A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Maps

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kwok
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A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Maps

Postby kwok » 22 Aug 2015, 21:58

TLDR: Larger maps have the potential for "more balanced" and varied play.

I'm reposting to bring up a discussion on its own thread. I feel like the other one was lost in the an old thread. This is just copied pasted, if you read it already and know what it's about, no need to read it again unless you're looking for a refresher. I'll end up talking more in a second post, keeping "new" words separate.

I think the best way to balance maps is to just play on bigger ones. So, for 2v2's to play on a 3v3 map. For 3v3's to play on a 4v4 map (always with exceptions). This itself I think actually fixes a lot of balance issues people normally bring up. I'll go through the ones that come to the top of my head because I hear them often.

1. Too much arty:
I think it's not so much of "too much arty" as it is "too easy to arty". Right now, I think the "meta" is to rush to critical points on the map and hold them. Most of the time these critical points are high resource points or a building/"high ground" a force can easily defend and launch attacks from. The thing about the maps though, is that there is normally 1 critical point per pair of opposing players. So for a 2v2, there are 2 critical points and the game turns into something like two separate 1v1's each battling for their critical points. When there is only a single critical point that all fights revolve around, it's easy to just mark that point as an arty target. So, the same point gets artied over and over again, making it feel like there is "too much" and no skill involved. A player can safely fire into black fog knowing that the chances of hitting SOMETHING is very high.
Playing on a larger map creates more critical points, more ways of defending and attacking critical points, and allowing more places to dodge arty. This will make finding arty targets much more difficult and costly (via CD's or just flat MU sometimes depending on the situation).

2. Bunkers, emplacements, MG42's:
Same logic as arty above. Normally bunkers on single critical points stalemate a game. A lot of times Axis players can plop an MG42 in one spot and essentially cover the entire critical area. So, on a 2v2 map all it takes are 2 mg42's to cover the entire map with suppression, stalemating the early game. Allies normally make mortar pits instead of bunkers, but same situation of stalemating a game.
More map area to cover makes positional strategy much more difficult than the same place every single time (that house on rails and metal... that house on on reverse defense... that intersection on cherbourg... etc.). Making sure the MG's flanks are covered, facing the right direction, etc takes a lot more skill when there is more area to defend. Sun Tzu Art of War says (yes, I'm Asian and have read it) don't try to impede on an open field because the enemy can just walk around it. If the strategic area is wide enough, players are forced to make decisions. Is the cost of digging in worth impeding the enemy at this particular spot knowing they can just bypass this defense? For the attacker, is the defense emplacement worth attacking when I can just bypass and attack somewhere else (another Art of War reference)?

3. Axis Tanks OP:
Axis tanks are really strong and have always been a really big argument focus. The arguments are always the same, "The tanks are too strong" and counterargument "Just use more skill and flank it". The counterargument is flawed because there are MANY situation where there is literally no room to flank, especially when the emplacement stalemate mentioned above basically stops any units from skirting the sides.
Bigger map allows for more room to maneuver. Pretty simple.

4. One shot kill units:
Units like Scotts, StuH's, Stupas, Field guns, etc. are effective because of the narrow lanes. This is similar to the "MG42" problem I mentioned before but to a greater extent because these units are mobile. Now, I know these units have been severely nerfed and aren't as much as a problem as before, but there is the occasional complaint. The narrow lanes make blobbing unavoidable sometimes. There just isn't enough room to spread out (as the counterarguments would normally say).
The solution? More room.

5. Blobbing:
So blobbing can be annoying at times because it is a heavy concentration of power with volume on a single point (very Carl Von Clausewitz, yeah you bet I'm studied on different texts of war). Blobbing is effective because defenses are sometimes forced to be confined on a single spot to get rushed. It should be a strategic choice to make a defensive line thin or loose depending on the method of attack. A large map gives players that option. More building space so to speak.

So I'm tired and will stop talking about what large maps fix. Instead I'll start talking about possible concerns players would have with large maps.

