The more detailed version:
There has been a lot of talks about the sniper changes and Kwok summed it up on the Discord very well, so I'll just re-post his rely from Discord:
okay, this conversation clearly is going no where and just bickering over things without actual testing... i will write the justification here:
1. it's testing. devs want it so. we make it so. test it and provide feedback.
frankly that's the only justification needed but i'll keep going.
2. double sniper build orders do not reward the type of gameplay envisioned for BK
i'm goign to borrow language straight from company of heroes, not even BK.
A core design piece of Company of Heroes has been Strategy & Tactics Beats Dexterity
Unlike many traditional RTS, a player’s actions per minute (APM) in CoH doesn’t mean much if their strategy and tactics are not up to the task. In Company of Heroes, a small force can beat a larger, more powerful one if the player uses things like combined arms, defenses, positioning, and the environment to their advantage.
so the fact that everyone keeps saying how "good micro sniper" vs "good micro to counter sniper" shows that snipers as a unit are moving more into the realm of starcraft and not tactics/strategy.
BK has always been company of heroes on steroids. people enjoy bk mod because it makes those decision making as a strategist/tactician more rewarding/punishing.
if you wanted to play a game that rewards micro skill, go play starcraft.
yes snpers can be countered a million ways. but when you need a really high level of micro to counter snipers whereas using snipers themselves use less micro... it becomes a game of micro skill not tactics
of course the game can't go without ANY micro... but it's about a balance. from replays we've seen, snipers start to fall in the "not intended" category just like how the AT SAS squads did.
for everyone that complains about the SAS squad, imagine if the response is "just micro your tanks noobs"
i just had a game not that long ago where people were complaining before the game about how imbalanced that squad was and how weak blitz doc is... i blew up the SAS like they were nothing. they were just free vet for my tanks. it was super easy for me. but that doesn't mean that the squad clearly is being used in a way that wasn't intended and has some effect.
when we start to see games where a double sniper composition happens 90% of the game and really drive how people start to play as support weapons, then yeah we're going to make some changes. we've already made many changes previously (hp changes, vision changes, etc.) and that still doesn't steer people away from making double snipers their main line unit. it seems like every time the sniper changes it's always split between higher level old players vs lower level new players. there's times when newer players need to learn the game and other times when there's something potentially up with the unit themselves, as if you needed specific BK skills and a level of BK specific micro skill to even play the game. this falls into the that second category. is sniper limits the solution? i dont know. we don't know. that's why it's in testing. but this isn't some "emotional change". it sounds more like emotional reactions from player bitching about having their formulas touched.
and yes the sniper is and has always been intended as a support role. it was literally built in the "weapons support center" in vanilla coh.
i personally had my own doubts about this change, but i acknowledged that something needed to be done and will try to find time to do my part in testing if the change is effective or not.
Several players complained that SE is weak as a doctrine and came up with a number of ideas to improve the stance of this doctrine. We still think that it is not needed to add any type of unlock to flat buff Assault Pioneers but we brought a few changes instead.- All snipers are now limited to 1
- Cost of snipers lowered to 300MP (from 350MP)
This doctrine has various types of flame equipment available to their units and one of the suggestions that came from the players was to add flamethrowers to PGrens. We considered it thematically fitting so PGrens can now upgrade flamethrowers.
