Is camo really the problem with TD's?

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CGarr
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Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by CGarr »

There's been a ton of posts about camo and the buffs it gives to TD's recently debating whether or not the buffs themselves are balanced, but nobody has really touched on the fact that camo and its associated buffs would probably be fine if TD's were just generally easier to counter in this game. These units should mainly be AT specialists, and as such their natural counter would be infantry with AT weapons. In practice, however, infantry AT often either cant effectively pen/hit these units (axis TD's aside from nashorn or marder) or cant even get close to them because their target can also kill inf easily (m18, achilles, both of which are also fast as hell and can drive away after they fire HE, unlike marders). As such, these units end up having no counter aside from getting a big enough tank that you can just eat the first shot and shoot back, which is dumb.

My suggestion for fixing this issue so that camouflaged tank destroyers aren't such an overwhelming pain in the ass to deal with is that infantry AT rocket launchers should be buffed across the board to be significantly more accurate and have much greater pen (possibly with decreased range if deemed necessary), making axis armored tank destroyers actually vulnerable to these units even frontally. Additionally, the m18 and achilles should lose their HE shell, as it limits counterplay options by axis players. I acknowledge that the first of these 2 paired suggestions is a dramatic one, but it would solve the issue and realistically wouldn't have much of an impact on the game outside of solving said issue.

Think about it for a second before you type a response saying this is a bad idea, what would actually be negatively affected by this change? Normal non-AT specialist tanks (basically anything other than TD's) would still easily be able to blast AT inf with HE before they can close the distance, either killing most of the squad so only one rocket is left to fire, which isn't enough to kill most tanks aside from maybe with the 5% instakill crit roll they already have (i know tanks cannons have it, not sure if AT launchers do). Panzer 4 F2 and sherman 76's are good examples of this concept in action, as neither of these tanks have enough armor to effectively bounce rockets frontally yet they have no trouble dealing with AT inf because they can kill said inf before it even gets a chance to shoot.

Heavy tanks may be adversely affected in the sense that throwing a horde of AT inf at them would be more effective than it is currently, but to combat this, heavy tank MG's and roof gunners could be buffed so that attacking a heavy from the front with AT would be a more risky endeavor than it is currently, as right now there isn't much stopping you from walking up to a tiger from the front with 3 squads (double recoilless 101st and 2 AT squads for example) and just blasting it with a massive volley of rockets anyways. Sure, you might lose a squad to HE in the current setup, but you have the potential damage there to instakill the tank if you get lucky and all the shots pen. The AT launcher change would effectively be the same as if people got lucky every time with this tactic, so it would be fitting to give heavies stronger anti-inf capabilities to compensate. The buff to the machine guns doesn't have to be something as dramatic as an actual damage increase, just a strong suppression ability with a wide are of effect in the targeted area would be enough to make full frontal assaults with AT inf a dumb idea. Flanking would still be as viable as it is currently, and possibly more rewarding since you wont get anymore unlucky bounces off the ass of a tiger.

:!: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ :!:

To summarize this suggestion and its effects:

CHANGES
1. Make infantry AT launchers hit and pen more consistently, they're already squishy units so they should be rewarding if you manage to get in range. Range could even be decreased a bit so that this risk vs reward tradeoff is even more apparent.

2. Remove HE from M18 and achilless. Coming from someone who personally loves to use HE on these tanks since it hits hard and the other player wont see it coming, there are other units in the game that are better suited to ambushing infantry. These TD's should be approachable by AT inf when stationary without risk of getting blown to bits by said tanks. The only TD's that should have decent anti-inf are marders, as those tanks are slow, unarmored, and turretless (meaning they are almost exclusively used in stationary positions).

3. Give heavy armor better options for dealing with AT inf frontally to compensate for their armor becoming less effective against infantry AT weapons. A suppression ability that suppresses every inf unit within a circular are of 3-4 times the model length of the tank using it and a minimum targeting range for the center of the circle at 2 tank lengths away from the tank to keep the ability from just being used to suppress in every direction. The ability should either be cheap or free, as it would be similar in effectiveness to the tank shock ability which is also free, and it should have a relatively short cooldown as well as a short time of effectiveness (maybe literally just an instant burst of supression every time it is activated, again similar to tank shock). I will include a diagram below of what I mean for this ability in case my description was unclear.

