Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Do you have a balancing problem or do you want to make a suggestion for the game? You are at the right place.

Should camo modifiers (accuracy, penetration, and damage bonuses) be removed for tank destroyers?

Yes to tank destroyers
4
20%
Yes, and to other units
6
30%
No
10
50%
 
Total votes: 20

kwok
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Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by kwok »

After watching replays and hearing players screaming and cursing over discord in game, I think that there's a general distaste for the camo mechanic.

Camouflage is a bit of an unsavory mechanic to balance for in that it only adds fun to one side of an equation. A key game design principle is players should feel empowered and in control of their fate in the game. There's a difference between losing to a player because the other player is skilled versus being incapable of making any impact. Camo is one of those things where it's fun for the player who's using it because they are in a strong position of power while the player victim of camo feels helpless. It's true that there are ways to counter camo'd units through spotters, but the skill difference to effectively counter camo versus the skill difference to use camo is very skewed in favor of the player using camo. See the snipers as an example: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3425&sid=67e2bd116 ... a64a702dce
Summary: Camo is fun to use but not fun to face against.

Camo/invisibility in itself is a really strong capability in a game where vision and intelligence is an extremely important aspect of the game. I think that adding bonuses to an already headache capability is too much. A lot of units that have camo are already effective without camo. One way to think about it is this: Do you expect units to be LESS effective when its NOT in camo? If a unit is only useful when in camo, maybe there's an issue with the unit not the camo. In those situations we can tweak those units as a counterbalance to this overall nerf.

I know one argument that might come back is the modifiers represent a unit being able to take its time and take a good shot in an ambush position. First, "realism" is not even secondary but third in priority with game fun and game balance coming in priority. Second, bringing realism as an argument I'd say that veterancy is a more representative mechanic for bonuses than camo. Camoflauge does NOT make aim times longer, so this "prepared and steady shot" isn't even fully represented in camo.

I think this change should apply to tank destroyers first as a test since most of those units already have good stats without camo.

Let me know what you all think.

MenciusMoldbug
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by MenciusMoldbug »

There's quite a lot of things going on when a TD or a tank/vehicle with a camouflage ability goes hidden. Usually that ability is also paired with a 'rapid-fire' position buff where they will shoot faster than they regularly would thanks to being in ambush position (also usually comes with a +5 range increase). This is very noticeable on the achilles where it's reload rate will sky rocket enormously thanks to being in ambush-mode. The reload buff is so good, I usually try to put my achilles into ambush-mode in fire-fights just for that reload buff (it applies instantly when the tank goes into that mode). This reload buff for ambush mode applies for the majority of vehicles with the only one I think missing it is the 90mm Jackson.

There's also the penetration stacking on strong guns like the JP4 L/70 which makes the Jumbo armor pretty paper-thin. All the PE player has to do with his JP4 L/70 when he sees a Jumbo is load AP and fire from camouflage for the ambush bonus penetration and damage. This leads to a critically damaged or dead Jumbo in a single shot.

There's also that damage buff from ambush applying to HE shells. Does the Hellcat HE shell gain increased damage shooting from ambush because the infantry are unprepared to take a hit to the face from the HE and therefore suffer more than usual or is something else going on. The point here is that the ambush mode isn't just applying to tanks, it's also applying to all other possible targets that the Vehicle/TD/Tank can shoot at.

Usually with a Pershing I am not very scared of a Hetzer. A ambushed Hetzer is different, just like an Ambushed Achilles is completely different to taking on an Un-Ambushed Achilles with a Panther. There is the risk that the ambush modifiers will cripple, destroy, or one-shot your tank while in a 'normal' engagement this would not happen. So there's that to take into account when running into ambushed stuff.

I personally would get rid of all Ambush bonuses for everything. Just so people don't have to micro click their HMG to ambush immediatly to get that ambush modifier buff when they are about to shoot at something from the longest range. Because of how VCoH works ambush just feels gimmicky that way. Also because the 17 Pounder AT Gun would become the most powerful 17 Pounder in the game if only the TD ambush bonuses are gone (thanks to the ambush bonus still remaining on it while the Achilles will not have it). I'm willing to accept that I might be a minority when it comes to removing those modifiers for everything though.
kwok wrote:
15 Apr 2020, 03:35
If a unit is only useful when in camo, maybe there's an issue with the unit not the camo. In those situations we can tweak those units as a counterbalance to this overall nerf.
There is the issue that with every overall camouflage nerf the M10 keeps getting weaker and weaker. Old BK M10 had a pretty good chance of penetrating a panther from the front without AP because it had like 200% penetration bonus with ambush. If you take away the last bits of penetration bonuses from ambush it's entire performance vs stuff like P4H'S will come down to even more luck. It already has a chance of bouncing the earlier P4 models and without the ambush bonus; only using the AP rounds has a certain guarantee of penetrating them.

