GCS Balance Preview Changelog

#1
5 months ago
Kyle_REKyle_RE Posts: 393 admin
edited April 11 in Updates

The GCS Balance Preview is designed to eliminate some specific, overly dominate meta identified by top players in the community. The changes outlined in this preview are meant to be as minimalistic as possible while identifying and addressing the primary cause of the problems discussed.

Although the solutions put forward in this mod will attempt to be finalized in time for the tournament, if strong contention exists with the proposed changes or existing or new problems remain, the iteration period will continue until all issues are sufficiently resolved.

Therefore, the more testing and feedback we get regrading the proposed changes the better. Please Subscribe to the mod on the Steam Workshop, play a ton of it, and give us your feedback in our GCS-BP Feedback Thread.

SOVIETS

Maxims

We find that the dominant Soviet “Maxim-spam” strategy is far too effective compared to the effort required to pull it off.

In order to remove this dominate meta while not further devaluing the Maxim’s as a support weapon, we are increasing the arc of the Maxim MG and reducing its suppression performance. The Maxim will however retain the following benefits over other MG teams:

  • Durability of a 6-man crew
  • Fast teardown time to escape flanks

To further bring the Maxim in line with other MGs, we are removing sprint which allows MGs to escape unfavorable engagements to easily and are also increasing the setup time to other MG levels. To further help prevent spamming of this unit, we are increasing the reinforcement cost of the original crew to match the reinforcement cost of Conscripts.

  • Arc of fire increased from 60 degrees to 90 degrees (other MGs have 120 degrees)
  • Setup time from 2 to 3 (other MGs have 3)
  • Burst duration from 2.25 to 4.5
  • Damage reduced from 4 to 3 (the DPS of the Maxim remains the same)
  • Tracking speed from 35 to 28
  • Suppression reduced from 0.00015909 to 0.00005
  • Reinforcement cost from 15 to 20
  • Sprint removed from Vet 1
  • Vet 1 now increases suppression by 10% (to partially cancel out lower base suppression)

Until the conclusion of the balance mod iteration cycle, we will try to come up with an interesting, but balanced Vet1 ability.

M4C Shermans

To prevent players from over-relying on Sherman call-ins, we are increasing the dispatch time between successive Shermans to encourage players to choose between tech or call-in tanks. Moreover, longer recharge time between Sherman will prevent players from spamming Shemans when the Command Point requirements become met.

  • Increased recharge time between shermans to from 36 seconds to 2:30 minutes

OKW

Command Panther

We feel the Command Panther is it too powerful of a unit on its own, giving it the feel of a "one-tank-army". This is primarily because of the +50% damage bonus that the Mark Target ability bestows on and designated target. Given that this ability also compounds performance in team games, we are enacting some preliminary changes to the Command Panther. We also feel the CP cost is not in line with its value.

  • Increase Command Point requirements from 10 to 11
  • Reduce Mark Target damage from +50% to +25%
  • Mark Target now also increases penetration and accuracy to 25%

UKF

Tank Commander Upgrade

We feel that the ability's cost vs value is out of balance. In particular, the experience gain modifier distorts the veterancy gain rate of the affected tanks.

  • Removed veterancy gain bonuses from the upgrade
  • Removed stealth detection bonuses from the upgrade
  • (The upgrade now only awards accuracy/sight bonuses, which is more than OK for the price)

Emergency Warspeed

We feel that the ability bestows far too powerful mobility bonuses to the already highly-mobile roster of the British faction. This comes in contrast with the free-to-use nature of the ability. We are also removing the ability of players to “tune up” the tanks of their teammates with the ability.

  • Speed modifier reduced from +35% to +15%
  • Acceleration modifier reduced from +60% to +30%
  • It is no longer possible to “tune-up” allied tanks with Emergency Warspeed

AEC Treadshot

To make the ability fire more reliably (i.e., without bugs), we are changing the nature of the ability such that the AEC has to be stationary to fire it. At the same time, we are increasing the responsiveness of the ability to give UKF players that preserve their AEC with a reliable snare ability.