4. Changes to axis TD prices may be needed if they are deemed too overpriced relative to their durability by the majority of the community after these changes, but I doubt it'll be significant enough to warrant this. These TD's will still do their job, they'll just be a bit less of a headache to kill since you will have a consistent option for killing them if you can manage to get AT inf in range to fire one or 2 volleys, rather than the status quo of having to fire 3 or even 4 volleys because you can't manage to hit/pen these TD's for whatever reason despite being in range. If you feel you were already getting consistent 1-2 volley performance, then the change might not really be noticeable for you.

EFFECTS
1. TD's become more easily counterable with infantry, so the camo changes go from an urgently needed change to a small detail that can be fine tuned at a later date if still deemed necessary.

2. Infantry will be rewarded more for closing the distance on a tank, but tanks that have good anti inf don't need to worry about this since they have the mean to prevent inf from closing. Effectively, this just means TD's will be more easy to kill with inf if they manage to find them.

3. Heavies will become less vulnerable to standard means of killing armor since they will have an effective tool for preventing said means from being used on them, thus solidifying their role as an aggro sink / damage absorber / fear weapon. This essentially means that players will be forced to deal with heavies differently than how they would other tanks, as just throwing a blob of AT inf at them would no longer have any reasonable chance of working if the heavy tank user is paying attention and uses the suppression ability. Flanking, ambush, and use of indirect fire would be far more encouraged, as only the larger cannons of any given faction would be able to reliably deal with heavies from the front because inf would just get suppressed unless spread out.

4. Not really something prioritized, but as a possible side effect of the suppression ability, heavies would become a much more attractive option relative to heavy TD's, justifying their higher price. This would also make the heavy tank line more equally attractive to the heavy TD line in the newest version of the new Panzer Support doctrine on beta. The ability could be used in both an offensive and defensive manner. Max range the ability's center can be called on would determine how effective it would be offensively, but theoretically you could use this on an area before attacking as well as using it in a more defensive role. If implemented properly, it wouldn't be OP because this is exactly what these tanks are meant to do.

POSSIBLE ISSUES
1. Obviously all tanks globally will become a bit easier to kill with infantry AT, potentially throwing balance off slightly in that regard. The shots to kill would be the same but there would just be less misses and bounces. I mentioned having a possible range reduction to infantry AT as a means of counterbalancing this so that it becomes more risky/difficult to try and kill tanks that have HE, even if said HE is single shot, as those tanks could also more easily kite AT inf, thus solidifying their roles as well (Anti-inf specialists and multi-role tanks would benefit from this).

2. The suppression ability I talked about would require fine tuning to get right (if the ranges are too big it can easily become OP), but that's what betas are for. Additionally, suppression should have less of an effect AT guns if that's possible (assuming it has any effect at all currently).

3. This is a pretty big change, we should finish getting the beta out to live before work begins on this.

:!: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- :!:

Below is diagram of proposed suppression ability for heavy armor. It wouldn't be dependent on the MG's actually shooting at something, it'd just apply temporary suppression to a radius around a targeted point. Said point would have a minimum and maximum distance at which it can be placed. It would apply one burst of suppression to any inf within a radius of said point. More details in diagram and above post.
Heavy tank area suppression.jpg

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by Walderschmidt »

I also don't think camo bonuses are the main problem so much as the lack of ways to counter it.

I think the way it's being dealt with are the wrong way to deal with it but haven't said anything because I haven't contributed any ideas of my own.

That said, I do like your idea of MGs on German tanks suppressing infantry within an amount of fire laid upon enemy vs time. I'll make my own thread with my own ideas. That said, I'm not a fan of your changes, because I'm afraid of large sweeping changes that affect the whole game and are hard to predict if they will fit or need to be tweaked until weeks, I mean months, of testing (since our community is less active on beta).