1. Wermacht and British will be held back because they have low capping power, slow to build, and are very immobile in the early game. The large maps will favor mobility who can capture fast and take more ground fast:

So... at first I think the initial meta will favor mobility because right now the conservative game is too use to smaller maps. The mobile players will counter the conservative defensive players on larger maps because they are essentially given more opportunity. But, That's not to say that defensive players can't still play their game. It won't be as formulaic as it use to be though. The current Axis "meta" I think are a few varied openings:
1. Pak, MG
2. Pak, Sniper
3. Bike/Swhim, MG
4. Bike/Swhim, Pak
Players who play inf openings or any other variation are normally the gambit types that try for something very aggressive. But I think the formerly mentioned are the top most frequently played right now. These 4 openings are effective because they are very powerful at controlling small areas making them perfect for securing the "critical points" mentioned.
On larger maps, playing this way will be much more difficult which may give rise to "defensive specialist" players. I've done this a few times myself after challenging some people to a series of 1v1's on large maps. Many times they would want to play Axis, so I let them play and I defeat them early game. They give the argument that large maps favor USA, so I switch with them. I would take a defensive spot, secure it, and use a concentrated force to attack their single spread out, mobile, capping units. So, there is always a strategy to stop another strategy and people will find MORE styles, strategies, formulas they will like to play than on the current maps that really eliminate a lot of possible strategies. It will also force the conservative players to think a little more critically than the same formula of play every game.
British is an interesting situation (I never liked playing them because I feel like the way their designed forces a particular style of play). They are very immobile and will have trouble keeping up in capturing. But, they have a very very strong advantage on large maps: their mobile HQ. The mobile HQ is hardly an advantage in small maps and if anything is a disadvantage because it forces British to expose their unit makers to gain resources while other factions can build OP's or Scout Cars. British are limited in building units too because of their cars, which means losing those very exposed trucks is even more devastating. British will have a difficult early game because they cannot capture fast. But, they do have different kind of advantage in the early game. Most British players use this advantage right now. Brits do no need to build, so they send their superior-to-other engineers out early to secure a critical point. They will still hold this advantage on large maps. Yes, they will not be able to capture as fast, but early-mid game they will be able to capitalize on their mobile HQ's while all other factions will have to run and reinforce from the base far far away on a large map. British have the ability to reinforce and create a greater variety of units from their trucks at no extra cost compared to the other factions' expensive FHQ's. I do think British will need a bit of tweaking, but it will not be impossible for the faction to stay competitive. I will probably not be one of those players who are very good with British because I personally do not enjoy playing them as much as other factions. I think they lack flexibility but that is my own opinion.

2. A large map will be slower pace with no action because everything is so spread out and far:
I think that's only if you play the game that way. I think having the choice is play an action packed chaotic game or a slow game should be a strategic choice for the players. I am a fencer and I see many different style of fencing. Each of them are unique and competitive. A good fencer knows how to impose their style on another fencer and force the opponent to play a game the opponent is not comfortable with. If a player wants to play a slow strategic game, that should be a choice. But, an aggressive player can continually harrass, attack, provoke, and create a chaotic atmosphere to make the slow player squirm. Meanwhile, the slow player can also become a patient hunter and make an aggressive player frustrated and blunder. It really depends on the players. I think it is more fun to control the game with skill than to ask devs to create a game that fits the way you like to play. It definitely makes me feel much more accomplished.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby kwok » 22 Aug 2015, 22:12

TLDR: Large maps do not solve everything. Balances will be needed as always, but large maps will find true imbalances as well as allow balance changes to be more controlled compared to small maps.

Erich brought up an interesting point (I just played with him and lost. What a shame. You're going down Erich...).
He said that it is unbalanced because the extra resources lets Germans spam their heavy hitters versus Allied spams which, spam to spam comparison, is not as strong.
My immediate counter is that supply yard upgrades for US and British quality/abilities make up for the spams.

Warhawks brought up a good point as well using one of my games I played as an example, 88's completely halt an Allied offense without any effort even on big maps.
My immediate counter is that at least the 88's are only used defensively and it wasn't as bad as the offensive camp/creep Axis are known to do and abuse.

