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5.1.8e Beta (final beta update)

Posted: 11 Jun 2020, 23:54
by MarKr
Hello everyone,

this is most likely the last beta update before we release it to the live version so, please, play a few games and report any bugs or issues here so that we can fix them for the live release.

We originally wanted the previous beta update to be the last one but there was quite a lot of complaints about the planes and AA effectiveness so we decided to focus one more beta update on that.

The problem was mainly in the LARGE differences between the effectiveness of AA units so we tried to unify the performance in a certain way. In this update the units with a "Dedicated AA mode" are considered "AA units" and two such units in AA mode should provide relatively reliable protection from planes. We say "relatively" because there are more factors in this, including the RNG, map size, where you place the AA units etc. but in general in ideal conditions (enough time to turn the gun at the plane, both units shooting and not in smoke etc. ) 2 units in AA mode should shoot down a plane about 80% of times, consequently, 3 units should do so 99% of times (the 1% is for situations when the guns start reloading or similar cases). If the units are not in the AA mode, their AA effectiveness drops by about 50%. The "AA mode" was also added to the buildable static AA units (naked and emplaced) as well as to the base defenses. However, the emplacements that protect your base are INTENTIONALLY weaker in the AA mode than the "buildable" versions. We did it this way because otherwise the base sectors would just massacre any planes coming their way and so deny a significant part of the map to planes. That being said, if all the base AAs are set to AA modes, they can still kill planes pretty easily. Static AA modes were added to several units to make sure that every faction/doctrine has some AA-capable unit.
- Revised the efficiency of of AA unit vs planes
- Added "AA mode" to Quad .50cal, Bofors, 20mm flak38 and 20mm flakvierlings (both naked and emplaced versions)
- Lowered the efficiency of the AA emplacement you start with (about half of what the built versions have)
- Axis vehicles with kwk38 20mm cannon (mostly armored cars) no longer shoot at planes (only exception is 20mm "Puma" which still can do so and keeps its AA mode)
- Added static AA mode to M15A1, Crusader tank, Flakpanzer 38(t), sdkfz 251/17 (Halftrack with 20mm flak in Def doc), Opel Blitz (unarmored truck with 20mm flak in all PE docs)
Another part of the changes were effectiveness of planes, where we got several complaints that the Luftwaffe planes are a lot weaker than the planes of Allies. This was in part because of the fact that the AA units of allies were stronger (which should no longer be the case) but there were several other things, too. Stuka bomb should now destroy any emplacement or defensive structure it hits and Henschels now fly in pairs - you still need to select which way they fly (so it is NOT a patrol as it used to be) but there will be two planes sent instead of one. Two planes Henschels with the HP added in the last update would be impossible to destroy, so the change is offset a bit by lowering the Henschel HPs (but they still have more HP than other planes). There were also complaints that recon planes sent against a base can be (and often are) used as a suicide units that get destroyed by the base AA and then crash into bases, destroying buildings and units. This is not the intended purpose of the Recon abilities so there is also a change that should make it Recon planes a LOT harder to hit and so this abuse should no longer be a valid tactic.
- The 20mm anti-tank cannon on the straffing plane will now properly target vehicles
- Increased damage of Stuka bomb against buildings and emplacements
- Lowered the HP of Henschel planes to 95 (from 125HP)
- Henschel airstrike ability now sends 2 planes
- All Recon planes are now significantly harder to shoot down
Another complaint we received was about the effectiveness of HMGs which led to a discussion where players said that using HMGs is sort of pointless for various reasons. This led to a change to all HMGs and also MG nests - they can now switch between "fire modes". "long burst mode" suppresses very quickly but deals very little damage at any range. The "short burst" mode suppresses very slowly but deals a lot of damage - especially if the targetted squad is not in cover. Do NOT try to frontally rush HMG positions with infantry!
- HMG teams and MG nests have now an ability to shoot in "long bursts" (fast suppression, low damage) or "short bursts" (slow suppression, more damage)