I was thinking that replacement ability for the removal of hit and run from the M10 with a smoke shell could be tuned a bit. Nobody uses the M10 smoke shell because it takes too long to fire with its slow turret, the area of effect is very small, and it's basically a single mortar smoke round landing in a designated area and disappearing very quickly. I thought about how you could make this an ability you fire on enemy tanks. Like "Fire Smoke Shell On Vehicle" where it would shoot it at a Panther or something and the Panther for some seconds would have -75% accuracy on its main gun (the counter balance here could be since you did fire a smoke shell on the target it is also 75% harder to hit). The weaker TD's should get some sort of defense utility in the form of stuns, smokes, anti-inf capabilities (like Marder 3 having HE shells), etc. To make up for the loss of the ambush bonus no longer letting them hit above their weight class.

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Redgaarden
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by Redgaarden »

You have tanks like the m10 which barely is able to preform with camo bonuses and tanks like JagdP L/7 which is spammable and able to utterly destroy every allied vehicle from camo.

If we remove camo bonus the m10 will be utter trash that will; Shoot, bounce, get shot back, explode. And the jagdpanzer will still be pretty good.

But I think this will be another allied buff since germans rely alot on their camo to kill the few allied heavy tanks that exist in the game. While allies use click to kill abilities to kill the german heavies.
I also feels super bad when all your tanks get oneshot even when you know where the tank is, but it is invisible and attack ground doesn't help you at all. Which necessitates heavy artillery to do anything.
It's true that there are ways to counter camo'd units through spotters, but the skill difference to effectively counter camo versus the skill difference to use camo is very skewed in favor of the player using camo.
It's expensive to uncammo units with spotter since the spotter will 90% of the time die. Since there is no cheap dispsiable unit, to do it reliably
You either get a 240/210 mp Jeep/motorcycle, which cna still be killed without spotting the target, the slow 160mp recon troop that can get counterspotted and killed without spotting the target, and when that happens you have to train a new one and halt your entire push will getting peppered by artillery. Train an new one before it gets kileld? impossible, you can only have 2. Use better "Armored reconasense like the m20? same as jeep but wont get killed by small arms fire. Use Recon aircraft? doesn't spot camo units. use reconasense ability on your command car? doens't spot either. Send an infantry squad suciding in? maybe, if they dont get suppressed by some random fire.

Only way to deal without losing alot more than you're killing is to bomb the shit out of every crater that shoots back.

there is alot more problems with camo units that am not saying, but this one is my biggest concern with them, I have just gotten a little better in tollerating camo abuse and healthily leave the game knowing it's my defeat.


P.s fuck snipers and their 140hp
Rifles are not for fighting. They are for building!

MenciusMoldbug
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by MenciusMoldbug »

Thinking back now, there was a COH 2 Mod that kind of fixed the camouflage abuse in its realistic-damage-values mechanic by giving all factions the ability to put-down/call-in green flares which would reveal everything around it in a radius which was invisible/hidden. It wouldn't give you vision but it would just reveal the stuff that was invisible in the area which you knew was there but couldn't see otherwise.

I wonder if you could implement that kind of mechanic in BK to help with camouflage abuse. You know where a hidden TD is but you can't send anything at it without getting 'ambushed' from it so you put down green flares to remove the ambush buffs it would otherwise get on the stuff you send at it. So you could then send your tank over to fight it knowing you won't suffer from the ambush penalties. I would have something like that available in the HQ for all factions to call in wherever they want for 25-50 munitions. The green smoke might be confusing because it would indicate that something is being called in like an airborne unit there; so I think using the creeping barrage yellow smoke would be better for this revealing ability. Like that COH 2 mod, it wouldn't give you vision in the area, but just reveal stuff that was invisible; so it doesn't act like a air recon ability. Would fix most of the issues involving trying to spot camouflaged units; and might not even need to change the camouflage buffs if it works as I think it would.

Also, wasn't there also a recon mortar ability for the soviet mortar in COH 2? It shot a flare where you ordered it and it revealed the stuff in that area which was hidden/invisible. That was pretty cool, don't know if that could be ported over here to VCoH for our mortar teams though.

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Warhawks97
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by Warhawks97 »

I think camo damage/pen bonuses can go. I would just leave the accuracy bonuses for the sake of preventing hilarious ambush fails like we sometimes used to in the very past (when allied TD had no camo accuracy boost).

As mentioned, many units dont even need the pen/damage boosts as their guns are already extremely strong. A Jagdpanther for example in ambush is one such example. And tanks that are supposed to withstand heavy fire become too often victims to units that are not supposed to be this effective which reduces their effectivness as breakthrough tanks.

I share the view on M10 becoming too weak. When pen was doubled far in the past the pen chance vs Tank IV H was 99%. With pen boost reduction that dropped to like 61% for so. Removing the pen damage entirley would leave the M10 so weak that it will probably lose more than 50% of all battles even when shooting from ambush.
As i said in the past already, these phosphoreus rounds should be available on more US units to blind targets for a moment and to panic the crews for the tank to make up for their lack of firepower.