All in total though, both of them might be right and balances are probably far from perfect on large maps. I want to say that large maps do NOT balance everything. It doesn't solve everything, that'd be like saying fixing 88's only fixes the game. This isn't meant to be a catch all solution but rather change the game entirely for something new and fresh and actually closer to how the devs envisioned the game to be played. Axis is quality, Allies is quantity, but all in all it's about the strategies and tactics that make the game, not units and stats.

What large maps ultimately does is free up more play styles to be effective rather than very few optimal formulaic "optimal" play styles and strategies. After making the "cultural" change and playing larger map games, difference balance discussions will come up. But, the difference between balance changes on large maps compared to small maps is how the balance changes will impact the game.

Balance changes will be much easier to control on large maps. On small maps, sometimes a little change creates a domino effect and break the game. But, despite the small-to-major-impact change, the same issues persist. It's like the changes make huge impacts but do not actually solve the problems trying to be addressed.
Example, the camp-style game. No matter how many times artillery stats are modified, the camp game is still extremely popular and a gripe for everyone. Seemingly, the only way to make an impact on the camp game is to make too drastic of changes, causing a huge uproar on the other side of complainers.

Large maps, as mentioned before, open up more avenues of play creating different means of countering the camp game without actually having to change stats. Stat changes can and will probably be made, but they will only have small incremental impacts, making it much easier to reaching a proper balance. This will make life easier for devs and players in finding true imbalances and making the right patch changes necessary.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby kwok » 22 Aug 2015, 23:18

That being said, I've been playing tons of 1v1's with BabySealBatter on 4v4 maps. Anyone down for large map games? 2v2's, even 3v3's, let me know.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Sukin-kot (SVT) » 23 Aug 2015, 10:34

I think that gameplay on large maps is complete BS, no fun at all + not balanced as well. Likean example: Brits are getting recce right at the time when WE can get first strong AT, so you ll controll the entire map for this period of game, because its impossible to cover such a big space.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Warhawks97 » 23 Aug 2015, 12:55

Sukin-kot (SVT) wrote:I think that gameplay on large maps is complete BS, no fun at all + not balanced as well. Likean example: Brits are getting recce right at the time when WE can get first strong AT, so you ll controll the entire map for this period of game, because its impossible to cover such a big space.



Have you ever tested? There its more about long term strategy and from time to time there is "silence". You move and must move your units by far more often and so on. You replace them to create new ambushes etc. Also map controle does not mean to win. You can stand well together with paks and snipers holding important point untill getting offense counter to recce. The brits may have then more areas in his hands but that doesnt mean he can defend all. Once you get offense counter to recce the brits would need a pak everywhere which i cant. So you have a lot more flanking and movmend options to make an advance elsewhere. You have more time to create your army and to create a plan how and where to attack. Some things are still there which even "playing on larger maps cant solve to 100%" The 88´s for example are and will afterall be very very able to stop the entire US armor doc. But thats all i figured out so far. Everything else is quite cool and people using units there which are usually very rarely or never used.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Sukin-kot (SVT) » 23 Aug 2015, 15:19

I played 1v1 with Kwok on 4v4 map. Left after 20 mins, cause got no fun at all, 5 min running somewhere, 30 sec battle.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Wolf » 23 Aug 2015, 15:23

Thats maybe a bit too much, +1 is usually enough.
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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby MarKr » 23 Aug 2015, 15:40

I played 1v1 with Kwok on 4v4 map. Left after 20 mins, cause got no fun at all, 5 min running somewhere, 30 sec battle.
Kwok's suggestion was to play games such as 3vs3 on big 4vs4 maps or 2vs2 on big 3vs3 maps etc... Of course that playing 1vs1 on huge 4vs4 maps is kinda....meh :roll: Not to speak again about BK not being balanced for 1vs1 at all no matter what map you're playing on.
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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby kwok » 23 Aug 2015, 17:17

Meh, I like 1v1's on 4v4's. But, that is an extreme example. Also, I sort of chose to avoid fights with Sukin the whole game. I can't compete with him in micro and tactics, so I played around the mobility of Werm and the lack of mobility from CW. Haha, sorry Sukin, it was 2AM in my time, I was really tired, and the only chance I stood in fighting you is by not fighting you. On top of that, I chose a map with extremely low resource points so that the game was slower paced so my tired self can keep up.