Another thing that has been brought up several times was that the "bundled flame grenades" were sort of pointless because you had to get an unlock that allowed you to pay 50 ammo to get an upgrade that allowed you to throw a grenade for which you had to pay every time and the effectiveness of the grenade was not very high. We improved the effectiveness of the grenade so that the DoT of the grenade is more in line with other flame weapons. The upgrade can now be purchased without the unlock (giving you more flexibility in when to get it), and the unlock now makes the upgrade free (so you only pay for throwing the grenades). The upgrade becomes free so that you still have the option to keep your normal frag bundle in case you feel it is more useful for you in given situation.- PGrens in SE get flamethrower upgrade option with the flame weapons unlock
Roadblocks are now available to SE as soon as you choose the doctrine, this was done because players pointed out that the roadblocks are pretty situational, cost MP to build and locking them behind CPs feels more like a placeholder rather than a proper doctrinal unlock. This left us with one free slot in the unlock tree and we felt like the Firestorm ability would fit SE rather nicely, as SE has its playstyle built around arty and also uses flame stuff.- Improved the effectiveness of the "Bundled Incendiary Grenade" of SE Sturmpioneers
- The Incendiary Grenade upgrade for SE Sturmpioneers no longer requires "Flame weapons" unlock to be purchased
- "Flame weapons" unlock now lowers the cost of the Incendiary Grenade upgrade for SE Sturmpioneers to 0
In one of the previous updates we moved Elefant to SE and removed the Nashorn from this doctrine. Some players liked this change a lot and some really hated it because each unit fits a different playstyle. We added the option to choose which one you want to use when you play SE.- Added the "Firestorm" ability to SE (offmap flame rocket arty that used to be in the old Terror doc; unlock tree reorganized)
There was also a re-occuring complaint that Luft doctrine doesn't have much for early game arty. We decided to add a small 50mm mortar team to PE in general. The suggestion for some early arty unit came for Luft but we added it to all factions because we expected that people would ask "why only Luft" and we honestly couldn't come up with a decent answer to that question so the mortar was add to all PE docs. This can be changed and the mortar can be assigned just to specific docs if needed. We'll see what the feedback will be.- Added a reward choice for SE doctrine between Elefant and Nashorn
When we introduced the buildable MKVII Churchill, the build time was by a mistake set to 30 seconds which was less than the MKIV Churchill, even less than some light vehicles so the build time was increased to a more appropriate 75 seconds (someone on the Discord asked about the build times for Panthers and Tigers - Panthers have between 70/80 (based on type), Tigers have 120). There is still the "Improved Trucks" unlock that lowers the production speed of units in Trucks by 15% so you can push the build times lower. It was also pointed out that all Churchills have the same speeds/accelerations even when some are more heavily armored and so were/should be slower. So the weakest churchill got a bit of acceleration buff but I think most people wouldn't even notice this if it wasn't mentioned here.- Added a 50mm mortar team to PE Barracks (almost identical to CW 2-inch mortar team in range and firepower)
Some time ago players asked for making it possible to quick-select the CW gliders with the F-hotkeys. Just a QoL change.- Increased build time of Churchill Mk VII to 75 seconds (from 30)
- Increased acceleration speed of Churchill Mk IV to 1.7 (from 1.5)
Quite a big topic in past few weeks has been the Recoilless rifles of the 101st. There have been suggestions to give bazookas to 101st and leave RLs only as an opional upgrade but that would kick the 101st efficiency through the roof. We feel that most of the complaints come because people expect the RLs to act as bazookas - shoot, hit deal loads of damage and killing light vehicles outright. That's not what the RLs are for because if they were like that, there would be no (or very minimal) difference between RL and bazooka and then we simply have to ask why should the RL be there at all if it is just a different looking bazooka. The RLs are there to cripple enemy vehicles and tanks, so that you can finish them off with other means (bazookas, tanks, planes, arty...). The RLs need to penetrate to cause a critical hit and they intentionally DON'T have 100% penetration against everything. This is because you can get multiple RLs on a single squad and players often do that. This means that if a penetration chance against a tank is (let's say) 60%, then with 2 RLs the chance to penetrate the target at least once is almost 90%, with 3 it is 99,99% etc. Each penetrative hit can cause a crit, so if we set the penetration chances too high, one volley will cause several crits on any tank and we'll have Axis players complaining about RL rushes. What was off, however, was the accuracy. The RLs can do their work if they penetrate and for that they need to hit first, which was often hard. The range brackets for RLs were set in such a way that the weapon missed more often than intended, so that is now changed but we also increased the basic accuracy to ensure that the effectiveness of RLs depends more on penetration rolls, rather than accuracy and penetration. The criticals vs armored cars (e.g. Pumas) were forgotten to get changed with the first round of RL changes so armored cars upon a hit took very little damage and criticals were very rare, that should be changed too. The "5% one shot" crit vs halftracks and armored cars has been put back too.- FHQ glider can now be quick-selected by pressing F4 key
