Resource manipulation systems as the primary catalyst of the team match imbalance

#1
6 years ago
(TLDR at the end of the post)

I'll briefly note that by "imbalance" in this topic I mean (1) the number and (2) the time of arrival of medium and heavy armor (primarily in team games), as opposed to specific unit stats / abilities / performance. I would like to focus here on the general dynamics of armor in team games and its relation to resource manipulation (RM) systems (meaning caches, the Opel Blitz truck, the Luftwaffe Supply Drop Zone, the Soviet Industry and the OKW resource diversion), not on how certain units overperfom by themselves. I'll also note that when I mention match dynamics I refer not just to some personal view of how games should be progressing, but also Relic's declared general approach / wish to this progression as well as to making all units more or less relevant at all stages of the game and supporting tactical play based on skill.

The issue I'm trying to approach here is as follows: The devs have declared a number of times in past (and the game's structure clearly shows) that their intended goal for match progression is infantry and light vehicles in early game, followed by medium armor in mid game and heavy armor in late game. However this approach apparently only takes into account the standard resource income, because once you bring RM systems into equation, these segments can be defined only by time period (minutes into a match) and not by unit classes present on the field -- players use the RM systems to rush to medium and heavy armor in a much faster pace than anticipated by the progression system, and so the window of opportunity for light vehicles (and, as a result, the early game) diminishes significantly (same goes for the duration of mid game as opposed to late game). The RM systems then enable players to amass great numbers of armor which hurts combined arms approach and diminishes role of support units. The third issue appears when players lose their armor in combat -- the RM systems allow them to overcome the loss without any penalty, as the necessary fuel amount for deploying another armor unit will have already been accumulated for them while they were busy using (and losing) their previous unit. The final issue that I can think of is that of the resulting lack of strategy -- many doctrines become irrelevant because the gigantic fuel income allows players to roll out both their doctrinal armor plus non-doctrinal units. Why get an Elefant and rely on teammates to combine their Panthers with it by flanking the target I'm shooting from afar when I can get both the Elefant and the Panther and do it all on my own? This kills teamwork and team roles, with all team players being universal in their tactics, and doctrines losing strategic sense.

In conclusion, it seems to me that the problem and relevance of these three issues hurting tactical and skilful play is without question.

Now, regarding solutions to these -- in a recent post in the vanilla army ideas thread I declared my preference to having the OKW resource diversion system replace caches for all armies, saying it would curb the ridiculous fuel income and would thus limit the current armor spam in team games, plus feature a drawback of munitions income for increased fuel income. However after thinking more about it, the system would still enable players to bring in / replace armor earlier and in greater numbers than what seems to be a reasonable and measured rate for tactical play. And so I believe just getting rid of all RM systems should be the solution.

Now for the benefits of removing the RM systems. Taking into the account all that was described above, these seem to be some of the major resulting benefits of the change:

** Medium armor hitting the field later = more window of opportunity for light vehicles;
** Heavy armor hitting the field later = more gap between medium and heavy units, making going for armor like the T-34/76 and P4 a viable strategy in team games;
** Less number of armor units at any time in a match = actual need for combined arms plus more need and roles for the currently underused on-field artillery (with the exception of the already popular Stuka zu Fuss and the B-4, the (im)balance of which is a separate matter);
** More time needed for accumulating fuel for armor units = actual penalty for losing them;
** As a bonus, no caches would mean more reward for flanking / harassment / cutting off gameplay.

I think I addressed all the points I had in mind on this matter. There have been more radical solutions offered for balance problems recently (I have myself supported requests for the removal of superheavy one-tank-army units or hard caps of one per player, etc.), but this one would be comparatively easy to implement. The devs would understandably be averse to the idea of removing units they spent time and effort in creating for the game, but this proposal only offers a removal of RM systems, with no significant loss of development time and effort.

Thanks to all who took their time to read this. All constructive analysis / criticism / proposals / notes are welcome.