I'll do another one on a different map with you one day?

But, yeah. A 1v1 in a 4v4 is a bit extreme, only BabySealBatter and I do those. We have a lot of fun on them. I still recommend people try it because it's just fun for me. But, it isn't something I recommend for balance because balance wise, I wouldn't recommend 1v1's in the first place.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby ShadowIchigo » 16 Sep 2015, 18:16

kwok wrote:TLDR: Large maps do not solve everything. Balances will be needed as always, but large maps will find true imbalances as well as allow balance changes to be more controlled compared to small maps.

Erich brought up an interesting point (I just played with him and lost. What a shame. You're going down Erich...).
He said that it is unbalanced because the extra resources lets Germans spam their heavy hitters versus Allied spams which, spam to spam comparison, is not as strong.
My immediate counter is that supply yard upgrades for US and British quality/abilities make up for the spams.

Warhawks brought up a good point as well using one of my games I played as an example, 88's completely halt an Allied offense without any effort even on big maps.
My immediate counter is that at least the 88's are only used defensively and it wasn't as bad as the offensive camp/creep Axis are known to do and abuse.

All in total though, both of them might be right and balances are probably far from perfect on large maps. I want to say that large maps do NOT balance everything. It doesn't solve everything, that'd be like saying fixing 88's only fixes the game. This isn't meant to be a catch all solution but rather change the game entirely for something new and fresh and actually closer to how the devs envisioned the game to be played. Axis is quality, Allies is quantity, but all in all it's about the strategies and tactics that make the game, not units and stats.

What large maps ultimately does is free up more play styles to be effective rather than very few optimal formulaic "optimal" play styles and strategies. After making the "cultural" change and playing larger map games, difference balance discussions will come up. But, the difference between balance changes on large maps compared to small maps is how the balance changes will impact the game.

Balance changes will be much easier to control on large maps. On small maps, sometimes a little change creates a domino effect and break the game. But, despite the small-to-major-impact change, the same issues persist. It's like the changes make huge impacts but do not actually solve the problems trying to be addressed.
Example, the camp-style game. No matter how many times artillery stats are modified, the camp game is still extremely popular and a gripe for everyone. Seemingly, the only way to make an impact on the camp game is to make too drastic of changes, causing a huge uproar on the other side of complainers.

Large maps, as mentioned before, open up more avenues of play creating different means of countering the camp game without actually having to change stats. Stat changes can and will probably be made, but they will only have small incremental impacts, making it much easier to reaching a proper balance. This will make life easier for devs and players in finding true imbalances and making the right patch changes necessary.


In reply to erich's keen point.. i suggest a better solution, but harder one to achieve. Instead of changing balance of mod files, why not edit larger maps and reduce the strategic points on the map.. make the points consist of more territory as well

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby kwok » 17 Sep 2015, 00:25

^ah that is a pretty clever idea. A lot easier to do too, I bet.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Butterkeks » 17 Sep 2015, 09:35

kwok wrote:^ah that is a pretty clever idea. A lot easier to do too, I bet.


It's actually very easy.
If you tell me a certain map that hast too much ress in your opinion, I could change it without big effort.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Sukin-kot (SVT) » 17 Sep 2015, 11:16

Butterkeks wrote:
kwok wrote:^ah that is a pretty clever idea. A lot easier to do too, I bet.


It's actually very easy.
If you tell me a certain map that hast too much ress in your opinion, I could change it without big effort.

Too much ammo on Road to Cherbourg, definately. Though i found that this map is extremly cool for 2v2.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby MarKr » 17 Sep 2015, 11:19

I don't know this for sure but if you want to make changes to a map, don't you need a permision from the person who created it? At least as long as you go public with it. :?
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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Sukin-kot (SVT) » 17 Sep 2015, 11:27

I guess most of the map creators are gone from coh already...who cares.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Butterkeks » 17 Sep 2015, 11:39

Sukin-kot (SVT) wrote:Too much ammo on Road to Cherbourg, definately. Though i found that this map is extremly cool for 2v2.