- Commandos/RE glider can now be quick-selected by pressing F5 key
- Tetrarch glider can now be quick-selected by pressing F6 key
After the RAF changes for SAS, the new meta very quickly turned into "get SAS, give them AT upgrade, sprint to a tank, pop smoke, fire ATs (tank destroyed), retreat". The tactic where you stand in a smoke cloud in front of a tank, the tank is very unlikely to hit you but you have a high chance to hit the tank, was cheesy at best. The smoke now reduces the accuracy of the units standing in it by 90% to make sure that the smoke is used defensively, as intended, rather than offensively.- Fixed range brackets of Recoilless Rifles to 8/20/35/40/45 (from 8/17/35/35/45 - this was making it less accurate than other hand-held AT weapons)
- Increased accuracy of Recoilless Rifles to 1.25/0.95/0.75/0.55 (from 1.25/0.85/0.65/0.35)
- Recoilless Rifles should now properly cause critical hits on armored cars
- Added 5% "one shot kill" critical chance to Recoilless Rifles against armored cars and halftracks
We also changed the name of Royal Artillery Support to "Canadian Army Support". We found that when the doctrine has in its name the word "artillery", people tend to think it is the only thing the doctrine is about. The suggestions provided then usually only revolve around artillery stuff and questions such as "why is there a Churchill?" appear. This name change was done to make the thought process a bit looser when it comes to new ideas about this doctrine. The doctrine is still strongly based around the usage of artillery but hopefully, people won't have the "I use arty and not much more with this doc" mindset. There are also changes that should help with combined arms and general advancement tactics with this doctrine. Namely, the Sherman V in this doctrine can get the "HE mode" to better support advancing infantry and also to better synergize with the Churchill. The 122mm offmap was very underused and most people said it was because it was like a "artillery roulette" - too big spread, so you never knew if you actually hit anything and for that effect it was pretty expensive. So we reworked it in such a way that it now has smaller AoE and after the HE barrage is complete, smoke rounds are fired to the area. This should make the ability more useful, provide some utility but also make it a bit more unique, rather than just "another big gun offmap".- When Commandos or SAS shoot from their smoke, their accuracy is reduced by 90% (from 50%)
And also these two, that are also just QoLs.- Changed "Royal Artillery Support" name to "Canadian Army Support"
-- "Sherman V" in Canadian Army has the option to get "HE mode" instead of "single shot HE"
-- Changed the 122mm Offmap to first shoot 30 HE shells in a radius of "55" and then a salvo of 25 smoke shells (from 30 HE shells in a radius of 70)
-- Increased the cost of 122mm offmap to 175 ammo (from 150 ammo)
Fixes:- Sticky bombs now trigger movement-reducing critical hits on vehicles every time
- Supply Drop in AB doctrine now gives the 1919 .30cal (from 1917 version)
As always - it will stay in the beta for a few days and will go live afterwards. Please, have a few games and report any issues you encounter.- Hellcat should no longer auto-target trenches
- Gebirgsjägers no longer get Vet2 instead of Vet1 from Veterancy unlock
- PE HMG crew now has rifles instead of SMGs, as intended
- Supply Drop in AB doctrine now correctly gives 150 ammo (from 175)
- AI in Infantry Only mode should no longer build Churchills MKIV (in CA), Churchill MK VII, StuGs and Elefants
Bugs fixed for the final release:
- Sherman V in HE mode will rotate its turret properly
- When the crew of the PE 50mm mortar gets killed, the weapon description will display it is a 50mm mortar and not an 80mm
- Decrewed PE 50mm mortars will be captured properly
- Flak36 88mm will have the same penetation vs Churchill MK VII as Tiger (was forgotten to buff last time)
- 75mm L70 guns on Jagdpanzer IVs will have the same penetation vs Churchill MK VII as Panthers (was forgotten to buff last time)
- All sniper costs will be set to 300MP (some are still 350MP now)
- AB/Luft docs won't be able to get multiple snipers
- Flame Hetzer and PIV F2 in PE won't be available in Infantry only mode
- Made some experimental changes to Sticky Bombs that could prevent game crashing when the soldier using a Sticky gets crushed by a vehicle (needs testing to confirm it works)
- Canadian infantry with Sten Guns should no longer have invisible barrels after reinforcing
- Def doc HMG teams built in bunkers are now armed with Kar98 as other weapon crews
- Elefant will properly face its target when using ALRS
- Removed unit limit on Nashorn
- Removed tracers from 2inch and 50mm mortar rounds
- Canadian Infantry can now upgrade Bazooka only when in own teritorry
EDIT III (12.8.2021):
In the latest beta update:
- Increased the range of command aura of CW Cromwell to 65 (from 30)
- Replaced ability boosts of Command M20 by a passive aura:
-- basic aura gives to vehicles in range of 65: +5 vision range, +2.5 weapon range and +5% accuracy
-- at Vet2 the aura gives additional +5 vision range, +2.5 weapon range and weapons reload 15% faster
- Added a smoke drop ability to Command M20
- Replaced ability boosts of Command PIV by a passive aura:
-- basic aura gives to vehicles in range of 65: +5 vision range, +2.5 weapon range and +5% accuracy
-- at Vet2 the aura gives additional +5 vision range, +2.5 weapon range and weapons reload 15% faster (reload speed does NOT stack with reload speed bonus of Blitzkrieg ability)
- 76mm Jumbo now has a "single HE shot" (from timed HE)
-- "Mark Artillery Target" ability removed from Canadian Infantry
-- Added "Mortar Victor Target" ability to Canadian Infantry (activates all 2-inch and 4.2-inch mortars; cost 30 ammo, 65 range, cannot be sent to FoW)