Another long-standing request was to make Ammunition Trucks and Halftracks more useful. There were several suggestions about what could be changed to make them more appealing and in the end we decided for them removing costs from mortar barrages and special mortar shots (flame, HE etc.) This work for Mortar teams, Mortar Halftracks and also the US 107mm mortar emplacement. The affected units show the "ammo supply icon" above them - the only exception is the US mortar hlaftrack which doesn't show the icon (it doesn't have the animation) but the effect still applies to it. These vehicles can now also lay "multipurpose" mines for 15 ammo which is half of their normal cost.
The Axis Halftracks previously required T3 buildings which would make them available too late for the usage with mortars so now they can be built as soon as you have the building they are available in (the US ammo truck still requires Motorpool).
- Ammunition transporters can now lay "multipurpose" mines for 15 ammo
- Ammunition transporters lower the cost of mortar barrages (even the special ammo types) to 0 (from various costs based on type of mortar)
- Removed fuel costs from the Axis Ammunition Halftracks
- Axis Ammunition Halftracks no longer need T3 building to be obtained
We also got quite a lot of feedback about the CW being able to tech up faster than Axis and so always be a step ahead. We already increased the Truck costs in the last update but it seems it wasn't enough so we re-introduced the fuel costs to Lieutenants and Captains - however, you only need to pay the fuel cost the first time you build these commanders, after that they cost only MP.
- Returned 15 fuel cost to Lieutenant (if LT dies, buying him again does NOT cost fuel)
- Returned 30 fuel cost to Captain (if Captain dies, buying him again does NOT cost fuel)
Last "bigger" change is the effectiveness of flamethrowers where people complained that all infantry in buildings, bunkers and trenches died as soon as the flame touched the building. The flamethrowers should now kill the infantry gradually but it still takes (or it at least should) only a few moments so moving infantry away is still needed.
- Infantry-carried flamethrowers no longer insta-kill infantry in buildings/trenches/emplacements
The update also brings some fixes and balance changes which probably don't need their own paragraphs for explanation:
- 88mm guns on Jagdpanther, King Tiger, Elefant and Nashorn will now have guaranteed penetration against Sherman E8 with sandbags upgrade
- Fixed a bug where Medic and Engineer paradrop would drop multiple squads
- M8 Scott explosion returned (only a visual change)
- Combat Engineers now require Motorpool to be built
- Emplaced 105mm howitzer is now properly available
- Littlejohn upgrade (Daimler, Tetrarch) no longer provides damage bonus to the main gun (penetration and accuracy bonuses are still unchanged)
- Sherman 76mm call in now also costs 120 fuel to use
- 2 pounder guns (Daimler/Tetrarch) will no longer bounce off of Motorbikes
- Daimler Armored car doesn't use a non-existent hull-MG anymore
- Spawning moveable PaK43 from the 28mm HT (Def doc) now requires correct unlock
- Fixed a bug where it was possible to get Grenadiers as Blitzkrieg/Propaganda doctrine
- Lowered cost of Flakpanzer 38(t) to 310MP 20F (from 320MP 30F)
- Combat Group (Blitzkrieg Doctrine) now correctly provides Urban Stormtrooper squad (from Grenadiers who are no longer available in this doc)
- Added option to upgrade Pioneers in Blitzkrieg doctrine with MP40 (3x MP40 for 10 ammo)
- Propaganda Officer will no longer (in some situations) lie on the ground while screaming "Get up and fight, cowards!" at Volkssturm around
- Removed the ammo upkeep from Sturmtiger
- Removed the reward choice between StuG III and IV for Blitzkrieg doctrine (both are now available)
- Lowered the cost of HE ammunition upgrade of Ostwind to 50 (from 75)
- Removed the "Registered Artillery" ability from PE buildings
- Lowered the cost of bunkers to 450MP (from 550MP)
- Lowered the cost of the Mortar bunker (SE) to 450MP 50 ammo (from 800MP 100 ammo)
- Added an upgrade to the Mortar Bunker (SE) that increases its vision range
- Mortar bunker (SE) now only fires its mortar with the barrage ability (no longer auto-shoots at enemies around)
This topic will be locked, if you have any bug reports or balance suggestions, please, start a topic in the appropriate forum section or continue a discussion in existing topic, if the issue already has one.

Re: 5.1.8e Beta (final beta update)

Posted: 13 Jun 2020, 22:34
by Walderschmidt
Those AA changes are much welcome. Look forward to testing a few other things.