Perhaps there could be a light suppression ability on tanks with mgs with 15 muni cost or something.

Wald
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CGarr
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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by CGarr »

Walderschmidt wrote:
05 May 2020, 00:08
I also don't think camo bonuses are the main problem so much as the lack of ways to counter it.

I think the way it's being dealt with are the wrong way to deal with it but haven't said anything because I haven't contributed any ideas of my own.

That said, I do like your idea of MGs on German tanks suppressing infantry within an amount of fire laid upon enemy vs time. I'll make my own thread with my own ideas. That said, I'm not a fan of your changes, because I'm afraid of large sweeping changes that affect the whole game and are hard to predict if they will fit or need to be tweaked until weeks, I mean months, of testing (since our community is less active on beta).

Perhaps there could be a light suppression ability on tanks with mgs with 15 muni cost or something.

Wald
That point keeps getting brought up but I honestly think it's gonna be slower to go with a bandaid approach of messing with all these stats concerning camo then it would be to properly test and push this out. It's not that big in terms of the changes themselves, I just wrote a lot and it'll be a lot to test, but again I think testing is fine. We have an active enough amount of beta testers, it'd probably also be higher once the doctrine reworks are over with since unlike the doctrine reworks (which entirely change the way players have to approach the game), this would only be stat changes on a few units and 1 new ability for like 3-4 tanks. This also would potentially knock out major 2 issues with one set of fixes, TD's being obnoxious and heavies just being objectively worse to get than heavy TD's for most people. Tigers aren't scary unless you're extremely underprepared for one to come out and its pretty easy to know if one is coming since the doctrines that have them use a lot of unique units (or lack any unique combat units in PS doc's case).

If its too much to do in one go on the beta, it wouldn't be hard to split into stages the same way the doctrine reworks were split. First, remove HE on achilles and m18. Would take maybe a week max to finish and test. Then give AT launchers the better stats I mentioned, again probably only a week max. The last step would be compensating changes, and would probably take a month or 2 to get going, assuming the current pace of work is maintained for the most part. This part would include the changes to heavies (if they are deemed necessary) and potential price reductions to TD's if they start underperforming hard, although I doubt they will since camo is a really good ability, these changes just reward the intended means of counterplay.

I'm not suggesting a quick fix, I'm trying to find a proper solution that people will be happy with long term and that wont require a bunch of additional changes in the future addressing the same issue. Camo stat changes don't mean much if the unit itself is still incredibly hard to kill, they just shift the unit from being an obstacle to being an annoyance since they'd be capable of doing less but they still have all the different stats and abilities that made them obnoxious to kill in the first place (HE, dodge modifiers, over-performing armor, crazy fast speeds, etc).

My suggestion is more that we just generally need to step back and consider the different ways we can approach issues, as I get the feeling the camo stat changes are going to start long chain of nerfs and buffs without accomplishing much other than making AT specialist units worse at their intended job and pushing them even further towards being multi-role units. The potential counterbalancing that might come with changes to camo stats could end up backfiring hard and making the problem way worse, as you'd have to either make the units better at something other than dedicated AT work to compensate or just make them flat out cheaper, all while they retain a ridiculously high amount of survivability.

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by Walderschmidt »