TLDR: Caches, the Opel Blitz, the Luftwaffe Supply Drop, the Soviet Industry and the OKW resource diversion render match dynamics structure useless and hurt tactical and strategic gameplay by skyrocketing fuel income and so enabling the deployment and replacement of armor earlier and in greater numbers than reasonable for tactical and skilful play.
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Comments

  • #2
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    Added the Luftwaffe Supply Drop and the Soviet Industry to the RM systems list.
  • #3
    6 years ago
    I actually agree with this. Both Wehrmacht and Soviets have the capacity to spike team games by providing copious amounts of fuel to their respective teams. It becomes a power creep meta game where the team with more territory could actually still be at a severely disadvantageous position just because their enemy invested some manpower (a quickly renewable) resource early on. In a 3v3 or 4v4 team game, if one side contains all Western Front Armies, either Oberkommando West or even more so the United States Armed Forces, they have a severe disadvantage late game simply because the enemy team has the potential to hoard a plethora of fuel for their end game armor.

    This was a slight issue in vCoH, as the Panzer Elite and Britain were not able to build observation points to increase fuel gain as well. But it wasn't as much of an issue because late game armor from doctrines never cost fuel, only manpower. Meaning they could still have a great late game presence with their doctrinal armors. Doctrine specific tanks in CoH 2 require fuel, however.

    The main issue I have with the current CoH 2 meta game is that 3v3 and 4v4 games are especially plagued with reliance on observation points. If you do not have a faction that can provide such observation points, you are heavily punished for your inability to match enemy armor fielded by the opponent. Even Oberkommando West's fuel transfer is not enough to make up for a large map riddled with observation posts.

    The obvious argument is that observation posts cost manpower, which means that the enemy team must invest resources to gain this advantage. This may save 1v1 and 2v2 matches, but in a 3v3 or 4v4 match, manpower investment is not as much of an issue for how much each player gains from the investment.

    Here's some math to show how bad this meta game is:

    Let's assume there are four Soviet players versus four Oberkommando West players in a 4v4 match, if the four Soviet players expend 1000 manpower on 5 fuel observation posts, essentially enough to cover their side of the map, they will increase their individual fuel gain by 15 per minute. Each player only expends 250 manpower to total a 15 per minute fuel gain across every player. With four players, they increase their team's fuel gain collectively by 60 per minute, when each player only contributed 250 manpower...

    60 per minute means 1200 extra fuel after 20 minutes and 1800 fuel after 30 minutes for the Soviet 4 man team.

    Across four players, the Soviets paid 250 manpower each and were rewarded with almost 2000 extra fuel collectively for holding 5 fuel observation posts. With games that go on for up to 45 to 50 minutes, this copious amount of fuel is silly. The Soviet team can essentially throw in tanks into the grinder with only manpower to be worried about. Strategic locations and early game advantages mean nothing if the OKW team could not secure a complete victory early on, or manage to destroy the enemy observation posts. (Which are most likely sitting behind the frontlines.)

    Obviously this applies to Wehrmacht vs USF as well, I was just using the above as an example.

    It is a silly meta game that doesn't provide any sense of rewarding game play, only worsened by the fact the Western Front Armies, two incredibly popular armies, are also excluded from it.

    TL;DR My solution is to remove the fuel posts, the Opel Blitz and the OKW fuel/munitions transfers and increase fuel and munitions gain slightly for each sector. This rewards holding captured territory more than it currently does in order to reach mid and late game armors. The game should be about taking and holding territory, and map control should be a direct representation of which side is usually winning.
  • #4
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    Thanks for the reply. Actually the USF also has the ability to build caches, so they are in the same position as the Ostheer and Soviets.
  • #5
    6 years ago
    Tornii wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply. Actually the USF also has the ability to build caches, so they are in the same position as the Ostheer and Soviets.


    Really? I was completely unaware of this. I don't own USF so.
  • #6
    6 years ago
    HeldentodHeldentod Posts: 1,537
    I made a similar post some time ago and it went unnoticed, pretty much like yours. You are right, to a degree here. Those mechnics that increase based on numbers and are multiplied by the team size are those that break the game. 4 fuelcaches on a big 4v4 map aren't all that rare and they pretty much kill the early nd mid game resulting in ungodly amounts of fuel and tankspam. Same goes for ammocaches.I suggested that caches should either be hradcapped or yield less with every additional cache that was fielded. Like : first 100% second +50%, third +25%. Opel is actually inferior to caches in big teamgames. You'll hurt you teams performance if you go for them since they only give res to you. Coversion shouldn't be in the list at all. It's not a boost, it's a trade, a bad one that only affects the OKW player in question.
    IMO bigger maps should yield the same total amount of res as small ones and caches should be either reduced or limited, that would make those modes alot more balanced.
  • #7
    6 years ago
    RiCERiCE Posts: 1,588
    Team games = larger maps = more points = more points to upgrade with caches = more resource

    Players got popcap in teamgames too. More fuel wont let you get more tanks, but let you get them earlier. More fuel will shorten the time window of light and medium vehicles, but wont allow you to go above your popcap.

