked, no upgrades lost. Where is the "Balance" in this Balance mod? Aliens get slapped with loads of loss and very expensive gains (If a hive gets killed, lose 3 upgrades worth of BioMass plus the upgrades that BioMass earns you, when you redrop the hive you need to repurchase said BioMass for the hive as its a new structure.)

                  JP's for Marines love the idea behind being able to further upgrade the Jetpacks, I think that this update may have gone a bit too far. Jetpack Grenade Launchers are now the ideal build to destroy a hive as whips no longer throw grenades back (but do kill Exos easily, AWESOME!) which again unbalances the matches again, grenades have no tit-to-their-tat. Jetpack Marines are also next to impossible to catch, a celerity Lerk can barely outrun a JP Marine, and the res difference is staggering between those units. I like the idea of more fuel or faster take of but definitely not both, it can make a decent marine basically Invincible. Once an entire team (or majority) can purchase Jetpacks if you don't have res superiority you are screwed, its now time for a slow decline to failure, regardless of teamwork and upgrades as every push you make will be countered and taking an additional tech point and holding it to completion is all but impossible.

                  So to sum it up, if aliens can push unopposed and continue taking ground hand over fist, they will WIN! (No big surprise) If they get pushed backwards by aggressive marines (should happen most of the time, Aliens get CRUSHED.)

                  Marines, need to push and hold a couple locations keep hitting alien res and get upgrades early! (play half defensively and partly aggressively Marines Win, again no big surprise!) Marines lose a second hive but have great communication and teamwork, no biggie upgrade Jetpacks and push outwards in a big way, knock a hive down and the game is yours!

                  This is not a balanced game anymore. The "balance mod" favors marines for upgrades, cripples aliens in the same. When a CC is lost Marines lose NOTHING, when a Hive is lost Aliens lose everything.

                  My vote is off the server until Balance mod is Balanced

                  thoughts?

                  -Montyp
                  DO AS I COMMAND - Megatron possibly the hardest working commander ever known.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Balance Mod Discussion

                    I agree with most of Montyp says, however I do believe with enough play time people will get used to it and learn new ways to get a strategy working in their favor, Marine or Alien. I think it's fairly balanced considering all the changes listed...but...I am not too happy about it.

                    1) I've spent a lot of hours learning and honing my skills and still felt that I had a lot to learn but this mod changes so many things it's like changing the game in a big way. Not a big deal I guess, but can cause some grief to people who were like me just getting started and finally comfortable playing "vanilla".

                    2) What was the point of this mod? Was the original game not balanced enough? In theory you could make an infinite number of changes and figure out an infinite number of ways to balance it but in the end what is the purpose of the exercise? Have we become bored with Vanilla gameplay and need a change? Maybe...

                    3) I tend to agree with Montyp that the main shortcomings of the mod are the Marine JP's and the Alien hive loss hit. Fix those and this mod would not be so annoying to me. (yes I find the jetpacks extremely annoying!)

                    4) Everything else is fine. If someone has the time to play with all the variables to create a different flavor but still keep the balance then fine - go ape ****. I'll still play because I enjoy the team play.

                    5) I did not play enough rounds to comment on if the games last longer or not, but I did find that you could tell who was going to lose early on, much more than usual. (as Aliens anyways)

                    I didn't try Stealth much since this mod was applied...perhaps if stealth was given more easily or if all aliens just had it by default it would be enough to offset the insane JP's...at least we could hide somewhere while the flying flamers go by! LoL!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Balance Mod Discussion

                      Originally posted by NaV_CoM View Post
                      Have we become bored with Vanilla gameplay and need a change?
                      I continue to enjoy Vanilla, and I'm all for change.