CGarr wrote:
05 May 2020, 08:37
That point keeps getting brought up but I honestly think it's gonna be slower to go with a bandaid approach of messing with all these stats concerning camo then it would be to properly test and push this out. It's not that big in terms of the changes themselves, I just wrote a lot and it'll be a lot to test, but again I think testing is fine. We have an active enough amount of beta testers, it'd probably also be higher once the doctrine reworks are over with since unlike the doctrine reworks (which entirely change the way players have to approach the game), this would only be stat changes on a few units and 1 new ability for like 3-4 tanks. This also would potentially knock out major 2 issues with one set of fixes, TD's being obnoxious and heavies just being objectively worse to get than heavy TD's for most people. Tigers aren't scary unless you're extremely underprepared for one to come out and its pretty easy to know if one is coming since the doctrines that have them use a lot of unique units (or lack any unique combat units in PS doc's case).
I see what you're going for. Makes sense to me how and why you put those ideas forward.
CGarr wrote:
05 May 2020, 08:37
If its too much to do in one go on the beta, it wouldn't be hard to split into stages the same way the doctrine reworks were split. First, remove HE on achilles and m18. Would take maybe a week max to finish and test. Then give AT launchers the better stats I mentioned, again probably only a week max. The last step would be compensating changes, and would probably take a month or 2 to get going, assuming the current pace of work is maintained for the most part. This part would include the changes to heavies (if they are deemed necessary) and potential price reductions to TD's if they start underperforming hard, although I doubt they will since camo is a really good ability, these changes just reward the intended means of counterplay.
I wouldn't mind splitting this idea in stages provided some other guys (yourself, Echo, et al) agreed to play at least 3-4 games in a week. That way we have some testing.
CGarr wrote:
05 May 2020, 08:37
I'm not suggesting a quick fix, I'm trying to find a proper solution that people will be happy with long term and that wont require a bunch of additional changes in the future addressing the same issue. Camo stat changes don't mean much if the unit itself is still incredibly hard to kill, they just shift the unit from being an obstacle to being an annoyance since they'd be capable of doing less but they still have all the different stats and abilities that made them obnoxious to kill in the first place (HE, dodge modifiers, over-performing armor, crazy fast speeds, etc).
I think you're trying to do the right thing, I just have different ideas and am still organizing them in your head. And I agree with your assessment of camo changes.
CGarr wrote:
05 May 2020, 08:37
My suggestion is more that we just generally need to step back and consider the different ways we can approach issues, as I get the feeling the camo stat changes are going to start long chain of nerfs and buffs without accomplishing much other than making AT specialist units worse at their intended job and pushing them even further towards being multi-role units. The potential counterbalancing that might come with changes to camo stats could end up backfiring hard and making the problem way worse, as you'd have to either make the units better at something other than dedicated AT work to compensate or just make them flat out cheaper, all while they retain a ridiculously high amount of survivability.
I agree wholeheartedly with this.

Wald
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CGarr
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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by CGarr »

@Walder, sorry if I sounded a bit hostile by the way, I've been a bit annoyed by how my dislike of one person has compounded into me generally being less personable and a lot more bitchy than even my normal self, which seems to have created a loop of negativity between me and the people I most often see on the beta, and it was spilling over into other things at the time I made that response.

As for dedicating time to testing, I am definitely willing to test regularly if others are, as I've already been playing the beta regularly for a long time so it wouldn't make much of a difference. I think Echo is busy with some stuff at home, but I'll ask around to see if anyone else is down. Kwok is usually down for a game when I'm on, although we talk less, haven't seen Omen on much recently but I think he's also taking a break. I've got 2 IRL friends that are generally down but they're new/rusty and I don't know if they'd be able or willing to give much feedback, although I could just post our PM's for them since I generally agree with them on like 95% of balance issues once I've explained enough for them to be able to form strong opinions on an issue. They also give pretty good insight on what it's like to experience a lot of the changes a player who is approaching the game for the first time since we don't get to play regularly often anymore, so they experience new things pretty often.

Feel free to PM me if you're down for a game, I might not hop on disc but I'm usually down for a game if you see me on.

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by Walderschmidt »

It's all good brother, you didn't seem hostile to me at all.

I'll message you next time I'm on for a game.

Wald
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Warhawks97
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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by Warhawks97 »

I went through this topic again due to our debate in discord. I could support all of these suggestions.


About the suppression system you mentioned i am unsure. Like i click at a point and suppression is applied in this area. But what happens when the tank starts moving?

I would generally support something that gives every tank that has any MG gets an suppressive ability (not just those with top mount) that adds burst duration and suppression to every MG of the tank.