One more thing an ambush shot could do is to cause short panic within the enemie tank when the crew does not have a vet level which reduces their aiming for a short period of time as well as their acceleration/deceleration.


About detecting ambushed units: I am asking for some sort of cheaper reconassaince units for years. I liked the bike because that was one of those affordable units you could send on patrole without losing too many ressources. Most of not all jeeps/schwimms should perform like that thing instead of being "Tanks" in the opening games which get build just at the start. The Krad for PE is also a nice tool. I used it basically everytime i send units forward. It was a big help, esspecially as it helps cleansweeping enemie recons during your attack which i else might pass without noticing they are there.


The flare thing is also a could thing. Thats something reconnassaince vehicles like M10 or scout cars or puma should have. Also command units like command tanks, officers and commando vehicle. They would work as described by menicus.

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CGarr
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by CGarr »

Warhawks97 wrote:
15 Apr 2020, 19:04
I think camo damage/pen bonuses can go. I would just leave the accuracy bonuses for the sake of preventing hilarious ambush fails like we sometimes used to in the very past (when allied TD had no camo accuracy boost).
Agreed.
As mentioned, many units dont even need the pen/damage boosts as their guns are already extremely strong. A Jagdpanther for example in ambush is one such example. And tanks that are supposed to withstand heavy fire become too often victims to units that are not supposed to be this effective which reduces their effectivness as breakthrough tanks.
Agreed, tigers and jumbos would be a lot more useful if there were less passive heavy counters (AT guns and mines are good example of passive heavy counters because they have pretty big weaknesses, most of the TD's in BK don't really share those same weaknesses and are just obnoxious to play against since they are still really strong for their price even when used in a more passive manner (hetzer, jpzIV, jpzIV/70, achilles are all currently annoying, M10, M18, and marder are in a weird limbo where they'd be extremely obnoxious to play against due to how cheap they are if their offensive stats were any higher but they are kind of garbage at their intended roles in their current state).

Removing camo bonuses from these units and making them easier to spot would obviously leave a void in terms of loss of effectiveness, but there are plenty of couterbalancing changes that could be made in compensation through encouraging more active use of these units via ablities like stuns, and offensive stat buffs (along with corresponding price increases).

Heavy breakthrough tanks would become stronger in the sense that they'd require more effort to kill with these specific units, but they'd still be counterable if the enemy player is able to out-micro them through positioning and use of abilities alongside indirect support. As such, they'd better fit their role as aggro-magnets/micro-sinks.
I share the view on M10 becoming too weak. When pen was doubled far in the past the pen chance vs Tank IV H was 99%. With pen boost reduction that dropped to like 61% for so. Removing the pen damage entirley would leave the M10 so weak that it will probably lose more than 50% of all battles even when shooting from ambush.
As i said in the past already, these phosphoreus rounds should be available on more US units to blind targets for a moment and to panic the crews for the tank to make up for their lack of firepower.
Agreed on the phosphorous rounds, although honestly the M10, M18, and marder should all get better pen stats in general, especially if camo modifiers are removed. I would argue that better pen (possibly with lower damage to compensate) would make these 3 units a lot more useful, as they are currently way too dependent on camo for being able to damage their targets. Marders and M10's should require far less aim time to fire, as both take a pretty long time to even point their gun at whatever they're shooting due to being casemates (I know the M10 isn't really one but it might as well be with its ridiculously slow turret rotation speed).

The m18 should be useful as a flanking tank since flanking is a form of ambush in the sense that you need to allow the enemy unit to move a certain distance away from their defensive line before it becomes viable, being stuck in place due to the dependence on the camo ability to actually have a chance of penning just negates this unit's flanking ability.
One more thing an ambush shot could do is to cause short panic within the enemie tank when the crew does not have a vet level which reduces their aiming for a short period of time as well as their acceleration/deceleration.
Temporary stun mechanics in general should be more common, they make for a good equalizer for units that are in a balance limbo where they are underpowered as is but would potentially be OP if buffed even slightly in terms of stats.
About detecting ambushed units: I am asking for some sort of cheaper reconassaince units for years. I liked the bike because that was one of those affordable units you could send on patrole without losing too many ressources. Most of not all jeeps/schwimms should perform like that thing instead of being "Tanks" in the opening games which get build just at the start. The Krad for PE is also a nice tool. I used it basically everytime i send units forward. It was a big help, esspecially as it helps cleansweeping enemie recons during your attack which i else might pass without noticing they are there.
I like the flare idea better than suicidal scout units, its not uncommon to get into a scenario where a well dug in player can just blast any scout units before they get a chance to do anything. Jeeps and stuff are fine as is.
The flare thing is also a could thing. Thats something reconnassaince vehicles like M10 or scout cars or puma should have. Also command units like command tanks, officers and commando vehicle. They would work as described by menicus.
Agreed, honestly this alone would be a solid temporary solution to most issues regarding camo. This ability would prevent a lot of headaches where you already know where a unit is but cant do anything about it. Only thing I'd add is that the flare should have a reasonable muni cost so that spamming it would be a significantly large muni invesment (you should be able to spam it in case you're dealing with someone who spams a ton of camo'd units, but the muni cost should at least be enough that camo isn't a complete waste of time. It is pretty vital to a lot of unit's combat performance, AT guns and allied TD's in particular need it a lot.

