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is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

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freem
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:02 pm UTC

is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

Postby freem » Sun Jul 11, 2021 11:08 pm UTC

Hello.

TL:DR:
I think that the ability to move stuff on ceilings and walls, or to extinguish fires (on buildings only, remember that nothing can remove fire on ground) should be unlocked before humans get the flamer or the firebomb, and current mechanics does not do that.
It also favors humans building strong bases and discourages aliens to even try to build too much.

Explanations:
I recently noticed that momentum gain when building depends solely on 2 parameters: the BP cost and the age of the game. At first, this seems fine, but when you start taking other parameters into account, I'm not that sure.

I wrote a small awk script to get some stats, here is the code if you want to try at home:

Code: Select all

BEGIN {
   file = "";
   numfiles[1] = 0;
   numfiles[2] = 0;
   team = 0;

   regen = 0;
   health = 0;
   cost = 0;
   time = 0;
}

END {
   tt = 1;
   printf( "aliens: regen=%d health=%d BP=%d time=%d\n" \
   , avgregen[tt]  / numfiles[tt] \
   , avghealth[tt] / numfiles[tt] \
   , avgcost[tt]   / numfiles[tt] \
   , avgtime[tt]   / numfiles[tt] / 1000 \
   );

   tt = 2;
   printf( "humans: regen=%d health=%d BP=%d time=%d\n" \
   , avgregen[tt]  / numfiles[tt] \
   , avghealth[tt] / numfiles[tt] \
   , avgcost[tt]   / numfiles[tt] \
   , avgtime[tt]   / numfiles[tt] / 1000 \
   );
}

function filecheck() {
   if( FILENAME != file )
   {
      file=FILENAME;
      numfiles[team]++;
      avgregen[team] += regen;
      avghealth[team] += health;
      avgcost[team] += cost;
      avgtime[team] += time;
   }
}

/^team/ {
   filecheck();
   if( $2 == "aliens" )
   {
      team = 1;
   }
   else if( $2 == "humans" )
   {
      team = 2;
   }
}

/^regen/ {
   filecheck();
   regen = $2;
}

/^health/ {
   filecheck();
   health = $2;
}

/^buildTime/ {
   filecheck();
   time = $2;
}

/^buildPoints/ {
   filecheck();
   cost = $2;
}


Here are some stats when taking all buildings (including the meaningless miners and unique):

Code: Select all

aliens: regen=9 health=237 BP=8 time=17s
humans: regen=7 health=364 BP=6 time=11s


And now, without unique and miners (miners are identical for both teams, unique are not, both have no BP cost and thus give 0 momentum):

Code: Select all

aliens: regen=10 health=183 BP=10 time=16s
humans: regen=7 health=284 BP=9 time=10s


As you can see, aliens requires a lot more time to build a single buildable, which cost more and have a lot less health. Human buildables have less regen, but can be repaired with ckits at a rate of roughly 10hp/s.

A quick calculation implies that, with pure building, without considering the modifier of time (which is identical for both teams anyway) and the decrease over time, to acquire 50 momentum (stage 1), teams need:

Code: Select all

aliens: 50 / 10 * 16 = 80s
humans: 50 / 9 * 10 ~= 56s


For "side" considerations: when one destroys an enemy buildable, one's team earn as much momentum as the buildable cost.
I do not know for sure how momentum for enemy team decreases when a buildable is lost.
In short, humans earn their stage 1 ~30% faster than aliens, and same for stage 2 which unlocks flamers. This is, still supposing pure build unlocks, ~49s before aliens can unlock advanced granger, which are required to move buildables on ceilings, which usually gives them a "yoyo" effect since they are effectively loosing momentum to move stuff (answer would be to use a Schmitt trigger to prevent that).

Of course, in real games, there will be kills, and aliens, in the right hands, are deadlier than (uncoordinated?) humans.

There are several answers to that problem, for example:
  • momentum earned per buildable completed could also depend on the time required to build it.
  • reduce the build time of alien buildables.
  • Another answer, which seems rather popular is, just get rid of the momentum system and get back to trem's mechanics (I'm not sure I like the idea, but I don't have enough experience of trem to judge).
  • do nothing (for example maybe because there's enough good alien players around so that this not a problem)
  • many other...

I don't say both teams should have the same values there, but I think a 33% difference is way too much, especially considering the fact aliens buildables are a lot less resilient and dangerous than human ones.
As for auto-repair, well, with a lone human in base, human buildables effectively regenerate faster. Without a human to repair, they're a tiny bit slower, but only 30% slower for 55% more hp, 38% faster to build and 10% cheaper.
I know that humans needs to do teamwork to get rid of a skilled dragoon player, especially when they don't have the medium armor, so strong base is needed, but maybe their lack of ability to counter skilled dragoons is what should be fixed, instead of making them turtle and camp.
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killing time
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Re: is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

Postby killing time » Mon Jul 12, 2021 1:10 am UTC

I don't understand the meaning of those stats like "aliens: regen=9 health=237 BP=8 time=17s"

There is already hysteresis for stage thresholds. Some momentum is added when a team crosses above a threshold. (Probably some is some subtracted when going below also, but not 100% confident.)
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illwieckz
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Re: is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

Postby illwieckz » Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:07 am UTC

Off topic: next time, better add a comment asking for moving your thread (you can also identify someone like myself) so we can move it for you.
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Gireen
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Re: is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

Postby Gireen » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:09 am UTC

Nice observations,
complains about how the momentum system works are increasing, this might help deciding on better changes.