  • Unit has to be stationary to fire Treadshot
  • Ready aim time reduced from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds (improves responsiveness)
  • Reload time between shots reduced from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds
  • (the ability will only be refunded if no shots were fired before moving)

Cromwell

We feel that the primary issue with the Cromwell is that due to its speed and rotation rate, it is able to crush models far too efficiently. To reduce Cromwell crushing ability, we are are reducing its rotation rate while keeping its higher-than-average mobility by compensating with increased turret rotation rate.

To give the Cromwell a proper trade off for its highly-mobility we are reducing its moving accuracy to that of other tanks of the same class. Therefore, making the trade-off between accuracy and mobility more pronounced.

  • Fuel cost increased from 110FU to 120FU
  • Rotation rate from 38 to 32 (equivalent to Panzer4)
  • Turret traverse rate from 40 to 47.5 (to counteract chassis rotation reduction)
  • Moving accuracy multiplier decreased from 0.75 to 0.5
  • Increase horizontal scatter from 6 to 7.5
  • Distance scatter max from 6.2 to 6.4
  • Distance scatter obj min from 5 to 10
  • Distance scatter offset from 0.3 to 0.25

Comet

The Comet is receiving changes that are similar in-spirit with the ones already described for the Cromwell. In addition to these changes, we are also reducing the range of the main gun of the Comet to 45 to match other anti-infantry-capable tanks (e.g., Pershing, Tiger). We believe that Comet’s higher-than-average armour and mobility will still allow it to overcome the reduced range. At the same time, this will make standoffs with the more-specialist Panther more balanced.

  • Main gun range from 50 to 45
  • Population cost increased from 16 to 20
  • Reduce rotation rate from 36 to 32 to prevent crush (same as Panzer4 levels)
  • Turret traverse rate from 40 to 45 (to compensate for chasis rotation changes)
  • Moving accuracy from 0.75 to 0.5
  • Fixed an issue where the grenade throw ability would sometimes not work
  • Fixed an issue where it was possible to use the grenade ability while moving
  • Increase horizontal scatter from 6 to 7.5
  • Distance scatter max from 4.2 to 6.4
  • Distance scatter obj min from 5 to 10
  • Distance scatter offset from 0.3 to 0.25

Cromwell/Comet Smoke Shell/White Phosphorus
We find the range of either ability (80 range) too strong. Thus, we are bringing them both in-line. At the same time, we are introducing a critical fix to both abilities. That way, we expect the abilities to be much more reliable moving forward.

We are also changing the behaviour of Comet White Phosphorus shells so that it no longer finishes off infantry models. The White Phosphorus (WP) shells will still damage models down to 1HP of health (similar to other WP abilities).

  • Fixed a bug where Smoke Shell/White Phosphorus would, sometimes, fail to trigger properly
  • Range of Smoke Shell/White Phosphorus reduced from 80 to 45
  • Comet White Phosphorus will no longer finish off infantry models, bringing its performance in-line with other White-phosphorus abilities

Emplacements

To bring UKF emplacements in line with the emplacements of other armies, we are preventing players from building UKF emplacements in the base sector:

  • No longer possible to construct emplacements in the base sector

Sappers Flamethrower Upgrade

We are addressing several bugs with this upgrade, which will bring this upgrade in-line with other abilities, and other factions that have similar upgrades.

  • Sapper flamethrower now, correctly, takes up 1 slot
  • Sapper flamethrower is now mutually-exclusive with the minesweeper upgrade
  • Fixed an issue where Sapper flamethrower was dealing additional damage vs squads in cover (i.e., above the level of other flamethrowers)
  • Fixed a bug with Sappers where Veterancy affected the number of upgrades available to them.

Land Mattress

We feel that the primary issue with the land-mattress is that it affords very limited avenues of counterplay. To address this, we are allowing anti-tank weaponry (e.g., AT guns and tanks) to target the gun first, and be able to destroy the unit, without having to first decrew it. This brings the durability of the Land Mattress down to static howitzer levels.

A secondary issue with the Land Mattress is its rate of fire, giving too little reaction time for the adversary to avoid the coming doom.