    Its not the fuel or ammo income you have to mess with... nor the caches. Increase the teching price for team games if you want to force players to stay on lower tier longer.

    You know the problem is people already cried long enough to get relic BREAK the Opels. Resource sharing is an aspect in team games. What you are trying to achive is separating players economy from eachother in team games, which is a bad direction imo. An RTS is not about combat only. Building fuel caches and sharing things with your team mate is actually a good thing. It gives teamgames an extra dimension.

    So what i suggest, is instead of touching the resources / incomes / caches etc... Relic should multiply the Teching prices EQUALLY for EVERY faction with the number of players in the game. For example each teammate you have gives makes teching prices +25%. So:

    1v1 = current teching prices
    2v2 = 125% of teching prices
    3v3 = 150% of teching prices
    4v4 = 175% of teching prices

    These could force players to stay longer on lower tier levels, without breaking or removing aspects of the game.
  • #8
    6 years ago
    HeldentodHeldentod Posts: 1,537
    Popcap won't stop you from wasting tanks left and right instead of carefully using them. A JT will only get fielded once in 2v2 and it takes a huge amount of time, in 4v4 on the other hand it has the same impact but comes early and even if it goes down it can be replaced.
  • #9
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    RiCE wrote: »
    More fuel wont let you get more tanks

    More than what? It will certainly give you more than reasonable for meaningful team gameplay, which is the point of this thread.

    Your teching price proposal is interesting though.
  • #10
    6 years ago
    GlytheGlythe Posts: 1,125
    This just goes to show that the OKW is at a severe disadvantage when the enemy starts building fuel dumps. I'd like to see the munitions/fuel transfer changed so that if you activate fuel it acts as if you had fuel upgrades on all points your team owns. But then of course you wouldn't get an extra bonus if an ally builds a fuel dump.

    The problem with Opels was that they should have been an either/or instead of both them and the point upgrades.
  • #11
    6 years ago
    HeldentodHeldentod Posts: 1,537
    The problem is that 3v3+ are just one big, spammy late-game right from the beginning.
  • #12
    6 years ago
    daspoulosdaspoulos Posts: 2,633
    I have an idea, okw only gets fuel or ammo from caches if they have the appropriate resource transfer ability on. Reducing effectiveness when paired with a wehr player without having to actually nerf anything. I'm also in favor of upping cp points for all heavies.
  • #13
    6 years ago
    UP cP for heavies, make only 1 field at a time, remove the cash and fire the one that came up with that idea.
  • #14
    6 years ago
    SybariteSybarite Posts: 273
    I kinda agree but I think it's part of the strategy. It all depends on your team. For example every now and then me and my friends run 4v4s and we assign roles so I might be support and my friend carry. In this case if I am playing Germans I run Luftwaffe support doc, I would have only 3 or 4 units on the field, 3 or 4 bunkers and the rest goes to fuel caches and supply drops. My friend who plays the carry (odds are OKW) builds nothing but units to fight and picks up all of my supply drops. Around the 18 min mark he will have a KT running around where I might of just hit tech 2. Should this be a valid plan? Maybe not but remember other docs can do similar things (land lease for sov for example)
  • #15
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    Sybarite wrote: »
    I kinda agree but I think it's part of the strategy. It all depends on your team. For example every now and then me and my friends run 4v4s and we assign roles so I might be support and my friend carry. In this case if I am playing Germans I run Luftwaffe support doc, I would have only 3 or 4 units on the field, 3 or 4 bunkers and the rest goes to fuel caches and supply drops. My friend who plays the carry (odds are OKW) builds nothing but units to fight and picks up all of my supply drops. Around the 18 min mark he will have a KT running around where I might of just hit tech 2. Should this be a valid plan? Maybe not but remember other docs can do similar things (land lease for sov for example)