What does increase the momentum?
Building and destroying buildings. Anything else like killing enemys?

I observed many times that aliens take way longer to unlock higher stages, despite them having map control and dominating in confrontations.
But i don't think that the build time is the limiting factor here.
What i also think is annoying it that the slow loss of momentum increases stalemates and makes them worse.

freem wrote:It also favors humans building strong bases and discourages aliens to even try to build too much.

I think that's more a problem cause of the current BP/mining system. It punishes building.
fear ma engrish :granger:
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illwieckz
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Re: is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

Postby illwieckz » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:58 am UTC

Gireen wrote:I observed many times that aliens take way longer to unlock higher stages, despite them having map control and dominating in confrontations.


For example I'm good at harassing bsuit as dretch, even if I die three time to kill one bsuit, I may be efficient enough to prevent two or three bsuits to reach the alien base or do significant damage to alien base in a 5v5 game.

Such kind of verified tactic means the human team would have more momentum but aliens would still have territory control and may be denying humans progression.
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freem
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Re: is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

Postby freem » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:27 pm UTC

illwieckz wrote:Off topic: next time, better add a comment asking for moving your thread (you can also identify someone like myself) so we can move it for you.


Sorry for that.

killing time wrote:I don't understand the meaning of those stats like "aliens: regen=9 health=237 BP=8 time=17s"


This is the average regeneration score, health score, BP costs and time to complete, of a team's buildings.

killing time wrote:There is already hysteresis for stage thresholds. Some momentum is added when a team crosses above a threshold. (Probably some is some subtracted when going below also, but not 100% confident.)


Hum... I'd be curious to know about where is it, and how many delta there is, because really, when one unlocks adv granger and starts moving stuff, there's really a yoyo effect between stages.

Gireen wrote:Nice observations,
complains about how the momentum system works are increasing, this might help deciding on better changes.


That's why I took time to do calculations (and provided the tools I used so that people can check for themselves if I'm wrong or not). I think it's better to put bases for a sane discussion than "I feel that it's unfair".

Gireen wrote:What does increase the momentum?


AFAIK, momentum is added or substracted when a player destroys something which belongs to other team or when a building is completed.
For destroying 0-cost buildables like the unique ones or the miners, I don't know how it is calculated. It's probably based on some hard-coded values, that I estimate at roughly 6 for leech and 12 for overmind (game observation). There is no momentum gain when building them.
For buildings with a BP cost, they seem (according to code, but experiments says otherwise in-game, probably some attenuation at start, the formula is not really easy to visualize) to provide their cost as momentum when destroyed or built.
I do not know how much momentum is lost on a building's destruction.

There is also momentum earned when killing enemies, and maybe lost when an ally die, but I have no idea how much.

All those base numbers are modified depending on game's age: the older the game, the easier it is to get momentum.

Gireen wrote:I observed many times that aliens take way longer to unlock higher stages, despite them having map control and dominating in confrontations.
But i don't think that the build time is the limiting factor here.
What i also think is annoying it that the slow loss of momentum increases stalemates and makes them worse.

freem wrote:It also favors humans building strong bases and discourages aliens to even try to build too much.

I think that's more a problem cause of the current BP/mining system. It punishes building.


The current mining system does not punish humans building bunkers: it's a rather fast way to unlock stage 1, which in turn unlocks their most powerful defense and the radar. For aliens, stage 1 only unlocks dragoon and adv maras, which can't really fight back the rocket launchers.

PS:
I just gave a factual try to unlock stages 1 solely by building, on plat23:
Humans: 2 minutes and 26 seconds, total: 146s
Aliens: 3 minutes and 57 seconds, total: 237s
Ratio: humans unlocked it 39% faster.
Considering those experimental results, I believe there's an attenuation factor at start for building.
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Gireen
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Re: is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

Postby Gireen » Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:00 am UTC

Does the playercount also affect momentum gain/loss?

The current mining system does not punish humans building bunkers

Well they are limited with there resources. If they spam miners and build a bunker then after the miners are destroyed they have a giant BP dept.

For aliens, stage 1 only unlocks dragoon and adv maras, which can't really fight back the rocket launchers.

Maybe then it would be more appropriate to change the unlock threshold for rockets. Humans unlock all buildings, well its only one, relative early compared to aliens.
fear ma engrish :granger:
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killing time
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Re: is momemtum by building balanced (or should it be)?

Postby killing time » Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:29 am UTC

Check the function UnlockToLockThreshold for the stage threshold hysteresis.

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