  • Vehicles/etc will focus fire on the gun, as opposed to the crew (if the player right-clicks on the gun)
  • The Land mattress gets destroyed when its hitpoints become depleted. This is regardless of whether the crew is still alive
  • Health reduced from 350 hitpoints to 300 hitpoints
  • Cooldown between rockets increased from 0.25 secs to 0.375 secs (also affects white phosphorus barrage)

Artillery Cover Ability

We find that Artillery Cover is an ability that is too efficient for its cost. This is despite the fact that this is a generalist ability (affects all targets) and requires minimal input from the player vs its final effect. Therefore, we are significantly reducing the effects vs varied types of targets, allowing for greater opportunity of counterplay.

General Changes:
* The radius of the ability now properly drawn on the battlescape
* Delay until the barrage begins increased from 4 seconds to 8 seconds

Anti-Vehicle Shells:
* Decreased the AoE radius of anti-vehicle shells from 8 to 6.
* Reduced speed of anti-vehicle shells, so that it is now possible to dodge them
* Reduced the duration of loader-injured critical from 10 seconds to 5 seconds

The changes to the anti-vehicle shells will make it possible for tanks that remain in the affected area to dodge incoming shells, provided they continue to move.

Anti-Infantry Barrages:
* Suppression vs infantry reduced, so that incoming anti-infantry barrages no longer pin infantry squads, but only suppress them.

Quality-of-Life Changes

Handbrake 2.0

We are further modifying the handbrake ability to make it provide additional utility to the players.

Instead of completely immobilizing a vehicle, the ability now simply prevents the vehicle from automatically rotating to face enemy units and will now only do so if explicitly given attack command. At the same time, if the ability is on, the vehicle will stop automatically rotating once the movement is complete.

In addition to the original affected vehicles (i.e., all transport vehicles), we are also adding handbrake v2.0 to the following vehicles. This will allow players to control whether they want the vehicles to rotate to face the enemy or not:

  • Kubelwagen
  • Flammenhetzer
  • Crocodile

The following vehicles will retain the original (i.e., immobilize) version of the Handbrake ability. This is due to their potentially lengthy setup time:

  • M15 (USF)
  • Infrared Halftrack (OKW)
  • Flak Halftrack (OKW)

Hold Fire for Tanks/AT Guns

We find that the lack of a proper hold fire ability makes players resort to half-measures to control when their AT-guns or tanks can fire (e.g., by turning on prioritize vehicles to get a better position vs infantry). The following units now have Hold Fire:

  • All anti-tank guns
  • All tanks that already have a prioritise-vehicles ability
  • FlakHT
  • Panzer4 Command tank
  • Ostwind
  • Centaur
  • KV-2
  • M15 (MGs will continue to track/fire on targets)

Note: To make UI experience consistent, the doctrinal Soviet AT ambush ability has been moved one row below its previous position.

Comments

  • #2
    5 months ago
    Kyle_REKyle_RE Posts: 393 admin

    V1.1 UPDATE

    GENERAL

    Wreck Values Normalized

    We are adjusting the amount of resources players can attain from vehicles using doctrinal salvage abilities. Previously, certain wrecks would award large amount of munitions/manpower, which wouldn’t correspond to their class. We are now changing salvage so that only fuel and munitions are awarded from salvaging a wreck. Moreover we are normalizing wreck values so that the amount of resources gained now depend on the worth of the vehicle.

    (Values are given in Munitions/Fuel)

    • Ultra Lights 10/5
    • Lights 15/10
    • Mediums 20/25
    • Advanced Mediums 35/30
    • Heavies 50/40
    • Super Heavies 60/45

    The changes to salvage affect both Tank Hunter Doctrine (Soviets) and Tactical Support Regiment (UKF) salvage abilities.