    What you described is indeed strategy but that does nothing to alleviate the fact that it involves game-breaking mechanics that demolish sense and hurt this game's status as a tactical RTS. Strategy will still be there if we remove caches, and that strategy will most probably be much more interesting.
  • #16
    6 years ago
    SybariteSybarite Posts: 273
    @Tornii thank you for the reply. I see what you are saying, if we remove caches and any skill that can add fuel or munitions you stop what you believe is game breaking. If you did that then I can not play support supply period and you can't run carry OKW. If anything it will lead to people spamming inf as there is nothing eles to invest manpower in. I am not sure if that is a good thing. (it also makes fuel points worth gold)
  • #17
    6 years ago
    daspoulos wrote: »
    I have an idea, okw only gets fuel or ammo from caches if they have the appropriate resource transfer ability on. Reducing effectiveness when paired with a wehr player without having to actually nerf anything. I'm also in favor of upping cp points for all heavies.
    thats an interesting idea, id be willing to try it
  • #18
    6 years ago
    cashes are game breaking and should be removed, coh was always a good dynamic game becasue of the territory systemif you were a camper you would not last long now relic has made coh2 intosimcity, al you need to do is bunker down and build cashes..
  • #19
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    Sybarite wrote: »
    If anything it will lead to people spamming inf as there is nothing eles to invest manpower in. I am not sure if that is a good thing.

    Infantry spam is indeed as bad as armor spam just because any spam is bad, I agree on that. The situation with infantry numbers was more or less balanced before WFA was launched, but now Riflespam / Volksspam is what causes frustration. Removing RM systems + nerfing infantry spam is the way to go, not maintaining both or one of the two.
  • #20
    6 years ago
    Originally posted by Sybarite View Post
    If anything it will lead to people spamming inf as there is nothing eles to invest manpower in. I am not sure if that is a good thing.

    just a bad excuse not to fix the cash problem, make call ins more expensive in manpower like 800-900 mp and then both problems will be fixed, cases should only be able to be deplyed on fuel and ammo points other points should be able to be upgrades with a outpost gaining you more sight but that is it
  • #21
    6 years ago
    ElSlayerElSlayer Posts: 230
    @Tornii

    A really well-thought and well-written suggestion.
    I would like to try CoH2 with those changes implemented as I love infantry combat on early stages of game and usage of combined arms in mid game.

    These changes can also give rebirth for some units you almost never see in 4v4 now: T-70, Ostwind, Stuart, etc., because the time gap between them and medium tanks will be larger.


    Just a small remark for you to think about:

    Another function of caches that you've missed in your post is that they offer some kind of protection for the strategic point.
    Infantry without AT capabilities can't capture them in reasonable time.

    In most cases it is just a small bonus, but in certain cases, in example if you fight against Encirclement Doctrine or just plain conscript spam - it is really important feature.
  • #22
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    ElSlayer wrote: »
    @Tornii

    A really well-thought and well-written suggestion.
    I would like to try CoH2 with those changes implemented as I love infantry combat on early stages of game and usage of combined arms in mid game.

    These changes can also give rebirth for some units you almost never see in 4v4 now: T-70, Ostwind, Stuart, etc., because the time gap between them and medium tanks will be larger.


    Just a small remark for you to think about:

    Another function of caches that you've missed in your post is that they offer some kind of protection for the strategic point.
    Infantry without AT capabilities can't capture them in reasonable time.

    In most cases it is just a small bonus, but in certain cases, in example if you fight against Encirclement Doctrine or just plain conscript spam - it is really important feature.

    Thanks for the reply. Actually I did mention that as the final point of benefits:
    ** As a bonus, no caches would mean more reward for flanking / harassment / cutting off gameplay.
  • #23
    6 years ago
    SybariteSybarite Posts: 273
    The other thing is OKW don't benefit that much from caches that much at all. (the 66% fuel penalty still affects them) The other reason why inf spam would happen more. is you are making fuel points and munitions points worth a lot, to the point that people sole gold would be to rush it people who hold it for the first 15 minutes win not even bother with VP. Reason being to even get tanks with Wher you need to pay at least 140 fuel, you want a panzer 4 that's another 100 fuel, making it 240 fuel. That will take 22 minutes with 4 CP points, and that's assuming you brought nothing else with your fuel. With 1 fuel point that goes to 18 mins with 2 fuel points 14 minutes. Meaning if you hold both for the first 16 minutes of the game (you got to walk there and cap) it makes it almost impossible for the other team to catch up. I rather not see every game like that.
  • #24
    6 years ago
    AvnasAvnas Posts: 1,750
    upping cp points for heavies is a bad idea.