Another thing might be to swap the fire modes for the MG´s like those of Heavy MG´s. You either pick shorter more accurate bursts or simply suppression mode.



And about HE round removal of all TD´s. If we combine this with my idea about Tank round upgrades, people might stop buying lots of HE for their TD´s since it might get too costly and AP rounds more preferable on TD´s.

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CGarr
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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by CGarr »

Warhawks97 wrote:
18 Jul 2020, 12:57
About the suppression system you mentioned i am unsure. Like i click at a point and suppression is applied in this area. But what happens when the tank starts moving?
Let's just assume the tank can't move for the duration of suppression, because the commander is preoccupied with manning the roof MG. I'm sure we could fine tune this easily if making the tank immobile doesn't work, but I think it'd balance it out, as targeted suppression like this would make using inf against tanks significantly harder, especially if the suppresion is cheap (which it definitely should be, 0-30 muni would be ideal as suprression of inf should be one of the primary uses for tanks, even more-so than killing them outright. Friendly inf can come in to mop up, tanks should be a mobile suppression platform and bunker buster, with some also being able to combat other tanks as their secondary role.
Warhawks97 wrote:
18 Jul 2020, 12:57
I would generally support something that gives every tank that has any MG gets an suppressive ability (not just those with top mount) that adds burst duration and suppression to every MG of the tank.
Glad we agree. Although, one thing to note is that many tanks don't have a ton of UI space, so this might not really be an option for all tanks. Ideally, at least heavies and MG tanks would get it. I know the pershings have space, and the AP ability on tigers could just be removed outright since they should be shooting AP by default in terms of stats (they can already pen pretty much everything anyways, and the suppression ability would be a lot more useful than an AP ability they almost never need).
Warhawks97 wrote:
18 Jul 2020, 12:57
Another thing might be to swap the fire modes for the MG´s like those of Heavy MG´s. You either pick shorter more accurate bursts or simply suppression mode.
I don't think a mode switch is necessary with the targeted ability I suggested, and it'd be harder to counterbalance than the targeted ability. Many tanks don't have much UI space, so having both probably isn't an option. With the tageted suppression, it counterbalances itself by immobilizing the tank temporarily, making it vulnerable to offmap artillery/airstrikes since the commander is too preoccupied manning an MG to give a move order.
Warhawks97 wrote:
18 Jul 2020, 12:57
And about HE round removal of all TD´s. If we combine this with my idea about Tank round upgrades, people might stop buying lots of HE for their TD´s since it might get too costly and AP rounds more preferable on TD´s.
I've already stated that I agree with you on many of the points in that thread, so I won't repeat myself. That being said, I think removing HE outright for the sake of counterbalance would be a better solution. TD's should be easily counterable with AT inf if the inf manage to find them and get close, they already have stealth and speed to defend themselves. An achilles or M18 blasting away your inf with HE is just as annoying as missing/bouncing shots on an Axis TD from point blank, and killing inf isn't their job. The stug is the only tank that should be an exception to this IMO, as it is closer in purpose to a Pz4 than a pure TD. We should probably limit their use of HE to when they are uncloaked to make dealing with a bit easier, as it is stupidly easy to just make a wall of camo'd stugs and being forced to just sit on your hands and arty them is dumb.

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Warhawks97
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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by Warhawks97 »

A tank that uses suppressive fire that cant move for that time? Things get very complicated when there comes an combined attack. Like you activate it on a spot and then comes a tank out of the fog of war.

About UI space: Its usually the heavies that are full with abilties and little space left. So i would really add something to every tank that has an mg that this mg switches modes like telling the gunner what to do.

And even if the commander uses the MG on top, he would still be able to order his crew to move or whatever.

And the micro added to take a tank, click the ability and at a spot at which to lay fire makes things quite micro intense. And commanding tanks (esspecially many) isnt always an easy task.

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Re: Is camo really the problem with TD's?

Post by Krieger Blitzer »

To be honest, i don't think there is ANY issue with TDs or camo settings in the game currently.. thus; none of the ideas in this thread has caught my attention.

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