    SOVIETS

    Maxim HMG

    Given the decrease of single-target suppression of the Maxim MG, we find it is necessary to improve the AoE suppression characteristics of the MG, so that it remains potent at stopping frontal assaults from blobs of infantry

    • Nearby suppression radius increased from 10 to 13


    OKW

    Command Panther

    We are reducing the AoE damage of Command Panther’s main gun to bring it in line with other Panthers. Moreover, we are reducing the efficiency of the Mark Target ability to bring it in line with its cost. In particular, we found the armour debuff ability to be too potent. Instead of a raw penetration bonus, Panther Mark Target will now be tracking the vehicle in the fog-of-war for the duration of the ability.

    To prevent the vehicle from being too dominant in teamgames, we are making Command Panther mutually exclusive with the King Tiger. Moreover, we are changing the way the Command Panther’s aura affects teammates.

    • Main gun AoE damage decreased from 1/0.35/0.05 to 1/0.15/0.05
    • Mark target bonuses reduced from +25% received damage/+25% received accuracy/-20% armour to +25% received damage/+15% received accuracy)
    • Mark target now also tracks the target in the fog of war for the duration of the ability
    • Command Panther is now mutually-exclusive with the King Tiger (similar to JT/KT restrictions)

    Aura

    Command Panther Vet5 aura gives too many bonuses and, basically, irrevocably breaks infantry combat:

    • +range, +sight, +speed bonuses removed from infantry-affecting part of the aura
    • (Vet5 aura still awards +accuracy/+reload to infantry)

    Moreover, we find that the following parts of Command Panther’s aura to be too potent in the context of teammates. Especially when OST allies are involved:

    • +sight/+range parts of vehicle-affecting aura no longer affect teammates
    • Vet5 infantry-affecting aura no longer affects teammates

    UKF

    Comet

    We are reducing the rear armour of the Comet, so that flanking tanks are properly awarded when attacking Comet’s rear armour. Thus, we are bringing Comet’s rear armour value with that of the Panther.

    • Rear armour reduced from 130 to 110

    Bug Fixes

    • Fixed an issue where it was not possible to upgrade M5 hafltracks with the Quad cannon (introduced in the GCS mod)
  • #4
    5 months ago
    Kyle_REKyle_RE Posts: 393 admin

    V1.3 UPDATE

    SOVIETS

    Penal Battalions

    To prevent unwanted bugs from occurring, as well as to assist with targeting the ability, we are splitting the functionality of the Penal Satchel ability into two separate abilities.

    Note that both abilities launch precisely the same projectile with respect to damage and critical effects. The two abilities only behave differently with respect to targeting.

    Manual version
    * This ability targets a location on the ground.
    * If the satchel collides with a vehicle, the satchel will stick to the vehicle

    Targeted version
    * This ability can only be targeted on enemy vehicles
    * If the vehicle remains within range while the ability is casting, the satchel will home-in on the enemy vehicle

    Maxims

    We found that the suppression performance of the Maxim below par. In particular, we found that it was being too easily countered with grenades during frontal infantry assaults, making it an ineffective suppression platform.

    We are slightly increasing baseline performance to allow the Maxim to suppress squads more reliably. Moreover we are increasing the amount of suppression the Maxim applies on already-suppressed squads. This will allow the Maxim to pin targets reliably, before they are in grenade range.

    Moreover, we are changing the way sustained fire operates so as to provide better up-front benefits to the Maxim. The ability will setup a lot faster. At the same time, better cooldown will allow the Maxim to more quickly change between targets and ramp up damage and suppression. Sustained fire forces a short-duration reload for the Maxim at the start of the ability. If timed correctly, the ability can also be used to prevent an unwanted reload mid-combat (which would turn the tables).

    Finally, to allow the Maxim to remain useful in the late-game, we are increasing the suppression it deals vs different cover types to make up for its low baseline suppression. We are also adding a significant boost to Maxim’s AoE suppression to allow it to punish frontal-assaulting blobs better.

    • Suppression from 0.00005 to 0.00006
    • Suppression versus suppressed targets from 0.5 to 0.65
    • Suppression versus light cover from 0.5 to 0.75
    • Suppression versus heavy cover from 0.1 to 0.2
    • Nearby suppression modifier from 0.8 to 1.25

    Sustained fire
    * Cooldown now multiplied by 0.5
    * Reload multiplier changed from 2 to 0.5
    * Now only forces a reload at the beginning of the ability (not the end)

    M4C Shermans
    Our main intent with the M4C Sherman changes has always been to limit their availability when tech structures are skipped. However, we find the 2:30 minute recharge time to be excessive in prolonged matches, effectively rendering the commander ability ineffective.