    KV8, KV1, KV2, IS2, ISU

    Tiger, Ele, JT,

    these are the effected units, i'm probably forgetting something

    units not effected:

    Kingtiger

    yeah good idea guys buff the germans (y)
  • #25
    6 years ago
    daspoulosdaspoulos Posts: 2,633
    Avnas wrote: »
    upping cp points for heavies is a bad idea.

    KV8, KV1, KV2, IS2, ISU

    Tiger, Ele, JT,

    these are the effected units, i'm probably forgetting something

    units not effected:

    Kingtiger

    yeah good idea guys buff the germans (y)
    Maybe heavies was too broad, more like just bump up tiger jagdtiger, is2 and isu152? Everything else seems fine. Honestly king tigers are balanced.
  • #26
    6 years ago
    The KV-1 should not be in the upped heavy CP cost. It comes out slightly before the Panther and once those start appearing its primary advantage is gone.
  • #27
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    Let's not drift away from the subject please.
  • #28
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    Added another point to the OP:
    The final issue that I can think of is that of the resulting lack of strategy -- many doctrines become irrelevant because the gigantic fuel income allows players to roll out both their doctrinal armor plus non-doctrinal units. Why get an Elefant and rely on teammates to combine their Panthers with it by flanking the target I'm shooting from afar when I can get both the Elefant and the Panther and do it all on my own? This kills teamwork and team roles, with all team players being universal in their tactics, and so doctrines losing strategic sense.
  • #29
    6 years ago
    SybariteSybarite Posts: 273
    I am sorry but I disagree, in fact like I said before you would have even less strategy as certain builds would no longer work. Going off your idea though an elefant and a panther would be impossible to get out so what happens? People stop teching. Doing this would kill non doctrinal units. Soviet would never build T3 or T4 why because they can either get out an IS2, ISU152 ect or an SU 85. In my opinion it would be making even more of the commanders useless and overall less strategy needed.
  • #30
    6 years ago
    TorniksTorniks Posts: 368
    Sybarite wrote: »
    I am sorry but I disagree, in fact like I said before you would have even less strategy as certain builds would no longer work. Going off your idea though an elefant and a panther would be impossible to get out so what happens? People stop teching. Doing this would kill non doctrinal units. Soviet would never build T3 or T4 why because they can either get out an IS2, ISU152 ect or an SU 85. In my opinion it would be making even more of the commanders useless and overall less strategy needed.

    Doctrinal armor need much more fuel than non-doctrinal ones, so stopping to tech would mean risking to get overwhelmed by non-doctrinal enemy forces. That is where strategy comes in - teammates with no doctrinal armor would tech for non-doctrinal units while those who had armor in their doctrines would save fuel to field them later and complement their team strategy.
  • #31
    6 years ago
    SybariteSybarite Posts: 273
    That's the funny thing, for the first tank they cost the same as doctrinal as the cost to unlock the building is expensive. Also over run by non doctrinal inf such as Obersoldaten not tanks as tanks have become to expensive, for example to get a P4 you need phase 1 45 fuel, phase 2 55 fuel, the building 25 fuel so that's 125 fuel to unlock the tank the P4 is 115 fuel so that's 240 fuel for the first tank which is about the same as a doctrinal tank. If you were lucky and held one fuel point and 4 CPs you could get a P4 at the 18 minutes mark and you can build another P4 every 6 minutes to bad doctrinal tanks come out about the 22 minute mark making it redundant. The reason why you can overrun people now is you can have a ton of fuel before they get the ability to cast out their doctrinal unit rushing them with 3 or 4 tanks. Now you could also lower tech cost and other tanks cost so they can come out sooner. (around the same time now) However that makes fuel points worth to much and it ends up as a cluster **** for them.
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