A similar fix would be the mark target thing I've suggested before, but I like Mencius's idea as well and don't really have strong opinions on which would be better.

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CGarr
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by CGarr »

I'm going to make a seperate post sometime soon for my thoughts on camo in general since there's a lot I'd need to explain my reasoning for in detail. As a whole, I agree with Mencius in that I think camo bonuses should be removed from everything, as camo itself is a strong ability on it's own when implemented well.

kwok
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by kwok »

I’m glad this topic gained traction and votes. Just wondering, what are reasons why people voted no? So far I’ve seen so many reasons for yes or some degree of yes. But so many voted no. Why?


Eh as cool as the ideas are I'm sort of against creating new abilities and tools to fight against camo'd things assuming changes go through where bonuses are removed. There's a risk of OVER nerfing camo at that point. Probably worth revisiting IF changes go through. Judging by the polls seems really up in the air... NOT THAT POLLS ARE THE FINAL DECISION WE JUST HEAVILY CONSIDER IT.

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sgtToni95
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by sgtToni95 »

I voted no because i think camo mechanic is good and sometimes necessary.

I'm not really a fan of tanks and i tend to use them as little as possible, but i think camo is something that prevents some unstoppable tank rolls.

Like early 75 jumbo is almost impossible to counter with inf, and with HE shots can quite easily take out AT guns' crews after bouncing/surviving the first shot.. while if you can make some early hetzer or jpzIV48 and hide it, it can work better as a counter.

Same goes for later game phases. Sometimes you play as allies and you get, depending on the doc you're facing, 3-4 panthers/tigers at the same time, supported by rocket artillery. If you can only rely on AT guns or crews, or on Fireflies/Pershings which would still be recovering from arty damage, stopping those tanks can become a real nightmare.

I voted no, not because i don't want camo abilities to be removed, but just modified: I think the damage buff, together with the rof buff should go, but i'd keep the penetration buff, which will allow tds to at least scare enemy tanks with a penetrating non-lethal hit.

I like Mencius idea of some sort of ability that would allow you to spot units in a certain area if you know they're there.

I'd also like recon units to have a wider detection range, which would make better both snipers and tds "problems"(?). Maybe giving more units some sort of "mark target" ability could work as well.

All in all, i'm not really bothered by TDs ambushes, it's surely due to me not using tanks a lot, and AT inf squads (which are an excellent counter) are a must have for my pushing groups as well, so i don't really suffer from TDs and i like them as they are now or with just a reduction of camo bonuses.

kwok
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by kwok »

I see, so at least one and maybe some more “no’s” is more like “only some bonuses should be removed”?

I see the merits of the accuracy bonus. You spend time to prepare an ambush, it DOES suck if your one shot chance misses. The penetration and damage bonus is something I want to push on more. The question I want to pose back is about the penetration bonus part you mention: does it make sense that penetration is less without camo? You talk about not having counters to certain units unless you have camo. Should the potential way to look at it be that some units should have a chance to penetrate/scare without camo?

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by Walderschmidt »

I voted no because I want to balance camo through other means, namely:

1) A flare that can be shot by units for a muni cost that can detect camo’d units in a radius. By spotters/jeeps/armored cars to make them still useful as the game goes along, but only unlocked around tech 3.

Recommend 25 muni cost, 15-20 radius, 60 second cooldown.

2) Camo’d units recamoing. It’s been rare that units camo’d in front of mine but frustrating and devastating when it happens. I think units should need to move once their camo is lifted.

That or units once uncovered from camo by spotters needed to move to a new spot/kill enemy spotters in order to recamo.

If a tank gets spotted but never moves, why should my guys magically forget where he is?

Wald
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kwok
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by kwok »

Walderschmidt wrote:
16 Apr 2020, 16:41
I voted no because I want to balance camo through other means, namely:

1) A flare that can be shot by units for a muni cost that can detect camo’d units in a radius. By spotters/jeeps/armored cars to make them still useful as the game goes along, but only unlocked around tech 3.

Recommend 25 muni cost, 15-20 radius, 60 second cooldown.

2) Camo’d units recamoing. It’s been rare that units camo’d in front of mine but frustrating and devastating when it happens. I think units should need to move once their camo is lifted.

That or units once uncovered from camo by spotters needed to move to a new spot/kill enemy spotters in order to recamo.

