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.
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:
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.
Until the conclusion of the balance mod iteration cycle, we will try to come up with an interesting, but balanced Vet1 ability.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
To bring UKF emplacements in line with the emplacements of other armies, we are preventing players from building UKF emplacements in the base sector:
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.
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.
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.
* The radius of the ability now properly drawn on the battlescape
* Delay until the barrage begins increased from 4 seconds to 8 seconds
* 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.
* Suppression vs infantry reduced, so that incoming anti-infantry barrages no longer pin infantry squads, but only suppress them.
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:
The following vehicles will retain the original (i.e., immobilize) version of the Handbrake ability. This is due to their potentially lengthy setup time:
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:
Note: To make UI experience consistent, the doctrinal Soviet AT ambush ability has been moved one row below its previous position.