    To achieve a better balance between our original intent and the fact that the commander hinges on the ability, we are reducing the recharge time of the Shermans when the Soviet T4 has been built.

    • Building T4 decreases recharge time from 2:30 minutes to 1:15 seconds

    OKW

    Panzerfausts (Volksgrenadiers only)

    We found that the early arrival of OKW panzerfaust combined with the complete lack of scaling potential for light vehicles made it prohibitive for players to integrate light vehicle strategies in their games. This gave free reign for Kubelwagen pushes over opposing factions.

    Moreover, we find that the cost-efficiency improvements on the Panzerfaust were too dramatic. This is especially given the cost-efficiency of other OKW upgrades and abilities, as well as the overall cost-efficiency of the Volksgrenadier squad veterancy, upgrades and abilities.

    • Cost increased from 25MU to 30MU
    • Requires a truck to be be set-up (as opposed to be called-in) to be available

    UKF

    Cromwell Smoke Shell ability

    We find that the changes we have already made on the Cromwell impact the rate of gaining veterancy the right amount. An unfortunate side-effect of this, however, is that this denies the British factions from timely access to smoke.

    To partly offset the weak British early game, where several vital tools are missing from the arsenal (e.g., snares, reliable anti-garrison, mobile indirect fire), we are giving Cromwells access to smoke shells at Veterancy 0. This change will also, particularly benefit Anvil which, so-far, does not have reliable access to smoke, making it more attractive with comparison to Hammer.

    • Smoke shell available at Vet0, but with a 15 second cooldown
    • Veterancy1 reverts smoke shell cooldown to 10 seconds

    Comet

    We are partially reverting the popcap cost of the Comet to a value that is more in line with the vehicles that it normally encounters in the opposition.

    • Popcap cost reduced from 20 to 18


    BUG FIXES

    • Fixed an issue where hold fire on Luchs/Brummbar would make either vehicle permanently unresponsive if abandoned while the ability was on
    • Fixed an issue where the OKW FlakHT would, sometimes, become permanently stuck
    • Fixed an issue where the firing arc of coaxial and hull MGs for British faction tanks was smaller than that of other armoured vehicles. This fix will improve the target acquisition of British tank MGs.
  • #5
    5 months ago
    Kyle_REKyle_RE Posts: 393 admin

    V1.3.1 UPDATE

    BUG FIXES

    • Fixed an issue where Artillery cover projectile speed was not adjusted correctly
  • #6
    5 months ago
    Kyle_REKyle_RE Posts: 393 admin
    edited April 20

    V1.3.2 UPDATE

    GENERAL

    • Hold fire added for m5
    • Sustained fire cost (Maxim) reduced from 20 to 15
    • Fixed an issue where m5 with the quad upgrade would be forced to rotate to the enemy when given an attack command (introduced in GCS)
  • #7
    5 months ago
    Kyle_REKyle_RE Posts: 393 admin

    V1.4 UPDATE

    SOVIETS

    Maxims

    Given that the hallmark of Maxims is to be their durability rather than their damage or suppression, we are taking steps to ensure some consistency. This will allow Maxims to perform well in the late-game, without offsetting the balance in the early game too much. At the same time, we are closing the gap in mobility between the Maxim and the other MGs.

    In particular, some of the mobility changes will help mitigate the infamous “deathloop” bug (without solving it, however).

    • Maxim squad formation changed
    • Rotation changed from 120 to 225
    • Acceleration/Deceleration increased to infinite
    • Removed cover-traversal penalties from the Maxim

    BUG FIXES & QoL

    Fixed an issue where British squads would recrew maxims with 2 squad members instead of 3
    Fixed an issue where several vehicles were still affected by wreck-value normalization
    Added Handbrake_v2 to the Sturmtiger to prevent unwanted rotation

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