If a tank gets spotted but never moves, why should my guys magically forget where he is?

Wald
If your unit gets spotted, should it never be able to camo again? At what point should it be able to camo again? Right now (except for some rare cases where we are trying to standardize) most units will take 8 seconds to go back to camo if it hasn't fired a shot because we figure that after 8 seconds then the unit is basically no longer in combat and can go back to preparing an ambush position.
To flip your question back to you: If you spotted a tank, why should you assume you still know where it is and it never moved?

Also, just because your unit is spotted I think the modifiers STILL will apply. So even if a tank is spotted, it'll still have a damage and penetration multiplier. So say you see the achilles uncloaked, send a tiger to kill it because you see it right there, you send your tiger in, that tiger will still get one shotted.

MenciusMoldbug
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by MenciusMoldbug »

kwok wrote:
16 Apr 2020, 17:39

Also, just because your unit is spotted I think the modifiers STILL will apply. So even if a tank is spotted, it'll still have a damage and penetration multiplier. So say you see the achilles uncloaked, send a tiger to kill it because you see it right there, you send your tiger in, that tiger will still get one shotted.
I think the way it works is the first_strike_actions (ambush mode) modifiers depend on what duration is set in ability_actions. I don't think BK splits the ambush bonuses into different sections so they all have a single duration on how long they will last after they are revealed. In the case of commandos they have a 5 second duration where their ambush bonuses still apply after being revealed/shooting at something (this can be seen in action_01 -> duration). Where as most tanks have their ambush bonus duration set to 0, I.E. ambush buffs only apply when they are camouflaged and after being revealed are no longer active. The rapid fire position buffs like reload and range are still applying because it's not part of the first_strike_actions and instead is another ability combined into the ambush mode. I've played tons of games in BK and Vanilla; with my experience in Vanilla in abusing M18/Hell Cat ambush bonuses in games I can confidently say the ambush bonuses only work if your unit has gone invisible and fired its shot when it was invisible. The ambush bonuses then in this case only linger on if the duration for them is set higher than 0 (like in the case for infantry squads).

EDIT:

I looked at the buffs of the M18 camouflage in VCoH again: http://hq-coh.com/stats/coh-stats.com/A ... flage.html

As I thought the duration for its ambush bonuses are set to 0 and the modifiers for the ambush bonus being that high I should have at least once seen it apply after the vehicle was revealed and it fired at something but I never did. This might just be confirmation bias but I'm pretty sure lingering ambush bonuses depend on the duration which it was set at.

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by Walderschmidt »

1) Yes. To clarify, to recamo, it would need to get into movement mode and then get back into camo mode, while outside the detection range of a spotter unit. I’d prefer if it had to physically move to another position to recamo but I don’t know how feasible that is.

Last unit I saw recamo right after combat was a US 57mm halftrack that killed a PIV H and then my F2 afterwards because it recamo’d before the aim time completed and the shot was fired. About four nights ago. I have the replay and can submit for review later.

2) To answer your question: I wouldn’t assume I still know where a tank is, but if I got ambushed in a particular location, I’d note it down and try to be extra observant if I revisited said location. I might notice an otherwise hidden or inconspicuous tank whereas it would escape my notice if I was going about travel as normal. A lot of camoflage is about being unnoticed by being inconspicuous. Break up your outline just enough that someone not looking for you won’t see you. Truly observant or expectant foes still might. Especially if they return to an ambush site.

I’m not saying you will know if a tank that camp ambushed something is still there or if it moved. I am saying that if it didn’t move, it probably won’t surprise you because you will make sure you double check the spot/area it was in.

3) I think that if a tank is spotted it should still retain an accuracy bonus but should lose the penetration and damage bonus.

In what I just outlined, I believe I have a good medium ground between

1) providing more tools for detection to counteract camo without rendering camp useless or obsolete
2) a way to nerf camp in an intuitive manner without nerfing it into the ground

If you get spotted in an ambush, the jig is up. Most of the time you’d move if the element of surprise and the accuracy it affords was your only or primary advantage to tip the fight in your favor.

P.S. if camo’d units get spotted, they should be immediately able to move as soon as they click normal mode to run away.

Or what if, camo’d units that got spotted are immediately put out of camo mode? Leave the accuracy bonus and turn off the rest? They then make a decision whether to run and hide or to gamble on the first shot?