I'll have a look at it this evening or on the weekend, but I'd simply change the large ammo points to medium or low ammo.

But just to clearify: My intention is NOT to change these maps so that the original one is not playable anymore! In this case the original Road to Cherbourg would still be playable, but I'd offer to make "Road to Cherbourg less ammo" map and players are free to choose which map they want to play. I for myself like the original Road to Cherbourg very much.

MarKr wrote:I don't know this for sure but if you want to make changes to a map, don't you need a permision from the person who created it? At least as long as you go public with it. :?


This would be a COH Campaign map that somebody converted for PVP... So actually the creator would be relic.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby MarKr » 17 Sep 2015, 12:27

I don't want to discourage you from anything but one never knows when some crazy-ass bastard starts to press charges for violation of author's rights...in case somebody converted the map and the person or creator of a map can be found and contacted I would rather send them an email and ask for permision. It's better to be safe than sorry in these things...

But it's your ass on the line and your call in the end ;)
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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Butterkeks » 17 Sep 2015, 12:32

MarKr wrote:I don't want to discourage you from anything but one never knows when some crazy-ass bastard starts to press charges for violation of author's rights...in case somebody converted the map and the person or creator of a map can be found and contacted I would rather send them an email and ask for permision. It's better to be safe than sorry in these things...

But it's your ass on the line and your call in the end ;)


Haha thanks Markr for trying to save my ass :D

I think I'll post into the relicnews forums, if there nobody knows anything, I guess the creator has abandoned CoH. I also highly doubt that he'll sue my ass because I altered his map :D

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby MarKr » 17 Sep 2015, 12:49

I also highly doubt that he'll sue my ass because I altered his map :D
Yeah, I know I just said:
one never knows when some crazy-ass bastard starts to press charges for violation of author's rights
The chance of that happening is low but you cannot rule it out. ;)
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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Butterkeks » 17 Sep 2015, 12:56

Well next question would be of couorse if the map would be an "offical BK map". If it remains something that's send to a few players because the rest simply doesn't care, then I'll guess there won't be any problems, even if the creator would still be active. ;)

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Sukin-kot (SVT) » 17 Sep 2015, 13:42

I would actually love to see new official BK maps so much, because current one all been played hundreds of times already.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby Butterkeks » 17 Sep 2015, 13:48

Sukin-kot (SVT) wrote:I would actually love to see new official BK maps so much, because current one all been played hundreds of times already.


The question is what exactly you are asking for. If you want eople to search for good maps that already exist and then to be added by the team to BK Map pack... No big deal.

Asking for completely new maps... well.
I'm working on a new map, but I didn't do shit on it the last weeks (got quite much to do in RL). Building a completely new map from scratch that also has the quality of existing BK maps is a process that can take up to several dozens of hours... And this only for the 2v2 one I'm building atm.
Requesting Extra Large maps suitable for 4v4... This could take up to 100-150 hours (at least for me).

It could be easier to convert more campaign maps, but afaik all the suitable ones are already converted.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby kwok » 17 Sep 2015, 18:31

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=800&p=8163#p8163

There are a lot of maps that don't need manipulation out there. Shadow and I have actually filtered a few out. It's just a matter of making them playable without crashing.

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby ShadowIchigo » 18 Sep 2015, 01:16

Sukin-kot (SVT) wrote:I guess most of the map creators are gone from coh already...who cares.


lmao sukin u da man i would say the same thing, how would they find me?

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Re: A Developer Independent Solution for Balance - Large Map

Postby kwok » 18 Sep 2015, 01:56

Hm... I'm not a lawyer, maybe someone can tell me. My understanding with author's rights is that it protects the economic value of works. It is fine to alter works as long as it isn't distributed for financial gain that should have gone to the original "artist"? At least, I think that's the case in America... Otherwise a lot of cover bands, youtube artists, and even more categories of people would be in some serious trouble.
On top of that, would releasing works on the internet as community works be sort of forfeiting control over their works? Isn't that sort of implied acceptance? Would it be fine just to credit the original "artist"?

I'm not a lawyer. I wouldn't go testing that personally... But maybe someone knows?


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