                      Anything past 30 minutes in Balance Test feels to me like weak-against-weak instead of strong-against-strong. Mad props to whomever (just Sewlek, then?) is responsible for that mod. It's a brilliant piece of work. I think it's testimony to how risky and laborious it is to change balance.
                      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Balance Mod Discussion

                        One thing, jetpack+jetpack fuel is extremely OP. And you only need one TP.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Balance Mod Discussion

                          I've played both sides and still feel marines are too OP. Let me explain:

                          Jetpack duration and speed. As Monty explained, a decent marine with these are pretty much unstoppable unless the marines screws up and flies into a wall or something. Get a couple marines together with these and aliens are steamrolled.

                          Weapons upgrades are too strong. Flamethrowers and Grenade Launchers seem to hit harder and have a farther splash range. Aliens have nothing to counter this even with umbra lerks.

                          The emergency power ability. I understand why they made this change to combat a gorge bile rush on power nodes but it ultimately renders most alien base rushes pointless and drags out the game more.

                          Turtle mode. Marines can uber turtle with Exos and Jetpacks with only one CC. Aliens have no equivelent.

                          Medpacking and elimination of crag stacking. I get that medpacks are now double the res but they are still able to be distributed and heal a marine a lot faster than a single crag on a wounded alien. Give a jetpacking marine healthpacks and there is no equivelent for aliens in healing besides a couple gorges following you around. Even a single mac following around a marine getting healthpacks is more effective than a gorge following an alien.

                          Biomass reliance on hives. Monty exlained this problem above.

                          Alien upgrades vs Marine upgrades. Alien upgrades cost a lot more than marines and raise the cost of higher life forms. I like that abilities can be switched at will but they still cost res to "learn"; this would be equivelant to a marine buying a jetpack and shotgun and then having to purchase the jetfuel and shells.

                          Building build times. Monty explained this problem above.

                          There are others but i'm starting with these glaring issues.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Balance Mod Discussion

                            I like the biomass idea. I think it shouldn't disappear for aliens with a hive down. Perhaps it slowly decays? It's also not very intuitive. I jumped in tonight having not played in a while due to school and immediately felt at a loss at many of the changes. In the last game jet packs were being spammed left and right and boy were they effective especially with more fuel. I think the added fuel upgrade feels out of place (JPs are not to turn marines into lerks with shotguns). Jet packs were somewhat balanced against melee because they'd still have to come back down and couldn't keep outrunning you forever. Now they seem consistently out of reach.

                            While I like the idea of the lerk getting his support ability rather fast, it's somewhat puzzling since normal spores a bit useless since they're unlocked late game far past flamethrowers and exos.

                            I like the other changes, I think they'll take some time to get used to. I don't enjoy the long match length though. Definitely need more time to judge personally.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Balance Mod Discussion

                              I've only played about a dozen games with balance mod, so here is really rough first impressions.

                              1. Games go a lot longer.
                              2. Both sides seem harder hitting. I cannot solo 3 marines as fade anymore, need to run to gorge (preferred) or hive to heal after each kill.
                              3. Regen and celerity working in combat means less hit-and-run as skulk.
                              4. aura is amazing but shouldn't be, because marine teams should be fully parasited anyway!

                              My guesses as to why I have seen those observations

                              1. We are just learning the game over again, and therefore neither team (really comm) knows how to respond/what good strategy is yet.
                              2. Better hitboxes + fade losing double jump.
                              3. Removal of glancing bites + laziness afforded by moving super fast.

                              In general, the pace seems quicker in the field.

                              I have no idea if this is better or worse, its just different and overall seems like there are more options for both teams (tactical and strategic).
                              More options means it will take a while to figure out what to do in different situations.
                              It also means there is less overall polish.
                              I welcome new strategies and tactics, if they come. If they don't then :(

                              Like
                              + fades less useful
                              + gorges more useful
                              + welders more useful
                              + aura is amazing, though hopefully less so in the future when we learn to parasite
                              Dislike
                              - drifter/mac symmetry
                              - fade loses double-jump
                              DontCare
                              = weaker exos
                              = weaker lerk
                              LikeInTheoryButHaven'tSeenInAction
                              ? power less important, choosing which structures to target in a base more important
                              WantToSeeInTheFutureButDoubtWouldHappen
                              :D more movement skills like ns1 bhop for skulks

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