Wald
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by kwok »

MenciusMoldbug wrote:
16 Apr 2020, 19:29
kwok wrote:
16 Apr 2020, 17:39

Also, just because your unit is spotted I think the modifiers STILL will apply. So even if a tank is spotted, it'll still have a damage and penetration multiplier. So say you see the achilles uncloaked, send a tiger to kill it because you see it right there, you send your tiger in, that tiger will still get one shotted.
I think the way it works is the first_strike_actions (ambush mode) modifiers depend on what duration is set in ability_actions. I don't think BK splits the ambush bonuses into different sections so they all have a single duration on how long they will last after they are revealed. In the case of commandos they have a 5 second duration where their ambush bonuses still apply after being revealed/shooting at something (this can be seen in action_01 -> duration). Where as most tanks have their ambush bonus duration set to 0, I.E. ambush buffs only apply when they are camouflaged and after being revealed are no longer active. The rapid fire position buffs like reload and range are still applying because it's not part of the first_strike_actions and instead is another ability combined into the ambush mode. I've played tons of games in BK and Vanilla; with my experience in Vanilla in abusing M18/Hell Cat ambush bonuses in games I can confidently say the ambush bonuses only work if your unit has gone invisible and fired its shot when it was invisible. The ambush bonuses then in this case only linger on if the duration for them is set higher than 0 (like in the case for infantry squads).
Are you sure it's not duration after first shot from the camo set up and not the reveal? Reason why I think this is because all other values like revert time and camo shots before reveal are after that first shot regardless if revealed or not. Imagine when your tank gets revealed from a spotter but then the spotter immediately moves out of the area, the tank goes immediately back into camo. It doesn't trigger the reveal duration timer or revert time. If the bonuses are applied only when something is revealed, then what happens for the few units where camo stays on for more than two shots? Does that mean the first strike action applies for EVERY shot that's in camo and the timer starts once the camo comes off?

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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by MenciusMoldbug »

kwok wrote:
17 Apr 2020, 04:39

Are you sure it's not duration after first shot from the camo set up and not the reveal? Reason why I think this is because all other values like revert time and camo shots before reveal are after that first shot regardless if revealed or not. Imagine when your tank gets revealed from a spotter but then the spotter immediately moves out of the area, the tank goes immediately back into camo. It doesn't trigger the reveal duration timer or revert time. If the bonuses are applied only when something is revealed, then what happens for the few units where camo stays on for more than two shots? Does that mean the first strike action applies for EVERY shot that's in camo and the timer starts once the camo comes off?
It's kind of confusing to put into words but to put it simply: The first_strike_actions as a buff will keep applying as long as the unit stays invisible and the buffs are within the duration time limit.

I can give an example of a Marder 3 and a Sherman. The Marder goes invisible from ambush mode but you saw it with your spotter from its binoculars ability so you creep your spotter up to make the Marder stop being invisible. You once again see the Marder and as long as you are able to see the unit (so it's not invisible) its ambush bonuses will not apply. So you send your Sherman in thinking it's an easy kill, but unluckily your spotter is killed by something so the Marder goes invisible just when your Sherman is in range of it and so the invisible Marder fires a shot at your Sherman and it has first strike ambush buffs applied to it and your Sherman takes more damage than it should (and probably dies).

Although I can put this into words, the best way to characterise the 'cheesiness' of first_strike bonuses in CoH was in a tournament game where a USA player knew how to use M18s with cheese tactics. Back then it was recommended you should not upgrade your M18 with a 50cal because it would start firing at everything and would reveal your M18 thus making it lose its first strike ambush bonus. Instead it was recommended that you have no 50cal on the M18 and you move your tank up into the range of enemy tanks and go invisible in front of them and then fire a shot for the ambush bonuses. Because of how VCoH is, the M18 would go invisible immediatly, and so it was very easy to get a first strike bonus by just moving M18s into the range of enemy tanks and shooting at them. This strategy still works in the 'Panzer Krieg' game mode for VCoH where the ambush ability of the M18 is the most broken thing in that mode and it overpowers every other tank in the game (you can literally kill a panther in that game mode with 2-3 shots from the ambush modifiers).

So back to that tournament game, basically the guy would be in the late game vs wehrmacht who had some panther tanks on the field, he would just move 3 of his M18s up to the panther let the panther fire its shot at him. Go hit the ambush button right in front of the panther, have all 3 M18's go invisible right in front of the panther, and have all 3 shoot it and have the panther explode right in front of them.

Basically, yeah the first strike action applies to every shot you make in camouflage. That's why the Hetzer with its triple ambush shot is so powerful vs stuff like Pershings when it shouldn't be. The ambush buff duration then starts when the camouflage goes off, but if the camouflage comes back up again (I'm talking about this like it's a shield technology from star trek lol) the first strike ambush bonuses duration is reset. So if a M18 had a ambush buff duration of 30 seconds, and it went invisible every 15 seconds when it fired a shot. Then basically it would have the ambush buffs be on permanently so long as it keeps going invisible every 15 seconds even when it's shooting at something.

EDIT: I found a video of cheesy PanzerKrieg players to clearly show how the ambush bonuses work:

https://youtu.be/SoAt4Et6iNQ?t=480

Within 2 shots, the M18 destroys the Hotchkiss in VCoH. Normally in Panzerkrieg the M18 would need 4 shots to kill the Hotchkiss but because the ambush modifier is providing 2x damage to its main gun; it is getting the ambush bonus modifier twice because in the second shot it went invisible just before it fired. Hence killing the hotchkiss in 2 shots.

In another part of the video: https://youtu.be/SoAt4Et6iNQ?t=349

Just before the hellcat dies, it goes invisible milliseconds before it fires another shot at the hotchkiss. Which is why the hotchkiss takes a huge chunk of damage from that last shot before the M18 explodes. This M18 player knows how to cheese the hellcat ambush.

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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by kwok »

@mencius
I get your scenario for when it gets first shots the bonus applies, but I don't see how the example proves that by having it NOT in camo the ambush modifiers do not apply. Like if the player did the same tactic but there was a spotter preventing the M18's from going into ambush or even if it did go into ambush but a spotter reveals, how do we know that modifiers STOP applying?

You don't need to convince me that camo modifiers are pretty OP, I mean I want them removed except maybe the accuracy one. But in terms of arguments for keeping them if spotting the units prevents modifiers from applying then perhaps the solution is more detection rather than reduced modifiers.

@walder
I feel like most the things you mentioned is solved just by extending and standardizing how long it takes for a tank to revert instead of requiring some type of additional detection option. Which brings me to something else: I think all revert times and revert on detection times should at least be 8 seconds except for spotters and ONLY spotters.

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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by sgtToni95 »

I think maybe you could try tweaking down some of the buffs.. I think this TD camo issue, as I already mentioned, is a lot like the sniper problem.
It really is a problem if you're willing to play the game rambo like. Snipers would kill Luft rambos as TDs would kill tank rambos. Bk camo mechanic is not so abusable as shown in VCoH videos Mencius linked. I think if you could just tune the invisible/visible time and the duration of bonuses, together with improving spotting features on both sides, would already be enough.

But still i'm not getting so frustrated when losing tanks from ambushed tds and i think correct placing and baiting should be rewarded.

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Mantis
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by Mantis »

sgtToni95: Luft have no Rambos now and no Millenium Falcon... Pls guys, dont ruin this TD setup. Keep it.

maeglin
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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by maeglin »

kwok wrote:
15 Apr 2020, 03:35
After watching replays and hearing players screaming and cursing over discord in game, I think that there's a general distaste for the camo mechanic.
I am sorry, but when I see this sentence I must really ask if we still depend on rational thinking or we just listen to some random noobs loudly yelling… Don't take it offensive but I really think that in making rules and game mechanisms is more important to think it over than to listen to some rather emotional commentary.

I also don't like in game when camo units are shredding my spearhead team but I would never wanted to get rid of it, that would be total nonsense. So I say NO, let it be like it is now.

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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by MenciusMoldbug »

kwok wrote:
17 Apr 2020, 06:35
@mencius
I get your scenario for when it gets first shots the bonus applies, but I don't see how the example proves that by having it NOT in camo the ambush modifiers do not apply. Like if the player did the same tactic but there was a spotter preventing the M18's from going into ambush or even if it did go into ambush but a spotter reveals, how do we know that modifiers STOP applying?
I've never seen it apply if the unit stays revealed. Not a single time. It's only when its fired its shots when invisible do those shots get those ambush modifiers. Again, maybe it's just confirmation bias. But if it worked like that I would have found out about it long time ago and would be able to replicate it consecutively.
kwok wrote:
17 Apr 2020, 06:35
But in terms of arguments for keeping them if spotting the units prevents modifiers from applying then perhaps the solution is more detection rather than reduced modifiers.
That's how it works for me in any BK/Vanilla game I play. I reveal the hidden unit and go for the attack if I can keep it from going invisible again as that's when those modifiers kick in. That understanding of camouflage never failed me once and I am very good at seeing when those damage multipliers apply so I'll have at least once seen it apply for the TD's out of camouflage/invisibility but I never have.

Also, I found out that the type of flare I'm thinking about already exists in VCoH. It was hidden in Panzerkrieg for the axis side when they capture the radio tower. Since they don't get air recons in the base game, they gave them flares instead:

Image

Image

I totally forgot that they even made a special flare fx for this ability too. I thought my idea would require work from scratch but it might be really easy to just port it from Panzerkrieg since it already exists.

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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by kwok »

Mantis wrote:
17 Apr 2020, 18:04
sgtToni95: Luft have no Rambos now and no Millenium Falcon... Pls guys, dont ruin this TD setup. Keep it.
By this "TD" set up you mean when hellcats and achilles 1 shots tigers and panthers? If you really want to keep that then vote "no".

maeglin wrote:
17 Apr 2020, 18:47
kwok wrote:
15 Apr 2020, 03:35
After watching replays and hearing players screaming and cursing over discord in game, I think that there's a general distaste for the camo mechanic.
I am sorry, but when I see this sentence I must really ask if we still depend on rational thinking or we just listen to some random noobs loudly yelling… Don't take it offensive but I really think that in making rules and game mechanisms is more important to think it over than to listen to some rather emotional commentary.

I also don't like in game when camo units are shredding my spearhead team but I would never wanted to get rid of it, that would be total nonsense. So I say NO, let it be like it is now.
Yeah the whole point of this thread and voting is to figure out if it's just emotion or real problem.... like did you read anything else EXCEPT that sentence?

@mencius
Okay, assuming what you say is true then what would be the solution? Keep the bonuses but bring in more detection options? Maybe increase and standardize the revert times? In those scenarios, your hellcat rushing nad cloaking against the panther strat would still technically work, just be harder to do. Versus by removing modifiers also removes the cheesy tactics.

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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by MenciusMoldbug »

kwok wrote:
17 Apr 2020, 20:54

@mencius
Okay, assuming what you say is true then what would be the solution? Keep the bonuses but bring in more detection options? Maybe increase and standardize the revert times? In those scenarios, your hellcat rushing nad cloaking against the panther strat would still technically work, just be harder to do. Versus by removing modifiers also removes the cheesy tactics.
Cheesing with ambush is a lot harder in BK than Vanilla because of how the damage system works. I'm not as scared of a panther shooting me in Vanilla at my M18's than compared to BK because I know it can oneshot them very easily with the BK damage system. So I have a lot more room to abuse stuff like ambush modifiers in Vanilla than I do in BK. Still, I think even with the changes you mentioned there will still be the problem of how to detect the hidden units. The solid options you have to act as detectors are units that cost MP and sometimes fuel (M20, Recce, etc.). These units are very prone to death when they find ambushed/hidden units as it alerts the enemy player that something is detecting them and they often have the tools to kill these detection units as they aren't very strong on their own (like a motorbike running into crawling infiltration rangers). The only munition option for detection I can think of is the air recon ability but that only detects stuff like AT guns on an overhead pass.

I like Warhawks thinking of giving cars and command vehicles the ability to launch flares. While a scout car will not have the ability to detect stuff itself, it can launch flares at a location where it thinks units are hiding. The good thing about stuff like flares is that you do not require a detection unit close to the ambushed unit to detect it at all times. So if your spotter dies but there's a flare next to the hidden unit it was spotting it will still remain detected as long as the flare remains active. So rather than having your main options be suiciding or magnetizing (staying close to the ambushed unit) your recon units; you at least have somewhat of safe option that won't cost you manpower but munitions in the case of stuff like flares. Thinking more about it, I don't think it should be a global/HQ ability like it is in VCoH but something tied to specific units which are meant for the reconnaissance role or support role. BK kind of already has this system of hidden unit detection in the case of the vampire halftrack or the M20/Recce with mark target in their respective Armor/RE doctrines. I think of flares for certain units as a better implementation of that system to keep track of hidden units.

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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by TheUndying »

The flare idea sounds great! Currently there is no real counter to this except "tank" the shots and see where they come from or try to rush in with inf and hope those poor twits don't die. :D

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Re: Proposal: Camo should not give bonus modifiers to tank destroyers

Post by kwok »

Based on the other poll here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3575
I feel pretty sure that most people do NOT want the bonuses to come from camo. A tricky way to weed out the "no" votes here on this poll but I think accomplished what we wanted to know... So here are the takeaways I personally picked up to make changes for:
- Standardize revert times and revert times on detection for tank destroyers (make them generally long enough so they don't disappear mid combat or immediately disappear after being spotted)
- Set camo shots to only be a max of 1 before revealing
- Remove damage bonuses on camo first strike
- Remove penetration bonuses on camo first strike
- Keep accuracy bonuses on camo first strike

That being said there's more to discuss, such as the counter balance.

First to discuss the flare option: I'm reluctant for this idea because it impacts more than the TD/AT camo dynamic that this post was originally targeted for. True, I did quote snipers as an example of how camo is aggravating to play against and there should be some solutions against it... but the camo bonuses for snipers are different than that of tanks where we hear a major complaint is how HE shells magically cause super explosions from hidden tank destroyers, making them both anti tank and anti inf which is outside of their intended role.
Additionally, based on the sniper post there is mixed opinion on whether detection really is a problem or not. I think we can consider flares and more detection after a round of updating how camo bonuses will work.

Counterbalancing the camo bonus changes. Is it necessary?
Krieger Blitzer wrote:
18 Apr 2020, 02:36
Hmm.. nerfing TDs on standard basis??

I don't think the basic values for TDs are anything problematic.
If TD's are fine without camo, then do they really need to get bonuses in camo? If they lose bonuses with camo, do they need to be balanced upwards?

It seems like at least one unit would need to be looked at, the m10 tank destroyer. If that unit RELIES on the camo bonus, then maybe that unit can either be buffed to be stronger so it doesn't need camo bonuses OR it can be the only unit WITH camo bonuses. I'll leave that for you all to discuss.

Any other units that may need help ASSUMING these camo bonuses are removed?

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